Most helpful positive review
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Saved Us $100s, But...
on March 23, 2005
I purchesed 5 of these last year, and they worked as advertised. They shut off very nicely, saving the pipes, and are generally accurate as timers. We have a large yard (.8 acres) and this product saved us several hundred dollars last summer alone. I too searched extensively for a similar product, and there are no direct (mechanical) competitors that I know of.
However, I agree with several of the previous reviewers--the construction could be more robust. Last year, one timer mechanism gave out, and over this winter, one split (my fault for letting it freeze). A third sheared off at the input side when I tightened it down on the spigot.
Being mechanical, I took one of the broken ones apart to see how it works. It uses a standard diapharam valve that keeps water from the timer mechanism, and looks adequate to the task at hand. Overall, the design is quite effective.
Having said that, I am going to replace them this spring with more of the same, as I love the design concept which, I will repeat, works exceedingly well. I do take measures to protect these timers: I put one of those 10 inch flex extenders and a 50 psi pressure regulator (one of the inexpensive passive types) in front of each timer. This helps to minimize the risks to the timer. The combination works well, and makes our busy life just a touch easier. They are worth the money, even with the noted problems.
UPDATE April 2005: (2 STARS) I bought two more this spring, and the design has changed. Its a very different case and, I speculate, a somewhat different mechanism. They turn off hard with this revision, slamming the pipes, not soft and slow as the older ones did. I will be looking elsewhere for replacements, though I still like the design CONCEPT of a simple mechanical timer. Your milage may of course vary.