How to install satellite cable

Updated April 17, 2017

Installing satellite cable into a house can be harder than instructions may indicate. Running the cable from the satellite dish outside to the dish-receiver unit inside near the television can have some tricky obstacles--costly obstacles, if you are not careful.

Set the spool of cable near where the power supply goes into your house. Determine the best way to get from the power supply on the outside of your home to the receiver next to the television. Plan if you need to take cable through the attic, the basement or a crawl space, or if you will just need to wrap the cable around your house and run it into a room.

Running cable through an attic is not fun and can be tricky. Set your ladder against the house where you know you will be able to drill a hole big enough into the attic for the dual RG-6 cable to pass through. Inspecting the attic before drilling is the safest way to proceed. After you have drilled your hole, run the cable inside it. Having a cable caddie helps. Feed enough cable inside. Go into the attic and pull enough cable to run it down to where you will need it. Be careful of where you place your feet or knees in the attic. Have the flashlight ready. With all the insulation, it will be hard for you to see the wooden crossbeams. Going through the attic usually requires a wall-fish. When you fish the cable down into a wall, you must have a place already cut on the wall to successfully wall-fish. Use your glow stick and wrap the electrical tape around the end of the cable and the glow stick, securing them together. Run the stick down the inside of the wall. Working with a helper will speed this process.

Running cable through a basement is sometimes easier than with an attic or crawl space. Use a masonry bit to drill a hole into the basement near the power supply. Run cable into the basement through the hole. Go inside the basement and pull all the cable you need to get to the receiver. When you have enough cable, start to weave it through the crossbeams of the floorboards. Generally, you will need to run it along with the other wires in the same path. If the basement has a drop ceiling, then you will need to run it above the ceiling tiles. Go into the room where you will bring the cable up into, then drill a hole big enough for the cable. Go back down into the basement and run as much cable as you want into the room.

Run cable into the crawl space just as if it were a basement. The only thing different is that you have to crawl. The obstacles to crawl spaces can include mud, water, stench, spiders, cobwebs, rats, dead cats, jagged rocks, plastic ground covering that bunches up as the cable slides over it, and bumping your head or your spine on crossbeams as you make your way to where you need to pull the cable through. Use the glow stick. It will help you see where you drilled down into the floor, and it will help you pull the cable up inside the room.

Wrapping the cable around the house is an easy option and very quick to do. Run enough cable around to where you will drill into the room. Make sure you allow yourself enough cable to either tack along under the eave of the roof or along the bottom of the house's siding. Drill into the room and run the cable inside. Be sure not to cross any doorways or chimneys.

Things You'll Need

  • Spool of RG-6 dual cable
  • Cable caddie
  • Ladder
  • 24-volt cordless drill
  • Masonry drill bit
  • 12-foot glow stick
  • Electrical tape
  • Flashlight
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About the Author

Hannah Scott has been a freelance writer for more than 12 years. Scott's first published article appeared in "The Mountain Press" in 1999. She has also written for the "Tennessee Star Journal" and several websites, including RAE Magazine.