One Station of Reticulation Is Stuck on

Posted on 10th February 2016 in solenoids

A common problem at this time of year is for one station to remain on while the system goes thru its cycle.

Or you may have a constant weep around sprinklers

Depending on what type of solenoid you have it is most likely going to be a faulty diaphragm. Usually it is best just to replace the entire solenoid and be sure that all will work well for a few years to come.

If you wish to try and replace the diaphragm then remove the top half of the solenoid (you may be able to screw it off if it is a ‘jar top’ or you may need a screwdriver to remove screws) locate the diaphragm – it is a piece of rubber and then take it to your local retic store and ask for a replacement.

You will pay around $15.00 for a new diaphragm. Then simply refit it as you removed it (but don’t forget the spring)

When it comes to replacing solenoids I have a range of charges:

a) If it is exposed and dug out with no complicated pipework to add to the time of the repair then the cost would be close to $120.00 inc GST for a new solenoid.

b) If the solenoid is easy to locate but requires digging up then $160.00

c) If you have no idea where the solenoids are then its $120.00 plus the cost of the time it takes to locate the solenoid in question. Generally speaking using either common sense or an electronic tracking device a solenoid can be located in around 30 minutes.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

My Reticulation Won’t Come on

Posted on 10th February 2016 in Controllers, General

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Sometimes your reticulation isn’t working on one station because there is no power getting to the solenoid to open it. I was in Two Rocks today with this exact problem and it turned out a dog had chewed the wires and broken them.

What to do in these situations?…

Firstly – check that there is power ‘leaving the control box’. Put the multimeter probe on the station terminal and on the common and the reading should be 24V+. If not then the problem lies there. (This does happen) Simply change the wire to an unused terminal and you should have power.  Voila!

If there is power there then the break is somewhere between the control box and the solenoid. Depending on how easily accessible the wire is will determine what you do next.

If its possible to use a wire tracker then you may wish to go this route, but assuming most people don’t own one of these then the next best option is to look in obvious places for a break.

These are usually:

  • at the base of control box
  • by the solenoid itself
  • anywhere the ground has been disturbed.

If it doesn’t turn up easily then you need to decided whether it is worth tracing from the box and testing at regular intervals.

If it a sole solenoid then you don’t have much choice, but if it is sitting next to another solenoid then you have two options.

a) wire the two stations together and run them as one – if there is enough pressure.

b) use an ‘add a station‘ device to act as the wire that was broken.

Option A is cheaper if you can get it to work as the ‘add a station’ modules come to nearly $100.00 for the part itself. However if this is your only option then its good to know you can use it.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

How To Fix Broken PVC Pipe

Posted on 10th February 2016 in Repairs

Ok so you’ve stuck a spade through a PVC pipe or maybe just pierced it. How do you repair it without digging it all up so you have enough flex to insert a coupling?

There are two options.

The first is the best option for a significant break and that is to use a slipfix/ telescopic fitting. Simply cut the pipe at either end, attach a PVC coupling to one side and then glue the narrow end of the slipfix into the coupling. Allow a couple of minutes for it to dry and then slide it over the other end of the pipe.

Give it some time to dry and you’re done. Simple.

A different method that I have used on several occasions is to use a ‘snap on’ tee to fix a small hole. If it is a puncture or a blow out and the hole is 5ml in diameter or thereabouts then you can simply smother the snap on fitting in glue, cover the pipe with glue and press it over the break.

I have worried that these may come away under pressure, but so far no problems. This is a cheaper solution than the slip fix obviously.

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email brightonreticulation@gmail.com

Here’s an Idea…

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

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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…

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‘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?

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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

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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

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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

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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

*Ref: http://www.watercorporation.com.au/my-account/rates-and-charges

 

 

Switch Off Day For Retic

Posted on 31st May 2013 in General, Local Knowledge

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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)