US 3233794 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 8, 1966 R. R. SISLER SIPHON TYPE DISPENSER FOR WASHING MACHINES Filed NOV. 2, 1964 INVENTOR. ROBERT R. S\SLER HIS ATTOQMEY United States Patent 3,233,794 SIPHON TYPE DISPENSER FOR WASHING MACHINES Robert R. Sisler, Louisville, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Nov. 2, 1964, Ser. No. 408,137 6 Claims. (Cl. 222-416) This invention relates to automatic washing machines of the type which provide for automatically introducing additives into the clothes basket of the machine at the proper times, and, more particularly, to improved, siphon type dispensing mechanisms for use in such machines.
Automatic clothes washing machines customarily proceed through a sequence of operation in order to wash, rinse, and dry the clothes. The sequence ordinarily includes a washing operation, a first liquid extraction operation, a rinse operation and a final extraction operation. Depending upon the type of machine, the action within any given operation may vary; however, the general sequence of washing, extracting, rinsing and then extracting again is used in almost all automatic washing machines.
In order to obtain the most desirable results from these machines it has been found advantageous to introduce certain additives into the water used for particular operations. A soap or detergent is normally used in the washing operation and a bleach often is also used in this operation while water softeners and/or fabric softeners, referred to generally as rinsing or rinse agents, are often added to the rinse water.
In an automatic washing machine, it is of course desirable that these additives be inserted automatically. When the insertion of the additives is automatic the user may load the fabrics to be washed into the machine and place the additive in the proper container and then leave the machine and do other work while the machine auto.- matically completes the cycle of operation. Also, the best results are obtained if these various additives are inserted after the water for the particular operation has been introduced into themachine so that there is an even distribution of the additive throughout the container rather than it being concentrated in a few of the articles.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a new and improved additive dispensing mechanism which automatically inserts an additive after the container means of the machine has been filled with water. I
Another object of this invention is to provide such a dispensing mechanism which is of the siphoning type.
In one aspect of this invention, I provide a washing machine having an automatically controlled cycle which includes washing and rinsing operations and a container first'end of the second conduit is arranged with respect to the supply conduit so as to divert part of the flow of liquid and cause liquid to flow through the second conduit when liquid flow is provided through the first conduit. Valve means may be provided in the second conduit so as to make the flow therethrough dependent upon the position of the valve means.
The additive receptacle is divided into a storage chamber for storing the additive and a transfer chamber through which the additive is transferred to the container means. A siphon tube connects the storage chamber and the transfer chamber and the second conduit is in communication with the transfer chamber at a point below the transfer chamber end of the siphon tube. The siphon tube may be provided with a portion having a reduced inner diameter with the reduced inner diameter portion being contained within the upper portion of the storage chamber, and a ball or spherical member may be retained within the siphon tube between the reduced diameter portion and the transfer chamber end. The additive dispensing mechanism is so constructed that the bottom wall of the storage chamber is higher than the bottom wall of the transfer chamber and the leg of the siphon tube within the storage chamber is shorter than the leg of the siphon tube within the transfer chamber.
With this construction, a liquid additive may be inserted into the storage chamber before the cycle of operation of the machine is begun. During the proper liquid fill operation of the machine the valve means is opened and liquid fills the transfer chamber, the reduced diameter portion of the siphon tube and the ball member preventing this liquid from entering the storage chamber. At the conclusion of the fill operation the liquid drains from the transfer chamber into the container means and siphon action causes the additive to be transferred from the storage chamber to the transfer chamber, from which it drains into the container means.
The features of the invention which are believed 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 description taken in connection with the accompanying drawing. In the drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a partial schematic side elevational View of a clothes washing machine including an additive dispensing mechanism constructed in accordance with my invention, the view partly broken away and partly in section in order to show details; and
FIGURE 2 is a sectional, side elevational view of the additive dispensing mechanism shown in FIGURE 1.
Referring now to FIGURE 1 of .the drawing, there is 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 the side and bottom walls thereof and disposed within an outer imperforate tub or casing 4, basket 2 and tub 4 forming together liquid and clothes container means. The entire structure is generally mounted within a suitable appearance and protective cabinet which, in this case, has been omitted for the purpose of clarity.
In the center of basket 2 there is provided a'vertical axis agitator 5 which includes a centerpost 6 and a plurality of curved vanes 7 extending out from the centerpost and connected together at their base by a flared skirt 8. Both basket 2 and agitator 5 are movably mounted. Conventionally, the basket is mounted for rotation and the agitator is mounted for some type of oscillatory motion which will effect washing action on the clothes in the basket. In one conventional structure, basket 2 may be secured to a hollow shaft member 10 and the agitator 5 may be secured to a shaft 11 which extends upwardly vertically within shaft 10 in rotatable relation thereto.
Basket 2 and agitator 5 are driven from a reversible motor 12 through a drive including a clutch 13 mounted on the motor shaft. Clutch 13 allows the motor to start without load and then pick up the load as it comes up to speed. A suitable belt 14 transmits power to a transmission assembly 15 through a pulley 16. Thus, depending upon the direction of motor rotation, pulley 16 of transmission 15 is driven in opposite directions.
Transmission 15 is so arranged that it supports and drives both shafts 10 and 11. When motor 12 is rotated in one direction the transmission causes agitator 5 to be oscillated through shaft 11. Conversely, when the motor is driven in the opposite direction, the transmission drives both basket 2 and agitator 5 together at a high speed through shafts and 11 for centrifugal extraction of the liquid from the clothes. While the particular form of drive means 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 al., 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.
The upper end of transmission 15 is received in an opening 15a in the lower portion of tub 4. Opening 15a is closed by a flexible boot 15b which extends between transmission 15 and tub 4 so as to allow relative motion therebetween while preventing passage of liquid through opening 15a.
In addition to operating the transmission described, motor 12 also provides a direct drive through a flexible coupling 17 to a pump structure generally indicated by the numeral 18. Pump 18 has an inlet which is connected by a conduit 19 through an opening 29 formed at the lowermost point of tub 4. Pump 18 also has an outlet connected to a conduit 21 which leads to a suitable drain (not shown). Pump 18 is formed so that it tends to pump toward opening 20 during oscillation of the agitator but during spinning of the agitator and basket the pump 18 drains liquid from opening 20 through conduit 19 and discharges it through conduit 21 to drain.
In order to introduce washing and rinsing liquid into the container means of basket 2 and tub 4, suitable conduit means 22 and 23 are provided for leading hot and cold water to a supply valve 24. The passage of hot and cold water may be controlled by solenoids 25 and 26. Energization of solenoid 25 permits the passage of cold water through the valve, energization of solenoid 26 permits the passage of hot water through the valve and energization of both solenoids permits mixing of hot and cold water in the valve and the passage of warm water therefrom through an outlet conduit 27, which extends from the valve. Water passing through outlet conduit 27 flows through a nozzle 28 and into the container means. A conventional pressure sensitive switch 29 is provided in the bottom of the tub 4 and deenergizes whichever of solenoids 25 and 26 are energized when a proper liquid level is reached in the container means so as to shut off the supply of water.
In order to introduce a suitable additive into the container means at the appropriate time a conduit 39 is connected at one end to nozzle 28 and at the other end to an additive dispensing mechanism 31. A valve 32 may be provided in conduit 30 so that conduit 30 will divert a part of the water from nozzle ZSduring the appropriate fill. For this purpose valve 32 may be connected in the electrical control circuit (not shown) which is customarily included in automatic washing machines so that the opening and closing of valve 32 may be controlled in the conventional manner to provide passage of liquid through conduit 30 during only the desired fill operation.
Referring now to FIGURE 2 there is shown therein in more detail the construction of the additive dispensing mechanism 31. Mechanism 31 includes a peripheral side wall 32 and an intermediate wall 33 forming a storage chamber 34 and an adjacent transfer chamber 35. The wall 36 forming the bottom of chambers 34 and 35 slopes so that fluid in storage chamber 34 flows to the area adjacent intermediate wall 36 where it tends to collect in a recess 37 and liquid Within transfer chamber 35 tends to flow away fromv intermediate wall 33 to a recess 38 which is provided with an outlet opening 39. The dispensing mechanism is mounted within the washing machine 1 with outlet opening 39 over the container means so that liquid received in transfer chamber 35 drains through opening 39 into the container means.
Additionally the portion of lower wall 36 forming the bottom of transfer chamber 35 is provided with an inlet opening 40 surrounded by an annular flange 41 which receives one end of conduit 30. Thus, liquid flowing through conduit 30 entersgtransfer chamber 35 through inlet opening 40 and, because outlet opening 39 is smaller than inlet opening 40, transfer chamber 35 will be caused 'to fill with liquid, .even though some liquid is draining out through opening 39. Peripheral wall 32 is formed with a recess or overflow opening 42 adjacent its upper edge in communication with transfer chamber 35 so that, when transfer chamber 35 has become substantially filled, .any additional liquid introduced through conduit 30 will merely cause liquid to flow out through overflow opening 42 as well as outlet opening 39. By constructing overfiow opening 42 of a sufficient size that the total opening area provided by overflow opening 42 and outlet opening .39 is at least as large as, preferably larger than, the area of inlet opening 40, transfer chamber 35 will be caused to be filled with liquid during a period of introducing liquid into the container means of the. machine after which the level within transfer chamber 35 will be maintained until the completion of the fill operation for the container means of the machine.
The additive dispensing mechanism also includes a U- shaped siphon tube 43 which is mounted in intermediate wall 33 with a short leg 44 received in recess 37 and a long leg 45 terminating just above opening 40. The long and short legs are joined by a generally horizontal intermediate leg 46 which extends through and is secured to intermediate wall 33. At the juncture of intermediate leg 46 and short leg 44 the siphon tube is provided with a reduced inner diameter. In the embodiment shown this is accomplished by means of a separate insert 47 securely received within intermediate leg 46. A ball or spherical member 48 is placed in the portion of the siphon tube defined by the intermediate leg 46 and long leg 45. The reduced inner diameter of insert 47 is such asto allow the passage of fluid while preventing movement of the ball member 48 into short leg 44. The spacing between the lower end of long leg 45 and wall 36 around opening 40 is suflicient to retain ball 48 between wall 36' and leg 45 ghile allowing liquid to fiow out of leg 45 around the I all.
When it is desired to utilize the additive dispensing mechanism, storage chamber 34 is filled with an appropriate liquid additive. Then, when predetermined ones of solenoids 25 and 26 permit passage of water through valve 24, conduit 27 and nozzle 28 a portion of the water will be diverted through conduit 30 and, assuming valve 32 is open, this diverted water will flow into transfer cham ber 35 through inlet opening 40. As the water flows into transfer chamber 35 it exerts a force on ball 48 so that the ball rises in leg 45 and flows across intermediate leg 46 (which preferably is angled slightly so that the end adjacent leg 45 is slightly lower than the end adjacent leg44) until the ball is brought-to bear against insert 47. Thus, by the time water is flowing out of transfer chamber 35 through overflow opening 42, water has filled long leg45 and intermediate leg 46 of siphon tube 43.
By a proper determination of the relationship. between the various portions of the additive dispensing mechanisms and the container means it can be assured that transfer chamber 35 will become substantially filled before the container means is filled and the water supply is thereby terminated. Thus, upon the completion of the fill operation for the container means, transfer chamber 35 is filled with water and storage chamber 34 is filled With liquid additive to be added to the container means. Siphon tube 43 thus is filled with liquid, long leg 45 and intermediate leg 46, being filled wit-h water while short leg 44 is substantially filled with liquid additive.
When valve 24 operates to turn off the water supply, the water within transfer chamber 35 will drain out through opening 39 and the siphon tube will begin to function. As the water in long leg 45 and intermediate leg 46 flows out, liquid additive will be drawn in through short leg 44. The ball or spherical member 48 will travel downwardly through long leg 45 and will seat in inlet opening 40 so that the liquid additive being siphoned into transfer chamber 35 will not flow into the water supply system. Ball member 48 also insures that the siphon action begins. With small siphons having small height differentials it is difiicult to start the siphon action. Since ball member 48 fits closely within tube 43 it acts as a piston as it falls through leg 45 and insures that additive is forced into legs 46 and 45 to start the siphon action.
Since short leg 44 of the siphon tube is received in recess 37 the siphoning action will continue until substantially all of the additive in the storage chamber 34 has been siphoned into transfer chamber 35, from which it will drain into the container means through outlet opening 39.
With this construction a suitable additive may be introduced into the container means after the container means has been filled with Water thus insuring an even distribution of the additive throughout the liquid in the container means and preventing the additive from being highly concentrated on a few of the fabrics.
As explained hereabove, by inserting a valve 32 in the conduit 30 the additive dispenser may be utilized in injecting an appropriate additive into the machine during any of the operations of the machine. It will be obvious, however, that if it is desired to insert a liquid bleach or liquid detergent into the machine at the beginning of the washing operation, the valve 32 may be omitted.
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. In a washing machine including container means to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in the liquid and supply means for supplying liquid to the container means; an additive dispensing mechanism including:
(a) an additive storage chamber;
(b) an additive transfer chamber arranged to discharge into said container means;
(c) a conduit connecting said supply means and said transfer chamber for filling said transfer chamber when liquid is supplied to said container means;
(d) said transfer chamber having an opening at its lowermost point for emptying the liquid from said transfer chamber into said container means at the conclusion of the liquid supply operation;
(e) and siphon tube connecting said storage chamber and said transfer chamber for transferring additive from said storage chamber to said container means through said transfer chamber upon the emptying of liquid from said transfer chamber.
2. An additive dispensing mechanism as set forth in claim 1 further including valve means preventing passage of liquid through said siphon tube into said storage chamber during the liquid supply operation and preventing entry of additive into said conduit during transfer of additive from said storage chamber to said container means.
3. An additive dispensing mechanism as set forth in claim 1 wherein said conduit communicates with an inlet opening formed in the lower wall of said transfer chamber and one end of said siphon tube terminates closely above said inlet opening and wherein said siphon tube includes a portion having a reduced inner diameter and further wherein a spherical member is received in said siphon tube between said reduced diameter portion and said inlet opening so that flow of liquid into said transfer chamber from said conduit causes said spherical member to be lodged against said reduced diameter portion to prevent passage of liquid into said storage chamber and transfer of additive from said storage chamber to said container causes said spherical member to be lodged in said entry opening to prevent entry of additive into said conduit.
4. In a washing machine including container means to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in the liquid and supply means for supplying liquid to the container means; an additive dispensing mechanism including:
(a) an additive storage chamber;
(b) an additive transfer chamber arranged to discharge into said container means;
(0) a conduit connecting said supply means and said transfer chamber for diverting a portion of the liquid to said transfer chamber;
(d) said transfer chamber having an outlet opening at its lowermost point for emptying liquid from the transfer chamber into said container means, said outlet opening being of a smaller size than said conduit so that said transfer chamber fills with liquid during the liquid supply operation;
(e) said transfer chamber also having an overflow opening adjacent its upper end for transferring to said container means liquid diverted to said transfer chamber after said transfer chamber fills;
(f) and a siphon tube connecting said storage chamber and said transfer chamber for transferring additive from said storage chamber to said container means through said transfer chamber upon the emptying of liquid from said transfer chamber.
5. An additive dispensing means as set forth in claim 4 further including valve means preventing passage of liquid through said siphon tube into said storage chamber during the liquid supply operation and preventing entry of additive into said conduit during transfer of additive from said storage chamber to said container means.
6. An additive dispensing mechanism as set forth in claim 4 wherein said conduit communicates With an inlet opening formed in the lower wall of said transfer chamber and one end of said siphon tube terminates closely above said inlet opening and wherein said siphon tube includes a portion having a reduced inner diameter and further wherein a spherical member is received in said siphon tube between said reduced diameter portion and said inlet opening so that flow of liquid into said transfer chamber from said conduit causes said spherical member to be lodged against said reduced diameter portion to prevent passage of liquid into said storage chamber and transfer of additive from said storage chamber to said container causes said spherical member to be lodged in said entry opening to prevent entry of additive into said conduit.
No references cited.
LOUIS J. DEMBO, Primary Examiner.
NORMAN L. STACK, Assistant Examiner.