If your retic doesn’t come on then it will usually be one of a few common problems.
1. The controller is faulty. If there is a display on the controller then it is less likely that this is the issue, but it could be a faulty terminal or circuit board.
2. The master solenoid has seized. It has got stuck shut and needs replacing.
3. There is a broken wire to the master solenoid or a broken common wire. If you have done some digging in the yard then you may have accidentally struck wires. They are only 24v so you won’t notice any ‘shock’, but it will stop the system working.
4. If you get an MV error then this let’s you know the coil on the master valve has problems and needs replacing.
Ok – possibly the single most common issue I hit each year is this problem.
First up – there is no fuse and no battery in the controller! Silly I know – to have a ‘fuse’ message and a battery symbol at the same time.
The average DIY would look for a dodgy fuse or a faulty battery.
What the message actually means is that there is either a fault in the controller or a fault in a solenoid.
The way to determine the issue is simply to remove wires and keep resetting the controller and testing it. If it operates perfect with one of the wires out then it’s more than likely a solenoid coil sending a ‘fault’ message.
However if the controller display is flickering or if the fuse message only appears intermittently then chances are very high that the box itself is at fault and will need replacing.
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Reticulation off the tap can be done, but always with significantly less pressure than off the mains. If you are going this route then it makes sense to get both a ‘double adaptor’ for your tap and a good quality digital controller that will allow the reticulation to function as if it were off the mains.
Personally I favour the Holman controllers as they are cheaper, easily programmable and haven’t let me down yet. You can also use a Galcon but these tend to be a little more expensive for the same functionality.
Either way they are battery powered and you can get a year out of a good set of batteries before needing to change things over.
With either controller you can add a ‘two way alternating valve’ that will allow you to run two stations off the one tap controller. You simply screw on the alternating valve and then set two start times on the controller. For example set start 1 at 5.00am and start 2 at 5.15am. Each time a new start kicks in the valve adjust to allow water flow through a different pipe
That’s the basic set up and the rest is plumbing!
If I had one tip for people setting up tap irrigation it would be to use plumbing tape and heaps of it and check your seals as you go. There is nothing worse than discovering a small leak in the first join after you have put it all together!
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.