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 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?


308 thoughts on “DIY Troubleshooting

  1. 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?


  2. 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.


  3. 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??


    • 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.


  4. 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


    • 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.


  5. 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!


  6. 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!


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