Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

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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.

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

  1. Have an RD900 unit- (been working for 10 years now)
    Came back to Show Low house in April after the thaw where unit is located to turn on the irrigation water to the back yard, which this unit controls. Unit was working in manual and auto mode. Left the home for another property we have.
    Came back yesterday June 7th and found that auto timer watering had not been taking place (daily)- found all of the valve times to be OFF and a lot of dead stuff in the back yard.
    Tried to start the unit manually and semi auto program A after resetting the valve times (only use valves 1 thru 4). When hitting the manual button, the LCD started “whirling around” as if in a circle, then A-06 code appeared momentarily, then flashing the time I think. Checked the valve times and what I had set for 1-4 valves was now at “off”. (As I originally found it yesterday)
    On the terminal strip where the transformer wires come in, I measured voltage with DVM and found the following DC values:
    VC to 24, VC to VAC, and 24 to VAC = 0VDC for all.
    Set DVM to AC voltage and found this;
    VC to 24 = 0VAC
    VC to VAC = 27.2VAC
    24 to VAC = 27.2VAC

    Checked incoming AC voltage before transformer;
    GND to BLK (hot) 121VAC
    GND to WHT (neu) 0.3VAC
    WHT to BLK 121VAC
    Also checked the incoming power strip from transformer to the valves terminal strip using AC;
    VC to valve strip 1,2,3,4 0VAC
    24 to ” ” 1,2,3,4 0 VAC
    VAC to ” ” 1,2,3,4 27.2VAC
    (Checking all of the above using DC was all 0VDC)

    I was under the impression that my solenoid valves are operated by DC voltage, and not AC, correct?
    Hopefully with this information, you can lead me to what I need to do to get this watering system running again.
    Thanks in advance. Jim

    • Hi Jim,
      You’ve certainly done a good job troubleshooting compared to many people I talk with.

      Valves are powered by AC, not DC (with rare exceptions not applicable to your system).
      Your transformer is good, which makes things easy.

      The whirling LCD is a classic symptom of a problem we repair. Just follow the instructions here and we’ll get it working like new.


      • Hey Brian,
        I found “resetting your timer/controller” , and also addressed wiring at the watering valves. There was nothing I found to be wrong with it, but just looking for corrosion, etc. Trimmed back the cable and solenoid wiring and connected back together.

        I think the controller reset was what worked, as I did not find any wiring issues to speak of.
        So now it’s working in manual, semi, and auto modes.


      • Brian,

        After all of what I have done and thought that my problem was fixed, it is not. The semi-auto zone A function only worked the first time, and same for the auto “RUN mode. There’s a ghost in the machine!

        I am sending you both the controller and back board. They will be in the mail tomorrow to you.

  2. I have a rain dial 900 and the #9 won’t turn on. If I switch it with a different # it will work. Is this fixable.

    • Hi Sherry,

      When you say “switch it”, what do you mean?
      If you, for example, swapped wires 8 and 9 on the back terminal board, turn on valve 8 using the timer and see if it turns the water on.

        If it does

      , then you know the wiring and valve to your (original) 9th valve is all good and there’s likely a problem with the timer and back terminal board that we can easily repair. Just send it in.

        If it does not:

      I.e., if when you turn on #8 with the timer and the water still does not flow, you’ll know that no matter what you do, the (real) 9th valve does not seem to work, meaning you likely have a valve, solenoid or wiring problem.

      Note that when you turn on a valve it should show the little number appear in the top row of the display.
      There are some more troubleshooting tips on the DIY page you can look at if you want more information; look for the section that talks about valves not turning on when they should.

      Did this help?

  3. we have a RD 600. The soaker and front yard programs work fine, but the backyard won’t turn on even in manual. any ideas?

    • Hi Douglas,

      When the backyard is supposed to be watering, look at the display. The valve number should be in the top row of the display. If it’s not there; then it’s a programming issue. If it is there, then it could be a valve, solenoid or timer issue. There are some troubleshooting methods on my DIY page that will show you how to test the valve and solenoid. If they are good, send it in for repair and we’ll get it back to you quickly.

      Post back here with what you find out,

      • Hi Brian,
        The number of the valve is visible, but the valve for #3 doesn’t open. Do you have contacts (techs) that can help troubleshoot in person?

        • If you want, we can set something up in the evening to troubleshoot over the phone. I don’t get paid for this, so I’d ask that you make a reasonable donation on my site. Let me know if that seems reasonable and we’ll set up a time. I do a lot of troubleshooting over the phone, so it shouldn’t take too long. There are a lot of DIY troubleshooting tips on my site; feel free to take a look. If you get to the point that it seems like a timer problem, we’re happy to repair it.

          Let me know what you’d like to do,

          • Our yard maintenance guy fixed it with a new valve. I appreciate your site and have made a donation.

            • Thanks Douglas!
              Only a few people a year donate to my site and it’s costly to keep running. Most people don’t realize that we’re not a large company and we don’t get paid except for repairs. That means that no one pays for all the troubleshooting information and this blog. Only around 12 people donated last year, so we’re very thankful for you; please consider yourself one of the ‘good guys‘ 🙂

              Thank you so much!

              Brian, Meghan and Ben. Your RainDial Doctors

  4. I have a blue Rain Dial 600. I programmed it to start running at 11pm. It does not come on. I can run the whole cycle by pushing the auto button or the manual button. It just won’t start by itself at 11pm. Should the run times show when I have it in run position? When I am checking each day, the run times shoe. When I turn it to run, the run times do not show? Have I missed something?

    • Hi Teresa,
      The timer only shows its programming when you have that lower switch in the middle; having it pushed to the right lets the timer run but is also used to run manually, so no they should not be showing when you have it in the run position, it will normally show OFF for each station when pushed to the right. Most commonly the issues with programming come from overlapping run times, having the time of day not set properly, or others; I would highly recommend you check out my page Programming tutorial, I think it will answer all your questions!


  5. I have a RD-900-R that is turning on stations that I have programed off and turning on or leaving on so that two stations are running at the same time. I do see that the station numbers are on so I see which stations are running. If two are running, I see which ones they are. I have done the factory reboot per your directions but still not functioning properly. I usually only run program A or B. Depends on how much water I need to throw.
    I can just turn the dial to the station that I want to run and set time, push button and good to go. I’m getting tried of that as I’m working and not here to make sure everything gets watered. Thanks and Cheers.

    • Hi Cam,
      Here’s some info from one of my pages:
      4. If more than one valve turns on, or another valve turns on before the previous one turns off.
      A little lag between one valve turning off and the next one turning on is common and usually not a problem. It shouldn’t be on for long though. This lag is usually due to slow operating valves.
      In general, the sprinkler timers are intentionally designed to not turn on more than one valve at a time. This is done because there is usually not enough water pressure to turn on too many valves at once. If you are not intentionally trying to turn on more than one valve, then it’s probably due to one of the following:
      If more than one valve turns on at a time, it is usually caused by one of the following:
      Incorrect programming. You may have overlapping schedule times where one schedule turns on a valve while the other schedule has on a different valve.
      These problems are usually caused by a failing valve. To know, look at the display. If you see two numbers appear on the top row, it’s a programming problem; review all the scheduled programming and if needed, perform a factory reset and reprogram.
      Wiring problem: if you have wires crossed or shorted to each other, it could cause one valve to come on with another valve.
      Valves are failing: sometimes the change in water pressure that’s caused by a valve being on can trigger another valve to turn on. This is uncommon.

      I hope this helps,

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