For some, gardening is a fun hobby. For others, it is a tiring chore. But either way, everyone can benefit from a hose timer, which can automate some of the work and help to save water. The best hose timer is designed to provide an automated watering system which is easy to program. In this article we will cover some of the top hose timers available on the market today.
The Rain Bird is undoubtedly the most expensive hose timer on this list. Of course, the reason for that expensive nature is a fairly large list of features. For one, this is another of those rare WiFi compatible timer, meaning you can control it from your phone from anywhere.
It also automatically adjusts the watering program being used to match the season, humidity, local weather and temperature, making your life easier when it comes to managing the garden.
Naturally, a device this expensive includes the ability to delay its program due to rain up to 14 days, and the app even alerts you to the situation at your garden.
The most noteworthy feature is how detailed you can get when it comes to programming. Unlike a lot of competition, you can set the program to water only on specific days, which is great for those that have watering restrictions placed on them where they live.
The expensive price results in greater durability and construction as well.
Some customers expressed dissatisfaction with the customer service, which is only available on weekdays, but aside from that complaints are limited.
This product fits the description of best smart hose timer because it is a fine balance of complexity and affordability.
It’s a nice middle ground between price and features. Most notably, this timer has a very precise range of customization when it comes to watering frequency and duration, with watering duration ranging from a second to 300 minutes, at a frequency of once every hour or every fifteen days.
You also get rain delay features, manual override and a very intuitive screen that tells you all the important details, such as the current program, which features are active and how much power the device has left.
Further cementing its place as contender for the best garden hose timer is a child lock feature so children can’t mess with the settings, reinforced nylon material that is tougher than plastic, and is waterproof with an IP65 rating.
Customer feedback regarding this product is overwhelmingly positive, with little in the way of complaints to be seen. All in all, it is definitely one of the best hose timers available, especially for its price and rich features.
This four zone water timer is unique in the fact that it can water four separate areas of your garden. Because it has four different valves, you can program it through its LCD screen to water four sections of the garden at various times and for various lengths of time.
That kind of versatility makes it one of the best hose timers on this list. You can program each valve to operate individually: you can make each of them water as frequently as you want, from a minute to six hours at intervals ranging from every hour to once a week, as needed.
On the other hand, the presence of four valves means there is more to break mechanically, and that the programming can get more complex than usual. For mechanical issues, the warranty and customer service is reportedly excellent, with replacements easy to get.
Despite all the complexity, this digital timer may be the most durable product on the market, and it is serviceable enough to last a long time if properly cared for.
This easy to program water timer is desirable for its intuitive design: it easily connects to any drip tube, hose, or faucet, and the valve for controlling this faucet timer is solenoid, so it is reliable.
It has a fail safe that automatically turns off the water timer when the battery is low, and has a low battery warning indicator.
Most notably, if the batteries are replaced within fifteen seconds of being removed, the Raindrip programmable hose faucet will keep whatever program you set it to use, which removes some of the hassle from its operation.
While this is an easy to use timer, it isn’t particularly over-complicated. It doesn’t come with too many advanced features. You will likely need to buy a pressure regulator to go along with it. However, it isn’t particularly expensive either.
All things considered, it is a cheap water timer option that will probably last you quite a few seasons if you take good care of it. But for a more advanced and sophisticated option, you may want to continue searching for other products.
As you may have surmised by now, there will be a few Orbit products on this list as Orbit is one of the most popular and respected brand in the garden watering product range.
This particular model is extremely inexpensive, meaning it is more of a basic product you would get if you never had a watering system before and also don’t want to spend much money.
In fact, this single outlet water hose faucet timer is one of the simplest and most straightforward options out there.
That is to say that it lacks special features like an LCD screen or the ability to delay for rain, and it is not a programmable hose faucet. But if all you need is a water timer that turns off the water hose after a certain time, this is one of the cheapest ways to achieve that.
Basically, this product is an egg timer for the hose. The comfort grip dial is twisted until the timer is where you wish it to be, at which point it runs down like any other mechanical timer.
It has an easy swivel to attach to appropriate connections and a manual override ability when needed.
The timer can be set anywhere from 15 to 120 minutes. The fact that there are no complicated timing programs makes this faucet timer as easy to manage as attaching it to a hose and setting the timer.
But of course, simplicity means you don’t get any nice features. Moreover, being inexpensive, the materials used aren’t fantastic, so don’t expect it to last a long time without proper care.
On the plus side, a lack of digital parts means there is less to break.
Undoubtedly one of the more high-tech hose timers on this list, and apparently one of the most expensive.
The main appeal of this product is the ability to access it from anywhere with Wifi. Using an app with this programmable hose faucet timer, you can control it through both Android and iOS cell phones.
A piece of tech this advanced has a great array of features and settings, including rain delay and the ability to let the app make watering programs for you based on the weather.
This programmable hose faucet timer can alter its watering process based on soil type, slope, sun and even more.
The app tracks water usage so you can see what’s happening in your garden at all times.
Unfortunately many reviewers have mentioned that the app isn’t intuitive, and it is hard to get used to it at first. But for the hardware, the water timer is made of reliable materials that will last a long time.
Ultimately, this product from Orbit has many special features and the hardware is reliable, but the software used to operate it is a little tedious, and the product itself is pretty expensive. All in all, if you like gadgets and tech, this garden watering controller is for you.
This programmable hose faucet timer is essentially the same product as the one before it on this list. The only difference is that it doesn’t include the necessary components to be controlled by WiFi.
That said it has all the same features, you just have to utilize those features through Bluetooth instead of WiFI, meaning you have to be within a certain range of the water timer to operate it form the phone.
Aside from that, it’s all the same notes. It’s a more expensive option than some of the competition, with an app that can help you make watering programs based on all sorts of factors.
The orbit B-hyve will let you track water usage and is made of lasting quality materials that should serve you for a pretty long time if the hose timer is properly taken care of.
It’s worth noting that you can upgrade this hose timer to being compatible with WiFi simply by buying the component that came with its predecessor.
Just like that predecessor, the app that is used in conjunction with this device isn’t very intuitive and has a bit of a learning curve.
Back to the cheaper options available, this Gilmour product competes for the best water timer for a pretty straightforward reason: namely, it’s simple and easy to use.
First of all, it is single outlet. Second, it doesn’t require any tools to set up. Simply take the metal swivel coupling and attach it to spigot and water hose of your choice.
Once that’s done, it’s as easy as turning a dial to the settings you prefer and setting the timer for when you want watering to commence and how.
Of course, simplicity isn’t conducive to many features. You can program the start time, frequency and duration of watering with this timer, but not much else.
While you can edit that range to be from 1 to 360 minutes across multiple days, don’t expect features like rain delay.
A small number of customers have expressed how quickly it is ruined by direct sunlight exposure, and a few more have mentioned minor things like leaking around the gasket.
These problems can be mitigated but it would be better not to have them. You might just as well purchase a few spare units of this cheap product to have replacements.
That said, this Gilmour product fits the description of best garden water timer simply for its affordability and ease of use.
This option from Orbit has many features that make it desirable at a relatively reasonable price. Moreover, it is a heavy duty weatherproof device that is designed to handle a wide variety of adverse weather conditions, so it has a bit more durability than some of its competition.
As for its features, the most notable is the rain delay feature, programmable intervals ranging from six hours to seven days, an adjustable run time ranging from 1 to 240 minutes and manual override for when you want to water the garden at your own discretion.
Unfortunately the product isn’t all good. It is mostly a lot of plastic. If you are careful, this water timer could last a few years, but even so it could get damaged before that.
It is also a single outlet unit, which isn’t as versatile as having two ports. It is easy to program and the digital timer is reliable, but the product may suffer from mechanical problems over time. Thankfully, many of those mechanical problems can be repaired with relative ease. It’s generally pretty good for its price.
This digital hose timer is one of the few with two separate faucets, each of which can be programmed to function separately from one another.
It has a large LCD screen that makes it easy to read and use, a rain delay option that can run from one to three days and boasts low power consumption, allegedly managing up to 4,000 on/off cycles on one pair of batteries.
However, this product isn’t particularly special in any other ways. It fits right in with other hose timers of this price, with durable materials and longevity.
It can water two zones, which is notable. On the other hand, you can’t set the timer to only work on specific days, so if you live in an area that restricts watering during certain times of the week, you’ll have to take care of that manually.
Other than that, customers have expressed satisfaction with the durability and reliable nature of this timer.
Now that we’ve covered some of the best hose timers out there, it’s about time we talk about how you should go about choosing one for yourself. This guide includes discussing what a water timer is, why you need one and how you would use it for your garden or yard.
The idea behind these timers is pretty straightforward. It’s a device that you attach to a spigot that you can program to turn the water on and off when you wish, without having to do it yourself.
If the hose timer was attached to a sprinkler, you could program it to water the garden every few hours, days, or even only once a week.
More advanced timers may have the ability to alter programs based on the weather and humidity, but the basic premise is the same.
The main purpose of a hose timer is to automate the watering process, whether that is for your yard, garden, raised beds or anything else. If you are going away on a long trip, a water timer can ensure that all of your plants stay alive in your absence.
At the same time, if you have state restrictions on water usage, a suitable timer can ensure only using water that is allowed and nothing more.
Finally, a timer just takes the tedium out of watering, as you don’t have to do it manually if you have such a device.
Using a hose timer is as simple as programming when you want the water to run and for how long. It is usually facilitated through a mechanical timer, a digital screen or a mobile app.
When it comes to choosing which times to water and how long, there are some other things to consider.
If you live in water restriction areas, you’ll need to find out how much water you are allowed to utilize and when, and program the device accordingly.
If you have a timer that takes weather into account of its own accord, that’s great, but if not, you’ll have to take weather into consideration yourself. That includes rain, overall humidity and temperature. You’ll have to change the watering program to accommodate these yourself, but some timers do this automatically, which is worth considering.
In same cases a hose timer can be used with a metal garden hose as well, although the most efficient way to connect it to a rubber or plastic irrigation hose system.
Knowing what a hose timer is one thing, but now it is time to know how to pick one for yourself. The followings are features you should consider when shopping for a hose timer.
A digital timer has a screen that shows you information, and you’ll often use buttons to create your program. A manual timer usually involves something simple like a dial that you use to create your settings.
Generally a manual timer is simpler and easier to use as well as lasts longer, but a digital timer gives you more information and has more features.
This part is straightforward: the more outlets a timer has, the more areas it can water individually.
A device with four outlets can control water flow to four different zones. So if you need to water multiple areas with different settings, you’ll need a timer with the same number of outlets, or you’ll have to buy multiple single outlet models.
Rain delay is a feature that allows a timer to postpone its watering program when it rains to avoid over-watering the garden or your lawn, as well as save you water and money.
Needless to say, there aren’t too many scenarios in which you wouldn’t want this. Unless you live in an area where rain is an unnatural phenomenon, you probably want a timer with this feature.
Nearly every timer has this ability, but some don’t, so you should still take it into consideration. Manual override means you can water from your hose when you want, preferably without messing up the timer’s program. Most digital timers will allow you to do this.
One would think a device centered around water usage would be waterproof, but some timers aren’t made with this consideration in mind or of the best materials.
Try to avoid anything suspicious in regards to materials. Cheap plastic generally isn’t the best. That’s true for durability as well: the tougher the materials, the longer your device is going to last, so look for nylon and metal when appropriate.
Finally, consider whether you are going to use this device indoors or outdoors. Outdoor timers will need to be resistant to sunlight, extreme temperatures and the weather.
How you program a timer plays a role in what kind you should get. Some can be programmed through mechanical means, while others use a digital screen with buttons for this purpose. The most advanced timers will even let to program using a phone through Bluetooth or WiFi.
Based on your personal preference, you should purchase a timer that fits your desire for programming methods.
When it comes to watering timers, the range of products are not all that different from each other. They have mild differences but function in a similar manner regardless. Ultimately it comes down to how much you are willing to pay and what features you want simply for their convenience.