Using Timers in your home

Electronic timers in my opinion are a great invention to not only save us time they are great to use anywhere in the home, garden and workshop.

You can protect your home when away for any length of time by regulating everything with one of these timers.

Set one for each section of your garden, home lighting, and these will even allow you to set up your radio to come on at varying times to make it appear the home is still occupied.

Use a timer to turn on the air conditioner or in fact anything at all that needs to be started at a set time when you are not available to do it manually.

Rain Bird SST600I Simple To Set Indoor Timer, 6-Zone
Amazon Price: $122.69 $47.99 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 1, 2015)
This timer allows you to set the start and finish time. the days, time duration and large, easy-to-read screen with back lit buttons.
It will also work with 6 stations around your home

Electronic Garden Timers


These are great to use when going away for the weekend or your annual leave. It will depend on the one you purchase as to the settings available. There are landscaping timers that are fitted underground with rain sensors and remote controllers.

Other cheaper ones can still be set to the odd and even watering days and the amount of time set to water the garden. Some of these will only work for 1 station whereas others will time and change for up to 15 stations around a larger property.

These will range in price from a small 1 station for approximately $40 to the bigger professional timers for up to $300.00. Do your research and find the best one to suit your garden area.

Caution: I would think twice about setting these timers on reticulation that you have done yourself with the black poly tubing. These could unexpectedly burst or break when away for a few weeks at a time and cause a lot of damage plus wasted water.

Intermatic EJ351 120-Volt 24-Hour Programmable Mechanical Security Timer
Amazon Price: $32.90 $15.95 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 1, 2015)
This mechanical security timer has a memory protector in case of power failures. It replaces your normal standard switch to come on and off depending on the the way you set it. Also comes with a self learning feature.

Mechanical timers for home lighting


Whether you are going away for the weekend or a month these electronic or digital timers may save your home from being burgled. Although I know these days they even break into homes and businesses in broad day light. I was talking to a lady in the shop the other day and her husband was in the back yard and they burgled her house, one person watched the husband and the other one ranscked there home. So they really act as more of a deterrent rather than proven security.

We always set up a lamp in the main part of our home and another one in the back area. We set the main one to come on around dusk and turn of approximately our normal bed time. The one in the back we set that to come on and off during that time to make it look like we are moving around the home.

Never use touch lamps for this purpose. Simply because if there is a power failure it will be affected and may not turn on when set to come on.

Then we have a radio set with a timer to come on and off during intervals during the day. Remember it is only a deterrent and just keeps the innocent observer away.

Another tip I use: Most people close the curtains when they go away, this is a dead giveaway that no one is home. So for a month before we go away I set my curtains so that you can only see into a section of the home where no one would normally be visible. For instance like looking into a cupboard or something similar. If you have café curtains, use ones that you cannot see through. Or sew a backing onto the lace ones, this will also keep your house cooler in the summer.

While on the subject of security: make sure you cancel the papers, redirect your mail and put a sign on your letter box stating no junk mail.  These are all signs of an unocupied home.

GE 24-Hour Plug-In Mechanical Timer with 1 Grounded Outlet
Amazon Price: $8.49 $6.31 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 1, 2015)
This may be cheap although it will still do the job for you. It can be programmed to turn on and off in 30 minute intervals, has a manual override on-off switch, with one grounded three prong outlet so you can set it up and leave it to turn the lights on and off at the times you set it for.

7 Day Digital Timers

7 Day Digital Timers are great to use in your home if going away for a long vacation. I believe these would be the best ones to buy. Simply because the normal timer is set to come on each day between 7 and 11pm each night, which is okay. Although neighbours may notice this repetition.

A seven day Digital timer can be set to start and go off at different times each day of the week. This will make the lighting of your home look more normal.  How many times do you go out and leave the lights off, or go from room to room turning on other lights.

A couple of these digital timers could be set to a variety of different situations.

GE 7-Day On/Off Plug In Digital Timer with 1 Outlet
Amazon Price: $14.99 $9.38 Buy Now
(price as of Oct 1, 2015)
These 7 day timers allow you to regulate the lights in your home to come on and off and different times every day. Making it look like someone is in the home while you are away on holidays.

Other uses for timers

There are a variety of uses for mechanical timers. You can use one on your swimming pool or for when you want the spa heated up for when you return from work or holidays.

There are also electronic timers for pumps and industrial uses in factories or businesses. It is amazing how many different ways you can use an electronic timer around your home if you put your mind to it.