3 Things to Do on September 1

1. Make sure you can see the digital display on your controller. Winter is when most controllers die so this is always the first check. If it’s dead then give me a call!

2. Run a system test of each station and check that each sprinkler is popping up and that each nozzle is spraying as it should. If there are obvious leaks then it will need fixing sooner than later. Just a blocked nozzle or two you don’t need to worry about until it gets hot.

3. Check the settings on the controller and adjust the run times for spring weather. You can do this using the ‘seasonal adjust’ function on your controller.

What Does the Fuse Message on an Irritrol Kwikdial Controller Mean?

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.

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 🙂

Why You NEED a Retic Bloke!

Why should you get a retic bloke in to fix your sprinklers?

Let me tell you a story of today’s DIY mishap…

Retic is just like plumbing right? Yeah that’s what I reckoned… So we needed to change over the taps and spout in our ensuite and I figured ‘it can’t be that hard – I’ll just do it myself.’

I removed the old spout, taps and shrouds without much drama and began to install the new spout. It was a tight fit – really tight – I could hardly get it on. But with some very careful manoeuvring I managed to get the spout almost perfectly in place. Almost… it was about 1mm out and Mrs Brighton Retic doesn’t like things that are ‘almost’ perfect.

I figured one more turn would see it perfect. The picture you see is what happens when you go that extra turn.

Not happy – not what I needed on my day off.

I decided to leave it in place and install the taps then head down to Bunnings later to try and get a new spout.

So I took all the old gear off and began to install the new taps. But they didn’t go on as I thought they should. They were ‘on’, but not functioning as they should have been.

I checked out the fittings and realised they were very different to the current ones and installing these was a gamble – possibly out of my skill range – no – definitely out of my skill range.

So I called my plumber to explain that amateur hour had gone south fast.

‘Yeah – you can’t install just taps and spout – you need to do a whole basin set’ he told me. Well now I know…

So I put the old taps back on, drove to Bunnings to spend another $85 on new taps and I have booked Andy the plumber to come and fit them for me.

By the time I had got to Bunnings and back it was 11.00am and I had spent 3 hours and $85 for no return. My plumber would have had it done in fast time and I would have had a professional job.

Sometimes its just worth having someone who actually knows what they are doing!

When we come to your home to fix the retic, we carry virtually every fitting imaginable – there is nothing we can’t fix on the spot. A trip to the shop is down time for us so we make sure we have everything onboard.

And then there’s the expertise factor. A handyman is probably half the cost of a retic bloke, but chances are he will take twice as long and not use quality parts. We fix everything in fast time and get you up and running both quickly and professionally.

So save yourself the repeated trips to Bunnings, the struggle to fix something that has you baffled and the loss of time off – and just call us. We will be there to get it sorted.

My sliding door rollers carked it yesterday too. I could probably fix it on my day off, or I could call Malcom at Smooth Sliding Doors and he will fix it in 15 minutes – and it will be done right.

I know what I’ll be doing!

Spring Reticulation Servicing

As well as specialising in control boxes we also do general service work. Its that time of year when you can turn your sprinklers back on.

Chances are that when you do you will find a few issues and that’s when you can make multiple trips to Bunnings and try to find the right parts you need – or – you can call us and we will fix any problem on the post often within an hour or so. We can give you a ballpark price before starting work, or we may choose to send a detailed written quote if it is a large job.

We carry a full supply of virtually every kind of part you can imagine and on the off chance yours is an unusual job we are usually only a few minutes from a retic store.

So for fast, hassle free service at fair prices give us a call. All of our work has a 12 mth warranty and in the event of something not working as it should we promise to come back and make it right.

Call Andrew on 0400044236

The Irritrol Kwikdial Fuse Message

Its that time of year when I get a multitude of calls asking about the fuse message on Irritrol Kiwkdial controllers.

So firstly – if you have spent time looking for the ‘fuse’ then you will be frustrated because there isn’t one.. And the battery symbol with the line thru it doesn’t mean that the battery is dead, because there isn’t a battery either…

Ok – so whoever designed these wasn’t thinking ease of use!

What does the fuse message mean?

a) You have a solenoid coil that is faulty and causing the controller to fail.

b) The controller has a problem and needs replacing.

Usually I can tell by looking at the controller which is the most likely scenario. If your controller is old, outdoors and looking like its been exposed to rain then chances are it will need replacing. If the error is intermittent then its almost certainly the controller and if the screen is flickering just a little then that is another clue that the controller is about to die.

If your controller is in good condition, maybe inside a garage and the display is stable then it may be that one of the solenoids is the problem. We can determine that by removing solenoid wires and testing to see if it fails with various solenoids disconnected.

As a guide, a solenoid is usually around $150-250 to locate and replace while a controller is around $385.00 to replace.

 

 

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!

 

I am Getting a Fuse Message on my Irritirol Kwikdial Reticulation Controller

If I had a dollar for every time I hear this…

And if you have spent time looking for the ‘fuse’ then you will be frustrated because there isn’t one.. And the battery symbol with the line thru it doesn’t mean that the battery is dead, because there isn’t a battery either…

Ok – so whoever designed these wasn’t thinking ease of use!

What does the fuse message mean?

a) You have a solenoid coil that is faulty and causing the controller to fail.

b) The controller has a problem and needs replacing.

Usually I can tell by looking at the controller which is the most likely scenario. If your controller is old, outdoors and looking like its been exposed to rain then chances are it will need replacing. If the error is intermittent then its almost certainly the controller and if the screen is flickering just a little then that is another clue that the controller is about to die.

If your controller is in good condition, maybe inside a garage and the display is stable then it may be that one of the solenoids is the problem. We can determine that by removing solenoid wires and testing to see if it fails with various solenoids disconnected.

As a guide at the time of writing this post (March 2018) a solenoid is usually around $150-250 to locate and replace while a controller is around $385.00 to replace.

 

 

Rainbird ESP-RZX

The ESP-RZX Controller provides zone based set up that is easier to understand by untrained users. We supply and fi, 6 and 8 zone models at $385.00 inc GST and $415.00 inc GST respectively.

These controllers are easy to use, have a 3 year warranty and no dials to get sticky or break off. The large LCD display shows all of the programming for each zone at the same time. Simple graphic based user interface is easy to explain and presents every controller feature at your fingertips.

If you are seeking a simple to use and top quality controller then I can recommend this one to you. More info from Rainbird is here.