Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3722024 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 27, 1973
Filing dateNov 10, 1971
Priority dateNov 10, 1971
Publication numberUS 3722024 A, US 3722024A, US-A-3722024, US3722024 A, US3722024A
InventorsSchmitz J
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foot pedal operated adjustable rug nozzle for vacuum cleaner
US 3722024 A
Abstract
A mounting structure for adjustably mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle for selective disposition in different rug cleaning dispositions. The nozzle position is adjusted by pressing down with the user's foot on a pedal to incrementally raise the front end of the nozzle to different desired elevations for use in cleaning any one of a plurality of rugs having different height pile. The mounting structure is further arranged to permit the movement of the nozzle to lower positions by an urging thereof such as by the user's foot on the upper surface of the nozzle. An indicator is provided for indicating the elevational setting of the nozzle.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United tates Patent 1 1 Schrnitz 1 51 Mar. 27, 1973 [75] Inventor: Joseph F. Schmitz, Saint Paul, Minn.

2/1958 Kirby ..15/354 7/1972 Nordcen ..15/333X Primary Examiner Edward L. Roberts Assistant Examiner-C. K. Moore Attorney-James S. Nettleton etal.

[57] ABSTRACT A mounting structure for adjustably mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle for selective disposition in different rug cleaning dispositions. The nozzle position is adjusted by pressing down with the users foot on a pedal to incrementally raise the front end of the nozzle to different desired elevations for use in cleaning any one of a plurality of rugs having different height pile. The mounting structure is further arranged to permit the movement of the nozzle to lower positions by an urging thereof such as by the users foot on the upper surface of the nozzle. An indicator is provided for indicating the elevational setting of the nozzle.

16 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures PATENTEDmznm sum 3 OF 3 FOOT PEDAL OPERATED ADJUSTABLE RUG NOZZLE FOR VACUUM CLEANER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION pawl carried by the lever for selectively engaging the ticular to means for adjusting the disposition of the noz-' zle of a vacuum cleaner for use in cleaning differentheight rug piles.

2. Description of the Prior Art The use of different mechanisms for adjusting the disposition of a vacuum cleaner nozzle is shown in a number of prior art U.S. Pat. Nos. including Taylor 2,067,990, Kirby 2,172,911; Taylor 2,178,006; White 2,188,381; Snyder 2,389,877; Brace 2,734,217; Brace 2,776,446; Huston et al. 3,163,439; Auer 3,184,982; and Bennett et al. 3,257,794. The Taylor U.S. Pat. No. 2,067,990 shows a pawl and ratchet device having a foot-operated lever for adjusting the height of the nozzle. Kirby shows a suction sweeper utilizing a foot pedal for incrementally adjusting the nozzle disposition and is provided with a separate pedal for releasing the pawl to effect resetting of the device. Taylor U.S. Pat. No. 2,178,006 and White show a suction cleaner utilizing ratchet and pawl mechanisms for locking the nozzle in the adjusted position. 'Snyder U.S. Pat. No. 2,389,877 shows a suction cleaner utilizing another form of adjustment control having an indicator for informing the operator of the adjustment of the nozzle. Brace U.S. Pat. No. 2,776,446 shows a suction cleaner with a similar indicator. Huston et al. show a vacuum cleaner with a nozzle height adjusting mechanism permitting resetting of the nozzle by application of pressure to the housing through the handle. Brace 217 shows a suction cleaner wheel adjustment utilizing a cam actuated by a ratchet mechanism. Additional patents showing nozzle height adjustments in vacuum cleaners are U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,103,101; 2,142,810; 2,177,974; 2,330,665; and 2,632,915.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention comprehends an improved mounting structure for adjustably mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle for selective disposition in different rug cleaning positions not shown or suggested in the prior art and providing facilitated manipulation and manufacture.

More specifically, the invention comprehends such a mounting structure including av wheeled truck means for pivotally mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle to the truck for selective angular elevation thereof about a horizontal axis, a ratchet having a plurality of teeth, means mounting the ratchet to the truck, a spring catch,'means for mounting the spring catch to the nozzle for releasably selectively engaging different ones of the'teeth of the ratchetfor releasably selectively holding the nozzle in corresponding different angularly related rug cleaning positions, lever means movably carried by the nozzle for selectively engaging the ratchet for angularly elevating the nozzle relative to the truck and permitting the catch to" releasably hold the nozzle in the selected angularlyelevated position; and means for biasing the lever means away from engagement with the ratchet to permit pivoting of the nozzle angularly downwardly by application of a force to the nozzle-sufticient to overcome the nozzle holding action of the spring catch against the ratchet.

Further more specifically, the invention comprehends such a structure wherein the lever means may be defined by a lever pivotally carried by the nozzle, a

ratchet teeth as an incident of a swinging of the lever about the pivotal mount thereof, and means biasing the lever to release the pawl from the ratchet teeth upon release of the lever by the user permitting the catch to releasably retain the nozzle in the selected elevational position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 5 is a fragmentary enlarged bottom plan view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical section taken substantially along the line 66 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a vertical section taken substantially along the line 7-7 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary vertical section illustrating a portion of the structure of FIG. 7 with the foot pedal depressed toelevate the nozzle one step above that .of the position of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a vertical section similar to that of FIG. 7 but showing the nozzle in a second, raised position;

FIG. 10 is a section similar to that of FIG. 7 but showing the nozzle in the extreme raised position; and

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken substantially along the line l1-1l of FIG. 9.

DESCRIPTION or THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the exemplary embodiment of the invention as disclosed in the drawing, a vacuum cleaner generally designated 10 is shown to comprise a vacuum cleaner construction having a nozzle 11 carrying a motor housing 12 and a handle 13. The invention is concerned of thenozzle is indicated to the operator by means of an indicia means generally designated 16 illustrated in FIG. 4, viewable at the top 17 of the motor housing 12. Thus, in the illustrated embodiment, the nozzle is selectively disposable in a Low" position, as shown in FIG. 7, a first raised Medium position, as shown in FIG. 8, a further elevated Shag position, and an uppermost Deep Shag" position as shown in FIG. 10. The invention is illustrated in connection with a canister vacuum cleaner wherein the handle 13 comprises a wand for conducting the air from the nozzle through a flexible hose to a remote canister (not shown). The vacuum cleaner may further include an electric motor 18, as shown in FIG. 3, having an output shaft 19 for driving a heater bar and brush assembly 20, which may be referred to hereinafter as a beater brush, by means of a suitable drive belt 21 (see FIG. trained over the shaft 19 and a suitable pulley 22 at one end of the beater bar. The beater brush 20 is mounted in the nozzle by means of a pair of bearings 23 at the opposite ends thereof removably received in suitable mounting channels 24 formed integrally with the nozzle.

The nozzle defines a relatively flat downwardly opening element having dependent front and side walls 25,

with the nozzle portion 12 being integrally formed as by molding the nozzle of a suitable plastic. A removable housing portion 26 may be provided forwardly of nozzle portion 12 for enclosing a suitable lamp (not shown) for illuminating the area in front of the nozzle during use of the vacuum cleaner. A rubber bumper 27 may be provided to extend about the side and front portion of wall 25 and is provided with inturned end portions 28 secured in suitable notches 29 at the rear end of the side portions of flange wall 25 (see FIG. 5).

As discussed above, the unit is carried on a wheeled truck 14. Herein, truck 14 includes two pairs of wheels 30 and 31 carried on pairs of trapezoidal mounting plates 32 at opposite sides of the nozzle and disposed in I 25 for rnovably carrying the unit on the subjacent floor surface F, as shown in FIG. 2. A cross axle 35 is received in a downwardly opening groove 36 provided in the rear wall 37 of the nozzle and rotatably carries at its opposite ends the rear wheels of the truck pairs, as shown in FIG. 5. The wheels 30 and 31 are rotatably mounted between the plates 32 at the opposite ends of the plates, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 5. Thus, the truck 14 is swingably mounted about the axis of rod mounted to nozzle 11 in channel 36. More specifically, the truck is swingably mounted so as to swing front wheels 31 upwardly or downwardly relative to the bottom wall edge 34 of the nozzle flange wall 25. As illustrated in FIGS. 7-10, the swinging of the truck 14 in this manner provides for a selective adjustment of the angular position of the nozzle 11 so as to adjust the height of the front end 15 above the floor surface F thereby to pro-vide the desired different operating positions of the vacuum cleaner for Low, Medium, Shag, and Deep Shag pile rugs.

The invention comprehends an improved means for effecting control of such swinging adjustment of the nozzle. More specifically, the control means includes a ratchet 38 having a plurality of teeth 39 on a forward, upwardly facing portion 40 thereof, and a base portion 41 suitably secured between the plates 32 of the lefthand side of truck 14 intermediate the rear wheel 30 and front wheel 31 to expose the tooth portion 40 upwardly, as shown in FIG. 7.

Ratchet 38 further is provided with an upstanding finger 42 carrying, adjacent its upper end, a pin 43 which bears against a spring blade carrier 44 provided at its upper end with a pointer 45. The carrier extends upwardly through a slot 46 in the top wall 17 of housing portion 12 to define an indicator portion of indicia means 16 selectively positioned by the ratchet pin 43 which bears against the spring blade carrier 44. The spring blade carrier is secured to a mounting member 47 suitably affixed to nozzle 11, as by a screw 48 (FIG. 6), and is biased forwardly to dispose the pointer 45 in the forwardmost end of the slot 46 corresponding to the Deep Shag indication. The pin 43, however, urges the spring blade carrier and, thus, the pointer 45, rearwardly to the different indicating positions depending on the relative position of the nozzle to the truck, as seen in FIGS. 7-10.

As shown in FIG. 7, when the nozzle 11 is in the lowermost Low position, the front wheel 31 is raised slightly off the surface F so that the beater bar 20 and the rear wheels 30 comprise the effective support of the front wheel 31 is brought down into contact with the floor surface F with the beater bar 20 being raisedabove the floor surface, as shown in FIG. 9. To reposition the nozzle from the position of FIG. 7 to that of FIG. 9, the user manipulates a foot pedal 49 carried on a lever 50 having an end 51 swingably mounted in a pivot structure 52 carried by the nozzle which may include a base portion 53 formed integrally with the nozzle and a retainer 54 secured thereto such as by suitable means such as screws 55. A leaf spring 56 is provided for biasing the foot pedal upwardly, as shown in FIG. 7, and include a front portion 57 secured to the nozzle at pivot mounting 52 and a rear portion 58 removably received in a slot 59 in the foot pedal lever 50. Lever 50 projects rearwardly through a vertical slot 60 in the rear wall 37 of nozzle 11.

The lever 50 is normally biased to the upper end of the slot 60, as shown in FIG. 8, by spring 56. Lever 50 further pivotally carries a pawl 61 on a pivot 62 (see FIG. 7). The pawl 61 includes a tooth 63 selectively engageable with the teeth 39 of the ratchet 38 when the foot pedal 49 is depressed, as shown in FIG. 8. The pawl 61 is swung in a clockwise direction as seenin FIG. 8, by a cam 64 (FIG. 7) carried on the rear wall 37 of the nozzle, the cam 64 cooperating with a cylindrical projection 61a on pawl 61 to swing the pawl 61when the foot pedal 49 is released. A wire spring 61b (FIG. 8), having one end inserted through and secured in an opening in lever 50 and the opposite end inserted through and secured in an opening in pawl 61, urges pawl 61 counterclockwise about pivot 62 so that tooth 63 properly engages the teeth 39 of ratchet 38. The ends of wire spring 61b are bent back to secure the spring to lever 50 and pawl 61. When the foot pedal 49 is depressed, the pawl 61 is disposed in the position shown inFIG. 8to engage the underlying teeth 39 at the lowermost position of the pedal 49 thereby, in effect, swinging the nozzle 11 in a clockwise direction relative to the truck 14 about the axis of rod 35. Thus, at the lowermost position of the foot pedal, as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 8, the front wheels 31 of the truck are brought down to the floor surface F and the front end of the nozzle 15 is elevated to the position shown in FIG. 9.

The nozzle 11 further carries a spring catch 65 on a suitable boss 66, formed integrally with the nozzle, by-

comprise a formed'strip of suitable metal defining a lowermost ratchet engagement portion 68 which, as shown in FIGS. 7-10, effectively comprises a rounded tooth selectively engaging different ones of the teeth 39 as the nozzle is selectively swung in a clockwise direction relative to the truck 14. In the lowermost position, the spring catch portion 68 may bear against the upper edge 69 of the truck plates 32. Thus, upon release of the foot pedal, the spring catch retains the nozzle in the angular position to which it was raised by the last operation of the foot pedal to engage the pawl tooth 63 with the ratchet tooth 39 disposed immediately above the catch portion 68. Release of the pawl tooth 63 from the ratchet permits the spring'catch to maintain the nozzle in the elevated position so that upon the next depression of foot pedal 49, the spring finger 63 engages the next upwardly disposed ratchet tooth 39 to raise the nozzle to a subsequent elevational position and permitting the spring catch portion 68 to 7 now move into engagement with the next upwardly disposed ratchet tooth 39. In the foot pedal operation, the lever 50 may abut the bottom of the slot 60, as shown in FIG. 8.

As indicated briefly above, when it is desired to return the lever to a lower position, the user need merely press downwardly on the forward portion of the nozzle, as illustrated in FIG. 2. As the pawl tooth 63 at this time is spaced substantially above the ratchet 38, such as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 10, and the nozzle is being held in the elevated position solely by the spring catch portion 68 with the subjacent ratchet tooth 39, such a downward urging of nozzle front portion 15 causes the catch portion 68 to slide downwardly over the ratchet tooth. The nozzle may thusly be swung down to the Low" position or to any intermediate lower position as desired simply by suitable urging of the nozzle front portion 15.

As best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, a metal plate 70 may be secured across the bottom of the nozzle. The plate is provided with suitable openings 71 for projection of the beater bar brush downwardly therethrough and may be secured to the nozzle such as by screws 72 (see FIG. 6). The rear end 73 of the plate may be turned to overlie channel 36 in the rear nozzle wall 37 thereby to retain the truck axle rod 35 to the nozzle.

Nozzle 11 may be economically formed as by molding thereof from a suitable plastic. The ratchet and pawl structures may be formed of suitable molded plastic to provide long trouble-free life of the ratcheting means. Spring catch 65, as indicated above, may be formed of a suitable springy metal.

The operation of the device is extremely simple, as discussed above. To elevate the front portion 15 of the nozzle and thereby selectively dispose the inlet to the vacuum cleaner device defined by the openings 71 in the bottom plate 70 at beater brush 20, the user merely presses down on the foot pedal 49 with his foot, thereby to effect an incremental elevation of the nozzle front portion. Release of the foot pedal permits the spring catch 65 to retain the nozzle in the adjusted position until such time as the user either further elevates the nozzle by a subsequent operation of the foot pedal 49 or lowers the nozzle by depressing the front portion 15 with his foot, as shown in FIG. 2.

sive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A mounting structure for adjustably mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle for selective disposition in different rug cleaning positions, comprising:

a wheeled truck;

means for pivotally mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle to the truck for selective angular elevation thereof about a horizontal axis;

a ratchet having a plurality of teeth;

means mounting the ratchet to the truck;

a spring catch;

means for mounting the spring catch to the nozzle for releasably selectively engaging different ones of the teeth of said ratchet for releasably selectively holding the nozzle in corresponding different angularly related rug cleaning positions;

lever means movably'carried by'the nozzle for selectively engaging the ratchet for angularly elevating the nozzle relative to the truck and permitting said catch to releasably hold the nozzle in the selectedangularly elevated position; and

means for biasing the lever means away from engagement with the ratchet to permit pivoting of the nozzle angularly downwardly by application of a force to the nozzle sufficient to overcome the nozzle holding action of the spring catch against the ratchet.

2. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 1 wherein said nozzle carries a rotatable beater means, and the mounting structure is arranged to dispose the'nozzle in a lowermost position wherein the beater means engages low pile carpeting having an upper surface substantially in the plane of the bottom of said truck.

3. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 1 wherein said nozzle carries a rotatable beater means, and the mounting structure is arranged to dispose the nozzle in a first elevated position wherein the beater means engages medium height pile carpeting having an upper surface slightly above the plane of the bottom of said truck.

4. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 1 wherein said nozzle carries a rotatable beater means, and the mounting structure is arranged to dispose the nozzle in a second elevated position wherein the beater means engages shag pile carpeting having an upper surface above the plane of the bottom of said truck.

5. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 1 wherein said nozzle carries a rotatable beater means, and the 6. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 1 wherein said lever means includes a foot pedal adapted to be engaged by the users foot to effect the angular elevation of the nozzle.

7. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 1 wherein said lever is arranged to elevate the nozzle incrementally by a succession of operations of the lever with the nozzle being held in the different elevated positions by said catch between the successive elevation operations.

8. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 1 wherein said lever carries means selectively engaging the ratchet tooth forward of the tooth engaged by the catch in the position to which the nozzle is raised during an elevation operation.

9. A mounting structure for adjustably mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle for selective disposition in different rug cleaning positions, comprising:

a wheeled truck;

means for pivotally mounting a vacuum cleaner nozzle to the truck for selective angular elevation thereof about a horizontal axis;

a ratchet having a plurality of teeth;

means mounting the ratchet to the truck;

a spring catch;

means for mounting the spring catch to the nozzle for releasably selectively engaging different ones of the teeth of said ratchet for releasably selectively holding the nozzle in corresponding different angularly related rug cleaning positions;

a lever pivotally carried by the nozzle;

a pawl carried by the lever for selectively engaging the ratchet teeth as an incident of a swinging of the lever about the pivotal mount thereof; and

means biasing the lever to release said pawl from the ratchet teeth upon release of the lever by the user permitting the catch to releasably retain the nozzle in the selected elevational position.

10. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 9 wherein said nozzle includes a top portion adapted to be urged downwardly by the users foot to swing the nozzle against the releasable holding action of said catch about .the pivotal mounting of the nozzle on said truck selectively to any one of the lower angular positions thereof below an upper angularly adjusted position of the nozzle.

11. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 9 wherein said catch comprises a formed metal strip.

12. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 9 wherein said catch defines a rounded tooth releasably engaging said ratchet teeth and adapted to ride over said teeth during a downward movement of the nozzle as by the downward urging thereof by the users foot.

13. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 9 wherein said pawl engages the ratchet one tooth above the tooth engaged by the catch.

14. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 9 wherein said truck includes front wheels and rear wheels and said nozzle is disposed in a lowermost position with said front wheels spaced above the top of the carpet.

15. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 9 further including indicia means on the nozzle for indicating the selected elevational positions of the nozzle.

16. The vacuum cleaner structure of claim 9 further including indicia means on the nozzle adjacent said lever for indicating the selected elevational positions'of the nozzle.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2172911 *May 3, 1937Sep 12, 1939Kirby James BSuction sweeper
US2734217 *Oct 17, 1952Feb 14, 1956 brace
US2741488 *Oct 8, 1952Apr 10, 1956Hoover CoNozzle adjustment for suction cleaners
US2823412 *Aug 31, 1953Feb 18, 1958Kirby James BVacuum cleaner nozzle adjustment
US3676892 *May 19, 1970Jul 18, 1972Whirlpool CoVacuum cleaner nozzle lifting device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3818540 *Jan 12, 1973Jun 25, 1974Health Mor IncCombined adjustable shag rug-power nozzle cleaner construction
US5086538 *Jun 22, 1990Feb 11, 1992Royal Appliance Mfg. Co.Incremental foot operated height adjuster for upright vacuum cleaner
US6131238 *May 8, 1998Oct 17, 2000The Hoover CompanySelf-propelled upright vacuum cleaner with offset agitator and motor pivot points
US6799351Mar 29, 2002Oct 5, 2004Hmi Industries, Inc.Floating nozzle
US7533442 *Sep 28, 2004May 19, 2009Healthy Gain Investments LimitedWet/dry floor cleaning unit and method of cleaning
US8365347Feb 5, 2013Techtronic Floor Care Technology LimitedWet/dry floor cleaning unit
US8479357 *Apr 15, 2008Jul 9, 2013Santoemma S.R.L.Moquette carpet cleaning machine operable in pull-back mode
US20030182752 *Mar 29, 2002Oct 2, 2003Hmi Industries, Inc. A Delaware CorporationFloating nozzle
US20050034266 *Sep 28, 2004Feb 17, 2005Morgan Jeffery A.Wet/dry floor cleaning unit and method of cleaning
US20080256745 *Apr 15, 2008Oct 23, 2008Santoemma S.R.L.Moquette carpet cleaning machine operable in pull-back mode
US20100005613 *Jan 14, 2010Morgan Jeffery AWet/dry floor cleaning unit and method of cleaning
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/339, 15/354
International ClassificationA47L5/34, A47L5/22
Cooperative ClassificationA47L5/34
European ClassificationA47L5/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 19, 1994ASAssignment
Owner name: MATSUSHITA APPLIANCE CORPORATION, KENTUCKY
Free format text: CONFIRMATORY CONVEYANCE AND NAME CHANGE.;ASSIGNOR:MATSUSHITA FLOOR CARE COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:007247/0404
Effective date: 19941205
Dec 12, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: MATSUSHITA FLOOR CARE COMPANY, LEBANON ROAD, DANVI
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:WHIRLPOOL FLOOR CARE CORP., ADMINISTRATIVE CENTER, 2000 M-63 NORTH, BENTON HARBOR, MICHIGAN 49022 A CORP. OF DELAWARE;REEL/FRAME:005539/0445
Effective date: 19900731
Owner name: WHIRLPOOL FLOOR CARE CORP., ("WHIRLPOOL SUB") A CO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DELAWARE;REEL/FRAME:005539/0501
Dec 12, 1990AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION, A CORP. OF DELAWARE
Effective date: 19900731
Owner name: WHIRLPOOL FLOOR CARE CORP., ("WHIRLPOOL SUB") A CO