melnor-sunrise-featured Watering & Irrigation

Melnor Sunrise Morning Water Timer: Product Review


Ease of Use:
Final Thoughts

A simple, reliable and effective irrigation timer,

Overall Score 5

Available on Amazon

Buy it

The Sunrise water timer from Melnor is about as simple as it gets. Attach it to the faucet and decide how long you want it to run – it’ll go on every morning at sunrise and run for that length of time. Done.

So is the Sunrise timer right for you? Well, that depends. Here are the pros and cons.

Setting Up The Timer

Like any faucet-attached irrigation timer, the Melnor Sunrise Morning Water Timer requires batteries. In this case, you’ll need to insert 2 AA batteries into the removable battery compartment.

Although the instructions don’t say so, be sure that the metal connection points on the outside of the battery compartment are lined up with the corresponding metal parts inside the battery slot. If you put it in the wrong way, the timer won’t work.

Melnor sunrise batteries

Make sure to put the batteries in correctly.

Next, attach it to the faucet. Melnor’s done a nice job of making that easy by using a large, easy-to-grasp connector. Then turn on the water.

Melnor sunrise connector

The connector is large and easy to turn

Using the Timer

Melnor sunrise package

The instructions are clearly indicated on the package

Here’s where things get interesting. You have three options –

  1. turn the dial to “on” to water manually,
  2. turn the dial to “off” to stop it from watering and
  3. set it to run automatically.

To use the automatic feature, simply turn the dial to the number that corresponds with how long you want it to water. Options range from 5 minutes to 120 minutes (2 hours).

The timer will then run for that length of time every day within 30 minutes of sunrise.

There’s a sensor on the lower right front of the timer that monitors ambient light and turns the water on when it senses that it’s light enough outdoors. This means that the start time will vary as the days lengthen in spring and shorten in fall.

Melnor sunrise sensor

Make sure that the sensor at the bottom right is not covered up or it won’t work reliably

The Sunrise timer can be used with a sprinkler, drip irrigation, hose nozzle or anything else you want to have go on every day. I have it hooked up to a vertical garden that has an integrated micro-watering system; it needs daily watering to prevent it from drying out in the sun.

And that’s all there is to it. There’s no need to set a schedule or choose a start time.

That’s also the limiting factor – this is a simple timer that does one thing only; it goes on every day around sunrise for the length of time you specify. You can’t have it run on any other schedule, and can’t have it go for different lengths of time on different days.

melnor sunrise timer

Just set it and forget it!

So is it a good choice for you?

If you have a situation where something needs to be watered daily, the Sunrise timer is an excellent option. For example, I use it for my outdoor planters, the vegetable garden and a few tropical-type plants that need frequent watering here in the dry heat of Tucson.

On the other hand, it wouldn’t be a good choice for running a lawn sprinkler (you don’t want to leave a sprinkler and hose in the middle of your lawn for days on end), using with a hose nozzle, or for plants that don’t need daily water.


The Melnor Sunrise Morning Water Timer has a 7-year limited warranty that protects you against defects in materials and workmanship. Contacting the company to take them up on that warranty isn’t a quick process though; you’ll have to contact them through a form on their website and then wait to hear back from them (I waited over a week for a response).


For a simple, set-it-and-forget-it timer that automatically runs every single day, this is an excellent choice. It’s easy to set up, reliable and effective. In fact, it’s the easiest-to-use timer I’ve ever used. On the other hand, if you need a more varied irrigation schedule, this wouldn’t be the choice for you.

Where to Buy It

The Melnor Sunrise Morning Water Timer can be most easily purchased online. It’s not a common option in hardware stores or garden centers, although if you call around you may be able to find it.

Melnor Sunrise Morning Water Timer
A simple, reliable and effective irrigation timer

Last update on 2023-02-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Disclaimer – GPReview would like to thank Melnor for giving us a free sample to review. There was no expectation that it would be a positive review and we received no compensation for writing it. All opinions expressed here are those of the author based on personal experience using the product.

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1 Comment on Melnor Sunrise Morning Water Timer: Product Review

  1. Craig C

    Easy to use, inexpensive and reliable.
    Bring it inside out of the cold for winter.
    Excellent customer service experience when ordering a replacement.

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