This is the primary troubleshooting page for the Irritrol RainDial RD-600, RD 900, RD1200 Irrigation timer when valves don’t come on.
If the water is not coming on when it should, the problem typically resides these areas:
- Faulty timer
- Water availability
- Power Input Problems
- Valve/Solenoid Problems
To determine what is causing the problem, follow these steps:
First thing: Remove the battery and see if the timer still displays something. (You’ll likely lose your programming so write it down first). Seeing something on the display tells us that the AC, power, breakers, fuses and transformer are working. If you do not see anything on the display, performed checks C, D, F, and G first; they are indicated by(display is blank with no battery) in the title.
A. Do some basic checks by using the timer to manually turn on a valve:
This is a key step in determining if the timer needs to be repaired: Follow the steps to manually turn on a station using this link to manually turn on a station. See here to understand if the timer is indicating the valve is on.
If the timer does not indicate it turned on a valve or flashes off, send it in for repair.
If the Irritrol controller does indicate it turned on the valve, but the valve does not turn on, there are several possible reasons. Try turning on a different valve. If the problem only happens with one valve and not the others, try swapping the terminal wires between the non-working valve and the working valve.
- If the suspected ‘bad’ valve works when moved to a different screw terminal, it’s a timer/backboard problem that we can repair.
- If the suspected bad valve is still bad when on a different terminal location, then you have a bad valve or solenoid (Look at section E below for help).
If you have a -R model, it’s often a timer/backboard problem that can be repaired. Check some of the following first, then send it in for repair.
If the timer works with the manual function but not with a schedule, perform a factory reset and check the programming.
B. Check: Did someone turn the water off :-)
- Follow this link to check for common water distribution problems. If these seem good, continue.
C. Check: Electrical Input Issues:(display is blank with no battery)
- Follow this link to check for common electrical input problems. If these seem good, continue.
D. Check: The Transformer: (display is blank with no battery)
- Follow this link to check the transformer. If this seems good, continue.
E. Check wires and solenoid:
- Check wires are not broken, disconnected or miss-wired
- Follow the steps to check the valve/solenoid
F. Perform a factory reset:(display is blank with no battery)
- In some cases performing a factory reset can help. See the DIY page for more information.
G. Send it in for repair:
- Otherwise, the controller/system has simply failed and should be sent in for repair.
H. If this site was helpful, please, please leave us a donation, it’s the appropriate thing to do, and we need it to keep the site going.
All material copyright Brian Keller, aka the RainDial Doctor