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The Three Types of Water Timers - And Which One is Best For You

The Three Types of Water Timers - And Which One is Best For You

By Brad Wardle, Vice President, B-hyve Smart Home at Orbit
Photograph courtesy of B-hyve Smart Home at Orbit

If you do everything by hand, caring for your lawn can take a lot more work than you’d think. There’s cutting your grass, of course, and managing weeds. But when it comes to lawn care, the biggest hassle (and expense) is watering.

Your lawn’s water needs change all the time. Temperature, season, humidity, day-to-day weather and local watering restrictions, such as triple the price per gallon if you water on Sundays in June, etc. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about water timers, as well as which type is best for your needs.

Installing a water timer is one of the simplest ways to streamline your lawn care. A water timer will save you money, make your home more green, and give you back hours that you would have spent watering. Your plants will thank you, too — with consistent watering, they’ll grow faster and stronger.

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The 3 Main Types Of Water Timer

There are three main kinds of water timers on the market today: mechanical, digital, and smart home timers. Each type comes with its own set of benefits; which one is best for you depends on your watering needs.

Mechanical Water Timer

Mechanical water timers are an old-school, tried-and-tested way to water your yard more efficiently. A mechanical timer hooks directly to your faucet and works just like an egg timer in your kitchen — you twist the dial to whatever water duration you want and your faucet will shut off automatically when the timer is finished.

Mechanical timers are great for a few reasons:

  • More convenient than hand watering. With a mechanical timer, you don’t have to spend hours watering. You can hook your mechanical timer up to a basic sprinkler, set it to whatever time you want, and go back to your life. It’ll take care of the rest. 
  • Conserve water. With a mechanical timer, you’ll never forget to turn off the water again. The timer will shut off automatically at the end of the cycle. 
  • Easy to install. You don’t need batteries or a wiring system to install a mechanical water timer. You just screw it onto your faucet and it’s ready to go. 
  • Affordable. Mechanical timers don’t cost much and they’re built to last for years. 

Digital Water Timer

A digital water timer automates your watering schedule, saving you time and money and reducing your home’s environmental impact.

Digital timers hook up to each sprinkler in your yard, allowing you to program all your watering from a single unit. Features include:

  • Scheduled, automatic watering. With a digital water timer, you’ll never forget to water again. You can set a weekly schedule from your console — for example, watering for 20 minutes at 6 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday — and the timer will water automatically from there. Watering with a hose can take hours out of your summer, especially if you have a larger yard. A digital timer gives you all that time back. 
  • Consistency. Hand watering with a hose is inconsistent — you may overwater some areas and underwater others. With a digital timer, your watering is consistent every time, which leads to healthier and more vibrant plants. 
  • Efficient watering. You can set a digital timer to water early in the morning, before the sun comes out. The cooler temperature and lack of sunlight means the water won’t evaporate, which significantly decreases your water bill and increases the amount of water that penetrates all the way to your plants’ root systems. 
  • Stress-free travel. Going on vacation or traveling for work? Digital water timers give you the freedom to travel without worry. No need to bug your neighbors or hire professional landscapers to water while you’re gone; your sprinklers will run automatically and you’ll return home to healthy, happy plants.

Smart Home WiFi Timer

Smart sprinkler timers are the future of lawn care. It monitors weather and the ecological needs of your yard and adapts automatically in real time, virtually eliminating excess water use. It also lets you monitor water usage and program your sprinklers from your phone.

The smart sprinkler timers like the B-hyve Smart WiFi Timer give you maximum convenience and control. Features include:

  • Water from anywhere using your smartphone. The B-hyve smartphone app gives you the freedom to control your watering in seconds from anywhere in the world, as if you were right next to your timer. You can monitor water usage and watering programs in real time to make sure your lawn is always in good shape. 
  • Fully automatic smart watering. The B-hyve’s WeatherSense technology monitors local weather changes to give your landscape the exact amount of water that it needs. By preventing excess water use, B-hyve can reduce your water bill by up to 50%. 
  • Simple installation. B-hyve has both indoor and outdoor timer options, and you can replace your old timer with a B-hyve in under 5 minutes using only a drill and screwdriver. If you’re putting a water timer in your home for the first time, an irrigation specialist can help you with installation. 
  • More than 35 billion gallons of water saved. To date, the B-hyve’s smart watering system has saved more than 35 billion gallons of water, making it the most sustainable and environmentally friendly irrigation timer on the market. With its WeatherSense technology, the B-hyve knows exactly when your landscape needs water, virtually eliminating unnecessary water usage.

A water timer is a win-win: it makes your home more sustainable and saves you time and money, all while improving your lawn’s health. There’s a water timer for everyone, whether you want a simple mechanical timer, a digital timer, or a B-hyve smart home timer. 


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