Installer Problems


Active SatelliteGuys Member
Original poster
Oct 6, 2003
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to quit waiting on the 921 and signed up for the 811, 522, and 301 DHP plan. Called a local retailer due to suggestions from posters on this forum. Unfortunately, the installer they sent out was relatively new. He used my existing cables runs, but couldn't get voltage from one outlet due to previous cable installer putting in a splitter he thinks. Then, he says he wants to use original outlet (on other side of room) and leave me cable to connect close to TV. I took this to mean he wouldn't install line neatly. Fortunately, he couldn't get signal there either. He finally decides he needs to run/install new line. Of course, it's now been 7~8 hours and too dark, so I had to schedule another installation time (which mean taking more time off from work). Next week, fortunately the installation only takes about an hour and everything seemed fine. However, the next day, I start losing signal on the 110 sat. Called Dish on Thurs who said they can have someone out on Monday. I get a call from original retailer on Saturday, who says they're coming out and can't come out until the next Saturday. Apparently, since only one sat was out, it wasn't too much an emergency. Following day, we start losing signal from 119 sat, and it's now very annoying to surf channels and get this Acquiring Sat Signal message almost every other channel.

Fortunately, a friend who installed his own sat came by my house to see if he could re-point the Dish. We come out of the house to check the dishes installation, and find out the one of the dish is loose as the installer had attached the mount to my siding. He just screwed it to some particle boards behind the siding. Apparently, strong winds must have pulled the upper screws loose. Now, the dish is hanging loosely, and cracked my siding and is pulling out it out a little. By now, I'm really upset and call Dish again to see if they can get retailer/someone out earlier as I didn't want my siding ripped apart further. My friend gave me Executive line number to call. The CSR I spoke with kind of wonder how I got the number, but schedules a service call a couple of days later. Since I thought they were going to call the original retailer, I call retailer today to see if they can schedule an earlier date. Of course, they're going to send out the same guy who did the original install. :( But retailer said Dish may send someone else out since I called them directly. My friend suggested I tell them to move both Dishes off the siding, as the other one may come loose in the future.

Sorry for long post, but this experience hasn't been too pleasant, and my wife has suggested going back to cable. If they don't resolve this tomorrow, I may be tempted to do just that.
If you removed the dishes from the siding that would leave you with some holes, it would not look very good, unless you have a peice of that same siding to replace it with. A lot of customers would make the installer/business that installed that satellite dish pay for the siding.
He probably used crappy lags to mount the foot and that is why it is falling off. You should not have touched it though. When I was installing dishes and went to a customers house that tried to fix the problem himself he got charged for something that would have been free to fix. He needs to come out and remount the dish.
I am a professional installer with 40 years experience in the electrical trade, 25 years in satellite and have installed small dish systems, since they first came out.

I do currently do very few installs for local dealer, but have done them in the past. They wanted me to do three a day, but I refused do do more than two. Evidently, you just can't do a a good install in 2-3 hours, unless the conditions are ideal.

Fortunately, I can afford to do as few as I want to, since I am currently retired with a good pension. I know that doesn't help you, because you got a rally "low ball" install from a poorly trained installer.

Currently, all I do is repair poor install jobs. I almost have to gut the entire install, becuase the original installer made a poor selection of positioning the dish, poor selection of mounting location and poor workmanship.

I came back from one, today. The original dish was on the end of the gable overhang in full sight of the street. The owner had said that it was treed out a while ago. The dealer added an extension tube made from a muffler pipe to clear the trees.

I moved the dish back to the roof above the back patio deck and totally cleared the trees. I drilled a srandard 7/8" half nominal knockout hole in the vinyl facia and ran the lnb cables into the attic.

All of the cables are now in-wall. The homeowner, in his half million dollar home was really impressed.

He paid just $100 over what the "low ball" dealers paid.

If they only paid installers more. Too many leave the business to do higher end work.
That's terrible. The dish should NEVER be mounted to vinyl siding.

It was absolutely wonderful that you supported your local economy by using a local retailer, but it definitely pays to do your homework. Not all retailers and installers are the same. Some do shoddy work, and others do excellent work and take pride in it. When ordering a system a person should ask who will be doing the installation, and express any concerns about neatness and quality at the time of the sale. It doesn't hurt to ask for an installer with plenty of experience. It can make a difference in your satisfaction with your new TV experience.
My friend & I just examined the mount that was loose and did not try to fix it. He tried to tighten the screws and found out screw was stripped from board behind siding.

I tried to do some homework when picking the local retailer (i.e., check BBB), but I guess I assumed some competency on the installer they sent out (my bad).

Dish has now called a different installer to come out (perhaps from my calling the Executive line and venting?). I did talk to original installer before I realized someone else was coming out. Original retailer is sending original guy back to my place again. I expressed some reservation about the point in sending original guy out, but they told me it's a matter of the installer getting paid and having to fix his own mess. I asked what they planned on doing. She said they can mount on roof or mount on a pole. Of course, pole mount would be an extra charge. I asked about whether they would fix my siding, but the scheduler I spoke with said I would have to speak with a manager.

Hopefully, the other installer Dish sends can fix the problem before the original installer mess anything else up.
jlhugh said:
There is no problem mounting it to vinyl siding as long as you know what your doing.

I have argued this point with other installers in the past. Everyone has their own opinion. Here is the reasoning behind mine (beside the fact that DISH's installer guidelines expressly prohibit it):

The vinyl contracts and expands in differing temperatures. When siding is installed, it must be installed with a gap between the nail head and the siding to avoid buckling in hot temperatures. By mounting the dish foot to the siding, it effectively no longer allows the necessary movement caused by high/low temps. This causes buckling, and or stretching of the siding. It also may void the manufacturer's or installer's warranty on the siding.

That's the primary reason that I say the dish should never be mounted onto vinyl siding. Another reason is that there is no way to tell what kind of structural support or decking is behind the siding. This can cause the dish to not hold up in wind and bad weather.

I still say that the dish should NEVER be mounted to vinyl siding. Therefore, my installers are not allowed to do it!

Have a Happy New Year!!

A person is much better off just putting the dish on a pole even if he has to pay a little extra for it than putting it on the siding. I usually have the home owner on the site of where I want to mount the dish for his approval and have his approval on several other things to his/her satisfaction that way he/she knows what is going on. Some even help so that they know where everything is going and to make the install faster, to learn about how some of the things are done with interest, and to make sure things are done right the way that they want it.
I would agree that my personal preference is to have the dish on a pole.

I've installed many dishes for low ball fulfilment companies using thin and cheap chain link fence poles. They would be good for only a few years, but better still is galvanized pipe or galvanized rigid conduit. Better still is aluminum pipe.