A durable digital hose timer?


LawnSite Member
I have had Orbit, Gideon and Melnor timers, and they all end up crapping out in the long run. From erasing my programmed settings (leading to no watering and dead grass) to the digital screen becoming unreadable. There was another fun time where the timer stayed on for 8 hours, leading to an inflated water bill.

My current watering system consists of above-ground hoses with oscillating sprinklers, connected to a spigot. It worked well enough when the timers were functioning.

Any suggestions on decent timers or perhaps a different way to go about this? I thought about getting a 4-way hose connection attached to a digital timer. I just want a timer that actually lasts. My plan is an in-ground system, but that won't happen for a while.

It seems virtually all of them crap out after a while. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!


LawnSite Member
San Jose, Ca
Just a suggestion, make it simple! KISS...., Keep It Simple S...AM.

Get a cheap 1-inch or 3/4 inch valve, and get a cheap 4 zone controller from any store (both of them should be around maybe $40 together!).

Put a T before the faucet so you can use the faucet, connect the valve to the T, get another faucet and connect it to the valve you just bought. Now connect your hoses with a spliter to this faucet. Connect the valve to the controller, all above ground in the same place you had your broken hose timer.

Now you have a very simple setup where controller (electrical part) and valve (mechanical part for the most part, ignoring the solenoid) are NOT the same. If the valve fails, then you change the valve. If controller fails, then you change the controller. Cost would probably be the same as a fancy hose timer, but you have to spend some time and get it done. Plus, you got a controller that you can use later and one valve if you need it in your upcoming project.

The issue is debugging what you have as you go forward till you have time to do a complete setup.

This is a suggestion, so if you do not like it, then ignore it and I am cool with it.
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LawnSite Member
South Carolina
My melnor digital did exactly what you explained after about 2 yrs. I now have the melnor rain cloud WiFi. Its been flawless for about 6mths now. The main control is inside and your phone unlike the other where everything is outside. The setting are also way more programmable like a real irragation box.