US 3618344 A
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Nov. 9, 1971 R. E. HOFFMAN 3,618,344
. CLOTHES WASHER HAVING A DIVERGING WATER CONTAINER FOR SUDS CONTROL Filed July 17, 1970 cm W .0 0 L moon \q I I 1 I I INVIL'N'I'UR.
United States Patent 3,618,344 CLOTHES WASHER HAVING A DIVERGING WATER CONTAINER FOR SUDS CONTROL Robert E. Hoffman, Dayton, Ohio, assignor to General Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich. Filed July 17, 1970, Ser. No. 55,814 Int. Cl. D06f 29/00, 39/08 U.S. Cl. 68-235 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A domestic clothes washer has a pair of nested and spaced tubs one of which (water container) is imperforate to retain the washing fluid, the other of which (spin basket) is perforated and rotatable to centrifuge the washing fluid from clothes being washed therein. A preipheral fill system includes a fill tube circumscribing the top of the nested pair of tubs. The fill tube has slots to provide a circumferential series of sprays, a portion of which enters the space between the tubs for flushing suds therefrom prior to rinsing. The sidewall of the water container diverges downwardly from the cylindrical sidewall of the spin basket as an aid in flushing suds from the space between the tubs.
One common form of clothes washer includes a pair of nested tubs the outer one of which is imperforate in order to contain water while the inner one of which is perforate and adapted to contain the clothes being washed. The perforate tub or spin basket is slightly spaced from the outer water container and adapted to rotate relative thereto. Certain situations create an over-suds condition within the nested tubs. For instance, an over supply of detergent or excessively soft water in conjunction with a normal detergent supply can cause suds to billow upwardly in the spin basket. Such over-sudsing creates a problem in the space between the water container and the spin basket known as suds-lock. The suds create an adhering bridge between the tubs which resists the relative rotation of the tubs. This resistance to rotation can cause the drive motor to cut out on overload. My invention is directed to an improved suds flushing arrangement for a perforate spin basket type of clothes washer which prevents suds-lock by expediting the dissipation of suds from the space between the tubs.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved suds flushing system for a perforate spin basket type of clothes washer.
It is another object of this invention to provide a clothes washer with a pair of nested and spaced tub sidewalls, the outer one of which is imperforate and diverges downwardly from the inner one of which is cylindrical and perforate throughout, to thereby enlarge the space between the tub sidewalls near the bottom thereof to prevent suds-lock.
A more specific object of this invention is the provision in a domestic clothes washer of a peripheral fill system in combination with an overlying a pair of nested and spaced tubs wherein a fixed, imperforate sidewall of the outer tub diverges downwardly from a rotating, perforate sidewall of the inner tub and cooperates with a rinse water spray from the peripheral fill system to break the adhesive bridge of suds between the tubs.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparant from the following description, reference being bad to the accompanying drawings, wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view of a domestic clothes washer with parts broken away to show a tub assembly formed in accordance with this invention and in combination with a peripheral fill system; and
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view through a top portion of the tub assembly to show the relationship of the peripheral fill spray to the space between the nested tubs.
In accordance with this invention and with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, a domestic clothes washer is shown generally at 10. The washer includes a box-like sheet metal casing 12 having a top wall 14. The top wall has a recessed portion 16 including an access opening which is exposed when the access door 20 is opened (FIG. 1).
The casing or cabinet 12 is shown to enclose a nested tub assembly 24. The assembly includes a non-rotatable, open-top, imperforate wall water container 26 and a rotatable, perforate wall spin basket 28. An annular plastic subtop 30 is sealingly clamped to the open top of the water container 26 in the manner illustrated at 32 (FIG. 2). The subtop circumscribes the open top of the water container and extends over a rim 33 forming the top opening of the spin basket 28 to define an access collar 36 between the access opening of the cabinet and the top opening of the spin basket. Water is drained from the tub assembly through a sump 27 connected to the bottom wall 29 of the water container 26. A pump (not shown) pumps the wash and rinse water to drain by means of a conduit 29 connected to the sump. The sump 2.7 may also include a pressure tap 31 which through a remote control can regulate the level of water in the tub assembly.
The water container 26 and, thus, the tub assembly 24 is mounted on a suspension system shown generally at 40 and more fully taught in US. Pat. 3,493,118 granted Feb. 3, 1970. The tub assembly includes an agitator 44 which with the spin basket 28 is connected to a drive mechanism or power means shown generally at 50. The power means includes a motor 51 and may be of a rollerdri-ve type taught more fully in US. Pat. 3,087,321 granted Apr. 30, 1963. In general, power means 50 may be operated in one manner to vertically reciprocate or oscillate the agitator 44 for washing clothes in the tub assembly. When the mechanism is operated in an other manner, the spin basket 28 is rotated with respect to the water container 26 for centrifuging washing fluid from the clothes in the spin basket.
A peripheral fill system is carried and supported on the annular plastic subtop 30. The bottom side of the subtop includes a pair of integral ribs 54, 56 defining a channel 58 for receiving a flexible fill tube 60. The fill tube has integral tabs 62 which are pushed through openings 64- in the subtop for supporting the fill tube in a position overlying the open tops of the water container and the spin basket.
With reference to FIG. 2, most of the spray (about enters the spin basket where it serves to wet down dry clothes placed in the clothes washer at the beginning of a clothes washing cycle. This is insured by the depending rib 56 which diverts the outboard portion of the spray downward. Rib 56 approaches rim 33 and also serves thereby as a guard to prevent clothes from being spun into the space 96 between the tubs. Later in the cycle after the clothes have become plastered on the side of the spin basket during centrifuging, the spray serves to release the clothes from the sidewall by breaking down the adhesion between the clothes and the spin basket.
A small portion of the spray (about is permitted to flush the space 96 between the water container 26 and the spin basket 28. This tends to prevent suds-lock and maintain the spin basket freely rotatable relative to the water container. The rim 33 has a curved portion 37 radially inward of the rib 56 and a radially outwardly directed terminal flinger portion 38. When the spray is operating and the spin basket is spinning, a portion of the spray hits the curved portion of the rim 33 and is flung outwardly by centrifugal force in the form of a substantially annular spray through the space 96 and onto the outer tub 26 where it joins with the subtop 30. Thus the rib 56 must be sufliciently close to the spinning basket rim 33 to prevent clothes from being thrown out of the basket. But it must not be so close that it will block the spray portion being flung outwardly into the space 96. For additional details on a peripheral fill system suitable for use in the combination of this invention, reference may be had to copending application (Al3,445) filed concurrently herewith and assigned to the same assignee.
There have been prior art attempts to solve the sudslock problem between relatively rotating tubs. But the problem, although widely recognized, has not been solved in the novel manner described next following to achieve the improved results of my invention.
Spin basket 28 is formed with a cylindrical sidewall 100 which is preforated throughout. The cylindrical shape provides for maximum clothes capacity with the least horizontal dimension. Surrounding this cylindrical wall 100 is an imperforate wall 102 of the water container. The wall 102 diverges outwardly from the annular jointure where it connects with the subtop 30 to the jointure where it connects with the bottom wall 29 of the water container. The sidewall of the spin basket is spaced from the water container a gap A of about .5 inch near the top of the space 96. Any stiff suds occurring at this location or in the top two or three inches of the space 96 could bridge the gap and adhesively link the spin basket to the water container. Such an adhesive bridge of suds or suds-look would resist the rotation of the spin basket relative to the water container. The motor 51 could overheat and cut off on overload.
This invention locates a fill tube above the gap A so that a portion of the rinse water can be sprayed down on the location where the more severe suds-lock is likely to occur. The fill tube circumscribes the open tops of the tubs so that an annular spray of rinse water is caused to rain down on the suds-lock all around the top of the space 96. The suds thus wetted tend to slide downwardly. As the suds slide, they move into an enlarging space 96 formed by the divergence of the sidewall 102 of the water container. Moreover, rinse water, during rotation of spin basket 28, is flung by centrifugal force against the water container as shown by flow arrows in the drawings. This water cascades over the seal between the subtop and the water container to form a falling surface film of rinse water on the sidewall 102 of the water container, rather like greasing the skids for the sliding suds. Most of the rinse water from the spray tube 60 is directed into the spin basket 28 from whence it will be centrifuged through the perforations of the spin basket toward the sidewall of the water container. Since sidewall 102 is diverging outwardly from a vertical plane, the momentum of the centrifuged rinse water is not lost. The wetted and falling suds is broken up and carried along with the centrifuged rinse waterthe divergence of the sidewall 102 cooperating with the rinse water to more effectively and expeditiously rid the space 96 of suds.
Following is one clothes washer embodiment provided with my invention. Spin basket .28 is approximately sixteen inches deep, has a perforate sidewall twenty-two inches in diameter and eleven inches high and a top opening provided by rim 33 which is about nineteen inches in diameter. The sidewall 102 of the water container is substantially fifteen inches high from its open top to its jointure with the bottom wall 29. Sidewall 102 diverges in the fifteen inches from a diameter of twenty-three inches at its open top to a diameter of twenty-four inches at its bottom, i.e., a divergence ratio of .5 to 15 or 1 to 30. Although my invention will operate satisfactorily with domestic water pressure between 20 p.s.i. and p.s.i., water is normally supplied to the spray tube 60 at between 50 p.s.i. and 60 p.s.i. and spin basket 28 is rotatable at speeds of 630 rpm. and 420 rpm.
While the embodiment of the present invention as herein disclosed constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms might be adopted.
1. In combination with a domestic clothes washer, a non-rotatable, open-top outer tub and a rotatable, open top inner tub nested within said outer tub and in spaced relation thereto, peripheral water supply means substantially circumscribing the open tops of said tubs for directing substantially an annular spray of rinse water through the space between said tubs onto said outer tub, and power means drivably connected to said inner tub for rotating said inner tub relative to said outer tub, the space formed between said tubs occasionally trapping suds therein which adhesively connects said tubs thereby resisting the rotation of said inner tub relative to said outer tub and overloading said power means, said inner tub having a perforate cylindrical sidewall, and said outer tub having an imperforate sidewall diverging in the downward direction from the cylindrical sidewall of said inner tub, the divergence of the sidewall of said outer tub cooperating with said annular spray of rinse water to create a substantially annular, falling surface film of water on the sidewall of said outer tub thereby to break the adhesion between said suds and said outer tub.
2. The combination of claim 1 wherein the cylindrical sidewall of said inner tub has a diameter of substantially 22 inches and the sidewall of said outer tub adjacent said cylindrical sidewall of said inner tub is substantially 15 inches in height and diverges from a diameter of substantially 23 inches at the open top thereof where said annular spray of rinse water is directed onto said outer tub to a diameter of substantially 24 inches at the bottom thereof.
3. The combination of claim 1 wherein the ratio of divergence of the sidewall of said outer tub to the height of said sidewall of said outer tub is substantially 1 to 30.
4. In a domestic clothes washer having a non-rotatable, open-top outer tub and a rotatable, open-top inner tub nested within said outer tub and in spaced relation thereto, and power means drivably connected to said inner tub for rotating said inner tub relative to said outer tub, the space formed between said tubs occasionally trapping suds therein which adhesively connects said tubs thereby resisting the rotation of said inner tub relative to said outer tub and overloading said power means, the invention com prising peripheral rinse water supply means substantially circumscribing and overlying the open tops of said tubs for directing one rinse water supply portion in substantially an annular spray through the space between said tubs onto said outer tub and for directing another rinse water supply portion into said inner tub near the open top thereof, said inner tub having a cylindrical sidewall substantially perforate throughout, and said outer tub having an imperforate sidewall radially opposite the sidewall of said inner tub and diverging in the downward direction from the cylindrical sidewall of said inner tub, the diverging sidewall of said outer tub cooperating with said one rinse water supply portion to create a substantially annular,
falling surface film of water on the sidewall of said outer tub to break the adhesion between said suds and said outer tub while the divergence of said diverging sidewall cooperates with the other rinse water supply portion as centrifuged through the perforate sidewall of said inner tub by the rotation thereof to move said suds downwardly and outwardly in said space so that any adhesive connection of suds between the tubs suflicient to overload said power means is eliminated.
6 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,328,432 8/1943- Dunham 68-235 2,526,344 10/1950 Geldhof et a1 6823.5 X 2,611,256 9/1952 Candor 6823.5 X
WILLIAM 1. PRICE, Primary Examiner