Reticulation Servicing in Yanchep and Two Rocks

Yanchep is a lovely part of the world and is our homebase, so we love to work there.

Whether it’s a new installation of retic and turf or whether it’s a tune up of your existing system, we can be there promptly and will get the job done in fast time, with quality components and a guarantee to come back if there are any problems.

We have been operating now for 11 years and have developed an excellent reputation for top quality work and friendly, polite service at a fair price.

Should I Use Netafim Dripline on My Garden?

If you want to achieve maximum water efficiency then there is no question that Netafim Dripline is your friend!

Here is a job I did recently in Yanchep where new native plants had been installed and the client wanted to ensure minimal wastage of water. Now that the Dripline is in he can mulch the area.

If you are on a bore then you may like to consider ‘bore line ‘, similar but not pressured compensated – which usually isn’t an issue on a bore.

This dripline is extremely effective at dripping water right next to the plants and is designed to resist root invasion of the drip emitters.

While there is no digging involved in a project like this dripline is a more expensive product and generally works out a little more costly than sprays.

Should I Buy a Hydrawise Controller for My Retic?

I’d been using a very old Hydrawise controller for around 6 years when it suddenly decided to stop connecting to my wifi.

It was one of the original indoor models and it did the job fine, but when Hunter bought Hydrawise they did some work speccing up the controller to make it more user and contractor friendly.

By comparison with the old controller the new controllers have:

1. A designated master valve terminal

2. Larger and more accessible terminals making installing easier.

3. A sturdier outdoor casing.

4. An easier to read display

5. A stronger wifi connection.

All of these are significant improvements on the original model and as a result when I had the choice of any controller I chose to stay with the Hydrawise.

The app works really well and once installed the controller itself is pretty much set and forget.

Patchy Lawn?

So you’ve got a bare area in your lawn and you’re thinking of revitalising it with lawn seed?

What you need to find out before doing anything is why the bare area happened in the first place. Otherwise chances are the problem will simply recur.

Reasons the lawn may be bare are:

– The lawn doesn’t get enough sun.

– The lawn doesn’t get enough water.

– There are lawn beetle in it.

So before doing anything first work out what the problem is.

And then it’s to the solution. Obviously ‘lawn seed’ is not the way to fix any of the problems above.

That said I have never seen lawn seed work as a successful solution in any setting. It’s partly because the new ‘lawn’ is always sparse and partly because it rarely gets watered enough to sustain it.

New roll on lawn is always a better option, but only if it gets watered and is laid with adequate sun.

If You Look Hard Enough

Yesterday I went to try and sort out why the retic pipe kept bursting on a bore in Ridgewood.

Usually there is an obvious answer. The first step was a new controller and then a check that the solenoids were all opening as they should have been.

All good there.

I dug a hole and found two 25mm pipes going to the rear yard – but with no water coming out of the sprinklers.

I drilled small holes at various points along the pipes and water cane out. Hmmm… water is definitely getting thru, is there a blockage somewhere? Has someone capped off the line and not told me?

The pipes were under pavers so it wasn’t easy to test them. Eventually after 90 minutes of trying to locate the problem I lifted a slab right at the end of the run to the back and discovered that each pipe had a filter attached and the filters were completely blocked.

I have never seen filters at that place in a pipe before but once I removed them water flowed freely.

Moral of the story = for every problem there is a solution if you look hard enough (and long enough)

If you have a tricky problem then give me a call. I reckon I can fix it 🙂

Problems with Rainbird ESP RZX on Bores

I have installed a lot of these controllers this year and only recently had a couple of problems with them when used on bore systems.

It seems that the smaller transformer in them may not have sufficient capacity to cope with the demands of a pump start relay and a solenoid at the same time. The controller either brings up an ‘MV err’ message immediately or runs for a short time and then cuts out. Its been tricky to diagnose the exact problem but in discussion with Shaye from Rainbird it seems that the transformer may be the source of the problem.

The controllers have worked perfectly on mains water supply systems but I hesitate to use them on bores now and would go with the Hunter X Core which has a larger transformer. Its worth knowing in case you are having similar problems!

 

Converting From Community Bore to Mains in ‘The Green’, Butler

If you live in The Green Estate in Butler then you will probably have experienced the frustration most people do at not being able to control your own reticulation.

You can only run tests at short times on a Saturday morning and no one can service your retic except for the designated company who charge an arm and a leg.

This week I did my first conversion job in that area. I’m surprised I haven’t done more as I know the frustration people feel. This one was a direct change over which involved:

  • a cut in by a plumber
  • a new controller to replace the existing ‘locked’ version
  • re-routing pipe and wiring to suit

Its all done now and working perfectly.

You can also have the option of running the two systems side by side with manual valves to switch from one to the other, so that if your bore goes down (as has happened) then you simply switch to mains and keep watering your lawn. Or if you wish to give your lawn more water than the 20 minutes you get from the bore then you can DIY and ensure your lawn stays green.

The run times for MP rotators can be seen below and generally speaking you need to allow close to an hour to apply 10mls of water rather than just 20 minutes.

If you’d like a quote on either changing to mains supply water or making your retic a dual system then give me a call on 0400044236

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.