US 3460878 A
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Aug. 12, 1969 c, PETERSQN ET AL 3,460,878
COUNTEHTOP DISHWASHER Filed Sept. 8, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Aug. 12, 1969 c. A. PETERSON ET AL 3,460,873
COUNTERTOP DISHWASHER Filed Sept. 8, 1967 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 WITNESSES INVENTOR 3: 4", MW Carl A. Beterson 8 Wallace H.Appel United States Patent 3,460,878 COUNTERTOP DISHWASHER Carl A. Peterson and Wallace H. Appel, Columbus, Ohio,
assignors to Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Sept. 8, 1967, Ser. No. 666,406 Int. Cl. E06b 9/14 US. Cl. 312-297 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Countertop dishwasher apparatus having a housing shaped to accommodate a tambour type door for closing the access opening provided in the front wall and the front portion of the top wall of the housing, the door sliding back to a position in front of the rear wall and below the rear portion of the top wall when access is desired, and with the exterior of the back wall being shaped to accommodate both the back splash of the countertop and to provide space to extend connecting hoses to the sink.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION Peterson U.S. design patent application Ser. No. 8,529 filed contemporaneously herewith, relates to the ornamental appearance of a structure embodying this invention.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention The field of art to which this invention pertains is that of portable countertop dishwashers and in particular the housing and door structure therefor.
Description of the prior art A number of portable countertop dishwashers are currently available in the commercial market. Additionally, there have been numerous patents issued directed to various aspects of such devices. Examples of such patents include US. 3,176,697, 3,115,306, 3,111,132, 3,220,426, 3,- 106,930, 2,771,893, 2,907,335, 2,824,567, and 2,850,025. The foregoing list of patents is not at all exhaustive of such dishwashers, but may be considered to be generally representative of the prior art with which applicants are here concerned.
To the extent that such countertop dishwashers have been marketed, they are not considered to have been a substantial factor in the commercial market. In a word, they have not been popular. There are likely numerous reasons for the lack of popularity.
Some of the requirements which in our view it is desirable that countertop dishwashers meet and which may have contributed to the lack of popularity of such dishwashers heretofore is the need to take up a minimum amount of counter space, not only during operation and storage, but also during loading of the dishwasher. It may be assumed in many instances that a reason for desiring a countertop dishwasher is due to a lack of countertop space. In other words, if plenty of countertop space is available, the prospective purchaser might as well buy an under-the-counter dishwasher to obtain generally superior performance and convenience. Many of the prior art countertop dishwashers are deficient in that they are arranged so that during loading, the door of the dishwasher takes up valuable countertop space. Accordingly, it is one of the objects of this invention to provide a countertop dishwasher structure with a housing configuration and access door arrangement which requires no more counter space during loading than during operation. Additionally, the housing configuration is 3,460,878 Patented Aug. 12, 1969 adapted to accommodate the typically encountered back splashes on kitchen counters and provide a passage for the hoses which run to the sink for connections to the water supply and drain, while still presenting a relatively pleasing appearance. Additionally, the housing configuration is such that the loading and unloading of the articles to be washed is not adversely affected.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A housing structure according to the invention includes a dish access opening for substantially the height of the front of the housing as well as an adjacent part of the front of the top. A tambour type door or panel in the opening is slidable to a retracted position in which it nests in front of the rear wall and the upper rear portion of the top wall of the housing. Additionally, the rear wall of the housing is provided with a recess or inset along its lower edge to accommodate the back splash of the countertop, with additional space being provided for water hoses and line cords to run along the rear bottom corner of the unit to the sink connections.
DRAWING DESCRIPTION FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a countertop dishwasher embodying the invention;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view corresponding to one taken along the line IIII of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view of a fragmentary portion of the inner face of an end of the tambour door;
FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 are sectional views taken along the correspondingly enumerated lines of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 8 is a sectional view corresponding to one taken along the line VIII-VIII of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT A- countertop dishwasher according to the invention is shown in FIG. 1 resting upon a countertop 10 having a vertically disposed back splash section 12 at the corner formed between the countertop and the vertical wall 14 of the kitchen.
STRUCTURE GENERALLY The main parts of the dishwasher include the wash housing 16, machine compartment housing 18 disposed at the right end of the wash housing, and base 20 which underlies both the wash and machine compartment housing. As currently preferred, the two housings and the base are each separately formed of a molded thermoplastic material such as a filled polypropylene, separately formed, and then are assembled with conventional fasteners used on joints where water sealing is not necessary, and plastic cement being used where a water seal is necessary. The machine compartment cover is preferably detachable for easy servicing access. The water supply and drain connections comprise a pair of hoses 22 and 24 which exit from the base rear wall and lie parallel thereto. A typical combined top connector and drain of the type conventionally found on portable dishwashers may be provided for making the connections at the sink.
HOUSING ACCESS OPENING AND DOOR Substantially the entire front face of the wash housing 16 is open to provide an access opening bounded along its sides by the opposite, inwardly-directed flanges 26 and 28. These side flanges extend upwardly and then along a gentle curve rearwardly and terminate at the forward edge 30 of the top wall 32. Thus the access opening includes not only substantially the entire front face of the wash housing, but also the forward portion of the top face of the housing. Thus after the tambour door 34 has been slid upwardly and rearwardly into its open position, the door lower edge 36 will be located in the position shown by the heavy broken line 36a in FIG. 1, with the front face and the front portion of the top face being open for the insertion and removal of dishes. The door 34 is of course articulated so that it tracks in the fashion of the roll top of a roll top desk. In its open position it lies below the top wall 32 and in front of the rear wall 38 (FIG. 2).
The door material may be a tale filled polypropylene molded in a form which utilizes the living-hinge principle in which a series of vertically-spaced, parallel, web-thickness (i.e., thin) lines extend between the side edges of the door. These web-thickness lines serve as the hinges which make the door flexible and permit it to follow the tracks generally conforming to the contour of the housing end outlines. The tracks door, and associated structure at the housing ends also form a labyrinth seal along both sides of the access opening of the wash housing.
The inner face of a fragmentary end portion of the tambour door relative to a fragmentary portion of the track means, is shown in FIG. 3. Each of the door segments or ribs 40 is generally channel-shaped (FIG. 4) for most of its length (to consume material and reduce weight), and is joined to an adjacent rib by the Webthickness hinge line 42.
As shown in FIGS. 3-7, the inner face of the end of each rib 40 carries a pair of spaced tabs 44 and 46 which cooperate with the wash housing track means to form a labyrinth seal. The inner tabs 44 (FIGS. 3 and have angular ends 44a so that the ribs may pivot toward each other in the more sharply curved portions of the track without the tabs interfering. The outer tabs 46 (FIGS. 3 and 6) are of rectangular shape but are obliquely disposed on the ribs so that the adjacent ends of the tabs can lap each other to form an imbricated seal.
TRACK AND SEAL MEANS The track and seal means will be described in connection with the left end 48 of the wash housing shown in FIG. 1, it being understood that the corresponding right end structure is a mirror image of the left end. The track for the door generally follows the outline of the end wall 48 along the front, top and rear edges of the housing. It is noted that many of the illustrated specific details relating to the track and seal means have been contributed by others, but are considered to be the currently preferred mode for carrying out our invention in practice.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 7, the portion of the inwardly-directed front flange 26 which extends along the front and front portion of the top face of the housing forms the outer member of the track. A second inwardly directed flange 50, spaced from the outer flange 26, generally parallels the flange 26 for the extent of the access opening side. The flange 50 then follows the outline contour of the top wall 32 and rear wall 38 to a termination point adjacent the base 20. The part of the flange 50 which extends along the access opening side carries a separate baflle 52 secured at selected points 54 to the flange 50. The purpose of the baffle 52 will be appreciated from FIG. 7 in which it is seen that it is straddled by the door 44 and tabs 46 to form a part of the labyrinth seal at the side edges ofthe door.
The portion of the door track extending backwardly and downwardly in the portion of the housing below the top wall 32 and in front of the rear wall 38 is seen in cross section in FIG. 8 and does not include any seal means since the corner of the housing itself provides the seal in this location.
Additional track and seal means are provided along the sides of the access opening by the additional inwardly-directed flange 56 (FIG. 7) spaced apart from outer flange 26 a distance slightly greater than the thickness of the door ribs 40. Small bumps 58 (FIGS. 3, 5 and 6) on both faces of the rib ends provide Contact surfaces between the door ribs and track defined by the flanges 26 and 56. The narrower track, and tighter seal, are provided only along the sides of the access opening, rather than along the entire track length, to insure that the door when closed is well sealed and free from rattles.
BASE CONSTRUCTION As noted before, the base 20 underlies both the wash housing 16 and the machine compartment housing 18. That portion of the base below the machine compartment housing mounts a number of the operating components of the dishwasher such as pumps, valves and motors for controlling water flow into and through the washing compartment. These components are not shown since they may take various forms and are not directly concerned with the invention. The portion of the base 20 underlying the wash housing 16 includes a top wall which provides a basin for the water being sprayed about the wash housing, and is provided with a drain outlet through which water passes for recirculation and alternately passage to the drain.
The base structure is essentially a shell to accommodate conduits connecting the wash housing and machine compartment components. The center part of the rear wall of the base is open to permit the hoses 22 and 24 to pass out from under the central part of the base and extend to either side through the recess 60 (FIGS. 1 and 2) formed between the rear wall of the base and the back splash 12. The recess 60 will, it may also be observed, accommodate the back splash 12 so that the dishwasher may be pushed rearwardly against the kitchen wall 14 to minimize the coverage of kitchen counter space by the dishwasher.
It will be appreciated that with housing configurations as shown and described, with the base providing a recess accommodating both the hoses and counter back splash, and finally by providing a tambour door arrangement for the wash housing, the counter space taken up by the dishwasher during both storage, and in use during both loading and operation is relatively minimal. The tambour door arrangement also lends itself to the housing configuration shown, considered to have an esthetic appeal superior to the typical countertop dishwasher We claim as our invention:
1. A portable dishwasher especially adapted for placement and use upon a kitchen countertop, including a back splash, while occupying a relatively minimal amount of said countertop space during loading, operation and unloading, comprising:
a wash housing shell having an unobstructed opening for substantially the extent of its front face and at least the front marginal portion of its top face;
a slidable, flexible door in said opening;
means to accommodate sliding movement of said door from a position closing and sealing said opening, to a retracted position interiorly of said shell exposing substantially all of said openings; and
base means underlying said wash housing shell, said base means including a rear wall portion offset forwardly from the rearmost part of said wash housing shell to provide a recess to accommodate said back splash and the passage of hose means to connect said dishwasher to a water supply and drain.
2. In a portable dishwasher especially adapted for placement and use upon a kitchen countertop and having a wash section housing and a machine compartment section housing arranged in side-by-side relation;
said wash section housing comprises a shell having a front face open for substantially its length and height, and a top face open along at least its front margin;
a tambour type door generally coextensive in area with said front and top openings of said shell and slidably disposed therein; and
track and seal means adapted to receive said door for sliding movement from a position closing the openings in said front and top face to an open position.
3. In a dishwasher according to claim 2:
base means underlying said wash section housing including arear wall having a forwardly ofiset lower portion to accommodate the passage of hose means extending along the rear of said base member.
4. In a dishwasher according to claim 2:
said wash housing shell includes upper front and upper rear corners of gently curving configuration.
5. In a portable dishwasher especially adapted for placement and use upon a kitchen countertop provided with back splash means in the corner between the kitchen wall and countertop:
exterior enclosing structure of generally rectangular outline in plan and having a rear wall including a lower portion, which is generally straight in a horizontal direction so that it will be in a plane parallel to said back splash when said dishwasher is placed, said rear wall lower portion being of a height at least equal to the height of said back splash, and
recessed forwardly for a distance at least equal to the thickness of said back splash plus a connecting water hose diameter to accommodate said back splash and hose means with the rearmost part of said rear wall closely adjacent said kitchen wall. 4.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS JAMES T. McCALL, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 3 12-25 3