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Old 02-26-2013, 06:29 PM   #1
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


We moved into the house and since we moved in the sprinkler controller has been acting very odd. Its an Irritrol RD-600. Right now the only thing that works right is the automatic mode. But if I try to run it in manual mode it just blinks. Today I just randomly pushed buttons and it would start valve 4 no matter what valve I had it set to. Also I pushed buttons more and I got it to start valve 3 and 4 together.

I would rather try to save some time and money, and not send this out for repair and was wondering if anyone was familiar with what can be replaced on the circuit board to fix the problem? I guess I should take a look and see if any capacitors are blown.

I was also curious if I could replace this with another brand? And if so what's a good controller that can control 5 valves? I would also like to run valve 5 once a week while 1-4 run every day or every other day without having to touch the controller. Any ideas?

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Old 02-27-2013, 12:55 PM   #2
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


Sorry, I can't help you with your current controller, but if you end up buying a new one, I would recommend a Rain Bird ESP Modular. They are easy to use and have 3 programming options (allowing you to water different valves on different days/times). I used to work in irrigation and have worked with many controllers and this is my favorite. Hunter also makes one that is comparable.

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Old 02-27-2013, 08:22 PM   #3
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


I have the Rain Bird and concur with previous poster,nice unit.
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Old 02-27-2013, 09:05 PM   #4
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


So for 5 stations I would need to buy the controller and 1 modular unit right? Can this be setup to turn on valves 1-4 every other day and valve 5 once a week?
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:57 AM   #5
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


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Originally Posted by buzzkillb View Post
So for 5 stations I would need to buy the controller and 1 modular unit right? Can this be setup to turn on valves 1-4 every other day and valve 5 once a week?
Yes, you would need to buy 1 modular, which would get you up to 7 stations. You will also be able to run valves 1-4 every other day and valve 5 once a week.
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Old 02-28-2013, 10:49 AM   #6
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


It can be replaced with another brand. I will never use Rainbird again but thats another story in itself . I am now using a IrrigationCaddy- you control it thru your network, its wireless and you can use your phone to turn it on and off. Its really nice if you want to go that route but will cost a little more but it is not that bad.

http://www.amazon.com/IrrigationCadd...rigation+caddy
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Old 02-28-2013, 12:47 PM   #7
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


That IrrigationCaddy is really cool. But really overkill for my needs. I would prefer to spend money on other much needed improvements.

I figure if the current controller works at least on automatic, then no reason to spend a lot of money. But something that could control each valve separately would save me money on watering valve 5 which is a drip line that only needs to run once a week, not every day.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:11 PM   #8
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


Most controllers allow you to set different run times for each vavle (aka zone or station). Your current Irritrol has the ability too but irrelevant since it has problems.

Look for one that can control at least 5 zones.
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:24 PM   #9
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


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Most controllers allow you to set different run times for each vavle (aka zone or station). Your current Irritrol has the ability too but irrelevant since it has problems.

Look for one that can control at least 5 zones.
Out of curiosity how would I go about doing that with the current Irritrol? I want to run 1-4 skip days and 5 once a week. This might be the final thing that makes me buy a new one today instead of putting this off. This may or may not be working right as I could never figure it out.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:22 PM   #10
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


You will need a 5 zone that you can program individual run times and days for each zone. Zone 1-4 odd/even days and zone 5 off every day but say wed. The cheap controllers will usually not let you program it like that and usually only allow you to run ALL zones on your programmed days for the selected run times- ALL zones 1-5 odd/even days. (they wont let you choose zone 5 to only run on 1 of those days). Check amazon, they have some nice multifunction controllers for around $80.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:29 PM   #11
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


Here's a link to the manual. Go to page 20 and look for the section titled, Setting the Valve Run Time.

http://www.irritrol.com/controller_m...raindial07.pdf

It's not very intuitive. If you are going to replace it, I would go with a Rain Bird. I've had good luck with sprinklerwarehouse.com
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:38 PM   #12
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


Since you are familiar with this. If I set a program (zone 1-4) on A and set a program (zone 5) on B, does it matter what that dial is left on when I set the controller to run?
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:53 PM   #13
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


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If I set a program (zone 1-4) on A and set a program (zone 5) on B, does it matter what that dial is left on when I set the controller to run?
It shouldn't matter where the dial is left. However I would leave it on the current time. If your controller is in in a visible location, you can give it a quick glance to ensure it hasn't been affected by a blackout/power loss.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:59 PM   #14
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


Awesome we go off water conservation mode in the morning, so tomorrow will be my first test to see if the Irritrol fully functions before switching the controller out. The roses will be really happy if they get watered deeper and less frequently!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 01:29 PM   #15
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Automatic Sprinkler Controller Question


So it turns out the controller is going totally bad. I was told that is causing the leaking for the drip irrigation zone that just started to happen. So I am ordering the timer right now. Next up is that it looks like one of the valves is leaking too for the sprinklers. How hard is to replace a 3/4" brass valve? I am getting a quote of $120 to do that and seems like this should be something that I can do myself.

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