US 3834781 A
A washing machine connection structure can be manufactured so as to include a box-like cabinet having a front opening, a bottom shaped as a funnel so as to lead to a drain opening forming a part of the bottom, a pipe extension leading from this drain opening and internally extending outlet openings located above the bottom. The cabinet preferably carries means enabling it to be mounted in a wall between support members such as studs. When so mounted pipes may be inserted through the outlet opening and connected to the valves or faucets located within the cabinet. Water connections to a washing machine or the like may be made to such valves and a drain tube or hose from such machine may be inserted directly into the bottom so that waste water flowing through such a tube will flow through the drain opening.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 [111 3,834,781
Logsdon 1 Sept. 10, 1974 1 WASHING MACHINE CONNECTION  ABSTRACT STRUCTURE  Inventor: Duane D. Logsdon, 1719 Canyon Rd., Fullerton, Calif. 92631  Filed: Nov. 29, 1972  App1.No.: 310,577
 US. Cl. 312/229  Int. Cl. A47b 77/06, A47f 9/00  Field of Search 312/229, 242, 230; 4/1
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,066,805 7/1913 Fisher 312/242 UX 1,473,345 11/1923 Hess 312/242 UX 2,697,646 12/1954 Craig 312/242 V 2,832,080 4/1958 Hertenstein et al. 312/242 X 3,495,276 2/1970 Suess 4/1 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gillian Attorney, Agent, or FirmEdward D. OBrian A washing machine connection structure can be manufactured so as to include a box-like cabinet having a front opening, a bottom shaped as a funnel so as to lead to a drain opening forming a part of the bottom, a pipe extension leading from this drain opening and internally extending outlet openings located above the bottom. The cabinet preferably carries means enabling it to be mounted in a wall between support members such as studs. When so mounted pipes may be inserted through the outlet opening and connected to the valves or faucets located within the cabinet. Water connections to a washing machine or the like may be made to such valves and a drain tube or hose from such machine may be inserted directly into the bottom so that waste water flowing through such a tube will flow through the drain opening.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures WASHING MACHINE CONNECTION STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION As civilization has progressed washing machines have been utilized in household structures with increasing frequency. At one time such machines were commonly used in basement and similar areas where space and appearance were not significant problems. At the present time, however, such washing machines are commonly being utilized in both kitchen, hallway and similar areas where space is somewhat limited and where appearance is frequently significant.
Such machines are commonly used in these areas in connection with hot and cold water valves extending from a wall and a large drain pipe extending upwardly from a floor adjacent to these valves along the exterior ofa wall surface. The use of such drain pipes is considered to be particularly disadvantageous inasmuch as such a drain pipe occupies significant floor space and is not normally considered to be particularly attractive. If the valves in such a washing machine connection arrangement as indicated should leak or if there should be leakage between the connections between them and hoses from a washing machine there is significant danger of water accumulation on a floor. Such an accumulation can, of course, be somewhat messy. It can also lead to floor damage.
As a result of these considerations it is believed that there is a need for new and improved washing machine connection structures. More specifically, it is believed that there is a need for connection structure which will avoid an uneconomic utilization of floor space within a home or similar structure. Also, it is believed that there is a specific need for washing machine connection structures which effectively minimize the danger of leakage accumulating on a floor.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Broadly the present invention is intended to fulfill the needs indicated in the preceding discussion. More specifically, it is intended to provide washing machine connection structures: which can be easily and conveniently manufactured at a comparatively nominal cost, which can be easily installed within existing conventional walls with a minimum of difficulty, which when so installed avoid the problem of a drain pipe sticking out into a room or the like, and which also when so installed serve to accommodate any undesired leakage at water valves or faucets or at hose connections to such faucets.
In accordance with this invention these and various related objectives of it are achieved by providing a connection structure which includes or comprises a generally rectilinear, water impervious box-like cabinet having a top, a bottom, sides, a back and an open front. The bottom of this cabinet has and includes a pipe extension leading downwardly from the drain opening away from the bottom. The cabinet also includes several outlet openings located above the bottom. The structure further includes means for mounting the cabinet within a wall so that the open front is substantially flush with the surface of the wall.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The use of a structure as indicated in the preceding paragraph is best explained with reference to the remainder of this specification, the appended claims and the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a presently preferred embodiment or form of a washing machine connection structure of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken at line 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional view taken at line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an exploded isometric view indicating the use of the structure illustrated in the preceding figures in a wall in connection with a washing machine, part of this view being broken away.
The presently preferred washing machine connection structure illustrated in the drawing is a specific embodi ment of a structure utilizing certain essentially intangible concepts as set forth and defined in the appended claims. These concepts can be utilized within a wide variety of somewhat differently appearing and somewhat differently constructed connection structures through the use or exercise of routine skill in the plumbing industry.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In the drawing there is shown. a washing machine connection structure 10 in accordance with this invention which is preferably formed as an integral unit out of a water impervious, structurally strong polymer material such as common ABS plastic. This entire structure 10 may be conveniently formed of such material at a comparatively nominal cost utilizing established, conventional injection molding techniques. This structure 10 includes a centrally located box-like cabinet 12 having a top 14, a bottom 16, sides 18, a back 20 and an open front 22. v
The bottom 16 is shaped generally as a funnel so as to include downwardly directed sloping walls 24 which lead to a centrally located drain opening 26. This bottom 16 is preferably formed so as to include an integral pipe extension 28 leading downwardly from this drain opening 26. In the embodiment of the invention shown this pipe extension 28 includes a stepped, sloping shoulder 30 which is spaced from the bottom 16. It will be realized that this construction enables the structure 10 to be directly connected to conventional drain pipes of different diameters. In the drawing the portion of the extension 28 located beneath the shoulder 30 is directly connected to the drain pipe 32. In connecting the extension 28 to a drain pipe of larger diameter than the pipe 32, it is practical to saw off the extension 28 immediately above the shoulder 30.
The structure 10 also preferably includes in the bottom 16 several vertically extending hollow bosses 34. These bosses 34 terminate above the bottom 16 within the cabinet 12. Preferably their hollow interiors correspond to the outer diameters of conventionally used water pipes so that conventional pipes may be inserted through them as shown into the interior of the cabint 12 after the structure 10 is installed. Preferably the uppermost extremities of the bosses 34 are initially closed off by small knock out pulgs 38 formed integrally with the cabinet 12.
These plugs 38 are essentially disc-like structures separated from the bosses 34 by scored lines 40 which are comparatively weak. Preferably similar plugs 38 and lines 40 are formed integrally with the top 14, and both of the sides 18 so that pipes 36 may be inserted into the cabinet 12 in several different manners from different directions. All of these plugs 38 are designed to be used in creating service outlet openings when they are severed from the remainder of the cabinet 12 by a hammer blow or the like.
The structure 10 also includes means for mounting this cabinet 12 in a building wall 42 between conventional building studs 44 so that the front opening 22 lies substantially flush with the exposed surface of the wall 42. In the structure 10 shown, such means include extending tab-like brackets 46 which are formed integrally with the sides 18. These brackets 46 may conveniently be formed with nail holes 48. Preferably they are spaced back from the front edges 50 of the sides 18 a sufficient distance so that they may be covered by the wall 42 after they have been attached to the studs 44 by nails or similar fasteners.
If desired, the cabinet 12 may also include small fastener brackets 52 located at its corners so that a framelike cover plate 54 may be secured to cover the edges 50 and so as to extend around the space between these edges 50 and the wall 42 in order to finish of the installation of this structure 10 so that it has a neat, functional appearance. When the structure 10 is not to be utilized for a prolonged period this plate 54 may be a solid plate instead of a frame-like plate.
When the structure 10 is used it is installed as shown generally between the studs 44 and two of the plugs 38 are removed. Conventional pipes 56 are then inserted into the interior of the cabinet 12 and mounted in a conventional manner exteriorly of this structure 10. Conventional valves or faucets 58 may then be secured to the pipes 56 in a conventional manner. It will be noted that all of the plugs 38 are located so that wherever the pipes 56 are inserted that these pipes 56 will extend through openings into the cabinet 12 which are above the bottom 16 so that any leakage occurring from the faucets 58 will flow to the bottom 16 and through the drain opening 26.
When the structure 10 has been installed in the manner indicated in the preceding discussion, conventional water hoses 60 and a conventional drain hose 62 from a washing machine 64 may be connected to the faucets 58 and inserted within the drain opening 26, respectively. As the machine 64 is operated, the waste water will, of course, be conveyed through the drain opening 26. Any leakage at such faucets 58 will tend to be accommodated without significant floor accumulation inasmuch as such leakage will primarily flow towards the bottom 16 and this drain opening 26.
It will be realized from the aforegoing description that the structure 10 is a very simple, effective structure which achieves the fulfillment of needs as indicated in the preceding. This structure 10 avoids the use of a drain pipe located externally of a wall and, hence, provides for a neat appearance concurrently with the achievement of a saving of floor space.
l. A washing machine connection structure for use in a wall between support members. said structure comprising:
an integrally formed water impervious plastic cabinet capable of fitting within a wall between support members, said cabinet having a top, a back, sides, an open front and a bottom.
two hollow upstanding bosses located in said bottom of said cabinet, said bosses being of a diameter such that a water pipe can be inserted through them, said bottom having a funnel-like shape terminating in a bottom drain opening,
said bottom including a pipe-like extension which is adapted to be connected to a drain pipe leading downwardly from said drain opening away from said bottom.
means for mounting said cabinet within a wall between support members attached to said cabinet, said means permitting said cabinet to be mounted in a wall so that said front opening is exposed to the exterior of such a wall.
means providing service openings into the interior of said cabinet above said bottom and spaced from said front opening so that pipes may be inserted into said cabinet and valves may be mounted on said pipe within the interior of said cabinet,
said means providing service openings comprising knock out plugs capable of being removed from said cabinet by a physical blow located at the tops of said bosses and in said sides and in said tops. 2. A washing machine connection structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
said pipe-like extension includes a shoulder located intermediate its ends, said shoulder separating said pipe-like extension into two different parts of different diameters capable of being utilized with drain pipes of different diameters. 3. A washing machine connection structure as claimed in claim 1 wherein:
said means for mounting said cabinet are brackets formed integrally with said cabinet so as to extend outwardly from said sides of said cabinet, said brackets being spaced from the front of said cabinet so as to be capable of being covered by a wall during the use of said connection structure, said cabinet includes means for attaching a frame surrounding said front opening located thereon,
said connection structure including a frame adapted to be attached to said cabinet through the use of said means for attaching, said frame being of larger dimension than said front opening so as to be capable of covering the area between the exterior of said cabinet and a wall during the use of said connection structure.
4. A washing machine connection structure as claimed in claim 3 wherein:
said pipe-like extension includes a shoulder located intermediate its ends, said shoulder separating said pipe-like extension into two different parts of different diameters capable of being utilized with drain pipes of different diameters.