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Publication numberUS2720037 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 11, 1955
Filing dateAug 20, 1952
Priority dateFeb 6, 1951
Also published asUS2657475, US2701421
Publication numberUS 2720037 A, US 2720037A, US-A-2720037, US2720037 A, US2720037A
InventorsClifford E Erickson
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clothes drying machines
US 2720037 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 11, 1955 c. E. ERICKSON 2,720,037

CLOTHES DRYING MACHINES Filed Aug. 20, 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet l 4 2 39 INVENTOR.

Clifford E Erickson Oct. 11, 1955 c, E, ER|K$QN 2,720,037

CLOTHES DRYING MACHINES Filed Aug. 20. 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 3-WIRE EDISON 9- 3 60' sou/e05 s r0P VAR/ABLE CONTROL TIM 70 DUCT/0N GEARING IN VEN TOR.

By Clifford E Erickson Afivs.

United States Patent CLOTHES DRYING MACHINES Clifford E. Erickson, Chicago, Ill., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application August 20, 1952, Serial No. 305,324

Claims. (Cl. 34-45) The present invention relates to clothes drying machines of the home laundry type and more particularly to improved clothes drying machines of the general character disclosed in the copending application of Glenn D. Graham, Serial No. 211,415, filed February 16, 1951, now Patent No. 2,686,372, granted on August 17, 1954.

The clothes drying machine disclosed in the Graham application mentioned is of the home laundry type and comprises a substantially horizontally disposed and rotatably mounted drum having a substantially cylindrical perforated wall and adapted to receive clothes to be dried, a casing enclosing the drum and cooperating therewith to define a passage therebetween including first and second chambers respectively disposed adjacent to the top of the drum and adjacent to the bottom of the drum, and an electric motor for rotating the drum in order to tumble the contained clothes and to produce circulation of a current of air from the first chamber through the drum into contact with the contained clothes and thence into the second chamber and back into the first chamber. An electric heating element is arranged in the first or heating chamber in order to heat the current of air passing therethrough. A hole is formed in the casing adja cent to the second chamber; a nozzle supported exteriorly of the casing is directed toward the hole and arranged to project a stream of cool water through an air gap and thence through the hole into the second chamber; and a target is arranged in the second chamber in the path of the stream of cool water so that it intercepts and breaks up the stream of cool water into a finely divided spray of the cool water in the second or condensing chamber so as to cool and to scrub the current of air passing therethrough. Also an inlet conduit connected to the nozzle is arranged exteriorly of the casing and supplied with cool water under gauge pressure from the city water main, the inlet conduit also including a valve selectively operative to control the supply of the cool water therefrom to the nozzle. A sump is formed in the bottom of the casing below the second chamber in order to accumulate the water, as well as condensate and lint that are condensed and scrubbed from the current of air as it passes through the second or condensing chamber. A drain opening is formed in the bottom of the sump; and a pump is provided that communicates between the drain opening and the exterior, the pump being operated by the motor for the purpose of discharging to the exterior the water and the condensate and the lint accumulating in the sump.

While the clothes drying machine of the Graham application is quite satisfactory in operation, it is subject to the criticism that during operation thereof some lint is accumulated or deposited upon the interior surfaces of the casing in the section of the passage disposed between the exit of the drum and the adit of the second or condensing chamber and the interior surfaces of the casing in the section of the passage disposed between the exit of the second or condensing chamber and the adit of the first or heating chamber. While the rate of deposit of 2,720,037 Patented Oct. 11, 1955 the lint in the two sections of the passage mentioned is slow, it is progressive, whereby it is necessary occasionally manually to clean the machine in order to remove the deposits of lint mentioned; and to accommodate access to the interior surfaces of the casing so as to facilitate removal of the deposited lint, this machine is also provided with a removable panel carried by one of a number of angularly spaced-apart and inwardly extending clothes tumbling vanes arranged in the cylindrical perforated wall of the drum. However, the removal and subsequent replacement of this panel for the purpose noted has proved to be beyond the mechanical skill of many users of the machine.

Accordingly, it is the general object of the present invention to provide in a clothes drying machine of the character described, an arrangement for preventing the deposit of lint upon the sections of the air passage noted.

Another object of the invention is to provide in a clothes drying machine of the character described, an arrangement for automatically flushing or washing down with water, during the normal operating cycle of the machine, the surfaces of the sections of the air passage noted so as to bring about the carrying of any lint accumulated thereon down into the condensing chamber to be discharged along with the water and the condensate to the exterior.

Further features of the invention pertain to the particular arrangement of the elements of the clothes drying machine, whereby the above-outlined and additional operating features thereof are attained.

The invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following specification taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 is a combined schematic illustration and lateral sectional view of a clothes drying machine of the home laundry type embodying the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a combined schematic illustration and fragmentary longitudinal sectional view of the lower portion of the clothes drying machine, taken in the direction of the arrows along the line 2-2 in Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a diagrammatic illustration of the circuit control network for the clothes drying machine; and

Fig. 4 is a combined schematic illustration and fragmentary lateral sectional view of the lower portion of a modified form of the clothes drying machine embodying the present invention.

Referring now to Figs. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the clothes drying machine 10 there illustrated is of the home laundry type and of the general construction and arrangement of that disclosed in detail in the previously mentioned Graham application and embodies the features of the present invention with reference to the arrangement for preventing the deposit or accumulation of lint on the wall structure defining the air passage therein, as more fully explained hereinafter. Specifically, the machine 10 comprises an upstanding housing, not shown, that encloses an upstanding casing 11, that, in turn, encloses a substantially cylindrical drum l2 that is mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis disposed in a substantially horizontal position. The drum 12 includes a substantially cylindrical perforated side wall 13, a substantially circular imperforate: rear end wall 14, and a substantially circular front end wall 15 having a substantially centrally disposed front opening, not shown, formed therein and affording access to the in terior of the drum 12. The housing, not shown, that encloses the casing 11, is provided with a front wall having a front opening formed therein and affording access through the front opening provided in the front end wall 15 into the interior of the drum 12; which housing also carries afront door, not shown, operatively associated with-the frontopening formed in the front wall thereof. The drum 12 is mounted for rotation upon a stub shaft, indicated at 16, that is secured to the rear end'wall 14 thereof and rotated by a transmission arrangement including an electric motor 17. The motor 17 is provided with an operating'shaft, indicated at 18, that carries a pulley 19 on the rear end thereof; which pulley 19 drives a pulley 20 provided on the rear end of an idler shaft, indicated at 21, through an associated belt 22. Also the idler shaft 21 carries a pulley 23 on the rear end thereof that drives a pulley 24 carried on the rear end of the stub shaft 16 through an associated belt 25.

The casing 11 comprises complementary upper and lower sections 26 and 27 that are suitably detachably secured together; and a longitudinally extending baffle 28 is arranged below the bottom of the drum 12 and partially within the lower section 27. The general configuration of the casing 11 is scroll-shaped so that it cooperates with the cylindrical side wall 13 of the drum 12 to provide a fan casing so that the mere rotation of the drum 12 in the counterclockwise direction, as viewed in Fig. 1, brings about the circulation of a current of air through the drum 12 and through the casing 11. More particularly, a baflfle 29 is arranged in the upper right quadrant of the upper casing section 26 and cooperates therewith and with the associated cylindrical side wall 13 of the drum 12 to define a first or heating chamber 39 adjacent to the cylindrical side wall 13; which heating chamber 30 has a plurality of electric heating elements 31 disposed therein. In the arrangement, the baflle 29 also constitutes a heat reflector for the purpose of reflecting radiant heat from the electric heating elements 31 onto the cylindrical side wall 13 and through the perforations therein onto the clothes contained in the drum 12; and the upper casing section 26 carries a layer of thermal insulation 32. The lower casing section 27 cooperates with the baflle 28 to define a second or condensing chamber 33 therebetween; and the opposite ends of the baflle 28 terminate short of the adjacent portions of the casing 11 in order to define two spaced-apart and communicating passages 34 and 35 therebetween. Further, the cylindrical side wall 13 of the drum 12 comprises a plurality of substantially equally spaced-apart inwardly disposed clothes tumbling vanes 36, three being illustrated, that bring about tumbling of the clothes, indicated at 37, when the drum 12 is rotated in the counterclockwise direction, as viewed in Fig.1. The vanes 36, and the clothes 37 tumbling in the drum 12, also assist in the circulation of the current of air through the drum 12 and within the casing 11; whereby the current of air is circulated from the heating chamber 30 through the drum 12 into contact with the contained clothes 37 tumbling therein, and thence via the passage 34, through the condensing chamber 33, and then via the passage 35 back into the heating chamber 30.

The current of air is heated and dried in the heating chamber 30 by the electric heating elements 31, whereby the clothes 37 tumbling in the drum 12 are heated and dried by the current of air. In the condensing chamber 33, a spray of cool water is provided, as explainedmore fully hereinafter, whereby moisture contained in the current of air is condensed therefrom and accumulated in the bottom thereof, that also constitutes a sump, as indicated at 38. Also the spray of cool water in the condensing chamber 33 scrubs the current of air circulated therethrough removing contained lint; whereby the water, the condensate and the lint accumulate in the sump 38 and are removed to the exterior of the machine 10 via a drain conduit 39, that is connected to an associated pump 40, that is also driven by the motor 17. More particularly, the pump is provided with an operating shaft, indicated at"41, that carries a' pulley 42 on the rear end thereof, that is driven by a pulley 43 carried on the rear end of the operating shaft 18 through an associated belt 44. Accordingly, it will be understood that when the motor 17 is operated both the drum 12 is rotated and the pump 40 is operated. Further, the pump 40 is provided with a discharge conduit 45 that communicates with a valve 46, that, in turn, is connectible either to a drain pipe 47 or a circulation conduit 48, as explained more fully hereinafter.

Further, the machine 10 comprises a cool water supply system including an inlet conduit 49 that is adapted to be supplied with cool water under gauge pressure from the city water main, a communicating fixture 50 housing a strainer, not shown, a communicating flow regulator 51, a communicating control valve 52, a communicating tube 53, and a communicating jet nozzle 54. The control valve 52 is of the solenoid type being provided with a solenoid, indicated at 55. A hole 56 is formed in the lower portion of the rear end wall of the casing 11 in cooperating relation with the condensing chamber 33; and a target 57 is suitably supported within the condensing chamber 33 adjacent to the hole 56 and arranged in horizontal alignment with respect to the jet nozzle 54 and in intercepting relation with respect to a stream of cool water projected therefrom through the hole 56 onto the target 57. In the arrangement, the end of the nozzle 54 is displaced rearwardly from the hole 56 formed in the rear wall of the casing'll by a distance of at least 1", for a purpose more fully described hereinafter.

During the normal operation of the machine 10, the cool water under gauge pressure supplied to the inlet conduit 49 passes'through the fixture 50, wherein any foreign material therein is strained therefrom, and thence via the flow control regulator 51 and the control valve 52 in its open position and through the tube 53 into the jet nozzle 54. The flow control regulator 51 is preferably of the flexible diaphragm compression aperture or throat type and is designed to maintain a substantially constant flow of the cool water therethrough of approximately 0.4 gallon per minute, notwithstanding considerable variation of the gauge pressure of the cool water supplied to the inlet conduit 49. In the jet nozzle 54, the pressure head of the cool water is converted into a corresponding velocity head of the stream of cool water projected therefrom through the associated air gap and thence through the hole 56 formed in the rear wall of the casing 11 onto the target 57. The target 57 breaks up the stream of cool water into a spray of the cool water within the condensing chamber 33 directed generally from the rear of the condensing chamber 33 toward the front thereof so that the condensing chamber 33 is substantially completely filled with a spray of cool water from the rear end thereof to the front end thereof and between the baflle 28 and the bottom Wall of the lower casing section 27 in order positively to insure cooling and thorough scrubbing of the current of air passing through the condensing chamber 33, in the manner previously described.

While the target 57 may be of the construction and arrangement disclosed in the Graham application mentioned, it is preferably of the construction and arrangement of that disclosed in the copending application of Clifford E. Erickson, Serial No. 303,226, filed August 8, 1952, now Patent No. 2,686,373,granted on August 17, 1954.

During the operation of the machine 10 should the abnormal condition appear of a subatmospheric pressure of the water in the connected city water main, there is a back-siphoning action through the inlet conduit 49, since the control valve 52 occupies its open position at this time. However, there can be absolutely no back-siphoning of process water from the sump 38 formed in the lower portion of the condensing chamber 33 under the abnormal condition noted by virtue of the open air gap that is provided exteriorly of the casing 11 between the end of the jet nozzle 54 and the outer end of the hole 56 formed in the rear wall of the casing 11. Specifically, the end of the jet nozzle 54 is disposed at least 1" rearwardly of the adjacent surface of the rear wall of the casing 11, as previously noted.

In accordance with the present invention, the valve 46 is provided with a casing 58 housing a valve element 59 having a first or normal position placing the discharge conduit 45 in communication with the drain pipe 47, and a second or operated position placing the discharge conduit 45 in communication with the circulation conduit 48. More particularly, the valve 46 is of the solenoid type being provided with a solenoid, indicated at 60, the solenoid 60 including an armature 61 that is operatively connected to a lever 62 that is secured to the valve element 59. Also, the valve element 59 is biased into its normal position through the lever 62 by a tension spring 63 extending between the lever 62 and a suitable outside support. Accordingly, it will be understood that when the solenoid 60 is deenergized, the valve element 59 is moved by the spring 63 into its first or normal position placing the discharge conduit 45 into communication with the drain pipe 47, and that when the solenoid 60 is energized, the valve element 59 is operated against the bias of the spring 63 into its operated or second position placing the discharge conduit 45 into communication with the circulation conduit 48. The drain pipe 47 is associated with a laundry tray or other drain plumbing arranged in the laundry room in which the machine is located; while the circulation conduit is bifurcated, the opposite ends thereof communicating with two headers or flush devices 64 and 65 arranged in the upper casing section 26 and communicating with two spaced-apart portions of the passage defined between the cylindrical side wall 13 of the drum 12 and the adjacent side wall of the casing 11.

More particularly, the flush device 64 comprises a longitudinally extending header arranged in the left-hand side wall of the upper casing section 26, as viewed from the rear of the machine 10 in Fig. 1, and located somewhat below the longitudinal axis of the drum 12 and well above the condensing chamber 33. Similarly, the flush device 65 comprises a longitudinally extending header arranged in the right-hand side wall of the upper casing section 26, as viewed from the rear of the machine 10 in Fig. 1, and located somewhat below the longitudinal axis of the drum 12 and well above the condensing chamber 33. The flush device 64 is provided with a longitudinally extending and downwardly directed lip 66 cooperating with the adjacent portion of the side wall of the upper casing section 26 to define a longitudinally extending aperture or slot 67 for the projection of water in a curtain downwardly over the interior surface of the side wall of the upper casing section 26 so as to wash or flush therefrom downwardly into the condensing chamber 33 any lint tending to accumulate or be deposited upon the interior surface noted of the upper casing section 26 and disposed in the passage between the exit of the current of air from the drum 12 and the adit of the current of air into the condensing chamber 33. Similarly, the flush device 65 is provided with a longitudinally extending and downwardly directed lip 68 cooperating with the adjacent portion of the side wall of the upper casing section 26 to define a longitudinally extending aperture or slot 69 for the projection of water in a curtain downwardly over the interior surface of the side wall of the upper casing section 26 so as to wash or flush therefrom downwardly into the condensing chamber 33 any lint tending to accumulate or be deposited upon the interior surface noted of the upper casing section 26 and disposed in the passage between the exit of the current of air from the condensing chamber 33 and the adit of the current of air into the heating chamber 30. These two curtains of water projected downwardly over the interior surfaces noted of the upper casing section 26 notonly wash or flush any lint accumulated or deposited thereon back into the condensing chamber 33 and the sump 38, but they also tend to keep cool the surfaces noted which further prevents the accumulation or deposit of lint thereon.

Further, the machine 10 comprises, as illustrated in Fig. 3, a timer '70 and a temperature regulator 71 that may be suitably supported upon the housing, not shown, as well as a thermal cutout switch 72 and a hydrostatic switch 73. The timer 70 comprises a rotatable operating shaft '74 carrying a control knob or dial 75 on the outer end thereof, as well as four insulating control cams C1, C2, C3 and C4. Also the timer 70 includes an electric synchronous drive motor 76 that is preferably of the Telechron type, reduction gearing 77 and a slip clutch 78. The rotatable armature of the timer motor 76 is directly connected to the drive shaft of the reduction gearing '77; while the driven shaft of the reduction gearing 77 is directly connected to one plate of the slip clutch 78; and the other plate of the slip clutch 78 is directly connected to the inner end of the operating shaft 74. Also four sets of switch springs S1, S2, S3 and S4 are respectively operatively associated with the control cams C1, C2, C3 and C4. The cooperation between the control cams C1, etc., and the sets of switch springs S1, etc., has been illustrated on a time basis in Fig. 3, as fully explained hereinafter.

The temperature regulator 71 comprises an expansible bellows 79 that is operatively connected to a capillary tube 80 and cooperates with a push rod 81 carrying two contact bridging members 82 and 83. Also, a control lever 84 is pivotally mounted at 85, and has an inner end that cooperates with the push rod 81, the outer end of the control lever 84 cooperating with a cam 86 that is carried by the inner end of an operating shaft 87, the outer end of the operating shaft 87 carrying a control knob or dial 88. The control lever 84 is biased in the counterclockwise direction, as viewed in Fig. 3, about the pivot by a coil spring 89, whereby the inner end of the control lever 84 normally biases the push rod 81 to cause the bridging members 82 and 339' to bridge the associated pairs of contacts. The bias that the control lever 84 exerts upon the push rod 81 may be selectively adjusted by rotation of the cam 86 as a consequence of rotation of the control knob 88 carried by the operating shaft 87. On the other hand, the projection of fluid into the expansible bellows 79 exerts a force upon the push rod 81 tending to move the bridging members 82 and 83 to open the associated pairs of contacts. Finally, the capillary tube 80 communicates with a temperature responsive bulb 90 that is arranged within the upper casing section 26 adjacent to the exit of the current of air from the drum 12, as illustrated in Fig. l.

The cutout switch 72 is of the thermostatic type including a stationary contact supporting element 91 and a movable contact supporting element 92 of the bimetallic thermal responsive types. The cutout switch 72 is arranged within the upper portion of the upper casing section 26 adjacent to and in spaced relation with the heating elements 31 disposed in the heating chamber 30, as illustrated in Fig. 1.

The hydrostatic switch 73 includes an expansible bellows 93 that communicates with the lower portion of the sump 38 formed in the lower casing section 27, as illustrated in Fig. 1. The expansible bellows 93 is responsive to the head of water accumulated in the sump 38 and cooperates with a push rod 94 that carries two contact bridging members 95 and 96.

The electric motor 17 is of the split-phase induction type including a stator provided with a start winding 97 and a run winding 98, and an inductively coupled armature 99 carrying a squirrel-cage winding 100. Also the operating shaft 18 of the motor 17 carries a start-run control switch 101 that comprises a speed responsive or centrifugal device 102 that is connected to a rod 103 that carries a contact bridging member 104 of the doublethrow type. The bridging member 104 is normally biased toward the left, as viewed in Fig. 3, by a coil spring 105 and is movable by the speed responsive device 102 against the bias of the coil spring 105 toward the right. In its left-hand position, the bridging member 104 closes its left-hand pair of contacts and opens its righthand pair of contacts; and in its right-hand position, the bridging member 104 closes its right-hand pair of contacts and opens its left-hand pair of contacts. When the armature 99 occupies its normal rest position, the bridging member 104 occupies its left-hand position; and when rotation of the armature 99 is initiated and approximately 50% of the normal operating speed thereof is attained, the centrifugal device 102 operates the bridging member 104 from its left-hand position into its right-hand position. Of course, when rotation of the armature 99 is arrested, the coil spring 105 again returns the bridging member 104 from its right-hand position back into its left-hand position.

Further, the control circuit comprises a capacitor 106, and a source of electric current supply of the three-wire Edison type including a pair of outside conductors 107 and 108 and a grounded neutral conductor 109, as well as a pilot lamp 110. Also in Fig. 3, there is diagrammatically illustrated the control valve 52 provided with the solenoid 55, as well as the heating elements 31.

In the circuit control network, the set of switch springs S1 comprises upper and lower springs respectively connected to two conductors 111 and 112; the set of switch springs S2 comprises upper and lower springs respectively connected to the outside conductor 107 and to a conductor 113; the set of switch springs S3 comprises upper and lower springs respectively connected to the outside conductor 108 and to a conductor 114; and the set of switch springs S4 comprises upper and lower springs respectively connected to the conductor 112 and to a con ductor 115. One terminal of the start winding 97 is connected to one terminal of the capacitor 106; and the other terminal of the start winding 97 is connected to the conductor 112. One terminal of the run winding 98 is connected to the neutral conductor 109; and the other terminal of the run winding 98 is connected to the conductor 112. The pilot lamp 110 is bridged between the neutral conductor 109 and the conductor 112; and the conductor 112 is connected via a thermal fuse 116 to the conductor 114. The upper left contact and the lower left contact controlled by the bridging member 104 are respectively connected to the neutral conductor 109 and to the other terminal of the capacitor 106; and the upper right contact and the lower right contact controlled by the bridging member 104 are respectively connected to the conductor 114 and to a conductor 117. The conductors 113 and 117 are respectively connected to the left contacts controlled by the bridging members 82 and 83; and the right contacts controlled by the bridging members 82 and 83 are respectively connected to two conductors 118 and 119. The conductor 118 is connected to the stationary contact element 91 of the cutout switch 72; and the movable contact element 92 of the cutout switch 72 is connected to a conductor 120, the heating elements 31 being bridged across the conductors 119 and One terminal of the solenoid 55 is connected to the neutral conductor 109; and the other terminal of the solenoid 55 is connected to the left contact controlled by the bridging member 95, the right contact controlled by the bridging member 95 being connected to the conductor 111. The left contact controlled by the bridging member 96 is connected to the neutral conductor 109 and the right contact controlled by the bridging member 96 is connected to one terminal of the solenoid 60, the other terminal of the solenoid 60 being connected to the conductor 115.

When the machine 10. is at. rest, the control dial 75 occupies its stop position so that the control cams C1, C2, C3 and C4 carried bythe operating shaft 74 actuate the sets of switch springs S1, S2, S3 and S4 into their open circuitpositions. The electric motor 17 is normally at rest, whereby the bridging member 104 normally occupies its left-hand position; the pilot lamp 110 is extinguished; the timer motor.76 is at rest; the cut out switch 72 occupies its closed position; the hydrostatic switch 73 occupies its closed position; the solenoid 55 is deenergized so. that the valve 52 occupies its closed position; and the solenoid 60 is deenergized so that the valve 46 occupies its first position placing the discharge conduit 45 in communication with the drain pipe 47.

Considering now the operation of the machine 10 in conjunction with the circuit control network therefor, the operator places a load of clothes to be dried into the drum 12 and closes the front door, not shown, carried by the housing, not shown. She then adjusts the control dial 88 of the thermostatic switch 71 in accordance with the character of the fabrics to be dried. Specifically, the control dial 88 governs the cam 86 through the operating shaft 87 to establish the bias that is exerted by the control lever 84 upon the push rod 81 and consequently the temperature at which the influence exerted by the thermal responsive element upon the bellows 79 will operate the push rod 81 to open the bridging members 82 and 83 with respect to the associated pairs of contacts. Also the control dial 75 is set to the desired time interval in accordance with whether the load of clothes is to be dried to a damp-dry condition or to a bone-dry condition. Specifically, the control dial 75 is rotated out of its stop position into its variable start position in order to set the time interval of the operating cycle of the timer 70 in the zone between a time interval of 60 mins. and a time interval of 40 mins., as indicated in the chart associated with the control cams C1 to C4, inclusive. For example, it may be assumed that the load of clothes is to be dried to the bone-dry condition, whereby the control. dial 75 is set to the initial portion of its variable start position establishing an overall time in terval of 60 mins. of operation of the cycle of the machine 10.

Specifically, the control dial 75 is rotated in the clockwise direction out of its stop position, the slip clutch 78 accommodating rotation of the operating shaft 74 with respect to the reduction gearing 77, whereby the control cams C1, C2 and C3 respectively close the sets of switch springsSl, S2 and S3. When the set of switch springs S3 is thus closed, the outside conductor 108 is connected to the conductor 114 thereby completing a direct circuit including the neutral conductor 109 for operating the timer motor 76, whereby the timer motor 76 drives the operating shaft 74 further in the clockwise direction through the reduction gearing 77 and the slip clutch 78. Also the conductor 114 is connected through the fuse 116 to the conductor 112, thereby to complete a circuit, including the left-hand pair of contacts controlled by the bridging member104, the capacitor 106 and the neutral conductor 109 for energizing the start winding 97, as well as a direct circuit between the conductor 112 and the neutral conductor 109 for energizing the run winding 98. When the start winding 97 and the run winding 98 of the motor 17 are thus energized, rotation of the armature 99 is initiated. Further, the pilot lamp is illuminated between the conductor 112 and the neutral conductor 109. When the set of switch springs S1 is thus closed, the conductor 112 is connected to the conductor 111 to complete a circuit, including the contacts controlled by the bridging member and the neutral conductor 109, for energizing the solenoid 55, whereby the valve 52 is op erated into its open position. When the set of switch springs S2 is thus closed, the outside conductor 107 is connected to. the conductor 113; however, the circuit for energizing the heating elements31 is open at this time at the right-hand contacts controlled by the bridging member $.104,. although the contacts controlled by the bridging members. 82 and 83 are closed, and the contacts of the cutout switch 72 are closed, whereby energization of the heating elements 31 is dependent upon operation of the electric motor 17. More particularly, when the armature 99 of the electric motor 17 reaches approximately 50% of its normal operating speed, the centrifugal device 12 operates the bridging member 104 from its left-hand position into its right-hand position interrupting, at the left-hand contacts controlled by the bridging memher 104, the circuit for energizing the start winding 97; and completing, at the right-hand contacts controlled by the bridging member 104, the circuit mentioned for energizing the heating elements 31. After the start winding 97 of the electric motor 17 is thus deenergized, the armature 99 continues to accelerate on into its normal operating speed in a conventional manner. Accordingly, at this time, the heating elements 31 are supplied with electric current between the outside conductors 107 and 108 and consequently become heated to effect heating of the air in the heating chamber 30, in the manner previously explained. Also, the valve 52 occupies its open position effecting the supply of cool water to the target 57 in the condensing chamber 33, in the manner previously explained.

As the cycle of the machine proceeds, the timer motor 76 drives the operating shaft 74 and consequently the cams C1, etc., further in the clockwise direction back toward the stop position of the control dial 75, as previously explained. During the course of the cycle when the circulated air reaches a predetermined temperature, the influence exerted upon the thermal responsive device 90 effects operation of the bellows 79 sutficiently to effect operation of the push rod 81 so as to move the bridging members 82 and 83 into open circuit position, depending upon the initial adjustment of the thermostatic switch 71, as brought about by the initial setting of the control dial 88. When the bridging members 82 and 83 are thus operated into their open circuit positions, the heating elements 31 are deenergized, whereby the temperature of the circulated air soon subsides so that the thermal responsive device 90 exercises a contrary influence upon the bellows 79 effecting reclosure of the bridging members 82 and 83 and the consequent reenergization of the heating elements 31. Thus the thermostatic switch 71 operates to hold the temperature of the circulated air to that previously set by the initial setting of the control dial 88.

During the operation of the machine 10, should the temperature of the circulated air become excessive, the cutout switch 72 is operated independently of the thermal switch 71 in order positively to open a further point in the circuit for energizing the heating elements 31. Of course, in the operation of the cutout switch 72, the movable bimetallic element 92 moves away from the stationary element 91 opening the contacts respectively carried thereby. When this abnormal high temperature subsides, the cutout switch 72 is again operated into its closed position. Of course, it will be understood that the temperature at which the cutout switch 72 is adjusted to be operated into its open circuit position is somewhat higher than the normal range of the thermostatic switch 71 and really comprises a safety switch operative in the event of failure of the normally operative thermostatic switch 71.

Continuing now with the cycle of operation of the machine 10, after the expiration of all but 10 mins. of the time interval previously set by the control dial 75 of the timer 70, the control cam C4 operates the set of switch springs S4 into its closed circuit position completing a circuit for energizing the solenoid 60; this circuit including the neutral conductor 109, the bridging member 96, the conductor 115, the set of switch springs S4, the conductor 112, the fuse 116, the conductor 114, the set of switch springs S3, and the outside conductor 108. When the solenoid 60 is thus energized, the valve element 59 of the valve 46 is operated from its first position into its second position. Prior to the operation of the valve element 59 from its first position, the water and condensate and lint accumulating in the sump 38 disposed below the condensing chamber 33 are drained through the drain conduit 39 and discharged by the pump 40 driven by the electric motor 17 through the discharge conduit 45 and thence through the valve 46 into the drain pipe 47 and consequently to the exterior of the machine 10. Now upon operation of the valve element 59 into its second position, the discharge conduit 45 is disconnected from the drain pipe 47 and connected to the circulation conduit 43, whereby the pump 40 discharges water through the discharge conduit 45 into the circulation conduit 48. The water is conducted from the circulation conduit 48 into the flush devices 64 and in order to produce the curtains of water projected down the interior surfaces of the casing 11 so as to bring about the flushing or lashing of any lint accumulated or deposited upon the surfaces noted back into the condensing chamber 33 and thus into the sump 38. Some lint may be thus circulated from the sump 38 by the pump 40 back into the flush devices 64 and 65, along with the water, but this is of no material consequence since the lint mentioned occurs in a small quantity and passes readily through the a'pertures or slots 67 and 69 respectively formed in the flush devices 64 and 68.

After the expiration of all but 7 mins. of the time interval previously set by the control dial 75 of the timer 70, the control cam C2 operates the set of switch springs S2 into its open circuit position eifecting deenergizing of the heating elements 31. At this time, the valve 52 occupies its open position so that the supply of cool water from the jet nozzle 54 onto the target 56 is continued, which water accumulates in the sump 38 since the valve element 59 occupies its operated position closing the drain pipe 47 and effecting circulation of the water from the sump 38 to the flush devices 64 and 65, in the manner described above.

After the expiration of all but 2 mins. of the time interval previously set by the control dial 75 of the timer 70, the control cam C4 operates the set of switch springs S4 into its open position effecting deenergization of the solenoid 60 and the consequent return of the valve element 59 from its operated position back into its normal position so that the discharge conduit 45 is again connected to the drain pipe 47. Accordingly, at this time, the water accumulated in the sump 38 is discharged to the exterior via the drain pipe 47 by the pump 40 along with any lint suspended therein that has been washed down from the interior surfaces noted of the casing 11 into the condensing chamber 33 and then into the sump 38. At this time, the supply of cool water from the jet nozzle 54 onto the target 57 continues, after the circulation of the water to the flush devices 64 and 65 has been arrested, so that the sump 38 is washed out and any lint therein is discharged by the pump 4t] via the drain pipe 47 to the exterior of the machine 10.

Subsequently after the expiration of all but 1 /2 mins. of the time interval previously set by the control dial 75 of the timer 70, the control cam C1 operates the set of switch springs S1 into its open circuit position effecting deenergization of the solenoid 55 and the consequent return of the control valve 52 into its closed position so as to cut-off the supply of cool Water to the jet nozzle 54, and thus onto the target 57. Finally, and at the expiration of the additional time interval of 1 /2 mins., the operating shaft 74 of the timer is returned back into its stop position, whereby the control cam C3 operates the set of switch springs S3 into its open circuit position to arrest operation of the electric motor 17, to arrest operation of the timer motor 76, and to extinguish the pilot lamp 110. At this time, the cycle of operation of the machine 10 has been completed and the timer 70 has been returned back into its normal stop position opening all of the electric circuits.

Accordingly, it will be understood that in the operating cycle of the machine 10, water from the sump 38 is circulated to the flush devices 64 and 65 and back into the sump 38 for a time interval of 8 mins., and that during this time interval the control valve 52 occupies its open position bringing about the continued supply of cool water from the jet nozzle 54 onto the target 57; and the rate of supply of the cool water of 04 gaL/min. is correlated with respect to the effective volume of the sump 38 provided in the bottom of the condensing chamber 33 so that'the total head of water accumulating therein and standing in the bellows 93 of the hydrostatic switch 73 does not exceed 3. More particularly, the hydrostatic switch 73 is set so that in the event the total head of water standing therein in the sump 38. exceeds 3", the hydrostatic switch 73 is operated into its open circuit position interrupting at the respective bridging members 95 and 96 the circuits for energizing the solenoids 50 and 60; whereby in the event of operation of the hydrostatic switch 73, the control valve 52 is returned into its closed position and the valve element 59 is returned into its normal position. This arrangement positively prevents flooding of the sump 33 and the condensing chamber 33 in the event of failure of operation of the pump 40 as by breakage of the belt 44.

Now the total time interval of the circulation of the water from the sump 38 to the flush devices 64 and 65 of 8 mins. is spread 3 mins. before and mins. after the interruption of the circuit for energizing the heating elements 31. Also the cool water is supplied onto the target 57 during a time interval of approximately 5 /2 mins. after the heating elements 31 are deenergized. This arrangement insures that the inner surfaces noted of the upper casing section 26 are thoroughly washed down with the curtains of water so as to insure the complete removal therefrom of any lint accumulating or deposited thereon during the normal cycle of operation of the machine and prior to the end of the cycle thereof.

Also in passing, it is noted that the energization of the heating elements 31 is dependent upon running of the electric motor 17 thereby positively preventing heating of the clothes 37 unless the electric motor 17 is operating to tumble them in the drum 12. Finally, it is noted that the fuse 116 protects the machine 10 against undue current demands by the electric motor 17 and the solenoids 55'and 60. In case the fuse 116 is broken operation of the electric motor 17 is arrested effecting opening of the circuit for energizing the heating elements 31. However, the circuit for operating the timer motor 76 is independent of the fuse 116 so that the timer 70 is driven back into its normal stop position in the event of breakage of the fuse 116.

Referring now to Fig. 4, the modified form of the clothes drying machine 210 there illustrated and embodying the features of the present invention is substantially identical of the machine 10, previously described, except that fresh water from the city water main is supplied to the flush devices 264 and 265 carried by the side wall of the casing 211 adjacent to the rotatably mounted drum 212, instead of employing circulated water from the sump 238 provided at the bottom of the condensing chamber 233. Specifically, the inlet conduit 201 is connected to a vacuum breaker 202, that, in turn, is connected to a fixture 203, provided with a strainer, not shown. The fixture 203 is connected to a substantially T-shaped conduit 204, the opposite ends of which are respectively connected to two fiow control regulators 205 and 206, that are, in turn, respectively connected to two control valves 207 and 208 respectively provided with operating solenoids 209 and 210. The control valve 207 is connected via a tube 211 to a jet nozzle 254 that projects a stream of the cool water onto the target 257 disposed in the condensing chamber 233, in the manner previously explained, while the control valve 208 is connected to the flush conduit 2.14 that is bifurcated and connectedlto the flush devices 264 and 265. The circuit control network for the machine 210 may be identical to that of the machine 10, as shown in Fig. 3; whereby the solenoids 209 and 210 respectively correspond to the solenoids 55 and 60 and respectively control the valves 207 and 208. The valve 207 controls the supply of cool water from the inlet conduit 201 onto the target 213; while the valve 208 controls the supply of cool water from the inlet conduit 201 to the flush devices 264 and 265.

The principle of operation of the machine 210 is substantially identical to that of the machine 10, previously described in detail, except for the differences in the manner in which the water is supplied to the flush devices 264 and .265, as explained above.

The modified form of the clothes drying machine 210 possesses the advantage that since the water is not circulated from the sump 238 by the pump 240 that communicates directly with the drain pipe 247, there is no circulation of lint into the flush devices 264 and 265. However, the clothes drying machine 210 possesses the disadvantage that a separate and distinct vacuum breaker device 202 must be incorporated in the inlet water plumbing in order positively to prevent any possibility of backsiphoning between the sump 238 and the inlet conduit 201 connected to the city water main. Of course, it will be appreciated that there is no possibility of back-siphoning in the clothes drying machine 10 and involving the flush devices 64 and 65 since fresh water is not supplied to the flush devices 64 and 65 by virtue of the circulation of the water thereto from the sump 38.

In view of the foregoing, it is apparent that there has been provided in a clothes drying machine of the home laundry type and of the character described, an improved arrangement for preventing the accumulation of lint in the passage that communicates at the opposite ends thereof with the two spaced-apart portions of the perforated side wall of the drum that contains and tumbles the clothes, which arrangement incorporates facility for flushing or washing down the interior surfaces of the wall structure defining the passage in order to bring about the washing-down into the associated condensing chamber and sumpof any lint accumulated or deposited upon the surfaces noted.

While there has been described what is at present considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

1. In aclothes drying machine including a substantially horizontally disposed and rotatably mounted drum adapted to receive clothes to be dried, means for rotating said drum in order to tumble the contained clothes, wall structure defining a passage communicating at the opposite ends thereof with two spaced-apart portions of said drum, said wall structure also defining spaced-apart and communicating upper and lower chambers in said passage, means for producing circulation of a current of air from said upper chamber through said drum into contact with the contained clothes and thence into said lower chamber and back into said upper chamber, means for heating said current of air as it is passed through said upper chamber, a spray device adapted to produce a finely divided spray of cool water in said lower chamber in order to cool and to scrub said current of air as it is passed through said lower chamber so as to condense moisture and to remove lint therefrom, and means forsupplying cool water to said spray device; the combination comprising a first flush device disposed in said passage above said lower'chamber and on the adit side thereof with reference to the direction of circulation of said current of air and adapted to flush water over the adjacent interior surface of said wall structure in order to wash lint accumulating thereon down into said lower chamber, a second flushdevice disposed in said passage above said lower, chamber and on the exit side thereof with reference to the direction of circulation of said current of air and adaptedto flush water over the adjacent interior surface of said wall structure in order to wash lint accumulating thereon down into said lower chamber, means for supplying water to said first and second flush devices, the lower portion of said lower chamber constituting a sump for the accumulation of water and condensate and lint, and a drain conduit communicating between said sump and the exterior.

2. In a clothes drying machine including a drum provided with a substantially cylindrical perforated wall and mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis disposed in a substantially horizontal position and adapted to receive clothes to be dried, means for rotating said drum in order to tumble the contained clothes, a casing enclosing said drum and cooperating therewith to define a passage communicating at the opposite ends thereof with two spaced-apart portions of said perforated wall, said casing also defining spaced-apart and communicating upper and lower chambers in said passage and disposed respectively adjacent to the top and adjacent to the bottom of said perforated wall, means for producing circulation of a current of air from said upper chamber through said drum into contact with the contained clothes and thence into said lower chamber and back into said upper chamber, means for heating said current of air as it is passed through said upper chamber, a spray device adapted to produce a finely divided spray of cool water in said lower chamber in order to cool and to scrub said current of air as it is passed through said lower chamber so as to condense moisture and to remove lint therefrom, and a first valve operative to supply cool water to said spray device; the combination comprising an elongated flush device disposed in said passage between said casing and said perforated wall and located above said lower chamber and adapted to flush water over the adjacent interior surface of said casing in order to wash lint accumulating thereon down into said lower chamber, a second valve operative to supply cool water to said flush device, control means for selectively operating said first and second valves so as selectively to supply cool water to said spray device and to said flush device, the lower portion of said casing providing a sump at the bottom of said lower chamber for the accumulation of water and condensate and lint, and a drain conduit communicating between said sump and the exterior.

3. The clothes drying machine combination set forth in claim 2, wherein said flush device is essentially in the form of an elongated longitudinally extending header provided with an elongated longitudinally extending slot therein arranged to project an elongated longitudinally extending curtain of water therefrom upon the adjacent interior surface of said casing.

4-. In a clothes drying machine including a substantially horizontally disposed and rotatably mounted drum adapted to receive clothes to be dried, means for rotating said drum in order to tumble the contained clothes, wall structure defining a passage communicating at the opposite ends thereof with two spaced-apart portions of said drum, said wall structure also defining spaced-apart and communicating upper and lower chambers in said passage, means for producing circulation of a current of air from said upper chamber through said drum into contact with the contained clothes and thence into said lower chamber and back into said upper chamber, means for heating said current of air as it is passed through said upper chamber, a spray device adapted to produce a finely divided spray of cool water in said lower chamber in order to cool and to scrub said current of air as it is passed through said lower chamber so as to condense moisture and to remove lint therefrom, and means for supplying cool water to said spray device; the combination comprising a flush device disposed in said passage" above said lower chamber and adapted to flush water over the adjacent interior surface of said wall structure in order to wash lint accumulatingthereon down into said lower' chamber, the lower portion of said lower chamber constituting a sump for the accumulation of water and condensate and lint, means for supplying water from said sump to said fiush device so that the water thus supplied to said flush device is flushed over the adjacent interior surface of said wall structure and then returned back into said sump, and means for draining water and condensate and lint from said sump to the exterior.

5. In a clothes drying machine including a substantially horizontally disposed and rotatably mounted drum adapted to receive clothes to be dried, means for rotating said drum in order to tumble the contained clothes, wall structure defining a passage communicating at the opposite ends thereof with two spaced-apart portions of said drum, said wall structure also defining spaced-apart and communicating upper and lower chambers in said passage, means for producing circulation of a current of air from said upper chamber through said drum into contact with the contained clothes and thence into said lower chamber and back into said upper chamber, means for heating said current of air as it is passed through said upper chamber, a spray device adapted to produce a finely divided spray of cool water in said lower chamber in order to cool and to scrub said current of air as it is passed through said lower chamber so as to condense moisture and to remove tint therefrom, and means for supplying cool water to said spray device; the combination comprising a fiush device disposed in said passage above said lower chamber and adapted to flush water over the adjacent interior surface of said wall structure in order to wash lint accumulating thereon down into said lower chamber, the lower portion of said lower chamber constituting a sump for the accumulation of water and condensate and lint, a drain conduit communicating with the lower portion of said sump, a pump communicating with said drain conduit, means for operating said pump, a circulation conduit communicating with said flush device, a drain pipe communicating with the exterior, and valve means for selectively connecting said pump to said circulation conduit and to said drain pipe.

6. In a clothes drying machine including a substantially horizontally disposed and rotatably mounted drum adapted to receive clothes to be dried, means for rotating said drum in order to tumble the contained clothes, wall structure defining a passage communicating at the opposite ends thereof with two spaced-apart portions of said drum, said wall structure also defining spaced-apart and communicating upper and lower chambers in said passage, means for producing circulation of a current of air from said upper chamber through said drum into contact with the contained clothes and thence into said lower chamber and back into said upper chamber, means for heating said current of air as it is passed through said upper chamber, a spray device adapted to produce a finely divided spray of cool water in said lower chamber in order to cool and to scrub said current of air as it is passed through said lower chamber so as to condense moisture and to remove lint therefrom, and means for supplying cool water to said spray device; the combination comprising a flush device disposed in said passage above said lower chamber and adapted to flush water over the adjacent interior surface of said wall structure in order to wash lint accumulating thereon down into said lower chamber, the lower portion of said lower chamber constituting a sump for the accumulation of water and condensate and lint, a drain conduit communicating with the lower portion of said sump, a pump communicating with said drain conduit, means: for operating said pump, a circulation conduit communicating with said flush device, a drain pipe communicating with the ex terior, valve mechanism communicating with said pump 15 and said circulation conduit andv said drain pipe and havinga first position connecting-said pump to said drain pipe ;and;-.a second position connecting said pump to said circulation. conduit, and means for selectively operating said valve mechanism between its first and second positions.

7. The clothes drying machine combination set forth in claim 6, wherein said valve mechanism is of the solenoid operated type, andsaid first and second positions thereof: respectively constitute normal and operated positions thereof.

8. Ina clothes drying machine including a drum provided with a substantially cylindrical perforated wall and mounted for rotation about its longitudinal axis disposed in a substantially horizontal position and adapted to receive clothes to be dried, an electric motor operative to rotate said drum in order to tumble the contained clothes, a' casing provided with a substantially tubular side wall and enclosing said drum and cooperating therewith to define a passage communicating at the opposite ends thereof with two'spaced-apart portions of said perforated wall, said. casing also defining spaced-apart and communicating upper and lower chambers in said passage and disposed respectively adjacent to the top and adjacent to the bottom of said perforated wall, means for producing circulation of a current of air from said upper chamber through said drum into contact with the contained clothes and thence into said lower chamber and back into said upper chamber, an electric heating unit operative to heat said current of air as it is passed through said upper chamber, a spray device adapted to produce a finely divided spray of cool water in said lower chamber in order tocool and to scrub said current of air as it is passed through said lower chamber so as to condense moisture and remove lint therefrom, and a first valve operative to supply coolwater to said spray device; the combination comprising a flush device disposed in said side wall and located above said lower chamber and adapted to flush cool wateroverv the adjacent interior surface of said side wall and out of contact with the adjacent portion of said perforated. wall in order to wash lint accumulating thereon down-into said lower chamber, a second valve operative to supply cool water tosaid flush device, the lower portion of said lower chamber constituting a sump for the accumulation of water andcondensate and lint, a drain conduit communicating between said sump and the exterior, a control device operative through a cycle selectively to'operate said motor and said heating unit and said first and second valves, and means for operating said control device through its cycle.

9. The clothes drying machine combination set forth in. claim 8, wherein said control device is operative through its cycle to initiate operation of said motor and to energize said heating unit and to open said first valve, then later to open said second valve, then still later to deenergize said heating unit,..then still, later to close said first and second valves, and finally to arrest operation of saidmotor.

10. The clothes drying machine combination set forth in claim 8, wherein said control device includes a stop position and a variable start position, and said means for operating said control device through its cycle includes a manually operable element for moving said control device from itsstop position into its variable start position and. a timer for moving said control device from its variable start position back into its stop position.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,451,692 Pugh Oct. 19, 1948 2,453,859 Pugh Nov. 16, 1948 2,590,295 Constantine Mar. 25, 1952 2,607,209 Constantine Aug. 19, 1952 2,644,245 Hammell et a1. July 7, 1953

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2825148 *Jun 9, 1955Mar 4, 1958Olson Einer CLint trap for laundry drier
US2833056 *Mar 23, 1953May 6, 1958Maytag CoMeans for treating fabrics
US2838845 *May 29, 1956Jun 17, 1958Gen ElectricControl circuits for clothes drying machines
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US3083081 *Mar 10, 1961Mar 26, 1963Spencer Chem CoFertilizer granulating drum unit
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US3190011 *Dec 5, 1960Jun 22, 1965Noubar S AbdalianClothes drier with vapor removal
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US8365435 *Jun 10, 2010Feb 5, 2013Pellerin Milnor CorporationLaundry press apparatus and method
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Classifications
U.S. Classification34/526, 34/75, 34/85
International ClassificationD06F58/22, D06F58/24, D06F58/04
Cooperative ClassificationY10S29/034, D06F58/22, D06F58/04, D06F58/24
European ClassificationD06F58/22, D06F58/04, D06F58/24