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.

Warranties on Control Boxes

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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 Can I Improve My Reticulation System

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All of us are aware of the need to have an effective and waterwise reticulation system. But that doesn’t just happen. It requires planning and sometimes modifications to your irrigation set up.

It may also be that your irrigation controller needs reprogramming for optimal watering efficiency.

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Some common problems that you may experience include:

  • Water wastage – from overspray, wind affected spray or excess run off.
  • Poor coverage – as a rule sprinklers should spray ‘head to head’. That means each sprinklers spray should reach to the one next to it. If your sprinklers are spaced too far apart they will not reach and you will get dead patches in your lawn.
  • Incorrectly set controller times – The Water Authority want you to save water and that is good, but different types of sprinklers require different watering times. Check this post for detailed info. I have seen lawns almost die because people have set sprinklers to run for 10 minutes when they should have been on for 30.
  • Leaks – if your system has any leaks it will affect the pressure in other areas. All leaks need to be repaired for maximal efficiency.

All of these problems are solvable and just require rethinking how the system is constructed. Our policy is to never skimp on sprinklers or risk overloading a station as this will end up in more work in the long term.

If you’re doing a DIY then be sure to calculate your water flow rates before beginning, use quality sprinklers and use more rather than fewer to ensure the job is done well.

Of if you need any of these problems solving just give us a call on 0400044236.

The Fuse Message on Irritrol Kwikdial

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This is one of the most common reticulation issues especially in suburbs like Butler, Carramar, Banksia Grove and Clarkson where these controllers were installed as part of the landscaping package.

The first thing you should know is that there is no fuse! And the little battery symbol with a line thru it doesn’t mean there is a problem with the battery. There is no battery.

The message means one of two things:

a) There is a fault with a solenoid

b) The controller is faulty.

We can run some tests to prove which one it is, but don’t waste your time looking for a fuse or a battery!

As a general guide if the display is flickering and intermittent the box itself will be dead, but if everything looks good then it may well be the solenoid coil.

My Controller Looks Like Its Working But Nothing is Coming on

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So you set your controller running and everything looks right on the digital panel, but there is no water?…

What’s going on?…

Well if you are running your retic off the mains then its most likely that there is a problem with your master solenoid. If it isn’t working then you won’t get any water to the different stations.

You can test if this is the issue by locating it, turning it on manually (usually you need to turn the coil a quarter turn anti-clockwise) and then running the system as usual. If everything works with the master valve open then you have found your problem.

If not then the problem may well be the controller itself.

 

Installing a Retic Controller

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If you wish to hardwire a new retic control box then you need a sparky. There’s no way around that.

The sparky will cut into your main electricity supply and connect the control box to one of the existing circuits. Often the control box will be placed next to the meter box simply because of the convenience of the electrical supply right there.

A good sparky will then run the reticulation cable down the wall cavity and into the ground via flexible conduit. If this can’t be done due to blockage in the wall then it may be necessary to use a conduit to hold the wires.

Either way it isn’t a DIY job.

If you have a powerpoint handy then it is much easier to DIY. So long as you know what you are doing you can simply plug in and drill some holes to get it mounted, then either drop cable down the wall cavity or run it in a conduit.

If you need a hand then be sure to give us a call

Hunter X Core Sticky Switch

I’ve noticed a few X Cores have a sticky switch problem.

When trying to run the controller manually you turn the dial anti-clockwise and choose the station you want. Then you return it to the auto-run position.

If it doesn’t come on you may need to jiggle the dial a little to get it to fire up. I have noticed this problem on a few control boxes. I don’t think it affects the automatic functioning, but it is a nuisance when running it manually.

Fuse Messages on Irritrol Kiwdial Controllers

 

One of the most common service calls I do is to respond to the ‘fuse’ message on the Irritrol Kwikdial controllers.

The fuse message can be a frustrating one because it isn’t always clear if its the solenoid coil that is giving the problem, or if its the controller itself. And the the error can also be intermittent making it even harder to trace.

Obviously the place to begin is with the faulty solenoid coil as this is the cheaper of the two solutions. If replacing the coil (once you have determined which solenoid is sending the fault) removes the message then all good.

If not then chances are its the controller itself that is in the death throes.

Just last week I encountered one of these in Butler where the controller displayed ‘fuse’ intermittently. It failed often enough on station 1 for me to deduce that it was the coil that was at fault. I located it and replaced it and after 7 or 8 tests there were no problems.

However this week I had a call saying it was ‘doing it again’. If a brand new coil is giving the same result then we have either been extremely unlucky and hit a bad coil or the control box itself is faulty. I have replaced a few faulty control boxes showing this message with a good result.

So there you have it… there are two possibilities and while usually its the coil it might also be your controller.

 

 

How Often Do I Need to Change The Battery in My Controller?

You should be looking to change the battery every year to ensure it is in good condition. The battery is your only means of saving your settings if the power goes off so be sure it is working and in powered up.