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.

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.

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 🙂

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.

 

 

Irritrol Kwikdial Reset

If you’ve got one of these then you’d probably know that when the power goes off it resets to start at 5.00am every day of the week for 10 mins/station.

Not very helpful at all…

So if you’re taking off on extended holidays and want to be wise with water then this may not be the controller you choose. A controller with a battery back up that only retains the times set is what you are really after.

We recommend the Hunter X Core as the best value and quality

Checked Your Controller?

Its still winter, but very soon we will be able to switch the retic back on and chances are you may discover that your controller has died over the break.

Spring is the time the rush begins so why not check your controller’s status now and call us to replace the old one before the warm weather begins.

We supply and install top quality controllers at excellent prices all over the metro area.

 

Winter – The Control Box Killer

Its very common over winter for control boxes to die, either because the door has been left open and rain has affected the circuitry or because of power spikes.

So come Spring when its time to turn the retic back on you find yourself with a dead box.

Unfortunately nothing can be done for boxes affected by a power spike, but the other situation of weather damage is completely avoidable. Always keep the door on your controller closed and you shouldn’t have any problems.

We can always check for the tell tale burn signs of a power spike by removing the circuit board. Below are two boards side by side – one brand new and one damaged by a power spike – you can see the brown stain where the capacitor exploded.

       

If you happen to check your controller and discover it is doing weird things or just not doing anything then give me a call. I can usually diagnose and quote over the phone and get there fast to replace it for you.

Reticulation Controller Supply and Installation in Quinns Rocks

If your retic controller is dead, giving you trouble or just difficult to operate then give me a call!

I am based in Yanchep but service the northern suburbs. I carry a range of boxes onboard at all times but generally recommend the Hunter X Core for reliability, ease of use and value for money.

The Hunter has a two year warranty, a back up battery that will last 5-7 years and is remote control enabled (purchased separately).

It is also easy to use and comes with a lockable casing.

Prices as at March 2017 are $375 for a 4 station controller, $385.00 for a 6 station and $415 for an 8 station. These prices include GST and I am a licensed electrician so you can rest assured the job will be done safely and competently.