How To Keep Snow Off Satellite Dish: With Minimal Signal Loss

Winter has hard questions, including how to keep snow off the satellite dishes. Also, will those methods affect signal strength and clarity? Snow doesn’t only accumulate on gutter guards, driveways, and car windshields. Your satellite …

Snow covered satellite dish

Winter has hard questions, including how to keep snow off the satellite dishes.

Also, will those methods affect signal strength and clarity?

Snow doesn’t only accumulate on gutter guards, driveways, and car windshields.

Your satellite dish is especially vulnerable because of its position on the roof.

A snow buildup on the satellite dish makes it difficult to sit in and enjoy your day indoors during winter. 

We’ll cover practical ways to keep snow off your satellite dish, such as dish covers, heat traces, heat tapes, and plastic bags. 

Table of Contents

Use Dish Heaters

If nylon dish covers don’t do it for you, dish heaters certainly will.

Dish heaters have one purpose. Generate heat, melt snow, and keep snow out of your satellite dish. 

“But how do they work?” you ask. 

Dish heaters are connected to a thermostat. The thermostat keeps the heat at a certain temperature, warm enough to melt snow.

It prevents build-up and ice formation on the satellite dish. 

However, keep the thermostat running. Or else you will be dealing with snow cleanup on your satellite dish.

Or even worse, signal interruption. 

Here’s why dish heaters are your best bet against snow on your satellite dish. 

  • It will not affect the signal quality.
  • They come with a low-voltage heater to keep energy costs low during winter.
  • Automatic on and off thermostat requires minimal supervision.
  • They clear heavy snow accumulation.

Explore the satellite dish heating solutions below.  

Heat Tape

Before reaching for the heat tape, ask yourself how important a superior satellite signal is to you. 

Heat tape doesn’t come cheap. With costs of up to $100, it seems like a heavy spend to keep snow off the satellite dish. 

Yet it is one of the most highly recommended methods to prevent snow buildup on your satellite dish. 

How does heat tape work?

Floor heating works just like heat tape

Floor heating works just like heat tape.

Heat tape’s original purpose was to keep the pipes warm during winter.

You do not want your pipes clogged with ice during that time.

However, heat tape has the same effect wrapped around a satellite dish. 

The tape generates heat and keeps the dish warmer than the snow.

Consequently, the heat melts snow off.

Still, results might be different if you live in heavy snowfall areas. 

Why should you prefer heat tapes?

  • They are a permanent solution.
  • You can choose heat tape according to heat generation ability.
  • The thermostat controls the on/off cycle to prevent accidental fires. 

Heat Trace

Heat trace systems were built with the same intentions as heat tapes.

However, heat trace systems are more customizable to personal requirements. 

The system is a set of lines protected by resistive material that heats up when electric current flows through it.

It is connected to a digital thermostat that regulates temperature changes and prevents overheating. 

The heat melts the snow off the satellite dish.

Subsequently, your signal stays clear, and you don’t have to climb up the roof for snow clearance. 

Use Satellite Dish Covers

You’ll need a preventative approach to keep snow off your satellite dish.

Dish covers are a practical move to prevent snow from sticking to the satellite dish. 

They are made of nylon, effective against snow sticking on the dish’s surface. 

However, it may not be a long-term solution.

Dish covers cannot guarantee that your satellite dish signal will remain unaffected.

Firstly, dish cover effectiveness depends on the intensity of snowfall.

Additionally, snow eventually freezes over to form ice. 

Some user reviews show that using dish covers works for some people only.

Still, it is better than leaving your satellite dish uncovered. 

Cover With Plastic Garbage Bags

Most homes have loads of plastic garbage bags.

Since most of those bags likely never get used, you might as well put them to practical use.

Cover your satellite dish in a plastic bag to keep off snow. 

However, this method has a few drawbacks. 

  • First of all, it’s not a long-term solution. 
  • Wind speed might blow away the garbage bag.
  • It might be ineffective against heavy snowfall.  

Still, the biggest advantage of this method is that it doesn’t need a professional.

You can install the bag over your satellite dish as you seek a longer-lasting solution.

Furthermore, they are the cheapest option compared to dish heaters and dish covers. 

Spray Vegetable Oil

Try spraying vegetable oil on your satellite dish

When you read this solution, you might ask yourself, “How does vegetable oil work?”

Vegetable oil, like plastic garbage bags, is a short-term solution.

It makes the satellite dish’s surface slick enough for the snow to slide off. 

It’s a lot cheaper than using heated remedies.

However, you will have to lay on the vegetable oil pretty thick. 

Get a spray can and coat the satellite dish with a generous amount of the shiny stuff. Just remember to wipe it off occasionally.

You might get a weaker signal when the dust starts sticking to the dish’s surface. 

FAQ on How To Keep Snow Off Satellite Dish

Can I Use Rock Salt To Keep Snow Off the Satellite Dish?

We would not recommend you use rock salt to keep snow off your satellite dish.

That’s not to say it doesn’t work, though

Rock salt — especially the one rich in calcium chloride — is great on flat surfaces such as asphalt.

It generates heat when it gets in contact with water.

However, salt has a rusting effect on metal surfaces.

Using rock salt might deteriorate the state of your satellite dish. 

Consequently, your service and equipment provider might hold you liable for damages. 

Can You Spray Silicone On Your Satellite Dish?

Some satellite installers will tell you to spray silicone-based products on your dish. 

Warning: Don’t do it.

First, Your satellite dish is weatherproofed for durability.

Silicone sprays might compromise the quality of the satellite dish.

Additionally, it is not an effective preventative measure. 

Does WD-40 Remove Snow From Satellite Dish?

WD-40 works on a lot of sticky stuck joints and surfaces.

But do not use it to remove snow from your satellite dishes. It does not work.

Furthermore, it will destroy the dish’s weatherproofing coating.

Also, avoid using PAM spray oil. It might gunk up the satellite dish.

Cleanup will be messy, and you might knock the dish out of place. Consequently, you mess up your signal. 

We would not recommend it. 

How To Remove Accumulated Snow From Satellite Dish

Don’t let the snow pile on your satellite dish.

Occasionally, you must climb the roof and remove accumulated snow from the satellite dish.

Follow this DOs and DONTs table for what to do and what to avoid. 

Use a light brush to brush snow off the dish.Don’t use metal scrapers and snow rakes on the satellite dish. Don’t use abrasive cleaners on the satellite dish. 
Hold the dish firmly in place and wipe the snow using gentle strokes. Don’t use excessive force while removing snow from the satellite dish.
Squirt hot water, preferably 80 degrees Celsius, on the ice. However, it is time-consuming. Also, only target the snow.Don’t use high-pressure hoses on the satellite dish. Avoid targeting the metal directly when you squirt hot water on the satellite dish.
Confirm signal strength and clarity after removing snow from the dish. 


Snow on the satellite dishes is inevitable. However, keeping snow off the satellite dish will save you from three things.

It will keep your signal strength, keep the rust off the dish and reduce internal damage. 

These preventative methods might need a professional where you can’t DIY; call a professional installer. 

Invest in long-term solutions for keeping snow from your satellite dishes. 

Categories How