How do I reset my Irritrol controller or reset it to factory defaults

On rare occasions something occurs that causes the processor to lock up.  Sometimes the programming acts strange, or the clock even quits working.  This would most likely happen when during power outages or transients.

The good news is that it rarely occurs and is easily fixed by doing the following, depending on whether you have an older or new model controller:

For older controllers: Perform a complete reset by: (note, this will delete all your programming)

  1. Remove the battery
  2. Pull off the ribbon cable from the back connector board (white or yellow board with all the screw terminals) by holding the gray ribbon cable close to the back terminal board and wiggling it off.  It’s a press-fit connector that should be relatively easy to remove
  3. Wait 3 minutes or so for any residual power to completely drain from the unit.  (Newer controllers do need a lot of time to discharge so it’s worth taking the time)
  4. Plug in the ribbon cable again (it should power up)
  5. Reconnect the battery.
  6. Reprogram the controller.
    Note: The older model sprinkler timers will have default schedule which is something similar to:every day, 7AM, every station for 10 minutes.  Make sure to go through all the station settings when you re-program the controller or your sprinklers may come on when you don’t expect them to.

It should start with a blinking 12:00pm and now work as expected; you can now set the time.

For newer controllers (Typically the -R models), you can restore the factory default settings by doing the following: (note, this will delete all your programming).

  1. Before you do this procedure, you should try doing the basic reset for older controllers first (see above).  It may work, and you won’t lose your program settings.
  2. Set the dial on the current Time.
  3. Place the Function switch in the Set Programs position.
  4. Place the Program switch to select program “B.”
  5. With AC power connected, carefully disconnect the control module ribbon cable from the back PC Board by grabbing the ribbon cable close to the back terminal board and wiggling it till it comes off.
  6. Open the battery compartment and disconnect the battery.
  7. Press and hold the Manual button in and KEEP HOLDING IT IN while performing the next step.
  8. Reconnect the ribbon cable, then release the Manual button. Note: The display should now show 12:00 AM indicating the controller has reset. If it does not, repeat the procedure as necessary.
  9. Reinstall the battery.
  10. Reprogram the controller.

What to do if that doesn’t work

If you reset the  controller and that seems to help, but it still behaves strangely now and then, it probably needs repair.  The sprinkler timers tend to get intermittent before the completely fail.

If you want someone to repair it, just contact us – we’ll send you repair details.

Good luck,
Brian

(c) This material is copyrighted

97 thoughts on “How do I reset my Irritrol controller or reset it to factory defaults

  1. Is there a way I can restart the Rain Dial Plus after manually shutting it off in the middle of a program?

    • Hi Richard,

      No, I don’t believe you can continue where you left off. Sorry..

      Brian – aka the RainDial Doctor for RD600 series timers.

    • Hi Ray,
      We have a link for paypal on our website, located here. Thank you so much! Your donation helps the RainDial Doctor’s in training, like me 🙂

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  2. My 2003 Irritrol Total Control 12 station controller decided not to operate any longer!
    After researching the online questions and answers, which were many, I finally had brains enough to follow some of the great advice given by your company online.
    My solution was to simply tighten the screws to the wiring inside of the unit and “voila”
    all returned to its normal operating status. What a great product. it just needs some simple tuning and maintenance occasionally.
    Mike

    • Hi Mike,

      Thanks for posting; sometimes simple solutions are the answer. Just keep an eye on it, because I suspect that’s just a symptom of a larger problem to come; if it gives you any more trouble, keep us in mind.

      Regards,
      Brian – aka the RainDialDoctor for Irritrol RD600, RD1200 and RD900 timers

  3. RD-1200-R model number. When the timer turns the water valves on electrically by the timer or by manual set each water station, the watering heads start jumping up and down for each setting, like the timer is turning the valves on then off by each second (like seconds on the clock). I use all 12 control settings on A (4 times/week), B (14 day skip setting),C (two times per week) Would a reset cure this ailment of the timer? The timer has a date of 6/24/2010. Or, do I need to replace the timer control module?

    • Hi Ed,
      Thanks for the inquiry, I appreciate it. Unfortunately a reset will not fix the problem you are having. If you send it in for repair, I am confident we can fix it. I will send you an email with more detailed instructions.

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

    • Hi Josh,

      First a question: When all the valves are on, what number(s) do you see on the top of the timer display?

      I would try disconnecting a couple of the station wires at the timer and see if it stops them from coming on. This will tell you if the timer is causing the problem, or if it’s more likely a valve or wiring problem.

      Let me know what you find and I’ll help further,
      Brian – aka the Rain Dial Irrigation Timer Repair “Doctor”

  4. Hi I have a RD6-pro EXT and the box doesn’t seem to work when I try to manual start a station. When I push the buttons nothing happens. The dial works fine I just can’t seem to get a manual station to run. I can’t even change a setting.

  5. My kwikdial system comes on after a power outage even though it is in the off position. How can I stop this as I want it to remain off.

    • Hi Nicola,
      First try turning off the power to the sprinkler timer and see if that stops it from coming on. If it doesn’t then it’s a valve problem, not a timer problem.
      If it does stay off, the it’s likely that the sprinkler timer is not detecting the ‘off’ switch position, or the program is still running. I don’t work with the kwikdials very much so I’m not as familiar with them. I’d also suggest doing a factory reset or at least removing power and any batteries to the timer for several minutes and then give it a fresh power-up.

      Other options would be to simply program it not to come on – such as setting the durations to 0 minutes or removing start times. You can also try sending it to me for repair; if you’d like to do that, contact me via email at rainDialDoctor@gmail.com
      Regards,
      Brian

  6. I have a problem with rd600, everything is set , time schedule but it doesn’t come on, even when I push Manuel, I even changed the battery , and set the timer 2 min after to see if it’s gonna come on but it doesn’t

    • Hi Yazin,
      Thanks for commenting. Try a factory reset first and see if that helps. I have instructions for that on my website here. Does the timer indicate that it has turned the water on (does a small number appear on the top of the screen when you turn it on)? Or does the timer not indicate that it has turned on the valves at all? Let me know and we will figure out what the issue is.

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  7. I have a RD600 and I am getting the error message FUS. It flashes back and forth between the time and FUS. I did everything said about resetting it and nothing worked. I have 2 zones set and no numbers are on the display with the FUS error but when I try to run manually the numbers 1 and 2 shows up with the FUS display. When setting it for manual I can add how many minutes I want to set but about 3 seconds later it will say OFF. This happens to both zones when setting it for manual operation.

    • Hi Michael,

      I have an exhaustive description of what to do with a FUS error on the DIY Troubleshooting page, take a look there and let me know if you have further questions.
      Regards,
      Brian

  8. I have the Irritrol 600Rd-R and lately it has been acting up. I have 2 programs running. Program A runs zone 3 every day for 10 minutes. Program B runs zones 1 and 2 for 10 minutes, 2 days a week. But Program B repeats it self, it goes through both zones and then it runs them again. I did a factory reset, but that didn’t seem to change anything. Any suggestions.

      • Hi John,
        I have an exhaustive description of what to do with a FUS error on the DIY Troubleshooting page, take a look there and let me know if you have further questions. Also let me know if it was helpful or not 🙂
        Regards,
        Brian

  9. HEY-TURNED ON MY SPRINGING SYSTEM-I HAVE A 1999 IRRITROL SYSTEM-DISPLAY KEEPS SHOWING A SHORT-MASTER VALVE-WATERING SYSTEM WORKS MANUAL BUT NOT THROUGH THE CONTROLLER-CHECKED ALL WIRING-NO BREAKS OR FRAYED WIRING-CHANGE BATTERY-IS THERE A FUSE?-CANNOT REMOVE FUNCTION DIAL-FEAR OF BREAKING IT TO VISUALLY INSPECT IF THERE IS A FUSE-EITHER WAY HOW TO DO I CORRECT THE PROBLEM-HELP

    • Hi Tom,

      What model of timer is it? If it’s indicating that you have a short-master-valve, then the solenoid to your master valve is probably bad. If you replace it, the problem should go away.
      Just take a photo of the valve and take it to the local irrigation supply store; they can get you a replacement. It’s probably <$20 and the job (not including travel) is about 10 minutes if all goes well 🙂 Let me know what you find out? Regards, Brian p.s., if we've been helpful, consider making a donation, this is purely a volunteer and donation driven service... Thanks.

      • HEY-MY SYSTEM IS A 20 YEAR OLD IRRITROL CONTROLLER-I CHECK MY SOLENOIDS WITH A METER AND THEY ARE FINE-STILL SHOWING A SHORT WITH THE MASTER VALVE-THERE ARE NO ELECTRICAL LEADS TO THE MASTER VALVE-CHECKED THE BOARD WITH A METER AND EVERYTHING OK-HELP-NO IDEA

        • HEY-MY SYSTEM IS A 20 YEAR OLD IRRITROL CONTROLLER-I CHECK MY SOLENOIDS WITH A METER AND THEY ARE FINE-STILL SHOWING A SHORT WITH THE MASTER VALVE-THERE ARE NO ELECTRICAL LEADS TO THE MASTER VALVE-CHECKED THE BOARD WITH A METER AND EVERYTHING OK-HELP-NO IDEA

  10. RD-600 Doesn’t run on time.
    Current time and day checked. Start time checked. Day on. Water times set. Run/schedule switch ON. Battery in place. All on sched. A and all B&C are off. Manual mode works. Maybe need to reset. Can’t find circuit card to unplug. So far I can’t find transformer or circuit breaker. I did find the valve terminal panel. Unit is dated 022597.

    • Hi James,

      I’d definitely try following the reset instructions first. When you say Manual mode, do you mean you’re able to use the manual button on the timer, or are you referring to manually turning on the valve at the valve itself?

      Let me know and I’ll advise more.
      thanks,
      Brian

  11. My KwikDial KD9 keeps showing a battery symbol with a line through it. Where is the battery and why does it need one if it is plugged into an outlet?

    • Hi Jessica,

      The battery is in the back of the unit on the top, look for a compartment that would hold a 9V battery.
      The battery just keeps the clock and programming during a brief poweroutage. It usually lasts about a year, but if you have a lot of poweroutages it could be less.

      Regards,
      Brian – aka the RD600 Irritrol Rain Dial “doctor”

  12. I have the RD-600 (irritol) … suddenly it stopped the scheduled watering … I’ve tried the manual as well and nothing. I looked at fuse-looks ok … I unplugged, took fuse out, unplugged ribbon, unplugged unit to reset but it did not return to factory settings …
    any thoughts ?

    • Hi Bruce,
      Sorry for the delay – had a hiccup on my notification emails and didn’t know you had posted.

      For the reset question: it could be that you have a newer RD600 that has teh gray label, but newer internal circuitry. Try following the reset instructions for the RD600-R instead.

      Let me know if that doesn’t work and we’ll address the other programming items. It’s likely that there is a problem with the timer or back terminal board; we can discuss that if the reset doesn’t work.

      Thanks for posting,
      Brian – aka the RD600 series rainDialDoctor

  13. one more thing…Tried ‘fooling’ the controller by resetting the time, to see whether the normal watering occurs.

    It didn’t work. No water!

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