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.

1,030 thoughts on “Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

  1. I have a Rain Dial RD600-INT-R 6 station controller, it is an old system and normally works great. Issue- the sprinkler system will not come on automatically unless I push and pull the lil clear fuse and move the silver prongs the fuse sits in. I have moved them so much up and down that now the prongs are coming loose. Why does moving these around make it start up? What do I need to replace? I know it sounds confusing but I wish I could post pictures to point at what is the problem. I appreciate the detailed help 🙂

    • I forgot to add the details of the controller
      I don’t have the date stamp (I am at work)
      Grey Box
      Model RD600-INT-R
      Serial No. 152371
      Input 24Vac, 60Hz, 1.25A (30VA)
      Output: 24 Vac, 60hz, 1.0A max total
      05A max per station

    • I forgot to add the details of the controller
      I don’t have the date stamp (I am at work)
      Grey Box
      Model RD600-INT-R
      Serial No. 152371
      Input 24Vac, 60Hz, 1.25A (30VA)
      Output: 24 Vac, 60hz, 1.0A max total
      05A max per station

      • Hi Carrie,

        Thanks for all the good information. I’d be happy to repair that for you as I’ve seen it before. I’ll send you a separate email with details. Thanks for posting.

        Brian

  2. Hi – wondering if you can confirm this might be a (repairable) controller problem…
    I have an RD-600, date stamp 062999. Color is mostly gray.

    I leave it unplugged (battery removed) over the winter, and this is my first attempt to use it this year (we had a wet spring). All displays seem normal but nothing will activate any of my valves – either program mode or manual mode – and I’ve tried factory resets for both older model and newer models. It COULD be broken wire between controller and valves but we haven’t done anything in the yard/around house that should have broken the cable…

    The curious part – when I check voltage between common and any of the 6 valve terminals I see a low voltage, I think 0.5 VAC, then when I activate a zone (either manual or program mode) the voltage shows 27.5 VAC on *all* zones, not just the zone I activated. (that doesn’t seem right but I expected all 6 zones would try to run simultaneously, and I don’t believe any of the valves are activating – hard to know for sure since I’m alone and the valves are on the opposite side of the house).

    One other minor issue that might be informative – I said above that “all displays seem normal” although when I try to run one zone manually e.g. for 3 minutes, the display indicates success with “M03” but then drops to 02 within just a few seconds – so it always seems to short cut that first minute (but M02 stays on for a full minute, then M01, so it’s only the first minute…)

    Does this sound like something that can be repaired? Do I send just the control unit or the back terminal board or both?

    • Hi Cody,

      That’s due to one of these likely issues in order of likelihood:
      1) You have a broken or disconnected common wire somewhere. I’d check the valve box(es) for the common wire and make sure it’s a good clean connection to all the valves.
      2) You are measuring from the incorrect terminals. You should put one probe on the valve terminal and the other on the VC terminal (I think you did this correctly, but just in case)
      3) Your system (both timer and terminal board) should be sent in for repair.

      Do your best to look for VC wiring issues and let me know what you find.
      Regards,
      Brian

      • Hi Brian – thanks again for the sanity check – I verified I’m checking voltages across the correct terminals, and tried ‘hot wiring’ one zone this morning – e.g. directly connect the wire for zone 1 to the 24 VAC terminal. That did not work – but then, after I reconnected the zone 1 wire to its terminal, now the system is working 🙂

        AND now that it’s working, I verified that when zone 1 comes on there is 24 VAC on terminal 1 *only*, and the other zones did not show voltage… So there is definitely something failing on an intermittent basis – but for now it’s working – and given the summer heat I’ll plan to monitor it and leave it alone – then would like to send the timer and terminal board to you for repair/upgrade this fall when we shut down for the winter! I’ll save all these notes and include them when I send the electronics to you.

        Thanks again
        Cody B

        • p.s. also just sent you a $10 donation for your help thus far. I’m pretty confident this is not solved for good, so I’ll do more business with you this fall/winter. Thank you!
          Cody B.

          • I’m glad it’s all working for now; and thanks for the donation. You’re one of only 14 people who have made a donation this year, so consider yourself one of the ‘good guys.’ We really appreciate it.
            Brian

  3. On Rd600, purchased April 2022. 6 station Program will not run/turn on any valve stations. Worked fine for months; then ran a semi-auto sequence and unit will now not operate any valves. Water source on.
    Battery good.
    Fuse good
    Electrical good.
    Reset to orig. factory settings.according to manual.
    Reset/programmed time, day, daily schedule, valve run duration, start time, etc.
    Display shows numbered valves “on”; but valves not opening.

    Thank you
    Joe

  4. Hello,
    All of a sudden the RD1200-EXT is not working. The screen displays the current time, then it blinks and displays FUS or FU5 with a 123 in the upper left hand corner. Does this mean a Fuse needs to be replaced and if so, how do I order one for Serial No: 166071

    • Hi Anita,
      Look at the DIY Troubleshooting page for everything you’d want to know about the FUS message. If it’s helpful, please leave us a donation. It goes toward keeping the site active and towards kids’ education.

      Thanks,
      Brian

    • Hi Michelle,

      Take a look at my new information in item A on this page. Let me know what you find out.
      Thanks
      Brian

  5. Hi Brian,
    I have a RD900 model, it keeps turning off while it’s on and random times. I checked the transformer, and it has power. It turns on when I open the cover or push the ribbon cable. I checked the troubleshooting, and I don’t see the solution there. Not sure it’s the board, please let me know what I can do to fix this issue.
    Thanks.

    • Hi Tony,

      it sounds like you’ve done a good job troubleshooting it. I sent you a separate email with some repair options. If you have any questions, just let me know.

      Thanks,
      Brian

    • Good question.
      For most models, a blinking “:” indicates that AC power is good. if not blinking, it’s running on 9V battery power.
      Does that help?
      Brian

  6. I have a RD600 which well run the complete programmed cycle every day even with the function switch in the off position.
    When I set up a manual zone to run it turns on zone one most off the time.

    • Hi Dennis,

      It sounds like the timer needs repairing. I think the run/set-program/off switch is failing. I can repair the switch and update other parts that typically fail so you won’t have a very long time.

      Everything you need to know is on the website; if you have any other questions, just let me know.
      Regards,
      Brian

  7. My controller shows the corect date and time but the wrong day of the week. How can I chnage that to correct day of the week?

    • Hi Joey,

      Set the dial on ‘today’ and the bottom center switch to ‘set programs’ Then press the + button to change the day.

      I hope that helps. If it does, please consider leaving us a donation, it goes to a good cause and helps pay for the site upkeep.
      Regards,
      Brian

  8. Hi,
    I’ve been following your instructions. I’ve replaced solenoids. I’ve opened up valves and replaced diaphragms. I’ve snipped wires and rewired everything and have used waterproof wire thingies. I’ve reprogrammed the system. The same problems persist. Six stations do not turn on automatically, not even when I use the manual setting. One station stay on stays on all the time and is highly pressurized. Good news! Five of them work fine. LOL. The fuse appears to be intact. When I pop it out, the led screen goes blank. Put it back in, and it works. I’m thinking it might be the board. The only other option might be to try and use the spare colored wires that are not connected to anything and trying them on the stations that do not work. Keep in mind that I do not know what the hell I’m doing. Hahahahaha. Anyway, thanks for your help. I think you’re going to be getting a package from me real soon. Maria.

    • Hi,
      You can find the answer to that question on the DIY troubleshooting page. If you still have questions after looking at it, just let me know.

      If it’s helpful, please consider leaving us a donation, we greatly appreciate it.
      Thanks,
      Brian

  9. If I have an AUTO program setup (water every 3 days at 5 am) and I turn the dial to OFF and leave it off for over a week. When I turn the dial back to AUTO again, when or wate day will it start the sprinklers running again? Will it turn back on at 5am that very next morning?

    • I assume you’re using the skip-days feature. I believe it will keep incrementing the day counter even when the timer is off. You can see the day’s counter by putting the dial on ‘today’ when you have skip days enabled. The number increments every day. When the number matches your skip-days setting, the water comes on. You can tell when it will water again, by comparing ‘today’ with your skip-days setting. If today is 3 and you’re skip days setting is 4, it will water tomorrow.

      I hope that helped, if so, please leave us a donation. It goes to a good cause and we’d greatly appreciate it 🙂

  10. I have a six-zone Hardie HHA 11272 manufactured in 1991. Is this easily replaced by a R-600? Everything worked well until recently. Here are the symptoms: Pump will not turn on after moving the off/program/run switch from run. Manual continues to work as advertised. However, with the off/program/run switch in run, selecting Semi Auto will result in the system running through the correct cycles; and afterwards, the pump and valves will work as normal, but only after a Semi-Auto cycle is run. If I turn the dial to off or change the program, I have to run another Semi-Auto cycle for the system to operate normally as programmed. With a dial that’s 30 years old, I’d be more than willing to purchase a refurbished R-600 from you if it’s plug and play. Thank you.

    • Hi Mike,

      That’s an interesting problem that I have not seen before. You might try unplugging everything including the battery for an hour and then re-program it. If that doesn’t get it going, let me know and we can talk about other options. It would be a plug-n-play replacement, no problem there.

      let me know what you find,
      Brian

      • Thanks Brian. Been in this house 20 years and there’s never been a battery in the timer. I did install a battery at your suggestion and now it seems to be working fine. Thanks much.

        • I’m glad things are working again and happy to help.
          I’ll add a note of caution though. The battery isn’t necessary except to keep programming and time during a ‘brief’ power-outage. When the battery seems to be doing more than that, it usually means the timer is starting to fail (it’s hard to say how long before the battery won’t help, sometimes weeks or a month…). If you notice any other strange behavior, or if the battery isn’t lasting (1 year typical), then send it in for repair.

          I’m happy to hear you’re “up and running” for now anyway, keep me in mind when the time comes.
          Regards,
          Brian

  11. This should be easy. I am no sure how to start up my system. I already set up a run time just to make sure all was running right everything looks great. Do I just push Run or Manual function and it will be ok? My unit is a RD-600.

    • Hi Jacqueline,

      set the dial on a valve, add some minutes and press manual-on. See all the instructions and tutorial information on the DIY Troubleshooting menu.
      The bottom center switch s/b all the way to the right and in the run/manual position.
      Brian

  12. Geraldine Jenson-Carter on May 13, 2022 at 4:19 pm said:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation. This is a preview; your comment will be visible after it has been approved.
    After having the #5 solenoid replaced everything seemed fine but that night I initiated a full run #1 did nothing. I turned off and manually tried, nothing. So I did a manual run 2,3,4 all worked at one time with great water pressure, 5,6,7 great and 8 and 9 good. I replaced the 9V battery only because I did not know what else to do.
    I apologize, I forgot to include:
    Date below battery 06 18 99
    RD12 PLUS-INT SS E9924
    Gray Color
    Suggestion is welcome.

    • Hi Geraldine,

      It’s likely a valve/solenoid problem or wiring issue since everything was ‘touched’ when you replaced #5. I’d double check wiring at the valve. You can ‘sanity check’ the timer as being a problem by switching wires, say swap #1 wire with #2 at the timer. If the valve can’t be turned on even when it’s in a different terminal position that works with a different valve, the valve or wiring must be the problem.

      Hopefully, that helps; if it does, consider leaving a donation, if it doesn’t, let me know and we’ll figure out what to do next 🙂
      Regards,
      Brian

  13. After having the #5 solenoid replaced everything seemed fine but that night I initiated a full run #1 did nothing. I turned off and manually tried, nothing. So I did a manual run 2,3,4 all worked at one time with great water pressure, 5,6,7 great and 8 and 9 good. I replaced the 9V battery only because I did not know what else to do. Suggestion is welcome.

  14. Irritrol RD-600-R Blue
    Using two zones, shrubs and trees. Zone 2 Trees was not working and I had FU5 code. Found Damaged, leaking solenoid and replaced it. FU5 code cleared. Zone 1 back working. Control panel shows Zone 2 coming on. New Zone 2 solenoid powers on when activated but no water flowing. Any advice appreciated.

    • Hi Jim,
      Try swapping the wire for zone 2 with zone 1 and make sure that valve will operate when you connect it to zone 1.
      If it does, you know there’s nothing wrong with the valve, then send the timer and back terminal board in for repair and we’ll get it all working like new again 🙂
      Regards,
      Brian

      • Thanks, Doc. Having switched the wires, the problem persists. Does that mean the new solenoid when energized cannot open its valve? As before, the control panel shows that each zone is working when on, but only the undisturbed solenoid side actually provides water. Does solenoid failure cause valve failure, or the opposite? The failed leaking solenoid was actually split open. All new to me.

        Next step?
        Jim

        • A follow-up question from Jim: Thanks for your patience. My uniformed logic. The valve must have been open for the damaged solenoid to be leaking. Would it then be closed after solenoid replacement? Could I have installed an incompatible solenoid? I replaced a Weathermatic Model S20P with a Orbit (24V) Replacement Solenoid.

          • I would expect most common valves to be compatible. The valve itself should be in the office position for normal operation, this allows the timer to override it and turn it on.

            I’m not sure from your comment whether or not the problem is always with the same solenoid, or if the problem is always with the same terminal on the back terminal board. If you have a volt meter, it may be easier to troubleshoot. Do you have one.

            Does that help answer your question?
            Thanks,
            Brian

    • Hi,

      I’d suggest looking at the programming information in the DYI related menu of this page… watch the video and play around with it to get an idea of how it works.
      If you get to the point that you don’t think it works, post information on the specific operation and we’ll get it figured out 🙂
      Regards,
      Brian

  15. If my whole house electrical is grounded, do I still need to run another copper ground wire to my irritrol rain dial R controller which is mounted indoors? Thank you.

    • Hi Joe,

      That’s a great question. The earlier models of the back terminal board didn’t really have a good ground strategy, some didn’t even have a ground terminal, and others just tied it to VC. This sort of works since it provides a path for energy to pass through the protection devices on the backboard (blue disk MOVs) to earth ground. It doesn’t protect the common wire though.
      Here are some thoughts:

    • Most (and I mean like 99%) of installations I’ve seen do not use a ground wire at all. If you’re in an area that gets a lot of lightning storms it’s more important. I’ve only had maybe a few repairs that appeared to be surge-related where it may have helped so based on these informal stats, you can probably just leave it off and you’ll be fine…
    • If you have a ground wire and want to hook it up, connect it to the ground terminal if you have one. If you don’t have a gnd terminal, you can usually connect it to the VC terminal.
    • If you have a newer model, it has a green wire coming from the transformer compartment (a good way to do it). You can see more information on it at this link (look later on the page):https://www.raindialdoctor.com/how-to-replace-the-transformer/
    • I hope that helps, if so, consider making a donation, we’d really appreciate it.
      Brian

  16. Hello Brian,
    This is what I have:

    RD900, Irrirtol, Gray, 060403, using Program A only.
    Hunter valves ASV-075, 9 stations.
    Using your website as a guide, I investigated the following.:
    1) Ran all stations in manual mode for 3 minutes; 1-4 ran normally, 5,6,8,9 ran but at a trickle due to low water pressure and seemed to pulsate. 7 did not come on at all. No “off” error messages, continuity good on all stations.
    2) All terminal connector wires are tight, all 9 solenoids tested approximately 35 ohms with multimeter.
    3) 60lbs water pressure on exterior water faucet.
    4) All valves except 7, chatter. Could hear chatter from 8 and 9 at water heater in garage.
    5) Did not attempt to run in auto mode.

    Based on the trouble shooting guide I assume the controller needs repair, not sure about the terminal connector board. Please advise! ✨

    Thanks!

    • Hi Monty,

      It sounds like you’ve done a thorough job troubleshooting; it sounds like a standard problem I can repair. Check out the instructions on the ‘How to get it repaired’ page. If you have any other questions, just let me know.

      regards,
      Brian

  17. Great website, very informative! I’m working on an RD900, 060403, gray; for a friend, going back tomorrow to apply some of your tips, possibly a bad solenoid. One issue I fixed (the manual button would not pop back out, it was stuck) by taking the controller apart and snapping it back out after removing the “motherboard”. Got it all back together and realized the battery holder with the above date on it was outside the box now. I should have taken a picture, can’t figure out how to fit it back in. Do you have a picture or diagram you can show how it fits? I was able to set the battery back in without the holder and put the cover on, but it needs to be done right! Thanks!

  18. Looking for a device to dewater the hole when doing an irrigation repair. Looks like a large turkey baster or bicycle pump. Has a piston inside a tube. You place the end in the hole and pull up on the handle to suck the water out. Push the handle down to squirt the water out. I don’t know what to call it to search for it. My land scape maintenance guy has one. Works great.

    • Hi Gary,

      I’d suggest trying an auto parts store, they have various comparable products for draining oil, antifreeze, etc…

      Regards,
      Brian

  19. rain dial 1200……….I know how to set it. Just set it and current time alternates flashing with OF3……I have no idea what this means, do you? It’s been working on Manual fine, haven’t used it lately on Auto but need to now.

    • If you look in the menu option above titled DIY troubleshooting, you will find information there about what to do if your display shows 0F….
      If that doesn’t help, post back here and let me know. If it does, consider leaving us a little donation 🙂

      Thanks,
      Brian

  20. What is the vc terminal for on the timer box? And where are the white wires suppose to be connected? Are they suppose to be connected to earth ground or vc terminal? Thank You, OJS

    • Hi Oscar,
      there’s no guarantee that the wire colors are one way or the other. In general, I see most installations have white wires that go to the common or VC terminal. On the terminal board, it’s connected to the ground too, making it possible to connect them to either earth ground or VC; it makes no difference.

      Hopefully, that helps, if it does; consider leaving us a little donation, we’d appreciate it 🙂
      Brian

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