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Irrigation/Rain Bird SST-400i Display


I have a Rain Bird SST-440i timer for my irrigation system. The other night I was awoken at 2am by the system turning on and off(it's a well system with a pump mounted outside our bedroom window). I figured it was a programming issue so I turned it off for the night. When I went to investigate, I found the display was not showing. I looked in the manual and it said to check the transformer power source which tuned out to be good. I can run tests zone by zone manually by pressing the appropriate buttons but I can't access the program because I can't see the display. Could it be a faulty transformer? When I unplug the transformer, I can't manually operate the zones like when it is plugged in. I am fearing the whole unit is bad since it seems the transformer seems to be doing it's job. Can you help?

ANSWER: Hey Jack, you are on the right track. If you can get the zones to run manually, then the transformer is fine. The only thing I can suggest, is to disconnect the power for about 5 minutes, and then power it back up, and see if you get a better display. If not, it is time to replace the unit. I would suggest replacing it with a Irri-trol "Rain dial" controller. This controller will last for a long time, and is easy to program. Or you could install a Rainbird ESP series controller, these will also perform well. Good luck and have a great day.

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QUESTION: Thank you for the quick reply! I will try disconnecting the power as you suggested, but by power, do you mean unplug the transformer? There is a power  supply for the irrigation pump, but I don't think it has anything to do with the timer. I am assuming the transformer is the required power source for the  timer only and the power to the pump is controlled by the timer only.
I will look into the 2 units that you suggested, however, I am limited with the space I have in the weather-proof housing that I just installed. I recently replaced the whole system less than a year ago...timer, relay, housing. Is the SST-400 known for being problematic? The transformer is protected with a new GFCI as well.
Thanks for your help and you also have a good day!

Yes Jack, just unplug the transformer. I would suggest taking the existing controller back and getting either a new replacement or your money back. I do not use this model controller, but it should have lasted longer than a year, and should be under warrantee. Also, both the controllers I recommended have an outdoor model that already come with an outdoor cabinet. Good luck and have a great day.


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Jim Schaefer


Any question regarding sprinking systems,installation,repair, and trouble shooting.


I have been installing and repairing sprinkling systems since I was 15 years old. Have owned my own sprinkler system contracting business for over 26 years. It is basically the only job I've ever done, except for being a paper boy when I was young.

High School diploma and 3 years college credits.

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