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Publication numberUS3568239 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 9, 1971
Filing dateSep 24, 1968
Priority dateJul 25, 1966
Also published asUS3422482, US3568240
Publication numberUS 3568239 A, US 3568239A, US-A-3568239, US3568239 A, US3568239A
InventorsJames C Hamrick
Original AssigneeJl Products Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wall-mounted vacuum cleaner
US 3568239 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 911971 J. c. HAMRICK WALLMOUNTED VACUUM CLEANER 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed se 't 24, 1968 INVENTOR. JAMEs. C.HAM\2\Q\ awk/ g, $19 M ATmRNEYs March 9, 1971 J, c. HAMMCK 3,568,239 WALL-MOUNTED VACUUM CLEANER I 4 sheets-sheet Filed Sept. 24, 1968 7z- JANE C. HAMR\ (1K ATTORNEYS March 9,1911 J, ,HAMR. K 3,568,239

' WALL-MOUNTEDVACUUM CLEANER v Filed Sept 24, 1968 I 4 Sheets-Sheet S 46 I H 54a E, a INVENTOR. 2 2512* 65 7 JAMES C. HAMEKLK '7 J -g mwwzgl wdw/ m ATTORNEYS Marc 9, 71 J. c. HAMRICK WALL-MOUNTED VACUUM CLEANER Filed Sept. 24, 1968 4 Sheets-Sheet 4.

JAMEs C. H

INVENTOR. AMRJQK ATTORNEYS nitecl States Patent Oihce 3,568,239 Patented Mar. 9, 1971 3,568,239 WALL-MOUNTED VACUUM CLEANER James C. Hamrick, Matthews, N.C., assignor to JL Products Incorporated, Matthews, N.C. Continuation-impart of application Ser. No. 567,615,

July 25, 1966, now Patent No. 3,422,482. This application Sept. 24, 1968, Ser. No. 762,083 The portion of the term of the patent subsequent to Jan. 21, 1986, has been disclaimed Int. Cl. A471 5/38 U.S. Cl. 15-314 20 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A vacuum cleaner unit positioned within an opening in a building wall and provided with means mounting the cleaner unit for ready installation thereof in and removal thereof from the building wall, the mounting means comprising a bracket means secured within the building wall and including laterally spaced, outwardly extending support arms which straddle the casing of the vacuum unit. Disconnectable means is carried by the arms of the bracke means and by the sidewalls of the cleaner unit for securing the same within the opening in the building wall in such a manner that the frontal portions of the cleaner unit casing project outwardly a predetermined distance from the building wall.

This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Ser. No. 567,615, now Pat. No. 3,422,482, filed July 25, 1966 and entitled Wall Mounted Vacuum Cleaner Unit.

Various types of self-contained vacuum cleaner units have been proposed heretofore which are particularly adapted for installation on or within the walls of buildings for domestic and industrial use. The more popular type of self-contained wall-mounted vacuum cleaner unit generally comprises a casing provided with a power containing a suction device therein, and a vacuum compartment communicating with the air inlet of the suction device for collecting dirt and trash therein. For the sake of appearance, it is desirable to mount such self-contained vacuum cleaner units within building walls with frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit substantially flush with a corresponding face of the building Wall. However,

the depth of most building walls, such as are present in residential buildings, is generally insuflicient to accommodate the entire vacuum cleaner unit therewithin; i,e.,

frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit may project a substantial distance outwardly from the face of the building wall.

In order to enhance the appearance of vacuum cleaner units which must, of necessity, project outwardly from the face of a building wall, there is shown in my said copending application, for example, a flanged cover which overlies the wall-mounted casing of the cleaner unit and whose flanges surround the corresponding wall o ening and engage the outer face of the building wall, thus shielding the wall opening from view. Heretofore, self-contained vacuum cleaner units have been installed in building walls by securing the casings thereof directly to building wall supporting'structures, such as the vertical frame members or studs of a building wall. Because of the thickness of wall panels and the necessity of providing adequate support for the casing, the screws, nails, or other fastening elements employed for securing the casing within the building wall had to be spaced substantially rearwardly from the frontal portions of the casing, even to the extent that, in some instances, certain components of the vacuum cleaner unit, such as the suction device, had to be removed from the casing before the same could be installed within or removed from a building wall. Not only has this made it difficult to install and remove the vacuum cleaner unit, but in new building constructions, in particular, it has been customary for a workman to permanently install such a self-contained cleaner unit in a building wall before the construction of the building was completed, with the result that the cleaner unit was exposed to vandals or thieves. Further, in the event that subsequent repair of the vacuum cleaner unit should become necessary this again gave rise to the foregoing problems of removal and installation of the vacuum cleaner unit.

It can be appreciated that, with the fastening elements being diflicult to reach and drive into the supporting structure of the building wall, this also aggravates the problem of properly adjusting the projecting frontal portions of a vacuum cleaner casing with respect to the face of a building wall.

It is therefore an important object of this invention to provide an improved wall-mounted vacuum cleaner installation incorporating therein novel mounting means facilitating ready installation of the vacuum cleaner casing in a building wall, and facilitating ready removal of the casing from within the building wall, and including bracket means which, once installed, may remain permanently attached to the supporting structure of the building wall. In other words, the vacuum cleaner casing may be installed in the building wall and removed therefrom without disturbing the supporting bracket means therefor. By this arrangement, the vacuum cleaner unit may be mounted in the building wall of a newly constructed building after the construction of the building has been completed and the building has been closed so that the cleaner unit is protected from vandals and thieves and additionally, the vacuum cleaner unit may be readily removed from and installed in the building wall at any time after its original installation for purposes of repairing the same, if needed.

According to the invention, a vacuum cleaner unit, comprising a casing provided with laterally spaced sidewalls defining therebetween a power compartment and a vacuum compartment, is mounted for ready installation thereof in, and removal thereof from, an opening in a building wall by bracket means permanently secured within the building wall and including first and second laterally spaced, outwardly extending arms straddling the casing sidewalls, with disconnectable means carried by the casing sidewalls and arms for securing the cleaner unit within the opening in the building wall with frontal portions of its casing projecting outwardly a predetermined distance from the building wall.

Some of the objects of the invention having been stated, other objects will appear as the description proceeds when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which- FIG. lis a front elevation of a preferred embodiment of the self-contained wall-mounted vacuum cleaner unit of the present invention, with the door for the hosereceiving receptacle thereof occupying open position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view, on a reduced scale, of the vacuum cleaner unit of FIG. 1, with various parts thereof shown in exploded relationship;

FIG. 3 is an elevation similar to FIG. 1 with the flanged cover of the vacuum cleaner casing removed and with the closure for the vacuum compartment occupying open position;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged plan view through the casing and associated bracket means taken substantially along line 44 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 5-5 in FIG. 1, but with the receptacle door occupying closed position, and particularly illustrating hoW an actuating member on the switch which controls the suction device is engaged and maintained in open position when the door is closed;

FIGS. 6 and 7 are vertical sectional views taken substantially along the respective lines 6--6 and 77 in FIG. 1, but showing a vacuum hose conected to the receptacle in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional plan view taken substantially along line 88 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged detail view of the area indicated at 9 in FIG. 7;

FIGS. 10 and 11 are schematic front elevations similar to FIG. 3, but omitting the front wall panel and showing flexible extension conduits connecting both the air inlet and air outlet of the vacuum cleaner unit to rigid conduits;

FIG. 12 is a schematic front elevation similar to FIG. 1 showing another embodiment of the vacuum cleaner arranged for exhausting filtered air therefrom into the room being cleaned; and

FIG. 13 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 13-13 in FIG. 12.

Referring more specifically to the drawings, a preferred embodiment of the self-contained vacuum cleaning unit of this invention is broadly designated at 10, and is shown installed largely within a building wall 11. Building wall 11 is shown as being of hollow construction, although it is to be understood that vacuum cleaner unit 10 may he installed in a suitable opening or cavity provided in a wall of solid construction, such as a masonry wall.

As shown, building wall 11 comprises spaced substantially vertically disposed frame members or studs, only two of which are shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 indicated at 12, 13. Front and rear or back wall panels 14, 15 are suitably secured to the respective front and rear faces of frame members 12, 13. Front building wall panel 14 is provided with a substantially rectangular opening 16 therethrough which, praferably, is located closely adjacent one of the frame members 12, 13, and is spaced a substantial distance from the immediately adjacent frame member 13 to accommodate the casing of the vacuum cleaner unit 10, as will be later described. Panels 14, 15 may be of any conventional construction, such as lath and plaster, wood, sheet rock, etc.

Vacuum cleaner unit 10 comprises a substantially rectangular and substantially open-front casing 21, having a substantially horizontal partition wall 22 therein extending between opposed laterally spaced sidewalls 21a, 21b of casing 21 and serving to divide casing 21 into a vacuum compartment 23 and a power compartment 24. The back of the compartments 23, 24 may be closed by a back wall 25 (FIGS. 3, 6, 7 and 8.) An electrically operable suction device or fan motor 30, located in power compartment 24, includes a motor housing 31 whose air inlet 32 is in communication with vacuum compartment 23 by way of a suitable outlet opening in partition wall 22. The open upper end of fan housing 31 is partially closed by the upper wall of casing 21 and communicates with an air exhaust opening or discharge outlet 33 (FIG. 7) formed in the rear portion of the upper wall of casing 21. One end of a rigid exhaust conduit 34 secured within the building wall is communicatively connected to discharge outlet 33, preferably :by means of a tubular member or flexible conduit section 34a (FIG. 3) and a blower exhaust fitting 34b.

It will be noted, as best shown in FIGS. 3 and 7, that the flexible conduit section 34w communicates with the exhaust side of the fan motor 30' through the opening 33 and that the opening 33 in casing 21 is located at such a distance from the back wall 25 of casing 21 that the conduit 34 is readily positioned within the confines of the building wall between the adjacent studs. This is accomplished, as illustrated in standard wall construction using studs of about 3 /8 inches thickness, by positioning exhaust conduit 34 and its flexible section 34a at the point of communication with the discharge opening 33 through the upper wall of casing 21 so as to be entirely within a distance not exceeding about 3% inches from the back wall 25 of casing 21. Thus, exhaust conduit 34 extends within the confines of building wall 11 and may extend to areas exteriorly of the building or to a non-inhabited portion of the building so as to prevent dust or the like which may enter this exhaust conduit 34 from being returned back into the cleaned area of the building.

Vacuum compartment 23 has an inlet opening 40 in partition wall 22 through which a tubular air inlet fitting 41 extends (FIG. 6.) Fitting 41 has an inner end which communicates with the upper portion of a suitable filter bag 42 positioned within vacuum compartment 23. Fitting 41 extends upwardly through power compartment 24 and may terminate outside the upper wall of casing 21. It will be noted, as best understood from viewing FIGS. 2, 3 and 6, that inlet fitting 41 passes through the upper wall of casing 21 at such a location and distance from back fall 25 of casing 21 that it is readily'positioned within the confines of the building wall between adjacent studs 12, 13. This is accomplished, as illustrated in standard Wall construction using studs of about 3% inches thickness, by positioning inlet fitting 41 as it passes up wardly not exceeding about 3% inches from the back wall 25 of casing 21.

A medial portion of inlet fitting 41, within power compartment 24, is provided with a suitable member interposed therein defining a receptacle-receiving opening 43 which faces forwardly so as to telescopically receive the rear portion of a tubular hose-receiving receptacle or sleeve 44 whose open other or front end is adapted to receive the corresponding end of a suitable flexible vacuum hose 45.

As shown, the upper end of inlet fitting 41 terminates adjacent the upper wall of casing 21, and may be closed by a suitable closure cap 46. However, inlet fitting 41 may be connected to inlet conduit means, as in FIGS. 10 and 11, extending to another or other inlets located in another or other rooms of the building, if desired, as is the case with respect to the inlet conduit of the vacuum cleaner unit disclosed in said copending application, Ser. No. 56 7,- 615.

Fan motor 30 is electrically operated by a suitable rocker switch 50 which, as best shown in FIG. 5, comprises a movable switch arm 51 having an electrical contact a thereon and which may be pivoted intermediate its ends and is moved between opened and closed positions relative to a fixed contact b by a detent or spring-loaded plunger 52 carried by'a rockable switch actuator member 53. Actuator member 53 is pivoted intermediate its ends, at c, on the housing of switch 50 and is held in the desired relationship to the frontal portions of casing 21, for purposes to be later described, by means of a suitable bracket 54 carried by sidewall 21b of casing 21. Conductors 55, 56 of switch 50 (FIG. 5) connect an electrical cable or cord 60 with electric motor 30 when switch 50 is closed. The electric cable or cord 60 may have a suitable electrical connector or plug '62 thereon for connecting the same to a suitable source of current and to enable separating the unit from the source of current in the event it becomes necessary to remove the vacuum cleaner unit 10 from the building wall 11.

Casing 21 is of substantially rectangular configuration and is adapted to fit loosely within and to project outwardly through opening 16 in panel 14 of building wall 11. Since the depth of casing 21 may be about 5 to 7 inches, and the building wall 11 of standard construction has studs which are usually about 3% inches deep and the wall panel 14' thereof may vary in thickness from about A: inch to as much as 1 inch or more, it is apparent that casing 21 may project as much as about 3 inches from wall 11.

As heretofore stated, casing 21 is provided with an open front. Accordingly, the sidewalls 21a, 21b, the upper wall, and the partition wall 22 of casing 21 collectively define an access opening24a (FIG. 4) for power compartment 24 at the frontal portion of casing 21. Additionally, casing 21 is provided with a narrow marginal front wallportion 23a which defines an access opening 23b for vacuum compartment 23. To sealingly close vacuum compartment 23 when the vacuum cleaner unit 10 is in operation, the vacu- .um compartment access opening 23b is provided with a closure member 64 which overlies vacuum compartment access opening 23b and may be provided with a suitable sealing member or gasket 65 on the inner face thereof which surrounds access opening 23b and, when c1osed,'engages the front surface of the marginal wall portion 23a to provide an airtight seal.

As best shown in FIGS. 3, 6 and 9, the lower edge portion of closure member 64 is pivotally connected to the corresponding front wall portion 23a of casing 21 as by means of a suitable-hinge 66. Closure member 64 may be releasably secured in the closed position of FIGS. 1, 2, 7 and 8 by means of a suitable locking :knob 67 (FIG. 7). A reduced portion of knob 67' loosely penetrates closure member 64 and has a latching finger 70 thereon positioned inwardly of and in engagement with the horizontal upper marginal front wall portion 23;: when closure member 64 occupies closed position. It is apparent that closure member 64 may be easily swung to the open position shown in FIG. 3 to gain access to the interior of vacuum compartment 23 for the purpose of replacing a filled filter bag 42 with a clean filter bag, for example. When so installed, filter bag 42 is penetrated by the lower portion of inlet fitting 41.

To enclose the projecting frontal portionsof casing 21, to hide from view the opening 16in front wall panel 14, and thereby to enhance the appearance of vacuum cleaner unit 10, a flanged casing cover 71 is providedpCover 71 has inwardly extending flanged edge portions 72 adapted to overlie the outer face of the wall panel -14 of building wall 11 about the periphery of opening 16 therein, and cover 71 also is positioned so as to overliefrontal portions of casing 21.

Cover 71 is secured to casing 21 by a pair of screws or bolts 73 extending through suitable openings in the upper and lower portions of cover 71 and through suitable angle clips 75 secured to the respective upper and lower walls of casing 21 (FIGS. 1 and 8). Screws 73 may be threaded through angle clips 75 or may have nuts threaded thereon. In order that the front wall of cover 71 may be substantially flush with closure member 64 when the same occupies closed position, and assuming that the thickness of the front wall of closure 71 is substantially the same as the thickness of closure member 64, his preferred that angle clips 75 project forwardly from casing 21 a distance about equal to the thickness of gasket -65 (FIGS. 8 and 9). Also, cover 71 is provided with a substantially rectangular opening 76 which overlies the access opening 23b of vacuum compartment 23. Opening 76 is slightly larger than closure member 64, so that closure member 64 may be opened and also may sealingly close the access opening 2311 at all times, when desired, irrespective of any small variation in the position of the cover 71 with respect'to the frontal portions of casing 21. If so desired, narrow rectangular frames 79, 80 (FIG. 1) of plastic or resilient material may be provided around the peripheries of closure member 64 and opening 76 to further enhance the appearance of the vacuum cleaner unit.

Hose-receiving receptacle 44 loosely penetrates an upper portion of cover 71 as best shown in FIG. 6. Receptacle 44 is an element of a receptacle assembly in that the outer, front end of receptacle 44 also extends through and is fixed to or molded integral with substantially retangular plate 81 (FIGS. 1 and suitably secured to cover 71. Plate 81 is removably secured to the outer wall of cover 71, as by screws 81a (FIG. 1) and has a substantially rectangular aperture 82 therethrough (FIG. 5) into which switch actuator member 53 loosely extends when cover 71 is properly positioned on casing 21. Switch aper- 6 mm 82 is aligned with a suitable aperture in cover 71 (FIG. 5) and through which switch actuator member 53 also loosely extends. The upper portion of a receptacle closing door 83 is pivotally connected, as by pivot pins 84 (FIG. 5) to rectangular plate 81 and may be manually moved between open and closed positions, as desired. Door 83 may be provided with a suitable sealing member or gasket 85 (FIG. 1) for sealing engaging the hose-receiving end of receptacle 44 when the vacuum cleaner unit 10 is not in use and the door '83 occupies closed position.

To ensure that the flow of electrical energy to motor 30 is interrupted when the door 83 is closed, it will be observed in FIG. 5 that door 83 is provided with a projecting abutment 86 thereon adapted to engage and move the lower portion of switch actuator member 53 rearwardly as door 83 is moved to closed position. In so doing, switch actuator member 53 is pivoted about its axis on the housing of switch 50, thus moving armature 51 from the closed to the open position. Of course, when door 83 is opened, the operator then simply moves the upper portion of switch actuator member 53 rearwardly, pivoting the same in the counterclockwise direction in FIG. 5 and thus moving switch armature 51 to the closed position to energize suction device 30. Preferably, the outer portion of switch actuator member 53 is of generally V-shaped configuration so that when switch 50 is open as in FIG. 5, the lower portion of the outer surface of actuator member 53 is substantially parallel with the outer surface of cover 71 and receptacle plate 81. The spring-loaded plunger 52 cooperates with switch arm 51 in urging actuator member 53 to either side of dead-center with respect to the pivotal axes of switch arm 51 and actuator member 53.

For the sake of apperance and economy of manufacture, plate 81 and door 83 are relatively thin and the major portion of the inner surface of door :83 is positioned as closely as practicable to the outer surface of plate 81 just so the sealing member or gasket 85 thereon may engage the short outwardly protruding front end of receptacle 44 (FIGS. 1 and 6.) Accordingly, the inner surface of door 83 is provided with a shallow recess 83a immediately adjacent abutment 86 and which accommodates the upper portion of switch actuator member 53 isvhen the same occupies the switch-open position of FIG.

Door 83 may be suitably recessed to receive sealing member 85 (FIG. 6). However, it is to be noted that the relationship between the outer surface of abutment 86 (FIG. 5) and sealing member 85 ('FIG. 6) is such relative to the protruding outer end of receptacle sleeve 44 and the lower portion of the outer surface of switch actuator member 53 that sealing member 85 may tightly engage the outer end of sleeve 44 when door 83 is closed. It is apparent that abutment 86 does not have to engage actuator member 53 in order to maintain the same in open position, since it is only necesary for the abutment 86 to engage and rock the switch actuator member 53 from the closed position to a position beyond dead-center position when door 83 is being closed, and spring-loaded plunger 52 then will urge switch arm 51 and actuator member 53 the remaining distance to ensure that switch 50 is open.

It is preferred that the pivot pins 84 are secured in the side flanges 81b of plate 81 adn that frictional engagement of door 83 with pivot pins '84 will serve to hold door 83 in open, partially open or closed position as the case may be. However, suitable releasable latch means, not shown, may be used for holding door 83 in closed position, if desired.

According to the invention, novel mounting means are provided for mounting the self-contained vacuum cleaner unit 10 for ready installation thereof in, and removal thereof from, the building wall 11. The mounting means comprises a bracket means 90 which is substantially C- shaped in plan and includes a pair of first and second laterally-spaced outwardly-extending arms 91, 92 whose rear portions are interconnected by a bridging web portion' 93 preferably formed integral with arms 91, 92.

Bracket means 90 is installed within building wall 11 with its web potrions 93 positioned against or closely adjacent the inner surface of back building wall panel 15 as best shown in FIG. 4. To this end, the rear portion of first arm 91 is permanently secured to the first frame member 12 of building wall 11, adjacent opening 16, by means of a plurality of fastening elements 94; e.g., screws or nails, which penetrate arm 91 and are securely embedded in frame member 12.

Although vacuum cleaner unit may be installed in wall openings of various depths, vacuum cleaner unit 10 is particularly designed to be mounted in building walls of standard construction, wherein the frame members 12, 13 thereof are usually called two by four studs, which actually are about 1 /6 inches thick to 3% inches deep, and wherein the wall panels 14, thereof may be about A inch to 1 inch or more in thickness. To accommodate a standard fan motor 30 of the desired power or capacity, it is preferred that casing 21 is-of substantially greater depth than a building wall of standard construction. For example, the width of the sidewalls of casing 21 may be about 6 inches and the depth of opening 16 (including wall panel 14 and frame members 12, 13) in a standard wall construction may be about 3 inches to 4% inches.

Thus, frontal portions of casing 21 may project outwardly a substantial distance from the face of front wall panel 14. Therefore, the arms 91, 92 of bracket means 90 are about the same length as or slightly less than the depth of casing 21. It is desirable that arms 91, 92 are about the same length as the depth of casing 21 so that they provide adequate support for casing 2 1, so that they may project outwardly through the opening 16 in panel 14, with the arms straddling the casing sidewalls, and so that disconnectable means carried by the casing sidewalls 21a, 21b

and the arms 91, 92 are readily accessible exteriorly of building wall 11 to facilitate ready installation of thecleaner unit in the building wall and ready removal of the:

cleaner unit from the building wall.

As best shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, said disconnectable means comprises a pair of vertically spaced screws or bolts 96 for each support arm 91, 92. To permit adjustment of casing 21 so that its frontal portions may be accurately spaced from wall panel 14 and whereby the flanged edge portions 72 of easing cover 71 will engage the outer face of wall panel 14 with the outer face of closure 64 substantially flush with the outer face of cover 71, it will be observed in FIGS. 2 and 4 that the forward portion of each support arm 91, 92 of the bracket means 90 is provided with a pair of vertically spaced, forwardly and rearwardly extending, elongate adjustment slots 100 aligned with respective holes 101 in the sidewalls of casing 21, and through which the respective screws or bolts 96 extend.

From the standpoint of economy of manufacture and good appearance, it is desirable to keep the size of vac- -uum cleaner unit 10 within practical limits without sacrificing efliciency of the unit. Accordingly, the width of the casing 21 is shown as being substantially less than the distance (usually about 14% inches) between frame members 12, 13 in FIG. 3. Such arrangement also provides substantial open space between casing 21 and the second vertical frame member 13 to accommodate outlet conduit 34. Accordingly, bracket means 90 is shown secured in building well 11 solely by the fastening elements 94 which secure arm 91 to frame member 12. Bracket means 90 is preferably made from lightweight sheet metal and, therefore, abutment means 105 (FIGS.

3 and 4) is carried by support arm 92 to stabilize the same against outward displacement relative to the building wall when the casing is being withdrawn from between arms 91, 92 through wall opening 16.

Abutment means 105 is shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 in the form of an angle plate adjustably secured to arm 92 for inward and outward adjustment thereon by means of bolts or screws 106 which loosely penetrate for-wardly and rearwardly extending adjustment slots 107 provided in the rear portion of arm 92. Thus, upon the arm 91 being :secured to the first frame member 12 by fastening elements 94 with the web portion 93 of bracket means disposed in close proximity to or against the inner sur- :face of back wall panel 15, a workman may hold Web portion 93 against wall panel 15 and then adjust abut- ;ment means forwardly into engagement with the in- :ner surface of front wall panel 14. It is preferred that the :rear portions of support arms 91, 92 are offset outwardly with respect to the forward portions of the respective arms 91., 92, thereby providing recesses to accommodate the heads of the fastening elements 94, 106 so they will not interfere with the insertion and removal of casing 21 with respect to the support arms 91, 92.

' As described herein thus far, the inlet fitting 41 is closed at its upper end by closure cap 46. Referring now to FIGS. 10 and 11, it will be observed that closure cap 46 is omitted from the upper end of air inlet fitting 41 and is replaced by a flexible tubular member or inlet conduit section 41a. Flexible conduit section 41a is removably connected at one of its ends to air inlet fitting 41, and the other end of flexible inlet conduit section 41a is connected to one end of a rigid inlet conduit 41b which is suitably secured within building wall 11. Thus, another or other hose-receiving receptacles, not shown, but located remote from vacuum cleaner unit 10, may be connected 'to rigid inlet conduit 41b substantially as disclosed in said copending application, Ser. No. 567,615.

FIG. 10 illustrates that the rigid exhaust and inlet conduits 41b may extend upwardly within building wall 11 above vacuum cleaner unit '10. FIG. 11 illustrates that rigid exhaust and inlet conduits 34, 41b may extend downwardly between one sidewall of cleaner casing 21 and the adjacent frame member 13, with the flexible conduit sections 34a, 41a each being in the form of an inverted U to facilitate such arrangement.

In both conduit arrangements of FIGS. 10 and 11, rigid conduits 34, 41b are secured in the building wall 11 by suitable bracket means 110, and they are preferably installed with the flexible tubular members 34a, 41a connected thereto during construction of the building. However, the length or stretchability of flexible tubular members 34a, 41a should be such as to permit the connection thereof to blower exhaust fitting 34b and inlet fitting 41, respectively, during insertion of casing 21 in the opening 16 in the front wall panel 14 of FIGS. 2 and 3 without the necessity of an operator reaching through opening 16 while casing 21 is entirely surrounded by the edges of panel 14 which define opening 16. Otherwise, opening 16 would have to be of undesirably substantially greater height between its upper and lower edges than the height of casing 21 to facilitate proper installation thereof in,

and removal thereof from, wall opening 16.

The flexible nature of tubular members 34a, 41a not i only provides for ease in properly aligning and connecting the permanently installed exhaust and inlet conduits 41b to fittings 34b, 41, but the flexible tubular members also will yield readily during manipulation of casing 21 by an operator installing, removing or adjusting the position of casing 21 relative to bracket means 90. It is preferred that flexible tubular members 34a 41a are made from peripherally ribbed or pleated plastic tubing, as

7 shown, so they may be stretched easily and will not buckle distant point remote from the cleaner, such as outside the building.

Accordingly, the embodiment of FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrates a novel modification of the vacuum cleaner unit whereby the blowing air currents produced by the suction device are exhausted through the frontal portion of the cleaner unit into the corresponding room. In other respects, the vacuum cleaner installation of FIGS. 12 and -13 may be substantially the same as FIGS. l-9 and, therefore, the elements of the vacuum cleaner installation shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 will bear the same reference characters as like elements shown in FIGS. 1-9, Where applicable, with the prime notation added, to avoid repetitive description.

As shown in FIG. 13, instead of the vacuum cleaner unit being provided with a blower exhaust fitting such as that indicated at 3412 in FIGS. 2, 3, 7, 10 and 11, the opening 33' provided therefor in the upper wall of the casing 21' in FIG. 13 may be closed by a closure plate 115 and, in order that blowing air currents from suction device 30' may be exhausted through a frontal portion of vacuum cleaner unit 10", a tubular air exhaust fitting 116 is arranged to extend through upper portions of motor housing .31 and the front wall of flanged casing cover 71' and thereby to establish communication between the air exhaust side of fan motor 30 and the atmosphere in the corresponding room. The outer end of tubular fitting 116 may be suitably secured to or formed integral with a face plate 117 suitably secured to the front wall of flanged casing cover 71'.

To enhance the appearance of the vacuum cleaner unit, face plate 117 of tubular air discharge fitting 116 may be of substantially the same shape and size as the plate 81' associated with hose-receiving receptacle 44', and receptacle 44 may occupy a higher position than that of receptacle 44 shown in FIG. 6 so that both plates 81', 117 may be disposed in side-by-side relationship, if desiredThe outer end portion of tubular air exhaust fitting 116 preferably is provided with louvers 120 for deflecting the outwardly flowing air currents downwardly toward the floor of the room.

It is to be noted that exhaust fitting 116 extends tele- .scopically through an opening 121 formed in a front It is thus seen that I have provided an improved wallmounted vacuum cleaner unit installation, wherein the bracket means 90, 90" may be installed in a building wall independently of units 10, 10' and the cleaner unit can be readily installed at any time in the wall opening 16, 1'6 and also may be readily removed from the wall opening without disturbing the bracket means. -It is seenfurther that casing 21 or 21' may be readily accurately adjusted to accommodate the thickness of the particular wall panel 14, 14' such that the flanged edge portions 72, 72' of cover 71 or '71 will engage the outer surface of the wall panel and the outer face of the cover 'will be substantially flush with the outer face of closure member 64 or 64'. It is important to note that the bracket means 90 or 90' not only ensures that the outer faces of cover 71 or 71' and closure member 64 or 64 may be flush with respect to each other, but the bracket means further ensures that the cover may be tightly secured to angle brackets 75 or 75 so that abutment 86 on the receptacle door '83 (FIG. will automatically open the 10 though specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.

I claim:

1. A vacuum cleaner unit positioned within an opening in a building wall with frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit projecting outwardly from the building wall, said cleaner unit comprising a casing provided with laterally spaced sidewalls and having a power compartment containing a suction device therein provided with a suction inlet, said casing also having a vacuum compartment communicating with said suction inlet, an inlet tting communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and adaptable for attachment of a suction hose thereto, means mounting said cleaner unit for ready installation thereof in, and removal thereof from, said building wall, said mounting means comprising bracket means secured within said building wall and including first and second laterally spaced outwardly extending arms straddling said casing sidewalls, and disconnectable means carried by said sidewalls and said arms for securing said cleaner unit within the opening in the building wall with frontal portion of said casing projecting outwardly a predetermined distance from said building wall each of said compartments being provided with an access opening at the frontal portions of said casing, said cleaner unit further comprising a cover for the casing having inwardly extending flanged edge portions overlying the outer face of the building wall about the periphery of the opening therein, said cover having an opening therein overlying the vacuum compartment access opening for gaining access to said vacuum compartment, closure means carried by said casing and positioned in said cover opening and sealably enclosing the vacuum compartment access opening irrespective of the position of said cover, and the extent of the outward projection of said frontal portions of said casing from saidbuilding wall being such that the outer face of said cover is substantially flush With the outer face of said closure means when the flanged edge portions of said cover are engaging the outer face of said building wall.

2. A structure according to claim 1, wherein said inlet fitting is provided with a forwardly facing receptaclereceiving opening therein located within said power compartment, a tubular hose-receiving receptacle carried by said cover and telescopically received in said receptaclereceiving opening, a rocker switch in said power compartment and electrically connected to said suction device for operating the same, a movable actuating member on said switch for opening and closing the same, said cover having an aperture therethrough in which said actuating member is positioned when said cover is substantially flush with said closure means, movable door means carried by said cover and closing the outer end of said receptacle when said door means is closed, and

7 means on said door means for engaging and moving said switch actuating member to open position when said door means is closed.

3. A structure according to claim 1, wherein said inlet fitting is provided with an air inlet opening therein located within said power compartment, a relatively small plate secured to the front surface of said cover, a vacuum-hose-receiving sleeve extending through said cover and said plate and secured to said plate and being connected to said air inlet opening, a rocker switch in said power compartment and electrically connected to said suction device for operating the'same, a pivoted actuating member on said switch for opening and closing the same, said plate having an aperture therethrough within which said actuating member is disposed when said cover is substantially flush with said closure means, movable door means carried by said plate and closing the outer end of said sleeve when said door means is closed, and means on said door means for engaging and 1 1 moving said switch actuating member to open position when said door means is closed.

4. A structure according to claim 3, wherein said means for engaging and moving said switch actuating member to open position comprises an abutment projecting inwardly from said door means, and said door means being recessed adjacent said abutment to accommodate a portion of said actuating member when said door means is closed.

5. A vacuum cleaner unit positioned within an opening in a building wall with frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit projecting outwardly from the building wall, said cleaner unit comprising a casing provided with laterally spaced sidewalls and having a power compartment containing a suction device therein provided with a suction inlet,said casing also having a vacuum compartment communicating with said suction inlet, an inlet fitting communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and adaptable for attachment of a suction hose thereto, means mounting said cleaner unit for ready installation thereof in, and removal thereof from, said building wall, said mounting means comprising bracket means secured within said building wall and including first and second laterally spaced outwardly extending arms straddling said casing sidewalls, and disconnectable means carried by said sidewalls and said arms for securing said cleaner unit within the opening in the building wall with frontal portions of said casing projecting outwardly a predetermined distance from said building wall, and wherein said arms of said bracket means extend outwardly of said building wall, and wherein said disconnectable means carried by said sidewalls and said arms is positioned forwardly of said building wall so as to be exteriorly readily accessible to a workman outwardly of said building wall for installing or removing the cleaner unit from said bracket means and the wall opening.

6. A structure according to claim 5, wherein said building wall is made up of laterally spaced frame members with a wall panel secured thereto, wherein said wall opening is formed through said wall panel, and wherein said bracket means is carried by one of said frame members, said bracket means further comprising abutment means carried by that arm remote from said one frame member and engaging the inner surface of said wall 'panel to stabilize said last-named arm against outward displacement relative to said building wall when said casing is being withdrawn from between said arms through said wall opening.

7. A structure according to claim 6', including means adjustable securing said abutment means to said arm remote from said one frame member to enable positionmg said abutment means against the inner surface of said wall panel when said bracket means is secured within said building wall.

8. A vacuum cleaner unit adapted to be positioned within an opening in a building wall with frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit projecting outwardly from the building wall, said cleaner unit comprising a casing provided with laterally spaced sidewalls and having a power compartment containing a suction device therein provided with a suction inlet, said casing also having a vacuum compartment communicating with said suction inlet, a tubular inlet fitting communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and adaptable for attach:

' ment of a suction hose thereto, means adapted for mounting said cleaner unit for ready installation in, and removal from, said building wall, said mounting means comprising bracket means adapted to be secured within said building wall and including first and second laterally spaced, outwardly extending arms straddling said casing sidewalls, and disconnectable means carried by frontal portions of said sidewalls and said arms and being so located thereon to secure said casing to said bracket means such that said cleaner unit may always be secured within the opening the building wall with frontal portions of said side walls and arms projecting exteriorly outwardly a predetermined distance from said building wall so as to be readily accessible exteriorly of the cleandisconnectable means is adjustable to accommodate variable depth openings in and/or thicknesses of building Walls.

10. A structure according to claim 9, wherein each of said compartments is provided with an access opening at the frontal portions of said casing, said cleaner unit further comprising a cover for the casing having inwardly extending flanged edge portions adapted. to overlie the outer face of a wall panel of the building Wall about the periphery of the opening therein, said cover having an opening therein overlying the vacuum compartment access opening for gaining access to said vacuum compartment, closure means carried by said casing and positioned in said cover opening and sealably enclosing the vacuum compartment access opening irrespective of the position of said cover, abutment means carried by and projecting laterally outwardly from one of said arms of said bracket means, and said abutment means being spaced a predetermined distance rearwardly from a corresponding flanged edge portion of said cover when the outer face of said cover is substantially flush with the outer face of said closure means such that the flanged edge portions of said cover may engage the outer face of the wall panel of said building wall and the abutment means may engage the inner face of the wall panel when said bracket means is secured within said building wall.

11. A structure according to claim 10, including means adjustably securing said abutment means to said arm remote from said one frame member to enable positioning said abutment means against the inner surface of said wall panel when said bracket means is secured within said building Wall.

12. A structure according to claim 10, wherein said inlet conduit is provided with a forwardly facing receptacle-receiving opening therein located within said power compartment, a tubular hose-receiving receptacle carried by said cover and telescopically received in said receptacle-receiving opening, a switch in said power compartment and electrically connected to said suction device for operating the same, a movable actuating member on said switch for opening and closing the same, said cover having an aperture therethrough adjacent which said actuating member is positioned when said cover is substantially flush with said closure means, movable door means carried by said cover and closing the outer end of said receptacle when said door means is closed, and means on said door means for engaging and maintaining said switch actuating member in open position when said door means is closed. I

13. A structure according to claim 8, wherein said bracket means includes a bridging portion interconnecting the rear ends of said arms.

14. A vacuum cleaner unit positioned within an opening in a' building wall with frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit projecting outwardly from the building wall, said cleaner unit comprising a casing provided with laterally spaced sidewalls and having a power compartment containing a suction device therein provided with a suction inlet and an exhaust, said casing also having a vacuum compartment communicating with said suction inlet, an inlet fitting in said power compartment communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and adaptable for attachment of a suction hose thereto, means mounting said cleaner unit for ready installation thereof in, and removal thereof from, said building wall, said mounting means comprising bracket means secured within said building wall and including first and second laterally spaced outwardly extending arms straddling said casing sidewalls, and disconnectable means carried by said sidewalls and said arms for securing said cleaner unit within the opening in the building wall with frontal portions of said casing projecting outwardly a predetermined distance from said building wall and wherein the building wall has secured therewithin an elongate rigid inlet conduit having one end spaced from but located adjacent the building wall opening, and wherein said inlet fitting and said exhaust extend from a common end of the casing remote from the vacuum compartment, and further comprising an elongate flexible tubular member having one of its ends connected to said rigid inlet conduit and the other of its ends removably connected to said inlet fitting, the flexibility and length of said flexible tubular member being such that it may be connected to said inlet fitting before fully positioning said casing in the building wall opening whereby installation and removal of the vacuum cleaner unit is facilitated.

15. A vacuum cleaner unit positioned within an opening in a building wall with frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit projecting outwardly from the building wall, said cleaner unit comprising a casing provided with laterally spaced sidewalls and having a power compartment containing a suction device therein provided with a suction inlet, said casing also having a vacuum compartment communicating with said suction inlet, an inlet fitting communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and adaptable for attachment of a suction hose thereto, means mounting said cleaner unit for ready installation thereof in, and removal thereof from, said building wall, said mounting means comprising bracket means secured within said building wall and including first and second laterally spaced outwardly extending arms straddling said casing sidewalls, and disconnectable means carried by said sidewalls and said arms for securing said cleaner unit within the opening in the building wall with frontal portions of said casing projecting outwardly a predetermined distance from said building wall, and wherein the building wall has secured therewithin an elongate rigid exhaust conduit having one end located adjacent but spaced from the building wall opening, said vacuum cleaner unit further comprising an exhaust fitting carried by said casing and communicating with the blowing side of said suction device, an elongate flexible tubular member having one of its ends connected to said rigid exhaust conduit and the other of its ends removably connected to said exhaust fitting, and the flexibility and length of said flexible tubular member being such that it may be connected to said exhaust fitting before fully positioning said casing in the building wall opening whereby installation and removal of the vacuum cleaner unit is facilitated.

16. A vacuum cleaner unit positioned within an opening in a building Wall with frontal portions of the vacuum cleaner unit projecting outwardly from the building wall, said cleaner unit comprising a casing provided with laterally spaced sidewalls and having a power compartment containing a suction device therein provided with a suction inlet, said casing also having a vacuum compartment communicating with said suction inlet, an inlet fitting in said power compartment communicatively connected to said vacuum compartment and adaptable for attachment of a suction hose thereto, means mounting said cleaner unit for ready installation thereof in, and removal thereof from, said building wall, said mounting means comprising bracket means secured within said building wall and including first and second laterally spaced outwardly extending arms straddling said casing sidewalls, and disconnectable means carried by said sidewalls and said arms for securing said cleaner unit within the opening in the building wall with frontal portions of said casing projecting outwardly a predetermined distance from said building wall, and wherein said vacuum cleaner unit further comprises a flanged cover removably secured to the frontal portion of said casing and overlying the outer face of the building wall about the periphery of the opening therein, said suction device including a fan motor and a housing mounted on the fan motor, said fan motor housing having an air exhaust opening therethrough, and a tubular exhaust fitting open to the room and carried by said cover and communicating with said exhaust opening in said fan motor housing for exhaust of the air from said fan motor into the room.

17. A vacuum cleaner unit removably mounted in an opening in a building wall, wherein one end of a rigid conduit enclosed and secured within said wall is located adjacent but spaced from said opening, said cleaner unit comprising a casing in said opening and divided into a vacuum compartment and a power compartment, a suction device mounted in said power compartment and having a suction side communicating with said vacuum compartment, said suction device having an air exhaust side, an exhaust fitting on said casing positioned within said wall and communicating with the exhaust side of said suction device, a suction inlet fitting in said power compartment on said casing positioned within said wall and communicating with said vacuum compartment, said exhaust fitting and suction inlet fitting extending from a common end of said casing remote from said vacuum compartment, and an elongated flexible tubular member having one end connected to said rigid conduit and having its other end removably connected to one of said fittings, the flexibility and length of said flexible tubular member being such that it may be connected to said one fitting before fully positioning said casing in the building wall opening whereby installation and removal of the vacuum cleaner unit is facilitated.

18. A vacuum cleaner unit removably mounted in an opening in a building wall, wherein one end of a rigid air exhaust conduit enclosed and secured within said wall is located adjacent but spaced from said opening, said cleaner unit comprising a casing fitting in said opening and divided into a vacuum compartment and a power compartment, a suction device mounted in said power compartment and having a suction side communicating with said vacuum compartment, said suction device having an air exhaust side, an exhaust fitting on said casing positioned within said wall and communicating with the exhaust side of said suction device, a hose-receiving receptacle on said casing communicating with said vacuum compartment, and an elongate flexible tubular member having one end connected to said rigid conduit and having its other end removably connected to said exhaust fitting, the flexibility and length of said flexible tubular member being such that it may be connected to said exhaust fitting before fully positioning said casing in the building wall opening whereby installation and removal of the vacuum cleaner unit is facilitated.

19. A vacuum cleaner unit removably mounted in an opening in a building wall, wherein one end of a rigid air inlet conduit enclosed and secured within said wall is located adjacent but spaced from said opening, said cleaner unit comprising a casing fitting in said opening and divided into a vacuum compartment and a power compartment, a suction device mounted in said power compartment and having a suction side communicating with said vacuum compartment and an exhaust, a suction inlet fitting in said power compartment on said casing positioned within said wall and communicating with said vacuum compartment, said suction inlet fitting and said exhaust extending from a common end of said casing remote from the vacuum compartment, a hose-receiving receptacle on said vacuum cleaner unit and communica tively connected to said inlet fitting intermediate the ends thereof, and an elongate flexible tubular member having one end connected to said rigid inlet conduit and having its other end removably connected to said suction inlet fitting, the flexibility and length of said flexible tubular member being such that it may be connected to said suction inlet fitting before fully positioning said casing in the building wall opening whereby installation and removal of the vacuum cleaner unit is facilitated.

20. A vacuum cleaner unit adapted to be mounted in an opening in a building wall, said cleaner unit comprising a casing divided into a vacuum compartment anda power compartment, a suction device including a fan motor mounted in said power compartment and having a suction side communicating with said vacuum compartment, a fan motor housing carried by said fan motor and receiving exhaust air therein from said motor, a flanged cover adapted to be secured to frontal portions of said casing in overlying relation to the outer face of the building Wall about the periphery of the opening therein, a hose-receiving receptacle carried by said cover, means including an inlet fitting in said power compartment communicatively connecting said receptacle to said suction compartment, a tubular air exhaust fitting open to the room and carried by said cover, and said fan motor housing having an opening therein communicating with fan motor through said exhaust fitting into the room.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,844,050 2/1932 Wesley et a1. 3l2242X 3,023,447 3/1962 Senne 15-314 3,048,875 8/1962 Bottinelli et al. 15-314X 3,173,164 3/1965 Congdon 1s 314 3,213,480 10/1965 Miller 15-314 3,422,482 1/1969 Hamrick 15- 314 FOREIGN PATENTS 12/1963 Canada 15-301 ROBERT W. MICHELL, Primary Examiner UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3, 568, 239 Dated March 9 1971 Inventor(s') J. C. Hamrick It is certified that error appears in the above-identified paten and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, line 3, change'lIL" toJet Line-- Column 1, line 23, change "bracke" to --bracket--; same column, line 39, after "power" insert --compartment--. Column 3, line '5,change "conected" to --connected--; same colum 37 change "praferably" to --preferably--; Column 4, line 24, after "-wardly and before "not", insert --through casing 21 so as to be entirely vVithin a distance--- Column 5, line 69, after "with" inserta. Column 6, line 8, change "sealing" to --sea1ing1y--; same column, line 33, change "apperance" to --appearance--; line change "3urface"to --surfaces-; line 62, change "adn" to --and--. Column 7, line 4, change "potrions" to portion same column line 17, change "1 5/6" to --1 5/8--, same line, change "to" to --by--; line 66, change "well" to ---wall--. Column 9, line 70, change "that" to --the--. CLAIM 8, Column 11, line 75, after "opening" insert "in-- Signed and sealed this 7th day of September 1971.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOTTSCHALK Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Pat

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3706184 *Jun 9, 1969Dec 19, 1972Matter Mfg CorpWall-recessed suction cleaner
US3783472 *Jan 14, 1972Jan 8, 1974Wal Vac IncWall mounted vacuum cleaner unit and method of installation
US3849866 *Oct 19, 1973Nov 26, 1974Wal Vac IncMethod of installing a wall mounted vacuum cleaning unit
US3982539 *Sep 17, 1975Sep 28, 1976Health Technology Labs, Inc.Medical/surgical suction equipment
US4202070 *Oct 26, 1978May 13, 1980Harfst Robert GVacuum apparatus with concrete housing, and method of constructing same
US5740581 *Dec 31, 1996Apr 21, 1998Vacs America, Inc.Mountable between adjacent studs of a wall
US6158080 *Jan 4, 1999Dec 12, 2000Schlapkohl; PeterUltra-compact recessed wall mounted vacuum cleaner
US6502274Jan 31, 2001Jan 7, 2003Vacs America, Inc.Vacuum cleaner bag mounting assembly
US6560816Mar 16, 2001May 13, 2003Vacs America, Inc.Central vacuum system with bag mounting assembly
US7069618 *May 23, 2002Jul 4, 2006Guido ValentiniAppliance for the vacuum cleaning of dusty material and similar
US7080425 *Mar 7, 2003Jul 25, 2006H-P Products, Inc.Vacuum canister and mounting bracket for use therewith
WO2003045215A1 *Nov 2, 2002Jun 5, 2003Schmitt RobertElectrically operated suction unit for a vacuum cleaner
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/314, 55/414, 55/467, 55/DIG.800, 55/372, 55/419
International ClassificationA47L5/38
Cooperative ClassificationY10S55/08, A47L5/38
European ClassificationA47L5/38
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 26, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: BENJAMIN ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY A CORP. OF
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNORS:BENJAMIN ELECTRIC MANUFACTURING COMPANY, A CORP. OF TENN.;COLONIAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY,THE, A CORP. OF MICH.;HARRIS & MALLOW PRODUCTS, INC., A CORP. OF N.J.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:003981/0451
Effective date: 19761220