US 2949620 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
9 J. w. NOBLE 2,949,620 v FLOOR MOPPING MACHINE I Filed Jan. 29, 19557 3 Sheets-She'l'. l
I 59 #8 \num Y k l5 2 97 /4 INVENTOR John.- W Noble BY gm V ATTORNEYS Aug. 23, 1960 .1. w. NOBLE FLOOR MOPPING MACHINE 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 29, 1957 INVENTOR John T4. Nob Ze mt... l v
ATTORNEYS 23, 1 J. w. NOBLE FLOOR MOPPING MACHINE 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Jan. 29, 1957 ATTORNEYS United FLOOR MQPPING MACHINE John W. Noble, RD. 5, Fair-mount Road, Alliance, Ohio Filed Jan. 29, 1957, Ser. No. 637,017
Claims. (Cl. 15-98) This invention relates to means for cleaning floors and particularly to floor mopping means which may be most advantageously used in cleaning hard-surfaced floors.
The invention pertains most closely to that type of powered floor cleaners wherein wash water is circulated past a brush or the like by remote pumps and fans or equivalent powered means. Past proposals for devices of this type have not proved practical except possibly in the case of relatively elaborate, unwieldy and costly equipment suitable for only the heaviest commercial use, such as railway terminal cleaning and similar applications.
A broad purpose of the present invention is to provide a powered floor mopping means which can serve a market which is very much wider than the market now served by the specialized powered mops of the prior art.
This broad purpose of the invention may be realized by the subservient objects of the invention. Among these is the provision of a powered mop which may be manipulated and controlled with facilty, which is foolproof and self-cleaning in operation, which is economical to manufacture and to use, and above all which is highly effective in mopping soiled floor surfaces.
I have discovered that the above objects may be achieved by the provision of a handle-mounted spongemop to which fresh wash water is supplied interiorly and from which dirty water is exhausted exteriorly, the sponge-mop being associated :with additional elements in a manner exemplified below in a description of one embodiment of the invention. It will be understood that this description is given by way of example and not by way of limitation.
In the accompanying drawings:
Figure l is an elevation of apparatus in which the invention is embodied.
Figure 2 is a detail view, from line 22 in Figure 1.
Figures 3 to 5, inclusive, tional aspects of the invention.
Figure 6 is a view, partly broken away, taken from line 6-6 in Figure 1.
Figure 7 is a view taken on line 77 in Figure 6.
Figure 8 is a view taken from line 8-8 in Figure 6.
Figure 9 is .a fragmentary view taken on line 99 in Figure 8.
The apparatus illustrated in the accompanying drawings comprises a floor tool generally indicated at 10, and a. portable floor stand generally indicated at 11. The stand carries two cylindrical tanks 12 and 13.
The floor tool comprises a metal tube 20 similar to the ordinary vacuum cleaner handle, the upper end of which is connected to a hose 21. Inside this metal tube 20 is a water-carrying tube 22. The tube 22 is connected at the lower portion of the floor tool to rigid metal tubes 24 by means of a T 23 in a manner which Will be apparent from the drawings. The tubes 24 are fixed in a sliding collar 25 which has a limited sliding movement longitudinally of the main metal tube of the floor tool. The collar is biased downwardly by the spring 18, which largely broken away, taken illustrate certain opera- 2,949,620 Patented Aug. 23, 1960 2 reacts against a collar 19 which is fixed to the metal tube 20.
The outer portions of the rigid metal tubes 24- 1'0- tatably support suitable bearings 28 which are fixed to a perforate cylindrical metal tube 29 carrying a porous cylindrical sponge 3b of cellulosic material or the like. The portions of the rigid tubes 24 inside the metal tube 2.9 and sponge 30 are also perforated. The bearings 28 are also perforated with holes 38 in order to admit air into the metal tube 29 during evacuation of the sponge 30 by contact with a shoe 35, to be described below.
The floor tool is provided at its lower end with the shoe 35, which is curved to fit over a portion of the sponge or roller 30, and the sponge-contacting face of the shoe is also perforated, so that air and dirty water may be sucked up therethrough. The shoe 35 communicates with the interior of the tube 20. In the illustrated embodiment, downward movement of the collar 25 is limited by the engagement of the lower end of the collar 25 with an L-shaped flange threaded on the handle 20 and welded or otherwise secured to the shoe 35, as seen in Figure 2. A ratchet wheel 36 is fixed to one of the tubes 24. A spring pawl 37 is mounted on the interior of the tube 29, the pawl and ratchet together restraining the roller 30' against rotation in one direction in a manner which will be apparent.
The portable stand 11 comprising the cylindrical tanks 12 and 13 is adapted to apply a vacuum to the floor tool and to supply water thereto by the means described below. It will be understood, however, that the details of the apparatus associated with the portable stand are not necessarily critical to the invention. The tanks and other elements are supported on suitable frame members 15. The stand may be provided with a handle 16: and with wheels 17. It may be supported substantially upright or at a slight tilt by the supporting bar or leg 14. The tank 12 of the floor stand 11 is divided into a bottom compartment 40 and a water-containing compartment 45. The compartment 45 is actually enclosed by a removable water tank 44. A conduit 49 leads through the compartment 45 and communicates with the bottom compartment 48 and also opens into the chamber defined by the outside walls of a cover 62 which is hinged or otherwise associated with the tops of the tanks 12 and 13.
The tank 13 is removable, being held in position by the frame members 15 and the ring 39. The tanks 13 and 44- are removable only when the cover 62 is in opened position.
Mounted within the compartment 4% is a fan 42 driven by the motor 41. This fan 42 is the exhaust fan for the vacuum system associated with the apparatus, and exhaust air is expelled through ports 43 which are located adjacent floor level as indicated in the drawings. This arrangement of the vacuum exhaust ports causes exhaust air to be driven over the floor surface, assisting in the drying of the floor. The motor 41 also drives the air compressor 4-6 which supplies pressurized air through a tube 47 to the interior of the water-containing compart ment 45. The line '47 leads from the air compressor to the exterior of the tank 12 and then to the top of this tank and back into the top of the water-containing compartment 45. Another tube 48 leads from the bottom of the water-containing compartment 45 upwardly through the interior thereof and out the upper end thereof and downwardly between the tanks 12 and 13, terminating adjacent the open lower end of a rigid vacuum tube 52. The rigid vacuum tube 52 communicates at its upper end with a vacuum passage 53 defined by appropriate walls 54 carried within the cover 62. The far end of the passage 53 communicates with a tube 55 and into a separator 56 which comprises a chamber having ports from which water introduced through the tube 55 overflows and through which air introduced through the tube 55 is exhausted. The air is exhausted from the top of the tank 13 through the openings 58 which communicate with the portion of the interior of the cover 62 which is excluded from the passage 53. This same portion of the interior of the cover 62 is in communication with the tube 49. Preferably a filter S9 is disposed at the lower end of the tube 49 to trap any dirt or dust that may be carried by air which is drawn down through the tube 49.
The junctures between the cover 62 and the tank compartments or tubes communicating therewith are provided with suitable airtight seals. For example, the lip of the tank 13 is provided with sealing member or O-ring 64, and the upper end of the tube 55 which communicates with the pasage 53 is provided with a sealing member or gasket 65.
It will be apparent that when the cover 62 is opened the water-containing compartment 45 may be readily filled with water to which a soap or detergent may be added if desired. The tank 13 may be equally readily emptied. In the illustrated portable stand, the cover 62 is normally maintained in closed position by a relatively light spring 61. The spring 61 is aided in maintaining the cover 62 in closed position by the vacuum which obtains within the cover during operation of the apparatus.
A flexible conduit 21 is connected between the vacuum tube 52 and the rigid floor tool tube or handle 20. Extending internally along the conduit 21 is an inner flexible line 81 which is coupled at the floor stand end to the tube 4-8. The opposite end of the water line 81 is connected to a valve 78 carried within the upper portion of the tube or handle 20'. The outlet side of the valve 78 is connected to the water-carrying tube 22 which extends downwardly within the handle 20.
If desired, the tube or handle 20 and watercarrying tube 22 may be divided lengthwise at their upper portions by a suitable slip coupling indicated at 82 to enable the apparatus to be used as a vacuum cleaner with a conventlonal vacuum cleaner and nozzle. The floor to be mopped can then be vacuumed by uncoupling the floor tool at the coupling 82 and substituting a conventional vacuum cleaner handle and nozzle. During such conventional vacuuming, the valve 78 remains ofi at all times.
In operation of the apparatus as a mop, water is applied to the roll or sponge 30 bydepressing or actuating the valve '78. The water is supplied through the lines 48, 81, and 22. The water is forced up into and through the line 48 by the air pressure imposed on the top of the water within the compartment 45 through the line 47 which leads from the air compressor 46.
Dirty water is exhausted from the sponge mop 30 by shifting the handle tube 20 downwardly against the urging of the spring 18 to bring the shoe 35 into contact with the sponge mop 30. Air and water are thereby drawn up the tube 20 and then through the flexible tube 21 into the vacuum tube 52, vacuum passage 53, tube 55 and ports '7. The used or dirty water exhausted from the ports 57 is collected in the tank 13 while the exhaust air is further drawn through the openings 58, the inside of the cover 62, the conduit 4% and the filter 59 to the bottom compartment 40. The vacuum applied throughout this path is established by the fan 42. The air exhausted from the floor tool by the vacuum system is finally blown out through the ports 43.
When water is to be spread on the floor, the valve 78 is depressed and the sponge mop is moved backward and forward over the area desired to be wetted. Frequently, it will be desired to apply water to the floor only on the backward stroke of the floor tool during which the sponge-mop is free to rotate.
Wiping or mopping of the floor is accomplished predominantly during forward movement of the sponge-mop 30 inasmuch as the sponge-mop will not rotate and is therefore forced to slide over the floor with a wiping action.
After the floor wiping operation, the water which has been deposited on the floor and which has picked up dirt and other deposits is soaked up back into the sponge mop 30 predominantly during backward or return motion of the floor tool since the sponge-mop is free to rotate at this time to bring its periphery into contact with the wet portion of the floor with a rolling action. The step which corresponds to wringing out of the dirty water from the sponge-mop is accomplished predominantly during a forward urging of the tool since the spongernop 3 will not rotate when urged forwardly, the handle 20 being held at a sufficiently high angle to accomplish engagement of the shoe 35 against the sponge-mop 30 without having the sponge-mop slip out from under by free and easy skidding. It is advantageous that compression or squeezing of the sponge-mop will occur under these conditions.
Thus, it will be seen that manipulation of the tool may comprise four phases as follows: first, a backward stroke during which water is laid down (Figure 3); second, a forward stroke during which wiping is accomplished, the attitude or mode of handling of the floor tool being such that contact occurs between the sponge-mop 30 and the shoe 35 (Figure 4), although it can also be such that no contact occurs, if desired; third, a backward stroke to sponge up the water from the floor; fourth, a forward stroke to engage the shoe 35 with the sponge-mop 30 to wring-out or empty the sponge-mop, the floor tool being either held at a relatively high angle (solid view, Figure 5) or braced with two hands to efiect the engagement of the shoe and sponge-mop (phantom view, Figure 5).
Obviously, these several steps or phases may not be well defined in the actual use of the tool since other manipulative procedures may be found preferable by the user. For example, the first and second phases as described in the preceding paragraph may be combined by moving the sponge forwardly while keeping it substantially saturated with water by proper control of the valve 78. This may be most practical when onlylight mopping is required. As a further example of alternative manipulative procedures, in emptying the sponge of dirty water, it may be desirable to contact all or most of the periphery of the sponge-mop 30 with the shoe 35, and to this end the operator may alternatively back up the tool and then urge it but not move it forwardly in a series of quickly successive short strokes, each back-0E encompassing rolling travel around only a fraction of the periphery of the sponge-mop and each forward urging accomplishing contact of the shoe 35 with a fresh portion of the periphery of the sponge-mop 30. In this manner it may be desirable to combine the third and fourth phases as described in the preceding paragraph. So it will be seen that it may be entirely practical, particularly for light mopping, to accomplish a complete mopping operation by a forward stroke of the tool (wetting and wiping) and a stepped return stroke of the tool (mop up and wring out). Even the stepping of the return stroke may be eliminated. Manipulation of the tool may comprise merely forward and return strokes, wiping of the floor with the wet sponge and also exhausting of the sponge (through contact with the shoe 35) occurring on the forward stroke and the return stroke being primarily a simple repositioning operation. At any rate, however, the operation of the apparatus is such as that fresh water is supplied interiorly to the sponge-mop and dirty water exhausted exteriorly thereof, so that during the operation of the apparatus there is continuously effected a high degree of flushing of dirt which is picked up by the sponge-mop.
An example of the invention is described above in some detail. It should be apparent that the scope of the invention is not reasonably to be limited to all the specific details set forth in such description, since many of such details are given merely by way of example. The scope of the invention is defined in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. Floor cleaning apparatus comprising a handle, water-supplying means, first line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the water-supplying means, a vacuum source, second line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the vacuum source, a sponge supported at the lower end of the handle, a hollow shoe supported at the lower end of the handle and having a perforate face in apposite relationship with the sponge, the first line means leading within and communicating with the interior of the sponge, the second line means leading to and communicating with the shoe, means for turning the water-supplying means on and oif and means mounting the sponge and the shoe for shifting relatively to each other to move the perforate face into and out of suction-applying contact with the sponge.
2. Floor cleaning apparatus comprising a handle, water-supplying means, first line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the water-supplying means, a vacuum source, second line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the vacuum source, a spronge supported at the lower end of the handle, a hollow shoe supported at the lower end of the handle and having a perforate face in apposite relationship with the sponge, the first line means leading within and communicating with the interior of the sponge, the second line means leading to and communicating with the shoe, means for turning the water-supplying means on and off, the shoe being fixed t0 the handle, the sponge depending below the shoe and being mounted for limited sliding movement with respect to the handle and toward and away from suctionapplying contact with the shoe.
3. Floor cleaning apparatus comprising a handle, water-supplying means, first line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the water-supplying means, a vacuum source, second line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the vacuum source, a sponge supported at the lower end of the handle, a hollow shoe supported at the lower end of the handle and having a perfonate face in apposite relationship with the sponge, the first line means leading within and communicating with the interior of the sponge, the second line means leading to and communicating with the shoe, means for turning the water-supplying means on and off, the shoe being fixed to the handle, the sponge depending below the shoe and being mounted for limited sliding movement with respect to the handle and toward and away from suction-applying contact with the shoe, and means for normally biasing the sponge away from contact with the shoe, whereby the shoe and sponge are brought into suction-applying contact by hearing down on the handle against the biasing means.
4. Floor cleaning apparatus comprising a handle, a cylindrical sponge rotatably mounted at the lower end of the handle, a vacuum shoe mounted at the lower end of the handle, means for selectively applying spongeexhausting vacuum to the periphery of the sponge through the shoe, means for selectively injecting water into the interior of the cylindrical sponge, whereby the resultant overall flow of water through the sponge is from the interior of the sponge radially outwardly therethrough to continuously effect a high degree of flushing of dirt picked up on the sponge, and means for selectively restraining the sponge from rotation to accomplish wiping engagement with a floor surface.
5. Floor cleaning apparatus comprising a handle, water-supplying means, first line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the Watersupplying means, a vacuum source, second line means leading to the lower end of the handle and in communication with the vacuum source, a sponge supported at the lower end of the handle, a hollow shoe supported at the lower end of the handle and having a perforate face in apposite relationship with the sponge, the first line means opening from the lower end of the handle to the vicinity of the sponge to supply water in the vicinity of the sponge the second line means leading to and communicating with the shoe, means for turning the water-supplying means on and off, the shoe being fixed to the handle, the sponge depending below the shoe and being mounted for limited sliding movement with respect to the handle and toward and away from suction applying contact with the shoe, and means for normally biasing the sponge away from contact with the shoe, whereby the shoe and sponge are brought into suction-applying contact by bearing down on the handle against the biasing means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 336,926 Leckie Mar. 2, 1886 1,059,136 Gafney Apr. 15, 1913 1,921,901 Anderson Aug. 8, 1933 1,992,986 Bender Mar. 5, 1935 2,073,726 Bates Mar. 16, 1937 2,243,935 Williamson June 3, 1941 2,478,318 Raub Aug. 9, 1949 2,506,077 Goldsmith May 2, 1950 2,653,337 Bathurst Sept. 29, 1953 FOREIGN PATENTS 327,474 Italy July 13, 1935 414,163 Great Britain Aug. 2, 1934 463,735 Great Britain Apr. 5, 1937