How to remove an old satellite dish (and SEAL The Hole)

Your house might have an unused satellite dish. This dish doesn’t look nice, takes up space, and can create damage when there is a storm. It can be a great idea to remove it. In this article, we are going to outline how you can do this. This is something for more advanced DIY’ers as it involves climbing on your roof and also waterproofing it. You will need to take the right safety precautions before you start. 

What You Will Need to remove the old satellite dish

To complete this job, we will need the following tools:

– Wrench – If you have a current satellite dish and are just removing it, you will need to use a wrench to disconnect it and remove it. 

 – Power drill – You will need a power drill to unscrew the bolts that hold the dish mount in place. The size is commonly 7/16” or ½’

– Screwdriver and prybar- You will need a Phillips head screwdriver to unscrew the screws that hold the dish in place. 

– Wirecutter. To remove the wires, we can use a wire cutter. Be careful that you don’t cut wires with electricity! Double-check before cutting wires so that you don’t cut the wrong ones.

– Gloves – You will need gloves to protect your hands while handling old wire. 

– Helper-  You will need someone to hold the dish while you are demounting it.

– Stepladder to access the location

– Strong shoes. If you walk on the roof, you need strong shoes. Check your local code to see what other safety equipment is required. Often fall protection is recommended. A lot of accidents happen on the roof so be sure to work safely. A dish is commonly installed on the edge of a roof so don’t do this when the roof is slippery. 

– Materials to close the roof. This depends on the type of roof that you have.

Steps to remove a satellite dish

Remove the cables

– Find the cables and location of the dish mount. Make sure to disconnect the dish so that it is easy to remove the wires once you have demounted it.

You can use a wire cutter to cut the cord to disconnect the wires from the dish. Roll up the wires so that no one trips over them when you bring the dish down.

Remove the dish from the mount

 – How to Remove the dish from the mount. Let someone hold the dish while you are removing the screws that hold it. This is generally done with a drill. Be careful as a dish can weigh a lot and it can fall over when it becomes loose. Adding a rope to support it can help to work safely. There are typically 4-6 bolts that have to be removed.

Once we have removed the dish from the mount, we can place it on the ground.

Remove the mount from the roof

 Now we are going to remove the mount from the roof. You have to check how it is attached to the roof. Often it is needed to deconstruct the mounting system step by step. In other instances, you can remove it in one piece.You can typically remove some screws to get this removed.

It is possible that you can remove the dish and mount at the same time by removing the screws that hold the mount. This is a faster solution but it is not always possible.

Fill the gaps in the roof

Finally, we will have to fill up the gaps in the roof. How you do this depends on the type of roof that you have. A clay roof is the easiest as you just have to replace some shingles. Check the layers under the damaged shingles to repair the damage there as well.

 An EPDM rubber roof might be more work as you might have to add a piece of rubber to seal the roof. Make sure that everything is watertight. Monitor this area for water leaks for several weeks to make sure that there is no problem. 

For some roofs, such as asphalt roof sealing might work. There are sealants that you just have to apply. This is not a permanent solution though as this sealant can break over time and cause roof leaks. To get it completely fixed, we will have to remove some nails and shingles. This is done with a prying bar. Use a hammer to drive the remaining nails into the roof.  Once this is done, we can add the new shingles. These have to be nailed down as well. Use a sealant to close the remaining hole.

Inspect the repair when it is done to make sure that you didn’t forget any part of the roof. Roofs have to deal with a lot of rain and wind so you have to make sure that the repair is properly done. You can always ask an inspector if you need affirmation that everything is properly done. 

How to Dispose of a Satellite Dish

You can donate the dish to a charity or bring it to a location that collects ewaste. It is also something that often can be sold on Craiglist or Facebook marketplaces. Satellite dishes can last a long time and are quite easy to repair. There is probably someone interested in it. Make sure that you don’t throw the dish from the roof if you want to resell it. 

Satellite dishes are used to receive TV and internet signals from satellites in space. These dishes are often big and don’t look very nice, so many people choose to remove them. In this article, we explored how to remove a satellite dish. We recommend that you disconnect the wires and store them safely. It is important to take the proper safety steps when you do this repair to your home. 

You can also call a roofer if you don’t want to do this yourself. It is a dangerous job as you are working on the edge of the roof so it is something for more advanced DIY’ers. Most people shouldn’t do this themselves as you need to get the roof properly sealed to avoid problems with water intrusion or rodents.