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.

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 🙂

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!

 

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.

Its Spring!

Its Spring!

And that means that your reticulation can be switched back on. We have had a few warmer days lately and there are plenty more to come.

While you don’t need to turn your retic on right away, be sure to check your retic controller now so that its good to go when the hot weather arrives.

And if you have a problem then call me and I will get there to help you out

Irrigation Controller Supply and Installation in Joondalup

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.