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,
Brian

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

  1. one more thing…Tried ‘fooling’ the controller by resetting the time, to see whether the normal watering occurs.

    It didn’t work. No water!

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