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please help!! possible consequences of improperly grounded dish?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by gtbuzz, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. gtbuzz

    gtbuzz Mentor

    Jan 30, 2008
    so i have a theory that an improperly grounded dish caused some short circuiting in my house, but can anyone tell me if this makes sense? i'm a mechanical engineer by trade so all i can do is postulate!

    my equipment:
    swm lnb with 1x8 swm splitter
    2x hr21-700
    swm power inserter is in the master bedroom

    last wednesday (merry christmas to me) i had a comcast tech come out to my house to check on my flaky cable modem (which was having trouble pinging the gateway and would often lose sync). he looked at the pedistal and the wire was melted near the connector. he said that that was a sign of grounding issues in my house. he went to the side of the house to check the cables coming in and while inspecting the comcast line he decided to tighten some of the connectors on the swm splitter (just ocd i suppose). at any rate he replaced the connector to the pedistal. cable modem came back fine and i was happy. that's when i noticed some problems.

    my office didn't have power so i went to look at the circuit breakers. the breakers for my office and master bedroom had tripped (both upstairs, 15amp arc-fault breakers), and i tried resetting them. the office came back on, no problem, but the bedroom wouldn't reset. i removed the load side wiring from the breaker and it still wouldn't reset so i had to replace the breaker.

    in my kitchen i noticed that the clock on my range went out and that my dishwasher went dark. checked the power to the two and it was good so i took each apart. the control panel on the range has a microprocessor in the middle and it has some scorch marks on top. that's gotta be replaced. opened up the control panel on the dish washer and i found an exploded capacitor (ceramic disc, 240pf). i'm going to try replacing that before getting new electronics for it. everything else in my house seems to be fine though (fortunatly no damage to computers).

    house wiring:
    my house is grounded with dual grounding rods. i have no panel or anything like that, cables run directly into my house and straight to the port. the comcast cable (and modem) is on a downstairs circuit and aside from being connected to the same electrical system is completely independent of the d* cables. the comcast cable is properly grounded. breakers for the office, bedroom, range, and dishwasher aren't near each other.

    dish grounding issues:
    i just noticed this today, but the dish has a ground wire that leads from the dish down to the swm splitter, however the splitter itself isn't grounded. i need to run a separate ground wire from the splitter to a ground rod right?

    an improperly grounded d* setup caused some shorting issues in my house. is it possible that when the comcast tech was tightening the connections on the swm splitter that there was a short circuit if he touched two cables that caused all these problems?

    i came to this theory because my bedroom breaker is the one that went bad and that's the one that has the power inserter. i can't pinpoint the exact time that the electrical issues happened, but it roughly coincides with when the splitter was being touched and the cable at the pedistal was being replaced. i checked with my neighbors and none of them had any issues, so i'm inclined to think that it wasn't a georgia power issue (surge). could be wrong though.

    to all the folks out there that know more about this stuff than i do (probably most of you), is my hypothesis make any sense or even possible? if not, was i just a victim of unfortunate circumstance? thanks!
  2. randyk47

    randyk47 Icon

    Aug 21, 2006
    San Antonio, TX
    Sounds like it's time for a licensed electrician to visit your place. There are too many variables, at least to me, to say it's one specific thing. I had a GFI circuit go bad and do some of the same damage you're talking about so who knows.
  3. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

    Dec 27, 2007
    I would suspect faulty electrical wiring. the SWM should be grounded, but I would not suspect it of being the major cause of your problems
  4. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    I'm going to "+1" this because of the two appliances that show damage. With these, it sounds more likely to be an "AC" problem, than a ground. "If" it was a ground, the breakers could trip, but this wouldn't cause the damage, or the damage would be in the DirecTV equipment.
  5. gtbuzz

    gtbuzz Mentor

    Jan 30, 2008
    yeah, the more i think about it the timing on everything just seems coincidental. both my dvr's still work fine, as well as my cable modem. suppose it's time to throw in the towel and get an electrician to come out. as if christmas didn't already cost enough :mad:

    thanks to all that replied
  6. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

    Dec 27, 2007
    go to rat shack or any other electronics place and get an outlet tester

    that will tell you if your wiring is done correctly
  7. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    It sounds to me like you were subjected to a pretty serious 'over-voltage' event. The kind of damage you are describing is usually not associated with a short in a circuit branch, but rather an unexpectedly hi voltage level such as lightning strike or a power line surge. The dc voltages for the clock and timers in appliances are usually supplied by simple rectifier circuits that rely on a constant 120VAC to supply the appropriate dc output. These power supply circuits and/or the components they supply are easily damaged when the AC input level spikes too high. Likewise, the circuit breakers themselves are more likely to fail (although still very unlikley) in an extreme over-voltage condition than a short circuit condition.
    I would agree that it might be good time to have an inspection done by a licensed electrician. Make sure you give as much background and detail as possible about what happened.
  8. wolfman730

    wolfman730 Legend

    Sep 10, 2006
    Another possibility is if multiple circuits in your house are sharing the same neutral wire in your panel. If one should become loose, fail or somehow become disconnected, it will send 240V to everything connected to those circuits frying everything.

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