DIY Troubleshooting

For over 10 years we’ve been helping people solve their sprinkler timer issues.   

Scroll down to see the many DIY troubleshooting topics below

  1. Go through DIY list below.
  2. Contact us about repair/replacement options or
  3. Post questions if you have them. You’ll get a response within a day or two at the most.

This do-it-yourself page will help you troubleshoot and diagnose problems with the Irritrol Rain Dial RD-600 and other irrigation systems.  We don’t want you to send in a sprinkler timer in for repair if it doesn’t need it. Click the links below to navigate the troubleshooting sections.  If you’re asking “How do I …”, keep reading.

Manuals and User Guides for RainDial RD-600, 900, 1200 PROGRAMMING HELP and manuals, click here

Use the following topics to solve your Rain Dial RD600 series problems

  • Get smart – learn the terminology
  • Get user manuals
  • Choose the best problem description
    • Timer Behavior problems
    • Display error messages
  • See the “How Do I” … and troubleshooting topics

Get smart – learn the terminology and concepts from the “What is a” topics: Irritrol Rain Dial Timers

  1. Learn the terminology – what is the back terminal board, timer, transformer 
  2. What are valve boxes, valves, and solenoids?
  3. How is a Typical Sprinkler System Wired?  See this Valve Wiring Diagram?

Official Manuals, User manuals, programming information etc :

  1. Programming guide and template worksheets: click here
  2. Manuals and user guides: click here

Behavior Problems: RD-600/900/1200 :

  1. Rain Dial Sprinkler/irrigation valves chatter or buzz or water pressure seems low.
  2. Valves do not come on when they’re supposed to (a good page to start with)
  3. Valves stuck onwon’t turn off or more than one is on.
  4. Time is frozen or cannot change the time
  5. The case door won’t open or you lost your key 
  6. The case door breaks off or comes apart
  7. One station does not shut off before the next station starts
  8. Voltage measurements don’t make sense

Display Error Messages for the Irritrol RD600, RD900, RD1200 Irrigation Timers:

  1. Display shows OFF or blinks when turning on a valve manually
  2. Display is Blank.
  3. Display says FUS or FU5 and a number
  4. Display shows 5En or SEn
  5. Display shows OF1 or OF… some number
  6. Display shows P:On or P:Off
  7. Display is blinking – see the earlier topic
  8. Display shows “—-“ for days of the week – refer to skip days

Programming Information for Irritrol RD600, RD900, RD1200 Irrigation Timers:

  1. Programming tutorial for RD-600/900/1200
  2. Programming worksheet for RD600/900/1200
  3. Understanding the Skip Days Feature

How do I …” sprinkler timer-related topics

    1. How do I turn on a valve using the manual button?
    2. How do I program the timer to irrigate a newly seeded or overseeded lawn?
    3. How to reset the RainDial controller and set it to factory defaults
    4. How do I water while my timer is being repaired (Manually watering without using a timer)
    5. How to check the fuse (also see FUS topic above)?
    6. How to test the transformer to know if the transformer is bad?
    7. How to test if the valves or solenoids are bad?
    8. Rain Sensor information for Irritrol RD600 and other timers.
    9. How do I replace the dial?
    10. How do I replace the Solenoid?
    11. How do I replace the valve guts for a leaky or stuck valve?

RainDial Plus Model (Different than the regular RainDial timers)

Video of common symptoms that indicate the Rain Dial Controller needs repairing.

If this information wasn’t enough to resolve the issue, we can help:
Send Rain Dial Timers in for repair?

RD600 Repair

Irritrol Rain Dial RD600 repair services

For other issues, or ones that are in progress and do not have a link yet, just contact us, or see details here: How do I send it in for repair?


447 thoughts on “DIY Troubleshooting

  1. I have irritrol rain dial r. No 6 station is coming on twice during the night instead of once. How can I rectify this Thank you

    • Hi Lyn,

      that’s usually caused by an overlap in programming. Try doing a factory reset and reprogram; you’ll probably find it that way.


  2. I went to run my RD-600 system today after being off for the winter. There is a TH message on the screen that will not go away. I am having trouble finding this message in the manual. Any ideas?

    • Hi Brian,

      I’d suggest removing the battery and power for an hour and then try again; that’ll probably get it going. if not, let me know,


  3. I have a Rain Dial RD-900-R,not turning on,can’t reset it
    How do I troubleshoot the transformer?

    • Hi George,
      You’re in luck; there’s a good writeup on testing the transformer on the DIY Troubleshooting page, take a look. if it’s helpful, please leave us a donation.

  4. My water was set to come on at 5am every other day. When I woke up this morning and checked at 6:20 my water was on. Station A1 was set to not even turn on today. I had puddles everywhere so not sure if the water was running for 1hr20min. My water bill has doubled over the past month and I wonder if I my timer isn’t working properly. I am not sure how old it is. I purchased an older home. I checked stations B1 and C1 and they had no time on them either.

    • Hi Angela,
      Next time the water is on when it shouldn’t be, look at the timer. If you see a number in the top row, turn the dial to that station number. It’ll then display what program is running and how much time is left. e.g., A:08 for schedule A and 8 minutes remaining. This will tell you what program to look at and modify. It’s likely there’s some programming in there that you are not expecting. If that doesn’t work, see the DIY page for info on resetting it to factory defaults. Give that a try and let me know what you find. If it doesn’t seem to be a timer issuer, it’s likely a weak valve diaphragm that can be replaced.

      Hope that helps,

  5. My RD-600-R is not working when temperature is low in outside. When the sun raised and temperature gets hot. It works again.

    • I sent you a separate email with some additional questions and info; if you didn’t get it, post back here and let me know.

  6. Hiya! I have an RD-1200. Having installed it, I went to set the Rain Delay. Put the program switch to the “Off” position, then tried to set ther delay by pushing thew + / – buttons. Nothing happens. The current time continues to display. Any suggestions on a fix, please? TIA!

    • Hi Eugene,

      I believe that the rainDelay feature only works in the newer -R models. It’s really the only feature that’s worthwhile for an upgrade. The only other option is to get a rain sensor that would automatically turn things off for you.

      Hope that helps,

  7. Hello

    First by A, B and C button was unable to shift upwards. Then the “Manual” button was unresponsive. Shortly after, all buttons do not give me a response at all.

    What do you suggest I do?

    • Hi Richard,

      I sent you a separate email with some suggestions. If you didn’t get it, let me know.


  8. rain dial not turning on sprinklers, tried manual setting but same result, i changed the nine volt battery to no avail. kindly advise on anything I missed. unit is 19 years old.

    • Hi Edward,
      Is the display blank, or is it still showing information but the water isn’t flowing?
      Does the display indicate that the timer seems to have turned on a station (by the little station number appearing in the top row of the display?

      Let me know and we can troubleshoot from there.

  9. My solenoids are clicking. Water still comes out. New solenoid didn’t work. wiring is good. No solid voltage at the timer connection. ???

    • Hi David,

      I sent you an email too, if you didn’t get it let me know.
      Just send it in, we’ll get it fixed for you.

      • I’m having the same issue with the solenoids clicking and the water pulsating. If I send the timer in, how much does it cost to repair?

        • Hi Linda,

          I sent you a separate email as well. It’s $49, 59, or 69 for a RD-600, RD-900 or RD-1200 Irritrol RainDial timer. Warranty provided is the same as a new one. It’s a solid fix that you’ll likely never have trouble with again. I’ve only had one come back for that problem and I’ve been doing this over 12 years. I sent you a separate email with repair details, but they’re essentially the same as what you’d see in the menu above.


  10. RD 1200 showing short station 3,replaced solenoid still showing short,disconnected #3 lead,still showing short,how do I clear short?.

    • Hi Bob,

      you should be able to clear the short following the instructions on the diy page related to the FUS message. Is that what you’re seeing? If not, what model of timer do you have?

      the message should clear, and if you disconnected the wires, it should not come back unless you have a connection to the MV/Pump terminal. If so, try disconnecting that too. you may have a shorted solenoid on it or the valve connected to #3.

      If nothing seems to clear it, try following the reset instructions on the diy page…
      Let me know what you find.

  11. how do I check how much time a station is already scheduled to run for? My drip system has been running just fine for a year, and suddenly stopped. I went to check the programming, and it doesn’t seem to have any start time programmed, so i’m not sure how to figure out if it is configured properly. it just say “on” or “off” for certain days.

    • Hi,

      Make sure you have the bottom switch set on ‘set programs’ to see the programming.
      There’s a good description on how the programming works, along with a video on the same page that’s done well too. Take a look under DIY Troubleshooting and Programming information. It’ll have everything to get you going. If not, let me know; if so, please leave us a donation.

    • Hi Gerry,

      I’d try a reset, if no luck, send it in for repair and we’ll take a look. I’d definitely try the repair first, as the newer models are not as reliable as the older ones.


      • Thanks, reset didn’t work. Tried both procedures your site outlines. Procedure B reset it, but + and – buttons still don’t work. I’ll look at the instructions on your site for sending for repair. Thanks for your time

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