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Publication numberUS3856058 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1974
Filing dateOct 26, 1973
Priority dateOct 26, 1973
Publication numberUS 3856058 A, US 3856058A, US-A-3856058, US3856058 A, US3856058A
InventorsFackler G
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Liquid dispenser having improved overfill protector
US 3856058 A
Abstract
A liquid dispenser is provided with a fill fitting and a float actuated valve for closing the fitting during filling of the dispenser. The fill fitting is drained of any liquid therein during placement of a fitting closure in sealing engagement with the fitting.
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [19 Fackler Dec. 24, 1974 [54] LIQUID DISPENSER HAVING IMPROVED 1,427,965 9/1922 Nlatuschak et al. 137/390 X OVERFILL PROTECTOR 3,029,826 4/1962 Fink et al 222/54 X Inventor: George E. Fackler, Louisville, Ky.

General Electric Company, Louisville, Ky.

Filed: Oct. 26, 1973 Appl. N0.: 410,290

Assignee:

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1922 Lebert 141/199 4/1968 Boddie 141/311 X Primary Examiner-Stanley I-I. Tollberg Assistant Examiner-John P. Shannon Attorney, Agent, or FirmFrancis H. Boos [5 7] ABSTRACT A liquid dispenser is provided with a fill fitting and a 8 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures V LIQUID DISPENSER HAVING IMPROVED OVERFILL PROTECTOR BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Liquid dispensers are commonly used devices. One common use of liquid dispensers is to introduce a liquid material, such as a detergent, wetting agent, water-- conditioner or the like, into a water-using appliance such as a dishwasher or clothes washer. One problem attending the use of liquid dispensers is overfilling the same. Overfilling the dispenser causes two difficulties: (1 excess liquid material overflows the device causing wastage thereof and creating a general mess, and (2) on initial discharge, an overfilled dispenser ejects one normal discharge in addition to the amount of overfill. The latter difficulty causes wastage of the liquid material and. may interfere with the normal function of the appliance since the liquid material-water solution in the appliance may be too concentrated.- It is the purpose of this invention to provide means preventing overfill of a liquid dispenser thereby conserving liquid material, avoiding cleaning up around the filling port of the dispenser and assuring proper concentration of the liquid material in the appliance. The dispensers of the type employed in conjunction with this invention are typically mounted on a door of a dishwasher which is movable between a generally horizontal position in which the dispenser is filled and a generally vertical position in which the dispenser ejects liquid material.

The prior art has recognized the desirability of avoiding overfilling of liquid receptacles of various types as well as draining the inlet line thereto as found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,066,315 and 3,467,135. Also of interest is the disclosure in U.S. Pat. No. 3,380.619. Other disclosures of more general interest are found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,957,466; 2,269,127 and 3,176,728.

It is an ojbect of this invention to provide an improved liquid dispenser having means for preventing overfill thereof and means for draining the fill fitting.

In summary, the liquid dispenser of this invention comprises a liquid reservoir having a fill fitting providing a well opening into the reservoir, means for dispensing liquid from the reservoir, means for closing the fill fitting including a valve and means mounting the valve for movement in response to rising liquid level in the reservoir into sealing engagement with the fill fitting, and means for draining the well after the valve is closed including a fitting closure having means for opening the valve in response to closing movement of the closure.

IN THE DRAWINGS:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a dishwasher, certain parts being broken away for clarity of illustration, illustrating one use for the liquid dispenser of this invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the dispenser of this inventionillustrating an empty liquid reservoir;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the dispenser immediately after filling;

FIG. 4 is a view similar torFIG. 3 after the fitting clo sure is placed to seal the fill fitting;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 illustrating the dispenser in a position ready to eject a batch of liquid material therefrom;

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view of the dispenser of this invention taken substantially along line 66 ofFIG. 5

as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows;

FIG. 7 isan isometric view of the valve member incorporated in the dispenser;

FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of FIG. 7, taken along 0 line 8-8 thereof as viewed in the direction indicated by the arrows; and

FIGS. 9 and 10 are cross sectional views of other embodiments of the invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a dishwasher 10 comprising a tub 12 and a door 14 defining together a wash chamber 16 in which one or more article receiving racks 18 reside. Suitable spray means (not shown) are provided for spraying washing liquid toward articles in the racks 18. The door 14 is conveniently mounted by a pivot connection 20 for movement between the closed generally vertical position illustrated in FIG. 1 and an open generally horizontal position as is conventional. The door 14 includes an inner door panel 22 exposed to the wash chamber 16 and a spaced outer panel 24 providing therebetween a door compartment 26 which is typically utilized to incorporate a timer (not shown), electrical wiring (not shown), and other typical washing aids such as a liquid dispenser 28.

The liquid dispenser 28 is conveniently of the type disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,029,826, assigned to the assignee of this invention, to which reference is made for a more complete description thereof. The dispenser 28 comprises as major components a liquid reservoir 30, means 32 for selectively discharging liquid from the reservoir 30 and means 34 for filling the reservoir 30.

The reservoir 30 conveniently comprises a main body section 36 and a secondary body section 38 providing inner and outer walls 40, 42 respectively and together providing a peripheral wall 44. The main body section 36 includes an exteriorally threaded fill fitting 46 comprising the filling means 34 projecting through an opening 48 in the inner door panel 22 and receiving a nut.

50 which cinches together a rubber washer 52, the inner door panel 22 and a plurality of main body projections 54 for mounting the dispenser 28 on the door 14.

The fill fitting 46 provides a well 56 extending inwardly toward a liquid body 58 in the reservoir 30. A first passage or opening 60 extends generally coaxially with the well 56 into one part of the reservoir 30 and a second opening 62 extends generally perpendicularly to the well 56 for cooperation with the liquid discharging means 32. The passage 60 provides a radially inwardly projecting helical screw thread 64 extending circumferentially less than one revolution. One or more gussets 66 are provided between the peripheral wall 44 and the inner wall 40.

The reservoir 30 also includes a dispensing chamber 68 and a pouring member 70 for filling the dispensing chamber 68 when the door 14 moves from the horizontal position of FIG. 4 to the vertical position of FIG. 5.

comprising part of the body section 36, and a valve actuator 78. The valve actuator 78 is conveniently positioned in a housing 80 secured to the peripheral wall 44 and comprises a bimetallic member 82 having an end 84 of reduced width received in a slot 86 in the end of the valve stem 74. As is more clearly explained in US. Pat. No. 3,029,826, passage of electrical energy through bimetallic member 82 in response to a setting on the dishwasher timer (not shown), moves the end 84 upwardly in FIG. v5 thereby moving the valve stem 74 upwardly and displacing the valve member 72 from its sealing position with respect to the second opening 62. Consequently, the liquid charge in the dispensing chamber 68 drains through the second opening 62 and r the well 56 into the wash chamber 16.

It will be apparent that movement of the door 14 to the horizontal position places the dispenser 28 as illustrated in FIG. 4 thereby placing part of the liquid body 58 to the left of the pouring member 70. As the door l4and consequently the dispenser 28 is moved to a vertical position, liquid sluices off the pouring member 70 and fills the dispenser chamber 68 in preparation for another dispensing operation.

As shown'best in FIG. 3, the reservoir 30 is filled by moving the door 14 to its generally horizontal position, removing a closure 88 and pouring the liquid material into the well 56. It is among the objects of this invention to avoid overfilling the reservoir 30. To this end, there is provided a float operated valve 90 which cooperates with the undersurface 92 (FIG. 2) of the fill fit'-' ting 46 toclose the passage 60 when the reservoir 30 is substantially filled.

' The valve 90 is conveniently a single element made of foamed plastic material comprising a pair of symmetrically disposed float segments 94, 96 connected by a generally flat valving member 98 and defining a central recess 100 for receiving the bottom of the fill fitting 46 and a pair of aligned passages 102, 104 extending into the recess 100. As is apparent from a comparison of FIGS. 2 and 3, the passage 104 allows the floats 94, 96 to straddle the dispensing chamber 62 as the float 90 moves upwardly toward sealing engagement with the fill fitting 46. As is likewise apparent from a comparison of FIGS. 2 and 3, the passage 102 cooperates with the gusset 66 to restrain the valve 90 against lateral movement in the reservoir 30 to assure that the valving member 98 is positioned to engage the undersurface 92 of the fill fitting 46. The overall thickness of the valve 90 is selected such that the upper surface thereof cooperates with the bottom of the fill fitting 46 to preventsubstantial valve movement away from the gusset 6 6.

Projecting from the underside of the valve 90 are a pair of feet 106 and an elongate rib 108 in order to support the valve 90 away from the reservoir bottom 42 when the dispenser 28 is empty as illustrated in FIG. 2. During filling, liquid may pass under the valve 90 to prevent sticking thereof to the reservoir bottom 42.

In order to fill the reservoir 30, the door 14 is opened and the closure 88 removed in order to pour the liquid material into the well 56 as suggested in FIG. 3. As the liquid level in the reservoir 30 rises, the float 90 moves upwardly. When the liquid in the reservoir reaches a predetermined level 110, the valving member 98 sealably engages the undersurface 92 of the fill fitting 46 to close the passage 60 thereby preventing liquid movement from the well 56 into the reservoir 30. The well 56 accordingly fills rapidly. As the liquid level in the well 56 approaches the top of the fill fitting 46, the user realizes that the reservoir 30 is filled to its desired capacity and accordingly ceases pouring of liquid material into the well 56. It will be noted that the liquid level 110 is below the valve stem 74. Accordingly, there is no tendency to leak liquid material between the stem 74 and the guide tube 76 in the horizontal position of FIG. 3. Thus, the valve 90 alone acts to stop filling of the reservoir 30. Without the provision of further features, however, retained liquid material in the well 56 will be spilled into the wash chamber 16 when the door 14 is closed. It is accordingly desirable to provide means for draining the well 56. It is also desirable to provide means for sealing the passage 60 to prevent inadvertent loss of liquid material therethrough.

To these ends, the closure 88 is provided. The closure 88 is also constructed to provide an indicating function as explained more fully in copending application Ser. No. 410,212 assigned to the assignee of this invention. The closure 88 comprises as major components a stem 112, and indicating member 114 movably mounted in the stem 112, a transparent refractive viewing member 116 and a seal 118. The stem 112 includes a lower end 120 having a helical thread portion 122 thereon which may comprise spaced lugs, an interrupted helical thread or a continuous helical thread. The stem 112 also comprises a flange l24 captivating the sealing washer 118 to the bottom of the well 56 and an axial passage 126 having a shoulder 128 therein.

The indicating member 114 is conveniently square in cross section having an enlarged upper end 130 and an elongate lower end 132 resting on the valving member 98. The enlarged upper end 130 is sized to engage the shoulder 128 and prevent the member 114 from falling through the passage 126 upon removal of the closure 1 l6.

Therefractive viewing member 116 is secured in any suitable fashion to the upper end of the stem 112 and provides an enlarged peripheral section 134 for convenient grasping.

FIG. 3 illustrates the configuration of the dispenser 28 immediately after addition of liquid material to the well 56 has stopped. In order to complete the filling operation, the closure 88 is inserted into the-well 56 untl the lower end 120 thereof projects through the passage 60 to contact the valving member 98. The lower end 120 maybe sufficiently long to break the seal between the valving member 98 and the undersurface 92 prior to engagement of the threads cooperating between the passage 60 and the lower end 120. In the alternative, the lower end 120 may engage and move the float 90 and the valving member 98 out of sealing engagement withthe undersurface 92 as the stem 112 is threaded into the opening 60. The threads cooperating between Continued rotation of the closure 88 causes the threads to pull the stem 112 downwardly toward the reservoir 30 thereby compressing the seal 118 against the bottom of the well 56 to seal the passage 60. As is apparent from FIGS. 4 and 5, sealing of the passage 60 does not affect the passage 62 thereby allowing dis-v charge of liquid material in the dispensing chamber 68..

An important feature of this invention is illustrated by a comparison of FIGS. 3 and 5. In FIG. 3, the liquid level 110 represents the liquid level position when the valve member 98 closes the passage 60. Upon draining of the well 56 into the reservoir 30, the liquid level rises somewhat. As shown in FIG. 5, after the well 56 is drained and the dispenser 28 moved from the horizontal to the vertical position, the liquid level resides at or lower than the top of the dispensing chamber 68. Accordingly, elevating the valve 72 releases only the volume of the dispensing chamber 68 for entry into the washchamber 16. It will be appreciated that if the reservoir 30 were overfilled to place the liquid level in FIG. 5 above the top of the dispensing chamber 68, elevating the valve member 72 would discharge the volume of the dispensing chamber 68 in addition to the liquid volume above the top of the dispensing chamber 68. It will accordingly be apparent that the first opera tion of the dispenser 28 after being overfilled would discharge a greater than desirable quantity of liquid material into the wash chamber 16.

To overcome this disadvantage, the size and shape of the reservoir 30 is selected to assure that the liquid level existing when the dispenser 28 is vertical, as in FIG. 5, is below the top of the dispensing chamber 68..

it will be appreciated that the maximum volume of liquid'that can be introduced into the reservoir 30 is the liquid volume below the level 110 in FIG. 3 plus the volume of the well 56. The volume of the dispensing chamber 68 is controlled by the quantity of liquid material desired to be dispensed. Accordingly, if the volume of the reservoir 30 below the top of the dispensing chamber 68 plus the volume of the dispensing chamber 68 is equal to or greater than the volume of the reservoir 30 below the level 110 plusthe volume of the well 56, the dispenser 28 will not dispense an excessive quantity of liquid material on the first operation thereof after filling.

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, there are disclosed other embodiments of the invention which do not provide an indicating feature through the closure fitting. ln H08. 9, there is illustrated a reservoir 134 of a dispenser providing a fill opening 136. The fill opening 136 includes a well 140 having an opening 142 extending inwardly of the reservoir 134 toward a liquid body 144. Cooperating with the undersurface 146 of the fill fitting ,136 is a float operated valve 148. The valve 148 comprises a valving member 150 mounted on a lever 152 pivotally connected at 154 to any suitable stationary component. A float 156 is secured to the end of the lever 152 and acts to move the valving member 150 into sealing engagement with the opening .142 in response to rising liquid level in the reservoir 134. A'fit ting closure 156 includes a cylindrical body 160 having thereon a non-sealing helical thread 162 for receipt by complementary internal threads in the fitting 136. The

closure 158 includes a handle 164 and a stem 166 of a length sufficient to provide easy access to the handle 164 when the body 160 is fully within the well 140. Projecting inwardly from the body 160 is an extension 168 of sufficient length to contact the valving member 150 and break the seal thereof before the bottom of the body 160 comes into sealing engagement with the bottom of the well 140. Accordingly, the well 140 drains 178. A buoyant ball valve 180 is disposed in the liquid body 178 and constrained for movement toward and away from a sealing undersurface 182 of the fitting 172 by a ball cage comprising a plurality of fingers 184 depending from the fill fitting 172. It will be apparent that the ball 180 is of sufiicient buoyancy to overcome the liquid head in the well 174 as the liquid level rises to a predetermined location. A fitting closure 186 may be substantially identical to the closure 158 and comprises .a body 188 having a helical nonsealing thread 190 thereon for receipt in complementary screw threads inside the fill fitting 172. A handle 192 is connected to the body 188 by an extension 194 of suitable length. An extension 196 projects from the opposite side of the body 188 for contacting the ball and moving the same out of sealing engagement with the surface 182. It will be apparent that the device of FIG. 10 operates in substantially the same fashion as the embodiment of HO. 9.

it will be noted that the embodiments of FIGS. 9 and 10 may be modified somewhatto operate in a slightly different fashion to open the valves 150, 180; By pro viding peripheral seals in lieu .of the non-sealing threads 162, for sealing engagement with the wall of the wells 140, 174 respectively, a substantial of liquid may be trapped between the seal and the valve..Accordingly, the'bodies 160, 188 may act as pistons upon downward movement of the respective handles 164, 192 to express liquid past the valves 150, 188 respectively until the extension, 168, 196 contacts the valve 150, 188 respectively. In the alternative, the bodies 160, 188 may be sized to seal within the respective opening 142,176 leading from the well 140, 174 into the reservoir with suitable means being provided to prevent the bodyfrom passing wholly into the reservoir, such as a shoulder 198 in FIG. 10.

l claim:

1. A liquid dispensercomprising:

a liquid reservoir having a fill fitting providing a well opening into the reservoir;

- means for selectively dispensing liquid from the resl ervoir; means for closing the fill fitting including a valve and means for constraining movement of the valve in response to rising liquid level in the reservoir into sealing engagement with the fill fitting; and means for draining the well after the valve is closed including a fitting closure having means for opening the valve in response to closing movement of the closure. 2. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein the valve comprises a float buoyant in the liquid.

3. The dispenser of claim 2 wherein the fitting closure comprises an end projecting through the well opening for engaging and moving the valve away from sealing engagement with the fitting.

4. The dispenser of claim 3 wherein the well and the closure provide therebetween means for securing the closure to the well and sealing the well opening.

5. The dispenser of claim-3 wherein the securing of means comprises non-sealing threads provided by the closure and the well and the sealing means comprises a sealing element for sealing engagement with part of the well.

and an outlet opening to the exterior of the dispenser;

6. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein means for filling the chamber'in response to reservoir movement from the non-vertical position to the upthe dispensing means includes a chamber having a right position; and

first port opening into the reservoir and a second means for selectively draining the chamber in the disport opening to the exterior of the dispenser, I pensing position through the outlet opening; means for directing liquid material toward the first means for closing the fill fitting in the fill position inport in response to movement of the dispenser cluding a valve and means mounting the valve for from a non-vertical to an upright position for filling 1O movement into sealing engagement with the fill fitthe chamber, and means for selectively draining ting in response to a predetermined liquid level in the chamber through the second port, the chamber the reservoir; and being upright in the upright position of the dismeans preventing dispensing of a volume of liquid penser; material greater than the volume of the dispensing the fill fitting being disposed on the dispenser for fillchamber upon first actuation of the selective drain ing the reservoir in a non-vertical position of the ing means, the preventing means being that the voldispenser; and I ume of the reservoir in the fill position at closing of the sum of the volume of the reservoir in the last the valve being no greater than the sum of the volmentioned non-vertical position at closing of the ume of the dispensing chamber and the volume of valve and the volume of the -well being no greater the reservoir in the upright position below the inlet than the sum of the volume of the dispensing chamopening. her and the volume of the reservoir in the upright 8. The liquid dispenser of claim 7 further comprising position below the first port. means for draining the well in the fill position after the 7. A liquid dispenser containing valve is closed including a fitting closure having means a liquid reservoir having a fill fitting providing a well for opening the valve in response to closing movement opening into the reservoir; i of the closure, and wherein the preventing means being means mounting the reservoir for movement between that the sum of the volume of the reservoir in the fill a non-vertical fill position and an upright dispensposition at closing of the valve and the volume of the ing position; well being no greater than the sum of the volume of the means for selectively dispensing liquid from the resdispensing chamber and the volume of the reservoir in ervoir including the upright position below the inlet opening. a chamber having an inlet opening into the reservoir

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1411284 *Oct 27, 1920Apr 4, 1922William R LebertFunnel
US1427965 *Nov 16, 1921Sep 5, 1922Langsch AlbertAttachment for filling barrels
US3029826 *May 21, 1957Apr 17, 1962Gen ElectricWater-using appliance with water-conditioner dispenser
US3380619 *Aug 8, 1966Apr 30, 1968John R. BoddieRadiator cap
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5967765 *Aug 19, 1997Oct 19, 1999Henderson; Richard W.Device for preventing flareup in liquid-fuel burners by providing constant-rate fuel flow from removable fuel tank
US7464718 *Jun 23, 2003Dec 16, 2008General Electric CompanyDishwasher liquid delivery systems
US7802335Oct 12, 2007Sep 28, 2010General Electric CompanyBulk dispense user adjustable controls
US8056374Nov 15, 2011General Electric CompanyMultiple compartments wash additives auto-dispenser in washer or dryer pedestal
US8056747Oct 12, 2007Nov 15, 2011General Electric CompanyRemovable tank for laundry bulk dispenser system
US20050000551 *Jun 23, 2003Jan 6, 2005Mcintyre Carrie LilleyDishwasher liquid delivery systems
US20090095028 *Oct 12, 2007Apr 16, 2009General Electric CompanyBulk dispense user adjustable controls
US20090095331 *Oct 12, 2007Apr 16, 2009General Electric CompanyMultiple compartments wash additives auto-dispenser in washer or dryer pedestal
US20090095750 *Oct 12, 2007Apr 16, 2009General Electric CompanyRemovable tank for laundry bulk dispenser system
DE10027035B4 *Jun 2, 2000Mar 11, 2010Aweco Appliance Systems Gmbh & Co. KgDosiervorrichtung für flüssiges Spülmittel
Classifications
U.S. Classification141/18, 68/17.00R, 68/207
International ClassificationA47L15/44
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/4418
European ClassificationA47L15/44B