Easy to use:
The best solution I have found to run 4 separate drip irrigation zones with one tap.
Four-zone digital water meter Melnor promises to solve your irrigation problem by automatically running up to four areas of your irrigation system at the times you set. It is intended for drip irrigation systems controlled from external taps but not for floor systems with electronic control equipment.
It is also optional Humidity sensor This can turn off or delay watering for up to 7 days after soil moisture.
One of my biggest annoyances as a gardener in the arid southwest of the desert was finding an automatic water timer for the four irrigation areas in the backyard. Each area drips different plants with very different moisture requirements, so the areas must be turned on and off at different frequencies and at different times.
This is something that an underground irrigation system can handle with relative ease. However, working with a single faucet and irrigation for a beverage in the air is a great challenge.
Did Melnor’s four-zone timer do the job? Let’s find out!
Out of the box
Opening the package started with the usual hassle of opening a typical sandwich package (why couldn’t they just put it in a box ?!).
The instructions are fairly clear but there are many steps. Therefore, take the time to read them and follow them exactly in the order in which they are presented.
Insert the batteries
Before you start, you need to install 2 AA batteries (not included). Do not use rechargeable batteries – they do not work well outdoors.
Simply pull the battery holder straight from the rear timer, insert the batteries into it, and slide the bracket back into the timer.
Even if the instructions do not state it, be sure to set it up correctly – the metal parts on the outside of the mounting should be in line with the contact points in the opening. Be sure to push it all the way in. There is a gasket around the bracket that prevents moisture from entering when the bracket is properly inserted into the counter.
Programming Melnor counter
You can program the timer after it is installed in the garden. However, it is better to do it from the comfort of your own home – at least the first time you do this.
Melnor HydroLogic Time has four valves and each valve can run four cycles. This is more than enough in almost any situation, although it does make programming the timer a little more difficult. The instructions include a small schedule chart that you can use to determine which areas and cycles will continue, when, and for how long. I recommend you use it.
The timer has a large, easy-to-read LED display that shows all relevant information, including battery life. It is readable even outdoors in bright sunlight.
Install the Melnor HydroLogic counter
Setting up the counter is pretty simple – just cut it on the faucet. It comes with a ring in the connector that prevents leakage quite well, even if I chose it Replace it with one of these Gilmour rubber washers
Then attach your irrigation hoses to the four valves. Again, make sure you have a good washing machine in each connection to prevent leakage.
I recommend putting a cap on any lid that is not connected to the irrigator. This way you will not flood your garden if the timer does not work properly (or if you program it incorrectly).
If the faucet is covering or not securely attached, you should stabilize it before attaching the timer. The Melnor digital timer is relatively bulky and a bit difficult to attach to an unstable faucet.
If water is flowing even when the timer is off:
The first time I turned on the HydroLogic counter I had a problem: water was constantly flowing from three of the four valves, even when both the application and the manual switch on and off were clearly set to OFF. Despite resolving my efforts, including removing and replacing batteries, reprogramming the timer, and turning individual areas on and off manually, I was unable to resolve the issue.
I finally learned from Melnor that the valves are held magnetically together. Vibration during transport / transport may cause some valves to open and remain open. The following steps can usually resolve the issue:
- Turn off the application
- Scroll to Manual, set it to 2 minutes and turn it on (wait until you hear a click or the number stops flashing).
- After the timer has elapsed, the valve closes and the water is switched off
- Please re-enable the application
After restarting the program, the water should only flow at the beginning of the next programmed cycle. I’ve not had any problems with the valves since then.
Note: The instructions have been updated since I got the HydroLogic four zone timer. There is now a component that lists potential problems in the valves and suggests that removing and replacing batteries solves the problem. If this does not work, use the manual function to open and close the valve three times. I can not tell you if this actually works (I know removing and replacing batteries did not work for me) but the four steps described in the list above certainly did the trick.
Slow customer service
When I was trying to fix the problem I could not find any information online that could solve this particular problem and tried to contact the company directly. Melnor’s website is not very user friendly and can only be contacted by email. When I clicked send, the screen turned white – no screen confirmation, no confirmation email, nothing. I was not sure if the message was actually sent so I tried again. There is still no sign that it has made it through.
A week later I received an email from the company with a solution to the problem (see above). The solution worked, but in the meantime I ordered another photo shoot, assuming the first one was broken. Melnor’s service team really needs to go a step further, especially at a time when a quick response time is expected.
The Melnor HydroLogic four-zone timer has a 7-year warranty. Warranty claims can be submitted online through Melnor website
This is the best solution I have found for running four areas above ground or leaking irrigation with a single plug (and I have tried MANY different options). As soon as the timer works correctly, it works reliably – mine has been running for a year without any problems. It is relatively easy to set up, the large LED screen is easy to read and no rocket scientist needs to program.
Publisher’s Comment: Some people have reported problems with the valves that get stuck in the open position the first time the timer was turned on. This problem is easy to fix (simple instructions are listed above) and does not reappear after it has been fixed. Do not miss out on bad reviews on some websites – this is a great product.
Where to buy
The Melnor HydroLogic four-zone timer can be bought online for less than $ 50. You can also find it in some garden centers and hardware stores, but call ahead to check availability.
Last updated 23/03/2021 / Related links / Images from the Amazon API for product ads