Here’s an Idea…

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


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…


‘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?


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.

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.


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.


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




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


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

photo (2)

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…



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?


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…


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.


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!