When choosing a rotating washing line, you’ll be thinking about the biggest one you can get within budget. Where many people go wrong, is not giving enough thought to the space where it will be installed.
Often people measure the arms of the line they like the look of, but in itself, it’s a measurement that can be rather deceiving.
If you think about an open line, the arms don’t stretch directly outwards, perpendicular to the pole that sticks into the ground. In fact, they’re extending diagonally away from the supporting pole. While it’s true that a little high school maths could come in handy, perhaps with some help from Pythagoras’ Theorem or trigonometry, it’s a bit of a specialised set of skills to simply work out how much space you need to install your new line.
A much easier solution is almost always available, and that’s to look at the box. They’ll usually be measured in several ways, but you’re looking for the one that indicates dimensions when it’s open, i.e. ready for use. Some models will even list a suggested area of installation, which allows an additional recommended margin of error to allow you to comfortably hang your laundry, as well as provide ample room as it spins in the breeze.
Typically, you should allow a minimum of a metre around the installed line from the furthest point that the arms extend. That means that items like towels have room to swing out on windier days, without coming into contact with any nearby walls, fencing or trees. Of course, it’s referred to as a minimum for a reason, more space is always good. The additional benefits from more space are several, but the key one is air movement. The more space your line has around it, the better the air can move, which will result in better line performance.
When the wind blows, it doesn’t just swing the laundry back and forth and spin the line, it also provides another vital function that means your washing will dry quicker – it carries moisture away. If the line is installed surrounded by walls and fences, less air will move through the wet washing, and it will take longer to dry.
All in all, the more space you can provide, the better the result will be from your freshly installed clothesline. It’s a good idea to get the largest line possible to accommodate more washing, but if a space is at a premium, there’s a balance to strike.