One Station of Reticulation Is Stuck on

Posted on 10th February 2016 in solenoids

A common problem at this time of year is for one station to remain on while the system goes thru its cycle.

Or you may have a constant weep around sprinklers

Depending on what type of solenoid you have it is most likely going to be a faulty diaphragm. Usually it is best just to replace the entire solenoid and be sure that all will work well for a few years to come.

If you wish to try and replace the diaphragm then remove the top half of the solenoid (you may be able to screw it off if it is a ‘jar top’ or you may need a screwdriver to remove screws) locate the diaphragm – it is a piece of rubber and then take it to your local retic store and ask for a replacement.

You will pay around $15.00 for a new diaphragm. Then simply refit it as you removed it (but don’t forget the spring)

When it comes to replacing solenoids I have a range of charges:

a) If it is exposed and dug out with no complicated pipework to add to the time of the repair then the cost would be close to $120.00 inc GST for a new solenoid.

b) If the solenoid is easy to locate but requires digging up then $160.00

c) If you have no idea where the solenoids are then its $120.00 plus the cost of the time it takes to locate the solenoid in question. Generally speaking using either common sense or an electronic tracking device a solenoid can be located in around 30 minutes.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

My Reticulation Won’t Come on

Posted on 10th February 2016 in Controllers, General

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Sometimes your reticulation isn’t working on one station because there is no power getting to the solenoid to open it. I was in Two Rocks today with this exact problem and it turned out a dog had chewed the wires and broken them.

What to do in these situations?…

Firstly – check that there is power ‘leaving the control box’. Put the multimeter probe on the station terminal and on the common and the reading should be 24V+. If not then the problem lies there. (This does happen) Simply change the wire to an unused terminal and you should have power.  Voila!

If there is power there then the break is somewhere between the control box and the solenoid. Depending on how easily accessible the wire is will determine what you do next.

If its possible to use a wire tracker then you may wish to go this route, but assuming most people don’t own one of these then the next best option is to look in obvious places for a break.

These are usually:

  • at the base of control box
  • by the solenoid itself
  • anywhere the ground has been disturbed.

If it doesn’t turn up easily then you need to decided whether it is worth tracing from the box and testing at regular intervals.

If it a sole solenoid then you don’t have much choice, but if it is sitting next to another solenoid then you have two options.

a) wire the two stations together and run them as one – if there is enough pressure.

b) use an ‘add a station‘ device to act as the wire that was broken.

Option A is cheaper if you can get it to work as the ‘add a station’ modules come to nearly $100.00 for the part itself. However if this is your only option then its good to know you can use it.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

The Fuse Message on Irritrol Kiwdial Irrigation Controller

Posted on 10th February 2016 in Controllers

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This is one of the most common reticulation issues especially in suburbs like Butler, Carramar, Banksia Grove and Clarkson where these controllers were installed as part of the landscaping package.

The first thing you should know is that there is no fuse! And the little battery symbol with a line thru it doesn’t mean there is a problem with the battery. There is no battery.

The message means one of two things:

a) There is a fault with a solenoid

b) The controller is faulty.

We can run some tests to prove which one it is, but don’t waste your time looking for a fuse or a battery!

As a general guide if the display is flickering and intermittent the box itself will be dead, but if everything looks good then it may well be the solenoid coil.

How To Fix Broken PVC Pipe

Posted on 10th February 2016 in Repairs

Ok so you’ve stuck a spade through a PVC pipe or maybe just pierced it. How do you repair it without digging it all up so you have enough flex to insert a coupling?

There are two options.

The first is the best option for a significant break and that is to use a slipfix/ telescopic fitting. Simply cut the pipe at either end, attach a PVC coupling to one side and then glue the narrow end of the slipfix into the coupling. Allow a couple of minutes for it to dry and then slide it over the other end of the pipe.

Give it some time to dry and you’re done. Simple.

A different method that I have used on several occasions is to use a ‘snap on’ tee to fix a small hole. If it is a puncture or a blow out and the hole is 5ml in diameter or thereabouts then you can simply smother the snap on fitting in glue, cover the pipe with glue and press it over the break.

I have worried that these may come away under pressure, but so far no problems. This is a cheaper solution than the slip fix obviously.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

Save Water Perth!

Posted on 21st December 2015 in General

This is the latest Water Authority campaign and it lets us know we have had an unusually hot and dry start to spring and summer so our dams are sitting very low.

If you can drop 2 minutes off your watering time you will help out!

Just call if you need help

 

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Almost half of household water is being used on our gardens. And it’s only getting hotter – so we need to act now.

Please join others and reduce sprinkler run times by just 2 minutes per station. So we can all avoid wasting more precious water. 

Water saving tips for the garden

Icon of clock faceWater either before 9am or after 6pm
Watering early is best as it allows the water to soak to the roots and be available to plants throughout the day when they need it most. And remember, only water once on your rostered watering days.

Icon of soil with wetting agent in itImprove your soil
Good soil is the foundation of a waterwise garden, but sandy soil is common in WA and has a low water and nutrient holding capacity. Use soil improvement products and wetting agents to reduce water loss.

Icon of mulch in a wheelbarrowUse mulch in your garden
Apply 5–10cm of a chunky, waterwise mulch to significantly reduce evaporation loss and save water. It’s like sunscreen for the soil and can also reduce weed growth and improve the look of your garden.

Icon of plants in a gardenChoose waterwise plants
These are suitable for our climate and can live with less water. Group plants with similar watering needs so you can water efficiently, or get creative and transform the lawn on your verge into a waterwise garden.


Here’s an Idea…

Posted on 7th November 2015 in Ideas, Never Seen That One Before

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Remember those old holiday shacks with grass driveways that always showed the furrows where the car had been driven into the asbestos shed at the back of the property?

Well maybe grass driveways are on the return.

This story in the news today is about a local Perth bloke who installed a special grass driveway using ‘Grass-Cel technology and now the council don’t believe it conforms to their specs…

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‘Grass-Cel’ turf pavers are made of porous recycled plastic overlaid with soil and seeded with grass. They take the brunt of a car while allowing grass to grow undamaged.

I guess its not everyone’s cup of tea, but it does allow for a much greener street. The down side is obviously more water usage. It looks easy to install and would certainly be a viable alternative to concrete. Its around $35.00/m just to supply and then there would be installation and the lawn & soil on top. Not cheap, but definitely an alternative to concrete or paving.

Its not a new idea with the company having been around for 30 years or so, but its an idea if you love grass and hate concrete or paving…

Here’s a video of it all getting laid:

 

Shared Bores and Strange Problems in Yanchep

Posted on 27th September 2015 in bore, What's Going on There?

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This week I had an early morning phone call from a regular client who lives at the top of our street.

 

‘Andrew – my retic is on and it won’t go off. I’ve turned the controller off but it keeps running…’

 

If this were a system running off the mains then we would naturally presume a faulty master and station solenoid but this was a bore. I told him to turn the bore off at the mains and that stopped the flow.

 

Assuming it was the electrical contactor failing I told him to get the electrician out to check it out and replace it.

 

So the electrician attended and couldn’t see a problem, apart from the faulty station solenoid.

 

So the client rang again and we discussed it some more.

 

It didn’t make sense. It had to be an intermittent problem. Then 3 days later he called again to say it had happened again.

 

Odd… I told him to get the sparky back because pumps don’t just come on of their own accord

 

The electrician went back and could find no fault with the contactor. Really?…

 

I was at home having a coffee so I headed up the street to see if we could resolve this somehow.

 

Sure enough it all worked perfectly, except for the faulty solenoid. I was hesitant to fix the solenoid until we had resolved the intermittent pump issue otherwise we would risk the pump coming on with nowhere for the water to go and possibly burn it out.

 

It was a puzzle… and it was also a shared bore…

 

So I guessed that perhaps the other person’s contactor had failed. Now we were getting warm. The contactor was fine, but then it dawned on me to check the settings on their controller.

 

Sure enough the times my client had noticed his retic running when it shouldn’t have corresponded to the times that the neighbour’s retic was running.

 

Problem solved and now we just need to replace a solenoid.

Shared bores can present some unusual issues so give us a call if you get stuck and need to troubleshoot

Easy Retrieve Memory on Hunter X Core

Posted on 21st September 2015 in Controllers

Xcore controller

Another good reason to choose the Hunter X Core Controller is the ‘easy retrieve’ memory function, which means I can come and set your controller, you can fiddle with it, make adjustments and then discover all has got weird, before implementing the memory retrieve procedure below and taking it back to where you want it.

To save a program into memory:

  1. With the dial in the RUN position, press and hold the    and     buttons for 5 seconds. You will see three segments    on the left of display.
  2. Release the    and    buttons.
  3. The display will scroll three segments    from left to right across the display indicating the program is being saved into memory.
  4. The display will show “doNE”, and then revert to time of day display.
  5. The Program is saved in memory.

To retrieve a program from memory

  1. With the dial in the RUN position, press and hold the    and    buttons for 5 seconds. You will see three segments    on the right of display.
  2. Release the    and    buttons.
  3. The display will scroll three segments    from right to left across the display indicating the program is being retrieved from memory.
  4. The display will show “doNE”, and then revert to time of day display.
  5. The Saved Program is retrieved from memory.

Irrigation and Turf Installation in Carramar

Posted on 4th June 2015 in What's Going on There?

This was last week

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The client had started the work, dug out some of the old reticulation and was hoping to dig out the old turf and replace with Sir Walter buffalo. Then he decided to call us and this is the result

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Bobcat on Tuesday

Reticulation on Wednesday

Turf laid today

Its an instant transformation and a much better look.

Its Sir Walter Buffalo with MP rotators for sprinklers

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MP Rotators – I’m a big Fan

Posted on 27th January 2015 in nozzles

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I first came across these 7 years ago just as I was starting up Brighton retic and over that time I’d rate them as brilliant nozzles. As well as operating efficiently on properties with low flow rates, they have proven to be highly durable.

I have often installed these on properties and returned several years later to find they are still working perfectly. Generally if an MP stops working it is simply a case of removing the nozzle and filter, cleaning the filter and then reassembling. The filter catches most of the junk and stops it affecting the nozzle.

They aren’t cheap but they do offer excellent results and longevity.