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!
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!
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!
Normally when your bore starts up you hear a ‘clunk’ sound as the bore starter kicks in. If you can’t hear this then chances are your relay to the starter is faulty or the problem is in your control box.
If the control box looks ok then you will need to call an electrician to have a look at the relay switch.
If you are moving house then at your pre-settlement inspection everything should be in working order.
The sprinklers should all be spraying properly and retracting and there shouldnt be any leaks or blocked nozzles.
If you arent happy with the condition of the retic then get your agent to call us and we can arrange to get it all sorted at the current owners expense. If yiu dont sort it now then it will become your problem very soon and it shouldnt be.
So which type of pipe should you use for your retic?
When we install we use PVC in lawn areas and poly in garden beds. You can use PVC in garden beds too, but I like go have more flexible pipe in the garden both in form and in function
With poly you can use shrub sprays, microsprays or drippers, but when you use PVC you are limited to shrub sprays
In the lawn where you are less likely to make any modifications it is wise to use PVC. It is durable and harder to chop thru with a spade.