Hanging your clothes and linens to line dry can cut your energy bill in half. All you need are sturdy clotheslines that can handle the weight of your laundry, clothesline accessories like pegs, wind and the sun for white clothing.

However, your quality clothesline may start to sag and can lead to potential breakages. If that happens, your need a clothesline rewire instead of replacing the entire clothesline unit.

What Is Clotheslines?

A clothesline is used to hang freshly washed laundry to dry above ground and can be made from an extensive range of clothesline cord, rope or twine stretched between two points. Clotheslines can be placed both indoors and outdoors. You can also find a wide range of clothesline folding head rotary washing lines.

What's The Main Cause Of Sagging Clotheslines?

Various factors can cause sagging clotheslines. These include:

  • Incorrect clothesline installation
  • Low-quality and cheaply made clotheslines
  • Exposure to the elements
  • Overstretching due to excessive weight of clothing
  • General wear and tear

How To Restring A Clotheslines By Type:

Wall-Mounted Clotheslines

How to restring a wall mounted clotheslines

Wall-mounted clotheslines from various brands will have individual line configurations and threading patterns. However, they all follow the same basic threading technique. They will have a tie-off at the back and a unique tensioner tool at the front. You start from the back and thread the clothesline string through the first hole and tie it off to stop the line from slipping. Next, continue to thread the cord through the holes on the arms ensuring all lines are parallel.

If your line is sagging, start from the back and work your way towards the front by placing one hand on the centre of the backline and pull down. Use your other hand to take up the slack from the previous line until you reach the tension lock at the front.

Keep the line taut and raise the lever of the Tension Lock and pull the cut end of the cord through the hole under the Tension Lock. Next, pull the cord tight and lower the Tension Lock lever to secure the cord. After that, knot the cord, leave some excess and cut.

Rotary Clotheslines

How to restring a rotary clotheslines

Measure the space between the two arms. Cut a piece of clothesline using that measurement and some excess. Unscrew the line covers on both sides and unwrap the old rotary lines from the base of the tensioner and pull them out.

Insert one end of the new line through the tensioner from the outside and wrap the end around the base of the tensioner. Now thread the end through front of the tensioner and cut, leaving about ½ inch excess. Finally, thread a line cover back onto the line and screw to secure the end you just completed.

Thread the free end of the line through the other line cover and push it out of the way. Feed the free end of the line through the tensioner on the other arm working your way from to back, keeping the line taut at all times. Wrap the line at the base of the tensioner and feed it back through the front of the tensioner, and cut, leaving ½ inch excess as well. Slide the line cover back and screw it to secure this end of the line.

Hills Hoist Clotheslines

How to restring a hill hoist clotheslines

Open the Hoist clothesline frame and lock it into position. Locate the line cover on one end and rotate it anti-clockwise until it comes off the tensioner. Repeat the process for the other end. Next, untie the damaged clothesline cord from the tensioners and remove them. Keep doing this for every remaining line segment until all lines are removed.

Take your new line and pull the new line through the tensioner and loop it around the back groove of the tensioner. Pull it tight as this will help the line from slipping. Next, feed the line up through the front slot of the tensioner and pull tight. Leave about 12mm and cut the rest of the excess line. Finally, reattach the line cover and screw it in place by rotating clockwise. Repeat on the other side, and be sure to tension the line.

Retractable Clotheslines

Remove the unit from the wall. If you have an old model, then it may not have an external tension-locking device, so the spring is under tension. Newer models have a tension handle, button or wheel. Release the wheel to remove the old line. Get someone to help you pull the clothesline wire out as far as possible and tighten the tension wheel. The tension device may slip, so wrap the line at one end around the case, so it doesn't retract.

Replace the lines one at a time by feeding the one end of the line through the hole in the side of the spool, pull it tight and tie a figure 8 knot. Do this for every spool, and on the last spool, wrap the new line around the case, so it doesn't retract. 

Remove the outer casing to access the drum/drums. Try to stop the tension of the spring from unravelling and release the pressure by hand, taking note of the direction and the number of turns as you do so. To secure the other end of the line, wrap it around the drum and over itself, then feed through the fixing slots. Pull the line tight and secure it to the mounting bar by feeding the line through the hole in the side of the spool and pull through. Tie a figure 8 knot and pull back to tighten. On the last spool, wrap the new line around the case.

Ensure that the spring has been tensioned the correct number of times and reassemble the unit. Mount it back into place and extend the line to the far bracket. Lightly tension a line until it is fairly taut and tighten the other lines to match. 

Final Thoughts

If your clothesline is sagging or has snapped, a total clothesline rewire maybe your best option. Clothesline restrings means no more snagged clothes, rust marks or clothes touching the ground. Clothesline repair can also save you money instead of replacing the entire clothesline unit.