Watering your garden or grass the correct amount can be tricky. If there’s hot weather, you can water too little or water at the wrong time of day and burn the foliage. Watering too much is just as bad and can cause the roots of some plants to rot. Plus, there’s the water bill to think of. But there’s a gadget that can solve this problem: A smart hose timer will automatically water your grass or garden as programmed and can help you save time, money, and hassle.
What is a smart hose timer?
A smart hose timer is more than just an automated on/off switch. Imagine if you could water your plants from your cell phone, or if your hose got the weather report and adjusted watering schedules automatically. You can keep your watering schedule under control without needing to turn the nozzle on and off manually. A smart hose timer can take care of the nozzle for you, and will not only save you the hassle of watering, but save some water as well.
Types of smart hose timers
It’s important to know going in that not all smart hose timers are created equal. Timers like the Melnor 1-Zone Bluetooth Water Timer or the Rainpoint Sprinkler Timer, Bluetooth can only be programmed when you’re within bluetooth range of the timer with your cell phone. Other types, like the Orbit B-Hyve Smart 1-Output Port Digital Hose End Timer With Drip Adapter or the Rachio Smart Hose Sprinkler Timer, can only control one zone. This means that if you have plants that need different amounts of water, or beds in separate areas of your yard, you will need to look for a multi-zone timer to be able to program everything to be watered with a smart system.
Brands like Rachio and Orbit offer lots of options for wifi capabilities as well as multiple zones, while simpler set-ups like Melnor are more cost-effective, but only accommodate a one- or two-hose system.
Check out the apps and features before you buy
Since smart hose timers use apps to automate your irrigation system, you should check out the app before you decide which one to buy. If the control app isn’t compatible with your phone or if it doesn’t work well for your needs, your smart system won’t be all that smart. Also, be sure to look for particular features that are important to you, like having a pause or bypass switch that allows you to use your hose between scheduled waterings, or automatic access to weather information so the timer can adjust the watering schedule.
And make sure you look for a system that has wifi capabilities if you want to be able to control watering from anywhere, as opposed to a Bluetooth-only system that requires proximity for programming.
Save water and money with a smart hose timer
If you’re interested in saving water (and money), you should look for a smart hose timer with a WaterSense label, according to the EPA. A sprinkler system with a smart hose timer that uses weather information as well as soil moisture sensors or other technology to adequately water plants without over-watering can save up to 7,600 gallons of water a year. For between about $40 to $120, a smart hose timer is well worth it if you’re trying to shrink your water bill. If you live in a place with watering restrictions, you can also use a smart device to monitor the amount of water you’re using to avoid going over your allotted amount.