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Using timers to automate your watering chores is a great time saver and often results in more consistent results. I have tried several timers in my attempts to create a fully automated watering system. What follows is my personal opinion of each of them:


Gilmore 9400 timer:

Its no secret if you read some of my other pages that the Gilmore 9400 is, hands down my favorite timer. I own 3 and plan to get more soon. PROS: Very dependable, mechanical valve control, control unit separates from the valve for each programming, up to 4 independent on/off cycles, optional setting to water every 2 days, every 3 days or customize by day of the week. CONS: A bit bulky for use with manifolds (i get around this by using short hose saver.

Orbit yard watering system

I own two sets of the orbit yard watering system. Each set can run 4 valves (the sets come with two valves so to take full advantage of the system you need to purchase additional valves) Overall I I have to give this system a fair to good rating. PROS: One "brain" controls 4 valves. 3 on/off cycles, no need to allow "buffer time" between on/off cycles, every other day cycles, inexpensive compared to individual timers. CONS: I found these units are susceptible to pressure lock which results in the valve not opening and and therefore insufficient watering. Also, the controls are not sealed, so if you forget to replace the cover, your unit could be toast. I lost the ability to use the lcd as a result.

Orbit Yard watering system

Nelson 2-Outlet Timer 5945

I have one of these in use in my system. I am not a fan of the programming interface, but the unit has worked reliably for me. One note: The second output is not timed, it is a convenience outlet. PROS: Convenience outlet, weather proof programming interface, multiple on/off cycles CONS: Programming interface is a bit strange, bulky for use with other timers. (again , I can get around this with hose saver extensions)