US 3044667 A
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M. B. LUCAS July 17, 1962 DETERGENT DISPENSER FOR AUTOMATIC CLOTHES WASHING MACHINES Filed Oct. 6, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 mllllI Url l/ `Iuly 17, 1962 M. B. I UcAs 3,044,667
DEIERGENT DISPENSER FOR AUTOMATIC CLOTHES WASHING MACHINES Filed Oct. 6, 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. /v//ucaLM uc/1s,
3,044,667 Patented Julyv 17, 1962 DETERGENT DISPENSER FOR AUTGMATIC CLOTHES WASHING MACHINES Malcolm B. Lucas, Cincinnati,` Ohio, assigner to The Procter & Gamble Company, Cincinnati, Ghio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Octr, 1959, Ser. No. 844,738
2 Claims. (Cl. 222-454) This invention relates to an improved granular detergent dispenser for automatic clothes washing machines. More particularly, the invention contemplates the` provision of a detergent `granules dispenser having sulicient capacity to store a full carton of detergent and in which the dispenser is provided -With means for metering and dispensing a predetermined quantity of granular detergent material into the washing machine at the proper time in the washing cycle.
In recent years, the design trend in clothes Washing fully automatic so that the operator can go about 'other chores while the clothes are being washed. There is one, component, however, that has not been successfully developed and this has prevented the marketing of a washer that is truly and completely automatic. This missing component is a dispensing device which is capable of storing a full carton of granular detergent material and is also capable of metering and dispensing a quantity of the deterf gent at the proper time in the washing cycle. Dispensers for a single load, so called one shot dispensers are, of course, well known. However, a satisfactory dispenser which will store a substantial quantity of granular material (enough for several lwasher loads) and dispense a predetermined amount in each successive washing cycle has never been successfully developed and marketed. Completely automatic dispensers which have been developed heretofore have been either too expensive, too bulky or of such improper design that moisture could reach the stored granules which resulted in malfunctioning of the dispenser due to lumping of the deter-gent material.
One object of this invention is to provide a granular .detergent dispenser for automatic clothes washers which obviates the above difficulties.
Another object of this invention is to provide a dispenser in which a -substantial quantity of granular detergent can be stored in an automaticwasher so that a lixed quantity can be ydispensed during successive washing cycles without recharging the dispenser.
Still another `object of this invention is the provision of a dispenser of this character in which the quantity of detergent material dispensed can be adjusted by the operator.
A further object of this invention is the provision of a dispenser which is mounted on the bottom of the lid of a top loading clothes washing machine so that its metering compartment is illed with the proper quantity of detergent to be ldispensed on the next washing cycle when the lid is opened between the end of the preceeding washing cycle and the beginning of the next washing cycle.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a granular detergent dispenser which i-s moisture-tight so that the granules will not tend to lump in receptacle.
Brieiiy and broadly stated, the granules dispenser is composed of a receptacle mounted on the underside of the lid of a top loading automatic clothes washer. The
machines has been -in the `direction of'making the machines "20 the dispenser receptacle is divided into a metering compartment and a much larger storage compartment by means of a stationary baille. The metering compartment ison the side of the dispenser adjacent the pivotal axis of the washer lid. When the lid is raised, granular material in the storage compartment ows over the bathe until the metering chamber is filled. A dump door is provided at the bottom vof the metering chamber. This door is opened at the proper time in the washing cycle so that the granules in the metering chamber will fall into the washer. Various means can be provided for adjusting the amount of detergent that will be dispensed when the dump door is opened. In this way, the operator can adjust the concentration of the washing solution depending upon the amount of soil in the clothes being washed. v
While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter regarded as forming the present invention, it is believed the invention will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE l is an elevation, in cross-section, showing the dispenser in several phases of its cycle; and,
FIGURE 2 is a plan View, partly in cross-section, of the -top of a clothes Washer showing the dispenser mounted on the underside of the lid; and,
FIGURE 3 is an elevation, in cross-section, taken along the lines 3--3 of FlGURE Zand showing the dispenser in detail; and
FIGURE 4 is a cross-section of the metering chamber and dump door actuating means taken along the lines 4 4 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 5 is an elevation, partly in cross-section, of a modiied form of dispenser showing an altogether different mechanism for varying the quantity of granules discharged; and,
FGURE 6 is a plan of the top of a clothes washer g with the ldispenser of FIGURE 5 mounted on the underside of the lid.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly FIG- URES 2 and 3, the reference numeral 10 is used to indicate generally a conventional top loading automatic clothes vwashing machine. The washing machine 10 is usually composed of an outer cabinet 11 and lid i12 pivoted to Vopen at the hinges 13. The dispenser receptacle 14 is attached to the underside of the lid 12.
The dispenser receptacle 14 -is composed of an arcuate side wall 15, angular side walls 16 and 17, side Walls 18 and l19, a downwardly curved back wall 20 and a bottom wall.21. A -second lid 22 mounted by hinges 23 and having a knob 24 is pivoted in the lid 12 of the Washing machine 10. A spring 25 and detent 26 normally hold the lid 22 in closed position. The Wal-ls 27, 28 and 29 together with the projection 30l form a partially enclosed hand grip 31 for grasping and raising the washer lid 12. By referring to the several views of IFIGURE l it will be seen that the receptacle 14 ts in the normally vacant space of conventional automatic washers between the top 32 of the agitator 33 and the washer lid 12.
The dispenser receptacle 14 is divided into a storage compartment 34 and a metering compartment 35 by means of the balile 36 formedby dividing wall portions 37 and 38. A dump door 39 is mounted at t-he bottom of the metering compartment 35 and is hinged for swinging movement by means of the shaft 40. The dump door 39 has a sharp edge 41 which lnormally bears on the soft rubber-gasket 42. The edge -41 bears against the gasket 42 around the entire periphery of the dump door 39 in order to make the inside of the receptacle 14 substantially vapor tight.
Means for varying the size of the metering compartment 35 are also provided. The mechanism for accomplishing this function is composed of a pivoted baille 43 attached to the shaft 44 and mounted for rotation in the side walls 18 and 19 as shown in FIGURE 4. A knob 45 is rigidly attached to one end of the shaft 44. A torsion spring 46 has one end engaging the knob 45 and the other end secured to the Wall 18. The torsion spring apagan? 46 normally biases the pivoted baffle 43 in a counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIGURE 3. The other end of the shaft 44 has a ratchet wheel 47 rigidly attached thereto. An angular lever 48 is pivoted to the side wall 19 by means of the screw 49. One arm of the lever 48 has a detent 5t] which engages the teeth of ratchet wheel 47 and the other arm 51 is attached to a spring 52. The other end of the spring 52 is secured to the dump door 37. Normally the spring 52 pulls the lever 48 in a counterclockwise direction so that the detent 50 engages the ratchet wheel 47.
Mechanism for opening the dump door 39 is also provided. A member 53 is rigidly attached to one end of the shaft 40. An actuating pin 54 can be moved outwardly by the solenoid 55. Normally, the end 56 of the pin S4 is very near the member 53 so that it can open the dump door 39 as will hereinafter be described.
In operation, the lid 22 is first raised and the storage compartment 34 filled with granular detergent material from a conventional commercial carton 56 as shown in view A of FIGURE 1. The lid 22 is then closed so that the spring 25 engages the detent 26. The hand grip 31 may then be grasped by the operator to raise the washer lid 12 as shown in view B of FIGURE 1. When in this position, the operator normally places a load of clothes in the washer basket 57 as is well known to those having skill in the automatic washer art. At the same time, the granular material in the storage compartment 34 will flow over the baie 36 and fill the metering compartment 35. The size of the metering compartment can be adjusted at this point by turning the knob thus rotating the baie 43 away from the wall 37. Usually the knob 45 is calibrated so that the operator can adjust the volume of the metering compartment 35 depending on the amount of soil and other washing conditions. The detent and the ratchet wheel 47 cooperate to form a well known type of ratchet arrangement which does not permit rotation of the baliie 43 unless the detent 50 is disengaged from` the ratchet wheel 47.
The lid 12 is then closed and the washer started by actuating the timer control mechanism 58. The timer 58 is wired to the solenoid 55 in such fashion, that the solenoid is energized at the proper time in the washing cycle so as to drop the granular detergent material and initiate washing of the soiled clothes. Energizing the solenoid 55 causes the pin 54 to move to the right as viewed in FIGURES 2, 3, and 4. This rotates the member 53 and consequently the shaft 40 and dump door 39 in clockwise fashion (as viewed in FIGURE 3) thus dumping the detergent material inside metering compartment 35 into the water in the clothes basket 57 as seen in view C, FIGURE l. At the same time, the member 53 is rotated sufficiently so that it strikes and moves the arm 51 causing the lever 48 to rotate clockwise against the bias of the spring 52. This latter action retracts the detent 50 from the ratchet wheel 47 causing the baffle 43 to pivot counterclockwise due to the torsion spring 46 until the end strikes against the bottom portion of the wall 37. When the solenoid 55 is de-energized, the pin 54 returns to its normal position and spring 52 closes the dump door 39 and permits reengagement of the detent 50 with the ratchet wheel 47. Thus, before initiating the next washing cycle and when introducing the clothes into the washer, the operator can again adjust for the quantity of detergent that is to be dispensed by merely rotating the knob 45 thereby adjusting the position of baffle 43. In this way the operator can adjust the quantity of detergent to the size of the load as -well as the soil in the load. The storage compartment 34 is sutliciently large to store a full box of detergent 56 so that several loads can be washed without refilling.
A modified form of the invention is shown in FIG- URE 5 and 6 wherein similar parts are identified by the same reference numerals used in describing the embodiment of FIGURES 1-4. In FIGURE 5, the dump door 39 is provided with extending brackets 61 which are rigidly secured to a shaft 62. The shaft 62 is rotatable in the bearings 63 which are attached to the side walls 18 and 19. A member 65 is rigidly attached to the shaft 61. A pair of torsion springs 66 (FIGURE 6) properly secured at their ends, are used to normally hold the dump door 39 closed. A flexible adjusting plate 67 is mounted for sliding movement over the dump door 39. A calibrated plunger 68 is attached to the plate 67 so that the latter can be moved when the washer lid 12 is closed. The plunger 68 projects through an opening 69 in the wall 70. Calibrations in suitable increments are provided on the plunger 63 so that the operator can properly position the plate 67 to control the amount of detergent that will he dispensed. An opening 70a is provided in the lid 22 to permit external access to the plunger 68 and to allow the operator to position the plate 67 without opening the lid 22.
In operation, the plunger 68 is moved to the desired position so that the edge 71 of the plate 67 will control the amount of detergent to be discharged. On opening the dump door 39, the granular material which is left unsupported and which lies to the left of the edge 71 will fall into the washer while the adjusting plate 67 will support any remaining detergent material in the metering compartment 35. Thus, it will be evident that the quantity of granular detergent discharged is directly related to the position of edge 71. If the edge 71 is adjacent to the wall 70, then, of course, there will be no detergent material dispensed. On the other hand, if the edge 71 is contiguous to the wall 37, then the entire contents of the metering compartment 35 will be discharged. The edge 71 of the plate 67 can be adjusted to any intermediate position in order to control the quantity discharged.
It will be evident, of course, that various other ways of controlling the quantity discharged are possible. Fox` example, it is possible to provide a plurality of side-byside pockets having individual dump doors in the metering chamber. Each pocket can have a fixed volume so that the quantity discharged can be varied by controlling the number of dump doors that are opened under the several pockets for any given washer load.
Obviously, of course, the metering device of this invention can be used without variable volume dispensing means so that a fixed quantity will be discharged for each washing cycle. This can be done by rigidly attaching the baffle 43 and eliminating the means for adjusting the baie 43. In such a case, however, it would not be possible to vary the concentration of the washing solution to compensate for differences in the amount of soil and the size of the load.
While particular embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can -be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such changes and modifications that are within the scope of this invention.
What is claimed as new is:
1. A detergent dispenser for a top loading automatic clothes washer comprising a receptacle mounted on the underside of an opening in the lid of said washer, a closure lid pivoted in said washer lid for covering the opening in said washer lid over said receptacle, a baffle for dividing the receptacle into a storage compartment and a metering compartment, said bafiie being positioned so that the metering compartment is on the side of the receptacle nearest the pivotal axis of the washer lid, said storage compartment being adapted to be filled with granular detergent material so that the granular detergent can flow over said bafie and fill said metering compartment when said washer lid is pivoted to the open position, closure means located in the bottom of the metering compartment, means for opening said closure means in response to a signal form the timer of said automatic clothes Washer, means for varying the volume of granular detergent material dispensed from said metering chamber on opening said closure means, said means for varying the Voluume of dispensed detergent comprising a sliding liexi'ble plate superposed over the closure means.
2. A detergent dispenser `for a top loading automatic clothes Washer comprising a recepetacle mounted on the underside of an opening in the lid of said Washer, a closure lid pivoted in said Washer lid for covering the opening in said washer lid over said receptacle, a baille for dividing the receptacle into a storage compartment and a metering compartment having side walls, said baie being positioned so that the metering compartment is on the side of the receptacle nearest the pivotal axis of the washer lid, said storage compartment being adapted to be lled with Igranular detergent material so that the granular detergent can ow over said baie and fill said metering compartment when said washer lid is pivoted to the open position, closure means located in the bottom of the metering compartment, means for opening said closure means in response to a signal from the timer of said automatic clothes washer, means for varying the volume of granular detergent material dispensed from said metering chamber on opening said closure means, said means for varying the volume of granular detergent material comprising a bale pivoted inside said metering compartment Iby means of a shaft extending through the side walls of the metering compartment, one end of said shaft having a knob attached thereto for changing the position of said pivoted baille, the other end of said shaft having a ratchet wheel attached thereto, and a spring biased detent engaging said ratchet Wheel to hold the pivoted baie in position after it is properly adjusted by means of said knob.
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