Posted on October 24, 2009
Fixed the irrigation this afternoon.
It just required the fuses to be replaced and the new cable runs that I did the other day to be rejoined with proper cable connecting clips. I also re-wound the tape round a few of the older (but as far as I know, non functioning) cable joins, just to be sure.
Tested the connections with a multimeter to ensure I hadn’t stuffed up and joined the common to the power circuit by mistake (I hadn’t) and then did some test runs.
And blow me down if it doesn’t all work. I replaced a few old and crap sprinklers with new pop-ups and thats it, job done.
Tomorrow, the adventures of the world’s most boring man continues with weed and feed and preparing the ground for grass seed. Go me.
Think I’ll go out and take some photos tomorrow, its been a while.
Posted on October 23, 2009
I’m getting so boring with this I might have to rename my blog “my adventures with irrigation systems” *rolls eyes*
I fixed the main problem with that 5th solenoid valve yesterday, the common wire (a bodge by the previous owner) had broken just out of sight of the hole I’d dug to uncover the valve. Fixed that with a new spur from a known working common wire and once I attached one of the spare wires in the control box to a spare terminal, the valve sprung to life. Woo!
A few tests and stuff later, it really looked like it was all working, so I set about routing my new spur common wire under the ground to the 5th valve. Once it was all wired up, a quick test showed it was all working. Buried the cables, filled in back over the valves and tested again.
The fuse in the control box went. I must have a dodgy joint (most likely the power or common to solenoid connection) or the originally broken common is stuffing up. I’ll get some new fuses some proper cable joiners (rather than just tape) and fix up the common later and see whats what
So near, and yet so far..
Posted on October 21, 2009
Irrigation, reticulation, sprinklers, watering, call it what you will, its all the same and I flimmin’ well hate it.
So, after getting a new pump for the bore, it turned out the pump relay was also busted (probably happened as the old pump burned out) so that needed a sparky to come out and replace it – simple job actually, but not one I could (or would be allowed, regulations here being what they are) sort.
So, with working pump again, all the sprinklers were working, except the troublesome single station from before. It took a few hours of buggering about with the retic repair guy, changing cables, wires, testing with multimeters, changing solenoids, cleaning valves etc before we kinda diagnosed the problem.
The wiring is crap – each of the control wires for the other 4 stations has power when they shouldn’t
Theres no separate common for the valves, just, it seems, a shared one for the pump.
None of the wires to the troublesome 5th solenoid seem to work at all.
So, to fix it – I need to run a new cable from the control box to the 5th solenoid with a new common and new control wire. 30 metres of it, up the wall, along the garage roof, down the wall, along the bottom of the fence for 20 metres and into the valve.
Then, just need to rejig the order the valves are wired into the controller, put the last of the turf back and its done. And I’ll be $1000 poorer.
And then there’s the aircon, which I suspect isn’t working because the ducting has come away from the bottom of the evaporative housing.
I’ll take a look, but I bet I’ll have to call someone out.. *sigh*
Posted on October 15, 2009
Been a busy boy this week – managed to get a few things done from the list
Fixed the leaking hot water relief valve. Well, thats a slight untruth – one of my friends who had some spare PTFE tape and a spanner put the new valve on for me. I could have done it, but I’d just spend a fortune on tools and didnt want to buy a wrench just for that one job.
Uncovered another solenoid valve in the garden – the mystery of the reticulation continues – one of the wires was broken but fixing it didnt wake it work. However, removing the inspection screw and allowing water to escape from the top of the solenoid valve made the non-functioning sprinklers work. Go figure.
Have no idea what that means or how to fix it. I might just cut the bloody thing out of the loop and be done with it – I’m not sure I need another working station in the back, it can all run off the one circuit and I’ll throttle the individual sprinklers as needed to adjust the flow.
The good news is I can put most of the garden back now, fill in all the holes and settle and fix all the remaining sprinklers. Its just a matter of chopping the valve out and gluing in a new T section. Easy job.
Weed and feeded (fed?) the front lawn last night. Its quite a big area and used an entire 11kg bag of the stuff. However it was a bit windy and I managed to snort 1/2 the bag up my nose like Amy Winehouse on a coke bender. I hope Ammonium Sulphate isnt toxic, cos all I can smell now is eggs and cleaning products. **sniff**
Oh, and I have a cold too. Which is nice. Not.
Posted on October 8, 2009
I sat down to think about this last night and its a bit of a long list
1. re-do family bathroom. remove the wall between the loo and the bathroom, block up old loo door, put in new windows (glass blocks I think, rather than window panes)
2. re-carpet, or more likely, wood floors down throughout the house. The slate floor is reasonably new but I don’t like it and the other carpets are old and need doing asap
3. re-lay the lawns. The grass is old and crap. need to fix the reticulation first – work in progress, only a few more poppers and pipes to dig up, then I’ll get to the bottom of the non-functioning ones.
4. painting. the rest of the house, particularly the glosswork needs to be repainted. meh.
5. flowerbeds and tidying up. probably do this in fits and starts – have cleared the front in preparation for this, just need to edge the new flowerbeds and plant some new flowers.
6. Front door. I’d like a new one.
7. outdoor shower. I’d like to build a small glass block enclosure to replace the crappy wicker one I tore down.
8. put pictures up. This needs doing yesterday. I have so many laying about the house and I still havent gotten around to putting them up. Mostly cos I need picture wire and I have no idea where to get it.
9. Redo the ensuite. really just needs a new suite and a retile, no layout or functional changes. Not a big job, but one that needs to be done to freshen the place up
10. lastly, the patio. Its old, uneven and a bit crap – I’d like to re-do it, perhaps with a nice deck and some tasty LED recessed lights and stuff.
So, thats the main list of jobs – all of which require time and most importantly, money, which I don’t really have *sigh* bathroom and lawns first.
Posted on September 28, 2009
I think I wrote about this before.. The bore packed up working at the very end of last summer – suddenly the pump was only pumping air and the grass had a few weeks of cooking (from which is hasnt really recovered over the winter)
A few attempts at restarting the flow of water earlier in the year had no effect, but I finally got it working today.
You have to run water into the inspection valve in the pump body with a hose to refill the pump and, depending on the specific arrangement of valves and pipes, the bore shaft itself.
Then (advice from fellow photographer – Tristan – thanks!) run the pump in short bursts, refilling the pump and bore to allow the head of water to be drawn back up the bore and expelling the air. Eventually, after a good few bursts or water and pump runs, the water started gushing out of the pump inspection valve and the irrigation came on. yey!
Spent the next few hours digging up the pipework to try to work out where the pipes run in order to fix a couple of non working pop-ups. Not easy as this was all laid 15 years ago and is no buried 2 feet under tree roots and stuff. Have hard hands now – callouses and everything!
Was a good day though 🙂 back to work tomorrow – poo!