US 3438580 A
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April 15, 1969 MOTOR G. c. SIEBRING 3,438,580
CLEANING APPARATUS Filed May 22, 1967 58 INVENTOR.
ATTOE/ EV United States Patent 3,438,580 CLEANING APPARATUS Gary C. Siebring, George, Iowa, assignor to Siebring Manufacturing Company, George, Iowa, a corporation of Iowa Filed May 22, 1967, Ser. No. 640,188 Int. Cl. 1305b 7/16, 7/00, 1/24 US. Cl. 239-135 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A cleaning apparatus in which provision is made for supplying either cleaning fluid from a container or water through a pump to a nozzle for directing a fluid against the surface to be cleaned and in which in one position of a two-position switch, the source of water to the nozzle is interrupted and a cleaning ingredient, such as powdered soap is supplied to the container of cleaning fluid and in the other position of which the supply of the cleaning ingredient to the container of cleaning fluid is interrupted and only water is supplied to the nozzle.
Background of the invention Summary of the invention An object of the present invention is to provide a very simple form of cleaning apparatus in which there is a minimum number of valves.
It is a further object of the invention to provide such an arrangement in which it is possible to use a relatively inexpensive water soluble cleaning ingredient, such as powdered soap, which is mixed with water at a rate de pendent upon the consumption of the cleaning fluid.
In accomplishing these objects, I employ an arrangement in which there is a single electrically operated valve and this is so arranged that the cleaning fluid never flows through it. Thus, there are a minimum number of parts in the control mechanism and a minimum number of parts exposed to the cleaning fluid to minimize the chances of the operation of the valve or other movable parts being aflected by the cleaning fluid. In order to produce the cleaning fluid inexpensively, I employ an arrangement employing a powdered water soluble cleaning ingredient, such as powdered soap, which is disposed within a hopper from which it falls onto a rotating table. The same means that drives the table also drives an agitator so that as long as the driving means is operative, the powdered cleaning ingredient continues to fall on the table and be delivered to the container of cleaning fluid. When the driving means is rendered inoperative, delivery of the cleaning ingredient ceases. By employing a check valve between the container of cleaning fluid and the inlet of the pump which delivers the fluid to the nozzle, and by employing a source of water under pressure and having a water delivery capacity greater than the pumping capacity of the pump, it is assured that whenever the water is being delivered to the pump, the check valve will be closed to prevent delivery of the cleaning fluid to the pump.
I also employ a two-position switch which in one posi- 3,438,580 Patented Apr. 15, 1969 tion causes the water valve to be opened to cause delivery of water to the pump and closure of the check valve, as above described. In the other position, the water valve is closed and when the pump is operating, cleaning fluid flows through the check valve to the inlet of the pump. The water soluble ingredient being delivered from the hopper is mixed with water from the source of water which enters the container of cleaning fluid through a float operated valve to maintain the level of the water at a predetermined height.
I provide further switch means which may be a coinoperated switch for deenergizing the entire electrical system including the motor operating the pump. Thus, when this switch is open, neither cleaning fluid nor water can be delivered to the nozzle.
Brief description of the drawings FIGURE 1 is a schematic view of my cleaning apparatus;
FIGURE 2 is a view taken partly in section along the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1 in the direction of the arrows adjacent that line and showing the relationship of the rotatable table to other elements of the means for dis pensing the cleaning ingredient; and
FIGURE 3 is a sectional view of the hopper for the cleaning ingredient, the sectional view being taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring to FIGURE 1, the reference numeral 10 indicates a flow directing device or gun having a handle 11 and a trigger 12 which is used to operate a valve 13 allowing the flow of fluid from a conduit 14 to an elongated nozzle pipe 15. When the trigger device 12 is drawn to the left, as viewed in FIGURE 1, fluid is admitted from the conduit 14 and flows through the nozzle pipe 15 out through a nozzle tip 16. When the trigger 12 is released, the valve 13 is closed and the flow of fluid through pipe 15 to nozzle 16 is interrupted. Fluid is delivered to conduit 14 by a pump 18 which is driven by an electric motor 20. In order to prevent excessive pressures from building up on the outlet side of pump 18 when the valve 13 is closed, I provide a bypass conduit 21 around the pump 18, the flow of fluid through this bypass conduit being controlled by a pressure relief valve 22 which is designed to open whenever the pressure on the outlet side of the pump is above a predetermined value. When this happens, valve 22 opens and fluid circulates from the outlet side of the pump to the inlet side through conduit 21.
The inlet side of the pump 18 has connected thereto a conduit 24 to which are connected two further conduits 25 and 25. Conduit 25 provides cleaning fluid to conduit 24 under certain conditions while the conduit 26 supplies fresh water under certain conditions.
The water is supplied from a conduit 28 leading to any suitable source of water under pressure such as a pipe leading to a city water main. The water leaving pipe 28 passes through a heater 29 which is designed to heat the water to a desired temperature, for example, F. The water leaving heater 29 enters the conduit 30 which is connected to water conduit 26 through a solenoid operated valve 31 having a valve actuator 32 which is eflective when energized to open the valve and when deenergized to cause closure of the valve 31.
The cleaning fluid is located in a tank or container 33, the outlet of which is connected through a check valve 34 to pipe 25 and hence to the pipe 24 connected to the inlet of pump 18. The check valve 34 is open whenever the pressure on the tank side of the valve is greater than that on the side to which pipe 25 is connected. When, however, the pressure in pipe 25 is.higher than the pressure on the inlet side of check valve 34 connected to the tank 33, valve 34 is maintained closed.
The tank 33 in my specific embodiment is filled with an aqueous solution of soap or detergent. The water is supplied from water line 30 through a pipe 37 leading to a float valve 38 controlled by a float 39. Whenever the level of the liquid in tank 33 is below the desired level, the float 39 permits valve 38 to open to supply water through a nozzle 40 to the interior of container 33. The nozzle 40 is designed to cause the water to be introduced into the tank with a certain amount of turbulence to aid in the dissolution of the soap or detergent in the water. As soon as the liquid approaches the desired level, the float 39 is effective to close valve 38 to prevent the admission of more water.
In order to supply soap to the water in container 33, I employ a soap dispenser 44. This soap dispenser includes a hopper 45 for powdered soap or a suitable detergent. The hopper is of square cross section, as shown in FIG- URE 3, and tapers from the top to the bottom terminating in an outlet tube 46 over which is slidably disposed a cylindrical discharge spout 47. The vertical positino of the discharge spout can be adjusted with respect to the outlet tube 46 and maintained in any adjusted position by suitable clamping means such as set screw 48.
The tank 33 for the cleaning fluid and the hopper 45 are supported by a suitable framework 51 which is provided with a plurality of cross bars 52 to which the hopper 45 is secured. Located beneath the discharge spout 47 is a rotatable table 54. This table is rotated by a motor and gear train 55 which is supported from the framework 51 in any suitable manner (not shown). The motor unit 55 is efi'ective when energized to slowly rotate the disc 54. Disposed immediately above the disc 54 is a stationary rim member 56 which is supported from the hopper 45 by a plurality of vertical straps 58 disposed circumferentially about the rim 56 and secured to the four walls of the hopper 45. The rim 56, as best shown in FIGURE 2, does not extend for a complete 360 but has an opening 60 therein. Secured to the rim 56 adjacent this opening is a deflecting member 61 which extends in close to the discharge spout 47. The deflecting member 61 has a portion 62 bent at right angles to the main portion of the deflecting portion and secured to the rim 56 by any suitable means such as rivets, welding, etc.
The motor and gear train unit 55 not only drives the disc 54 but also drives a shaft 65 to which is secured an agitator 66 which may take the form of a cross bar as shown in FIGURE 3. As the motor and gear train rotate, the agitator 66 serves to prevent any compacting of the powdered soap 67 within the hopper 45.
The powdered soap 67 as it leaves the discharge tube 47 falls onto the table 54. The =flow of soap from the hopper 45 can be regulated by adjusting the height of the spout 47 with respect to the discharge tube 46 of the hopper. In this manner, any desired flow of the soap can be maintained. The soap on the rotatable disc 54 is forced out through the opening 60 in the rim 56 as it engages the deflector 61 causing the soap to flow over the edge of the rim in a steady stream at a predetermined desired rate. The tank 33 has a longitudinal opening in the upper portion thereof extending the full length thereof and the soap leaving the rotatable disc 54 falls into this opening to be mixed with the water being introduced through nozzle 40. The soap is somewhat dispersed as it falls from the rim 56 into the container. The combination of this along with the agitation in the water produced by the water leaving the nozzle 40 results in the soap and water being very efliectively mixed. This is further aided by the fact that the water issuing through nozzle 40 has already been heated by the heater 29 to facilitate the dissolving of the soap powder.
Power is supplied for operation of the various motors and valves from suitable line wires 69 and 70 leading to any suitable source of power such as the usual 110-volt AC. power lines. The motor 20 driving the pump 18 is connected to power lines 69 and under the control of a switch 71 which may either be manually controlled or controlled from some coin-operated dispenser which automatically causes closure of switch 71 upon the insertion of a coin of the desired denomination. Such coin-operated switches are old and well known and need not be shown in detail.
When switch 71 is closed, either by manual operation or by the insertion of a coin into a suitable coin-operated mechanism, a circuit is closed from line wire 69 through switch 71, conductor 72, electric motor 20 and conductors 73, 74 and 75 back to the other line wire 70. T111118, as long as switch 71 is closed, motor 20 is energized to cause continuous operation of the pump.
A two-position switch 78 has a switch blade 79 movable into engagement with either of two fixed contacts 80 and 81. The switch blade 79 engages contact 80 when the switch 78 is in the clean position whereas the switch blade 79 engages the contact 81 when the switch 78 is in the rinse position. As will be presently explained, when the switch 78 is in its rinse position, the solenoid valve 31 is de-energized to prevent the flow of water to the pump and the motor 55 controlling the delivery of soap or other cleaning ingredient to the tank 33 of cleaning fluid is energized. When the switch 78 is in its rinse position, the motor 55 is no longer energized and the solenoid valve 31 is open.
Considering first the condition which exists when switch 78 is in the clean position, it is assumed that switch 71 has been closed since operation of the cleaning apparatus is desired. A circuit can now be traced from line conductor 69 through switch 71, switch blade 79, contact 80, conductor 83, motor 55 and conductors 84, 74 and 75 back to the other line conductor 70. Since the solenoid 32 is connected to contact 81 with which the switch blade 79 is not in engagement, it will be obvious that solenoid valve 31 is de-energized under these conditions. Consequently, water cannot flow from source 28 to the conduit 24 except as it may do so by entering the tank of cleaning fluid. Since water is not being admitted to conduit 24 directly from the source, check valve 34 can open. The source of water represented by the pipe 28 is capable of delivering water at a much greater rate than the capacity of pump 18. Consequently, when valve 32 is open, a relatively high pressure exists on the downstream side of check valve 34 keeping it closed. With valve 31 closed, as is the situation in the case being considered, check valve 34 is free to open when pump 18 is running. Cleaning fluid is thus drawn from the tank 33 and delivered through pump 18 to the gun 10 from which it is delivered through nozzle 16 to the object to be cleaned. It will be appreciated that the fluid is delivered under relatively high pressure determined by the pressure on the outlet side of the pump 18.
Whle the cleaning fluid is being delivered from tank 33, fresh water is being supplied through float valve 38 and nozzle 40, due to the lowering of the level of the cleaning fluid. At the same time, the motor 55 is eifective to drive the agitator '66 and the rotatable table 54 to cause more powdered soap to flow into the container 33. For the reasons previously pointed out, the soap is readily dissolved in the water so that the supply of soap solution is constantly being replenished as it is being drawn oif through the pump 18. It is thus possible to have a relatively small tank 33 and yet maintain an adequate supply of soap solution for cleaning purposes while the pump 18 is being operated. By providing a powdered soap or other detergent which can be purchased in bulk relatively inexpensively and providing means whereby the soap or other cleaning ingredient is mixed with the water as the cleaning solution is being used, it is possible to provide a relatively compact, inexpensive means for producing cleaning fluid. This is in contrast to arrangements in which prepared cleaning fluids are employed and in which it is necessary to employ a relatively large container for the cleaning fluid and to employ relatively expensive solutions which either must be premixed or shipped in relatively bulky containers.
When it is desired to rinse away the cleaning solution from the object being washed, the switch 78 is moved to the rinse position in which switch blade 79 is moved out of engagement with contact 80 into engagement with contact 81. When this happens, the current previously traced to the motor 55 is interrupted with the result that the agitator 66 and the cable 54 are no longer rotated. The result is that the soap or other cleaning ingredient simply rests on the table 54 and no longer spills, out into the tank 33. At the same time, since cleaning fluid is no longer being drawn from tank 33, no fresh water is being admitted to the tank 33.
The movement of switch blade 79 into engagement with the contact 81 establishes a circuit to the solenoid 32 of solenoid valve 31 from line wire 69 through switch 71, switch blade 79, contact 81, conductor 86, solenoid 32 and conductors 87 and 75 back to the other line wire 70. The solenoid 32 is now energized and water is admitted under pressure from conduit 28 through heater 29, conduit 30, solenoid valve 31 and conduits 26 and 24 to the inlet of pump 18. The water flows through pump 18 to the gun and if the trigger 12 is moved to open the valve 13, water issues through the nozzle 16 to be directed against the object being cleaned.
Due to the fact, as previously pointed out, that the flow delivery of conduits 28 and 30 is much greater than the capacity of pump 18, a positive pressure builds up in pipe greater than the pressure of the fluid in tank 33 causing closure of the check valve 34. Thus, it is impossible for cleaning fluid to leave the tank 33 under these conditions. As a result, only clean water is delivered under these conditions to the nozzle 16.
If at any time when the switch 78 is in either its clean or rinse positions, the valve 13 is closed, the pressure relief valve 22 will open to allow the fluid to bypass and circulate through the bypass 21, thus avoiding an excessive build up of pressure in the conduit 14 leading to the gun 10.
Conclusion It will be seen that my arrangement provides an extremely simple and inexpensive way of delivering either cleaning solution or fresh water to a nozzle gun for cleaning purposes. The cleaning solution is produced by simply mixing city water under pressure with a cleaning ingredient, the rate of delivery of which is regulated to re plenish the cleaning solution as it is being used.
The only valves through which the cleaning fluid flows are the check valve 34 and the pressure relief valve 22 when the outlet pressure is too high, and such valves are of relatively simple construction and can be readily designed so that their operation Will be in no way aflected by the presence of a soap solution in the valve. The only electrically operated valve is the solenoid valve 31 and the only fluid ever flowing through this valve is water. The float valve 38 likewise only has water flowing therethrough. Thus, in contrast to known arrangements, there is only one valve which is selectively controlled in accordance with the desired washing conditions, this valve being the solenoid valve 31.
It will thus be seen that I have provided an extremely simple, inexpensive apparatus for supplying either cleaning fluid or water to a nozzle for directing the fluid under pressure against the surface to be cleaned.
I claim as my invention:
1. Cleaning apparatus comprising:
a nozzle for directing a fluid under pressure against a surface to be cleaned,
a P p a first conduit leading from the outlet of said pump to said nozzle,
a second conduit connected to the inlet of said pump,
a container of cleaning fluid connected to said second conduit,
electrically controlled means eflective when energized to supply a cleaning ingredient to said container of cleaning fluid,
a source of water under pressure also connected to said second conduit,
a first valve interposed between said container of cleaning fluid and said second conduit,
an electrically operated shut-off valve member interposed between said source of water under pressure and the point of connection of said container of cleaning fluid to said second conduit,
and circuit means including a two-position switch and connections between said switch, said electrically controlled means, and said electrically operated shut-oil valve member and effective when said switch is in a first position to affect the energization of said electrically operated valve so as to cause closure thereof, to cause energization of said electrically controlled means to supply a cleaning ingredient to said container of cleaning fluid, and opening of said first valve to cause said cleaning fluid to be delivered by said pump to said nozzle, said circuit means being effective when said switch is in a second position to cause deenergization of said electrically controlled means and closure of said first valve and to affect the energization of said electrically operated valve to cause opening thereof to cause water to be delivered from said source to said nozzle.
2. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 in which the electrically controlled means for supplying a cleaning ingredient to said container of cleaning fluid is an electrically operated dispenser for delivering a powdered water soluble cleaning agent to said container.
3. The cleaning apparatus of claim 2 in which means including a float controlled valve is provided for delivering water from said source of water to said container.
4. The cleaning apparatus of claim 2 in which means are provided for heating the water from said source prior to delivery of the same to said container or to said second conduit.
5. The cleaning apparatus of claim 2 in which the dispenser includes a housing for the powdered cleaning agent and a motor driven rotatable table onto which the powdered cleaning agent falls and from which it is delivered into said container of cleaning fluid.
6. The cleaning apparatus of claim 2 in which the dispenser includes a container for powdered cleaning agent and a motor driven device for dispensing powdered cleaning agent at a uniform rate from said housing to said container of cleaning fluid and in which said motor is deenergized when said electrically controlled means is dcenergized.
7. The cleaning apparatus of claim 1 in which the pump is driven by an electric motor and in which there is a further switch operable when open to de-energize said motor and to interrupt the supply of power to said twoposition switch.
8. cleaning apparatus comprising:
a nozzle for directing a fluid under pressure against a surface to be cleaned,
a first conduit leading from the outlet of said pump to said nozzle,
a second conduit connected to the inlet of said pump,
a container of cleaning fluid connected to said second conduit,
electrically controlled means effective when energized to supply a cleaning ingredient to said container of cleaning fluid,
a source of water under pressure also connected to said second conduit and having a water delivery capacity greater than the pumping capacity of said a check valve interposed between said container of cleaning fluid and said second conduit and adapted to close when the pressure in said second conduit is greater than that at the outlet of said container of cleaning fluid so that when water is being delivered from said source of water to said second conduit said check valve is maintained closed,
an electrically operated shut-ofi? valve member interposed between said source of water under pressure and the point of connection of said container of cleaning fluid to said second conduit to shut off the flow of water to said second conduit to allow said check valve to open so that said pump can deliver cleaning fluid from said container thereof to said nozzle,
and circuit means including a two-position switch and connections between said switch, said electrically controlled means, and said electrically operated shutoff valve member and effective when said switch is in a first position to affect the energization of said valve so as to cause closure thereof and to cause energization of said electrically controlled means to supply a cleaning ingredient to said container of cleaning fluid and delivery of cleaning fluid to said nozzle, said circuit means being effective when said switch is in a second position to cause de-energization of said electrically controlled means and to effect the energization of said valve to cause opening thereof to cause water to be delivered from said source to said nozzle. 7
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1962 Simmons 239-75 7/1968 MCCulloch 222--70 X M. HENSON WOOD, JR., Primary Examiner.
M. Y. MAR, Assistant Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R.