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Publication numberUS3590605 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 6, 1971
Filing dateFeb 27, 1968
Priority dateFeb 27, 1968
Publication numberUS 3590605 A, US 3590605A, US-A-3590605, US3590605 A, US3590605A
InventorsLow Frank Dean
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Signal and control for washing machines
US 3590605 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

llnited States Patent [72] lnventor Frank Dean Low La Grange Park, 111.

[211 App]. No 708,539

[22] Filed Feb. 27, 1963 [45] Patented July 6, 1971 [73] Assignee General ElectrieCompany [54] SHGNAL AND CONTROL FOR WASHHNG 2,544,867 3/1951 Wallis et a1. 68/12 3,024,637 3/1962 Hughes et a1. 68/12 3,111,830 11/1963 Low 68/12 3.2851136 11/1966 Erickson 68/12 Primary ExaminerWilliam 1. Price Anomeys- Oscar B. Waddell, Frank L. Neuhauser, Francis H.

Boos, Jr. and Walter E. Rule ABSTRAGT: An alarm which sounds and causes the extraction operation to cease if the washing machine lid is open during centrifugal extraction. The alarm includes an operating coil connected in series with the drive motor during extraction operations and having sufficient resistance to prevent operation of the motor. A switch is connected in parallel with the coil and is responsive to the position of the washer lid, to be closed when the lid is closed and open when the lid is open.

Thus the coil is energized to operate the alarm and prevent,

operation of the motor only when the lid is open during extraction.

PATENTED JUL-8I97| INVENTOR RANK D. LOW

ms ATTORNEY SIGNAL AND CONTROL FOR WASHING MACHINES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to fabric-washing machines and, more particularly to an improved alarm and control for such machines. Automatic washing machines normally proceed through a cycle of operation which includes at least a wash step, followed by a centrifugal extraction step, and a rinse step, followed by a second centrifugal extraction step; with many washing machines offering additional operations such as prewash and additional rinses. The centrifugal extraction steps are accomplished by rotating at high speed the fabric container or basket Since this container and its fabric load has a relatively large inertia, it is desirable to insure that the lid or cover of the machine is closed during such operations. Some prior art machines approach the problem by using lid operated switches which inactivate the machine if the lid is open during the extraction or spin operations.

Very often the washing machine is in a separate wash room or the basement so that the operator, usually the housewife, will not be in constant attention while the machine proceeds through its sequence of operation. Thus it would be advantageous to have some type of signal, such as a buzzer, energized when the lid is open during spin, as well as having the machine deenergized.

An object of this invention is to provide an improved control for an automatic washer including an alarm which sounds if the lid is open during extraction operations.

Another object is to provide such an improved control which also interrupts operation of the machine if the lid is open during extraction operations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION I provide an improved control for a fabric-washing machine including a container to receive fluid and fabrics to be washed in the fluid, agitation means for washing fabrics in the container, electrically powered drive means for operating the agitation means to effect washing of the fabrics and for rotating the container to centrifugally extract fluid from the fabrics, an outer cabinet enclosing operative elements of the machine and defining an opening for access to the container, and a lid movable between a position closing the opening and a position exposing the opening. The control includes a circuit having a first branch for connecting the drive means to a source of electric power for operation of the drive means to operate the agitation means. The control circuit also includes a second branch for connecting the drive means to the source of electric power for rotation of the container to centrifugally extract fluid. There is an alarm having an electrical operating coil, and alarm control means responsive to the open position of the lid to energize the coil in the second branch; whereby the alarm is operated when the lid is open and the drive means is connected to the source of electric power through the second branch.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. I is a side elevational view, with some parts broken away and others sectioned to illustrate details, of a washing machine incorporating one form of the present invention, the view being somewhat schematic in form.

FIG. 2 is a simplified, schematic wiring diagram ofa control circuit for the machine of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing and particularly to FIG. I thereof, there is illustrated an automatic fabric-washing machine incorporating one presently preferred form of this invention. The clothes washing machine 10 includes an outer appearance cabinet of casing 11 having a bulkhead 12 which forms the bottom wall of an enclosure 13 housing a vertically arranged container or basket 14 to receive fluid and fabrics to be washed in the fluid and an agitator 15. Below the bulkhead 12 is a machinery compartment 16. Disposed within the machinery compartment 16 is a frame 17 which is mounted for gyratory movement about a pivot point (not shown) located in a transverse structural member at the base of the cabinet 11. The frame 17 supports an electrically powered operating means or drive motor 18 disposed with its output shaft 19 extending vertically downward. The shaft 19 carries a drive sheave 20 and its lower end is connected to the rotor of a pump21. The pump receives fluid from the enclosure 13 through a screened inlet 22 provided in the bulkhead l2 and fluid-connected to the pump 21 by inlet conduit 23. A pump discharge conduit 24 leads from the pump 21 to provide for discharge of fluid from the enclosure 13 to the household sewer system (not shown).

The motor 18 is of the reversible, split-phase, induction type commonly used in fabric washing machines. As is well understood in the art, operation of motor 18 in one direction causes operation of the agitator 15 for washing and rinsing functions, and operation of motor 18 in its other direction rotates the basket 14 for centrifugal extraction of fluid from the basket and the fabrics contained therein. The pump 21 may be of any of the well-known types such that, when the motor 18 is operating in the spin or centrifugal extraction direction, the pump 21 removes water from the enclosure 13, and, when the motor is operating in the wash direction, the pump is generally ineffective as a pumping mechanism.

A transmission 25 is vertically mounted with the frame 17 and has a housing 26 about the lower portion of which a circular, concentric skirt 27 provides a driven clutch element. Within the skirt 27 there is a unidirectional clutch 28 ofa type well known in the art. The clutch 28 carries another sheave 29, which is connected by a belt 30 to the motor shaft-carried sheave 20. When the motor 18 operates in its spin direction, the clutch 28 engages the skirt 27 to rotate the housing 26 therewith, by means of a conventional slip clutch 31 of the coil-spring type, rotation of the sheave 29 in the wash direction transmits torque to the transmission 25, while the unidirectional clutch 28 is disengaged from the skirt so that the drive torque is not transmitted to the housing 26. The details and construction of one transmission of this general configuration suitable for use with fabric-washing machines are illustrated and described in US. Pat. No. 3,145,553, issued on Aug. 25, 1964, to S. L. McMillan and assigned to the General Electric Company, assignee ofthe present invention.

A hollow shaft or sleeve 32 extends upwardly from the transmission 25 and is secured to a fixture 33 which is mounted on the basket 14, so that, when the transmission housing 26 is rotated as aforesaid, the basket 14 rotates therewith. A flexible boot (not shown) is fixed to the sleeve 32 and the bulkhead 12 to prevent the passage of fluid into the machinery compartment 16 while permitting gyratory movement ofthe sleeve 32 relative to the bulkhead 12.

The agitator 15 is located within and coaxial with the basket 14 and is movable relative thereto. The agitator includes a center post 34 from which a plurality of vanes 35 radially extend. The agitator is secured to the upper end of an agitator shaft 36 which extends downwardly from the top of the agitator throughthe agitator center post 34 and through the sleeve 32 to the transmission 25. During washing and rinsing steps, the transmission 25 is effective to cause the agitator shaft 36, to oscillate about its axis, which in turn causes oscillation of the agitator 15.

The basket 14 is generally frustoconical shape and is imperforate except for a row of apertures 37 provided adjacent to its open upper end, through which fluid is ejected to the enclosure 13 during the spin or centrifugal extraction operation from the basket 14. A ring 38 of heavy material is carried at the top of the basket 14 to contribute a stabilizing influence during spin. The top wall of the casing 11 defines an opening 39 that is generally aligned with the upper end of the basket 14 and provides an access opening through which articles to be washed may be inserted into and removed from the basket 14.

The top wall is provided with a hinged cover or lid 40 which may be moved between a closed position substantially closing the opening 39, as shown in FIG. 1, and an open position in which it exposes the opening 39.

A solenoid operated valve assembly 41 is mounted within the casing for supplying a suitable wash fluid such as water to the machine 10. The valve assembly 41 has an inlet 42 arranged to be connected to a hot water supply (not shown) and another inlet 43 arranged to be connected to a cold water supply (not shown), so that hot, cold or wann water can be delivered to the basket 14 by way of a valve outlet conduit 44, as is well known in the an. The machine is also provided with a control compartment (not shown) in which are located various control devices including a time-cycle control to conduct the machine through a complete operational cycle by controlling the operation of the motor 18 and the valve assembly 40.

Referring now to H0. 2 there is shown, in somewhat simplified form, an electrical schematic diagram for one such control suitable for controlling the machine of FIG. 1, and illustrating one form of the present invention. Such items as controls for detergent, bleach and rinse agent dispensers, lights, etc., have been omitted for the sake of simplicity.

The control circuit as a whole is energized from a suitable source of electric power (not shown) through a pair of conductors 45 and 46. The conductor 45 is connected to a manually operable, push-pull switch 450. Switch 450 is connected to a master switch 47 controlled by a cam 47a. From the switch 47 one branch or portion of the circuit extends through a conductor 45b and a suitable timer motor 48 to the other conductor 46. A cold water solenoid 49 is connected between the conductor 45b and one side of a switch 50 which, in turn, is controlled by a cam 51. The other side of the switch 50 is connected by a conductor 52 to one contact 53 ofa centrifugally responsive switch 54. Similarly, a hot water solenoid 55 is connected between conductor 45b and a switch 56, which, in turn, is controlled by a cam 57. The other side of switch 56 is connected to the conductor 52.

The switch 54, in addition to contact 53, includes a second contact 58 and a movable blade or member 59 which is moved between the contacts 53 and 58 by a centrifugally responsive mechanism 60 which is connected to the rotor of the motor 18. When the motor 18 is at rest or rotating below a predetermined speed the centrifugal mechanism 60 causes the blade 59 to engage contact 53, and when the motor is rotating above a predetermined speed the centrifugally responsive mechanism moves the blade out of contact with contact 53 and into contact with contact 58. The blade 59 is connected to conductor 46.

The solenoids 49 and 55 form part of the water valve mechanism 41 so that when switch blade 59 engages contact 53 hot, cold or warm water will be provided to the washing machine through valve mechanism 41, dependent upon whether cam 57 has closed switch 56, cam 51 has closed switch 50 or both cams have caused both switches to close. Under normal operations there will be a timed fill of water of the preselected mix. At the conclusion of this fill, whichever of the switches 50 and 56 have been closed will be opened by the associated cam(s). The centrifugally responsive switch 54 serves, among other purposes, to insure that the water supply is turned off when the main motor is energized, even though, for some reason, cams 51 and 57 that have failed to open their associated switches.

From conductor 4517 an electrical path or first branch circuit is provided through a switch 62, controlled by a cam 63, to one side of the main winding 64 ofthe motor 18. The other side of the main winding is connected to a conductor 65. The conductor 65 is provided with several means of further con nection in the circuit. The first of these is the contact 58 ofthe centrifugally responsive switch 54; a second is an override switch 66, controlled by a cam 67 and connected to conductor 46; and a third is a contact 68 of a double pole, double throw switch, which also includes contacts 69 and 70 and a double throw, movable blade assembly 71 controlled by the cam 72.

5 to the other blade 74b of the blade assembly 71.

An additional of second branch circuit extends from the conductor 45b through a parallel arrangement of an electrically energized operating coil 76 for an alarm and a lid responsive switch 77, then through a switch 78 controlled by a cam 10 79 and then through a conductor 80 back to the first branch circuit between the switch 62 and the main winding 64. The contacts 69 and 70 of the switch 71 are connected to conductor 80. The switch 77 is shown in FIG. 1 and includes an actuator 77a which is disposed to be contacted by the lid when 5 the lid is in its closed position. As is common with such switches, it is spring loaded to its open position so that the switch 77 is open when the lid is open and then is closed depressing actuator 77a when the lid is closed.

The cams 47a, 51, 57, 63, 67, 72 and 79 are rotated together by timer motor 48 so as to open and close their associated switches to cause the machine to proceed through a desired sequence of operation. Additionally they are also rotatable by a suitable manual control (not shown) so that the user may select the cycle of operation and cause the machine to proceed through the cycle. Very briefly such a sequence could include a wash step followed by a centrifugal extraction step and then a rinse step followed by a second centrifugal extraction step. To begin such a sequence of operation, the user would open switch a, move the manual control to rotate the cams until cam 47a closed switch 47 and then close switch 450. initially the cams 51 and 57 will cause selected ones of the switches and 56 to close to provide hot, cold or warm water, the cam 67 will cause the switch 66 to be open, the cam 79 will cause the switch 78 to be open, the cam 72 will cause the blade mechanism 71 to be in the position shown and cam 63 will cause switch 62 to be closed. Initially, for a predetermined period of time, water will flow into the machine to fill the basket or container 14.

40 Thereafter the cams 51 and 57 will open whichever of their associated switches had been closed and cam 67 will close switch 66. The deenergizes the water valve solenoids and energizes the circuit to the main motor 18 through a first branch. This branch circuit extends from conductor 45b 5 through switch 62 and then one leg of the circuit extends through main winding 64, conductor 65 and switch 66 to conductor 46. The other leg extends from switch 62 through conductor so, contact 69, blade 740, Stan winding 73, switch 75, blade 74b, contact 68 to the conductor .65 and then through 5() switch 66 to the conductor 46. Therefore, the motor begins to rotate with the start winding connected in parallel with the main winding. As the motor quickly comes up to speed in a first direction for causing the transmission 27 to drive the agitator 15, the centrifugal responsive device 60 moves blade 59 from contact 53 to contact 58 and opens switch 75. This accomplishes two purposes. The opening of switch 75 deenergizes the start winding so that the main motor continues to rotate on the main winding 64 alone. Also, when shortly thereafter the cam 67 opens switch 66 the main winding is still energized from conductor through contact 58 and blade 59 to the conductor 46.

At the end of a washing period of operation cam 63 opens switch 62 to deenergize the main motor. As the motor slows down switch 75 recloses and blade 59 is moved to engagement 65 with contact 53. The movable blade assembly 71 is moved by cam 72 so that blade 74a engages contact 68 and blade 74!; engages contact 70, cam 67 then closes switch 66 and cam 79 closes switch 78. The main motor is then restarted but with the polarity of the start winding reversed with respect to the main winding so that the motor rotates in the other or spin direction. The energizing circuit for the motor in this case extends from the conductor 45b through a second branch circuit including the parallel combination of the switch 77 and operating coil 76 and then through the switch 78 and conductor 80 to the main winding 64. The other side of the main winding is connected to the other supply conductor 46 through the switch 66. In this configuration the circuit for the start winding extends from conductor 80 through contact '70, blade 74b and switch 75 to one side of the start winding 73, with the other side of the start winding being connected through blade 74a and contact 68 to the conductor 65. Thus it will be seen that the polarity of the start winding has been reversed with respect to the main winding so that the motor rotates in the other or spin direction to cause the transmission to rotate the basket M for centrifugal extraction of fluid. Again, as the motor 18 comes up to speed the centrifugal responsive device 60 moves blade 59 from contact 533 to contact 58 and opens switch 75. Thereafter, when the cam 67 opens override switch 66, the motor remains energized by the connection from conductor 65 through contact 6% and blade 59 to conductor 46. At the end of this operation the main motor is deenergized by the cam 79 opening switch 78. The entire process is repeated for each combined wash or rinse agitation and centrifugal extraction step. At the conclusion of the last centrifugal extraction step the cam 47a opens switch 47 to effectively deenergize the circuit and disconnect the machine from the source of electric power.

It will be understood from the foregoing that the operating coil 76 for the alarm can be in the circuit only when the connection for the main motor is through the second branch so as to cause the motor to rotate in its spin or centrifugal extraction direction. When the motor is connected through the first branch for agitation, the parallel connection of the operating coil 76 and lid switch 77 is in a branch of the circuit which is not being used. it will be understoodthat so long as the lid is closed so that switch 77 is closed, the operating coil 76 is effectively disconnected from the circuit because the switch 77 provides a very low resistance path in parallel with the operating coil.

As another important aspect of this invention the operating coil is provided with a resistance which is sufficiently high with respect to the resistance of the main and start windings of the motor so as to effectively prevent operation of the motor when the operating coil 76 is in the circuit. Thus assuming the machine is operating in the centrifugal extraction mode, opening the lid 40 will cause the switch 77 to open so that the energizing circuit for the motor is through the operating coil 76. The current passing through the coil causes vibration of an associated pivoted actuator 81 so that an audible signal is emitted, indicating that the lid is open during a spin operation. Having the operating coil in the circuit also causes the motor to be effectively deenergized so that it slows down and fairly quickly the centrifugal responsive mechanism causes switch 75 to close and blade 59 to move from contact 58 to contact 53. This effectively interrupts the circuit for both the main motor and the energizing coil 76 so that the audible signal ceases and the motor is effectively disconnected from the circuit.

The control and signal as provided herein has the additional advantage that it will provide a signal at the beginning of the spin step, if the lid has been left open during the wash step. in this event the switch 77 will be open during wash; however, it has no immediate effect on the operation of the machine, since that branch of the circuit is not being used. However, when the spin or centrifugal extraction operation begins a circuit is provided as described above and, even though the motor is not operating above the predetermined speed, the circuit is completed through the switch 66 to the supply conductor 46. Thus for a relatively short time at the beginning of what should be the centrifugal extraction operation the circuit is completed from conductor 45!: through the operating coil 76 and both the main and start windings of the motor to the switch 66 and then to the other supply conductor 46. The operating coil is energized to cause the audible signal to be sounded and to prevent operation of the motor. Thus a signal is provided without any spin operation occurring until the switch 66 opens, at which time the motor and operating coil circuit are disconnected from conductor 46.

The foregoing is a description of an illustrative embodiment of the invention and it is applicants intention in the appended claims to cover all forms which fall within the scope of the invention.

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

1. In a fabric washing machine including a container to receive fluid and fabrics to be washed in the fluid, agitation means for washing fabrics in the container, electrically powered drive means for operating the agitation means to effect washing of the fabrics and for rotating the container to centrifugally extract fluid from the fabrics; an outer cabinet enclosing operative elements of the machine and defining an opening for access to the container, and a lid movable between a position closing the opening and a position exposing the opening;

a. a control circuit including a first branch for connecting said drive means to a source of electric power for operation of said drive means to operate said agitation means and including a second branch for connecting said drive means to the source of electric power for rotation of said container;

b. an alarm having an electrical operating coil; and

c. alarm control means responsive to the open position of said lid for energizing said coil in said second branch;

d. whereby said alarm is operated when said lid is open and said drive means is connected to the source of electric power through said second branch.

2. The invention set forth in claim 1 wherein said alarm control means connects said operating coil in series with said drive means in said second branch for operating said alarm when said lid is open during rotation of said container; said coil being provided with an electrical resistance sufficiently large with respect to said drive means to prevent operation of said drive means when said coil is energized.

3. The invention as set forth in claim 2 wherein said alarm control means comprises a switch responsive to the position of said lid, said switch being open when said lid is open and closed when said lid is closed; said switch being connected in said second branch in parallel with said operating coil so that said coil is energized only when said lid is open.

3. The invention as set forth in claim 2 wherein the machine includes sequence control means for controlling operation of the machine; said sequence control means including selection switch means for connecting one side of said drive means to the source of electric power selectively through said first and second branches; said sequence control means further including override switch means for connecting the other side of said drive means to the source of electric power, said override switch means being closed for only the beginning portion of agitation and extraction operations; and drive means responsive switch means responsive to operation of said drive means to connect said other side of said drive means to be closed only when said drive means is operating at least a predetermined speed; whereby energization of said operating coil causes said drive means and said operating coil to be disconnected from the source of electric power when said override switch means is open.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2502823 *Nov 4, 1944Apr 4, 1950Gen Motors CorpControl switch means for clotheswashing machines
US2544867 *Nov 4, 1944Mar 13, 1951Gen Motors CorpSafety switch for covers of washing machines
US3024637 *Mar 22, 1961Mar 13, 1962Gen ElectricAutomatic washing machine withlid switch control
US3111830 *Jun 22, 1962Nov 26, 1963Gen ElectricAutomatic clothes washing machine with lid switch control
US3285036 *Apr 22, 1965Nov 15, 1966Gen ElectricClothes washer
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4309585 *Dec 18, 1979Jan 5, 1982Sharp Kabushiki KaishaError alarm system in a microwave oven
US4449383 *May 20, 1982May 22, 1984Whirlpool CorporationCombination lid and excursion switch and alarm for automatic washers
US5001910 *Mar 16, 1990Mar 26, 1991Maytag CorporationControl system
US6406102Feb 24, 2000Jun 18, 2002Orscheln Management Co.Electrically operated parking brake control system
US6545852 *Oct 6, 1999Apr 8, 2003OrmancoSystem and method for controlling an electromagnetic device
US6663195Feb 25, 2002Dec 16, 2003Orscheln Management Co.Electrically operated parking brake control systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification68/12.2, 68/196, 68/23.00R, 340/687
International ClassificationD06F37/00, D06F37/42
Cooperative ClassificationD06F37/42
European ClassificationD06F37/42