Do-it-yourself timer for watering: tips from the wizard


One of the conditions for the full growth and development of plants is timely watering. But not always, due to the employment of the owners and the remoteness of the site from the city, it is possible to provide it. Setting a timer will help to solve the problem of creating optimal conditions in compliance with the humidity regime. This device will not only simplify the care of green pets, but also have a beneficial effect on the quality of the crop. The device you need on the farm can be purchased at a gardening store, or you can make a watering timer yourself. How to choose the best version of the model or make a simple device on our own we will consider in the article.

The Water Timer is a single or multi-channel shut-off mechanism that controls the water pump. It opens at regular intervals, allowing water to flow into the irrigation system.

Drip irrigation systems provide an opportunity for several days or even weeks not to appear on the site, without worrying about your seedlings

The automatic watering timer in one fell swoop solves a lot of tasks:

  • Provides watering at a given intensity and frequency;
  • Prevents waterlogging of the soil and decay of roots due to measured and slow water supply;
  • By supplying water under the roots of garden crops, it solves the issue of sunburn of leaves and minimizes the risk of their disease;
  • By providing localized irrigation, it helps to resolve the weed issue.

For ease of maintenance, water supply timers are placed together with other equipment in plastic boxes installed underground.

In order to be able to quickly access devices, such boxes are equipped with a removable hatch or a tight-fitting lid.

The main types of such devices

According to the counting principle, timers are divided into single-action devices (with a single actuation) and multiple devices (when they are triggered several times with pre-set shutter speeds).

Depending on the type of mechanism used, the timer is:

  • Electronic - the control unit of the device includes electronic accessories that determine the response time and opening of the solenoid valve. The indisputable advantage of this type of device is a wide range of response times, which can vary from 30 seconds to one week. The irrigation mode can be adjusted both locally and remotely.
  • Mechanical - is a control unit equipped with a spiral spring and a mechanical valve. Works on the principle of a mechanical watch. One winding cycle of the spring block is able to provide uninterrupted operation of the mechanism for up to 24 hours, opening the valve at a user-specified response period. Watering mode is only manually adjusted.

Both devices are multi-channel designs. The mechanical irrigation timer is simple in design and lacks power supply wires. This significantly reduces the cost of the device.

A mechanical timer, in comparison with an electronic analogue, has a more limited duration of a given cycle

In the mechanical timer, it is enough to set the watering cycle by selecting the interval. With an electronic model, it is somewhat more complicated: first you need to set the date and time, and only after that choose the program that is optimal for the grown crop.

Many have noticed that in the water supply systems of suburban settlements in the daytime, due to intensive water intake, the pressure decreases. By setting the automatic watering timer, you can schedule evening and night time irrigation.

Depending on the modification of the device, the timers can have an internal or external ordinary pipe thread, and are also equipped with quick-release hose connectors or quick-connect connectors with an irrigation system.

The most expensive models have additional functions, for example, moisture determination, depending on the indicator of which irrigation is automatically reduced or extended.

Water timer manufacturing options

When planning to equip an automatic irrigation system on the site, it is convenient to use water timers to control taps. With their help, the water supply system can be made absolutely non-volatile, avoiding the use of any electronics.

Construction # 1 - Timer with drip-wick

The fibers of the wick, being saturated with moisture, lift it up to a certain height, preventing the water from quickly evaporating. If the wick is thrown over the side of the container, then the absorbed water will simply begin to drip from the free end.

This method is based on physical laws that create a capillary effect. It occurs when a fabric wick is lowered into a container of water

The moisture throughput can be adjusted by adjusting the thickness of the wick, the tightness of the twist of the threads and pinching them with a wire loop.

To equip the timer, a five or ten liter plastic bottle is installed in a container with low sides, the height of which does not exceed 5-8 cm. One of the key conditions for the operation of the system is to maintain the liquid level in the tank at a constant height. The optimal ratio of capacities is easiest to determine experimentally.

The determining factor in his work is the water column. Therefore, the height of the bottle and the depth of the wide container are interrelated things.

A small hole is made in the bottom of the bottle for water to flow out. The bottle is filled with water, temporarily covering the drain hole, and sealed with a lid. The filled bottle is placed in a trough. Water seeping through the bottom will gradually flow out, stopping at a level when the hole does not disappear under the thickness. As the water is consumed, the water flowing out of the bottle will replenish the losses.

The wick itself is easiest to make from a rope of suitable thickness or a bundle twisted from a piece of fabric. It is placed in a container, correctly distributing the ends.

The main advantage of such a timer is that due to the same level of water in a wide container in the event of rain, the replenishment of moisture loss from the bottle will be suspended.

Craftsmen who have already tested such a device in practice claim that a five-liter bottle with a flow rate of 1 drop / 2 seconds is enough for 20 hours of uninterrupted operation. By choosing the optimal size of the bottle, which acts as a column of water, and adjusting the intensity of the droplet, you can achieve the effect of many-day delays.

Construction # 2 - Ball Valve Regulating Device

In the water timer, the response time is driven by the drop. The water flowing out of the ballast tank reduces the weight of the structure. At a certain moment, the weight of the container is no longer enough to hold the handle of the shut-off valve, and the water supply starts.

To equip a water timer you will need:

  • Barrel for water;
  • Ball valve;
  • Two plywood or metal circles;
  • Canisters or 5 liter plastic bottles;
  • Construction glue;
  • Spool of sewing thread.

For the smooth functioning of the system, it is advisable to modify the ball valve by attaching a small pulley - a rocker arm to the handle fixed by means of a screw. This will allow the valve to be moved from closed to open by changing the angle of the handle.

A pulley is constructed from two identical plywood circles, gluing them together with planes with construction glue, or metal, connecting them with bolts. A strong cord is wound onto the pulley, making several turns around it for reliability. When constructing the lever, the lengths of the cord are firmly fixed at its edges. A weight-ballast and a container with water that compensates for its weight are tied to the free ends of the cord from opposite sides. The weight of the load must be such that, under its weight, the crane comes into a lever state.

It is convenient to use five-liter plastic bottles as cargo ballast and a container with water that compensates for its weight.

The easiest way to adjust the weight of containers is by pouring sand into one of them and pouring water into the other. Metal chips or lead shot can also play the role of a weighting agent.

The container with water will serve as a timer. To do this, a tiny hole is made in its bottom with a thin needle, through which water will seep out drop by drop. The flow time will depend on the volume of the bottle itself and the size of the hole. It can range from a few hours to three to four days.

To operate the device, the irrigation container is placed on a flat surface and filled with water. The bottles, suspended by the ends of the cord from the pulley, are also filled: one with sand, the other with water. When the weight of the filled bottles is equal, the tap is closed.

As the water is scooped up, the container loses weight. At a certain moment, the ballast weight, outweighing the partially emptied bottle, turns the valve to the open position, thereby starting irrigation

There are situations when it is necessary to get the full opening of the tap, bypassing intermediate positions - the so-called toggle switch effect. In these cases, a little trick will help: in the closed position of the crane, the edge of the thread is attached to the weight, which will act as a safety device, and its free end is fixed to the crane. When the mechanism is closed, the thread will not be under any stress. As the container with water is emptied, the load will outweigh, but the safety thread will take on the excess weight, preventing the ballast from moving the valve to the open position. The thread will break only with a significant overweight of the load, instantly switching off the tap and providing free passage of water.

To restore the system to its original state, it is enough to simply remove the load or fix it in a suspended state by removing the tension on the cord.

The system is ready for operation, it only remains to fill the watering barrel and timer with water before leaving, and hang the ballast, securing it with a thin thread. Such a device is easy to manufacture and easy to maintain. Its only drawback can be considered a one-shot operation.

Other ideas for creating mechanical timers can be found on the thematic forms. For example, some craftsmen use a cylindrical plunger with polyethylene granules in oil as a working body of a timer. The device is adjusted so that when the temperature drops at night, the displacer is retracted, and the weakened spring opens the valve. A diaphragm is used to limit the flow of water. In the daytime, the polyethylene granules warmed up by the sun's rays increase in size, pushing the plunger back to its original position and thereby shutting off the water supply.

Construction # 3 - electronic timer

Craftsmen with basic knowledge of electronics can build a simple model of an electronic timer. The manufacturing guide for the device is presented in the video clip:

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How to make a drip irrigation system

Watering is one of the most difficult gardening jobs. How many ten-liter watering cans were dragged to the beds - it's scary to remember. We are in the 21st century, but still many people are wary of irrigation systems - it seems that it is terribly difficult and expensive.

A lot of people come to our site, and the reaction of people is incomprehensible to me: “Oh! How interesting! But we'd better drag around with watering cans and then complain of back pain and drought! "

At FORUMHOUSE, we talked about the different types of irrigation systems available to every gardener. Today we'll talk about how to make a drip irrigation system on the site - from the simplest one, from what is at hand, to the serious, from the normal components.

  • How the drip irrigation system works.
  • The benefits of drip irrigation.
  • Types of drip irrigation.
  • How to make a non-pressure drip irrigation system.
  • How to make a drip irrigation system cheaply from available tools.


Automatic irrigation system for beds: buying or creating with your own hands

To get a good harvest, the soil in your area must be fertile. None, even the most expensive and high-quality fertilizers, will provide you with this without properly organized irrigation. In this case, it is necessary to take into account the requirements of plants for how much the soil should be saturated with moisture. After all, without water, they will simply wither away. But it is also not worth pouring in the beds. Vegetables will not be bitter, tasteless and watery, and their roots will not rot if you properly organize an irrigation system in your area. Of course, you can use the traditional method and water the garden with a watering can or a hose, wasting a lot of time and energy. Or you can arrange automatic watering, where your presence is not even required. In this article, we will look at the popular automatic irrigation systems for beds and how they work. And we will also tell you how to make automatic watering of the beds with your own hands.


Water timer manufacturing options

When planning to equip an automatic irrigation system on the site, it is convenient to use water timers to control taps. With their help, the water supply system can be made absolutely non-volatile, avoiding the use of any electronics.

Timer with drip wick

The fibers of the wick, being saturated with moisture, lift it up to a certain height, preventing the water from quickly evaporating. If the wick is thrown over the side of the container, then the absorbed water will simply drip from the free end.

This method is based on physical laws that create the capillary effect. It occurs when a fabric wick is lowered into a container of water

The moisture throughput can be adjusted by adjusting the thickness of the wick, the tightness of the twist of the threads and pinching them with a wire loop.

To equip the timer, a five or ten liter plastic bottle is installed in a container with low sides, the height of which does not exceed 5-8 cm. One of the key conditions for the operation of the system is to maintain the liquid level in the tank at a constant height. The optimal ratio of capacities is easiest to determine experimentally.

The determining factor in his work is the water column. Therefore, the height of the bottle and the depth of the wide container are interrelated things.

A small hole is made in the bottom of the bottle for water to flow out. The bottle is filled with water, temporarily covering the drain hole, and sealed with a lid. The filled bottle is placed in a trough. Water seeping through the bottom will gradually flow out, stopping at a level when the hole does not disappear under the thickness. As the water is consumed, the water flowing out of the bottle will replenish the losses.

The wick itself is easiest to make from a rope of suitable thickness or a bundle twisted from a piece of fabric. It is placed in a container, correctly distributing the ends.

The main advantage of such a timer is that due to the same level of water in a wide container in case of rain, the replenishment of moisture loss from the bottle will be suspended.

Craftsmen who have already tested such a device in practice claim that a five-liter bottle with a flow rate of 1 drop / 2 seconds is enough for 20 hours of uninterrupted operation. By choosing the optimal size of the bottle, which acts as a column of water, and adjusting the intensity of the drop, you can achieve the effect of many-day delays.

Ball valve regulating device

In the water timer, the response time is driven by the drop. The water flowing out of the ballast tank reduces the weight of the structure. At a certain moment, the weight of the container is no longer enough to hold the handle of the shut-off valve, and the water supply starts.

To equip a water timer you will need:

  • Barrel for water
  • Ball valve
  • Two plywood or metal circles
  • Cans or 5 liter plastic bottles
  • Construction adhesive
  • Spool of sewing thread.

For the smooth functioning of the system, it is advisable to modify the ball valve by attaching a small pulley - rocker arm to the handle fixed by means of a screw. This will allow the valve to be moved from closed to open by changing the angle of the handle.

A pulley is constructed from two identical plywood circles, gluing them together with planes with construction glue, or metal, connecting them with bolts. A strong cord is wound onto the pulley, making several turns around it for reliability. When constructing the lever, the lengths of the cord are firmly fixed at its edges. A weight-ballast and a container with water that compensates for its weight are tied to the free ends of the cord from opposite sides. The weight of the load must be such that, under its weight, the crane comes into a lever state.

It is convenient to use five-liter plastic bottles as cargo ballast and a container with water that compensates for its weight.

The easiest way to adjust the weight of containers is by pouring sand into one of them and pouring water into the other. Metal chips or lead shot can also play the role of a weighting agent.

The container with water will serve as a timer. To do this, a tiny hole is made in its bottom with a thin needle, through which water will seep out drop by drop. The flow time will depend on the volume of the bottle itself and the size of the hole. It can range from a few hours to three to four days.

To operate the device, the irrigation container is placed on a flat surface and filled with water. The bottles, suspended by the ends of the cord from the pulley, are also filled: one with sand, the other with water. If the weight of the filled bottles is equal, the tap is closed.

As the water is scooped up, the container loses weight. At a certain moment, the ballast weight, outweighing the partially emptied bottle, turns the tap to the "open" position, thereby starting irrigation

There are situations when it is necessary to get the full opening of the tap, bypassing intermediate positions - the so-called toggle switch effect. In these cases, a little trick will help: in the closed position of the crane, the edge of the thread is attached to the weight, which will act as a safety device, and its free end is fixed to the crane. When the mechanism is closed, the thread will not be under any stress. As the container with water is emptied, the load will begin to outweigh, but the safety thread will take on the excess weight, preventing the ballast from moving the valve to the "open" position. The thread will break only with a significant overweight of the load, instantly switching the tap and providing free passage of water.

To restore the system to its original state, it is enough to simply remove the load or fix it in a suspended state by removing the tension on the cord.

The system is ready for operation, it only remains to fill the watering barrel and timer with water before leaving, and hang the ballast, securing it with a thin thread. Such a device is easy to manufacture and easy to maintain. Its only drawback can be considered a one-shot operation.

Other ideas for creating mechanical timers can be found on the thematic forms. For example, some craftsmen use a cylindrical plunger with polyethylene granules in oil as a working body of a timer. The device is adjusted so that when the temperature drops at night, the displacer is retracted, and the weakened spring opens the valve. A diaphragm is used to limit the flow of water. In the daytime, the polyethylene granules warmed up by the sun's rays increase in size, pushing the plunger to its original position and thereby shutting off the water supply.

Electronic timer

Craftsmen with basic knowledge of electronics can build a simple model of an electronic timer. The manufacturing guide for the device is presented in the video clip:


A simple homemade water timer for the automatic watering system of the garden. Automatic watering | DoSam.Ru

Automatic irrigation systems are designed to help out a summer resident who visits his site once a week and on weekends. Meanwhile, on hot summer days, plants need watering, if not daily, then at least once every 2-3 days.

For a week, the earth dries up very much and even short rains do not always help out the summer resident. And it would be nice if "someone" watered your plants somewhere in the middle of the week, on Wednesday-Thursday, for example.

This "someone" is - the automatic irrigation system.

In self-made automatic irrigation devices, it is convenient to use mechanical or water timers to control taps that supply water for irrigation. This avoids the use of any electronics and electricity in general and makes the system completely non-volatile.

(For a project of such a system, see here ...). The easiest way is to make a water timer, in which the time is "worked out" in the form of a drop.

Water, gradually flowing out of the ballast container, makes it lighter and after a while its weight is no longer enough to hold the handle of the tap that includes watering.

But as one of the readers quite rightly noted, it is not so easy to organize a drip-type water timer with a really long exposure.

I conducted additional research on this problem myself, and I was convinced of this. As much as I tried to minimize the diameter of the hole in the plastic bottle (using a sewing needle), the water still came out quickly enough. Moreover, the rate of its consumption also depended on the height of the water column. When the bottle was full, the water flowed out in a trickle.

Then it turned into drops, and only when the bottle was almost empty did the drops become slow. Such unevenness in itself is not terrible, since we only care about the final time of the timer. But here it turned out to be very small. And difficult to predict.

Can you imagine how much water and time it will take to debug a timer for 3 days?

As I continued to experiment, I replaced the round hole in the bottle with a slotted hole. Those. took a sharp knife with a thin blade and made an incision 1-1.5 cm long.

Water flowed through this gap much slower than through a puncture with a needle.

And although the unevenness of the drop rate still remained (and therefore the difficulty of debugging in time), the timer operation time increased significantly (from 2-3 hours to 10-12 hours on a 1.5-liter bottle).

But there was one more important drawback. Such drip systems require not just clean water, but crystal clear water.

The slightest speck or insect caught in the water can disable the timer by covering the "loophole" with its body. The likelihood of this makes the whole system unreliable and I decided to abandon it altogether.

Although, of course, you can install some rather large filter made of foam rubber, mineral wool, etc. in front of the slot.

Therefore, I decided to make a timer devoid of all these shortcomings. A timer that would not be afraid of dirty water or insects, and even track rainfall.

If it rained and the need for irrigation disappeared or was postponed for 1-2 days, then the timer had to "work out" this moment and also postpone the response time for some time, and proportional to the amount of precipitation. And we managed to solve both of these tasks, and in 2 versions.

Water timer using evaporation.

The "mechanism" of drying clothes is known to everyone. Water molecules leave the surface of the fabric and fly away, the fabric dries up. But if you organize the "delivery" of new water to the tissue, then it simply becomes a large surface for water evaporation. And the easiest way to organize delivery is by arranging a large "wick" made of thick fabric.

In them, the effect of capillary suction of water into the tissue is especially manifested. Actually because towels and towels ... And if one end of a thick towel is lowered into a bucket of water, then the towel will firstly suck in water “as much as it can fit”, and secondly, it will never dry until all the water from the bucket has evaporated.

I did a little experiment. He poured about 5 liters of water into the basin, installed a small mesh structure in it (to raise the towel above the basin and increase the evaporation area). He covered everything with a wet towel. 5 liters of water was enough for about three days.

This timer is not afraid of dirty water or insects, evaporation occurs depending on temperature, wind, humidity, etc. Precipitation will automatically replenish the water supply and postpone the watering time. Those.

it is the situation that characterizes the degree of need for irrigation that is modeled.

The design of such a timer - ballast is also quite obvious. This is a container with a U-shaped frame installed in it, on which a fabric is thrown, forming a "sail" - an evaporator.

The only drawback is the complexity of debugging.

It will take several experiments, for example, how long does it take for 1-2 liters of water to evaporate? Well, and then calculate the delay time of the irrigation system response.

Water timer with dropper wick.

Another variation on the water timer is a wick dropper. In principle, the wick also uses the capillary effect. Then the water does not evaporate, but simply flows.

If a wick is lowered into a container with water (for example, a twisted cord made of any matter), or just a thick rope, then the water along this wick will rise up to a certain height. And if the wick is thrown over the edge of the container, then water will begin to drip from the free end of the wick.

The droplet speed is regulated both by the design of the wick itself (material, thickness, etc.), and by clamping the wick (for example, with a wire loop).

The height of the water column does not greatly affect the droplet speed, but for the water to rise over the edge of the tank, and the water level to be more or less constant, and the water supply to be significant, the design of the wick timer should be something like this (see figure).

A bottle with a supply of water (5-10 liters) is installed in a container of shallow depth (5-8 cm). A hole is made in the bottom of the bottle for water to flow out. The lid of the bottle closes naturally hermetically. Fill the bottle with water, close the hole with your finger and put it in the "trough".

Some of the water will flow out of the bottle, but only to the level when the hole is under water. Subsequently, as the water is consumed, the water from the bottle will compensate for the loss.

A big plus of such a timer is that it works very stably throughout the entire time, since the water level in the "trough" is always the same. And if it rains, it will simply replenish the water supply in the timer (trough) and the water from the bottle will not be consumed. The timer is also not afraid of dirty water, insects, etc. The wick "takes" only clean water.

A simple experiment carried out by me has proven the absolute performance of such a timer. A 5 liter bottle with a sufficiently intense drop (1 drop in about 2 seconds) was enough for 18-20 hours of work. Of course, by adjusting the intensity of the drip and increasing the capacity of the bottle, you can achieve many-day delays. It was only important for me to check the fundamental performance.

The undoubted advantage of such a timer is that it can also function as a humidifier in a greenhouse. To do this, you need to organize the drops on a rotating disk (for example, SO).

Moreover, such a dropper can replace the automatic irrigation system itself, if it is precisely the drip irrigation of plants that is organized! The cost of such a dropper is equal to the cost of an empty PET bottle from under water, or a plastic canister, and nothing prevents you from arranging them at least under every plant. Or you can make one large container and dilute the wicks under the roots of the plants. And then the fans of drip irrigation have some difficulties with expensive hoses - tapes for drip irrigation, blockages in them, etc. It may also be useful in hydroponic systems.

As you can see, the designs of "long-playing" water timers are very simple, and they themselves are very reliable in operation. Therefore, everyone can make an automatic irrigation system on their site.


Watch the video: How To Water Your Lawn WITHOUT an Irrigation System


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