Perth’s Retic Controller Specialist

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Have you lost the display on your control box? Have your sprinklers stopped coming on? Or is your controller just old and difficult to operate?

We can help you. New controllers start at $375.00 inc GST fully installed by a licensed electrician

Call 0400044236 or email here to make an appointment for Andrew to come and replace your old controller with one that works well. Or you can search through the archives of information on this site to try and find a solution for yourself.

When One Irrigation Station Doesn’t Work – But Everything is New

Xcore controller

This week I installed a new reticulation system for a client in Duncraig, but after wiring it all up I discovered that station 1 didn’t come on.

I checked my wiring and it was intact. I checked the solenoids functioning and it was fine. Eventually I went back to the controller and checked that there was power in the station 1 terminal and this was the problem. A brand new controller but it was faulty.

Sometimes you can disconnect the 24v cables, let it sit for half an hour and it comes right – just like restarting your computer. But after two attempts at this I decided that it wasn’t going to play nice and I swapped it for another which worked fine.

The X Core is a very reliable box which is why I keep on using them, but every piece of electrical technology has its issues from time to time. Its just good to know what to look for.

 

The Value of an Expert

reticulation experts

In my younger years I did a lot of running, so much so that by my early 30’s I had bad tendonitis in my ililo-tibial band and over the last 20 years it has gradually worsened to the point where I currently can’t run any distance at all. Even walking hurts and that aint good…

Today I went to get a new pair of running shoes to ‘try again’, but rather than just going to Jim Kidd’s and picking up a semi decent pair of generic running shoes I drove into Hay St to The Running Centre, on the advice of my physiotherapist to ‘get fitted’ for a pair of shoes that suit my running gait and will help with my particular problem.

So the woman in the store asked about my tendonitis, measured my foot for size and then got me running on the treadmill and took video of my running form to analyse it. I remember doing biomechanics at Uni when I did my Phys Ed degree, but that was a long time ago. Now someone was putting that biomechanical knowledge to practical use helping me choose a pair of shoes.

She showed me the video, explained what was happening – showed me my foot strike and the leg lean that was a problem. I couldn’t see it quite as clearly as she could… but I believed her. Then as I was on the treadmill a resident physio walked past and said he could ‘hear’ the problem as I strode.

‘Can you hear that?’ he said as I jogged.

Nope – I couldn’t hear it.

The solution was a pair of shoes that would compensate for the lean and ease the pain on the knee. And there were two options. I tried them both and decided on the Asics GT3000 for $235.00. Around $100 more than I usually spend and probably a bit more than standard retail.

But I bought these shoes off these people because they were regarded as the experts in their field. I’ve had a fair go at getting myself back into running and failed dismally. So today I was prepared to pay a bit extra for their expert knowledge and for a product that is regarded as superior to what I have had before.

Its a lesson I’ve taken a while to learn as I like to get a bargain, but reality is that you generally get what you pay for.

We hope that as experts in retic controllers we can locate and fix your problem faster than you or a general handyman because we know what to look for and listen for. We know the nuances of different systems and the tell tale signs of various problems.

My guess is that buying these shoes might be a little bit more of a hit on the wallet than I am used to, but I’m sure that will be more than compensated for with reduced physio fees and best of all I may actually get to run that half marathon one day in the future.

We believe we give excellent value for money in our service and that in the long run you will probably even save money by using expert knowledge and quality products.

Its Winter – Retic OFF

off

As of June 1st all reticulation needs to be shut off or you will risk a fine from the Water Corp.

You can still get a watering exemption for new lawn and you can still handwater, but all systems need to be turned off from now until September 1st.

If you aren’t sure what to do on your controller then give me a call and I will try to help you over the phone at no cost.

Joondalup Reticulation Controller Installation

reticulation controller

About 18 months ago I installed a Hunter X core at a property in Joondalup and in the last month or so it has stopped operating.
I went to assess it and if necessary replace it under warranty.
The panel had no display and there was no power coming from the transformer, so my guess was that the transformer had died. I was happy to change it as it had failed under the warranty period.
I turned the power off and went to remove the 240v cables from the box and got an electrical shock. Not a bad one, but enough to let me know it wasn’t something I should touch again…
I got my multimeter out and tested the power with the mains switch both on and off. It was putting out 247v in both positions.
It raises the question as to what’s going on… I have a restricted electrical license but not one that allows me to fault find in these situations so I had to leave it for another more qualified person.
It’s a reminder that electricity is dangerous stuff and even when it looks safe it may not be, so don’t take the gamble on changing your own reticulation controller unless you have a license.

Sometimes its Not the Reticulation Controller

twist_wire

In the last week I have had two identical problems, and what’s weird is I have never had this problem before.

In both cases solenoids weren’t coming on. There was no power to them. So the assumption is that there is a broken wire somewhere. There was power at the controller but no power at the solenoid so it was a case of tracking wires and locating the break.

Only it wasn’t a broken wire.

Instead it was a badly connected wire. The wires were joined but obviously weren’t conducting as they should have been. It seems that over time the wires have deteriorated and corroded and were no longer conducting electricity.

I had never seen that before. But for future reference I now know that just because wires are joined, they aren’t necessarily doing their job.

Worth knowing!

Now’s a Good Time For a New Lawn!

We do lots of work in the Yanchep, Quinns Rocks, and Alkimos areas and autumn is a great time to lay a new lawn.

If you have been waiting for the heat to break before installing a new lawn then we are pretty much there.

We supply and lay all types of lawn and can give you advice on what will work best for you.

You can check out a few samples below:

Sir Walter

Sir Walter Buffalo in Alkimos

empire zoyzia in iluka

Empire Zoyzia after one year in Iluka

wintergreen in two rocks

Wintergreen in Two Rocks

velveteen in iulka

Velveteen in Iluka

velvet buffalo in Yanchep

Velvet Buffalo in Yanchep

kikuyu in Jindalee

Kikuyu in Jindalee

 

Reticulation Doesn’t Come on in Quinns Rocks

master valve in quinns rocks

When no sprinklers operate at all you have a few possible problems.

  1. Your controller may be faulty
  2. Your master valve may be faulty
  3. You may have a broken wire to the master valve

This morning I was working on a job like this in Quinns Rocks. The controller looked fine, but when I checked the master solenoid, the coil had just about exploded, rendering it useless.

588403_Irritrol Solenoid coil 24v AC

The coil is the electrical component and operates by retracting a small steel plunger and allowing water to flow.

A new coil solved the problem and the rest of the system was fine.

What Does ‘P err’ Mean on a Hunter X Core Controller?

Xcore controller

If you own a Hunter X Core Control box and see ‘P err’ on your controller then it means nothing will work (or it may come on for a few seconds and then fail) and there are two possible causes.

The first and most common is that the master solenoid coil has developed an electrical problem and is sending a fault message back to the controller. ‘p’ = pump or master valve. We can locate and replace this – problem solved.

The second possibility is that the box is faulty and needs replacing.

You can determine which one it is by removing the wire to the P terminal and running a test cycle. The sprinklers won’t come on, but if its the Master valve then the error message will disappear. If its the controller then it will persist.

Occasionally it might be both… but that’d be unlucky!

If you need help to make sense of it then just call and we can assist.

 

 

Warranties on Control Boxes

IMG_0770

So your control box has stopped working?

Chances are it will be covered by warranty as most have two years of factory warranty and if a product simply fails we will replace it at no cost to you.
However sometimes boxes fail as a result of user error. The box in the image is just over one year old and ordinarily would be replaced under warranty, except that it is evident that the digital panel has been exposed to the weather.
The telltale sign is the greenish colour the panel has turned. It should be the same grey as the rest of the box, but the change in colour means the door has been left open and the digital panel exposed to sun and rain thus voiding the warranty.
It is essential the door is kept shut on all outdoor controllers otherwise all warranties will be invalidated.
If you have a faulty box and hope to claim a warranty then send us a photo and we can let you know if its been weather damaged.

How Long Should My Sprinklers Be On For?

image3

This is not what you want your lawn to look like!

Currently the Water Authority is advertising on TV that sprinklers should be on for 10 minutes per station, which is somewhat misleading. I had a client recently send me this photo of her new lawn saying she is struggling to keep it alive on the Water Authority’s recommendations.

I’m not surprised. She has Toro Precision nozzles which need to run for 30 minutes each time operate to apply 10mls.

So here’s the deal…

Sprinkler run times depend on the types of sprinklers used.

The goal is to get 10ml of water to your lawn/garden each time they operate so different nozzles will require different run times. For example regular pop-ups can be run for around 12-15 minutes to apply 10mls.

Toro precision nozzles need to be left on for around 30 mins to get the same result. Then there are the MP Rotators which need 45-60 mins to deliver 10mls.

There are specs for each type of sprinkler available from the manufacturers or your retic guy can help you make sense of it. Here’s an example of how to find the answer. The chart shows that PGP needs to be on for 60 mins to apply 10ml.

The important thing is to remember that not all sprinklers deliver water at the same rate. If you aren’t sure then just give me a call.