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7 Best Tap Timers in Australia for 2022

Australia’s sun is a blessing and a curse to us gardeners, so finding new and innovative solutions to irrigation is an important resolve. Rather than wasting our water on sprinklers and hoses, pre-planning our water use can both reduce our consumption, and benefit our plants.

Sprinklers and spray hoses do have a purpose, but they are overused. Instead, consider the difference you can make to our planet, and your bills, by setting up proper irrigation. Some of the best tap timbers in our guide even have weather sensors that reduce water based on rain patterns.

So, if you’re looking for solutions to water wastage, then read on. We’ve got a full guide on how to use and choose the best tap timers for your garden.

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Best Tap Timers in Australia

Product


Our Rating

Price

1. Hozelock Sensor Plus Irrigation Controller

Hozelock Sensor Irrigation Controller
Top Rated Best Tap Timer in Australia

2. LinkTap G2S Wifi Tap Timer

LinkTap G2S Tap Timer
Premium Choice Tap Timer in Australia

3. Hoselink Automatic Tap Timer with Rain Sensor

Hoselink Automatic Tap Timer
Best Value Tap Timer in Australia

4. Hozelock Auto Off Irrigation Controller

Hozelock Auto Off Irrigation Controller Tap Timer

5. Melnor 65036-AMZ AquaTimer Digital Tap Timer

Melnor 65036-AMZ Digital Tap Timer

6. Hozelock Automatic Water Computer Timer Plus

Hozelock Automatic Water Computer Timer Plus

7. Hoselink Total Misting Package (Kit + Tap Timer)

Hoselink Total Misting Package Tap Timer

Tool Buyer’s Guide to Tap Timers

What is a Tap Timer?

Best Tap Timers Australia

Tap timers connect to hose outlets, and serve as an interface between them and your irrigation system. Rather than switching them on and off daily, they will automatically stop and start the flow of water at any time you tell them.

More advanced tap timers don’t even need setting and can read local weather by connecting to your phone, which means they water your garden when it needs it, and don’t waste a drop.

Are you looking into what time of irrigation would best fits your garden? Check out our reviews on the best irrigation and water systems for Australian gardens

When Do You Need a Tap Timer

Tap timers aren’t essential, but they save money and water. They are especially good for lawn irrigation or vegetable plots, but any drip irrigation hose or soaker hoses are more efficient when you take a little bit of time to pre-plan your watering.

99% of the plants we grow outdoors in Australia prefer to be watered at their base, and don’t like getting their foliage wet. Wet foliage promotes fungal problems in the garden, and that water usually evaporates before it reaches the soil. Tap timers, used in combination with drip irrigation target water where it’s needed. 

What to Look for When Buying a Tap Timer

Tap timers are getting much more advanced thanks to the rise of smartphones, but sometimes, basic is better. Below, we’ll look at the kinds of features you should expect from a good quality tap timer.

Outlets

The most common question about tap timers is whether they can handle multiple pipes. The short answer; Yes. The long answer; any tap timer can be connected to multiple hoses using a simple adapter, but the best tap timers are capable of setting different flows, durations, and frequencies for up to four outlets.

Most tap timers have a single outlet. Those with multiple outlets should have multiple settings for each outlet, but some will only run one program for all hoses.

Best Tap Timer Reviews

Power Source

Tap timers are all electric, so buy one that’s genuinely waterproof. After that, the choice is about convenience. Mains-powered tap timers are the easiest to run as they don’t need recharging, or battery changes, but they will require wiring into the house and potentially drilling through the walls to connect them.

Rechargeable tap timers are good and tend to be digital or smart tap timers. However, they don’t hold their charge for long, and you’ll need to keep checking on them.

For us, battery-operated tap timers are the way to go. They have excellent battery lives – sometimes up to a full year – and come with more secure casings than the rubber protectors for charging ports.

Storable Programs

The best tap timers can store multiple programs which can be alternated through the seasons, or even programmed in to start on a certain day. This is only an option for top-end digital or smart tap timers though, as analogue tap timers are mechanical and designed for simplicity.

Weather Sensing

This last one is a luxury for any gardener, and we treated ourselves to a weather sensing tap timer last year. While I find it slightly unnerving that my tap knows more about the weather than I do, it’s a really impressive feature that takes all the work out of watering.

Different Types of Tap Timers

The internal mechanics of tap timers are always the same, so the only difference between models that affects your experience is the interface. Tap timer interfaces are either analogue (mechanical), digital (on-screen) or smart (controlled via phones, tablets or remote devices).

Analogue Tap Timers

Analogue tap timers are easier to get to grips with, and generally sturdier, with less working parts and internal wiring that can go wrong. The downside is that you’ll only have one programme, and will need to reset it manually, and turn it off entirely when there is heavy rain predicted to avoid wasting water.

Digital Tap Timers

Digital tap times are a useful in-between for gardeners on a budget, but it’s worth spending slightly more to get a model you can trust outdoors in all-weather as the screens can blow and become unreadable after time.

Some digital tap timers come with remote controls, which can be good, but if you lose the remote it can be tough to get it working again, so either keep it VERY safe or choose a simpler model with a basic screen display.

Digital timers can store multiple programmes and can be pre-set to water for any duration.

Smart Tap Timers

Until recently I wouldn’t have gone near a smart tap timer. They were made cheaply and not properly weatherproof, but now they are built incredibly well and allow you to control your tap timer from anywhere in the world.

The best smart timers even sense the weather and can adjust the flow, or stop it completely if rain is forecast. If you’re happy to pay a little bit extra, today’s smart tap timers are unbelievably useful tools.

How to Use a Tap Timer

How to Use a Tap Timer

To set up a tap timer, you’ll need to make sure it’s charged, connected or has fresh batteries in. Once connected, the power socket is usually at the back and hard to reach.

Once you’ve turned it on, follow any instructions for digital and smart timers, then snap or screw it onto your hose outlet. Turn the tap on and check that water is flowing properly through the timer’s outlet.

Next, connect your hose or irrigation system and set that up according to your needs. Finally, it’s time to set up your first programme.

For analogue timers, it’s a simple case of setting the right time and day on the mechanism. For digital timers, you’ll need to programme each day separately.

Smart tap timers are intuitive, so once you’ve downloaded the accompanying app, just follow the on-screen instructions to set as many programmes as you need.

Leave the tap on, and the timer will control, start, and stop the flow of water when needed.

Best Tap Timer Reviews

1. Hozelock Sensor Plus Irrigation Controller

Hozelock Sensor Plus Irrigation Controller

Source: amazon.com.au

Hozelock’s Sensor Plus tap timer has one of the cleverest features of any tap timer, and is geared towards serious gardeners who want the best for their plants.

While weather sensors are a great feature to reduce watering in wet conditions, the Hozelock bases its schedules on sunrise and sunset, with daylight sensors to adjust watering throughout the year.

Most plants prefer to be watered in the morning or evening, rather than in the afternoon. It also helps to reduce water wastage as more water goes down to the roots at cooler times of day. 

The simple dial programmes its schedule to water either every day, every other day, or every third, fifth or seventh day. 

While there are cleverer tap timers out there, if you’re looking for an affordable tap timer that takes the guesswork out of gardening (and lets you have a lie-in at the weekend) this is well worth considering.

Pros

  • Day-light sensor
  • Multiple programmable choices, based on time of day, and duration
  • Simple override, for manual watering
  • Incredibly well built
  • Fully waterproof
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Limited features

2. LinkTap G2S Wifi Tap Timer

LinkTap G2S Wifi Tap Timer

Source: amazon.com.au

LinkTap’s G2S water timer is the perfect gift for a tech-savvy gardener. This smart tap timer takes just 4 AA batteries, which will last for up to two years, and links to a well-designed app to programme near limitless settings.

The multi-functional programme calendar allows 100 watering programmes per day (more than you could possibly need), and different schedules for every day of the week.

With smart connectivity, it can pre-schedule and adapt your settings to adjust for the weather conditions ahead too.

It might be a touch more expensive than others, but with outstanding fittings, a waterproof case, long battery life, and more schedules than you could ever possibly use, this is genuinely one of the best tap timers ever built.

Pros

  • Intuitive app
  • Easy to install
  • Two-year battery life
  • Fully waterproof
  • Weather sensing, via forecasts
  • Great brand
  • Good value

Cons

  • N/A

3. Hoselink Automatic Tap Timer with Rain Sensor

Hoselink Automatic Tap Timer with Rain Sensor

Source: hoselink.com.au

This digital tap timer from Hoselink is ideal for any busy Australian gardener. The digital screen is easy to use, and fully waterproof, so doesn’t suffer from blown or bubbling dials like some digital timers, and it has three programmable schedules.

The timer can be set to water for up to 99 minutes at a time, and with different functions for weekdays, weekends, and holidays. While the fitting itself will require a matching plastic connector with a rubber seal to avoid leaks, it’s well put together, and simple to use. 

Oh, and did we mention it's fitted with a rain sensor too? So if the weather turns, there’s an option to disable the hose to save water.

Pros

  • Rain sensors
  • Intuitive dial
  • Easy to install
  • Long battery life
  • Takes regular AA batteries
  • Great brand
  • Three programmable schedules

Cons

  • Needs proper seals for leak-free installation

4. Hozelock Auto Off Irrigation Controller

Hozelock Auto Off Irrigation Controller

Source: amazon.com.au

If you’re after a fully automated tap timer, this isn’t it. However, Hozelock’s Auto-Off controller does make watering simple if you prefer to have more direct control in the garden.

The auto-off timer allows you to set water running for up to 120 minutes and will automatically shut off the tap when it's finished.

In many ways, it’s a better water-saving device than most timers, as you’re in full control. It’s also very well built and should last for years with daily use. 

Pros

  • Best water-saving option
  • Full user control
  • Good value
  • Well-built
  • Fully waterproof
  • No batteries or power source required

Cons

  • Not automated

5. Melnor 65036-AMZ AquaTimer Digital Tap Timer

Melnor 65036-AMZ AquaTimer Digital Tap Timer

Source: amazon.com.au

Melnor’s AquaTimer is beautifully built. It’s an industrial-looking tap timer, but with usability considered in the design. The flanged fittings make it easy to fit for users with grip problems, and its simple on-screen interface is well laid out too.

The 4-zone watering options do reduce pressure, but with up to 6 hours of watering per cycle, it’s easy to keep the whole garden watered without any extra adapters or hose splitters.

The screen is waterproof but doesn’t like to be exposed to high humidity, so if your hose outlet is in a warm shaded spot, it’s worth keeping it clear so the screen won’t blow.

Apart from that, there’s a lot to love about this budget friendly 4-zone tap timer from Melnor.

Pros

  • 4-zone watering
  • Easy digital interface
  • Comfortable and effortless fittings
  • Sturdy casing
  • Multiple schedules

Cons

  • Can suffer from humidity behind the screen

6. Hozelock Automatic Water Computer Timer Plus

Hozelock Automatic Water Computer Timer Plus

Source: amazon.com.au

The Hozelock Water Computer is a simple battery-operated tap timer, but it’s by far the most advanced tap timer Hozelock sells today. The connections are easy to install, and it’s packed with clever storable programmes which are set up using the manual dial.

The only problem is that it’s quite hard to track your programmes, and the dial is quite tricky to get used to.

Pros

  • Well built
  • Easy to install
  • Good battery life
  • Trusted brand
  • Fully waterproof

Cons

  • Complicated dial
  • Slightly confusing to change settings
  • Expensive

7. Hoselink Total Misting Package (Kit + Tap Timer)

Hoselink Total Misting Package (Kit + Tap Timer)

Source: hoselink.com.au

If you’re getting started from scratch, Hoselink has you covered. Their total Misting Package comes ready with a hose, eight misters, all the connectors you need, and a simple control unit that can either connect to the tap outlet, or anywhere along the system.

The unit itself leaves a lot to be desired, with a very basic set of controls, and a single programmable setting that will either run every day, or multiple times per day, which does make it a very manual tool.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Well built
  • Good quality connectors
  • Loads of added extras
  • Full kit included for garden irrigation & misting

Cons

  • Very basic controls & programmes

Tap Timer Top Picks for 2022

Best Tap Timer - Our Top Pick

Top Rated Best Tap Timer in Australia
Hozelock Sensor Plus Irrigation Controller

Source: amazon.com.au

The best tap timer on the market for realistic and intuitive garden health care is the Hozelock Sensor Plus Water Controller. While it won’t sense rainfall or humidity levels like some smart tap timers, it’s geared up to regulate water and begin its daily, or weekly programmes based on sunrise and sunset.

Any seasoned gardener will tell you that that’s the most important consideration when watering. Watering in the afternoon wastes up to 20% of your water which can be lost to evaporation.

So the ability to set sunrise and sunset at the water timer’s main triggers takes all of the guesswork out of irrigation.

Premium Choice Tap Timer

Premium Choice Tap Timer in Australia
LinkTap G2S Wifi Tap Timer

Source: amazon.com.au

If you’re a keen gardener, but also love a gadget, then the LinkTap G2S Wireless Water Timer has to be the best tap timer for you.

While the app is intuitive, you can spend days setting up intricate and detailed schedules for every day of the week, and adapting those settings for each month.

There’s a lot of fun to be had for garden geeks here, and the durability, and build quality of the unit itself is a huge bonus.

Best Value Tap Timer

Best Value Tap Timer in Australia
Hoselink Automatic Tap Timer with Rain Sensor

Source: hoselink.com.au

If you want control, and the ability to set multiple programmes then you’ll have to sacrifice the smart interface of more expensive models.

Thankfully, the Hoselink Automatic Tap Timer with Rain Sensor gives complete control of your irrigation systems and is really well put together, making it possible to have high-quality irrigation on a budget.

I’d usually advise against digital tap timers with built-in screens, as the screens always seem to give up after a few years, but this integrated screen is well fitted and properly sealed and comes with a full-cover 1-year warranty for peace of mind.

Tap Timer Frequently Asked Questions

How long do hose timers last?

Old-fashioned mechanical hose timers can last a lifetime, while digital meters tend to have a reliable working life of around five years. Modern smart tap timers are super durable too, so depending on the quality will last a lifetime if properly maintained.

Do tap timers reduce water pressure?

Tap timers with a single outlet do not reduce water pressure, but when running multiple programmes through multiple irrigation systems the water pressure will be reduced. This is the case with any multiple hose system, regardless of the timer itself.

Do tap timers leak?

The most common problem with tap timers is a bad connection between the timer and the hose outlet on the wall. This can create a constant slow leak which increases your water bill.

If you are at all unsure about installation or notice a leak, it may be due to a poor quality timer unit, or an old faucet. 

What is a low-pressure tap timer?

If you water your garden from water butts, or gravity-fed water tanks, water pressure can be a big challenge. Low-pressure tap timers are designed to increase pressure and pump water from the system. They cost more to run but increase watering efficiency. 

For more tools and equipment to help you water your garden, don't miss our buying guides below: 

Automate Your Garden Irrigation with the Best Tap Timers for 2022

If you’re sold on the idea of a new tap timer, then congratulations; you’ve joined the masses of Aussie gardeners looking for ways to reduce their impact on the planet but saving water in the garden. Why not consider a water butt or drip irrigation to go one step further?

We love garden gadgets at Aussie Green Thumb, and we’re keen to share that with you. Tap timers are some of our favourites and definitely worth considering if you’re still on the fence.

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