US 3861769 A
There is disclosed a dishwasher having plural superposed article receiving racks. The uppermost rack is conventionally mounted for movement into and out of the wash chamber. The lowermost rack is supported by the tub when the rack is in the wash chamber. When the lowermost rack is out of the wash chamber, it is partially supported by the door. The center rack, when fully within the wash chamber, is supported by the tub independently of the lowermost rack. When the center rack is out of the wash chamber, it is at least partially supported by the lowermost rack.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Jenkins Jan. 21, 1975 DISHWASHER RACK  Inventor: Thomas E. Jenkins, Louisville, Ky.
 Assignee: General Electric Company,
 Filed: Jan. 2, 1973  Appl. No.: 320,618
 US. Cl 312/311, 211/162, 312/335,
312/350  Int. Cl A47b 88/00  Field of Search 312/311, 330, 334, 335,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,681,843 6/1954 Walker 312/311 2,739,025 3/1956 Stoddard 312/311 5/1956 Sebens 312/334 X 10/1967 Bebinger 312/311 Primary ExaminerRoy D. Frazier Assistant ExaminerWi1liam E. Lyddane Attorney, Agent, or FirmFrancis H. Boos  ABSTRACT There is disclosed a dishwasher having plural superposed article receiving racks. The uppermost rack is conventionally mounted for movement into and out of the wash chamber, The lowermost rack is supported by the tub when the rack is in the wash chamber. When the lowermost rack is out of the wash chamber, it is partially supported by the door. The center rack, when fully within the wash chamber, is supported by the tub independently of the lowermost rack. When the center rack is out of the wash chamber, it is at least partially supported by the lowermost rack.
6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTED 2 I915 3'. 861 ,769
sum 2 or 3 FIG. 3
DISHWASHER RACK This invention relates generally to dishwashing machines and more particularly to article receiving racks and the mounting arrangement therefor. Conventional dishwashers now commercially available comprise a front opening door and a pair of racks mounted within the wash chamber. The racks are movable from within the wash chamber to a position at least partially out of the wash chamber to facilitate loading of kitchenware therein. Typically, the upper rack is separately or independently mounted to the tub so that this rack is, in all positions, suspended from the tub. When in the outer or loading position, the lower rack is typically supported by the door.
It is known in the prior art to support one rack on the rack immediately therebelow. Withdrawal of the lower or supporting rack from the wash chamber inherently withdraws the upper or supported rack from the wash chamber. In order to load the lower rack, the upper rack is lifted off the lower rack, dishes are placed in the lower rack, and then the upper or supported rack is returned to its supported position on the lower rack. This technique has a substantial disadvantage or inconvenience to the user. Assuming that the user desires to load the washing machine with a full complement of dirty dishes and/or kitchenware, both racks must necessarily be withdrawn from the wash chamber, the upper rack removed and both racks filled. It will be appreciated that the full upper rack must be returned to its position on the lower rack. Since a full upper rack may carry a substantial weight of dishes, it will be seen that a physically exerting and awkward task is presented to the user in order to return the loaded racks to the wash chamber. I
It is quite advantageous to support an upper rack on a lower rack since the separate suspension arrangement therefor may be omitted. Unfortunately, the prior art technique used in eliminating this suspension arrangement has created a concomitant disadvantage.
In order to overcome the disadvantages of the prior art while omitting a conventional guide and slide device, the device of this invention supports the upper rack on the lower rack only in the loading position and supports the upper rack in the tub independently of the lower rack in a position wholly within the wash chamher. This allows the lower rack to be withdrawn from the wash chamber independently of the upper rack for loading purposes. The upper rack is movable out of the wash chamber simultaneously with the lower rack or is movable out of the wash chamber after the lower rack has been withdrawn. It is accordingly apparent that the device of this invention allows greater flexibility in use than is afforded by the prior art devices while eliminating a separate guide and slide arrangement for each rack.
It is an object of this invention to provide a multiple rack dishwasher utilizing the fewest number of components and providing maximum flexibility in use.
Another object of the invention is to provide a multiple rack dishwasher in which an upper rack is supported on a lower rack in a loading position and is supported by the tub independently of the lower rack in the washing position.
In summary, one aspect of this invention comprises a dishwasher including a tub providing a wash chamber having an opening therein, a door for closing the opening, a plurality of superposed racksand means mounting the racks for movement through the opening between washing and loading positions respectively in and at least partially out of the chamber, the mounting means comprises means for supporting an upper of the racks in the washing position independently of a lower of the racks, means for supporting the lower rack for movement between the positions independently of movement of the upper rack and means for at least partially supporting the upper rack on the lower rack in the loading position and during movement toward and away therefrom.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a vertical cross sectional view of a front loading dishwasher incorporating this invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial schematic view illustrating the lower or supporting rack in the loading position;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 illustrating the upper or supported rack in the loading position;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrating return movement of the upper rack into the wash chamber;
FIG. 5 is a horizontal cross sectional view of FIGS. l4, taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIG. I; and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged vertical cross sectional view illustrating the relation between the upper and lower racks as taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5.
Referring to FIG. 1, there is illustrated a front loading dishwasher 10 of any suitable type comprising a cabinet 12 having an opening 14'ther einclos'ed by a door 16. Within the cabinet 12 is a tub l8 conventionally comprised of a top wall 20, a pair of side walls 22, 24, a rear wall 26 and a tub bottom 28 providing a wash chamber 30. A pump-motor arrangement 32 is disposed at least partially below the tub bottom28 and acts to deliver pressurized washing liquid to a spray mechanism 34. Positioned in the wash chamber 30 are a plurality of superposed article receiving racks 36, 38, 40.
The cabinet 12, the door 16 and the tub 18 may be of any suitable type although the door 16 is' preferably provided with track forming depressions 42 (FIGS. 2-4) for supporting the wheels of the lowermost rack 36 in a conventional manner as shown in FIGS. 24. The tub 18 is preferably provided with a pair of wheel 5 supporting ledges 44, 46 on the side walls 22, 24 respectively. The ledges 44, 46 support the lowermost rack 36 and are substantially coplaner with the tracks 42 to allow generally horizontal movement of the rack 36 in and out of the wash chamber 30.
Although this invention is applicable in two-rack dishwashers, it is illustrated in a three-rack dishwasher which comprises a preferred utilization of the invention. Because of the three racks 36, 38, 40, it will be apparent that the wash chamber 30 should be of greater vertical extent than is now customary. This may be accomplished by increasing the height of the cabinet 12 which is acceptable under some circumstances and not acceptable in an under-the-counter dishwasher. In the latter event, the pump-motor 32 may be of the lowprofile variety which allows the tub bottom 28 to be depressed thereby increasing the vertical extent of the wash chamber 30. A rubber boot 48 is illustrated as covering the pump-motor 32 and seals against the tub bottom 28. The boot 48 includes a passage 50 leading to the pump inlet.
The spray mechanism 34 may be supported directly from the tub bottom 28 by a shell 52 which overlies the boot 48 and is spaced from the tub bottom 28 to provide a path of water movement from the wash chamber 30 into the passage 50 leading to the pump inlet. The spray mechanism 34 comprises a hub 54 rotatable about a vertical axis. The hub 54 carries first and second spray arms 56, 58 underlying the racks 36, 38 respectively. Projecting from the upper end of the hub 54 is a telescoping spray tower 60 comprising first and second telescoping sections 62, 64. The spray tower 60 is generally of the type illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 3,169,541 to which reference is made for a more complete description thereof. It will suffice to say that the sections 62, 64 assume a collapsed position within the hub 54 until pressurized liquid is delivered by the pump-motor 32. Upon delivery of pressurized liquid to the spray tower 60, the sections 62, 64 extend upwardly in the chamber 30 as illustrated in FIG. 1.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the dishwasher 10, as heretofore described, differs from conventional dishwashers in a number of respects. The low-profile nature of the pump-motor 32 and the unusual configuration of the spray mechanism 34 have been shown in an effort to illustrate a three rack dishwasher of conventional counter height in which the racks 36, 38 and mounting means therefor are deemed particularlydesirable. It will be apparent, however, that the racks 36, 38 and the mounting means therefor are applicable in dishwashers of any suitable type.
The racks 36, 38, 40 are conveniently made of noncorrosive or plastic coated wire formed in a suitable latticework 66, 68, 70 respectively for receiving dishes, utensils, tableware and the like. As shown best by a comparison of FIGS. 1 and 5, the latticework 66, 68 provide suitable passages 72, 74 respectively allowing movement of the racks 36, 38 past the spray hub 54. The latticework 70 of the rack 40 is provided with a suitable opening for receiving the upper end of the spray tower section 64 as is conventional. The rack 36 is provided with a plurality of wheels 76 supported by the ledges 44, 46 and the tracks 42 in a typical manner. Referring to FIGS. 1, 4 and 6, it will be seen that the ledges 44, 46 and the tracks 42 support the rack 36 for movement between loading and washing positions independently of movement of the rack 38.
Cooperating between the racks 36, 38 is means 78 for at least partially supporting the rack 38 on the rack 36 in the loading position of FIG. 3 and during movement toward and away therefrom. The supporting means 78 comprises a pair of spaced parallel tracks or guides 80, 82 secured to the latticework 66 in any suitable manner, as by the use of clamps 84. Also comprising part of the supporting means 78 are a pair of wheels 86, 88 secured to the latticework 68 of the rack 38 toward the front thereof. As shown best in FIGS. 1, and 6, the wheels 86, 88 are grooved to straddle the guides 80, 82 respectively. The rack 38 also comprises a pair of rear wheels 90, 92 which travel on elongated shoulders 94, 96 respectively secured to the side walls 22, 24. As is evident from FIG. 3, the front end of the rack 38 is supported on the rack 36 in the loading position. As is shown by a comparison of FIGS. 2 and 3, the rear wheels 90, 92 remain in supported engagement with the shoulders 94, 96 throughout the extent of movement thereof. Consequently, there are no misalignment difficulties in returning the rack 38 to its washing position.
As mentioned previously, itis desirable to relieve the rack 36 of the weight of the rack 38 to allow independent movement of the rack 36. This is conveniently accomplished by providing a pair of wheels 98, 100 on the rack 38 intermediate the ends thereof in cooperation with an inclined surface or ramp 102 on each of the shoulders 94, 96. As the user pushes the rack 38 toward its washing position as suggested by the arrow in FIG. 4, the wheels 98, 100 engage the inclined surface 102 thereby elevating the front wheels 86, 88 out of load bearing engagement with the tracks 80, 82 as suggested in FIG. 6. Accordingly, as the rack 38 moves inwardly of the wash chamber past the position shown in FIG. 4, the rack 38 is supported by the tub walls 22, 24 independently of the rack 36. Accordingly, the rack 36 is free for independent movement into and out of the wash chamber 30.
Referring to FIG. 6, it will be seen that the groove provided by the wheels 86, 88 prevents lateral misalignment of the racks 36, 38. As shown in FIG. 2, the wheels 86, 88 do not clear the tracks 80, 82 even at the extreme positions of the racks 36, 38. Since the wheels 90, 92 remain engaged with the shoulders 94, 96 throughout the range of movement thereof and the wheels 86, 88 provide a limit for lateral misalignment of the tracks 80, 82, it will be seen that a relatively troublefree mounting system is provided.
Since the rack 36 acts as a support for the rack 38 during movement thereof toward the loading position, it is highly desirable to assure outward movement of the rack 36 at any time outward movement of the rack 38 is attempted. To this end, an arm 104 is provided on the rack 36. The arm 104 extends upwardly into the path of movement of the rack 38. It will be apparent that an attempt to pull the rack 38 outwardly of the wash chamber 30 will provide driving contact between the rack 38 and the arm 104 thereby drawing the rack 36 out of the wash chamber 30. It will also be apparent that the arm 104 may act as a handle for drawing only the rack 36 out of the wash chamber 30. The arm 104 is preferably toward the front of the wash chamber 30 to avoid obstruction with the spray arm 58. A disclosure of some interest in this respect is found in U.S. Pat. No. 3,594,058.
The uppermost rack 40 may be supported for movement into and out of the wash chamber 30 in any suitable manner. A typical arrangement that is widely used for this purpose comprises a pair of channel guides 106 each slidably mounted on opposite side walls 22, 24. A plurality of wheels 108 serve both to slidably support the rack 40 on the channel guides and to slidably support the channel guides on the respective side walls whereby the rack 40 can be manually moved outwardly to extend through the opening 14 to enable loading and unloading of dishes.
1. A dishwasher comprising a tub providing a wash chamber having an opening therein, a door for closing the opening, a plurality of superposed racks, and means mounting the racks for movement through the opening between washing and loading positions respectively in and at least partially out of the chamber, the mounting means comprising means for supporting an upper of the racks in the washing position independently of a lower of the racks, means supporting the lower rack for movement between the positions independently of movement of the upper rack, and means for at least partially supporting the upper rack on the lower rack in the loading position and during movement toward and away therefrom.
2. The dishwasher of claim 1 wherein the first mentioned supporting means comprises means operative in response to upper rack movement toward the washing position for relieving the lower rack of the load of the upper rack.
3. The dishwasher of claim 2 wherein the relieving means comprises means for elevating the upper rack out of load supported relation with the lower rack.
4. The dishwasher of claim 3 wherein the elevating means comprises a ramp in the tub inclined to the path of upper rack movement and means carried by the the positions thereof.