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Publication numberUS3444890 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 20, 1969
Filing dateMay 26, 1966
Priority dateMay 26, 1966
Publication numberUS 3444890 A, US 3444890A, US-A-3444890, US3444890 A, US3444890A
InventorsBobby J Ralston
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Means to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet
US 3444890 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 20, 1969 B J. RALSTON 3,444,390

MEANS TO CONNECT AN AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE TO A WATER FAUCET Filed May 26, 1966 Sheet of 2 w FlG.\

INVENTOR. BOBBY I RALSTON BYgmuggb HIS ATTORNEY May 20, 1969 J. RALSTON MEANS TO CONNECT AN AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINE TO A WATER FAUQET Sheet Filed May 26, 1966 INVENTOR BOBBY J". RALSTON BY m a k H \S ATTORNEY United States Patent MEANS T0 CONNECT AN AUTOMATIC WASH- ING MACHINE TO A WATER FAUCET Bobby J. Ralston, Louisville, Ky., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed May 26, 1966, Ser. No. 553,238

Int. Cl. E03b 7/07; F16k 13/00; F16] 29/00 US. Cl. 137-562 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Improved coupling means for connecting an automatic washing machine to a faucet. The improved means comprises a body portion adapted to be secured to the faucet. At least one passageway extends through the body portion and is adapted to receive liquid from the faucet. The passageway extends to a coupling spout on the body portion that is adapted to be coupled to a washing machine liquid inlet hose. A valve element is provided that is movable relative to the body portion and has an opening that is adapted to be selectively moved into and out of registry with the passageway. Latching means is provided on the movable valve element that is movable with the element to latch the hose against dislodgment from the body portion when the element is in registry with the passageway.

This invention relates generally to a coupling means and, more particularly, to a means to removably connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet.

Many devices are commercially available for use in connecting a washing machine to a source of liquid. These devices range from a threaded hose coupling to a more elaborate combined water source connector and effluent discharge outlet. The latter, a water source connector having an effluent discharge outlet combined therewith, is the type most commonly used with portable automatic dishwashing machines. This type is particularly useful with a portable diswasher since dishwashers are commonly used in the kitchen at which location the source of liquid (faucet) is almost invariably associated with an effluent discharge receptacle (sink drain). It has therefore become quite common to combine the connector for a portable dishwasher with the efiiuent discharge outlet so that, with manipulation of a single device, the housewife may set up both the water connection and the efiiuent discharge connection.

The combination connector and effluent discharge, though obviously advantageous in many respects, presents some disadvantages. For example, the housewife may desire to draw water from the kitchen faucet while the connector is attached thereto. An entire wash cycle of an automatic dishwasher includes several separate admissions of water so that the connector must remain connected to the faucet throughout substantially all of the wash cycle, with the exception of the terminal portion of the cycle at which time the dishes are being dried and no water is required. It is a nuisance to the housewife to be unable to draw water from the kitchen faucet during this time that the dishwasher is connected and, since most present day faucets emit both hot and cold water from the same outlet, the housewife is unable to draw either hot or cold water. Solutions have been suggested to this problem but in most cases, the suggested solutions have created new problems in that the devices proposed have been either difiicult to operate or expensive to manufacture.

Another problem frequently encountered with a dishwasher connecting means is that created by the inlet valve to the dishwasher being positioned downstream from the "ice connection at the water faucet. When the dishwasher has completed operation, the water present at the connection to the faucet is under pressure, and when the connector is uncoupled, liquid is frequently forcedly ejected from either the hose or the faucet creating an obviously unhappy situation.

Also, with many of the connecting devices presently available, it is possible to disconnect the connector from the faucet without previously turning off the faucet so that, as the disconnection is affected, water under pressure may be sprayed from the faucet in a direction wherein it is not readily received by the sink.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to provide means to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet which is easy and simple to use, inexpensive to manufacture, allows the housewife to draw water from the faucet while the washing machine is connected thereto, relieves any residual pressure at the coupling before the washing machine is disconnected therefrom, and compensates for the inadvertent failure to turn off the faucet prior to disconnecting the washing machine.

It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide an improved means to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet.

It is also an object of this invention to provide an improved connector means for an automatic washing machine which is simple to operate but yet inexpensive to manufacture.

It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved connector means for an automatic washing machine which bleeds off any residual pressure at the coupling before the washing machine may be disconnected.

-It is another object of this invention to provide an improved connector means for an automatic washing machine which compensates for the inadvertent failure to turn off the water faucet prior to disconnecting the washing machine.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide an improved connector means for an automatic washing machine which will allow the operator of the washing machine to draw water from the faucet while the washing machine is connected thereto.

Briefly stated, in accordance with one aspect of the present invention, I provide a coupling to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet comprising a body portion with means to secure the body portion to the faucet. Two passageways are provided through the body portion and are adapted to receive liquid from the faucet. A coupling spout extends from the body portion and is adapted to engage in liquidtight relationship with a fitting on a washing machine inlet hose. One of the passageways extends through the coupling spout to transmit liquid through the fitting and the hose. The other passageway extends through the body portion and is directed to eject Water directly from the body portion into a sink or other receptacle disposed therebelow. A movable valve element is provided to selectively open communication between either of the passageways and the faucet. A latching means is provided and is movable with the valve element to latch the fitting against dislodgment from the spout when the valve element opens that passageway extending through the coupling spout.

While the specification concludes with claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention, it is believed the invention will be better understood from the following description taken in connection with the accom panying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view, partially cut away to show details, of the coupling of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a sectional view taken along line 22 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 but showing the valve element in an operative position different from that of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 but showing the valve element in yet another operative position;

FIGURE 6 is an exploded perspective view of the coupling of the present invention;

FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken along line 77 of FIGURE 1 but showing the latching means in the position of FIGURE 5; and

FIGURE 8 is a sectional view taken along line 77 of FIGURE 1, showing the latching means in the position of FIGURES 2 and 3.

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURE 1 thereof, thereto, there is illustrated a substantially conventional water faucet 10 disposed above a sink 11, it being understood that controls (not shown) are provided to control the admission of hot and cold water to the faucet 10. It should also be understood that sink 11 is provided with a drain (not shown) which leads to a conventional household sewer system. A water inlet hose 12 extends from an automatic washing machine (not shown) and is adapted to convey water from faucet 10 to the washing machine. The washing machine is provided with an inlet water valve to control admission of water to the washing machine in predetermined relationship with the sequential operation of the washing machine. An efiluent discharge hose 13 similarily extends from the automatic washing machine and is connected to the washing machine to receive the vitiated wash fluid and conduct it from the machine to a receptacle such as sink 11. Hoses 12 and 13 are secured to a member 14 which may be molded of plastic and which has formed therein a passageway 15 to direct the efiluent fluid from hose 13 downwardly into sink 11. Similarly, member 14 defines passageway 16 which is in alignment with hose 12. At one side of member 14, a short cylindrical tube 17 is embedded therein and projects outwardly therefrom to conduct to hose 12. At the other side of the member 14, a fitting 18 is similarly embedded in member 14 and is provided with an annular recess 19 adapted to receive a seal 20. Fitting 18 is adapted to engage a coupling spout 21 in liquidtight relationship in a manner to be described in greater detail hereinafter.

Faucet 10, as is conventional, has a screw thread 22 which normally receives an aerator to minimize splashing of water as it discharges from the faucet. Although screw thread 22 is shown as an external thread, it is to be understood that some faucets are provided with an internal thread to be used with an aerator having an external thread. Of course, the present invention may be adapted for use with either type of thread. In accordance with the present invention, a coupling, shown generally at 23, is secured to faucet 10 by means of a cylindrical threaded element 24. A bolt 25 is received in a central threaded opening in element 24 and serves to clamp a body portion or member 26 into rigid engagement with element 24. The central threaded opening in element 24 is disposed in a depending boss 27 which has a cylindrical outer surface. The central portion 28 of member 26 is brought into rigid engagement with the lower end of boss 27 by the bolt 25. Thus, member 26 and element 24 remain relatively stationary with respect to faucet 10.

The lower end of member 26 may be provided with external screw threads (not shown) substantially identical to screw threads 22 so that an aerator 29 may be secured thereto. Member 26 has passageways 30 and 31 4 extending therethrough with passageway 31 opening out the bottom of member 26 and into the aerator 29'. Passageway 30 extends through member 26 and out through coupling spout 21 to be in substantial alignment with passageway 16 of member 14 when fitting 18 is coupled to spout 21.

Disposed above member 26 is a movable valve element 32 which has a central opening therethrough to receive boss 27. Valve element 32 is rotatable about boss 27. Valve element 32 has an elongated opening 33 therethrough which can be brought into registry with either of passageways 30 or 31 by movement of valve element 32. FIGURE 3 shows valve element 32 positioned such that opening 33 is in registry with passageway 31 and FIGURE 5 illustrates valve element 32 in a position wherein opening 33 is in registry with passageway 30.

Cylindrical threaded element 24 has a plurality of openings 34 therethrough which allow water to flow from faucet 10 down through opening 33 and then into either passageway 30 or 31 depending upon the relationship of opening 33 with the passageways. An annular seal 35 is provided between element 24 and valve element 32 to prevent water from leaking out through the area between these parts. A handle 36 may be provided to facilitate manual movement of the valve element 32.

At this point, it should be obvious that the present invention provides selective passage of Water from faucet 10 through either of passageways 30 or 31 depending upon the position of valve element 32 and opening 33. When opening 33 is in registry with passageway 31, water will pass directly from faucet 10 through aerator 29 and into sink 11 or any other receptacle disposed below aerator 29. When opening 33 is in registry with passageway 30, the water will be directed from faucet 10 into hose 12 for admission to the washing machine.

Referring now to FIGURES 6, 7 and 8, it can be seen that valve element 32 has a generally cylindrical latching means 37 rigidly secured thereto for movement therewith. Latching means 37 includes a circumferential slot 38 with an enlarged portion 39 at one end thereof. The enlarged portion 39 is sufficiently large to receive fitting 18 whereas the remainder of slot 38 is too small to accept fitting 18. Fitting 18 has a pair of slots 40 and 41 which are spaced from each other a distance less than the width of the slot 38 so that, once fitting 18 is slipped over coupling spout 21, latching means 37 may be moved relative to fitting 18 and member 26 with the upper and lower portions of latching means 37, which define the narrow portion of slot 38, being received by slots 40 and 41. Once this has been done, fitting 18 cannot be removed from spot 21 until latching means 37 is again moved to an extent wherein enlarged portion 39 is in registry with fitting 18. Because latching means 37 and valve element 32 move together, and further because of the relationship between enlarged portion 39 of slot 38 in latching means 37 and opening 33 in valve element 32, fitting 18 cannot be removed from spot 21 until passageway 30 has been closed by valve element 32.

The foregoing arrangement, although compensating for inadvertent failure to turn 01f faucet 10 prior to removing fitting 18 from spout 21, would not in itself prevent inadvertent discharge of water through spout 21 when fitting 18 is not coupled thereto. In order to avoid this possibility, the present invention provides means to prevent opening of passageway 30 until such time as fitting 18 is coupled to spout 21. This is accomplished by means of a spring-biased stop 42 which has a small tab 43 projecting outwardly therefrom to engage and prevent rotation of latching means 37 when in its extended position as illustrated in FIGURES 6 and 8. When fitting 18 is coupled to spout 21, fiitting 18 engages tab 43, and, as slots 40 and 41 are brought into alignment with latching means 36, stop 42 is forced inwardly to the position illustrated in FIGURE 7 which retracts tab 43 from its interfering position with latching means 37. Thus, when fitting 18 is properly coupled to spout 21, latching means 37, and valve element 32, are free to rotate so that opening 33 may be brought into registry passageway 30.

Thus it can be seen that the present invention provides means to prevent inadvertent removal of the washing machine inlet hose from the coupling when faucet is opened. Moreover, the present invention does allow removal of the hose from the coupling when faucet 10 is inadvertently left open without escape of water through spout 21 by automatically requiring closing of passageway before fitting 18 can be removed from spout 21. Additionally, the present invention prevents the opening of passageway 30, which could result in the escape of liquid through spout 21 if faucet 10 were opened, until such time as fitting 18 is properly couple to spout 21.

As mentioned earlier, another problem which is frequently attendant with a device to connect an automatic washing machine to a faucet is that of residual pressure after the faucet has been turned off. In other words, there is usually provided a water inlet valve on the automatic washing machine which selectively admits water to the washing machine at predetermined times throughout the dishwasher cycle. When the faucet is open, as is the case when the washing machine is connected thereto, and the water inlet valve on the washing machine closes at the last admission of water to the washing machine, there is in existence a pressure at the coupling between the washing machine hose and the faucet. Closing of the faucet does not dissipate this pressure but simply traps it between the faucet and the washing machine inlet valve. Thus, under these circumstances, there is frequent- 1y a violent momentary escape of liquid when the washing machine hose is uncoupled from the faucet. The present invention automatically compensates for this by spacing passageways 30 and 31 from each other a distance less than the length of opening 33 so that, when valve element 32 is closed preparatory to disconnection of fitting 28 from spout 21 passageway 30 is vented to the atmosphere through passageway 31 as valve element 32 passes through the position illustrated in FIGURE 4 which is intermediate the position wherein fitting 18 is latched onto spout 21 and the position wherein fitting 18 is unlatched and may be removed from spout 21. This brief venting of passageway 30 to the atmosphere through passageway 31 dissipates any residual pressure within passageway 30 so that fitting 18 may be removed from spout 21 without escape of liquid through spout 21 during uncoupling.

Thus, it can be seen that the present invention provides means to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet which is easy and simple to use, inexpensive to manufacture, allows the housewife to draw water from-the faucet While the washing machine is connected thereto, relieves any residual pressure at the coupling before the washing machine is disconnected therefrom, and compensates for the inadvertent failure to turn off the faucet prior to disconnecting the washing machine.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A coupling to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet comprising:

(a) a general elongated body portion,

(b) means at one end of said body portion to secure the coupling to the faucet,

(c) at least one passageway within said body portion adapted to receive liquid from the faucet,

(d) a coupling spout extending from said body portion and adapted to engage in liquid-tight relationship a fitting on a washing machine inlet hose,

(e) said passageway extending through said coupling spout to transmit the liquid through the fitting and the hose,

(f) a manually-movable valve element to selectively open communication between said' passageway and the faucet, and

(g) a latching means movable with said valve element to latch the fitting against dislodgment from said spout as said valve element opens said passageway.

2. The invention of claim 1 further comprising a spring-biased stop having an operative position wherein it prevents movement of said valve element, said stop being adapted for engagement by the fitting and movement by the fitting into an inoperative position wherein it allows movement of said valve element.

3. The invention of claim I particularly adapted for use with a faucet disposed above a sink and further comprising a second passageway extending through said body portion and opening into the sink, said valve element having an opening therethrough adapted to be brought into registry with either of said passageways to selectively open and close either passageway.

4. The invention of claim 3 wherein said passageways are spaced from each other and the opening through said valve element is sufficiently elongated to at least partially open both of said passageways simultaneously.

5. A coupling to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet disposed above a sink comprising:

(a) a cylindrical threaded element adapted to be threadedly connected to the water faucet,

(b) a member rigidly secured to said threaded elements,

(0) first and second passageways within said member,

(d) an aerator secured to said member and opening into the sink,

(e) said first passageway communicating directly with said aerator,

(f) a generally cylindrical spout extending laterally from said member and adapted to receive a fitting on a washing machine inlet hose in water-tight relationship,

(g) said second passageway extending through said spout,

(h) a valve element manually movable relative to said threaded element and said member and having therein an elongated opening adapted to be brought into registry with either of said first and second passageways,

(i) a latching means rigidly secured to said valve element for movement therewith into a latching position to secure the fitting against dislodgment from said spout when said elongated opening moves into registry with said second passageway, and

(j) a spring-biased stop having an extended operative position wherein it prevents movement of said valve element,

(k) said stop being adapted for engagement by the fitting and movement by the fitting into a retracted inoperative position wherein it allows movement of said valve element.

6. A coupling to connect .an automatic washing machine to a water faucet disposed above a sink comprising:

(a) a body portion adapted to be secured to the faucet,

(b) first and second passageways through said body portion,

(c) said first passageway opening into the sink,

((1) means associated with said body portion adapted to couple with a washing machine inlet hose in liquid-tight relationship therewith,

(e) said second passageway communicating with the inlet hose when the inlet hose is coupled to said means,

(f) a valve element movable relative to said body 7 portion and having an opening therein adapted to be brought into registry with either of said first and second passageways, and

(g) latching means movable with said valve element into a latching position wherein the washing machine inlet hose is secured against dislodgment when said valve element is in registry with said second passageway.

7. A coupling to connect an automatic washing machine to a water faucet disposed above a sink comprising:

(a) a body portion adapted to be secured to the faucet,

(b) first and second passageways through said body portion,

(c) said first passageway opening into the sink,

(d) means associated with said body portion adapted to couple with a washing machine inlet hose in liquid-tight relationship therewith,

(e) said second passageway communicating with the inlet hose when the inlet hose is coupled to said means,

(f) a valve element movable relative to said body M. CARY NELSON, Primary Examiner. M. O. STURM, Assistant Examiner.

portion and having an opening therein adapted to be brought into registry with either of said first and second passageways, and

(g) a stop movable between at least two positions and adapted to be engaged by the inlet hose and moved from one of said positions to the other as the inlet hose is coupled to said means, said stop preventing movement of said valve member toward the position wherein said opening is in registry with said second passageway when said stop is in said one of said positions.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1961 Jagusch "137-562 8/1964 Williams 137-62546 US. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3006366 *Jul 7, 1958Oct 31, 1961Georg JaguschMultiple purpose water connector
US3144878 *Dec 18, 1961Aug 18, 1964Federal Huber CompanyDiverter valve assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3692053 *Nov 27, 1970Sep 19, 1972Maytag CoLiquid discharge device
US4102544 *Feb 23, 1976Jul 25, 1978The Maytag CompanyRetaining ring assembly for faucet coupler
US4161191 *Nov 1, 1976Jul 17, 1979Knorr-Bremse-Bowles-Fluidics GmbHAdaptor for connection to a faucet
US4744895 *Nov 8, 1985May 17, 1988Aquasciences International, Inc.Compact, movable; for household use on countertop
US5795475 *Jul 12, 1996Aug 18, 1998Neoperl, Inc.Coupler/diverter for counter-top RO filter
US5934320 *Oct 20, 1995Aug 10, 1999Barksdale, Inc.Rotary fluid valve systems
DE4423856A1 *Jul 7, 1994Jan 11, 1996Grohe Kg HansMixing valve with holder sealingly connectable to valve outlet, e.g. for mouth spray
DE4423856C2 *Jul 7, 1994Feb 8, 2001Hansgrohe AgMischventil mit einem Zusatzgeršt
WO1998002227A1 *Jul 10, 1997Jan 22, 1998Neoperl IncCoupler/diverter for counter-top ro filter
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/562, 137/625.46, 251/149.9
International ClassificationF16K3/08, A47L15/42, D06F39/08
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/083, A47L15/4217, F16K3/08
European ClassificationA47L15/42C2, D06F39/08D, F16K3/08