Irrigation programmer – Opinions, Analysis and Buying Guide in 2022
Gardens provide not only an aesthetic component to environments, they also turn out to be an ideal space for relaxation. For this reason, it is essential to keep them in optimal condition, free of weeds and perfectly watered. In this sense, an irrigation programmer is the best ally to beautify your plants, while saving water, time and effort. Among the best proposals offered by the market, we have the Claber 8422, a compact, weather-resistant and low-cost model. Another recommended controller is the Rainbird ZA84006, which has multiple functions for its configuration and includes a program delay option, ideal in case it rains before watering.
Opinions on the best irrigation programmers on the market
Irrigation is vital for all plants, regardless of whether they are ornamental species, lawns, gardens or orchards, and having an irrigation programmer will help you with this task in the easiest and most efficient way. Below, you will find a list of some of the best automatic irrigation systems, with functions and programs designed to cover the different needs of your plants.
Battery-powered irrigation programmer
Considered by many users as the best price-quality irrigation programmer at the moment, this Claber model is not only one of the cheapest, but also offers great features in order to provide your garden with an optimal level of humidity. It is a product that stands out for its ease of use and for its revolutionary system of 15 predetermined programs. In addition, its compact size allows it to be installed in confined spaces.
Its simple design offers a rotary mixer, with which you can choose any of the 15 numbers so that the device performs the selected irrigation in a precise and fast way; the summary diagram of the programs can be found on the back of the cover. Likewise, as it is a battery-powered irrigation programmer, it needs a 9-volt alkaline battery for its operation, which is sufficient for an entire season.
Since 1969, the Italian company Claber has been a benchmark in the field of irrigation systems, given the innovation and quality of its products; so it could be the best brand of irrigation controllers on the market. Learn more about this model.
Ease of use: With only one rotary button and built-in programs, it is very easy to use.
Installation: It is easily installed on any faucet model with a 3/4” thread.
Materials: It has a weather and shock resistant casing.
Screen: A screen that allows you to view the programs and the time is missing.
Rain Bird Irrigation Controller
The Rainbird ZA84006 irrigation controller is a very practical tool to keep your garden irrigation under control. A task for which you have several modes in general, selectable by means of a wheel, as well as a good-sized screen and a practical button panel.
The result is a device with which to choose the irrigation time, from 1 minute to 6 hours, as well as the days on which they run. In addition, you can choose one or two daily irrigations, in a practical weekly schedule. Another advantage is the forced irrigation system, which runs it on the fly.
This is complemented by the schedule delay. A function that delays the next irrigation up to 96 hours, as you indicate to the programmer, in case it rains before this irrigation is executed. All this in a model suitable for sprinkler or drip irrigation systems, traditional or piped.
Mastering the water and keeping the irrigation of the garden under control will not be a problem with this complete programmer.
Programmer : The programmer supports up to two daily irrigations, configurable each day of the week.
Screen : The screen makes it easy to see the status of the device and configure it to your liking.
Delay : The delay function delays the next irrigation for the time you indicate, being ideal if it rains unexpectedly.
Assembly : Thanks to its connection structure, the assembly process is very simple, offering high compatibility.
Drip: A few units have drip problems, occasionally causing water leaks.
Hunter Irrigation Controller
If you are looking for the best irrigation programmer, this model could meet all your expectations. It is a product with a simple and intuitive programming system and for this, it has a selector panel that allows you to easily regulate the type of irrigation according to the season of the year.
According to the needs of your garden, you can choose between 2 programs with multiple starts, up to 4 per day. Likewise, you will be able to select independent schedules for each zone and given its irrigation flexibility, you will have the option of choosing the days of the week or intervals of up to 31 days.
The Hunter irrigation controller is an electrical device and as a backup in case of power failure, it uses an alkaline battery. It also has an easy-to-read screen with interactive icons, which favors programming regardless of language. Additionally, it incorporates a connection to install a weather station, with rain and wind sensors.
To maintain a garden in the best conditions, constant care is necessary and given its benefits, this could be the best irrigation programmer of the moment. Keep reading its attributes and disadvantages.
Weather Station: Provides the connection for a weather station and is also compatible with a rain gauge.
Calendar: It has a selectable calendar in days of the week or with intervals from 1 to 31 days.
Non-volatile memory: It is equipped with a memory that stores the time, day and programming for up to one month.
Battery: It is a model that additionally works with a 9-volt alkaline battery. However, you must buy it separately, since it is not included in the purchase.
Gardena irrigation programmer
The best irrigation programmer is the one that offers you, in addition to easy assembly, automatic control and flexible programming according to the needs of the environment to be irrigated. These qualities and more are present in this Gardena irrigation programmer, a multi-control device that allows easy connection to the water tap, being able to efficiently control from a drip system to a sprinkler system.
It has an intuitive handling and a large screen, with which you can carry out the programming just by pressing a button and viewing all the irrigation data step by step. You can program as you see fit, either by days a week, or every 2, 3 or 7 days and with cycles of 8, 12 or 24 hours. In addition, it is a product that helps you save water, since it is compatible with Gardena humidity and irrigation sensors.
If you’re going on vacation and don’t know which irrigation controller to buy to keep your plants in good condition, this model could be an excellent option. We invite you to read a little more about this product.
Ease of use: It has a user-friendly control panel and a removable screen with intuitive programming.
Programming: You can choose up to 3 daily programs, with a duration range that goes from 1 min to 7 hours and 59 minutes.
Manual start: You also have the option to activate it manually, so that it starts immediately with irrigation.
Price: It is not exactly one of the cheapest irrigation programmers. However, it offers you efficiency, quality and long life.
Orbit Irrigation Controller
When it comes to maintaining optimal humidity in large green areas, you need to get a piece of equipment like this Orbit 6-station irrigation programmer; with which you can easily cover up to 6 irrigation zones, programming cycles on individual days, every 2 days or at intervals of up to 14 days.
It is equipped with Orbit’s Easy-Set Logic technology, thanks to which you can program irrigation cycles in a simple and intuitive way. It also has an LCD screen that favors a better visualization of its functions; Likewise, it has large tactile buttons that facilitate its handling.
Additionally, this Orbit irrigation programmer offers you the rain delay function for up to 72 hours, so you will be saving water when it rains. In addition, it is a device that has 3 independent irrigation programs and 4 starts for each one.
With this programmer, your plants will always be healthy, with the exact amount of water they need. Below, we present more details of this useful device.
Programmable time: You can choose the programmable irrigation time from 1 to 99 minutes, for each station.
Stations: It is a device equipped to cover up to 6 irrigation zones, thanks to its 6 stations.
Programs: It offers you 3 independent irrigation programs, each one with 4 starts, so you will get up to 12 irrigations in one day.
Connection to the network: It is essential that the equipment is connected to an electrical network, so you must consider this aspect for its assembly.
Toro irrigation programmer
Bull DDC 4
With the Toro irrigation programmer, you can ensure that all green areas, gardens, ornamental plants and even your orchards receive the exact amount of daily water they need. For this, it has 4 stations in order to meet the irrigation requirements of 4 independent zones.
It integrates a multi-language screen, with which you can choose the programming you want, according to the various established calendars: 365 days, weekly, even and odd irrigation days, with intervals of 14 days and excluding the 31st day. you choose will be able to stay active for up to five years.
It also features an advanced virtual dial design, which easily guides you through the settings menu. Likewise, it has 3 independent programs, a starting time of 3 hours per program and for irrigation, an interval that goes from 1 to 240 min per station.
The beauty of your plants depends largely on the amount of moisture present in the soil, so this programmer could be your best ally to keep them always green and healthy. Know its pros and cons.
Memory: Its memory has the capacity to save programs for up to 5 years, thanks to the incorporation of a button battery.
Semi- automatic program: It offers you the option of manual starts, in order to use programs stored in its memory.
Compatibility: It has terminals to easily install a rain sensor.
Programming mode: According to the reviews left by some users, a more intuitive programming mechanism is missing.
Professional irrigation programmer
Rain Bird ESP-RZXE8
If what you are looking for is an equipment that provides the necessary humidity to cover the irrigation of residential green areas or large gardens, the Rain Bird ESP-RZXE8 professional irrigation programmer could be your best option. It is a device equipped with 4 stations to serve 4 irrigation zones, which you can program independently, assigned start time and specific days.
It has a screen that allows you to view the programs of each zone, as well as all the programming simultaneously, thanks to its simple and intuitive interface with easy navigation. Although its power supply is electric, it also offers the option of 2 AAA batteries as an alternative in case of failure and its non-volatile memory efficiently saves all programs.
You will also receive a LNK Wifi module of the same brand, which allows you to connect wirelessly from your Smartphone, in order to control irrigation comfortably.
If you want to save water and keep your plants always at an optimal level of humidity, with this device you can do it without having to be at home. Read more details about this programmer below.
WiFi connection: With the purchase you will receive a module for wireless connection with the irrigation app, from your smartphone.
Easy assembly: For its assembly you only need two screws.
Starting: It offers you the option of starting with a master valve and also connected to a water pump.
Price: We are facing the most expensive irrigation programmer of our entire selection. However, it is a reliable and professional quality product.
Aqua Control irrigation programmer
If you do not have the time to do manual watering in your orchard or garden, the best alternative is to have a high-quality device such as the Aqua Control C4099n irrigation programmer, a product made of resistant and durable materials, since it offers a cover rigid that protects it from humidity and a watertight compartment that favors the useful life of the batteries.
It has an internal ball mechanism that facilitates the opening and closing of the water. It also offers you an automated irrigation system that allows you to choose the most convenient frequency, from one hour to 72 hours or once a week. The irrigation duration can vary from 1 to 120 minutes, with the option of manual start and shutdown.
In addition, it is equipped with ergonomic dials that favor grip even with wet hands and its power supply is two AAA alkaline batteries (not included).
You will no longer have to spend a fortune to get a practical and efficient irrigation programmer, since this model is one of the cheapest on the market. Analyze its pros and cons below.
Available kits: You can choose between several available kits, according to your irrigation needs.
Delay function: This function allows you to postpone the start of irrigation, from 1 to 12 hours from the time of its programming.
User manual: To facilitate the assembly experience, it includes a practical manual in several languages, including Spanish.
Battery consumption: Some buyers comment that the device tends to consume batteries quickly; however, it could be a subjective assessment, since others think otherwise.
drip irrigation programmer
A well-kept garden brings great beauty and aesthetics to homes and to any environment. For this reason, to keep it in perfect condition, a drip irrigation programmer could be an excellent alternative to provide the moisture that plants need. This automatic model is recommended for domestic use in gardens, balconies, urban gardens, terraces or home nurseries.
It can be connected directly to a 3/4” thread tap and if this is not the measure
of your faucet, the manufacturer includes a universal connector that fits other sizes. In addition, its installation does not represent any inconvenience, since you will receive a package with all the necessary tools for its assembly, including a user manual.
Its design offers you two easy-to-use buttons: one to choose the frequency, which goes from 1 hour to a week, and with the other button, you can adjust the irrigation duration, which can be from 1 to 120 minutes.
Having a garden at home is of great benefit to everyone, so this programmer could be the ideal model to keep your vegetable crops in optimal condition. Learn about its pros and cons in the next section.
Kit: With the purchase you will receive a programmer, a Teflon tape, a universal connector and a user manual.
Materials: It is a device made of environmental ABS plastic, resistant and durable.
Ease of installation: Thanks to the included kit and its design, you can easily install it on a threaded tap.
Water pressure: According to the comments left by some users, it is necessary that there is enough pressure in the flow for optimal operation of the programmer.
How to choose the best irrigation programmers?
If you are looking for a tool that covers all the humidity needs of your plants, in this guide to buying the best irrigation programmer, you will be able to know the main aspects that you must take into account before making your purchase. The idea is that you find the product that meets your expectations and keeps your plants in optimal condition.
Functionality and programming
Irrigation programmers are the devices in charge of automating the irrigation systems of our garden. They are designed to program irrigation cycles automatically, being able to choose the most convenient programming, according to our needs and those of our plants. For this reason, all these units are equipped with two basic controls, one to program the cycle and the other to establish the duration and frequency.
Some of the best models provide an irrigation frequency that can go up to 72 hours; however, it is advisable to choose a device that gives you a wide variety of options in this regard. On the other hand, the duration of irrigation can be in a range from a few minutes to several hours, as is the case with drip irrigation equipment.
There are also programmers capable of watering the plants or the lawn for up to 24 continuous hours; although the most usual is that you find those that water for 4 or 2 hours. Likewise, you will find models that have default programs, thanks to which they are very easy to use; since you only have to choose the cycle that suits you best.
These irrigation systems are designed to make our lives easier, since it is not necessary to be at home for them to perform optimally, since the system works automatically. It not only favors the saving of time and effort, but also the saving of water; especially when the equipment is programmed for irrigation at night or in the early hours of the morning, when there is no evaporation due to the sun’s heat.
There is currently a wide range of programmers, ranging from the most complex and sophisticated devices for large surfaces or different irrigation areas, to the simplest and most manageable, recommended for domestic use. For this reason, in your comparison of irrigation programmers you will find that there are different types, according to their technical characteristics.
In this sense, we have battery-powered programmers with a built-in valve, those of the digital type by time with or without flow register, there are also those that work with battery with “latch” solenoid outputs. Likewise, you can find types of schedulers with mechanical controls; others, volumetric multicable or monocable and lastly, the modular programmers.
Technology has also been present and has evolved these devices, turning them into reliable, efficient and high-performance equipment. For this reason, in order to maximize the care and maintenance of your gardens or orchards, some models are equipped with advanced technology; so in addition to doing their irrigation function, they also offer a supply of liquid fertilizer along with the water flow. Likewise, there are programmers capable of connecting to the weather website and thanks to compatibility with a meteorological sensor, they can adjust the irrigation depending on the rain, the wind and the external temperature.
Since all plants have different watering needs, to keep them in the best condition it is important that you zone the land considering the various species. Also, when it comes to watering large areas, such as residential lawns or crops, it is best to choose a multi-zone or multi-station controller model, regardless of how much it costs. If, on the other hand, you have a small garden, a controller with a single station could be enough.
In the market you can find models that, depending on the design they have, can be classified into digital and analog. Digital equipment is characterized by incorporating an LCD screen, in which the programming is established or chosen. They are recommended for professional irrigation systems and for lush gardens.
With respect to analog devices, these work by basing their system on a mechanical clock; Its function is to open and close the water flow for a certain time. It is used especially by those who need basic but functional equipment; In addition, its cost is usually more affordable than its digital counterparts, so if you are looking for a cheap product, this could be a good option.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to use an irrigation programmer?
If you have a large irrigation surface and you want to install an automatic system, you should consider that many of its parts and a large part of the circuit could go underground, especially if it is lawns or orchards; so it is important prior to planting, to carry out this work. If, on the other hand, you have a small garden, it will be enough to connect the programmer to the tap and then to the sprinkler system. On the other hand, you must have all the necessary tools for its respective installation (universal connector, Teflon, hose, etc.) and before starting the programmer, you must verify both the pressure and the water flow.
Q2: How to connect a water pump to an irrigation programmer?
In order to proceed with a successful connection of an irrigation system to a water pump, it must be an electric model equipped with solenoid valves, which has a special relay for this connection and which has a station. The connection must be made by means of several meters of cable and using a 24-volt relay in the pump, from where you must put a cable line to the terminal of the programmer, specifically the one indicated with the letters MV (master valve), while that the other line must go to the terminal that is identified with the letter C (common).
Q3: How to install a battery-powered irrigation programmer?
Most of these devices work with batteries, even those that are powered by electricity, since if there is a loss in the electrical network, the battery offers continuous operation in order to maintain the programming without affecting the irrigation cycle. When installing this equipment, it is convenient to do it under shelter and away from the elements; Even if the device indicates that it is waterproof or resistant to various weather conditions, it is best to protect the batteries from moisture or low temperatures. In any case, the vast majority of these controllers do not require a complicated assembly, since they only need to be adjusted directly or by means of a connector to a threaded tap located near the garden or the area to be watered.
Q4: What are stations on an irrigation controller?
The stations of an irrigation system are the number of outlets or pathways it has and through which it is possible to feed one or more solenoid valves. Irrigation controllers with several stations are used especially when it is intended to supply water to several circuits or zones. In this sense, they are especially useful in summer, when it is necessary to maintain humidity in residential green areas or when the garden is large and has difficult terrain for manual irrigation. Likewise, in the cases of irrigation for vegetables and vegetables in an orchard.
Q5: How to make a homemade irrigation programmer?
If you are a DIY lover and have a passion for gardening, you could build your own irrigation system for all the plants in your garden. To do this, on the web you will find tutorials where they easily teach you how to make a programmer; either from recyclable material or an improvised model that takes care of your garden while you’re on vacation.
Q6: How to reset a Hunter irrigation controller?
Regardless of whether you want to erase the memory of your programmer or the device has faults, the best alternative to solve this situation is to reset the device or reset the X-Core. To do this, you must hold down the buttons: minus (-) + directional to the right + the PRG button, then you must press the RESET button for a time of 3 seconds. Once you have released this last button, do not stop pressing the first three. Wait for 2 seconds and release all the buttons, you will see on the screen that the indicated time appears 12:00 am; you have already erased all the memory and now you can reprogram it again.
Q7: What is an irrigation programmer with a meteorological sensor used for?
Meteorological sensors improve the automation of any irrigation system, since in the event of rain they interrupt the operation to avoid wasting water in irrigation. Likewise, when the temperature drops below 0°C, they deactivate the system to prevent frozen water from causing damage to the installations. In addition, they can also identify the intensity of the wind and its effect on the spray pattern and water uniformity on plants and crops.