Common Causes of Sprinklers Not Working

If your sprinklers are barely spraying then it will be one of a few issues.

The most likely is that the system has a leak and pressure is getting released at a point other than the nozzles. Most likely is that a riser has broken and needs replacing.

Another possibility is that all nozzles are blocked. Rather than trying to unblock them you’re probably better off just replacing them.

Another possibility is that the solenoid has seized and is partially shut. This is the least likely option.

So

a) check for leaks around the base of sprinklers.

b) remove a nozzle and check to see if there is good water pressure.

c) if neither of the above resolve the issue then you may need to check out the solenoid.

By a process of deduction you should be able to find the problem!

Can I Install Reticulation While it is Raining?

Yeah you can.

But the pipes get crusty with sand and they are harder to cut and keep clean.

The green retic glue will still work even with a little water on it so you don’t need the two surfaces perfectly dry and clean – although that is preferable.

The biggest challenge of rainy days is definitely the sand that sticks to the pipes but just carry a towel and wipe the ends before joining and it should be fine!

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.

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 🙂

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.