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.

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

  1. have rd600 all seems to work OK, except limited water pressure to certain areas and some areas nothing.. Have checked for water line leaks, breaks and all seems OK..


    • Hi Dave,
      thanks for posting your RainDial RD600 question. I would suggest you turn on the valve manually at the valve box. There’s usually a relief screw or you turn the solenoid. If the water pressure is good when you do this, then I would send the timer in for repair. I’m not real busy this time of year so I’ll be able to repair it and get it back in the mail the next day. Contact me if you have more questions.

      Brian – aka the rain Dial Doctor

  2. All of a sudden my rd 600 controller drains the back up 9 volt battery and the display starts to blink. I thought the battery was a back up only when the power goes out. I put a new battery in the unit about every ten days and then the unit is ok for awhile. Thanks

  3. Hello. I have 2 zones that come on the same time. They never used to and I havnt changed anything. When I turn the valves on they all come on separate but when I manually do it from the box zone 1 and 2’come on the same time.

    • Hi Sonda,

      I need a little more info to know how to help.
      When they’re on at the same time, do you seem both valve numbers on the display (in the top row), or just one of them on the display?
      Have you changed any wiring or valves lately?

      Brian – aka the Irritrol RD600 RainDialDoctor

  4. My Rain Dial-R turns on some, not all, stations at additional unprogramed times. Looking at the display it shows the station which is running, but checking the program settings there is nothing to show this station should be running. The unit does follow the programed DAY, RUN, START times. These additional, unprogramed times follow the VALVE RUN times, but not the DAY or START times. Unit is a little more than 2 years old. Is this a board issue or do I need to replace the entire unit?

    • Hi Tim, Thanks for posting about your rain dial.

      I suspect that some of the behavior can be cleaned up by following the factory reset instructions on my DIY Troubleshooting page. However, I suspect that there is a reason that it is misbehaving. Even if the reset fixes the problems, keep a close eye on it for strange behavior. If you see anything else, just send both the timer and back terminal board in for repair. Then I’m confident you’ll never have any more trouble with it. Except for the problem I repair, they’re very reliable timers. It usually takes me a day to turn them around and they’re shipped with 2-day priority mail.

      Try the reset first and keep me in mind if it gives you any more trouble.
      Brian – aka – the rain Dial Doctor for Irritrol RD-600 series timers.

      • Reset didn’t work. Example: Station-1 programmed for 45-minutes starting 6am, it came on again at 10am. What do you need me to give to you for repair, the whole thing or just internal parts? I’m in Fountain Hills, so I could bring it by today.

  5. We have power the menu works but the water does not turn on? Is the board bad or are there wires connecting the housing to the cyclinoids which can come loose?

    • Thanks for posting. If u have a Rd-600-R, its likely a problem requiring both the backboard and the timer module to be repaired. Does it indicate on the display that the valve should be on or does it just flash off or blink the display? Let me know and I can help more

  6. My RD-600 is having multiple issues.

    #1. It was working, but I tried to test it. I attempted to power it off (from the plug) and then plug it back in.

    It wouldn’t power on. After awhile I was tinkering with it, and the LED display read 121 0
    Moving the dial around and changing things did nothing.

    #2 I tried to “reset it” by:
    1. Putting it into the B position
    2. Placing it on set program (the middle)
    3. Holding Manual
    4. Unplugging the ribbon (while it has power from the outlet)
    5. Waited 5 seconds and plugged the ribbon back in
    6. Released the manual button

    Now, I don’t get any power again.


    • I have the Rd-600 ext

      I just read your note about leaving the battery out and unplugged for 30 minutes. Trying that now.

      • Hi William,
        If that doesn’t help, I suspect you may have the RD-600-R model (look on the label near the semi-auto button). If you do, just drop me a quick message using the contact-us form and I’ll giv you all the details for repair.

        Even if you do get it working, keep a close eye on it – they often get intermittent and un-reliable, it may be better to send it in to avoid having to worry about it. I’m not very busy right now, so they get repaired the day they’re received, and in the return mail the next day.

        Let me know what your experiment yields,
        Thanks for posting,

  7. Anyway unit can water other than the times it is set for. Water company telling me my timer is water late at night. I have it set for 0500 to water. RD600 EXT

  8. Hello Brian,
    All valves are operational when I hit the start button manually, however, the indoor component of the rain sensor device (that synchs-up with the gauge/transmitter outside) constantly blinks green. I have tried re-setting but to no avail. Indoor device registers and stays red after a good rain and the control box will run the sprinklers manually as noted above when I hit bypass over-ride. It will sometimes stay red for a few days but that is OK, if it worked as desired. What do you suggest? Could it be the battery? Thanks.

    • Hi Rick,
      Being in Arizona, I don’t get much experience with rain sensors :-).
      Here are my thoughts:
      1) try new batteries, couldn’t hurt.
      2) try a full reset of everything, power everything down and back up. You can follow the reset instructions on this site in the DIY section.

      If none of that works and you have an RD-nnn-R

        model, I may know what the problem is. You’d need to send in a couple of the pieces.

        Anyway, give those a try first, if no luck, let me know and we can go further.

  9. RD 1200

    Model # 092303

    Selected zone will not come on, several try’s and then it will come on —Flashes on and off
    Unplug and then I try again ….

    • Hi Tim,
      Unfortunately, that’s a typical symptom of a failing controller. I’ll email you with repair details shortly.

      Brian – aka the RD600 rain dial doctor

  10. Hello. I have an old Hardie rain dial controller. It just says Hardie near the bottom right but does not have a model number on the left, it is blank (I think it may be an RD-600). I currently have two issues. First, the + – buttons on the top right stopped working. For a while I would have to push them 3-4 times to get them to work but now when I push them, nothing happens. The other issue is the numbers in the hour column on the clock/timer are starting to fade/disappear. For example, the number 8 only shows part of the number and a couple other number are just blank. Can these issues be fixed/repaired or am I better off buying a new controller? Thanks.

    • Hi Mike,

      Yes, those issues can usually be fixed. If not, I have some replacement options available. I’d suggest you send it in for repair and we’ll go from there. Just send it in – For details, see the page on how to get it repaired.

      Thanks for posting,
      Brian – the Rain Dial Doctor

      • Hi Brian,

        Thanks for the response. Will you just need me to send the controller or will you also need the connector board?



        • From the description of the problem, you don’t need to send the back terminal board. If you’re willing to take on the extra hassle, there’s no reason not to; I can inspect and test it. It’s up to you.

          Brian – the RD600, RD900, RD1200 rainDial doctor

  11. I just brought a new RD 600 ext -R to replace my old one. The inside of the new rain dial has 6 blue valves? knobs, but the old one has around 12 blue valves, even though model says RD 600 ext-R. Can you add blue valve knobs, if so do I need to match the old one and get more knobs.

    Thank You

    • Hi Patricia,
      I may not completely understand what you’re asking, but this should help.

      Unless you have more than 6 valves to connect, you don’t need the inside to have 12 connections in it. I would just use the new one.

      The newer models don’t contain the connectors (they’re expensive) so they just don’t include them to save money. Since you don’t have an RD-1200 (which has can control 12 valves), you only have an RD600 (for 6 valves), that’s all you need.

      Does that help?
      p.s., if you don’t have a need for the old equipment, I’d be happy to recycle it…

  12. I have an RD600EXT mostly gray. I have good power through to the fuse. The fuse has good continuity. None of the sprinklers work in auto or manual. I’m assuming either the board is not putting voltage out to the valves or ALL of the valves are dead. What is supposed to be the output voltage on the board?

    • Hi Chris,

      You should get voltage to the valve equal to the amount from the transformer within a few volts. If it is less or you’re getting valve chattering then its likely a timer problem. I repair them frequently and would be happy to help if you want. See the “How to get it repaired” section, which basically says to mail it in. I’m turning them around in about 24hours.
      If you have other questions, just let me know.

      Brian – aka the rainDial doctor

  13. Hi, my sprinkler system wont even turn on. It has done this in the past, yet last time we got it working. This time it is completely turned off and we don’t know what happened to it and what we are supposed to do. Do I need someone to come and take a look at it and fix it? Or is their a way for me to turn it on?

    • Hello,

      What type of controller do you have – e.g., is it the more “blue” model or more “gray” model as shown at the top of this page? If it’s the more blue model, intermittent behavior like you describe is common. I’d suggest you watch both videos on the “removal instructions” page and send both parts in for repair. It’s an easy do-it-yourself job.

      If you have a “gray” model, let me know and I’ll provide additional information.

      Brian – aka the rainDialDoctor

  14. I have the RD600 with six zones.
    I want to run all six valves in the morning but only two zones in the evening and one zone later at night.

    If I make sure that each program A,B,C finishes before the next one then will the follow occur each 24 hours if I do this 7 days a week

    program A to run each valve for 15 min starting at 6 AM
    program B to run valve 3 for 8 min and valve 5 for 10 min starting at 6 PM
    program C to run valve 1 for 12 min at 2 AM

    • Hi Larry,

      That’s a good description and it should work as you’ve expected it to. Just make sure the days of the week are set appropriately and you shouldn’t have any problems. Also be sure to turn off the valves you don’t want to come on for program B and C.

      Bottom line: it looks good.
      Brian – aka the Rain Dial Doctor for Irritrol Series timers.

  15. I have an old Hardie RD600 and RD900. I use program A for a single daily start time and program B with the same start time as well as a second start time. Despite setting the switch to program A, it runs the second time from program B.

    • Hi Mark, You might read through my programming tips for details. All programs run all the time (assuming they’re programmed…) It doesn’t matter what position the switch is in. You’ll need to set program A and B with different start times, or they conflict.

      Brian – aka the Irritrol Rain Dial RD600 series RainDialDoctor.

  16. I have a couple of old Hardie RD600’s Both of them have a problem with the Program ABC function. I use A for a single start time and B for a dual start time but even if A is selected, they run the second start time from B.

    • Hi Mark,
      See my reply to your other post…. check the programming instructions tips too.

      Brian – aka the rainDial Doctor

  17. LED display on timer not working, unit only 2 months old. It is a RD600R. We tried doing a hard reset but nothing working. So on the back controller board we took valve 1 wire and touched it on the VAC24 screw, that made the valve turn on and the sprinkler came on. Could the timer be bad?

    • Hi Bill thanks for the question. That’s a common problem I repair. I’d suggest sending the control dial/lcd module and the back connector board in for repair. Details are on the website (see how to get it repaired). Note the date’s I’ll be back in town though. Sorry about the delay.


  18. I have an Irritrol Rain dial -R, model number RD600-ext-R. It is capable of 6 zones but I have only 4 zones in the yard. Zone 3 has stopped watering. There is water at the valve and I have replaced the solenoid, but still it does not come on. Next step was to check the voltage at the controller. Zones 1,2 and 4 show 24v, but zone 3 shows no voltage. I tried moving the wire from the zone 3 screw to the zone 5 screw but still be read out of no voltage. Do you have any suggestions for a fix. A chap at a landscape place told me that changing the wire connection should work, but no such luck. thank you.

    • Hi Kerry,

      Try moving the wire for valve 3 to the right most 24VAC terminal. This directly connects the valve to the 24VAC so it should come on. You can also measure for voltage on that wire (valve 3 and the common wire). If voltage is there, and the valve doesn’t come on, it must be a valve problem.

      Post back here and let me know what you discover.

  19. RD900 ext e. Problem is the sprinklers will work then screen goes blank, will not run again for hours or days. Father in law has to manually turn on

    • Hi Tim,

      That sounds like a familiar problem that I repair frequently. I’m not available till 7/28/17, but if you’d like to send it to arrive about then, I can have it back to you soon after. Details are on the How to get it repaired page.


  20. Zone 1 doesn’t shut off after its completed time but continues to run until all 7 zones have completed the sequence.

    When I do a test run it starts and stops in sequence. I can start and stop it manually.

    I finally moved the wire in the controller from 1 to 8 and it comes on in sequence and shuts off.

    What is my problem?

    • Hi Randy,

      Usually valves that are staying on after the timer has turned them off (e.g. you no longer see the little valve number displayed on the top row of the LCD) are caused by valve problems. I have seen some symptoms when the water pressure being a little low can aggravate the problem.

      Since you moved it to 8, it’s likely that it being the last valve on made it less susceptable to the problem. Bottom line, I think replacing the valve guts would probably solve your problem. You can often get the diaphragm and seals at a local landscape store so you don’t have to cut out the valve, only replace the guts.

      If that doesn’t work, then there may be an inter-valve delay setting in the more advanced timers that help. You could look in the RainDial manuals on my site and see if they have a delay you can set between valves, but this would likely just mask the real problem, which is a valve issue.

      Feel free to make a donation if you’d like.
      Post back here with what you found successful.
      Brian – from the RainDialDoctor

      • I am seeing the number remaining on the display. 1,2 were both showing so the timer was not shutting it off?

        • Ah, OK. If you see both 1 and 2 at the same time, there is a programming error. I’d suggest doing a complete reset – see the DIY page. Note the default programming will be schedule A, every valve, starting @ 7am for 10min. You’ll need to turn off the parts of that schedule you don’t want to do.

          That should solve the problem. If you keep seeing strange behavior after that, I’d suggest sending it and the backboard in for repair. Sometimes the “act strange” as they are failing.

          This should definitely solve the problem you’re currently seeing. Let me know if it works.

  21. My gray RD600 (date code 120205) won’t maintain the time of day — the set time will sometimes last a few days and sometimes it reverts to 12:00 the same day. The valve settings seem to work fine. Can it be repaired or should I replace it?

    • Hi Bob,

      It’s definitely worth repairing (I may be biased, but honestly, it’s worth it.) I repaired mine and have done many others with next to zero returns.
      Anyway, I’d be happy to repair it for you if you’d like. Details are on the “how to get it repaired” section. Since I’ll be gone, you might want to do the quick exchange option in the store where you pay more, but I refund you a bunch after you send yours to me. Take a look.

      Drop me an email with the contact-us form for more info if you have any other questions.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I’ll send you the unit after you get back from vacation (or should I send it now so you’ll have it by the 28th?).


        • Hi Bob,
          I’d suggest waiting a little while and then send it so it gets here about the time I get back. That’s probably work best. I’d recommend sending the backboard and the control module to make sure we get it all 100%. Be sure to read the tips to avoid shorting the transformer. I’ll keep an eye out for it when I return.


  22. I accidentally cut through the underground wiring. Do you have a recommended splice packet? There are 10 wires, including the common wire.

    • Hi Anne,
      Gosh, that’s a good question. I’ve never used a spice for multiple wires, only singles and I’m usually working with what I have on hand so I’m not that familiar with them.
      I’ve seen some singles, and waterproof wire nuts that are commonly found in valve boxes, so you might look at those. Most of them are equivalent to a regular wirenut with the equivalent of a vasoline filling to provide moisture protection.

      I looked at several in eBay and would probably go for a waterproof heat shrink butt splice crimp connector. The key is to get something that provides the moisture protection. You could also put on a second heat shrink tube and stagger each splice an inch or so apart so that they don’t overlap and make a thick splice bundle in one spot. Then after doing each individual splice, you could pull the larger heat shrink tubing over all 10 of them and be “doubly” protected.

      When you settle in on one, please post back here with your lessons learned; it may help someone else in the same scenario.

      Regards, and good luck,
      Brian – aka the RainDial doctor for RD-600, RD-900 and Irritro RD-1200 series timers.

  23. I have a 900 and the 1-3 valves work with the program but 4-8 do not come on. All of the valves will operate manually (thankfully). My suspicion is wiring. Is there a way to check if the current is getting to the non functioning valve? I suppose it could be the valve/solinoid but I am suspicious because the of the series of valves.

    • Hi Ann,

      Are valves 1-3 in one ground-box and valves 4-8 in another. If so, it’s likely there is a separate common wire going to each and that one of the common wires is not connected.

      Let me know more and I’ll try to help more…
      Brian – aka the Rain Dial Doctor for RD600, rd900, rd1200 timers…

  24. I have an Irritrol RD-600. The display is stuck on SU. I’ve watched the videos to set the timer, but the display never changes. When I look at the terminal board behind the display, a yellow and blue wire are not attached. Is that why it isn’t working? Thank you.

    • Hi Janet, Thanks for posting.
      the display should work regardless of the wiring as long as the battery is good. It’s intended for you to be able to remove the module, take it in the house, and program it while watching TV. Having some loose unused wires is fairly common since the wire bundles often have more wires than are needed. So, I don’t think that’s the problem.

      I’d follow the reset instructions on the DIY Troubleshooting page and then see if it starts working again. If it does, great, but keep a close eye on it since they tend to get flaky as they start to fail. If it happens again, I’d send it in for repair.

      Also make sure you have the switch in the center position “set programs”
      Let me know if that helps,

    • Its normal to blink after a power outage. Sometimes it’s. An indication of a problem I repair often. If it does this frequently, I’d send it in (both dial and back connector board) for repair.


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