When your homestead or ranch needs to schedule watering’s according to certain hours or days of the week, you’ll utilize an irrigation timer. Irrigation timers range from very simple programable abilities to complex. A more advanced timer can be programmed to turn the pump on, for example, Tuesday and Thursdays between 11 AM to 1 PM, allow for multiple on/off cycles through the day, skip watering days, or even cancel watering if the timer senses rain. Popular timer brands include Rainbird, Rachio, Orbit and DIG, all found at your local hardware store. We’ve listed some of our favorites below, but encourage researching which irrigation timer has all the needed features.
Best Basic Irrigation Timer + Best Irrigation Timer for an RPS Pro System
Our Basic Battery Powered Timer Switch falls on the simpler end of the spectrum, turning the pump on and off at pre-established times once per day, 7 days a week. This timer is limited to just our submersible 3” and 2″ line of pumps (RPS 200, 400, 800, 400V, 800V and 400N). Great for irrigation applications to flood or drip lines, filling stock tanks or even controlled pumping to a pond.
Our Pro Series Battery Powered Timer Switch offers more range of control for all of our Pro pumps. Gives you ability to set multiple on/off times per day (up to 12 on and 12 off), set up an A/B watering schedule, run all 7 days of the week or skip every other day. Our timers will turn the pump on and off, it will not control the irrigation valves. The irrigation valve should open about 60 seconds before the pump turns on to prevent deadheading.
Electronic Garden Hose Watering Timer: Solid basic outdoor timer, programmable for rain delays, watering schedules, digital, powered by two AA batteries.
12-Station Indoor/Outdoor Simple-to-Set Irrigation Timer: Popular choice, ease of use, zonal control.
EasySet Indoor/Outdoor Swing Door Timer: Choice between 4, 6, 9 or 12 zone models, rain delay, programmable.
Plumbing an Irrigation Timer with a Solar Pump
You’ll need to pair the pump and irrigation timer with two other pieces of plumbing…
The irrigation timer will be placed after the reverse action pressure switch (see diagram below, check valve is connected directly to the pump outlet). If there is a pressure tank integrated into the system, as the below diagrams includes, place the irrigation timer after the pressure tank. When the irrigation timer is off, the pipeline is closed and pressure in the line spikes. Once the irrigation timer opens the line, the pressure in the pipeline drops. A reverse action pressure switch is needed to sense the pressure changes occurring to turn the pump “on” or “off”, because we don’t want to pump into a closed line, thereby running the risk of “deadheading” the pump. Deadheading occurs when a pump continues to operate against a closed valve and the water temperature becomes hot enough to damage internal machinery, leading to pump failure.
Pairing an Irrigation Timer with a Tankless Pressure Pump (TPP)
The Tankless Pressure Pump has a built-in timer feature used for filling elevated tanks that will operate the pump for a specified amount of time and then shut down the system. For a more advanced irrigation schedule, pair with an irrigation timer in line AFTER the TPP pump.