Solenoids Are Directional

Posted on 21st February 2014 in solenoids

wiring a solenoid perth reticulation

So you have put a new solenoid on but it doesn’t seem to be sealing?

Chances are you may have put it on back to front. Yes – solenoids are intended for water flow in one direction only. If you can’t seem to get the water to stop then check the base of the solenoid to see which way the arrow is pointing and if it isn’t in the direction of water flow then you will need to remove it and turn it around.

Another test is to see if the solenoid seals when you turn it ‘on’. Sometimes when solenoids are installed back to front they will stop water flow when the coil is turned to the on position. Either way – get the direction wrong and you will need to dis-assemble and start over.

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When Retic Won’t Switch Off

Posted on 20th November 2013 in solenoids, What's Going on There?

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There can be a few causes of this, but its rare that it happens.

Typically when a system doesn’t have a master valve any time a solenoid fails the retic will leak, but its very unusual when there is a master valve.

I was at a property this week where the retic ‘wouldn’t shut off’.

When I got there the ball valve that isolates the retic had been closed because it wouldn’t stop running on station 1. I opened the ball valve and nothing happened… So obviously it had shut off…

I checked the controller and it was an X Core with some a dodgy dial that wouldn’t do what it was supposed to. So I replaced it, thinking that this was the source of the problem. It needed replacing anyway and when I tested it, all worked well.

Then I got a call that night telling me the retic was stuck on again…

Odd.

So I dropped in and checked the new controller and it was working fine – BUT – the retic was definitely stuck on station 1.

I had to do another job so I turned it off at the ball valve and went away for a few hours. When I returned and turned it on the water flow had stopped.

The only thing that could cause this was a faulty solenoid both on 1 and the master – perhaps solenoids that were slow closing or remaining partially open. I located solenoid 1, a Rainbird, and noticed that the bleed screw was just a little loose, so I tightened it and that fixed that. I went to the master and the bleed screw was loose on there as well.

Weird…

I have no idea how these screw get loose, but its worth knowing that this happened without any interference. No one messed with them.

If your retic won’t shut off and you have a master valve then check your bleed screws.

Hopefully tonight all will be well

Flow Control Solenoid Valves

Posted on 11th June 2013 in Products, solenoids

So what’s the difference between an ordinary solenoid valve and one with flow control?

 

flowcontrol

 

 

Basically its the large ‘dial’ in the middle that you can turn to adjust the rate at which water flows thru the valve. You may choose to use one of these if you have a small station and do not want you retic operating at full capacity.

For example some people have a small veggie patch that needs some very specific watering. Rather than adding the veggies patch to the lawn station or to other garden beds they would irrigate it separately. In that instance it may be necessary to reduce the flow and use this type of valve.

Any alternative is to use an inline tap to reduce to flow.

My Controller Looks Like Its Working But Nothing is Coming on

Posted on 26th May 2013 in Controllers, General, solenoids, What's Going on There?

So you set your controller running and everything looks right on the digital panel, but there is no water?…

What’s going on?…

Well if you are running your retic off the mains then its most likely that there is a problem with your master solenoid. If it isn’t working then you won’t get any water to the different stations.

You can test if this is the issue by locating it, turning it on manually (usually you need to turn the coil a quarter turn anti-clockwise) and then running the system as usual. If everything works with the master valve open then you have found your problem.

If not then the problem may well be the controller itself.

holman-pro-469-controller1

Why Are My Sprinklers Just Dribbling?

Posted on 18th January 2013 in solenoids, What's Going on There?

wiring a solenoid perth reticulation

I went to look at a job this week where the sprinklers were working, but barely so.

Each station would dribble a small amount of water, but there was nowhere near enough to run the system. What was going on?…

I guess the logical cause had to be the master solenoid being stuck and thereby reducing pressure all round. However I have changed these over before only to see no change in the performance so I was cautious, even moreso because the master was buried 600ml deep, encased in bricks and covered in rocks and rubble. Not fun to get to!

The first check is always to make sure the water meter is fully on and operating properly – which it was. Then to begin digging…

When I finally uncovered the MV I discovered it was a jar top Richdel, and that was encouraging because often you can just screw the stop off, replace the guts and be done.

So I unscrewed the top section and removed it. The diaphragm was stuck to the lower section of the solenoid body and as I peeled it away the centre spindle came with it.

That hasn’t happened before and I didn’t like where this was going…

My hunch was that the diaphragm was no longer opening sufficiently to let water thru and with the spindle now removed it was never going to work properly.

I screwed it all back together with a new diaphragm to see what would happen. Nothing changed.

So I cut the main pipe just after the MV to see what kind of water flow was coming thru. It was lousy, obviously restricted, so the only option was to dig it all up and replace it. A little while later a new master valve proved to be the answer and one very happy homeowner had his sprinklers operating again.

Most retic is a logical process of elimination, as well as the occasional bit of trial and error!

Northern Suburbs Retic Repairs

Posted on 28th September 2012 in Local Knowledge, Repairs, solenoids

If you live in the far northern suburbs – think Quinns Rocks, Merriwa, Butler, Clarkson and Mindarie then be sure to give us a call to service your retic.

We are in these suburbs every day and can usually fit you in the same week you call.

Its about to get hot again and its important to have your retic in good working order for another hot summer. We do a spring system check for $85.00 that includes up to 30 minutes labour,  3 Toro nozzles replaced, 3 micosprays and a new battery in your control box if required. We will check everything, set your control box and make sure you are good to go for the coming summer.

If you need other work done then we can do it while we are there or we can make a time to come back and get it sorted. All work is guaranteed.

Call now to make an appointment!

Hunter Solenoid Valves

Posted on 15th September 2012 in solenoids

Personally I prefer to use the Richdel as they are more common around Perth and easily interchangeable, but in this clip Hunter show you the rigorous process their valves go thru before making it to you.

Pretty impressive

Reticulation in Jindowie with Poor Water Pressure

 

This morning I laid the main retic line for a client in Jindowie (a part of Yanchep). I’ve written before about water pressure issues in this part of the world and today we hit the same problem again.

I use Richdel solenoids 99% of the time, but today they wouldn’t seal. They need a certain amount of backpressure and the water being what it is up here I just couldn’t get them to work.

I changed them for Hunter PGVs and they worked fine. I’m not sure why Hunters will operate with the lower pressure, but they seem to be the answer when the Richdels fail.

Lucky I had 4 onboard to subsititute!

Can Water Quality Affect Solenoids?

Posted on 29th April 2012 in bore, solenoids

I have a friend who lives in Quinns Rocks and is on a shared bore. In the last year we have replaced 3 solenoid coils on the same valve because they have corroded and become stuck open.

I haven’t seen this happen before, but it seems that the minerals in the water (or perhaps the salt) may be corroding the solenoid piston and causing it to fail.

At the moment I don’t have a suitable solution, but it may be that we need to find a solenoid that does not have any metallic parts. You obviously can’t change coils every few months so there must be a better way to hit the problem.

If you have had any similar problems then I’d love to hear about it

 

 

 

Why Can’t I Turn My Retic Off?

Posted on 14th March 2012 in General, solenoids

I went to a house today with this problem. Fortunately they were able to locate the ball valve to isolate the retic and didn’t have to keep turning their water meter on and off as some people have had to.

If your retic keeps running even when the control box is off then its as simple as a faulty solenoid. If you have a master solenoid and you still have this problem then its as simple as two faulty solenoids!

At the place I went to today station one was stuck on and there as a master valve to supposedly prevent this occurring. It turned out that the master valve had been left ‘on’ manually, so a simple turn of the coil solved that issue. Then I located the station valve and discovered a piece of gluey limestone stuck in it holding the diaprhagm open.

Once this was resolved everything was back to normal.