This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

July 10, 2013

Battery-operated Toro watering timers

I just finished installing the Toro timers a few minutes ago, and I had forgotten how nice they are. I had been using them for the past twenty years here at The Tropical Paradise until I was enticed away by the "pretty face" of the Orbits, which failed, three times. In Orbit's defense, I must say that their customer service is excellent. But their engineering is terrible. Hopefully it will get better. Yes, they burst without warning and make an awful mess of gushing water. Don't buy those.

Anyway, the I ordered the Toros online from Home Depot. They run on batteries (I buy the super-dooper Lithium kind), and they are so easy to use it's absolutely ridiculous. No, there is no digital readout, no you don't have to set the time, or any of that stuff. You turn one dial for frequency (how often) and duration (how long). It's a little before 2 p.m. now so I have the watering system set to come on for twenty minutes every twelve hours (it's hot here right now!). So, it will come on at 2 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The timer on the left controls the misting system, which I have set to come on every three hours for fifteen minutes. I don't want them operating at the same time, so I'll go flip the switch in about an hour or so to get that one started. The old Orbits, in addition to blowing up unexpectedly, didn't offer this, you could only select down to twice a day. The misting system should come on every once in a while all during the summer.

The most interesting thing about this is that the Toros cost less than the Orbits. The Toros have never failed, I just replaced them in the past based on years of use. Live and learn.

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