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.
Sprinkler Timer Buying Guide
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.
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.
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.