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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So this was the day I've been waiting for since coming back to DirecTV last year. A significant, heavy, wet snowfall. In the past, this type of snow would mean bye-bye to my HD channels - and some SD channels - until the snow melted enough, as my dish is on the roof of a 3-story house with no access. When I returned to DirecTV I purchased an Ice Zapper heater that the installer kindly attached to the dish during the install in August. Well, I plugged it in before going to bed last night and was pleasantly surprised to wake up this morning to strong signals, no loss of picture and a dish that was relatively free of snow. Confident enough to pull the plug on my FiOS TV backup now. Very happy camper. :)
 

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sangs said:
So this was the day I've been waiting for since coming back to DirecTV last year. A significant, heavy, wet snowfall. In the past, this type of snow would mean bye-bye to my HD channels - and some SD channels - until the snow melted enough, as my dish is on the roof of a 3-story house with no access. When I returned to DirecTV I purchased an Ice Zapper heater that the installer kindly attached to the dish during the install in August. Well, I plugged it in before going to bed last night and was pleasantly surprised to wake up this morning to strong signals, no loss of picture and a dish that was relatively free of snow. Confident enough to pull the plug on my FiOS TV backup now. Very happy camper. :)
Excellent.
Thanks for the post. Your post just answered another's question.
 
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Not sure how many inches you got, but I also receive that wet snow and FWIW, never lost any signals and I am NOT using any type of heaters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
peds48 said:
Not sure how many inches you got, but I also receive that wet snow and FWIW, never lost any signals and I am NOT using any type of heaters.
About six inches. We discussed this back in August I think. For some reason, the position of my dish leads to a tremendous amount of snow accumulation - especially when it's heavy and wet. Always has. Wasn't a big issue years ago when it was positioned lower and I could get at it with a broom, but because of a neighbor's tree growing I've had to put the dish much higher on the roof - so broom clearing is a no-go.
 

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sangs said:
About six inches. We discussed this back in August I think. For some reason, the position of my dish leads to a tremendous amount of snow accumulation - especially when it's heavy and wet. Always has. Wasn't a big issue years ago when it was positioned lower and I could get at it with a broom, but because of a neighbor's tree growing I've had to put the dish much higher on the roof - so broom clearing is a no-go.
I think that the point is that maybe others aren't experiencing a sticking problem today, even without the heater (I occasionally have the problem, but didn't have it today either). So, this may not be a valid test of your dish heater. I'm not trying to suggest that you dish heater didn't work. I'm just suggesting that it may not have been necessary today.

For an initial test, During the next snowstorm, you may want to leave it turned off until you have a problem and then turn it on to verify that it relieves the problem.
 

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Bill Broderick said:
I think that the point is that maybe others aren't experiencing a sticking problem today, even without the heater (I occasionally have the problem, but didn't have it today either). So, this may not be a valid test of your dish heater. I'm not trying to suggest that you dish heater didn't work. I'm just suggesting that it may not have been necessary today.

For an initial test, During the next snowstorm, you may want to leave it turned off until you have a problem and then turn it on to verify that it relieves the problem.
This was exactly my point
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here's what I know. When I was outside with my dogs, at 5:30 this morning, snow had accumulated 5-6 inches on my roof, my deck, my gutters, my fence, my car, my trees, my garage, my chairs, my chimney. You know where it didn't accumulate? On my dish. Only one of those had a heater on it since 6:00 yesterday. And why on earth would I want to WAIT until the problem happened to turn on the heater? I'm all about being preemptive. I also know that in previous years, this snow would have definitely taken out my signal. Happened countless times. There was no heater on the dish then. We got more snow over here than you guys did in LI - and much more before the temps started to rise. Oh and this guy would disagree that it didn't stick and disrupt signal today: http://www.dbstalk.com/topic/216213-preventing-slushsnow-on-the-dish/
 

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This snow probably wouldn't have stuck without the heater, but having one is a good idea. The air temp today was high enough that snow would have slid off, but that is what a heater does all the time. Though, we always had many more outages from thunderstorms than from snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Diana C said:
This snow probably wouldn't have stuck without the heater, but having one is a good idea. The air temp today was high enough that snow would have slid off, but that is what a heater does all the time. Though, we always had many more outages from thunderstorms than from snow.
Does appear that this Monday's ominous forecast might be a bigger test.
 

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sangs said:
Here's what I know. When I was outside with my dogs, at 5:30 this morning, snow had accumulated 5-6 inches on my roof, my deck, my gutters, my fence, my car, my trees, my garage, my chairs, my chimney. You know where it didn't accumulate? On my dish. Only one of those had a heater on it since 6:00 yesterday. And why on earth would I want to WAIT until the problem happened to turn on the heater? I'm all about being preemptive. I also know that in previous years, this snow would have definitely taken out my signal. Happened countless times. There was no heater on the dish then. We got more snow over here than you guys did in LI - and much more before the temps started to rise. Oh and this guy would disagree that it didn't stick and disrupt signal today: http://www.dbstalk.com/topic/216213-preventing-slushsnow-on-the-dish/
Give it up and just laugh. Glad your heater worked well for you.
 

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peds48 said:
Not sure how many inches you got, but I also receive that wet snow and FWIW, never lost any signals and I am NOT using any type of heaters.
My dish was heavily covered this morning. Even the LNB had snow on top of it.
 

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Drucifer said:
My dish was heavily covered this morning. Even the LNB had snow on top of it.
And how this helps the discussion besides contradicting my post that had relevant information? Adding to your comment wether signal was lost or not would be helpful.
 

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Drucifer said:
I cleaned the dish before I turned on my bedroom television
Well, that does not help the discussion. Without knowing if the snow covered dish affected your signal, the post is moot. Some folks are claiming a dish heater prevents snow accumulation affecting their signal, some others like myself who also had a snow covered dish BUT it did not affected my signal. The point is to try to figure out if the dish heaters are a good investment or just a novelty.
 

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peds48 said:
Well, that does not help the discussion. Without knowing if the snow covered dish affected your signal, the post is moot. Some folks are claiming a dish heater prevents snow accumulation affecting their signal, some others like myself who also had a snow covered dish BUT it did not affected my signal. The point is to try to figure out if the dish heaters are a good investment or just a novelty.
Logic dictates that snow will affect the signal at some amount of a given type of snow. The question is how frequently that type of accumulation happens. The siting for the dish and the wind patterns in its immediate vicinity probably have a lot to do with how often one experiences problems, and why some of us have never had a snow/ice outage and others report it as a frequent occurrence.

Given that many people have had issues where their signal was lost and they brushed snow off with a broom and it came back, it is obvious that snow outages are a real issue for some people. A device which melts the snow if you can't get at it with a broom is clearly more than a novelty, though whether it is worth the investment depends on how much you're willing to spend to insure you don't have snow related outages.
 

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slice1900 said:
Logic dictates that snow will affect the signal at some amount of a given type of snow.
I guess I worded my post incorrectly. I guess the question is IF the dish will get covered with snow. I have posted a picture here awhile ago when I got like two feet of snow or more, don't remember but it was bad, everything around my house was cover, you could not even see my car. But my dish did not get even a hair on it.

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch

Click for large view - Uploaded with Skitch
 

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One of the best investments I ever made was my Hotshot dish heater. I have been running it for over 3 years. I am in Colorado and would usually lose signal 3 or 4 times a year due to snow accumulation. It was a real pain to get on the roof to clear it off. It is correct that not every storm affects it. It seems like the heavy wet snow in the Spring is a lot worse then the colder dryer snow we get this time of year. I have not lost signal since I got the heater.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
See, that would never happen for me. I get that much snow, it accumulates on the dish. Always has. During last season's crazy winter - when I still had the dish on the roof but did not subscribe to Directv - the dish had snow on it constantly. I remember thinking I was happy I wasn't using it. It's why I opted for the heater this time. And trust me, if the heater did not, or does not, do it's job, I'll post it. Some forecasts are calling for the potential for a foot this Monday into Tuesday.
 

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I have been going round and round with DirecTV for a couple of years now over my signal strength and constant loss of signal in my setup. During fair weather, my signals are almost all above 90 and most are 100 so according to DirecTV, there isn't a problem. However, I tend to lose signal during the slightest of rain showers and minimal wet snow falls which gets frustrating at times, especially in the winter. The "company line" quoted by many that only the heaviest of storms or snow will knock out your signal is just not the case in our household. If I didn't love my setup so much, I would have left long ago. I even installed a roof antenna this year simply to ensure I could get my local channels during weather warnings because the reliability of my dish signal is so "flaky".

So after years of climbing on the roof with a broom to brush off a minimal amount of snow that is sticking to the dish, or breaking out the super soaker filled with hot water from the hot tub to clear ice buildup, I finally broke down and bought a heater about a month ago and couldn't wait to test it out to really see if it would help.

We unexpectedly got a little freezing rain that changed over to light, wet snow a few weeks back so I had not turned on the dish heater. Ice accumulation was minimal and snow accumulation was less than an inch! However, that was enough to knock out my signal. Checking the dish, the bottom half of my dish was covered in snow where the top was visible but had a little ice buildup on it. One wouldn't think that would be enough to knock out my picture, but it was for me. Before taking action to restore my signal and out of curiosity, I checked my signal levels and saw that they had dropped well below 70 for almost all transponders with quite a few at zero! I flipped the switch on my heater and within 10-15 minutes, the snow was all but gone, dripping off the bottom of the dish and my signal was back and signal levels were back to normal.

So I don't need 1-2 ft. of snow to lose signal to tell me if they work or not. For me, it kept me from climbing up on the roof with a broom or breaking out the super soaker in my jammies at 2 am for the smallest amount of snow covering my dish. I now expect a ladder/broom/super soaker free winter for the first time in many years!

I am happy for those that don't feel the need, but for some of us, it is worth it.
 
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