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Publication numberUS2989769 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 27, 1961
Filing dateDec 23, 1957
Priority dateDec 23, 1957
Publication numberUS 2989769 A, US 2989769A, US-A-2989769, US2989769 A, US2989769A
InventorsHouser Frank C
Original AssigneeNobles Engineering And Mfg Com
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Floor drying apparatus
US 2989769 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 27, 1961 F. c. HOUSER 2,989,769

FLOOR, DRYING APPARATUS Filed D90. 23, 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. Hem/k C #00556 June 27, 1961 F. c. HOUSER FLOOR DRYING APPARATUS Z SheetS-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 25, 1957 (FLOATE 5 TRAVEL INVENTOR. ffeA/wa CI //0 1/553 United States Patent Ofiice 2,989,769 Patented June 27, 1961 2,989,769 7 FLOOR DRYING APPARATUS Frank C. Houser, Granada Hills, Calif., assignor to Nobles Engineering and Manufacturing Company, St.

Paul, lVIinn., a corporation of Minnesota 7 'Filed Dec. 23, 1957, Ser. No. 704,654 10 Claims. (Cl.15-'353) The present invention relates generally to floor drying apparatus, and more particularly to a portable floor dryer of the vacuum type.

Drying large floors or large areas thereof which have been soaked with water by washing or otherwise, generally requires considerable time. Where floors are in constant use as in stores or other public and semi-public places, it is often desirable to dry large areas of a floor Within a short time. Mops incorporating various types of moisture absorbing materials have often been used in the past for drying floors. However, such mops do not remove all of the excess water from the outer surface of a floor and often leave considerable water in crevices and cracks within the floor.

The use of air moving equipment such as ordinary vacuum devices for removing the excess moisture from large floors is not feasible because water particles carried by the air flowing into the suction fan may damage the bearings in the fan or motor therefor or cause the electrical insulation of the motor to break down,

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel floor dryer of the vacuum type which is capable of removing the excess moisture from a large area of floor quickly and efliciently.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a portable floor dryer that is inexpensive to manufacture and easy to operate.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide a floor dryer having a nozzle and a suction means for drawing a stream of air past a small area of the floor surface located under the nozzle and for discharging this air stream into a tank or receptacle having a partial vacuum therein in such a manner that the moisture in the air that was removed from the floor will precipitate into the bottom of the tank.

Another feature of my invention is the provision within the tank of a means responsive to a predetermined level of water within the tank for interrupting the vacuum source when the water reaches this predetermined level, thereby preventing liquid from entering the vacuum source.

A further feature of my invention is the provision of a nozzle arrangement for use with a vacuum type floor dryer.

These and other objects of my invention will become apparent from the following description of one form thereof and from the drawings illustrating that form in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a floor dryer embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a bottom plan view of the dryer shown in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional view of the dryer of FIGURE 1 taken along the longitudinal center line thereof;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged horizontal section taken substantially on line 4-4 in FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary enlarged side elevation view of the toggle operated drain valve used to release the water in the tank of the floor dryer.

Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIGURES l and 2 thereof, the floor dryer generally includes a lower housing 10 supported on a pair of wheels 11, 12 and a pair of casters 13 and 14. A nozzle 15 is 2 secured to the lower housing 10 and is maintained in close spaced relationship with the supporting surface or floor. The lower housing also carries an upper housing 16 and an adjustable handle 17.

Referring now to FIGURE 3, for a more detailed description of my novel dryer, the housing ill includes a hollow cylinder 18. The lower end of the cylinder 18 is disposed within an annular recess 20 in a frame structure 21. The cylinder 18 and the frame structure 21 form a tank or receptacle for receiving water removed from a floor during the drying operation, The frame structure 21 includes a vertically disposed tubular portion 22 having a recess 23 therein for the telescopic reception of a vertically disposed standpipe 24.

In order to limit water level within the cylinder 18, as will be hereinafter more fully described, a float 27 having an axial passage therein is disposed in free sliding relationship on the standpipe 24 by means of four longitudinally extending generally channel shaped guide members 29 to align the float relative to the standpipe and provide a minimum contact area therewith. This arrangement serves to eliminate the possibility of binding between the guide members 29 and the standpipe 24 when the dryer is tipped. The float 27 further includes a pair of hollow concentric cylinders 28 and 30 secured together by means of a bottom annular plate 31 and a top annular plate 32. The plates 31 and 32 may be welded to the cylinders 28 and 30 or otherwise suitably secured thereto, to provide an air-tight chamber within the float 27. The external edges of the guide members 29 are also welded or otherwise suitably secured to the internal surface of the cylinder 28 as may be seen best in FIG- URE 4. The guide members 29 and the standpipe 24 are provided with longitudinal slots in .the top portions, thereof to form a plurality of openings 33 in fluid communication with the interior of the cylinder 18.

A valve member including a circular plate 34 and a rubber sealing member 35 is suitably fastened to the top portion of the longitudinal guide members 29. The plate 34 may be welded to the peripheral edges of the guide. members 29, and the sealing member 35 may be fastened to the plate 34 by means of a nut and bolt designated generally by 36. By this arrangement the valve member is carried by the float 27. An annular top plate 37 is secured to the upper end of the cylinder 18 and provided with a coaxial opening for receiving a motor driven fan unit 42 to be more fully described hereafter.

The upper housing unit 16 includes a hollow cylinder 40 and an annular cover plate 41 secured to the upper end of the cylinder 40. The upper housing is adapted to receive the motor driven blower unit 42 which includes a motor 43 which may, for example, be an electric motor, and a fan or blower (not shown) positioned in a blower housing 44. A ventilating plate 45 is held in fixed spaced relation with respect to the outer surface of the cover plate 41 by means of three stud bolts 46, and cooperating spacers 47 and nuts 48 to provide ventilation for the motor 43 through the opening 49 in the plate 41. The fan housing is carried by a pair of annular brackets 50 and 51, the upper bracket 51 being secured to inwardly disposed projections 52 from the cylinder 40 by means of bolts 53 which threadably engage the projections 52. The lower bracket 50 is secured to the upper bracket 51 by means of bolts 54 which threadably engage the upper bracket 51. A pair of annular sealing rings 55 and 56 are disposed between the peripheral corners of the fan housing 44 and the upper and lower brackets 50 and 51 respectively for preventing the circulation of air around top and bottom portions of the fan housing.

An annular gasket 58 is disposed between the inner periphery of the housing plate 37 and the outer periphery of the lower bracket 50 to prevent air from circulating 3 between the lower bracket and the housing plate 37. The fan housing has an air intake opening 60 coaxially aligned with the lower housing cylinder 18 and also has a planar area surrounding this air intake opening and which serves as a valve seat for the sealing member 35, as will be hereinafter more fully described.

The fan housing is also provided with air discharge louvers 62 from which air is conducted within the confines of a conical baffle forming a portion of the top bracket 51 and discharged therefrom through an annular space 63. The upper housing 16 is removably secured in the lower housing by means of a plurality of toggle latches 65 shown in FIGURES 1 and 3.

In order to provide for desired adjustability of the handle 17, a handle bracket 66, a lock screw 67 and a lower guide member 68 are secured to the rear side of the cylinder 18 for receiving the handle 17 and permitting vertical adjustment thereof by disposition of the screw 67 in one or another of spaced holes 70 in the handle.

To facilitate drainage of the housing 10, a toggle operated discharge valve indicated generally as 73 cooperates with an opening 78 in the lower end of the frame structure 21 to permit water within the housing 10 to be discharged. This discharge valve, which may be foot operated, includes a lever 74 rotatably secured at one end to the frame structure 21 and biased into a closed or open position by means of an over-center spring 75 secured at one end to the frame 21 and at the other end to a mid-portion of the lever 74. The lever 74 carries a valve cap 76 and rubber gasket 77 which engages a seat surrounding the opening 78 in the frame structure 21.

The wheels 12 are rotatably carried by a pair of outwardly extending brackets 80 formed integrally with the frame structure 21 as may be seen best in FIGURE 2. The casters 14 are supported on a pair of vertically disposed rods 81 carried by a pair of brackets 82, also formed integrally with the frame structure 21. A pair of resilient bumper members 85 are also secured to the brackets 82 as is best seen in FIGURE 1.

The nozzle has a horizontally disposed throat portion 91 and is secured to the frame structure 21 by means of the bolts 92. The nozzle 15 is provided with an elongated inlet 95 disposed adjacent to the floor or supporting surface for drawing air past this surface and into the inlet 95. The nozzle portion surrounding the inlet 95 is beveled to position a front side 93 of the inlet lower than a rear side 94 so that the inlet 95 is angularly disposed to the supporting surface. A resilient blade 97, formed of a material such as rubber, acts as a squeegee and is secured to the rear side of the inlet 95 by means of a bar 98 and horizontally spaced bolts 100 which threadably engage the nozzle 15. A similar resilient blade 102, is secured to the front side of the inlet 95 by means of a bar 103 and horizontally spaced bolts 104 which threadably engage the nozzle 15 as may best be seen in FIGURE 3.

To induce air fiow in close proximity to the supporting surface and in one direction into the inlet 95, the lower end of the rear blade 97 is adapted to contact or engage the supporting surface and the lower end of the front blade 102 is disposed above the supporting surface to define an air passageway between the lower end of the blade 102 and the supporting surface. The induced air flow under the blade 102 is directed toward the rear side of the inlet 95 by means of the angularly disposed inlet 95. This causes the air stream flowing into the nozzle 15 to contact the entire surface of the fioor between the squeegee blades 97 and 102. The bottom edge of the squeegee blade 97 will wear due to its constant contact with the supporting surface or floor while the dryer is in use. When the bottom edge of this blade is worn to the extent that it no longer contacts the floor with a fine edge, the blade may be removed from the nozzle, turned over, and replaced thereon to place a new edge in contact with the floor. Also, the two squeegee blades 97 and 102 may conveniently be made the same 7 size so that the blades may be exchanged to provide a total of four edges that may be used to contact the floor with any one set or pair of blades.

It is to be noted that an opening exists between the lateral ends of the two spaced squeegee blades 97 and 102 through which air may be drawn into the nozzle 15 as may best be seen in FIGURE 1. These openings between the lateral ends of the two squeegee blades provide additional air passageways for air flow into the ends of the inlet to counterbalance the lower vacuum existing at the ends of the inlet with respect to the vacuum existing at the mid-portion of the inlet due to closer spacing of the mid-portion to the throat 91. This in turn results in a uniform flow of air over the entire area of supporting surface between the squeegee blades to insure uniform drying of the floor.

A bumper member 107 which may be formed of a suitable resilient material such as rubber, is also secured to the forward side of the inlet 95 by means of the channel bar 103 and the bolts 104 As is shown in FIGURE 3, an air passageway 108 in the frame structure 21 communicates with the nozzle 15 and the standpipe 24 to permit air to be drawn into the inlet 95 through the standpipe 24 and thereafter through the openings 26 and into the interior of the housing 10.

In operation, the motor 43 is first energized and the dryer is manually moved along a floor area that is to be dried. The suction fan unit 42 creates a partial vacuum within the housing 10 and induces an air flow under the front lip of the nozzle 15 and also through the openings between the lateral ends of the squeegee blades into the inlet 95, thereafter through the air passageway 108, through the conduit or standpipe 24, through the slots 26 into the top area of the lower housing 10, and thereafter through the intake opening 60 in the fan housing. The air stream flowing along the floor under the inlet 95 collects moisture from the floor, and this moisture laden air stream is then laterally deflected at the top of the standpipe 24 and discharged through the openings 26 into a lower pressure area that exists in the interior of the housing 10 by virtue of the partial vacuum created by the fan unit 42. The lateral deflection of the air stream causes the moisture suspended therein to fall to the bottom of the tank formed by the housing 10. Also, the air stream cools in passing through the openings 26 into the lower pressure area within the housing 10 and this in turn causes water vapor in the air stream to condense and precipitate to the bottom of the housing 10.

This process continues until the water level within the tank rises to the point wherein the float 27 is moved to its upper position designated by the dotted lines as may best be seen in FIGURE 3, in which position the float causes the valve member 34 to engage the planar area forming the seat surrounding the intake opening 60 in the fan housing 44. At this time, the air intake to the fan is completely closed and the fan motor 43 speeds up as a result of the fan being unloaded. The toggle valve 73 may thereafter be actuated by the operators foot to discharge the water within the tank.

There has thus been disclosed a novel portable floor dryer which is capable of drying a large area of a floor quickly and efiiciently.

I claim:

1. Floor drying apparatus comprising: a receptacle for receiving a liquid; means stably mounting said receptacle for motion along the surface of a floor, said mounting means affording lateral translation and precluding any other component of motion of said receptacle with respect to the surface of said floor; means connecting said receptacle to a vacuum source; means responsive to a predetermined level of a liquid within said receptacle for closing said connecting means to disrupt fluid communication between said vacuum source and said receptacle, said connecting means being spaced above .5 said predetermined level to prevent liquid from entering the vacuum source; a nozzle rigidly carried by said receptacle in fixed spaced relationship to the surface of said floor, said nozzle having a throat portion adapted to be connected to a vacuum source; and conduit means disposed between said throat portion and said receptacle for providing fluid communication therebetween, the receptacle end of said conduit means having outlet openings disposed within said receptacle and in an area above said predetermined level and acting to provide a sudden change in direction in the movement of air entering said receptacle from said conduit means, said nozzle including a first sheet of resilient material secured to the rear side of said inlet and extending downwardly therefrom to engage the supporting surface and a second sheet of re silient material secured to the front side of said inlet and extending downwardly therefrom in close proximity to said surface to define an air passageway between said second sheet and said surface, said front side of said inlet extending below said rear side to cause the air flowing under said second sheet to be directed toward said first sheet, whereby substantially the entire area of said surface between said first and second sheets will be contacted by the air flowing into said nozzle.

2. In a vacuum floor dryer of the type described: a container having an air inlet opening in the bottom end thereof adapted to be connected to a nozzle and an air discharge opening in the top end thereof adapted to be connected to a source of vacuum; a valve seat surrounding said air discharge opening; a tube connected to said air inlet opening and extending generally vertically within said container; means at the upper end of said tube causing a sudden change in the direction of movement and a sudden reduction in the speed of air entering said container from said tube; an annular float surrounding said tube and slideably mounted thereon; and a valve member carried by said float and arranged to engage said seat to close said air discharge opening when the liquid within said container reaches a predetermined level, whereby the liquid is prevented from entering the source of vacuum.

3. A suction nozzle for vacuum floor dryer comprising: a throat portion adapted to be connected to a source of vacuum; an elongated inlet in fluid communication with said throat portion and disposed in spaced angular relationship with the supporting surface; a first sheet of resilient material secured to the rear side of said inlet and extending downwardly therefrom to engage the supporting surface; and a second sheet of resilient material secured to the front side of said inlet and extending downwardly therefrom in close proximity to said surface to define an air passageway between said second sheet and said surface, said front side of said inlet extending below said rear side thereof to cause air flowing under said second sheet to be directed toward said first sheet, the lateral ends of said inlet, between the adjacent ends of said first and second sheets having clearance portions to admit an appreciable amount of air into said inlet in addition to that admitted beneath said second sheet, whereby substantially the entire area of said surface between said first and second sheets will be contacted by the air flowing into said nozzle.

4. Floor drying apparatus comprising: a four-wheeled receptacle for receiving a liquid; means connecting said receptacle to a vacuum source; means responsive to a predetermined level of a liquid within said receptacle for closing said connecting means to disrupt fluid communication between said vacuum source and said receptacle, said connecting means being spaced above said predetermined level to prevent liquid from entering the vacuum source; a nozzle rigidly carried by said receptacle in fixed spaced relationship to said floor, said nozzle having a throat portion adapted to be connected to a vacuum source and an elongated inlet disposed substantially at right angles to the direction of travel of said receptaaseaves cle; a squeegee blade secured to one side of said inlet and extending downwardly therefrom for engaging the surface to be dried; means defining a lip for the opposite side of said inlet, said lip being spaced from the surface to be dried to define an air passageway between said lip and said surface; and conduit means disposed between said throat and said receptacle for providing fluid communication therebetween, one end of said conduit means being disposed within said receptacle and in an area above said predetermined level; and means at said one end of said conduit means providing a sudden change in the direction and a sharp reduction in the speed of air entering said receptacle, whereby liquid carried by the air moving at higher speed through said inlet and conduit is deposited in said receptacle.

5. -Floor drying apparatus comprising: a stable wheeled container; a source of vacuum secured to the top end of said container and having an air inlet in communication therewith; a valve seat surrounding the inlet to said vacuum source, the bottom end of said container having an air inlet opening therein; a tube extending generally vertically into said container and connected to said inlet in said container and shaped at its upper end to produce a sudden change in direction and a sharp reduction in velocity of air passing through said tube into said container; a float slideably mounted on said tube; a valve member secured to said float and arranged to engage said valve seat when the liquid in said container reaches a predetermined level, whereby the liquid is prevented from entering said vacuum source; a suction nozzle rigidly carried by said container and communicating with said inlet, said nozzle having an elongated inlet disposed perpendicularly to the direction of travel of said container; means defining a first lip for the rear side of said nozzle inlet and including a resilient material extending along the length of said nozzle inletrand projecting downwardly therefrom to engage the supporting surface; and means defining a second lip for the front side of said nozzle inlet and having a bottom portion extending along the length of said nozzle inlet, said bottom portion being held in spaced relationship with said supporting surface to define an air passageway between said second lip with said supporting surface, the lateral ends of said nozzle inlet being open between the ends of said resilient lips whereby air is drawn into said nozzle inlet at a relatively high velocity to carry moisture therewith.

6. Floor drying apparatus comprising: a stable wheeled container; a source of vacuum secured to the top end of said container and having an air inlet in communication therewith; a valve seat surrounding the inlet to said vacuum source, the bottom end of said container having an air inlet opening therein; a tube extending generally vertically into said container and connected to said inlet in said container; means on said tube acting to provide a sudden change in direction and a sharp reduction in velocity to air passing therethrough; a suction nozzle rigidly carried by said container and communicating with said container inlet, said nozzle. having an elongated inlet disposed perpendicularly to the direction of travel of said container and maintained in close proximity to the supporting surface by the stable attitude of said wheeled container; and a float slidably mounted on said tube; a valve member secured to said float and arranged to engage said seat when the liquid in said container reaches a predetermined level, whereby the ilquid is prevented from entering said vacuum source.

7. Apparatus as defined in claim 6 wherein said nozzle includes a first squeegee blade secured to the rear side of said elongated inlet and extending downwardly therefrom to engage the supporting surface, and ,a second squeegee blade secured to the front side of said inlet and extending downwardly therefrom in close proximity to said surface to define an air passageway between said second squeegee blade and said surface.

8. Apparatus as defined in claim 7 wherein said elongated inlet is disposed in spaced angular relationship with the supporting surface, the front side of said inlet extending below the rear side thereof to cause the air flowing under said second blade to be directed towards said first blade, whereby substantially the entire area of said surface between said first and second blades will be contacted by the air flowing into said nozzle.

9. Floor drying apparatus comprising: a stable wheeled container having an air inlet opening in the bottom thereof; a motor driven suction fan secured to the top end of said container and having an air intake in communication therewith, said air intake being substantially coaxial with said air inlet; a valve seat surrounding said intake to said vacuum source; a tube extending generally vertically into said container and having one end thereof connected to said inlet; means at the other end of said tube providing a sudden change in direction and a sharp reduction in velocity of air passing through said tube and into said container; a suction nozzle rigidly carried by said container and held thereby in a predetermined spaced relationship with the supporting surface and communicating with said container inlet, said nozzle having an elongated inlet disposed perpendicularly to the direction of travel of said container; means defining a first lip for the rear side of said nozzle inlet and including a first squeegee blade extending along the length of said nozzle inlet and projecting downwardly therefrom to engage the supporting surface; means defining a second lip for the front side of said nozzle inlet and including a second squeegee blade extending along the length of said nozzle inlet and projecting downwardly therefrom into close proximity with the supporting surface to define an air passageway between said second lip and said supporting surface; an annular float surrounding said tube and slideably mounted thereon; and a valve member carried by said float and arranged to engage said seat to close said air intake to said suction fan when the liquid in said container reaches a predetermined level, whereby the liquid is prevented from entering said suction fan.

10. Stable wheeled floor drying apparatus comprising: a frame member; a first pair of wheels rotatably mounted on the rear side of said frame member and having a common axis of rotation; a second pair of wheels rotatably mounted on the front side of said frame member and adapted to swivel with respect thereto; a suction nozzle having a throat portion and an elongated inlet disposed substantially parallel to said axis of rotation of said first pair of wheels, said throat portion being rigidly secured to the front side of said frame member and held thereby in a predetermined spaced relationship to the supporting surface; a first squeegee blade secured to the rear side of said nozzle inlet and projecting downwardly therefrom to engage the supporting surface; a second squeegee blade secured to the front side of said nozzle inlet and projecting downwardly therefrom into close proximity with the supporting surface to define an air passageway between said second blade and said supporting surface, said nozzle and said squeegee blades forming an air passageway open at the lateral ends of said nozzle inlet; a hollow cylindrical container secured to said frame member, the bottom end of said container having an air inlet container, the top end of said conduit having an air discharge opening longitudinally disposed therein coaxial with said air inlet opening and acting to suddenly change the direction and sharply reduce the velocity of air flowing therethrough, said frame member forming an air passsageway between said throat portion and said air inlet opening; a toggle operated valve secured to said container and cooperating with said liquid discharge opening; a standpipe extending generally vertically into said container and having one end thereof connected to said air inlet opening; an annular float surrounding said standpipe and slideably mounted thereon; a circular valve member carried by said float and arranged to engage an annular surface surrounding said top opening; a motor driven suction fan secured to the top end of said container and having an air inlet in communication with said top opening; and a handle secured to said container and projecting therefrom, said handle being shaped and positioned for moving and steering said floor drying apparatus, and being adjustable with respect to said container.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 954,541 Raymond et a1. Apr. 12, 1910 1,295,987 Heath Mar. 4, 1919 1,647,005 Keefer Oct. 25, 1927 1,849,663 Finnell Mar. 15, 1932 2,534,808 Bevington et al. Dec. 19, 1950 2,549,181 Durham Apr. 17, 1951 2,643,732 Keen June 30, 1953 2,731,103 Ortega June 17, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 67,806 Denmark Oct. 18, 1948 495,509 Italy June 18, 1948 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 2,989,769 June 27, 1961 Frank C. Houser It is hereby certified that error appears in the above numbered patent requiring correction and that the said Letters Patent. should read as "corrected below.

Column 8, line 15 after "inlet" insert opening connected to said throat portion and liquid discharge openings therein, a conduit leading from said air inlet into said lines 16 and 17, strike out "coaxial with said air inlet. open.-. H

Signed and sealed this 21st day of November 1961.

(SEAL) Attest:

ERNEST W. SWIDER I DAVID L. LADD Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents USCOMM-DO

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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/353, 55/417, D32/16, 15/401, 55/413
International ClassificationA47L7/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47L7/0042, A47L7/0038, A47L7/0028, A47L7/0009
European ClassificationA47L7/00B10, A47L7/00B8B, A47L7/00B2, A47L7/00B8F