How do I reset my Irritrol controller or reset it to factory defaults

On rare occasions something occurs that causes the processor to lock up.  Sometimes the programming acts strange, or the clock even quits working.  This would most likely happen when during power outages or transients.

The good news is that it rarely occurs and is easily fixed by doing the following, depending on whether you have an older or new model controller:

For older controllers: Perform a complete reset by: (note, this will delete all your programming)

  1. Remove the battery
  2. pull off the ribbon cable from the back connector board.
  3. Wait 30 minutes or so for any residual power to completely drain from the unit.  (Newer controllers do need a lot of time to discharge so it’s worth taking the time)
  4. Plug in the ribbon cable again (it should power up)
  5. Reconnect the battery.
  6. Reprogram the controller.
    Note: The older model sprinkler timers have default schedule which is something similar to:every day, 7AM, every station for 10 minutes.  Make sure to go through all the station settings when you re-program the controller or your sprinklers may come on when you don’t expect them to.

It should start with a blinking 12:00pm and now work as expected; you can now set the time.

For newer controllers (Typically the -R models), you can restore the factory default settings by doing the following: (note, this will delete all your programming).

  1. Before you do this procedure, you should try doing the basic reset for older controllers first (see above).  It may work, and you won’t lose your program settings.
  2. Place the Function switch in the Set Programs position.
  3. Place the Program switch to select B.
  4. With AC power connected, carefully disconnect the control module ribbon cable from the PC Board socket.
  5. Open the battery compartment and disconnect the battery.
  6. Press and hold the Manual button in.
  7. Reconnect the ribbon cable, then release the Manual button. Note: The display should now show 12:00 AM. If it does not, repeat the procedure as necessary.
  8. Reinstall the battery.
  9. Reprogram the controller.

What to do if that doesn’t work

If you reset the  controller and that seems to help, but it still behaves strangely now and then, it probably needs repair.  The sprinkler timers tend to get intermittent before the completely fail.

If you want someone to repair it, just contact us – we’ll send you repair details.

Good luck,

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53 thoughts on “How do I reset my Irritrol controller or reset it to factory defaults

  1. Hi we have a RD 600 – setting 1 turns on the nature strip and front sprinklers, setting 2 turns setting 1 and the side sprinklers(nature strip, front sprinklers and side sprinklers), setting 3 turns on all of setting 2 (nature strip, front sprinklers, side sprinklers) and the back yard and so on, what do i need to do/look at so that each section only comes on once under each setting? Thanks

    • Hi Jo, thanks for posting. Can you rephrase your question using terminology other than Settings. Typically there are programs a, B, C. And there are stations one through six. And there are start times One through three. When you say Settings do you mean program? Let me know more and I can help. Thanks, brian

  2. I have RD-600-R irrigating every day 2 programs 30 min each with a gap of 15min (6:20-6:50 and 7:05-7:35). The controller start the second program immediately after the first, I tried one program on A and second on B still the second program start immediately after the first, no other programs exist.

    • Hi, thanks for posting. I tried doing a factory reset, you can find instructions under the DIY section of my page. If that doesn’t help let me know and we’ll figure it out. Thanks, brian

  3. Hi Ron,
    I have found your site useful. I have indoor RD-900 purchased @ 2001. It was running great until recent power surge. Ground was not connected. Only time was showing up, otherwise not responsive. I used your method to (1) to reset, disconnecting ribbon and battery for 1 hour. Put on ground wire, It resets as you describe. I reset time, checked settings, but am not able to get it to turn on MANUAL. When I slide bar to right and set on station 1 for 5 minutes, push “Manual” , the display blinks a bit, and then reads “OFF” ,blinking on and off. Dialing back to Current Time, the time is now blinking on and off, as are all other readings. When I try to manually turn on all other stations, in either A or B or C mode, same thing happens. I tried adjusting setting, but still can’t get the manual operation to work. Strange thing, during the night, I not that all the stations how been on, as the ground is wet. Any ideas how I can get Manual to work so I can check lines for cuts and leaks?

    • Hi Bob, thanks for posting. Unfortunately those are the symptoms of a failing controller. Your best bet is just to mail it in I’ll fix it and get back to you. If you have any other questions about the warranty or the timeline just drop me an email using the contact us page. Thanks, brian

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