US 3152723 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 13, 1964 R. L. PERL ETAL LIQUID DISPENSING DEVICE Filed Dec. 2l, 1961 FIG. I
INVENTORS RICHARD L. PERL 8| BYHOWARD P. MILLIKIN ATTORNEYS United States Patent O 3,152,723 LIQUID DISPENSING DEVICE Richard L. Perl and'Howard P. Millikin, Mansfield, Glrio, assignors to The Tappan Company, Mansfield, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Dec. 21, 1961, Ser. No. 161,039 2 Claims. (Cl. 222-23) This invention relates to a liquid dispenser device and, more particularly, it relates to a dispensing device for installation in the door of an automatic dishwasher.
In recent models of front loading automatic dishwashers, it has become desirable to include a dispenser for liquid detergent in the door of the dishwasher, preferably connected to suitable mechanism for appropriately timed automatic discharge of a measured lesser quantity of the additive liquid to the interior of the closed machine. The container, as indicated, will be sutliciently large yto hold enough liquid for a number of washing cycles, and mounting thereof within the door, i.e., between the inner and outer door liners, both conserves space and provides convenient access, with only a capped opening projecting through the inner door liner for refilling of liquid. It is obvious that such a construction will not easily permit one to know when the liquid is nearly exhausted.
It is therefore an object of this invenion to provide a liquid dispensing device including means for indicating the condition at which the supply of liquid in the same is near exhaustion.
Another object is to provide an indicator in such a device which is of economical nature and can readily be incorporated in the dispenser assembly as the same would normally be installed in the dishwasher door.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawings setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but a few of the various ways in which the principle of the invention may be employed.
In said annexed drawings:
FIG. l is a front elevation view of a front loading dishwasher showing the device of this invention in phantom;
FIG. 2 is a sectional elevation View taken along line 2--2 of FIG. l through the dishwasher door;
FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view of the device shown in FIG. 2 in its horizontal position when the device is substantially full of liquid;
FIG. 4 is a partial plan view of the device in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a view identical to FIG. 3 except that the liquid in the device is nearly exhausted;
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the device shown in FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the cap shown in FIGS. 2 through 6.
Referring now to the drawings, the dishwasher 16 has a front opening door 11 which is vertical when closed and substantially horizontal when open. A door handle 12 is located beneath the control panel 13, the latter having a timer 14 and an operating light 15. The liquid dispensing device including the container' 16 is located between the outer door liner 17 and the inner door liner 1S. A tube 19 leads from this container to a suitable automatic discharge mechanism (not shown) such, for example, as that described in the copending application of Richard L. Perl, Serial No. 89,245, filed February 14, 1961, now
2 Patent No. 3,107,824 and a vent 25 is provided in the upper end of the container 16 to permit smooth liquid liow out through the tube 19.
An externally threaded container lill tube 20 protrudes through inner door liner 18 with the container 16 obscured completely from view. A cap 21 is provided to close tube 20 which carries` a translucent elongated member 22 extending through the cap downwardly almost in contact with the opposed inner wall ofthe container 16. The inner end of the translucent member 22 has an irregular surface 23 which may be in the shape of a cross as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7. It is only necessary that the irregular surface 23 have grooves or protrusions thereon which can be observed as an image at the outer exposed end of the translucent member. In the preferred embodiment, outer end 24 will be slightly convex as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5 so as to form a lens thereby enlarging the image of surface 23 when visible by sighting through the member.
The translucent elongated member 22 is preferably made from a transparent or translucent glass or plastic which is also resistant to the liquid employed, e.g., styrene, acrylates or the like. The member 22 may be separately formed and fitted into cap 21 or both may be formed as an integrally molded piece of plastic complete with screw threads and irregular surface 23.
Preferably the opening 20 will be located in the upper portion of container 16 when the door 11 is vertical so that the irregular surface will usually be above the liquid level for a substantial period of use before exhaustion is approached, thereby permitting the liquid to drain from the surface when the door is in its vertical position.
The container 16 is filled by opening the door 11 to the horizontal position, removing cap 21 and filling the container with the liquid detergent to a level approximately as shown in FIG. 3. When the door is in this position and the liquid level is high enough so that the irregular surface 23 is completely surrounded by liquid, the irregularities of the surface 23 will not appear through the end of the member 22 in view of the closeness of the refractive indices of the liquid and the member. However, when the liquid is suiiiciently exhausted and its level is below surface 23 as shown in FIG. 5, then the image of the surface 23 will be clearly visible at the cap as shown in FIG. 6 because of the greater difference between the refractive index of the translucent material and the refractive index of surrounding air. Therefore, when the image of surface 23 is visible as in FIG. 6 with the door open, the user is alerted that the liquid dispensing device should be refilled Without the necessity of using other level measuring devices.
The liquid dispensing device of this invention accordingly has the distinct advantage of indicating near exhaustion of the liquid supply without the use of oats, dip sticks, pressure devices or the like and is accommodated in the door without requiring any vadded structural modication of the latter.
Other modes of applying the principle of the invention may be employed, change being made as regards the details described, provided the features state in any of the following claims or the equivalent of such be employed.
We therefore, particularly point out and distinctly claim as our invention:
l. In a dishwasher having a door movable between a vertical closed position and a horizontal open position, said door comprising inner and outer door liners, a liquid dispensing container located within said door between said inner and outer liners, said container having an opening in the bottom thereof with a pipe leading therefrom to a dispensing means, said container further having an exposed inlet protruding through said inner door liner, a cap for closing said exposed inlet, said cap having a translucent elongated member extending therethrough into said container, the outer end of said translucent member being convex and the inner end thereof having an irregular surface, with said translucent member and said liquid having refractive indices such that the irregularities of said surface can be observed through the exposed convex end of said member when said surface is surrounded by air but not when said surface is surrounded by the liquid, said convex end of said translucent member magnifying such irregularities when observable.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein said cap and translucent elongated member are unitary.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Kryzanowsky Oct. 25, 1932 toddard Mar. 17, 1942 Sauer Nov. 10, 1942 Murphy May 3, 1949 Brown et al May 29, 1951 Yocurn Apr. 19, 1960 Brucken July 26, 1960 Lines Dec. 12, 1961