Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

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Please look at the DIY Troubleshooting section before posting, answers to most questions can be found there. 

You can also reply to other people’s questions if you like. (Thanks for helping)

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.

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

  1. The only display on my RD 600 irritrol is what looks like and upside down U.
    The sprinkler has bee running in zone 1 for far too long. Seems it is not moving through the zones.

    • Hi Linda,
      I would recommend starting by resetting the timer. Disconnect the 9V battery if you have one, and unplug the timer; if you have a -R it’s a little more complicated, but I have a page on my site about it if you get confused. Try that, if it does not help then it’s likely you need timer repair!


  2. Hello. I have 6 zones. Because Zone 6 is at “the end” of my irrigation system, the point furthest away from the irrigation back flow, it has the weakest water flow. I would like to run zone 6 first in the morning, at 5:30 am, then run zones 1-5 after zone 6. Is that programmable on the Rain Dial – R controller using 2 different programs? I’ve read the user guide but I can’t tell if this is possible.

    Thank you

    • Hi Walt,
      I just sent you an email, but putting the answer here as well in case anyone else wants to know; You sure can do program that; The simplest thing would be to just move your valve wires around at the backboard such that they’re in the order you want to run them (You would just loosen the screw terminal for zone 1 and zone 6, and then swap the wires).
      However if you don’t want to do that, I’ll just run through a quick example of how you could program it using a run time of 10 minutes for each valve.
      I would go to program A, and set valve 6 for 10 minutes, and start time 1 for 5:30 AM; and then go to schedule B and set each of zones 1-5 for 10 minutes, and set the start time 1 for 5:41 (to avoid any potential overlap between the programs).

      Hope this helps, feel free to shoot back any questions you have.

  3. When I am testing my sprinklers with the RD-1200-R, on station 9, when I use the + sign to give it 2 minutes, and then hit “manual” it will not go on and the display switches to “off.” The rest of the stations are all okay. The area watered by that station also looks underwatered. Any advice or suggestions? Thank you. Kim

    • Hi Kim,
      If there is only an issue with one station, then it’s most likely there is an issue with either the backboard or the solenoid for that valve.
      If station 8 works great, try swapping the valve wire for station 8 with the valve wire for station 9, and then try to run station 8 (which is now valve 9 that you were having issues with, if that makes sense). If your problem area sprinklers now come on, then you have a backboard problem with the terminal for station 9. If they do not come on, then you probably have a bad solenoid!
      The backboard issue is one I can fix if you want to send it in to me for repair, but a solenoid issue is something you’ll have to take care of. Trust me, it’s not too hard, and I have some videos showing how to do it! Let me know if you have any questions!


  4. Everything works good on my timer – except its reading the wrong day for the week. When I set the dial to “today” and try to use the + – button the day of the week does not change.

    • Hi Ryan,

      I’d make sure the switch is in the middle, to set-programs. try wiggling it back and forth a bit to ensure it’s in the right position.

      If no luck; you can send it in for repair – see the page on how to get it repaired for more details.

  5. Brian,
    I have a RD-900, manufacture date 022894, gray case.

    The problem: The display is flashing the time on and off. It appears that this problem occurs AFTER the morning watering schedule. FYI, the unit is NOT loosing the time of time because a couple days ago I replaced the 9 volt battery, prior to replacing the battery the unit would not keep the correct time and I would find the incorrect time flashing. Also I have checked the 110 volt electrical connection to the RD-900.

    • Hi Alan,

      That sounds like a problem we typically see – I will send you an email with repair instructions. Thank you!

    • Hi Robert,

      They may be angled in a little based on the hinge mechanism. If it appears to be ‘pressed’ all the time, even when you’re not pressing it, you can send it in for repair and we can fix that as well as perform other updates to components that may fail. See the menu/page on how to get it repaired, or drop us an email.

  6. Hi Brian,
    We have the RD- 1200- R (Blue face) that was manufactured in 2011. 10 of the 12 stations are used on it and up until fairly recently, everything worked great. We don’t use the rain sensor function.
    Here’s the problem: When the controller is set to auto. run, or used in manual mode, it often will turn on a selected valve for watering and then, for an unexplained reason, turn off again at seemingly it’s own discretion, or it will not come on at all. The timer, display, and all the dial settings seem to work just fine. I’ve checked for loose connections and tightened each station wire. Now on the two ground wires (in my case they’re white) connected to the first screw (Earth Ground) on the far left of the upper bus-bar on the back terminal board, when I push on them (putting pressure on the back terminal board), or sometimes pull on them at the terminal screw connection, the valve comes on and it waters. If I let go, it stops, or if left in just the right position, the valve stays on, for a time anyway. To me, this perhaps indicates a loose connection in the solder between the terminal screw and the back board, or? Could you please give me your incite and possible remedy?
    Thank you ahead of time.

    • Hi,
      Yes it sounds like a connection problem as you described. Sometimes there in the ribbon cable, sometimes there in the connector itself or as you suggested.
      We’re happy to repair it for you if you’d like us to, you can just contact us using the contact form and will send you all the info. Thanks,

  7. Hi Brian: I have a 3 year old RD1200 which works perfectly. Yesterday my
    gardner put in a new lawn and changed some of the settings. Seems to be still working fine but the time of day/home display shows the current time and to the left “FU5” with a very small 6 above the time. What triggers the FU5 notice? I apologize if this covered in the manual as I lost that at least a year ago. thanks for your help……..Jim Antrim

    • Hi James,

      See the DIY Troubleshooting page; it explains the FUS in detail and what to do about it.

      Let me know either way if it’s helpful.


  8. Hi Brian,
    I have an RD900 outdoor model. It is 15+ years old. The semiautomatic and manual buttons do not work. When I try to run semi automatic or manual the display looks good–the display shows the zone that is supposed to be on and the amount of time that it is supposed to be on for. But the water does not flow with semiautomatic or manual modes. The controller/system works fine on full automatic mode.
    Any ideas?

    • Hi Chris,

      I’d suggest you look under the DIY troubleshooting section on testing the transformer. If you can determine that the transformer is working, then just send the timer and the back terminal board in for repair. We’ll get it back in the mail to you the day after we receive it. You can find everything you need to know in the ‘how to get it repaired’ menu item, or email me at

  9. RD 600, Grey controller, year 2003. The relay for the pump will not remain closed. 24v ok at the input terminals “24 vac”. When I select minutes and manual the valves operate fine and 24 v read at the terminal screw of the valve selected with irr city pressure (20psi) . MV/Pump however reads 3.7 vac relay control is 24 vac.
    Any suggestions? And if it is determined that I should mail it to you for repair, should I also send the timer/controller?

    • Hi William,

      I believe we’ve been exchanging a few emails directly on this subject so I’ll assume you’re all set now. If not, let me know.


    • Hi Kimberly,

      See the DIY Troubleshooting page; there’s information there about what to do when the timer say “—”
      If that doesn’t help, let me know,

  10. I have a three year old RD-900-R that has stopped controlling the valves. Checking the transformer it shows 27vac but when the 9v battery is removed the display goes dead. The household power is good and I have checked the connections to the transformer. What else can I check?

    • Hi Jay,

      That sounds like a problem we typically see. I will send you an email with repair details.

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  11. I have a RD600. Was working fine until the other day. I needed to water grass three times a day right now. Thought it was working. It is set for 8am 12 and 5pm. The 8 time works but the 12 and 5 do not. The valves show up on the screen as on but they do not turn on. Sometimes the 12noon turn on valve 3 but turns off after 10 minutes. It is set for 40 minutes. Then valve 4 shows up as on after the 40 minutes but it is not on. Semi auto works sometimes and then others it shows the valves on but do not turn on. It does this for all 5 valves on all three programs.

    • Hi Jim,
      This sounds like a combination problem with the backboard and the timer; the backboard is having intermittency problems and the timer can’t supply the power for long enough… The fact that the number shows in the top of the display still indicates that the backboard is the primary problem here, but another question is does the timer display show anything if you disconnect the battery, or is it blank?


  12. I have a RD600 & something is draining the battery. I have to replace it every couple of weeks. No info gets lost, but the system doesn’t run, either. I have a VOM, where do I start?

    • Hi Dan,
      This is a common symptom of a timer failing, the timer can’t supply enough power to the solenoids because of failures in the power supply section of the board- It’s something I fix commonly, and if you’re interested I can fix yours. Something you should know is that the battery is only ever supposed to be used as a backup in case the transformer or power goes out. If the timer display is blank without a battery, then there is a bigger issue here. Please feel free to shoot me an email and we can troublshoot!


  13. I have a Hardie RD-1200. I selected program A to start at 8 PM and to run all 12 stations for 5 minutes each. Program B and C are programmed to be off. Program A starts properly at 8PM as programmed but it also starts next day in the morning at 9:00 AM. What’s wrong?

    • Hi,
      I would suggest doing a factory reset, you can find that information on DIY troubleshooting page. After the reset, it should default the program to be 7 AM for 10 minutes on every valve, every day of the week. You can make the changes from there.
      There’s also a section about when the valves come on and they’re not supposed to. It has a lot of good troubleshooting information on it that will help youFigure out what program is running. Take a look at those, those back here and let me know if they help, or if you have other questions.
      , Thanks,

  14. when I try to set the days to on or off the display in stead shows – – –
    Help! oh is is a rain dial R1200 with mostly a blue face.

    • Hi Sandra,
      Take a look at the DIY troubleshooting page. You basically have a timer on skip days mode. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for there, post back here.
      Thanks, Brian

  15. I have older Model RD-900 built in 1993. The controller works fine, but the + button is difficult to work with. Sometimes it works fine but other the time does not move. I suspect the button is worn out from so many years of pushing it. The – button works fine, but that is because it is not used as frequently. Would replacing the controller by detaching it from the case and sending it to you for replacement be a solution for this problem since the unit runs successfully other than that issue?

    Thank you.
    Karen Brown

    • Hi Karen
      Sorry for the delay. We could certainly fix those problems and also update some other components that often fail for an older timer. That way it will be good to go for a very long time. You would only need to send in the timer and the back terminal board, not the entire case or a transformer.
      All the information is on my website under the menu option That says how to get it repaired.
      You can also reach me easily by using the contact us form, or of course, by posting here.
      Let me know if that helps,

    • Hi Helen,
      If the timer loses power, one of two things will happen, depending on if you have the newer blue -R timer or the older gray timer.
      If you have the older model, and the power goes out, the timer will go blank and when you turn the power back on, the timer will be reset to factory conditions. This is why it’s a good idea to keep a 9V battery hooked up to your timer!
      If you have the newer model, the timers memory will stay intact, with one exception- the current time will be lost if the timer is without power for too long. I’m not sure how long exactly, but when after the charge dwindles away, the timer loses track of what time it is, and reverts to 1200 when it gets power back. (all other programming stays intact)

      I hope this answers your question.


  16. I have a Irritrol RD-600. The time numbers are dim and kind of flashing. When I put in a new 9 volt battery it seems to work fine time is dark numbers like it is supposed to. Do you think it could be the transformer. Manual functions also don’t work unles I have a good 9v battery

    • Hi John,

      it’s definitely not the transformer, it’s a problem with the timer that I’d be happy to repair for you. I can fix that problem and also refurbish other parts that typically fail as the unit ages. That way it’ll be good as new again.

      Just send it in, we usually get it back in the mail the next day.
      You can always us the contact us menu to send us an email and I’ll send you all the details. Or, just follow the instructions on this page here.


    • Hi Harrison,
      There should be a date code located underneath the 9V battery; look there.


  17. Does the Rain Dial automatically change the time for daylight savings time? I went to change the time and it looks like it changed automatically. Thanks.

    • Hi Edward,

      To my knowledge, the newer models do have that feature available. If you look at the timer manual that corresponds to your timer, you should be able to find the details on how it works. The manuals are located here.

      Meghan – RainDial Doctor in Training

  18. I have an Irritrol Total Control, 24 station system. It’s an older system. When I turn it on, it keeps blinking “SHORT.” The station would not start watering. We unplugged it, we replaced the battery, we checked the solenoids, we double checked the wiring contacts and even the fuse. Same problem. I live 2K miles from Phoenix. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Eric,
      I’m not very familiar with the Total Control Timers- They’re surprisingly different from the RD timers.
      From going through the manual for the Total Control, here’s a section I found:
      “The controller is equipped with an electronic circuit breaker. If the
      controller detects a short circuit, the affected station(s) will be turned
      off automatically. The display will then flash “SHORT” and the shorted
      station number or “MASTER VALVE.” The controller continues to
      automatically water the other stations and the following watering
      programs until the shorted station is repaired. The program will be
      cancelled if the master valve circuit is shorted. Each automatic start
      will attempt another cycle and retest the short-circuited valve.”
      It appears that your Master Valve circuit has a short- How to go about fixing that I am not sure.

      I wish I could be of more help.


  19. I have a rain dial-r. I would like to check to see if water is flowing. Line got cut, and repaired but I still don’t see water. I just want to see if it is working.

    • Hi John,

      If you can provide a little more info, I can help more. To turn on station 1 to test it, you can set the dial to station 1, put the bottom switch in the run position, press + to add some minutes, and the press the Manual On button.

      This should make the timer turn on the valve and indicate it’s on by putting a little number in the top row of the display. If you see this number, the timer is turning on the valve. Let me know what you see…


  20. I have a Rain Dial Model RD900-EXT. I have noticed our water bill having tripled the past 3 months. After checking for leaks, and adjusting all drippers, I noticed valve 2 was on during a day the system is programmed to be off. I have checked power to the system; done an ohm check and the solenoid seems ok; and the transformer works fine. What else could be allowing a valve to open when not programmed to open?

    • Hi Jon,
      The most likely thing is that you need to replace that valve- You can be certain that the timer is not the cause by unplugging it if you like, if you unplug it and the valve is still leaking then you know the timer is not the cause.
      The valve has rubber parts inside of it that fail over time. You’ll probably have to replace the valve guts- You should search for “valve guts” on the site and you should find the page on how to replace it!


      • Thanks Brian but I want you to understand that the timer did list valve 2 on the keypad when it was running. I have rebooted everything and will see if that fixes it. BTW: the battery box date code is 07-10-96.

  21. It’s my understanding the RD-900-R (or just the -R models in general) can work wtih a back circuit board that is of the standard varity — the difference being a 20-pin connector on the -R vs. 16-pin on the standard. I also beleive there is an adapter that can ‘cleanly’ convert the 20-pin to 16 but where do I find one? Obiously, I wouldn’t gain the rain sensor benefits having the standard back circuit board, but in the desert of AZ, not really needed. I do have my RD-900 control element but also have a 900-R (spare) that a friend no longer needed (and he didn’t have the back circuit board. My 900 timer box is starting to fail (again) given years of 110 degree+ heat. I routinely pull it apart and clean the dial contacts but they seem to have hit end of life. Yes, I can repair it again, but I have a new 900-R that I’d like to use. As I see it, I can upgrade the back circuit board to the -R (assuming I can find just a back circuit board), or try and locate a proper adapter. Thoughts?

    Related (sort of), I am currently doubling up on a zone given all 9 zones are in use — has worked fine for years, but I also understand the existing back board supports all 12 zones, and I’d just need a 12-zone timer box. I can see the zone connectors are there on the back board for solenoid connections – are my assumptions correct?

    Just trying ot weigh all options but given I have a spare 900-R, the easiest path would be to find the 20-pin to 16-pin converter and invest in a RD-1200 if this 900-R doesn’t work out?

    • Hi Rob,
      Wow, you know your stuff! You are correct, the -R models use a 20 pin and the older ones use a 16 pin. There is no cross compatibility there.
      It is very difficult to find just a backboard, and I only have like 2 left and I need to hang on to them. So, as you mentioned, that converter is your best bet. I have some- there’s two different kinds, I can splice in a 16 pin connector or I have a converter cable type thing.
      If you don’t want to get one from me, you can find them on Ebay I think that’s where I got mine.


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