How Much Does It Cost to Repair a Satellite Dish?

Typical Range:

$89 - $161

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 338 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated November 15, 2021

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost to repair a satellite dish is $124. More straightforward issues, like replacing cables and clearing away debris, can cost as little as $50, while more complex jobs like replacing the mast or a rusting reflector can cost as much as $250.

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National Average $124
Typical Range $89 - $161
Low End - High End $50 - $250

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 338 HomeAdvisor members.

Satellite Dish Repair Materials Costs

Depending on what's wrong with your dish, you may not need any materials to fix it. But for other issues, you may need to buy new cables, components, or even a new dish.

Cables

If you need a new data cable, you can expect to pay $4 to $15; older systems might use coax cables that cost about the same. A component cable that transmits video and sound typically costs $6 to $10, while a higher-quality and more-advanced HDMI cable can easily run $75 or more.

You can usually fix poor picture and sound issues by verifying that your unit's various cables are properly attached. In some cases, the cables might be damaged, so you'll need to purchase new ones to replace them.

Satellite Dish Components

If a faulty cable isn’t the cause of your issue, it's time to look at the various parts of your dish.

Mast

The cost of a new mast—the metal pole that attaches the satellite to your home—will depend on its size and design complexity. You may need to purchase a new mast if yours bends, breaks, rusts, or otherwise becomes damaged. A simple 6-foot pole can cost as little as $20, while larger masts or those with more elaborate bends and brackets can cost as much as $150.

Satellite Dish

The dish portion of your satellite receives signals. While you can purchase one online or at specialty stores—each part costing $20 to $200, depending on the condition, size, and function—it’s easier and more economical to purchase a new dish in many cases.

The two main parts of the dish are the protruding feed horn and the concave reflector. Either of these pieces can become damaged, primarily through weather (such as rust from rain) or trauma (falling branch).

Motor

Depending on your satellite brand and model, you may pay $50 to $200 for a new motor or actuator.

Some satellite dishes are motorized, meaning you can change which direction they point via a remote control. You might choose this type if you can receive signals from different directions or live in a windy area, which requires constant adjustment to maintain a signal.

Who Pays for Satellite Dish Repairs?

While small basic satellite dishes can cost as little as $40, more sophisticated setups can cost up to $500.

If your TV service contract includes your unit, that company may handle all the costs for repairs or a replacement. You may only be on the hook for a service call of $80 to $150, because the company essentially builds the cost of repairing and replacing dishes into your monthly bill.

If you own your satellite dish outright, you'll find the cost of purchasing a new one can vary dramatically based on the brand, size, compatibility with current services, and whether you choose a new, used, or refurbished unit.

Satellite Dish Repair Labor Costs

When you hire a satellite dish technician near you to repair your unit, they may charge by the hour or per project, mostly depending on the issue and any agreement you have with your internet or TV provider.

Per Hour

A technician typically charges $50 to $65 per hour. You also have the option to hire an electrician, but electricians cost more, averaging $50 to $100 per hour. You may pay these hourly rates for your repair technician or electrician to diagnose and repair your dish if you don't have a service agreement with your provider.

Per Project

Some technicians offer flat-rate fees to repair your dish. The typical per-project cost is $50 to $250, with a national average of $125.

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Satellite Dish Repair Cost Factors

When determining how much it’ll cost to repair your satellite dish, you'll want to factor in the time, labor, and cost involved with diagnosing the problem, purchasing the necessary materials, and completing the repair.

Diagnosis

Diagnosing what is wrong with your dish can be the most difficult and time-consuming part of the repair process. Sometimes, the problem is obvious, like a dangling satellite dish hit by a tree branch. Other times, especially when it concerns fuzzy pictures or no sound, it can be more difficult.

If you can figure out what's wrong, you'll spend nothing but your time diagnosing the issue. If you can't figure it out and don't have a service contract, you'll pay $50 to $100 per hour to hire a technician or electrician to troubleshoot.

Materials

Some satellite dish issues, such as debris accumulation or repositioning, require no materials for repair. These are the best kinds of problems to have if you're looking to save money. Other issues can't be fixed unless you buy replacement parts.

The least expensive replacement parts include cables ($4 to $75), while the most expensive involve individual satellite dish parts or even the entire unit (up to $500).

Installation

Leave issues involving electricity or climbing on the roof to the professionals. To hire a pro, you'll pay $50 to $100 per hour. The national average for satellite repairs is $125.

However, there are several repairs you can complete yourself, which will cost you nothing.

Cost to Repair a Satellite Dish Yourself

If you have a bit of time and experience, you may be able to make repairs yourself with no out-of-pocket costs. Here are some of the most common issues you might encounter and how much it might cost to make these fixes on your own.

Weather

Bad weather can wreak havoc on your satellite signal. In the best-case scenario, thick clouds and heavy rain may impede your signal. There's no fix necessary here. Wait for the weather to pass so you can regain your clear signal.

After the storm has passed, you may notice a fuzzy signal. This often occurs with high winds that may shift your satellite dish out of position. This may sound like an easy, free fix—you just have to move the satellite dish back into place—but things get complicated when you have to climb onto your roof and then find the perfect angle.

In this case, it's probably best to hire a technician to ensure the best results. Expect to pay nothing if you have a service contract or $50 to $65 out of pocket for an hour's worth of work.

Debris

The dish's concave reflector is shaped like a bowl, so it's the perfect place for leaves, pine needles, dirt, and other debris to accumulate. When enough items settle in this space, you may notice your signal isn't as clear as it used to be.

Unfortunately, spraying away debris using a hose isn't a great solution, as the jet of water can dislodge cables or even shift the satellite's position, making your picture problem even worse.

This is another job that's better suited to a professional technician. It should take an hour or less to complete, so you'll usually pay $50 to $65 for the fix.

Obstructions

A satellite dish needs a clear line of sight to produce a clear picture and sound, so your TV quality will suffer if anything gets in its way. One of the most common types of obstructions is trees. They grow taller and get in the way. Fixing this issue can be relatively easy, depending on whether it's a stray branch you can quickly trim or the entire tree that's in the way.

Another common type of obstruction is buildings. When you first installed your satellite dish, it may have had a clear line of sight. But over time, new construction may have changed the landscape of your space. To fix this problem, move your satellite dish.

If you can trim your tree branches or move the satellite on your own, you'll pay nothing for these fixes. On the other hand, hiring a landscaper for tree-trimming costs $200 to $760 on average. Hiring a technician or electrician to move your satellite dish may cost $50 to $65 per hour and may take 1 to 2 hours.

Wiring

Satellite dish wiring issues may be inside or outside the home. Those on the inside are typically easier to fix; those on the outside may require heading to the roof and working with electricity. You can sometimes fix wiring issues by simply making sure all the connections are solid. If this turns out to be your problem, you'll pay nothing for the fix.

Other times, you may need to buy new wiring to replace damaged pieces. The cost for materials can range from $4 to $75. You can install the new wiring yourself at no cost, or you can hire a professional. This job shouldn't take more than an hour, so you'll pay $50 to $65 for the fix.

Total Failure

In some cases, you might be facing a catastrophic failure of the satellite dish. This can happen during extreme weather, such as a hurricane that knocks over your dish, or severe rust that ultimately renders your unit inoperable. In cases like these, you may be able to piece together a new satellite dish through replacement parts, but it's almost always easier, faster, and more cost-effective to purchase an entirely new unit.

The cost for a new satellite dish varies depending on the model you choose and any agreements you may have with your service provider. Assuming you have to pay out of pocket for a new dish, you could pay as little as $40 for a basic unit that's several years old or as much as $500 for a newer, more elaborate model.

If you have the tools and know-how to install the dish yourself, you can save on these costs. Otherwise, the cost to install a satellite dish runs from $50 to $440, on top of the satellite dish itself.

DIY vs. Hiring a Satellite Dish Repair Pro

Many satellite dish repairs are relatively simple to complete. Almost anyone can complete problems that involve checking the wiring within your home or clearing an overgrown branch.

Other satellite dish issues can be more difficult, both to diagnose and to repair. For example, if you've recently gone through a storm with lightning and your satellite dish is no longer providing a picture, it can be challenging to know which component has been affected. Repairs like these can even be dangerous because they may require you to climb onto your roof or work with electricity. If you don't have experience with either of these tasks, it’s worth hiring a professional (in terms of time, cost, and safety).

When deciding which route to go, DIY or professional, consider how much time and effort you're willing to spend, as well as how much experience you have with electricity and working in high spaces. You may very well find that spending $125—the national average for satellite dish repairs—is worth the cost to let a pro handle the job.

FAQs

Is it necessary to clean my satellite dish?

Satellite dishes don't require regular cleaning because they're designed to be outdoors. Dust and grime won't affect their function, though the accumulation of heavier debris like leaves can keep you from receiving a clear signal.

Also, remember that overgrowth from nearby plants and trees can also affect satellite reception. Keep the area clear by regularly trimming branches or hiring a local landscaper to maintain your property.

Do satellite dishes wear out?

Satellite dishes do eventually wear out despite being made to live outdoors. Metal components will rust, and other pieces will break down. You can expect most satellite dishes to last about 10 years.

When they finally fail, it's best to invest in a new satellite dish rather than replace parts individually. Once one part starts to fail, others will soon follow—and your repair costs will rapidly increase. If you purchase the unit yourself, you can hire an electrician near you or a satellite dish technician to install it for you.

Why does my satellite dish lose signal when it rains?

A satellite dish requires a direct line of sight to the satellite in the sky to provide a clear picture and sound. While small, raindrops can block that line of sight, causing a decrease in picture quality.

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