US 3599272 A
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United States Patent John '1. Merrick 629 Thurston Road, Rochester, NY. 14619  Appl. No. 2,983
 Filed Jan. 15, 1970 [45} Patented Aug. 17, 1971  inventor  VACUUM MOP 6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
 U.S. Cl 15/321, 15/364, 15/369, 15/396  Int. Cl A471 11/29  Field of Search 15/302,
 References Cited UNIT ED STATES PATENTS 742.830 11/1903 Lotz 15/322 1,929,345 10/1933 Brown et al 15/322X 3,210,792 10/1965 Sassano, Sr 15/401 Assistant Examiner-C. K. Moore Attorney-Cumpston, Shaw & Stephens ABSTRACT: A powered vacuum mop has the cleaning liquid line arranged as a flexible tube inside the vacuum hose and wand and has a pushbutton valve on the upper end of the wand. Also, an improved cleaning tool has a main housing receiving the wand, and a separator plate under the main housing closes off all the space under the housing except narrow vacuum intake openings along the front and rear edges of the housing. A perforated plate under the separator plate between the intake openings carries a porous scrubbing tool, and a squeegee is arranged in each of the intake openings. The cleaning liquid line leads to a liquid passageway extending through a separator plate and into a perforated tube extending over the perforated plate.
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JOHN T MERRICK ATTORNEYS I 1 BY PAIENTED AUG 1 7 I97! SHEET 2 OF 3 FIG- 5 INVENTOR. JOHN T- MERRICK AT TORNE YS PATENTEDAUBHIQH 4 34599272 SHEET 3 OF 3 FIG. 4
I 30 3! .-1NVENTOR. F IG- 6 JOHN T MERRICK Syd [W MM AT TORNE YS VACUUM MOP THE INVENTIVE IMPROVEMENT Powered vacuum mops have been previously suggested, but they have not been commercially successful because of various deficiencies. This invention involves recognition of the optimum characteristics for a vacuum mop, and a discovery of the most efficient and convenient way of r constructing a vacuum mop to meet these requirements.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention improves on the type of vacuum mop that has a cleaning tool wand, a reservoir, a line and pump for a cleaning liquid, and a reservoir, hose and vacuum pump for waste liquid, and the improvements include arranging the cleaning liquid line as a flexible tube inside the vacuum hose and the wand, a valve arranged on the upper region of the wand for opening and closing the cleaning liquid line, and an improved cleaning tool secured to the lower end of the wand. The cleaning tool has a housing receiving the wand, a separator plate below the housing except long, narrow intake openings extending respectively along the front and rear of regions of the housing. A perforated plate is arranged under the separator plate between the intake openings, and a. porous scrubbing tool is secured to the bottom of the-perforated plate. A liquid passageway extends over the perforated plate. A squeegee is arranged in each of the intake openings, and the Squeegees extend to the bottom of the scrubbing tool for squeegeeing up liquid on both forward and backward strokes of the tool.
DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the inventive vacuum mop;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a valve for use in the inventive mop;
FIG. 3 is a partial, rear elevational view of a cleaning tool for use with the inventive mop;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the tool of FIG. 3, taken along the line 4-4 thereof;
FIG. 5 is a partial plan view of the tool of FIG. 3, and
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the tool of FIG. 5, taken along the line 66 thereof.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION bad The drawings illustrate one preferred embodiment of the inventive vacuum mop. It consists of a wheeled vehicle 10 that is schematically illustrated because it is generally known. It includes, but does not show, a reservoir and pump for a cleaning liquid, a reservoir and vacuum pump for waste liquid, a power supply for the pumps, and accessories for filling, draining, and other necessary functions. Generally, it sucks up waste liquid and delivers cleaning liquid on demand.
A vacuum hose 1] extends from vehicle 10 to wand 12, and cleaning liquid line 13 is a flexible tube threaded through the vacuum hose and the wand. Preferably, easily detachable couplings connect the vacuum hose 11 to wand 12 and form a junction in the cleaning liquid line at the upper end of the wand. A valve 15 is arranged on the upper end of wand 12 for opening and closing cleaning liquid line 13. Valve 15 is a pushbutton device working against spring 16 in housing 17 in a passageway in cleaning liquid line 13. Valve 15 is preferably arranged so that a finger or thumb of a hand gripping the upper end of wand 12 can conveniently operate valve 15.
An improved cleaning tool 20 is secured to the lower end of wand 12 by a detachable coupling. Cleaning tool 20 has a housing 22 carrying wand coupling 21 and closing over the upper part of the cleaning tool. A closed separator plate 23 is secured to housing 22 and closes off all of the space below housing 22 except intake openings 24 and 25 that are long, narrow slots respectively along the front and rear regions of housing 22. The space between separator plate 23 and housing 22 is subjected to vacuum by vacuum hose 11, and dirt and water are drawn into intake slots 24 and 25 and through the space between housing 22 and separator plate 23 and up hose 11. Squeegees 26 and 27 are arranged respectively in intake slots 24 and 25, and are preferably pivotally mounted to rock forward and backward as cleaning tool 20 is moved.
A perforated plate 28 having openings 38 is secured under separator plate 23 by screws 29 that fasten together perforated plate 28, separator plate 23 and housing 22. Perforated plate 28 extends between intake slots 24 and 25, and porous scrubber pad 30 is secured to perforated plate 28 by screws 31. Pad 30 is preferably a disposable scrubbing tool of a generally known construction and it can be a spongelike device, a brush, or a bristled or pile material. Squeegees 26 and 27 extend to the region of the bottom of pad 30 to engage the floor next to pad 30.
Cleaning liquid line 13 extends through wand couplings 21 and into junction block 32 carried on separator plate 23. Junction block 32 has a liquid passageway extending downward through separator plate 23, and perforated tubes 33 are secured to junction block 32 below separator plate 23. Perforated tubes 32 extend transversely over a substantial region of perforated plate 28, and the ends of perforated tubes 33 are closed so that liquid dribbles from holes 34 spaced along perforated tubes 33.
Tool 20 is preferably made of lightweight material and formed as illustrated for simple castings and stampings. A bumper 35 extends around housing 22, and bumper 35 is preferably formed of an elastomeric material to protect tool 20 and objects that tool 20 bumps into. The pivotal support for Squeegees 26 and 27 is preferably formed by the unthreaded tips 36 of screws 37 that are screwed through housing 22 underneath bumper 35.
In operation, the person holding wand 12 presses valve 15 whenever he desires to wet the floor he is mopping. This sends cleaning liquid down line 13 to perforated tubes 33 which dribble liquid over perforated plate 28 and into porous scrubbing pad 30 to wet the floor as desired. Meanwhile, tool 20 is moved back and forth over the floor so that scrubber 30 works the cleaning liquid against the floor to accomplish the desired cleaning.
On a forward stroke of tool 20, rear squeegee 27 collects liquid left by scrubber 30 so that liquid and dirt are drawn into intake slot 25 and up vacuum hose 11. On a rearward stroke of cleaning tool 20, front squeegee 26 similarly collects liquid leaving pad 30 so it can be drawn into intake slot 24 and through the space between housing 22 and separator plate 23 to vacuum hose 11. Squeegees 26 and 27 thus work on both forward and backward strokes of cleaning tool 20 so that dirty liquid from pad 30 is quickly and easily vacuumed up on both working strokes of tool 20. During this process, pad 30 tends to dry out and leave less and less water on the floor, and as the user notices this he again presses valve 15 to supply more cleaning liquid to pad 30.
The floors are thus cleaned quickly and easily with efficient and convenient liquid supply and takeup as the work proceeds. Constant vacuuming and squeegeeing ensures that no extra time or labor is spent vacuuming up liquid, and cleaning liquid is supplied exactly as needed by merely pressing valve 15 when necessary. This is a simple matter because valve 15 is operated by a finger or thumb of the same hand that holds wand 12.
Persons wishing to practice the invention should remember that other embodiments and variations can be adapted to particular circumstances. Even though one point of view is necessarily chosen in describing and defining the invention, this should not inhibit other embodiments going beyond the semantic orientation of this application but falling within the spirit of the invention. For example, those skilled in the art will appreciate that'other embodiments of powered vacuum mops can use the inventive concepts, and these can be adapted to many specific devices.
1. ln a vacuum mop having a cleaning tool wand; a reservoir, line, and pump for a cleaning liquid; and a reservoir, hose, and vacuum pump for waste liquid; the improvement comprising:
a. said cleaning liquid line being a flexible tube arranged inside said vacuum hose and said wand;
b. a valve arranged on the upper region of said wand for opening and closing aid cleaning liquid line;
c. a cleaning tool secured to the lower end of said wand;
d. said cleaning tool comprising:
l. a housing configured to receive said wand;
2. a separator plate arranged below said housing to close off substantially all the space below said housing except long, narrow, intake openings extending respectively along the front and rear regions of said housing;
3. a perforated plate arranged under said separator plate between said intake openings;
4. liquid passage means extending from said cleaning liquid line through said separator plate;
5. said liquid passage means including a perforated tube extending over said perforated plate;
6. a porous scrubbing tool secured to the bottom of said perforated plate; and
7. a squeegee arranged in each of said intake openings and extending to the region of the bottom of said cleaning tool.
2. The vacuum mop of claim 1 wherein said valve is a pushbutton valve arranged to be manually operable by a thumb or finger of a hand gripping the upper region of said wand.
3. The vacuum mop of claim 1 wherein detachable couplings are arranged for connecting said vacuum hose and said wand and for forming a junction in said cleaning liquid line in the region of the upper end of said wand.
4. The vacuum mop of claim 1 wherein said Squeegees are pivotally mounted for moving forward and backward relative to said housing.
5. The vacuum mop of claim 1 wherein saidliquid passage means includes a junction block carried on said separator plate and receiving said cleaning liquid line above said separator plate, said junction block having a liquid passageway extending through said separator plate, and said perforated tube being connected to said junction block below said separator plate.
6. The vacuum mop of claim 5 wherein said perforated tube is arranged to extend transversely over a substantial region of said perforated plate.