Ask your questions here – (They will appear shortly)

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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.

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

  1. I just brought a new RD 600 ext -R to replace my old one. The inside of the new rain dial has 6 blue valves? knobs, but the old one has around 12 blue valves, even though model says RD 600 ext-R. Can you add blue valve knobs, if so do I need to match the old one and get more knobs.

    Thank You

    • Hi Patricia,
      I may not completely understand what you’re asking, but this should help.

      Unless you have more than 6 valves to connect, you don’t need the inside to have 12 connections in it. I would just use the new one.

      The newer models don’t contain the connectors (they’re expensive) so they just don’t include them to save money. Since you don’t have an RD-1200 (which has can control 12 valves), you only have an RD600 (for 6 valves), that’s all you need.

      Does that help?
      p.s., if you don’t have a need for the old equipment, I’d be happy to recycle it…

  2. I have an RD600EXT mostly gray. I have good power through to the fuse. The fuse has good continuity. None of the sprinklers work in auto or manual. I’m assuming either the board is not putting voltage out to the valves or ALL of the valves are dead. What is supposed to be the output voltage on the board?

    • Hi Chris,

      You should get voltage to the valve equal to the amount from the transformer within a few volts. If it is less or you’re getting valve chattering then its likely a timer problem. I repair them frequently and would be happy to help if you want. See the “How to get it repaired” section, which basically says to mail it in. I’m turning them around in about 24hours.
      If you have other questions, just let me know.

      Brian – aka the rainDial doctor

  3. Hi, my sprinkler system wont even turn on. It has done this in the past, yet last time we got it working. This time it is completely turned off and we don’t know what happened to it and what we are supposed to do. Do I need someone to come and take a look at it and fix it? Or is their a way for me to turn it on?

    • Hello,

      What type of controller do you have – e.g., is it the more “blue” model or more “gray” model as shown at the top of this page? If it’s the more blue model, intermittent behavior like you describe is common. I’d suggest you watch both videos on the “removal instructions” page and send both parts in for repair. It’s an easy do-it-yourself job.

      If you have a “gray” model, let me know and I’ll provide additional information.

      Brian – aka the rainDialDoctor

  4. I have the RD600 with six zones.
    I want to run all six valves in the morning but only two zones in the evening and one zone later at night.

    If I make sure that each program A,B,C finishes before the next one then will the follow occur each 24 hours if I do this 7 days a week

    program A to run each valve for 15 min starting at 6 AM
    program B to run valve 3 for 8 min and valve 5 for 10 min starting at 6 PM
    program C to run valve 1 for 12 min at 2 AM

    • Hi Larry,

      That’s a good description and it should work as you’ve expected it to. Just make sure the days of the week are set appropriately and you shouldn’t have any problems. Also be sure to turn off the valves you don’t want to come on for program B and C.

      Bottom line: it looks good.
      Brian – aka the Rain Dial Doctor for Irritrol Series timers.

  5. I have an old Hardie RD600 and RD900. I use program A for a single daily start time and program B with the same start time as well as a second start time. Despite setting the switch to program A, it runs the second time from program B.

    • Hi Mark, You might read through my programming tips for details. All programs run all the time (assuming they’re programmed…) It doesn’t matter what position the switch is in. You’ll need to set program A and B with different start times, or they conflict.

      Brian – aka the Irritrol Rain Dial RD600 series RainDialDoctor.

  6. I have a couple of old Hardie RD600’s Both of them have a problem with the Program ABC function. I use A for a single start time and B for a dual start time but even if A is selected, they run the second start time from B.

    • Hi Mark,
      See my reply to your other post…. check the programming instructions tips too.

      Brian – aka the rainDial Doctor

  7. LED display on timer not working, unit only 2 months old. It is a RD600R. We tried doing a hard reset but nothing working. So on the back controller board we took valve 1 wire and touched it on the VAC24 screw, that made the valve turn on and the sprinkler came on. Could the timer be bad?

    • Hi Bill thanks for the question. That’s a common problem I repair. I’d suggest sending the control dial/lcd module and the back connector board in for repair. Details are on the website (see how to get it repaired). Note the date’s I’ll be back in town though. Sorry about the delay.


  8. I have an Irritrol Rain dial -R, model number RD600-ext-R. It is capable of 6 zones but I have only 4 zones in the yard. Zone 3 has stopped watering. There is water at the valve and I have replaced the solenoid, but still it does not come on. Next step was to check the voltage at the controller. Zones 1,2 and 4 show 24v, but zone 3 shows no voltage. I tried moving the wire from the zone 3 screw to the zone 5 screw but still be read out of no voltage. Do you have any suggestions for a fix. A chap at a landscape place told me that changing the wire connection should work, but no such luck. thank you.

    • Hi Kerry,

      Try moving the wire for valve 3 to the right most 24VAC terminal. This directly connects the valve to the 24VAC so it should come on. You can also measure for voltage on that wire (valve 3 and the common wire). If voltage is there, and the valve doesn’t come on, it must be a valve problem.

      Post back here and let me know what you discover.

  9. RD900 ext e. Problem is the sprinklers will work then screen goes blank, will not run again for hours or days. Father in law has to manually turn on

    • Hi Tim,

      That sounds like a familiar problem that I repair frequently. I’m not available till 7/28/17, but if you’d like to send it to arrive about then, I can have it back to you soon after. Details are on the How to get it repaired page.


  10. Zone 1 doesn’t shut off after its completed time but continues to run until all 7 zones have completed the sequence.

    When I do a test run it starts and stops in sequence. I can start and stop it manually.

    I finally moved the wire in the controller from 1 to 8 and it comes on in sequence and shuts off.

    What is my problem?

    • Hi Randy,

      Usually valves that are staying on after the timer has turned them off (e.g. you no longer see the little valve number displayed on the top row of the LCD) are caused by valve problems. I have seen some symptoms when the water pressure being a little low can aggravate the problem.

      Since you moved it to 8, it’s likely that it being the last valve on made it less susceptable to the problem. Bottom line, I think replacing the valve guts would probably solve your problem. You can often get the diaphragm and seals at a local landscape store so you don’t have to cut out the valve, only replace the guts.

      If that doesn’t work, then there may be an inter-valve delay setting in the more advanced timers that help. You could look in the RainDial manuals on my site and see if they have a delay you can set between valves, but this would likely just mask the real problem, which is a valve issue.

      Feel free to make a donation if you’d like.
      Post back here with what you found successful.
      Brian – from the RainDialDoctor

      • I am seeing the number remaining on the display. 1,2 were both showing so the timer was not shutting it off?

        • Ah, OK. If you see both 1 and 2 at the same time, there is a programming error. I’d suggest doing a complete reset – see the DIY page. Note the default programming will be schedule A, every valve, starting @ 7am for 10min. You’ll need to turn off the parts of that schedule you don’t want to do.

          That should solve the problem. If you keep seeing strange behavior after that, I’d suggest sending it and the backboard in for repair. Sometimes the “act strange” as they are failing.

          This should definitely solve the problem you’re currently seeing. Let me know if it works.

  11. My gray RD600 (date code 120205) won’t maintain the time of day — the set time will sometimes last a few days and sometimes it reverts to 12:00 the same day. The valve settings seem to work fine. Can it be repaired or should I replace it?

    • Hi Bob,

      It’s definitely worth repairing (I may be biased, but honestly, it’s worth it.) I repaired mine and have done many others with next to zero returns.
      Anyway, I’d be happy to repair it for you if you’d like. Details are on the “how to get it repaired” section. Since I’ll be gone, you might want to do the quick exchange option in the store where you pay more, but I refund you a bunch after you send yours to me. Take a look.

      Drop me an email with the contact-us form for more info if you have any other questions.

      • Thanks for the quick reply! I’ll send you the unit after you get back from vacation (or should I send it now so you’ll have it by the 28th?).


        • Hi Bob,
          I’d suggest waiting a little while and then send it so it gets here about the time I get back. That’s probably work best. I’d recommend sending the backboard and the control module to make sure we get it all 100%. Be sure to read the tips to avoid shorting the transformer. I’ll keep an eye out for it when I return.


  12. I accidentally cut through the underground wiring. Do you have a recommended splice packet? There are 10 wires, including the common wire.

    • Hi Anne,
      Gosh, that’s a good question. I’ve never used a spice for multiple wires, only singles and I’m usually working with what I have on hand so I’m not that familiar with them.
      I’ve seen some singles, and waterproof wire nuts that are commonly found in valve boxes, so you might look at those. Most of them are equivalent to a regular wirenut with the equivalent of a vasoline filling to provide moisture protection.

      I looked at several in eBay and would probably go for a waterproof heat shrink butt splice crimp connector. The key is to get something that provides the moisture protection. You could also put on a second heat shrink tube and stagger each splice an inch or so apart so that they don’t overlap and make a thick splice bundle in one spot. Then after doing each individual splice, you could pull the larger heat shrink tubing over all 10 of them and be “doubly” protected.

      When you settle in on one, please post back here with your lessons learned; it may help someone else in the same scenario.

      Regards, and good luck,
      Brian – aka the RainDial doctor for RD-600, RD-900 and Irritro RD-1200 series timers.

  13. I have a 900 and the 1-3 valves work with the program but 4-8 do not come on. All of the valves will operate manually (thankfully). My suspicion is wiring. Is there a way to check if the current is getting to the non functioning valve? I suppose it could be the valve/solinoid but I am suspicious because the of the series of valves.

    • Hi Ann,

      Are valves 1-3 in one ground-box and valves 4-8 in another. If so, it’s likely there is a separate common wire going to each and that one of the common wires is not connected.

      Let me know more and I’ll try to help more…
      Brian – aka the Rain Dial Doctor for RD600, rd900, rd1200 timers…

  14. I have an Irritrol RD-600. The display is stuck on SU. I’ve watched the videos to set the timer, but the display never changes. When I look at the terminal board behind the display, a yellow and blue wire are not attached. Is that why it isn’t working? Thank you.

    • Hi Janet, Thanks for posting.
      the display should work regardless of the wiring as long as the battery is good. It’s intended for you to be able to remove the module, take it in the house, and program it while watching TV. Having some loose unused wires is fairly common since the wire bundles often have more wires than are needed. So, I don’t think that’s the problem.

      I’d follow the reset instructions on the DIY Troubleshooting page and then see if it starts working again. If it does, great, but keep a close eye on it since they tend to get flaky as they start to fail. If it happens again, I’d send it in for repair.

      Also make sure you have the switch in the center position “set programs”
      Let me know if that helps,

    • Its normal to blink after a power outage. Sometimes it’s. An indication of a problem I repair often. If it does this frequently, I’d send it in (both dial and back connector board) for repair.


  15. Hi,
    I am having a problem with a Hardie RD900. Date code 080295. It is mostly gray with no fuse on back terminal board. Valves do not work on programmed cycles. Display flashes “OFF”. When I try to run a valve manually the same thing happens or I may get a buzzing/chattering sound at valve box. All solenoids & valves work when I hook a jumper wire to the right 24VAC screw and the screw on each individual valve on the terminal board (one at time). Wouldn’t this indicate my problem is in the controller only or do I still need to send you the terminal board also?

    • Hi Colin,
      Good question.
      That’s definitely a problem with the module, not the back connector board. Although I always recommend people send both, you probably don’t need to in this case.

      If you have an other questions, just let me know.
      Brian – the Irritrol RainDial Doctor

  16. Hello, I have an Irritrol Raindial RD6 Plus controller running 6 zones. Zones/Valves do not turn on/open outside at programmed time or by manually turning on from controller. Only 1 zone can be manually turned on at the valve (nothing happens when other 5 are tried). I have checked the voltage on the controller at the 24VAC ports and get a reading of 28. Do not get a voltage reading on each individual zone when connected to the “Common” and each individual zone. When 9 volt battery is removed from controller, LCD goes blank and loose programmed info.

    • Hi Bryan (with a ‘y’),
      It sounds like you’ve done a good job troubleshooting it so far, so I don’t have much to offer. Make sure you’ve checked the fuse if you have on on the terminal board. Since you’re getting power from the transformer and the module still dies without the battery, I would suggest sending in the module (the part with the dial and LCD) as well as the back terminal/connector board. I should be able to repair it. If not, I have replacements we can send. You may have noticed the banner message. If you get it in the mail this week, I’ll be back next Wed. night and can fix it and get it in the mail Thurs. morning with 2 day shipping…

      Note that you should be able to manually turn on all the valves at the valve box. Sometimes they take turning the solenoid nearly all the way around, or turning a small relief valve. They usually leak a bit while on, but it’d be rare if you couldn’t get them to come on that way.

      Let me know if you’d like to send it in or if you do some more testing and want to bounce other ideas off me.
      I hope that helps a little anyway,
      Brian (with an ‘i’)

      • thanks for the info. I was using the relief valve to try and turn the valves on manually and only had luck with 1 of the 6 valves.
        Do you think I have an issue with the controller, valves or wiring/electrical?

        • try taking the common wire and moving it to the left 24vac screw terminal with the that 24VAC wire. Then take the valve wire and touch it to the right most screw terminal and watch the zone. It should come on, indicating the valve is good. The just send in the timer and backboard for repair. If it doesn’t work, you’re valve/wiring is bad.

              • This was done last night.
                “I moved a zone valve wire to the right 24VAC screw, but left the common wire connected and nothing happened.”

                I will try your suggestion tonight. Do you believe I will get a different result?

                • That will tell us for sure, so I’d give it a try. If it works, send in both pieces; I’ll repair them and you’ll never have to mess with it again 🙂

                  • Hello Again…I did what you explained and nothing turned on. I did however put the “common” wire on the left 24VAC terminal and the “MV” wire on the right 24VAC terminal and hear pipe “chatter”. Sounds like the timer isn’t pushing power out to the valves.

                    • OK, it sounds like it’s time to send it in… See the “how to get it repaired” info page. Send both the controller module and back terminal board but not the housing/transformer…
                      Brian – aka – the rain dial Doctor for RD600 and rainDial plus controllers.

                    • Hi Bryan. Your data is not conclusive. Flashing Display and chattering valves mean bad controller. Also, if you have power to the controller but when you remove the battery it dies, suggests a controller and/or backboard problem (since you know 24VAC measured as good). This has nothing to do with a valve problem.
                      If you connect the valves wires directly to the 24VAC wires and they do not come on when you know the 24V is good, it means the valve is bad.

                      BOTTOM LINE: I believe I think you have multiple problems and would start by sending the controller and terminal board for repair; that may fix everything.

  17. Good morning. I have an RD12 Plus external unit that will not display. I replaced the slo-blo fuse, verified voltage from the transformer and put in a new battery. I even unplugged the unit multiple times to see if it would reset. Any ideas what else I can do before I go and buy another unit?

    • Hi Jerry,

      I’d suggest sending it in for me to look at, and include the back connector board. See the video on my removal instructions page to avoid damaging the transformer. If I can’t repair it, I have complete replacements for it as well. If you have other questions, just drop me an email using the contact form. I think I actually have an RD+ that’s near new to replace yours if needed. If not, we’ll switch over to the non-plus model – (lots of options)


    • Hi Lynn,

      It’s located in the back of the module part with the dial near the top (Roughly behind where the LCD is).
      You swing the module out on its hinges to get to it. If you watch the removal instruction videos, you’ll see how it swings out.


    • Hi Lynn,

      I’d suggest going to the DIY Troubleshooting menu and selecting the “RainDial programming tutorial” – it’ll tell you a lot, and point you to a video that explains how to program it.


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