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AIBU to think it isn't usual for houses to share TV aerials

(121 Posts)
PoisonedPriestess Fri 06-Jan-17 12:14:27

I've lived in my house for a year now and I don't have TV (I'm one of those hippies that doesn't even watch catch up!).

Yesterday I was rooting around in my cellar doing some tidying when I noticed a switch I'd never seen before. Looked a bit like a normal electric switch and it was on. Assuming that I could turn it back on if I noticed anything without power I turned it off in case it was using electricty and continued tidying.
About 10 minutes later I had a knock on the door and found my next door neighbour there. He politely asked whether I'd done something to the TV aerial as about 10 minutes previously his TV had stopped working. I told him about the switch in the cellar and he said "that'll be it then, could you pop it back on?"

To keep the peace while I thought about it I went and switched the switch back on but it seems awfully bizarre to me. I'm a rural lass at heart - is this a normal thing in cities? Is it costing me? I'm struggling to find much about it on the interwebs.

OneWithTheForce Fri 06-Jan-17 12:17:02

confused its very odd! I've never heard of that before!

reallyanotherone Fri 06-Jan-17 12:17:52

That sounds bizarre!

At the very least it'll be using your electricity. I'd be wondering what else in his house is using your electric! Are your bills high?

I'd be tempted to disconnect the socket and tell him it must be broken. Not as if he can get someone into your house to fix it!

TheCatsMother99 Fri 06-Jan-17 12:18:26

I work in property and have never ever heard of this.

HecateAntaia Fri 06-Jan-17 12:18:55

Never heard of such a thing.

I suppose one way to test if it's running off your electric would be to flip your master switch and turn off all your electrics.

If he comes round again then you can say

My electrics have tripped and my power is off. Hang on a minute. Does this mean that your ariel is using my power supply? Well that's not ok. That means it's running off my electric. Im not paying for that. You need to sort that out.

You could add

I'll give you a month to sort it out but after that I'll be turning the switch off.

wowfudge Fri 06-Jan-17 12:19:01

No way should you be paying for the electricity to an aerial your neighbour is using. How weird - I didn't even know they needed electricity to work.

Where is the actual aerial? If it's on your roof and they have connected their cable to it, then I would ask them to sort their own out.

Was there nothing about this is the paperwork when you bought the house? Can you ask the vendor about it via the EA perhaps?

PoisonedPriestess Fri 06-Jan-17 12:19:19

I mean I assume it's an aerial as he asked me whether I'd done something to the aerial but actually I have no idea what it is, just that turning that switch off breaks his TV.

It's an ancient and drafty house so my bills are higher than I had been used to anyway - not sure how much of that can be apportioned to NDN's TV use.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 06-Jan-17 12:19:24

If it's on your property you're paying for the electricity usage!

StillMaidOfStars Fri 06-Jan-17 12:19:28

Do aerials carry electricity though? Given that the older ones among us will remember occasionally sticking a coat hanger into the back of a telly to fashion an aerial, it could be completely passive?

MsJamieFraser Fri 06-Jan-17 12:20:02

No he should have his own aerial (there is communal aerials, however those are for multis and tower blocks) if it's a house then he needs to get his own and yes it will be costing you in electric.

HecateAntaia Fri 06-Jan-17 12:20:19

That's a very good point about other things running off your electric.

Did the place used to be one house?

Did he own it?

Soubriquet Fri 06-Jan-17 12:20:21

No that doesn't sound normal

He is cheeky sod. Surely it's using your electricity too

StillMaidOfStars Fri 06-Jan-17 12:21:11

As in, the roof aerial is essentially a giant coat hanger. There may be powered signal boosters, I guess, but such things usually draw power from the thing they are connected to i.e. Neighbour's TV.

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 12:21:51

Poisoned depends upon your housing arrangements. Lots of places (eg, blocks of flats, Housing Association properties, sheltered housing) have communal aerials. I'm pretty certain it won't be costing you anything.

I'd just think that perhaps the person living there before you agreed with other residents that he/she would have the necessary switch in her cellar, and you've simply inherited it. If you don't want it there, you'll probably need to speak to your neighbours and get it moved. There will obviously be a cost involved to do so, and your neighbours may not be too happy. But that's a judgement call, really.

MsJamieFraser Fri 06-Jan-17 12:21:53

If it's in a power socket, yes it will be using electricity still

Sixisthemagicnumber Fri 06-Jan-17 12:22:39

We have some kind of transformer box which our roof aerial plugs into and it sends a signal to all the TVs in the house. If we remove the box none of the to aerial cables work. It doesn't use any electric though. Could this be something similar?

PoisonedPriestess Fri 06-Jan-17 12:22:55

No the houses have always been separate and to the best of my knowledge he's never owned mine, although he's been living next door for about 20 years.

I think I need to get DH involved when he comes back from his work travels as I honestly don't understand how it works.

Will get him to test all the currents, switch off the master switch etc then I think.

StillMaidOfStars Fri 06-Jan-17 12:23:08

But it might not be a power socket, just a breaker switch?

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 12:23:20

If it's on your property you're paying for the electricity usage

Hmm, I didn't think of that!

PoisonedPriestess Fri 06-Jan-17 12:23:38

Hmm that sounds plausible Six

PoisonedPriestess Fri 06-Jan-17 12:24:38

Oh and our houses haven't even been social housing or anything like that smile

EvansOvalPies Fri 06-Jan-17 12:24:44

I'll ask DP when he comes home - he's a TV/Satellite Engineer. smile

wasonthelist Fri 06-Jan-17 12:25:11

Sounds like there's an aerial booster/splitter somewhere that is powered by the switch. A decent normal aerial on the roof wouldn't generally need power, but if you need to supply mulitple outlets, the splitter box needs power.

BrieAndChilli Fri 06-Jan-17 12:25:17

The fact that he came round to toes to ask if you had done anything to the tv within 10 minutes indicates to me that he knows full well he is using your power/Ariel etc.
If my TV went off I would maybe ask the neighbours of thier TV was working but not if they had done something to it!! It would take me longer than 10 minutes to restart the TV, check the cables, google if local problem etc etc before I even thought about asking the neighbours!!

PoisonedPriestess Fri 06-Jan-17 12:27:39

I'm trying to google transformer box and breaker switches to see what it could be.

He definitely knows and is not in any way embarrassed that we have this switch. I bet he's glad I didn't switch it off and leave the house for a holiday.

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