Add a Station Incompatible with Controller?

Posted on 19th September 2015 in What's Going on There?


I’ve been using ‘Add a stations’ for a while now as they are great for turning one power wire into two and solving the problem of having to run a new cable.

This week I arrived at a job in Ocean Reef where a 5 year old device appeared to have failed. One station would run via the ‘Add a Station’, but not the other. A couple of solenoids were also old and dodgy and in need of replacement.

So I did the job, installed the new Add a Station, ran several tests and all seemed to be ok.

Then I got a call back a few days later that the problem has come back.

I arrived and checked the Add a Station to see if it was working. There was power to the blue wire, but not the brown wire. I changed it for another new Add a Station and the result was the same.

I tested the controller which was working fine and operating the solenoids perfectly. I tested the wiring by running new cable from the controller to the solenoids and again it didn’t work.

So it was a complete mystery as to why things were failing

It seemed like a bad batch of Add a Stations perhaps?…


Then I got home and tested the Add a Stations on a brand new Hunter X Core and both worked perfectly. So the only conclusion is that the controller is failing to operate as intended. It was an Irritrol Raindial and functioning fine in every other way.

I haven’t tested the system with a new controller yet as the client is obviously reluctant to spend more money, but it seems this may be the only solution…


Irrigation and Turf Installation in Carramar

Posted on 4th June 2015 in What's Going on There?

This was last week


The client had started the work, dug out some of the old reticulation and was hoping to dig out the old turf and replace with Sir Walter buffalo. Then he decided to call us and this is the result


Bobcat on Tuesday

Reticulation on Wednesday

Turf laid today

Its an instant transformation and a much better look.

Its Sir Walter Buffalo with MP rotators for sprinklers


Two Rocks Reticulation

Posted on 12th September 2014 in Installations, Installing




When it comes to retic in Two Rocks, especially on an established property, you need to be ready for some serious digging and some hard yakka. As the suburb name suggests there is a lot of rock up there and sometimes you just have to go around what you can’t go through.

I did this job last week, installing a whole retic system – 200m of PVC –  to an established property. There were lots of roots and rocks to contend with but also some nice long sandy patches. Thankfully the faithful trencher didn’t let me down and I managed to get it all done in the day.

Without the trencher there would be 2-3 days of work in this one. I used a combination of MP rotators and precision nozzles to get it all done on 3 stations.

Spring Reticulation Servicing in the Northern Suburbs

Posted on 3rd August 2013 in Repairs, sprinklers

From $85.00 inc GST


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


Intermittent Problems with Irritrol Kwikdial Controller

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.

How to Avoid Bore Stains

Posted on 26th September 2012 in bore, Installations

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.

My Retic Doesn’t make Sense

Posted on 21st October 2011 in solenoids

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.



How Much For Reticulation?

Posted on 14th September 2011 in Installations, Installing

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.

Locating Solenoids

Posted on 31st August 2011 in Repairs

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!


Low Voltage Reticulation Wiring

Posted on 27th May 2011 in Repairs, What's Going on There?, wiring


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.


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.