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Publication numberUS3598370 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 10, 1971
Filing dateJul 14, 1969
Priority dateJul 14, 1969
Publication numberUS 3598370 A, US 3598370A, US-A-3598370, US3598370 A, US3598370A
InventorsKip J Hoag
Original AssigneeMc Graw Edison Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Humidifier
US 3598370 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent p 8 ABSTRACT: A humidifier having an outer case, and a water Albhliuklcontainer and drum supporting humiditying material on the i p open periphery thereofwithin the case, spaced drive and idler 1 Filed pulleys engaging the inner edge of one open diametric drum Palcmcd lwall and rotatably supporting the drum with part under the i 1 8 McGPflFWII (30ml)!!! container water material progressively wetted and moved U toward the idler pulley. and a radial flange on the idler pulley disposed outwardly adjacent the side edge of the drum suitable to convey excess drum water away before contacting the drive pulley; air moving means including a venturi opening and a fan centrally mounted therein for forcing air into the open diametric wall and through the humidifying material, "UMIDIFIER and a fan mounting bracket having spaced rods that fit 10 Clllllll, l through grommets supported within openings in opposing case [52] U.S.CI. 261/26, asymmeiricany mated sides of "enmfi 26l/30, 261/92 opening until a crossmember interconnecting the rods engages [51] Int; Cl. 801N104 Emmmets came the within the vem'm [501 Field 0! Search 261/92, 30, P=" 8= a including a m Piece 26 structure having a hub pivoted to the case and a float supported radially from the hub by an arm. a rotatable indicator [56] References Cited drum visible outside the case, a link connecting the drum and UNITED 5 ATES PATENTS hub, and a switch control element supported adjacent the hub l 747 694 2H9) Birkholz 261/92 x to be engaged by a chordal surface thereon when the con- "933 Johnson 261/92 tainer water level is inadequate; and a humidistat anda houszsas'lgs M952 Wilcox 261/92 ing for isolating the humidistat from case an ambient the 3253'820 5/1966 26H x water container, the housing including a one piece resilient 3352297 "967 Mani an] 261/92, self-supporting element having opposite edges secured by brackets to the case and the interconnecting edges abutted Primary Examiner-Tim R. Miles and held under slight compression by sandwiching case walls. Attorney-Charles F. Lind one of which is removable.

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PATENTED AUGIOIBYI 1598,37 0

sum 1 OF 2 #3 INVENTOR KIP .1. HOAG BY W ATTORNEY I-IUMIDIFIEIi Portable humidifiers typically have a water container or reservoir and a porous humidifying material wetted by this water. Air is moved through the humidifying material typically by a fan centered within a venturi opening. Moreover, water float and indicator mechanisms typically are employed to stop the device when the water level in the container becomes inadequate, a float actuating a control switch and also moving a visual indicator which advises the user of all water levels. Typically also, a humidistat responds to humidity conditions ambient the device for automatic operation, and suitable barriers must be established and maintained between the humidistat and the moistened air within the humidifier case and directly ambient the water container. Moreover, where a rotatable drum supports the humidifying material on its periphery which passes progressively through the container water, quiet but uniformly reliable drive means must be available to rotate the drum even for continued use.

This invention relates to specific structures for accommodating these various functions of a humidifier or like device in an improved manner, but yet of the type which can be economically manufactured and easily assembled.

Specifically, a main object of this invention is to provide in a humidifier device or the like having a fan centered relative to a venturi opening, a unitary fan mounting bracket having spaced rods supported within resilient grommets located in opposing top and bottom case walls of the venturi opening, the bracket rods being initially fitted into the top wall and then the bottom wall until an interconnecting cross member between the rodsengages adjacent grommet to center the fan automatically of the venturi opening.

Another object of this invention is to provide in a humidifier device or the like an improved water level indicator and control including a unitary hub and float assembly where the hub has a chordal surface that engages and actuates a control switch when the water level in the container is inadequate, and where a visual indicator pivoted to the case is connected by a link to the hub, whereby nominal manufacturing tolerances of the various components are sufficient to provide consistent results for different assemblies even in the assembly line manufacture of same.

Another object of this invention is to provide in a humidifier device or the like having a moisture sensitive control like a humidistat an improved housing highly effective for isolating the control from all but the desired ambient conditions, which housing is economical and easily assembled and disassembled about the control and which includes a resilient but self supporting element secured at opposite edges by brackets or the like to the case and sandwiched at the interconnecting edges between adjacent case walls one wall of which typically is removable.

Another object of this invention is to provide in a humidifier device or the like an improved drum for supporting and wetting a humidifying surface, and to an improved support and drive for the drum.

These and other objects of this invention will be more fully understood after reviewing the following specification, including as a part thereof the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. I is a top plan view, partly broken away for the sake of clarity, showing a preferred embodiment of the subject invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view, as seen generally from line 2-2 in FIG. 1, showing the drum support structure;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view, as seen generally from line 3-3 in FIG. 1, showing more of the drum support structure and showing also the motor and fan mounting structure;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view, as seen generally from line 4-4 in FIG. 1, showing more of the motor and fan mounting structure and showing also the relationship thereto of the humidifying drum;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view, as seen generally from line 5-5 in FIG. 1, showing the liquid level indicator and automatic control switch;

FIG. 6 is a sectional view, as seen generally from line 6-6 in FIG. 1, showing the humidistat control and housing therefor;

FIG. 7 is a view as seen generally from line 77 in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a plan view in development of half of the frame structure used to form the humidifying drum.

Referring now specifically to FIGS. 1 and S of the drawings, humidifier device 10 includes an exterior sheet metal case 12 having a hinged cover 14 with a louvered discharge opening 15 therein. An open top water container 16 is supported in the case, and a drum 18 is rotatably carried by drive pulley 20 and idler pulley 22 and slides on pin 23 so that its periphery 24 passes through the container water. The drum periphery is open (typically shown in FIG. 8 as a developed plan view of a ring section 26) having spaced rim elements 27, a central supporting element 28 and interconnecting cross elements 29. The drum itself is composed of two identical ring sections 26 having the end cross elements 30 and 31 offset slightly from one another in a manner so that they underlie and overlie one another (FIG. 3) and are bonded together. A conical diffuser plate 32 (FIG. 2) closes one end of the drum, being supported between two radial flanges 33 on the ring sections. The opposite end of the drum is open and the flanges define the inner edge of the drum which rides on the pulleys 20 and 22. The periphery of the drum is covered with a mat 35 of humidifying material which is porous and picks up water as the drum is rotated through the container water.

The manner of support and rotation of the drum and the manner of drawing outside air to within and through the wetted humidifying material and forcing the humid air outside of the case through the discharge opening 15 will now be described. A case wall 40 extends across the humidifier and has a venturi opening 42 disposed therein which is also open to the open end of the drum 18. The pulleys 20 and 22 are supported from the wall 40 to rotate about horizontally disposed axes 43 and 44, respectively. Each pulley has diverging faces 46 which engage the inside peripheral edge or flanges 33 of the open face of the drum. A motor and drive train unit 47 connected to the drive pulley 20 rotates it to rotate the drum in a counterclockwise direction as seen in FIG. 3. This passes the wetted periphery of the drum leaving the water initially over the idler pulley 22 before contacting the drive pulley 20. A radial flange 48 is further formed on the idler pulley 22 and is adapted to lie closely adjacent but spaced with clearance from a circumferential rim 49 of the drum. This flange 50 serves a double purpose of maintaining the drum within the pulleys while also conveying away any excess drum water before it might reach the drive pulley.

Air moving means is supported by a unitary bracket 52 consisting of parallel cylindrical rods 54 having interconnecting cross members 56 and 57 adjacent the rod ends. A motor mounting plate 58 is also connected between the rods such as by spot welding or the like, and a motor 60 is bolted in place to the plate 58. Fan 62 is keyed to the motor shaft and is adapted to rotate within the venturi opening 42 generally in a centered position. The bracket rods 54 extend beyond opposing case walls 64 and 65, the walls having openings within which grommets 66 of resilient material are secured, and the rod ends are received within the grommets. The lower cross member 56 is spaced relative to the motor mounting plate 58, the lower case wall 64 and the venturi opening 42 such that when it engages its adjacent grommet 66, the fan is centrally mounted within the venturi opening. To assemble the bracket the upper ends of the rods need only be initially located within the upper wall grommets 66 and move axially until the lower ends of the rods clear the lower case wall 64 and be fitted into the grommets, whereupon the bracket is moved downwardly until located in place as determined by the lower crossmember. With the vertically disposed rods, the motor and bracket weight alone would maintain the motor centered, but for safety reasons self-threading nuts 68 are threaded onto the projected low ends of the rods. This mounting bracket is most economically fabricated and assembled as a unitary component within the humidifier device.

Also of significance in the subject invention is the float mechanism used to determine the water level within the container and to visibly indicate the same to the user. The particular mechanism (FIG. includes a unitary float assembly 70 having a hub 72 pivoted about pin 73 to the case and a float 74 connected by arm 75 radially of the hub. A control switch 77 is supported to the case adjacent the hub, the hub being notched out in part and having a chordal surface 78 disposed to engage and actuate the switch 77 when the float 74 is in its lower most position (as shown in FIG. 5) where the level of water in the container is inadequate. The switch is hooked up appropriately in a typical control circuit to terminate the operation of the motors 47 and 60 for the drum and fan, respectively, when the water level is inadequate. When water is added to the container (a removable spout 79 (FIGS. 1 and 3) being provided next to the drum for this), the float rises within the water to move the chordal surface 78 away from the switch element 77 and change the circuit previously mentioned such that the drum and fan motor means can operate as required by demand.

An indicator drum 80 further is pivoted on horizontal pin 81 to the case and has a periphery visible through opening 82 in the decorative case panel 83. A link 84 connects the drum and hub together, so that appropriate markings on the drum would indicate the level of water in the container. The economical one piece float assembly and switch mounting location are of extreme importance since even with the usual nominal manufacturing tolerances, the water level control accuracy can be consistently maintained with little if any adjustment required and the entire unit readily assembled on a mass produced ba- SIS.

Also of extreme importance in the subject invention is the protective housing for the typical control that operates the humidifier responsive to certain humidity conditions. In this regard, a humidistat 90 is located in an appropriate typical circuit with the drum and fan motors to control the operation of each when a nonsatisfied or satisfied demand for humidity is sensed by the humidistat. The humidistat 90 is structurally located inside the case but should sense and respond to the air ambient case. it is necessary therefor to isolate to the best degree possible the humidistat from the extremely humid case air directly exposed to the open top container as well as the wetted matted surface on the drum. An additional factor must be the relative ease and adaptability of installation of this isolating housing so that service of the parts is possible if desired.

As shown, humidistat 90 is mounted on case wall 92 (FIG. 6) with a shaft extending through an opening in the case wall to be operated for external adjustment by a control knob 95. A housing element 97 formed as an elongated or extruded L- shaped element of resilient material such as polyvinyl chloride and having enlarged nubs 102 at its opposite ends is positioned between the humidistat and the interior of the case exposed to the water container. Brackets I04 secured to the adjacent case walls and presenting open tracks receive the nubs upon sliding the housing axially of itself. This secures the opposite nubed edges of the element 97 to the case. The opposite interconnecting edges 107 of the element are sandwiched between opposed case walls, such as the venturi wall 40 and a removable backplate 108 held in place in screws 110. When plate 108 is positioned against the housing element, the entire element is disposed under a slight compressive force as between the opposing edges 107 to establish a very economical but highly effective relatively fluidtight isolation of the humidistat 90 from the humid case air.

Reviewing some of the important features of this invention, the drum is formed economically of a diffuser plate 32 and two similar latticed ring sections 26. The drum support and drive is both economical and positive in that the idler pulley flange 48 precludes excess drum water from reaching the drive pulley. The unitary fan support bracket is economical to manufacture and easy to assemble. The one-piece float assembly and cooperating chordal hub surface and control element provide for economic but reliable and consistent'low water level control of the humidifier device. The snap together linkage between the float and indicator drum offers visual in dication of all water levels and yet is easily and accurately assembled. And lastly, the resilient one piece self supporting housing isolates most effectively the humidistat control from the humid case air.

What I claim is:

1. In a device of the type described, the combination of a case, a water holding container in the case, humidifying material disposed to be moistened bythe container water, wall means including a venturi opening and a fan for moving air through the humidifying material for discharge outside the case, said fan including a unitary mounting bracket having a pair of elongated rods and an interconnecting cross element near corresponding ends of the rods, means including opposing case walls asymmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the venturi opening and spaced apart a distance less than the rod lengths and resilient grommets confined in openings in the walls and snugly receiving the rods until said cross element abuts the grommets adjacent thereto for locating the fan centrally of the venturi opening, a drum having an open periphery and an open transverse diametrical wall disposed closely adjacent the wall means and over the venturi opening, drum support means including a drive pulley and idler pulley adapted to engage the inner edge of the open diametrical wall to support the drum so that the drum periphery extends both within and above the water, said humidifying material overlying the drum periphery, means to rotate the drive pulley to in turn rotate the drum in a direction to progressively wet the humidifying material and to move the drum over the idler-pulley before the drive pulley, a radial flange on the idler pulley extended outwardly adjacent the side edge of the drum periphery suitable for conveying excess drum water from the periphery before reaching the drive pulley, a water level control having a onepiece float assembly including a hub pivoted about a generally horizontal axis to the case and a float connected by an arm to the hub, a control element disposed adjacent the hub and engaged by a chordal surface thereon when said float indicates a predetermined inadequate water level in the container for terminating the operation of the humidifier, an indicator drum pivoted about a generally horizontal axis to the case and being exposed through an opening in the case, a link interconnecting the hub and indicator drum, an on-off control for the device including a humidistat operable responsive to humidity conditions of air ambient the unit to control the operation of the humidifier, and a protective housing about the control, said housing including a unitary resilient but self-supporting element and bracket means securing opposite side edges of the element to the case, and opposing case walls abutting the interconnecting side edges of the housing and slightly compressing said housing effective for isolating in a reasonable fluidtight manner the control from the water container.

2. In a device of the type described, the combination of a case, a water holding container in the case, wall means including a venturi opening and a fan, said fan including a unitary mounting bracket having a pair of elongated rods and an interconnecting cross element near corresponding ends of the rods, means including opposing case walls asymmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the venturi opening and spaced apart a distance less than the rod lengths and resilient grommets confined in openings in the walls and snugly receiving the rods until said cross element abuts the grommets adjacent thereto for locating the fan centrally of the venturi opening, a drum having an open periphery and an open transverse diametrical wall disposed closely adjacent the wall means and over the venturi opening, means to support the drum so that the drum periphery extends both within and above the water, humidifying material overlying the drum periphery, means to rotate the drum to progressively wet the humidifying material and to operate the fan to move air through the humidifying material for discharge outside the case, a water level control having a to control the operation of the device, and a protective housing about the control means, said housing including a unitary resilient but self-supporting element and bracket means securing opposite side edges of the element to the case, and opposing case walls abutting the interconnecting side edges of the housing effective for isolating in a reasonable fluidtight manner the control mcansfrom the water container.

3. in a device of the type described, the combination of a case, a water holding container in the case, humidifying material disposed to be moistened by the container water, wall means including a venturi opening and a fan for moving air through the humidifying material for discharge outside the case, a water level control having a one-piece float assembly including a hub pivoted about a generally horizontal axis to the case and a float connected by an armto the hub, a control element disposed adjacent the hub and engaged by a chordal surface thereon when said float indicates a predetermined inadequate water level in the container for terminating the operation of the humidifier, an indicator drum pivoted about a generally horizontal axis to the case and being exposed through an opening in the case, and a link interconnecting the hub and indicator drum.

4.-ln a device of the type described, the combination of a case, wall means including a venturi opening and a fan for moving air for discharge outside the case, said fan including a unitary mounting bracket having a pair of elongated rods and an interconnecting cross element near corresponding ends of the rods, means including opposing case walls asymmetrically disposed on opposite sides of the venturi opening and spaced apart a distance less than the rod lengths and resilient grommets confined in openings in the walls and snugly receiving the rods until said cross element abuts the grommets adjacent thereto for locating the fan centrally of the venturi opening.

5. A device of the type described according to claim 4, further including a drum having an open periphery and an open transverse diametrical wall disposed closely adjacent the wall means and over the venturi opening, drum support means including a drive pulley and idler pulley adapted to engage the inner edge of the open diametrical wall to support the drum, means to rotate the drive pulley to in turn rotate the drum in a direction to move the drum over the idler pulley before the drive pulley, a radial flange on the idler pulley extended outwardly adjacent the side edge of the drum periphery, and the fan being operable to move air through the drum periphery and outside the case.

6. In a device of the type described. the combination of a case, a water holding container in the case, humidifying material disposed to be moistened by the container water, wall means including a venturi opening and a fan for moving air through the humidifying material for discharge outside the case, means including a humidistat operable responsive to humidity conditions of air ambient the device to control the operation of the device, and a protective housing about the control means, said housing including a unitary resilient but selflsupporting element and bracket means securing opposite side edges of the element to the case, and opposing case walls abutting the interconnecting side edges of the housing and slightly compressing said housing effective for isolating in a reasonable fluidtight manner the control from the water container', and means securing one of the opposing case walls so that the one wall is readily removable from the remainder of the case. Y

7. In a device of the type described according to claim 6,

further including a water level control having a on'eiece float assembly including-a hub'pivoted about a generally orizontal axis to the case and a float connected by an arm to the hub, a control element disposed adjacent the hub and engaged by a chordal surface thereon when said float indicates a predetermined inadequate water level in the container for terminating the operation of the device, an indicator pivoted to the case and exposed through an opening in the case, and a link interconnecting the hub and indicator. I

8. in a device of the type described, the combination of vertical wall means having an air inlet opening, a waterholding container disposed adjacent the container below the opening, a generally cylindrical drum having an open periphery and an open transverse wall defined by a circular inner edge larger than said wall opening, humidifying material over the drum periphery, a drive pulley and an idler pulley each mounted on the wall means vertically above the container on opposite sides of the opening and having outwardly diverging faces on which the drum transverse wall inner edge rides to removably hang the drum. closely adjacent the wall means with the inner edge encircling the inlet opening and with'the drum periphery extended both within and above the water, means to rotate the drive pulley which in turn rotates the drum in a direction to progressively wet the humidifying material and to move the drum transverse wall inner edge over the idler pulley before the drive pulley. a radial flange on the idler pulley disposed laterally adjacent the diverging faces thereon and extended outwardly to at least adjacent the circumferential side edge of the drum periphery and being closely adjacent said side edge suitable for conveying excess water from the side edge before the same reaching the drive pulley, and means operable to move air from the inlet opening through the humidifying material for discharge outside the drum.

9. A device of the type described according to claim 8, further including a water level control having a one-piece float assembly including a hub pivoted abouta generally horizontal axis to the case and a float connected by an arm to the hub, a

control element disposed adjacent the hub and engaged by a chordal surface thereon when said float indicates a predetermined inadequate water level in the container for terminating the operation of the device, an indicator drum exposed through an opening in the case, and a link interconnecting the hub and indicator drum.

10. A device of the type described according to claim 8, further including means including a humidistat operable responsive to humidity conditions of air ambient the device to control the operation of the device, and a protective housing about the control means, said housing including a unitary resilient but self-supporting element and racket means securing opposite side edges of the element to the case, and opposing case walls abutting the interconnecting side edges of the housing effective for isolating in a reasonable fluidtight manner the control means from the water container.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1747694 *Mar 30, 1925Feb 18, 1930American Air Filter CoAir filter
US1905101 *Mar 18, 1932Apr 25, 1933Halbert T JohnsonAir conditioner
US2583195 *Nov 22, 1946Jan 22, 1952Wilcox GeorgeAir conditioner
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3796416 *Sep 7, 1972Mar 12, 1974Mc Graw Edison CoHumidifier drum construction
US3852380 *May 24, 1973Dec 3, 1974Westinghouse Electric CorpWater level indicator and control
US3917757 *Mar 13, 1974Nov 4, 1975Mc Graw Edison CoPortable humidifier case construction
US3979485 *Feb 21, 1975Sep 7, 1976Mcgraw-Edison CompanyPortable humidifier
US4112015 *Apr 22, 1977Sep 5, 1978White-Westinghouse CorporationHumidifier drive system
US4117045 *Sep 23, 1976Sep 26, 1978Dart Industries Inc.Humidifier with removable water receptacle
US4127620 *Jul 18, 1977Nov 28, 1978Canadian Appliance Manufacturing Company LimitedIntegral water fill system for humidifiers
US5037583 *Apr 23, 1990Aug 6, 1991Bemis Manufacturing CompanyHumidifier
US5061405 *Feb 12, 1990Oct 29, 1991Emerson Electric Co.Constant humidity evaporative wicking filter humidifier
US5108663 *Apr 18, 1991Apr 28, 1992Duracraft CorporationHumidifier with float activated water level responsive turn off
US5133904 *Jan 23, 1992Jul 28, 1992Bemis Manufacturing CompanyHumidifier
US5250232 *Jul 17, 1992Oct 5, 1993Bemis Manufacturing CompanyHumidifier
US5397510 *May 24, 1993Mar 14, 1995Toastmaster Inc.Control system for humidifiers
US5894001 *Oct 14, 1995Apr 13, 1999Venta Vertriebs AgFragrance vaporizer, in particular for toilets
US6427984Aug 11, 2000Aug 6, 2002Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.Evaporative humidifier
US6604733Aug 1, 2002Aug 12, 2003Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.Evaporative humidifier
US6622993Mar 5, 2001Sep 23, 2003Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.Humidifier including output efficiency and liquid level indicators
US6715739Jul 17, 2003Apr 6, 2004Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.Evaporative humidifier
US6796550Aug 13, 2002Sep 28, 2004Hamilton Beach/Proctor-Silex, Inc.Humidifier filter servicing and water level indicator
USRE30999 *Sep 3, 1980Jul 20, 1982White-Westinghouse CorporationHigh speed belt and pulley connecting fan motor and media wheel
USRE35153 *Apr 28, 1994Feb 6, 1996Duracraft CorporationHumidifier with float activated water level responsive turn off
Classifications
U.S. Classification261/26, 261/92, 261/30
International ClassificationF24F6/06
Cooperative ClassificationF24F6/06
European ClassificationF24F6/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 13, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: WELLS FARGO FOOTHILL, INC., MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNORS:SALTON, INC.;TOASTMASTER INC.;SALTON TOASTMASTER LOGISTICS LLC;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:016345/0348
Effective date: 20050630
Aug 27, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: CONTINENTAL ILLINOIS NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPA
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:TOASTMASTER INC.;REEL/FRAME:004034/0599
Effective date: 19820818