US 3043478 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 10, 1962 L. v. ADAMS ET AL 3,043,478
LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT Filed July 1. 1959 2 sheets-sneer 1 July 10, 1962 L. v. ADAMS ETAL 3,043,478
LAUNDRY EQUIPMENT Filed July l. 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 41 fa fa .fff
United States ware Filed July 1, 195?, Ser. No. 824,250 Claims. (Cl. 222-70) The present invention relates to dispensing apparatus, particularly to devices adapted `for use with washing machines to dispense laundering aids (detergents, water softeners, bleaches, etc.). More specifically, the invention has to do withimprovements in mechanisms operable to dispense predetermined quantities of laundering aids in liquid form, or of gelatinous consistency, for mixing with water within the clothes container or tub of a washing machine.
Modern washing machines adapted primarily-for domestic use, are designed to provide for washing clothes in loads which may vary as to the weight of the load as well as to the texture of the clothes making up the load. To prevent waste of laundering aid and still obtain satisfactory washing in these modern machines, it is desirable that laundering aids be used in quantities predetermined in accordance with the particular load of clothes to be Washed.
It is therefore an object of this inventionto provide a dispensing arrangement by means of which laundering aid is fed for discharge into a clothes washing and rinsing container or tub, the arrangement being such that it can be preset to stop the feed of the laundering aid when a desired predetermined `amount thereof has been so discharged.
` of the type which operates automatically to wash and rinse clothes in water within a container or tub, and thereafter to extract water from the clothes and container. Machines of this type are governed by operation of a timer mechanism, and it is a `specific object of this invention to provide a simpliiied system capable of being readily associated with such timer mechanism yfor initiating and terminating automatically the feed of laundering aid in the course of the sequential functions of the machine.
Toward realization of these main objects and characteristic features, the invention employs means operable to withdraw laundering aid from a reservoir and to discharge the withdrawn laundering aid for mixing with water supplied to the clothes washing and rinsing container. In a more specific aspect, the invention employs a motor driven pump for positively ilowing laundering aid from the reservoir to thewashing and rinsing container, thepump motor being arranged in circuit with switch means operable to stop the motor in'response to a predetermined number of pump driving revolutions of the motor.
The full nature of the invention and the manner in which the above noted and other objects and features are achieved, will be more fully understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE l is a front view of a dispenser unit constructed in accordance with the invention, parts of the unit being broken away for purpose of clear illustration of certain structural features of the dispensing mechanism;
FIGURE 2 is a side view of the unit shown in FIGURE l with portions of the casing broken away;
arent FIGURE 3 is a front view, partly in elevation and partly in section, illustrating a portion of a clothes washing machine provided with the dispensing unit shown in FIGURES 1 and 2;
FIGURE 4 is an elevational `sectional side view looking in the direction of arrows 4-4 of FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a schematic view diagrammatically illustrating the mechanism as arranged in an automatic washing machine of the kind shown in FIGURES 3 and 4; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary diagrammatic viewillustrating a modified form of the invention.
Wirth more particular reference to the drawings, th unit illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2 includes a casing 1G which houses the dispensing mechanism, and a reservoir 11 which is adapted -to hold laundering aid. The casing 10 has a bottom wall 12, -a top wall 13, a back wall 14, side walls 15 and a front cover 16. The back wall 14 of the casing is provided with an upwardly directed extension 17 and a downwardly directed extension 17a, each having fastener receiving apertures 18 for mounting the unit. The mechanism housed within said casing 10 comprises an electric motor 20, a pump 21 and a ratchet device including a ratchet wheel 22, a ratchet pawl 23 and a dog 24.
The motor 20 is provided with a shaft 25 having a pinion 26 which meshes with a gear 27 keyed or otherwise affixed to a shaft 28 drivingly connected to the pump Z1', the latter being thus driven at propery speed through the drive connection provided by said pinion and gear. Y
The reservoir 11 is mounted on the -top wall 13 of the casing 10 and has an outlet member 30 depending from said reservoir and passing through said top wall `for connection with a duct 32 which communicates with the inlet side of the pump 21. Thus, upon operation of the pump, laundering aid is drawn `from the reservoir 11 and ejected through a discharge conduit f33 leading from the outlet side of said pump. Back flow through the dispensing duct and conduit system is prevented by means of an antisiphoning valve 34 which, as shown in the drawings, is interposed between two separated sections of the discharge conduit 33. The valve 34 includes a body 35 supported by means of a bracket arm 36 on the casing 10 and provided with ports 37 which extend through said body and open on opposite sides thereof. A diaphragm 38 is stretched over one of said sides so as normally to close one end of each of said ports, the other end of one of said ports being connected with that discharge conduit section which leads from the pump 21, and the other `end of the other o-f said ports being connected with the remaining discharge conduit section. Because of this construction, it will be understood that `the pressure developed during operation of the pump Z1 will cause movement of the diaphragm 38 to open the ports 37 for the ejection of laundering aid lthrough the discharge conduit 33, and that said diaphragm ywill collapse under atmospheric pressure and again seal vsaid ports when the operation of the pump is terminated byvstopping the motor 20.
In accordance with the present invention, the motor is stopped automatically in response to a predetermined number of'revolutions of the pump shaft 28, that is to say in response to a predetermined number of pump driving revolutions of the motor which, it will be understood, determines the quantity of laundering aid ejected by the dispensing unit. In the illustrated arrangement, a normally closed switch 39 is included in the circuit of said motor 20, and a projection 40 is carried by the ratchet Wheel 22 to be brought, through step-by-step advancement of said Wheel, into engagement with said switch to open the same for stopping the motor and, accordingly, terminating the flow of laundering aid. This step-by-step advancement of the ratchet wheel is obtained by means of a cam 41 arranged on the gear 27 to rotate therewith and disposed to ride in engagement with the ratchet pawl 23y to activate the same once for each revolution of the pump shaft.
As hereinbefore indicated, the dispensing unit of the invention is adjustable to eject laundering aid in vvarious preselectable amounts soas to insure adequate washing of various types and loads of fabrics without undue waste orf-,the laundering aid. In the illustrated arrangement, this preselection is accomplished by rotatably setting the ratchet wheel 22 to locate the projection 40 in any one of a plurality of positions from which said projection will travel over a longer or shorter arc in reaching the switch 39 so' that opening of said switch occurs after a greater or lesser number ofrevolutions of the pump shaft 28, which asstated above, determines the amount of laundering aid ejected by the dispensing arrangement. Setting of the ratchet wheel is readily accomplished by means of a manually operableelement in the form of a knob 42 on saidrratchet wheel. This knob is associated with indicia means 44 (FIGURES 3 and 5) to indicate the amount of laundry aid to be delivered by the dispenser unit when said knob is moved to a selected position indicated by said indicia means.
As also previously indicated, the dispensing unit can be used as a separate entity, but is most advantageous when incorporated in an automatic washing machine in the manner illustrated by way of example in FIGURES 3 and 4. In these figures, there is shown a portion of a washing machine cabinet 45 adapted to enclose the usual clothes and water retaining container or tub- The cabinet is provided'with a top 46 having a back splash panel 47 upon which is conveniently mounted the usual timer 48 for controlling the operation of the washing machine. This 'controlling timer which maybe and preferably is of the ordinary well known type including a manually settable dial element 49, functions to put the machine automatically through its customary sequence of operations, including-washing, rinsing and spin-drying operation. The timer also controlspa solenoid valve 50 for supplying water from hot and cold connections 51, through an outlet 52, the latter discharging into a funnel member 53 which opens into a conduit 54 leading into the washing tubof'the machine.
As seen in FIGURES 3 and 4, the dispensing unit of the invention is conveniently mounted'behind the back splash panel' 47, the setting knob42 being accessible Afrom the frontvofsaid panel. The unit rests on a portion 55 of cabinet top 46, and is retained in place by means of fasteners ,56passing through the apertures 18 in the back wall extensions 17 and 17a of said unit andengaging a rearwardportion 57 of the panel 47 and a rearward portion S'Zaof the cabinettop 46. The portion 57 has an open-l ing 58registering with the reservoir 11 of the dispensing unit to provide for lling thereof.
The manner in which automatic activation of the dispensing unit is accomplished willbe clearly understood upon reference to FIGURE of the drawing which diagrammatically illustrates said unit and its association with elements of the automatic washing machine. As seen in this FIGURE 5, the normally closed switch 39 in the circuit of the motor 20 is connected in 'series with a control switch60which, as represented at 61, is mechanically connected to the timer 4S,ther latter being also connected nifchnicall as `,rep/resented `at 62, with a switch 63 for controlling )'energizationof the rsolenoid valve 50. v
' In operation, thetimer 48, is adapted to close the switch @so that electrical energy ows through the normally closed switchand energizes the motor 20 to actuate thepump 21,`thus Ainitiating discharge of laundering aid throughthe valve 34 and conduit 33 into the washing tub. At about the ksameV time, the timer 48 functions to close the switch `63 which activates the solenoid valve 50 to admitwaterlintothe funnel member 53 so `as to provide a mixture of water and laundering aid for discharge into the washing tub through the conduit 54. The cam 41 rotating with the pump 21, eifect-s the previously mentioned step-by-step advancement of the ratchet mechanism so that the ratchet wheel 22 eventually brings the projection 40 into engagement with the switch 39 whereupon the latter opens, thereby stopping the motor 20 and discontinuing the discharge of laundering aid.
In FIGURE 6 there is diagrammatically shown a modied arrangement in which the anti-syphon device or valve 34 is associated with the reservoir 11 in such a manner that hydrostatic pressure acts to close said valve when the pump ceases to function. In this modified arrangement the valve 34 is located below the reservoir l1 so that the diaphragm 38is exposed to the head pressuredeveloped by the laundering aid contained in said reservoir. For that purpose, a hollow member 64V defining a chamber 65 is interposed between two separated sections 32a and 32h of the duct leading from the reservoir 11 to the inlet side of the pump, and at least that portion of the valve 34 which carries the diaphragm 38 is housed in said chamber. With this arrangement, the pump pressure effects opening of the valve ports 37 for circulation of laundering aid from the reservoir 11 through the duct section 32a, the chamber 65, the duct section B2b and into the pump. From the pump, the laundry aid flows out the sectional discharge conduit 3'3 through the valve *34 and into the washing tub` of the machine. Except for the above described changes, the illustrated modified arrangement is combined with and operates in the washing machine in the samemanner as was described above with reference to FIGURE 4.
From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the present invention provides a compact and ethcient unit capable of being used separately or as part of a washing machine to introduce selectable predetermined amounts of laundering aids into a washing machine, at a desired time in the operation thereof. Although a preferred embodiment and a modified formthereof have been shown and described,` it will -be understood that the invention embraces such changes and Variations as may come within the scope of the subjoined claims.
What we claim is:
1. A device for introducing laundering aid into a clothes washing machine, comprising a reservoir for laundering aid, a pump communicating with said reservoir and operable for llowing laundering aid from said reservoir and into the washing machine, a rotatable pump shaft for driving said pump, an electric motor drivingly connected to said pump shaft, a switchV in circuit with and operable'to stop said motor, a rotatable ratchet wheel having a xed projection adapted to bebrought in a position to engage and operate such switch, manually operable means for rotating said ratchet wheel in a direction to locate said projection in a selected position away Afrom said switch, a ratchet pawl engaging said ratchet wheel and actuatable at each operation to rotate said wheel in a direction advancing said projection incrementally toward said switch, and a cam connected with and driven through said pump shaft to operate said ratchet pawl once during each pump driving revolution of said shaft.
2. A device for introducing laundering aid into a clothes washing machine, comprising a reservoir for laundering aid, a pump having anl inlet conduit communicating with said reservoir and an outlet conduit adapted to discharge into the washing machine, valve means normally closing said outlet conduit and adapted to open the latter in response to pump pressure, a rotatable pump shaft for driving said pump, an electric motor drivingly coupled to said pump shaft, a switch in circuit with and operable to stop said motor, a rotatable ratchet wheel having a iixed projection adapted to be brought in a position to engage andoperate such switch, manually operable means for rotating said ratchet wheel in a direction to locate said projection in a selected position away from said switch, a ratchet pawl engaging said ratchet wheel and actuatable at each operation to rotate said wheel in a direction advancing said projection incrementally toward 'said switch, and a cam connected with and driven through said pump shaft to operate said ratchet pawl once during each pump driving revolution of said shaft.
3. A device as set forth in claim 2, in which the mentioned outlet conduit consists of two separate sections, and the mentioned valve means consist of a valve body and a diaphragm, said body having a pair of ports connected with and establishing communication between said sections, said diaphragm normally closing said ports to seal the communication therebetween.
4. A device as set forth in claim 2, in which the mentioned outlet conduit consists of two separate sections, and the mentioned valve means consist of a valve body and a diaphragm, said body having a pair of ports connected with and establishing communication between said sections, said diaphragm normally closing 'said ports to seal the communication therebetween, one side of said diaphragm being exposed to pump pressure through one of said ports, the other side of said diaphragm being exposed to ambient atmosphere.
5. A device as set forth in claim 2, in which the mentioned outlet conduit consists of two separate sections, and the mentioned valve means consist of a Valve body and a diaphragm, said body having a pair of ports connected with and establishing communication between said sections, said diaphragm normally closing said ports to seal the communication therebetween, one side of said diaphragm being exposed to pump pressure through one of said ports, the other side of said diaphragm being exposed to head pressure developed by the laundering aid within the mentioned reservoir.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,206,330 Pierce July 2, 1940 2,284,051 Gilbert May 26, 1942 2,563,665 Thomas Aug. 7, 1951 2,870,941 Steidley Jan. 27, 1959 2,899,815 Hetrick Aug. 18, 1959 2,907,340 Kenny Oct. 6, 1959 2,914,217 Warhus Nov. 24, 1959 2,966,278 Drury Dec. 27, 1960