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  40 responses to Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • I have Vigoro Two Zone Water Timer. When I replaced batteries, it continued to show “low battery”. Has anyone else experienced this, and if so, how was it resolved?

    • I would recommend checking the battery contacts inside the and make sure they don’t have any corrosion on them, they should be shiny metal. If they look corroded you can rub on them with a pencil eraser to help clean them up.

      I have on occasion also received ‘new’ batteries which were so old that they were dead so that might be something to double check as well. Good luck Phyllis!

  • I have a small pond about 3750 gallon. I would like to link the Vigoro wireless moisture sensor to the timer to keep the pool at the proper level. Can I just support the sensor spike at the proper position?

    • That’s an interesting use for the timer, it would probably work, you could set it to water every hour for 1 hour, and if the sensor is dry, it will turn on until it’s not. The only problem I see with this is that if the battery in the sensor dies, the timer will just disable the sensor feature and go with it’s timing, so you could end up overflowing the pool.

      If you could go with something like a float valve you would be better off in the long run. I did a quick search for ‘float valve, pond’ on Google and turned up this as one of the first results. I don’t know anything about the company, and can’t recommend them, but if you have garden/pond supply shop nearby you might be able to find them locally as well.

      Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • Hi Jon – Thank you for your interest and response. I would probably only set the timer for about 15 minutes a day to lessen the overfill problem.

    As far as a float valve goes, I have considered that for the long run, I could even use a toilet tank in the basement at the proper elevation and a pvc line under ground to the pool below the water line. My problems are a 16″ concrete foundation and about 16′ Bominite stamped concrete drive.

    I am going to try the Vigoro / Orbit. For the short run to keep the bog plants from frying.

    Thanks again for your time and response.

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • I am having battery issues with my Vigoro two zone timer as Phyllis stated. I purchased two timers last year – each used a 9v battery and seemed to work fine.

    I purchased three additional timers this spring that use 4 AA batteries and have continual battery issues. I have purchased 4 packages of AA batteries as of today – Eveready and Duracell – thinking that they may have been outdated. The terminals are new and clean, the area where the batteries are inserted is dry, the batteries are new (again), and still the low battery light is blinking and the timer is not working. I have returned one timer. Unfortunately, I did not keep receipts for all of them.

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • Hi Pam, I’m just curious if this is the 2 zone model that has the ring of buttons with one in the middle and the big display to the left of them?

  • Jon,

    I absolutely love my Orbit Yard Watering Kit! It will water for different durations if you set your programmed times in RUN TIME and then use the default ALL when turning it on manually. Works great!

  • I have a Vigoro wireless watering system. New last summer. It worked great all summer. This year I hooked it up and it still works but, there are 3 small holes on the back that I,m not sure what they are for, but they discharge full streams of water when the timer is activated . What,s my priblem?

  • Will the Vigoro 3015v water timer work on a gravity feed from a barrel to water remote apple trees? We have a new one and even on manual open I hear a clicking noise inside the unit but no water comes out?

    • I can’t speak specifically to the requirements of thae valve inside of the timer, but I know stand-alone valves usually have a minimum pressure requirement. A lot of them start at 20PSI on up, though I see orbit makes some stand-alone low pressure valves some ‘ultra low pressure’ valves can operate as low as 4.5psi. If you have a collection barrel you would need to raise the barrel 2.31 feet in the air for 1 psi. For 20psi that would mean keeping your tank at 40+ feet. If you had a timer and a 4.5psi standalone valve than that’s about 10.5 feet in altitude. I just did a little bit of research, I couldn’t find specs for a Vigoro, but I did find specs for an Orbit (I’ve seen some Orbit products resold as Vigoro) So, if that’s anything to go by the specs say 10psi min and 80psi max. I know this won’t solve your problem, but at least now you know why it doesn’t work.

      I’m guessing that the valve has a return spring of some sort which helps close the valve and if that is the case then your water pressure is not high enough and it may not be able to overcome the spring.

      Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • I just purchased the orbit yard watering system(labeled as a Vigoro). I have it set up for zone 2 and 3 for automatic watering, but when I use the manual setting I can only select an individual zone and then a time for that zone. When I select All, only zone 2 come on. If I manually select 3 then 3 does come on, but I can’t get 2 and 3 at the same time.

    The manual is not clear about how to manually operate both or All zones.

    Any Ideas?

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

    • Hi JeffN, these timers do a zone at a time. Karl Connolly said further up the page that you set the times in the Run Time area and then set the zones to ‘all’ in manual watering. The timer will then run one zone for the set time period and then the next in order. If you set the times for unused zones to zero it should bypass them. Hope this helps, if not, post again!

  • JeffN – I had the same problem as Jerry – I’m so bummed,because I really want to use the timer again and don’t want to buy a new one (my husband doesn’t think the amount of veggies I get from the garden will be worth the cost). Is there anything I can do to fix it? If I try to open the housing, will it destroy any chance I have of exchanging it?

  • I have the “orbit” 49 dollar version which had the VIGORO brand name on it. This unit seems to have a mind of it’s own! I set the front lawn timer for 6 AM and at a duration of one hour. The back yard is set to come on at 7 30 AM and last for one hour. Here’s what happens instead. The front goes on at 6 AM lasts an hour then the back comes on at 930 and shuts off after one hour. nO big deal except that the front then comes back on and lasts another hour! A few days ago the back came on again after the front went off and wouldn’t shut off at all! Grrrr! I have pressed “reset” button with a paper clip and tried every combo of settings that you could well imagine. Same result! Very frustrated but I cannot go away for two weeks and let my prize winning lawns/veggie garden dry up! What gives?

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • Hi Tom H, I’m not sure which time you have that’s the 49 dollar version. Unfortunately they have quite a few different types of timers. All I can really recommend is to go to Orbit’s web page at and try to find the similar product. It seems like every year these companies come out with a couple of new product lines or have changed the designs.

  • Thanks for the great information on the sprinkler timers, I was considering the Vigoro model, but just wondered about it. THANKS for the tip on going to Lowes for the more expensive Orbit model.I’d seen that one and wondered about it. I am a senior citizen and can’t very well dig my own trench, so this timer just might work for me.

  • I’m having battery problems, just like Phyllis & Pam. I have the Vigoro Two Zone Water Timer, that takes the 4 AA batteries. When I first bought it and put batteries in it flashed “low battery”, I just thought the batteries were old, and bought more (Enegizers) and it worked for a few months then said “low battery”. I put in brand new Kirkland Signature, and it still said “low battery” I tried four others and it still didn’t work, so I bought four new “Duracell Ultra Advanced” and it still says “low battery”. I didn’t keep the receipt and don’t know what to do now.

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • I bought the Vigoro 3015v, and programmed it just fine. One hose in and one hose out. It operates when I turn it to “manual” until the end of one period. There just doesn’t seem to be a setting where it goes into automatic watering mode. I tried leaving it in “program on”, no joy. Same with “Program off” mode.
    I could achieve the same result by turning on the hose to the sprinklers once a day, but that kinda defeats the idea of an automatic waterer.
    Thanks for any help — am I missing a button?

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

    • Hi Bob, I’m grabbing my 3015V control module so I can provide some useful help. Check back in an hour 🙂

    • Hi Bob, I just took a look at the 3015 to remind myself how it works 😉 This timer does not let you program in the minutes for the schedule so you’ll have to be patient. If you program the timer for ‘current time’ it’s only going to be to the closest hour. So if I set it for 9pm, it thinks it’s 9pm exactly. Then you set the start time for the hour you want. Once you’ve set the setting press the oval ‘Program On/Off’ button and it’s running. Even if you set it for 9pm like you just set the clock, it won’t start until the NEXT scheduled time. You’ll want to set the time for one hour ahead, and hour from now you’ll hear a click as the valve opens, it will stay open for the configured time and then click when it closes the valve. Then at each configured time slot you will hear it click as the valve opens again. I hope this helps! -Jon

      Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • Hello Bob, I’ve had the same battery problem as the others. Came back from a 9 day trip to find my heirloom tomato raised bed overflowing – the unit failed with one valve open. Low battery light was on and new batteries started a constant whirring until just moments later the low battery light came on again. I can see inside the zone 1 outlet that there is som black piece of plastic or rubber peeking out between the green housing and the valve gate. I think it makes the valve stuck open, the unit tries to close until batteries are low. I used this unit the last half of last summer and all this summer til now. Unless I can get inside to fix, it’s a loss. I purchased for $35, not too bad for almost 2 summers, but now I see the price is $55 – $60… I’ll let you know!

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • I am having the same problem as the others, only I have to vigro 2 zone timers and both have done the same. I have used two sets of new batteries and the wherring sound continues untill the low battery light comes on. The amount of water that has fludded my shrubs and trees, I would think has been running for about three days. I too travel a bit and am scared to go and have malfunctioning while I am away. I will send these back to the company with another $6.00 plus shipping of about $7.00. The money does add up. I don’t know if having a well has anything to do with it or not. I do have two drinking water filters on my well. I wish someone would figure this out.

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • My Vigoro Two-zone worked like a champ until the flashing light thing came up, and it died pretty promptly after that: still flashing the LED intermittently, and not watering at all (my children don’t like this at all, since the missus has them watering). Replacing the batteries has done nothing to help.
    I live in San Francisco, so our air is pretty moist and kind of salty. Maybe it’s just ordinary exposed circuitry that’s the problem here.
    It occurs to me that this product is so inexpensive I can afford to replace it and not cry too much, so I think I will do that, if I can still find a replacement.

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • I am having problems programing my timer. Its the orbit model 27752. It keeps repeating the cycle.

  • Jon, I am experiencing water pressure problems. I had it “daisy chained” like you had timer-sprinkler-sprinkler. Then I tried time to timer->hose-> two way splitter -> sprinkler on one end of splitter

    -> hose on second end of splitter -> sprinkler
    That did not help either. The pressure is terrible.
    I do not have that pressure problem when I by bypass the timer. What do you recommend?

    I am using this sprinkler

    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

    • Hi Vinnie, sorry for the delay in response. It sounds like a couple of things could be going on there. The valve on your timer may be defective and not opening all of the way. It’s also possible the valve and water passage through the timer itself is too narrow to support the amount of water flow you need for two sprinklers. You may want to use a dual valve or more sprinkler timer so you can run one sprinkler at a time, or look into a timer with a wider valve body. Thanks for mentioning this though, hopefully it will give someone else ideas for their own sprinkler setup.

      Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • We’ve had two of the Vigoro 3015 timers for 3 years and have not had any problems …

    I have had to fiddle with cleaning with the battery contacts and pull them up and the top cover spring down to ensure good contact .. but aside from that .. they have worked well ..

    it takes a bit of patience to figure out the programming and the instructions aren’t great …

    we use them to control drip zones watering two to three times a day and I will be adding two more this week


    Some Options for Sprinkler Timers

  • I have had a Vigoro 196-036 for 2 seasons and it’s worthless. Water managed to get into the case this year even though it’s a record year for no rain and coroded the battery tabs. It’s no longer functional. Do yourself a favor and pass this junk up.

  • nice post ++++++ thanks thumbs up 🙂

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  • Some Options for Sprinkler Timers Link

    Vigoro 3015V Sprinkler Timer Internals and Valve Design | Jon's Home Blog Comment on Some Options for Sprinkler Timers (August 31st, 2010 at 22:50)

    […] August, Electronics, Garden, Hobbies, Lawn, Plumbing, summer I noticed a lot of interest in my sprinkler timer review post and I wanted to expand on that a bit. In this post I’ll tear apart the Vigoro 3015V Sprinkler […]

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