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

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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”

  7. 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

  8. 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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