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Publication numberUS3331226 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 18, 1967
Filing dateSep 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3331226 A, US 3331226A, US-A-3331226, US3331226 A, US3331226A
InventorsR. W. Fink
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Laundry apparatus
US 3331226 A
Abstract  available in
Images(5)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 18, 1967 R. w. FINK 3,331,226

LAUNDRY APPARATUS Filed Sep 1 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 ATTORNEYS July 18, 1967 R. w. FINK LAUNDRY APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 23, 1965 July 18, 1967 R. w. FINK LAUNDRY APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Sept. 23, 1965 July 18, 1967 R. w. FlNK LAUNDRY APPARATUS 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Sept. 23, 1965 United States Patent Office 3,331,226 Patented July 18, 1967 3,331,226 LAUNDRY APPARATUS Robert W. Fink, Benton Harbor, MiclL, assignor to Whlllpool Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Sept. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 489,594 20 Claims. (CI. 68-20) This invention relates to laundry apparatus and in particular to laundry apparatus such as for home laundry use.

In one conventional form of home laundry apparatus, a washer apparatus is arranged to be disposed in side-byside relationship with the dryer apparatus with the cabinet structures thereof being generally similar so as to provide a matched, combination arrangement. Such apparatus is conventionally installed in the users home adjacent a sink or the like wherein conventional pretreatment and post-treatment of the material to be washed is effected. Additionally, it is common to provide adjacent the apparatus Suitable shelves and the like for storing washing material such as detergent, bleach, etc, for use with the apparatus.

Such installations have the serious disadvantage of requiring substantial space and require relatively costly prearrangement of the room in which the apparatus is mstalled to accommodate the several structures discussed above in suitable coordinated relationship. Further, this arrangement permits the collection of dirt and the like, particularly, between and behind the Washer and dryer apparatus. Still further while the storage means and auxiliary sink means are provided in the general area of the installation of the washer and dryer, they are not always arranged in close juxtaposition to the washer and dryer installation, thereby making the installation inconvenient and undesirable.

The present invention comprehends a new and improved laundry apparatus eliminating the above discussed disadvantages of the known apparatuses in a novel and simple manner.

It is a principal feature of the present invention, therefore, to provide a new and improved laundry structure.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure defining a unified laundry center arrangement.

A further feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure including a countertop structure overlying and integrating the installation of washer and dryer apparatus in side-byside relationship.

A further feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure wherein the countertop is provided with integral auxiliary sink means.

Still another feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure further including means for delivering water to and from the sink means.

A yet further feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure having means for guiding and maintaining the washer and dryer apparatuses in a preselected closely spaced side-by-side relationship therein while permitting ready individual removal of either apparatus as desired such as for servicing the same.

Still another feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure wherein the countertop is movably mounted for selective positioning in overlying relationship on the Washer and dryer apparatus and in spaced relationship thereto.

A further feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure wherein the countertop is hingedly secured to superjacent cabinet means forming a part of the structure.

Still another feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure wherein the countertop is provided with means for providing access to the washer and/or dryer apparatuses.

A yet further feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure wherein the countertop is provided with means for carrying a lint filter and the structure further includes means for conducting the dryer air from the dryer apparatus to said lint filter.

Another feature of the invention is the provision of such a laundry structure wherein the countertop carries control means for controlling the operation of the apparatus.

Other features and advantages of the invention will hereinafter become more fully apparent from the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a front perspective view illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary front elevational view of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 1, with certain portions being shown in section;

FIGURE 3 is a left-hand side elevational view of the embodiment illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2, with the countertop being shown in a pivoted position in broken lines;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along line 44 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged, fragmentary plan view shOW- ing the pivotal mounting for the cover closing the access opening in the countertop to the washing compartment;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially along line 66 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 7 is a front perspective view of another embodiment of the invention;

FIGURE 8 is a rear perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIGURE 7;

FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary plan view of the countertop embodiment of FIGURE 7, and showing the portion of the countertop positioned Over the dryer, including the sink;

FIGURE 10 is a sectional along line 1010 of FIGURE 9;

FIGURE 11 is a sectional view taken substantially along line 1111 of FIGURE 10; and

FIGURE 12 is a perspective view of the drain pan.

In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as shown in FIGURES 1 through 6 of the drawing, a composite unit generally designated 20 is shown in FIGURE 1 to include a washer 21 positioned alongside a dryer 22 on a base plate, or drain pan, 23 resting on a support surface, such as floor F. Drain pan 23 includes spaced pairs of longitudinally extending guide tracks, and in the illustrated embodiment a first pair of tracks defined by parallel grooves 24 and 25 is provided for the washer 21, and a second pair of tracks defined by parallel grooves 26 and 27 is provided for the dryer 22. Optional drain means D may also be provided in the drain pan. The washer 21 includes depending mounting feet 28 at opposite corners thereof which are received in the grooves 24 and 25 to slidably mount the washer 21 on the drain pan 23. In a like manner, the dryer 22 is provided with mounting feet 29 at opposite corners thereof, the feet 29 being received in grooves 26 and 27 to slidably mount the dryer 22 on the drain pan 23. As can be best seen in FIGURE 3, the grooves 24-27 may each include an up view taken substantially right portion 36 toward the rear end thereof to provide a. stop against which the rearmost mounting feet on the washer and dryer abut when they are in the installed position on the drain pan. The stops are positioned so as to align the forward portions of the washer 21 and dryer 22 with one another, and with the forward portion of the drain pan 23. The mounting grooves 24-25 and 2627 are positioned so that the washer 21 is spaced slightly from the dryer 22 when they are each present on the drain pan, and, thus, a vibration isolating mounting of the units is provided. Suitable longitudinally extending supports S may be provided under the guide tracks, if desired, to reinforce the base plate.

An integral countertop 32 is provided for the washer and dryer units, and the means by which the countertop 32 is secured to the washer and dryer will be best understood from a consideration of FIGURE 4. Each of the washer and dryer units include an inwardly directed flange 33 at the upper end of the forward portion thereof, and the flanges 33 each lie in a common horizontal plane. A pair of openings 34 is provided in the flanges 33 at opposite ends thereof, for receiving spring clips 35 therein to releasably retain the countertop 32 on the washer and dryer. Each spring clip 35 includes outwardly turned lower portions 36 and 37 which engage the undersurface of the flange 33 at opposite sides of the respective opening 34. Spring clips 35 further include an outwardly extending portion 38 generally parallel with the portion 36, and em bracing the upper surface of the flange 33 at one side of the opening 34. Spring clips 35 still further include an upwardly inclined portion 39 on the same side of opening 34 as lower portion 37, and spaced slightly from the upper surface of the flange 33 Inclined portions 40 and 41 converge upwardly from the outer ends of portions 38 and 39 respectively, to complete the spring clips 35.

Four L-shaped brackets 42 are fixed on the countertop 32, and the lower portions 42a of the brackets 42 are inwardly directed adjacent the lower end of the countertop for releasable engagement with the spring clips 35. The spring clips 35 are formed of resilient material, and the bracket portions 42a extend inwardly sutficiently to contact the spring clip portions 41 as the countertop 32 is lowered relative to the washer and dryer. The bracket portions 42a deform the spring clips, whereupon the bracket portions 420 snap under the spring clip portion 39. The lower portion 37 of the spring clip 35 is longer than the inclined portion 39 so as to prevent the spring clips from pulling out when the countertop is being moved into or out of engagement with the washer and dryer.

The washer 21 is of the type having an upright cylindrical washing compartment 44 therein, and a first opening 45 is providcde in the countertop 32 in vertical alignment with the washing compartment 44 to provide access into the same. An annular sleeve 46 extends downwardly from the periphery of opening 45, and an inclined portion 47 extends inwardly and downwardly from the lower end of sleeve 46. A further downwardly extending portion 48 extends from the lower end of portion 47 into the washing compartment 44.

A cover 50 is pivotally mounted on the countertop 32 for closing the opening 45. As can be seen in FIGURE 5, a generally L-shaped pivot member 51 is secured to the cover 50 as by screws 52. One end of member 51 includes a reduced diameter outer portion 53 rotatably mounted in a suitable bracket 54 fixed to the undersurface of the countertop 32 adjacent opening 45. It will be understood that a pair of brackets 54 and pivot members 51 are provided at opposite corners of the opening 45 to mount the cover 50 for movement between a closed position within sleeve portion 46, and a generally upright open position to one side of opening 45. A suitable handle 55 (FIGURE 1) may be provided on the cover 50 to facilitate movement thereof between closed and open positions.

Top 32 includes a generally horizontally disposed counter portion 32a which is of standard countertop height, and a generally vertically disposed backsplash portion 32b at the rear of counter portion 32a. A sink 60 is provided in the counter portion 321: of the top above the dryer 22 and is defined in part by outer walls 61-63 which extend upwardly from the counter portion 32a, and by the area 64 of the backsplash portion 32!) between walls 61 and 63. The sink 60 is further defined by inclined inner side walls 65 and 66 that extend downwardly from the upper portion of walls 61 and 63, respectively. and by an inclined front wall (not shown) that extends downwardly from the upper portion of wall 62. The sink 60 still further includes a downwardly inclined lower wall 67, which extends from a position spaced slightly above the cylindrical drum B of the dryer 22 to a position disposed below the upper periphery of the drum B. Thus, by positioning the sink 60 in vertical alignment with the drum B, but to one side thereof, the lowermost portion of the sink may be conveniently nested within the dryer enclosure. As can be seen in FIGURE 2, a suitable drain pipe 68 communicates with the lowermost portion of the sink 60, and a further drain pipe 680 extends rearwardly from the dryer enclosure where it is connected in a suitable drain line. The wall 61 is provided with a shallow overflow channel 61a which directs overflowing liquid onto a portion 32c of top 32. The portion 320 is recessed slightly as at 32ml so that liquid overflowing from sink 60 will not spill onto floor F, but will drain into washer 21 through access opening 45.

Water inlet means 69 are mounted on the backsplash portion 32b of the top, for providing a supply of water in the sink 60. The water inlet means includes a spigot 70 and handles 71 and 72 for controlling the inflow of hot and cold water to the sink 60. Suitable water inlet conduits 73a and 73b communicate with spigot 70, and with water supply lines for conveying hot and cold water into the sink 60.

A second opening 74 is provided in the counter portion 32a for providing access to suitable lint screen means, not shown, of the dryer 22. A downwardly extending flange 75 (FIGURE 2) extends around the periphery of the opening 74, and terminates in an inwardly directed flange portion 76 which supports a movable cover 77 that normally closes the opening 74.

Suitable cabinet structure 80 is integrally associated with the top 32 to extend vertically thereabove. For this purpose cabinet support members 81 are secured to the washer 21 and dryer 22, to extend rearwardty therefrom. The cabinet structure 80 includes a brace 82 (FIGURE 3) secured to support members 81, and a lower shelf 83 extends transversely across the cabinet structure. Hinge means 85 are provided for pivotally supporting the top 32, so that it may be moved to an out-of-the-way position (such as that shown in broken lines at 32 in FIG- URE 3) whereupon the washer 21 or dryer 22 can be moved forwardly on the base plate 23 for maintenance and the like after being detached from support member 81. The cabinet structure may also be mounted on a Wall or on poles (not shown) extending between the ceiling and floor F. Such installations do not require the Washer and dryer to perform a support function for the cabinet structure and, therefore, facilitate removal of the washer or dryer for servicing.

Hinge means 85 includes a first hinge element 86 secured to the cabinet structure, as by screw 87, and a second hinge element 88 fixedly secured to backsplash portion 32/) as by screws 89 and pivotally secured to hinge element 86 by a hinge pin 90.

The cabinet structure 80 includes side members 91 that are positioned in coplanar relation with the support members 81 and the outer sides of the washer and dryer. Additionally, the cabinet structure includes a plurality of sliding doors 92 at the front thereof to provide access to the storage shelves in the interior of the cabinet structure.

5 As can be best seen in FIGURES l and 3, a reflective hood 93 may be provided at the upper portion of the cabinet structure, and a suitable lamp 94 may be provided within the hood 93 for illuminating the counter-top assembly.

The means for controlling the operation of the washer 21 and dryer 22 may be conveniently housed in a control box 95 carried on a shelf in the cabinet structure 80, and readily accessible from the front of the unit.

Referring now to the embodiment illustrated in FIG- URES 7 through 11, similar reference numerals, but one hundred higher, have been used to indicate elements in this embodiment corresponding to elements of the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 6. In the embodiment of FIGURES 7 through 11, the top 132 includes elongated side members 1320 upon which the cabinet structure 180 is supported. Additionally, sink 160 is substantially larger than the sink 60 shown in the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 6, occupying substantially the entire portion of the countertop above the dryer 122. As is best seen in FIGURE 9, sink 160 includes a first inclined portion 161 sloping downwardly toward further downwardly inclined portions 162465 which converge towards a drain pipe 168. The rearwardly extending drain pipe portion 168a as shown in FIGURE 8 extends outwardly through an opening 1220 in the rear wall of the dryer 122. Water inlet means 169 are provided on the counter portion of the top, and more specifically, at the rear of sink 160. The illustrated water inlet means 169 is of the type wherein a single manually operable handle is provided for cntrolling the inflow of both hot and cold water into the sink.

The top 132 includes a first opening 145 for providing access to a washing compartment in a manner similar to that of opening 45 in the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 6. Controls 195 for operating the washer and dryer are provided on the top, centrally of the backsplash portion 132i). Top 132 further includes a second opening 200 in the backsplash portion 13% thereof for providing access to a lint screen means 201. As can be best seen in FIGURE 10, a hot air outlet opening 202 is provided in the dryer rearwardly of the drum B, and conduit members 203206 provide means for directing the hot air from a blower 212 outwardly from the interior of the dryer as shown by the arrows. The lint screen 201 is supported between the flanges 208 of a suitable support member 207 secured between the bacltsplash portion 132]) and the conduit members, and openings 209 are provided in the member 207 for the passage of air therethrough and through the lint screen 201. A cover 210 normally closes the opening 200, and a handle 211 is provided on the cover 210 to facilitate the removal of the cover.

The laundry structures of the invention may conveniently be built-in with respect to adjacent cabinetry or the like and because the countertop of the invention is arranged at standard countertop height, cabinet countertops will be in alignment therewith to provide extended Work surfaces.

While I have shown and described certain embodiments of my invention, it is to be understood that it is capable of many modifications. Changes, therefore, in the construction and arrangement may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims;

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A unitary structure for a washer having a washing compartment and a dryer having lint screen means comprising:

a top including a counter portion having a first opening for providing access to said washing compartment and a second opening for providing access to said dryer lint screen means;

a first cover carried by said counter portion for selectively closing said first opening;

a second cover carried by said top for selectively closing said second opening; and

a sink in said counter portion.

2. A unitary structure for a washer having a washing compartment and a dryer having lint screen means comprising:

a top including a generally horizontally disposed counter portion;

an upwardly extending backsplash portion at the rear of said counter portion;

means defining a first opening in said counter portion for providing access to said washing compartment;

a first cover pivotally mounted on said counter portion for selectively closing said opening;

means defining a second opening in said top for pro viding access to said dryer lint screen means;

a second cover carried by said top for selectively closing said second opening; and

a shallow sink in the counter portion of said top.

3. A structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said second access opening is in the backsplash portion of said top.

4. A structure as defined in claim 2 wherein said second access opening is in the counter portion of said top.

5, A unitary structure for a washer having a washing compartment and a dryer having lint screen means comprising:

a top including a generally horizontally disposed counter portion;

an upwardly extending hacksplash portion at the rear of said counter portion;

means defining a first opening in said counter portion for providing access to said washing compartment;

a first cover pivotally mounted on said counter portion for selectively closing said opening;

means for defining a second opening in said top for providing access to said dryer lint screen means;

a second cover carried by said top for selectively closing said second opening;

a shallow sink in the counter portion and spaced from said first and second access openings, said sink having an inclined lower portion positioned below the upper surface of said counter portion;

water inlet means on said top for providing a supply of water in said sink; and

drainage means for said sink communicating with the lower portion thereof.

6. A structure as defined in claim 5 wherein said water inlet means is mounted on the counter portion.

7. A structure as defined in claim 5 wherein said water inlet means is mounted on the backsplash portion.

8. A structure as defined in claim 5 wherein a downwardly extending annular sleeve surrounds said first access opening, and is adapted to be received in said washing compartment.

9. A washer and dryer assembly comprising in combination:

a base;

means on said base for positioning a washer and dryer in spaced side-by-side relation;

a washer having support means engaging said base positioning means to mount said washer on the base, said washer being of the type having an upright cylindrical washing compartment therein;

a dryer having support means engaging said base positioning means to mount said dryer on the base, said dryer being of the front loading type having a cylindrical drum rotatable about a horizontal axis, and having removable line screen means;

and a unitary top for said washer and dryer and having, means defining a first access opening to said washing compartment, a first cover mounted on said top for selectively closing said opening, means defining a second access opening to said lint screen means, a secend cover selectively closing said second opening, and a sink in said top overlying said dryer.

16. A washer and dryer assembly as defined in claim 9 wherein cabinet structure is provided at the rear of said top and vertically thcreabove.

11. A washer and dryer assembly as defined in claim 10 wherein control means for said washer and dryer are mounted in said cabinet structure.

12. A washer and dryer assembly as defined in claim 10 wherein said top is pivotally mounted on said cabinet structure.

13. A washer and dryer assembly as defined in claim 10 wherein said top includes a generally horizontally disposed counter portion, and an upstanding backsplash portion at the rear thereof.

14. A washer and dryer assembly as defined in claim 13 wherein control means for said washer and dryer are mounted on said backsplash portion.

15. A washer and dryer assembly as defined in claim 12 wherein latch means are provided for releasably retaining said top on said washer and dryer.

16. A washer and dryer assembly comprising, in combination:

a base having spaced pairs of parallel mounting grooves positioned alongside one another;

a washer having support means positioned in a first pair of said mounting grooves, said washer being of the type having an upright cylindrical washing compartment therein;

a dryer having support means mounted in the pair of mounting grooves adjacent said washer, said dryer being of the front loading type having a cylindrical drum rotatable about a horizontal axis, and having removable lint screen means;

a unitary top for said washer and dryer and having,

means defining a first access opening to said washing compartment, a downwardly extending annular sleeve surrounding said opening and received in said washing compartment, a first cover pivotally mounted on said top for selectively closing said opening, means defining a second access opening to said lint screen means, a second cover selectively closing said second opening, and a shallow sink overlying said dryer and having an inclined lower portion positioned below the upper periphery of said cylindrical drum;

water inlet means on said top for providing a supply of water in said sink; and

drainage means for said sink positioned to one side of the rotational axis of said dryer drum and communicating with the lower portion of said sink.

17. A washer and dryer assembly comprising, in combination:

a base having spaced pairs of parallel mounting grooves positioned alongside one another;

a 'asher having support means positioned in a first pair of said mounting grooves, said washer being of the type having an upright cylindrical washing compartment therein;

a dryer having support means mounted in the pair of grooves adjacent said Washer, said dryer being of the front loading type having a cylindrical drum mounted for rotation about a horizontal axis, and having removable lint screen means;

cabinet structure above said washer and dryer and mounted at the rear portions thereof;

a unitary top for said washer and dryer pivotally mounted on said cabinet structure, said top having, a generally planar counter portion and an upwardly extending backsplash portion at the rear of said counter portion, means defining a first access opening in the counter portion of said top to said washing compartment, a downwardly extending annular sleeve surrounding said opening and received in said washing compartment, a first cover pivotally mounted on the counter portion of said top for selectively closing said opening, means defining a second access opening in the counter portion of said top to said lint screen means, a second cover selectively closing said second opening, and a shallow sink in the counter portion of said top overlying said dryer and having an inclined lower portion positioned below the upper periphery of said cylindrical drum;

water inlet means on the backsplash portion of said top for providing a supply of water in said sink; and

drainage means positioned to one side of the rotational axis of said dryer drum and communicating with the lower portion of said sink.

18. A washer and dryer assembly comprising, in combination:

a base having spaced pairs of parallel mounting grooves positioned alongside one another;

a washer having support means positioned in a first pair of said mounting grooves, said washer being of the type having an upright cylindrical washing compartment therein;

a dryer having support means mounted in the pair of grooves adjacent said washer, said dryer being of the front loading type having a cylindrical drum rotatable about a horizontal axis, and having removable lint screen means;

a unitary top for said Washer and dryer and having, a

generally planar counter portion and an upwardly extending backsplash portion at the rear of said counter portion, means defining a first access Opening in the counter portion of said top to said washer compartment, at downwardly extending annular sleeve surrounding said opening and received in said washing compartment, a first cover pivotally mounted on the counter portion of said top for selectively closing said opening, means defining a second access opening in the backsplash portion of said top to said lint screen means, a second cover selectively closing said second opening, and a shallow sink in the counter portion of said top overlying said dryer and having an inclined lower portion positioned below the upper periphery of said cylindrical drum;

water inlet means at the rear portion of said sink for providing a supply of water in said sink; and

drainage means for said sink positioned to one side of the rotational axis of said dryer drum and communicating with the lower portion of said sink. 19. A countertop for a pair of adjacent appliances comprising:

a generally horizontally disposed counter portion having an opening therein to provide access to one of said appliances;

2. cover on said counter portion selectively closing said opening;

means on said counter portion for retaining said appliances therebelow; and

a sink in said counter portion,

said counter portion including a recessed portion in which said opening is positioned, and said sink including means for directing overflow liquid from said sink onto said recessed portion of said counter portion.

20. An assembly comprising:

a washer;

a countertop having a first portion overlying said washer and a second portion having a sink therein spaced laterally of said washer;

a drain pan subjaccnt said washer;

means for conducting overflow liquid from said sink into said washer; and

means for conducting overflow liquid from said washer to said drain pan, said first portion of the countertop being provided with means for receiving the overflow liquid from said sink and conducting it to said washer.

(References on following page) References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,310,681 10/ 1962 France.

608,760 9/ 1948 Great Britain. 960,254 6/1964 Great Britain.

WILLIAM I. PRICE, Primary Examiner.

Referenced by
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US3814491 *Sep 7, 1972Jun 4, 1974Franklin Mfg CoSnap in connector
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Classifications
U.S. Classification68/20, 312/229, 312/107, 312/198, 68/13.00R
International ClassificationD06F29/00
Cooperative ClassificationD06F29/00
European ClassificationD06F29/00