Does your home need a polarity locker?

What you see above you is a polarity locker. It’s a common sight in commercial satellite TV installations. It’s rare to see one in homes, and there’s a good reason for that: chances are your home doesn’t need one.

What?

OK, I can see people all over the country asking the same question. Why is The Solid Signal Blog, which is dedicated to helping you buy things from Solid Signal, telling you that you don’t need to buy something? It doesn’t seem to make sense.

It’s true what they say. The Solid Signal Blog is published by Signal Group, LLC, the parent company of both SolidSignal.com and Signal Connect. We exist for one reason, and that’s to continue to promote the products and services that our sister operations provide. But, let’s be honest here. We wouldn’t last very long if we promoted something you didn’t need. We provide diagrams, tutorials, and reviews for the purpose of helping you find what you need. If you don’t trust what you read on this blog, you’re not going to trust the sites we tell you to buy from, right?

So yes, I’ll occasionally tell you that you don’t need to buy something, when you don’t need to buy it.

Polarity lockers and homes

There are two purposes to polarity lockers. The most important, here in the 2020s, is that the polarity locker provides consistent and clean power to the satellite dish. Polarity lockers take their name from the fact that they isolate each of the six different signals that are possible on a satellite dish, and ensure that each outgoing line always has the same signal on it. This is critical for large commercial installations. The kind of signal switches that are routine and harmless in homes can break large installations. Using a polarity locker solves that problem.

However, most homes don’t need a polarity locker and in fact can’t use one. As long as your power inserter (or Genie 2) is within about 75 feet of your dish you don’t have to worry about power.

More importantly, if you are using a SWM-enabled dish, your polarity locker simply will not work. If you look at your dish and there is only one line coming out of it, a polarity locker won’t work.

While I’m a big fan of polarity lockers for commercial applications, they generally have no place in homes unless your home install is really just a commercial install in disguise. If you have 15 receivers and 6 DVRs, chances are you’ll want a polarity locker, but that sort of thing is pretty rare now.

Shop at Solid Signal for the stuff you need

When you’re ready to improve or upgrade your satellite TV or home theater installation, check out the great selection at SolidSignal.com! We have tens of thousands of parts to help you create the system of your dreams! If you’re not sure what to choose, call the experts at Solid Signal at 888-233-7563 during East Coast business hours. Our techs will help you out and of course the service is free.

 

 

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.