How do you know if your multiswitch is going bad?

Multiswitch problems can be very frustrating. The problems may be intermittent, or look like dish or LNB problems. So how can you test a possibly faulty multiswitch?

Most of the time the answer is to simply bypass it. If you have a WB68 multiswitch (shown above) or a Spaun or Eagle Aspen multiswitch, just bypass it temporarily. Disconnect all the lines from the dish to the multiswitch and connect one coming from the multiswitch to a line from the dish with a barrel connector

You must use approved F81 barrels. If the center of the barrel is not blue or dark yellow, it’s not approved for satellite use. The kind you get in your local home store are definitely NOT ok.

Once you bypass the multiswitch, you should be able to see if your system functions well. If it doesn’t give you the same problems you had when the multiswitch was connected, then… the problem is the multiswitch.

If you have a SWM8 or SWM16 multiswitch, you can do the same thing but you must reset the receiver to a “non-SWM” multiswitch. Press {MENU} then go to Settings&Help, Settings, Satellite (or Sat&Antenna), Repeat Satellite Setup. Note that the H25 receiver and the Genie system DVRs and clients are SWM-only so there is no way to test this.

If you have a dish with a built-in SWM, there’s no way to know if it’s the dish or the built-in SWM but no matter what, you would replace the whole LNB.

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.