Tricky Access Reticulation

Posted on 8th April 2014 in Controllers, Installations

Sometimes it can be difficult to install a system when there is no way of running wire from the control box to the solenoids. Maybe the liquid limestone went in too quickly and people hadn’t considered the future problems. 

It may not be all over…

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There are a couple of battery powered solenoids models available that require w ater supply, but do not need a control box positioned on the wall. We prefer to use the Hunter Node for reliability and ease of use. It functions in much the same way as the X Core controller and had the option of installing multiple solenoids, so even if you can’t access your water meter or get power to your solenoids the ‘Node’ may still allow you have a functioning retic system

How to Progam a Hunter X Core

Posted on 2nd April 2014 in Controllers

This is the most common controller we use so for those who would like some easy to follow instructions here they are courtesy of Hunter

Part 2 – some more advanced programming:

When Retic Won’t Switch Off

Posted on 20th November 2013 in solenoids, What's Going on There?

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There can be a few causes of this, but its rare that it happens.

Typically when a system doesn’t have a master valve any time a solenoid fails the retic will leak, but its very unusual when there is a master valve.

I was at a property this week where the retic ‘wouldn’t shut off’.

When I got there the ball valve that isolates the retic had been closed because it wouldn’t stop running on station 1. I opened the ball valve and nothing happened… So obviously it had shut off…

I checked the controller and it was an X Core with some a dodgy dial that wouldn’t do what it was supposed to. So I replaced it, thinking that this was the source of the problem. It needed replacing anyway and when I tested it, all worked well.

Then I got a call that night telling me the retic was stuck on again…

Odd.

So I dropped in and checked the new controller and it was working fine – BUT – the retic was definitely stuck on station 1.

I had to do another job so I turned it off at the ball valve and went away for a few hours. When I returned and turned it on the water flow had stopped.

The only thing that could cause this was a faulty solenoid both on 1 and the master – perhaps solenoids that were slow closing or remaining partially open. I located solenoid 1, a Rainbird, and noticed that the bleed screw was just a little loose, so I tightened it and that fixed that. I went to the master and the bleed screw was loose on there as well.

Weird…

I have no idea how these screw get loose, but its worth knowing that this happened without any interference. No one messed with them.

If your retic won’t shut off and you have a master valve then check your bleed screws.

Hopefully tonight all will be well

The Busy Season For Reticulation

Posted on 10th November 2013 in General

Usually late September to early october is the busy season for those of us in reticulation.

The watering bans are lifted, the warmer weather hits and people venture outside to discover their sprinklers don’t work, or their control box display has gone blank.

We have had an unusually long winter this year so the ‘switch on’ hasn’t happened for most until just this last fortnight – which has meant that we have all been flat out with a deluge of calls.

If you have landed on this page because you are in that boat then please give us a call, but be aware we won’t be able to get there tomorrow!

 

Control Reticulation With an Iphone or Android Phone

Posted on 12th October 2013 in Controllers

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A few years back I found myself wondering why no one had devised an app for controlling irrigation and started investigating how to develop something like that myself.

But as time went on I discovered others were already in the race and were likely going to be ahead of me. I decided to leave it and wait to see what developed.

Well here’s one solution that has arrived on the market recently. Its called Hydrawise and offers remote control and programming of your system via a computer or smartphone.

Compared to regular controllers they are not cheap, but they do offer that extra functionality of remote programming. The website suggests the entry level home controller is $395.00 and then there are some options you can add to provide more information about your watering.

At this stage it is about double the cost of a regular X Core, so you’d really have to like those extra features to make it viable. While I like the idea I am yet to be convinced it is value for money.

Here is a video of someone who is pretty happy with the product.

My hope would be that someone would develop an ‘add on’ module for a controller that could be operated via smartphone that would cost approx $50.00 + set up. If this were the case then I think the take up would be high, but right now I think we are still in the innovation stage and costs are quite high.

How Much Do I Pay for Water in Perth?

Posted on 16th September 2013 in bore, General

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The cost of Perth water increased another 10% in 2013 so it is more important than ever that you are careful with the use of your reticulation. It is estimated that up to 50% of household water usage is attributed to the sprinkler system so it pays not to waste any of that water.

One option I encourage people to consider is the installation of a bore. While the upfront cost of around $4K is significant if you plan on being in the property long term then this is an option well worth considering.

The price of water* is tiered i.e. the more you use, the more you pay.  This is to help encourage the careful use of water.

  • 0 – 150 kL costs $1.381 per kL
  • 151 – 500 kL costs $1.841 per kL
  • Over 500 kL costs $2.607 per kL

*Ref: http://www.watercorporation.com.au/my-account/rates-and-charges

 

 

How to Cut Turf to Size

Posted on 14th August 2013 in Installations, Just For Fun, Products, Turf

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If you’re laying turf then inevitably you will need to trim it at some point.

There are many ways to do this, but we have found the steak knife to be the most effective way. But not any old steak knife. Most knives will cut wintergreen and the softer turfs, but if you want to cut thru Sir Walter then you will need something more solid.

We have found homemaker knives from K Mart to be the best as they are a strong one piece stainless steel knife. But good luck finding any as they seem to be a discontinued line. I bought the last 26 boxes in Perth!

By my reckoning there should be another 7 years of turf laying left there…

Spring Reticulation Servicing in the Northern Suburbs

Posted on 3rd August 2013 in Repairs, sprinklers

From $85.00 inc GST

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We are less than 30 days away from Spring and the time when you can turn your reticulation back on.

At Brighton Retic and Turf we offer a ‘spring special’ each year – a basic service for folks who know things are in reasonable order but just want someone to do a quick check up.

We will check all stations and replace up to 3 regular Toro pop-up nozzles and 3 microsprays or drippers (5 & 5 on 7-9 station properties). Sprinklers using MP rotators that need replacing will be an extra charge.

We will set your controller and ensure the battery is replaced. This service includes up to 30 mins of labour. For properties with 6 stations or less the charge is $85.00 and for those with 7-9 stations the $105.00 charge applies.

Just call us on 0400044236 to make an appointment or email us here

* This price will go up to $95.00/$115.00 as of Oct 1st

 

Rain Sensor Wet or Dry?…

Posted on 26th May 2013 in Controllers, What's Going on There?, wiring

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If you have a Holman 4/6/9 controller and the display looks ok, but it doesn’t seem to be working then the first thing to check out is whether the rain sensor display says ‘rain sensor wet’ or ‘rain sensor dry’.

If it displays a ‘wet’ message then it means that there is no 24v power going to the controller and therefore no power to operate solenoids.

There are a few things that could cause this:

1) check your RCDs in your meter box as if one of these has tripped then you won’t have power to the box.

2) check your fuse. Most likely a fault will have blown the fuse.

3) It may be that the transformer that converts 240V to 24V has died. Not much you can do here but replace the unit.

But before you call someone out do the ‘wet/dry’ check first!

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!