US 3606091 A
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P 0, 1971 L. A. GRISHAM MULTI-PRESSURE LIQUID DISPENSER SYSTEM Filed March 31, 1970 w W NM QM rlll+.llll mm l Q u m b A E W5. 6T2.. mH M Nat EM 0 a AW L m r llll. mm M W m g A d m n Q9 v Q h L VD) Q\ v m W9 W I N NR 90 a .zu .ow k m aw R v E E N k 1 NW 9m .2 Vm Q\ W v? vm NM Q Q Q .w v WM mu 1 29548 1 225 6 55; av x43 mm hzuwmwhun 9 .m\h
United States Patent 3,606,091 MULTI-PRESSURE LIQUID DISPENSER SYSTEM 7 Leo A. Grisham, 1205 McKinley Ave.,
Ashland, Ky. 41101 Filed Mar. 31, 1970, Ser. No. 24,135 Int. Cl. B67d /60 US. Cl. 222-132 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to a multi-pressure liquid dispensing apparatus for use in a self-service car wash system. A plurality of storage tanks containing a detergent solution, a wax solution, a solvent and water are interconnected by a series of conduits so that washing, rinsing, waxing and degreasing operations may be performed on an automobile. The apparatus utilizes a single handheld spraying nozzle for dispensing the different solutions, and a rotary switch is provided for activating solenoid valves and two pumps so that the different liquids can be combined and dispensed through the nozzle. The washing and rinsing operation uses the high speed output of a variable speed motor to operate one of the pumps to produce high pressures for the operation. The waxing operation uses the low speed output of the variable motor. The degreasing operation uses the other pump at an extremely low pressure. During the washing operation, water and the detergent solution are used; the rinsing operation dispenses only high pressure water, the waxing operation dispenses a wax solution and water, and the degreasing operation dispenses only the solvent. Since these are dispensed through a single nozzle, the vehicle can remain in one location for all four operations.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to a new and improved multipressure liquid dispensing apparatus where Washing, rinsing, waxing and degreasing operations can be accomplished through a single hand held spray nozzle so that all four operations can be accomplished while a vehicle to be treated remains at one location.
There are, generally, three types of vehicle washing apparatus now in commercial use. One type comprises a building or enclosure with a moving conveyor, or trackway wherein an automobile is pulled through the wash apparatus at a predetermined rate while the washing, rinsing, and waxing operations are performed at separate stations in the building. Another type of car washing apparatus generally has a frame which carries a plu rality of conduits depending from and movably mounted 'on the frame, the conduits having a plurality of nozzles for dispensing a detergent solution or wax. A vehicle is stationed within the confines of the frame and the washing apparatus which is moved from one end of the Vehicle to the other so that the total vehicle is washed. The third type of car washing apparatus generally includes a draining pit where a vehicle can be stationed so that a single hand-held sprayer unit can be used to clean the vehicle. Such units generally permit two operations, washing and rinsing, and the car has to be removed to another rack before any waxing or degreasing can be done. This third type of washing apparatus is often a do it yourself device, and generally a coin operated system is provided so that the owner may wash his own car without the necessity of any large expenditures for labor.
Although these three systems are extensively used, they have in common many shortcomings and disadvantages. For example, none of the present systems combines washing, rinsing, waxing and degreasing operations in a single, unitary device, whereby all these various oper- "ice ations can be carried out in one place with a minimum of expense, time, and difliculty. The first type of car wash: ing system mentioned above is very expensive and com plicated to manufacture and install, requires a large capital expenditure for equipment and building and involves a major labor expense for operation and maintenance. The second type of washing apparatus described above is also very complicated and expensive to manufacture and is very difficult for one person to operate, in that, both sides of the car are washed simultaneously, and one person cannot inspect both sides at the same time. The third type of automatic car wash mentioned above may be operated by one person, but is limited in that it does not provide the four combined operations of washing, rinsing, waxing and degreasing which most automobile owners find essential for proper care for their vehicles.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide a vehicle washing apparatus which combines the selective operations of degreasing, washing, rinsing, and waxing.
Another object of this invention is to provide a car wash apparatus capable of degreasing, washing, rinsing, and waxing operations all of which may be accomplished by the use of one spraying nozzle.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an automatic car washing system wherein a varying dispensing pressure can be used in washing and waxing operations, a lower pressure being provided for the waxing operation to prevent the wax solution from breaking down.
Still another object of this invention is to provide in a car washing apparatus means for dispensing from the car washing nozzle a solvent under low presure so that engine grease, or road tar and the like which are often picked up, for example, while passing through road construction areas will be removed without affecting the automobiles surface paint.
These and other objects are accomplished by the present invention through the use of a car wash dispensing system utilizing four storage tanks containing water, a detergent solution, a wax solution and a solvent. These various materials are dispensed at various pressures by means of suitable pumps through a single, hand-held spray nozzle. The selection of a single fluid or a mixture of two fluids is accomplished, for example, by a rotary control switch located at any suitable place, such as on a control panel or the nozzle handle. The detergent solution tank, wax tank and water tank are connected in parallel to a line running to a piston pump, the discharge from each of the detergent and wax tanks being controlled by s'uitable metering valves which may be adjusted to regulate the content and strength of the spray solution. The detergent and wax tank outlet lines include solenoid valves which are selectively opened and closed by the rotary selector switch. The pump is driven by a variable speed motor so that a high pressure or a low. pressure stream may be dispensed from the spray nozzle, depending on the position of the selector switch. A suitable degreasing solvent is carried in a fourth storage tank, the outlet of which is connected to a self-priming centrifugal pump driven by a single speed motor. The solvent is dispensed from the nozzle when the rotary selector switch is set to the degreasing position. The system is simple to operate and is particularly adapted for selfservice applications where a coin-operated machine can provide all the necessary operations for cleaning and waxing a car or truck. A single spray nozzle wand permits the user to clean his vehicle quickly and easily, and the 3 simplicity of the system permits ease of manufacture, installation and maintenance.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIQN OF THE DRAWING The foregoing and additional objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment taken with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a diagrammatic illustration of the multipresure liquid dispensing system of the present invention, showing the interconnection of the several storage tanks, pumps and valves; and
FIG. 2 is an electrical schematic diagram of a typical circuit for the activation of the multi-pressure liquid dispensing system of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring more particularly to the drawings which show an apparatus for washing, rinsing, waxing and degreasing an automobile, in FIG. 1, the numeral illustrates a detergent tank which is filled with a suitable car wash detergent solution 12. The outlet of the detergent tank is connected to a metering valve 14, such as an ordinary globe valve, through outlet line 16, the valve serving to regulate the [flow of the detergent solution from the detergent tank. The metering valve 14 is connected to a solenoid valve 18 which permits the detergent solution to pass into a pump inlet line 22. The pump inlet line 22 is connected to the inlet of a piston pump 26 of any type known in the art.
A wax solution storage tank 28 is also connected to the pump inlet line 22 by way of tank outlet conduit 30 which includes a metering valve 32 and a solenoid valve 34- located therein, the metering valve 32 and the solenoid valve 34 operating in the same manner as the corresponding valves in the detergent outlet conduit 16. A water storage tank 40 for use during the washing, rinsing, and waxing operations, is connected directly to the pump inlet line 22 by a conduit 44 there being no valves located in this conduit.
The piston pump 26 has a pressurized outlet line 46 with a check valve 48 located therein, the check valve preventing a backflow into the pump 26. The outlet line can terminate at any desired location and is equipped with a flexible fitting 50 or any suitable outlet fixture. A flexible line 52, suitable for high pressure, is connected to the fitting 50 at one end and to a nozzle assembly 54 at the other, the nozzle assembly being similar to the presently known hand-held car washing wands. A trigger type assembly may be provided to regulate the flow of fluid, and a nozzle fitting on the end is adjustable to produce a steady stream or fine spray for washing, waxing, or degreasing the automobile. The nozzle assembly preferably includes a handle which carries a five position selector switch 56, the switch being adapted to energize selected ones of the solenoid valves on the various storage tanksand to activate a variable speed motor 58 which drives the piston pump 26. The motor is adapted to operate the pump at two difierent speeds so that the pump will have two'pressure output ranges, a low pressure output of -50200 p.s.i. and a high pressure output of 500- 600 p.s.i. The selector switch 56 is watertight to prevent any electrical short-circuit problems. Alternatively, the selector switch can be mounted on a control panel adjacent the car wash area but away from the handle; however, with the switch on the handle, the diiferent operations can be changed by the user without having to waste time by walking back to the control panel.
A relief line 60 is connected between the outlet line 46 of-the piston pump and the inlet line 22 and carries a pulsation reducer 62 of any type generally known in the art, such as an ordinary air pocket, the pulsation reducer dampening the pulsed flow which is often caused by a piston pump. A relief valve 64 is provided in the relief line so that at a predetermined pressure the line will provide a bypass for the pump to prevent any over pressure in the systems.
Turning now to the degreasing operation, a solvent tank 66 containing any suitable solvent 68 for degreasing and removing tar is provided with an outlet conduit 70 leading to a self-priming centrifugal pump 72. The pump is driven by a single speed motor 74 of any standard type. The pump preferably produces an output pressure of approximately 1045 p.s.i. on outlet line 76. The output line branches into a return line 78 which extends back into the solvent storage tank for priming purposes and a discharge line 80 which communicates with the outlet line 46 of the piston pump 26 at a point prior to the outlet fitting 50. The solvent discharge line 80 passes through a solenoid valve 82 which is energized by the selector switch 56 when the switch is turned to the degreasing mode of operation. A check valve 84 is located in the dischrage line 80 after the solenoid valve 82 to prevent back flow in this line due to the high pressure output of pump 26. A pressure meter 86 may be located in the discharge line 80 between the check valve 84- and the solenoid valve 82 so that the pressure output of the centrifugal pump 72 can be monitored and thus maintained at a proper level, not exceeding 10-15 p.s.i. Any higher pressure would cause the solvent to affect the automobiles outer coat of paint in addition to removing tar and grease and the like.
FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a typical electrical circuit which may be used to operate the multi-pressure liquid dispensing system of the present invention. The system is connected to a conventional power source 88 which energizes the system when a coin is inserted into a conventional coin operated switch 90 carried on a panel away from the washing area. The power source is connected to a step-down transformer 92 which reduces the voltage from 115 volts to 24 volts to prevent possible injury to users of the system. One lead of the secondary side of the transformer is connected to ground at 93 and the other lead 94 is connected to the rotary contact arm 96 of the selector switch 56. The switch has five positions, 1-5, each position having two oppositely disposed contacts so that when the contact arm 96 engages the contacts of the several positions, various circuits are completed.
As illustrated, position 1 of the switch is the ofi position, and position 2 is the washing mode. When contact arm 96 is rotated to this second position, it engages contacts 98 and 98a connecting the secondary of transformer 92 to both contacts by way of line 94 and the arm 96. Wire 100 connects contact 9 8 through solenoid valve 18 to ground, and wire 102 connects contact 98a through the variable speed motor 58, which operates the piston pump 26, to ground. The variable speed motor runs at a high speed in the washing mode to produce an outlet pressure from the piston pump of from 500 to 600 p.s.i.
The rinsing mode is accomplished in position 3. A contact 104, which is not connected to any equipment, is engaged by one end of rotary contact arm 96 while its corresponding contact 104a, which is engaged by the other end of arm 96, is also connected through wire 102 to the variable speed motor 56. This connection produces a high pressure discharge of Water from the piston pump at the pressure from 500 to 600 p.s.i., during the rinsing mode, as was the case with the washing mode.
In position 4, the rotary switch actuates the waxing mode, the rotary contacting arm 96 engaging contacts 106 and 106a. Contact 106 is connected by wire 108 to solenoid valve 34, which controls the flow from the wax tank 28, as shown in FIG. 1. Contact 106a is connected by wire 110 to the low speed input to the variable speed motor 58 so that in this waxing mode the motor will drive piston pump 26 to produce a lower pressure of approximately to 200 p.s.i. This low pressure is necessary to prevent the wax from breaking down upon application to the vehicle. The solenoid valve 34 and the variable speed motor are connected to ground to complete the respective circuits from the secondary of transformer 92. i
In position of the selector switch, the degreasing mode is activated, as the rotary contact arm 96 engages contacts 112 and 112a. Solenoid valve 82 is connected to contact 112 by wire 114, and contact 112a is connected to the single speed motor 74 by wire 116. Motor 74 drives centrifugal pump 72, as shown in FIG. 1, so that in a degreasing mode the solvent is dispensed from the system at a very low pressure of approximately 15 to 20 p.s.i. These two circuits are completed by connecting the solenoid valve 82 and the motor 74 to ground.
OPERATION Turning now to the operation of the system, the storage tanks 10, 28, 40 and 68 are each filled with a suitable detergent solution, a wax solution, water, and a solvent, respectively, for the washing, rinsing, waxing, and degreasing modes of operation. During the washing cycle, the selector switch is turned to position 2, energizing solenoid valve 18 and causing the detergent solution to pass into the pump inlet line 22 through outlet conduit 16. Water from the storage tank 40 is also innoduced by way of conduit 44 into the inlet line 22, where it is mixed with the detergent from tank 10, the concentration of the mixture being regulated by the detergent control valve 14. The selector switch also activates the variable speed motor 56 which drives the piston pump 26 at its high speed so that the pump produces a pressure of approximately 500-600 p.s.i. This high pressure detergent-water mixture is fed by way of line 46 to the washing wand, or nozzle 54 for application to the vehicle to be washed. As noted, suitable valve means may be provided on the handle of the nozzle to regulate the flow of detergent and water, and thus to control its rate of application.
When the operator has completed the desired washing operation, the selector switch may be moved to position 3, the rinsing mode, thus de-energizing valve 18 to cut off the flow of detergent. In this position, water from water tank 40 is supplied to the piston pump 26, the solution from the remaining tanks being cut off. The variable speed motor is activated at its high speed, thereby producmg a high pressure rinse cycle with water at about 500 to 600 p.s.i.
Upon completion of the desired rinse, the operator may move the selector switch to position 4, thereby actrvatmg the waxing mode by energizing solenoid valve 34 in the wax solution outlet line. This permits the wax solution to pass into the pump outlet line 22, where it is mixed with water from tank 40 and fed to the inlet of pump 26. Again, the concentration of the wax in line 22 is regulated by the setting of valve 32. The low speed side of the variable speed motor 58 is activated in the waxing mode so that a pressure of approximately 150- 200 p.s.i. is produced by the piston pump in the wax solution that is fed to the washing wand or nozzle, 54-
through the pump outlet line 46. As has been noted, the low pressure is required to keep the wax from breaking down when it is applied.
When the selector switch is turned to the fifth positron, the degreasing mode is activated. In this position, rotary arm 96 closes the circuit to solenoid valve 82 in the solvent discharge line 80, opening this line, and closes the circuit to motor 74. This motor drives the centrifugal pump 72 so that the solvent 68 is dispensed through the nozzle assembly at a pressure of approximately 15-20 p.s.i. Since the position of the selector switch also deactivates motor 58, pump 26 will be oif, and only the solvent will be supplied to the nozzle 54. The check valves in lines 46 and 60 prevent backfiow of solvent into the remainder of the system. The low pressure at which the solvent is supplied protects the paint of the vehicle being cleaned. Although the solvent mode is indicated as being at position 5 of the selector switch, it will be evident that in actual practice an operator of the system may often desire to use this mode before the washing mode.
It can be seen from the above description and drawings that this improved multi-pressure liquid dispenser system provides a convenient, easy to operate, simple and inexpensive car wash apparatus, wherein washing, rinsing, waxing, and degreasing operations are combined into one single system, which can easily be handled by a single operator. The system utilizes a single dispensing nozzle for all four of the operations, by which the output pressure of the system can be varied during the different modes of operation.
It will be understood that this preferred embodiment can be modified in various ways, such as by providing different types of pumps, check valves, metering valves, and the like, or by rearrangement of the system to move the selector switch from the handle of the wash nozzle to a control panel. It will also be apparent that the various pipe lines in FIG. 1 are merely schematic, and are not representative of or proportional to actual pipe lengths. Thus, it will be preferred in actual practice to arrange lines 16, 30 and 44- and their corresponding valves in such a manner as to shorten the path between the selector valves and the pump inlet so as to minimize the overlap between detergent and wax when switching from one mode to another. In shifting from one mode to another, it may be found desirable to pass through the rinse mode to flush out the lines. Although specific switch arrangements are shown, some other activating means for the system instead of a cam operated switch may be used, or a selector switch other than a rotary contact switch may be substituted. For commercial use, limiting timers may be placed on each solenoid valve, or on the system as a whole, to limit the amount of material used; however, these types of variations can be made in the subject invention without departing from the true spirit and scope thereof as defined in the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A multi-pressure liquid dispensing system for a car washer having a washing, rinsing and waxing mode of operation comprising:
(a) a first storage tank containing a detergent solution for the washing mode, said first tank having a first outlet conduit;
(b) a second storage tank containing a wax solution for the waxing mode, said second tank having a second tank having a second outlet conduit;
(0) a third storage tank containing water for the washing, rinsing and Waxing modes, said third tank having a third outlet conduit;
(d) first pump means having an outlet and having an inlet line connected to said first, second and third outlet conduits on said storage tanks and having an outlet for delivering said water, detergent and wax solutions under pressure;
(e) a nozzle means connected to the outlet of said first pump means for dispensing said water, detergent solution and wax solution;
(if) variable speed drive means connected to said first pump means so that the pressure output of said first pump means can be varied;
(g) first valve means located in said first outlet conduit for regulating the fiow of detergent solution from the first storage tank;
(h) second valve means in said second outlet conduit for regulating the flow of wax solution from said second storage tank;
(i) selector switch means for selectively activating said washing mode, wherein said first valve means and said variable speed drive means are energized so that detergent solution and water are dispensed from said first pump means at a high pressure, activating said waxing mode, whereinsaid second valve means and.
said variable speed drive means are energized so that said wax solution and water are dispensed from said pump means at a low pressure.
2. The multi-pressure liquid dispensing system of claim 1, further including a degreasing mode of operation, the system further comprising:
(a) a fourth storage tank containing a solvent;
(b) second pump means connected between said fourth tank and said nozzle means for pumping the solvent through said nozzle means;
(c) third valve means for permitting the output of said pump to pass to the nozzle means; and v (d) a single speed drive means for driving said second pump, said selector switch means being adapted to selectively activate said third valve means and said second drive means during the degreasing mode.
3. The multi-pressure fluid dispensing system of claim 2, wherein said first pump means is a piston pump driven by said variable speed drive means and producing a high pressure range of from 500600 p.s.i. and a low pressure range from 150-200 p.s.i.
4. The multi-pressure fluid dispensing system of claim 2, further including a pulsation reducing means connected between said first pump inlet line and said first pump outlet line for smoothing the flow from said nozzle means.
5. The multi-pressure liquid dispensing system of claim 4, wherein said second pump means is a self-priming centrifugal pump having a return line to said fourth storage tank for repriming said pump; said centrifugal pump producing a pressure of approximately 15-20 p.s.i. I 6. The multi-pressure liquid dispensing system orciaim. 5, whereinsaid-selector switch means comprises a ave position rotary selector switch, wherein the first position is an otf'position, said second positionvactivates said first valve means and said variable speed drive means; said third position activates said variablespeeddrive means; said fourth position activates said second vaive means and said variable speed drive means,. and said fifth position activates said third valve means and said ,single speed drive means.
7. The multi-pressure liquid dispensing system, of claim 6,'where'm said switching means is carried on said nozzle means so that the user can change the mode of operation of the system while the system is in use. i
8. The multi-pressure liquid dispensing system of claim 2, wherein said first, second and third valve meansare solenoid valves.
9. he multi-pressure liquid dispensing system of claim 1, further including regulator valves'in said first and second conduit means, whereby therproportion in the inlet of said first pump detergent and wax solution to water can be regulated.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS STANLEY TOLLBE-RG, Primary Examiner US, Cl. X.R. 134-100