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Publication numberUS2934928 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 3, 1960
Filing dateAug 11, 1958
Priority dateAug 11, 1958
Publication numberUS 2934928 A, US 2934928A, US-A-2934928, US2934928 A, US2934928A
InventorsShelton Winston L
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clothes washer with means for automatically providing the correct water level
US 2934928 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 3, 1960 w. L. SHELTON 2,934,928

CLOTHES WASHER WITH MEANS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PROVIDING THE CORRECT WATER LEVEL 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 11, 1958 FIG.|

INVENTOR WINSTON L. SHELTON BY WWW HIS ATTORNEY May 3, 1960 w. L. SHELTON 2,

CLOTHES WASHER WITH MEANS FOR AUTOMATICALLY PROVIDING THE CORRECT WATER LEVEL Filed Aug. 11, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 5 5 Z Z 5 7 w z 3 4 D 2 2 am 6 8 M 5 RF L Ln 0 1 2 J m T RN m 2 m m 4 T A G 6 m m 2 I m 56 D Y 4 F l 0 A5 A m G J .a m c w Pl F n a A H T mm w. AR C PAUSE INVENTOR WNTON L. SHELTON ABCDE FIG.3

HlS ATTORNEY 2,934,928 MEANS FOR AUTOMATICALLY 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 \Nlllllllllll SHELTON PROVIDING THE CORRECT WATER LEVEL CLOTHES WASHER WITH INVENTOR.

wmsron: L. suzuron BY a {P ms ATTORNEY May 3, 1960 Filed Aug. 11, 1958 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 MEANS FOR AUTOMATICAL ORRECT WATER LEVEL w. SHELTON CLOTHES WASHER WITH F l G. 7

PROVIDING THE C 1958.

o o o o o o o o May 3, 1960 Filed Aug. 11,

INVENTOR WINSTON L. MEI-TON BY Q P W ms xrronuzv e A 2,934,928 ICC Patented May 3, 1960 CLOTHES WASHER WITH MEANS FOR AUTO- MATICALLY PROVIDING THE CORRECT WATER LEVEL Winston L. Shelton, .leiiersontown, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Application August 11, 1958, Serial No. 754,284 6 Claims. 01. 68-207) This invention relates to clothes washing machines of the type provided with an outer tub and a basket within it, wherein the clothes are washed in the basket, and wherein the water is continuously recirculated from the tub to the basket during the washing operation. More particularly, the invention relates to machines of the type described wherein an improved arrangement is provided for'eitecting in the basket a water level which is automatically controlled by the size of the clothes load to be washed.

In-domestic clothes washing machines, the size of the load of clothes being washed varies to a substantial extent; while such washers are often used at full capacity, it just as often occurs that the volume or weight of clothes which is to be washed in one load is substantially less than the maximum capacity of the machine. When these smaller loads are to be washed, it is not necessary to provide the same amount of Water in the basket as for a capacity load. As a solution to the problem of avoiding using unnecessarily large amounts of water, various methods have been devised for preventing complete filling of the basket. In general, these methods have been completely within the control of the operator, that is, it has been incumbent upon the operator to determine the approximate weight or volume of the clothes and then select the appropriate level within the clothes basket accordingly.

While such an arrangement does effect some savings of water, it also creates the problem that the operator may select a level which is really insuflicient for adequate washing action to take place and whichmay even, in extreme cases, permit the clothes to be injured by the washing apparatus. Also, the operator may err on the side of permitting too much water to enter; while no damage can result from such a selection, it recreates to a certain extent the problem of using excessive water.

As a result of the foregoing, it is a prime object of my invention to provide an improved clothes washing machine which incorporates a system for automatically providing a correct Water level in the basket.

A more specific object is to utilize the recirculation of water from the tub to the basket, as already provided in many commercially available washers, in the system for automatically providing a correct water level.

A further specific object of the invention is to provide the correct water level in response to the size of clothes load placed in the basket, the machine continuing to provide water until the action of the clothes indicates that suflicient Water for a proper clothes washing operation has been provided.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved construction for providing an automatic water level whereby the use of variable settings requiring estimates to be made by the operator is eliminated.

A further object corollary to the above is to provide an improved washing machine wherein the possibility of an insufiicient amount of water being selected by the operator for any given clothes load is precluded by the automatic provision of the correct water level without dependence upon an estimate by the operator.

In carrying out the invention I provide a clothes washing machine which includes a tub, with a basket being arranged in the tub and having suitable means for washing clothes, such as an agitator, for instance. Water supply means are arranged to feed into the basket, the basket in turn has overflow means, formed substantially below the maximum liquid level which can be reached therein, communicating with the tub so that water can flow through the overflow means from the basket into the tub. The overflow means are so arranged and positioned that they are obstructed by clothes placed in the basket to an extent which is proportional to the degree to which the clothes are packed together in the water.

I provide water level control means which is responsive .to the volume of water collected in the tub; this means initiates operation of the water supply means whenever the volume of water in the tub drops to a predetermined level during a washing operation, and shuts oif the water supply means when the volume of water in the tub rises to a second predetermined level. Recirculation means are arranged to receive water from the tub and to recirculate it into the basket during the washing operation, the recirculation means being controlled through the water level control means so as to become operative when the second predetermined volume of water in the tub is reached. With this arrangement, if the overflow means are obstructed by the clothes to an extent where the recirculation means decreases the volume of water in the tub to the first predetermined level, the water supply means again becomes operative. Water is then supplied again into the basket until there is finally enough water in the basket to retain the overflow means substantially unobstructed during the washing operation.

The subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. My invention, however, both as to organization and the method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best beunderstood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings, Fig. 1 is a side elevational view of a clothes washing machine incorporating the improved automatic liquid level control arrangement of my invention, the view being partially broken away and partially sectionalized to show details; I

Fig. 2 is a schematic diagram of a simplified electrical control circuit suitable for use in the machine of Fig. 1, showing the positions occupied by the several timer control switches at the beginning of a fill operation;

Fig. 3 is a cam chart showing in extended form the operation of the timer driven cams of Fig. 2 throughout the operating cycle;

Fig. 4 is a fragmentary plan view of the machine, partly broken away to show a typical valve structure which may be used in connection with the machine;

Fig. 5 is a side elevational view of a clothes washing machine including a second embodiment'of my improved automatic water level providing arrangement, the view being partially broken away and partially sectionalized to show details;

Fig. 6 is .a chart illustrating thesavings in gallons of water efiected by the two embodimentsof Figs. 1 and 5 being partially broken away and partially in section to,

show details.

Referring now to Fig. l, I have shown therein an agitator type clothes washing machine 1. The mechanical components of the machine include a clothes basket 2 within an outer imperforate tub or casing 3 in turn mounted within an outer appearance cabinet 4. At the center of the wash basket 2 there is positioned a vertical axis agitator 5 which includes a center post 6 and a plurality of radially extending vanes 7. The agitator is further provided with an outwardly and downwardly flared skirt 8 to which the vanes are joined at their lower ends. Both the clothes basket 2 and the agitator 5 are rotatably mounted. Specifically, the basket 2 is mounted on a flange 9 of a rotatable hub 10, and the agitator 5 is mounted on a shaft 11 which extends upwardly through the hub and the center post 6. The agitator is secured to the shaft by means of an internally threaded nut or cap 12 at the top of the center post.

The basket 2 and the agitator .5 may be driven by any suitable means, and by Way of example may be driven from a reversible electric motor 13. The motor drives the basket and agitator through a drive including a clutch 14 connected by means of a suitable belt 15 to the input pulley 16 of a transmission assembly 17; the clutch is effective to drive the pulley 16 in both directions of motor rotation. The transmission 17 is so arranged that it supports and drives both the agitator drive shaft and the basket mounting hub 10. When the pulley is driven in one direction by the clutch 14, the transmission causes the agitator 5 to oscillate within the basket 2. Conversely, when the pulley 16 is driven in .the opposite direction, the transmission' drives the wash basket at high speed for centrifugal extraction. Although the drive mechanism forms no part of the present invention, reference is made to Patent 2,844,225, issued July 22, 1958, to James R. Hubbard et al. and assigned to the same assignee as the present invention. That application discloses in detail the structural characteristics of a transmission assembly suitable for use in the illustrated machine.

I provide at the bottom of tub 3 suitable water level control means such as a pressure responsive switch 20 including suitable switch contacts which are opened and closed in response to pressure variations of the water in the tub. By means of hot and cold water valves .21 and 22, controlled respectively by means of solenoids 23 and 24, both washing and rinsing water is directed from a' suitable source (not shown) into a mixing chamber 25 and then through a pair of supply nozzles 26 and 27 which feed respectively into basket 2 and tub 3. Chamber 25 is internally formed to divide the flow between nozzles 26 and 27. The water passing through nozzle 26 feeds into the basket 2, and may thereafter pass into the tub 3 through a series of apertures 28 adjacent the top of the basket, as when the basket is being spun in centrifugal extraction. At other times, the water passes from the basket into the tub through a series of apertures 29 formed in the agitator center post 6. Apertures 29 open into a space 30 surrounding the shaft 11 which connects through apertures 31 with a space 32 within an imperforate boot 33 arranged to rotatably seal the basket and the agitator center post. Space 32 communicates with the tub through apertures 34 in the floor of the basket beneath the boot. V

In order to retain the proper amount of water in the basket during agitation of the clothes, as well as to drain the machine during the centrifugal extraction operation, there is provided a pump 35 which is secured to the bottom of the tub 3 and which withdraws liquid from the tub through a suitable baflle assembly 36. Pump 35 is driven by the motor 13 through a flexible coupling 37 attached to the pump and motor shaft. Any suitable pump may be used; in the illustrated embodiment, there is shown a bi-directional pump which discharges into one of two outlets depending upon the direction of pump rotation. A bi-directional pump of this type is described-in detail and claimed in the co-pending application of John Bochan, Serial No. 468,410, filed November 12, 1954,

and assigned to the General Electric Company, owner of the present invention. During the centrifugal extraction operation, this bi-directional pump discharges through one outlet into a hose 38 leading, for instance, to a household drain or to a storage and re-use system. During the washing operation the pump discharges into a second outlet which is connected to a recirculation conduit such as hose 39. This hose leads to nozzle 40 which discharges into basket 2, the discharge into the basket being generally eifected through a filter 41 which may, as shown, be secured to the agitator 5 so as to move therewith. The filter is provided to retain, lint and other objects entering with the circulated water while permitting the filtered water to pass back into the basket. In summary, with regard to pump 35, it will be understood that due to the change in direction of rotation of the pump, liquid in the tub 3 is discharged to hose 38 and passed out of the machine during the extraction operation, but is continuously recirculated through recirculation hose 39 during the washing and rinsing operation. Referring now to Fig. 2, I have shown therein a simplified electrical control system for the machine 1. It will be understood that to explain the invention more clearly, only the electrical elements directly connected with the inventive arrangement are described. However, it will readily be recognized that the many electrical elements commonly provided in modern domestic washing machines, such as fluorescent lights, speed changing controls, and the like, may readily be added to such an electrical circuit without afiecting the operation of the invention. In conjunction with Fig. 2, I have shown in Fig. 3 a chart illustrating the positions occupied by the several switches of the system of Fig. 2 during the several stages of an operating cycle of the machine 1.

In order to control the sequence of operations, the circuit includes a timer motor 41 which drives a plurality of cams A, B, C, D, and E 'for operating the several switches 42, 43, 44, 45-46, and 47; These cams, during their rotation 'by the timer motor, actuate their respective switches, as is well known in the art, so as to cause the machine to pass through an appropriate cycle of operation, which usually includes first washing the clothes, next extracting the wash water from them, then rinsing the clothes with clean Water, and finally extracting the rinse water from the clothes. The electrical circuit as a whole are energized from a two-Wire power supply through conductors 48 and 49, and the manner in which the various electrical components of the machine are connected to this power supply during the machine operation will now be explained. The control system in Fig. 2 is shown with the switches set ready for a fill operation.

Suitable manual controls, such as manual control dial 50 (see Fig. 1) are provided on the shaft of timer 41 to permit the desired setting of the timer to be provided at the discretion of the operator. With the timer set in the wash range, the operator then need only close a manually operated switch 51 (referring to Fig. 2) to place the machine in operation. Assuming then, that the switch 51 is closed and that no water is in the tub or basket, but that the selected load of clothes is in the basket, a circuit is completed through conductor 48 and closed switch 43 to hot water valve solenoid 23 which is arranged to open the hot water supply to the machine when energized and to close the supply when deenergized.

If a warm water wash is desired rather than a hot water wash, it is only necessary for the operator to depress manually the switch 58 so as to place the cold water valveysolenoid 24 in parallel with solenoid 23 so that they are both energized at once to cause valves 21 and 22 to provide hot and cold water to be mixed in chamber 25. The circuitisthen continued through the main winding'52. ofmotor 13, and in parallel therewith through by the motors than is presented by solenoid 23. As a result, the greater portion of the supply voltage is taken up across the solenoid 23 and relatively little across the motors. This causes solenoid 23 to be energized sufficiently to open its associated water valve 21 to admit hot water to the machine through nozzles 26 and 27 as described, with the timer and drive motors remaining inactive. Hot water begins to flow into basket 2 through nozzle 26; at the same time, a proportional amount of water is being fed through nozzle 27 into the tub 3. The ratio ofthe amount of water flowing into basket 2 to the amount of water flowing into tub 3 is preferably such that the volume of water intub 3 is suflicient to trip switch 20 at about the time the water level reaches apertures 29in the agitator post 6. At this time, contacts 57 of switch 20 are connected to complete a short circuit across solenoid 23. -When a circuit is completed through'contacts 57 of switch 20, as described, the solenoids 23 and 24 are shorted out of the circuit so that substantially all of the power is removed from across them. This then connects thetimer motor 41 and the drive motor 13 directly be tween conductors 48 and 49, and both motors start in operation. As motor 13 comes up to speed centrifugal switch 54 opens so as to remove start winding 53 from the, circuit. With the reversing switches 45 and 46 in the position shown in vFig. 2, the polarity of the start winding is such that the motor 13 rotates in the direction efifectiveto cause operation of agitator 5.

"Atthis time, the amount of water flowing out of apertures 29 in agitator post 6 into the tub is dependent on the extent to which the clothes in the basket are packed against the openings- This in turn is dependent upon the amount of water within the basket 2. It will readily be seen that ifthe clothes are closely packed because there is an insufficient amount of water to effect washing, relatively little water will escape through apertures 29 down into the tub 3. Since the operation of, motor 13 causes pump 35 to operate to recirculate water through conduit 39 back into basket 2, the supply of water in the bottom of tub 3 rapidly becomes depleted if an insuflicient amount of Water is flowing through aperture's 29 as a result of the apertures being clogged by the clothes in the tub.

' .Afterthe level in the tub goes down a predetermined amount the pressure switch 20 opens. This action removes: the driving power from across the motor and once again causes the solenoid 23 to open valve 21 to admit water to the machine. This continues once again until the volume of water in tub 3 is such as to cause closing of switch 20, at which time the water supply is stopped and agitation starts again. If the amount of water is now sufficient to permit an adequate flow of water through apertures 29 into tub 3, the washing action will continue for the period of time determined by timer 41. Ifnot, that is, if insuflicient water still flows through apertures 29 to maintain the supply of water in tub 3 at the necessary level, switch 20 will again trip open to stop the agitation and start the water supply. In response to the action of the clothes in cooperation with overflow apertures 29 in post 6, theentry of water will be repeated until an amount sufiicient to permit optimum washing of the clothes without wasting of water has been provided. In this manner, the level of water in basket 2 is automatically tailored to the size of the clothes load in the basket, the amount of water always being suflicient to provide a good washing operation yet never being in excess of that needed. 7

To complete briefly the description of the operation of Fig. 1, by reference to Figs. 2 and 3, once enough water has been provided as described above, the washing operation continues for a predetermined time as determined by means of timer motor 41 and control dial 50. At the end of this time, cam E opens switch 47 removing power from motor 13 and thus stopping the agitation and pumping of the machine. However, the circuit through timer motor 41 is not affected (being completed through switch 20 and switch 43) and the timer continues to operate. The timer then proceeds to'cause cam D to reverse switch arms 45 and 46 from the position shown and to cause cam C to close switch 44. Operation of cam D reverses the polarity of start winding 53 in the circuit so that upon a subsequent operation of motor 13 the rotation is in the reverse direction to that of the washing operation. The closing of switch 44 by cam C causes the solenoids 23 and 24 to be shorted out of the circuit independently of any operation of pressure switch 20 and provides a parallel path for completion of the timer motor circuit. Timer motor 41 then causes cam E to reclose switch 47. The motor 13 starts to rotate in the reverse direction, and as stated above, this causes transmission 17 to spin basket 2 to provide a centrifugal extraction operation of the water from the clothes in the basket, the water passing out through apertures 28 adjacent the top of the basket. Also the reverse direction of the rotation of the motor causes the water which passes out through apertures 28 and accumulates in tub 3 to be passed by pump 35 out through drain 38 instead of being recirculated. This spin operation continues until cam E reopens switch 47, at which time the drive motor 13 is again de-energized. The timer motor continues to run as before, and causes cam A to close switch 42 to complete a circuit to solenoid 24 to provide a supply of cold water upon reclosing of switch 47. Of course, if manually operated switch 58 has'been closed, warm water will be provided as before. Also, cam C opens switch 44 to replace pressure switch 20 in control, and cam D reverses switch arms 45 and 46 again to reestablish the first direction of rotation for motor 13 to provide an agitating action- Now, when switch 47 recloses, the fill operation is provided in the same manner as for the wash step described above, with water being added in increments as necessary to provide the proper water level within basket 2. This is followed by a rinse agitation. At the end of this rinse agitation, as timed by timer 41, the switch 42 and switch 47 are opened, contact arms 45 and 46 are reversed, switch 44 is closed, and then switch 47 is again closed to provide a final spin operation, at the end of which the timer opens all of the switches to effect de-energization of the entire apparatus.

It will be seen from the foregoing that not only does the applicants arrangement provide automatically the proper water level for the washing step of the cycle but that it also provides the sameproper automatic level for the rinsing step of the cycle.

The effectiveness of this construction, as determined by tests, will best be understood by reference to the chart shown in' Fig. 6, which shows the total gallons of water in the system and the gallons of water saved plotted against the clothes load in pounds. It will be observed from the chart that a capacity load of 10 pounds requires 20.5 gallons of water in the system. It will further be observed by reference to the curve marked agitator port regulation that, as the clothes load was decreased for the particular construction tested (as illustrated in Fig. 1), the amount of water in the system automatically decreased so that when a 4 pound load was being washed only about 16 gallons of water were required thus providing a savings of 4.5 gallons for the washing operation and 4.5 gallons for the rinsing operation, or a total of 9 gallons of water saved.

Referring now to Fig. 5, there is shown a second embodiment of the invention. A great majority of the parts of the machine of this second embodiment are identical to that of the first embodiment, and consequently like numerals are used to designate like parts, with only the differences being described in detail. The one important ,dilference between the embodiments of Figs. 1 and 5 is that in the embodiment of Fig. 5 the intermediate level overflow means is provided by apertures 59 formed around the outside wall of the tub 3. In this case, of course, the agitator post 6 may be completely imperforate, without any need to provide a flow passage from the agitator post to the tub 3 as in the embodiment of Fig. l.

- in Fig. 1 it will readily occur to those skilled in the art In the operation of the construction of Fig. 5, the 1 clothes pack against apertures 59 to an extent generally proportional to the sufliciency of the water for the size of the clothes load. As a result, the volume of water passed through apertures 59 into tub 3 is sufiicient to prevent tripping of pressure switch when the apertures are substantially unobstructed, but will cause the pressure switch to trip to permit the entry of additional water if there is any substantial obstruction of the apertures 59. s M

It is observed that, as in the embodiment of Fig. 1, it is intended that water be fed in through the two nozzles 27 and 26 into the tub and basket respectively. In the case of the embodiment of Fig. 5, this is a very important feature since aiter the first spin operation the clothes will be plastered against the outside wall of basket 2 and will becompletely blocking the apertures 59. It is thus important to eflect the first trip of switch 20 after the wash spin by introducing water directly through nozzle 27 into the tub 3, otherwise the water will rise very substantially beyond apertures 59 before the clothes are floated out of the way. On the other hand, in the embodiment of Fig. 1 the feeding of water through nozzle 27 into tub 3 for the rinse fill, while desirable, is not as vital because the clothes will not pack against the openings 29, being actually moved away from them by the centrifugal force exerted on them during the Wash spin operation. It is, on the whole, deemed preferable to provide the nozzle 27 feeding into tub 3 however the overflow means be arranged, since it tends to a substantial extent to prevent the overshoot which will occur if nozzle 27 is not provided. This overshoot results from the fact that if water starts to enter tub 3 only at the time the water in basket 2 is at the level of the overflowmeans, then by the time there is enough water in the tub 3 to cause switch 20 to stop the water supply the water will have gone considerably past the level of the overflow means. However, it will also be recognized, even omitting nozzle 27, that the benefits of the invention insofar as automatic provision of a generally correct water level are nonetheless obtained despite the overshoot; for instance, the overshoot can be held to a minimum by providing increased sensitivity of switch 29.

It will be seen from the foregoing that the embodiment of Fig. 5 provides a second manner of forming the overflow means. Referring again to Fig. 6 and to the curve marked basket port regulation it will be seen that a desirable decrease in the gallons of water is provided as the size of the clothes load decreases. Thus, forinstance, when a four pound load is provided about 5 gallons of water per fill, a total of 10 gallons per cycle, is saved with the construction shown in Fig. 5.

While with the precise arrangements selected for the embodiments of Figs. 1 and 5, the basket port regulation provides sli htly greater savings of water than the agitator port regulation, it is to be understood that this is primarily a function of the accuracy of positioning the openings, size of the openings, etc., and that it does not necessarily follow that basket port regulation will alwaysprovide a that an arrangement for blocking the opening 29 may readily be built into the agitator 5. However, in connection with the type of construction set forth in Fig. 5, there is no such obvious meansof over-riding the automatic control. Consequently, the embodiment of Fig. 7 isin connection with an improved construction wherein the automatic control may be provided or eliminated at the election of the operator. While described in connection with the type of overflow means set forth in connection with Fig. 5, that is, apertures 59 in the basket 2, it will be obvious from the following explanation that if so desired the arrangement may also be used in connection with the provision of overflow means in the agitator 5 as well. i

In the embodiment of Fig. 7, the conduit 39 which conducts water from pump 35 back into basket 2 during recirculation, that is, during the washing and rinsing operations, is provided with a second outlet 60 extending back into the tub in addition to the primary nozzle 40 feeding through filter 41 into basket 2. In connection with auxiliary nozzle 60, a suitable valve 61 may be provided which may be manually controlled by any suitable conventional means (not shown). The apertures 59 provide an area of overflow within basket 2 which is, great enough to permit the flow out of the basket-through apertures 59 to equal the flow through nozzle 40 when nozzle 60 is also open. However, when nozzle 60 is closed and the entire amount recirculated through conduit 39 passes through nozzle 40, then this amount is substantially greater than the flow out through apertures 59; under these circumstances, the level will rise to the top of the basket until the water is also flowing out of apertures 28. To give a specific example, if pump 35 is recirculating eleven gallons per minute through conduit '39, then when valve 61 is opened five gallons per minute pass through nozzle 60 and directly back into tub 3 and six gallons per minute pass into basket 2. Apertures 59 are large enough to accommodate six gallons per minute and therefore the six gallons per minute passing through apertures 59 plus the five gallons per minute passing through nozzle 60 equals the eleven gallons per minute being'passed by pump 35 through conduit 39, and the volume in tub 3 will not decrease to a point where pressure switch 201's tripped. However, if valve 61 is closed, then theentire eleven gallons per minute is passed through nozzle'40 into basket 2. Since apertures 59 can only accommodate about six gallons per minute, the liquid level in basket 2 will rapidly rise'until it reaches. apertures 28 to provide a full tub for washing regardless of the size of the clothes load. This arrangement thus provides the operator with the choice of using the automatic water level controlor over-riding it to provide a full basket regardless of the, size of the clothes load.

It will be seen from the foregoing that the embodiments described all provide automatically the proper waterlevel in the basket for any clothes load placed therein. Many modifications of the specific constructions described will readily occur to those skilled in the art when reading the foregoing description.

For instance, while I have chosen to stop agitation at the time of providing additional water, it will readily be understood that there are many conventional washing machine motor circuits which would make it equally desirable and perhaps preferable to keep the agitator oper- 9 ating when the extra water is being added in response to obstruction of the overflow means by the clothes. In fact, in those machines which provide two agitation speeds, it may be found desirable to provide agitation at a low speed until water ceases to be added and then to go into high speed agitation. As another example, it may be found desirable to have the ratio of flow through nozzles 26 and 27 one value for initial filling and another value for supplying make-up water. It will readily be apparent that such deviations are well within the scope of the invention, constituting only differences of design.

Thus, while in accordance with the patent statutes I have described what at present is considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the invention and I therefore aim in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of this invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A clothes washing machine comprising a tub, a clothes receiving basket in said tub, means for washing clothes in said basket, water supply means feeding into said basket, overflow means formed substantially below the maximum liquid level in said basket for flowing water into said tub, said overflow means being arranged to be obstructed by clothes in said basket to an extent proportional to the degree to which the clothes are packed together, water level control means responsive to the volume of water collected in said tub, said water level control means initiating operation of said water supply means whenever the volume of water in said tub drops to a first predetermined volume during the washing operation and shutting off said water supply means upon attainment of a second predetermined volume of water in said tub, recirculating means arranged to receive water from said tub and to recirculate it into said basket during the washing operation, and means operated by said water level control means to cause operation of said recirculating means upon attainment of said second predetermined volume of water in said tub, whereby the volume of water in said tub is decreased to said first predetermined level until there is enough water in said basket to retain said overflow means substantially unobstructed by the clothes.

2. A clothes washing machine comprising a tub, a basket in said tub, means for washing clothes in said basket, water supply means feeding concurrently into said basket and into said tub, over flow means formed substantially below the maximum liquid level in said basket for flowing Water into said tub, said overflow means being arranged to be obstructed by clothes in said basket to an extent proportional to the degree to which the clothes are packed together, water level control means responsive to the volume of water collected in said tub, said water level control means initiating operation of said water supply means whenever the volume of water in said tub drops to a first predetermined value during the washing operation and shutting off said water supply means upon attainment of a second predetermined volume of water in said tub, recirculating means arranged to receive water from said tub and to recirculate it into said basket during the washing operation, and means operated by said water level control means to cause operation of said recirculating means upon attainment of said second predetermined volume of water in said tub, whereby the volume of water in said tub is repeatedly decreased to said first predetermined level until there is enough water in said basket to retain said overflow means substantially unobstructed by the clothes.

3. The machine defined in claim 1 wherein said means for washing clothes in said basket comprises an agitator mounted within said basket for movement relative thereto, said overflow means comprising apertures formed in said agitator communicating with said tub.

4. The machine defined in claim 2 wherein said overflow means comprises apertures formed in the outer wall of said basket.

5. A clothes washing machine comprising a tub, a basketin said tub, means for washing clothes in said basket, water supply means feeding concurrently into said basket and into said tub, overflow means formed substantially below the maximum liquid level in said basket for flowing water into said tub, said overflow means comprising a plurality of apertures in the outer wall of said basket, said apertures being obstructed by clothes in said basket to an extent proportional to the degree to which the clothes are packed together, pressure sensitive control means in the bottom of said tub, said control means initiating operation of said water supply means whenever the pressure of the water in said tub on said control means drops to a first predetermined value during the washing operation and shutting off said water when the pressure on said control means rises to a second predetermined value, recirculating means comprising a pump positioned to receive water from said tub, and a conduit connected to the outlet of said pump to receive water from said pump, said conduit having an outlet feeding into said basket, said pressure operated control means causing operation of said recirculating means upon attainment of said second predetermined pressure level in said tub, whereby the amount of water in said tub is repeatedly decreased to said first predetermined level by the operation of said pump until there is enough water in said basket to retain said overflow means substantially unobstructed.

6. A clothes washing machine comprising a tub, a basket in said tub, means for washing clothes in said basket, water supply means feeding into said basket, overflow means formed substantially below the maximum liquid level in said basket for flowing water into said tub, said overflow means being arranged to be obstructed by clothes in said basket to an extent proportional to the degree to which the clothes are packed together, water level control means responsive to the volume of water collected in said tub, said water level control means initiating operation of said water supply means whenever the volume of water in said tub drops to a first predetermined value during the washing operation and shutting off said water supply means upon attainment of a second predetermined volume of water in said tub, recirculating means comprising a pump arranged to receive water from said tub, a conduit connected to the outlet of said pump and terminating at the other end in a pair of nozzles feeding respectively into said tub and said basket, means for closing off said nozzle which feeds into said tub, said water level control means causing operation of said recirculating means upon attainment of said second predetermined volume of water in said tub, said overflow means having a capacity at least equal to the capacity of said nozzle which feeds into said basket when said nozzle which feeds into said tub is open, said overflow means having a capacity lower than the capacity of said nozzle feeding into said basket when said nozzle feeding into said tub is closed whereby when said nozzle feeding into said tub is closed said overflow means no longer prevents the level of water in said basket from rising to the top of said basket.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,526,444 Woodson Oct. 17, 1950 2,784,582 Hartung et a1. Mar. 12, 1957 2,869,347 Gray et a1. Jan. 20, 1959

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3086836 *Oct 17, 1960Apr 23, 1963Whirlpool CoApparatus and method for controlling the liquid level in a washing machine
US3153924 *Jun 25, 1963Oct 27, 1964Gen ElectricWashing machine fill control
US4227546 *Sep 6, 1978Oct 14, 1980The Maytag CompanyDishwasher fluid control system
US4321809 *Sep 4, 1980Mar 30, 1982General Electric CompanyWashing machine
US4777683 *Dec 7, 1987Oct 18, 1988Pellerin Milnor CorporationTreatment of cloth or other liquid absorbent goods
US5590552 *Dec 19, 1994Jan 7, 1997Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Clothes washer having a suds-removal system
DE3809979A1 *Mar 24, 1988Jun 15, 1989Pellerin Corp MilnorMaschine und verfahren zur behandlung von bekleidungsstuecken oder anderem fluessigkeitsabsorbierendem gut
WO1996041557A1 *Jun 10, 1996Dec 27, 1996Porter Co P LVehicle seat and system for controlling the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/207, 68/12.14, 68/12.19
International ClassificationD06F33/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F33/00
European ClassificationD06F33/00