BestConsumerReviews is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we earn a small affiliate commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more

Best Sprinkler Timer

Sprinkler Timer

Sprinkler Timer Reviews

When it comes to sprinklers, it’s all in the timing. Finding the right sprinkler timer is a convenient way to choose when you water your lawn, and set everything just right for when you go out of town. When trying to decide on the right timer, it’s important to first ask yourself some questions. First of all, do you want your timer to be mounted indoors or outdoors? If your sprinkler system is broken into zones, then it will be important to find a timer that accommodates that many zones. Now, think about how many programs you need. Having multiple programs is important for when the seasons change, and you want to switch over to another pre-set schedule that is better adapted to the change in climate. Lastly, ask yourself how much you’d like to spend, and how easy you’d like the operation of the timer to be. There are some pretty expensive systems out there with wonderful features, but perhaps you don’t need all those features and are just looking for something simple and affordable.

Most Popular Sprinkler Timer


5/5 Product Rating

If you’re someone who thinks that it’s impossible to relax and watch the television without a remote, then you should also be the person who thinks it is impossible to govern your sprinkler system without a remote. The Orbit Water master is the ultimate convenient way to program your sprinklers from the comfort of your home, or anywhere within 300 feet of your lawn. There are traditional water programs, as well as more advanced programs for fertilizing lawns, planting flowers, and water landscaping. Gone are the days when you were prisoner to the controller box. Now you have the freedom to get the programing just right from wherever you choose. It’s incredibly intuitive and easy to program, with a fine backlit display, and commands in a number of different languages. There’s also a built-in wireless receiver should you want to employ the optional rain sensor. This is a fantastic and simple device that makes your yard healthier and your life easier.

  • Commands in multiple languages
  • Optional rain sensor
  • Multiple programming capabilities
  • Large buttons and clear backlit LCD display

Best Overall Sprinkler Timer


4.9/5 Product Rating

If someone were to predict 20 years ago that one day a sprinkler system would harness the power of the internet to predict the weather and therefore save water, no one would believe it. However, if you bring up this idea today, nobody bats an eye. RainMachine has created a marvelous sprinkler timer that reads the weather forecast and waters your lawn accordingly. The system is so intuitive that you’re going to see your lawn and plants healthier than ever. Over-saturated shrubs become very ill, just as much as dry shrubs. That’s why this irrigation controller is so perfect for finding the perfect balance for your delicate little ecosystem in the yard. There are a number of programs in the system that you can use, and even customize individual days of the week. The system can recognize overlapping schedules and conflicting programs, and resolves these issues. This is not only great for your lawn, but fantastic for the environment as well. The RainMachine ensures that you never use more water than you need.

  • Incredible WiFi sprinkler timer
  • Uses satellite info from
  • IOS and Android Apps
  • 8 zones and unlimited programs
  • Never over-water

Best Budget Sprinkler Timer


4.7/5 Product Rating

Orbit makes programming your sprinklers a snap with their single-dial control system. Perfect for newbies who have never set their sprinklers to a timer before, this timer makes it easy with the touch of a button to control when and for how long your sprinkler system will run. The durable, water resistant construction will keep this timer lasting for years, and will withstand the odd afternoon where you happen to get trapped on your lawn during a watering period. Rain delay and manual watering functions ensure that you’re never over-watering your lawn, and therefore not wasting precious resources. The whole package is backed by a wonderful 6 year limited warranty that gives you the freedom to give the system a try without any risk of your precious money going to waste. The system is incredibly affordable and easy to use, and will save you from ever having to deal with a soggy, over-watered lawn, as well as dead plants due to under-watering.

  • Bright and large LCD screen
  • Easy programming allows flexible control over sprinkler activity
  • 6 year limited warranty
  • Rain delay and manual watering functions

Sprinkler Timer Buying Guide

Sprinkler Timer 2

Sprinkler timers, also known as controllers, are important components of an irrigation sprinkler system. They are the brains or nerve centers of a sprinkler system. Their main duty is to send electrical signals to the valves. These valves are responsible for regulating water flow to the sprinkler system. The use of sprinkler timers can help you set a pre-programmed watering schedule that suits your needs. It’s easy to set days when watering is required, time of the day when the sprinkler should start releasing water and the duration required for watering.

The timers can either be mechanical, fully or partly automatic. Their installation and replacement are very easy and straightforward, although it’s advisable to leave the task to irrigation professionals. However, selecting the right sprinkler timers for your system is essential. Below is a guide to help you choose the right sprinkler timers for your system:

Points to Consider

1. Manual or Automatic

Depending on your taste and preference, you can choose a manual or automatic sprinkler timer. When you choose a manual one, you’ll be able to operate the sprinkler when you want. It has simple switches, which you’ll use to control the duration and amount of water released. However, most people prefer automatic timers due to their simplicity and convenience. This is because you’re required to set the system to operate at programmed times which can either be every morning or evening on particular days of the week. You won’t have to wake up early in the morning or get out of work in a hurry to turn the water on or off. Most of these automatic systems can also be operated manually whenever necessary.

2. Timer Mounting Location

Sprinkler timers come in a wide variety of models. However, you should choose timers depending on your sprinkler’s system size and your needs. The timers come in two models: the indoor and outdoor models. The indoor sprinkler timers should be sheltered from the weather. The best locations to mount indoor timers include the garage, covered patio, building, pump house, shed, closet, etc. On the other hand, outdoor sprinkler timers are durable, convenient, and weather resistant.

Sprinkler Timer 4

3. Moisture Sensor

Most new models of sprinkler timers come with moisture sensors. If you reside in an area that receives a lot of rain, they can assist your system and help it run effectively and prevent your garden or yard from being over watered. The moisture sensor is usually installed in lawn areas that get rain far from water from the sprinklers. Whenever it senses rain, your sprinkler won’t run. You’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run.

4. Timer Stations

Generally, residential irrigation sprinkler systems use timers with two to nine stations, while those in commercial or public properties use timers with thirty-two to forty-eight stations or even more. Every station regulates one area or zone of the system. However, when choosing sprinkler controllers, you must check the number of stations your system needs. In case you’d like to expand your system later, select a timer with extra stations.

Sprinkler Timer

5. Timer Programs

A timer likely comes with a number of variable programs that range from 1 up to even 4. These programs are labeled as Program A, B, C, and D. Some timers have a single program although most have at least two. These programs can be described as watering instructions for all stations that run on the same day. Setting up Program A on the timer means that you’re setting the watering days, time of day the watering should be done and the watering duration. In case you have a timer with two programs, you can set up the lawn areas to be watered daily on one program and the shrubs and flowerbeds the next day on the second program.


In conclusion, these are some of the tips to help you choose the right sprinkler timers for your system. Other key features available on a sprinkler timer include a master switch, manual start, manual station operation, non-volatile memory, clock, calendar settings, master valve control, pump start lead, station omission, and battery backup. You should also understand that different smart timers have different benefits and features. Consult a professional irrigation or landscape contractor to assist you in making the best choice depending on your needs.

Back to Top