My 9V battery keeps dying, what does that mean?

When Irritrol RainDial batteries keep draining faster than they should (usually they last at least a year or more), it is a sign that the controller is failing, but has not failed completely.

As the parts fail they can degrade slowly and the battery ends up providing power to compensate.  However, this causes the battery to drain faster, meaning it may last a week, or month instead of a year.  Eventually you’ll have to replace it more and more frequently until even a new battery won’t be enough for it to work.

There’s no way to really predict when a new battery will not be enough to make it work. One thing is for sure: “you’re living on borrowed time.”

You can wait if you want, but it’s usually better to get it taken care now, otherwise Murphy’s law usually kicks in and it’ll fail right before you are headed out on a long vacation 🙂   They often are intermittent as they’re failing, so it will not water, but when you notice the dying plants, but when you test it, it’ll seem to be working.  When it’s “on the edge of complete failure” it sometimes works, and other times not.  The temperature often effects the behavior.

Irritrol RainDial timers are well made an with a quick repair can last another 10 years. Repairs are the core of our business and we’d appreciate it if you’d select us to do the it.


20 thoughts on “My 9V battery keeps dying, what does that mean?

  1. my RD-1200 9 volt battery depletes in a few days, so, according to all the emails, my controller is basically done. It is about 12 years old.
    If you tell me to send it to you. please tell me the address.
    If it makes most sense to replace it, tell me where to get one. I have 9 valves to control.

  2. Hi, i live in Grass Valley Ca, Northern California and have a rain dial plus 9 station controller.

    I’d like to see if it can be repaired for auto timer operation. All stations work manually at the controller.

    When on automatic, I try to manually run thru the cycle. I can get 1st station to run, but some stations don’t. It seems to run thru each station, as others will come on later in the sequence.

    All stations are run on channel A.

    Where can it be repaired?

    If I need to send it in, what is the mailing address?

    Also, please notify me of cost of repair before doing anything. Is there a fee to troubleshoot?


    • Hi David,
      I don’t work on the ‘plus’ models very often, but I’d be happy to take a look. I’ll send a separate email with repair information .

  3. On my irritrol water system doesn’t the 9 volt battery only control power to the digital read panel?
    The electrical from the house controls the water start times and will still work correct?

    • Hi,

      Yes, that is true. the battery will keep the clock running during a power outage, but is not able to turn on a valve; that requires the 24VAC supply.
      A 9V that keeps dying is due to a problem with the timer or power system.
      If the transformer is working and you have the 9V battery problem, send it in for repair. We typically turn them around in a day, and you can manually water by turning on the valves at the valve box if needed.

      See the DIY page for information on how to test the transformer; then send it in if needed.
      Does that help?

        • Hi Eli,

          The timer should work, even without a battery. The battery is just to keep the programming and time correct if power should go out briefly.


  4. Hello,
    I am pretty handy and have read the troubles others are having and I too have the drained battery in less then a month, can I fix this with your instruction? Tnx for any help you can give.
    Green Valley

  5. Hi Brian. My battery on rainRd600 INT worn within a month. How can I solved this problem and can I repair it myself.

    Shigeo Yamanaka.

    • Hi Shigeo,

      That’s problem is not typically one that people can repair yourself; I’d suggest sending it in for repair. You can email me directly at if you don’t want it repaired and would like further assistance.


  6. My battery on RAINDIAL RD 600 keeps dying. Is repair possible? And, how and where do I sent it? And, approximately what is the cost? And, can I repair it myself?

    • Hi Cris,
      Yes, that is a very common problem. I just sent you an email with repair instructions, which can also be found on the “How to Get it Repaired” tab on my website. Thanks!

      Brian the RainDial Doctor

  7. I have a RD 600 with a battery issue. It essentially chews up 9 volt batteries, If I get a week before crashing that is a good day. In your Q&A you suggest a controller card failure that is dying. How much would the repair be and approx. how long to get the job done. The unit is about 4 years old. The batteries are now about $2.25 at Costco, ten at a time. A real dilema as we are at 90 – 100 every day with no let up. Regards, Phil

    • Hi Philip,

      That’s a classic symptom of a problem I repair. The batteries should last at least a year and it’s likely that your yard (soon, if not already) is going to be missing watering cycles.

      I usually get them in the mail the next morning, so the repair time is quick.

      While it’s being repaired, you can manually turn on the water at the valve, just google “sprinkler valve manual turn on” for details.

      Cost is $45 and I pay to ship it back. There’s a 1 year official warranty, but if you have any trouble after that, just let me know.

      If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at or use the contact-us form.

      Thanks for the question, I hope you’ll give us your business.

  8. You can always water manually by turning on the valves at the valve box, but since you’re close, I’d just swing by my place this weekend and run some errands while I repair it. I’ll followup with an email.


  9. Hate to do without it for any time as we live in Scottsdale, AZ. Let me know how much to repair and how long it would take. We are not planning being gone for any length of time. Should I consider purchasing a new controller?
    Where are you located?

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