I was working on a friend’s place recently with a strange fault that was proving difficult to track down.
The solenoid would come on and off intermitently. It would work 10 times in a row and then fail. There was power (27V) coming from the control box but at the solenoid the power varied between 22-26v according to my multimeter.
The power wire to the solenoid had been joined several times before it reached the solenoid and after eliminating any other possibilities (faulty coil/controller) I could only conclude that there was a problem with the wire run.
I ran a fresh wire to the solenoid and tested it around 20 times with no failure. It seemed that the wire was flawed somewhere between the controller and the solenoid. There were numerous connections and it wasn’t easy to find where the problem was so I simply ended up running a new wire.
So far so good…
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
A regular request is for us to create a system that does not have any water spraying onto the path/road etc.
This is pretty tricky in lawn areas but much easier in garden beds. In lawn areas the sprays span significant distances and while we do our best to avoid overspray it is important to have a little to allow for shifts in wind direction. Obviously its crazy to have water spraying directly on the road, but a little overspray is considered acceptable.
In garden beds it is easier to prevent this as miniscape and staked adjustable drippers allow for very specific watering. Miniscape is the subsoil drip system that is placed under mulch and releases water very slowly to the desired areas. If you aren’t a fan of miniscape (and many people aren’t) then you may prefer the staked adjustable drippers.
The drippers are attached to flexible 4ml tubing and plugged into the main 19ml poly line. In general you can have up to 70 drippers on one line and still be effective.
Personally I like drippers better than miniscape, as it is easier to see how they are working, but the cost is not significantly different if that is the main issue for you.