DIY Troubleshooting

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Scroll down to see the many DIY troubleshooting topics below

Please go through the following DIY list; if you don’t see what you are looking for, you can look through the Q&A and/or ask a new question about your sprinkler timer.

This do-it-yourself page will help you troubleshoot and diagnose problems with the Irritrol Rain Dial RD-600 and other irrigation systems.  We don’t want you to send in a sprinkler timer in for repair if it doesn’t need it. Click the links below to navigate the troubleshooting sections.  If you’re asking “How do I …”, keep reading.

For RainDial RD-600, 900, 1200 PROGRAMMING HELP and manuals, click here

Choose the Rain Dial RD600 series problem DIY troubleshooting topic below.

  • Timer Behavior problems
  • Display error messages
  • How Do I … and trouble shooting topics

RD-600/900/1200 Timer – Behavior Problems:

  1. Rain Dial Sprinkler/irrigation valves chatter or buzz or water pressure seems low.
  2. Valves do not come on when they’re supposed to
  3. Valves stuck onwon’t turn off or more than one is on.
  4. Time is frozen or cannot change the time
  5. The case door won’t open or you lost your key 
  6. The case door breaks off or comes apart

Display Error Messages for the Irritrol RD600, RD900, RD1200 Irrigation Timers:

  1. Display shows OFF or blinks when turning on a valve manually
  2. Display is Blank.
  3. Display says FUS or FU5 and a number
  4. Display shows 5En or SEn
  5. Display shows OF1 or OF… some number
  6. Display shows P:On or P:Off
  7. Display is blinking – see above
  8. Display shows “—-“ for days of the week – refers to skip days
  9. Rain Dial Plus:displays “Opn” or “Open

Programming Information for Irritrol RD600, RD900, RD1200 Irrigation Timers:

  1. Programming tutorial for RD-600/900/1200
  2. Programming worksheet for RD600/900/1200
  3. Understanding the Skip Days Feature

DIY troubleshooting “How do I …” sprinkler timer related topics

    1. How do I turn on a valve using the manual button?
    2. How to reset the RainDial controller and set it to factory defaults
    3. How do I water while my timer is being repaired (Manually watering without using a timer)
    4. How to check the fuse (also see FUS topic above)
    5. How to test the transformer to know if the transformer is bad
    6. How to test if the valves or solenoids are bad.
    7. Typical Sprinkler Valve Wiring Diagram
    8. Rain Sensor information for Irritrol RD600 and other timers 

Here is a video showing common symptoms that indicate when a Rain Dial Controller needs to be repaired.


If this information wasn’t enough to resolve the issue, we can help:
Send Rain Dial Timers in for repair?

RD600 Repair

Irritrol Rain Dial RD600 repair services

For other issues, or ones that are in progress and do not have a link yet, just contact us, or see details here: How do I send it in for repair?

 

331 thoughts on “DIY Troubleshooting

  1. I have 3 stations on my RD600. 1 & 2 Work great. 3 suddenly isn’t working, even in the Manuel mode. I tightened all of the connections, but still nothing. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Douglas,
      This is most likely an issue with the solenoid; try unscrewing the solenoid on the valve a half turn or more. If water starts to flow, then the valve is okay, and you likely just need to replace the solenoid.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  2. Have a new 2020 kwikdial -KD6. – one head left open last night by a pine one- problem all stations work on Test but will not open on there start times electonically

    • Hi Robert,

      I’m not that familiar with the KD model so I can’t really offer much besides recommend reviewing the programming and ensuring that start times are accurate. It’s likely just a programming issue or something is not set as expected; It’s unlikely (from your description) that there’s a problem with the timer.

      regards,
      Brian

    • Hi Donald,
      This is pretty common; If you would like you can crack open the timer with a flat head screwdriver, use a phillips head to remove the screws keeping the board in, and then use a pair of pliers on the clip in the middle to allow the board to come away from the housing. You’ll now have access to the plastic on the inside of the housing, you should be able to snap the button back in to the housing properly, and glue it!

      If you don’t want to go through the trouble, you can send it for me and I can fix that along with standard preventative maintenance.

      Thanks,
      Brian

    • Hi Renee,
      I wish I could be of help, but I think what you’re looking for is more on the side of sprinklers and sprinkler heads than sprinkler timers- We are just a repair company for the sprinkler timers.
      I would recommend that you call or go into your local irrigation supply store, or maybe hardware store, and ask them; they’ll probably be able to help (-:

      Thanks,
      Brian

    • Voltage Common, or common voltage. It’s the ‘common’ wire that goes to one wire of each valve. It is usually the same as ‘ground’ in most installations and can be thought of as that. For some more properly wired systems, ground is separate, and not used to connect to the valves. In summary; VC is supposed to be connected to one wire of each solenoid. You can think of it as the ‘return’ wire, or conceptually a common ground wire.

      I hope that helps,
      Brian

  3. Hi, great site.

    I have a 7-10 year old RD 6000r and it has worked great up until now. I noticed it will turn on another zone in another group ( A vs C) after another zone completes.

    Example Zone 1A is trees set to every 10 days and zone 5C is grass set every day at 5 pm. I noticed that the grass will come on at 1pm after the tree cycle shuts off? I ignored it as it’s only every 10 days being associated with the tress schedule. However, now I noticed the Trees ( zone1) just came on randomly the other day after manually watering the grass on zone 5. Time for a new timer or could a reset help? Water is super expensive and I can’t risk hours of tree watering coming on everyday.

    Thanks in advance.

    • I would suggest doing a reset as you mentioned. It will leave a default program of schedule a, every day, 7 AM, 10 minutes, every valve. So you’ll have to make sure and clear those out.

      This behavior is almost always related to programming, so I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with your timer.
      I hope that helps
      Brian

  4. Hi Brian. I have an irritrol Rain Dial-R for about 4 years n it has been working good until today. For some reason, when I decided to water a certain station n ,as usual, push manual button n no number came up on screen at all? N needless to say,cannot operate manually ?

    • Hi Sean,
      This can happen for a number of reasons, but the first thing I would try would be to reset the timer and see if that helps. (see DIY troubleshooting, “how to reset the Raindial Controller…)
      If this does not help, then I have a few questions to diagnose:
      Can you run other stations manually?
      Can you run using Semi Auto?
      Does your program run as scheduled?

  5. Hi Brian-
    I have the RD 1200 model. It has worked well and no problem until now. Now I have two valves running at the same time. When Valve 1 is supposed to be on, Valve 3 comes on and runs concurrently. Then when Valve 3 is supposed to be on, Valve 1 come on and runs concurrently. When the two valves are running at the same time, the sprinkler heads on Valve one don’t pop up.
    -Tommy

    • Hi Tommy,
      When the valves are both on, what does the display show? If you see the little number on the top row for both valves, then it’s a program issue. If you only see one number, then it’s typically a valve problem.
      There is an entire section on the DIY troubleshooting page for when valves come on and they’re not supposed to.If you haven’t already check that out, it’s worth a read. Let me know what you find out.
      , Thanks, Brian

  6. My RD 600 R runs a second watering cycle right after the first one completes. The B and C cycles are off. All 6 stations run twice. Is there a way I can correct this or does it have to be replaced, again?

    Thank you.

  7. Hi There,

    My Irritrol Rain dial 6 zone is not popping up sprinklers. It was working normally till recently. Never had any issues. No problem with the displays, I try to do manual each zone but that’s not popping the sprinklers. Fuse also looks good. Can you please help

    • Hi Sam,
      There’s a lot of different things that could be happening here- The most likely things are that the timer has a problem in the power supply chain and needs repair, which I fix all the time, or there’s a problem with power getting to the timer, either with the back terminal board or the transformer. An important distinction- If there is no battery attached to the timer, and it is plugged into the backboard, is the display on?

      Thanks,
      Brian

  8. Does the rain dial model RD-600-R require a battery to function? The lights went out so I thought maybe the breaker flipped. couldn’t get it to work and then thought; “well, maybe I’ll change the battery” and sure enough, the lights are back on so just curious. Thanks

    • Hi Dave,
      The purpose of the battery is only save the programming if there is a power outage, but the -R timers like yours have state independent memory, which basically means there is no purpose for using a battery.
      If your timer is blank unless you connect a battery to it, then the timer is not getting power through the backboard from the transformer. Check out my page about what to do if the timer display is blank. It’s likely that the breaker needs to be reset, the transformer is dead, or that the backboard needs repair.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  9. my Irritrol RD-600-R display is dead. I have replaced the 9V battery and the fuse appears intact. The timer is 14 years old. I have not had any previous problems. Suggestions??

    Cal

    • Hi Calvin,
      If the timer display does not come on from either being plugged in or connecting a 9V battery, then that’s not a good sign- If you’re in the phoenix area you can bring it to me and I can see if I can repair it, but it’s unlikely.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  10. I have a knocking in my water pipe that happens only for a short time and seems related to the time the sprinklers are on. Is this something that might be related to my RD 600-R

    Mel

    • Hi Mel,
      This is a common symptom of an issue with the power supply chain in your sprinkler timer- Your timer needs repair! If you are interested in having it repaired please send me an email and we can set that up.

      Thanks,
      Brian

      • I also have a knocking noise when the system turns on. I replaced both values and that did not correct the problem. so it must be in the timing schedule. i would like to have someone look at it.
        marlene

        • Hi Marlene,
          We see this problem daily, it is a very common indicator that your timer needs repair and I’m sure I can fix it. If you’re interested in sending your timer in for repair, please check out our “How to get it repaired” tab!
          (If you’re saying you need someone to come out and look at it, then sadly that’s not something we do- we are just a 3 person family business, all of us working full time at the moment; if you need someone to come out I would recommend you try some landscaping companies!)

          Thanks,
          Brian

  11. I currently have an RD 900 that has worked well for many years. Currently, I am experiencing an issue where various zones in the yard turn on, and the sprinklers pop up, run for a second, then pop down for a second, then pop back up, and so on. Because it happens in multiple zones, I suspect the timer is the culprit. Any ideas?

    • Hi Richard,
      This is a very common problem with these timers, and I fix it all the time!
      If you’re in the phoenix area you can come by, or you can mail it in to me. I’ll send you and email with all the details!

      Thanks,
      Brian

  12. Hi Brian,

    I have the outdoor RD 600, the semi-auto button is not working as the irrigation didn’t start and Manual button also not working as I tried to manually run a particular zone, what happen was when I press the manual button after set the time and zone I wanted, its just blink for a few second with the minute I set on the screen then the screen go back to OFF and nothing happen. There are time when I check the controller, it show the current time but it just keep blinking until I press the + or – button before it stop blinking. Can you give some advise please?

    • Hi there,
      It sounds like the buttons are working, but the timer isn’t executing your program. This sounds like a common problem I see all the time, and I bet I can fix it if you would like to send it in for repair!

      Thanks,
      Brian

      • My RD-600 only works with a new 9v battery for about a couple of weeks. Once the battery is dead the display remains on, dimmed and flashing, but will not function?

        • Hi Gonzo,
          This is the most common problem we see with timers; I can definitely fix it! If you’re interested check out the page on how to get your timer repaired, or shoot me an email at raindialdoctor@gmail.com!

          Thanks,
          Brian

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