There is nothing like having a healthy green lawn. In many parts of the country where the rain is sparse or the summer temperatures are high, an automatic lawn sprinkler system is a must. Although Florida gets ample rain, it does not always rain in your location. Even with a good rain shower, the summer sun dries out the sandy soil rapidly.
I was fortunate that my home came already equipped with an in-ground automatic sprinkler system. Albeit an old system, it performed adequately except for the programming of the sprinkler system. Florida’s electrical utility service, often referred to as “Florida Flicker and Flash,” is prone to short-term power losses. My old time was equipped with a battery backup, but that function no longer worked. Every time the power died, which was much more often than I’d like, the system reverted to the default programming. Tiring of the constant task of reprogramming the old unit, I decided it was time for a replacement.
Visiting one of the local discount hardware chains, I reviewed all the brands of sprinkler systems that were offered. Some, a bit pricy, I thought. The bargain brand was the Orbit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer. It was easily half the price of the other name brand products offered. Cheap is not always better, and I was a little hesitant to purchase something offered at half the price. But I’m cheap and on a tight budget, so I decided to take the gamble. The Obit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer, model 27954, was a good choice.
Replacing the old timer with the new 4-station Orbit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer was an easy task. It was compatible with the standard 24-volt system already in place. Programming was also simple even with the many options the timer offered. The Orbit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer is designed with water restrictions in mind. It has two separate timer selections (Dual Programming) for alternating days or alternating the sections of the lawn to be watered. Perhaps a little more complicated than necessary; at least for my case. I only needed to select two days a week and did not require the more elaborate scheduling that the Obit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer had to offer, but I will be ready should that ever change.
There are numerous features of the Obit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer that I like. One of the first things I noticed during the change out was that the Obit system’s AC power module required only half the power of my older system. This concerned me at first. Would it have enough power to operate the water valve solenoids? As I found out during the first test run, it did.
The second feature pleases me the most about my selection of the Orbit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer. There is always some occasion where you want to manually operate the sprinkler system. With my old system, if I wanted to water just one section of the lawn, I had to run the entire watering cycle or reprogram the timer to run just the one zone. Reprogramming was by far too much trouble. With the new Orbit Webmaster Sprinkler Timer, however, I have options. The timer offers the option of watering just one selected zone or running the whole cycle, all zones. This is perfect! If the wife puts in new plants in the flowerbeds in the front of the house, for example, I can select that one zone without having to water the entire lawn.
Don’t you just hate to see your sprinkler system come on when it is pouring down rain? The Orbit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer has that covered. With the push of a single button you can delay the start of the next programmed watering by 24, 48 or 72 hours. When the local weatherman says it is going to rain, just push the Rain Delay button, and it is all taken care of. Unlike my old system that I had to manually turn off for such events and then forget to turn back on until the grass was nearly dead.
The Orbit Watermaster Sprinkler Timer, model 27954, comes with a 5-year warranty. Requires two AA batteries, not included. This is the only thing I don’t like about the Orbit system. Not that the batteries are not included, but that the batteries are not readily accessible when it comes time to change them out. The two screws that mount the bottom cover for the electrical connections must be removed, along with the cover, to access the battery compartment. But then, the batteries should not have to be replaced for a year or two, if not longer. Overall, I am pleased with my selection.