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Publication numberUS3749288 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 31, 1973
Filing dateSep 9, 1970
Priority dateSep 9, 1970
Also published asCA931777A1
Publication numberUS 3749288 A, US 3749288A, US-A-3749288, US3749288 A, US3749288A
InventorsWade C
Original AssigneeWhirlpool Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Liquid dispenser
US 3749288 A
Abstract
A liquid dispenser in which a liquid is transferred from a supply chamber in a preselected maximum amount to a metering chamber where it is ejected as desired. A specific use for the dispenser is for supplying wetting agent to an automatic dishwasher at a selected time in the dishwashing cycle to aid in cleaning dishes.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 Wade 1111 3,749,288 1 July 31, 1973 1 LIQUID DISPENSER [75] lnventor: Charles H. Wade, Benton Harbor,

Mich.

[731 Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, Mich.

[22] Filed: Sept. 9, 1970 211 Appl. No.: 70,772

[52] U.S. Cl 222/187, 222/442, 222/70 [51] Int. Cl B67d 3/00 [58] Field of Search 222/188, 442, 449,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,333,741 8/1971 Radcliffe 222/189 966,270 8/1910 Van Leir 222/442 X 3,229,854 1/1966 Turnquist 222/442 X 3,021,642 2/ 1962 Ewing 2,453,080 11/1948 Shimp 222/449 X 3,459,332 8/1969 Golden 222/442 X 3,207,373 9/1965 Dannenmann 222/70 1,064,150 6/1913 McDaniel et al. 222/422 X Primary Examiner-Robert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-Norman L. Stack, .Ir. Attorney-James S. Nettleton, Thomas E. Turcotte, Burton H. Baker, Gene A. Heth, Franklin C. Harter, Anthony Niewyk, Robert L. Judd and Hofgren, Wegner, Allen, Stellman & McCord [57] ABSTRACT A liquid dispenser in which a liquid is transferred from a supply chamber in a preselected maximum amount to a metering chamber where it is ejected as desired. A specific use for the dispenser is for supplying wetting agent to an automatic dishwasher at a selected time in the dishwashing cycle to aid in cleaning dishes.

13 Clalms, 4 Drawing Figures 1 LIQUID DISPENSER SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION One of the features of this invention is to provide a liquid dispenser that has a container with a supply chamber for the liquid, a metering chamber, a passage between the supply and metering chambers, flow control wick means in the passage for drawing liquid from the supply chamber through the passage by a combination of capillary action and gravity flow into the metering chamber and an energizable valve in the metering chamber that opens to release the liquid therefrom.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of the open front door of a front loading dishwasher with a dispenser embodying the invention mounted in this door.

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the liquid dispenser embodying the invention.

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken substantially along line 33 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a horizontal view looking up of the casing only of the dispenser so as to illustrate the fluid passages therein and taken substantially along line 44 of FIG. 3.

In the embodiment illustrated in the drawings the liquid dispenser is illustrated as mounted in the hinged front door 1 1 of a front loading dishwasher 12 with the dispenser 10 being positioned behind and mounted on an inner wall 13 of the door.

The dispenser as shown in the drawings comprises a container 14 forming a supply chamber 15 for the liquid 16 to be dispensed. Extending through the wall 13 of the door is a threaded tubular extension 17 of the container that extends through an opening 18 in this wall 13 and that carries a nut 19 on the inner surface of the wall 13 opposite the container 14 for mounting the top of the container in position on the wall 13. The tube 17 also serves as a filler means for introducing the liquid 16 into the chamber 15. The access end of this tube 17 is normally closed by a removable cap 20 although any other type of filling means desired may be used.

At the bottom end of the container 14 beneath the bottom wall 21 thereof there is located a metering, or measuring chamber 22 of a preselected maximum ca pacity such as about 0.75 cc. The supply chamber 15 and the metering chamber 22 are connected by four arcuate equally spaced openings 23 that extend over a 360 annulus except for the four portions of the bottom wall 21 as shown in FIG. 4 that are spaced 90 apart. The four openings form a supply passage from the chamber 15 into the metering chamber 22.

Located at the top of the metering chamber 22 against the bottom surface of the wall 21 and across the four arcuate openings 23 is an annular wick 24 of fibrous material of which wool felt is a flow control means herein comprising a good example. This wick draws liquid 16 from the supply chamber 15 by capillary action and the liquid also of course tends to flow by gravity because of the positioning of the metering chamber 22 beneath the supply chamber 15.

The dispenser 10 is provided with a vent tube 25 having its lower end 26 within the metering chamber 22 and extending upwardly through the supply chamber 15 with an upper end 27 above the chamber. This vent tube 25 has an internal air passage extending the length 2 thereof and the lower end 26 is provided with a lateral extension which in the illustrated embodiment is an annular right angled flange 29 that engages the lower surface of the wick 24 and holds it in position against the supply openings 23.

The bottom of the metering chamber 22 is formed by a flow washer 30 permanently fastened in position and shaped in its top surface 31 as a funnel to direct liquid to a valve opening 32 at the center of the washer 30.

Thus the opening 32 comprises a valve outlet means in the bottom or flow washer 30 of the metering chamber 22 and this opening is normally closed by the upper conical end of a vertical plunger 33. When it is desired to open the valve 32 the plunger is drawn downwardly so that the liquid within the metering chamber 22 flows into a dispensing chamber 34 in the bottom of the dishwasher.

In the illustrated embodiment where the dispenser is a part of an automatic dishwashing machine the plunger 33 is mounted on the outer end of a bimetal strip 35 which is periodically heated at a proper time in the dishwashing cycle to lower the plunger 33 and expose the opening 32 for flow of liquid from the metering chamber 22 into the interior 45 of the dishwasher.

As can be seen in FIG. 3 the dispensing chamber 34 is formed of boundary walls which like the interior 14 as well as the other non-metallic parts of the dispenser are formed preferably of a plastic material such as polypropylene. One of these boundary walls 36 is vertically arranged and comprises a removable cap which functions as a drip cap as it contains a plurality of openings 37 through which the dispensed liquid may pass from the metering chamber 22 into the dishwasher interior 45. In the embodiment illustrated there are eight of these openings 37 arranged in a circle and equally spaced from each other and from a central similar opening 38. The openings 37 and 38 are conveniently located in the vertically arranged cap 36 which together with the extension 39 on the lower end of the container 14 serves as a fastening agent for fastening the bottom of the dispenser to the inner door panel 13. Furthermore, the cap 36 may be removed as desired for interior cleaning.

The vertical plunger 33 that forms a part of the valve arrangement already described for dispensing metered amounts of liquid as desired is rubber covered and a part of this rubber covering extends radially of the plunger to provide a diaphragm 40 having an annular edge held in a corresponding groove in the bottom of the dispenser by a pressure plate 41 that is held on the bottom of the dispenser body by four screws 42. Confined between the diaphragm 40 and the pressure plate 41 is a conical coil spring 43 which exerts its force upwardly thereby tending to urge the plunger 33 toward closed position at all times. When the bimetal strip is energized in the dishwashing cycle as previously described the pull downwardly on the plunger 33 of coursecompresses the spring 43. The coils of this conical spring are so dimensioned that they nest together when the plunger 33 is completely withdrawn.

The operation of the dispenser of this invention is as follows. During the majority of the time when the valve 32 is closed by the plunger 33 being in its normally raised position as shown in FIG. 3 liquid 16 flows through the wick 24 into the metering chamber 22 by a combination of capillary action and gravity flow until the chamber is substantially filled. Then, at the proper time in the dishwashing cycle the bimetal 35 is energized to cause it to curl downwardly and pull the plunger 33 away from the opening 32 against the urging of the spring 43. This permits the metered quantity of 5 liquid to flow from the chamber 32 into the chamber 34 and into the dishwasher proper through the dispensing openings 37 and 38. Then at a further time in the dishwasher cycle the bimetal 35 is deenergized permitting it to return to its normal position as shown which is assisted by the upward urging of the compressed spring 43 to reset the upper conical end of the plunger 33 within the valve opening 32 to again close the metering chamber 22.

As can be seen from the above description of the dispenser there is no requirement for a valve structure controlling flow of liquid from the supply chamber into the metering chamber 22. The flow is completely automatic and continues by a combination of capillary action and gravity flow until the metered amount of liquid fills the chamber 22. This not only makes the dispenser more reliable, but results in a considerably reduction in cost.

By using a combination of gravity flow and capillary action which is achieved by positioning the wick 24 below the openings 23 the wick does not have to lift the liquid against gravity but actually uses gravity flow to assist the capillary flow which of course is much more efficient particularly as the distance a wick will lift a liquid is somewhat limited.

Because the illustrated bimetal operation is only used to permit gravity flow from the metering chamber 22 into the dispensing chamber 34 and from there into the dishwasher, the bimetal type of actuator is ideally suited even though it is relatively slow in its action.

A very important feature of the dispenser of this invention is the multiple functions of the vent tube 25. Not only does the tube vent air into the metering chamber 22 to assist flow of liquid from this chamber but the bottom of the tube is provided with a flange 29 which holds the wick 24 in proper position. In addition, the bottom of the tube above the wall 21 is provided with an annular outward projection 44 which retains the tube in proper position as illustrated.

Having described my invention as related to the embodiment shown in the accompanying drawings, it is my intention that the invention be not limited by any of the details of description, unless otherwise specified, but rather be construed broadly within its spirit and scope as set out in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a dishwasher, a liquid dispenser comprising: a container having a supply chamber for said liquid, wall means forming a metering chamber adjacent said supply chamber; means forming a passage between said supply chamber and metering chamber; fibrous flow control means in said passage for passing liquid from said supply chamber through said passage by a combination of capillaryaction and controlled gravity flow into said metering chamber; vent means communicating between said metering chamber and the ambient atmosphere above said metering chamber to provide substantially uniform capillary action during the filling of the metering chamber; valved outlet means connected to said metering chamber; and dispensing control means for causing said valved outlet means to be sequentially opened and closed for dispensing from said metering chamber the metered quantity of liquid passed thereinto prior to opening of the outlet means, said dispensing control means causing said liquid to fill said chamber to maintain the fibrous flow control means contacted by the metered liquid subsequent to the delivery of the metered quantity thereto and prior to the dispensing of the metered quantity therefrom.

2. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said vent means has an end within the metering chamber having means thereon for retaining said fibrous flow control means in liquidconveying position with respect to said passage.

3. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein the metering chamber is provided with a bottom wall containing said valve outlet means.

4. The dispenser of claim 3 wherein said valve outlet means in said bottom wall comprises an opening in the wall, a movable valve plunger closing said opening, and means for displacing the plunger to expose the opening in said wall, the side of said wall facing the interior of the metering chamber being shaped to provide a funnel surface means for directing liquid flow through said opening when said plunger is displaced.

5. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein there is pr ovided means forming a dispensing chamber communicating with said valve outlet means to receive liquid therefrom with said dispensing chamber including boundary walls one of which contains a plurality of openings through which the liquid flows from the dispensing chamber.

6. The dispenser of claim 5 wherein said one wall comprises a removable cap normally closing a flow passage means comprising said dispensing chamber.

7. The dispenser of claim 1 whereing said valve means comprises a closure in the bottom of said metering chamber having an opening therein normally closed by a movable plunger, the plunger having attached thereto a flexible diaphragm extending across a portion of said dispenser to define with said portion an enclosure housing a spring means normally urging the plunger toward valve closing position.

8. The dispenser of claim 7 wherein there is provided means forming a dispensing chamber communicating with said valve outlet means to receive liquid therefrom with said dispensing chamber including boundary walls one of which contains a plurality of openings through which the liquid flows from the dispensing chamber, said diaphragm forming a wall portion of said dispensing chamber.

9. The dispenser of claim 7 wher in h m ring chamber is provided with a bottom wall containing said valve outlet means, the valve outlet means comprising means forming an opening in the wall, a movable valve plunger closing said opening, and means for displacing the plunger to expose the opening in said wall, the side of said wall facing the interior of the metering chamber being shaped toprovide a funnel surface means for directing liquid flow through said opening when said plunger is displaced.

chamber to the exterior of the container, said vent means having an end within the metering chamber having means thereon for retaining said wick means in liquid conveying position with respect to said passage and an elongated tube passing through said supply chamber and having a raised end above said container and with the end of said tube within the metering chamber having an extension thereon comprising said means for retaining the wick means in liquid conveying position, said valve outlet means being arranged to cause said liquid to fill said chamber to maintain the wick contacted by the metered liquid subsequent to the delivery of the metered quantity thereto and prior to the disposing of the metered quantity therefrom.

11. A liquid dispenser, comprising: a container having a supply chamber for said liquid; wall means forming a metering chamber adjacent said supply chamber; means forming a passage between said supply chamber and metering chamber; wick means in said passage for drawing liquid from said supply chamber through said passage by a combination of capillary action and gravity flow into said metering chamber; and valve outlet means from said metering chamber, said metering chamber being provided with a bottom wall containing said valve outlet means, said valve outlet means in said bottom wall comprising an opening in the wall, a movable valve plunger closing said opening, and means for displacing the plunger to expose the opening in said wall, the side of said wall facing the interior of the metering chamber being shaped to provide a funnel surface means for directing liquid flow through said opening when said plunger is displaced, and said vent means comprising an elongated tube passing through said supply chamber and having a raised end above said container and with the end of said tube within the metering chamber having an annular flange thereon engaging the wick means for retaining it in said position.

12. A liquid dispenser, comprising: a container having a supply chamber for said liquid; wall means forming a metering chamber adjacent said supply chamber; means forming a passage between said supply chamber and metering chamber; wick means in said passage for drawing liquid from said supply chamber through said passage by a combination of capillary action and gravity flow into said metering chamber; and valve outlet means from said metering chamber, said valve means comprising a closure in the bottom of said metering chamber having an opening therein normally closed by a movable plunger, the plunger having attached thereto a flexible diaphragm extending across a portion of said dispenser to define with said portion an enclosure housing a spring means normally urging the plunger toward valve closing position, the metering chamber being provided with a bottom wall containing said valve outlet means, the valve outlet means comprising means forming an opening in the wall, a movable valve plunger closing said opening, and means for displacing the plunger to expose the opening in said wall, the side of said wall facing the interior of the metering chamber being shaped to provide a funnel surface means for directing liquid flow through said opening when said plunger is displaced, and said vent means comprising an elongated tube passing through said supply chamber and having a raised end above said container and with the end of said tube within the metering chamber having an extension thereon engaging the wick means for retaining it in said position.

15. in a dishwashena liquid dispenser having means for holding a supply of liquid, means defining a measuring chamber and means for rapidly discharging the liquid from the measuring chamber subsequent to the delivery of a preselected quantity of said liquid thereto from said supply, means providing constant controlled communication between said liquid supply and said chamber comprising: a fibrous mass extending between said liquid supply and said chamber for passing liquid as a result of both capillary and gravity action to effect a controlled flow of the liquid from the supply to the measuring chamber, said fibrous mass' being constructed so that the rate of flow of the liquid therethrough carried by said capillary and gravity action is relatively slow; vent means for applying atmospheric pressure to the fibrous mass portion confronting the measuring chamber to provide substantially uniform capillary action during the filling of the measuring chamber; and means for controlling the discharge means to cause said liquid' to fill said chamber to maintain the fibrous mass contacted by the metered liquid subsequent to the delivery of the metered quantity thereto and prior to the dispensing of the metered quantity therefrom.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4642908 *Apr 26, 1985Feb 17, 1987Whirlpool CorporationAdditive dispenser for clothes dryer
US5005740 *Sep 28, 1988Apr 9, 1991Whirlpool CorporationMechanically actuated additive dispenser for dishwasher
US5033659 *Jul 5, 1990Jul 23, 1991Whirlpool CorporationMechanically actuated additive dispenser for dishwasher
US5205304 *Jan 16, 1992Apr 27, 1993Maytag CorporationFor a dishwasher
US5839454 *Mar 14, 1997Nov 24, 1998Matz; Warren W.Automatic detergent dispenser
US7464718 *Jun 23, 2003Dec 16, 2008General Electric CompanyDishwasher liquid delivery systems
US7754025 *Jun 6, 2006Jul 13, 2010Beverage Works, Inc.Dishwasher having a door supply housing which holds dish washing supply for multiple wash cycles
US8103378Jun 17, 2010Jan 24, 2012Beverage Works, Inc.Appliance having a user interface panel and a beverage dispenser
US8190290Jul 28, 2010May 29, 2012Beverage Works, Inc.Appliance with dispenser
US8290615Apr 23, 2010Oct 16, 2012Beverage Works, Inc.Appliance with dispenser
US8290616Jan 9, 2012Oct 16, 2012Beverage Works, Inc.Appliance having a user interface panel and a beverage dispenser
US8548624Sep 28, 2012Oct 1, 2013Beverage Works, Inc.Appliance having a user interface panel and a beverage dispenser
US8565917Sep 28, 2012Oct 22, 2013Beverage Works, Inc.Appliance with dispenser
US8606395Nov 7, 2012Dec 10, 2013Beverage Works, Inc.Appliance having a user interface panel and a beverage dispenser
WO2014114435A1 *Jan 16, 2014Jul 31, 2014Olympus Winter & Ibe GmbhMetering of a preparation fluid for surgical instruments
Classifications
U.S. Classification222/187, 222/651, 222/442
International ClassificationA47L15/44
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/4418
European ClassificationA47L15/44B