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.

Hydrawise Wireless Signal Weak

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I’ve installed a few hydrawise controllers now and with one exception have found the biggest challenge to be that the controller struggles to pick up the wifi signal unless it is very close to the router.

On all other occasions the client has either had to install a wireless signal booster or move the controller closer to the router.

I have let the parent company know of the issue as it makes it problematic when doing the installation. No one wants to install a controller and then discover that it needs more hardware to operate properly.

Hopefully this issue can be remedied asap as it makes the Hydrawise a less viable option in the meantime.

 

The Fuse Message on Irritrol Controllers

kwikdial

Every summer one of the most common requests we get is to fix the ‘fuse message’ on Irritrol Kiwkdial controllers.

The message flashes and shows a battery symbol (even though the device has no battery) and it will not operate the retic.

The short answer to what is happening is one of two things:

a) The controller is on the way out. If it does this intermittently and if the display is shaking then count on it being the controller.

b) There is a problem with a solenoid and it is sending a message back to the controller telling it that the coil on the solenoid needs replacing.

We can diagnose within 5 minutes and have you up and running again quickly.

 

What Causes Irrigation Controllers to Fail?

IMG_0770

So you went to check out your control box and it has no digital display?

That’s a fair sign its dead… or maybe you haven’t switched it on at the plug if its plugged in…

Assuming its not a faulty RCD and that there is power to the controller, the most common reasons for failure are:

  • Exposure to weather – sun and rain will weather the digital panel and void any warranties. The panels on most controllers are not UV stabilised so they will change colour if the door is left open and exposed to the elements. The one in the image above shows some discoloration.
  • Power surge – an electrical surge can damage your controller, but we would only know if this had happened by removing the panel and checking for any evidence of it on the circuit board. This can be claimed under home insurance.
  • Old age – everything dies eventually. I generally tell people that if you get 5-10 years out of any appliance then you have done well.

If you walk out to find no display on your controller be sure to call us and we will get there quickly to sort it out.

Can a Retic Controller Be Repaired?

The short answer is probably ‘yes’. You can repair anything if you want to, but it isn’t good economics.

The last time I checked the cost of repairing a control panel for a retic box it was around $150.00 at an electronics specialist. Then there is the removal and replacement – allow another $150.00 and you are already close to replacement cost, but with no warranty.

So in short – like most things these days a retic control box is a disposable item, so my advice is to get one with a decent warranty and make sure you keep the door closed and out of the weather.

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

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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