DIY Troubleshooting

Are we still in business?   Absolutely, and we will be as long as this site is up.   

Scroll down to see the many DIY troubleshooting topics below

Please go through the following DIY list; if you don’t see what you are looking for, you can look through the Q&A and/or ask a new question about your sprinkler timer.

This do-it-yourself page will help you troubleshoot and diagnose problems with the Irritrol Rain Dial RD-600 and other irrigation systems.  We don’t want you to send in a sprinkler timer in for repair if it doesn’t need it. Click the links below to navigate the troubleshooting sections.  If you’re asking “How do I …”, keep reading.

Manuals and User Guides for RainDial RD-600, 900, 1200 PROGRAMMING HELP and manuals, click here

Choose the Rain Dial RD600 series problem DIY troubleshooting topic below.

  • Timer Behavior problems
  • Display error messages
  • How Do I … and troubleshooting topics

Manuals and User Guides: Irritrol Rain Dial Timers:

  1. Programming guide and template worksheets: click here
  2. Manuals and user guides: click here

Behavior Problems: RD-600/900/1200 :

  1. Rain Dial Sprinkler/irrigation valves chatter or buzz or water pressure seems low.
  2. Valves do not come on when they’re supposed to (a good page to start with)
  3. Valves stuck onwon’t turn off or more than one is on.
  4. Time is frozen or cannot change the time
  5. The case door won’t open or you lost your key 
  6. The case door breaks off or comes apart

Display Error Messages for the Irritrol RD600, RD900, RD1200 Irrigation Timers:

  1. Display shows OFF or blinks when turning on a valve manually
  2. Display is Blank.
  3. Display says FUS or FU5 and a number
  4. Display shows 5En or SEn
  5. Display shows OF1 or OF… some number
  6. Display shows P:On or P:Off
  7. Display is blinking – see the earlier topic
  8. Display shows “—-“ for days of the week – refer to skip days

Programming Information for Irritrol RD600, RD900, RD1200 Irrigation Timers:

  1. Programming tutorial for RD-600/900/1200
  2. Programming worksheet for RD600/900/1200
  3. Understanding the Skip Days Feature

DIY Troubleshooting “How do I …” sprinkler timer-related topics

    1. How do I turn on a valve using the manual button?
    2. How do I program the timer to irrigate a newly seeded or overseeded lawn?
    3. How to reset the RainDial controller and set it to factory defaults
    4. How do I water while my timer is being repaired (Manually watering without using a timer)
    5. How to check the fuse (also see FUS topic above)?
    6. How to test the transformer to know if the transformer is bad?
    7. How to test if the valves or solenoids are bad?
    8. Typical Sprinkler Valve Wiring Diagram?
    9. Rain Sensor information for Irritrol RD600 and other timers.
    10. How do I replace the dial?

RainDial Plus Model (Different than the regular RainDial timers)

Video of common symptoms that indicate the Rain Dial Controller needs repairing.

If this information wasn’t enough to resolve the issue, we can help:
Send Rain Dial Timers in for repair?

RD600 Repair

Irritrol Rain Dial RD600 repair services

For other issues, or ones that are in progress and do not have a link yet, just contact us, or see details here: How do I send it in for repair?


377 thoughts on “DIY Troubleshooting

  1. Irrotrol12 . After setting,timer, stations 1&2 comes on and then nothing. Can I jump from master to #4 and etc to verify that rest of system is ok and my timer is bad . t

    • Hi Bob,

      I sent you a separate email with information… If you don’t get it, let me know.

  2. I have a Rain Dial -R
    My system runs great but it runs every day. I went through and made sure program A is running and cleared B and C to show nothing. I made sure the days I want show Off but they still come on? I put a new battery in too. Everything else works just fine. Oh the skip days is off too. I can figure why it turns on every night?

    • Hi James,
      I’d suggest following the DIY Troubleshooting section for how to reset the timer back to factory defaults. That should solve your problem. If it doesn’t, look at the display when the water is running when it shouldn’t be. When the dial is set to the station that is currently on, it will tell you the schedule that is running, followed by the remaining minutes. E.g., A:15.
      This will tell you what schedule is currently activating the station and you can then go look at that schedule in more detail to see what may be programmed in a way you don’t expect.

      Let me know what you find out and I can help further.

  3. I have a Rain Dial six station RD-600-EXT-R Serial number 221705
    The current time keeps to different times. I have to keep resetting everything as the times won’t hold. I changed the battery. Please advise. Thank you.

    • Hi Rick,

      I’m happy to help. Quick question:
      Does the time of day change unexpectedly even when you put in a fresh 9V battery, or did the new battery seem to keep the time correctly?


        • Hi Rick,
          I’m glad things are working for you now, but keep a close eye on it. If the battery seems to die quicker than normal, it’s a symptom of a failing timer that I can help you with. Eventually even a new battery won’t be able to make it keep going so my best guess is that you’re living on borrowed time and it’ll probably fail rate before you’re planning to go on a long vacation 🙂

          Keep us in mind, will be here when you need it.

  4. Hi, Brian!
    I have an RD 1200 Rain dial controller. I’ve written to you before and have not yet received an answer to this problem: The controller left one of my valves open that caused flooding behind a retaining wall that almost brought it down. I thought it might be a leaking water pipe, but that was not the case. I turned off the valve with the controller. That stopped the water. Following that event, the timer which has always been set for Monday Wednesday and Friday, suddenly turned on a Tuesday and began watering. I shut it off and checked the transformer (which is fine,) and believe there is something wrong with the timer itself. Incidentally, the fuse looks fine and I’m going to change the battery for the first time in the thirty years I have had this magnificent timer. I don’t know if the battery has anything to do with the performance, but why take a chance. I will gladly send you the timer and white board behind it if you think that should be done. Okay?

    Best wishes,

    • Hi Phil,

      I just sent you a followup email. Let me know if you did not receive it. Thank you!

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  5. Serial number 193360 my Raindial nine station 900 EXT the current time keeps turning off and changes to different numbers, I have to keep resetting, watering times blink to random numbers and won’t hold. Do you repair or do I have to spend $ 300+ for a new one
    PS it faces direct Sun..
    Thanks mason

    • Hi Mason,

      Thanks for the inquiry, I appreciate it. Yes, that sounds like an issue we typically repair. I will send you an email with repair instructions. Thank you!

    • Hi Robert,

      That’s usually a problem with the valve reacting to changes in pressure; I’d try replacing the guts/diaphragm, etc… Look on the DIY troubleshooting section for when valves come on when they shouldn’t.
      Let me know if that helps,


  6. Tried to change the clock time to daylight savings on my RD600 and display displayed OF7. Did not intend to turn the system off for 9 days. How do I get it back to showing time? Thank you – Mac

    • Look under the do it yourself troubleshooting pages, there’s an entry that describes that and what to do with it. If for some reason you have questions after reading it, just let me know.

      Thanks for posting,

  7. I have had my Rd 600 for a few years and like it. A little while ago my up arrow on the keypad will not operate in addition I was trying to remove the keypad or timer and I’m having a problem getting their ribbon out and also removing the keypad itself can you help on either of these issues thank you Pete

    • Hi Pete,

      I don’t think the RD600 has an up-arrow, are you sure the model number is the same? If you’d like to send me a photo to, I can probably help you further.

      Thanks for posting,

  8. Hello Brian
    My rain Dial rd600 stop working, i have blank screen. Controller has power. It was working fine but one day it has blank screen. I need advice what can i do.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.