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Publication numberUS3481163 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 2, 1969
Filing dateMay 8, 1968
Priority dateMay 8, 1968
Publication numberUS 3481163 A, US 3481163A, US-A-3481163, US3481163 A, US3481163A
InventorsBochan John, Pottinger Eugene A
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dispensing arrangement for washing machine
US 3481163 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 2, 1969 J. BOCHAN ET AL DISPENSING ARRANGEMENT FOR WASHING MACHINE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 8, 1968 FIG! INVENTORS JOHN BOCHAN EUGENE A. POTTHJGER THEWZ ATTOQPQEY 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 i 85 84- 86 )/oz 9| J. BQCHAN ETA'L DISPENSING ARRANGEMENT FOR WASHING MACHINE Dec. 2, 1969 Filed May a, 1968 rvililll l\\\\\\ INVENTORS II'OHN BocHAM 8EUGEME A. POTTIMGER THElR ATToRMEV FTC-3.3

United States Patent US. Cl. 68-4 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A washing machine adapted to wash two loads of fabrics simultaneously in separate solutions without liquid interchange therebetween includes an outer tub and an inner tub. The inner tub has a cover designed so that the inlet water fills the inner tub and then is directed into the outer tub for filling it. A dispenser is mounted above the inner tub cover and includes a storage chamber and dispensing chamber with the storage chamber having a volume greater than the dispensing chamber. When the liquid additive is moved from the storage chamber to the dispensing chamber the excess greater than the dispensing chamber volume flows into the cover. Subsequent flow of the inlet water insures transferring this excess additive into the inner tub and the cover then prevents the additive subsequently ejected from the dispensing chamber from entering the inner tub and causes it to flow into the outer tub.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to fabric washing machines, and more particularly, to such a machine which is adapted to concurrently wash two separate loads of fabrics without intermingling the liquid used in the washing process. Prior art machines of this type have been unduly complicated, involving completely separate systems for supplying washing liquid, recirculating the liquid for filtering and draining the vitiated liquid at the end of each agitation step.

Copending application Ser. No. 727,570 filed on May 8, 1968, for John Bochan and assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention, discloses an improved machine for washing two loads of fabrics simultaneously without liquid interchange. The machine disclosed therein is greatly simplified and allows the use of single water inlet and recirculating filter systems. The present application relates to an improved machine of this general type and provides an improved arrangement for automatically dispensing additives into both of the fabric receiving tubs from a single additive dispenser.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION By one form of the invention there is provided, in a vertical axis washing machine, a first, outer tub to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in that liquid and a movably mounted agitator extending upwardly within the outer tub. A second, substantially imperforate, open top tub to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in that liquid is mounted on the agitator for movement therewith. Drive means is provided for effecting a washing motion of the agitator and for rotating the agitator and tubs together for centrifugal extraction of liquid from the fabrics. A cover structure is adapted to substantially close the top of the inner tub and the cover includes means for passing liquid into the inner tub until a predetermined level is reached and, thereafter, directing the liquid into the outer tub. A liquid additive dispenser is mounted on the agitation for movement therewith above the cover structure. The dispenser includes a storage compartment for the additive and a dispensing compartment for the additive. The dispenser is responsive to rotation of the agitator to transfer the additive from the storage compartment to the dispensing compartment. The storage compartment has a predetermined liquid capacity and the dispensing compartment has a predetermined capacity smaller than that of the storage compartment. An overflow outlet from the dispensing compartment communicates with the cover for immediate transfer thereto of additive received by the dispensing compartment in excess of its capacity.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGURE 1 is a somewhat schematic, partial side elevational view of a clothes washing machine incorporating one embodiment of the present invention, the view being partly broken away and partially in section to illustrate details,

FIGURE 2 is a fragmentary side elevational view of the machine of FIGURE 1, illustrating certain details of the invention, and

FIGURE 3 is a partial plan view of the machine of FIGURE 1, with the dispenser removed, illustrating additional details, with certain parts of the machine omitted for the sake of clarity.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG- URE 1, there is shown therein an agitator type clothes washing machine 1 having an outer, open top tub or receptacle 2 to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in that liquid. The tub 2 includes :a lower Wall 3 and a generally cylindrical, upwardly extending side wall 4, the walls 3 and 4 being provided with a number of spaced perforations or openings 5. The tub 2 is positioned within an outer imperforate casing 6 which defines a chamber 7 with the tub 2 mounted within the chamber so that, when liquid is added to the tub 2, it will flow into the chamber 7 and fill the chamber and tub 2 to the same level. The top of the tub may be provided with a balance ring 8 to help steady the tub when it is rotated at high speed.

The casing 6 is rigidly mounted within an appearance cabinet 9 which includes a cover 10 hingedly mounted within the top portion 11 of the cabinet for providing access through an opening 12 to the tub 2. A gasket 13 may be provided so as to form a seal between the top of the casing 6 and the portion 11 of the cabinet thereby to prevent escape of moisture and moist air around the casing into the cabinet.

There is a movably mounted agitator 14 extending upwardly within the center of the tub 2. In the present case the agitator is shown as including a center post 15 and a plurality of outwardly extending vanes 16 and 17 which extend partially along the center post and are joined at their lower ends by an outwardly flared skirt 18. In the particular agitator illustrated the vanes 16 extend further up the center post than do the vanes 17; however, this is for illustrative purposes only and the vanes may take any desired shape.

The tub 2 and agitator 14 are rotatably mounted. The tub 2 is mounted on a flange 19 of a rotatable hub 21, and the agitator 14 is mounted on a shaft (not shown) which extends upwardly through the hub 20 and through the center post 15 and is secured to the agitator so as to drive it. During a typical cycle of operation the agitator is caused to oscillate about its axis, that is, in a horizontal plane within the tub 2, to cause a washing action on the fabrics in the machine. Then the agitator and tub are rotated together at high speed for centrifugal extration of liquid from the fabrics in the machine. This sequence of operation is repeated and the desired number of times for a complete cycle and normally is provided at least twice to give a Washing step and a rinsing step.

The tub 2 and agitator 14 may be driven through any suitable means. By way of Example I have shown them as driven from a reversible motor 21 through a system including a suitable load limiting clutch 22 mounted on the motor shaft. A belt 23 transmits power from the clutch 22 to a transmission assembly 24 through a pulley 25. Thus, depending upon the direction of motor rotation, the pulley 25 and transmission 24 are driven in opposite directions. The transmission 24 is so arranged that it supports and drives both the agitator drive shaft and the basket mounting hub 20. When the motor 21 is rotated in one direction the transmission causes agitator 14 to oscillate in a substantially horizontal plane within the tub 2. Conversely, when the motor 21 is driven in the opopsite direction, the transmission rotates the tub 2 and agitator 14 together at high speed for centrifugal liquid extraction. While the specific type of transmission mechanism does not form part of this invention, reference is made to Patent 2,844,- 225 issued to James Hubbard et al. on July 22, 1958 and assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention. That patent discloses in detail the structural characteristics of a transmission suitable for use in the illustrated machine.

In addition to operating the transmission 24 as described, the motor 21 also provides a direct drive through a flexible coupling 26 to a pump structure generally indicated at 27, which may include two separate pump units 28 and 29, both operated in the same direction simultaneously by the motor 21. Pump 28 has an inlet which is connected by a conduit 30 to an opening 31 formed at the lower most point of chamber 7. Pump 28 also has an outlet which is connected by conduit 32 to a suitable drain (not shown). Pump 29 has an inlet connected by a conduit 33 to the interior of the chamber 7 and an outlet connected by a conduit 34 to a nozzle 35. The pump structure is formed so that, in the spin direction of motor rotation, pump 28 will draw liquid in the from chamber 7 through the opening 31 and conduit 30 and then discharge it through conduit 32 to drain. In the other direction of motor rotation, pump 29 will draw in liquid through the conduit 33 and discharge it through conduit 34 and nozzle 35. Each of the pumps is substantially inoperative in the direction of rotation in which it is not used. The particular form of the pump structure 27 is not significant; rather structure 27 is representative of any structure capable of passing liquid selectively out through one outlet or another, whether by use of one pump with suitable valving, a combination structure or two pumps.

As will be explained hereinafter, it may be desirable that rotation of tub 2 and agitator 14 for centrifugal extraction of liquid from the fabrics within the machine be delayed a suflicient period of time during each extraction step for the pump 28 to lower the level of standing liquid within the chamber 7 at least to below the bottom wall 3 of the tub 2. Patent 3,131,797 issued to John Bochan on May 5, 1964 and assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention, and Patent 3,197,982, issued on August 3, 1965 to Joseph C. Worst, and assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention, both disclose details of the structural characteristics of clutches which will provide a suitable delay in high speed rotation of tub 2 and agitator 14 so that the pump 28 can lower the level of standing liquid in the chamber 7.

Motor 21, clutch 22, transmission 24, tub 2 and agitator 14 form a suspended washing and centrifuging system which is supported by the stationary structure of the machine so as to permit isolation of vibrations from the stationary structure. While any suitable suspension structure may be used, one such structure includes a bracket member 36, with the transmission 24 mounted on the top thereof and the motor 21 mounted on the underside thereof. A suitable counterweight 37 may also be mounted to the underside of the bracket 36 to help balance the loading of the bracket. The bracket member in turn is secured to a pair of upwardly extending rigid members 38, and each of the two upwardly extending members 38 is connected to a cable (not shown) supported on the top of the machine. While only a portion of the suspension system is shown, such a vibration isolation system is fully described and claimed in Patent 2,987,190, issued on June 6, 1961 to John Bochan and assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention.

In order to accommodate the movement which occurs between the tub 2 and the casing 6 without any danger of leakage between them the stationary casing 6 is joined to the upper part of transmission 24 by a flexible boot member 39. Boot 39 may be of any suitable configuration, many of which are known in the art, to prevent relative motion of the parts to which it is joined without leakage therebetween.

Hot and cold water may be supplied to the machine through conduits 40 and 41, which are adapted to be connected respectively to sources of hot and cold water (not shown). Conduits 40 and 41 extend into a conventional mixing valve structure 42 having solenoids 43 and 44. Energization of solenoid 43 permits passage of hot water through the valve to an inlet hose 45, energization of solenoid 44 permits passage of cold water through the valve, and energization of both solenoids permits mixing of hot and cold water in the valve and passage of warm water into the hose 45. The inlet hose 45 is connected to a discharge horn 46 which is positioned to discharge into the tub 2 so that when one or both of the solenoids 43 and 44 are energized, water passes into the tub 2 and chamber 7. The level to which water rises in the tub 2 and chamber 7 may be controlled by any suitable liquid level sensing means (not shown) many of which are known in the art.

As thus far described, the machine is capable of providing the usual washing operation in which fabrics are placed in the tub 2 and are washed and then rinsed with the washing and rinsing water being centrifugally extracted from the fabrics and expelled from the machine by the pump 28. In order to be able to wash two loads simultaneously without intermixing the washing and rinsing liquid inside the tub 2, so that noncompatible fabrics may be washed simultaneously, there is provided a second or inner, substantially imperforate, open top tub 47 to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in that liquid. Tub 47 includes an inner wall 48 which is channeled as indicated at 49 along its radially inner portion and curves outwardly at the bottom so as to fit closely around the agitator 14 and to be driven thereby as the agitator is oscillated and rotated during a sequence of operation of the machine. The tub 47 also includes a generally cylindrical, outer wall 50 which extends upwardly and defines a top opening 51 by means of an inwardly facing annular flange 52 which extends around the top of the wall 50. The outer wall 50 may have extending therefrom a number of small vanes 53 which aid in providing a suitable washing motion to the liquid and fabrics in the outer tub 2 when the inner tub 47 is in the machine. The diameter of the inner tub 47 is made substantially less than the diameter of the outer tub 2 so that each tub may have a suitable volume separate from the other to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in that liquid. In the machine illustrated, the inner tub 47 does not completely cover the vanes 16 and 17 so that their lower tips may assist in causing a Washing motion in the outer tub.

The upper portion of the Wall 50 generally slants inwardly as indicated at 54 and this inwardly slanting portion is provided with a number of recesses 55 which continue in a more vertical fashion and are spaced circumferentially around the wall 50. Each of these recesses terminates in an upwardly extending pipe 56. The upper end of each pipe 56 is joined to a return bent, generally vertically extending tube 57, formed of stitfly resilient material so that each pipe and tube together form a conduit 58. Each conduit has an inlet 59 in the upper portion of the inner tub 47 and outlet 60 which opens outwardly above the top of the tub 47. For ease of construction pipes 56 and tubes 57 can be formed integrally with both being a part of the material forming the inner tub 47. However, on many occasions the inner tub 47 will be removed from the machine and stored separately so that the machine may be used to wash large loads of compatible fabrics. By making the tubes 57 separately and of a stiflly resilient material, the likelihood of damaging the free standing portions of the conduits will be much reduced.

The water inlet horn 46 and the recirculation nozzle 35 are both formed and positioned so that the streams of liquid discharged therefrom flow in paths which bring them into registry with the Open upper end 51 of the inner tub 47. There is provided a suitable diverter means or cover structure 61 which fits within the opening 51 and allows the stream of inlet water from horn 46 to flow into the inner tub 47 until it is full and then diverts the stream into the tub 2 and chamber 7 so that the same inlet mechanism may be used to fill both tubs without interchange between the two tubs. This cover structure also serves to direct the stream of recirculated liquid from nozzle 35 back into the tub 2 without any of it flowing into the tub 47.

Referring now particularly to FIGURE 2, the cover structure includes a cup like center portion 62 which fits over the top of the agitator post and includes an annular, inner wall 63 extending downwardly around the agitator center post and into the upper end of the tub 47. The cover structure also includes a series of vertically spaced, generally horizontally extending walls. The upper of these walls 64 extends radially outwardly from the annular wall 63. An intermediate wall 65 is spaced slightly below the upper wall and with its outer periphery beyond the outer edge or periphery of the upper wall. This outer periphery of the middle wall includes a downwardly extending flange 66 and a short horizontally extending flange 67. The flanges 66 and 67 fit in liquid tight relationship with a gasket 52a. The gasket in turn is mounted in liquid tight relationship with the flange 52 on the upper end of the tub 47 so that the outer edge of the cover structure is mounted in liquid tight relationship with the upper edge of the tub 47. From the flanges 66 and 67, the upper surface of wall 65 slopes downwardly, as indicated at 68, and then extends inwardly in a generally horizontal manner, as indicated at 69, and terminates in a short upwardly extending flange 70, which is spaced slightly outwardly of the inner wall 63. The portions 68, 69 and 70 of the wall 65 form, in eflect, a flowthrough reservoir or receptacle 71.

A lower wall 72 extends outwardly from the inner wall 63 slightly spaced below the intermediate wall 65 and is formed at its radially outer edge with a short, downwardly extending flange 73. The flange 73 is spaced inwardly of the flange 66. The intermediate wall 65 is maintained in its vertically spaced relationship to upper wall 64 and lower wall 72 by circumferentially spaced webs 74 which extend between the walls 64 and 65 and are connected thereto so as to support the wall 65 from the wall 64. As is indicated by FIGURE 2, the cover structure can be formed from a number of separate elements which are firmly joined together to make a unitary structure.

Thus the cover structure forms, in effect, a labyrinth passage which extends through the cover structure. This passage extends through the receptacle 71, then between the flange 70 and inner wall 63, then outwardly between intermediate wall 65 and lower wall 72, and finally downwardly between the flanges 66 and 73. When the cover structure 61 is mounted over the agitator 14 and in the upper end of inner tub 47, at least the lower portion of this passage is positioned within the tub 47 and well below the upper limit of the outlet conduits 58. With this arrangement, the inlet water flowing from the born 46 will impinge upon the cover structure 61. This water initially will flow through the labyrinth passage into the tub 47. This flow continues until the liquid in the inner tub 47 rises to the level of the labyrinth passage, which fills the passage. When this occurs, no further flow through the passage is possible and the inlet water is diverted outwardly over the cover structure for flow into the outer tub 2 and chamber 7 to fill these to the desired level, at which time the inlet water flow will be terminated. Similarly, since the inner tub 47 is full during periods of agitation, the stream of recirculated liquid being emitted from the nozzle 35 onto the cover structure will be directed outwardly over the structure 61 and back into the tub 2 and chamber 7, without any of it entering the inner tub 47, due to the seal formed by the full labyrinth passage.

In order to filter lint and other foreign matter from the recirculated stream of liquid, the cover structure also may include a pan like filter having a generally horizontal lower wall 75 and an upwardly extending side wall 76. The lower wall 75 is spaced above the upper wall 64 and is formed with a plurality of openings 77 so that liquid entering the filter will flow through the openings 73 in the filter and fall upon the upper wall 64.

So that the vitiated wash liquid from the inner tub 47 will not stain or otherwise contaminate the fabrics in the outer tub during centrifugal extraction there is provided a structure on the top of the outer tub 2 to cooperate with the conduits 58 for insuring that the water from tub 47 is expelled into the chamber 7 outside of the tub 2. Referring now particularly to FIGURE 1 it will be seen that, to this end, a first wall 78 extends inwardly and downwardly from the top edge of the tub 2 and underlies the outlet ends 60 of the conduits 58. The liquid exiting from the conduits 58 during centrifugal extraction will strike the wall 78 and be guided to the top of the tub 2. The inner end of the wall 78 is formed with an upturned flange 79 which is positioned inwardly of the outlet 60 so that any liquid dropping from the conduits 58 at the end of the extraction operation or spraying out during centrifugal extraction will be caught by the flange and prevented from dropping into the outer tub 2. A second wall 80 extends around and is spaced above the top edge of the tub 2. The wall 80 is supported above the tub 2 by any suitable means such as circumferentially spaced, small posts 81 which extend from the top of the tub 2 and engage the wall 80. The wall 80 includes a first portion 82 which extends inwardly and downwardly into the tub 2 parallel to and spaced from the wall 78 and terminates outwardly of the end of the tubes 57. The wall 80 also includes a second portion 83 which extends outwardly and downwardly outside the tub 2. Thus the liquid exiting from the conduits 58 and directed upwardly by the wall 78 will be directed over the top of the tub 2 by the wall portion 82 an then outwardly and downwardly into the chamber 7 away from the tub 2 by the wall portion 83.

For a typical cycle of operation for washing two loads of fabrics simultaneously the inner tub 47 will be placed within the outer tub 2 and one type of fabric will be placed in the outer tub and another type in the inner tub. For instance, white and color fast items will be placed in tub 2 and items which tend to fade will be placed in tub 47. Then the cover structure 61 is placed over the agitator center post and into the top of the tub 47. The controls for the machine are set to cause the machine to automatically proceed through a cycle of operation. Many such suitable controls are known in the art and do not form a part of this invention, therefore, none have been described in detail herein.

First the valve mechanism 42 is energized so that water of a selected temperature flows in through the inlet hose 45 and horn 46 to impinge upon the cover member 61. Initially, the stream of water flows through the labyrinth passage into the inner tub 47 until it is filled. Thereafter the stream of inlet water is directed outwardly and over the cover structure 61 into the outer tub 2. Since the outer tub is provided with perforations over its side and bottom walls, this liquid also flows outwardly into the chamber 7 and fills the tub 2 and chamber 7 with liquid. When they have been filled to a suitable level, the water supply is interrupted and the motor 21 is started in a first direction to cause oscillation of the agitator while the tub 2 is held stationary. The inner tub 47 moves with the agitator 14 so that the channels 49 cause the liquid and fabrics in the inner tub to be agitated while the vanes 53 and tips of the vanes 16 and 17 cause the liquid and fabrics in the outer tub to be agitated. At the same time, pump 29 draws liquid out of the chamber 7 through the conduit 33 and discharges it through the conduit 34 and nozzle 35 so that it is projected into the filter pan. From the filter pan it passes through the openings 77 onto the upper wall 64. Since the labyrinth passage is blocked by the body of liquid in the inner tub 47, this recirculated liquid is diverted outwardly and back into the outer tub 2. The webs or vanes 74 act as pumps to insure that none of the liquid leaks through the labyrinth into tub 47.

At the conclusion of the agitation period of operation the motor is stopped and restarted in the other direction to cause the tub 2 and agitator 14 to be rotated together at high speed, with the tub 47 rotating with the agitator, for centrifugal extraction of liquid from both of the loads. The liquid in the outer tub is expelled through the openings into the chamber 7, from whence it is exhausted by the pump 28. The liquid from the inner tub 47 is caused by centrifugal force to flow upwardly and outwardly through the recesses 55 and conduits 58. From the conduit outlets 60 this liquid fiows up the wall 78 and under the wall 80. It is directed by the wall portion 83 downwardly and outwardly to be received in the chamber 7 away from the tube 2 so that it does not impinge upon the fabrics in the tub 2.

As was explained previously, the clutch 22 is of the type which will prevent high speed rotation of the tube 2 and agitator 14 until the standing liquid level in chamber 7 has been reduced to a point below the lower wall 3 of the tub 2. This is required in machines of the type illustrated, wherein the tub 2 is provided with openings over much of its surface. For such an outer tub construction, if the vitiated liquid from the inner tub is expelled into the chamber 7 before the standing level of liquid in the chamber is reduced to a point below the outer tub, it will mix with the standing liquid and may contaminate the fabrics in the outer tub.

Some machines use a substantially imperforate outer tub with only a few openings positioned adjacent its upper edge. With such a construction the clutch 22 would not necessarily be of the type to provide this drain down.

The Steps of operation of filling, agitation and centrifugal extraction are repeated a suitable number of times for complete cycle of operation. They are normally provided at least twice, the first time with detergent in the two tubs to provide a wash step and then again to provide a rinse step. They may be provided three times so as to have a wash step followed by two rinse steps; by the same token, they may be provided three times to provide a prewash without detergent, then a wash step with detergent and finally a rinse; also they can be provided four times for a cycle including such steps as prewash, wash, first rinse and final rinse.

To be most convenient for the user it is desirable that any additives to be placed into the machine during the cycle of operation can be done so before the machine is started, so that the user may leave and not have to return until the complete cycle is finished. However, some additives are not added until after the cycle of operation is well under way. For instance, rinse agents such as fabric softeners should be added to the final rinse step and, in machines having a prewash step followed by a wash step, detergent is added during the second step.

As an important aspect of this invention there is provided a liquid additive dispenser 84 to cooperate with the labyrinth passage, particularly the flow through receptacle 71, so that suitable liquid additives may be dispensed into the tubs at the appropriate time in the cycle of operation. As is best seen in FIGURE 2 the dispenser includes a cup like central member 85 having an upwardly curved base portion 86 fitting across the top of the center portion 62 of the cover structure and an annular wall portion 87 which extends downwardly, closely around the wall 63 of the cover so that the dispenser is mounted to the cover and thus the agitator for movement therewith. A second wall 88 extends outwardly and upwardly from the wall 87 so that the central member 85 and wall 88 in effect form an annular storage compartment 89.

From a point below the wall 88, a third wall 90 extends outwardly and upwardly from the annular wall 87 so as to be spaced below the second wall 88. A top member 91 is attached around its periphery to the upper edge of the wall 90 and extends inwardly and curves slightly upwardly so as to be spaced from the upper edge of the wall 88. The top 91 is provided with a central aperture 92 to give access to the storage compartment 89. Thus the walls 88, 90 and 91 form a transfer compartment 93 which communicates with the storage compartment 89 through the annular passage 94, formed between the walls 88 and 91.

Below the wall 90 there is provided a fourth wall 95 which extends outwardly from the center wall 87 then upwardly and terminates at its outer periphery just below the wall 90. Thus the walls 90 and 95 form a dispensing compartment 96. The wall 90 is provided with an opening 97 so that a liquid path is provided from the transfer compartment 93 to the dispensing compartment 96. In at least one place, the radially inner portion of the wall 95 extends upwardly within the compartment 96 to form a bulkhead, as indicated at 98. An opening 99 is provided from the top of the bulkhead throu h the wall 96 and out the bottom of the dispenser. For etter liquid flow, the bulkhead 98 and opening 99 may be made arcuate in shape so as to extend partially around the dispenser. Thus there is a passage completely through the dispenser from the storage compartment 89 through the annular passage 94, the transfer compartment 93, the opening 97, the dis pensing compartment 96 and the opening 99. It will also be noted that the dispensing compartment 96 is of the flow through type. That is, liquid may enter through the opening 97 and then flow outwardly through the opening 99. Also, liquid directed radially inward of the filter under the dispenser can splash up into the dispensing compartment.

The volume of liquid which can be temporarily retained within the dispensing compartment 96 is determined by the height of the bulkhead 98 and the spacing or the radial width of the compartment 96. Thus the compartment 96 has a predetermined additive retention volume. The storage compartment 89 is provided with a total volume which is greater than the predetermined volume of the dispensing compartment 96. In fact, it is provided with a total volume which is at least equal to the combined additive retention volume of the dispensing compartment 96 and the flow through receptacle 71 formed in the cover structure 61. For simplicity in use the inside surface of the wall 88 can be marked, or some other visible indica can be made, so that the user easily can tell when the amount of additive placed in the storage compartment 89 is equal to the predetermined additive retention volume of the dispensing compartment and when it is equal to the total additive retention volume of compartment 96 and receptacle 71. For instance, the additive retention volume of compartment 96 can be made equal to the volume contained within the storage compartment 89 below the edge between the walls 86 and 87 and the combined volume of compartment 96 and receptacle 71 can be made equal to the volume in the compartment 86 below the top of a small nib 101 mounted on the upper most point of wall 86.

9 Additionally, bands or ribs such as those indicated at 102 and 103 can be provided on the surface of the wall 88 at these levels to aid the user in knowing when the dispenser has been filled to the proper level.

For optimum utilization of the dispenser 8-4 with the cover structure 61 to dispense an additive into the outer tub or both the outer tub and the inner tub the inlet horn 46 is designed and positioned so that the stream of inlet water issuing therefrom falls into the filter pan tangentially to the inner wall 63 of the cover so that it will not flow under the dispenser with any force to splash up through the opening 99. Therefore, none of the inlet water flows through the opening 99 into the dispensing chamber 96. However, the nozzle 35 is positioned so that the stream of recirculated liquid impinges upon the bottom of the filter 84 in a direction generally radial to the inner wall 63. Therefore, a portion of this liquid will splash up through the opening 99 into the dispensing compartment 96 when the opening is aligned with nozzle 35. This dilutes the additive and when opening 99 moves out of alignment with the nozzle 35, the excess mixture in chamber 96 drains out through opening 99.

For a typical cycle of operation including a Wash step and a rinse step, in which it is desired to dispense a rinse agent such as a fabric softener during the rinse step and assuming it is desired to dispense this rinse agent into both the inner and the outer tubs, the appropriate liquid rinse agent is poured into the storage compartment 89 until it fills the compartment to the top of nib 101, that is even with the line 103.

During the initial fill operation the inlet water flows through the filter and labyrinth passage, including the flowthrough receptacle 71 to fill the inner tub 47 and then is directed outwardly to fill the outer tub 2 and chamber 7. At least a portion of the water recirculated through nozzle 35 during the first agitation period will flow upwardly through the opening 99, when aligned with nozzle 35, and most of it will flow out through the opening 99, when the opening is out of alignment with the nozzle. All of the recirculated water flowing downwardly through the openings 77 in the filter is directedoutwardly across the wall 64 back into the tub 2 because the filled labyrinth passage forms an effective seal. None of the Water will flow over the top of the dispenser so as to enter the storage chamber 89 through the opening 92.

During the first centrifugal extraction step the recirculated water remaining in the dispensing chamber 96 will be thrown outwardly through the annular opening 100 while any water standing in the flowthrough receptacle 71 will be thrown outwardly and ejected therefrom. Also, the centrifugal extraction operation causes the rinse agent in the storage compartment 89 to flow up the wall 88, through the passage 94 and into the transfer compartment 93. At the completion of the centrifugal extraction step centrifugal force will cease being exerted on the rinse agent and it will run down the wall 90, through the opening 97 and into the dispensing compartment 96. The dispensing compartment will be filled to the level of the bulkhead 98; thereafter the amount of additive in excess of this volume will flow out through the opening 99, then through the openings 77 in the filter pan and across the Wall 64 into the flowthrough receptacle 71.

When the second fill step begins, the stream of water from the inlet horn 46 will flow into the filter pan in a path tangential to the inner Wall 63 of the cover. This prevents any fresh Water splashing into compartment 96. The inlet water flows through the openings 77 in the filter pan and then through the labyrinth passage, including the flow through receptacle 71. This flow of inlet water will mix with and suitably dilute the additive and effectively transfer it to the inner tub 47. During the second agitation period a portion of the recirculated liquid being emitted from the nozzle 35 will flow into the dispensing compartment 96 through the opening 99, when the opening is aligned with the nozzle, so as to dilute and dispense the additive from compartment 96 through the outlet opening 99, when the opening is not aligned with the nozzle. Since the labyrinth passage is filled so as to form an effective seal, this additive is carried by the recirculated liquid into the outer tub 2 and chamber 7. Thus the proper amount of additive is dispensed to each of the tubs.

Obviously, if it is desired to dispense the additive only to the outer tub, a smaller amount may be placed in the storage compartment 89 at the beginning of the sequence of operation, that is up to the line 102. This amount is equal to the effective additive retention volume within the dispensing compartment 96 and no additive will flow into receptacle 71. Since the labyrinth passage will be filled to form a seal before this additive is dispensed from the dispensing compartment, none of the additive will flow into the inner tub and all of it will be dispensed into the outer tub.

In a machine having a prewash step followed by a wash step the particular dispenser illustrated can be used to dispense liquid detergent into the machine at the beginning of the wash step. In a machine having three steps, for instance a machine having a prewash step, a wash step and a rinse step; a suitable additive for the rinse step can be added by a substantially similar arrangement wherein an extra set of walls is provided within the transfer compartment 93 to effectively convert it to a double centrifugal step responsive transfer compartment. Such a dispenser takes two centrifugal steps to move the additive from the storage compartment to the dispensing compartment.

Obviously the flange 70 could be removed and the additive then dispensed for the inner tub 2 would immediately flow into the tub. Normally this is not the preferred way since it is desirable to have most additives diluted When added and the fabrics in a fairly substantial amount of water when the additive is added to the liquid solution.

What is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. In a vertical axis washing machine;

(a) an outer, open top tub to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in that liquid;

(b) an inner, substantially imperforate, open top tub mounted within said outer tub to receive liquid and fabric to be washed in that liquid;

(c) drive means for effecting a washing action in said tubs and for rotating said tubs for centrifugal extraction of liquid from the fabrics;

(d) diverter means mounted on the upper portion of said inner tub to admit liquid impinging on said diverter means into said inner tub until a predetermined level is reached therein and, thereafter, to direct the liquid into said outer tub; and

(e) a liquid additive dispenser connected to said drive means for movement therewith above said diverter means; said dispenser including a storage compartment for additive and a dispensing compartment for the additive; said dispenser being responsive to rotation of said drive means to transfer additive from said storage compartment to said dispensing compartment; said storage compartment having a predetermined liquid capacity; said dispensing compartment having a predetermined capacity smaller than the capacity of said storage compartment and an overflow outlet in liquid communication with said diverter means for immediate transfer to said diverter means of additive received by said dispensing compartment in excess of its capacity; whereby such excess additive flows into said inner tub.

2. The invention as set forth in claim 1; further including liquid inlet means eifective after centrifugal extraction to direct a stream of liquid into registry with said diverter means; at least a portion of the stream of liquid flowing into said inner tub until the predetermined level is reached therein, the stream thereafter being directed into said outer tub; said diverter means being effective to prevent additive subsequently emitted from said dispensing chamber from entering said inner tub.

3. In a vertical axis washing machine:

(a) an outer, open top tub to receive liquid and fabrics to be Washed in that liquid;

(b) an inner, substantially imperforate, open top tub to receive liquid and fabrics to be washed in that liquid; said inner tub being mounted on said agitator for movement therewith;

(c) drive means for effecting a Washing action in said tubs and for rotating said tubs for centrifugal extraction of liquid from the fabrics;

(d) a cover structure adapted to substantially close the top of said inner tub, said cover structure defining a labyrinth passage therethrough;

(e) a liquid additive dispenser mountable on said drive means for movement therewith above said cover structure; said dispenser including a storage compartment for additive and a dispensing compartment for additive; said dispenser being responsive to rotation of said drive means to transfer additive from said storage compartment to said dispensing compartment; said storage compartment having a predetermined liquid capacity; said dispensing compartment having a predetermined capacity smaller than the capacity of said storage compartment and an overflow outlet in liquid communication with said labyrinth passage for immediate transfer thereto of additive received by said dispensing compartment in excess of its capacity.

4. The invention as set forth in claim 3 further including liquid inlet means effective after centrifugal extraction to direct a stream of liquid into registry with said cover structure, at least a portion of the stream of liquid flowing through said labyrinth passage into said inner tub until the liquid in said inner tub rises to the level of said labyrinth passage, the stream of liquid thereafter being directed into said outer tub; said labyrinth passage then being effective to prevent additive subsequently emitted from said dispensing chamber from entering said inner tub.

5. The invention as set forth in claim 3 wherein said labyrinth passage includes a flowthrough reservoir; said storage compartment having an indicated capacity equal to the total capacity of said dispensing compartment and said reservoir for receiving suflicient additive subsequently to fill both of said dispensing chamber and said reservoir.

6. The invention as set forth in claim '5 further including liquid inlet means effective after the centrifugal extraction operation to direct a stream of liquid into registry with said cover structure, at least a portion of the stream of liquid flowing through said labyrinth passage into said inner tub until the liquid in said inner tub rises to the level of said passage, the stream of liquid thereafter being directed into said outer tub; the flow through said labyrinth passage being through said reservoir to transfer the additive from said reservoir to said second tub.

7. The invention as set forth in claim 6 wherein said machine further includes liquid recirculation means effective, after operation of said inlet means, to direct a stream of liquid from said outer tub into contact with said dispenser, at least a portion of the recirculated liquid entering said dispensing chamber to dilute and transfer the additive therefrom; said cover structure efiectively directing the recirculated liquid and additive mixture into said outer tub.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,142,165 7/1964 McMillan 6817 3,145,552 8/1964 Millan et al. 6817 3,248,912 5/1966 Bochan 6817 3,324,688 6/1967 Hubbard 68-4 3,359,764 12/1967 Faust 6817 X WILLIAM I. PRICE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 68l7, 23.5, 27

Patent Citations
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US3145552 *Jun 28, 1963Aug 25, 1964Gen ElectricWater conditioner dispenser for clothes washing machine
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US3324688 *Feb 9, 1966Jun 13, 1967Philco CorpLaundry apparatus
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3596480 *Jan 30, 1970Aug 3, 1971Blackstone CorpLint filters and bleach-dispensing devices
US4882917 *May 11, 1988Nov 28, 1989The Clorox CompanyRinse release laundry additive and dispenser
US4982467 *May 11, 1989Jan 8, 1991The Clorox CompanyFabric softener released into rinse by ejection from agitator during spin cycle, folded foam sheet
US5113542 *Dec 28, 1990May 19, 1992Whirlpool CorporationCentrifugal softener spray dispenser
US5531081 *Jan 27, 1995Jul 2, 1996General Electric CompanyTwo piece laundry additive dispenser cup
US6543259 *Feb 16, 2000Apr 8, 2003Unilever Home & Personal Care Usa, Division Of Conopco, Inc.Dosing device
US7007862Nov 7, 2003Mar 7, 2006The Clorox Co.Rinse release dispensing device
EP0761275A1Jul 30, 1996Mar 12, 1997Bayer AgProcess for separating oil emulsions
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/4, 68/23.5, 68/27, 68/17.00A
International ClassificationD06F39/02
Cooperative ClassificationD06F39/024
European ClassificationD06F39/02C