US 2911811 A
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D. L. CLARK Nov. 10, 1959 CLOTHES WASHER WITH ADJUSTABLE WATER LEVEL CONTROL Filed Se t. 19, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR- DAVID L. CLARK HIS ATTORNEY Nov. 10, 1959 D. L. CLARK 2,911,811
CLOTHES WASHER WITH ADJUSTABLE WATER LEVEL CONTROL Filed Sept. 19, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 lOl O .20 40 '60 80 I00 /20 I49 I60 I80 200 220 240 260 280 300 310 340 360 CAMI CAME C/JMJH GAMZY FIG. 4
37 x INVENTCR DAVID L. CLARK 1% 35 $347 2. Y
HIS ATTORN CLOTHES WASHER WITH ADJUSTABLE WATER LEVEL CONTROL David L. Clark, Fern Creek, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application September 19, 1955, Serial No. 534,931
6 Claims. (Cl. 68-12) This invention relates to clothes washing machines of the spin basket type provided with an outer tub and aspin basket within it, and wherein the clothes are Washed and rinsed in the basket and the basket is rotated to extract the water from the clothes after being washed; and also wherein the water is continuously recirculated from the tub to the basket during the washing operation. The invention is especially useful in such machines wherein the several operations are performed automatically.
An object of my invention is to provide an improved system for supplying water to a clothes washing machine of this character under a water control arrangement contributing to conservation of Water.
Another object is to provide an improved water control arrangement wherein the washing or rinsing operation is initiated by the accumulation in the outer tub of a predetermined level of water overflowing from the basket, which arrangement utilizes in the washing stage conducted within the basket the amount of water previously accumulated outside the basket for control purses.
A further object is to provide an improved system for supplying water to a clothes washing machine under a water control arrangement adapted for variable setting commensurate with the load of clothes contained in the basket.
According to my invention, I provide water supply means for supplying water to the basket, and a pressure operated switch having a variable setting for different water levels in the basket as desired, which switch is responsive to the accumulation in the outer tub of water overflowing from the basket. The basket is provided with overflow means which during the water fill period limits the amount of water supplied to the basket to the amount suitable for washing the minimum clothes load, which for example may be one-half load. I call this quantity of water the base amount. Thus, the water responsive control switch responds only to the water which is supplied in excess of the base amount and which excess overflows from the basket into the outer tub. This switch is designed to respond to various selected amounts of water allowed to collect in the outer tub, and thus in effect measures the base quantity of water plus various selected excess increments. During the washing operation, the circulating means circulates the water from the tub to the basket at a greater rate than water can overflow from the basket, and thus the base amount of water plus the excess allowed to collect in the tub initially constitutes the total water supplied to the basket for the washing operation.
This insures accuracy of measurement of the water supplied to the basket, and also positively insures at least the minimum or base supply of water in the basket at the start of the Wash operation when the water is shut oif from the machine and the washing action is initiated.
Other features and advantages of my invention will be apparent from the following detailed description read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which show a presently preferred embodiment of my invention applied to an automatic domestic washing machine.
Fig. 1 of the drawings is an elevation, partly in section,
of a washing machine of the centrifugal extraction type embodying my invention;
Fig. 2 is a representation of a circuit suitable for use in operating the automatic washing machine incorporating my invention and with cam actuated and pressure operated control switches shown schematically;
Fig. 3 is a chart showing the operation of the cam mechanism at any particular instant during the operating cycle;
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary plan view showing an arrangement of the electrically energized hot and cold water supply valves; and
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary view of a washing machine embodying my invention in an alternate form thereof.
Referring to Fig. 1, there is provided an outer casing 1 of a clothes washing machine within which is secured a suitable tub 2. The outer casing includes a rigid base frame 3 and a cover 4 having a removable lid adapted to fit in a suitable aperture, not shown, in the" cover for the purpose of placing or removing clothes in the machine. A backsplash panel 5 is mounted at a convenient location upon the cover and serves to mount and enclose a portion of the apparatus for controlling the water supply to the machine.
Within the tub is a spin extraction type of basket 6 in which the clothes are placed to be washed by oscillation of an agitator 7. During the washing operation the basket is held stationary. Thereafter the cleansing liquid is centrifugally extracted from the clothes by rotating the basket at high speed. During this spinning extraction operation the basket and agitator are rotated as a unit and the liquid is discharged through openings 8 at the baskets upper edge. in and removed from the tub 2.
of overflow tubes 10 adapted to discharge into tub 2. These tubes preferably are of equal length and at their upper ends serve as overflow weirs of equal height, the
height of which corresponds to a base level or load of water intended to be contained in the basket during a washing operation. The tubes, moreover, are disposed upon the outer surface of the basket in aflixed enclosing relation thereto and are attached at their inner ends to a plate 11 serving as a basket support member and as a portion of the basket drive structure. It will be noted that in my preferred embodiment the tubes 10 communicate with the basket beneath the skirt 7a of the agitator 7. In other words the aperture 9 leading to the tubes is disposed beneath the agitator skirt.
The basket and the agitator are respectively mounted on concentric independently rotatable shafts driven by a machine of my invention. The mechanism, 12 is mounted below the bottom of tub 2 by suitable supporting means (not shown) and in turn supports the basket 6 within the tub. The top of the mechanism case protrudes upwardly through a passage in the bottom of the tub and a leakl Patented Nov. 1 1 959 This used water is collected 3 proofsealis formed between the case and the tub by a flexible boot 13.
Also mounted within casing 1 is a reversible drive motor 20 having a conventional start winding 20a (Fig. 2), a running or main winding 20b and a centrifugal cutout switch 200 for the start winding. Power for agitationand spinof the basket is transmitted from the drive motorthrough the directionally responsive clutch means 21 (Fig. 1) which has an agitate clutch 22 adapted to be. connected to sheave 23 and a spin clutch 24 adapted to be connected to sheave 25. the mechanism 12 are in turn connected through that mechanism to the respective oscillatable agitator and rotatable basket spinning shafts. I
.When the drive motor is rotated in the agitate direction, only clutch 22 is driven and when the drive motor is rotated in the spin direction, only clutch 24 is driven. Snubbermeans, as disclosed in said McNairy patent, preferably are employed to insure the holding of the basket stationary during the oscillation of the agitator.
Asan important feature of my invention the motor 20 is connected to a pump 30 adapted to pump when rotated in either direction and having a capacity sufficient to pump at a substantially higher rate than the rate at which the aggregate discharge of tubes 10 can spill into tub 2. Pump 30 preferably is a centrifugal pump of known type having a central opening for entry of water and a peripheral discharge opening. The pump is mounted in the bottom of tub 2 and is connected withthe shaft of motor 20 by a flexible connection 30a so that rotation of the motor in either direction simultaneously rotates the pump in the same direction as the motor. Water entering the pump from tub 2 is directed into either a washer discharge conduit 31 leading to the house drain or a recirculation conduit 32 leading to the top of the basket 6. A suitable two-position valve, not shown, located in the pump outlet controls into which conduit the water is directed. The actuation of this valvemay conveniently be accomplished by suitable means subject to the direction of rotation of the pump shaft. Accordingly, as reversiblemotor 20 is driven in the agitate direction, the pump 30 likewise is driven in the agitate direction and the valve setting is such as to cause water to be pumped into recirculation conduit 32. Conversely when the motor is driven in the spin direction the pump 30 likewise is driven in the spin direction and the valve setting is such as to cause water to be pumped into the discharge conduit 31. A suitable pump and valve arrangement which may be used is shown and described in the copending application of John Bochan, Serial No. 468,460, filed November 12, 1954, now Patent No. 2,883,843, and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention.
.For the purpose of filling basket 6 to the desired level,
water is supplied from a suitable external source directly to the basket.
with conventional solenoid operated valves 33 and 34 having solenoids 37 and 38 (Figs. 2 and 4) and intended,
respectively for connection to a cold water and a hot water source and feeding into a common spout 35 which reaches over the top of the basket 6 to discharge theremto; the valves are opened when their solenoids are energized, and closed when de-energized. Likewise recirculating conduit 32 is provided with a spout 36 (Fig. 1) reaching over the basket top to discharge thereinto. Mounted upon panel is a pressure actuated. control sw tch 40 having a knob 41 for selective setting of the switch. Extending from said switch housing into the bottom of tub 2, in the water collecting region thereof, is a pressure tube 42 open at its lower end 43 into which water accumulated in tub 2 may rise to a level determined by the level of water in the tub and by the resistmg action of the air compressed in tube 42 by the water rislng therein. The upper end of the tube communi- Sheaves 23 and 25 of i The washing machine may be provided.
cate's with the lower'portion of the housing of switch 40 (Fig. 2) withinwhich is contained a diaphragm 44 adapted to determine the position of a switch arm 45 with respect to contacts 46 and 47, in accordance with the pressure of air beneath the diaphragm. By means of a suitable biasing spring 48 the control knob 41 may determine the pressure at which the switch arm is actuated to cause a switching of the circuit. As will later appear, the switch arm 45 is movable between a first position (as shown in, Fig. 2) in which water may be supplied to the machine by the solenoid valves, and a second position (with contact 46 closed) in which recirculation of water within the machine may be permitted.
Preferably the several operations of the washing machine of this invention are under the control of a motor driven program controller suitably mounted on the machine convenient to the operator. Such a control is disclosed in Welch et al., Patent 2,654,239, granted October 6, 1953, for Automatic Washing Machine Electrical Control 'System, owned by the General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention. The program controller which I identify generally in Fig. 2 by reference 50 may embody a cam bank and switch arrangement similar to that described and claimed in said Welch et al. patent.
Such an arrangement has a suitably indexed dial 51, a plurality of cams 52, 53, 54 and 55 and a timer motor 56. These cams, including the dial 51 (which is also a cam) are also designed by the numerals I, II, III, IV, and V, as' shown in Fig. 2 for easier reference to the cam shart of Fig. 3. The respective cams and indicating dial are keyed on the timer motor driven shaft 57 and the mechanism (not shown) connecting the timer to the shaft is such that the dial 51 may be manually operated to advance the timing system to any selected operating position, or, as is frequently desirable, to shorten any particular operation cycle.
In each of the cams of 52, 54 and 55, the high portions represent operative positions associated with spinning of the basket and the low portions represent operative positions related to clothes washing. The circuit includes a manually operable double pole single throw switch 58 pursuant to which the operator may optionally use only hot 'water, or a fixed mixture of hot and cold water for washing. Regardless of the wash water temperature selection, the fixed mixture is supplied for rinsing' because the cam follower on the periphery of dial 51 automatically causes both poles of switch 58 to close after the first fill of the basket. switch are designated 58a and 58b, respectively, and to choose the hot and cold mixture for washing, the operator merely closes the contact 58a manually, using a suitable lever, not shown, the upper arm of switch 58 being movable to closed position independently of the lower arm. Y
The circuit also includes the single pole double throw switch 40, having contacts 46 and 47 and which, as above described, is arranged to be actuated by the diaphragm 44 responsive to the level of water in tube 42 andconcomitantly to the level of water in tub 2. In the schematic circuit representation of Fig. 2, it is assumed that the switch arm 45 engages the upper contact 46 when the water reaches a predetermined level in the tub.
Cams 52, 54 and 55 each operate single pole double throw switches. The lower contacts of each switch carry the identification number of the cam with the subscript A (for agitate) and the upper contacts have subscripts S (for spin). Cam 53 operates a single pole single throw switch 53a. The circuit is connectable to a source of electrical energy, for example, volts, 60 cycle A.C. by a conventional plug P. The main leads of the circuit comprise the supply conductor 62 and the return conductor 63.
The poles of said- 'The impedance of timer motor 56' is made greater than that of the Water valve solenoids 37 and 38 and they, in turn, have an impedance greater than that of the drive motor 20. The several cams are in the position of Fig. 2 when the operator has rotated dial 51, which also causes rotation of shaft 57, from the OE position to the Fill position. This may be to an) position within the space marked Agitate, the position depending upon the agitating time desired. The switch actuator of cam 52 has dropped oit a high portion of the cam; the switch actuator of cam 53 has entered onto a high portion of its cam; and the switch actuators of cams 54 and 55 have dropped off high portions of their cams. The fact that the manually operable switch 58 is in the position shown with pole 58a open indicates that the operator has chosen to usehot water at line temperature for washing.
The machine then begins to fill with hot water by reason of the following circuit: from the plug P through conductors 62, 64 to the bridged contacts 52A of cam 52, conductors 65, 66 to hot water solenoid 38, conductors 67, 68 to the empty position contact 47 of water level responsive switch 40 and switch arm 45, conductors 70, 71 to the bridged contacts 53a of cam 53, conductors 72, 73 to the main winding 20b of motor 20 and through return conductor 63 to the plug P. Because the impedance of solenoid coil 38 is much higher than that of the drive motor, and the timer motor is in parallel with the drive motor, which, by the way, offers a parallel return path for the solenoid circuit just described, practically full line voltage is drawn across the coil 38 to energize it and thereby open the valve 34, and as a result water is admitted, but neither the timer motor nor the drive motor will start. Thus it will be seen that during the fill period the control cams are not turned. Had the operator chosen to use a mixture of hot and cold water for washing, pole 58a of switch 58 would have been closed manually before starting the machine, whereupon the branch circuit 74, 75 would have connected cold water solenoid 37 in parallel with the solenoid 38 across the conductors 65, 68.
Water is supplied to basket 6 and, upon reaching the base level corresponding to the overflow top portions of tubes 10, begins to spill into tub 2. As the level rises in the tub, the level in the basket remaining at the base level, a greater and greater pressure is developed upon the air contained in tube 42. When this pressure reaches the value established by the setting of variable control knob 41 for actuation of the switch 40, the diaphragm 44 lifts switch arm 45, opens lower contact 47 and closes contact 46, thereby removing coil 38 from the circuit and thus permitting the water valve 34 to close. Also timer motor 56 is energized through conductor 77, closed contact 46 and conductors 70, 78. The main winding 20b of drive motor 20 is energized in a circuit including contacts 53a and conductors 72, 73 as before, and start winding 20a is energized in a circuit including conductors 72, 80, bridged contacts 54A, conductor 81, the normally closed centrifugal switch 200, Winding 20a, bridged contacts 55A, and conductors 82, 83 to return conductor 63. Thus, the start and run windings of the drive motor are in parallel circuit relationship with the timer motor, and, consequently when the coil 38 is removed from the circuit, both motors are energized despite the difference in their relative impedances. The timer motor 56 begins to drive the program controlling cams in a counterclockwise direction and the drive motor begins oscillating the agitator 7 through agitate clutch 22, sheave 23 and mechanism 12.
Simultaneously with the beginning of the operation of motor 20 the pump 30 begins to recirculate the amount of water which meanwhile has accumulated in the tub 2. This amount of water comprises a usable increment over and above the base level of water contained in the basket at that time. If, for example, the washing machine is designed for a base level equal to one-half the water capacity of basket 6 and if the knob 41 is set to permit an amount of water to collect in the tub equal to one-half the water capacity of the basket, then operation of pump 30, due to its greater rate of pumping than the rate of issuance from tubes 10 can soon fill the basket substantially full of water and continue to maintain it in a substantially filled condition during. the agitating phase of washing. In any case no matter how much water is admitted to the tub during the fill period after the base amount is collected in the basket, the pump soon moves substantially all of it into the basket and maintains it therein throughout the agitate period. Thus the water admitted to the tub comprises a variable factor whereby the amount of water used for washing may be controlled by the user. The basket, for example, may be half filled, three quarters filled, filled completely full, or filled to any increment therebetween depending upon the amount of water necessary to wash effectively the clothes load in the basket. The less clothes, the less water is needed.
The selection permitted the user as to the amount of water to be employed results in a more eflicient use of water and makes possible a conservation of water not possible when the agitation is initiated only after the basket is filled to the point of overflow from apertures 8. In many machines wherein the water level control valve is operated only after the basket is filled, an unnecessary wastage of water occurs. The use of an excessive amount of heated water is particularly undesirable and is avoided in the practice of my invention.
When pump 30 moves the water in the tub into the basket, the water level switch 40 returns to its empty position, i.e. arm 45 breaks contact with arm 46 and makes contact with arm 47. In order to prevent this action from energizing the water valve solenoids, a shorting circuit is provided whereby the valve solenoids are shorted out so long as the motor 20 continues to operate. The shorting circuit comprises a second set of contacts 20d of the motor centrifugal switch 200, which are connected between lines 77 and 70 by means of connections and 101. The contacts 20d are closed when the motor 20 comes up to speed and efiectively short out the valve solenoids 37 and 38 so long as the motor continues to rotate. Thereby, the water level switch 40 is inelfective to add additional water to the machine during the wash period even though all of the water is pumped out of the tub into the basket.
As above indicated, when the timer motor 56 begins to turn, the time responsive operations, best shown in the cam chart of Fig. 3, are initiated. The portion of the wash cycle labeled Agitate in Fig. 3 includes both the fill and agitate space on the dial 51. Agitation begins in the manner explained above as soon as the switch 40 is actuated. Thus, the timer does not start driving the cams until after the initial fill. The agitation part of the wash cycle may include approximately one-third of the total space on the periphery of the cams, as shown on the cam chart, or considerable variations from this amount, depending on the washing machine to which it is adapted and the amount of the selective time differences to be made available for the user. For example, the user may have a choice, when first turning dial 51, of washing times varying from five to twenty minutes.
When the drive motor has reached a predetermined speed, the centrifugal switch 200 opens, thereby removing the start winding 20a from the circuit. The contacts 20d of the switch are simultaneously closed to prevent energization of the inlet valve solenoids. The agitate cycle then proceeds with the clothes being washed by the movement of the agitation with substantially all of the water admitted to the tub during the fill period being maintained in the basket to aid in the washing action. Before the agitation cycle has been completed, the cam follower riding on the periphery of the dial 51 enters onto the high portion, closing both poles of switch 58 to insure that a fixed mixture of cold and hot water is supplied to thebasket for subsequent fills. Theclosing of this switch also provides an alternate path for 'power' from conductor 62 to conductor 70 whenever the contacts 52A are opened and the contacts 528 are closed. Shortly after switch 58 isclosed and before the agitate cycle is completed, the cam 52 actuates its follower so as to open the contacts 52A and close the contacts 525. Since the closing of switch 58 connects line 62 to line 66 through line 84, contact 58b andlines 85 and 74, the opening of contacts 52A does not interrupt, even momentarily, the rotation of either the motor or the timer. Rather they continue to rotate as before, only being energized through contact 58b instead of through contact 52A.- The closing of contacts 52S, however, provides a shunt circuit around the water level switch 40 whereby the solenoids 38 and 34 cannot be energized even when the motor 20 stops rotating. The closingofcont'acts 528 also completesa circuit for energizing the timer so that it continues to run irrespective of the rotation of the drive motor and the position of the water level switch. In other words once contacts 528 close, power is supplied to the timer even though the contacts 20d of the centrifugal switch are opened.
As the timer continues to rotate the cams, the follower of cam 53, or III as shown on the cam chart, drops off the high portion of the cam, thereby opening the contacts of switch 53a. This interrupts the energizing circuit for the main winding 20b of the drive motor 20, thereby ending agitation as the'motor and its driven mechanism come to a stop. Thisinterruption permits switch 260 to again close and allows contacts 20d to open. However, power is still supplied to the timer through switch 58, lines 74 and 65, closed contacts 528 and lines 89 and 78.
During this pause period the timer motor 56 therefore continues to rotatethe cams, and substantially si multaneously the cam followers for cams 55 and 54 (I and II as seen on the cam chart) enter on the high portions of their respective cam peripheries, thereby opening the switch contacts 55A and 54A and closing contacts 55S and 54S. The timer remains energized, since these switches are not in the timer circuit. The opening of contacts 54A.and 55A and the closing of contacts 545 and 55S, however, connect the start winding 20a in the opposite direction from the connection previously described. But the start winding and the main winding 20b are not energized until switch 53 is closed.
When the time allotted for. the short pause period is over, the cam follower riding on the periphery of cam 53, or III, as shown in the chart enters onto the high portion, thereby closing switch 53a. This completes the reversed connection circuit for the start winding, including conductors 62 and 84, closed contact 58b, conductors 85, 74, and 65, closed contacts 52S, conductors 89 and 71, switch 53a, conductors 72, 73 and 86, the bridged contacts 55S, conductor 87, winding 20a, switch 200, conductor 81, bridged contacts 545, conductors 88 and 83, and return conductor 63. Also completed is a main winding circuit comprising conductors 62 and 84, closed contact 58b, conductors 85, 74 and 65, closed contacts 525, conductors 89 and 71, closed switch contacts 53a, conductors 72 and 73, winding 20b, and return conductor 63. I
Completion of these circuits starts the motor in the opposite direction of rotation from. agitate, and initiates the spin cycle. The basket is rotated through the clutch 24, the sheave 25 and the mechanism 12. Pump 30 is now driven in the direction in which it discharges into drain conduit 31, the control valve of the pump (not shown) having beenactuated upon the changing of direction of the pump rotation to close communication between the pump outlet and recirculation conduit 32 and to open communication between that outlet and drainage conduit 31. Immediately the purnp'starts to discharge the increment of water collected in thetub 2 during the pause period and to discharge also the base load of water in the spinning basket 6, which water now,
begins to discharge into the tub from the basket through openings 8 due to centrifugal force.
As the motor comes up to speed, the centrifugal switch 20c opens, removing the start winding from the motor circuit and at the same time contacts 20d are closed providing another shunt around the water level switch in parallel with contacts 528. The circuit through con-.
follower'for cam 53 drops into the next depression. By..
this time all the water has normally been removed from the machine. As best shown in Fig. 3, the cam 53, or III, is provided with a depression of about twice the peripheral length of its previous depression, which initiated.
the first pause period. When the cam follower drops in this depression, the switch 53a is opened, interrupting the drive motor circuit and initiating a coast period.
Shortly after the beginning of the coast period, the
centrifugal switch 200 closes and later during the coast.
period the cams 55, 52 and 54 (I, IV and II as shown in Fig. 3) rotate to a point where the respective cam followers drop down upon low portions of the cam peripheries. Consequently, switch contacts 55S, 52S, and 548 are opened and contacts 55A, 52A and 54A are closed. This prepares the circuits for the start winding 26a and the main winding 20b for the drive motor so thatthey will be energized, upon the closing of 'switch' 53a and the contact 46 of switch 40, by the same circuits as in the case of the earlier agitate period, with the start winding connections opposite to that described for the spin period.
The timer motor continues to operate after contacts 525 are opened and contacts 52A are closed, but is energized in series with the solenoids 37 and 38 and the contact 47 of the water level switch. Although the solenoid shunting circuit has been interrupted, the impedance of the timer is so much greater than that of the solenoid coils that they will not operate to initiate another fill operation rather the timer continues to run. Filling the basket with water at the beginning of this coast period would be undesirable, since the peripheral speed of the basket is so great that the water spray from spout 35 might cause tearing or fraying of the clothes.
The coast period ends when the cam follower from cam 53, or III, as seen in Fig. 3, is elevated once again to a high position of the cam periphery, thereby closing switch 53a. Both water valves are immediately opened to begin filling the basket 6 to its base level with a mix ture of hot and cold water by reason of the following circuit; from the plug P through conductors 62, 84 to contact 581), through conductor 85, and then alternately through either contact 58a, conductor 75 and cold water solenoid coil 37 or conductors 74, 66, hot water solenoid coil 38 and conductor 67, and then to conductor 68, contact 47 of switch 40, conductors 70, 71 to the bridged contacts 53a, conductors 72, 73 to the main winding 2% of motor 20 and through the return conductor 63 back to plug P.
It will be noted that, just as for the first fill period, the timer circuit offers a parallel return path for the water valve circuit just described, by conductors 70, 78, timer motor 56 and conductor 63 to the plug P. The impedance of the water valve solenoids, being greater than that of the drive motor, is greater than that of the parallel circuit including the drive motor and the timer motor,
and sufiicient voltage drop across the solenoids is ob-- tained to energize them, thereby opening the water inlet valves. In fact, practically full line voltage is drawn across the solenoids. Since the start winding 20a is in parallel relationship with the main winding 20b, its effect is merely to further lessen the impedance of the drive motor and timer motor circuits. Thus, the water valves are opened, but since practically full line voltage is drawn across the water valve solenoids neither the drive motor nor the timer motor operates. The cams remain stationary, therefore, until the water in the tub 2 reaches a sufiicient depth, by overflowing from the ends of tubes 10, to actuate the switch 40, opening contact 47 and closing contact 46 to remove the water valve solenoids from the circuit. By the time this is accomplished, the desired additional increment of Water, over and above the base load in basket 6, will have been supplied to the washing machine.
Upon the opening of contact 47 of the switch 40, contact 46 is closed, thereby establishing the identical timer and drive motor circuits that were used at the end of the first fill and the beginning of the initial agitate operation. In addition, a circuit comprising conductors 62, 84, closed contact 58b and conductors 85 and 74, is established to form an alternate supply path in parallel With bridged contacts 52A so that the opening of 52A will interrupt neither the timer nor the drive motor operation. The contacts 20d of the centrifugal switch close when the motor comes up to speed thereby to shunt the water level switch and prevent energization of the valve solenoids as the pump passes the water in the tub 2 into the wash basket 6.
The end of the second or rinse agitate period, during which the pump 30 maintains substantially all of the added increment of Water in the basket 6, occurs when the cam follower for cam 53 falls to a low position on the cam periphery (see the chart for cam III in Fig. 3), thereby opening the switch 53a and interrupting the drive motor circuit. This initiates the second pause period, the coasting to a stop of the motor, pump, and mechanism being referred to as a pause following agitation and a coast following spinning. The contacts 52A are opened and the contacts 528 closed slightly before switch 53a is opened thus shunting the water level switch and preventing energization of the Water valves as the motor ceases its rotation. The timer motor, of course, remains undisturbed.
The second or rinse spin operation is initiated in the same manner and using the same circuits as the initial or wash spin operation previously described. During the rinse spin the pump 30 discharges the water from the machine through conduit 31. The only variation in the machine operation over that found in the earlier spin occurs at the end of the extraction period in that following the opening of switch 53a to de-energize the drive motor the switch 58 opens when the cam follower for the dial 51, or cam V, as shown on the cam chart, falls into a low position on its periphery. This opens the circuit to the timer motor and terminates machine operation. It also permits the operator to choose whether hot wash water for the next washing, or a mixture of hot and cold water is desired.
It is apparent, of course, that upon moving the dial manually from the Off position to the Wash position, switch contacts 55A and 54A are closed, then switch 53a is closed and finally contacts 52A are closed to prepare the circuits for another filling operation and wash agitate period to begin the washing of another clothes load.
In accordance with my invention I am able to provide a valuable water conservation feature for existing clothes washing machines without modification of the normal cycle of operation of the same. This feature enables the operation to use an amount of water proportional to the load of clothes being washed, and at the same time avoids a condition of agitating the clothes in the basket without a base level of water being present.
The tubes 10 attached to basket 6, moreover, serve to discharge any sand or dirt collecting in the basket. During the washing operation the sand and dirt settle to the bottom of the basket and work their way under the oscillating agitator. They then settle through aperture 9 into the space between the bottom wall 6a of the basket and the plate 11. When the machine later proceeds into centrifugal extraction, the sand and dirt is discharged outwardly into the tub through tubes 10.
The arrangement of aperture 9 beneath the agitator skirt also has the additional advantage that it prevents the clothes from plastering against the entrance into tubes 10. The movement of the agitator together with the small clearance between the agitator skirt 7a and the basket bottom 6a prevent the clothes from being sucked into the aperture 9 during the washing and rinsing operation. During centrifugal extraction the clothes are of course thrown outwardly onto the side wall of the basket away from the agitator and the aperture 9.
,However, in its broader aspects the invention is not limited to the precise arrangement of tubes 10 as shown and as an alternative a plurality of secondary apertures, with an equivalent discharge capacity to that of tubes 10, may be provided in the basket at a selected level on its side wall, using a basket with a closed bottom attached to the basket drive. This alternate embodiment is shown in Fig. 5 of the drawings, and elements in it similar to those in the embodiment of Fig. 1 are indicated by the same reference numerals. In this embodiment a plurality of apertures located at approximately the midpoint of the side wall of the basket 6 serve as the means for providing basket overflow after the establishment of a base amount of water therein. These apertures 110 limit the amount of water supplied to the basket during Fill to a predetermined base amount in the same manner as the tubes 10 in the embodiment of Fig. l. The increment of water overflowing on the tub 2 after the level of apertures 110 is reached may then be selectively varied so as to control the total amount of water supplied to the machine. This provides for varying the total amount of water supplied to the machine so that only the necessary amount is supplied for the particular load of clothes being washed, While at the same time insuring that at least a base or minimum amount of water is supplied to the basket before agitation commences.
During agitation the increment of water supplied to the tub is pumped into the basket through pump 30 and recirculation conduit 32. The capacity of the pump and conduit is greater than that of apertures 110, whereby the pump is effective to maintain substantially all of the Water on the basket during agitation. Both the base amount supplied to the basket and increment supplied to the tub are thereby used during both the washing and the rinsing operations.
While I have shown particular embodiments of my invention, it will be understood, of course, that I do not Wish to be limited thereto since many modifications may be made; and I, therefore, contemplate by the appended claims to cover any such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. In a clothes Washing machine having a tub, a spin extractor basket in said tub, washing means in said basket, water supply means feeding into said basket, a motor for driving selectively said washing means and said basket during washing and extraction operations, water overflow means in said basket for overflowing water supplied thereto after establishment of a base level of water in said basket only partially filling said basket, said overflow means overflowing said water into said tub, adjustable control means for said water supply means operating to shut off the supply of water responsively to variable amounts of water accumulated in said tub, anda 'pump receiving water from said tub and delivering it to said basket during the washing operation, said pump having a delivery rate in excess of the'overflow capacityof said water overflow means so that the water level in said basket is raised above said base level during the washing operation by the variable amount of Water accumulated in said tub, whereby depending upon the setting of said control means said basket may be filled to different predetermined levels during the Washing operation.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said overflow means comprises means for centrifugally extracting sand from said basket into said tub during the extraction operation.
3. In a clothes Washing machine having a tub, a spin extractor basket in said tub, washing means in said basket, water supply means feeding into said basket, a motor for driving selectively said washing means and said basket during washing and extracting operations, a plurality of tubes opening into the bottom of said basket and extending upwardly along the side wall of said basket for a portion of the height thereof, said tubes forming overflow means effective to overflow the water supplied to said basket after the establishment of a base level of water in said basket only partially filling said basket, said tubes emptying into said tub, adjustable control means for said water supply means operating to shut off the supply of water responsively to variable amounts of water accumulated in said tub, and a pump receiving water from said tub and delivering it to said basket during the washing operation, said pump having a delivery rate in excess of the overflow capacity of said water overflow means so that the water level in said basket is raised above said base level during the washing operation by variable amount of Water accumulated in said tub, whereby depending upon the setting of said control means said basket may be filled to different predetermined levels during the washing operation.
.4. In a clothes washing machine having a tub, a spin extractor basket in said tub, washing means in said basket, water supply means feeding into said basket, a motor for driving selectively said washing means and said basket during washing and extracting operations, the side wall of said basket including a plurality of apertures for overflowing the water supplied to said basket after the establishment of a base level therein only partially filling said basket, said apertures discharging said water into said tub, adjustable control means for said water supply means operating to shut oh the supply of water responsively to variable amounts of water accumulated within said tub, and a pump receiving water from said tub and delivering it to said basket during the washing operation, said pump having a delivery rate in excess of the overflow capacity of said water overflow means so that the water level in said basket is raised above said base level during the washing operation by the variable amount of water accumulated in said tub whereby depending upon the setting of said control means said basket may be filled to different predetermined levels during the washing operation.
5. In a clothes washing machine having a tub, a spin extractor basket in said tub, washing means in said basket, electro-responsive water supply means for feeding into said basket, a pump receiving water from said tub, an electric motor for driving selectively said washing" means and said basket during washing and extracting operations, an adjustable Water level switch responsive to the amount of water accumulated in said tub for controlling said water supply means, a timer-operated program control circuit including said switch, said electric motor and said water supply means for conducting a prescribed sequence of washing and extracting operations,
of water in said basket only partially filling said basket, means for selectively driving said pump during the selective driving of said washing means and said basket, said pump being effective to recirculate into said basket water' collected into said tub when the washing operation is being conducted in said basket and to drain used water from the machine when the extraction operation is being conducted by said basket, said pump having a pumping rate greater than the rate of overflow from said basket through said overflow means, thereby during the washing operation increasing the amount of water contained in said basket by the variable amount of water supplied to said tub after said base level is established in said basket so that said basket may be filled to diflerent predetermined levels during said washing operation.
6. In a clothes washing machine having a tub, a spin extractor basket in said tub, an agitator in said basket, water supply means feeding into said basket, a motor for driving selectively said agitator and said basket during washing and extraction operations, a plurality of tubes opening into the bottom of said basket beneath said agitator and extending upwardly along the side wall of said basket for a portion of the height thereof, said tubes forming overflow means elfective to overflow the water supply to said basket after the establishment of a base level of water in said basket only partially filling said basket, said tubes discharging said water into said tub, adjustable control means for said water supply means operating to shut off the supply of said water responsively to variable amounts of water accumulated in said tub, and a pump receiving water from said tub and delivering it to said basket during the washing operation, said pump having a delivery rate in excess of the overflow capacity of said tubes so that the water level in said basket is raised above said base level during the washing operation by the variable amount of water accumulated in said tub, whereby depending upon the setting of said control means said basket may be filled to diflerent predetermined levels during the washing operation.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,798,730 Dunham Mar. 31, 1931 2,274,402 Dunham Feb. 24, 1942 2,470,140 Castner May 17, 1949 2,552,823 Tea May 15, 1951 2,561,257 Woodson July 17, 1951 2,621,505 Smith Dec. 16, 1952 2,656,431 Bochan Oct. 20, 1953