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What is the Lifespan of a TV Aerial?

Perhaps, you want are planning to install a TV aerial or you recently installed one, you will of course wonder how long your aerial would last before a new one will be needed. There are a lot of factors that determine the lifespan of a TV aerial in Leeds. These factors dictate how long before a maintenance check is required and how long before a complete replacement is needed. Here at TV Aerials Leeds will take you through the most important things to note.

What is the expected lifespan of an aerial installed on the roof?

tv aerial installationIf the installation is done by a professional on a rooftop, the TV aerial typically would last around a decade or even two decades. In some cases, they even last a lot longer. On the other hand, if the installation is carried out by an amateur, it most definitely will not last as long as even 10 years. In some cases, you also have a situation where the cables and fittings develop faults long before there is any issue with the aerial itself.

Poor-fitting of Antenna or Aerial

Even if you buy the most expensive or best quality antenna with the highest quality materials, it still does not guarantee you the longest lifespan if there is an issue with installation. Poor installation is responsible for a host of problems with TV aerials and this includes but not limited to:

Very High Installation of Area

If you intend to install your antenna on an aerial mast, probably to avoid trees or for other reasons, you must use the right brackets that have the capability to support the height of the mast. A very easy way to know if the brackets will be suitable for your installation is to make sure that the spacing of the bracket is set at a minimum of 16.66% of the total height of the mast. This implies that if you are installing the mast on a 6-inch pole, your bracket should have a minimum of 1-inch spacing. However, if you want to get huge radio aerials or high-gain aerial, you can even install at a higher length. In such cases, it would be better to be more cautious and use 25 percent bracket spacing compared to the total height of the mast. It is better safe than sorry. You might also want to use a mast with a thicker diameter and thicker wall. For huge mast heights, poles with 2-inch diameter are often a good option as they would contribute significantly to the overall lifespan of your mast.

Over-tightening the U Bolt at the top

This is a very common mistake that people make when installing on masts. If the V Bolt or U Bolt is over-tightened at the top, the mast could assume a wrong shape and start to bend. The implication is that the mast will become weak, lose its structural integrity and eventually fall off. Tightening the U Bolts requires a lot of care especially for the top bolt. It is recommended that ratchet spanners are not used for the tightening as it makes it easier to over-tighten the nut. I have made this mistake in the past and it is not one I would want to repeat or want you to experience.

Lightning Strikes and Electrical Storm

On a few occasions, electrical storms could result in a TV antenna getting damaged or stop working altogether. Every component of the aerial could be destroyed in the event of an extremely high voltage passing through the aerial. When this occurs, you would have no choice but to change the full TV aerial. You would also need to replace the coaxial cable. If a bolt of lightning should directly strike your aerial, you would not only be worrying about your aerial as several of your electrical appliances are also at risk of damage as well. There is no technique the installer can use that would guarantee you safety from lightning strikes or electrical storms. Your best bet will be to have a guarantee or insurance as a newly and properly installed high-quality antenna could be destroyed by this circumstance.

There are many other practices related to installation that can decrease the lifespan of your TV aerial that will quickly turn this article into a textbook book if they were all to be covered one after the other. Some examples of other practices include a house with loose bricks, failing chimney, snapping of lashing wiring (majorly as a result of age), and aerial cables getting waterlogged as well as upside-down installation of aerials among others.

Quality of the Antenna or Aerial

There is always a temptation to compromise on quality as per budget and opted for cheaper low-quality aerial and/or accessories. There are also chances that you decided to install the antenna on your own without expert knowledge and experience by just following a guide in a bid to save on installation cost. When this is the case, you might not get to enjoy the antenna for as long as 10 years as its lifespan will be very short. Amateur installation and cheap quality equipment does not bode well for the lifespan of the aerial. There was an instance where I was invited to provide a quotation for aerial installation. My quote was rejected. About a month later, I drove past the house and observed a new antenna installation that was already broken and had fallen. The implication is that the individual would have to pay to probably get a new antenna, new materials and/or pay for fixing of the antenna. The cost of these, coupled with the initial cost installing the antenna will already be more than my initial quote that would have lasted up to 20 years or more. This is apart from the inconvenience they would have faced during the period the antenna was down.

You should not try to cut costs by compromising the quality of the parts. This is especially when it comes to items that are installed outside that are in constant exposure to adverse weather elements such as rainfall, gales, and high winds. If you live in an area where you have witnessed the wind pulling off the roof from a property, how much hope do you think a quality antenna would have, let alone a low-quality or poorly installed antenna. It is best to avoid aerials that have elements like Bacofoil as they bend easily and will not serve you well from my point of view. You should read up on recommended TV antennas as they will guide you on choosing the right TV aerial. Wolsey, Antiference and Vision are my preferred manufacturers within the United Kingdom.

Changes in times

Things are changing rapidly in the world today, especially for items that are related to technology. There are instances that your aerial could suddenly become obsolete because of technology advancements. An instance where this has happened in the past is the change to UHF from VHF as well as during the switch-over to digital. As opposed to popular perception, digital aerial does not exist. Thus, your old aerial could continue to work which we expect the switch to digital aerial. You might also be faced with a situation where there is a change in frequency or a new big building was newly built close to you. You might be forced to increase the height of your TV aerial or opt for a satellite dish instead. There is also the fact that very soon, television programs would be streamed only through the internet and no more broadcasted in formats that your antenna will be able to pick. Even though this might still be many years to come, Internet televisions are already in existence.

Loft aerials are more durable

If it is possible, you should not install your antenna in the loft for some reason. First, your loft will most likely be lower than your Fascia fixings, gable end, and chimneys. As a result, you might lose some height and getting a good signal might become a challenge. The signal would have to penetrate roof tiles and walls before your antenna can pick it. In some cases, your antenna might not be able to pick any signal. Even when signals are picked, the picture quality might be poor.

However, since loft antennas are properly covered, weather and high winds would have little effect on them. The implication is that they would last longer as their rate of deterioration would reduce significantly.

Length of Aerial Installations Warranty

Most companies would give between 1 and 2 years guarantee when they install your aerial. I give a warranty of one year. Providing us with an online review will give you a second-year warranty for free. This is not to say that we are not confident about the quality of our work or that there will be a high chance of problems with the antenna after the second year. However, it is mostly because most warranties on the parts we use for installing the aerial only have a warranty of one to 2 years as well. Some companies could give warranties of between 3 and 5 years, however, you would have to pay some money to activate the longer warranty.

TV Aerials Leeds
2 Infirmary Street,

0113 880 5252


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