Basic controller troubleshooting

Below are a collection of common problems and their recommended solution.

Display and error codes #

DISPLAY: The time keeps flashing.

REASON: When programmed the display will flash between the current time and the scheduled run time if the controller is scheduled to water in the next 24 hours.

PROBLEM: The controller has a partial or no display.

SOLUTION: If the transformer, battery or batteries, and fuse are good, push the tiny reset button on the face of the controller. If the display does not return to normal, the controller is worn out or defective and needs to be replaced. Also, be sure the electrical outlet is hot.

PROBLEM: The display on the controller shows “FAULT” with a station #.

SOLUTION: This is usually due to a short in the wiring or a shorted solenoid on that station. Please see our knowledge base article on this topic.

PROBLEM: The display on the controller shows “OFF”, “PWR OFF”, “NO AC”

SOLUTION: Blown fuse, burnt transformer, dead outlet, or defective timer. Replace the necessary component or controller.

PROBLEM: The controller is not responding at the interface (HRC 400 only)

SOLUTION: The interface may be locked. View this article for more information

If you do not see the padlock icon then the device may have encountered an issue and you need to either power cycle the device or factory reset it. To power cycle: pull the plug, unplug the data ribbon, or turn the circuit breaker off, wait 1 minute, then plug in or turn on the circuit breaker.

Watering issues #

PROBLEM: Why does the controller repeat or run an additional watering cycle?

SOLUTION: There is more than one start time programmed. A start time is the time of day that the program begins watering the first station, and all other stations will then follow in sequence. There are no separate start times for each station. Start times do not correspond to specific stations. If you enter more than one start time, all stations programmed will water again in sequence. Clear all start times except for the first or desired start time.

PROBLEM: Why does the controller water manually but not in “AUTO”?

SOLUTION: This is generally due to an error in programming. You may have forgotten to enter a start time, watering days, or watering durations. Push the reset button and reprogram the timer.

PROBLEM: Why does the controller start watering at the wrong time of day?

SOLUTION: There may be another start time entered in addition to the first start time. Also, be sure that the proper AM and PM are entered in the current time of day and in the start time settings.

PROBLEM: One or more valves do not turn on


  1. Faulty solenoid connection
  2. Wire damaged or severed
  3. Flow control stem screwed down, shutting valve off
  4. Programming is incorrect

PROBLEM: Stations turn on when they are not supposed to


  1. The water pressure is too high
  2. More than one start time is programmed
  3. AM/PM is incorrect

PROBLEM: One station is stuck on and will not shut off


  1. Faulty valve
  2. Particles of dirt or debris stuck in the valve
  3. Valve diaphragm faulty or damaged

PROBLEM: All valves do not turn on


  1. Transformer defective or not connected
  2. Programming is incorrect

PROBLEM: Controller will not power up


  1. Transformer not plugged into a working outlet
  2. Transformer defective or not connected

PROBLEM: Valves continue to turn on and off when they are not programmed


  1. More than one start time is programmed with overlapping
  2. Excessive pressure

PROBLEM: Display says Fault and flashes a zone number


  1. Loose wire at controller terminal connection
  2. Damaged wire between controller and solenoid
  3. Faulty solenoid connection in the valve box
  4. Defective solenoid

Hardware issues #

PROBLEM: Why are the programming keys or buttons not responding?

SOLUTION: The controller is defective or worn out and needs to be replaced.

PROBLEM: If I turn the controller to the “OFF” position, will I lose the program?

SOLUTION: No, but it will not water again until the controller is turned back to the “AUTO” position.

PROBLEM: Where can I get replacement fuses for my controller?

SOLUTION: Replacement fuses can be sent out. please contact us for more information

PROBLEM: Does the controller need a battery or batteries to function properly?

SOLUTION: No, the battery or batteries are required as a backup to retain the time in event of a power failure, power outage, blown fuse, or bad transformer. This of course does not apply to the hose bib timer and valve models that do require good or charged batteries to open and close properly.

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