30 thoughts on “Irritrol RainDial Manuals Programming_Instructions

  1. Hi! I have my sprinkler set to go off on odd days. However, it seems to run through the entire cycle twice. I may have two programs set by accident but I’m unsure. How do I cancel a program? Could something else be going on? Thank you for the help.

    • Hi Carolyn,

      You can set the programming back to factory default by following the instructions on the DIY Troubleshooting page; it’ll setup a standard schedule A for 7am, every station for 10min; every day.
      You basically cancel a schedule by setting the start times to be ‘off’

      Does that help?

      If you want help programming or a tutorial, I can do that with you over the phone. Let me know if you’re interested.

  2. Hi,
    My problem is that after I program the sprinklers and move the bottom switch to “run or manual,” the run time for the sprinklers I had set at 5 minutes switches back to “OFF.” I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I have not had this problem before in 10+ years.

    • Hi Jason,

      When you move the programming switch to the manual/run position, it will change the display to show the manual minutes, which is 0 by default, and the same as ‘off’. If you want to run a certain number of minutes manually, press the ‘+’ button to add minutes and press manual-on.

      If you put the switch back to set-programs, it will show you what your program is set to.

      If this is all what you know already, and you see the display change to ‘off’ AFTER you press the manual button, then this is a typical indication that the timer just needs to be repaired. This is especially the case if it happens for more than one valve. If only one valve does this, it could be a bad solenoid. If more than one valve behaves this way, send it in for repair using the information in the ‘how to get it repaired’ menu at the top of the page.

      hopefully this answers your question,

    • Hi David,

      The DIY troubleshooting page explains what that is and how to change it back.


  3. I have the 1200 and was wondering the correct way to water twice a day for just 3 certain stations. The veggie garden at 3 stations needs to be watered twice a day during much of the summer. How do I set just 3 of the stations to start around 3 pm and not have the others go on? Do I use schedule B or go back to A and use #2, programming each of the 3 for the desired minutes. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Randy,

      You’d use schedule B and setup your first start time at say 12pm and the 2nd time for say 3pm. The program the valve run times for just your garden stations.
      Use schedule A for non-garden items and set the run times to zero, or ‘off’ for the garden valves.

      Take a look at the programming tips and tutorial for additional info…
      Does that help?

  4. The maximum run time is 5.9 hrs and I need longer run times of 10 hrs to get adequate irrigation. Am I able to program consecutive run times as my watering of my citrus cannot be watered sooner than every 10 days?

    • Hi Jim,
      I think we already spoke on the phone a while back, but just in case. You can setup three start times to be 3:20minutes each to give you 10 hours total. E.g., for just station 1; set Schedule A; station 1 to be 3.3 hours and have three start times (I leave an extra minute between each one, just to avoid any problems with it having the same stop and start time: 6am, 9:21am, 12:42am (Hopefully this gives you the idea anyway.)

      Be sure to understand that this example assumes only one station is turned on. If you did 2 stations, they would run consecutively station1 for 3.3 hours, then station 2 for 3.3 hours, so your 2nd start time would have to be after the 2nd valve finished.

      See the programming tips and information for more details.


    • Hi Randy,

      That’s a common problem we often repair; just send it in and we’ll get it back in the mail to you the next day. Repair details can be found here.

      If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

      Happy (almost) New Year,

    • Hi Patricia,
      This is a very strange problem! Them both failing at the same time… doesn’t make much sense, unless there was water damage or something extraneous that happened to the controller. Was one of them bad, and now the other has failed? Or have they both suddenly stopped working?


    • Hi Zee,
      I sent you an email about this, I think it’s probably a FU5 or “FUS” error. See my page about the FUS error for more info!


  5. If two valves have overlapping start times will that effect the water pressure? I’m noticing that some plants aren’t getting enough water and am trying to problem solve.

    • Hi Jen,
      Yes! You should always make sure that your programs do not run at the same time.
      Something you should note is that the start time is when a “cycle” starts, for example if for program A you have Stations 1,2 and 3 set to run for 10 minutes each, with a start time of 6:30am, at 6:30 1 will come on, and run until 6:40, at which point station 1 turns off and station 2 comes on- the valves run in numerical order.
      The point being that you only need one start time for each program unless you’re trying to run the same program multiple times a day.
      Check out our programming guide for more information!


  6. Hey! We just bought two of these rain dial system’s. were running water to a small vineyard and in the middle of trying to figure out what wiring needs to go where. here’s the setup.
    We have small low voltage pumps running the water with two small ground wires running out of the valve pumps. If im reading the manual correctly I have to run a single wire from each pump to the valve station terminals(1,2,3) and then run a wire from ALL 3 pumps to Valve common terminal? Since we don’t have a master pump we are not worrying about that. Any other information you can give would be helpful. The only wiring we are doing is from the small low voltage wires into the Rain Dial system.

    • Hi Colter,

      I looked over what you wrote and it seems sensible. Here’s a diagram that may also help: Link

      Let me know if you have other questions; and consider giving a small donation on the website if it’s been helpful.
      Brian – aka the RD600 series Irritrol RainDial Doctor.

    • You would use schedule A for three start times, then use B and C for another 3 and 3 for a total of 9 start times a day. Just make sure the start time plus the run time doesn’t overlap the next start time. I do this every year for winter rye seeding…


  7. when I use the rain dial 1200 controller and put in on zone 1 zone 6 comes on also. when I put zone 2 on zone 6 comes on and so forth. if I use it manually they work find.whats up.

    • Hi Dominick,

      Your other message said that you get zone 2 on with zone 1 or 3, but this message shows something a little different. Some questions:
      1) do you have a well pump or booster pump that is turned on whenever any other valve is turned on (is there a wire connected to the Pump screw terminal)
      2) Have you tried a full reset to factory defaults?
      3) Did you have any work done recently on the main line or any of the sprinkler valves that could have introduced dirt into the system?

      Usually it’s an indication of a valve problem, see the DIY page for information on when valves come on when they’re not supposed to, it may be helpful and will help you identify if the timer is turning them on, or if they’re turning on themselves with a change in pressure or something else.

      Let me know more and I can assist further.
      Brian – aka the Rd60, rd900, and rd1200 Irritrol RainDial Repair Doctor

  8. My daughter always unplugs her Rain Dial if it is raining instead if just using the off switch.
    That means every time I have to enter all the info again.
    Today I started to reprogram the watering saying how many minutes for each station.. When I turned the dial to today, which usually shows Sunday it showed 3 dashes —, when I tried to do the plus button it showed 1, or 2 or 3 or 4 when pressing the plus button and I could not get it to show Sunday,.
    What am I doing wrong?, I have never had this problem before when redoing her watering schedule

    • Hi Jacqueline,

      Dashes indicate the RD600 is in skip days mode, try setting the dial to skip mode and setting it to off.
      Let me know if that works.


  9. Over the course of several years, I am experiencing a particular problem. When the controller is programmed to run a valve circuit 11 The controller will run valve circuit 2 . Circuit 11 doesn’t run yet circuit 2 will run twice once, when circuit 2 is programmed and the second when circuit 11 is programmed. What is causing this malfunction?

    • Hi Greg,
      Thanks for the question. There’s nothing in the Irritrol RainDial circuitry that would likely cause that problem. It’s usually due to one of the following:
      1) wiring issues, specifically involving the common wire not being connected securely that basically puts two valves in series instead of in parallel. Look closely at all the common wires that are connected together; you could just have one making contact with only one of the other common wires, not all of them.
      2) programming issues – if you turn on circuit 11, you should see “11” on the top row of the display. Normally there should only be one number showing at a time, if more than one, there’s a programming problem. I’d do a factory reset and reprogram.
      3) Water pressure or marginal valve operation. Sometimes the pressure changes due to one valve induce a change on another one. This is not supposed to happen, but if you’ve got a valve that’s starting to fail, it may do some strange things. Consider turning off the controller and then manually (at the valve box) turning on valve 11 and see if that causes another valve to turn on. If it does, you know it’s not the timer causing the problem.

      Please post back here if this helped and if you were able to solve it. I’d bet money on 1).

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