US 3832870 A
In the preferred form, a combination clothes washer-dryer including a cabinet in which clothes are hung for washing by being subjected to sprays of recirculated washing liquid and drying by being subjected to fan forced drying air. The drying fan is driven through a clutch mechanism on a drive shaft and the clutch is selectively operated by a liquid level float to prevent operation of the fan until after the washing liquid has been removed from the cabinet.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Todd-Reeve 1 Sept. 3, 1974  COMBINATION WASHING AND DRYING 2,680,367 6/ 1954 Dougherty 68/20 X MACHNE WITH WATER LEVEL 3,285,038 1 H1966 Wolverton 3,664,159 5/1972 Mazza 68/20 X CONTROL AND FAN CLUTCH Leslie Todd-Reeve, Aylesbury, England The Hoover Company, North Canton, Ohio Filed: May 7, 1973 Appl. No.: 358,134
Foreign Application Priority Data May 23, 1972 Great Britain 24227/72 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS I 1/1933 Foster 134/112 X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 536,065 10/1931 Germany 68/20 Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby Assistant Examiner-Philip R. C06
[5 7 ABSTRACT clutch mechanism on a drive shaft and the clutch is selectively operated by a liquid level float to prevent operation of the fan until after the washing liquid has been removed from the cabinet.
7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures PATENTEDSEF3- m4 3.832.870 sum 10s a PATENIEDSEP3 W I 3332.870
SHEET 3B? 3 FIG. 8
COMBINATION WASHING AND DRYING MACHINE WITH WATER LEVEL CONTROL AND FAN CLUTCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to washing mahines incorporating a Compartment for articles such as clothes to be washed by a liquid and a fan for circulating drying air in the compartment.
2. Description of the Prior Art There have been various proposals for the washing, rinsing and drying of clothes while hanging in a compartment in such a way that the clothes can be worn immediately upon completion of the washing, rinsing and drying cycle.
A machine of this type is, for example, disclosed in application No. 244,828, filed 17 Apr. 1972 by Leslie Todd-Reeve and assigned to the present assignee, in which the clothes are washed by upper and lower spray assemblies each of which is mounted for rotation about a vertical axis, one in the lower part of the compartment and below the clothes, and one in-the upper part of the compartment and above the clothes.
This prior construction also incorporates a circulating pump and valve arrangement for directing liquid to one or other of the assemblies at a time. Furthermore, it discloses the use of an emptying pump and also a fan for circulating air, after washing and rinsing has been completed, in order to dry the clothes.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is particularly, but not exclusively, applicable to a construction of this prior type.
According to the present invention, a washing machine incorporates a compartment for articles to be washed by liquid and a fan for circulating drying air in the compartment. The fan has a drive mechanism which is adapted to be operative only when the liquid in the machine is below a predetermined level. For example, the machine may incorporate a fan drive shaft and a liquid level responsive clutch between the fan drive shaft and the fan.
Conveniently, the fan drive shaft also carries a liquid emptying pump which is permanently connected thereto, so that when the shaft is driven in at least one direction of rotation, emptying will take place without the fan being driven.
The fan drive shaft may be driven by a reversible motor and may also carry a circulating pump for the distribution of liquid to spray assemblies in the compartment. In this case, the liquid emptying pump and the circulating pump are arranged to be operative each when the other is inoperative, for example during opposite directions of rotation of the fan drive shaft.
The invention may be carried into practice in a number of ways, but one specific embodiment will now be described by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawing which diagrammatically illustrates the lower part of the clothes washing machine, according to the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 shows a fragmentary sectional view of the lower half of a combination washer-dryer in which the present invention may be used;
FIG. 2 is a plan view taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1 showing the lower spray arm and fan;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view of the clutch mechanism of FIG. 1 with the float in the upper position;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view of the clutch mechanism of FIG. 1 with the float in the lower position;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3; a
FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 66 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view taken along the line 8-8 of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a casing 10 affords a compartment 11 in which clothes are hung from upper rails in order to be washed and rinsed by means of an upper spray assembly (not shown) and a lower spray assembly 12. Each spray assembly may be mounted for rotation about a vertical axis and may, for example, be provided with washing and/or rinsing liquid from a circulating pump 13 via a control valve 13a in such a way that only one spray assembly at a time receives liquid therefrom. The control valve may be of the type described and shown in application No. 244,829, filed 17 Apr. 1972 by Leslie Todd-Reeve and assigned to the present assignee. The circulating pump 13 has an impeller which is secured to a vertical shaft 14 and which is adapted to. be effective for circulating purposes in only one direction of rotation of the shaft. The shaft 14 carries a pulley 15 at its lower end, which is connected via a belt drive to a reversible motor 16. Below the impeller of the circulating pump 13, the shaft 14 also carries the impeller 18 of an emptying or drain pump, which is arranged to be effective to empty the machine in the opposite direction of rotation of the shaft 14.
In this way, the motor 16 which drives the pulley 15, in one direction of rotation drives the circulating pump 13 in an operative manner while the emptying pump impeller 18 is inoperative, and in the other direction of rotation the emptying pump impeller 18 is operative and the circulating pump 13 inoperative.
As shown in more detail in FIGS. 3 to 6, an air circulating fan 20 is provided which has a hub 21 mounted to rotate freely on the upper end of the shaft 14 by means of a bearing 22. On the outside of the hub 21 an upper clutch member 25 is disposed for axial upward and downward sliding movement with respect to the hub 21.
The clutch member 25 is, however, keyed to the hub 20 to prevent relative rotation with respect thereto. Upward and downward movement of the clutch member 25 is caused by a level responsive mechanism comprising a float 30, a link 31 and a pair of levers 32 and 33, the latter of which has a bifurcated end'34 which is received in an annular rectangular-shaped groove in the external surface of the clutch member 25.
The assembly includes a stationary part 40 carrying a pawl 40a for engagement with two ratchet teeth 41 on the periphery of a flange 42 of the clutch member 25. Therefore, while the clutch member 25 can rotate with respect to the pawl 40a in one direction of rotation in an overrunning condition, when the clutch member 25 is rotated in the opposite direction, the two teeth 41 will limit the rotation of the clutch member 25 and cause it to be aligned in the manner shown in FIG. 1 for a purpose which will appear.
Disposed below the clutch member 25 and secured to the shaft 14 is a further clutch member 50 (shown in detail in FIGS. 3, 4 and 8) of inverted cup-shape and having ratchet teeth 50a molded in its inner periphery for engagement with a spring-loaded pawl 51 on the external surface of an intermediate clutch plate 55 (shown in detail in FIGS. 3, 4 and 7) disposed between the clutch members 25 and 50. The intermediate clutch plate 55 has a flange 56, the periphery of which has a pair of diametrically opposite ratchet teeth 57 which engage the pawl 40b on the stationary part 40 in one direction of rotation. v
The upper surface of the intermediate clutch plate 55 has a pair of radial slots 58 which are capable of receiving, for driving purposes, a pair of dogs 59 on the underside of the clutch member 25. The slots 58 and dogs 59 are aligned by the respective engagement of the teeth 41 and 57 on the pawls 40a and 40b.
The operation of this mechanism is as follows:
At the commencement of a filling period, the shaft 14 will be stationary and the float 30 will be in a lower position engaging a sump 60 of the machine. As the water level rises, the float 30 will be lifted by its buoyancy and in lifting will disengage the clutch member 25 from the intermediate clutch plate 55 by means of the linkage 31 and the levers 32 and 33.
After filling, the driving motor 16 will be energised to rotate the pulley and the shaft 14 in a direction of rotation such that the circulating pump 13 will be operative and the emptying pump impeller 18 inoperative. In this direction of rotation, the one-way clutch provided between the intermediate plate 55 and the further clutch member 50 will be engaged to drive the former, but the fan will not be driven due to the fact that the dogs 59 are disengaged from the slots 58.
The ratchet teeth 57 on the periphery of the flange 56 of the plate 55 will overrun the pawl 50b on the stationary member 40.
On completion of a washing or rinsing cycle, the drive motor is reversed so that the drain pump becomes operative and the circulating pump inoperative. The intermediate clutch plate 55 will rotate with the further clutch member 50 until one of the ratchet teeth 57 on the outer periphery of the flange 56 engages the pawl 40b on the stationary member 40 and remains in this position during the draining period. The same will happen to the clutch member if there is any slight drag through bearing 22. In this way, the slots 58 will be aligned in a correct position below the dogs 59 so that the completion of the emptying of the sump 60, and the resulting drop in water level, will cause the float to lower the clutch member 25 into engagement with the intermediate clutch plate 55.
If the motor 16 is now reversed again, neither of the liquid pumps is operative (in the case of the circulating pump due to lack of liquid), but the circulating fan 20 will be operative and will draw air downwardly through the compartment 11 and recirculate the air.
By this mechanism it is possible to provide a construction in which the fan for drying air may be normally submerged during washing in either washing and- /or rinsing liquid or in foam, but not submerged when driven which would cause heavy loading. This construction permits the fan to be mounted at a lower level than had previously been possible, and thus allows more space above the fan for the articles to be washed.
1. A washing machine comprising a casing including a compartment containing articles to be washed by a liquid and a fan for circulating drying air within said compartment, a drive mechanism for said fan, liquid level sensing means preventing operation of the fan when the liquid level in the machine is above a predetermined level.
2. A washing machine as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fan is located so as to be submerged in the washing liquid during a washing cycle.
3. A washing machine as claimed in claim 1 wherein said fan drive mechanism incorporates a drive shaft and a clutch, said clutch being utilized to drive said fan from said drive shaft and being responsive to said liquid level sensing means.
4. A washing machine as claimed in claim 3 wherein said liquid sensing means is a float, said float having linkage means associated therewith to operate said clutch mechanism.
5. A washing machine as claimed in claim 3 wherein said drive shaft also drives a drain pump, said drain pump being driven in at least one direction of rotation and said fan is not driven until the liquid has been removed from said machine.
6. A washing machine as claimed in claim 3 wherein said drive shaft is driven by a reversible motor, said drive shaft also driving a circulating pump for distribution of washing liquid to spray assemblies within said compartment.
7. A washing machine as claimed in claim 3 wherein said clutch mechanism includes at least two cooperable clutch members, one of said clutch members having at least one dog associated therewith, another of said clutch members having at least one recess associated therewith and adapted to receive said dog, stop means associated with said clutch mechanism to hold said clutch members in relative positions to align said dog and said recess when said drive shaft is driven in one "direction of rotation.