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Publication numberUS3144759 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 18, 1964
Filing dateJun 27, 1963
Priority dateJun 27, 1963
Publication numberUS 3144759 A, US 3144759A, US-A-3144759, US3144759 A, US3144759A
InventorsJohn Bochan
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Washing machine
US 3144759 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 18, 1964 J. BOCHAN WASHING MACHINE Filed June 27, 1963 INVENTOR. BOCHAN H\ s ATTORN Y United States Patent O 3,144,759 WASHING MACHINE John Bochan, Louisville, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed June 27, 1963, Ser. No. 291,17@ 6 Claims. (Cl. 6823) This invention relates to clothes washing machines, and more particularly to such machines where an improved arrangement is provided for preventing excessive sudsing within the machine.

Automatic clothes washing machines are used in large numbers for domestic use and it sometimes occurs that the operator of the machine misjudges the amount of soap or detergent that should be provided for a particular load of clothes. While this does not create any particular problem where a low sudsing detergent is used, it does create a problem where the more conventional detergents and soaps are used since these tend to produce large quantities of suds under the conditions which exist in most domestic washing machines. If the amount of suds becomes too excessive, the operation of the washing machine can actually become impaired. It is therefore highly desirable to prevent an over-sudsing condition from occurring even if the operator misjudges as to the proper amount of soap or detergent that should be used.

It is accordingly an object of my invention to provide an improved washing machine where means for preventing over-sudsing from occurring are provided.

More specifically, it is an object of my invention to provide an improved washing machine where excessive suds are drawn off by a pump, and beaten down into a relatively small-and harmless-volume.

In one aspect of my invention, I provide a clothes washing machine in which the usual liquid and clothes receptacle means is provided, together with washing means for effecting the cleansing of clothes in the receptacle means. A conduit connected to the pump inlet of a relatively high speed rotary pump has its open end positioned in an opening in the receptacle means, above the liquid level so as to draw any excessive suds into the pump. The outlet of the pump may either be connected directly to a drain, or may be connected to a second conduit means so as to discharge back into the receptacle means.

It has been found that relatively high speed means rotating means tend to beat suds into a thick syrupy consistency of small volume so that they no longer represent an obstacle to the proper operation of the washing machine. This is in opposition to the effect of a relatively slow agitation or rotation of a member through detergentbearing liquid: this has the effect of tending to produce suds. Consequently, the terms relatively fast and relatively slow, as used herein, are with reference to the speed required to beat suds into a syrupy consistency as opposed to lower speeds which actually cause suds generation. While the precise speed which should be used for beating down suds will, of course, vary with many design considerations, the specific example set forth hereinafter in the detailed description may be taken as one example of a relatively high speed pump operation.

The features of my invention which I believe to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself however, both as to organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood .by reference to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing.

In the drawing, the single figure is a schematic front elevational view of a washing machine which includes my new and improved system for preventing excessive ice sudsing, the view being partially in section to illustrate details.

Referring now to the drawing, I have shown therein in schematic form an agitator type washing machine, generally indicated by the numeral 1. Machine 1 includes a clothes basket 2 having perforations 3 over its side and bottom walls and disposed within an outer imperforate tub or casing 4, the basket 2 and tub 4 forming together liquid and clothes receptacle means. Tub 4 is mounted within an appearance cabinet, generally indicated in dotted outline by the numeral 5, which includes an appropriate body portion 6 enclosing the operating components of the machine and, in addition, the usual backsplasher or control panel 7 which is secured to the top of body portion 6 at the rear thereof. Panel 7 may in the conventional way include an appropriate dial and control, generally shown by the numeral 8, so as to permit selection of a particular desired washing sequence.

At the center of basket 2 there is provided a vertical axis agitator 9 which includes a center post 10 and a plurality of curved vanes 11 extending out from the center post and connected together at their base by a flared skirt 12. Both basket 2 and the agitator 9 are movably mounted. Conventionally, the basket is mounted for rotation and the agitator is mounted for some type of oscillatory motion which will effect a washing action on clothes in the basket. In one conventional structure, the clothes basket 2 may be secured to a hollow shaft member 13 and the agitator may be secured to a shaft 14 which extends up within shaft 13 in rotatable relation thereto.

During a typical cycle of operation of machine 1, tub 4 is filled and the agitator 9 is oscillated back and forth within basket 2 to wash the clothes therein. Then, after a predetermined period of this washing action, basket 2 is rotated at high speed to extract centrifugally the washing liquid. Following this extraction operation, a supply of clean liquid is introduced into the wash basket for rinsing the clothes, and the agitator is again oscillated. Finally, the basket is once more rotated at high speed to extract the rinse water.

Basket 2 and agitator 9 are driven from a reversible drive motor 15 which drives the basket and the agitator through a drive including a clutch 16 mounted on the motor shaft. Clutch 16 allows the motor to start without load and then pick up the load as it comes up to speed. A suitable belt 17 transmits power to transmission assembly 18 through a pulley 19. Thus, depending upon the direction of motor rotation, pulley 19 of transmission 18 is driven in opposite directions.

Transmission 18 is so arranged that it supports and drives both shafts 13 and 14. When motor 15 is rotated in one direction the transmission causes the agitator 9 to be oscillated through shaft 14. Conversely, when the motor is driven in the opposite direction the transmission drives the wash basket 2 and the agitator 9 together at high speed through shafts 13 and 14 for centrifugal extraction of liquid from the clothes. While the particular form of the drivemeans does not form part of the present invention, reference is made to Patent 2,844,225 issued on July 22, 1958 to James R. Hubbard et a1. and owned by the General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention. That patent discloses in detail the structural characteristics of a transmission suitable for use in the illustrated machine.

In order to introduce washing and rinsing liquid into the assembly of basket 2 and tub 4, suitable conduit means (not shown) are provided for leading hot and cold water to the machine. The passage of cold water may be controlled by a valve 20 whose position in turn is controlled by a solenoid assembly partially shown by the numeral 21. As is well known in the art, when solenoid 21 is energized the valve is opened and cold water may flow through the valve into conduit 22, and then from outlet 23 into the tub 4. When solenoid 21 is de-energized valve 20 is closed and there is no fiow of cold Water into tub 4. In similar fashion, the flow of hot water is controlled by a valve 24 which in turn is controlled by a solenoid partially shown by the numeral 25. Energization of solenoid 25 causes hot water to flow from conduit 22 out through opening 23, and de-energization of the solenoid closes the valve.

In addition to operating transmission 18 as described, motor 15 also provides a direct drive through a flexible coupling 26 to a pump structure, generally indicated by the numeral 27, which includes separate pumping unlts 28 and 29 both operated in the same direction simultaneously by motor 15. Pump 28 is connected by an inlet conduit 30 to an opening 31 formed at the lowermost point of tub 4. Pump 28 is also connected through an outlet conduit 32 to a suitable external drain, which in this case is represented by the stand pipe 33. Conduit 32 is formed so that it has a rising portion 34 and then a U-shaped trap 35 in which liquid will generally remain to the level shown by dotted line 36 so as to prevent any tendency for air or other matter to be pumped back through conduit 32 from stand pipe 33.

Pump 28 is formed so that in the spin direction of motor rotation it will draw in liquid from opening 31 through conduit 30 and discharge it through conduit 32 to drain. The pump is rotated in the opposite direction by motor 15 during washing of clothes, and the result of that reverse rotation will be described hereinafter.

Pump 29 has an inlet which is connected by an inlet conduit 37 to the interior of tub 4, preferably adjacent the bottom opening 31 thereof as shown, and also has an outlet connected by an outlet conduit 38 to a nozzle 39 positioned over basket 2 so as to discharge thereinto. In the wash direction of motor rotation, pump 29 draws liquid in through conduit 37 and discharges it through conduit 38 and nozzle 39; in the opposite direction of retation, pump 29 is substantially ineffective, merely tending to draw air in through nozzle 39 and discharge it through opening 31 at the bottom of the tub.

Pump assembly 27 is, in the preferred embodiment of my invention, as shown, provided in the form of two turbine type pumps 28 and 29 both driven by motor 15, it being well known that turbine type pumps reverse their pumping direction when their direction of rotation is reversed. However, in the broad aspect of my invention, as set forth herebelow, it will be seen that other specific pump structures may be used.

Nozzle 39 is positioned to discharge into a filter pan 40 secured on the top portion 41 of agitator 9 so as to be movable therewith. With this structure then, when the motor is rotating so as to provide agitation, the liquid discharged from nozzle 39 by pump 29 passes substantially horizontally across an air gap and then into the filter pan 40. The filter pan has a perforated bottom (not shown) which acts as a lint filter, causing lint which is separated from the clothes during a washing operation to be filtered out of the water and thus preventing it from being redeposited on the clothes. This type of structure is more fully described and claimed in Patent 2,481,979 issued to Russell H. Colley on September 13, 1949 and assigned -to the General Electric Company, owner of the present invention.

It will be observed that the receptacle means represented by tub 4 and basket 2 is open at its top, and that the open end 42 of a conduit section 43 is positioned adjacent that opening. Conduit section 43 is connected to conduit 32 near the top of the upwardly rising portion 34, so that portion 34 of conduit 32 and the conduit section 43 form together a conduit connecting the drain pump 28 to open end 42 of conduit section 43. In efiect, then, conduit 32 has two openings, one positioned to discharge to drain and the other positioned in the open top of basket 2 and tub 4.

A check valve 44 is provided which permits communication between conduit section 43 and conduit 32 only when drain pump 28 is operating in the direction opposite to that required for draining operations. As previously explained, this is the case during washing operations: the drain pump is then actually pumping toward conduit 30 and opening 31. When the other direction of rotation of the pump 28 is provided, as is true during spin, the pressure within conduit 32 causes check valve 44 to close thereby sealing off conduit section 43 and opening 42 from the pump. The net result is that during washing operations, when pump 28 is pumping from conduit 32 to conduit 30, conduits 32 and 43 act in essence as a single conduit, but are not connected together for the opposite direction of rotation.

Conduit 32 is connected, preferably at a point in the upwardly rising portion 34 thereof, to conduit 38 by a brief conduit section 45. The result of this connection, it can be seen, is that during a washing operation, when pump 29 is pumping liquid up through conduit 38, a small amount of this liquid will be side-tracked through conduit 45 and will then pass down through conduit 32 back into pump 28. The reason for this provision is that it is desired to make pump 28 effective during the washing operation, as will be described herebelow; for a turbine pump to be effective some liquid should be provided to it in order to prime it sufficiently to cause it to effect any substantial suction at its inlet. Thus, this connection 45 between conduits 32 and 38 causes the needed effectiveness of pump 28 during washing.

If excessive sudsing occurs during washing, the suction resulting at opening 42 of conduit 43 from the operation of pump 28 causes all the suds to be drawn into the conduit 43 and then passed into conduit 32 to pump 28. It may be assumed that, in the present embodiment, the motor 15 is a conventional four pole induction motor operating on 60 cycle alternating current power, and therefore it rotates pump 28 through a direct drive at about 1725 rpm. It has been found that a turbine pump operating at this speed will, when suds are drawn into it as in the manner described, beat these suds down into a somewhat syrupy mass thereby decreasing their volume enormously and precluding the suds from becoming a problem.

The pump 28 then passes out the viscous liquid resulting from the beating of the suds. In the present em bodiment, the viscous liquid is passed through conduit 30, and the major part of it will then be drawn through conduit 37 by pump 28 and passed up through conduit 38 and back through the lint filter 40 into the washing machine to remain there until the end of the wash step. This layer of viscous liquid lies on top of the washing solution and prevents any further air from being entrained into the solution. Thus, not only are the excess suds already created compressed into a viscous fluid, but also creation of any further suds is substantially precluded. At the end of the wash step, of course, the reverse rotation of the motor 15 causes pump 28 to act in a conventional way as a drain pump and evacuate all the liquid in the machine, including the beaten suds, out through conduit 32 to the standpipe 33.

It will thus been seen from the foregoing that in the event the operator of the machine provides an excessive quantity of high sudsing detergent or soap in machine 1, the structure I have provided will preclude the dangers and difliculties normally associated with over-sudsing. In addition to the broad concept, it will be seen that an important contribution to the art has been made in a narrower sense by causing the pump which normally effects draining to give this additional function so that the function is thereby provided at a very low additional cost.

It will be understood that, while in accordance with the patent statutes, I have described what at present is considered to be the preferred embodiment of my invention,

it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from my invention, and it is therefore aimed in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A clothes washing machine comprising:

(a) liquid and clothes receptacle means having an opening at the top thereof;

(b) washing means for effecting the cleansing of clothes in said receptacle means;

(0) a rotary pump having an inlet and an outlet;

(0!) means for operating said pump at a relatively high speed during washing of clothes;

(e) first conduit means having one end connected to said pump inlet and the other end positioned above the liquid level reached in said receptacle means adjacent said opening;

(1) and second conduit means having one end connected so said pump outlet and the other end positioned over said receptacle means so as to discharge back into said receptacle means from the top thereof.

2. A clothes washing machine comprising:

(a) liquid and clothes receptacle means having an opening at the top thereof;

(b) washing means for effecting the cleansing of clothes in said receptacle means;

(0) a reversible rotary pump having first and second pump openings;

(d) means for operating said pump at a relatively high speed in both directions;

(e) first conduit means having one end connected to one of said pump openings and the other end connected to the bottom of said receptacle means;

(f) second conduit means having one end connected to said second pump opening and having a pair of conduit openings, one of said conduit openings being positioned to discharge to drain and the other of said conduit openings being positioned above the liquid level reached in said receptacle means adjacent said opening at the top thereof, said pump operating in the direction to cause suction to be provided at said other conduit opening during operation of said washing means;

(g) and means for closing off said other conduit opening when said pump is run in a direction to discharge from said first pump opening to said second pump opening.

3. The apparatus defined in claim 2 wherein a second pump and recirculation conduit means are provided for recirculating liquid from the bottom of said receptacle means back into the top thereof during operation of said Washing means, said second conduit means being connected to said recirculation conduit means downstream of said recirculation pump thereby to provide a continuous flow of liquid to said reversible rotary pump during operation thereof concurrently with operation of said washing means.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 3 wherein said reversible rotary pump is a turbine-type pump.

5. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said rotary pump is a turbine-type pump.

6. A clothes washing machine comprising:

(a) liquid and clothes receptacle means comprising a liquid retaining tub open at the top thereof, and a perforated clothes basket rotatably mounted Within said tub and also open at the top thereof;

(b) Washing means extending into said clothes basket for effecting the cleansing of clothes therein;

(0) a rotary pump having an inlet and an outlet;

(d) means for operating said pump at a relatively high speed during operation of said Washing means;

(e) first conduit means having one end connected to said pump inlet and the other end positioned above the liquid level reached in said tub and basket and positioned ardjacent the open tops thereof;

(1) and second conduit means having one end connected to said pump outlet and the other end arranged to discharge back into said tub and basket adjacent the top thereof.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 17,945 Burke Feb. 3, 1931 Re. 20,699 Brennan Apr. 19, 1938 933,618 Brammer Sept. 7, 1909 1,172,296 Lester Feb. 22, 1916 1,925,462 Rosenbaum Sept. 5, 1933

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US933618 *Jan 27, 1909Sep 7, 1909Samuel V BrammerWashing-machine.
US1172296 *Aug 7, 1915Feb 22, 1916Richard MerrifieldWashing-machine.
US1925462 *Aug 4, 1930Sep 5, 1933Rosenbaum Rudolph RDry cleaning machine
USRE17945 *Dec 21, 1921Feb 3, 1931By Mesne AssignMents
USRE20699 *Apr 3, 1934Apr 19, 1938by diWashing apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3246494 *Mar 25, 1964Apr 19, 1966Philco CorpLaundry apparatus
US3266274 *Jun 16, 1964Aug 16, 1966Philco CorpLaundry apparatus
US4271861 *Oct 11, 1979Jun 9, 1981General Electric CompanyDishwasher fill level control arrangement
US4754770 *May 22, 1986Jul 5, 1988Eltek S.P.A.Dishwasher equipped with a single, unidirectional electric motor for washing and drain cycles
US4911197 *May 2, 1989Mar 27, 1990Estep William EDrain standpipe
US4930552 *Oct 13, 1989Jun 5, 1990Estep William EDrain standpipe
US5046337 *Feb 22, 1990Sep 10, 1991Ro Abraham EClothes washer and dry cleaner
US5154071 *Dec 28, 1990Oct 13, 1992Whirlpool CorporationCentrifugal valve for jet selection in an automatic washer
US7556050 *Dec 6, 2005Jul 7, 2009Lg Electronics Inc.Self-drainage preventing structure of dish washer
U.S. Classification68/23.5, 68/23.7, 68/208, 68/184, 68/183
International ClassificationD06F13/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F13/00
European ClassificationD06F13/00