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One of the best ways to keep a low-maintenance garden is to water plants with a soaker hose, porous rubber tubing that slowly weeps water over a period of time. (They’re also useful around home foundations in regions subject to hot, dry weather that can cause the ground to crack.) Since controlled watering at certain times of the day is beneficial to your plants and can help you meet water usage restrictions in your town, a water timer that attaches to an outdoor spigot can be very useful.

While the $39.99 asking price is a few bucks more than others on the market, the Orbit 62001 digital watering timer, pictured above, looks to me like a good bet. The system is water- and weather-resistant and easily programmable, including a manual feature that lets you bypass the program if you want to just turn on the water or put the program on “hold” for 24 hours. The timer itself is removable so you can adjust and reattach it easily.

The Orbit operates via solenoid, providing low-power, simple, reliable construction. Customer reviews [What’s This?] at Amazon claim the two 9v batteries it requires usually last all year and give the product thumbs up across the board.

Any Toolmongers own this timer or a similar one and have comments on it? Or do you prefer to twist the knob on and off old-school?

Street Pricing [Google Products]
Via Amazon [What’s This?]

 

8 Responses to Orbit Digital Watering Timer

  1. Kent says:

    I went through several timers for our drip system. All were junk till I bought this unit through Amazon. No leaks or rust, easy to program. It’s well into its second season and working like a champ.

  2. Brau says:

    Love mine!. After being disappointed with other brands, I bought one of these models at Home Depot and it works so well I eventually bought 2 more via Amazon (Unfortunately H.Depot (Canada) doesn’t carry this model any more.). They’ve been going strong for at least 6 years. 4 watering periods per day, up to 180 minutes per cycle, as well as daily, weekly, or every second week watering schedules. Also allows manual timed override for non-scheduled use. Requires 2-9V batteries but they seem to last about 3 years.

    A couple caveats:
    1 My wife hates them and can’t “get” the programming so I had to install diverters prior to the unit for her.
    2. The plastic keyboard overlay and flip-down cover can become brittle in full sun, so I have mine shaded in wooden covers.

  3. John Doe says:

    Hose-end timers can be physically fragile – tug too hard on the hose and you run a risk of breaking the thing. (And I’ve tried 4 or 5 different models.)

    It’s more expensive, but look into using lawn sprinkler timers and valves *but* use adapters for hose thread on the valves. You need, for example, adapters from 3/4″ IPT (iron pipe thread) to hose thread (easily found at your home store).

    The valves are solenoid based, operated by the timer. You can easily cluster several valves onto a home-made PVC pipe manifold, and add strain relief for the hoses. This lets you use different watering programs for different parts of the garden.

    It’s really not very hard to assemble….

  4. West E. says:

    A timer that lasts a few years sounds good. Maybe you could feature other consumer-grade watering stuff that isn’t complete disposable garbage. I just went through last year’s box of timers and threw away two that no longer cycled on/off. I also tossed two of last year’s sprinklers, which were brittle garbage. I preemptively tossed the quick-connects that came free with my new sprinklers. They last for maybe one use, then disconnect on their own. The head on my tripod sprinkler also precessed off the base, and there is no way to reattach it. Plus my puppy chewed up the apparently delicious drip irrigation system I ran through the garden before he was a pup. And he digs basketball-sized holes, but I digress.

  5. travis says:

    I’ve had good luck with the Orbit timers in general, with the exception of this one, which was worthless after one season:

    http://www.orbitirrigation.com/products/Timers/01/01/14/1960/

  6. Jim says:

    I’m starting my second season with this model. I was very pleased with ease of setup, and ease of manual override. I’m looking at buying a second to have get another zone going.

  7. Jim K. says:

    I’ve been in the market for one of these but have been looking for a unit with a moisture sensor so that it only ran when the ground was actually dry enough to need it. Doesn’t seem that Orbit makes one (which is a shame since I’ve had pretty good luck with other products they make), does anyone know of a good one with a moisture sensor?

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