Last updated on May 4th, 2021
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A smart water timer is the crown jewel in any irrigation system. If you’ve taken the time and effort to construct an extensive irrigation system to give all your garden plants and trees just the right amount of water, you’ve probably installed a timer so that they’re watered at just the right time(s) of day. But what do you do when the predicted weather changes and you’re away from home?. You can’t change the watering schedule from a beach in Spain unless it’s possible to pick up your smartphone and run an app to do so. The wifi smart water timers we review here all let you do this – control these timers from anywhere, at any time, you have smartphone service.
We review the Best Smart Water Timers, listing their pros and cons. All the models in this review are wireless. In discussing their outstanding features, we identify the best uses of each timer. Our Buyer’s Guide goes more into detail about the key points that the best wireless water timers have in common.
Our Best Smart Water Timer is the LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter. This water timer has enough timing options for even the most complex watering timetable. Not only does it notify you of the status of the watering sessions in real-time, it detects any faults with the timer system itself and sends you push notifications of these.
Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller is the Runner-up in our review. This is a more affordable model than the Best Pick but is only for Apple iOS users. It has fewer scheduling options but as the schedules are stored within the timer itself, it still waters your garden as programmed if your wifi or Internet connection goes down.
If you’re creating a Smart Home or just want the smartest wireless water timer we found, the LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter is the one for you. It's probably the best choice for most people as its easy to use and compatible with most devices
If you’re building an Apple smart home, this is the timer to consider adding into your HomeKit setup.
Top 4 Smart Water Timers and Controller Reviews
1. LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter
The LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter is the next generation of the well-received LinkTap G1 wireless water timer. Instead of Bluetooth, it uses the lower-energy and hence lower-cost Zigbee communications protocol which most people have never heard of. Zigbee is said to have twice the range of regular wifi so it’s much more reliable. This G2 timer comes with the Gateway you need for the timer to talk to your Internet router.
Setting up simple or complex watering schedules is straightforward with the Linktap G2 water timer. First of all, select the app on your mobile device or smart phone (Apple or Android). If you prefer talking to typing, use Alexa or Google Assistant to do the task for you.
There are six watering modes to choose from: instant mode to stop and start watering immediately; calendar mode lets you water on specific dates; month mode sets particular days on specified months; interval mode sets the number of days between sessions; odd/even days waters on odd or even dates; and seven-day mode lets you set a weekly schedule.
Plus add in the duration of the watering sessions from 1 minute to 24 hours minus 1 minute. And up to 100 watering cycles per day. It’s easy to get bogged down in unnecessarily complex watering timetables with all these choices, so please exercise restraint. Choose the schedule that’s best for your garden in the predicted weather; remember the goal of using the timer is also to conserve water as well as for convenience.
But setting up your watering session is not all that the Linktap G2 timer does. It constantly scans its own system for problems. If there’s valve failure, if the timer has fallen off its perch or if the water’s been cut-off if informs you, on the alternate e-mail addresses or phone numbers, in real-time about this. It also sends real-time updates about the watering status, water flow and usage and the rain skip feature.
With all this functionality and communication ability, many online reviewers wonder why the Linktap G2 wireless water timer doesn’t have a manual watering button on the actual timer. Even if you’re standing right next to the timer box, you must use the app to choose to water your garden immediately. Not only is this an inconvenience but if your software fails, you can’t use the timer manually. However, this is not a problem you will probably need to worry about.
- Weatherproof wireless smart water timer lets you schedule your watering sessions from anywhere at any time to suit the weather.
- Controlled remotely through your smartphone, mobile device, Alexa or Google Assistant for setting for ultimate convenience.
- Uses Zigbee communication protocol that’s simpler and more reliable than using Bluetooth or Wifi.
- App (mobile and web) lets you view 90 days’ worth of flow rate, water usage and water cost so you can modify your watering schedule to fit your budget.
- Six watering modes give you flexibility in setting up your schedule, including scheduling by specified calendar days, days within specified months and days by intervals.
- Rain Skip Watering mode lets you skip your scheduled watering sessions if it has rained or is forecast to rain in a specified future period.
- Automatic detection of equipment problems in real-time gives you peace of mind when you’re not at home.
- Real-time push notifications for watering status and equipment failures sent out to your mobile device.
- Flow rate is a minimum of 32L/min but depends also on water pressure and the size of the pipe.
- Two-minute assembly using the instructions in the product box.
- Two-year warranty and two years of 4AA battery life let you rest easy.
- No manual override button on the actual unit for immediate watering.
The LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter is the most fully-featured of the wireless water timers in our review. From using the Zigbee communications protocol to providing its own system diagnostics as well as a multitude of scheduling options, this is a wifi timer that covers it all. Real-time push notifications let you know just what’s going on, good and bad, with this timer and your irrigation system.
The LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter is our Best Pick of the smart water timers in our review. We like (almost) everything about it, especially that it integrates with the Alexa and Google Assistant smart home systems.
If you’re building up an Internet of Things in your home, or just want the best really smart water timer for your irrigation system, this is the one for you. If we had to recommend just one model, this would be it.
Read next: Best watering timers to automate watering
2. Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller
The Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller works well with all irrigation systems as it’s compatible with all popular garden hose sizes and connections. However, it works only with Apple iOS products – iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Apple HomeKit. Please check out one of our other wifi timers if you’re an Android user, better still consider our best pick.
The Eva Aqua is part of the Eva range of smart products that work together to create a smart home. You control the Eva Aqua through its app, by typing or by talking to Siri, whichever you prefer. The sleek-looking timer is weatherproof and resistant to UV rays so it sits comfortably on your outside tap.
Your scheduling options allow you to set up to seven watering periods per day. Version 3.8 (new as of November 2020) of the Eve app gives you the ability to set six different watering zones (with their own schedules) if you have the Gardena Automatic Water Distributor. This takes in water through one inlet and splits it into six outlets. Keep plants in separate garden zones that are on different watering timetables healthy and robust.
To access the Eva Aqua – for set-up and changing the schedules – you need a hub, which isn’t included in your purchase. For this, a HomePod or an Apple TV with tvOS 13.4 or later is needed. However, once you’ve programmed the Eva Aqua, it doesn’t need to have an Internet connection any more, unless you want to change something. The schedules are stored directly on the timer. This autonomous operation is really useful as, if your Internet goes down or something bad happens to the app, your watering schedules aren’t affected.
The manual override button on the timer itself lets you water your garden immediately without affecting the programming which our best pick cannot do. Plus, there’s a child lock that stops little ones from turning on the water to the sprinklers to play in in hot days.
- Smart water timer for your irrigation system if you’re an Apple user as there’s no Android version.
- Uses low-energy Bluetooth to communicate with the Internet to help your energy bills.
- Set schedules of up to seven watering periods per day through the Eve app to suit the changing weather.
- Autonomous operation once schedules are set that doesn’t need an Internet connection to run.
- Auto shut-off prevents wasting water and flooding, saving on your water bill.
- Compatible with all well-known hose systems so you won’t have to buy a special connector.
- Button on the timer lets you operate it manually to water right now, so you don’t have to go through the app on your phone.
- Childproof lock stops your little ones from turning on the watering system to play in the sprinkler.
- Needs two AA batteries.
- Need to purchase a hub – HomePod or Apple TV – to control this timer.
If you’re already invested in an Apple smart home through the Apple HomeKit or have an Apple TV, then the Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller fits right in. The watering schedule options, plus the additional ability in the app (plus an extra product) to water different garden zones on their own schedules, lets you build a complex and demanding irrigation system. Once programmed, the Eve smart timer works in the farthest reaches of your garden if you have a tap there as it doesn’t need to be close to a wifi source.
The Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller is the Runner-up in our review of the best wifi water timers. We like that it’s part of a smart home series of products for Apple iOS enthusiasts and that it’s not dependent on being near an Internet connection for use once it’s programmed.
If you’re building up a Smart Home with Apple HomeKit or use the Apple HomePod, the Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller fits right into your plan.
3. GARDENA smart Water Control
The GARDENA Smart Water Control reflects the brand’s 50 years of experience in manufacturing premium garden watering products. This water timer is one of the products in the Garden Smart Set that enables you to create an interconnected smart environment in your garden. The smart Gateway, which connects these smart garden products together and to the Internet, isn’t included in your purchase. If you don’t already have a smart Gateway, purchase the GARDENA Smart Water Control Set instead for both products.
Access this smart water control through your phone, iOS or Android, using the Gardena app, or your tablet or laptop using the website. The scheduling options include durations from one minute to ten hours and up to 36 watering sessions per day, plus your choice of days of the week. This allows you to create very well-defined watering periods for your more delicate and vulnerable plants.
As well as on the app, you can check the status of the system on the timer box itself. The LED screen on the front of the timer shows, at the touch of a button, the status of watering, the wifi signal strength and the battery status. Perhaps make a habit of checking this essential information regularly on your trips to the garden if you don’t use your phone too often.
A useful feature of this GARDENA smart timer towards the end of the growing season is the temperature sensor. The sensor keeps an eye on falling temperatures and you’re notified through the app when frost is on the way. This gives you a prior warning to start shutting down your garden before your plants are hit by overnight cold temperatures and unnecessarily harmed.
- Fits into the Gardena Smart Set System which controls this and all the other Smart Gardena appliances in your Gardena.
- Gardena Smart App receives all the data from the timer and displays it for you.
- Scheduling options that include multiple watering cycles per day for closely controlled watering periods.
- Integrated temperature sensor notifies you if frost is likely so you can protect your vulnerable plants overnight.
- The LED screen on the face of the timer displays the irrigation status, the signal strength and the battery status, all issues necessary for the successful operation of the irrigation system.
- Uses three AA batteries.
- Need to already have the GARDENA smart Gateway or purchase the set.
- Unclear whether the app stores historical water usage data.
The GARDENA smart Water Control is an add-on product to an existing GARDENA Garden smart Set network. If this is your first GARDENA smart Set product, buy the smart Water Control set that also has the smart Gateway that is the controller for the network. The water timer works with both iPhones and Android phones as well as through your computer or laptop. The scheduling options aren’t as extensive as those of our Best Pick but are enough to set up quite a complex watering timetable. The temperature sensor usefully tells you when frost is on the way so you can start to prepare your garden for the winter season.
If you’re a fan of GARDENA products or already have a Gardena Garden smart Set in the making, this is the right wifi water timer for you.
Read next: How to setup a automatic watering system
4. Hozelock Cloud Controller & Hub
The Hozelock Cloud Controller & Hub comes from a manufacturer who’s well respected for their garden equipment but we do feel its not quite as good as the other systems we have looked at but it’s still worth considering.
Despite its name, this is a wireless water timer that works with a variety of irrigation equipment – sprinklers, water butts and micro-irrigation systems including soaker hoses and drippers. The hub that connects the timer to the Internet is part of the purchase and controls up to four timers at once.
The app is reported as easy to use by online reviewers, probably a little simpler than other smart timers. The usual frequency, duration and start time options are available. Alongside them is the ability to adjust these timetables and even pause them for up to 14 days if rain is forecast. And you don’t even have to keep track of the weather forecast yourself as the software gives you push notifications about upcoming changes to the weather.
If you want to immediately water your garden, you have two ways to set this in motion. If you’re in the garden and notice that it’s dry, manually push the “Water Now” button on the timer itself; if you’re away from home, use the “Water Now” function on the app. Manually, you have the choice of 10, 30 or 60 minutes of instant watering, and via the app, your choice is in increments of one minute. You can also check the status of the battery on the timer itself.
- Smart water timer is controllable from either iPhones or Android mobile phones, so most people are covered.
- Comes with the hub that acts between your Internet router and the timer, so that’s not an additional purchase.
- Hozelock app lets you set custom watering timetables and set, pause and adjust these schedules.
- Hub supports up to four timers/taps for those with complex or varied irrigation systems in their garden.
- Suitable for use with garden sprinklers, low-pressure micro-irrigation systems and water butts irrigation.
- Manual “Water Now” button on the timer box lets you water the garden for the chosen amount of time right there and then.
- Takes two AA batteries.
- Two-year warranty for peace of mind.
The Hozelock Cloud Controller & Hub doesn’t mind what kind of irrigation system you have – sprinklers, micro-irrigation, water butts. It goes ahead and turns the water on and off as directed. The hub (included with your purchase) controls up to four timers and irrigation lines; so as long as you have four outside taps or have split your one irrigation system four ways, different zones of your garden can be watered to different schedules.
The Hozelock Cloud Controller & Hub gives you the ability to develop quite a complex irrigation system throughout your entire garden, regardless of whether you’re an iPhone or an Android phone user.
As with any appliance that incorporates apps and the Internet, buying a smart water timer is a bit more complicated than choosing a stand-alone timer. Here are some of the most important considerations to think about when deciding what you want in the smart timer for your irrigation system.
Do you already have smart garden devices?
All smart water timers need to have a hub that stands between them and your Internet router. If you already have smart garden appliances – perhaps your irrigation system, your lighting setup or a robotic lawn mower– then you already have a hub for that brand of devices. It makes sense to buy a smart timer that works with the hub you already have if it can handle another appliance and is often teh most affordable option as you just need the timer itself.
If you don’t have any current smart garden devices, then your choice is more, but not completely, open. The Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller, our Runner-up, works only on Apple iOS devices, so Android smartphone users shouldn’t buy this. This is the one smart water timers in our review that isn’t available with a hub to connect it to the Internet. Of the other three wireless timers, the GARDENA smart Water Control can be bought either as an add-on to an existing Gardena smart Garden system or as a set that includes the hub/Gateway.
How do you want to control the timer?
Obviously, smart water timers are usually controlled through your smartphone. But there are other options. Do you want to use your iPad as well? Or perhaps you rely on Alexa or Google Assistant for your home commands. If so, look for those timers that tie into your smart-home hub.
And do you want to be able to switch on the watering system manually from the timer box itself, by-passing your phone? This may seem obvious, but our Best Pick, the LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter, doesn’t let you do this. Even if you’re standing in your garden next to the timer, you still have to use the app on your phone. This is a source of discontent even among the online reviewers who gave this timer 5 out of 5 stars.
How complex a watering schedule do you want to create?
Smart water timers let you establish a watering timetable from as simple as “every day at 5 pm for one hour” to as complex as “every second day for one hour in three-hour intervals as long as it hasn’t rained more than 3mm in the last 24 hours or will rain more than 5mm in the next two days”. However, not all timers give you the same range of options. The basic elements to any schedule are start time, frequency and duration and these are always available.
Our Best Pick, the LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter, gives you the most flexibility with up to 100 watering cycles per day from 1 minute to 23 hrs 59 minutes per cycle. You have five choices of how to select the days on which watering occurs.
Some of the models we review have a rain delay option. If it’s rained recently (and sometimes you specify how much rain in how recent a period) the timer skips the next watering session. Some timers also link into the local weather forecast and, if rain is forecast, the next few watering sessions are also skipped (depending on when and how much it’s going to rain).
Read carefully what each timer offers in the way of scheduling options and think well about what your garden’s particular needs for watering are throughout the growing season. And don’t try to use all the watering choices at once.
Do you want more?
Some smart water timers give you functionality beyond controlling your watering systems. Our Best Pick performs routine checks on its own system and delivers push notifications to you if anything is going wrong with the network or the water valve, or if the device has fallen off the wall.
The built-in temperature sensor of the Gardena Smart Water Control lets you know if frost is on the way so you can immediately change your watering schedule and make plans to shut down your irrigation system for the winter season. You can also but an extra moisture sensor that you insert into the soil so it measures the soil moisture level.
What do you want your timer to tell you?
This relates mainly to the app through which you set up, control and receive information from your smart water timer. As with any technology and its associated software or app, some (often many) online reviewers have problems using the user interface of the app as well as the app not always being available. It’s a combination of the design of the app and personal taste in what the screens should look and act like.
Some of the timers in our review let you know about the water you’ve used and even the cost of that usage for a specific period of time. Others give you a status update about the planned watering session (started and then finished). Our Best Pick performs checks on the functions of the timer and notifies you in real-time if anything is going wrong. Historic data is often available for you to see how watering happens over the growing season.
Some timer boxes have lights to let you know how low the battery is or how strong the wifi signal is. Other timers have just a smooth front to the timer, and you need to access the app for all the information.
Make sure that the timer app provides you with all the information you need to rethink your watering schedules in case your original one doesn’t provide the results that you need.
In addition, it’s useful if the app sends all the status information to more than one address (phone number or email address). If you’re on holiday in Canada, it’s no use knowing that there’s something wrong with the water valve in your timer. But if your neighbour is receiving the same message, they can go and fix it for you with you needing to ask them, for example, if you have no phone signal.
The best smart water timers take all the worry about whether your garden is being watered on schedule as they tell you what’s going on as it’s happening. You can change the watering timetable via the app on your smartphone or other mobile devices wherever you are as long as you have a phone or Internet connection.
There’s also usually an option to temporarily override the programming and request that your garden is watered immediately. It’s not quite as the same as you standing in your garden with the watering hose, but then again you may be laying in the sun on a beach doing this garden task, and that can’t be bad!
The LinkTap G2 Wireless Water Timer & Gateway & Flow Meter is our choice for best wifi water timer. This works with both iPhones and with Android phones, as well as with Alexa and Google Assistant in the home. This model sends you emails about what’s going on with the watering sessions and push notifications if there’s anything wrong with the system.
Our Runner-up is the more affordable Eve Aqua Smart Water Controller. However, this is only available for Apple iOS users, so you need an iPhone. Once you’ve programmed this timer, it doesn’t need to be connected to the Internet to control your watering schedule.
If you’re not convinced that you need a smart water timer, see our Best Water Timers review for alternatives.
Last update on 2021-10-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API