Installation Grounding Question (1 Viewer)

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fieldmate

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 6, 2010
10
0
NJ
This week I had HughesNet installed at my residence for backup for my home office. I received the business service, with the .98 dish and 2 watt radio. Overall I am pleased with the service as my backup ISP and it has met my expectations.

I have a question about the install. The installer did not use any ground block outside the house, and simply ran the RG-6 quad shield cables from the dish directly into the house into the modem. Is this normal practice? For our DirecTV dish, I have a ground block that grounds the wire before entering the house. Also, the HughesNet dish is on the roof, and I'm not sure how it is grounded up there. He stated he grounded it to a vent pipe on the roof. Is this normal also? I want to make sure the system is properly grounded, since you never know what could happen come the summer when we get severe storms.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 
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grohgreg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2008
523
1
Dawson Springs, KY
That installer will clearly and quickly fail a field audit. Not only does Hughes have a Field Service Bulletin that specifically addresses cable grounding locations and procedures, it's an electrical code signal ground requirement as well. All this equipment is designed to work on the common ground concept. The modem powers the outdoor equipment via the cable center conductor. Therefore the cable should share a common ground with the modem (common ground is typically associated with the electric meter). Note that this is considered the signal ground (as opposed to electrical ground below)

Same with the idiot ground on the roof vent; clearly a violation of both Hughes and NEC electrical ground doctrine. The exterior electrical ground is a lightning prevention measure. You have every right to phone in a strong complaint to HughesNet tech support, requesting immediately to have your issue escalated to the QA/QC folks.

//greg//
 

ebms1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 15, 2007
150
0
That installer will clearly and quickly fail a field audit. Not only does Hughes have a Field Service Bulletin that specifically addresses cable grounding locations and procedures, it's an electrical code signal ground requirement as well. All this equipment is designed to work on the common ground concept. The modem powers the outdoor equipment via the cable center conductor. Therefore the cable should share a common ground with the modem (common ground is typically associated with the electric meter). Note that this is considered the signal ground (as opposed to electrical ground below)

Same with the idiot ground on the roof vent; clearly a violation of both Hughes and NEC electrical ground doctrine. The exterior electrical ground is a lightning prevention measure. You have every right to phone in a strong complaint to HughesNet tech support, requesting immediately to have your issue escalated to the QA/QC folks.

//greg//


i agree... hughesnet has a very strict gnd policy
 

fieldmate

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 6, 2010
10
0
NJ
Thanks for the replies! I contacted HughesNet Friday afternoon, and they created a case number for me. The rep said that someone from the post-install department will call me by Tuesday to have the issue resolved. I will post an update when I hear back from Hughes. Hopefully they will be able to send out a different installer to correct the grounding issue.
 

fieldmate

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 6, 2010
10
0
NJ
Hughes had the issue escalated. I was never called back by Hughes, and reached out to them on Monday. The latest was a work order was created, and sent back to the same installation company. Today I received a voicemail from the installation company saying that the installer needs to come out to "take pictures" of the installation. Is this a normal resolution practice? I don't understand why they need to come out and take pictures, this isn't going to resolve the issue and concern. Sounds like it'll be the same guy, too, even though I asked for someone else. I tried calling the install company, but nobody is answering the phone.
 

grohgreg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2008
523
1
Dawson Springs, KY
I've been in this business a long time, but I'll never presume to actually TELL you what to do. But if it were me, I'd not allow the original guy back on the property. He was required - by Hughes - to take those photos before leaving your property the first time. The fact that he didn't, should speak volumes.

Now that he's "invited" back, it's hard telling what the photos may look like before they actually get to the Hughes quality assurance folks. Pretty sure this is entry level tech support gaming you. Again - if it was me - I'd call them back and EMPHATICALLY request to be escalated to the QA folks.

Get them out for a looksee. Not the bozo that screwed the pooch in the first place

//greg//
 

fieldmate

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 6, 2010
10
0
NJ
I called back several times after my post and finally got the installation place on the line. I requested I do not want the same guy coming back out, since you don't know if they would try damaging the property, and I want it done right since this should've never happened. We are scheduled for Friday to correct the grounding issue, hopefully the different person coming out will correct it and we can use the system without worry. Upon resolution, I'm going to ask Hughes for a refund of the installation price since this will be the 3rd visit and it is taking time out of my work day. (First day the guy didn't have the mount, second day he didn't ground properly, and third to fix the grounding)

Greg, is it normal for them to send the work order back to the installer? According to support (I called the SME line since it's a business account), the rep stated it was "escalated" and that the notes said they sent the work order to the installation company for them to send someone out to fix the issue.
 

grohgreg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2008
523
1
Dawson Springs, KY
My majority experience is on the consumer side of the house. So a business-specific answer will hopefully be forthcoming from one of the other guys here. But yes, for the most part installers are sent back to fix mistakes on their own dime. It's supposed to be an object lesson. Negative reinforcement. But as a telecommunications engineer, I'm far less tolerant of blatant grounding errors and omissions.

The reasons behind grounding mistakes are pretty consistent across the board; installers who make grounding mistakes are either (1) unqualified in the first place, (2) old school satellite TV installers who don't grasp the significance of a transmitter in the configuration, or (3) out and out crooks who pocket part of your installation fee in the form of shorted time and materials. In all cases, they're likey to not understand what they did wrong in the first place, which is why I wouldn't want that particular installer back.

//greg//
 

tobifelinis

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
May 10, 2009
27
0
Tombstone, Az
I suggest that you take your own pictures before and after the visit. I can see this getting esculated to Excutive Customer Care.

The more documentation you have the better.
 

fieldmate

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 6, 2010
10
0
NJ
A different installer came to complete the grounding. It appears to be properly grounded now. Ground goes to a cold water pipe in the basement. He took pictures after he was done of the ground setup as well as of my modem with a piece of paper with my number on it.

I called into Billing Monday, and they didn't seem to grasp why I was asking for a credit on the install. They said they only have authority to issue service credits. I ended up getting a free month in the end, about $225, since I have the BI-500 with a static IP.

Now I have one more issue to resolve. In March when I signed up, the sales rep said it is $699 to own the equipment and have it installed. They told me there was a promo for $50 back "instantly" off the install, and then after 30 days you go online to request another rebate for $100, for a total of $150 in rebates. I received my first invoice today and the instant $50 was not taken off. After being transferred across various departments, they said they have to pull my initial call and QA has to review it. Hopefully I receive the $50 instant credit as they stated. Since it's a new month, the promo isn't on their website, and it seems odd to me that they don't know their own promotions..
 

HCI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 19, 2005
2,580
0
land of the ice and snow
The $50 dollar rebate was more than likely a selling point the rep did not explain correctly because there is normally a $50 activation fee for a business internet plan that is added to the 699 unless you get a BI400 or higher or an enterprise install option. So in other words yes you will end up getting the $150 in rebates but this is how it works, standard commercial installation is 699 plus a 50 activation fee which would total 749, then there is a 100 mail in rebate. If you opt to get the enterprise installation which is 899 you get free activation or if you get anything above the BI400 you get a 50 "instant" rebate so basically the activation fee is waved.

BTW you got a whole month free anyway, I would be happy with that. :)
 

fieldmate

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 6, 2010
10
0
NJ
He didn't explain it that way, he did say that since I was getting BI-400 (which I would upgrade to BI-500 a few days after installation) that I wouldn't have to pay a $99 activation fee. He made it sound like that the $50 was also a promo at the time, just that you don't have to wait for a rebate. The rep today said to call back in 48 hours to see the QA review of the sales call. I remember everything clearly, so hopefully they are honest in their review.

I am pretty happy with the service. :) Most I've talked to bashed satellite, but I wanted something "off the grid" in case a pole or something gets knocked down which would kill the landline connections. This way with satellite I am certain I should be online in the event the main line goes out. I used DirecPC (one-way) via AOL back in the year 2000 when cable/DSL wasn't really popular in my area yet, and I had a really good experience too with it.
 

fieldmate

Thread Starter
Member
Mar 6, 2010
10
0
NJ
Just wanted to post to say everything is resolved. I received the $50 credit this week after QA reviewed my sales call and the $224 credit for the free month of BI-500 is also showing up in my account online. Took a few calls to get the $50 credit, but all is well. The speeds are very consistent at all hours of the day so I am very pleased with the service! :)
 

grohgreg

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 21, 2008
523
1
Dawson Springs, KY
Appreciate the follow up, thanks. It (eventually) pays to be persistent when you're dealing with outsourced tech support. Even though Business accounts are serviced by English as a first language support personnel, the call centers are still outsourced. Ah, for the good old days.....!

//greg//
 
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HCI

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 19, 2005
2,580
0
land of the ice and snow
Appreciate the follow up, thanks. It (eventually) pays to be persistent when you're dealing with outsourced tech support. Even though Business accounts are serviced by English as a first language support personnel, the call centers are still outsourced. Ah, for the good old days.....!

//greg//

I think Hughes is actually adding or has added another 1st level call center in the US that should handle 30% of the first time calls.
 
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