Investing in a satellite dish installation for your TV sounds like a great way to move away from Freeview and get a better signal (that’s if your TV Aerial doesn’t get a good signal). But before you jump and make a big purchase, you should understand what the lifespan is for a typical satellite dish. Several factors play a part in how long your satellite dish can last, and there are certain things you can do to preserve its life, which can help save you money.

On average, you can expect about ten years of life from a quality satellite dish. Because the dish is outside of your home, it takes a beating whenever there is extreme weather in your area, which can shorten its life. Other factors also help determine how long your satellite dish works and at what point you need to replace it.

What affects the lifespan of a satellite dish?

Quality

The quality of your satellite dish is one of the most significant factors in its lifespan. There are plenty of cheap satellite dish models on the market and going with one of those will save you money in the short term, but will usually cost you more money in the long term. Before you purchase a dish, do your homework and see which satellite dish is the best quality for your needs.

Find a reputable manufacturer and avoid purchasing a satellite dish from a regular hardware store, which doesn’t always have quality in mind. Consider looking at manufacturers like Triax, Vision, and Fracarro. Brands like these are known to build quality satellite dishes.

Material

You should look at who made the satellite dish and also what the dish is made out of. There are a lot of different materials that can go into a satellite dish, some of which drastically bring down the quality and lifespan of the dish.

satellite dish with quad lnbPainted steel dishes are the most common type of satellite dishes currently used. While painted steel is a strong material, it is also inexpensive, which helps lower the overall cost. The steel also prevents the satellite dish from moving around and disrupting your signal. The biggest downside to using a painted steel dish is that once the paint starts chipping away, you are left with a rusty satellite dish with a shorter life.

There are also aluminium dishes that are a common alternative to painted steel. Aluminium is a good material for a satellite dish because it does not rust, but because of this quality, aluminium dishes are a lot more expensive than painted steel. If you want a long lifespan, aluminium is a good way to go, but once you factor in the cost of purchasing the dish, it might not be the best option for you.

Fibreglass dishes are an okay material because they last a very long time and do not rust. Fibreglass is the best material if you’re on the seaside or another watery environment. They do cost more than other types of satellite dishes, but for some people, the price is worth the benefits and the longer lifespan.

Finally, there are mesh satellite dishes. Mesh is not a solid construction but instead has small holes throughout. They work fine for what most people need them for, and there are usually a lot of savings involved, but mesh dishes are not the best quality and can lead to a much shorter lifespan than other materials.

Location

If you want to install a satellite dish on your home by the seaside, make sure you’re choosing the right dish material and the right place on your house. The lifespan of most satellite dishes on the seaside is much shorter than in other areas because of the continually wet environment. Fibreglass dishes are more suitable for the seaside than other materials, and you should mount the dish onto galvanised wall brackets with stainless steel fixings. The less opportunity for rust, the better.

Regardless of the geographical location of your home, you need to pay attention to where you install the dish on your house. Satellite dishes take a beating when there is extreme weather, which shortens their lifespan. Try not to install the dish in an extremely windy area of your home or property, where it can move offline and disrupt your signal. If you install your dish on the part of your house that receives the most wind, snow, and rain, it will likely rust much faster, too.

The climate you live in also affects the life of your satellite dish, just as much as living on the seaside does. If you live in a more extreme climate with higher winds, more rain, or feet of snow, your satellite dish won’t last nearly as long as someone’s dish in a calmer environment.

Another location aspect to consider is not installing the satellite dish where people can reach it. You don’t want your kids, neighbours, or strangers to reach and move your dish, upsetting your signal. You’ll wind up having the move the dish back yourself or paying someone to do it for you, which can get costly.

Installation

The best thing you can do to increase the lifespan of your satellite dish is to make sure it is installed correctly. Always hire a professional for the installation and avoid a DIY situation when you can. DIY installation sounds like a great way to save money, but it also leads to poor work that greatly reduces the life of your satellite dish. You risk the dish blowing offline, becoming permanently damaged, or getting destroyed and needing replacement.

What can you expect from your satellite dish?

The average life expectancy for a satellite dish in a calm climate away from the seaside is about ten years. For inland homes, you might get 12 to 20 years, which is similar to a TV Aerial. On the seaside, expect about eight years. If you’re directly on the seafront, you might get four years total.

Most satellite dishes come with some form of guarantee or warranty that can help extend the life of your purchase. Many satellite dish manufacturers offer at least a one-year warranty right out of the box, but if you can get a two-year guarantee or warranty, you’ll feel a little better.

If you want to prolong the lifespan of your satellite dish, make sure you only use the highest quality parts you can find and choose a dish material that is best suited for your climate and geo-location. Choose the part of your property that is most protected from the elements for installation and always grease your bolts and use weatherproof materials if you can. Remember also to keep the dish high and away from reaching hands.