Frequently Asked Questions

Rock and Walls

Do I need to use edge restraints when installing my paver project?

Yes.  All interlocking paver systems require some edge restraint to prevent the pavers from moving or shifting. An edge restraining can consist of plastic, aluminum, concrete toe and concrete curb.


Do I really need to use Geo-grid and why?

Depending on the height and scope of the project, geo-grid may be needed. Please reference www.allanblock.com for proper retaining wall installation. 


Should I use drain tile behind my wall?

Yes.  It is recommended to use a 4” perforated drain pipe at the lowest point of your wall construction. 


What kind of base should I use when installing my wall?

Reading Rock recommends a minimum of 6” of clean washed 57. 


What is filter fabric used for?

A woven geotextile fabric is used to separate the soil sub-base from your base material.  This will greatly minimize any ground movement and prevent your pavers from settling. 


What kind of base should I use when installing my pavers?

Reading Rock recommends using a minimum of 6” of 3/4” crushed limestone compacted at 3” lifts.


Do I have to cap my wall?

Walls do not have to be finished with a cap; however, to give your project a more completed, more formal look, it is recommended that you use a cap to finish off your wall.  Reading Rock has many different wall cap options depending on the type of wall and application.


What is the maximum height of an Allan Block wall?

If the wall project is engineered and installed properly, Allan Block segmental retaining wall units can be constructed up to 50+ feet in height.


What is the maximum height of an Allan Block landscape wall?

Reading Rock considers a landscape wall to be under 6 feet in height and meet specific requirements as outlined on the Allan Block Website. Please follow all Allan Block recommended installation guidelines.


Can I use AB Courtyard and/or Bedford as a retaining wall?

No.  AB Courtyard and Bedford products are designed and manufactured to be used in applications where they are not retaining soil.


Do I have to use thicker (ex: 8cm) pavers for my driveway?

No.  It is not necessary to use 8cm pavers for residential vehicular applications such as a driveway; however, Reading Rock does recommend using 8cm pavers for driveway applications when heavy vehicular traffic will be present.


Can I add concrete pavers over an existing concrete surface?

Yes, laying concrete pavers over an existing concrete surface can be done; however, concrete surfaces overtime will crack and settle therefore making the pavers settle.  If you choose to lay pavers over an existing concrete surface, it is recommended to use a quality masonry adhesive around the perimeter of your project to ensure your pavers do not shift or move.  As with all paver installations, Reading Rock recommends using a polymeric sand or liquid joint stabilizer for your paver joints.  It is even more critical to use these products when installing pavers over an existing concrete surface.  This will minimize any water ponding below the pavers and on the concrete surface below thus preventing concrete damage and efflorescence exposure to the pavers. Reading Rock recommends removing any existing concrete surface before installing a paver application.


What is the difference between tumbled and non-tumbled pavers/walls?

Reading Rock’s tumbled products are antiqued to provide a rustic and old world charm.  The non tumbled products have cleaner lines and create a more traditional look to your landscape.


Do I need to seal the pavers?

Sealing pavers is not necessary; however, it is recommended.  Some liquid sealers will enhance the color of your pavers while others will stabilize the joints.  In addition, Reading Rock also offers a product that will stabilize your joints and seal your pavers with one application.


Can I pressure wash my pavers?

Pavers can be pressure washed.  It is recommended that you keep a distance between the power washer and paver as to not etch your pavers.  For additional support, please contact Reading Rock customer service at 513.874.2345.


Can I put salt on my concrete pavers?

Yes.  Salting your concrete pavers during the colder months will not affect the pavers.  Once the ice and snow has melted, it is recommended to clear any remaining salt from the surface of the pavers.


What is the whiteish haze on the surface on my concrete product?

Efflorescence is not indicative of a flawed product, overtime the frost will disappear.   Efflorescence is the frost that sometimes appears on the surface of concrete products.  Efflorescence comes from within the concrete itself.  When the calcium hydroxide comes in contact with the carbon dioxide in the air, a hard white substance, which sticks to the surface of the concrete after the moisture evaporates.  This is the frost or efflorescence that you see.  Just be patient, efflorescence is temporary and will go away over time.  If the frost is so obvious that it distracts from the beauty of your product, Reading Rock offers products to minimize efflorescence.



Plants

What flowers work well in the shade?

Just to name a few; Impatients, Begonias, Torenia, Astilbes, Forget-Me-Nots, Fuchsia, Hosta, Coral Bells, and Ferns.


I am only here on the weekends - so what can I plant that won't require much care when I am not here?

Initially, new planted material will need weekly watering.  Once established, most perennials and nursery stock will be just fine.  Annual plantings will generally always need to be watered during the week.


Are there any plants that are deer proof?

We suggest the following website for a listing of plant material that would be deer proof. 


What Shrubs flower the longest?

Potentillas, Spireas, and Weigelas have longer bloom times.


What kind of plant material is low maintenance?

Just to name a few; Spreading Junipers, Hostas, Ornamental Grasses, some Viburnums, Yews, and Spireas


How late in the season can I plant Shrubs, Perennials, and Evergreens?

Usually we get a hard freeze mid to late November.  It's safe to plant until that hard freeze point.


Are Mums and Asters hardy in this area?

Cutting Mums and Asters back in the fall reduces their hardiness. If they are cut back after the temperatures warm in the spring, their survival rate is higher.


What do I feed my Endless Summer Hydrangea to keep it blue?

You can use an acid based fertilizer such as Aluminum Sulphate.


What is your warranty on your plant material?

(Refer to Warranty Agreement)


When is the best time to plant?

Usually April thru mid November for nursery stock, May thru the summer for annuals and May thru October for perennials. Weather may shorten or lengthen these time periods.


Should I apply root stimulator when I plant trees and shrubs?

Yes.  Root Stimulator is actually good to use when planting perennials, shrubs, trees, and house plants.  Root Stimulator helps to stimilate early root formation and stronger root development.  Root Stimulator also helps reduce transplant shock and promotes greener, more vigorous plants.  Please make sure to read and follow label directions. 


When is the best time to transplant?

The best time to transplant Shrubs, Perennials, Trees, and Evergreens would be early spring or fall.  If transplanting during hot weather, be sure to water accordingly.


How often should I fertilize _______?

Shrubs should be fertilized annually with a slow release granular fertilizer.

Annuals should be fertilized every watering with a water soluble fertilizer.

Perennials should be fertilized annually with a slow release granular fertilizer.

Trees should be fertilized annually with a slow release granular fertilizer.

Evergreen should be fertilized annually with a slow release granular fertilizer, usually one on the acidic side.


How often should I water _______?

Shrubs should  be watered weekly until established, then as weather dictates.

Annuals should be watered two to three times a day and maybe even more when the weather is very warm.

Perennials should be watered weekly until established and then as weather dictates.

Trees should be watered weekly until established and then as weather dictates. 

Evergreens should be watered weekly until established, then as weather dictates, also water well right before a hard frost.


What grows well in clay soil?

If the soil is properly amended and the plant material watered accordingly, most varieties will perform well in clay soils.



Irrigation

Why is my rain sensor not turning off the sprinklers?

There are three possible reasons:

1.    Make sure the terminal jumper has been removed.  Most irrigation controllers use a sensor circuit that provides terminals where the sensor wires will connect.  If the controller uses a normally open sensor circuit (most common) the terminals will be connected by a jumper clip or wire.  The terminal jumper will need to be removed for the rain sensor to operate correctly.

2.    Some controllers come with a rain Sensor Bypass switch.  Make sure the switch is in the “Active” or “On” position.

3.    The Mini-Clik sensor can be adjusted to activate at different amounts of rainfall.  Check the sensor to see if it is set for the appropriate rainfall amount.

4.    Make sure the sensor is located in an area where it is unobstructed from the rain.  Overhangs, trees or anything else that may prevent rain from reaching the sensor should be avoided.

5.    Wiring shorts on the sensor circuit will not allow the controller to recognize an open circuit when the sensor activates.  For example, if the sensor wire were stapled to the siding of the house, a staple could cut into the wire insulation and create a short across the two conductors.

6.    The Wireless Rain-Clik sensor relies on a radio signal from the sensor to reach a receiver at the controller.  If the radio signal is obstructed, the controller may not respond to the active sensor.  Make sure the sensor and receiver are installed in such a way that communication is allowed.  Obstructed signals or interference problems may be resolved by moving the sensor or receiver to another location where communication is possible. 

7.    The Wireless Rain-Clik Owners Manual uses an address code to prevent cross talk with other sensors or radio devices.  A sensor and receiver set for different addresses will not communicate.  Contact us with any questions.


How long does it take for the rain sensor to dry out?

All Hunter rain sensors have an adjustable “Vent Ring”.  Dry out time could be as little as 4 hours, depending upon weather conditions (temperature and humidity) and how the vent ring is set.  If the weather remains cold and damp, your sensor could be active for months.


How much rain does my sensor need to shut off the sprinklers?

The Rain-Clik™ and Wireless Rain-Clik™ provide instant shut off, thanks to Hunter’s Quick Response™ feature.  They will activate when as little as a 1/2” of rain hits the sensor.
The Mini-Clik® is an adjustable model which can be set to activate when either 1/8”, 1/4”, 1/2”, 3/4”, or 1” of rain hits the sensor.


Why won’t my controller turn on a station or program?

If your controller appears to be working correctly, but one or more stations do not come on, you will need to follow a series of steps to determine the problem.

Step 1. Check the controller programming.
Make sue the controller is programmed correctly.  Stations that do not turn on may not have a run time scheduled in the program.  A program missing a start time, run times, or days to water will not come on at all.

Step 2. Check the controller operation.
After you have verified that the controller is programmed correctly, check to make sure the controller is operating correctly.

A.    Attempt to run the station manually from the controller
B.    Make sure any weather sensors connected to the controller are not active and overriding the controller.
C.    Test the voltage output for the station with a voltmeter. (24-29 Volts AC).  If the controller is an SRC, check the fuse and replace if necessary.

Step 3. Check the wiring.
If your controller test confirms good voltage (24-20VAC) output from the station, test the voltage at the valve.  If you have voltage at the controller but not at the valve the valve wire may be cut or disconnected.

Step 4. Check the valve.

A.    Make sure the valve works by turning the solenoid 1/2” turn counter-clockwise.  Turning the solenoid will turn the valve on manually.  Turn the solenoid clockwise until snug to turn off the valve.
B.    If the valve will not turn on manually, check the water supply to the valve.
C.    If the valve will turn on manually, test the solenoid operation.  The solenoid Ohms resistance should be between 25 and 35 Ohms.

Step 5. Further assistance.
If you require further assistance troubleshooting your system, please contact us.


How do I program my controller?

Hunter has controller programming instructions and owner’s manuals available on our Controller Support Documents page.  You may select which Hunter controller you have and choose to view the information in two different formats-as a web document or a printable PDF download.


Why do my sprinklers finish watering and then start again?

When a program finishes watering and starts again, we call it repeat cycling.  A common reason for a controller to repeat cycle is too many programmed start times in your controller.  Only one start time per active program is required. A second start time will cycle the program an additional time.

Individual stations are assigned to a program. Each program requires only one start time to initiate a watering sequence of the stations assigned to that program.  Start times are assigned to programs, not stations.  The controller will operate the stations in numeric order.  When a station has completed its watering time, the controller will switch to the next station in that program automatically.

For example: Program A has six stations (1-6) assigned to it and the program has one start time at 8:00 AM.  At 8:00 AM, station 1 will water, followed by station 2, then station 3, and so on until all six stations have watered.


Why does my valve leak water when shut off?

It is possible that you have debris in the valve, which is causing it to remain open.  To fix this, you’ll need to disassemble the valve, rinse all the parts with clean water, and re-assemble the valve.  Contact us if you cannot locate your valve boxes or fix the valve.


How do I manually open a zone control valve without using the controller?

Simply twist the solenoid (the black cylinder with 2 wires coming from it) on the valve counter-clockwise 1/4 to 1/2 a turn.  To shut off the valve, twist the solenoid clockwise until it is snug on the valve.


I have a broken sprinkler in my yard from another brand. Can this be upgraded to a Hunter sprinkler?

If you know the manufacturer’s model number, you may be able to use our Replacement Charts to find the appropriate Hunter sprinkler that will have a similar flow rate and distance range.  Visit our Replace Guide or download Sprinkler Replacement Charts – Residential and Light Commercial Rotors and Sprays PDF.


Why does my pop-up sprinkler stay up when shut off?

The most common reason a pop-up sprinkler “sticks up” is because debris is in the pop up body, the riser is damaged, or the riser seal is worn.  To fix this, unscrew the body cap, pull out the sprinkler assembly, and examine the parts.  Clean out debris and replace parts if needed.

If you do need to replace a broken sprinkler, worn seal, or other part, please contact us.


Why is my rotary sprinkler not rotating?

Hunter rotary sprinklers operate on a “gear drive” system.  When in operation, water turns a small turbine in the base of the sprinkler, which drives a series of gears that cause the head to rotate.  The Hunter gear drive mechanism is sealed from dirt and debris.  Age, excessive pressure, or poor water quality may eventually allow particles of contamination to enter the gear drive.

If the sprinkler is no longer rotating and the water flow coming out of the sprinkler has decreased, you can first try cleaning out the filter by removing the pop-up assembly from the main body.  The cap can simply be threaded off and the internal assembly removed.  The filter on the bottom of the internal assembly can be easily removed using needle nose pliers.


How much time do I run my sprinklers to water my lawn effectively?

Chances are your professional contractor programmed the controller when they were finished installing the system.  They probably also gave you a schedule (or schedules) you could enter into the controller during different seasons of the year.  If not, you should contact an irrigation professional in your area who can give you guidance as to the number of minutes each zone should water and on how many days of the week.

Each climate has different requirements; each plant material will have varying needs, as well.  In addition, be sure to account for the fact that different types of sprinklers apply water at varying rates.  Contact us on how to determine correct watering times.


Why would my sprinkler system continue running even after the controller is unplugged?

There are two reasons why your sprinklers would continue running:

     1. It is possible that your valves have been opened manually.  You will need to locate your valve box(es) and twist the solenoid(s) on the valves clockwise until snug.  The solenoid is located on the top of the valve and looks like a cylinder with two wires coming out of it.
     2.  It is possible that you have debris in the valve, which is causing them to remain open.  To fix this, you’ll need to disassemble the valve, rinse all the parts with clean water and re-assemble the valve.  Contact us if you cannot locate your valve boxes or fix the valve.


What maintenance do I need to do on my irrigation system?

Every month you should:
1.    Adjust the timer settings. 2. Check and adjust head trajectory. 3. Clean in-line filters.

Once a season you should:
1.    Clean rotator and spray head filters. 2. Manually operate each valve. 3 Check wire and wirenuts for damage.
As needed you should: 1. Unclog sprinkler heads. 2. Adjust installation levels of the heads to ground level.


When is the best time to winterize my irrigation system?

Yearly weather conditions will determine the best time to winterize your system.  Even though most of the system is protected until the ground freezes, external parts like the backflow preventor can freeze from cold overnight temperatures.  This time is usually just after a hard frost in late October or early November.


What is the best time to start up my irrigation system in the spring?

Opening your system for the season will depend on the weather conditions.  As a general rule, the system should not be opened before April 15.  In some seasons, we have opened systems in May due to a particularly wet and rainy spring.


How long will it take to install my irrigation system?

Under normal conditions, your irrigation system can be installed in a few days, with minimal disturbance to your existing lawn or landscape.