Water Timer Reviews

Time For Some Water Timer Reviews!

Once you have added a good, reliable water pressure regulator, as well as one or two top-notch water pressure gauges to your gardening tool crib, it is time to think about how to regulate the water flowing to your backyard garden and these water timer reviews will give you the answer!

As beginner gardeners, we start out manually hosing down our backyard veggie plots…with a good quality spray nozzle.

Upon tiring of this awkwardly labor-intensive method, we then move on to utilizing sprinklers and soaker hoses to direct the needed moisture to their plants.

Watering the garden with a sprinkler.

Our plan is to turn the outside faucet on for an hour or two so that the garden area is watered well.  But, chances are, we forget to turn off the water when necessary and we over water the veggies…wasting water.  Then, the water bill comes in the mail and we have to pay for our forgetfulness!

We realize we need to fool-proof this task by automating it…preventing future over watering episodes and the accompanying higher-than-normal water bills!

Enter the digital water timer…

A water timer is seen by many folks as a luxury.  But, I see it as a necessary tool that will, in the long run, pay for itself by making sure that the correct amount of water is applied to my garden.  Hence, my plants will get a comfortable amount of moisture and I won’t get a shockingly outrageous water bill ever again!

Prices for water timers are comparable to pressure regulators…give or take a few dollars.

NOTE:  Most of these timers do not function well when subjected to excessive water pressures…which can be upwards of 120 psi in your home.  Thus, it is prudent to use a high-quality water pressure regulator to ensure that the water timer is not damaged.  We don’t want them to leak.  Also, don’t expose the timers to direct sunlight…this can greatly reduce their life expectancy and even destroy the LCD display!

Let’s start off with my favorite, the Rain Bird 1ZEHTMR.  My second favorite, the Orbit Single Outlet Programmable Hose Faucet Timer, E-Commerce Packaging, is the last one evaluated.

 

Rain Bird 1ZEHTMR Water Timer

For about the same cost of a water pressure regulator, you can have this amazingly simple and sturdy water timer to automate garden hose sprinklers or soaker hoses.

Pros

  • Extra large programming dial and digital readout screen for easy setup.
  • 7-day digital timer/controller.
  • Override buttons, “Water Now” and “Cancel Watering”, allow instant program override. The “Cancel Watering” button is also used as a “Rain Delay” of up to 96 hours…after which the original program resumes operation.

Rain Bird 1ZEHTMR Water Timer.

Cons

  • A minimum 15 psi pressure is necessary and pressure in excess of 90 psi can cause leaks. The 15 psi minimum is not a big concern…but, to avoid excessive water pressure over 90 psi, it is best to use a water pressure regulator to protect the unit.  Those that have complained of leaks probably did not use a reliable pressure regulator.
  • When temperatures reach 110 °F (5 °C), this unit will not function correctly.

I give this product a definite 5 thumbs up!

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If you truly have the desire to automate your garden or lawn watering regimen, then you will crave more information about the Rain Bird 1ZEHTMR Water Timer.

 

Gilmour 300GTS Water Timer

Gilmour 300GTS Water Timer.

The Gilmour 300GTS has very large and easily readable buttons and will automatically shut off the water in the case of dead batteries.  It even has a battery indicator to alert you to low batteries.  And, it will turn the water off and on every time without fail.

That being said…the Gilmour water timer was a bit of a disappointment to me.  This is a relatively inexpensive timer…just a bit over $20…so, I wasn’t expecting lots of bells and whistles.

However, performance-wise, it is reported to have issues with extremely poor outlet water pressure for some reason and has a tendency to leak from a number of places…especially around the female coupling that connects to the outdoor faucet.

Gilmour has many other quality products that I have been extremely satisfied with over the years…but, this is not one of them…and I really wanted it to be a water timer I could brag about.

Based on my research, I feel that I am being generous giving this timer even a 1 thumbs up rating…

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You may find more hopeful information than I did by checking out the Gilmour 300GTS Water Timer for yourself.

 

Instapark PWT-06 Waterproof Water Timer

The key word for the Instapark PWT-06 is w-a-t-e-r-p-r-o-o-f !!!

Instapark PWT-06 Waterproof Water Timer.

It has an impressive list of pros:

Instapark PWT-06 Waterproof Water Timer

  • Did I mention that it was WATERPROOF?  It’s always good to have a waterproof timer in the event of hard rains.
  • Digital programmable for 7 days.
  • Impact-resistance.
  • Programming by days of the week (i.e. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday…etc.).
  • Programming by number of days (i.e. 1 to 15 days).
  • Can be set for 8 programs daily to water from a minute up to 3 hours.
  • Temporarily suspend program for rain days and manual watering.

But, it has a few cons;

  • Uses a 9 volt battery…which I never seem to have on hand – so, it would be more convenient if it operated on a couple of AA or AAA batteries which I always have in great abundance…
  • Very confusing and difficult to understand instructions.
  • Difficult to program. Some folks say that this is a very complicated unit.

Without the cons, I would have given this timer 5 thumbs up…but, reluctantly, I have lowered its rating to just 4 thumbs up!

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It is still an excellent investment and you really should take a closer look at this Instapark PWT-06 Waterproof Water Timer.

 

Gideon GD-DWT-01 Dual-valve Hose Water Timer
Gideon GD-DWT-01 Dual-valve Hose Water Timer.

 

The Gideon GD-DWT-01 boasts a simple hose connection with an easy-to-use digital system.

With 2 programmable outlet valves, you can control 2 different areas of sprinklers or soaker hoses…offering a bit of flexibility.   It does not appear that both outlets can be operated simultaneously so, their individual program times will have to be staggered so that when one outlet shuts off, the other outlet can turn on.

 

 

Gideon GD-DWT-01 Dual-valve Hose Water Timer.

 

 

 

The unit’s large LCD screen can be programmed for an individual watering session of up to 4 hours and the number of instances of on-and-off watering per day is unlimited.

 

 

 

 

Gideon GD-DWT-01 Dual-valve Hose Water Timer.

 

TIP:  Keep any device with an LCD screen away from direct sunlight or you may destroy it.  If it is placed in a very sunny area, just put a bucket over it for protection.

The Gideon water timer also offers the very standard advantage of skipping watering sessions in case of rain or manual watering without changing the cycles that have already been programmed into the unit.

With its added plastic rain cover, this unit deserves a 5 thumbs up!

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Learn more by visiting the Gideon GD-DWT-01 Dual-valve Hose Water Timer page.

 

Orbit Single Outlet Programmable Hose Faucet Timer, E-Commerce Packaging

This is the most inexpensive high-quality water timer available that is worthy of a second…or third…look.

NOTE:  The words, “E-Commerce Packaging”, in the title just refer to the fact that the shipper has re-packaged the water timer for ease of online distribution.  The unit, itself, is the same…with the same instructions and warranty.

This Orbit water timer contains all the basic programmable functions necessary for successful water distribution in your garden:

  • Large digital display, oversized dial, and simple controls.
  • Fast and easy programming.
  • A manual override for rain delays and manual watering.
  • Heavy duty weatherproof construction.
  • Individual water session run time up to 4 hours.
  • 7-day programming.

There were reports of internal water leaks within the unit.  But, on closer examination, the leaks were actually caused by a loose tubing connection inside the unit making a repair simple and easy.

Based on cost, simplicity, durability, and reliability, this little unit gets a commanding 5 thumbs up!

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You won’t go wrong to spend some time checking out the Orbit Single Outlet Programmable Hose Faucet Timer, E-Commerce Packaging.

 

After putting together these water timer reviews, I have to admit that my #1 favorite is the Rain Bird 1ZEHTMR… but, the Orbit Single Outlet Programmable Hose Faucet Timer, is a very close 2nd place.

Give me your comments on the water timers reviewed here.  You may also email me: jim@perfect-vegetable-garden.com.

 

Jim, the Lifelong Gardener

2 thoughts on “Water Timer Reviews

  1. Robert Reply

    Very informative and interesting article. I was sorry to hear that the Rainbird had trouble in temps over 105 degrees.

    I live in southern Arizona where it gets quite hot during the summer. Will the other timers you reviewed work in hot temps?

    Will they work for pop-up sprinklers? Thanks for sharing.

    • Jim Reply

      Hi Robert,

      110 degrees F is the actual working temperature upper limit due to possible damage to the LCD display…which does not function well above that temperature…especially in direct sunlight.  And, actually, direct sunlight is not good for any LCD display…at any temperature.

      This is a common working temperature limit for all LCD displays…especially battery-operated timers.

      Thus, to avoid the LCD issue, I try to keep my Rain Bird timer in the shade or, at least place a bucket over it for shading.  Then, if and when the air temperature gets into the 100s, the timer is still protected for the most part.

      Jim

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