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

MP Rotators – I’m a big Fan

Posted on 27th January 2015 in nozzles


I first came across these 7 years ago just as I was starting up Brighton retic and over that time I’d rate them as brilliant nozzles. As well as operating efficiently on properties with low flow rates, they have proven to be highly durable.

I have often installed these on properties and returned several years later to find they are still working perfectly. Generally if an MP stops working it is simply a case of removing the nozzle and filter, cleaning the filter and then reassembling. The filter catches most of the junk and stops it affecting the nozzle.

They aren’t cheap but they do offer excellent results and longevity.

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.



How Much Do I Pay for Water in Perth?

Posted on 16th September 2013 in bore, General


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




Switch Off Day For Retic

Posted on 31st May 2013 in General, Local Knowledge


If you live in Western Australia then June 1st is the day when all sprinklers get switched off for the next 3 months. Simply turn the dial on your controller to ‘off’ and come back in September to turn it on again. Between now and then there should be enough rain to see you through and keep your lawn and garden healthy.

This restriction doesn’t apply to new lawns which can still receive a watering exemption while they are being established.

If you aren’t sure what to do just give me a call and I’ll help you out – no cost


How To Reset a Hunter X Core Controller

Posted on 14th September 2012 in Controllers, General, Installations, What's Going on There?


If you have an X Core controller that seems to be playing up then the most likely cause is that it needs resetting.

This can be done easily.

1. Press and hold the ‘PROG’  button.


2.  While holding the  ‘PROG’  button press the RESET button for 3 seconds, then release the RESET button while continuing to hold the ‘PROG’  button.


3.  Continue holding ‘PROG’ button until time is displayed (this takes about 8 seconds)

Spring Reticulation Service in Perth

Posted on 17th August 2012 in Repairs

On September 1 we can all switch our retic back on.

Inevitably that is the time when you discover that it isn’t working quite the way you hope it should. If that is the case and your retic needs servicing then give us a call on 0400044236 and we can book you in.

The spring and early summer months are always flat out so beat the rush and get in asap!


How to Install Sprinklers by The Kerb

Posted on 13th May 2012 in Installations, Installing, Products, sprinklers


The first time I did some DIY retic I tried to install my kerbside sprinklers by digging along the line of the kerb.

Big mistake!

After 10 minutes I had all but given up. You see the soil along the kerb is actually roadbase. It is hard and rocky and not easy digging. If you want to install sprinklers along the kerb then dig a trench one metre away from the kerb and parallel to it and then ‘t’ off to the point where you need sprinklers. You will still need to do some hard digging but it will save you a lot of effort and you will do the job right.

The other tip with kerbside sprinklers is to make sure they are well below kerb height – because they will get driven over. If you’re lucky they won’t get damaged, but if they are even sticking up a little bit then expect to replace them regularly.

I get calls from one client a few times each summer to replace the same sprinkler. Personally I reckon it would be easier just to sink the sprinkler a bit lower…

Can I install Turf Without Retic?

Posted on 8th May 2012 in General, Installations, Sir Walter Turf

The short answer is ‘yes of course’.

The longer answer is ‘why would you?…’

Obviously budget is a consideration, but if you are going to spend a lot of money on earthworks and turf then it only makes sense that in a climate like ours you make watering your turf as easy as possible.

If you lay turf in Perth then you can ring 131039 to get a watering exemption and that will allow you water 3 times a day for around 30 days. In summer this is essential. Obviously its less of a consideration in the cooler months, but I often tell people that the only thing that will kill a new lawn is insufficient water. (Not strictly true – but let’s assume it is pest free)

I have laid a couple of lawns without retic only to be called back in a month or so and asked to install sprinklers. If the lawn hasn’t taken it is actually a much harder (and more expensive) job because it involves lifting the new rolls of turf, digging where they were and then trying to get the ground level again. Its much easier just to pull a trencher thru a fully established lawn, so if you have to go this route then wait around 3 months to be safe.

So if you are considering laying a new lawn then please please please… make sure you have reticulation!

There is no ‘warranty’ with new lawn as it is a living organism and will only respond to whatever nourishment it receives from the owner. We do guarantee to lay it correctly and provide it in excellent weed free condition, but after that it’s up to you to make sure it is kept healthy.

So if you’re considering just wacking down some lawn to make things look better then think again unless you have functional sprinklers…