Display says OFF or Blinks

RainDial display blinks OFF or flashes

If you try to turn on a valve manually (by selecting a valve, adding minutes with the + button) and the LCD just goes back to OFF, it’s typically one of two things.

(Note, this problem usually means the controller needs repairing, we’d appreciate your business if the following troubleshooting information suggests the controller needs repairing.  Thanks!)

  1. The controller is overloaded with a shorted valve or wiring problem.
    1. Some older systems don’t have or show a Fuse error message, so follow the instructions the Fuse: Link
    2. Valve problems causing this problem are easily solved by replacing the valve solenoid.  They’re fairly easy to replace.  I usually take a photo of the valve to a local landscape store so they know what I”m looking for.  Read the troubleshooting tip below.
  2. If the problem happens with more than one valve; it means the controller is failing. This is a problem we repair frequently (the cornerstone of our business); the repair is solid and well worth doing.

Troubleshooting tip: Is the valve a problem or the controller?

A good way to tell the difference is if the problem occurs with more than one valve.  If more than one valve shows the problem then it’s a problem with the controller.  If only one sprinkler valve exhibits the problem, try swapping the screw terminal wire of that valve with a different one.  If the “problem” follows the valve, it’s a valve issue.

We hope this was helpful – if it was, use our services or consider a friendly donation.  Thank you.

Click here to contact us or here to see How do I send it in for repair?

42 thoughts on “Display says OFF or Blinks

  1. I have this problem, and it is corrected by replacing the battery. But I see from reading this thread that it’s really a power supply problem. Can you tell me what part I need? I can solder. Thanks.

  2. I have the RD600-EXT-R model. today I noticed that the sprinklers did not turn on per their schedule so I tried running it manually and they work but seem to turn off after a minute even thought I set it manually for 10 minutes. Now I can’t even get them to start manually at all. Everything seems to be working on the display. Could it be something as simple as the fuse?

    • Hi Xavier,

      I’d definitely check the fuse, but it’s usually not that. With that model, there’s another problem that I repair often. It will likely be intermittent as it’s failing and is often temperature dependent too. I’ll send you repair info separately.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  3. When I try to manually run zone #1 on program A the display will show either M:15 or A:15. It has never done this before and when I press start the timer goes but the water does not come on. Just wondering how to fix. I’ve already tried to restart the entire box.h

    • Hi Zach, it will show M:nn when you manually turn on a valve and have the dial pointing to that valve.
      If you see A:nn, it means that the valve (the dial is pointing to) is currently on per schedule “A”. Those are both normal behaviors.

      Tell me what model you have (e.g., RD-600 or 600-R) and I can advise you further.

      Thanks,
      brian – aka the RainDial doctor

      • Model is RD 600 R. The Stations 2 and 3 still work normally when I run them manually but station 1 just will not produce water.

        • Hi Zach, that’s good news because we know the transformer is good. Based on the description, it’s a problem that I repair often. I’d suggest mailing the module (the part with the dial/LCD) and the back connector board in for repair. I’ll send you a separate email with all the details… thanks,
          Brian – aka the RainDial doctor

    • Hi Brad,
      Typically 45 for rd600, 55 for a 900, 65 for a 1200. I pay return postage.. It should never be more than that.

      Brian

  4. hi. i have an rd600-ex-e and the problem is that the solenoid valves are creaking on either manual or program mode and are not living any water to pass. this happened with all valves. i switch them to other channels bud nothing happens.
    the voltage on the Channel output (when the channel is on or manual) is 8.5v when no solenoid valve is connected and 3.5v when is connected.
    what do you think is the problem

    • Hello,

      Thank you for posting. The problem is caused by a failing power supply circuit inside the controller. If you reply to this post, I can send you additional information. Repairing it would require soldering skills and replacement parts.

      Thanks for posting –
      Brian – aka – the RainDial Doctor for Irritrol RD-600 RD-900 and RD-1200 irrigation timers

  5. Irritrol Hardie RD-600. When I turn dial to schedule or valve run times the LCD screen displays “Off.” I can’t set time

    • Hi Emily,

      I’d try doing a reset (see the DIY page). If that doesn’t work (I doubt it will), you should probably just send it in for repair. It’s likely that a switch or other internal component has failed. If it’s not repairable, or is, but should probably be replaced anyway, we have replacement options. Note the orange banner notice at the top of the page; you’ll probably want to send it by tomorrow…

      Thanks for posting,
      Brian – aka – youre RD600 series RainDialDoctor

  6. I have a rain dial plus outdoor unit that has a blank screen. I’ve changed the 9v battery, the slo-blo fuse and verified that I have 24 volts coming from the transformer. Any ideas what else I can try?

    Thanks
    Jerry Sanders

    • Hi Jerry,
      It sounds like you’ve already checked the main things. You might try powering everything down for a few minutes – no battery, and no 24VAC; See if a good reset will wake it up again. Otherwise, you can mail it in and I’m happy to take a look. Send both the module with the LCD and the back connector board so I can check everything.

      See the other page for instructions on how to send it in for repair.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  7. Hi I have an RD 600 Irritrol and the LCD display is not working at all, There’s power to it . Can you tell me what is wrong?
    Thank you
    Sergio

    • HI Sergio,

      I’d need a little more information to help. Try resetting it and then the “Testing the transformer” sections of the DIY Troubleshooting page. Let me know how it goes and I’ll help more.

      Thanks,
      Brian

      • Hey Brian
        Thanks for your fast response, OK I’ve seen your video about testing transformer. Now how do I reset the unit? Id like to try that first.
        Thanks again Brian

        • You’re welcome – The reset instructions should be on the DIY Troubleshooting page – there’s a little different procedure for a -R model, but they’re both described there. If you don’t see it, let me know.

  8. I have a RD-900 and it flashes when I try to turn it on manually. The numbers flash quickly then goes back to just blinking nothing happens.

    • Hi Robert,
      That’s a classic symptom of a failing controller – I repair them all the time. Look at the “how to get it repaired” page on my RainDial Doctor site an send it in. I usually get them fixed and returned in the mail the next day.

      Thanks for posting,
      Brian

      • Oh, one more thing. If you see that problem with only one valve, it could be a valve issue. Try swapping the valve wires around (e.g., the wires on screw terminals). If the problem follows the valve, look at replacing the solenoid for that valve. They’re easy to replace.

        If you see that problem with more than one valve, it’s definitely a problem with the controller that I repair.

    • Hi Becky,

      Thanks for the question. What you’ve described is a problem that suggests it’s a circuit problem inside the controller that I repair quite often. I’ll send you a separate email with all the repair details, although most of them are on this site already. You may even see the same behavior in the video that I have on the site. Look at the DIY Troubleshooting tab, then scroll down and look at option 5.

      Thanks for posting.
      Brian

    • Hi Don,
      The RD600 RainDial Timers by Irritrol have a rain delay feature – look on the diy Troubleshooting page and look for the topic that says OFn in the message. It’ll tell you all about it.

      Thanks,
      Brian

  9. Hello,
    I have a Rain Dial RD-600. When trying to manually start any of valves it just blinks and goes to off after selecting the minutes. Can you give me a price and info on how to get this fixed please.
    Thanks,
    Ted

    • Hi Ted, Thanks for posting. I’ll send you a separate email with RD600 series repair info. Thanks again,
      Brian

      • Hi. My raindial is doing the same. Display flashes and will not turn on manually or when it on set days. How much does it cost to fix it

        • Hi Holly,

          Thanks for posting. It sounds like a “typical” problem that I repair often. The cost depends on the model; I’ll send you a complete email with all the details shortly.

          Thank you,
          Brian

  10. I have an RD900ext. I am getting a flashing OF6. does is need repair or replace or even something easier?

    Thanks

    • Hi Jeff, thanks for posting. Look at the DIY Troubleshooting section, item $4. It should help; if not, post again.
      Brian

  11. I am having the problem of the system defaulting to OFF when attempting to manual water. What is a ballpark cost for this type of repair if it is sent in?

    • Hi Carl,

      Thanks for asking. If it only happens with one valve and not the others, it’s probably a valve problem, so check that first. Otherwise just send it in – I’m currently turning them around same day or next day which is faster than normal.

      I’ll send you a separate email with price details.
      Thanks,
      Brian

  12. Brian, Same problem as above, the #9 station faults to “off” when I turn it on manually, so if I just disconnect the solenoid wiring and it faults to OFF then I need to send it to you as the controller is faulty? Right?

    • Hi Rick, Yes, you’re right — send it in; we’ll get it right back to you. I’ll send you a separate email with all the details; thanks for posting.
      Brian

  13. I have been having a problem with the RD600 unit where the timer keeps flashing. When I replace the battery the unit will work until the battery is no longer any good. what could be the problem? I was looking to replace the unit…thank you. Ralph

    • Hi Ralph,
      Thanks for the inquiry – I appreciate it. This is a common question I get (I actually answered an email about it 2 minutes ago. The flashing is usually an indication of a power problem such as a power outage where the timer had to operate only on battery for some time. There is a problem related to this that I repair frequently and I’m happy to help. For the non (-R) models with the mostly gray “sticker” on the face of the controller itself, this usually means a part in the power supply circuit is failing. The controller will be intermittent for a while until it fails completely. This is very frustrating because people will play with it and it will seem to work, then later quit again. The 9V battery is able to compensate for the problem for a while until it can’t make up the difference. That’s why it drains quickly.
      Anyway, I hope that answers your question. Besides this problem that I repair and warranty, they’re excellent controllers, easy to program and operate and well worth the effort to save. I’ve repaired one as old as 1994 so they have a lot of life in them.

      I’d recommend you send it to me for repair; I can have it back shortly and if it’s not repairable (rare) I even have new ones you can purchase. Let me know what you decide to do.
      Thanks,
      Brian

  14. How do I know if a valve is causing my short? I replaced a solenoid recently and it worked fine for a while . Then the timer started blinking and turning to off when I tried to use it manually

    • Hi Joe, Thanks for the question. It’s uncommon for more than one valve to go bad at a time, so a good way to tell is to swap valve wires around. If one valve is always causing a problem, it’s probably a valve issue. Valve problems usually result in a FUS error along with the valve number shown in the top of the display. Since you’re not seeing this, and because I’ve seen this symptom in hundreds of units, I’m confident it’s a problem in the controller that I repair often. Try the wire switching technique. If that doesn’t yield any conclusions, the controller simply needs repairing. I hope this was helpful and you’ll think about sending it in. Use the contact us menu to let me know; I’ll send you repair details. Thanks for asking.
      Brian

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