The 10 Best Hose Timers

Updated June 15, 2018 by Richard Lynch

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We spent 39 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Did you know that more people on the planet have a cell phone than access to clean drinking water? You can do your part to help conserve this precious resource and make sure you don't run afoul of local water use and sprinkler regulations, while still maintaining your lawn by using one of these programmable hose timers. They can really take the guesswork out of your watering cycles. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hose timer on Amazon.

10. Instapark PWT-07

The Instapark PWT-07 has all the settings you need to get a sprinkler up and running in your yard on a schedule, and is made of a weather resistant material, so you won't need to worry about it failing when conditions turn wet or hot.
  • very long battery life
  • effortless to install
  • settings can be a little unclear
Brand Instapark
Model pending
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Orbit 56233D

The Orbit 56233D allows you to control up to three lines at once with two programmable valves and one manual valve, so it's a good choice for those with a lot of separate zones. It also has a rain delay feature and a simple single-dial control.
  • dial is oversized for ease of use
  • safe for all weather
  • not especially durable
Brand Orbit
Model 56233D
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Melnor 53015

The Melnor 53015 allows you to set up to 24 watering cycles per day to meet your needs. It also retains its programming through battery changes, so you don't have to reset it every few months when it's time for a fresh pair of AAs.
  • power indicator is always visible
  • can be used manually like a faucet
  • some units break quickly
Brand Melnor
Model 53015
Weight 11.2 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Orbit 62061Z

The Orbit 62061Z is a simple and straightforward choice for those who do not need multiple outlets. A single set of AA batteries will last for up to 4,000 on-off cycles, so you don't have to worry about replacing them very often, unlike with some models.
  • easy one-touch rain delay setting
  • 6-year limited warranty
  • can leak from inside the housing
Brand Orbit 62061Z
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Claber 8444 Aquauno Logica

Rather than offering virtually infinite watering options, the Claber 8444 Aquauno Logica has 15 preset programs for you to choose from, drastically simplifying the process while still allowing plenty of flexibility. There are no complex features, just a single dial.
  • works at pressures from 7 to 145 psi
  • patented watertight circuitry
  • no option for manual water flow
Brand Claber 8444 Aquauno Log
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Raindrip R675CT

The Raindrip R675CT attaches to any outdoor faucet, and has an analog three-dial interface that works reliably to control output, so you never have to worry about wasting water. It can also pause automatic watering for up to 72 hours during rainy weeks.
  • very straightforward to program
  • construction feels solid
  • runs through batteries quickly
Brand Raindrip
Model R675CT
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

4. Gardena 31169

The Gardena 31169 is a mechanical option that doesn't require a power source, so you won't have to waste money on batteries. It is a high quality option and should last about 5 years with daily use, but it lacks any automatic features.
  • can be set for 5 to 120 minutes
  • no flow control options
  • needs to be reset for each use
Brand Gardena
Model 31169
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. RainRobot SW8100D Smart Drip Irrigation System

Home automation is all the rage, so why not take it to your garden with the RainRobot SW8100D Smart Drip Irrigation System. It's controllable via a custom smartphone app, so you can turn your faucet on and off and program timed watering cycles without going outside.
  • physical interface works without app
  • easy to connect via bluetooth
  • app sets rain delays automatically
Brand RainRobot
Model SC6400
Weight 12 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Gilmour 300GTS

The Gilmour 300GTS is an electric model that doesn't require any tools for installation and is a breeze to program. It allows for watering durations from 1 to 360 minutes, and has a large LCD screen that is clearly visible even in bright sunlight.
  • easy-swivel coupling connection
  • simple-to-read control dial
  • automatic shutoff when power low
Brand Gilmour
Model 830134-1001
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Claber 8420 Duplo Evolution

The Claber 8420 Duplo Evolution comes with two lines, each of which can be set with up to three individually-timed programs at once, allowing for a range of customization to suit every need. Programming is very straightforward.
  • built-in stainless steel filter
  • led battery level indicator
  • can be set to weekly cycles
Brand Claber
Model 8420
Weight 2 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Interval Watering For A Healthy Yard And Garden

Routines are as healthy for plants as they are for humans; all living things, in fact, be they flora or fauna, benefit from a reliable schedule with minimal alteration. For a human being, this may involve waking up and having their morning coffee at approximately the same hour and making sure to squeeze in an afternoon stroll or nap.

For plants, including that lawn you treasure, ideal routines are more about watering cycles than about naps or walks. The cycle, or the duration of each watering session and the frequency with which a yard is watered, has a huge impact on the overall health of the grass, especially during the hot summer season. So too is the growth of flowering plants and food bearing plants directly impacted by watering routines.

Consider summertime lawn watering: the ideal way to water an established lawn during the summer, you need to water three times a week and let the water penetrate down to about a half foot below the surface at each watering session. (Use a shovel to lift some soil to find how long it takes to reach this saturation level).

Once you know the time needed for this depth of watering, allow each watering session to last that long until the season or circumstances (rainfall or heatwave and drought, for example) change. New lawns require even more specific watering cycles. And this is just the grass we're talking about.

Yes, it can be a headache, or at least a major inconvenience, to establish and maintain an ideal watering schedule for your lawn, landscaping, or garden.

If you want to grow a lush green lawn, big, bright flowers, or succulent, hearty tomatoes, you need to pay attention to the soil, the sunlight, and the water. With the right hose times, at least you can manage the last factor with ease, and without the need for an expensive built in sprinkler system.

Choosing A Hose Timer

Before you choose a hose timer, you need to consider what you're watering and how. That is to ask if you are watering a single plot of lawn with a single oscillating or rotating sprinkler? Or are you using a drip system to water a number of food bearing plants in your edible garden? Or are you hydrating hedges and shrubs around the periphery of your property? Or, of course, are you watering a combination of these plants and/or more?

For the simplest, single purpose application, by all means choose the simplest single valve hose timer. If you tend to be home anyway, then don't bother with a battery-powered option when there are manual hose timers that are almost foolproof thanks to their simplicity and are priced in range for most budgets.

However, using one of these analog style hose timers does mean in-person interaction each time you want to water, which may seem to some people counter intuitive: why use a hose timer at all when you have to set it each time? (e.g. Price is a factor there, but this concern is entirely with merit.)

Many electronically controlled hose timers are easy to program once you get to know them, thanks to clear LCD screens and push button controls, but do be ready for a learning process the first few times you set up a watering routine: it seems that every hose timer has a different interface as far as valve selection, duration input, frequency of watering sessions, and so on. What most good electronic hose timers also feature is a rain delay feature that makes it easy to bypass a watering session when it is actively raining or after a recent downpour did the work for you.

And then lastly you must consider the number of valves you'll need. Few hose timers allow you to control more than three valves (i.e. three different areas and the hardware irrigating them) at once, so if you have a large property or one requiring intricate watering, you might need to consider getting multiple hose timers -- the control and adaptability this will provide you should be seen as much as a benefit as a burden of added cost, though.

Using A Hose Timer

All standard hose timers can be simple screwed onto a standard outdoor spigot, which is to say the spigot will be the male end, the timer possessed of two female ends, one for attachment to the source, one for receiving the hose or drip lines.

Make sure the threads of the spigot and the timer are clean and in good shape before attaching the timer, as poor threads and a bad connection will result in wasted water and ineffective watering. You can use a bit of Teflon tape (AKA plumber's tape) to improve the seal between the threads, and make sure that any rubber washers that should be in place on the end of the hose or in the timer are there and are in good shape.

Next make sure to always use fresh batteries when setting up electronic hose timers. These units use surprisingly little power, but you might not notice that their power source has failed for many days, and this can hurt your lawn or plants. Plan to switch batteries even before the manual says they require refreshing; it's cheaper to replace batteries than to re-sod a lawn.

Then simply program the timer as per the directions and to suit the needs of your grass and other plants.

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Last updated on June 15, 2018 by Richard Lynch

Richard grew up in the part of New York state that doesn’t have any tall buildings. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time reading and playing video games. A massive fan all things sci-fi, he’ll happily talk with you for hours about everything from the deserts of Arrakis to the forests of Endor.

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