This is the 3nd and final installment in my trilable on washer lint filters. Since starting this project I have learned a lot and I want to share my successes and hindrances. Each model has its own pros and cons in its design and application. Also, what works best for me may not be the model for you. I understand some people will look at the last model and skip over its predecessors (a direct link Window-Screen-Washer-Filter and a direct link Hosiery-Washer-Lint-Filter) but spend some time and review each model and learn as I did and avoid similar issues to ultimately design a better filter.
A couple of summers ago we had to have the plumber come to snake the septic drain for our washing machine. This was the second time it had been done in 15 months. The landlord gave us a package of disposable lint catchers and asked that we use them. I installed one but it didn’t last long (6 loads). Just about a week; 1 x $1 = $52 extra per year. In a simple cost comparison, $52 for disposable catchers vs. $150 to snake the drain, the disposable catchers seems a good trade off. But they are disposable, not eco-friendly at all, I am more environmentally conscious then to throw most things away after a single use (in this case 6 uses).
Why so much lint?
1)Volume: We produce 7-8 loads a week. More clothes more lint.
2)Material: Different types of material produce more lint than other material i.e. Cotton and Terry cloth vs. Synthetic. Other natural fibers e.g. tissues, “notes to self” or receipts (paper) and food. Surprisingly new clothes “shed” more than well worn clothes. That is not to say as clothes become mature they do not “shed”. They do, the fabric breaks down, wear out, become thread worn because they are losing their bond.
3)Agitation: All of which is exasperated by the type of agitation during the wash cycle i.e. Heavy Duty vs. Gentle.
The intent of this instructable is to
1) provide an alternative to the costly extraction of a blocked sewer pipe,
2) provide an alternative to the additional cost of buying replacement (disposable) filters,
3) encourage you to engage in a Do It Yourself franchise and community.
Step 1: 1st Attempt
My first thought was to clean the disposable catchers and reuse them, but that proved difficult, they are cylindrical (tubular), have a metal crimp at one end and a nylon zip cord at the other to hold the filter to the discharge hose.
Filter Design (Disposable)
The nylon zip cord can be manipulated for reusing or replaced with a clamp.
The crimp can be removed and replaced with a clamp.
The filter it’s self….
1) I tried burning the lint after it dried. Failed – the thin metal charred and fell apart.
2) I turned it inside out to use tape after the lint dried. Failed - waste of tape, completely inefficient, not practical.
Now I had more knowledge of success and hindrances. How much and what I was willing to do to maintain this lifestyle. I went back to the drawing board using the best of the previous models for a better design with the same requirements.
Step 2: Filter Redesign
Create a filter easy to disassemble, clean and reassemble.
Easy. Follow these instructions to make and clean your own Washer Lint Filter.
1) Window screening – Nylon or Aluminum,
2)1/4” hose clamp,
3) Rain Gutter Leaf Guard – Plastic or Aluminum.
1) Ruler or tape measure
3) Wire cutters or Linesmen pliers
4) Screw driver
Step 3: Assemble
1) Cut a strip of screen 5” long by 5” wide (I used Nylon screening).
2) Cut the Leaf Guard wire 14” long by 5.25” wide (I had Aluminum on hand).
3) Roll the Leaf Guard wire into a cylinder and insert into the drain strainer (this will keep the filter from collapsing under the suction of the water going down the drain).
4) Wrap the screen around the Leaf Guard wire and drain strainer.
5) Twist or roll the other end of the screen,
6) Slide the 1/4” hose clamp over the end and tighten.
7) Insert the filter into the drain.
You are done with your replacement filter, although best practice requires making a second filter, but it is not necessary. Next steps describe how to clean the filter.
Next steps - Clean your filter.
Step 4: Clean Filter
Clean the Window Screen Washer Filter - 3 minutes
Note: this procedure works best while the lint is damp. I tried cleaning the filter after it dried, with tape, but it was again wasteful, time consuming and it just didn’t completely remove the lint. If the lint is thick and sopping wet it takes more time and effort to clean.
1) Remove the filter from the drain.
2) Remove hose clamp, (optional)
3) Separate the screening from the drain strainer.
4) Rub the lint off with your fingers.
5) Rewrap the screening around the drain strainer.
6) Twist or roll the other end of the screen,
7) Slide the 1/4” hose clamp over the end and tighten.
8) Reinsert the filter into the drain.
Step 5: Observations & Summary
1) The lint gathers mostly at the bottom of the filter, which is easy to remove and easy to clean.
2) Best practice is to remove the lint after every load.
3) As I said, in Window Screen Washer Filter, that the screening holes were big enough to let some lint through, in this design the screening is longer it wraps around the strainer 2 times. There is no need for a 2nd filter.
4) You do not have to remove the clamp.
5) I use the Gentle wash cycle. Our clothes do not need to be washed with the Heavy Duty cycle. The dirt is only surface deep.
6) The nylon window screen will last around 7 months.
I like this model; I do not feel the need to redesign. The requirements have been met. I am satisfied.
Then I saw, and considered it well. I looked upon it, and received instruction..