Can you mount a satellite dish to a chimney?

A customer asked this a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it would be a good topic for an article. Do you know the answer?

The specifics

Chimney mounts are used for people who want to mount an antenna at the highest point on their roofs but don’t want to drill holes in the roof. They’re popular because they install easily and work well for most antennas. However, they’re not recommended for satellite dishes.

Satellite dishes are aimed much more precisely than antennas. Antennas can generally be as much as 15 degrees off their true aim before reception suffers. Satellite dishes need to be aimed to about one-half of one degree for perfect operation. Why? The answer’s kind of obvious. That broadcast tower you’re pointing at with your antenna is, at most, 75 miles away. Satellites are 22,000 miles away at least, and that’s if you’re directly under one. The signal you get from the local TV station is also a lot stronger than that from the satellite. That’s partially because it is so close and partially because satellites have to work off solar power which doesn’t allow them to broadcast at 100,000 watts like TV stations do.

Putting a satellite dish on a chimney just doesn’t let you get it secure enough to keep it aimed properly. I’m not saying it wouldn’t work at first, but it’s very likely that winds would drive that dish off-aim pretty quickly.

For that reason, chimney mount makers don’t even make something to help you. The largest mast you can put on the largest chimney mount is 1.66″ outer diameter. DIRECTV dishes need a 2″ diameter dish for stability. DISH will let you use a mast that size, but it’s still just not a good idea.

What are your options?

There are tons of mounting options for satellite dishes when you shop at SolidSignal.com. You’ll find non-penetrating mounts, which let you secure your dish without drilling into the roof, as well as a variety of mounts for attaching to an eave or wall. There are even mounting systems that are designed to be put in under roofing tiles to minimize the number of holes you have to make. The choice is up to you, really. Just remember that your dish should be as stable as possible and will need a view of the southern sky.

When you’re ready to take on that satellite upgrade product, why not work with the experts! We do more than sell parts. Our team can help you plan your install, suggest the parts you need, and even activate your equipment when you’re done! It’s all part of the white-glove service you get when you shop at Solid Signal. If you’re ready to upgrade your TV — and your ownership experience — give us a call! The number is 888-233-5834 and we’ll be happy to help during East Coast business hours. Prefer to fill out a form? We have you covered! Fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you, usually within one business day.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.