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I have been wanting an outdoor clothesline for quite a while. I like the idea of drying my laundry outside whenever possible. According to the Consumer Energy Center, part of the California Energy Commission, your home clothing dryer can be one of the most expensive home appliances to operate at 6% of your total electrical usage. An electric dryer may cost $85 per year to operate. Gas is less expensive. However, if you have the space and no pesky homeowner association restrictions, a much less expensive alternative is a clothesline.
I finally asked the DH for one for my birthday. After much research online, he chose the TS3-125 three arm umbrella style clothesline from Breezecatcher. Click here to see their website: Breezecatcher It's also available at Amazon.com.
Breezecatcher was established in Dublin, Ireland in 1992 by Tom Delaney who has an engineering background. They specialize in high quality three and four arm umbrella style clotheslines. There is also a parallel clothes dryer that you can see on their website (non-rotating construction). The parallel style allows you to walk underneath the lines and is adjustable in height.
The company offers 11 models in all, including the TS4-200 which was specifically designed for very windy areas. It is really beefed up with extra materials and the profile of the arms makes it super strong. The design of the parallel dryers also make them very suitable for stormy environments.
Purchases can be made directly through their website, with additional distribution locations in the US, Australia, and New Zealand.
My husband and I were very impressed with the construction of the clothesline. According to the website the dryers are handcrafted, individually assembled, and tested for quality prior to shipping. Breezecatcher uses only very durable materials, that are non ferrous, to eliminate issues with rust, and are bright anodized aluminum making it easy to clean. Should you need a replacement part they are available. The most requested items, such as the line itself, are on their website. Other parts can be ordered by contacting Breezecatcher via the website.
The clotheslines are quite strong; you can hang heavy items without the line sagging. This is made possible by the use of center brackets made from solid extruded aluminum and heavy tubular bracing arms. No lightweight stamped metal brackets here. This construction makes for a rigid, but easy to close, clothesline. The line itself is one single piece of plastic covered poly core cord, that we adjusted during installation. Its design is also aimed at preventing sag. The umbrella style clothesdryer rotates easily on the center shaft in a light breeze even if the clothing is unevenly distributed. The rotating action also helps to dry your clothes faster. The first load I hung out on a 70F day in the Pacific Northwest consisted of jeans, towels, and t-shirts. They were nearly dry in an hour and ready to take in after about approximately 1.5 hours.
We chose the TS3 model because it easily accommodates king size sheets while still being rather compact for use in a smaller yard. When not in use you can simply remove the clothes dryer from the ground socket and store it or it can be left outdoors.
We purchased the storage cover which was relatively inexpensive and easy to put on the collapsed line while mounted outside. It will help keep the line clean and makes it a nice bundle if you take the dryer down for the winter. Of course clothes can be dried in many areas on those dry cold days, if you are willing to brave the temperatures.
I expect to have many years of earth friendly use from my line. I grew up in the southern part of the US and used outside lines for years. We did not have a clothes drier, back in the day. When my daughter was an infant I also used one to dry diapers; the natural bleaching action of the sun kept them nice and white. So if you like the idea of saving energy and money, the Breezecatcher rotating dryer may be just what you need. If you have never dried clothes outside you will find that they will be more crisp than those dried in a gas or electric dryer. The trade off is their fresh clean smell, lack of dryer shrinkage and wear, and again the free (after clothesline purchase) use of the sun and wind to help dry your clothes.
I clicked on the website and was very surprised at the quality of the product. I had a similar clothesline years ago and I really loved mine. Due to the fact of living in an apartment they don't allow the residents to use clotheslines.
I know that you will enjoy it for many years to come.