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!
This week I went to do a job that involved connecting the rear retic (running off a tap) to the main system at the front. In doing the quote I noticed a thin 70ml channel down the side of the house where liquid limestone ended and the fence began.
I figured that with a thin trenching shovel we could get enough dirt out to lay pipe and wire…
That all made sense but I forgot to take into account the fence post right smack bang in the middle of that 70ml channel. I was about to go and see the client and apologise for an embarrassing mistake on my part, when I had another thought…
I learnt a while back that you can dig under anything if you are prepared to dig for long enough so I thought this looked like a chance to test that theory. Surely 600-700ml down the concrete for the fence post would end and I would be able to get under it?…
Sure enough after some careful digging with a shovel that only just fitted I was able to poke a piece of PVC thru and make a connection. Saved my butt and saved my client having to run her retic off the tap any longer.
Any time lay lawn we will set your retic control box for you, but after that its up to you to make sure it is actually working.
Different controllers respond differently to power outages and occasionally controllers can ‘die’, leaving you with no water. A recent turf installation we did in Brighton came close to tragedy.
The house was uninhabited and the person responsible for it lived in the country. After laying the turf we set the control box and left, only to discover two weeks later that the control box had faulted and the lawn hadn’t been watered as needed. It was close to dead and was going to need some intense watering to bring it back to life.
At last inspection it seemed that the lawn had a chance of making it, which is very fortunate. A dead lawn doesn’t just cost money to replace. It costs to remove and tip, so in the end the exercise costs even more than double.
So please please please – check that your lawn is getting watered as it should be. And if its not then call us straight away so we can help you sort it out!
I was working on a friend’s place recently with a strange fault that was proving difficult to track down.
The solenoid would come on and off intermitently. It would work 10 times in a row and then fail. There was power (27V) coming from the control box but at the solenoid the power varied between 22-26v according to my multimeter.
The power wire to the solenoid had been joined several times before it reached the solenoid and after eliminating any other possibilities (faulty coil/controller) I could only conclude that there was a problem with the wire run.
I ran a fresh wire to the solenoid and tested it around 20 times with no failure. It seemed that the wire was flawed somewhere between the controller and the solenoid. There were numerous connections and it wasn’t easy to find where the problem was so I simply ended up running a new wire.
So far so good…
If you have set your retic to come on automatically but find that it doesn’t switch off then chances are you have set it incorrectly.
The most common cause of this issue is setting an identical start time for each station.
When you set your retic you generally only need one start time to get it rolling. Let’s assume that is 6.00am. Set start no 1 to 6.00 am and do not set any more start times!
What I have seen people do is set several start times (all 6.00am) and this seems to confuse the old retic box… If you have 3 stations or 10 stations you only need one start time, so if you are having this problem first check and see if you have set a number of start times all for the same time.
Its always nice when you get a chance to see how a garden you have worked in has developed and grown. I did some work for D & D from Quinns Rocks around 18 months ago and then went back this week to help them with the front yard.
This is how the back looks 18 months later.
The turf is Empire Zoyzia and there is an assortment of some beautiful plants in there too.
Like all turfs the Zoyzia goes dormant over winter, but it is just starting to come back nicely now.
Check this out!
Today we did a job on an old bore in Yokine. It involved removing the elbow from the top of the bore and as I inspected it this is what I saw.
The mineral deposits from the water have formed a crusty inner skin that looks a bit like coconut inside the pipe. Obviously this has happened over a number of years, but its good to see what can form from bore water.
It is about 5ml thick all round
Some jobs are more fun than others!
The location of this one made it a very enjoyable one, as well as some very generous people who brought us chocolate, drinks and ice cream throughout the day.
It turned out to be a much longer, trickier job than we first imagined, but the result was a good one. Some fresh Sir Walter Buffalo laid and the sprinklers working well.
If you live in the far northern suburbs – think Quinns Rocks, Merriwa, Butler, Clarkson and Mindarie then be sure to give us a call to service your retic.
We are in these suburbs every day and can usually fit you in the same week you call.
Its about to get hot again and its important to have your retic in good working order for another hot summer. We do a spring system check for $85.00 that includes up to 30 minutes labour, 3 Toro nozzles replaced, 3 micosprays and a new battery in your control box if required. We will check everything, set your control box and make sure you are good to go for the coming summer.
If you need other work done then we can do it while we are there or we can make a time to come back and get it sorted. All work is guaranteed.
Call now to make an appointment!