Read when an Irritrol RD600 controller turns a valve on or runs a schedule unexpectedly, or if a valve stays stuck on.
(This and all information on the RainDialDoctor website is copy-righted by Brian Keller.)
Summary: Typical Causes:
- The valve is turned on manually at the valve (in the valve box typically underground) The valve itself should normally be in the off position so that it can be turned on by energizing the solenoid on top of the valve). If turned on, nothing can turn it off. Make sure the solenoid it tight (hand tighten snugly) and any also check the pressure relief screws are tight. .
- The valve is failing and it’s not a controller problem, see below for more details.
- The controller is just programmed incorrectly or got reset and is now running the default program, see below for more details.
Note that the ABC switch does not set which schedule is going to run; it’s only used to program the schedules. Schedule AB&C always run, regardless of the switch setting. Thus, if you do not want A to run, then you must “un-program it” by putting the switch on A and setting all the start times to off.
- The controller is failing – causes strange behavior, seems to work, then does something unexpected. Failing controllers typically cause valves to not turn on, so if they’re stuck on, it’s usually not the controller. If you believe it is, try turning off the controller’s power. If the valves stay on, it is not a controller problem.
Guide to overall understanding:
Here are some other troubleshooting steps for the Irritrol RD600 series sprinkler controller:
- Try manually turning on a valve and then turn it off. When you turn it off, the valve should go off within 10 seconds. If not, the valve is likely the problem.
- Re-check the programming – all three schedules A,B and C. See Item 2 below.
If the valve goes off, it’s likely a problem caused by the controller; plug the ribbon cable back in and:
- Check the programming (item 2 below). If you see a small number on the top of the LCD display, it means the controller has turned that valve number on. It should only do this if it’s programmed to do so. Check the time and programming to make sure they’re correct. If it all looks good, try the next step.
- Try resetting the sprinkler controller – link
- You’ve done all you can, the problem seems to be the controller; we can repair it. (Item 3 below)
- Note that older timers will reset on a power outage to turn on every valve, every day at 7am for 10min. Double check the programming has not changed unexpectedly.
- Day of the week or time of day – watch out for the subtle difference between the A and P in AM/PM. It’s the only complaint I have about the Irritrol timers.