Why does my TV antenna leak water?

Detecting a drenched cable in your home is somewhat worrying, especially if you were led to it after you noticed green corrosion on the connector, brown discoloration on your floors or walls, or even a stuck antenna connector. This type of moisture can ultimately damage your TV, either from the TV itself or from the set-top box. There are various reasons why water can get into your TV cable, which we have summarized here for you.

First, it is advisable to remove all coaxial cables from the television and contact a local aviator to repair them.

Old cables

Outdoor cables are at risk. Indoor cables are not damaged, and at least here in the UK, cables on the south side of a roof are more prone to damage. Environmental factors play a role in the overall deterioration of cables, especially because they are exposed to direct sunlight. Over time, the elements can make your outdoor TV antennas more prone to cracking or cracking due to brittleness. By the way, white cables are more at risk of negative sun effects than black cables. For this reason, some installers or homeowners opt for black cables or overpainted outdoor cables to extend the service life.

Damaged cables

Although the most common damage is caused by improperly secured cables, various other problems can arise. If there is a crack in the outer shell, rainwater tends to slide over the cable. If there is a break or tear in the line, run through the inside of the coaxial cable into your TV. This is especially true if the cable in question is a vertical part of the installation. Other damage can be a little more obvious, either from an aggressive installation, inappropriate technology, or accidental cutting.

Improperly weatherproof cables

Rainwater normally enters the cable in a specific area where the coaxial cable is connected to the satellite dish. If the connection was not properly watertight, homeowners may encounter problems later. For this reason, it is vital to create a “drip loop” by tilting the cable towards the floor as it exits the dipole. The connections should be coated with silicone grease and the outer connections made waterproof with amalgamating tape. To prevent water from entering a cable, waterproof coaxial F connectors can also be installed.

Incorrect installation

A frequently overlooked problem is caused by incorrect installation of the TV antenna. Some antennas can be installed in either direction, but some will leak water if they are installed upside down. This refers to the drainage of holes along some dipoles and not just the polarization of the antenna assembly. When properly installed, these drainage holes allow water to escape from the cable termination and instead create an area where rainwater collects.

Why is my TV Aerial Leaking Water - repair

How to correct water in the cable

Unfortunately, water in the line usually requires replacement of the coaxial cable up to the back of your antenna (or the first entry point). It is best to contact an on-site specialist, e.g. B. to a television company, especially if you find that your roof needs to be repaired. Since they are installed at the same time, there is a risk that the antenna will also be in poor overall condition. If the hardware becomes rusty from contact with the elements, a new cable may not be able to be connected to an old antenna. An exchange can be inevitable.

There are temporary measures that can be taken while waiting for repairs, especially if you don't want to risk water damage to your TV. Simply disconnect the cable completely and place the tip in a small container to catch any water that escapes. This brown water pollutes floors, especially carpets, and destroys your TV. If you need to keep your TV connected, there is another option, but it is not without risk.

  • Attach a flylead to the antenna cable or connect it with a new cable section between the old and the TV. Water will most likely accumulate inside the join and not on your TV.
  • To create an exit point for water before it reaches the TV, cut a section from a section of the PVC. Be extremely careful, otherwise you will cut through the cable braid and even the middle conductor.

General prevention is the key

The best and probably most obvious advice is simple prevention to avoid water leaks and damage to all equipment. A professional installation will go to great lengths to ensure leak prevention, especially with a few key points, including:

  • Internally routed cables
    Wherever possible, it is advisable to route cables internally to avoid sun damage or water leaks. A disadvantage of this method is that it creates more work and ultimately affects the total price of an antenna installation. It takes creativity to determine routing points, including through loft spaces, under floorboards, or even in the walls.
  • Avoid external links
    Although a weatherproof coaxial connection is acceptable, vulnerabilities along the line outdoors can later lead to potential problems – especially water leaks. If you only have one TV, a single section of the coaxial cable can connect your TV to your antenna without any connections. External links should be avoided at all costs if possible.
  • Weatherproof all connections
    If there are external cable connections for the antenna, the masthead amplifier or an antenna splitter, additional precautionary measures should be taken to make the connection weatherproof overall. These measures include adding a “drip loop”, silicone grease to connections where the tape is not suitable, joining tape to connections and cable connections, and using weatherproof compression plugs.
  • Secure the cables
    Appropriate cable fasteners should be used to ensure the general security of your cables and devices. Use a generous amount of installation tape and use tile clips, cable clips, or cable tiles to hold the correct position, every 2 bricks (horizontal) or 5-6 bricks (vertical).
  • High quality, UV stable cables
    Not all coaxial cables are the same and may not be suitable for outdoor installations. If a cable is used outdoors that is not intended for outdoor use, it will quickly fall apart in direct sunlight. This applies in particular if indoor telephone and data cables are used for outdoor installations. Since it is not suitable for combating sunlight and other elements, they are more likely to leak water if they crack or dry rot.

If you are in the position of a new installation to avoid future water leaks, or even in the midst of potential water damage, these tips can be helpful. Do not hesitate to contact professionals to avoid damaging your TV or other various devices and to prolong the life of your device and TV antenna.

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