Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

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To add a question, go to the bottom of the page, fill in the comment and click Post Comment.  

Please look at the DIY Troubleshooting section before posting, answers to most questions can be found there. 

You can also reply to other people’s questions if you like. (Thanks for helping)

Please try to include the following with your question, list:
1) the date code (located under the battery),
2) the model number shown on the face of the controller (usually below and to the left of the dial, e.g., RD-600 or RD-600-R).
3) Color (mostly Gray or Blue) based on the example rainDials shown at the top of the page.

824 thoughts on “Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

  1. I have the RD-600, date code 021798. I have start time set to 10 PM. The current time resets from AM to PM everyday so sprinklers come on both at night and in the morning. Tired resetting and reprogramming.


    • Hi Eric,

      I’d suggest sending it in for repair; we’ll have it up and running like new again. I’ll drop you an email with the details.

      Thanks for posting,

  2. Hi Brian,
    Can you please help with a problem on my RD-1200.
    Why can’t I change time fast by holding buttons + or neg?
    I have to do it one min at the time by pressing the button each time. Holding it does nothing.
    Many regards Joe

    • Hi Joe,

      It’s possible that the +/- buttons are starting to fail and they’re not detected as being pressed consistently. If you want, I can repair that as well as update other parts that typically fail so it will be like new again. If you’re interested, just use the contact us form to send an email, or go directly to


  3. I am unable to do a Manuel watering on a specific station which I have done for years… I just replace the battery since it had died could that be a reason why I’m unable to do a manual at this time I have rain dial model number 1200

    • Hi Kathleen,

      A quick draining battery problem and the timer just saying “OFF” or blinking when you manually turn it on is a sign of a failing timer. The good news is that we can help. I’ll include repair information in an email.

      Thanks for posting,

  4. my rd unit is flashing OF-2. I turned the rain sensor bypass on, but that didn’t work.
    I want to run only 2 zones, but it won’t let me – just turns on zone 1 and
    I can’t set any program .
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Kathy,

      Look at the DIY Troubleshooting page; it has a section about the OF message; look for OF1 or OFn on the page.

      Let me know if it is helpful or not and I can help further,

    • Hi Sy,

      I do repair those occasionally. What is it doing or not doing that it should be. e.g., do you see anything on the display?

      Let me know,

  5. I have a RD-600-R-EXT. The values do not react at all. While I am trouble shotting, I found that the display becomes completely off when the battery is taken out while the 24VAC power from the transformer is connected. Isn’t that supposed to be on as far as the 24VAC power from the transformer is connected? I confirmed that 24VAC is on. I suspect the controller has something wrong with 24VAC in.

    • Hi Chris,

      Yes, the 24VAC should power the timer when the battery is removed. This is pretty common for the -R series timers and is something we can fix. Before sending it in, follow the steps on the #33 from the DIY Troubleshooting page. If anything indicates the transformer is good, just send the timer and backboard in for repair and you won’t have any more troubles with it. Here are the details: link


    • Hi Jeff,
      This doesn’t sound like it’s for a Rain Dial Timer, but I would guess that this means the rain sensor is active and will prevent watering.


  6. I have an R series controller and I am programming four stations. Three stations seem to work perfectly, with different start times and different run times. The remaining station is the issue. I would like it to run three times a day, for example, 7 a.m., 12 noon, and 5 p.m. I have checked and rechecked the the days and run times (making sure that I have the a.m. and p.m. correct) and that shows correct . However, the sprinklers on that setting do not come on as programmed. For example, the 7 a.m. won’t come on, but sometimes the 12 noon will come on and not the other times of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. I have station one coming on at 7 a.m. and running for 40 min., when finished it runs through the next two stations consecutively. The first three I have set on A, the one that I have set to run three times a day I have set on B and I have also tried C. What might I be doing incorrectly?

    • Hi Rhea,
      A common problem that people run into is programming multiple stations to come on at the same time, due to limited water pressure usually only one can run at a time. From your description it sounds like that one station is not coming on at 7am because you have that other station running at 7am. I’m not sure about it not coming on at 5pm, but hopefully it’s the same problem as the 7am, and you can simply reschedule so only one is running at a time.
      If rescheduling does not fix it, then it’s possible you have a problem with your timer or backboard, I would ask that you look at the timer display when it’s supposed to be watering that station; if the station number is displayed but it is not watering, then there is likely a backboard issue.
      Please let me know how it goes, if reschedule works then that’s great! If not, maybe we can set up you sending in your timer and backboard for repair.

      Hope this helps,

  7. I am at square one. Watched videos and read instructions for setting up Programs, etc. However, I acquired a home with the Rain Dial, but no “list” that identifies how the Station Numbers correlate to the yard zones. In other words . . . Station 1 is for what yard zone? I know I need to turn on one Station at a time, go check the yard, and note it, but what is the function in the Rain Dial to do this check? Thanks!

    • Hi Ellen,

      You want to use the manual “on” function. Just take a look at the programming tutorial page and watch the video page; it’ll give you that information and also get you prepped for getting it programmed once you get the station locations figured out.

      The good news is that these timers are much easier to learn and program than a lot of the others. Once you get a few key concepts down it will start to make sense.

      We’ve all been there; wishing the last guy took a sharpie and wrote the info on the inside of the case door.


  8. I have a RD 900. Two nights ago one of my zones came on and wasn’t scheduled. I tried turning off the system but this didn’t work. I didn’t have time to address it so I unplugged the box and shut off the water. When I tried it today all zones tried coming on simultaneously. I took all of the valves apart to clean the diaphragm. This didn’t work either but I was able to stop the water from running. I then tried manually running the zones and everything looked good on the reader board but nothing happened with any of the sprinklers. Is there some sort of reset on this that I can’t find?

    • Hi Kevin ,

      You can look in the troubleshooting section for information on resets .

      Make sure you didn’t get the solenoids too tight . If you have a voltmeter it would be helpful and I can give you more instructions. Let me know if you do.

      not, we can still do some other things to test it out. look at the troubleshooting section 4 how to test the Transformer , you can bypass the timer and check the valves directly that way.

      Let me know what you find out either way .


      Brian – aka the Irritrol RD600 rainDialDoctor

  9. Buongiorno o un irritrol RD-1200, 12 canali o un problema su la zona 10 la quale piu o meno ogni 5 minuti si apre l elettrovalvola per pochi secondi e si richiude da sola o anche cambianto lelettrovalvola ma niente per cortesia potete aiutarmi a capire il problema..

    • Hi Guiseppe,

      Please translate to English next time. Question: When the zone is on, does the LCD show the zone number on the top of the LCD?


  10. I figured out my issue regarding setting the water and day I have a next button that works in conjunction with the date switch so you can set the year then via the next button you can set the month day of the week allowing you to set the exact watering days for the current year thanks for your help with this!

    • Hi Scott,
      Glad to hear it. Let us know if you have any other problems with it in the future.


    • Hi Joe,
      To not use zone four, just make sure you have 0 minutes programmed for zone for in all of your programs (A, B, and C).

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  11. I woke up this morning went to turn on the sprinkler system. I have a RD900. I had set it last Thursday but turned off due to rain. No power. I verified power to the outlet. What is the typical troubleshooting next steps?

    • Hi Ryan,
      It is good that there is power to the outlet, but we want to make sure that the transformer is working too. To test the transformer, follow the instructions I have here. If you find that the transformer is bad, you will need a new transformer. If you find that the transformer is good, then send it in for repair. Let me know how it goes.

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

    • Hello,
      We have some information on how to water while the unit is away here. I hope that helps,

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  12. Everything was working fine, battery died, so I replaced it.
    Now I get a blinking OF4 message on the screen.
    Semi-auto function doesn’t work to test.

    • Hi MG,
      Take a look at the DIY Troubleshooting page for the topic related to OFn or OF1, 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.

  13. I have an RD600, Date Code 090403, 6 zones.
    All the zones operate as programmed except zone 6.
    Zones 1 thru 5 came on & shutoff at the appropriate times.
    Zone 6 control valve in the pit did not activate as scheduled.
    The #6 was visible in the LED as if it was on, but zone 6 control valve did not open.
    It appears the control valve is not getting the signal to open.


    • Hi Mike,

      That’s strange for sure. Usually this happens because of some sort of programming that is unexpected. First check the obvious am/pm indications in the programming and then try doing the factory reset instructions on my DIY page for the -R model.

      Please post back to Let me now if that corrects the problem,

      • I’m an old Navy Electronics tech., and this is embarrassing. Things have gotten worse. After three resets it no longer will work in manual / Semi Auto or regular. Screen indicates that the program is running correctly i.e. it shows the station and the countdown of time, but no 24V. to the solenoid.
        Was able to get it to actuate by lightly pressing on either the two (yellow / Black) 24V, AC screws or the V.Comm. (white), but would stop the minute the pressure was relieved. Pulled the board looking for a cracked trace (their hefty) or caps. Looks good. sort of lost now. Would buy a used board if I knew it was the culprit, but can’t be sure. The board is nothing but a connector, two buss bars and some caps. What am I missing?
        If I sent it in to have you repair, what am I looking at? Mike

        • Hi Mike,

          Sorry for the delayed response. You’ve done a good job troubleshooting it now. I’d suggest sending both the board and ‘clock’ in for repair. I’ll address the problem you’re seeing and also replace some other parts that typically fail after some time. That way it’ll be good to go for a long time.

          If you don’t want to send it in yet and can send me an email ( we can discuss other troubleshooting you can do. Just mention this post to help remind me 🙂


  15. Hello-Have an RD 1200. When watering stations manually and rotating the station selector to the desired station and starting, many times, station 1 will start. I will have to rotate the station selector switch back and forth a few time to get the proper station to activate? Also, when running a program, sometimes two stations will come on at the same time? Any suggestions ? Thanks Ken

    • Hi Ken,
      That sounds like a timer problem that we can fix. I will send you an email with repair details. Thanks!

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  16. I replaced a rd600 with a new one, RD600-R, (on all valves I was getting a flicker and then the OFF indicator).. In hooking up the new one it has a VC and MV/PUMP screw and the diagram shows them both to be connected. I only have the one wire in my bundle to connect. My old unit only had the COM screw that was used. Do I need to jumper the VC and MV connections? I have tried connecting individually to each one but it does not open the valves. MY OLD RD600 had a date of 12/97. I didnt want to just jumper them in case it would short it out.

    • Hi Jason,

      The old “COM” is the same as “VC” so hook your old com wire connection to the new VC connection.
      Do NOT connect VC and MV together as that will short things out. It’s good you asked.


      • Ok thanks. I still have an issue as they don’t come on but the unit runs. Maybe my wire is cut somewhere. I tried to use the troubleshooting but the one diagram link doesn’t seem to work. I plan to ship you the old unit and you can refurb and resell or part it out,…

        • Hi Jason,
          See if the timer shows something on the display when you remove the battery from the back. If it does not, then either your power is not connected or the transformer is bad.There’s a troubleshooting section about how to test the transformer. Take a look there if it appears that it may be bad. I may be out of touch for a few days, but I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Did you get a whole new system, or just a new dial

    • Hi Linda,

      The date code you sent prior does help.

      You have an older model that doesn’t show the model number. If you can set the dial to stations 1-6, you have the equivalent to a 6 station or RD-600. (9 stations = RD-900,12=RD-1200)
      Look for a manufacturer name on the right side of either Irritrol or Hardie. You may not have that either, so assume Hardie if nothing is shown.

      The older models are pretty durable; you can always send it in for repair; there’s no repair charge if I can’t fix it. You probably only need to send the timer, not the back terminal board, although send it if you’re comfortable removing it “for good measure”.


  17. My Rain Dial RD-1200 EXT does not turn on the values when programmed. When used manually, it turns a selected valve on for roughly 5 secs then it just shuts off, then no other valves will work when selected. I’ve replaced the 9V battery and also checked the transformer voltage (26V). Any recommendations would be great. Thanks, Scott.

    • Hi Scott,

      If you have the ‘Gray’ model (e.g., rd600, not an rd600-R) then that description matches a problem in the timer that I repair often. We’re not too busy right now, so we generally get them back in the mail the next day. I’ll follow up with a separate email with the detail.

      Thanks for posting,

  18. Hello,

    Have an irritrol rd1200-ext-r. I recently did a factory reset per the instructions on this site as the LED was set to off. Now all of the timers are set to off but the sprinklers are still turning on. I can only get them to turn off by pulling out the ribbon cable.

    • Hi Richard,

      First of all, thank you so much for the High $5 Donation — if only everyone would do that, I could actually make enough to pay for the web site. Consider yourself one of the “good guys”

      Now back to the problem you’re seeing:
      The next time a valve is on, turn the dial to the corresponding station/valve number and look at the display. If it says A:, B:, or C: followed by a countdown minute count, it means that schedule A, B, or C is programmed to turn it on. You’ll have to change the programming. If you can’t seem to change the programming, just let me know and we’ll try some other things before sending it in for repair.

      Note that after a reset, Schedule A is programmed by default to every day, 7am 10minutes, every station. If you don’t want it to run that schedule, you have to ‘unprogram’ schedule A after doing the reset.

      If you don’t see any indication on the timer that it has turned on the valve, it’s likely a valve problem. There’s a couple links

      Does that help?
      Of so, please consider making a donation to help us keep the site going… Thanks,
      Brian – aka the irrigation sprinkler timer “doc”

      • It doesn’t stop after 10 minutes until I pull the ribbon again.
        Time for some repair help.

        I donated $5 on Friday.


      • After I reset it begins running on Station 1 for 10 minutes. I don’t see a countdown anywhere. Problem is that it keeps running past 10 minutes and only way I can stop it is by detaching the ribbon again. I don’t have any issues w/ deprogramming.


        • When it is running, put the dial on station one and look at the display. Do you see the number one in the top row of the display Indicating that the timer is on? Use the contact us form from the menu above and send me your phone number. I can give you a call.

  19. New house. Rd 600. Stations not listed. Drip system so zones not readily obvious. How do I run a test to see how many stations?

    • look at the back terminal board behind the timer. The screw terminals have numbers 1-6 or 1-12… Any number with a wire connected to it corresponds with a valve. Turn them on one by one and see what gets watered.

      If this web sites been helpful, please consider making a donation, we’d greatly appreciated.

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