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.

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

  1. I have a RD 600 R and there is a small switch on the top of the circuit board labeled “active-bypass”. What is the purpose of this switch?

    • Hi Ken,
      Good question. That’s used to either use a rain sensor (you’d attach it separately) or to not use it. If you’re using a rain sensor, you’d “bypass” it. If you have a sensor, you’d set the switch to “active”.

      Note that the switch basically connects the two rain sensor screw terminals together. For people that don’t have a sensor, there’s often a metal jumper strap connecting those pins, just like the switch would do when it’s in the “bypass” position.

      If you don’t have sensor, leave it in the bypass setting.

      Does that answer you question?
      Brian – aka – the rainDial doctor

  2. I am confused by the skip day function. What is the difference between “OFF” and “Once Every 1 Day” selections? I want to water every day, so which should I choose?

    • Hi Rick,

      Every 1 day will be every day. If you set it to “OFF” then you’d have to choose every day of the week to accomplish the same thing. E.g., SMTWTFS…

      Both will achieve a watering schedule of every day.


      • Hi how you doing my irrigation system water is not coming out and I need someone to come and check it out because for you to come out and check out my irrigation system

        • Click on contact us. Include your cross streets and phone number and I’ll see if we can help.

  3. I own a RainDial Plus 12 that has a Manf Date of 2006. It’s installed in my garage so it does not have the sun beating down on it at all. IT’s in perfect shape, except that after taking the wiring apart to better organize/clean up the wiring it now flashes SEN all the time. I can run the unit MANUALLY but it stopped turning on Manually. Obviously, the SENSOR error code has triggered. i have the sensor switch set to “Bypass” in addition there is a JUMPER wire on the terminal board connected to both Sensor terminals thus shorting the Sensor. Do you know what capacitor on the Board Blew to cause the SEN error?

      • Hi Bob,
        When you say it stops turning on, what does the timer show when it should be on automatically. e.g., does it show it “think” it is on? Or, is the display blank, or indicating it’s never tried to turn it on…

    • Hi Bob,

      Despite what you may have heard, capacitors do not cause SENsor issues. Drop me an email with the contact form and we can discuss…

      Brian -aka the RainDialDoctor for RD600 series timers

  4. What is the number in the corner of the set times mean exactly I’m trying to set my rain dial but it’s giving me a hard time

    • Hi Brett,
      I’d watch the programming tutorial video on this site, it walks you though everything nicely. I didn’t make it, but it’s well done.
      Let me know if that helps, and post back here if that doesn’t answer your question.
      Brian – aka – the RainDial doctor for RD600 series timers

  5. Hi Brian,

    I have an RD900, date code ends in 97, grey face. The LCD display show blank. It’s an indoor model, I checked the transformer voltage, it is fine at 25V.
    I unplugged power, and plug back in, still no display. Inset new 9V battery, still doesn’t help.

    I am assuming the controller is gone bad. Am I correct? I would like to take this opportunity to upgrade this to the RD900-R model, does the upgrade kit come with instructions?


    • Hi Kam,

      1997 is getting up there in age; an upgrade is probably a good idea. There are user manuals and programming tips on this site for both the old and new models. You don’t really need any “instructions” for installing, you just pop off the old one and put in the new one, it’ll take about 10 seconds to do and the new one is programmed much like the old one.

      If that doesn’t answer your question, just let me know.
      Brian – aka the RainDialDoctor.

        • OK, it’ll go in the mail tomorrow morning early.
          Thank you,
          Brian – aka the RainDial Doctor

  6. Can I set my 2009 RD900 to stack in one zone (A for example), and set it to overlap in zone B? I tried and it seems to force all zones, A,B and C, to go ether stacked or sequenced.
    Thanks, Bill

    • Hi Bill,

      You should not overlap the programming in the RainDial timers. I always program A,B and C in a way that ensures they never overlap. E.g., leave time gaps between when one schedule finishes and another begins.
      The terms you use (zone b) are a little confusing. E.g., there are “programs” A,B and C and “valves” 1-9.

      If this wasn’t enough to answer your question, give me a little more info.
      Brian – aka the raindial doctor

  7. Are all key for Irritrol the same key or they vary?
    (600, 900, 1200) I misplaced my key but on-line they only sell one type of key.
    for a model R 89…?
    thank you!

    • Hi Mary Ellen,

      You’re welcome. All the keys are the same; just check that it works for irritrol rain dials and you should be fine.

      You may not know, but I just do this for fun (I don’t get paid by Irritrol…). I typically repair the timers to help pay my kids college tuition. If you’d like to make a small donation, I’d certainly appreciate it. Some people just donate $5, but don’t feel obligated, I enjoy just helping people out.

      Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


      To make a donation:
      1)Go to home page
      2)Scroll down the the lower right near the PayNow button
      3)Fill in the donation in “Other Amount” and click the button.
      It will take you to PayPal, a secure site where you can use a credit card or payPal account if you have one.

  8. hello,

    Many thanks for this service you provide–it is just very helpful. I misplaced my key. My gardener left town for good. I believe I have an irritrol rain dial 600 series (6 stations) I purchased the smallest Rain dial (blue/grey model).

    E-Bay is selling keys for one particular model– (R 89 something)…but I am not 100% sure if that key will fit my Irritrol. My question is: are all keys for Irritrol systems (600, 900 or 1200) similar ? in this case, I will be able to buy a key.
    I also need a manual (it was misplaced too). Where can I get one?
    Many thanks for replying

  9. Hello. My question is regarding an Irritrol TC-15EX-B. After a brief power outage, the unit will not power up. I found an online manual showing how to check and replace the fuse. However, when I look inside my unit, it looks slightly different than the diagram online. I DO NOT see a fuse anywhere.

    I popped a battery in and the display does work. Thanks.

    • Hi Scott,

      I’d try removing the battery and disconnecting power for a minute and then restore power. See if that resets it.
      If not, check your transformer is good – you can look in my diy troubleshooting section for some related test procedures that may help (they’re for a rainDial, but can apply to the TC also) If the transformer is good, and you want to send it for repair, I’m happy to take a look, although I don’t work on TC’s very often. Let me know what you find with the xformer and then we’ll take the next step.

  10. Have a six station RD-600-R. Just installed it and noticed that the first five stations are fine but the 6th station does not turn on. Why?

    • Hi Linda,

      It’s very rare for one station not to work unless it’s a wiring or valve related problem. If you use the timer to turn on valve 6 and you see a “6” in the upper row of the display, the timer is likely doing what it should. To know if the timer is causing the problem. You can also swap the wires for 5 and 6 and see if 5 now doesn’t work. You know the timer can turn on valve 5 so if the valve is moved to position 5 and doesn’t work, then the valve must be the problem. I’d look for a loose wire at the controller, or in the valve box… If it’s not that, then the solenoid is probably bad on the valve itself. If you have more questions, feel free to post them here.

      Brian – aka the RainDial Doctor

  11. I have the RD1200 R and I am wondering if I set stations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 9 for Monday, Wednesday and Friday can I set stations 6, 7, 8 and 10 for Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday? Basically I’m asking if the controller will move past a station that is off to the next station that is set to on for that day?
    Thank you

    • Hi Vicki – yes, as long as you don’t let the schedules overlap at all (one has to complete before the next one starts.) Take a look at the programming info on this site for additional info.

      Brian – aka the RainDial Doctor

  12. Timer goes on in sun comes up on the screen time counts down but sprinkler doesn’t turn on he tried different zones it does the same thing just got a new control from you a couple weeks ago same problem I had as the first time

  13. I am trying to set the date on my raindial plus which says “date” rather then “today” like other models. When I try to set the date I get numbers starting with 1900. If I use the + I can increase all the way to 2000 and – does change below the 1900. The display never says sun, mon, tues, etc. How to I get the date to give me a actual day rather than numbers or could you tell me what the numbers mean?

    • Hi Lisa,
      II don’t deal much with the “plus” model, but it’s possible the timer set to skip days mode, meaning that tells you the days to skip, not the day. I’d suggest powering it down and removing the battery to try and reset it and see if it starts behaving more normally. Also check the manual under skip days.
      If you don’t have any luck, let me know; I’ll see if I have a “Plus” model in my storage and work through it with you.

    • Hi Mike, The RD900 modules typically do that when the switch has failed; usually due to moisture damage. I don’t know that there’s much you can do on your end. I have replacements and can also install other fixes (as well as buttons and others) that will extend it’s life dramatically. If you’d like to have it repaired, look at the “how to get it repaired” menu and you can send it in. For detailed questions, you can use the Contact Us menu to send an email…

      Thanks for posting,
      Brian – aka the Rain Dial Doctor

  14. I have a RD-600.
    Station 1 is no longer working.
    I tested terminal 1 on the controller board and it seems to be dead.

    • If you know it’s getting power and the wiring looks good, it sounds like a standard problem I frequently repair. Look at the “How to get it repaired” info; I’m happy to help if you’re willing to give me the business. (send both the controller and back connector board)


    • Hi David,
      I’d try powering it down and back up again, then go through each valve one by one manually turning each one on. Your goal is to try and figure out if it’s just one valve causing the error, or multiple valves. If multiple valves, it’s probably not a valve problem and you can send it in for me to repair. I don’t do a lot of Total control systems, but I’m happy to look. I mostly do the Irritrol RainDial controllers, but I’m happy to help. You’d need to send both the module and the terminal board, but not the case or transformer.

      Use the contact-us form to get more details if you’re interested.

      • BTW, the “short” indicates a likely shorted solenoid or crossed wires;
        Here’s more info from Iritrol:
        “SHORT” and one or more station numbers are displayed.
        One or more stations are shorted.
        Check station(s) for cause of shorted condition. Repair
        valve(s) and/or wiring on station(s). To reset, set the dial to
        the Run, Single Station or Program Cycle position, and press
        the Off button.
        Too many valves operating at the same time.
        Check programs and stations, including master valve for VA
        output. Maximum total output is 24 V (1.0 amps). Reduce the
        number of valves on at the same time to below the maximum
        output allowance. To reset, set the dial to the Run, Single
        Station or Program Cycle position, and press the Offwn.
        “SHORT” displays without any station numbers.
        A short circuit has occurred with a time duration too short for the
        controller to determine the station.
        Check valve wiring for breaks in the insulation which may cause
        a station output to short to common. To reset, set the dial to the
        Run, Single Station or Program Cycle position, and press the
        Off button.
        A transient surge has spiked the line
        To reset, set the dial to the Run, Single Station or Program cycle
        position, and press the Off button.
        A short or overload occurred on one watering cycle but was no
        longer there on a subsequent cycle.
        Check wiring. To reset, set the dial to the Run, Single Station or
        Program Cycle position, and press the Off button.

  15. Hello , our RD-1200 controller is working with the programmed cycle just fine but the manual or semi-auto buttons do not start the watering .
    What would cause that? We like to use these features for occasional extra watering .

    • Hi KD,

      That can happen if the buttons are bad, or if the switch is in the wrong position or it’s often a symptom of a failing controller. Try sliding the bottom center switch all the way to off and the all the way to run again. Then retest.

      For using the manual on button, make sure you put the dial on the valve number, press + to add minutes, and then press Manual On.

      One other question – when you say they don’t start watering, do you see anything in the LCD display that indicates they “should” be on (e.g., a small number on the top of the display). If you do see an indication, send the module and backboard in for repair.

      Let me know what you determine,

  16. I have a RD600R timer, the display won’t stay on. It has a new battery and have checked all connections. The vc (3rd) post from my right has 2 white wires. When I tighten them or just push on them with a screwdriver display lights up but when released it goes out again. This is really pissing me off. Please help

    • Hi Delbert,

      Good description. The white wires are the common wires, typcially one wire goes to each valve box.
      I’ve seen that before; it’d be best for you to send in the controller and back connector board for service; I repair parts of both of them and they’re as good, if not better than new.
      I’ll drop you a separate email with more information,
      Thanks for posting,

      • I have a similar problem with an EXT version. My problem appears to be the red power wire coming in from the power box. SHould I return the same parts as you described above?

        • Hi Mike, You mention the red power wire being a problem. Can you elaborate on what the problem is? Are you measuring voltage and not getting 24-27VAC or someting? Give me some more details and I”ll be able to help more.
          brian – aka the Rain Dial Doctor

    • That usually is caused by wiring problems. Does.the timer show a little #1 & #2 on the top row of the lcd. Or just one number? If just one number shows, its.probably a wiring issue

    • I think you could use it to power lighting but you’d to make sure you don’t exceed the rating for current. This limits how many lights u can power.Also consider if you’ll be using the transformer to power sprinkler valves at the same time or not. Bottom line: it depends on the lighting and total power use

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