DIY Troubleshooting

Are we still in business?   Absolutely, and we will be as long as this site is up.   

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

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

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


277 thoughts on “DIY Troubleshooting

  1. RD-900 here. Seems to work OK, but I get an alternating FU5 and the time flashing in the display. There is no zone associated with the FU5 (I’ve been there before). Just the time and FU5. Ideas?

    • Hi Ted,

      Thanks for asking about the Irritrol RD-600 series sprinkler timer. To find the answer to your question, take a look at the DIY Troubleshooting page for the for the topic related to FUS, it’ll explain what’s going on. If it’s helpful, please make a donation, I don’t get paid for the website and the money goes toward children’s education; it’s a good cause.

  2. Good afternoon ,

    My Rain Dial system runs through a cycle when I have the switch in the set program position and when I have it in the run or manual position. Would you know what would cause this to happen?

    • Hi Anthony, I think we talked about this via email already. The timer will still run a program even if the switch is in the set-programs position. That’s just the way it works. Normally you’d put it in the run position, but usually either position will allow the program to run. If you don’t want it to run, set it to the OFF position.

      Hopefully that helps, if not, let me know.

    • Hi scott,

      If you type ‘skip days’ into the search box at the top right side of this, it’ll take you to a good explanation of how this feature works.
      Let me know if that helps,

      Regards, Brian – aka the irritrol irrigation sprinkler timer specialist

  3. I can not get my stations to turn on ..I have 6 stations and when I try to turn on the other stations the only one that comes on is station 1

    • Hi Mary Ann,
      Well, we know the transformer is good because there is power to the unit. When you turn on the ones that are not working, does a little number appear in the top row of the display for the valve you are trying to turn on? Let me know and I can assist some more. Also, what is the model number on the timer? This is shown above the semi auto button and is usually something like RD600 or RD600-R.

      Let me know what you find,

      Meghan – The RainDial Doctor in Training

  4. Hi, I have an Irritrol Rain Dial RD-1200-R. The LCD only comes on when the battery is used. I take out the battery and there is nothing. The device is not turning on the sprinklers. Nothing works! What can I do?

    • hi Bruce,

      Follow the DIY Troubleshooting page for the section to see if the transformer is working. If it is working, send the back terminal board and the timer in for repair. We’ll get it repaired and back in the mail the day after we receive it.

      Use the contact-us form to reach me and I’ll send you additional details if you want them.

      Brian – aka the irrigation controller rain dial doctor.

  5. I have Rain Dial – R 600.. Yesterday during the second watering the system shut off. None of the remaining stations turned on. I have checked the fuse, breaker switches . The display show’s correct time. When removing battery and waiting for 4-5 minutes the display still show’s time. Remove battery and plug (elec.) transformer the light goes off. Replaced battery about 3 months ago. I had a new Rain Dial system installed about 4 years ago. Please call me at xxxxxxxx or e-mail me at xxxxxxxxxxxxxx would appreciate information. thank you.

    • I’m emailing you now.
      note I’m editing out your email and phone number so they’re not here, but I will still contact you about your irritrol rain dial timer.


  6. Hi, I have a RD-600 R and the LCD display only comes on with a battery.I take out the battery no display. I have 30 volts when I test with a meter . The device is not turning the sprinklers on. It wont work in manual either.

    • Hi Chris, that sounds like a problem we typically repair. I will send you an email with repair instructions.

      Meghan – The RainDial Doctor in Training

      • I am having the exact same issue. LCD powers on with battery, however turns off when battery is removed. Sprinklers will not start. I’m receiving 27V off of the transformer. Were you ever able to determine a resolution?

        • Hi Reggie,
          It sounds like you have the same problem as Aharon. Go ahead and send in both parts to us as well and we will get them repaired and back to you ASAP. You should receive an email with the details from me shortly.

          Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

      • Hi Meghan,

        I have the exact same problem that Chris had .I have a RD-600 R and the LCD display only comes on with a battery.I take out the battery no display. The device is not turning the sprinklers on. It wont work in manual either. Because you had a solution for him I’m replying to your answer.

        • Hi Jo,

          I’m sure we can help, just send the backboard and timer in for repair. There’s two videos on the removal instructions page that show you how to easily remove them. You can also look at the link on the DIY Troubleshooting page that will show you how to water while it’s being repaired. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at


    • hi larry,

      if the sprinkler timer knob is starting to fail, it’s usually easier to turn in one direction than the other, but it should no be extremely difficult. I’d be happy to repair it and also incorporate other updates that I typically do to ensure it’ll last for a long time. Just send it in – the menu item about how to get it repaired has all the details.


    • Hi Joseph,

      See the DIY page for everything you need to know about the FUS error.


    • Hi Joseph,
      I have instruction on how to clear the fuse message here. If that doesn’t work, try resetting the unit. Let me know if that helps.

      Meghan – Raindial Doctor in Training

    • Hi Terry,
      That sounds like a problem we typically repair, I am confident that we can help. I will send you an email with repair instructions. Thanks!

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

      • Hi Meghan,
        I have a RainDial 900. The timer blinks when scheduled watering time is ready to go on.
        Can you please help me to understand how to repair this?

        • Hi Colleen,
          I sent you an email with repair instructions. We will repair it and get it back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!


    • Hi Doug,
      I would recommend trying a reset. I have instruction on how to reset the controller here. Let me know if that helps.

      Note that IF6 is not a valid message, so if you still get that after the reset, let me know.

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  7. I really hope you can help me.

    I moved into a rental which has the RD1200 model (grey coloured front with blue strips, as opposed to the blue front with darker blue strips).

    The + and – buttons have now both stuck down so when you which it over to ‘run’, the display just constantly changes, because the system thinks you are pressing the buttons. Therefore the system does not come on automatically. You can however run it manually, but the station remains permanently on station 1 as it doesn’t know when to stop and change, for the same reason as before; the display constantly changes.

    I thought of telling the owners but thought I would just buy another one. The problem is I live in Australia and cannot find any Irritrol stores here.

    Alternatively, if you could tell me how to open the casing to fix the buttons myself that would be ideal.

    • Hi Max,

      You can typically get into the timer by using a large (as much as will fit) slot screw driver. push it in as far as it will go and then pry it till it unlatches.

      As for the buttons… Sometimes the plastic button gets popped out of their sockets and cause the button(s) to constantly get pushed. You may be able to just pop the plastic back in place and the problem will go away. You might also get lucky enough to clean up some water damage on the board and stop the shorted button connection.

      Let me know how it goes,

      • Thankyou Brian, I will give it a go.

        Just a couple more questions if I may –
        1) If I am unable to fix it and wish to replace the unit, could I buy a different version (i.e. RD600 rather than a replacement RD1200)as only 3 x stations are being used?

        2) Would the smaller station module attach to the existing RD1200 case on the wall?; and

        3) Would the other version come with its own attached ribbon cable on the back of the module?

        • Hi Max,
          Yes, you can replace it with a smaller version. They all have their own ribbon cable and are backward compatible and forward compatible. It’s a simple swap out.
          There is one catch however. You need to make sure that you replace it with the same type. There are two types: one has a “-R” in the part number as seen in the lower left corner of the timer (near the semi auto button ). The other does not hav the -R. Eg RD-600 vs RD-600-R
          They have different size ribbon cables. The newer one has four additional pins. Just keep an eye out for that and make sure it matches what you’re replacing and it’ll work fine.

          Good luck Mate,

    • Hi William,
      We can replace buttons, dials, and switches, no problem. While we have it, will also replace some of the other parts that frequently fail so it should last you a very long time.

      If you have any questions feel free to contact us using the contact us form and we’ll send pricing and warranty info etc.

      Thanks for posting,
      Brian a.k.a. the Irritrol rain dial doctor

  8. Hello

    My older rd1200 wont display am timr, only pm. I have tried the instructions for resetting several times. Including the -r reset. But these did not help.

    I thought i found a reference to this problem a few days ago but havent found it since

    Would appreciate your help


    • Hi John,

      It’s possible that the LCD ‘segment’ that makes the little ‘leg’ on the A character in AM is not functioning properly. It probably is still doing am and pm, but you can’t tell which one you’re in at the time.

      You could try disassembling it and putting it back together, otherwise I’d suggest sending it in for repair. I can look at that as well as replace some other parts that often fail, that way you’ll be good to go for many many years.

      Let me know what you decide to do,

  9. The turn dial on my RD1200-EXT has broken off. Is it possible to replace the turn dial or do I need to replace the whole controller. Thank you.

    • You can send it in for repair and we’ll do the dial as well as update other parts that often fail; that way you’ll know I’ll be working well for a long time.

  10. I recently reprogramed my RD600r and changed some days to be “off” but yet the systems still come “on” the days that have been reprogramed. It’s as if the timer is stuck in the previous settings. I have disconnected the terminal from the power and re connected but no change.

    • Hi David,

      I’d suggest following the steps to set it back to factory defaults. Be sure to follow the -R version. If you can’t get it to clear out the previous programming, you can send it in for repair. This sort of problem is almost always corrected by the reset, but sometimes there’s a problem with the program switch or something else that puts it in program mode.

      Brian – aka the RD600 series Irritrol RainDial repair guy

  11. My RainDial will start on the timer but will shut off. I think it happens when it is switching to the next zone. The timer then flashes again.


    • Hi Keith,
      Thanks for the inquiry, I appreciate it. If it only happens with one zone, then it is likely a solenoid problem. If it happens with several zones, then it is a timer problem. Go ahead and send it in if you find out that the controller is the source of the issue.

      Brian – The RainDial Doctor

  12. I have the 9 station Rain Dial Irritrol.
    Program is not turning on valve when scheduled. I can turn on the valve but putting time on and pressing manual.

    It is not holding the program. Leave for a day and check the setting and the set times and watering times have changed. I put in new battery and reprogrammed again.

    • Hi Kathy,

      I thought I had already responded… I’d suggest sending it in for repair; the problem you describe is something that I see and repair frequently.

      If you have other questions, email me at


  13. My rain dial control box has started to beep. It is an intermittent 3 short beeps.
    Please tell me what is causing this and how I can fix it.

    • Hi Sammy,

      As far as I know, they shouldn’t beep. Is it possible the noise is originating from the valves? Sometimes when the rain dial’s start to fail, they’ll cause a buzzing or chattering sound in the valve box.

      Let me know if that seems to be the case,

  14. Just moved into home w rd1200. No instructions. But set it up like your video…keep getting”of1” flashing w current time. So nothing is kicking in when the set time is programmed. Please help. Must be that ‘OF 1’…?
    Manual works fine. Thank you…bruce

    • Hi Bruce,

      The RD1200 OF1 message and solution can be found on my DIY page, take a look and let me know either way if that helps.

      Regards, Brian – the rd600 rd900 and rd1200 repair ‘doc’

        • Hi Nathan,
          The DIY topics are listed under the DIY Troubleshooting tab. Just scroll down from there and you will see them. Here is the link for the OF1 problem.

          Let me know if you have any other questions,

          Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  15. I am not getting any digital reading and nothing is working. I have changed the fuse, the battery, and the electricity outlet is working. It just doesn’t do anything though once in a while it will turn on, then nothing.

    • Hi John,
      Not sure how this comment fell through the cracks. If you still need help, that sounds like the problem we typically repair. Please send in both parts (controller and back connector board). I will send you an email with repair details.

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  16. I try to set unit to run by valve settings, but no matter what valve I set it to, it always runs on valve #1. I currently use 5 valve settings. What does that tell you I need to fix, or have repaired?

    • Hi James, It sounds like a programming issue, or possibly your # 1 valve is starting to fail, but I’d check programming first.
      Do a full rd600 series reset to clear out everything but the default program, which is schedule A programmed for every valve for 10 minutes, every day at 7am. You’ll have to turn off the parts of this default schedule you don’t need.

      Let me know how it goes.
      Brian – aka the RainDial Doctor for RD600, rd900 and rd1200 series controllers.

  17. RD 1200– Have to turn water supply valve on manually. System seems to work ok then, but I have to turn the valve off manually. Can you advise

    • Hi Bob,
      Are you manually turning it on at the valve or at the timer? When you turn it on with the timer, does the timer indicate that it is turning on a valve (for example, something like M:01 or A:10, etc)? Let me know.

      Brian – The Irritrol RD600 RainDial Doctor

  18. The unit does not seem to have power. I have checked the electrical outlet , replaced the 9v battery and the 2A fuse. There is still no data on the screen. Is there anything else I can check to make the unit turn on. I used the irrigation system 3 days ago. We have not had any electrical issues at my house and the weather has been 100 degrees with no rain.

    • Hi Madeline,
      Thanks for the question. I would recommend trying a full reset. I have instructions on how to reset on my website here.

      Hope that helps! Let us know.

      Meghan – Irritrol RainDial Doctor in Training

  19. Good afternoon: My RD-900 control has 27 volts input but the output to the water valve solenoids hunts between 27 and 14 volts. If I bypass the control and supply 27 volts to the solenoid then the zone turns on and works. I suspect the control is not playing fair?

    • Hi Steve,
      Sorry for the delayed response – if you still need help, that sounds like the problem I typically fix. Go ahead and send it in for repair. I will email you with detailed repair instructions.

      Brian – The RainDial Doctor

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