US 3033427 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 8, 1962 A. H. PETERSEN 3,033,427
DISPENSER FOR CLOTHES WASHING MACHINE Filed Sept. 25, 1959 s Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig.1 I I 35 34 5 3 FILL cow RINSE AND :LOFF IFWASH s/ 11v m SPIN 1 pawm SOLENOID 36.! RINSE C H r IN VEN TOR.
Y Alfred H Pe/ersen POWER BY sou/v05 Y W A A. H. PETERSEN DISPENSER FOR CLOTHES WASHING MACHINE May 8, 1962 Filed Sept. 25, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Alfred HPBIE/SEI? BY W May 8, 1962 A. H. PETERSEN I 3,033,427
DISPENSER FOR CLOTHES WASHING MACHINE Filed Sept. 25, 1959 BLEACH fl/IVSE INVENTOR.
Alfred H. Pefersen 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Unite States atent 3,033,427 DISPENSER FQR CLOTHES WASHING MACE-ENE Alfred H. Petersen, Broolrfield, Ill, assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Sept. 25, 1959, Ser. No. 842,268 6 Claims. (Cl. 222-505) This invention relates to automatic washing machines and more particularly to the dispensing of additives into such machines.
Automatic clothes washing machines customarily proceed through a sequence of operations in order to wash, rinse and dry the clothes. The sequence ordinarily includes a washing operation, a first extraction operation in which the wash water is removed from the clothes, 9. rinsing operation in which the clothes are rinsed in clean water, and a final extraction operation in which the rinse water is removed from the clothes. Depending upon the type of machine, the action within any given operation may be slightly different, as for example, some machines include a two stage initial extraction operation and other machines include a spray rinse during the rinsing operation in addition to the customary submersion rinse. But the general sequence of washing, extracting, rinsing and then extracting again is used almost in all automatic washing machines.
In order to obtain the most desirable results from these machines, it has been found advantageous that treating agents be added to the. water during the washing and rinsing operation. During the wash cycle, bleaching agents and detergents may be added to provide a more thorough cleaning of the articles being washed. The use of bleach as a whitening additive to a wash cycle is, of course, well known and in general use. Various other treating agents such as water softeners' or fabric softeners, hereinafter referred to generally as rinsing or rinse agents, may be added to the rinse water.
In an automatic washing machine, it is, of course, desirable that these agents be automatically and individually added, that is, that the bleaching agent be introduced into the clothes basket at the proper time during the Washing operation and the rinse agent be introduced at the proper time during the rinsing operation, both without the operator having to do anything; and accordingly, it is an object of my invention to provide a new and improved wash and rinse agent dispenser for use in an automatic washing machine, which is filled before the machine is set in operation and which will then introduce each agent automatically into the clothes basket at the proper step in the operation.
A specific object of the invention, therefore, is to provide in a dispenser which infuses the agent into the basket, means for emptying the dispenser automatically before a new charge of additive is placed in the dispenser.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dual dispenser of the above described type where the combined automatic and manually operable features are simple in construction and of low cost.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description of a presently preferred embodiment thereof, read in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 shows a side view of a clothes washing machine employing the present invention.
16. 2 shows a view of the dispenser containers taken along the lines 22 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the dispenser container and its cover taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the dispenser cover assembly with the lid fully opened.
FIG. 5 is a top view of the dispenser cover assembly with the lid in the closed position.
Patented May 8, 19.62
FIG. 6 is a side sectional view of the dispenser cover" dispenser and taken comprises an outer casing 12 having a bulkhead 13 which.
forms the bottom wall of a chamber'14 housing the washing tub 15. Below said bulkhead is a machinery compartment 16 within which is located motor-driven mechanism 17 of any conventional form sufiicient to rotate a tubular shaft 18 afiixed by convention means (not shown) to the tub 15 for rotation of the same at high speed, or to oscillate the shaft 20 journalled within the shaft 18 for rotation relative thereto. Shaft 20 extends upwardly through the central post portion 21 of an agitator 22 and is secured thereto at the top 'by means including a cap nut 24. A flexible rubber boot 25 is fixed at one end about an opening (not shown) in the bulkhead 13 and at its opposite end to structure (not shown) beneath the bell portion 26 of the agitator to prevent leakage of water through the bulkhead opening while permitting the driving mechanism 17 to gyrate relative to its support structure 27. The precise drive mechanism and supporting structure form no part of the present invention and may be of any conventional type.
A washing machine of the illustrated type further comprises a top structure 28 having a loading opening fitted with a hinged or removable access cover or lid 30; a flexible guard sleeve 31 is secured about the access opening and extends into the portion of the tub 15 comprising the heavy balance ring 32 aifixed to the upper rim of the tub.
The top 28 is configurated to provide a controls por tion 33 housing, among other things, a conventional timecycle controller 34 having an externally accessible setting knob 35 and an electromagnetic valve mechanism 36, of any conventional type, arranged to receive hot and cold water from the building supply (not shown) by way of the respective inlet fittings 37 and 38. Said valve is arranged to discharge water into the tub 15 by way of the discharge nozzle 40 suitably disposed relative to an opening (not shown) in the guard sleeve 31 to provide means for introducing water into the tub for the various wash ing and rinsing operations. The tub 15 has a row of apertures 42. immediately below the balance ring 32; it will be obvious that said apertures establish the maximum level of water or washing liquid in the tub. M
As is now very well known in the art, a user of a domestic automatic washing machine places articles of clothing within the tub 15, operates the control knob to establish the duration of the washingcycle, inserts such additives as are necessary, and then operates the knob to an on position which connects the solenoid valve mechanism 36 to a source of electric power (not shown). Water then issues from nozzle 40 into the tub; and after a predetermined interval calculated to fill the tub to the overflow level, water flow is automatically interrupted by the time-cycle controller 34 and the drive mechanism 17 is automatically energized to oscillate the agitator 2-2. As illustrated, the agitator is of the three-bladed type in which blades 43 are disposed at intervals and extend radially outwardly from the bell 26 and post 21. The oscillation of the agitator causes the blades 43 to create a toroidal pattern of currents in the washing liquid, with the agitator post 21 being substantially at the vertical axis of the toroidal pattern. The clothes (not shown) are flexed by the agitator blades and tumble about in the washing liquid whereupon all portions of the clothes are exposed to washing action.
The following series of operations is usual in domestic osa e? Washing machines. After the selected washing period has expired, the controller 34 operates mechanism (not shown) which interrupts the oscillation of shaft 20 and transmits motor power to the tub shaft 18, whereupon the tub is rotated at speeds of the order of 600 r.p.m. to cause the free liquid in the tub, and much of that held by the articles of clothing, to escape from the tub by centrifugal action. The escaping liquid flows through the holes 42 into the water collector chamber 14, from which it is removed by a motor-driven pump (not shown). During the last minute or two of this spinning operation, water is introduced into the tub to wet the clothes with clear rinse water, and thus help purge the clothes of any dirty or soapy water which may be entrained therein.
The tub then comes to a stop, whereupon it is filled with clear rinse water to effect a continuing overflow of water through the holes and the agitator is again auto matically operated to thoroughly subject the clothes to the rinsing operation. During this operation, floatable dirt and scum, and floating lint, is evacuated through the holes 42. After the rinsing period, as established by operation of the controller 34, the agitator is stopped and the rinse water centrifugally extracted by the rapid rotation of the tub, following which the time-cycle switch turns the power off and the washed and rinsed clothes are ready for removal from the tub in a damp-dry condition.
Positioned within the previously described and generally known washing machine is the additive dispenser which comprises the present invention. As shown in FIG. I, there is mounted overlying the wash tub 15 (in the upper right hand corner) a dispenser having a reservoir or container 50-, which is positioned proximately below the top structure 28. Further, in FIG. 1 is shown somewhat representatively the dispenser cover assembly 51. This cover assembly is positioned in such a manner that it is accessible from the exterior of machine 11 through the loading opening when access cover 30 is opened.
Referring now to FIG. 2, the additive reservoir 50 and its construction may be seen in more detail. The reservoir is fabricated of any suitable rigid liquid retentive material and is. generally configurated into an opentopped annular segmental trough, the radius of which closely approximates that of the upper wall of wash tub 15 and balance ring 32 (shown in FIG. 2). The reservoir is divided into two substantially annular, sub-segmental compartments 52 and 53 by a series of transverse walls 54, 55, 56 and 57. combinedly forming a solid transverse wall. Internal transverse walls 56 and 57 are lower in height than the other internal walls 54 and 55 and are also lower than the external walls of the reservoir. Thus, overflow of liquid from either reservoir compartment will result in the overflow liquid pouring into a central compartment 60 formed by walls 56, 57 and the inner annular wall 61 of the reservoir. Wall 61 contains an aperture 62 in communication with the wash tub for effusion from central compartment 60 directly into Wash tub 15.
Each of the reservoir compartments 52 and 53 formed by the series of transverse walls comprises an imperforate trough for retaining liquid therein. As shown best in FIGS. 2 and 3, each retaining compartment has in its'lower surface a drain port. In compartment 52, the bleach additive compartment, there is a drain port 64 and in compartment 53, the rinse additive compartment, drain port 65. Each of these drain ports is normally closed by means of a drain valve or stopper 66 (and 67), each fabricated of some flexible material such as rubber. Stopper 66, for example, is held in drain port 64 by means of lever arm 68 which extends upwardly from the stopper at an angle past a pivot rod 69. The lever arm, a flat metal strip having springlike qualities, is normally biased to maintain the stopper in the drain port by means of a torsion spring 7%. Torsion spring 73, in construction is a helical spring coiled about pivot rod 69, coil ends of which are extended from the coil to form arms. A first of these arms 70.1 extends across the central portion of the lever arm 68 and the other arm 70.2 is anchored against an internal Wall. The drain stopper 67 in the rinse additive compartment is held in place similarly by lever arm 72 which is pivoted about rod 73 and maintained at normal by torsion spring 74. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the free ends of each of the lever arms overlap.
The dispenser is supplied with wash water by means of jet tube 77. This tube is connected into inlet valve 36 and is controlled by a solenoid (36.1) for supplying wator for a short interval during the wash water inlet period and for a longer period during the rinse water inlet period. The tube proper is afiixed to wall 54 and has a first section overlying the rinse compartment. In this first section the tube contains orifice 79 of relatively small diameter for providing water for the rinse compartment. Further outward on the body of tube 77 is a second, larger, orifice 80 for supplying water to the bleach compartment. As an approximate indication of the relative diameters of these orifices, the flow rate through orifice 79 should be about /3 of the rate through orifice 80. Further, the flow rate through orifice 79 should be such that the rinse compartment is not completely filled during a 45 second wash fill period. Within these limitations, the relative orifice diamcters and flow rates are of course dependent on the relative compartment sizes and timing cycle lengths.
Access to the dispenser is provided by the use of a cutout in top structure 28 into which the cover frame 82 of cover assembly 51 may be snap fittcd. The cover assembly 51 includes a cover frame 82, a lid 85, a hinge pin 86, a yoke 87 and plunger 90. These parts with the exception of the metallic hinge pin 86 may all be fabricated of a flexible material such as polyethylene for ease of assembly. Cover frame 82 is generally configurated in a pentagonal shape and has extending from its lower surface two chutes 83 and 84 each flared from a central restriction outwardly and downwardly to allow additives to be poured into both compartments of the dispenser separately. The lid 85 is pivoted to the frame by means of hinge pin 36. Also pivoted about hinge pin 86 is yoke 87 which in the main has a horizontal central portion at which it is hinged and an angled extension 87.1 normally resting beneath lid 35. The opposite or upper end of yoke 87 terminates in a pair of tongues 88 and 89 which extend on either side of plunger 90. Plunger 90 has an enlarged head 91 which is disposed above the tongues 88 and 89, a central body which extends through a suitable opening in cover frame 82, and an enlarged toe section 92 normally positioned below the cover frame. With the flexible materials as used, it has been found that by maintaining the dimensions of the parts to slightly negative allowances, the cover assembly 51 may most readily be put together by the simple expedient of pressure fitting the parts together.
The dispenser of the present invention is utilized as follows:
Prior to the start of the automatic cycle previously described, the operator opens the access opening cover 30 and thereby exposes the dispenser cover assembly 51. The operator then depresses plunger 90 manually which in turn performs two separate functions. As the first of these functions, depression of plunger 90 causes plunger toe 92 which had been poised above the upper ends of valve lever arms 63 and 72 to impinge against both of these arms forcing these arms to pivot about their respective pivot rods 69 and 73. The lower ends of these arms are thereby pivoted upward elevating stopper valves 66 and 67 out of their. normal positions in drain ports 64 and 65. Drain ports 64- and 65 are thereby opened allowing any liquid retained in the compartments to drain into the water chamber 14. In this manner, all residue retained in the dispenser from prior washing cycles is drained before new changes of additive are introduced.
Depression of the plunger 93 also serves its second function of opening the dispenser lid to allow access to the interior of the dispenser. Thus when plunger head 91 descends due to manual pressure, tongues -88 and 89 also descend causing the angled end of the yoke 87 to tilt upward. The tilting of the yoke end exerts pressure on the lower surface of lid 85 causing the lid to tilt upward about hinge pin 86. Once the lid 85 has been tilted upward, it remains in the upright position due to the press fit contact of the lid about the hinge pin 86.. Depression of the plunger allows the lid to tilt at about a 30 angle with the cover frame 82, which allows sufiicient finger clearance for the lid to be opened manually to its fully open position.
It should be noted that manual depressive force on plunger 90 is required to be retained until the dispenser compartments are fully emptied. After the manual pressure is removed, torsion springs 70 and 74 counteract the inertial eifect of the lower plunger and restore stopper valves 66 and 67 to their respective drain ports and cause plunger 90 to restore to its normal position. In this manner, once the operator has released plunger 96, the additive compartments provide liquid retentive reservoirs. Proper additives, preferably in liquid form, may then be poured into the proper chutes for charging of the separate compartments.
Once the operative cycle of the washing machine is in effect, valve mechanism 36 is actuated periodically to allow water to pour into the wash tub through the water inlet nozzle 40 in the cyclic pattern shown generally in U.S. Patent 2,885,876 issued May 12, 1959, to Vito Re. By proper camming (as shown in FIG. 7) of the time cycle control C1, the closing of contacts d to so lenoid 36.1 causes water to ilow through dispenser tube 77 for a short period which may be of about 45 seconds duration during the wash cycle. The flow through orifice '39 of tube 77 is of suificient duration to more than fill the bleach compartment 52. Due to the comparative differences in the size of escape orifices 79 and 80, the rinse compartment is only partially filled during this over-filling of the bleach compartment. As the bleach compartment overfills, the water from the inlet orifice 80 mixes with the additive in bleach compartment 52 and drains over wall 56 into central compartment 69. The diluted mixture then eifuses through aperture 62 into the wash tub. This efiusion of mixture continues until the time controller 34 causes the valve mechanism 36 and solenoid 36.1 to cut oil the water supply to nozzles 40 and tube 77. At this time, there remains in the bleach compartment, a highly diluted mixture composed of mainly water and some remaining bleach.
The rinse compartment at this time is partially full and its contents include the entire charge of rinse additive placed in the dispenser prior to the start of the operative cycle in addition to the water received from tube 77. When the rinse cycle begins, valve mechanism 36 is once more actuated causing water to flow through main inlet nozzle tit} and solenoid 36.1 is actuated by the closing of contacts 95 to initiate water flow through tube 77 to orifices 79 and 80. Rinse compartment 53 is over-filled due to this influx of water from orifice 79, and overflow liquid pours over low wall 57 into central spout compartment 6!) for subsequent effusion to the wash tub through spout aperture 62. During this rinse period, water is also pouring into the bleach compartment further diluting the already dilute mixture in the compartment. The bleach compartment continues to overflow liquid containing heavily diluted bleach additive into the wash tub.
At the conclusion of the rinse cycle, solenoid 36.1 is shut off and both dispenser compartments retain dilute mixtures of additive and Water. As noted previously, these retained mixtures must be disposed of before new charges of additive can be introduced. Thus, the necessity for a simple method of disposing of this retained waste liquid before the introduction of new additive becomes apparent and applicants automatic method of so disposing can be more fully appreciated.
6. While there has been described what is at present considered to be the preferred embodiment of the invention,
it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all suchmodifications as fall within the true-spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. For use with a washing machine having a wash basket, a plurality of additive storage reservoirs adapted to be mounted above said basket for gravitational flow of additive thereinto; valve means individual to each of said storage reservoirs for controlling flow of additive therefrom to said basket, means for biasing the respective valves to a closed position, a cover mechanism common to said reservoirs and covering the access thereto, means for hinging said cover mechanism for movement between a normally closed position and an open position suitable for filling said reservoirs, said hinge means including surfaces frictionally maintaining said cover in its open position, manually operable plunger means for operating said cover mechanism from the closed to the open position to allow charging of said reservoirs, valve actuating means responsive to the operation of said plunger means for opening all said valve means jointly to allow dumping of previously stored additive, and means elfective on release of said plunger means for restoring only said valve actuating means to'thereby close said valve means after which the reservoirs may be charged with fresh additives. 2. For use with a washing machine having a Wash basket, a plurality of additive storage reservoirs adapted to be mounted above said basket for gravitational flow of additive to said basket; normally closed valve means individual to each of said storage reservoirs for controlling the flow of additives to said basket, each of said valve means movable into an open condition for dumping unused additive into said basket, a cover mechanism common to-said reservoirs, means for hinging said cover mechanism for movement between a normally closed position and an open position suitable for filling said reservoirs, said hinge means including surfaces frictionally engaging said cover to maintaining said cover in its open position, manually operable plunger means for operating said cover mechanism from the closed to the open position, valve actuating means including actuators in articulated rela tion to each other and jointly responsive to the operation of said plunger means for depressing said articulated actuators for thereby moving all said valve means jointly into an open condition to allow dumping of previously stored additive, and means effective on release of said plunger means for restoring only said valve actuating means to thereby close said valve means after which the reservoirs may be charged with fresh additives.
3. For use-in a washing machine having a wash basket, a plurality of additive storage reservoirs adapted to be mounted above said basket for gravitational fiow of additive therefrom to said basket; normally closed valve means individual to each of said storage reservoirs and operable for dumping unused additive into said basket, a cover mechanism common to said reservoirs, means for hinging said cover mechanism for movement between a normally closed position and an open position suitable for filling said compartments, said hinge means including surfaces frictionally maintaining said cover in its open position, manually operable plunger means effective on displacement in one direction to operate said valve means to its operative position, a lever extending between said plunger means and said cover to lift said cover mechanism from the closed to the open position upon operation of said plunger in valve operative direction, said lever disengaging from said plunger and said cover in its open position upon return movement of said plunger means, and spring means operable on release of said plunger means for eifecting the return movement thereof and the re-closing of said valves.
4. For use in a washing machine having a wash basket, a plurality of additive storage reservoirs adapted to be mounted above said basket for gravitational flow of additive to said basket; normally closed valve means individual to each of said storage reservoirs for dumping unused additive into said basket when in the open condition, a cover mechanism common to said reservoirs, means for hinging said cover mechanism for movement between a normally closed position and an open position suitable for filling said reservoirs, said hinge means including surfaces frictionally maintaining said cover in its open position, plunger means manually depressible to operate said cover mechanism from the closed to the open position, valve actuating means comprising pivotal levers each individually connected to one of said valve means, said levers jointly pivotal on depression of said plunger means for opening all said valve means jointly to allow dumping of previously stored additive, and means effective on release of said plunger means for restoring only said valve actuating means to thereby close said valve means after which the cover may be manually closed following the re-filling of said reservoirs.
5. For use in an automatic washing machine of the type which is adapted to proceed through a sequence of operations; an additive dispenser for introducing specific additives into said machine individually during said sequence of operations, said dispenser comprising a plurality of compartments for storing therein additives, an opening for charging said dispenser with additive, a cover for closing said opening for normal usage and tiltable to an open position, manually depressible plunger means, means responsive to the depression of said plunger means for tilting said cover to the open position to allow charging of said additive compartments, a drain port in each of said compartments for draining unused additive from each of said compartments, a stopper valve normally covering each of said ports, valve actuating means operably connected to said stopper valves, said valve actuating means operable on depression of plunger means to jointly open each of said stopper valves thereby uncovering said drain ports to allow drainage of previously stored additive from said compartments, means responsive to release of said depressed plunger means for restoring said stopper valves to said openings to provide impertorate storage compartments to receive new charges of additive, and a hinge mechanism for holding said cover in the open position after release of said depressed plunger means to allow reception of said new charges of additive.
6. For use in an automatic washing machine of the type which is adapted to proceed through a sequence of operations; an additive dispenser for introducing specific additives into said machine individually during said sequence of operations, said dispenser comprising a plurality of compartments for storing therein additives, an opening for charging said dispenser with additive, a cover for closing said opening for normal usage and tiltable to an open position, manually depressible plunger means, lever means responsive to the depression of said plunger means for tilting said cover to the open position to allow charging of said additive compartments, a drain port in each of said compartments for draining unused additive from each of said compartments, a stopper valve normally covering each of said ports, a valve actuating lever individual to each of said valves for opening same on actuation, said valve actuating levers actuatable on depression of said plunger means to jointly open each of said valves thereby uncovering said drain ports to allow drainage of previously stored additive from said compartments, means responsive to release of said depressed plunger means for restoring said valves to said openings to provide imperforate storage compartments, and a hinge mechanism for holding said cover in the open position after release of said depressed plunger means to thereby allow charging of said compartments.
References Cited in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS