Lawn and Irrigation in Eglinton

Posted on 7th May 2015 in Installations, Installing, Sir Walter Turf

So I quoted this job on Tuesday and as the client wanted to get it done asap I did it today instead of going surfing…

The bobcat got there yesterday and dug out the sand and spread the soil.

soil

The retic was installed – two stations using precision nozzles as the water pressure was pretty average and one station wasn’t going to cut it. I didn’t even bother getting the trencher off the trailer for this one as the sand was soft and digging was easy.

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From there it was a case of screeding and laying the lawn. This is Sir Walter Buffalo and it always comes up looking great.

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All done by 1.30 and enough time left to hit the beach before dark

Reticulation off the Tap in Alkimos

Posted on 5th May 2015 in Controllers, General

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So you haven’t got any way of getting water to your back yard other than using a tap?

Here’s a set up that can enable you to get two stations of retic functioning well. Start by removing the garden tap and then screw a 15ml brass T piece into the outlet. Then use a 15-20ml nipple in the tee to connect the ball valve, which will allow you to isolate this retic if you ever need to.

From the ball valve you will need a 20-20ml nipple to allow connection of the digital controller. This one is a Rainmaster and is simple to use and easy to program, but they all do pretty much the same job.

From the controller you can either run one line of retic or (as in the picture) you can add an alternating valve to create two separate stations. Be aware that these valves only allow water flow of 20l/min and do require a minimum pressure to function. If this minimum pressure isn’t there they may not switch between stations.

When setting it up test it at each stage for leaks and be sure to use threadseal tape to minimise the possibility of this. And then when programming the controller be sure to schedule two start times if you have an alternating valve.

 

How To Repair Broken Stormwater Pipes

Posted on 5th June 2014 in General, Repairs

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One of the occupational hazards of doing retic and using a mechanical trencher is that we sometimes hit other pipes under the ground. Some are easier to fix than others and some require a plumber. Where we can we will fix the pipes on the spot, but it isn’t always possible.

Yesterday I accidentally cut thru a stormwater pipe thinking it was the conduit supplied for retic under a driveway. I was half way thru the cut (trimming what I thought was excess) when I realised what I had done… Oops… The pipe I wanted was further down the drive, but now I was left with the job of repairing my mistake.

Sometimes when stormwater pipe is chipped or cracked we can fix it by using another piece of stormwater, cutting it lengthways and using it a a sleeve. You slip it over, glue it and usually that’s all good.

In this case I needed to actually rejoin the two pipes – tricky when neither of them are flexible. It was a clean cut but it was all the way thru so a sleeve wasn’t going to work.

The solution?

Get a 90ml coupling, lift the most ‘movable’ piece of pipe above the other and slip the coupling over  it. Slide it right along, then realign the pipes and pull the coupling back over the other piece of pipe. When you are sure you have it lined up slide it up again and use some glue. You need to be sure not to get sand in between the pipes or they won’t slide.

If you have a whole section of pipe that needs replacing, or if it is impossible to lift the pipe up then simply use two couplings and do the same thing but insert a new piece of pipe where the damaged section was.

 

 

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…

node

 

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…