This week I went to do a job that involved connecting the rear retic (running off a tap) to the main system at the front. In doing the quote I noticed a thin 70ml channel down the side of the house where liquid limestone ended and the fence began.
I figured that with a thin trenching shovel we could get enough dirt out to lay pipe and wire…
That all made sense but I forgot to take into account the fence post right smack bang in the middle of that 70ml channel. I was about to go and see the client and apologise for an embarrassing mistake on my part, when I had another thought…
I learnt a while back that you can dig under anything if you are prepared to dig for long enough so I thought this looked like a chance to test that theory. Surely 600-700ml down the concrete for the fence post would end and I would be able to get under it?…
Sure enough after some careful digging with a shovel that only just fitted I was able to poke a piece of PVC thru and make a connection. Saved my butt and saved my client having to run her retic off the tap any longer.
Its been a busy summer and a hot one too – in fact the hottest one Perth has ever known which would explain why by this time of year we are a little weary!
If you are considering installing some turf then now is a fantastic time to do it, but I’d move quick before winter hits and we enter the season where lawn goes dormant.
We are still busy but have definitely noticed the slow down with the cooling weather.
Look forward to hearing from you
Check this out!
Today we did a job on an old bore in Yokine. It involved removing the elbow from the top of the bore and as I inspected it this is what I saw.
The mineral deposits from the water have formed a crusty inner skin that looks a bit like coconut inside the pipe. Obviously this has happened over a number of years, but its good to see what can form from bore water.
It is about 5ml thick all round
Easy to do!
If you have recently moved and are wondering if this is a worthwhile option then my tip is to do it straight away. After 5 years in our last home we began debating the merits of a bore, but knowing we may not stay much longer than another year or two we decided against it.
But when we moved to Yanchep, to a home with no retic it was the first thing on the agenda. And there have been no regrets.
With a bore you get:
- ‘free’ water in the sense that it is not part of your regular watering bill
- 3 watering days instead of two
- a significant capital investment in your home. With water prices rising and 50% of our water being thrown on the lawn and gardens to have a bore is a very smart move.
It does certainly cost you more upfront, but if you are on a decent sized block (say 550sqm +) and intend to stay there for 4-5 years then chances are you will easily recover your costs and finish up with a fantastic looking lawn and garden to boot.
To covert from mains to a bore is a simple process of
a) running the main line from the bore to the existing solenoids
b) wiring the MV/pump to the bore pump rather than the master valve
c) cutting and capping the master valve pipe (or just isolating the retic at the check valve)
d) making sure your system can handle the extra water flow and pressure a bore produces. You may need to join two stations together.
If you would like to change to a bore or if you would like a quote on having a bore installed then give us a call and we can get things moving for you.
I went to a job today where the client told me that they were on a shared bore and that only one of their stations would come on. The pump would come on when the rear lawn was running but not on the other 3 stations… strange…
What was going on?
When I got there I also discovered that he had installed a new control box and wired it up himself. I assumed all this was done correctly, but after half an hour of testing various things it dawned on me that what he had done was wire the master/pump wire incorrectly.
He had mistakenly put the pump wire in station 4 and station 4 wire in the pump terminal thus meaning only one station would work. Once we reversed the wires everything worked as it should have.
The learning here is:
- always get the wires back in the right place
- if in doubt make sure you get the pump/MV and common correct. The rest is easy.
And if you ever re-wire your own control box and have just one station come on then consider that you have got the MV/pump wire in the wrong terminal.
Its easy to do!
I drove past a school on the weekend that was painted blue, but had large red arcs around the paintwork – the result of sprinklers running off a bore.
If you have a bore and you are worried about staining then the answer is to try and design a garden and lawn that can minimise the results of bore water on them.
Some simple suggestions:
- Use either miniscape dripline or adjustable staked drippers in garden beds rather than sprays. Both of these methods target the plants and drop water in the areas needed rather than risking overspray.
- Have gardens close to the house and lawn further away, thus minimising the risk of water on walls.
- Use MP Rotator nozzles rather than regular Toro. They will spray bigger droplets and get blown around less.
A little planning can allow you to have all the benefits of a bore without any of the nasties.
Of course there are some suburbs where bore staining is worse than others. If you live in Greenwood then you are in for a heap of colour on your walls, whereas where we are in Yanchep there is minimal staining. If you aren’t sure what to expect then just look around you at other houses with bores and see what they look like.
If your control box is in an awkward spot or if you have a bigger property then testing the retic can be a real pain in the proverbial.
Running back and forward to the box to test, flush re-test takes time and the solution is a simple remote control that will save you that annoyance.
Finally, you don’t need to walk back to the controller to stop and start a manual watering cycle.
The ROAM Remote lets you do just that: Roam wire-free for simple remote operation. The mid-range solution for residential and commercial applications, the ROAM will operate up to a 300 metre range.
For use with Hunter controllers SRC, XC, X-CORE, PRO-C, ICC, I-CORE & ACC, the ROAM offers features other remotes cannot, at a price we all like. With a large LCD and simple push button operation, this remote is tough enough for anything with its sturdy ABS construction, but small enough to fit in your pocket.
It does happen occasionally…
I am currently trying to help some people find a way to get pipe under an 8 m wide driveway with access from one side only. It is proving difficult.
With access from both sides you can clear a path, but meet in the middle but with access from just one side it is much more difficult.
I have managed to plunk 5m in, but after that it just gets stuck and with poor water pressure we are struggling to keep the pipe moving. Plunking is normally pretty straight forward but it helps if you have good water pressure and can come at the driveway from both sides.
I explored some options today, one of which was the ‘bullet-mole‘, a piece of steel you smack thru with a sledgehammer. It looks like a great option, but unfortunately it can only go 6m and I need one that can do 8… but it does look like a great option for people who have narrower driveways and are needing to get thru.
The other option seems to be compressed air. I haven’t done this before so I’m reluctant to try it unless I am sure it will work, but it seems this may be where we land up.
If you are using miniscape / netafim sub-surface irrigation then you need to know the following:
a) The pipe (brown stuff) should be laid at correct spacing – for example some miniscape is rated at 30cm intervals and it needs to be laid accordingly.
b) It needs to run for around an hour to apply the correct amount of water.
c) The picture above is of the line flushing valve. When you turn the system on this will release water for around 30 seconds. It can look like your retic is ‘leaking’ but its not. Its normal.
d) You shouldn’t have more than an 8m run of brown pipe before it plugs back into the poly. You will lose too much pressure otherwise.
e) You should have a vacuum valve at the higest point of the system
f) You can also add filters to ensure the water is free from contaminants
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