If you are shopping for the best hose timer, the most important factors to consider are the number of outlets, durability, and scheduling capability. Below, I have handpicked my favorite products based on these features. Read on to learn more about why they might matter to you.
When I think about maintaining my yard and garden, one of the first things that come into my mind is irrigation. I’ve tried to skip installing automated watering several times and I almost always end up killing or at least damaging plants when I try to do it by hand. If you get distracted or need to go out of town during a hot and dry week it can really cause problems.
I consider hose timers essential gardening equipment as it saves me a lot of time and effort compared to hosing my plants manually. However, I’ve replaced a lot of hose timers at my property over the years and I can tell you that not all hose timers are created equal.
In my opinion, the best hose timer for most use cases is the Orbit 62056 One Outlet Single-Dial Hose Timer or the Orbit 58910 (if you need more outlets). These are both very straight forward to install and program.
Hose timers help you by letting you create an automated water schedule. That way, you can pretty much let the sprinklers run on their own without having to worry about water waste. That is because they can automatically stop the water flow at your set schedule.
With these in mind, I will discuss the best hose timers currently on the market. I will review each one in detail and share its pros and cons, so you can make an informed purchasing decision. I have tried many of these myself but not all of them – for the others I’m summarizing the user reviews that I found across various forums.
I will also cover some of the most frequently asked questions about hose timers and general garden maintenance below.
Why Do You Need A Hose Timer?
Sure, you might enjoy tending to your garden manually. However, there are multiple reasons why you might need to invest in a hose timer.
First, this garden equipment can help you manage and conserve water. It allows you to set a specific schedule for when to start and stop the water flow. As such, it eliminates the risk of you forgetting to turn off the sprinkler and leaving it running all day by mistake.
Second, a hose timer allows you to meet the unique needs of different plants in your garden. Since some models have multiple outlets, they give you the flexibility to set the timers for different schedules. This way, you can run one hose to your succulents and another one to your tomato patch. Both plants require different levels of water.
Does your area restrict you from watering plants on certain days or at certain times? If so, you might also want to consider investing in a hose timer. It enables you to set the time when to start watering your plants and when to stop.
Furthermore, a hose timer can ensure the well-being of your garden, even when you are away on vacation. There is no need to hire a person to come and operate the sprinkler. Hence, it can also save you money in the long run.
Finally, sprinklers with hose timers can even prevent would-be burglars from entering your property. When water is running, these criminals can think that someone is still inside the house and decide to give your place a miss.
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Top 7 Best Hose Timers for Your Garden
In this section, I will talk about the seven best hose timers available on the market today. Each product allows you to set the schedule when the water starts and stops automatically. Thus, it gives you several advantages.
1. Orbit One Outlet Single-Dial Hose Timer – Editor’s Pick
The first product on this list of the best hose timer is the Orbit 62056 One Outlet Single-Dial Hose Timer.
It has large, oversized features that make it easy to use. It also uses a durable, heavy-duty brass swivel that is compatible with most standard hose faucets.
Additionally, this one-dial hose timer gives you complete control and functionality over your watering needs. There is an option to set the clock and watering time, including how often and how long the water runs. Feel free to choose from watering cycle intervals between every 6 hours to once every seven days. Meanwhile, the run time can be anywhere from one to 240 minutes, equivalent to four hours.
Moreover, this single-dial hose faucet timer features rain delay programming. This technology automatically stops the flow of water when it is raining for up to 72 hours. As such, it can help you conserve water and reduce bills.
There is even a manual button that allows you to override the automated schedule. It comes in handy if the timer is malfunctioning or you need to interrupt the program for whatever reason.
Plus, this gardening equipment requires two AA alkaline batteries to operate. These are not included in the package, but they are cheap and can last you a long time.
Finally, most reviews for this best hose timer were positive. If there is any critique, it would be that the timer sometimes does not reset at the end of its timed run. Also, a few users said that it started to show signs of wear and tear after a year of use.
Overall, though, the Orbit One Outlet Single-Dial Hose Timer is an excellent product for your gardening needs. It is my top choice for the best mechanical hose timer on the market today.
- Heavy-duty weatherproof construction with a durable brass swivel can last you a long time
- It gives you complete control over the watering time, including how often and how long the water runs
- Oversized features make the timer easy to operate
- A manual override button allows you to keep programming
- A rain delay function helps you conserve water
- Some users said that the timer did not turn off at the end of its timed run
- A few users were also disappointed that it showed signs of wear and tear after a year of use
2. DEWENWILS Auto Manual Hose Timer – Runner-Up
Do you grow two different plants with unique watering needs? Then, the DEWENWILS Auto Manual Hose Timer might be the right product for you.
It features two independent outlets with separate controls that do not interfere with each other. These allow you to schedule two hoses using different settings on the same day. Hence, this hose timer makes it easy to meet the unique needs of your plants.
And speaking of settings, this programmable hose faucet timer offers up to four customized watering procedures for each outlet. Feel free to pick the zone, watering frequency and duration, rain delay, and ECO or manual function. Thus, there is no need to worry about unattended plants when you are away.
Furthermore, it comes with a large LCD display. This screen shows easy-to-read characters, so you can easily set your preferred watering duration.
As for the construction, this digital timer uses a pure zinc-integrated tap connector with support for ¾-inch outdoor water faucets. It ensures a leak proof water inlet to conserve water and save you money on bills. At the same time, it can withstand rainy weather, owing to its water-resistant build.
Plus, this best garden hose timer does not affect water pressure, but it can handle up to 120 PSI. So whether you are using tap water or a pressurized water source, it still delivers a normal water flow and drain.
Finally, this water timer runs on two 1.5V AA batteries. These are not included in the package, but they can last you for a long time. Just make sure to replace them when you are away for a long time.
Despite these benefits, there are a few cons to consider before buying this new hose timer. First, some users reported that they suffered from loss of water pressure despite the advertised claims. Second, a few customers said that it sometimes did not save the timing or schedule they set.
But as you can see, the pros far outweigh the cons.
For this reason, I still include the DEWENWILS Auto Manual Hose Timer in this list of the best hose timers on the market today.
- Two independent outlets with separate water settings can cater to different plants
- Four customized watering controls give you flexibility
- The rain delay function and manual watering setting for overriding automatic timers and manual setting
- A large LCD display makes it easy to preview and set your preferred watering program and next watering cycle
- A leak proof and waterproof hose timer can withstand harsh outdoor conditions
- It accepts two AA batteries for an extended watering duration
- Some users noticed that the hose timer affected the water pressure of their faucet
- A few customers said that it would sometimes not save the timing they set
3. DIG Single Station Hose Timer
The DIG Single Station Hose Timer is another excellent product worth considering.
It features both a ¾-inch female hose thread (FHT) inlet and a male hose thread (MHT) outlet. These allow you to attach the timer to any standard outdoor faucet or at the end of a garden hose.
Additionally, the hose timer itself is easy to use. It offers six programming buttons that give you precise control over your garden hose and other devices connected to it.
Feel free to set the watering duration from a minute to 12 hours and 59 minutes. Meanwhile, the interval can be set up to a minute. Hence, there is no need to worry about forgetting to water your plants.
Furthermore, it comes with a rain delay function. Simply press the left button to shut off the system automatically.
Plus, there is manual on and off control through the right button. It comes in handy if the system is malfunctioning or you want to override the set schedule.
This digital hose timer even includes an LCD display. It might not be as large as the previous one from DEWENWILS, but it can still help you set the watering schedule with ease.
Lastly, it uses a 9-volt alkaline battery, which is sold separately. It can last up to one year of use.
However, before buying this product, it is important to think about its downsides. First, the product can increase your exposure to harmful chemicals, which are known to cause cancer and birth defects. Second, a few users had trouble reading the controls in the display screen due to occasional glitches.
Nevertheless, I still think the DIG BO9D Digital Single Station Hose Timer is among the best hose timers on the market today. I highly recommend it to those with a tight budget.
- A ¾-inch FHT inlet and MHT outlet allows connection to standard garden hoses and faucets
- Six programming buttons give you flexibility over the water flow and duration
- A manual on and off button comes in handy if you want to override the set schedule
- Easy-to-understand controls, owing to the LCD display
- It runs on a single 9-volt alkaline battery that can last you up to a year
- It can expose you to some chemicals that are notorious for causing cancer and birth defects
- Some users said that the display screen suffered from glitches, which made it difficult to select the right settings
4. Orbit Programmable Hose Timer
If you want to take advantage of the benefits of hose timers, consider getting your hands on the Orbit 58910.
This programmable hose timer does not require any complicated installation or tools. Simply attach the device to any standard faucet or hose in your garden to enjoy its benefits.
Additionally, it is available in single, two, and even three outlets. Feel free to choose the right number of outlets for your needs. If you are simply watering a small garden, a single-outlet timer might be enough for you. However, those with multiple plants can invest in a three-outlet device to accommodate their unique watering needs.
Furthermore, this hose timer is completely customizable. The water frequency can be set every six hours or up to every seven days. Meanwhile, the duration is flexible, from one to 240 minutes. With this device, there is no need to worry about over or underwatering. That is because it allows you to set the program ahead of schedule.
Plus, it comes with rain delay options of 24, 48, or 72 hours. Thus, it helps you conserve water and avoid over watering the plants.
As for the build, this hose timer also does not disappoint. It features weather-resistant plastic construction that can last you for a long time.
Finally, there is a large and easy-to-read dial and LCD screen. These make it easier to preview and set your preferred watering schedule.
However, there are a few downsides to this item. First, some users said they could not operate two or three stations at the same time. Second, a few customers complained that the valves could sometimes cause water to leak.
Overall, though, the Orbit 58910 Programmable Hose Faucet Timer is still one of the best hose timers available today. It is my top choice for those who want a quick and easy solution for their garden.
- The hose timer is easy to install and does not require any tools
- Manual watering mode allows you to override settings without interrupting the pre-determined program
- A large, easy-to-read dial and LCD screen make it easy to set your preferred watering schedule
- The weather-resistant build can last you for a long time
- It is available in single, two, and three outlets
- It does not run two or three stations simultaneously at the same set schedule
- A few users noticed that the valves sometimes remain open, which can lead to leaks
5. Gilmour 400GTD Outlet Electronic Water Timer
Those who want to save time when watering plants can consider investing in the Gilmour 400GTD Outlet Electronic Water Timer.
It features dual outlets that enable you to run and operate two hoses or watering tools at the same time.
Additionally, this electronic hose timer gives you complete control over the water output. Feel free to select the start time, frequency, and duration to meet your unique watering needs. As for the duration, it allows you to choose from one to 360 minutes.
Moreover, there is a rain delay option or feature. This unique setting gives you the ability to hold the water output for 24, 48, or 72 hours. Thus, it can help conserve water and prevent overwatering during rainy days.
Plus, an on and off button enables manual override. It comes in handy if you want to start or stop the water output ahead of schedule.
There is even a large LCD display that makes it easy to set the program. The buttons also have proper labels, so you can instantly know their purpose.
On top of all these benefits, this dual-outlet hose timer comes with a metal easy-swivel mechanism. It provides a quick connection to your spigot and garden hose.
But before buying this product, it is essential to know its cons. First, some users said that the plastic construction could feel cheap and flimsy. Second, a few customers noticed that it delivers poor or low water pressure.
However, I still think the Gilmour 400GTD Outlet Electronic Water Timer deserves its place in this list of best water timers. I recommend it to those who need to operate two hoses or faucets simultaneously.
- Dual outlets allow you to run two faucets or hoses at the same time
- An easy-to-use dial gives you flexibility over the water output
- A rain delay setting can conserve water and prevent overwatering during the rainy season
- Large LCD display and button make it convenient to set your preferred watering schedule
- An easy-swivel mechanism allows you to attach the hose timer to the spigot instantly
- The plastic construction can feel cheap and flimsy, according to some users
- A few customers said that it delivers poor or low water pressure output
6. Melnor 4-Zone Digital Hose Timer
Do you prefer to water each of your plants at different intervals? Then, the Melnor 65036-AMZ AquaTimer 4-Zone Digital Timer might be the right product for your needs.
It features four valves that enable you to schedule watering separately. These valves let you water as often as every hour, up to 24 hours, or even as little as once a week. Meanwhile, the duration can be as little as one minute or up to six hours.
Additionally, it has an easy-to-set rain delay feature. It can stop watering anywhere from 24 hours up to seven days. Then, it can automatically resume watering after the delay. Thus, it can help you conserve water and protect the health of your plants during rainy days.
Moreover, this digital hose timer includes five extra filter washers. These can prevent dirt and other debris from blocking off your garden hose or faucet.
There is even a large LCD screen that makes scheduling and programming convenient. Plus, it is relatively easy to install, so you can instantly enjoy the benefits of hose timers.
Finally, Melnor provides a limited seven-year warranty. It is an indicator of the excellent build of the item, which can last you for a long time. This warranty also allows you to refund or return the product if it did not meet your expectations.
There are still a few downsides to this hose timer, though. First, some users noticed that the small buttons constantly jam, which restricted them from setting the proper time. Second, a few customers said that the first zone had low water pressure output.
Nevertheless, the Melnor 4-Zone Digital Hose Timer is still an excellent product for your gardening needs. I highly recommend it to those who require multiple water outlets to target the unique needs of their plants.
- Four outlets with separate scheduling to meet the unique needs of the plants in your garden
- The rain delay feature can prevent watering for up to seven days to conserve water
- The package includes five extra filter washers to prevent dirt and debris from blocking off the faucet or hose
- A large LCD screen makes programming easy
- Melnor limited seven-year warranty ensures the product can last you for a long time
- The buttons sometimes get stuck, which restricts you from setting the proper time
- Some users noticed that the first zone has lower water pressure output compared to other outlets
7. Orbit Irrigation Smart Hose Faucet Timer
The last product on this list of the best hose timer is the Orbit 21004 B-hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer.
It features a minimalist design that is unique from the other mechanical hose timers in this article. There are no buttons, dials, and even LCD screens on display. Instead, it uses smart technology to give you total control over the water output via a software app.
This app is known as B-hyve, which is fully functional on Android, iOS, and other web devices. It allows you to program the timer, including the watering frequency and duration, remotely and without the need to go outside your garden.
Additionally, this smart hose timer includes a built-in flow meter. It can display the water usage by gallons in real-time, so you have an idea about how much water you can potentially save.
Furthermore, it boasts weather sense technology. It automatically provides the right amount of water you need based on conditions like slope, soil type, and live weather.
Finally, the installation process is very straightforward and simple. Just attach the digital hose timer to your faucet, then download the app to program your timer in an instant.
Despite these advantages, it is still important to consider the downsides of this product. First, some users complained about the spammy notifications that they received from the app. Second, a few customers also said that the software interface was a tad bit confusing at first.
Overall, though, the Orbit Irrigation Smart Hose Faucet Timer is one of the best hose timers available on the market. I highly recommend one for tech-savvy consumers.
- A garden hose timer with smart watering technology integrated for convenience and ease of use
- Fully-functioning software app enables you to control the timer remotely
- A built-in flow meter shows the water usage by gallons in real-time
- It automatically provides the right amount of water you need based on multiple site conditions
- Quick and easy to install hose timer
- The app can send spam notifications
- Some users said that the software interface is confusing
How to Choose the Best Hose Timer for Your Needs
If you are still unsure which hose timer to buy, fret not!
Below, I will discuss the factors you need to consider when looking for a hose timer. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will be confident in making the right purchasing decision.
Number Of Outlets
The number of outlets is perhaps one of the first factors you need to consider before buying a hose timer.
Most models only feature a single outlet, which allows you to set the watering cycle for only one location in your garden. That is fine if you only take care of a single species of plant.
But if you grow a range of plants, it is best to get a hose timer with two or three outlets. It will enable you to program separate watering cycles for plants with unique needs. As such, there is no need to worry about overwatering or underwatering specific types of plants.
You might also want to get a hose timer with manual override. This control lets you adjust the watering cycle without interrupting the pre-programmed sequence. Once you have finished, the timer automatically resets to the programming it had before.
Manual control is convenient if you wish to start or stop watering ahead of time or fix a wrong input of schedule.
Rain Delay Feature
A rain delay feature is also worth considering when buying a hose timer. It automatically detects if there is rain in your area. Then, it lets you stop the timer device from watering your plants for a certain amount of time. This way, you avoid overwatering and conserve water at the same time.
Once the rain is gone or the timer runs out, this feature automatically resumes the programming. It is handy if you are living in an area that occasionally experiences rains and thunderstorms.
You also have to consider the display of the hose timer. Look for a large and easy-to-read LCD that shows all the information you need about the watering pattern. It is also best to choose a model that allows you to set the watering schedule right away.
Is a digital display too advanced for you? If so, you can consider investing in a timer with a simple dial. It contains all the settings you need to control or set the watering cycle.
Simply turn the dial to your desired setting, and the timer will do the rest. Just make sure to test the unit first to ensure that every option works.
You also have to think about how the hose timer is powered.
If it runs on batteries, you always need to keep extra ones on hand in case the timer suddenly runs out of power. On the positive side, they are inexpensive and can last you for a long time.
Some models work by simply turning a dial. Hence, they do not require batteries at all.
Level Of Programmability
Finally, it is important to note that timers have different levels of programmability. It is best to choose a model that can meet your needs and personal preferences.
For instance, some devices can only allow you to choose the start time and end time. These are ideal if you do not need much control over the cycle.
However, most hose timers enable you to pick the time, the frequency, and even the duration of each watering. Specific models can water your plants for as little as a minute or up to hours. A few units even let you set the time between watering, which can go from a minute to several days.
To sum up, you should pay attention to this feature if you need precise control over the watering patterns. There is no point in buying a hose timer if it will not allow you to program the water cycle the way you want it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need to maintain a hose timer?
Yes, you need to maintain hose timers, just like any of your gardening equipment. Make sure to check them weekly or monthly, depending on the frequency of watering. If there are any leaks or cracks, it is important to replace them as soon as possible.
Finally, you might also want to uninstall the hose timers during the winter. That is because extremely cold temperatures can lead to freezing and cracking.
How long do hose timers last?
If you can properly maintain hose timers, you can expect them to last for a long time. In general, they can survive from one to three years before they require a replacement.
With that said, the lifespan of the device can also depend on the manufacturer and materials used.
If possible, look for metal construction instead of plastic as they can withstand harsh outdoor conditions. You may also want to choose a product with excellent warranty coverage. The longer, the better, as it shows how much confidence the manufacturer has over their items.
Are hose timers waterproof?
Hose timers are water-resistant, but they are not fully waterproof. Now, before thinking you made the wrong purchasing decision, keep in mind that these devices do not necessarily need to be waterproof. There is no reason why you would require them submerged completely under several feet of water.
The only feature they need to have is to resist damage from splashes of water. And fortunately, all hose timers can effectively resist water from a sprinkler, hose, and even rain.
That sums up my top choices for the best hose timers on the market today! I highly recommend each product, as it gives you flexibility and control over the watering cycle. Hence, it can help save you time, effort, and money in maintaining your garden.
But if I can only suggest one product, it would be the Orbit 62056 One Outlet Single-Dial Hose Timer or the Orbit 58910. They offer complete control and functionality over the watering schedule. Feel free to set the start time, frequency, and even interval.
Additionally, a rain delay feature can automatically stop the water flow during the rainy season, so you can conserve water. Plus, a manual button allows you to override the watering cycle without interrupting the pre-programmed sequence. Finally, they run on two AA alkaline batteries that will last you for a long time.