HomeGadgetsHome GadgetsMelnor Sunrise Once-a-Day Water Timer - Daily Morning Water Timer (Model #13012)

    Melnor Sunrise Once-a-Day Water Timer – Daily Morning Water Timer (Model #13012)

    Every dedicated and caring gardener or garden lover knows just how important it is to have his/her garden watered daily. Even if it’s just with a small amount of water – just a few sprinkles here and there – both grass and plants/vegetables need water to grow and remain healthy (obviously). However, getting up early to water your garden might not be as appealing as looking at it after it’s taken care of. That’s where the Melnor Sunrise Once-a-Day Water Timer comes in.

    The Melnor Sunrise is a Daily Morning Water Timer that can automatically water your lawn and garden as soon as the sun rises.

    As a matter of fact, watering your garden in the morning is the best option to ensure that you always have healthy, lush plants, and that’s what makes the Melnor Sunrise Once-a-Day Timer so special.

    This Automatic Morning Water Timer will do the job for you every single morning, so that you don’t have to get up early and do it yourself. This garden gadget will automatically water your lawn or garden every morning at sunrise, with absolutely no programming involved. All you have to do is select how long you want it to water your garden and the Sunrise will handle the rest.

    Let’s take a detailed look at it, check all of its specs and see just how easy it is to install it and configure it.


    The Melnor Sunrise (Model #13012) is a small Water Timer that measures 4.1 inches long by 2.7 inches wide by 4.7 inches tall (including the faucet and hose attachments), weighing exactly 6.9 oz.

    Melnor Sunrise
    Melnor Sunrise

    As stated before, the Melnor Sunrise works like an Automatic Faucet/Hose Water Timer that works daily. The device will always start to work almost as soon as the sun rises. Usually it will start approximately after a maximum of 30 minutes of each day’s sunrise.

    The water timer comes equipped with a LED Battery Status Indicator (located at its bottom left) and a built-in UV light sensor (located at its bottom right) and that can easily detect the sunlight to trigger the Melnor Sunrise to turn the water on for the preset amount of time.

    LED Battery Status Indicator (bottom left) & Built-In UV Light Sensor (bottom right)
    LED Battery Status Indicator (bottom left) & Built-In UV Light Sensor (bottom right)

    Thanks to its built-in UV sensor there’s not much to do to use this water timer efficiently; there’s no need to set a schedule, and the same goes for choosing a start time. It’s all done for you.

    Still, that might be seen as a limiting factor. The Melnor Sunrise is just a simple timer that only does one single thing. As said before, the device will automatically go 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 going for different lengths of time on different days (unless you configure it every single day, which kinda beats the purpose – except if you change crops at some time, and maybe those are a different vegetable or plant that need more/less water than the crops you had planted before).

    Other than its integrated faucet attachment (located at the very top) and hose attachment (located at the bottom) there are no more types of connectivity, which basically means that this water timer can only be used for a maximum of one (x1) garden zone.

    Melnor Sunrise
    Melnor Sunrise

    This water timer can be used with a sprinkler, drip irrigation, hose nozzle or anything else you want to have go on every day, including vertical gardens that have their own integrated micro-watering systems.

    The Melnor Sunrise also comes equipped with a built-in Manual Timer, which is what you’ll be using to configure its run-time right after installing it. Be aware that this water timer does not come with an integrated Moisture Sensor.


    Setting up your Melnor Sunrise Daily Water Time is extremely simple and fairly easy.


    Just like you would expect from any other faucet-attached irrigation timer, the Melnor Sunrise works exactly the same, meaning it will require some batteries.

    In this specific case, it’ll take 2 AA batteries into its removable battery compartment, which is very easy to remove, and should pop right off.

    Removable Battery Compartment
    Removable Battery Compartment

    While the instructions don’t talk about this, make sure that the battery compartment’s metal connection points are correctly lined up with the corresponding metal parts inside the battery slot. If you insert it in the wrong way the timer will simply not work.

    Easy-to-Grasp Connector
    Easy-to-Grasp Connector

    After that’s done, all you have left to do is to attach the Melnor Sunrise to your garden faucet. Something that’s clear – and gladly mentioned in this article – is that the company did a really nice job on making it extremely easy for the Sunrise Water Timer to be attached to any standard faucet. Melnor (the company) decided to use a large and easy-to-grasp connector on the Sunrise.

    That should be it. You should be all done and all there’s left to do now is to turn on the water and test it.


    Now, actually configuring the Sunrise Water Timer is somewhat interesting. Don’t worry about the difficulty, since it’s still not hard at all, but know that you have a total of three (x3) different ways of making this Automatic Daily Water Timer work:

    • You can either turn the dial to “On” to have it water manually.
    • You can also turn the dial to “Off” to completely stop it from watering.
    • And you can also set it to run automatically so you don’t have to worry about anything at all.

    To use the automatic feature, all you have to do is turn the Sunrise’s dial to the total amount of minutes that you want the Water Timer to automatically water. You can choose between a short period of 5 minutes all the way up to 120 minutes (2 hours).

    After you choose your specific time range, the Sunrise’s timer will run for that exact length of time every day within a maximum of 30 minutes after the sun starts rising.

    As stated before, its light sensor will monitor the ambient light outside (sunlight) and turn on the water as soon as it senses that it’s light enough outdoors. However, this also means that the start time will vary as the days lengthen during Spring and Summer, and the same goes for when the days shorten during Fall and Winter.

    Uncovered UV Light Sensor
    Uncovered UV Light Sensor

    Remember to make sure that the water timer’s UV light sensor is completely uncovered, or the device might not work properly, or even stop working completely.


    The Melnor Sunrise is an Automatic Daily Water Timer that features 3 Manual commands – Off, On (Daily Manual Configuration) and Automatic (Set its Timer once and forever).

    Despite its simplicity, this little garden gadget is still bound to make your mornings a little easier. Whether you feel like sleeping in or need to head out early for work, the Sunrise Once-a-Day Water Timer will always take care of watering your plants for you.

    With absolutely no programming involved you can easily set it up so that you never forget to water your garden. The sun light will always trigger the Melnor Sunrise to start the watering process, and the device will automatically turn itself off once its timer reaches your set run-time limit.

    Melnor Sunrise
    Melnor Sunrise

    If you’re thinking about getting the Melnor Sunrise Once-a-Day Water Timer, each unit is currently going for $19.3. You can get it from many different retailers, including Amazon, Walmart, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, and many more.

    Click any of the provided links to either find a different retailer from the ones mentioned or to go to a specific one from the ones listed above.

    David Novak
    David Novak
    For the last 20 years, David Novak has appeared in newspapers, magazines, radio, and TV around the world, reviewing the latest in consumer technology. His byline has appeared in Popular Science, PC Magazine, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Electronic House Magazine, GQ, Men’s Journal, National Geographic, Newsweek, Popular Mechanics, Forbes Technology, Readers Digest, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Glamour Magazine, T3 Technology Magazine, Stuff Magazine, Maxim Magazine, Wired Magazine, Laptop Magazine, Indianapolis Monthly, Indiana Business Journal, Better Homes and Garden, CNET, Engadget, InfoWorld, Information Week, Yahoo Technology and Mobile Magazine. He has also made radio appearances on the The Mark Levin Radio Show, The Laura Ingraham Talk Show, Bob & Tom Show, and the Paul Harvey RadioShow. He’s also made TV appearances on The Today Show and The CBS Morning Show. His nationally syndicated newspaper column called the GadgetGUY, appears in over 100 newspapers around the world each week, where Novak enjoys over 3 million in readership. David is also a contributing writer fro Men’s Journal, GQ, Popular Mechanics, T3 Magazine and Electronic House here in the U.S.

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