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Publication numberUS20090071031 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/230,705
Publication dateMar 19, 2009
Filing dateSep 3, 2008
Priority dateSep 4, 2007
Also published asCN101187137A, DE102008045526A1
Publication number12230705, 230705, US 2009/0071031 A1, US 2009/071031 A1, US 20090071031 A1, US 20090071031A1, US 2009071031 A1, US 2009071031A1, US-A1-20090071031, US-A1-2009071031, US2009/0071031A1, US2009/071031A1, US20090071031 A1, US20090071031A1, US2009071031 A1, US2009071031A1
InventorsKyung Tae Kim
Original AssigneeLg Electronics Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry treatment machine and condensed water discharge device for use in laundry treatment machine
US 20090071031 A1
Abstract
A condensed water discharge device for use in a laundry treatment machine and a laundry treatment machine are provided. The condensed water discharge device includes a pump housing having an air outlet and may thus be able to discharge air in the pump housing through the air outlet. Therefore, it is possible to prevent a pumping failure caused by air in the pump housing and thus to facilitate the discharge of condensed water.
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Claims(17)
1. A discharge device for removing condensed water in a laundry machine, the discharge device comprising:
a sump configured to gather condensed water;
a pump including an impeller positioned within a pump housing, the pump being positioned such that it is capable of removing water from the sump; and
an air outlet in the pump housing, the air outlet being positioned to discharge air in the pump housing.
2. The discharge device of claim 1, wherein the air outlet is located higher than the impeller in the pump housing.
3. The discharge device of claim 1, wherein the air outlet comprises:
an outlet hole formed through an outer surface of the pump housing such that air discharged from within the pump housing passes through the outlet hole.
5. The discharge device of claim 3, wherein the air outlet comprises:
an outlet passage configured to guide air in the pump housing over the impeller and to discharge the air through the outlet hole.
6. The discharge device of claim I further comprising:
a splash prevention rib disposed above the air outlet such that it prevents water passing through the air outlet from splashing.
7. The discharge device of claim 6 further comprising:
a motor assembly for driving the impeller, wherein the splash prevention rib is disposed between the motor assembly and the pump housing.
8. The discharge device of claim 1 further comprising:
a discharge hose connected to the pump housing, the discharge hose configured to guide condensed water that has been pumped out of the sump to a point outside the laundry machine.
9. A laundry machine comprising:
a drum configured to hold laundry;
a circulation duct configured to receive relatively humid air discharged from the drum;
a condenser receiving humid air from the circulation duct;
a drying duct guiding relatively dry air from the condenser to the drum;
a sump configured to gather condensed water from the condenser;
a pump including an impeller positioned within a pump housing, the pump being positioned such that it is capable of removing water from the sump; and
an air outlet associated with the pump housing, the air outlet being positioned to discharge air in the pump housing.
10. The laundry machine of claim 9, wherein the air outlet comprises:
an outlet hole through an outer surface of the pump housing.
11. The laundry machine of claim 10, wherein the air outlet comprises:
an outlet passage configured to guide air in the pump housing over the impeller and out of the pump housing through the outlet hole.
12. The laundry machine of claim 9, wherein the air outlet comprises:
an outlet passage formed, at least in part, in the pump housing.
13. The laundry machine of claim 9 further comprising:
a splash prevention rib disposed above the air outlet such that it prevents water passing through the air outlet from splashing.
14. A laundry machine comprising:
a drum configured to hold laundry;
a condenser receiving humid air from the drum;
a sump configured to gather condensed water from the condenser;
a pump including an impeller positioned within a pump housing, the pump being positioned such that it is capable of removing water from the sump; and
means for discharging air in the pump housing.
15. The laundry machine of claim 14, wherein means for discharging air in the pump housing comprises:
an air outlet passage formed, at least in part, through the pump housing.
16. The laundry machine of claim 15, wherein means for discharging air in the pump housing further comprises:
an air outlet hole through a surface of the pump housing.
17. The laundry machine of claim 16, wherein the air outlet passage is configured to guide air in the pump housing over the impeller and out of the pump housing through the air outlet hole.
18. The laundry machine of claim 14 further comprising:
a motor assembly; and
a splash prevention rib disposed between the pump housing and the motor assembly such that water passing through said means for discharging air is prevented from splashing the motor assembly.
Description

This application claims priority from Korean Patent Application No. 10-2007-0089503 filed on Sep. 4, 2007 in the Korean Intellectual Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a laundry treatment machine and a condensed water discharge device for use in a laundry treatment machine, and more particularly, to a laundry treatment machine and a condensed water discharge device for use in a laundry treatment machine, in which the discharge of condensed water can be smoothly performed.

2. Description of the Related Art

Laundry treatment machines are classified into washing machines removing dirt or dust from clothes or bedclothes by using water and detergent and using mechanical operations, dryers drying wet laundry by using a dry, hot wind generated by a heater and using mechanical operations, and combination washer dryers performing both a washing function and a drying function.

Combination washer dryers are classified into a discharge-type washer dryer and a condenser-type washer dryer according to how they handle humid air resulting from the drying of wet laundry.

The condenser-type washer dryer removes moisture from humid air discharged from a drum through heat exchange performed by a condenser, and temporarily stores condensed water generated by the condenser in a sump. The condensed water gathered in the sump is pumped by a condensed water pump and is thus discharged through a discharge hose connected to the outside of the condenser-type washer dryer.

However, conventionally, an air layer is highly likely to be generated in a discharge hose especially when the discharge hose is too long and is bent too many times. Thus, a condensed water pump may not be able to properly discharge condensed water through the discharge hose due to the air layer in the discharge hose.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a laundry treatment machine and a condensed water discharge device for use in a laundry treatment machine, in which the discharge of condensed water can be smoothly performed by removing an air layer from a discharge hose.

According to an aspect of the present invention, there is provided a condensed water discharge device for use in a laundry treatment machine, the condensed water discharge device including a sump in which condensed water is gathered; a pump housing which includes an impeller pumping the condensed water out of the sump; and an air outlet which is located in the pump housing and discharges air in the pump housing to the outside of the laundry treatment machine.

The air outlet may be located higher than the impeller in the pump housing.

The air outlet may include an outlet hole formed on an outer lateral surface of the pump housing and may discharge the air in the pump housing from one side of the pump housing through the outlet hole.

The air outlet may include an outlet passage bent at least once.

The air outlet may include an outlet passage bent at least once so as to guide the air in the pump housing over the top of the impeller and to discharge the guided air from one side of the pump housing.

The condensed water discharge device may also include a condensed water splash prevention rib which is disposed above the air outlet and prevents splashes of water discharged from the air outlet.

The condensed water discharge device may also include a motor housing which includes a motor for driving the impeller, wherein the motor housing is coupled to the pump housing and the condensed water splash prevention rib is disposed between the motor housing and the pump housing.

The condensed water discharge device may also include a discharge hose which is connected to the pump housing and guides condensed water pumped by the pump housing to the outside of the laundry treatment machine.

According to another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a laundry treatment machine including a drum which holds laundry; a circulation duct through which humid air is discharged from the drum; a condenser which condenses the humid air discharged from the circulation duct; a drying duct which guides dry air provided by the condenser into the drum; a sump in which condensed water generated by the condenser is gathered; a pump housing which includes an impeller pumping the condensed water out of the sump; and an air outlet which is located in the pump housing and discharges air in the pump housing to the outside of the laundry treatment machine.

The air outlet may include an outlet hole formed at the pump housing.

The air outlet may include an outlet passage formed in the pump housing and bent at least once.

The air outlet may include an outlet passage bent at least once so as to guide the air in the pump housing over the top of the impeller and to discharge the guided air from one side of the pump housing.

The laundry treatment machine may also include a condensed water splash prevention rib which is disposed above the air outlet and prevents splashes of water discharged from the air outlet.

According to the present invention, it is possible to discharge air in a pump housing through an air outlet of the pump housing. Therefore, it is possible to prevent a pumping failure caused by air in the pump housing and thus to facilitate the discharge of condensed water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent by describing in detail preferred embodiments thereof with reference to the attached drawings in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic view of a dryer according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the dryer shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of a condensed water pump shown in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a pump housing shown in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 illustrates a diagram of a condensed water discharge device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention will hereinafter be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings in which exemplary embodiments of the invention are shown, and taking a dryer as an example of a laundry treatment machine.

FIG. 1 illustrates a schematic view of a dryer according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention, and FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the dryer shown in FIG. 1.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the dryer includes a cabinet 2 which forms the exterior of the dryer; a base 4 which forms the bottom of the cabinet 2; a drum 6 which is installed in the cabinet 2 and holds laundry; a door 8 which opens or closes the drum 6; a motor axial member 12 which is connected to the outer circumferential surface of the drum 6 through a belt 10; a motor 14 which is connected to the motor axial member 12; a circulation duct 16 through which humid air is discharged from the drum 6; a condenser 18 which condenses the humid air discharged from the circulation duct 16; a drying duct 20 which guides dry air provided by the condenser 18 into the drum 6; and a heater 22 and a drying fan 24 which are installed in the drying duct 20.

An indoor air inlet 26, through which indoor air is injected into the dryer, an indoor air duct 28, which guides the indoor air, and a cooling fan 30, which is rotated by the motor 14 and thus sucks in the indoor air, are installed in the base 4.

In addition, a sump 32, in which condensed water obtained by the condenser 18 is gathered, a water level sensor (not shown), which determines the condensed water level in the sump 32, and a condensed water pump 40, which pumps the condensed water out of the sump 32, are also installed in the base 4.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the condensed water pump 40 shown in FIG. 2, FIG. 4 illustrates a pump housing 44 shown in FIG. 3, and FIG. 5 illustrates a schematic diagram of a condensed water discharge device according to an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, the condensed water pump 40 may include an impeller 42, the pump housing 44, in which the impeller 42 is installed, and a motor housing 46 in which a motor for driving the impeller 42 is installed.

A condensed discharge hose 48, which guides condensed water pumped by the condensed water pump 40 to the outside of the dryer, is connected to the pump housing 44. The condensed water discharge hose 48 may be bent at least one time by a user.

An air outlet, through which air in the pump housing 44 or in the condensed water discharge hose 48 is discharged, is formed at the pump housing 44.

The air outlet may include an air outlet hole 50, which is formed on an outer lateral surface of the pump housing 44, and an outlet passage 51, which guides air in the pump housing 44 into the outlet hole 50.

The outlet hole 50 is located higher than the impeller 42 in the pump housing 44. The outlet passage 51 may be bent so as to guides air in the pump housing 44 over the top of the impeller 42 and thus to discharge the guided air from one side of the pump housing 44 through the outlet hole 50.

Referring to FIG. 3, a condensed water splash prevention rib 52 is formed above the outlet hole 50 as a protrusion. The condensed water splash prevention rib 52 prevents condensed water discharged through the outlet hole 50 from splashing on the motor housing 46. The condensed water splash prevention rib 52 is disposed between the pump housing 44 and the motor housing 46 and covers the motor housing 46.

The operation of the dryer shown in FIG. 1 will hereinafter be described in detail.

During the operation of the dryer, humid air discharged from the drum 6 is injected into the condenser 18 through the circulation duct 16. Indoor air injected into the dryer through the indoor air inlet 26 is also injected into the condenser 18 through the cooling fan 30.

Then, heat exchange between the humid air and the indoor air occurs in the condenser 18. Dry air obtained by the heat exchange between the humid air and the indoor air occurs in the condenser 18 is injected into the drying duct 20. The dry air injected into the drying duct 20 is heated by the heater 22. The heated dry air is injected into the drum 6 and is thus used to dry wet laundry in the drum 6.

Condensed water generated by the heat exchange between the humid air and the indoor air occurs in the condenser 18 is gathered in the sump 32. If the condensed water level in the sump 32 reaches a predefined level, the condensed water pump 40 may be driven.

During the operation of the condensed water pump 40, air may be generated in the pump housing 44 or in the condensed water discharge hose 48, as illustrated in FIG. 5. The air may be able to be discharged from the pump housing 44 or the condensed water discharge hose 48 through the outlet passage 51 and the outlet hole 50. Therefore, it is possible to prevent a pumping failure caused by the air and thus to facilitate the discharge of condensed water with the use of the condensed water pump 40.

If the length, the shape or the arrangement of the condensed water discharge hose 48 is altered by the user, air may also be generated in the pump housing 44 or in the condensed water discharge hose 48. However, the air may also be able to be discharged from the pump housing 44 or the condensed water discharge hose 48 through the outlet passage 51 and the outlet hole 50. Thus, it is possible for the user to arbitrarily alter the length, the shape or the arrangement of the condensed water discharge hose 48. Therefore it is possible to improve user convenience.

While the present invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to exemplary embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those of ordinary skill in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the following claims.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7859165 *May 14, 2007Dec 28, 2010Denso CorporationFuel pump and motor device for the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification34/140, 417/321, 34/138
International ClassificationD06F58/04, F04B17/00, D06F58/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F58/20, D06F58/24
European ClassificationD06F58/24, D06F58/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 20, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: LG ELECTRONICS INC., KOREA, REPUBLIC OF
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:KIM, KYUNG TAE;REEL/FRAME:021911/0402
Effective date: 20081006