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 numberUS3831223 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 27, 1974
Filing dateJan 31, 1972
Priority dateJan 31, 1972
Publication numberUS 3831223 A, US 3831223A, US-A-3831223, US3831223 A, US3831223A
InventorsJ Colt, R Emus
Original AssigneeCarpetech Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Carpet and upholstery cleaning apparatus with improved noise muffling feature
US 3831223 A
Abstract
There is disclosed apparatus for cleaning carpets, upholstery and the like utilizing a meter driven separate reservoir system for supplying a cleaning solution to a remote cleaning head adapted to apply the cleaning solution to the material being cleaned, and a separate motor driven vacuum pick-up system for storing cleaning solution and entrained dirt picked up via the cleaning head. The reservoir system may typically include in combination with a reservoir tank a cleaning fluid pumping circuit comprising fluid heating means, a fluid pump for supplying fluid from the reservoir tank to the heating means, pressure regulator valve means for returning heated cleaning fluid to the reservoir tank when the fluid circuit to the cleaning head is closed, and flow sensitive means disposed between the reservoir tank and the fluid pump effective to disconnect the pump drive motor and shut down the fluid pump and heater when the supply of cleaning fluid in the reservoir tank is exhausted. The vacuum system includes a vacuum tank supported by a base housing, and in the base housing a motor driven vacuum pump for maintaining a partial vacuum in the vacuum tank, muffler means coupled to the vacuum pump and exhausting into a plenum chamber vented to the interior of the base housing, and high density material disposed on at least the inner side walls of the housing, together with a plurality of exhaust vents in the side walls of the housing.
Images(2)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Cult et a].

[111 3,831,223 Aug. 27, 1.974

[ CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY CLEANING APPARATUS WITH IMPROVED NOISE MUFFLING FEATURE [75] Inventors: James G. Colt, Belmont; Ronald W.

Emus, .lr., Billerica, both of Mass.

[73] Assignee: Carpetech Corp., Natick, Mass, [22] Filed: Jan. 31, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 222,000

Primary ExaminerHarvey C. Homsby Assistant Examiner-C. K. Moore Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Melvin E. Frederick [57] ABSTRACT There is disclosed apparatus for cleaning carpets, up-

holstery and the like utilizing a meter driven separate reservoir system for supplying a cleaning solution to a remote cleaning head adapted to apply the cleaning solution to the material being cleaned, and a separate motor driven vacuum pick-up system for storing cleaning solution and entrained dirt picked up via the cleaning head. The reservoir system may typically include in combination with a reservoir tank a cleaning fluid pumping circuit comprising fluid heating means, a fluid pump for supplying fluid from the reservoir tank to the heating means, pressure regulator valve means for returning heated cleaning fluid to the reservoir tank when the fluid circuit to the cleaning head is closed, and flow sensitive means disposed between the reservoir tank and the fluid pump effective to disconnect the pump drive motor and shut down the fluid pump and heater when the supply of cleaning fluid in the reservoir tank is exhausted. The vacuum system includes a vacuum tank supported by a base housing, and in the base housing a motor driven vacuum pump for maintaining a partial vacuum in the vacuum tank, muffler means coupled to the vacuum pump and exhausting into a plenum chamber vented to the interior of the base housing, and high density material disposed on at least the inner side walls of the housing, together with a plurality of exhaust vents in the side walls of the housing.

9 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY CLEANING APPARATUS WITH IMPROVED NOISE MUFFLTNG FEATURE The present invention relates to carpet and upholstery cleaning apparatus, and more particularly to such apparatus for supplying a cleaning fluid under pressure to a cleaning head for application to a carpet and providing vacuum pick-up means to withdraw from the carpet the cleaning fluid and entrained dirt.

1n the cleaning of carpet and upholstery, it has been found effective to discharge a jet of pressurized cleaning solution into the pile, nap, or weave of the fabric to be cleaned, and to thereafter apply suction to the fabric to withdraw the used cleaning solution from the fabric together with the dirt loosened and entrained in the cleaning solution. Cleaning apparatus of the type referred to above may comprise, for example, a liquid tank and vacuum tank each mounted on separate base structures housing a drive motor and its associated components. A motor drives a suction blower, the intake side of which is coupled to the interior of the vacuum tank while the discharge side of the vacuum blower discharges to the atmosphere either directly or through a muffler. A liquid pump also driven by a motor is connected to draw liquid from the liquid tank and feed the liquid under pressure to heating means which is then discharged through a hose and control valve to a spray or cleaning head adapted to discharge the heated liquid onto the material being cleaned. For a more thorough discussion, reference is made to patent application Ser. No. 25,521, filed Apr. 3, 1970, now US. Pat. No. 3,663,984, issued May 23, 1972 and assigned to the same assignee as this application.

Other cleaning devices particularly devoted to commercial cleaning fields have been provided which include fluid distribution means and a vacuum means for picking up fluid and loosened material from surfaces after the surface has been scrubbed by brushes or the like. Still other devices have been provided which include means for high pressure fluid distribution and vacuum pick-up means for receiving the fluid delivered to the surface to be cleaned. The picked-up fluid may or may not be returned for recirculation. These devices operate on the principle that the high pressure fluid de livery serves as the cleaning and scrubbing element thereby eliminating the use of brushes or other scrubbing devices.

Whether one is concerned with two-tank cleaning apparatus as described above or any other apparatus having similar power requirements, in every case the power consuming characteristic of the apparatus has in the past been effectively limited to relatively low levels. This power limitation is due to the fact that the National Electric Code requires that all residential and industrial conventional convenience outlets be wired and fused for only fifteen amperes.

1n the past this limitation in available electrical power from any convenience outlet has severely limited the design, capability, and efficiency of such devices because their electrical power consumption must be limited to relatively low values, even if separate electrical devices are provided for connection to separate outlets as taught in the aforementioned Pat. application Ser. No. 25,521. For a description of a method of and apparatus for combining electrical power from two separately fused circuits and supplying same to carpet cleaning apparatus of the type here concerned, wherein current in excess of that avilable from one convenience outlet may be supplied to the vacuum drive motor for example, while still supplying sufficient current to the other power consuming devices, reference is made to Pat. application Ser. No. 154,889., filed June 21, 1971, now US. Pat. No. 3,697,771 and assigned to the same assignee as this patent application.

A further undesirable feature of prior art cleaning devices is, notwithstanding the use of mufflers, the high noise level inherently associated with their use. For this reason, most if not all known cleaning devices are not satisfactory for use in hospitals and the like where loud or high level noises are not only objectionable, but generally not permitted. However, cleaning systems in accordance with the present invention are not subject to such objections and have been approved for use in and used in hospitals.

It is an object of the invention to provide improved cleaning apparatus having a vacuum pick-up system.

Another object of the invention is to provide im proved cleaning apparatus designed to deliver a heated cleaning solution under pressure to a surface to be cleaned and to recover the solution through the use of a vacuum system.

A further object of the invention is the provision of improved cleaning apparatus wherein cleaning fluid is recovered by a vacuum pick-up system with minimum noise associated with its use.

A still further object of the invention is the provision of improved cleaning apparatus wherein cleaning fluid is recovered by a vacuum pick-up system which is quiet in operation.

The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims; the invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

HQ 1 is a diagrammatic view of a reservoir system;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic view of the vacuum pick-up system in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic and fragmentary side view, partly in section, showing details of the vacuum pick-up system in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 41 is a perspective view of a remote cleaning head for cleaning carpets together with a reservoir and vacuum pick-up system.

Directing attention now to the drawings, in FIG. 1 is shown the reservoir system designated generally by the numeral 10. The reservoir system may be supported by an acoustically insulated base housing as shown for example in FIGS. 3 and 4, the reservoir or solution tank 12 being removably attached as by hooks or the like to the upper surface of the housing and the balance of the reservoir system more fully described hereinafter being contained in conventional manner within the base housing.

At the base of the reservoir tank may be provided two connections preferably of the conventional quick disconnect type so that the reservoir tank can be simply, quickly, and without loss of fluid, removed from the base housing while still containing a liquid or cleaning solution. Disposed within and supported by the base housing is an electric drive motor 15 coupled, for example, in conventional driving relationship via pulleys to a solution or liquid pump 16. While the electric drive motor must meet certain power requirements, the liquid pump employed may, in accordance with the invention, be of a simple and inexpensive type without any protective means or apparatus to protect the pump against damagein the event the pump inlet is not continuously supplied with fluid. Since several well-known types are suitable for the purpose, the details thereof are not illustrated or described herein.

The inlet or low-pressure side of the liquid pump 16 may be connected by a conventional pipe or liquid supply line 119, a pressure or flow sensitive switch 25 more fully disclosed hereinafter, and a flexible hose 26 to the quick disconnect connection 13 as shown.

As will become more evident hereinafter the inlet and outlet sides of the liquid pump need not be coupled through conventional by-pass means including pipes and a pressure regulator for maintaining a predetermined pressure at the outlet of the liquid pump as shown. The liquid pump may be of a conventional type as noted above and typically should at least be capable of providing an outlet pressure of about 100 psi at flow rates of about 2 gallons per minute. The outlet of the liquid pump 16 communicates through pipe 311 and a one-way check valve 32 with the lower end of a conventional electric type heater means 33 for at least maintaining the temperature of cleaning fluid at a suitable temperature to provide at the outlet of the heater, a temperature of, for example, about 160 F. The cleaning fluid is most conveniently initially provided in the tank 12 by mixing suitably hot water with concentrated detergents and the like. A suitable heater may be, for example, a Chromalox, Model No. B, manufactured by the Edwin L. Wiegand Company which includes adjustable thermostat means 33a to control the temperature to which the liquid is heated by the heater.

The outlet side of the heater 33 communicates through one port of a T-connection via pipe 34, flexible hose 30, a pressure regulator 35, and connection 14 with the interior of the reservoir tank 12. Through the other port of the T-connection, the outlet of the heater also communicates via pipe 36, filter 3'7, adjustable flow pressure valve 38, pressure gauge 39 and a quick disconnect connection 41 with an insulated and flexible high temperature fluid hose 42, the remote end of which hose communicates with a suitable cleaning head shown in FIG. 4 and more fully described hereinafter and in said application Ser. No. 25,521. Heated fluid may flow from the heater 33 in one of two directions, the first of which is through pressure regulator 35 and back into the reservoir tank and the second of which is via pipe 36, adjustable flow pressure valve 38 and flexible hose 42 to the cleaning head. Pressure regulator 35 is adjusted to open and permit heated fluid to pass therethrough when the pressure in line 34 is greater than a predetermined amount such as, for example, 75 psi. Adjustable flow pressure valve 38 is a normally closed, solenoid actuated type flow valve having an on-off switch 46 connected in series therewith and a pilot light 47. Both the switch 46 and pilot light 47 are preferably mounted on the base housing. The pilot light 47 is of course lit when switch 46 is closed thereby indicating that valve 38 is in its actuated position.

When the control valve in the cleaning head is in its normally closed position, thereby preventing the discharge of cleaning fluid (or flexible hose 42 is disconnected thereby closing line 36 at connection 41),

cleaning fluid in the reservoir tank will be continuously supplied to the heater 33, heated, and then circulated back into the reservoir tank 112. The adjustable flow pressure valve 38, pressure gauge 39, and one-half of connection 41 may be mounted in the base housing. The quick disconnect connection n is, of course, poled such that the high temperature fluid line 36 is closed when theflexible hose 42 to the cleaning head is disconnected.

When the high temperature fluid line 36 is coupled to the cleaning head via hose 42 and the control valve at the cleaning head is opened, the heated fluid which previously was flowing back into the reservoir tank via pressure regulator 35 now flows through the high temperature flexible hose 42 and is discharged at the cleaning head because the pressure on the heater outlet side of pressure regulator 35 drops below the critical pressure at which it is set and, accordingly, pressure regulator 35 closes. Upon closure of regulator 35, the heated fluid is directed to the cleaning head. When the control valve on the remote cleaning head is closed or hose 42 is disconnected, the pressure on the heater side of pressure regulator 35 increases thereby causing pressure regulator 35 to exceed its critical pressure and, hence, open and permit heated cleaning fluid to gain be circulated back to the reservoir tank. As will now be obvious, there is a continuous flow of fluid from the reservoir tank to the heater and thence back to the reservoir tank except when fluid is permitted to be discharged at the cleaning head. This permits the solution in the tank to be at least continuously maintained at an initial predetermined temperature thereby allowing maximum cleaning capability to be effected by the cleaning solutron.

The foregoing arrangement also results in continuous pressurized flow of fluid through the pump 16 irrespective of whether cleaning fluid is being used or not. Accordingly, during any time that motor 15 is actuated no damage can result to the motor driven pump or the system so long as sufficient cleaning fluid is contained in tank 12 to permit continuous circulation via pipes 26 and 30.

Directing attention now to FIG. 2 there is shown the vacuum tank pick-up system generally designated by the number 55 comprising a vacuum tank 56 that may be removably supported as by hooks on a second base housing (see FIGS. 3 and 4), a second drive motor 58, and a suction blower 59. The drive motor 58 may be drivingly connected as by a pulley-belt system to the suction blower 59. The suction blower may be of the positive displacement type. While a positive displacement type blower is preferred, the specific type of suction blower employed is not material to the invention, and since several well-known types are suitable for the purpose, the details thereof are not illustrated or described herein.

A muffler 57, preferably of the type adapted to most effectively absorb the high frequencies generated by the vacuum pick-up system, is coupled between the outlet of tube 63 and the inlet or low pressure side of the suction blower 59 by hoses 60 and 61. The upper end of the flexible hose 60 is removably fitted onto the lower end of a suction tube 63 incorporated axially in the vacuum tank 56. The flexible hose 60 preferably is of the annularly corrugated, axially resiliently extensible type to permit it to be easily connected and disconnected from the axial tube 63 of the vacuum tank 56. Where space in the base housing permits, the muffler 57 may be located therein, as shown, for example, in FIG. 3. However, if desired, or if space is not conveniently available in the base housing, muffler 57 may be disposed in or made integral with tube 63 as shown in phantom in FIG. 2. This latter location of muffler 57 in vacuum tank 56 has the added advantage of providing further reduction of noise because of the attenuation or absorption of noise emanating from muffler 57 by tank 56 and its contents.

The outlet or high pressure side of the suction blower 59 communicates with a plenum chamber 77 through pipes 62a and 62b, straight-through type mufflers 74 and 75, and pipes 76a and 76b. In accordance with the invention all of the above components are suitably sup ported and disposed within the vacuum system base housing. One wall of the plenum chamber 77, preferably one remote from the point where hoses 76a and 76b are connected to the plenum chamber and one freely communicating with the interior of the base housing, is provided with a plurality of apertures 78 to permit the air received from the vacuum tank to freely escape to the interior of the vacuum system base housing. The

total cross sectional area of the apertures 78 must be greater than the total cross sectional area of the hose or hoses connecting the plenum chamber and the mufflers.

Since the air introduced into the plenum chamber from the vacuum tank carries a large amount of moisture, a drain valve disposed at the bottom of the plenum chamber is necessary since the plenum chamber will eventually fill up with water if it is not periodically emptied. Further, if the water level in the plenum chamber is permitted to or is capable of covering the outlets of the hoses coupling the plenum chamber to the muffler or mufflers, this will cause the back pressure on the suction blower to increase significantly and greatly reduce the efficiency of the system if not result in failure or overheating of the suction blower and its drive motor.

Because of the moisture involved, the mufflers are conveniently made of stainless steel, while the plenum chamber may be of stainless, or preferably to reduce weight, irridited aluminum. The mufflers 57, 74, and 75 are all of the straight-through type to keep pressures within the system at a minimum, especially the back pressure on the suction blower as this in turn keeps the lead on drive motor 58 at a minimum. However, it is important that muffler 57 be arranged and adapted, as by providing a tubular screen 79 (see FIG. 3) for the straight-through portion, to more effectively permit absorption of the high frequencies generated by the sys tem since it has been found that the high frequencies are associated with the inlet region of the suction blower.

The use of the tubular screen 79 (rather than a conventional solid metal pipe with a plurality of holes) has been found to be most effective as this construction more effectively reduces the level of the high frequencies generated by operation of the vacuum pick-up system.

On the other hand, mufflers 74 and 75 may be of conventional straight-through design. Further, while a plurality of mufflers are shown as being coupled to the outlet of the suction blower, more or less than two may be used as space and muffler design permit.

Directing attention now particularly to FIG. 3, to maintain at a minimum the low frequencies generated by operation of the system, the side walls 80 of the vacuum system base housing and the base 81 of the vac uum tank 56 are covered with a high density sound deadening material 82, such as for example sheet lead sandwiched between two layers of polyurethane foam or the like. Such a suitable material is manufactured and sold in one-half and three-fourths inch thicknesses by Soundcoat Company, Inc., of New York, N. Y. The high density material 82 in thicknesses of up to one inch may conveniently be bonded to the side walls 80 of the base housing and the bottom 81 of the vacuum tank 56. Maximum noise reduction is obtained if the thickness of the material on the bottom of the vacuum tank is thicker than that on the side walls of the base housing as shown. Thus, if one-half inch thick material is provided on the side walls, three-fourths inch thick material should be used on the bottom of the vacuum tank.

We have found that the bottom member of the base housing to which is attached the suction-blower, drive motor and the like, need not be provided with the material 82 because the bottom member inherently has a high mass, due principally to the components it supports. Any noise transmitted through this bottom member is substantially absorbed by the carpet being cleaned and on which it is normally disposed during use.

Due to its high mass, the bottom member is effective in absorbing low frequency noise generated in the base housing. Because the side walls inherently have a low mass, addition of material 82 has been found necessary to obtain effective absorption of noise generated in the base housing.

To further effect muffling of noise, the air is not only exhausted into the interior of the base housing, but is vented to the exterior thereof by a plurality of spaced vents or louvers 83 suitably disposed around the periphery of the base housing. The provision of numerous spaced vents 83 permits the air pumped from the vacuum tank into the interior of the base housing to be vented with the generation of little if any noise while effectively trapping within the base housing that noise generated or emitted therein.

A suitable base housing may be of stainless steel sheet metal, cylindrical, mounted on casters, and of a size to receive the components as described hereinbefore.

The vacuum tank is of the same size and generally of the same structure as the reservoir tank. Each may comprise a conventional domed bottom, sealed into the lower end of a conical wall having a radially inwardly extending shoulder. While the upper end of the reservoir tank is open, that of the vacuum tank is closed, and has a suction relief valve 64 mounted thereon. The suction relief valve 64 is so adjusted that when the pressure within the vacuum tank drops below a pre-set minimum of the relief valve, the latter will open to permit atmospheric air to bleed in and thus limit the vacuum in the tank to the desired level. A conventional vacuum gauge 65 is mounted on the vacuum tank to indicate the degree of vacuum therein. Also mounted on the vacuum tank is a soiled water level control switch 66. Switch 66 is connected in series via conductor 67 with the drive motor 58 to shut the motor off when the liquid level in the vacuum tank approaches the top thereof. Also provided adjacent the top of the vacuum tank is a suction inlet 68 for communicating the vacuum hose 69 with the interior of the vacuum tank. The remote end of the vacuum hose 69 is coupled to the cleaning head as and for the purposes more fully described hereinafter. A drain valve 71 is also provided at a low point in the vacuum tank for draining soiled cleaning solution therefrom. An extension cord 72 is provided for connection to a suitable source of electric power for operating the motor 58. Similarly, an extension cord 73 may be provided for connecting drive motor of the reservoir system to a suitable but separately fused source of electric current. Pressure switch is connected in series with electric motor 15 via conductors 74. Flow sensitive switch 25 may be any conventional type such as, for example, a McDonnell No. PS1 flow switch manufactured by McDonnell and Miller, Inc., of Chicago, lll., which is comprised of an electrical switch portion controlled by a flow sensitive portion through which the monitored fluid flows. The point of actuation of the switch is variable whereby the switch can be set to be actuated from a minimum to a maximum flow velocity.

As shown in FIG. 1, the electrical switch portion of switch 25 is connected in series with the input line. Thus, when normal flow in house 26 is interrupted, as when tank 12 is empty or flow via hose 30 or line 36 is blocked, this condition is detected by switch 25 and the flow of current to motor 15, heater 33, and flow control valve 38 is interrupted. In short, the reservoir system is shut down, thereby preventing damage to heater 33 and/or damage to pump 16 that may otherwise result from their continued use without a continuous supply of fluid. It is to be understood that while switch 25 is shown as being located intermediate hoses 26 and 19 in the input line to pump 16, it can operatively be located in line 31 or line 34.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a suitable cleaning head is indicated generally by the numeral 181 and includes a floor tool head assembly 182 and a handle assembly 183. The floor tool head assembly includes a pickup nozzle unit 184 to which is secured a roller 187. When the roller 187 is in contact with the surface of the carpet or the like being cleaned, the nozzle unit 184 is in contact with the surface being cleaned.

The nozzle unit 184 is generally hollow having con verging front and rear walls and side walls defining a suction chamber having an elongated narrow suction opening. In the working position shown in FlG. 4, the nozzle opening of the nozzle unit is maintained in contact with an upper surface of a carpet being cleaned. Cleaning fluid dispensing means (not shown) may be disposed intermediate nozzle unit 184 and roller 187. Such cleaning fluid dispensing means may conventionally include a plurality of adjustable jet outlet nozzles each providing a fan shaped spray and uniformly spaced from one another on a common axis. The nozzles are preferably canted slightly such that the edges of the fan shaped spray from the nozzles overlap but do not interfere one with another. This is effective in preventing what is commonly referred to as streak lines in a carpet.

The operation of the illustrative form of the invention is as follows:

With the reservoir tank and vacuum tank pick-up systems assembled and the cleaning head operatively connected, the drive motors are connected to a source of electric current. A supply of cleaning solution such as, for example, heated water with suitable cleaning and/or solvent material in solution therein, is poured into the open top of the reservoir tank 12, the amount and type of solution used being determined by the nature of the cleaning job to be performed. With the drain valve 71 of the vacuum tank 56 closed, and the suction relief valve 64 and the pressure regulator valve 35 set to the desired settings, the separate drive motors 15 and 58 and the heating element of the heating means 33 are energized. With the reservoir system drive motor 15 and the heater 33 operating, the liquid in the reservoir tank is almost continuously being heated and the suction blower 59 immediately reduces the pressure within the vacuum pick-up tank 56 which causes a partial vacuum in the suction hose 69. The size of the suction nozzle is preferably such as to limit the flow of atmospheric air therethrough to a rate below the capacity of the suction blower 59, so that were it not for the vacuum relief valve 64, the vacuum in the hose 69 would be greater than desirable. Accordingly, a suitable setting of the vacuum relief valve 64 is such as to maintain the vacuum in the tank 56 at a suitable level below ambient atmospheric pressure. With the system thus operating and after a few moments have been allowed to permit the heating of the liquid in the heater 33, the control valve at the cleaning head may be opened to permit the discharge of cleaning fluid via appropriate nozzles onto the surface to be cleaned. For a further discussion of an appropriate cleaning head reference is made to said application Ser. No. 25,521.

The suction nozzle of the cleaning head is drawn in successive strokes across the material to be cleaned while at the same time operating the control valve as required to direct fan-shaped streams of heated cleaning fluid from jet outlet nozzles in the cleaning fluid dispensing means onto the material being cleaned. The dirt from the material being cleaned together with the cleaning solution used, and atmospheric air drawn through such material, are all sucked into the cleaning fluid pick-up chamber of the nozzle, pass thence through the vacuum hose 69 and are discharged in the vacuum tank 56 through the suction inlet tube 68. The air then passes through pipe 63 and is discharged inside of the vacuum system base housing via the muffler system comprising mufflers 57, 74 and 75 and plenum chamber 77. After being exhausted into the base housing the air then passes to the atmosphere through the vents in the base housing.

The soiled cleaning fluid is discharged through the vacuum inlet tube 68 into the vacuum tank 56 in conventional manner to prevent the flow of said cleaning fluid through the suction blower. At desired intervals, the collected cleaning fluid may be manually drained from the vacuum tank 56 by opening the drain valve 71 or pumped out as by an automatically controlled dump pump or the like.

All during the time that the system is being used, cleaning fluid is continuously being supplied to pump 16 and either returned to tank 12 or supplied to the remote cleaning head. Thus the pump is not exposed to any danger of failure resulting from a lack of input fluid at any time so long as some fluid is present in tank 12. When the fluid in tank 12 is exhausted, this condition is immediately detected by switch 25 which is effective to immediately shutdown the reservoir system thereby preventing any possible damage to the pump 16 or heater 33 in the event it is not protected by a thermal cut-out switch. As will now be evident the above described arrangement not only permits the use of inexpensive and/or unprotected pumps, but also permits the elimination and consequent cost of thermal protective means for the heater, thereby achieving not only more efficient operation but a reduction in component and assembly cost.

For rugs of small pile height and/or lightly soiled rugs, switch 46 which may be conveniently mounted on the base housing, is actuated to its closed position, thereby providing actuation of valve 38 and pilot light 47. When valve 38 which is arranged and adapted to provide two rates of flow onto the surface being cleaned, (a low flow of about 1 gallon per minute and a high flow of about 2 gallons per minute), is in its normally open or unactuated position, cleaning fluid flows through it at the high flow rate.

When switch 46 is closed, valve 38 is actuated and permits cleaning fluid to flow therethrough at the low flow rate.

The provision of a low flow and a high flow rate is particularly advantageous when the remote cleaning head is of the small hand held type useful for cleaning carpets on stairs, in corners, and furniture and the like.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood, however, that various changes and modifications may be made in the details thereof without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to protect as Letters Patent is:

1. In two-tank cleaning apparatus for cleaning carpets and the like in situ comprising a cleaning solution reservoir tank system and a remote cleaning head, said reservoir tank system comprising a reservoir tank and pumping means for supplying cleaning solution under pressure to said cleaning head for ejection onto the surface being cleaned; a vacuum tank pick-up system adapted for connection to said cleaning head for recovering and collecting cleaning solution ejected from said cleaning head comprising:

a. a hollow base housing having a bottom wall and side walls, said side walls having a plurality of air vents spaced one from another;

b. a vacuum tank having a bottom wall, said vacuum tank being removably carried by and covering the top of said base housing;

c. first muffler means coupled to the interior of said vacuum tank;

d. a plenum chamber carried in said base housing, said plenum chamber having a plurality of openings to permit air to freely escape into said base houss;

e. second muffler means carried in said base housing and coupled to the interior of said plenum chamber; air suction-blower means having an inlet and an outlet carried in said base housing, said inlet being coupled to said first muffler means and said outlet being coupled to said second muffler means for evacuating air from said vacuum tank and exhausting it to the interior of said base housing; and

g. sound deadening material bonded to the bottom wall of said vacuum tank and the side walls of said base housing.

2. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said first muffler means is of the straight-through type having an open axial passage through which air from said vacuum tank passes and is disposed in said base housing.

3. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said first muffler means is effective to absorb high frequencies generated by operation of said suction-blower means and is disposed in said vacuum tank.

41. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said first muffler means comprises a tubular screen defining an open axial passage through which air from said vacuum tank passes, and fibrous sound absorbent material surrounding said tubular screen.

5. The combination as defined in claim 4 wherein said second muffler means is of the straight-through type having an open axial passage through which air from said vacuum tank passes and having sound absorbing means surrounding and in communication with the interior of said axial passage.

6. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said first and second muffler means are of the straightthrough type having an open axial passage through which air from said vacuum tank passes and having sound absorbing means surrounding and in communication with the interior of said axial passage.

7. The combination as defined in claim 1 wherein said sound deadening material includes a high density material effective to absorb low frequencies generated by operation of said suction-blower means 8. The combination as defined in claim 7 wherein the mass per square inch of said sound deadening material bonded to the bottom wall of said vacuum tank is greater than the mass per square inch of said material bonded to the side walls of said base housing.

9. The combination as defined. in claim 11 wherein said sound deadening material comprises lead sandwiched between two layers of polyurethane foam.

l= l= l= :11 at:

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3262146 *Sep 8, 1964Jul 26, 1966Fred E HaysSteam-vacuum generator for rug and upholstery cleaning
US3328826 *Jun 25, 1965Jul 4, 1967Paul E AmosCombination vacuum cleaner and hassock
US3564641 *Oct 14, 1968Feb 23, 1971Wahl Clipper CorpPortable vacuum unit
US3663984 *Apr 3, 1970May 23, 1972Carpetech CorpPortable vacuum carpet and upholstery cleaning apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4288885 *Mar 27, 1980Sep 15, 1981Parise & Sons, Inc.Hot water vacuum extraction machine with reverse fan cooled vacuum motor
US4361928 *Jul 1, 1981Dec 7, 1982Parise & Sons, Inc.Muffled exhaust system for hot water vacuum extraction machine
US4475264 *May 23, 1983Oct 9, 1984Parise And Sons, Inc.Dual inlet muffler assembly for truck hot water vacuum extraction machine
US4773118 *Jan 11, 1988Sep 27, 1988Aktiebolaget ElectroluxNoise reduction arrangement for a vacuum cleaner
US4970753 *Feb 23, 1990Nov 20, 1990Ryobi Motor Products Corp.Vacuum cleaner noise reducing arrangement
US5155876 *Oct 28, 1991Oct 20, 1992Clarke Industries, Inc.Floor cleaning apparatus
US5440780 *Dec 9, 1993Aug 15, 1995Gmi Holdings, Inc.Tip-resistant canister for upright vacuum cleaners
US5664283 *Jun 7, 1995Sep 9, 1997Gmi Holdings, Inc.Tip resistant canister for upright vaccum cleaners
US5950273 *Sep 22, 1997Sep 14, 1999Suhaka; TheodoreFor a carpet cleaning system
US5979013 *Jun 4, 1998Nov 9, 1999The Toro CompanyPortable blower with noise reduction
US6131237 *Aug 13, 1998Oct 17, 2000Bissell Homecare, Inc.Upright extraction cleaning machine
US6158082 *Feb 5, 1999Dec 12, 2000The Toro CompanyPortable blower with blower tube noise reduction
US6219880Aug 25, 1999Apr 24, 2001Pullman-Holt CorporationVacuum cleaner
US6324720Sep 18, 2000Dec 4, 2001The Toro CompanyPortable blower tube noise reduction
US6898820Jul 23, 2001May 31, 2005Bissell Homecare, Inc.Extraction cleaning with heating
US7337491 *Jul 29, 2003Mar 4, 2008Gerald L. McMillenPressure washing system, components and methods
US7370386 *Feb 2, 2004May 13, 2008Nilfisk-Advance, Inc.Dual cleaning mode carpet extractor
US7627926 *May 17, 2005Dec 8, 2009U.S. ProductsCleaning apparatus
US7862623Jun 8, 2000Jan 4, 2011Bissell Homecare, Inc.Extraction cleaning with oxidizing agent
US8156937 *Sep 23, 2005Apr 17, 2012Carefusion 203, Inc.Portable ventilator system
US8220107Dec 3, 2009Jul 17, 2012U.S. ProductsCleaning apparatus
US8397343 *Jul 13, 2012Mar 19, 2013U.S. ProductsCleaning apparatus
US20120279526 *Jul 13, 2012Nov 8, 2012U.S. ProductsCleaning Apparatus
DE3023630A1 *Jun 24, 1980Oct 22, 1981Shop Vac CorpGeraeuschdaempfendes geblaesemotorgehaeuse fuer staubsauger o.dgl.
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/321, 15/326
International ClassificationA47L11/34
Cooperative ClassificationA47L11/4016, A47L11/34
European ClassificationA47L11/40D2, A47L11/34