I have one customer whose home I have been to twice now to try and resolve a ‘fuse’ issue with his Irritrol controller.
When a kwikdial shows a ‘fuse’ message it generally means either box is playing up or one of the coils is playing up. When it does it intermittently then its hard to know which is the source of the problem – coil or controller.
Today I went back again and we decided to try option A which was to replace all coils on the master and 2 station valves. This was the cheapest option and it looks like it may have worked.
If this doesn’t work then the next option will be to replace the control box.
Let’s home he has a win here.
I drove past a school on the weekend that was painted blue, but had large red arcs around the paintwork – the result of sprinklers running off a bore.
If you have a bore and you are worried about staining then the answer is to try and design a garden and lawn that can minimise the results of bore water on them.
Some simple suggestions:
- Use either miniscape dripline or adjustable staked drippers in garden beds rather than sprays. Both of these methods target the plants and drop water in the areas needed rather than risking overspray.
- Have gardens close to the house and lawn further away, thus minimising the risk of water on walls.
- Use MP Rotator nozzles rather than regular Toro. They will spray bigger droplets and get blown around less.
A little planning can allow you to have all the benefits of a bore without any of the nasties.
Of course there are some suburbs where bore staining is worse than others. If you live in Greenwood then you are in for a heap of colour on your walls, whereas where we are in Yanchep there is minimal staining. If you aren’t sure what to expect then just look around you at other houses with bores and see what they look like.
Occasionally retic does weird stuff.
The good news is that being a ‘closed system’ there are only so many variables that can go wrong. If you have an analytical mind then you can solve most problems by a process of deduction.
Yesterday I went to see a client whose retic had come on and wouldn’t go off. They had been on holidays when this happened so they came home to huge water bill.
The logical answer is that both the master valve and the station valve had failed and stuck open simultaneously allowing water thru. But what are the chances of that? I’d be guessing one in a million so I started by testing the control box to see if there were any issues there.
By turning the valves on and off manually I was able to detect that all 3 of the clients solenoids were faulty. The fault was intermitent, but it was there. The end result was 3 new solenoids and no more problems.
This is an interesting question.
We have always pitched ourselves at the mid-price range so that we can use quality parts, do an excellent job and give a proper warranty. You can always get cheaper – and sometimes you will get the same for cheaper – but generally speaking the old rule applies that ‘you get what you pay for’.
Installations are always on a case by case inspection, but the following ‘set up costs’ can be expected:
- Retic cut in by licensed plumber $180.00 + GST
- Hardwiring of controller $160.00 + GST
- Electronic Controller $200.00-$400.00 + GST (depending on what is chosen)
To give you an idea of what to expect a VERY rough ball park figure for a 4 x 2 home on a 600m block with 5 or 6 stations is usually around $2600.00 + GST
A front install on this kind of home would be around $1500.00 + GST (because of all the set up costs) and a rear install usually around $1100.00 + GST
We always compete on price so feel free to let us know your best quote and we will try to beat it.
This can be very easy or long and complicated.
If you don’t know where your solenoids are then you will either need to dig around in the more obvious places (garden beds, start of lawn etc) or you will need to use a solenoid detector.
Sometimes this is the only way to find that missing item. When a house has been remodelled and the yard redone it can become even harder and the solenoid detector is not foolproof.
Today I found myself hunting for a hidden solenoid and without the detector it would have been a complete waste of time. However with it I was able to trace the wires, dig a hole 600 ml deep and find the offending valve.
If you need to locate a solenoid then I don’t promise we will get it, but in 4 years only one has beaten me, so its a fair chance we will be able to locate it!
Reticulation wiring that leaves the control box is not dangerous.
As a general rule if you feel anything when you touch the wires it will be a light buzzing in your finger tips. That’s because its low voltage – around 24v and it isn’t enough to hurt you.
The Control box has an inbuilt transformer that reduces the current from 240v so that any wires beyond the controller are safe.
NOTE: DO NOT TOUCH THE 240V WIRES INSIDE THE CONTROL BOX!
That’s also why wires usually aren’t laid in conduit. Most installers will tape the wire to the underside of the main reticulation pipe to protect it, but apart from that it sits free in the ground.
If you happen to chop thru some wires then you can simply rejoin them with insulation tape and all should work again. For some people wiring just isn’t their thing at all and its easier to call someone. If that’s the case then we’d be happy to hear from you.
If you use microsprays in your garden beds then they will get blocked.
Its inevitable as they have very small openings and it only takes a little grit or dirt to clog them up.
The fix is easy. Just unscrew the nozzle, get a needleor piece of wire and use the needle to clean the jet out. If you push it through the hole then you will remove the blockage and can then keep using the nozzle.
Alternatively you can just buy a new nozzle for around $1.00!
That’s a tricky question as it depends on the condition of your system.
At the start of spring we do a ‘special’ of $75.00 inc GST that includes 30 mins of labour, 3 pop-up nozzles and 3 microsprays. Extra labour beyond 30 mins and extra parts would incur an extra charge.
If its in reasonable condition,but has a few blocked nozzles and one or two dodgy sprinklers then you can expect a fee of around $120.00-$200.00 inc GST.
Usually we can give you some idea of cost before we start so you don’t need to worry about an unexpected bill.
If you’re lucky enough to live in Quinns Rocks then you’d know how good life is in this northern part of the world. As a local business Quinns is one of the primary areas we seek to service.
We can always be there promptly and often on the same day you call. Whether you live in ‘Old Quinns’ and your yard is a virtual jungle, or Quinns Beachside Estate in a new property we can get your reticulation sorted and running optimally.
Or if your yard needs a complete makeover give us a call and we can arrange everything from bobcat to soil to retic and eventually new turf.
Don’t spend your weekends doing something you don’t enjoy and don’t have time for when you can call a local business and have it done for you