Our local Home Depot does not stock the Dupont RZ-50 that was
recommended. But as it turns out, I don't believe it is all that
necessary. The bag all by itself prevented the snow from piling
up on the dish very much, certainly not to the point of causing
much deterioration or loss of the satellite signal. And the few
little bits of ice and snow that were barely sticking to the
plastic bag were easily brushed away with a gentle sweep of the
hand the next day. I mean it's amazing. The totally hard-frozen
ice popped right off the bag!
Thanks again to " Dirtydan <Dirtyda...@satelliteguys.us> "
who suggested using the trash bag, and the RZ-50, although I
haven't had the chance to try the latter. But now that I know
the bag works so well, I'll definitely keep my eye out for the
RZ-50. You're the man, Dan!
As Clint Eastwood said: "It snows in the mountains."
>Anyway, I think this is a very good idea. It seems effective, doesn't cost
>much and I suppose it will also protect the dish against corrosion.
It's especially helpful in situations where seasonal
snowfalls are common and the dish is not easy to reach.
I'm using a common tall white kitchen bag, which is
draped loosely over the dish and secured with a bit of
duct tape, but not too tight so that any wind or breeze
can get into the bag and "rattle" it from time to time.
I suspect that's what helps keep snow and ice from
building up on it, that, and the bag acts like "teflon"
or something against the freezing moisture. The most
amazing part is that the bag does not interfere at all
with the microwave satellite signals.
Who'd a thunk it? The cheapest and easiest solution
is the best solution. I would imagine the RZ-50 stuff,
http://www.rz-50.com/, might help it to stay ice-free?
But as it is, the bag by itself does the trick.
And of course, black absorbs heat (and radiates it
as well) better than white. It would be interesting to
see if there was a difference in efficacy between black
bags and white bags. I would suspect that the air temp
in the dish covered by the black bag might be a little
I might try using a black bag at some point, but so far
the white bag is doing the job "swimmingly." The elevation
angle on the dish (Dish 500) is 43 degrees, and that seems
to be sufficient to help the snow to slide off the bag. And
a black bag might warm it slightly under the daytime sun so
that the snow would likely melt on it as it started to fall
and form a layer of ice on the bag which would allow the snow
to build up on it as our late fall, winter, and early spring
(primetime television) evening temperatures dip below 32F.
So the black bag might not be ideal after all. All I know
for sure is that the white bag works, and what little bits of
ice and snow do build up on it only slightly degrade and
never interrupt the satellite signal strength, and are
brushed or shaken off easily the next day. The little ice
crystals pop off the plastic bag like magic. And once the
temperatures drop well below freezing, nothing sticks to the
bag. Out of habit, I trudged up the hill through the deep
snow to clean off the dish, and it was already clean, that is
totally devoid of snow or ice.
Before I started using the bag, the snow and ice would
cling to the dish and build up quickly, causing me to have to
run up to the top of the rocky and snowy hill (120' away) and
clean off the dish several times during primetime television
viewing hours. And that makes me wish that I had found out
about this trash bag solution years ago when we first
subscribed to satellite tv service. Better late than never.
I live in a region that has long, cold, snowy winters, and have never
had a problem with snow or ice on the dish in my 6 or 7 years as a Dish
Dirtydan's Profile: http://www.satelliteguys.us/member.php?userid=14672
View this thread: http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=192465
Yes. The big black "grass bag" type of bags seem to be of
a lesser quality, or at least thinner, than the heftier tall
white kitchen trash bags. But who knows, the thin black ones
might work even better than the thicker white ones?
I've even wondered what would happen if two, or even three,
bags were used instead of just the one? Someone responding
to an earlier thread explained that the plastic is virtually
"invisible" to the satellite microwave signals, similar to
how a microwave oven doesn't melt or even heat the plastic
containers in which the food is cooking. I tested this to
see if it's really true by heating a microwave-safe plastic
container, with nothing in it, for five minutes on the high
(1200 watt) setting. I recommend to anyone to test this for
I forgot. I just remembered that the "Hefty" brand type
bag manufacturers make those big, thick, higher-quality bags
for those who can afford them. We just buy the cheap grass
bags to collect and bag up all the pine needles that tend to
pile up around our mountain property between winters and
Keep in mind that running a microwave oven with (essentially) nothing
in it to absorb the RF is awfully hard on the oven. I wouldn't do it.
At least put a large cup of water over in one corner.
Agreed. 5 minutes on high with nothing in it, and you can start heading out
to stores to get a new microwave.
And I'm not sure what the point of testing a plastic dish is going to prove
along the lines of keeping snow off it.
Unless everyone phones Dish to turn up the satellite signal power so the
signals melt the snow off for you.
As for the whole garbage bag idea.
In a month the sun (UV) and wind will tear it to shreads, so at best it's
only a temporary fix
I'm really glad that it works. And it's dirt cheap, very easy
to install, and is practically maintenance-free. If and when
I ever change the bag for a new one, I will simply use it as a
kitchen trash bag (assuming it has no rips in it by then).
What's wierd about it, is that because I haven't had any problems
with signal strength during snow storms, I had already forgotten
that the bag was over the dish until I read this reply you sent.
It's like that old Cheech & Chong skit where a completely stoned
Chong lethargically proclaims "I forgot where I was, man." ~:D