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

Easy Retrieve Memory on Hunter X Core

Posted on 21st September 2015 in Controllers

Xcore controller

Another good reason to choose the Hunter X Core Controller is the ‘easy retrieve’ memory function, which means I can come and set your controller, you can fiddle with it, make adjustments and then discover all has got weird, before implementing the memory retrieve procedure below and taking it back to where you want it.

To save a program into memory:

  1. With the dial in the RUN position, press and hold the    and     buttons for 5 seconds. You will see three segments    on the left of display.
  2. Release the    and    buttons.
  3. The display will scroll three segments    from left to right across the display indicating the program is being saved into memory.
  4. The display will show “doNE”, and then revert to time of day display.
  5. The Program is saved in memory.

To retrieve a program from memory

  1. With the dial in the RUN position, press and hold the    and    buttons for 5 seconds. You will see three segments    on the right of display.
  2. Release the    and    buttons.
  3. The display will scroll three segments    from right to left across the display indicating the program is being retrieved from memory.
  4. The display will show “doNE”, and then revert to time of day display.
  5. The Saved Program is retrieved from memory.

When Retic Won’t Switch Off

Posted on 20th November 2013 in solenoids, What's Going on There?


There can be a few causes of this, but its rare that it happens.

Typically when a system doesn’t have a master valve any time a solenoid fails the retic will leak, but its very unusual when there is a master valve.

I was at a property this week where the retic ‘wouldn’t shut off’.

When I got there the ball valve that isolates the retic had been closed because it wouldn’t stop running on station 1. I opened the ball valve and nothing happened… So obviously it had shut off…

I checked the controller and it was an X Core with some a dodgy dial that wouldn’t do what it was supposed to. So I replaced it, thinking that this was the source of the problem. It needed replacing anyway and when I tested it, all worked well.

Then I got a call that night telling me the retic was stuck on again…


So I dropped in and checked the new controller and it was working fine – BUT – the retic was definitely stuck on station 1.

I had to do another job so I turned it off at the ball valve and went away for a few hours. When I returned and turned it on the water flow had stopped.

The only thing that could cause this was a faulty solenoid both on 1 and the master – perhaps solenoids that were slow closing or remaining partially open. I located solenoid 1, a Rainbird, and noticed that the bleed screw was just a little loose, so I tightened it and that fixed that. I went to the master and the bleed screw was loose on there as well.


I have no idea how these screw get loose, but its worth knowing that this happened without any interference. No one messed with them.

If your retic won’t shut off and you have a master valve then check your bleed screws.

Hopefully tonight all will be well

How to Join PVC Pipes in Very Tight Spaces

Posted on 18th April 2013 in Repairs

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!


There is Always a Way

Posted on 5th April 2013 in Never Seen That One Before



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.




Water Water Water

Posted on 11th March 2013 in Controllers, General, Installations, Turf

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!

My Retic Won’t Stop – What Causes That?

Posted on 12th January 2013 in Controllers

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.

My Hunter X Core Controller Won’t Work on Manual

Posted on 12th January 2013 in Controllers, Never Seen That One Before


x core


If you have a Hunter X Core Controller and it doesn’t come on as it should when operating manually the you could have a dodgy switch issue.

Normally to run an individual station you turn the dial anti-clockwise to the ‘run single station’ indicator, then select the station an return the dial to auto-run.

If it doesn’t come on (and you will know its on by the presence of a little sprinkler symbol) then you may need to jiggle the switch a bit and see if you can get it to fire up.

Usually if this is a problem then the dial will not move between the various modes easily. Unfortunately the only solution is to get anew control box as the dial and switches are a complete unit

What’s in Your Bore Water?

Posted on 10th October 2012 in bore

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


Northern Suburbs Retic Repairs

Posted on 28th September 2012 in Local Knowledge, Repairs, solenoids

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!