Converting From Mains Retic to a Bore?

Posted on 28th September 2012 in bore, In My Own Backyard

Easy to do!

If you have recently moved and are wondering if this is a worthwhile option then my tip is to do it straight away. After 5 years in our last home we began debating the merits of a bore, but knowing we may not stay much longer than another year or two we decided against it.

But when we moved to Yanchep, to a home with no retic it was the first thing on the agenda. And there have been no regrets.

With a bore you get:

– ‘free’ water in the sense that it is not part of your regular watering bill

– 3 watering days instead of two

– a significant capital investment in your home. With water prices rising and 50% of our water being thrown on the lawn and gardens to have a bore is a very smart move.

It does certainly cost you more upfront, but if you are on a decent sized block (say 550sqm +) and intend to stay there for 4-5 years then chances are you will easily recover your costs and finish up with a fantastic looking lawn and garden to boot.

To covert from mains to a bore is a simple process of

a) running the main line from the bore to the existing solenoids

b) wiring the MV/pump to the bore pump rather than the master valve

c) cutting and capping the master valve pipe (or just isolating the retic at the check valve)

d) making sure your system can handle the extra water flow and pressure a bore produces. You may need to join two stations together.

If you would like to change to a bore or if you would like a quote on having a bore installed then give us a call and we can get things moving for you.



Hunter Solenoid Valves

Posted on 15th September 2012 in solenoids

Personally I prefer to use the Richdel as they are more common around Perth and easily interchangeable, but in this clip Hunter show you the rigorous process their valves go thru before making it to you.

Pretty impressive

Running Sprinklers off a Bore

Posted on 22nd February 2012 in bore, Products, sprinklers

Which sprinklers should you run from a bore?

You have a couple of things to consider:

a) Flow rate: often bores allow you to run much greater numbers of sprinklers than a standard mains pressure system. 80l/min is normal as opposed to 30 off the mains.

b) Pump run time: every minute your bore is running is costing you money in electricity and wear and tear on your pump.

That said you don’t want to simply be governed by the cheapest option. In my own backyard I have 3 different types of sprinklers running. We have 4 big heavy duty gear drives on the verge, regular pop ups in the garden beds and then MP rotators in the lawn areas. It means the pump runs for aprox 2 hours each time it comes on, but we have chosen sprinklers that will fit the areas and do the best job.



How Many Sprinklers Can I Get on One Station?

Posted on 31st December 2011 in Installations, nozzles, Products

Yeah… that’s one of those questions that you can’t answer quite so easily…

The things to consider are:

– what is your water flow rate?

– what type of nozzle are you using?

– what type of sprinkler?

In most suburbs I work on around 30l/min flow rate but in places like Yanchep it can be as low as 18l/m or The Green in Butler it is around 22L/M.

From there you work out how many regular pop-ups you can fit on a line. For example a 12ft Toro pop-up nozzle with a 180 degree spray uses 4l/m, a 90 degree spray 2l/m and a whole spray 8l/m. However a 15 ft nozzle with increase water usage and a 10ft will decrease.

Then if you use MP Rotators you decrease water usage again but increase your spray distance…

So if you want to get it right then talk to someone who understands these variables or get a specification chart that can guide you in your planning. I have been to plenty of homes where the sprinklers are functioning poorly because the wrong kinds of sprinklers have been used.




Yanchep Capricorn Estate Reticulation

I don’t know how many people have checked their water pressure in the Capricorn estate in Yanchep, but after working on a job today I was shocked at how poor the water pressure is.

In a backyard of 5m x 11m we would normally use one station of MP Rotators evenly spaced and have heaps of water pressure to spare, but today we needed 3 separate stations of Toro precision nozzles for that one small area. That’s the only option when the pressure is lousy and the flow rate is 10l/min. We tried putting 3 MP 2000’s on a line but there wasn’t enough grunt to make then get up.

The bigger drama was that the solenoids refused to seal because of the ultra-low pressure. We tried about 15 different Richdels and none of them would seal and ended up having to head down to the shop and grab some Hunters. Solenoids need a certain amount of water pressure to create the seal and this was so low that we couldn’t get that seal. It was almost a give up and call it a day scenario.

Persistence and a very gracious client made a hot, windy, difficult day a much better experience than it could have been. So if you live in Capricorn I’d be interested to hear if you have also had water pressure problems. I was due to do another backyard install in Capricorn tomorrow, but I have postponed it until we can find a way around these nasty water pressure issues.


My Reticulation has Lost Pressure

Posted on 11th October 2011 in bore, Repairs

Ok so you have noticed a drop in pressure on your sprinklers.

Believe it or not the first place to check is your water meter. Make sure someone hasn’t turned the pressure down here. It happens… I have no idea why people do it but that’s the first test.

Then check and see if it is on just one station or on all.

If its ‘all’ then you have a break in your mainline – that’s the 25ml or 40ml main pipe that feeds to the solenoids. This should show up in a large puddle of water somewhere.  You may need to leave it on for a while if its just a small crack as it will take a while for it to show through.

If its just one station then you will have either a broken pipe in the line or a broken riser.


Check for pooling around the sprinklers as that will indicate a riser problem. If you can move the sprinkler then its likely the riser is broken. If not then you will need to check the line for cracks and breaks. This can be a long tedious process as you will need to locate the break and sometimes its not obvious.

A small crack can result in a significant pressure drop but can be a pain to find.

Here’s one my father worked on recently. His pressure on this one station dropped significantly and he ended up having to trace the line until he found the problem – a joint that had cracked.


If you have a drop in pressure then the only solution is to keep looking till you find it – or call us and we will look for you!



The Green – Brighton – “My Retic is Lacking Pressure!”

Posted on 20th May 2011 in Ideas, Local Knowledge, Never Seen That One Before

If you live in ‘The Green” in Brighton then you will find this is a common complaint.

Sooner or later it will happen to you. You will start to observe dry patches in your lawn and it will look like your retic is lacking pressure.


I remember the first time I was called out to look at one of these situations I was complete puzzled as to what was causing the issue. I ended up ringing Total Eden who install all the new systems in the area and discovered that there is an inline filter right next to the master valve that regularly gets clogged up with mineral deposits from the bore water.

I removed the filter, cleaned it out re-installed it and the difference was huge. You can see a dirty one above.

If you want to do this yourself then you can follow this guide here that was recently uploaded to the Brighton Intranet.  Its worthwhile doing this procedure at the start of spring and halfway through summer to ensure all is working well.


Epic Fail – Black Poly Mainline

Posted on 6th May 2011 in Installations, Installing, Products

One sure way to ensure you have endless ongoing problems with your reticulation is to use 19ml black poly for your mainline.

By ‘mainline’ I mean the bit that joins all the solenoids. This is the part of the reticulation that is regularly under pressure and a 19ml ratchet clamp just isn’t going to cut the mustard when it comes to holding things together.

So by all means use black poly in your garden beds and even in your lawn if you prefer it, but only use good quality 25ml pvc in the mainline and seal the joints with green glue (rather than blue).

If you do this right the first time then it will save you a lot of grief in the future. If you don’t then you can expect your system to be popping and leaking and giving you endless trouble.

It might seem like you can save some money when you set out to do it, but the ongoing hassles will mean you soon regret whatever small savings you may have made.

When Sprinklers Just Don’t Work Any More

Posted on 22nd March 2011 in Never Seen That One Before, Repairs

I was at a job today where sprinklers that had once performed well were now not popping up at all and we were trying to determine why the water pressure had decreased so markedly.

The water meter had been tested, so we were able to rule out that possibility immediately.

The next most obvious fault was going to be a broken riser or a broken pipe somewhere, but there was nothing visible and it seemed it was going to be almost impossible to find the problem.

I let the client know that I really didn’t have a guaranteed solution, but my hunch was that because they were the original sprinklers (now 10 years old) the springs may have got tired, the seals may be leaking (some of them were pooling water) and they might just be past their use by date.

We tested what happened when 3 of 7 sprinklers were changed. There was instant success, so we replaced them all and now the system works well.

Old age takes its toll on sprinklers!

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email

comments: 0 » tags: ,

Why is my Reticulation Water Pressure So Lousy?

Posted on 10th March 2011 in Repairs

This morning I went to help someone discover why their water pressure had suddenly decreased on the front two stations.

As you would expect I was looking for broken risers or water bubbling up and suggesting broken pipe under ground. After 10 minutes of running the system there was nothing to see.

I checked the solenoids and they looked fine. It wasn’t as if water was being obstructed.

The customer had told me that the rear stations were working fine so I went and had a look. They did appear ok, but when I pushed down on the shaft of one of the pop-ups it retracted a little easier than it should have. Hmmm… I began to wonder if it was actually just the front that was playing up.

I returned to the front and went to the water meter. It was making a hissing noise…

I thought it was a faulty meter

Everything else had been eliminated and it was the only option left. I explained to the customer that this had been the case in two other repairs this summer and that it would be the first port of call before pulling solenoids apart and digging pipes up.

Just out of curiosity I ran the front tap to check the pressure and it wasn’t good. While I was doing that the customer leant down and turned the tap on the water meter…

And can you believe it… the pressure came back with a rush.

It seems someone had thought it would be fun to turn this person’s water meter down and leave them to figure it out.

I have had two other occasions where a turn of the meter has changed everything, but this morning I assumed that (being obvious) this would have already been checked.

Obviously not…

So from here on in I won’t be making assumptions…

For help with any of these issues call Andrew on 0400044236 or email


comments: 0 » tags: ,