How to Join PVC Pipes in Very Tight Spaces

Posted on 18th April 2013 in Repairs

Occasionally I pick up a job where I need to remove a solenoid and replace with another, but once the ground is excavated we discover a series of closely joined PVC fittings with nowhere to cut into. A tight series of elbows and tees can be a challenge to remove and refit.

A recent job saw solenoids lined up against a concrete driveway on one side and then dense roots on the other and this morning I needed to replace 5 solenoids all in a very tight confined space.

So if you need to do this what are you looking for?

The biggest thing to remember is that you want to plan what you do before you start.

– Solenoids that have an outlet onto black poly will be the easiest to work with because of the flex in the pipe.

– If there isn’t room to use a slip fix (telescopic fitting) to join pipes then you need to rely on there being some lateral movement in the pipes themselves. Always join the least movable parts first and save the moveable ones until you need to make a final join.

– Cut precisely and check your measurements. Sometimes – when you need to join PVC fittings side by side if you don’t get it perfectly right you can end up having to disassemble everything and starting over.

At the end of the day the goal is to get things joined up and working so if you need to get creative and run some pipe and fittings around a bit to get a join then that is better than not being able to make it work.

I don’t have any pics, but this is one of those jobs where it almost always pays to get someone in to do it. It will probably save you a lot of headaches!


My Lawn is Dying! What Do I Do?…

Posted on 12th January 2013 in General, Local Knowledge


After the recent run of crazy hot weather all around Australia there is a fair chance your lawn will be looking the worse for wear.

I have seen a number of browning, ‘crunchy’ lawns lately and it seems that the weather is simply getting the better of the two day/week watering regime. When the temperatures are as hot as they have been and we are only allowed to apply 10ml of water twice a week then your lawn just won’t like it.

The good news is that you can handwater to keep it going – which obviously isn’t ideal, but occasionally it is what’s needed.

The other thing to consider is that your lawn may have a disease. Black beetle is common at this time of year so you may have an infestation and will need to treat it for this.

As a general rule if the area in question is getting wet from sprinklers then the issue is not going to be one of water. It is going to be something else. So go to Bunnings and get some Confidor and get spraying!

Reticulation in Two Rocks

Posted on 20th April 2012 in General, Installations


If you live in Two Rocks then you’d know that it didn’t get its name for no good reason. There are plenty of rocks around up there and it makes digging trenches a hell of a challenge.

If you are planning on some DIY retic then I’d suggest you consider hiring a Groundhog Trench Digger like the one in the picture above to give you a hand in getting through the worst of it.

I’ve done a few jobs in the area and if it wasn’t for the trencher I’d probably still be digging today.

You can hire them for around $170/day. Alternatively call us and we can do the work for you and save you both time and physio bills!

In My Own Backyard – Ok So It Isn’t Pretty

Posted on 5th September 2011 in In My Own Backyard, Local Knowledge

Because I spend my life fixing other people’s reticulation and laying turf its hard to come home and get motivated to put on the boots and start on my own home.

However recently we moved to a new place in ‘old Yanchep’ where there is no reticulation and plenty of work to be done to get the property landscaped. The rear area especially is a mess and in need of a lot of work while the front could do with some freshening up.

I thought it would be interesting to track my own progress with taking our backyard from ‘wasteland’ to ‘oasis’, so if you’re interested in watching a (slow) transformation take place then you might like to follow this series of posts.

It all started about a month ago when I wandered out in the yard to pull up some weeds. It was very overgrown and messy and with spring around the corner I could see the weeds a) seeding and giving us more trouble b) being a great hiding place for snakes.

Half of the backyard with the rubbish and rubble before we moved the chook pen and at the start of constructing the retaining wall

I wasn’t quite ready to ‘attack the whole backyard’  but once I got started on the weeds I realised I had started something that needed finishing. With winter being the quiet time for retic and turf I have been using my time to get some of the bigger projects done around home and this has been the progress so far

a) clear the weeds and make some work possible

b) build retaining walls

c) move the chook pen


The old chook pen and the mess that is currently the backyard

Still to come are:

d) more retaining to be erected / fixed

e) bobcat to clear, cut and fill

f) a bore sunk and reticulation installed

g) turf laid and gardens created


Chook pen moved


The lower wall and new chook pen

Starting on the upper wall

Running Conduit for Pipe and Wire – Size Matters

Posted on 10th April 2011 in Installations

If you are running some conduit for future pipe and wire then the size of the pipe is crucial and knowing what type of pipe you are laying is also critical.

Did you know that retic pipe is measured by the internal diameter whereas electrical conduit is measured by the external diameter?

This makes a huge difference if you are using it as conduit. Recently I was working on a job where the owner told me she had run 40ml conduit all the way from front to back. This sounded great, but when I arrived I discovered it was actually electrical conduit… not so good after all…

You see I needed to run a 25ml mainline retic pipe as well as a length of 5 core wire through that conduit.

So let’s assume the retic pipe is 25ml internally plus the width of the pvc which makes it approx 28ml on the outside. Then add 7-8ml of wire. The electrical conduit is 40ml externally, but only 36 or 37ml internally. This sounds like it will just fit BUT… over a span of 20 metres there needs to be joins in the pvc and the flared end of the pipe is approx 35ml in diameter, so it wouldn’t work.

We finished up having to run 20ml PVC and fortunately it was only a small area that required reticulating so it didn’t present a problem.

However the lesson is – if you are going to use conduit then make sure it can fit the flared end of the 25ml plus wire, otherwise you will be disappointed!

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email



Don’t Forget The Conduit

Posted on 4th March 2011 in Installations

If you’re building a new home then one of the ‘must dos’ is to put a length of 90ml stormwater pipe under your driveway and any paved areas.
If you forget this then it’s likely we will need to lift your paving and then relay it – an unnecessary expense if you plan ahead.
And make sure you use at least a 40ml pipe as we will need to get both a 25 ml pipe and wire through it.

As well as digging the pipe in be sure to mark where it is with a couple of stakes. It’s amazing how hard they are to find a few weeks later!

It’s always helpful to have conduit into planter boxes or under smaller paths, but usually we can get under paths with a hose and dig under planter boxes.


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