This is the control box you would use if you have no access to mains power. It is totally battery operated and does not require a 240v supply.
I came across one of these in Butler this week and only realised when we arrived that it was a hybrid. The trick here is that none of your regular 24v solenoids will work with it, so because we were laying retic and turf that day it meant a frantic search to locate some DC latching solenoids.
In the end Total Eden in Balcatta had 3 we needed so it was long drive there and back to make it work. I’m not sure why anyone would use one of these in Suburbia where power is not an issue. The other thing to remember with these controllers is that the solenoids are expensive. You will pay $80.00 for each solenoid rather than the regular $30.00 so it adds to the cost of the job.
I believe you can use regular Hunter valves and simply change the coil to DC latching, but I haven’t tested that method.
Next time I’ll be making a note of whether the controller is AC or DC!
The first time I did some DIY retic I tried to install my kerbside sprinklers by digging along the line of the kerb.
After 10 minutes I had all but given up. You see the soil along the kerb is actually roadbase. It is hard and rocky and not easy digging. If you want to install sprinklers along the kerb then dig a trench one metre away from the kerb and parallel to it and then ‘t’ off to the point where you need sprinklers. You will still need to do some hard digging but it will save you a lot of effort and you will do the job right.
The other tip with kerbside sprinklers is to make sure they are well below kerb height – because they will get driven over. If you’re lucky they won’t get damaged, but if they are even sticking up a little bit then expect to replace them regularly.
I get calls from one client a few times each summer to replace the same sprinkler. Personally I reckon it would be easier just to sink the sprinkler a bit lower…
Sometimes its possible for us to give you a very accurate quote on your retic and turf needs without viewing the site.
Ideally we would come and check it out with you and discuss your needs, but in the first instance we can look at your home on www.nearmap.com and talk with you on the phone about what is required.
If you are happy with the ball park figures then we can meet you and discuss things more fully.
Most nearmap images are up to date to within around a month and can be used to give a good guide to what work is required. We work anywhere from Two Rocks down to Scarborough and would be happy to quote on your needs.
We offer some general guidelines on our home page here, but the truth is it can vary considerably depending on the type of soil we need to dig in, the ease of accessibility and the simplicty or otherwise of the job. A new house is fairly easy to give an estimate for and we suggest that typical costs to expect are:
- Retic cut in by licensed plumber $180.00 + GST
- Hardwiring of controller $160.00 + GST
- Wireless rain sensor (only compulsory if you wish to get a lawn watering exemption) $150.00 + GST
- Electronic Controller $200.00-$400.00 + GST (depending on what is chosen)
- Installation / pipes / sprinklers etc see below
To give you an idea of what to expect a very rough ball park figure for a 4 x 2 home on a 600m block with 5 or 6 stations is usually around $2600.00 + GST including plumber and sparkie. These prices do vary with the seasons so if you ‘need it done now’ over summer chances are that with any retic business you will pay a premium. If you can wait until winter then you will probably save 10-20%.
A front install on this kind of home would be around $1500.00 + GST and a rear install usually around $1100.00 + GST.
If your home is established and we need to dig through grass, tree roots and flower beds then we will charge extra for that, but a straightforward installation is usually in the ballpark of the prices above.
But the best way to go is to get in touch and we can then meet up onsite, walk thru the plans and get a clear picture from there.
I don’t know how many people have checked their water pressure in the Capricorn estate in Yanchep, but after working on a job today I was shocked at how poor the water pressure is.
In a backyard of 5m x 11m we would normally use one station of MP Rotators evenly spaced and have heaps of water pressure to spare, but today we needed 3 separate stations of Toro precision nozzles for that one small area. That’s the only option when the pressure is lousy and the flow rate is 10l/min. We tried putting 3 MP 2000′s on a line but there wasn’t enough grunt to make then get up.
The bigger drama was that the solenoids refused to seal because of the ultra-low pressure. We tried about 15 different Richdels and none of them would seal and ended up having to head down to the shop and grab some Hunters. Solenoids need a certain amount of water pressure to create the seal and this was so low that we couldn’t get that seal. It was almost a give up and call it a day scenario.
Persistence and a very gracious client made a hot, windy, difficult day a much better experience than it could have been. So if you live in Capricorn I’d be interested to hear if you have also had water pressure problems. I was due to do another backyard install in Capricorn tomorrow, but I have postponed it until we can find a way around these nasty water pressure issues.
Sometimes your lawn gets to a point where it simply isn’t viable to revive it. It needs replacing and the question is ‘how’?
Firstly let’s hope you have bobcat access, because if you don’t you’re in for a lot of hard grunt work digging it out. I still remember digging out 50sqm of buffalo on a hot summer day. It took 2 of us 5 hours and we were going hard.
So – yes – you can dig it out, but if you weigh up your time then it makes much better sense to use machinery to get it done.
So first step is to get the old one out.
Your bobcat will need to dig down around 80-100ml and in the process will likely damage your retic. So if you’re replacing a lawn then be sure to budget for retic repairs and it may even be that its better just to re-lay the pipes. I’d allow between $200-500 for the retic.
When removing a lawn you need to allow for bobcat operator’s time, tipping costs and any associated travel costs. For 50sqm $700.00 is fairly normal but it may vary depending on the site. The bobcat then will bring in some good soil and bring the levels up to whatever is suitable for laying turf on. I always suggest leaving it 10ml below the finished level to allow it to grow and ‘boof up’ a bit.
Once the soil is in, the retic can be repaired and the final stage is the turf laying.
Our turf rates are on our main site here.