Do you wish that you could save time watering your garden? Do you feel like you're not home enough to keep up with the yard work? There are ways to automate your home processes, and hose timers are one of them. A hose timer is the perfect solution for people who can't water their lawns regularly themselves.
There are many different kinds of hose timer on the market. Some water multiple areas. Some can be controlled digitally, while others are mechanical in structure. We've taken a look at some of the top models on the market. Whatever your needs, there's one on this list to suit you.
Top 5: Best Hose Timers
Best Garden Hoses
This hose timer is our top choice if you're looking for a mechanical option. Unlike a digital timer, it cannot be programmed ahead of time or connected to a smartphone. But it also doesn't need battery power, and it's a highly affordable option.
Mechanical hose timers are less complex than digital ones. This is one of the easiest models on the market to use. You simply set it like an egg timer. Once you turn the dial, the watering system will automatically shut off when the timer ends.
You can set the timing schedule to last a minimum of 15 minutes and a maximum of 120 minutes. That's enough to meet most gardening and lawn watering needs.
The oversized dial has large print that's easy to read. It also has a comfort grip. That makes it a good choice for individuals with arthritis and other joint issues. If you struggle to water your garden because it's painful, this hose timer will make the process a thousand times easier.
The comfortable grip also makes the dial easy to set when your hands are wet, muddy, or gloved. It's easier to manage than many small hose faucets.
The device is made using high-quality plastic materials. These durable components can stand up to a variety of weather conditions, and you don't have to worry about corrosion and rust.
It's easy to install the device. You simply screw the swivel handle to your existing faucet. The swivel also gives you a wider range in how you can place your hose.
If you want to use your hose manually, you can easily override the timer without having to remove it. That means you have consistent access to your faucet and hose even when the device is installed. A lot of the hassle of reinstallation is taken out of the process.
Another excellent option from Orbit, this is the best choice for people looking for a technologically advanced and fully automated hose system. The smart faucet has a WiFi hub, allowing you to connect it to your home network and program it remotely.
The goal of the product is to turn your regular faucet into a sprinkler system. You can program your settings by using a browser app on your computer, or by downloading the app to your Android or iOS device. If you want a hose timer that can be uniquely scheduled while you're on vacation, this is the option to pick.
The construction uses quality materials that are resistant to water, which helps protect the electronic components. In addition, the device uses mesh network engineering to increase the WiFi signal strength without needing to use repeaters.
You can connect the system to your outdoor faucet. The system also has automatic rain delays, so if it detects rain in the forecast, it will turn off for a period of time. In fact, this particular system has saved more than 30 billion water gallons through the rain delay technology.
The WiFi connectivity allows you to remotely program the app from anywhere with an internet or cell phone connection. If you don't have WiFi to connect to, the device also allows Bluetooth connectivity with a range of 150 feet.
There are multiple components that make up the B-hyve line. You can connect all of them to your WiFi and control them with the B-hyve app. This makes it possible to automate your entire watering system. The system is also expandable, which means that you can control multiple timers through the same app.
The device has a built-in flow meter as well. This records data about the amount of water used to wash your car, water your plants, and do other household tasks. You can also set the system to water through volume instead of time.
If you want to water your garden with time measurements, the app supports that too. You can water your garden for hours or just seconds. Because the timing is so precise, the system is good for greenhouses and hydroponics in addition to outdoor gardens.
Another vital component is the WeatherSense technology. The Smart Watering system uses information gathered through the web and the system's sensors to adjust your watering. It takes into account the slope of the terrain, the type of soil, the weather forecast, and the amount of sun versus shade the area gets.
This allows it to give your plants exactly as much water as they need every day. Not only does this prevent overwatering and underwatering, it also helps save additional resources.
Despite being one of the most technologically advanced hose timers on the market, this product is also extremely easy to install and use. The system comes ready right out of the box, so you just need to attach it to the faucet. Then you'll download the app, create an account, and program the timer.
Even the programming is easy. The app has an installation wizard who walks you through every step of the process. You'll get helpful tips and information about what each setting means. Orbit provides full user manuals and training materials at their B-hyve site.
This digital hose timer is a good choice for people who want a more heavy-duty option for their gardens. The package also comes with five filtration washers. These seal your faucet against potential leaks and breaks, and they also prevent your water from being contaminated.
In addition, this is the first option on the list that has multiple different zones. If you have different garden plants that need different levels of water, this product is super helpful. It can be programmed to water four different parts of your yard or garden with different schedules.
There are also flexible scheduling options. If need be, you can have your garden watered once every single hour of every single day. On the flip side, if your plants need a dry climate, you can schedule the machine to water them just once per week.
The automatic watering system can be programmed to water your plants for a single minute or for six straight hours. You program the exact time. That makes this a good choice for people who have highly specific watering needs.
Melnor also includes a seven-year warranty with every purchase. The product shouldn't break down or fail for years after you buy it. If it does, you can get a replacement or repair free of charge.
The power system uses two AA batteries, which aren't included in the package. However, AA batteries are common enough to be found at the grocery store.
Installing the system is simple. There is an LCD screen that displays information in large print, making it easy to schedule each of the zones by itself. Keep in mind that this particular product doesn't have an app, so you won't be able to alter the schedule remotely.
The system can work with soaker hoses, drip irrigation systems, and sprinklers. Regardless of your watering tools, the engineering can handle it. You can water your entire lawn and sprinkle your delicate flowers from the same core hub.
If the weather forecast predicts rain, or the device detects that the soil is wet, you can use the Rain Delay feature. This allows you to skip the watering cycle for a preprogrammed period of time. It can interrupt your usual cycle for a maximum of seven days.
Since the rain delay button just delays your programming, you don't have to delete or interrupt any of your initial systems. There's no hassle of deprogramming and reprogramming. After the rain delay ends, the timer automatically begins following its usual watering schedule again.
Best Expandable Hoses
This digital timer is built for use by industry professionals like hydroponics growers, greenhouse workers, and professional gardeners. You can also use it if you want a professional-level device to handle your home watering care.
The advanced schedule allows you to program an entire week of watering in advance. You can attach the device to an outdoor faucet and use it with irrigation systems, sprinklers, and soakers.
The design includes a large dial that's easy to turn. The digital screen also has large lettering, making it easy to read. You can review your scheduling and alter your plans by simply pushing a few buttons.
There are also override buttons to make certain actions easier. You can cancel or delay a watering session by up to 96 hours with one touch. It's also possible to use the system manually by pressing the "Water Now" button.
As the device waters your garden, it will tell you about the amount of time left on the current cycle and when the next cycle is scheduled for. You can run it for 6 hours per day, up to twice daily. It's also possible to attach up to five sprinklers at once.
This is our fifth recommendation for a single-outlet hose timer. It is exceptionally easy to program, and the design is reliable. Because of the advanced features, it is a little pricier than some other single-outlet timers, but the quality is worth it.
There are also multiple-outlet versions of the product that can attach multiple hoses.
Once you attach your hose, the faucet becomes a programmed sprinkler. The product has a digital display with large and easy-to-read information. You can set multiple different settings to meet your needs.
The frequency of watering can be set at times of every six hours to once per week. Whether you have a garden that needs constant watering, or you're working with succulents that barely need any moisture, this system can meet your needs.
You can also program the duration of watering. The minimum is one minute. Again, if you're in a dry environment with desert succulents, you can water them for a minute once each week to maintain them. The maximum watering time is 4 hours, great for finicky rain forest plants that need constant attention.
The durable plastic construction won't rust the same way metal will. It is also resistant to extreme weather conditions like storms and heat. You don't have to worry about the electronic components being harmed by water.
Another helpful feature is the manual watering. You can set the timer to manual mode and run it for a non-programmed session. It will automatically turn off at the end of the time period, and it won't interrupt your existing programming.
Also included is a built-in rain delay function. If it's going to rain, you can pause your programming for anywhere from 24 to 72 hours. That helps you avoid wasting water or overwatering your plants when the weather is stormy.
You can set your programming using the dial on the machine. In addition, you can connect the device to your smartphone and program it with an app. That also allows you to make changes to your programming schedule when you're out of the house, so it's perfect for vacationers and on-the-go individuals.
Best Hose Reels
The right hose timer for you will depend on your needs. You'll want to consider how much water you need to save, how often you need to water your garden, how large the area being watered is, and whether you need multiple hose lines.
Overall, we recommend the Orbit 21004 for single-outlet watering systems. You can program this machine using the dial or using a remote app on your phone. It's possible to water every 6 hours or once per week, and you can program sessions to last anywhere from 1 to 240 minutes. A rain delay and manual watering features are also included.
If you want a mechanical option, we recommend the Orbit 62034. This inexpensive hose timer can water your garden for 15 to 120 minutes at a time. Simply turn the dial. Just keep in mind that it lacks digital features like remote access and advance programming.
If you're interested in using the most advanced smart technology on the market, we recommend the Orbit B-hyve. This timer connects to your WiFi, allowing you to program the app from anywhere in the world. It also has smart sensors that adjust your watering based on external factors. Just keep in mind that it gets a little pricey if you need multiple timers.
Some people might be looking for a device that's built for multiple programs at once. If that's the case, the Melnor timer might be right for you. The digital design has four zones, allowing you to water your garden and lawn on different schedules. It also has a long warranty, so you can get repairs done if you have problems.
Frequently Asked Questions
Water waste is a big deal. It's an even bigger deal if you live in places like California, which are often affected by drought. There might even be laws and ordinances in place regarding how often you're allowed to water your lawn.
Water conservation is the law in many states and smaller communities. You'll need to adhere to certain standards. The exact requirements for water waste vary depending on the community. Some communities will have certain restricted hours in which you can water your lawn. If you aren't home during this time, you're out of luck - unless you have a hose timer.
In addition, hose timers save water even if you don't have to comply with mandatory conservation laws. When you carry a bucket or watering can from place to place, water droplets can spill out. You might also overwater your garden or water it too frequently.
When you combine your hose timer with a drip irrigation system, you can save every droplet of water. You'll never use more water than you need to, you can comply with local regulations, and you won't have leaks or splashes.
The short answer is: yes! Many gardeners have a variety of plants in their garden. Some might need more moisture than others. There are several types of plant that can die if they get too much water. So you might want to configure your hose to water certain plants with more frequency than others.
When you use your garden hose or watering can to water your plants, you're watering from the top. That causes moisture to be caught on the leaves and stems. In addition to preventing water from reaching the roots, that can lead to certain plant diseases.
Hose timers, on the other hand, water from the ground itself. This keeps the tops of your plants dry when need be, but it also nourishes them under the ground.
If your timer has several outlets, you can place one hose in each different growing area. Group your plants by how much water they need. You can set the hose timer to automate the rest. Every plant will get the ideal amount of water thanks to the programmable scheduling.
The biggest reason to use a hose timer is because it's convenient and simple. Even if you don't spend a lot of time gardening or doing yard work, it saves you a ton of time on outdoor maintenance. You don't have to worry about pointing your hose at your yard to keep it from turning brown.
In addition, hose timers are automatic systems. That means they keep working even when you aren't home. If you often take long business trips or vacations, an automated timer system will keep your lawn from dying while you're away.
Another benefit for gardeners is that you can schedule the timer in very specific ways. If your plants need a certain amount of water, you can program that in. If they need to be watered several times a day, or just once a week, you can program that too.
This takes all of the hassle and worry out of watering your garden. You don't have to make any complicated schedules or habits.
Some advanced timers can even be connected to your smartphone through the internet. You can use the manufacturer's app to program them from a distance. If you only want to water your lawn intermittently when you're away on vacation, a remote timer app is a great way to do that.
There are dozens of different timer systems on the market. Many are made to suit a variety of purposes. The right one for you will vary depending on your exact needs. But these are a few features to keep in mind as you shop around.
One feature to consider is whether the hose has multiple outlets. This is a great choice for people who need to water different plants on different schedules. It also works well if you want to water your garden and lawn separately.
With multiple outlets, you can attach multiple lengths of hose to the timer. Each outlet can be individually programmed to adhere to a different schedule and amount of water. You can also use this type of hose timer to water a large lawn, since a single timer might not be large enough to meet your needs.
Another feature to consider is the watering duration. You can change the duration of the watering sessions, but it's easier with some devices than others. With mechanical systems, you turn a dial to start the session. With digital models, you can program exact watering sessions.
Mechanical dials will let you turn to a certain length of time and then shut off at the end of the cycle. The majority of these models will only water for 120 minutes at a time at maximum. Since they are mechanical, you need to start the session yourself. Digital models can water for longer.
In digital models, you might look for systems with a rain delay feature. If you notice that it's going to rain, you don't need to use your home timer. When a model has a rain delay feature, you can simply press a rain delay button and tell the program how many days it should stay off for.
Another feature is waterproof materials. You might think that all hose timers would automatically be made with waterproof materials, but that isn't the case. Cheap models can fray and leak. In digital models, that can damage or ruin the entire unit.
It's also important to make sure that the control panel and battery storage themselves are waterproof. You should never have water leaking into any electrical components of your hose timer. Units made of durable plastic and metal tend to stand up better to wear and tear.
Maybe you don't want to figure out a complicated watering schedule for your garden. Or maybe you want to adjust your watering schedule to changing environmental needs. There are actually ways to do this by getting certain accessories to work with your hose timer.
There are apps that can create watering schedules for your garden. Some hose timers can be coordinated with a soil moisture tester. This measures how much water is in the soil. You can program the system to water your plants when the soil reaches a certain level of dryness, rather than watering it several times a week.
You can also use digital hose timer apps to automate your schedule even without a moisture tester. They will just run on time-based schedules instead of soil-based ones. That shouldn't be a problem if you don't live in an area with fluctuating soil moisture content.
If you want to automate your watering process, you'll need to invest in a digital hose timer. Manual ones need to be turned on by hand. With a manual timer, you always need to be home to turn it on, and you always need to remember to turn it on at the right times.
There are two main categories of hose timer: digital and mechanical.
Mechanical hoses don't run on battery power. That makes them easier to maintain than digital ones. They also have a simple mechanism of action. You just have to turn a dial to your desired watering time. The hose will turn on, water your garden, and automatically turn off when the cycle is finished.
With a digital timer, you have a lot more scheduling power. A digital timer can be used to automate your watering schedule, which means you don't need to be home to turn it on. Digital timers might be monitored with an app, or they might function without remote access.
The downside of a digital timer is that you'll have to replace the batteries. Many timers are made with a long battery life, but you'll need to keep this in mind when you make your purchase. How often do you need to water your garden? The more often you use your digital timer, the more often you'll need to change the batteries.