I was introduced to the Dig irrigation timer about seven years ago. The battery operated timer I was replacing was now defunct. Ugh – something new, I thought, I wanted the timer I’m used to using. But, surprise, this new irrigation timer was 10 times better. Months later, back at the irrigation supply store, I saw my old timer back on the shelf but didn’t give it a second look – Dig had won me over.
Precision Run Times
What’s so great, you ask? First and foremost, the ability to set the run time precisely. The timer I previously used had a few choices for run times such as 1 min, 5 min, 10 min but there was nothing between 15 minutes and 30 minutes (some timers will give you 20 minutes). The Dig now allowed me to set any amount of time I wanted between 1 minute and 12 hours – at an exact time of day – with an option of 4 start times. Now we’re talking control. One option it does not have is ‘Skip Days'(something I love), allowing you to run your irrigation every day, every other day, third day, etc, but if they did have that the timer might be so popular they’d always be sold out.
I keep calling it the Dig timer but I’ve learned that the producer – Galcon – has taken it back and is manufacturing it under their own name. So far, no changes on the Galcon, same great irrigation timer. To be specific- the timer I like is the Galcon 9001D Hose End Tap Timer with Programmable LCD Display (previously the Dig 9001D).
Easy to hook up – and Dig (also Rain Bird) makes a one piece pressure reducer/filter that easily attaches to the the timer. You want to add this in before connecting you drip lines. The filter and pressure can also be purchased as separate pieces. Also pictured is a brass 3/4″ female hose thread to female pipe thread brass swivel adapter. Read more about this in ‘How to Set Up Drip Irrigation with a Battery Operated Timer.‘ If you are only watering a few planters a short distance from the irrigation timer, you can also attach a female hose thread 1/4″ barbed adapter and go right to 1/4″ tubing.
The timer runs on a 9V battery which (should) lasts for a year. If you are seeing the ‘battery low’ picture when you look at the front digital readout after only a few months – you may have a compromised timer (or an out of date battery). They offer at least a one year limited warranty. So you want to know about the negatives – there aren’t many.
Only a couple (in my humble opinion).
1. That black clip that allows you to disconnect the timer without unscrewing it from the hose bib – NO – do not use – if it breaks you are stuck without a timer. If you do replace the timer in the future – keep that black clip and you’ll have an extra (then you can dare to use it). It was definitely one of the few times that the Dig/Galcon and I had a falling out (some bad words were said). Anyway…lesson learned.
2. The ‘Rain Delay’ button never seems to work. No problem, if it’s the rainy season, disconnect the timer and bring it inside (this will expand its life. Leaving it out all winter is not great)
Price and Specs
Otherwise for the price range – $40 to $50 – this timer does a lot. I haven’t seen it at the big box stores but it’s easy to find online. Amazon has it with free shipping for $39.95 Galcon 9001D Hose End Tap Timer with Programmable LCD Display
This irrigation timer is perfect for watering deck planters or small gardens. It’s very easy to set up (see this post) and program. Just put a note on your calendar at the start of the season to change the 9V battery. You can also use a brass Y to connect more than one timer and create two zones (shade and sun sections of your garden or if you just need more water pressure).
ps. If you’re looking for a great, reasonably priced, battery operated timer, I’ve included my Amazon link for the Galcon 9001D Hose End Tap Timer. I’ve used this timer a lot for myself and for clients. It’s been very reliable. Galcon makes another timer, the Galcon 11000L functions the same as the 9001D but is a great alternative if you need a different shaped timer to fit a tight space. You can also find other drip irrigation supplies such as pressure reducers, filters, tubing, emitters and more.