Top 8 Best Water Timers – Detailed Reviews & Comparisons For 2017
Best Water Timer Reviewed
Water timers are an absolute gift to busy gardeners. Some of you probably enjoy hand-watering plants but, nothing beats the relief you get while you are away for several days knowing that your plants are still in good shape, under the care of a water timer.
You can agree with us that watering your garden will keep it looking fresh and beautiful through summer, yet the job is not always an exciting one. Dragging your garden hose and watering your garden once a week, doesn’t seem much of a chore but imagine doing it every other day. Even more, like twice a day or even up to 4 times a day. Do you even have all the time?
That’s where water timers come in to help you water your garden even when you on holiday. Yes, the best garden water timer will water your plants in a specific set routine making sure your plants are hydrated whenever appropriate and some even have rain sensors.
We understand there are so many water timer models out there, the question is, which ones are the best? We’ve done our homework and came up with 8 models which you’ll find in our product reviews. Before then, let’s first give you a glimpse of our best model and teach you on how to choose the best garden water timer.
Garden Water Timer Buyer’s Guide
Water timers come in a range of configurations and it can be confusing when trying to select one.
A great place to start is to understand what to look for in a water timer.
Know your garden
- Even before stepping foot in a retail store or ordering online, understand your watering needs first. Do you want a sprinkler to give a regular dose to a large lawn? Perhaps you want your flower beds or pots to get a good soaking once a day?
You need to answer these questions by taking a look at your garden and know what needs water and when. Perhaps you’ve been watering your lawn or plants using a garden hose or watering can and you already familiar with your garden’s needs. Understanding your garden’s needs will help you choose the most suitable timer that conforms with will match watering routine.
- Different water timers have different water cycles you can set per day. Most water times tend to have between 4 to 6 cycles a day. Some have more than 10 cycles. Understanding how many times you want your unit to switch on and water your lawn is crucial in deciding your ideal model. If you plan to water your lawn in early morning, during the day and evening, you may go for a model with many watering times as you’ll need it working quite often.
- There are some advanced models of water timers that allow you to set different run times and patterns for different areas of your garden. For instance, you may want your yard watered only once a day but your flower beds watered four times.
Finding a timer that can allow you to set different zones can help solve this puzzle. You’ll be able to select different settings for your lawn and another area that doesn’t need much watering and avoid starving one part of your garden or avoid water logging the other.
Analog or Digital Operation
- If your garden needs only one watering unit, once or may be twice a day, then an analog system will be the easiest and cheapest option. These devices are usually controlled by a clockwork mechanism and they have little chances of breaking down. Digital models are a bit complex but are usually easy to operate with straightforward instructions. A digital model will allow you to set the exact watering frequency and duration, and create a specific watering routine.
- Your garden water timer will likely be vulnerable to outdoor elements and it needs to withstand them. The best garden water timer ought to be hardwearing as it will be exposed to sunshine, frost, and rain, unless your timer is inside an outbuilding or a shed. Make sure to check the construction of the unit to be certain it can stand up to elements.
- Generally, the best garden water timer saves you water. This comes in handy especially if you live in areas experienced with hose pipe bans. If you pay your water bill depending on how much water you use, a timed watering system will be ideal. It makes sure your flower beds get the right amount of water and the appropriate time without a drop going to waste.
Imagine when watering your plants using a hose and you have to move with it all around your home. Then the hose drops and you have to go all the way back to the tap to turn off the water. Think of how much water is wasted within the time. With a water timer, you can adjust the amount of water your lawn gets to achieve the optimum amount without wasting the natural resource.
- Rain delay - most water timers integrate the rain delay feature which can interrupt the set patterns and stop the flow of water for given intervals (24 hours, 48 hours or 72 hours). This is especially handy when it rains.
- Manual selection - in line with the ability to set the start time, frequency, duration and finish time, make certain that your water timer model has manual selections.
- Advanced Programming - if you want the ability to set schedules over several days a week, such as water on the every 2nd, 3rd, or on specific days, find a model with such functionality. On the other hand if you want a basic water timer, then this feature might be less important and save you some money.
- Warranty - most good water timers usually comes with a warranty of years of use. A warranty usually implies that the manufacturer has enough confidence in their product to guantee it should at least last the time of the warranty. Should something go wrong, you have the option to return it for a replacement or refund.
- Battery status indicator - the best electric water timer incorporate a low battery indicator which basically informs on the status of the remaining battery life.
OUR TOP 8
WATER TIMER REVIEWS
Now that you understand what to look for in water timers, here’s a rundown of our top picks beginning with our best water timer then following 7 water timers we feel are worth investing in.
Darlac Electronic Water Timer Review
**OUR BEST PICK**
- Easy 2 dial operation for simple and easy setup and use.
- Low battery indicator so you never get caught out with a flat battery and worst, dead plants through lack of water.
- Includes a timer delay function.
- Can Operates on gravity flow systems making it perfect for anyone who collects water in water butts.
- Uses 2 x AAA batteries.
- Includes 1 year warranty.
The Darlac Electronic Water Timer features two front dials for setting the watering frequency and the duration of watering. The dial operation is relatively straightforward; the left dial sets the frequency while the right dial sets the duration. You have the option of setting the frequency of watering from a few times per day to a few times a week. It’s also possible to set the watering duration from 1 – 120 minutes. The dial that sets the duration is also the one that turns on and off the unit.
Attaching this water time to a tap is simple. Simply push the hose onto the fitting at the bottom of the timer. We recommend that you do not tighten it too much to the tap fittings. The front of the dial features a protective plastic seal that prevents water from entering the unit.
The Darlac water timer operates on two AAA batteries which you have to buy separately so don't forget to add them to your order when ordering to avoid setup delay. To access the battery compartment, simply press down on a panel on the face of the timer then insert the batteries. There’s a low battery light which gives a flash on the front of the unit when the battery becomes low and depleted.
One interesting attribute of the Darlac water timer is that it can be used with water butts and does not need mains water pressure. It connects to any garden tap with a screw thread. The timer has two nuts that require tightening up; one nut screws onto the top of the unit while the other on the thread of the tap.
You can also buy the unit as a standalone without accessories such as drippers or hose.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- Lacks a built in clock which means you have to set it up at the time you want it to open, no too much of a problem for most gardeners though.
Our recommendation - The Darlac Electronic Water Timer is a high-quality water timer which is adequate for the job.
It’s easy to set up and use, feels sturdy, good weather cover and have basic control timers, ideal for almost every gardeners.
The kind of versatility it offers in terms of operation is why we picked it as our 'Best Water Timer'. It also comes with 1-year warranty which is great news and at under £30 you will struggle to find a better water timer at this price, brilliant peace of kit.
Hozelock Sensor Controller Plus Review
**BEST FOR SCHEFULED WATERING **
- Tap mounted watering controller.
- Variable watering time.
- Automatically waters everyday at sunrise and sunset.
- Day light sensor.
- Easy to install.
- Requires 2 x AA batteries.
If you ask most gardeners their most preferable watering times, a majority will say at sunrise and sunset. The reason is because they’ve learned scientifically that these are the best times to reduce evaporation and leaf burn, yet these times are not always convenient for DIYs.
The Hozelock Sensor Controller Plus has been designed with these aspects in mind as it features a day light sensor which auto adjusts your watering schedule to commence everyday at sunrise and sunset. This sensor needs no programming at all; it auto changes the start times to concur with sunrise and sunset times of different seasons. The Sensor Controller also allows you to choose from 2, 5, 10, 20, 30 or 60 minutes. It’s also easy to adjust whenever you need to respond to varying weather conditions even without going back to the instruction booklet.
While the Hozelock watering pattern runs every day, the Hozelock Sensor Plus lets you water conveniently once or twice a day, once a week, daily, after every 2 or 3 days, or simply how you choose. Nonetheless, you don’t have to stick to such automatic plans. The Water Now button allows you to switch on the water anytime which can run up to 60 minutes or you can press again to run the water for shorter durations.
The Hozelock Sensor Controller Plus uses 2AA batteries of which the unit comes without. Set up is so easy, simply insert the batteries and choose the appropriate watering schedule from the dial. There’s a battery status that does just that with LED lights indicating the strength of the battery life. There’s even a built in safety feature which detects when the battery has dropped to levels that may fail while the watering schedule is running.
This water timer comes with three options of adaptors – 21mm, 26.5mm or 33.3mm - to help you connect to your garden tap. The unique ball valve element makes the Hazelock Sensor Controller quite versatile as it can be used with up to 10 Bar garden sprinklers, 0.1Bar Water Butts or even 1.5Bar low pressure micro irrigation watering.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- The Hozelock Sensor Controller Plus is noisy when running and some user have reported issues with reliability.
Our recommendation - The Hozelock Sensor Controller Plus gives you the convenience of setting watering patterns to suit your needs.
It’s easy to set up and operate without having to refer to the instruction manual now and then.
If you are one of those gardeners who prefer to water their plants at scheduled plans, we recommend the Hozelock Sensor Controller Plus.
Orbit 94148 “Buddy II” Two-Port Digital Tap Timer Review
**BEST FOR WATERING 2 AREAS THAT HAVE DIFFERENT WATERING REQUIREMENTS**
- Large LCD display which is easy to read.
- Simple controls for fast and easy programming.
- Adjustable watering duration.
- Rain delay.
- Built in diaphragm valve for long lasting and improved performance.
- Digital tap timer.
- 2 Year warranty for extra pace of mind.
The Orbit 94148 is a digital water timer equipped with two timed outlets which water your garden when you are away, conserves water, avoids over watering and never forgets to water. In case you want to water outside the preset programmes, there’s a manual override button that allows you to water anytime without interfering with the preset patterns.
This water timer has a large LCD screen, oversized dial, and easy controls that make programming a breeze. You can set the watering duration from 1 to 240 minutes, for every 6 hours, 12 hours or anywhere from 1 to 7 days. Along these lines, there’s the rain delay option that allows postponing the operation for 1, 2 or 3 days without interrupting the preset patterns.
The Buddy II apears well built to stand the outdoor harsh conditions. The body is water-resistant so you can stay assured on several years of reliable service.
The built in diaphragm valve is also useful for improved and long lasting performance. This water timer requires 2AA batteries to operate of which you have to buy.
We didn’t notice if there’s a battery status indicator but the Buddy II consumes power reasonably and other users have reported a good set of quality batteries lasting around 18 months.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- Some users have reported that the Buddy II starts to leak after a few years of use and sometimes fills the battery compartment. We can only hope that it’s waterproof enough.
Our recommendation - The Buddy II water timer is well built and fairly easy to operate.
We find it the perfect solution for watering in a greenhouse all year round, we really like the two port operation, this would be perfect for anyone who has more than one area to water that require different watering times and intervals.
At under £50 its a great product and with 2 years warranty you have real peace of mind,? An excellent choice for anyone looking for a model that a little more advanced and has more watering options.
It does a lack a low battery ?light but with reports of batteries lasting over 18 months, you would be best changing the batteries once a year.
Overall a great product and its easy to see why this model so popular.
Orbit 94162 Buddy Single-Port Digital Tap Timer Review
**BEST PICK ALTERNATIVE**
MORE ADVANCED WATER TIMES
- Large LCD screen which is easy to read.
- Oversized dial for easy programming.
- Watering duration from 1 to 240 minutes.
- Rain delay option.
- Built in diaphragm valve for long lasting and upgraded performance.
- Water-resistance construction.
The Orbit 94162 comes with one port and ready to water your plants when you are on holiday. This water timer runs efficiently without letting excess water into your yard. It has an oversized dial which allows easy programming, letting you choose runtimes from 1 to 240 minutes. You can set it for every 6 hours, 12 hours or from 1 to 7 days. The LCD screen is quite large and you’ll find it easy to read the settings you are inserting, perfect for anyone who's eyesight is not what it used to be.
Setting up this timer is incredibly easy even without reading the instructions. After inserting the 2AA batteries, set up the current time then program when you want it to water. Follow that up with how long you want the water to run, from 1 minute up to 4 hours. Then say how often you want the unit to operate, from every 6 hours, 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours or just once a week. There’s even a rain delay option that allows you to postpone operation in different times without interfering with the preset programmes.
The Buddy Single-Port features a robust design with a built in diaphragm valve for long lasting and upgraded performance. The water-resistance construction means this water timer can stand up to external elements for years of use.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- This Orbit model lacks a battery level indicator so you’ll never know when the battery runs low. This might also be risky especially when you are away for long periods. Other user have reported that the battery last around 18 months so it would be a good idea to change the batteries once a year.
Our recommendation - The Orbit 94162 Buddy Single-Port Digital Tap Timer is super easy to set with a large clear display and dial.
The lack of a battery indicator means you have to keep watch of this water timer over certain periods of time. In any case, it performs great and would be a great alternative to our 'Best Pick' for anyone looking for a model that is a little more advanced, with the added benefit of more watering options.
This was actually nearly our 'Best pick'? but we felt, it might be a little to advanced for most users, however its a great model and deserves its place on our list.
Hozelock Simple Water Timer
**BEST BUDGET MODEL**
- Simple to use.
- 13 pre-set programs.
- Easy setup.
- Up to 4 times per day watering schedule.
- Universal male connector at the bottom for easy connection.
- Operates with 2AA batteries.
This electronic water timer lets you automatically set your pattern to water your plants when you want and for your desired duration. You can set the unit using the simple pre-loaded programs (13 in total) or you can create your own schedule to best suit your garden’s needs. The watering durations can be set from once per week or up to 4 times per day. There are also 5 once a day options boosted by 8 pre-set schedules giving a variety of watering schedules.
The Hozelock Simple Water Timer is easy to set up by simply attaching to your outdoor tap with the built in connector. At the bottom it has a universal male connector for easy connection. The timer tap connector size comes in ½ inch, ¾ inch and 1-inch options. This water timer is a no-brainer for those who forget to turn the water off as it has an auto max runtime to prevent overwatering.
To operate this electronic water timer, insert 2AA batteries into the battery compartment. The unit will turn on immediately then you can dial your settings. There’s also an instruction leaflet in the box which is useful on set up, maintenance and safety precautions. The leaflet can also be downloaded from Hozelock’s website in case you lose the hard copy which is always handy.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- Hozelock Simple Water Timer is not the most durable model we reviewed. Most of these models start to leak after one year of use or so. The quality of the product is questionable. It also lacks a battery indicator.
Our recommendation - With 13 pre-set programs, this water timer gives a wide range of watering options for the hobby gardeners.
It perfectly does its job but you can’t be sure about its durability and reliability, however its worth noting that this mode is currently the best selling water timer on Amazon.co.uk with well over 500 reviews alone.
A great model overall which we would recommend to anyone, looking a a good budget model for simple watering tasks.
Gardena Easy Control Water Timer
**Perfect accessory for beginners**
- Large display.
- Up to 3 watering cycles per day.
- Perfect starter model.
- Watering days can be set.
The Gardena Easy Control water timer is the perfect tool for garden irrigation. Featuring the GARDENA Water Computer, the timer irrigates your garden reliably and conveniently even when you are away on holiday. With the automatic and time-saving irrigation, you get more free time for other activities yet have a beautiful, green garden and healthy plants.
Programming this water timer is quite simple. By removing the control panel, you can set the irrigation frequency, duration and start using the appropriate button. Basically there are four keys with distinct functions; frequency, watering duration, start time pre-selection and confirmation.
There are up to 3 watering cycles per day. The watering frequency is in every 24 hours, every 48 hours, or every 3rd or 7th day while the duration can be set from 2 minutes to 1 hour. Your settings are shown on the full display at a glance and this way you have complete control of your garden irrigation system.
The water-saving operation of this timer is another interesting feature. By connecting the GARDENA Rain or Soil Moisture Sensor, you can interrupt the auto irrigation depending on natural rain and soil moisture, thus saving water. There’s also a battery indicator that will let you know the time to replace your battery which ensures reliable operation. For information, the timer uses a 9V alkaline battery which is not included in delivery to make sure you have one ready or order one when ordering the water timer.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- It lacks a built in clock. This means if you need it to start at any given time of the day, then you have to program at that given time.
Our recommendation - The Gardena Easy Contol Water Timer is simple to use thanks to the easy dialing and straightforward water computer.
We find it the perfect accessory for beginners for the kind of simplicity if offers.
Kingfisher Electronic Water Timer
**PERFECT FOR HOLIDAY WATERING**
- Easy to program.
- Up to 24 controlled watering cycles per day.
- Compatible with almost every hose fitting.
- Requires 2AAA batteries.
This water timer from Kingfisher is the cheapest model in our reviews and will serve you well if you are on a budget. The timer can be set to start and stop operating at any time of the day or night and is capable of running up to 24 watering cycles a day.
There are two dial buttons for easy programming. The left dial sets the frequency ranging from 1 hour, 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours or 1 week. The right button sets the run time from 1 minute to 129 minutes while it’s also the button that turns the timer on/off. Keep in mind that you have to start the timer at the required time, for instance, if you want it to start at 6.00 pm, you must activate it at 6.00 pm.
When connecting the unit to your garden tap, we recommend putting a few layers of the plumbers tape around the thread of the tap first to ensure a tight seal. The Kingfisher Electronic Water Timer runs on 2AAA batteries and inserting them into the battery compartment is straightforward. There’s no low battery indicator though so you’ll have to be keen on when to replace depleted batteries.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- Durability of this water timer is questionable plus it’s a bit noisy.
Our recommendation - The Kingfisher Electronic Water Timer is good but we don’t think it can stand as the only reliable timer in your garden.
We recommend it to be used as a backup timer or for short periods of time, not more than one season. In any case, it has great features that you’ll need in the best electric water timer. This model is also currently a Amazon 'Best Seller' with over 500 reviews.
Overall a cheap model at well under £20, perfect for anyone looking for a backup model or a cheap model to use while on holiday for week or two.
Hozelock Cloud Controller Kit
**BEST FOR WATERING FROM ANYWHERE, ANYTIME**
- Compatible with the Smartphone App so you can control it from your phone.
- Easy to use App ensures you all ways have control over your watering.
- Easy setup without programming skills.
- App gives weather updates so you can plan ahead of time.
Our list cannot be complete without the Hozelock Cloud Controller Kit. This water timer allows you to control your garden watering from anywhere around the world with a Smartphone App that is compatible with both IOS and Android operating systems. Nothing beats the ability to remotely program your ideal watering schedules and come home to a lush, beautiful garden.
The App even gives weather updates on the local weather information and alerts you on the changing weather conditions. This is important for you to know when to set the runtime while you are away on holiday plus you can make amendments to your watering schedules. If weather is forecast, you can pause for up to 14 days and this helps you to save water. If it gets hot on the other hand, you can use the adjust function to increase the watering rate by 50% up to 14 days with an easy swap of the App.
To water your garden out of your schedule, the App has the Water Now feature that can turn on watering up to 60 minutes. If you are within your garden, you can use the Water Now button on the unit to set a watering duration of 10, 30 or 60 minutes depending on your needs. For shorter periods within the Water Now operation, simply press the button again to cancel the selected time.
This water timer operates in conjunction with the Hozelock’s Cloud Controller Hub which comes included in the kit. The Hub connects directly to a router (not included) to offer a secure system that does not call for a complex pairing process. The Hub then links to your outdoor remote tap which can be placed up to 50m away. It’s worth mentioning that the Hub can support up to 4 remote taps from different parts of your garden.
The Cloud Controller has built in safety feature which detects when the battery life fall to levels that could fail while the unit is running. There’s an LED light that will flash red when the batteries need replacement. To check the battery status at any given time, three LED lights illuminate to show the strength of the remaining battery upon pressing the battery indicator button.
When it comes to versatility, the Cloud Controller unit can be used with Garden Sprinklers up to 10 Bar, Water Butts – 0.1 Bar and low pressure micro irrigation watering – 1.5 Bar.
Possible concerns to be aware of:
- This water timer consumes battery power real quick meaning it needs frequent battery replacement. It is also expensive to buy and needs real commitment.
Our recommendation - If you are a mobile gardener, the Hozelock Cloud Controller water timer is ideal for you.
The App will be quite useful for you to monitor your watering schedules no matter where you are on the planet.
Regardless of the hefty price, this is the best digital tap timer on the market. A brilliant piece of kit that has been well though out, turn the water on from anywhere, anytime, absolutely brilliant.
If your looking for a very high tech water timer, this is for you. If it was not for the expensive price tag and that fact that not every bodies needs such features, this would be our Best Pick.?
Unless you are a stay-at-home person and you have the time to hand-water your garden, it’s clear that a water timer comes in handy.
These devices will ensure your garden stays bright and healthy-looking throughout the year. Get a water timer now and stay out on holiday without worrying about your plants back home.
Our Best Pick
The Darlac Electronic Water Timer is our Best Pick and is an excellent piece for when you are away on holiday or looking to water your garden hands off.
Unlike most other timers, the Darlac can be used on both garden taps and water butts. There are two dials that set the watering frequency and duration so its super simple to use.
The battery indicator completes the user friendliness of this timer as you won’t be caught unaware when the battery runs out.
At less than £30, this water timer is quite affordable. It’s solidly built and we hope it serves for several years. The only real downside is that the warranty is only valid for one year.
Our Best Beginners Water Timer
Beginners usually have a tricky time familiarizing with new devices and so we found the Gardena Easy Control Water Timer suitable for starters.
The large display allows you to view your settings at a glance, giving you total control of the unit. It’s easy to select the watering frequency, duration, and start the unit with the respective button.
A low battery indicator lets you know when the battery needs to be replaced. It couldn’t get any simpler for starters than this Gardena model plus there extras you can add to your system such as soil moisture sensors should you wish.