How Much Does Satellite Dish Removal Cost?

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Back in the 90s, having a satellite dish was a quasi-status symbol. It meant you had all the channels, and that means that you had money. These days, streaming and cord-cutting are now the thing to do. Throughout many parts of America, this shift has created a landscape that is littered by satellite dishes that no longer work. You will need to pay someone to get rid of that dish, but how much will it be?

A satellite dish removal done by professionals costs between $80 to $500, depending on your location and the size of the dish. If you want to skip the bill, it may be possible to remove the satellite dish on your own. However, you may still need to pay a fee between $10 and $80 to recycle the dish.

Though they are somewhat charming in that oddly retro way, the truth is that most people view them as eyesores. This cost guide (and removal guide) will help you make the most cost-effective decision for your home.

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How Much Will It Cost To Remove A Satellite?

There are two different ways you can do this: the DIY route and the professional route. If you choose to do a DIY satellite removal, it won’t cost a dime aside from the fees you need to pay to recycle the satellite dish once it’s removed. If you go the professional route, it can vary fairly greatly.

There’s a fairly large range of prices you may encounter with professional dish removal quotes. A typical professional satellite dish removal job will cost around $200. However, it’s possible to find services as cheap as $80 and as expensive as $500.

What Impacts Satellite Removal Costs?

Like with any professionally-done project, there will be different factors that can change the price point of your project. The most commonly-cited factors include:

  • Location. Cities tend to have higher prices than rural areas. Coastal towns are more likely to have a high price point than Midwestern areas.
  • Roof Height and Style. It’ll take a lot more effort to scale a steep incline than it will to go up to an apartment’s rooftop. Most companies will have a $10 to $30 upcharge for each story they need to climb in order to remove the dish. This is due to the effort it can take to get it removed.
  • Dish Size. Though this is a relatively small factor, some companies might charge a higher fee for extra-large dishes.
  • Additional Services. Most companies will charge an added fee for satellite plate foot removal as well as hauling the satellite to a recycling center.

Should You Remove The Satellite Dish Yourself?

If you want to save money, removing the satellite dish on your own is a viable option. People who have good balance and are able to haul heavy items down a ladder can do this on their own. Aside from the aspect of balancing on a ladder, it’s a relatively easy project to do and won’t take more than an hour.

Of course, the balancing and height that you may need to climb makes this an intimidating project. People who are afraid of heights or who have a tendency to slip may not want to give this project a DIY shot. If you don’t want to be bothered with it, getting professional services will be a quick and easy way to get the job done.

How To Remove A Satellite Dish On Your Own

If you choose to go the free method, be aware that you will need to climb up on your roof and haul the dish down yourself. If you are not physically capable of doing this, leave it to the pros. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you have the moxie, then follow these steps below:

  • Grab a ladder and firmly plant it up against your roof. Grab a wrench and head up to the satellite dish.
  • Unhook your dish. The hookup should be manually removed with ease. Don’t cut the wire, as that could be an electrical hazard.
  • Using your wrench, unscrew the bolts that keep the satellite in place. The bolts are located on the plate. Once the bolts are unscrewed, let the dish slide out on its own accord. Bring it down to ground level.
  • If you want, you can choose to leave the footplate on your roof or remove it. Many people choose to leave the footplate on their rooftop because removal can cause damage.
  • If you choose to remove it, unscrew the bolts that kept the plate attached to your roof. Pry the plate off your roof using a crowbar, a pry bar, or anything similar. Bring the plate down to the ground.
  • Use silicone or tar to fill in the holes left in your roof from the plate removal. You will need to patch up your roof as soon as possible.

Do You Need To Remove The Satellite Plate?

The satellite plate that’s kept your dish in place is technically considered to be part of the dish setup, but that doesn’t mean that you need to remove it. Removing the plate often causes roof damage in the form of holes. At times, it can even cause (or exacerbate) leaks. This can be true regardless of whether or not you try to fill in those holes.

That’s why many people usually prefer to keep the plate on their roof. It’s just easier, cheaper, and less likely to cause long term damage. Even so, it’s up to the homeowner (or the HOA) to determine whether or not it’s the right move for you.

Where Should You Send The Satellite Dish?

Once you’ve removed the satellite dish, you have to dispose of it properly. Satellite dishes can emit toxic fumes if left to decompose in a landfill, so it’s important to get it to a recycling plant that can properly reuse it. There are several ways you can do this:

  • You can call your local recycling center. It may take several calls to find a place that accepts satellite dishes. Looking at your local municipal board can help. Going to Earth911’s site can help you find the right e-waste company to handle your plate.
  • Some satellite dish removal companies also offer dish recycling as an optional add-on. You might even be able to get your dish removal done for free with some companies, though that’s somewhat rare.
  • You can also call a “junk removal” company. Junk removal companies are legally bound to ensure that the stuff they take is disposed of properly. If you don’t feel like loading up your car with a satellite dish, this is the smartest choice to pick. However, you may need to prepare yourself for a higher price tag.
  • If your old satellite company offers it, you may be able to return the dish to them. This practice is not widespread, but it’s worth looking into. DirectTV does this, as do some less common cable companies.
  • Many office supply stores also offer e-recycling services. Best Buy, Dell, and Staples are all known for having e-recycling services. Before you drop off your satellite dish at one of these stores, call ahead of time to see if they’re participating in their corporate recycling programs, and if satellite dishes are accepted at your local branch.

It’s worth noting that most of these options will involve you paying fees to get rid of the dish. Most removal services and recycling centers will charge a small fee ranging from $10 to $80. This will be added on top of your overall removal cost and is not something that you can skip.

How Do You Make Sure That You Get The Best Price?

If you are dealing with a satellite dish removal company, the best way to make sure you don’t have surprise charges is to ask what the estimate entails. Always ask for a quote for your house height, city, dish size, and for the dish removal. Make sure the taxes are included as well.

When shopping around, don’t try to choose a company until you have at least three quotes. When getting quotes, make sure to choose one that seems reasonable for the project at hand, from a company you can trust.

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Related Questions

How hard is it to cancel your Dish Network subscription?

It’s pretty difficult and will require a call to Dish Network’s hotline. The biggest hurdle is the cancellation fee. If you are looking to get rid of cable, make sure that you’re not still stuck in your mandatory plan. If you are, you’ll pay up to $20 per month remaining on the contract as a cancellation fee with a maximum fee of $480.

Is it safe to stand in front of a satellite dish?

Contrary to pop culture science, satellite dishes do not emit radiation. They’re totally passive devices, so you don’t have to worry about getting hit by radioactive frequencies by being near them.

Are satellite dishes powered?

Yes, most satellite dishes have a current that plugs into them. This is what helps them receive signals.

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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