What does 5En or SEn on the LCD mean?

When is “Sen” normal to be seen on an Irritrol RainDial?

“SEn” or “5En” indicates SENsor.  It is displayed when an (optional) external rain sensor device detects that it has rained.  If you have a rain sensor and it is sensing rain, it should display “SEn” and stops the watering schedule until the rain sensor indicates the rain has stopped and water is needed again.  It is normal and expected operation to see SEn if you have a rain sensor and it has recently rained.

What to try if you do not have an Irritrol RainDial or other rain sensor:

  1. Some back connector boards have a rain sensor selection switch that can be set to either Bypass or Active. Make sure it’s set to Bypass if you don’t have a rain sensor.
  2. If you have sensor connection screws but no switch, (and no rain sensor or you removed a sensor that’s no longer being used) there should be a jumper wire between the two screws.  If the wire is missing you can just add a wire between the two sensor screw terminals.   FYI: The switch on the board (if you have one) basically does the same thing as the jumper, it connects the two sensor terminals together.

The most likely problem:

If you do not have a rain sensor and get this message, it’s usually a “real” problem that will be intermittent and eventually get worse as time goes by and it’s hard to detect because the message may only appear when you are not looking at it.

It’s caused by a circuity problem that we frequently repair.  Simply mail the controller module and back connector board to us and we’ll have it working better than new in no time.

(c) This material is copyrighted


28 thoughts on “What does 5En or SEn on the LCD mean?

  1. I have an RD-600-R that is not working. The display shows ‘E1’ no matter what I do. Even with power off and battery unplugged after 10 minutes. I tried both A and B reset instructions but nothing changed. Any ideas??

    • Hi Norb,

      That’s uncommon behavior, so I can’t think of anything else you can try besides the factory resets.
      I’d suggest sending it in for repair and we’ll see what we can do. There’s no repair charge if I can’t fix it, so you don’t have anything to lose except a little shipping.


  2. The Bypass worked. I do have a rain sensor but it hasn’t rained here in many weeks (California drought). I suppose I need to replace the sensor?

    • Hi Kevan,

      I wouldn’t expect the sensor to go bad; it’s more likely a timer/board problem. I’d suggest sending both the timer and back terminal board in for repair; see the ‘how to get it repaired’ menu above. If you have other questions, just let me know.


  3. Thank you for the tip on the Rain Sensor switch, I turned it off and the unit came back to life! 🙂

    $5 happily sent!

    • Hi Jon,

      We’re happy to know it was helpful information and thank you so much for the donation! Very few people donate and it’s costly to keep the site active without it. Consider yourself ‘one of the good guys’, we really appreciate it.

      Brian, Meghan and Ben

  4. I have an Irritrol RD-900-R where the display flashes time of day and SEn even when the rain/freeze sensor is disconnected and a jumper wire is connected to the sensor terminals. As a result the sprinkler system does not water. When the internal sensor bypass switch is switched the problem goes away and the sprinkler system waters correctly. How can this problem be fixed? I am an electrical engineer who would like to fix the problem myself.

    • Hi Karl,

      Thanks for the inquiry, I appreciate it. I will send you an email with some helpful information.

  5. I have a RD-600 Controls with a RS1000 rain sensor attached. I Have not done any maintenance to the control panel, yet this week when I turn the sprinkler system on, I got the “SEN” message on the display. I have change the battery in the sensor and verified that the receiver is on and getting a signal. Now, I cannot even get the sprinkler come on in Manual. Suggestions?

    • Hi Tim,

      Usually, the “Sen” indicates that the sensor is “active” and this stops it from watering. You would have to bypass the sensor to water, or wait till it dries out and allows watering to continue. There is another scenario where there is a fault in the timer/backboard system that causes a false reading. If you have a back terminal board with the bypass/active switch, try switching it to bypass and see if you can water then. If that works, drop me an email at rainDialDoctor@gmail.com and we can discuss the next steps.



  6. Hi, I have an irritrol 1200 with a CL-M1 rain sensor hooked up. The battery died in the remote sensor and after I replaced it, I am getting a Sen code. The rain sensor is showing accurate temp and no rain. The bypass switch clears the code and works manual. As soon as I switch it back I get the error again. How can I get rid of the Sen error code from the panel? I had the system for four years and nothing with the wiring changed. I am baffled. I recently read a post a gentleman stated he just took the capacitor off and reinstalled it and it worked. Would you let me know what he is referring too. I will gladly donate to you if you can help me clear the code. It had to be something easy. Thanks for your help

    • Hi K,
      Thanks for the inquiry, I appreciate it. I have never worked on that remote sensor before, so I don’t know much about it. It seems unlikely that a capacitor would cause that kind of problem. If you can clear it with a bypass switch, it doesn’t seem like it would be a problem with the timer. If you send me the link to the referred article, I can take a look.

      Brian – The RD600 RainDial Doctor

  7. How much does it cost me to send module and circuit board for repair? I got the sen code and it is in bypass and even has jumper on screws.

    • Hi Martin,
      Thanks for commenting, that sounds like a problem we typically see. I have repair information on my website here. Make sure to send both the controller and back connector board.


  8. I have the 600 series and the sen is on, however i want to turn it off so i can manually run the sprinklers. when i turn it on to man and the time say MAN3min its doesn’t run.

    • Hi James,

      I’m assuming the sensor is active because it has detected rain.

      You should have a small switch on the back terminal board above the fuse.

      Switch it to bypass and the timer should work regardless of the sensor.

      Let me know if that helps or not.

  9. I recently purchased the ClimateLogic cl-100 wireless sensor kit for my rd-600 controller, but not sure if I have installed it correctly. The display and rain detection work fine, as the display shows when it has rained, and what percentage of water is required, but when I move the bypass switch inside the RD600, the display flashes Sens, which I take it means that it is not going to water because of rain, but that isn’t what the Climatelogic panel says, it says no rain. I noticed there was a jumper wire on the terminal block for the sensor as well, so I removed that, but no change, it still flashes Sens, any ideas?

    • Hi Peter,

      You are correct; if you have the sensor installed, you need to remove the jumper wire and put the switch to active, NOT bypass.
      Do you have an RD-600-R model, or just RD-600? I suspect it’s an RD-600-R. If so, email me a picture of your wiring to rainDialDoctor@gmail.com and I’ll take a look. I suspect the sensor setting or wiring is set for normally open instead of normally closed (or visa versa) and you need to switch it.

      Let me know if that helps,

  10. I have disconnected the rain sensor, but SEn is still flashing while my yard is dying from this heat. I have the 1200R and I don’t see a bypass switch on the back panel. Any suggestions?

    • Hi Mike,

      Send the timer and back terminal board in for repair. You can use the valve’s manual feature (not the timer, but at the valve itself) to water in the mean time.


  11. Hi,
    not sure of the model, its the dark blue one.
    anyways, it will not keep the current time correctly. I set it and a day or 2 later it changes. So consequently the system is not watering when its suppose too. Its also giving me the “SEn” message.
    I am able to turn on manually tho.
    Can you fix this?

    • Hi Laura,

      That sounds like the exact problem I see all the time and repair. I’d suggest sending the timer and also the back terminal board for repair. Repair Instructions are on my site, but it’s also easy to just email me at rainDialDoctor@gmail.com. I’ll get back to you within the day.

      Thanks for posting,

  12. Hello,
    I have a Sen notice flashing. I have reset my system and reset the sensor switch… it is still flashing. Also when I do switch the system to off my water is still on. Do you have any suggestions? Also what is the average cost to have this fixed if I do need to send it in?
    Thank you for your help,

    • Hi Katrina,
      Sen is short for sensor – it indicates that the timer has detected rain from an external sensor (if you have one). If you don’t have one, it’s a common problem that I repair. Just the module the dial/lcd part AND the back connector board. See both videos on the “how do i send it for repair page. It’s usually around $45 and I pay to ship it back.

  13. This information is spot on!!!! I had the jumper wire and it seemed secure. I removed it and reinstalled it and the problem went away. I will keep checking but this is an easy fix. Thanks

    • I’m glad to hear it helped.

      FYI: I don’t get paid by Irritrol or anyone for this website and all the RainDial information here. If you found it helpful, please consider giving me a “High $5”. You can do that by clicking on the Home Page “Pay Now” button. All proceeds go to children’s education.

      Thanks much,

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