Understanding the RD600 Irritrol Skip Days feature

When I set the skip day number to 1 – does that mean it skips every other day?



Hi Bill,

Surprisingly no, it doesn’t.   The Irritrol RainDial RD600 Skip days feature is often misunderstood and difficult to understand, so thanks for the question.  The short answer to your question is no.  setting it to ‘1’ will water every day.   This should help explain why:

The skip days function controls when a schedule will run.  If you were not doing skip days, you would specify the days of the week you want the schedule to run by setting for example Tuesday to “ON” and the other days “OFF”.  The timer would then run the schedule every Tuesday.   In skip days mode you are scheduling the timer to run the schedule every # days where # is the skip days value.

I like to think of the skip days feature as having a daily incrementing counter that starts at 1 and goes to the number you specify and then repeats. E.g., for a skip days setting of 3, the timer’s counter would count like this: 1,2,3,1,2,3,1,2,3. Whenever the counter matches the skip days number, the watering schedule will run. In this example the schedule would run every 3rd day.   The term skip days is sort of confusing.

Instead of ‘skip days’, think of it as ‘water every # days.’
So if it’s 2, it waters every 2nd day, which is every other day: 1,2,1,2. If you set it to ‘1’, it waters every 1 day, which is ‘every day.’

Although I’ve answered your question, one may ask:  How do I know what today is in the sequence of days?    You determine that by putting the dial on ‘Today.’  It will show you the current number in the sequence.  You can also change the number of ‘today’ by pressing the +- buttons when in programming mode.

E.g., if you have skip days set for 3 and you want it to water tomorrow, set ‘today’ to ‘2’.

As a final note, you cannot set a schedule to start based on the days of the week and skip days at the same time, you have to pick one or the other.  If you have set a skip days setting and put the dial on a day like Tuesday, it will always show “—” and not allow you to change Tuesday to “On” or “Off”.  When this happens, the display typically displays “Skip Days” to let you know why it won’t change.   
To simply turn off the skip days setting and allow the days of the week to be turned on or off, you simply set the skip days number to zero (0) which turns that feature off.

I hope this helped, if it does, consider sending us a high $5, we’d really appreciate it.
Brian – aka the Irritrol RD600 Rain Dial Doctor for Irritrol timers

16 thoughts on “Understanding the RD600 Irritrol Skip Days feature

  1. When I schedule the system for 2 skip days, do I need to set a time for the watering to take place on a skip day? If not, how do you know what time it will run?

    • Hi James,
      You have to set a start time for the schedule that is set for skip days. Go ahead and read my writeup about skip days here and see if that helps.

      Brian – RD600 RainDial Doctor

  2. Hi Doctor,

    If today is Monday afternoon and I want my rain dial to start watering every two days but start that sequence tomorrow being Tuesday what settings do I use?

    • Assuming you want it to water very other day, you’d set skip days to two and set ‘Today’ to one.

  3. Hi
    I am a little confused. So, if I put skip days on 3 does this mean that the valves will act like : close, close, open, close close, open …. ?

    • Hi Kamran,

      I updated the text above to help answer your question and better explain the skip days functionality. Read through it again and if it doesn’t answer your question, let me know.

  4. I set my skip days to 12 on program B, however the valves open at 7 days on program B. Rebooted, all power off – battery removed, but it still does the same thing. This controller was new about 4 years ago. What is wrong?

    • Hi Ron,

      it’s likely that program A or C is setup and causing valves to come on. Are you thinking that because the switch is on Schedule B that it only runs schedule B? Take a look at my programming tips page, it’ll help explain it.

      Let me know if that helps or not,
      brian – aka the RD600 series Irritrol Rain Dial “doctor”

    • Hi Robert,

      Yes, you can have three different skip days settings, one for each program (A,B,C). The RD600 series timers will let you use skip days on one program and days of the week on another, or all skip days on all three.

      Thanks for posting the question,
      Brian – aka the irritrol RainDial RD600 series “RainDialDoctor”

    • Hi Scott,

      When using skip days, the individual days should show you ” — ” and not have on/off as a choice. Hopefully you’re seeing that 🙂

      Brian – aka the Irritrol RainDial RD600 series “doctor”

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