Display says OFF or Blinks

RainDial display blinks OFF or flashes when you try to turn on a valve

Three notes about this  topic are worth mentioning

  1. A flashing display may indicate that the power has been interrupted at some point, but more often it’s an indication that the timer needs repair.
  2. Flashing Off when trying to turn on a valve almost always indicates the timer needs repair.
  3. Occasionally, the flashing is caused by a bad valve solenoid, but usually, this happens with older timers.

This page will guide you through determining what the problem is likely to be.

First do some simple checks:  You may want to read the rest of this page to be sure, but in general:

  1. If the problem happens only when turning on one particular valve and not with every valve, it may be a bad solenoid. (read further)
  2. If it happens with multiple valves, the timer likely needs repair.
  3. If you experience low water pressure, clicking, or chattering valves, the timer needs repair.

We’d appreciate your business if the following troubleshooting information suggests it needs repairing.  Thanks!

The rest of this page provides more detailed troubleshooting on how to check for a bad solenoid.

Bad solenoids are usually indicated by the FUS message, but on rare occasions, it will blink off.  Try turning on a valve manually (by selecting a valve, adding minutes with the + button) and the LCD just goes back to OFF, it’s typically one of the following:

  1. The controller is failing.  The good news is that we can help. This is a problem we repair frequently (the cornerstone of our business).  The repair is solid and well worth doing. Simply send it in for repair and we’ll have it back, working better than new (you shouldn’t ever have the same problem again).  Repair information: link.
  2. The controller is overloaded with a shorted valve solenoid or wiring problem.
    1. Newer systems indicate a shorted solenoid by displaying FUS and a little valve number on the top of the display.  You may need to put the dial in the Current Time position to see the message. Some older systems don’t show the message and just blink the display.
      1. If you see the FUS message and a number on the top row of the display that number usually indicates where the problem is.  Follow the information on this page to solve the problem.
    2. Older systems may show blinking/flashing displays but not show a FUS message when the dial is in the Current Time position.  The problem may still be a bad solenoid; here are some suggestions:
      1. Try to manually turn on each valve, one at a time.  If you find one valve that does not turn on, then that valve is probably causing the timer to blink. Read the troubleshooting tip below

Troubleshooting tips: Is the valve a problem or the controller?

A good way to tell the difference is if the problem occurs with more than one valve.  If more than one valve shows the problem then it’s a problem with the controller.  If only one sprinkler valve exhibits the problem, you can try these things:

  1. Disconnect that wire to that valve’s screw terminal that causes the timer to blink when you try to turn it on. The blinking problem should not return.  After you replace the solenoid (see below), reconnect the wire.
  2. You can also try swapping the screw terminal wire of the suspected bad valve with one that seems to be working.  If the “problem” follows the valve’s wire, it’s a bad solenoid.

If you determine the solenoid is bad, they are fairly easy to replace.  I usually take a photo of the valve to a local landscape store so they know what I’m looking for.

We hope this was helpful – if it was, use our services or consider a friendly donation.  Thank you.

Click here to contact us or here to see How do I send it in for repair?