My Reticulation Goes Through the Whole Cycle and Then Starts Over

Posted on 30th April 2011 in Controllers, Ideas, Never Seen That One Before, Repairs

I have heard of this happening a couple of times. The whole program runs through as normal and then starts over and repeats itself on and on and on… not good.

Clearly the solenoid valves are opening and shutting and are not stuck on so the issue can really only lie with a fault in the control box.

On both occasions when this has happened I have replaced the control box and it has fixed the problem. So if this sounds like you then that’s most likely your solution!

For help or advice with these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

 

How To Fix Your Own Reticulation

Posted on 30th April 2011 in Repairs

If you talk to a mechanic about why a car isn’t running they will tell you its either fuel, electrics or air supply causing the problem.  If it aint running then its going to be one of these issues causing the problem.

With reticulation its also pretty simple.

If its not coming on then its either electrical,  mechanical or hydraulic

Let’s assume a solenoid isn’t coming on. Either the controller isn’t working, the coil isn’t working (electrics) or the diaphragm is stuck shut (mechanical) There simply isn’t another option, so you will be able to sort it out one way or another by eliminating the variables. Always start with the controller and check voltage there as it is the most accessible point.

Of if your sprinklers are spraying poorly chances are you have simply configured the system wrongly so that there is too much demand on the water supply. Block off a few nozzles and see if it improves.  Failing that wander around the yard and look for a broken pipe. If the pressure was good and is now poor then logically you have to be losing water somewhere.

I haven’t struck a job yet that is unsolvable because in retic you are dealing with a closed system. There are only so many things that can go wrong and sooner or later by a logical process you will find the issue.

And if you don’t just give me a call or send me an email 0400044236 brightonreticulation@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Setting up a Reticulation Controller for a Bore

Posted on 30th April 2011 in Controllers, Ideas, Installations, Installing, Uncategorized

The big difference between setting up a controller for a bore and a system of mains is that the ‘master’ terminal actually serves to trigger the pump and a relay must be installed between controller and pump to get it going.

So you will always pay a bit more to get a bore system set up electrically.

Of course there is no requirement for a master valve as the system is not under constant pressure, so you will save on that front.

To get this set up properly you will need to call a qualified electrician and have them do the electrics for you.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

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Cheapest Reticulation in Perth

Posted on 30th April 2011 in Installations, Repairs, What's Going on There?

Ok so you want a cheap system or a cheap fix?

The cheapest is obviously DIY and this site can help with that. Just search for what you want to know and if its there you will see it. If it doesn’t come up then email me and I will write a post about what you want to know.

Beyond that I don’t recommend ‘going cheap’ . That saying of ‘you get what you pay for’ is as true in reticulation as in any other industry.

At Brighton Reticulation we see ourselves as mid range in terms of price and that allows us to deliver excellent service, honour our warranties and use quality parts.

If you pay very little for a job then you need to check:

a) the contractor knows what they are doing. They may be a handyman with some clues about reticulation, but I have been called to fix up some of these ‘repairs’ and you then end up paying twice. Its a difficult situation for everyone.

b) they are using top quality materials. You can buy sprinklers for $2.00 or you can buy sprinklers for $10.00. If you pay $2.00 then I promise you a lifespan of approx 6-12 mths on your sprinklers. If you buy good quality Toro sprinklers then you can expect 5-10 years. Do the maths and see that when you add in the inconvenience, its much better to do the job right once.

c) will they come back if something goes wrong? We seek to attend to all warranty issues within 48 hours and usually quicker. Inevitably things do go wrong and you want to know that if all is not as you hoped then the contractor will return to make things right.

One of the advantages of dealing with an experienced reticulation specialist is that we are able to solve problems quickly. We can diagnose the issue, locate the problem and fix much quicker than someone who has to chug around checking out different options, eliminating variables and running trial and error tests.

So, while it may appear that you are paying more for the same service in actuality (having seen what cheaper buys) you very likely aren’t!

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

 

 

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Reticulation Controller for the Tap?

Posted on 28th April 2011 in Controllers, Installations

 

Reticulation off the tap can be done, but always with significantly less pressure than off the mains. If you are going this route then it makes sense to get both a ‘double adaptor’ for your tap and a good quality digital controller that will allow the reticulation to function as if it were off the mains.

Personally I favour the Holman controllers as they are cheaper, easily programmable and haven’t let me down yet.  You can also use a Galcon but these tend to be a little more expensive for the same functionality.

Either way they are battery powered and you can get a year out of a good set of batteries before needing to change things over.

 

 

With either controller you can add a ‘two way alternating valve’ that will allow you to run two stations off the one tap controller. You simply screw on the alternating valve and then set two start times on the controller. For example set start 1 at 5.00am and start 2 at 5.15am. Each time a new start kicks in the valve adjust to allow water flow through a different pipe

That’s the basic set up and the rest is plumbing!

If I had one tip for people setting up tap irrigation it would be to use plumbing tape and heaps of it and check your seals as you go. There is nothing worse than discovering a small leak in the first join after you have put it all together!

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

 

Getting a Cut in to the Mains for Reticulation

Posted on 28th April 2011 in Installations, Installing, Products

Before you can begin any pipework you need to have a licensed plumber come and cut into your main water line. What happens here is that the plumber digs down to the copper pipe within approx 1 metre of the water meter and then cuts the line.

He inserts a copper tee and then brazes it back together. From there a copper fitting  is added that can receive a ball valve and dual check valve. The dual check valves are now a requirement in WA and add a bit to the cost. You can expect to pay between $165 and $200 for a reticulation cut in.

Once this is done the master valve can be attached and then you’re away!

If you find you cannot do a cut in to the mains near the water meter then a second option is to cut in near the tap. Dig down, find the 20ml pipe and use it rather than the 15ml that runs to the tap. The pressure difference is significant and will make a difference to your final result.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

 

My Irritrol Controller Shows a Fuse Message

If you live in Brighton then chances are you will have an Irritrol Quikdial control box like the one below.

 

I can only guess that the developers picked these up as a real bargain because they are far from being the best control box on the market.

Their major fault is the absence of a battery backup, so every time you have a power outage you lose your settings. However it is also common to be rung and told the controller is showing the word ‘fuse’ and failing to run on one or more stations.

Nine times out of ten the fuse message indicates a faulty solenoid coil. If it shows up when you try to run every station then it is most likely the master valve. If it only faults on a particular station then that is the one that needs replacing.

To test if it is the master solenoid remove the master solenoid wire from the control box, reset the box so the ‘fuse’ message disappears (put a flat blade screwdriver over the ‘reset’ terminals) and then test each station in turn.  If nothing faults then you have found your problem.

If it still shows a fuse message then simply observe which station it faults on and that will be the source of the problem.

The next task is to find the solenoid and replace the coil. I have written about how to do this here.

Occasionally it is not the coil that is the problem, but its actually the control box. Unfortunately the only way to verify this is by eliminating the variables. I’d suggest you start with the coil as its much cheaper to replace, but be aware that you might have to replace the box as well.

If you need a kwikdial manual then you can get one here.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

How Do I Know How Many Stations I Have on My Reticulation?

Posted on 27th April 2011 in Repairs, What's Going on There?

 

The easiest way to answer this is to go to your control box and see how many wires are connected to the station terminals. Here’s how to do it.

When you open the panel on the control box you will see various terminals.

C = Common wire (usually black)

M or P = Master valve or Pump

1-x = Station Terminals – On a 6 station box you will have 6 of these. If you have wires going to 3 of them then you have 3 stations. If you have wires going to 4 of them then you have 4 stations.

On occasions you may have 2 wires going to the one terminal. This is where two solenoids have been wired together. They function as one station but are actually two separate solenoids.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

 

Planning Your Landscaping

Posted on 27th April 2011 in Installations, Installing, Turf

 

If there is anything that will drive you insane as a home builder it is getting jobs in the wrong order and/or having to do things twice.

So here’s a rough guide to the order of things.

1. Site Clean & Driveway Prep – when your builder has finished they should do a site clean. They are unlikely to take more than the minimum amount of rubbish and dirt away as they will have to tip it and that costs $$. But it makes sense to chat with the bobcat driver doing this and get him to prep any driveway/concrete work that needs doing. This might cost you a little extra, but you won’t have to re-hire a bobcat for another minimum 3 hr charge.

2. Soakwells – get these put in before any paving or limestone goes down. Be aware that there will be a heap of dirt from the excavation of the holes that will also need removing.

3. Prelay any pipes that need to go in under paving and driveways. Forget this and you could make it very hard for yourself down the track.

4. Paving / driveways – get these down now.

5. Bobcat II – you will need to get correct levels for turf and you will need to clear away the excess dirt from the soakwells.

6. Reticulation – once the ground is level and not going to driven on by a bobcat

7. Turf

If you get the order wrong you can end up doing things twice and that can cost you a lot of unnecessary $$.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

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DIY Reticulation in Perth Soil

Posted on 26th April 2011 in Installations, Installing, Local Knowledge, Soil

 

If you plan on doing your own reticulation then consider hiring a trench digger.

I used a trenching shovel for several years before purchasing my first trencher and I haven’t looked back since. You can’t use a trencher in every situation, but if you have larger areas then it really comes into its own.

It will dig a straight trench between 120mm and 450mm deep and it will cut through sand dirt easily. Its great for established lawns where digging is a real chore, but I use it on every job now and it eases the workload as well as getting the job done quicker.

If you want to hire me to dig your trenches then I can do it for $85.00/hr inc GST, or you can hire a machine from the hire guys for $145.00 for the day. Its likely it will work out about the same price on an average install.

If you hire one then be sure to pay attention to where your water pipes and other services are, as once you cut through them our savings evaporate pretty quickly!

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

 

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