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Publication numberUS3169541 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1965
Filing dateDec 26, 1963
Priority dateDec 26, 1963
Publication numberUS 3169541 A, US 3169541A, US-A-3169541, US3169541 A, US3169541A
InventorsCushing Donald S
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Washing machine having improved closure member sealing means
US 3169541 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 16, 1965 D s. CUSHING 3,169,541

WASHING MACK-111 15 HAVING IMPROVED CLOSURE MEMBER SEALING MEANS Filed Dec. 26, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG] INVENTOR. DONALD S. CUSHIN6 BYM H l 5 ATTORNEY Feb. 16, 1965 D. s. CUSHING 3,169,541

WASHING MACHINE HAVING IMPROVED CLOSURE MEMBER SEALING MEANS Filed Dec. 26, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. DONALD S. CUSHNG BY g 5 M5 ATTORNQY United States Patent 3,169,541 WASHING MAtIHiNE HAVHQG MRQVED QLGSURE MEMBER SEALEQG MEANS Donald S. Cushing, Louisville, Ky, amignor to General Eiectric Company, a corporation of New Yuri; Filed Dec. 26, 1953, Ser. No. 333,349 4 (32211215. (Cl. 134-191) This invention relates generally to automatic washing machins and, more particularly, to means for providing a seal for the closure member of an automatic washing machine.

It is necessary in many types of washing machines to provide some means to seal the closure member which, when open, allows access to the interior of the machine. This is particularly true in an automatic dishwasher wherein the wash action involves vigorous spray and splash of wash fluids Within the machine. Several means have been heretofore proposed to effect such sealing; however, many of these means necessitate reliance upon resiliency of a gasket-like element to achieve a seal. Essentially all materials which are presently available for use as gaskets or seals tend to lose their resiliency with age and continuous use. Accordingly, it would be desirable to have a seal for the closure member of a washing machine which does not rely upon the aforementioned resiliency of the gasket material.

Moreover, in some types of washing machines, and particularly in automatic dishwashers, it has been found that a wash fluid spray source at the top of the wash chamber enhances the efliciency of the machine. In an automatic dishwasher, for example, such a spray source greatly reduces redeposition of food particles on the horizontally dispbsed upper surfaces of the articles being washed. However, having a spray source at the top of the wash chamber usually necessitates expensive conduit to convey wash fluid thereto from a sump and pump located near the bottom of the wash chamber.

It is an object of this invention to provide an improved means to seal around the closure member of an automatic Washing machine.

It is another object of this invention to provide an improved means to convey wash fluid to a spray source at the top of the wash chamber in an automatic washing machine.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a combined closure member sealing means and wash fluid conduit between a pump and a spray source in an automatic washing machine.

Briefly stated, in accordance with one aspect of this invention, there is provided a washing machine having a cabinet, a wash chamber within the cabinet which is adapted to receive articles to be washed therein, an access opening in the cabinet to provide access to the wash chamber and a closure member for the access opening. A spray device is positioned within the wash chamber and is adapted to eflect a wash action therein. Sealing means, including a hollow inflatable member, are provided to effect a seal between the closure member and the cabinet. A pump is provided and is adapted to withdraw wash fluid from the wash chamber and pump it to the inflatable member so as to inflate or expand the inflatable member to effect the seal. The inflatable 3,15%,54-1 Patented Feb. 16, 1965 member has an outlet communicating with the spray device whereby the wash fluid which inflates the inflatable member also passes through the spray device to eflect a wash action within the wash chamber.

While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention, it is believed the invention will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a elevational view, partially cut away to show details, of a top opening automatic washing machine employing the present invention; .and

FIGURE 2 is an elevational view, partially cut away to show details, of a front opening or drop door automatic washing machine employing the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURE 1, there is shown an automatic washing machine in the form of an automatic dishwasher 19. Dishwasher 10 has an outer cabinet 11 which forms the side walls of a wash chamber 12. Disposed within wash chamber 12 are racks 13 and 14 which are adapted to receive and support articles to be washed Within chamber 12. Wash chamber 12 is further defined by a bottom wall 15 which is recessed near its center to form a sump 16. Disposed within sump 16 and supported by wall 15 is a motor-pump assembly 17, comprising an electric drive motor 18 and a pump 19. Pump 19 is provided with an inlet 20 and is designed such that when motor 18 drives pump 19 in one direction of rotation wash fluids are withdrawn from sump 16 through inlet 2% and pump out through a discharge outlet 21 which may be connected to a suitable sewer system (not shown).

Positioned atop pump 19 is a reaction type spray arm 22 and an extendable spray tube 23. When motor 18 drives pump 19 in the direction opposite that which effects discharge through outlet 21, wash fluid is withdrawn from sump 16 through inlet 20 and pumped up into spray arm 22 and spray tube 23. Openings are provided in both the spray arm 22 and the spray tube 23 so that spray arm 22 effects a wash action on articles supported by rack 14 while spray tube 23 eflects a wash action upon articles supported by rack 13. Spray tube 23 extends upwardly, to the position shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 1, under the influence of pressure created by the wash fluid being pumped by pump 19. This extended position of tube 23 provides more effective wash action upon the articles supported by rack 13.

With the exception of the extendable feature of spray tube 23, motor-pump assembly 17, spray arm 22 and spray tube 23 all may be substantially as disclosed in US Patent 3,084,701 issued to A. L. Hardy et al., dated April 9, 1963 and assigned to the assignee of the present invention.

To enhance the wash action within chamber 12, a spray device 24 is positioned in the top wall of wash chamber 12. Wash fluid is conveyed to the spray device 24 in the following manner. As motor-pump assembly 17 operates in the direction wherein wash fluid is pumped through v spray arm 22 and spray tube 23, a portion of the wash fluid drawn from sump 16 through inlet 20 is pumped out through a conduit 25, extending from motor-pump assembly 17 up to a point near the top of wash chamber 12. By means to be discussed more fully hereinafter, conduit 25 is in communication with a second conduit 26. Conduit 26 is (L'sposed within a closure member 27. Closure member 27, of course, serves to close the access opening to wash chamber 12. In the particular embodiment shown in FIGURE 1, closure member 27 comprises substantially the entire top wall of Wash chamber 12. Since conduit 26 is disposed within a movable closure member, a coupling 28 is provided to allow disconnection of conduit 26 as closure member 27 is opened.

The means interconnecting conduits 25 and 25 is in the form of a hollow inflatable member 29 which circumscribes the access opening to wash chamber 12 and is positioned to engage closure member 27 when closure member 27 is closed and inflatablemember 29 is inflated. In accordance with the invention, as pump 19 is operated in the direction of rotation to eflect a wash action within chamber 12, wash fluid is pumped from sump 16 through conduit 25 to inflatable member 2% Conduit 25 communicates with the interior of member 29 by means of an inlet 39. As the wash'fluid is introduced into member 29, under pressure created by pump 19, member 29 expands to engage a portion of closure member 27, thereby eflecting a seal between cabinet 11 and closure member 27. An outlet 31 interconnects the interior of member 29 with coupling 28 so that the wash fluid pumped into member 29 may be conducted to spray device 24 from which it re-enters wash chamber 12 and creates a wash action upon articles supported by rack 13 as it leaves spray device 24.

The spray device 24 may be substantially the same as that disclosed in U.S. Patent 2,987,260 issued to R. M. Sasnett, dated June 6, 1961 and assigned to the assignee of the present invention. The exact design of spray device 24 is not critical to the present invention and, therefore, spray device 24 may comprise only an element with one or more openings therein to provide a spray action. That is, it may comprise a device quite similar to a conventional shower head.

Quite obviously, by correlating the size of the spray openings in spray device 24 with the volume and pressure of the wash fluid pumped by pump 19, the degree of expansion of inflatable member 29, and in turn the tightness of the seal between cabinet 11 and closure member 27, may be maintained within suitable limits.

It should be noted that pressure is applied to the interior of member 29 only when pump 19 is operating to effect a wash action within chamber 12. Accordingly, member 29 is providing a seal only during the periods when a seal is necessary, i.e., only when wash fluids are being sprayed about within chamber 12. This provides an ancillary advantage since during the drying operation in a dishwasher it is helpful to vent the wash chamber. Inflatable member 29, by collapsing due to absence of operation of pump 19 during drying, provides a vent opening around closure member 27 In FIGURE 2 there is illustrated an embodiment of the a present invention whereinthe invention is employed with a from opening, or drop door, Washing machine. Since most of the elements comprising the washing machine shown in FIGURE 2 are identical to the elements comprising the washing machine shown'in FIGURE 1, these elements have been given identical reference numerals. The primary differences between the embodiment of FIG- URE 2 and the embodiment of FIGURE lis that, in the embodiment of FIGURE 2, couplingZSis obviated and conduit 25 is shortened somewhat since it connects to the inflatable member near the bottom of cabinet 11.

Thus, it can be seen that the present invention provides an improved sealing means for the closure member of an automatic washing machine. This improved sealing means is in the form of an inflatable member which provides a seal between the washing machine cabinet and b the closure member as it inflated. Moreover, this member is inflated by wash fluids being recirculated within the washing machine to effect a wash action therein.

As will be evident from the foregoing description, certain aspects of the invention are not limited to the particular details of construction of the example illustrated, and it is contemplated that various and other modifications or applications will occur to those skilled in the art. It is therefore intended tnat the appended claims shall cover such modifications and applications as do not depart from the true spirit and scope of the invention.

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

1. An automatic washing machine comprising:

(a) a cabinet,

([2) a wash chamber within said cabinet adapted to receive articles to be washed therein and further adapted to contain wash fluids for washing the articles,

(c) an access opening in said cabinet to provide access to said wash chamber,

(41') a closure member for said access opening,

(e) a spray device within said wash chamber to effect a wash action therein,

(f) sealing means to effect a seal around said closure member including a hollow inflatablemember,

(g) a pump adapted to withdraw wash fluid from said wash chamber and pump it to said inflatable member, and

(h) an outlet in said inflatable member communicating with said spray device.

2. An automatic washing machine comprising:

(a) a cabinet,

(b) a wash chamber within said cabinet,

(c) an access opening in said cabinet to provide access to said wash chamber,

((1') a closure member for said access opening,

(e) means within said cabinet to effect a wash action within said wash chamber and including a spray device carried by the top'wall of said wash chamber,

(f) said means including a pump having an inlet in communication with said wash chamber, and

(g) sealing means to effect a seal between said cabinet and said closure member when said closure member is closed,

(It) said sealing means including a hollow inflatable member having an inlet in communication with the outlet of said pump,

(1) said inflatable member further having an outlet in communication with said spray device.

3. An automatic washing machine comprising:

(a) a cabinet,

(b) a wash chamber within said cabinet adapted to receive articles to be washed therein and further adapted to contain wash fluids for washing the articles,

(c) an access opening in the top wall of said cabinet to provide access to said wash chamber,

(d) a closure member for said access opening,

(2) a spray device carried by said closure member and adapted to efiect a Wash action within said wash chamber when said closure member is closed,

(f) sealing means to efiect a seal around said closure member including a hollow inflatable member,

(g) a pump adapted to-withdraw wash fluid from said wash chamber and pump it to said inflatable member, and

(h) an outlet in said inflatable member communicating with said spray device.

4. An automatic washing machine comprising:

(a) a cabinet,

(b) a wash chamber within said cabinet adapted to receive articles to be washed therein and further adapted to contain wash fluids for washing the articles,

(c) an access opening in said cabinet to provide access to said wash chamber, (d) a closure member for said access opening, (e) a spray device within said wash chamber to effect a wash action therein, 5 (f) sealing means to eflect a seal around said closure member including an expandable conduit, (g) a pump adapted to withdraw wash fluid from said wash chamber and pump it to said conduit, and (h) an outlet in said conduit communuicating with said 10 spray device.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,082,259 12/13 Baumiller et a1 134-191 Jewel 134-200 X Peterson 22046 X Schwartz 220-46 Fullerton 134200 X Kaye 22046 Barnebey 220-46 Guth 13457 Guth 134176 CHARLES A. WILLMUTH, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1082259 *Dec 5, 1912Dec 23, 1913John BaumillerDish-washing machine.
US1687617 *Oct 15, 1924Oct 16, 1928American Sterilizer CoWater seal for cleaning devices
US2033355 *Apr 26, 1932Mar 10, 1936Peterson Frederick OWashing machine
US2201322 *Aug 31, 1938May 21, 1940Barrel Fitting & Seal CorpSheet metal container
US2238044 *Nov 16, 1936Apr 15, 1941Fullerton James BDishwasher
US2690854 *Mar 6, 1950Oct 5, 1954Lee Kaye RobertClosure for open headed drums
US2691460 *Sep 27, 1950Oct 12, 1954Blaw Knox CoGasket sealing and cooling system
US2836186 *Dec 14, 1955May 27, 1958Gen ElectricWashing apparatus with tub sealing system
US3077200 *May 5, 1961Feb 12, 1963Gen ElectricMultiple spray structure for dishwashers and the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3458241 *Oct 18, 1967Jul 29, 1969Whirlpool CoDishwasher
US6698439 *Jul 2, 2001Mar 2, 2004Tokyo Electron LimitedProcessing apparatus with sealing mechanism
US7850784Nov 29, 2005Dec 14, 2010Maytag CorporationLid seal for a drawer-type dishwasher
EP1021123A1 *Jan 30, 1998Jul 26, 2000FISHER & PAYKEL LIMITEDDishwasher
Classifications
U.S. Classification134/191, 220/232, 312/296, 134/200
International ClassificationA47L15/42
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/4263
European ClassificationA47L15/42J6C