Restarting Stored SOL-C12 or 24 controllers after winter.
Here are a few simple tips which will help you when you are setting up a SOL-C12 or 24 controller after it has been in storage. This includes winter storage but also new kits which are likely to have been in storage prior to sale.
- Charge the batteries externally for 20 – 30 minutes. When you refit them make sure they are held securely by the metal electrodes..
- Ensure that the inlet filter and rain barrel are clean and that the filter is about 10cm off the bottom of the barrel.
- The water level sensor, if used, should be attached to the inlet tube. Where it has a single wire it should be about 2cm above the filter, where twin wires one electrode should be 2cm above the filter, but the other should be below the filter to ensure good separation.
- Ensure that the ends of the inlet and outlet tubes fit on the pump connections securely, if necessary cut 1cm from the tube ends.
- Make sure the solar panel is clean (wipe with a damp cloth if needed) and that on new units the protective film has been removed. Make sure that the solar panel is not shaded and facing approximately south (North in the southern hemisphere).
- First turn on during bright weather with the outlet tube disconnected. Leave the pump running until you see water coming from the pump outlet, then connect the outlet tube. With the pump running check your system for leaks and blocked drippers.
- Leaky joints should be remade, cutting 1cm from the leaky tube end.
- Blocked drippers can be cleaned (using a syringe) or replaced. If drippers are affected by hard water clean them with a mild acid such as vinegar. If blocked with organic material dilute hydrogen peroxide is effective. Use a syringe to flush the dripper through.
- The first time you turn it on, how long the pump runs is dependent on how much charge is left in the batteries, if fully charged this could be hours. After discharging a couple of times the control should return to normal. Then monitor, if watering too little turn it up, too little turn it down.