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Keeping a Clothes Line from Sagging

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I put my dryer on "Summer Vacation" and hung a 100 foot wash line (on pulleys) from my 1st floor porch to a nearby oak tree which leaves me (and the clothes) 12 feet off the ground. My problem is that every time I hang wash out, the line slumps to the ground after only a few items (even when I only hang my children's small clothing). Does anyone have a suggestion for me to keep my clothes up in the air?

By KellyGirl_66 from East Greenville, PA

Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By martishaw50007/16/2013

If you are using an umbrella type clothesline make sure it has strong metal center brackets, strong brackets and arms will hold the height on the line and not deform. Clothesline cord will always stretch out a bit especially when new so some adjustment will be necessary. The most important components are the brackets, plastic brackets are just not strong enough to take the weight.

The best way to test the strength is to hold the tip of two adjacent arms and squeeze them together, you will see how all the lines will sag as the top frame deforms. This wont happen with metal brackets and a strong drying frame. OK some say use wire core clothesline, wire is not very flexible and can suffer from metal fatigue, if one point on the line is constantly flexing it will eventually break, poly core is more flexible you just need to make some adjustments to remove the slack every so often.

A good example of strong metal brackets and a strong drying frame in the photo below, also some tips for rethreading and installing umbrella clotheslines are available on http://www.breezecatcher.com

RE: Keeping a Clothes Line from Sagging

By BD02/28/2010

My suggestion is: It is hard to use a pole to hold the line on a pully. They have clips metal (like a snap dog chain clip on both ends)you attach one end to the top of the line and the bottom of the line between your hanging of clothes, when it begins to sag you attach one to the top and bottom and continue hanging clothes until it sags again. Generally 3 or 4 clips will do for a long pully. Just leave them there permently and they are always ready.

By Candy Killion [8]02/28/2010

We put up a length of 1x2 lumber with a notch at the top for the line--seems no matter how often you tighten your line it eventually sags anyway from continued use, weight of the clothing, and weather conditions affecting the line.

The old-fashioned props really work; we put our dryer on rainy-day-only duty to see if there was a noticeable difference in our electricity consumption. After a year, I'm averaging about a $60 per month drop in the bill.

You're saving energy( helping the environment and your own personal economy) making your clothing last longer ( where do you think dryer lint comes from? That's a slow shred of your clothing from the dryer drum friction) and you cannot beat the naturally clean smell and whitening of sun-dried wash.

By Joyce Edwards [1]07/17/2009

I agree with jehosophat jones. An old fashioned prop is the best solution for your sagging clothes line. Have been using clothes lines for years. After a while they do tend to sag. We use old 8 to10 ft. 2x4's; or fallen tree limbs that are notched at the top to hold the line up. Works perfect for us. Two props on a line works even better. If you use the old boards just nail a nail on either side or notch the top and you've got your sagging clothes line high and lifted up. Blessings from Jaddrews in Texas.

RE: Keeping a Clothes Line from Sagging

By lynda [12]07/10/2009

I'd save the heavier clothing for the very end of the line, hanging all the short and light weight things first. It's logical that the line will sag with heavier things, right?

See if when you have nothing hanging, if you have any adjustments on your line or pully. That 12 foot support pole is going to be 'iffy', but will certainly work IF you can get it to stay up once in place! PVC piping is cheap but will have to be the thicker walled, which is not so cheap, awkward to transport from the store unless you do it in two sections you must glue with special PVC two part glue once home, and will have to be notched and sanded at the top for the line to drop into, right? You may even need two or three pipes to hold up such a long line. If you have a porch railing, I'd try wrapping the top railing in plastic and hanging some of the shorter but heavy towels and slacks/jeans on it to help with the overall weight. God bless and help you. : )

By emmamamie [3]07/10/2009

It could also be the type of clothsline that you have. If you get the kind that is coated wire, it won't stretch out as fast.

By Candy Killion [8]07/10/2009

They have those "C" clips with the little pulleys in hard plastic now ( I remember my grandmother having them in metal) at any Home Depot--in bins by the clotheslines. And they're cheap, a couple of bucks each.

Only know this because we put up a clothesline just last week--the heat here in S. Fl has been awful this summer and I know I won't be saving on the power bill with the AC being a necessity--off goes my dryer!

By Marian Poke [12]07/10/2009

Get a clothesline with wire inside.

By Bev07/10/2009

When I used a clothes line I always had to have a clothes prop to keep the line up once wet clothes went on it. It can be made of aluminum, wood or plastic as long as it has a big notch for the line to fit in and just lift it up so it is still slanted for if straight up and down it is not stable. We used to have a wood one made from a dried long limb with notch on one end and that made it no cost to us.

By REE [1]07/10/2009

2 Things
#1 check local hardware store for line tightener. You loosen it when not in use BTW or the line stretches even more.

#2 same place - not sure of the name but this is really what you want .. its made from plastic looks like a skinny tall letter "C" with rollers inside on top and bottom .. you slip it over both lines and it keeps the line together. You do a few of these over the whole length of the clothes line and it should be fine. Ria

By Marg [16]07/10/2009

You need a good old-fashioned prop! A long pole with a "Y" shape on the end. Clothes dried outside smell lovely don't they?
Marg from England

By OliveOyl07/08/2009

Tighten up your clothesline, it shouldn't be sagging that much. Or make a support pole (at least 5 ft. high)--make a notch in a piece of wood or pvc pipe and brace it to support the line. I remember from my childhood that there is a clip with 2 rotating pulleys that goes around the clothesline that prevents sagging, but I don't know if they're around anymore. Maybe google?

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