Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

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To add a question, go to the bottom of the page, fill in the comment and click Post Comment.  

Please look at the DIY Troubleshooting section before posting, answers to most questions can be found there. 

You can also reply to other people’s questions if you like. (Thanks for helping)

Please try to include the following with your question, list:
1) the date code (located under the battery),
2) the model number shown on the face of the controller (usually below and to the left of the dial, e.g., RD-600 or RD-600-R).
3) Color (mostly Gray or Blue) based on the example rainDials shown at the top of the page.

525 thoughts on “Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

  1. The water line to the sprinkler system is leaking from the vent. There is a circular cap which is attached to the water line and the gasket seems to be cracking. Is it this circular cap or some thing else allowing leakage of water.

  2. Hi Brian,

    I have an RD600 which is about 18 – 20 years old.
    The timer is running fast so it comes on and off at various times and more frequently than it should. I am in Australia and there are fines for watering on your non-allocated watering days so it is an issue because it is using a lot of water and I am at risk of fines.
    I don’t know how long it would take to ship to you and get one back so I would like to buy the correct part to fix this if possible. IF you need mine. I can send that to you also.
    Please advise which part I should order and whether you need mine in exchange rather than an outright purchase.

    Thanks in advance for your help,

    Helen, Perth Australia

    • Hi Helen,

      It doesn’t make sense to buy one from here, the shipping is likely to be more than it’s worth and it would take quite a while. It’d likely that the timer needs a button replaced, which requires a replacement part and some soldering skills. It’d probably be best for you to look for a local replacement. Also consider contacting a landscaper who may have a used model to sell you… All you need is the timer, not the back terminal board, housing or transformer.

      I wish I could help more, good luck,
      Brian

  3. Hi, I have a Raindial 9 position controller. It has worked faultlessly, however, Just recently the time display has started blinking. I changed the battery, but the display is still blinking. Is this a concern? If it is what should I look for.
    Thanks,
    Barry

    • Hi Barry,

      that’s a common symptom of a failing controller. It’s a standard fix; I’d suggest mailing it in and we’ll make it work better than new; you won’t have that problem again. If you have other questions, use the contact-us page or email me at rainDialDoctor@gmail.com

      Thanks for posting…
      Brian

  4. I have a 900 RainDial. Zone 9 comes on whenever the system is started. No matter what zone is programmed to be on, zone 9 will always run along side the current zone (at the same time). I removed the wire from the box for zone 9 and it still came on. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Wendi,

      You likely have a bad valve. Often you can take a picture of it to a landscape store and ask for a diaphragm kit and you can just replace it and all will work well again.

      Brian
      aka the RD600 series rainDial Doctor

  5. Hello,

    I have a Raindial 900, one of my zones is turning on when any other zone is activated. It comes on anytime the system is running no matter what zone is active. I disconnected the wire to the control box and it still has water coming out of the heads. What could it be?

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

  6. I have a rain dial 900, two zones are coming on at the same time, it’s one particular zone that comes on with any other zones, no matter what zone I put on.

    Zone nine comes on with zone one, zone two, zone three, etc.

    Any suggestions

  7. I have an RD600-EXT-R and noticed that the switch had been left in the SET PROGRAM mode. Would the timer still kick on and water the plants if the switch was in this mode or only if it’s set to RUN?

    • although you “should” put it in the Run position, most timer models will still run the schedule even if you’re in ‘set programs’.

      Short answer: Yes, but Run is the “right” way to set the RD600 series timer.

      Brian

  8. I have our irritrol system programmed for Monday , Wednesday and Friday to run from 6 AM to 7AM . On Sunday it was running starting at 6AM and continued running at 7:25 when I turned it off. What can be the issue?
    Thank you.

  9. I have a gray RD600 dated 12-03-96. Last year I had it repaired and would like to schedule an appointment while I wait since we are leaving town soon and I need it to water while we are gone. It seems that the manual won’t hold the time OR the manual run button isn’t connecting. When I saw it wasn’t watering I looked at the time and it was blinking. I reset the time and all the programs (no longer there) and then tested it by trying to manually run the stations. We have replaced the battery.
    Please contact me to bring it in to see if it can be fixed. Thanks!

    • Hi Tish,
      Sometimes it can be caused by bad solenoid. Try testing it to see if it happens but just one valve for multiple valves. You can reach me at raindialdoctor@gmail.com. I can take a look at it on Monday if you want, or maybe Sunday evening.
      Let me know, thanks,
      Brian

  10. The B zone on our irritrol unit has stopped working. I would like to move all the bushes that are on B to C where there is nothing programmed. How do i do that?

    • Hi Charlene,
      The zones are not tied to a B or C, you just program a B or C to turn on any set of zones you want. It’s also very rare for being not to work, but see doesn’t work. So it’s more likely a programming issue than anything else.
      Take a look at my programming tips and information page, it should give you further information.
      There’s also a link to a video that might help.
      Let me know if that helps.
      Thanks,
      Brian

  11. I have a RD9oo which you repaired some time ago. What is the cost to repair mine versus getting one from you and then sending mine to you. Do I pay up front or after you have evaluated it. What notice do you need I am sending it to you.

    • Hi Del,

      Most people contact me by email or use the contact-us page first, but you could just send it too.

      If you can send me a picture of the one you have now, I can check my inventory and see if I can send you one in advance. I usually charge a deposit on top of the repair cost that I refund when I get yours back. The cost varies by model but is usually $40-$60.

      If you just send it in for repair, you don’t have to pay first. I’ll send you an email with payment instructions after I’ve had a chance to look at it. If I can’t fix it, there’s no charge for the repair effort.

      It’s very rare to have one that I repaired give anyone problems, even after many years. Let me know what you’re seeing. If it’s related to my repair, I’ll fix it for free.

      Does that help answer some of your questions?
      Brian

      Let me know what problem your seeing first, sometimes it’s not a timer issue at all so it’s usually worth contacting me first.

  12. I have a Rain Dial RD600 running 4 valves. (It is over 20 years old.) About 3 weeks ago, one of the valves stopped running as programmed. I checked the programming to ensure it is correct and had not been changed. I then replaced the valve and solenoid (it has a 205TF Globe VLV W/Flow Control). It still will not run from the controller but I can run it manually by opening the solenoid. There are two wires on the solenoid and I connected them to the two wires coming to the original solenoid — should I try reversing those two wires? Do you have any other suggestions as to why this one valve won’t run from the controller? I also tried the “Manual” option, turning the dial to that valve, entering the time using the + button and it shows the “M” and valve number on the display but it does not run when I press the “Manual” button but I do not get any messages or a flashing “OFF” or anything like that.

    • Hi Ken, if you have one valve that seems to misbehave, it’s often the solenoid for that valve. You can try swapping solenoids with a working one to see if that makes a difference. as for wire switching, it doesn’t mattery which wire of the solenoid you connect to where. It’s an AC signal, so there’s no + or – to worry about. Generally, one wire will go to the common wire – a wire-nut with a bunch of other wires. The other wire will go to just one other wire, this is the wire that connects to the Timer’s station or valve screw termainal (e.g., screw terminal 1.)

      If you have other questions, or learn more information, let me know,
      Brian

  13. Hi Brian- The valves on my RD-1200 “chatter” and the system has completely stopped working. It is mostly grey. It sounds like I just need to send in the controller unit and not the connector board, is that correct? Can you please confirm?
    Thanks,
    Diane

    • Hi Diane,

      Yes, based on your description and model number, you only need to send the timer module in. Thanks for asking,

      Brian

  14. Brian,
    Sorry, I forgot to give you this info on my Rain Dial unit that I’m trying to learn the flow rate. I just moved into this house and this system was already here.

    Also, I assumed it was a RD900 unit since it’s set up for 9 zones, but the unit itself shows it has 12 zones available. I guess that makes this a RD1200 unit, correct? I’m trying to learn the flow rate for this unit.

    P/N HHA11266 Rev. B
    Date Code – April 3, 1992
    Gray colored box
    There is no model # showing on the front of the box or on the dial itself. I found the Part # in tiny print at the bottom of the instruction sheet inside the door of the box.

    I appreciate your help.
    Thanks,
    Marc

    • Hi Marc,
      The RainDial just turns on the valves, it does not control the flow rate – the valves do. The rate will depend on the valve itself as well as the water pressure. You’ll have to investigate those options to find an answer.

      Brian

    • Sandy,
      A blank screen means that the controller is not receiving power, either from the 9 volt battery or the transformer. You shouldn’t need a battery for the controller to work. I would try the reset procedure on the DIY page. If that doesn’t work, check the breakers and GFCI outlets. If all of those check out, let me know and we will figure out whats going on.

      Brian

  15. Brian – my 1200 stays on PM when it is operating. Hence, it repeats the PM cycle. If I turn it to the off position, the time changes from AM to PM as it should. Have changed the battery, had sprinkler service people look at it. I’m left with resetting the clock each morning. Everything else works great.

    • Hi Court,
      Have you tried the factory reset procedures on the DIY page? I would suggest trying that first.

      Regards,

      Brian aka Irritrol RainDial RD600 series Doc

  16. oops just sent in a question about manual in-operation
    But I got the color of the unit wrong,
    I entered Gray
    it is actually a blue-faced controller…the outer box is gray

  17. RD600-EXT_R 4-18-12 Gray
    manual ops don’t work.
    Display indicates on, timer counts down
    transformer checks out.
    No flicker or blinking display problem
    When valve wire is connected to right side of 24v connection the valve turns on
    battery was changed
    station test cycle did not work

    regularly scheduled watering seems to work, ??, the lawn was wet yesterday AM

    • Hi Mike,
      As the timer fails, the problems become intermittent. It sounds like this is happening to you. For the blue model that you have, I recommend sending in the back board and controller for repair and we will get it all fixed and working for you. Thanks for posting.

      Brian aka the RD-600 Rain Dial Doctor

  18. Brian, need your help. I have a RainDial RD-12000 controller. I’m using Stations 1 through 6, 10 and 12. After a recent thunderstorm with much lightning, noticed that Station 6, set to run for 58 minutes, was running for more like 5 hours. (Stations 1-6, 10 and 12 are auto programmed to run in succession, starting at 4AM). Have tried:
    • Reprogramming all stations (several times)
    • Disconnected power to Station #6; water turned off. When reconnected to power, water turned on. (I think you would say valve is probably OK?)
    • Disconnected wire from Station 6 and reconnected to empty station #9; set it manually for three minutes and it worked. Reprogrammed it for 58 minutes, thinking this would work. Did not; came on 30 minutes later.

    Do you have any suggestions before I totally replace controller?

    Many thanks,

    Ted Smith
    PS-Glad to contribute to your Web site! VERY helpful…

    • Hi Ted,

      Thanks for writing a good description and doing some nice troubleshooting in advance. Here are some thoughts:
      1) I would expect station 6 valve to be OK as you mentioned, but valves often fail in the “on” state, or don’t turn off very well. They can “slowly” turn off; sometimes the current water pressure or changes in water pressure effect them (e.g., if you flush a toilet in the house, it could effect a valves behavior if the valve is failing).

      What we need to determine is if the timer is telling the valve to come on or not.. You can do this easily by looking at the display when the valve is on and shouldn’t be. You’ll have to catch it in the failed state. If you see the valve number appear on the timer display then you can assume the timer is at fault. If you don’t see the number on the display, you can almost always assume it’s a valve problem.

      If it’s likely a valve problem, this is surprisingly an easy fix – all you do is take a photo of the valve to an irrigation supply store and show it to thme and ask for a rebuild kit. You basically unscrew the valve, replace the diaphragm and put it back together. It’s not too bad, and you don’t have to cut any pipes, etc. to actually replace the valve.

      If it’s a timer problem – you have a program in the timer that you may not expect. Make sure you don’t have any overlapping start times. E.g., your 2nd start time must not occur before the first start time’s cycle ends (e.g. if start-time-1 is 7am and runs six valves for 5 minutes, start-time-2 must be set later than 7:30 so that start1 can complete)

      BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING, Especially if you have a -R model, simply follow the instructions on the DIY page to do a full factory reset. Pay careful attention to the order of the things listed as a lot of people don’t quite get it right and the timer does not reset.

      My thoughts on the issue:
      1) 40% odds that the timer reset will fix it, 60% chance the valve is actually failing and causing the problem
      2) let me know if this helps, and what you find the problem to be in the end.

      Regards,
      Brian

  19. I have an RD900 mostly gray controller. I went through your testing suggesting, removing the battery and also touching the sprinkler wire directly to the 24 volt terminal. The controller continued to blink (thats what it has been doing) when the battery was removed and the valve turned on when its wire was touched to the 24 volt terminal.

    It is not quite clear to me if you want the terminal board also sent to you for the repair. I live in northern California, so I really need to know how to proceed. Also what customer information do you want included with the mailing of the controller to you

    • Sorry for the delay, In your case, you don’t need to send the terminal board. However, I recommend you do to make sure we get it all checked out. It’s a personal choice for you, based on how willing you are to take on the extra effort.
      Brian

  20. RD600 zones 4 (front sprinkler) and 5(drip) not working on manual attempt. All others zones run fine in manual.

    • Hi Sunny,
      When you say they don’t work, what happens? E.g, does the display just switch to ‘OFF’, or does the display indicate the valves are on, but the water doesn’t flow?

      Let me know and I can advise more…
      Regards,
      Brian – aka the RD600 series rainDialDoctor

  21. I have a Rain Dial RD1200 INT which is 16 years old and it is not working. The display is erratic and either flashes different codes or is frozen at times. I have removed the battery for 10 minutes each time and plugged back in. Still not working.
    I live in Cleve, OH area.
    Please respond with your thoughts if I should repair/replace.
    Thank you,
    John

    • Hi John,

      It sounds like it just needs to be repaired. It’s not that old actually, I repair them as old as 1992, so they have a lot of life in them.
      They’re almost always repairable, but if it’s not a good repair candidate when we get it, we have other options that we’ll discuss at the time.
      You can use the contact-us form to reach us and ask for all the repair details.

      Thanks for posting,
      Brian

  22. I have RD-1200R 10/2010. For a long time the clock was not functional property. If I set the correct time today, someday later, the time would be significantly off the correct time, e.g. off by 12 hours. Recently the display on the controller was completely blank. I replaced the 9 V backup battery. transformer voltage was 26.7v. The display came back and the controller functions as expected for a couple of days. Now the display is blank again. still the new battery is in place. Voltage from transformer is still 26.7V. Fuse is intact.

    • Hi Shawn,

      It sounds like you’ve done a good job troubleshooting. I’d recommend sending the timer and back terminal board in for repair and we’ll get it working like new again. If you have other questions, just use the contact-us form… We usually repair and get them in the mail the next day.

      Thanks,
      Brian – aka the rainDial Doc

  23. Hello,

    I have 4 sprinkler zones set up on my rail dial, 2 to run during A and the other two running during B. While running manually I run the two at the same time to reduce the water pressure and evenly water my lawn. However when I have my programs going the valves only go one at a time and over water my lawn. Is it possible to fix this and have two valves go at once and even water my areas?

    Thank you.

    • The timers are only intended to run one valve at a time.. You might be able to set the start times for A and B to the same time, but I don’t know if it’ll let you do that.
      You could also wire two valves to one screw terminal (say east valve and west valve wires both go to terminal 1) but again, the timer wasn’t intended to do that. Give it a try, see if it works.

      The best fix (the right way) is to adjust your sprinklers so you have even watering.

      Let me know what you end up doing,
      Thanks ,
      Brian – aka RD600 series repair doc

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