US 3290908 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 13, 1966 w. MGALLJSTER ETAL 3,290,908
WASH-CONDITIONER DISPENSING MEANS FOR CLOTHES WASHING MACHINES Filed Aug. 26, 1964 United States Patent 3,290,?08 WASH-CONDITHUNER DHSFENSING MEANS FOR CLOTHES WASH-ENG MACHDJEES William E. McAllister, Atco, N.J., and Joseph Martella, in, Philadelphia, Pa, assignors to Philco Corporation,
Philadelphia, 1%., a corporation of Delaware Filed Aug. 26, 1964, Ser. No. 392,178 9 Claims. (Cl. 68-17) This invention relates to laundry apparatus, especially of the type in which fabrics are washed and rinsed in liquid by movement of agitator means within a basket, and in which the liquid is extracted from. the fabrics by rotation of the basket at a centrifuging speed.
While of broader applicability, the invention is especially concerned with wash-conditioner dispensing means adapted for use with laundry apparatus utilizing wobbletype agitators.
Apparatus of the type with which the invention can most readily be used is disclosed and claimed in US. Patent No. 3,102,408, granted to Joseph Pelensky, on September 3, 1963, and US. Patent No. 3,102,410, granted to Edward J. Doyle, on the same day. Both patents are assigned to the assignee of the present invention, and rel-ate generally to the combination comprising a rotatable basket having a central stationary column, and a wobble-type agitator arranged substantially concentrically with the stationary column and operable to undulate relative to the stationary column and produce agitation of liquid and fabrics within the basket.
It is an objective of the invention to provide a combined central column and wash-conditioner dispensing apparatus that achieves improved dispersion of conditioner material such, for example, as rinsing agents and detergents throughout liquid and fabrics within the basket.
It is another objective of the invention to provide dispensing apparatus of the above-mentioned type that will accommodate washconditoners in both liquid and solid form.
It is a further objective of the invention to provide a combined liquid filter and liquid conditioner dispensing means including separate liquid filtration and conditioner dispersal flow circuits, said circuits being adapted for simultaneous and automatic activation in response to movements of the agitator within the liquid.
It is a still further objective of the invention to provide improved conditioner dispensing apparatus which avoids clogging of the filter screen with undissolved conditioner material.
In achievement of the foregoing general objectives the invention preferably is embodied in a laundry machine comprising a tub, perforate basket means rotatab-ly mounted within said tub, support means mounted within said basket means, and an agitator and conditoner dispensing means mounted within said basket upon said support means.
In particular accordance with the invention the dispensing means comprises a generally tubular, vertically extending member supported in its lower region by bracket structure which comprises said support means. Apertures are provided in wall portions of the tubular member, and generally annular screen means extends transversely of its lower region at a level below the apertures. Removable fiunnel structure is coaxial with and enclosed by the tubular member and has its lower, lesser diameter end portion extending into fluid flow communication with the central opening of said annular screen. The funnel structures has an annular, inwardly facing recess in its upper, larger diameter end portion. An upwardly presented cup is disposed coaxially within. said funnel structure and has its mouth portion substantially at the level of said annular recessed portion of the funnel structure.
3,29%,968 Patented Dec. 13, i966 To provide a supply of rinsing agent for the rinsing phase of the cycle, the cup is filled through its upwardly presented mouth portion and is adapted to retain the agent during the initial phase of operation of the agitator. The rinsing agent is centrifuged from the cup for retention within the annular recess during rotation of the basket at centrifuging speed, and flows downwardly out of the funnel as the basket rotates at less than centrifuging speed. The agent then mixes with the liquid as the agitator again is operated in achievement of a rinse phase while the basket is held stationary.
The dispenser also accommodates use of dry or liquid detergent materials in achievement of the wash phase, which materials may be placed in the upper opening of the dispenser after removal of the cup and funnel assembly.
importantly, the liquid conditioner is directed downwardly into the central portion of the moving agitator and through central perforations in the basket for subsequent flow through the tub within which the basket is disposed. While in the tub, the material is thoroughly mixed with the wash fluid, and returns to the basket through side wall perforations thereof. By traversing this relatively circuitous path, complete dispersion of liquid conditioner in the wash fluid isensured.
For a more complete understanding of the invention, reference is made to the following description taken in light of the accompanying drawing in which:
FIGURE 1 is an elevational-sectional view of a washing machine embodying the present invention, certain parts being broken away for purposes of illustration; and
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged view similar to FIGURE 1, and illustrating the agitator, basket, and tub structure in section, and showing in detail the preferred construction of dispenser means made in accordance with the invention.
With more detailed reference to FIGURE 1, a washing machine 10 comprises cabinet 11 having a control panel 12 and an upper wall 13 provided with aperture 19 over which hinged door 14 is disposed. A rotatably mounted perforate basket 16 is nested within a tab 15, and each has an upwardly presented opening aligned with aperture 19 in wall 13. An agitator 17 is mounted for movements relative to the basket to provide for washing and rinsing fabrics in the basket.
With reference also to FIGURE 2, agitator 17 is mounted for undulatory movements upon arms 21 that interdigitate with legs of bracket means 22 aflixed to the bottom of b-akset 16, in accordance with teachings of the referenced disclosures. Drive means, of any convenient known type, is coupled to basket 16 and to agitator 17, and under one condition drives the agitator while basket 16 remains stationary, in achievement of the washing and rinsing phases, and under another condition rotates the basket and agitator as a unit to centrifuge liquid from fabrics in the basket.
A tubular shaped, flexible boot 23 extends between the base of the agitator support arms 21 and the bearing portion of the basket enclosed within the: bracket means. Another flexible boot 24- extends from the agitator to the base of the basket exteriorly of bracket means 22. Open lugs 26 are provided in the bottom of the basket, in the region between boots 23 and 24. An annular vane 25 extends from the agitator toward the bracket means and is operative to exert a vigorous, downwardly directed pumping force on the liquid to cause it to flow downwardly through the bracket means and openings 26, into tub 15.
In particular accordance with the invention, a dispenser 27 having a generally tubular body portion 28 is supported vertically at its lower end upon a centrally located tubular portion 22a of bracket means 22. Body portion 28 includes vertically extending slots 32 and a lower grating 29 that spans the lower region of body portion 28 and to which tubular portion 22a is aflixed by suitable means not shown.
A funnel 34 is concentric with tubular body portion 28, having its lower, smaller diameter end portion 35 extending through and releasably affixed to the central openings of an annular screen 33 and of a second grating 38. Lower end portion 35 also is disposed in fluid flow communication with tubular portion 22a of bracket 22.
Screen 33 preferably is of a relatively fine wire mesh, suitable for filtering lint from the wash liquid, and includes a reinforcing frame in the form of radially extending arms 40. Grating 38 extends over screen 33 and serves to prevent clusters of lint collected on the screen from becoming dislodged and floating back into the wash fluid during a fill operation, when the agitator is not operating. Screen 33 and grating 38 are removable to facilitate cleaning after use.
Funnel 34 has an annular, centrally presented recess 36 about its upper, larger diameter end portion. Recess 36 includes upwardly extending portion 41 tapered inwardly toward the upper opening of funnel 34.
A cup 37 of generally frusto-conical shape is supported within funnel 34 from the rim of portion 41, by circumferentially spaced arms 39. The cup tapers from its bottom outwardly to its mouth portion positioned in a region opposite the tapered portion 41 of annular recess 36. A smaller funnel 42 facilitates pouring of rinsing agent into cup 37. The assembly comprising funnel 34, cup 37 and screen 33 is removable so that detergent may be placed in tubular body portion 28 for passage through grating 29 as well as to provide access to screen 33. In providing for support of the funnel and screen assembly, a flange 41a of portion 41 releasably engages flange 28a of body portion 28, and there is provided suitable latch means (not shown) for attaching one flange to the other during operation of the machine.
In further accordance With the invention, a filter flow path designated by arrows A is provided, extending through slots 32, screen 33, and grating 29, and a separate liquid conditioner flow path, designated by arrows B, is provided downwardly through funnel 34 and openings 30 along the base of bracket 22. The paths A and B merge to form a common liquid flow path designated by arrows C. Flow path C leads downwardly through openings 26, outwardly between tub and basket 16, and upwardly to return to the basket through perforations 18 in its side wall. Similar paths will be traversed in vertical planes extending circumferentially around the dispenser, to produce a toroidal flow, illustration having been limited to one portion of the flow path.
In operation of the apparatus, and prior to initiation of the wash cycle, funnels 34 and 42 are removed and detergent, either liquid or powdered, is placed in body portion 28, atop grating 29. The funnels are then replaced and -a liquid rinsing agent, to be injected into the rinse liquid during the rinsing phase of operation, is placed in cup 37. The machine is then started in its wash cycle, tub 15 filling with water to immerse both the fabrics in basket 16 and the detergent. Operation of the agitator 17 is then begun. The pumping action of the agitator, including its vane 25, draws liquid through openings 32 and screen 33 (arrows A) to dissolve the detergent and cause it to flow through central openings 26, tub 15, and into basket 16 through its perforations 18. Thorough mixing of the detergent with the wash liquid is achieved. During this wash phase, the rinsing agent remains in cup 37.
After the wash phase is completed the basket is rotated at centrifuging speed, and washing liquid is removed from the tub by suitable known drain and pump means. Rotation of the basket at centrifuging speed for the spin phase is accompanied by centrifuging of the rinsing agent up the tapered sides of cup 37 and outwardly into annular recess 36, where the agent is retained so long as the basket is rotated at its centrifuging speed.
Upon completion of the spin phase, the basket is braked to a halt, and rinsing agent flows from annular recess 36 downwardly through small opening 35 of funnel 34, and into tubular portion 22a of bracket 22. Substantially simultaneously, rinse water enters the basket and tub, followed by operation of the agitator to effect flow of liquid along paths A and C for distributing the rinsing agent entering along path B for the rinse phase. Thereafter, the agitator will induce flow generally along the filtering path, designated by arrows A and C.
It will be appreciated that the invention affords improved combined liquid filter and liquid conditioner dispensing means comprising separate liquid filtration and conditioner dispersal flow circuits adapted for simultaneous activation by movements of the agitator within the liquid. Advantageously, the operation of the invention is characterized by complete dispersal of the conditioner materials throughout the wash liquid prior to contact with clothes being laundered.
While a preferred embodiment has been illustrated and described, it will be understood that the invention is susceptible of such modifications as may fall within the scope of the appended claims.
1. In an automatic washing machine wherein a wash fluid extracting operation is followed by a rinsing operation, the combination of a wash basket adapted to spin for the fluid extracting operation and adapted to be filled with fluid to a predetermined level for the rinsing operation, agitator means including a hollow central portion mounted within said basket, a hollow post mounted within said basket and extending upwardly from said hollow central portion of said agitator means and positioned for partial immersion in said fluid, means accommodating circulation of fluid from said basket sequentially through said post, said hollow portion of said agitator means, outwardly of the bottom of said basket, and into said basket through side wall portions thereof, a first, upwardly presented cup-shaped receptacle disposed within an upper portion of said hollow post, said receptacle being adapted to retain rinsing agent liquid when said basket is stationary and to centrifuge said liquid therefrom in response to rotation of said basket, a second receptacle including a lower portion in fluid flow communication with said hollow portion of said agitator means and an upper portion adapted to receive and retain said liquid as it is centrifuged from said first receptacle, said rinsing agent liquid flowing from said second receptacle into said hollow agitator at the termination of said extracting operation.
2. A machine according to claim 1 and characterized in that said means accommodating circulation of liquid comprises a tub, and said basket is disposed within said tub.
3. A machine according to claim 1 and characterized in that said hollow post comprises a generally cylindrical member having apertures in lateral wall portions thereof, and including a generally annular screen extending across the lower end of said post, said lower portion of said second receptacle disposed to direct said liquid through the central opening of said annular screen, and said apertures accommodating flow of said fluid into said post for flow through said screen whereby it intermingles with said liquid.
' 4. In a washing machine having a rotatable Wash basket adapted to be filled with wash fluid to a predetermined level and further having hollow agitator means, apparatus for automatically adding rinsing agent liquid to the wash fluid in said basket, comprising: hOvllOW post means mounted on said basket and extending upwardly from said agitator means, said hollow post means further being disposed to be partially immersed in wash fluid within said basket; means defining a fluid flow path leading from said basket, downwardly through said post and said hollow agitator, outwardly of the bottom of said basket and inwardly of lateral wall portions of said basket; and a pair of receptacles within said post means, one adapted to retain said rinsing agent liquid and disposed within an upper region of said post, the other of said receptacles encircling said one receptacle and adapted to receive said liquid as it is centrifuged from said one receptacle in response to rotation of said basket, said other receptacle including a portion in fluid flow communication with a central portion of said hollow agitator, whereby upon deceleration of the basket said liquid flows into the central opening of said agitator for flow into said wash fluid and through said recited fluid flow path.
5. A machine according to claim 4 and characterized in that said means defining a fluid flow path includes tub means within which said basket is disposed.
6. A laundry machine comprising: tub means for wash liquid; a generally cylindrical basket rotatable within said tub means to provide spin drying of fabrics and having its major axis extending generally vertically, said basket having perforate side walls and a bottom wall having centrally disposed perforations; agitator means within said basket and operable to circulate liquid in provision for rinsing of such fabrics; a generally tubular, vertically extending member substantially coaxial with and disposed above said agitator means, and having apertures within wall portions thereof; a generally annular screen extending transversely of the lower region of said tubular member at a level below said apertures; funnel means coaxial with and enclosed by said tubular member and having its lower, lesser diameter end portion in fluid flow communication with the central opening of said annular screen, said funnel means further having an annular inwardly facing recess in an upper larger diameter portion adapted centrifugally to receive and retain rinseai-d material in the recited spin drying phase; and an upwardly presented rinse-aid material retaining cup having upwardly divergent walls disposed coaxially within said funnel means, and having its mouth portion in substantial registry with said annular recess of said funnel means, said cup adapted centrifugally to direct rinse-aid material into said funnel means in the recited spin phase, said rinse-aid material draining from said recess and through said lesser diameter end portion upon cessation of said spin drying and being caused to flow by said agitator in the rinsing downwardly through said central perforations into said tub, for return to said basket through said perforate side walls.
7. In a washing machine, a tub, a perforate basket mounted for centrifuging rotation in said tub to provide spin drying of fabrics, said basket being perforate in vertical side wall portions thereof and in a lower central region, an agitator centrally located in and movable relative to said basket to provide for rinsing prior to spin drying of said fabrics, said agitator including a hollow, open ended, generally vertically extending main body portion disposed in fluid flow communication with the recited perforate lower central region of said basket, and rinsing agent dispensing means comprising: a hollow, generally cylindrical member supported coaxially within said basket and having its lower end adjacent the upper open end of said agitator, said cylindrical member having apertures in portions of the lateral wall thereof; a generally annular screen extending across the lower end of said cylindrical member; funnel means having its smaller diameter end portion extending into fluid flow communication with the central opening of said annular screen and with the upper open end of said agitator, the upper, larger diameter end portion of said funnel means having an inwardly facing annular recess adapted to receive and centri'fugally retain rinsing agent; and upwardly presented frusto-conically shaped cup means having its open portion at its larger diameter end, said open portion disposed substantially at the level of said annular recess of said funnel means, said cup means adapted to store rinse-aid material prior to centrifuging rotation of said basket, and upon such centrifuging rotation being operable to direct said rinsing agent into said annular recess, said rinsing agent draining from said recess and flowing through said smaller end portion of said funnel and into the hollow portion of said agitator upon cessation of centrifuging rotation of said basket, said agitator being operable in rinsing such fabrics to induce flow of wash liquid downwardly through said apertures in said cylindrical member, through said screen and past the lower end portion of said funnel means, and into said tub through the perforate central region of said basket, thence back into said basket through side wall perforations thereof.
8. For use in combination with a washing machine including a perforate basket mounted 'for rotation within a tub adapted to contain wash fluid and having hollow agitator means disposed within said basket, means for dispensing detergent for use during the washing phase of a laundering cycle and for dispensing a liquid rinsing agent to be used during the rinsing phase of the cycle, said means comprising: a hollow post adapted for mounting with such basket to extend upwardly from such hollow agitator means and positionable for partial immersion in such fluid; generally annular screen. means extending across the lower region of said hollow post; a first upwardly presented cup-shaped receptacle disposed within an upper portion of said hollow post, said receptacle being adapted to retain liquid rinsing agent when such basket is stationary and to centrifuge liquid there-from in response to rotation of such basket; 21 second receptacle including a lower portion adapted for fluid flow communication with the hollow portion of such agitator means and an upper portion adapted to receive and retain liquid rinsing agent as it is centrifuged from said first receptacle, so that such liquid rinsing agent may flow from said second receptacle freely through the central opening of said annular screen means and into such hollow agitator at the termination of such extracting operation, said first and second receptacles being removable from such a hollow post to accommodate introduction of detergent thereto, whereby wash fluid caused to flow through the center post is effective to distribute such detergent and liquid rinsing agent throughout such wash fluid, the construction and arrangement further being such that wash fluid will be caused to flow through and be filtered by said screen means as it is caused to circulate by such agitator means.
9. In a washing machine having a wash basket adapted to be filled with wash fluid to a predetermined level, and hollow agitator means within said basket, apparatus for automatically adding rinsing agent liquid to wash fluid in said basket, comprising: hollow post means mounted on said basket and extending upwardly from said agitator means, said hollow post means further being disposed to be partially immersed in wash fluid Within the basket; means defining a fluid flow path leading from said basket, downwardly through said post means and said hollow agitator, outwardly of the bottom of said basket and inwardly of lateral wall portions of said basket; and means contained within said post means and adapted to receive and to retain rinsing agent liquid, and further operable to dispense the same into said agitator for entrainment by wash fluid traversing the recited fluid flow path.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,976,711 3/1961 Smith 6817 2,982,120 5/1961 Pelensky 6817 X 3,102,408 9/1963 Pelensky 68l8 WALTER A. SCHEEL, Primary Examiner. I. BUNEVICH, Examiner.