Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3422482 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 21, 1969
Filing dateJul 25, 1966
Priority dateJul 25, 1966
Also published asUS3568239, US3568240
Publication numberUS 3422482 A, US 3422482A, US-A-3422482, US3422482 A, US3422482A
InventorsJames C Hamrick
Original AssigneeJet Line Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wall-mounted vacuum cleaner unit
US 3422482 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 21, 1969 J. c. HAMRlCK 3 ,422,482

WALL-MOUNTED VACUUM CLEANER UNIT Filed July 25. 1966 JAM as C. HAMRlCK ATTORNEYS United States Patent 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vacuum-cleaner unit adapted to be positioned lar-gely within a hollow vertical building wall for vacuum cleaning areas in a room and wherein the unit is compactly arranged within a casing for permitting an exhaust conduit to be confined within the wall and hidden from view for exhausting to a point exteriorly of the room and wherein additional inlet conduits may extend from the compact unit to other rooms, with such additional conduits being so arranged to the casing as to permit their also being hidden from view in a hollow wall, and wherein the vacuum compartment is sealably closed independently of the cover for the casing and is so arranged to the power compartment as to permit a filter bag in the vacuum compartment to become substantially filled with dirt without interfering with the vacuum-cleaning action.

This invention relates to a vacuum cleaner unit adapted to be mounted in a wall opening of a building, and more particularly to a unit which is adapted to be mounted in standard as well as thin wall constructions where a portion of the unit may, of necessity, extend beyond an outer face of the Wall. As is well known, standard wall constructions are conventionally formed of 2" x 4" lumber which when dressed or finished has a width of about 3%" for forming the studs of a wall of a corresponding thickness therefrom. On the other hand, for thin wall constructions 2" x 3" lumber is conventionally used, which when dressed presents a thickness of about 2%" to studs in walls formed therefrom.

Wall-mounted vacuum cleaner units are known and generally consist of a casing which houses a vacuum or filter chamber and a suction means which communicates with the vacuum chamber and is operative to create a partial pressure therein and in conduits of the system for collection of dirt and trash. Such wall units have heretofore been mounted either on the outer face of the wall or flush with the wall surface when the walls were of sufiicient depth to receive the entire casing therein.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a vacuum cleaning unit which can be mounted in wall openings of various depths or thicknesses and present a neat appearance or the vacuum cleaning unit with respect to the outer face of the wall.

A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a novel vacuum cleaner unit comprising a casing which may be positioned in the opening of a building wall and an adjustable cover therefor which can be positioned at varying distances from the casing to engage the outer face of the wall without disturbing the positive-seal closure of the vacuum chamber.

It is a still further object of this invention to provide a closure means for the vacuum chamber or compartment of a wall-mounted cleaner unit which can be removed to gain access to the vacuum compartment without disturbing the cover of the unit which engages the outer wall surface.

Another object of the invention is to provide a wallmounted vacuum cleaner unit having means to facilitate 3,422,482 Patented Jan. 21, 1969 the quick removal and installation of a blower motor within the vacuum unit.

An additional object of this invention is to provide a wall-mounted vacuum unit with means to discharge its exhaust air currents to an uninhabited area so as to prevent return of fine particles of dust, by way of the exhaust currents, to an area subject to cleaning operations and wherein the filter bag is so arranged to the source of suction that the bag may become substantially filled with dirt without restricting the flow of air into and out of upper portions thereof during use.

It is still another object of this invention to provide means whereby a vacuum cleaner unit may be properly mounted in a wall opening and retain a neat exterior appearance of the unit when the walls are thinner than the thickness of the vacuum cleaner unit.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which- FIGURE 1 is a broken away perspective view of a building wherein the vacuum cleaner unit of the present invention is installed in a wall of standard construction and is easily accessible for the attachment of a vacuum hose for cleaning various rooms of the building;

FIGURE 2 is an exploded perspective view of the vacuum cleaner unit of the present invention;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged front elevation, with parts broken away, of the vacuum cleaning unit as seen in FIGURE 1 showing the manner in which the unit is mounted between the vertical studs of the building Wall;

FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view of the unit taken along line 5-5 of FIGURE 3; and

FIGURE 6 is a cross-sectional view of the unit taken along line 6-6 of FIGURE 3. Referring more specifically to the drawings, a vacuum cleaner unit of the present invention, generally indicated at ll, is mounted in an opening 12 of a hollow building wall 13 at a central location in the building. A flexible vacuum hose 14 may be connected to and used at an outlet on the face of the unit or at other outlets, such as outlet 15, located in other rooms of the building and connected by conduits to the vacuum unit 11 (FIGURE 1).

The unit 11 is composed of a substantially rectangular, open-front casing 21 which is divided by a substantially horizontal partition wall 22 into a vacuum compartment 23 and a power compartment 24 (FIGURE 2). A suction device or blower motor 25 located in the power compartment 24 has a motor housing 25a which has a suction inlet 26 in communication, by way of an outlet opening in the partition wall 22, with the vacuum compartment 23 and a discharge outlet 27 communicates with the exterior of the casing through an opening in the upper wall 28 of the casing. The motor housing 25a is tapered toward its discharge outlet 27 to provide a uniform air flow through the housing and a minimum of turbulence about the outlet 27. By utilizing such a tapered housing, the blower motor can be operated for long periods of time without fear of overheating due to back pressure on the motor which has been found to occur in motors utilizing conventional cylindrical housings. An

2 outlet conduit 29 (FIGURE 1) within the confines of the building wall 13 is connected to the casing by a suitable fitting 29a and exhaust currents from the blower motor are vented thereby exteriorly of the building or to a noninhabited portion therein to prevent the units returning dust or other like matter into the cleaned area. It will be noted as best understood from viewing FIGURES 3 and 6 that the outlet conduit 29 communicates with the exhaust of the blower motor through an opening in the upper wall 28 of the casing at such a location and distance from the back wall of the casing that the conduit is readily positioned within the confines of the building wall between adjacent studs. This is accomplished, as illustrated in standard wall constructions using studs of about 3 /8" thickness, by positioning the outlet conduit 29, at its point of communication with the opening through the upper wall 28 of the casing, so as to be entirely within a distance not exceeding about 3%" from the back wall of the casing.

Vacuum compartment 23 has an inlet opening 31 in partition wall 22 through which extends an inlet conduit 32. The conduit has an inner end which communicates with the upper portion of a filter bag 33 and extends upwardly through the power compartment 24 to terminate outside the upper wall 28 of the casing. It will be noted as best understood from viewing FIGURES 3 and 4 that the inlet conduit 32 passes through the upper wall 28 of the casing at such a location and distance from the back wall of the casing that the conduit is readily positioned within the confines of the building Wall between adjacent studs. This is accomplished, as illustrated in standard wall constructions using studs of about 3%" thickness, by positioning the inlet conduit 32 as it passes through the upper wall 28 of the casing so as to be entirely within a distance not exceeding about 3%" from the back wall of the casing. The conduits within the confines of building walls 13 and leading to remote hose outlets of the system are connected to the upper end of the inlet conduit 32 as seen in FIGURE 1. Inlet conduit 32 has a transverse opening 34 therein located in the portion of the condut which extends through the power compartment for reception of a hose attachment receptacle 35.

The blower motor 25 is electrically operated by a toggle switch 36 located on the vacuum unit which connects the motor, by way of conductors 36a, to a suitable power supply. Additional control switches (not shown) may be located at the remote outlets in the system for convenience, if desired.

To close the vacuum compartment 23 when the unit is in operation, the front access opening of the vacuum compartment 23 of the casing is provided with a closure member 37 which overlies the vacuum compartment and engages a gasket 38 surrounding the access opening to provide an airtight seal. The closure member 37 may be securely fastened to the casing by a pair of locking knobs 39, 39' which are turned to position a pair of locking fingers 40, 40 behind an inwardly extending flanged portion of the casing which defines the access opening of the vacuum compartment (FIGURE 5).

To enclose the casing 21 in the wall opening in which it is inserted, a casing cover 41 is provided. The cover 41 has inwardly extending flanged edged portions 42 which are adapted to engage the outer face of the wall about the periphery of the building wall 13 opening when the cover is in place over the casing (FIGURES 4 and 5).

The cover 41 is secured to the casing 21 by a pair of threaded bolts 43 which extend through openings in the cover and engage internally threaded openings in the front side wall flanges 44 and 45 of the casing. The bolts 43 are of suflicient length to adjust the position of the flanged cover 41 inwardly and outwardly with respect to the casing 21 and the flanged edged portions 42 of the cover are of suflicient depth to permit the cover to engage the outer face of the building wall 13 when the front edge of the casing 21 extends beyond the outer face of the wall (FIG- URE 5).

The cover 41 has an opening 46 which overlies the vacuum compartment 23 and through which the closure member 37 extends. Secured to the cover 41 around the periphery of the opening 46 is an outwardly extending resilient member 46:: which may be made of rubber or the like, the purpose of which is to provide additional contact surface between the cover 41 and the closure member 37 to facilitate greater linear adjustment of the cover 41 toward and away from the casing 21. The upper part of casing cover 41 is provided with a recessed portion 47 to receive a portion of the blower motor therein (FIG- URE 6) and :has an opening 48 alongside the recessed portion 47 which overlies the opening 34 in the inlet conduit 32.

The hose attachment receptacle 35 is secured to the outer face of the cover 41 by a pair of threaded bolts 52 and has an inwardly extending short conduit portion 53 which telescopically engages the opening 34 in the inlet conduit 32 to ensure communication of the receptacle 35 with the inlet conduit when the cover 41 is positioned inwardly and outwardly with respect to the casing 21.

By providing a separate vacuum compartment closure member and flanged casing cover, the vacuum unit presents a neat exterior appearance when placed in walls of varying thickness, and the cover engages the outer face of the building wall 13 even when the casing 21 protrudes from the wall opening (FIGURE 5). Additionally, the closure member 37 may be removed from the vacuum compartment 23 to clean the compartment without disturbing the casing cover 41.

The present invention also provides means to facilitate ready insertion and removal of the blower motor 25 from the vacuum unit. As best seen in FIGURE 3, the blower motor housing 25a is held frictionally in the power compartment 24. The suction inlet 26 of the housing is surrounded and engaged by a flexible gasket 65 carried by the partition wall 22 and the discharge outlet 27 of the motor housing carries a flexible gasket 66 which engages the upper wall 28 of the casing.

To withdraw the motor from the unit, cover 41 is removed from the front of the casing and the conductor wires 36a leading from the switch 36 to the motor are disconnected. The motor housing 25a which is frictionally held by the two gaskets 65 and 66, may be then quickly pulled straight out from the casing. In like manner, the motor may be quickly installed in the casing by pushing the motor housing straight into the power compartment so that the openings in the housing are aligned with the openings in the casing walls.

To prevent the return of fine particles of dust and dirt not trapped by the filter 33 into the area which has been cleaned, the blower motor discharge is preferably vented to a point outside a habitable area of the building. The discharge conduit 29 within the confines of the building wall 13 may be directed to an uninhabited area of the building, such as a sub-basement, or to a point exteriorly of the building, as shown in FIGURE 1.

The cleaner unit of the present invention may be mounted in the wall in any convenient manner. As shown in FIGURE 3, the unit is secured to a vertical stud 71 in the building wall by fastening members, such as wood screws 72.

Thus, it can be seen that by providing a wall-mounted vacuum cleaner unit with an adjustable cover having flanged edge portions and a separate closure member to seal the vacuum compartment, as taught by the present invention, the cleaning unit presents a neat appearance in building walls of various thicknesses.

In the drawings and specification there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.

I claim:

1. A vacuum cleaner unit adapted to be mounted in variable depth openings in a building Wall, said unit comprising a substantially rectangular casing having a vacuum compartment and a power compartment, said vacuum compartment having an inlet and an outlet, a filter bag operatively disposed in said vacuum compartment for the collection of dirt therein, a suction device mounted in said power compartment and having a suction inlet in communication with said vacuum compartment outlet and a discharge outlet communicating with an opening in an exterior wall of the casing, each of said compartments having an access opening therein adapted to be positioned substantially parallel to the outer face of the building wall when the unit is inserted in the wall opening, a cover for the casing having inwardly extending flanged edge portions adapted to overlie the outer face of the building wall about the periphery of the opening, said cover having an opening therein overlying the access opening in said vacuum compartment for gaining access to the filter bag therein for insertion and removal of said filter bag, closure means carried by said casing and positioned in said cover opening and sealably enclosing the access opening of the vacuum compartment irrespective of the position of said cover, and said cover being positionable with respect to said casing and independently of said closure means to permit the flanged edge portions of said cover to engage the outer face of the building wall without disturbing the sealing arrangement of said closure means with said vacuum compartment.

2. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 including an inlet conduit positioned in the vacuum compartment inlet with one end thereof in communication with the interior of said filter bag, said inlet conduit extending through the power compartment with the other end thereof terminating exteriorly of said casing; and wherein said suction device includes a blower motor having a motor housing and wherein said suction inlet and discharge outlet are located at opposite ends of said housing with said housing positioned in said power compartment alongside said inlet conduit to provide a compact cleaner unit.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2, wherein said power compartment is located above said vacuum compartment, and said inlet and said outlet of the vacuum compartment are both located above said filter bag when said vacuum cleaner unit is mounted in said building wall, with said inlet conduit connected to an upper portion of said filter bag, such that said filter bag may become substantially filled with dirt without restricting the flow of air into said filter bag and out of the upper portions of said filter bag and said vacuum compartment whereby the filter bag may become substantially filled with dirt without interfering with the vacuum cleaning action.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 including a pair of deformable gaskets frictionally securing said housing in said power compartment, one of said gaskets located between the suction inlet of the housing and the vacuum compartment outlet to provide a seal therebetween, and the other of said gaskets located between the discharge outlet of the housing and said opening in the exterior wall of the casing to provide a seal therebetween, said gaskets serving to provide a quick-connect coupling for said housing to facilitate insertion and removal of the suction device from the casing.

5. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein a portion of said motor housing is tapered toward said discharge outlet to reduce turbulence in air currents passing through said housing and discharge outlet.

6. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 including a hose connection receptacle mounted in said cover plate and having an inwardly extending conduit portion telescopically communicating with an opening in the portion of said inlet conduit extending through said power chamber to assure its communication with the inlet conduit irrespective of the position of the cover when it is in engagement with the outer face of the building wall.

7. An apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein an outlet conduit communicates with the discharge outlet of said suction device and is adapted to extend exteriorly of habitable portions of the building in which the vacuum cleaner unit is mounted, whereby exhaust from the vacuum cleaner unit is prevented from returning contaminants to a portion of the building which has been cleaned.

8. A vacuum cleaner unit positioned largely within a hollow vertical building Wall for vacuum cleaning areas in a room, said wall having an opening therein in which said cleaner unit is positioned, said cleaner unit comprising a casing provided with a back wall and having a power compartment and a vacuum compartment, a suction de vice mounted in said power compartment and having a suction inlet communicating with said vacuum compartment, an inlet conduit communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and extending therefrom within the confines of said building wall and having at least one hose attachment receptacle thereon communicating with the exterior of said wall, and an outlet conduit communicating with the exhaust side of said suction device and being so located at its point of communication with the exhaust side of the suction device as to be entirely within a distance not exceeding about 3 /8 from the back wall of the casing, and said outlet conduit extending from the casing a substantial distance within the confines of said wall and to a point exteriorly of said room.

9. A structure according to claim 8, including a filter bag disposed within said vacuum compartment and wherein the suction inlet of said suction device is communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment above said filter bag, and said inlet conduit is communicatively connected to the upper portion of said filter bag such that said filter bag may become substantially filled with dirt without restricting the flow of air into said filter bag and out of the upper portions of said filter bag and said vacuum compartment whereby the filter bag may become substantially filled with dirt without interfering with the vacuum cleaning action. I

10. A structure according to claim 8, wherein said vacuum compartment is located beneath said power compartment, a substantially horizontal partition in said casing separating said power and vacuum compartments and having spaced side-by-side inlet and outlet openings therethrough, a filter bag having its upper portion communicating with said inlet opening and being positioned in said vacuum compartment for the collection of dirt therein, said suction inlet of said suction device communicating with said vacuum chamber through said outlet opening in said partition, and said inlet conduit communicating with said vacuum compartment and said filter bag through said inlet opening in said partition whereby said filter bag may become substantially filled with dirt without restricting the flow of air into said filter bag and out of the upper portions of said filter bag and said vacuum compartment, so the dirt being collected in said filter bag does not interfere with the vacuum cleaning action.

11. A structure according to claim 10, wherein said casing includes an upper wall defining said power compartment therebeneath, wherein said inlet conduit extends through said upper Wall and alongside said suction device, and wherein said outlet conduit communicates with the exhaust side of said suction device through said upper wall of said casing and extends upwardly therefrom within the confines of said building wall.

12. A vacuum cleaner unit according to claim 8 wherein said inlet conduit communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment extends therefrom through said power compartment within the confines of the building wall and projects outside of said casing at a location on said casing such as to be entirely within a distance not exceeding about 3%" from the back wall of the casing.

13. A vacuum cleaner unit adaptable for being positioned in a hollow vertical building wall and comprising a casing provided with a back wall and having a power compartment and a vacuum compartment, a suction device mounted in said power compartment and having a suction inlet communicating with said vacuum compartment, an inlet conduit communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and extending therefrom and adapted to accommodate a hose receiving receptacle thereon, and an outlet conduit communicating with the exhaust side of said suction device and being so located at its point of communication with the exhaust side of the suction device as to be entirely within a distance not exceeding about 3%" of the back wall of the casing.

14. A vacuum cleaner unit according to claim 13 wherein said inlet conduit extends through said power compartment and projects outside of said casing at a location on said casing as to be entirely within a distance not exceeding about 3%" from the back wall of the casing.

8 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R.

' UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,422 ,482 January 21 1969 James C. Hamrick It is certified that error apyears in the above identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as show below:

Column 3 line 33 "condut" should read conduit line 56 "wall" should read building wall 13 line 57 "building wall 13" should read wall Signed and sealed this 7th day of April 1970.

(SEAL) Attest:

Edward M. Fletcher, Jr. WILLIAM E. SCHUYLER, JR.

Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2674405 *May 22, 1951Apr 6, 1954Gen ElectricResilient motor mounting and air sealing arrangement in vacuum cleaners
US3023447 *Oct 15, 1958Mar 6, 1962Senne Edgar PWall-installed vacuum cleaner
US3173164 *May 18, 1960Mar 16, 1965Whirlpool CoBuiltin vacuum cleaner
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3676986 *Sep 15, 1969Jul 18, 1972Charles WoodsBuilt-in central vacuuming device
US3705437 *Aug 17, 1970Dec 12, 1972Cleaning Systems Ind IncCombination high pressure washer and vacuum
US3706184 *Jun 9, 1969Dec 19, 1972Matter Mfg CorpWall-recessed suction cleaner
US3783472 *Jan 14, 1972Jan 8, 1974Wal Vac IncWall mounted vacuum cleaner unit and method of installation
US4488883 *Feb 23, 1984Dec 18, 1984Philp Joseph TVacuum bag cleaning system
US5584286 *Aug 18, 1994Dec 17, 1996Kippax; John E.Integrated breathing system
US6158080 *Jan 4, 1999Dec 12, 2000Schlapkohl; PeterUltra-compact recessed wall mounted vacuum cleaner
US6502274Jan 31, 2001Jan 7, 2003Vacs America, Inc.Vacuum cleaner bag mounting assembly
US6560816Mar 16, 2001May 13, 2003Vacs America, Inc.Central vacuum system with bag mounting assembly
US7614113 *Jul 30, 2004Nov 10, 2009Panasonic Corporation Of North AmericaMotor enclosure for a vacuum cleaner
US7624472 *Jun 14, 2004Dec 1, 2009Ambrose Roger APipe coupler for in-wall central vacuuming system
US7921510Aug 14, 2009Apr 12, 2011Panasonic Corporation Of North AmericaMotor enclosure for a vacuum cleaner
US8241380 *Nov 17, 2008Aug 14, 2012Mary Lou HofferAir filter duct cover
US20090126679 *Nov 17, 2008May 21, 2009Mary Lou HofferAir filter duct cover
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/314, 55/419, 55/481, 15/327.1, 55/385.1, 55/DIG.800, 55/472
International ClassificationA47L5/38
Cooperative ClassificationY10S55/08, A47L5/38
European ClassificationA47L5/38
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 26, 1982AS03Merger
Owner name: BENJAMIN ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY A CORP. OF
Owner name: BENJAMIN ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY, A CORP. O
Owner name: COLONIAL MANUFACTURI
Effective date: 19761220
Apr 26, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: BENJAMIN ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY A CORP. OF
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:BENJAMIN ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY, A CORP. OF TENN.;COLONIAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY,THE, A CORP. OF MICH.;HARRIS & MALLOW PRODUCTS, INC., A CORP. OF N.J.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:003981/0451
Effective date: 19761220