US 3869751 A
A convertible cleaner having valve conversion to selectively modify the cleaner for on-the-floor or tool hose operation includes a dial which is actuated to move the valve. The dial has means movable therewith which block hose removal until the conversion valve has been positioned again in its on-the-floor mode.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Boyd et al. 1 1 Mar. 11, 1975 1 1 INTERLOCKED CONVERSION FOR A 2.53.599 11/1920 Loether .7 285/7 x 2,6 ,953 l 19 4 Maroney ct al... 403/316 CONVERTIBLE CLEANER 3,016,559 1/1962 Holtzclaw 15/331 X  Inventors: Wilton E. Boyd; David B. 3,300,806 1/1967 Ripple 15/334 Rennecker, both of Canton, Ohio 3,314,039 4/1967 Opper 285/7 X  Assignee: The Hoover Company, North Canton, Ohio Primary Examiner-Harvey C. l-lornsby  Filed Nov 16 1973 Assistant Examiner-Arthur 0. Henderson  Appl. No.: 416,345
 ABSTRACT 2% 15/334 ila gfz A convertible cleaner having valve conversion to se- 331 332 lectively modify the cleaner for on-the-floor or tool 1 o jggl 'j' 3 hose operation includes a dial which is actuated to move the valve. The dial has means movable therewith References Cited which block hose removal until the conversion valve has been positioned again in its on-the-floor mode 10 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PATENTED 1 3,869,751
SHEU 1 BF 5 CARPET SUCTIOIT\ /TOOL SUCTION PAT R I ENIEU H975 3.869.751
sum 3 BF 5 PATENTEB 3.869.751
SHEET b 0F 5 CARPET SUCTION TOOL SUCTION O w 7W PATENTEU H975 3.869.751 sumsm s ON TOOL SUCTION INTERLOCKED CONVERSION FOR A CONVERTIBLE CLEANER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to floor care appliances and, more specifically, relates to a convertible cleaner having manually actuated valve means to convert the cleaner from on-the-floor to tool hose operation.
2. Description of the Prior Art Although a variety of conversion arrangements for placing a convertible cleaner in its modes of operation are known that alter some function of the cleaner other than air flow, no cleaner has heretofore been known which utilizes movement of the mode indicating and initiating dial to insure placing of the cleaner into onthe-floor or carpet suction operation before permitting hose release.
This can be an especially important feature because the average housewife, when converting to the carpet suction mode, has a tendency to only remove the tool hose, while neglecting to concommitantly move the cleaner conversion valve to a corresponding position. The housewife then pushes the convertible cleaner over the floor and notices that no dirt pick up is occur ing. All too often a service call to the local repairman is next engendered since there is no positive mechanical indicator for the housewife to remind her as to the fact that the convertible cleaner is operating correctly but is still in the tool hose mode.
Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide an interlock arrangement in a convertible cleaner to insure that proper and complete conversion from tool hose operation to on-the-floor operation occurred.
It would also be advantageous to make such an inter lock feature act so as to interfere with hose removal unless proper conversion valve placement had taken place.
It would be a further advantage if the interlock positively acted so as to block releasing of the suction hose until the conversion valve had again been placed in the carpet suction or on-the-floor mode.
It would be a still further advantage if the interlock arrangement was inter-related with the conversion valve dial so as to insure hose release upon proper dial indexing indication.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is provided in a convertible cleaner such as is shown, for example, in U.S. Pat. No. 3,300,806 in which a port communicates with the suction cleaner housing enveloping the dirt-collecting bag. Communication with this port, alternately is (1) an externally disposed tool hose connection or (2) a hose extending to and connected with the floor-engaging wheeled nozzle utilized for on-the-floor or carpet suction operation.
Alternate connection for these two functional uses is made by manual rotation of a substantially C-shaped valve part that is always in communication with the bag containing housing through one of its open sides, and can be moved so as to block off or open either the tool hose or on-the-floor connections. Thus, manual conversion of the cleaner may be easily had by manual manipulation of the C-shaped valve part.
In the instant application, this manipulation is effectively afforded by the use of a manually movable indicating dial that is mounted on the outer side of the housing for the dirt-collecting bag and having a screw connecting it with the C-shaped valve part so that they rotate in unison. Indexing means may be provided on this outer side of the bag housing by imprinting, scoring or the like so that the dial may be positively positioned in one of a series of suction regulating positions such as Maximum or Minimum" for each of the carpet suction and tool suction supplying conditions.
Also disposed outwardly of the dirt-collecting bag housing is a blocking means fixed to rotate with the dial so that its configured structure interferes with and prevents removal of the tool mounting suction cleaning hose utilized for off-the-floor operation. This is efficiently accomplished in the following manner.
The hose connection for the suction cleaning tool hose includes diametrically oppositely disposed male bayonet connecting parts that pass through slots extending transversely of a bore formed in the bag housing that receives the generally circular configuration of the end of the hose coupling. After insertion, the hose coupling is turned in a conventional manner to lock the male bayonet members behind a conventional locking lip in the bag housing. The dial for conversion is rotated so that the cleaner is placed in the hose mode. At this location of the valve dial, the blocking means carried by the dial interferes with hose removal by interfering engagement with a lug means formed on the hose coupling.
This arrangement, then, gives a positive reminder to the housewife-user that the cleaner is in the tool suction mode. Conversion to on-the-floor or suction carpet operation, of course, requires movement of the valve dial to alignment with the on-the-floor or carpet suction indicia on the bag housing, at which time the tool hose may be romoved since the blocking means has been rotatably removed from interference with the tool hose coupling mounted lug.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Reference may now be had to the accompanying drawings for a better understanding of the invention, both as to its organization andfunction, with the illustration being of three exemplary embodiments and in which:
FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view of a convertible cleaner housing and disconnected suction hose of the first embodiment;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of that portion of the cleaner shown in FIG. 1 and with the hose connected and shown in section;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional elevational view of the first embodiment of the invention taken generally on line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional, elevational, fragmentary view of the first embodiment of the invention taken generally on line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional, elevational, fragmentary view of the first embodiment of the invention taken generally on line 5--5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional, elevational, fragmentary view of the first embodiment of the invention taken generally on line 6-6 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional, elevational view, with certain parts broken away, taken on line 77 of FIG. 2 and showing the conversion valve in the tool suction mode;
FIG. 8 is like FIG. 7 but shows the conversion valve in the carpet suction mode;
FIG. 9 is a view like FIG. 2, but showing a second embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 10 is a view like FIG. 3, but showing the second embodiment of the invention and taken on line 10-10 of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is also a view like FIG. 2, but showing a third embodiment of the invention; and
FIG. 12 is a view like FIG. 3, but showing the third embodiment of the invention and taken generally on line 12-l2 of FIG. 11.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE FIRST EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION With specific reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, it can be seen that a cleaner bag retaining housing 10, shown only fragmentarily, of an upright convertible cleaner 11 has attached thereto a rotatable dial 12 including a blocking means 14 and an indicator 16 that is oriented relative to an indicia means 18 imprinted on the cleaner bag retaining housing 10. The cleaner bag retaining housing 10 also includes a hose receiving port 20 into which is insertable hose end coupler 22. The cleaner bag retaining housing 10 and its relation to the remainder of the cleaner 11 are not shown but may be assumed old in the art, the same being shown, for example, in FIG. 1 of U.S. Pat. No. 3,300,806.
A conversion valve arrangement 24 (e.g., FIGS. 7 and 8), similar to the conversion valve arrangement of U.S. Pat. No. 3,300,806 is also utilized in the cleaner 11 for conversion purposes to convert from tool suction to on-the-floor operation. This conversion valve arrangement includes a C-shaped valve member 26, pivotally mounted with a screw 28 so as to be movable from one extreme position shown in FIG. 7, with the open part of the C-shaped valve member 26 wholly communicating with first a housing portion 30, formed around hose coupling port 20, to a second extreme position shown in FIG. 8 wherein the open part of the C- shaped valve member 26 wholly communicates with a second housing portion 32. The second housing portion 32, as is shown in the aforementioned patent, may be conveniently connected to a suction hose extending to and inconfluent communication with a floor-engaging nozzle. The details of these structural features may, of course, be seen very clearly in U.S. Pat. No. 3,300,806.
The flow of suction dirt-laden air moves inwardly, then, through either the first or second housing portion 30 or 32, respectively, dependent on cleaner mode, to the C-shaped valve member 26 and transversely through it into the cleaner bag retainer housing 10 by means of a transversely extending conduit piece 34 (FIG. 3) which also serves as an inner capping means disposed over, both, housing portions 30 and 32 and a valve housing portion 36 for C-shaped valve member 26. Conveniently, the housing portions 30, 32 and 36 may be molded in the inner surface of cleaner bag retaining housing 10 so that they, along with the inner capping means, forms a closed volumetric configuration providing for effective functioning of the C-shaped valve member 26.
In order to provide less than full suction, in either mode, for the cleaner 11, the C-shaped valve member 26 is capable of being positioned intermediate its extreme positions; at which time, it provides communication between the interior of cleaner bag retaining housing 10, through conduit piece 34, and both the second housing portion 32 (carpet suction) and the hose part 20 (tool suction). In such position, dependent on whether the dial 12 is in the tool suction mode or the on-the-floor mode, the slighter communication afforded to the alternate mode serves as a bleed limiting and modifying the suction available for dirt pick up in the chosen mode.
The C-shaped valve member 26, in the intermediate positions, is positively maintained by the friction generated between an abutting face 38 of it and a feltwasher 40 captured between this face and the cleaner bag retaining housing 10. At its limits of travel, C-shaped valve member 26 is also positively limited by an integral tab 42 engaging the ends of an arcuate segmental groove 44 formed on housing 10. Thus, the C-shaped valve member 26 may be adjusted through a multiplicity of positions with positive limitations at its maximum clockwise and counter-clockwise positions.
Dial 12 is fixed to rotate with the C-shaped valve member 26 by the inclusion of an integral, inwardly directed stub shaft 46, formed on dial'l2, the stub shaft including a flat 48 so that the stub shaft may be nonrotatably inserted in a similarly shaped bore 50 formed in a stub portion 52 of C-shaped valve member 26. A bore 53, formed in bag-retaining housing 10, permits stub portion 52 to extend through the thickness of bagretaining housing 10 to provide for insertion therein of stub shaft 46 of dial 12.
A securing means in the form of a screw 28 is then inserted through C-shaped valve member 26 in the area of stub portion 52 and screwingly tightened to dial 12 in a threaded bore 54 in stub shaft 46 of dial 12. Thus, the dial 12 and C-shaped valve part 26 rotate in unison with the valve part then capable of manual actuation by manual operation of the dial l2. Blocking means 14 is also mounted with dial 12 by the same being captured between an inner face 56, formed on dia] 12, and an outer face 58 formed by the termination of stub portion 52. Because of its location, blocking means 14 includes a bore 60 for the inserted passage of stub shaft 46 of dial 12. A lock washer 62 may be mounted with blocking means 14 to insure tight clamping engagment of it and thereby non-rotatable capture of the blocking means between the aforesaid faces 56, 58 respectively.
Blocking means 14 takes the form of a sector of a circle to provide what can be thought of as a circular segment 64 that includes a horizontally offset, perimeter lip 66, smoothly joined to the remainder of the circular segment 64 by a tapering section 68. The tapering section 68 extends, generally, the width of the offset between the major portion of circular segment 64 and perimeter lip 66. The edge of perimeter lip 66, then, as will become apparent, serves as the actual interfering structure to prevent removal of hose and coupler 22. It should be noted that this edge is concentric with its pivot formed by the axis of turning of stub portion 52 (dial 12 is not) and only provides the aforesaid interference when properly rotated to an interfering position (the full line position of FIG. 2, for example).
Turning now to the hose end coupler 22, it can be seen that it includes a pair of diametrically opposed male bayonet members 70, 70 which, upon insertion of hose end coupler 22, are aligned with slots 72, 72 in port 20 so that the hose end coupling 22 may be connected to the cleaner 11. As is conventional, a stepped lip 74 on the rear side of the port 20 provides a stop 76 for arresting the clockwise (preferred) rotation of hose end coupler 22 after insertion. The hose end coupler could, of course, also be rotated counterclockwise to engage within the port 20, at which time it would engage against a stop similar to the stop 76. At this time the male bayonet members 70, 70 are securely held behind the stepped lip 74 (indicated at 71), with a face 78 of the hose and coupler 22 held in compressing engagement with the front side of bag housing 10.
The hose end coupler 22 also includes a pair of diametrically opposed and laterally extending lugs or tabs 80, 80 which serve as the abutment means with which the edge of lip 66 of blocking means 14 interferes. These tabs are spaced a slight distance outwardly from face 78 so as to have at least a part of their horizontal extent vertically aligned with the edge of lip 66. Thus, with the hose end coupler 22 inserted and locked in the position illustrated in FIG. 2, and the dial 12 in the tool suction mode, the upper tab 80 cannot be rotated past blocking means 14 (full line position of FIG. 2) because of abutting interference therewith. This abutting interference persists until dial 12 is rotated counterclockwise to close to maximum carpet suction (the chain dotted line position of FIG. 2), at which time blocking means 14 has moved rightwardly of the upper tab 80 so that counter-clockwise rotation (or clockwise rotation, if this is required) of hose end coupling 22 is not impeded. The male bayonet members 70, 70 can then again be aligned with slots 72, 72 for removal of hose end coupler 22.
Operation of the interlocking arrangement should now be clearly understood. With the hose end coupler 22 in engaged, suction communicating position so that the cleaner is in the tool suction mode, conversion to on-the-floor, carpet suction operation is made in the following manner. Dial 12 is turned counter-clockwise from the tool suction position to the maximum carpet suction position thus moving the conversion valve 24 so as to provide suction communication between cleaner bag retaining housing and the floor nozzle (not shown) of the cleaner 11. Movement of the dial 12 to this position also moves blocking means 14 counterclockwise so that the same cannot interfere with removal of hose end coupling 22. Hose end coupling 22 is then rotated in the requisite direction to align slots 72, 72 with lugs 70, 70 and the hose end coupling removed. The user may then utilize the cleaner for floor cleaning.
In the next two embodiments of the invention, as compared to the just described embodiment, like numbers are utilized to indicate like parts and primed numbers are utilized to indicate modified parts.
Turning now to FIGS. 9 and 10 which illustrate the second embodiment of the invention, it can be seen that a blocking means 14 has been provided mounted integrally with a dial 12', by making the same of larger diameter than the dial 12 of the first embodiment.
Again, a housing 10 has the dial 12 mounted thereon in a manner similar to the first embodiment, however, the dial 12 is mounted centrally by the mounting screw so as to rotate around a centerline 82 so that its turning motion is not eccentric but merely overlaps a lug 80 on hose end coupler 22'.
A slot 84 in dial l2 permits the lug 80' to move outwardly of the dial 12 when the dial 12' is in the carpet suction maximum mode and the male bayonet members 70, have been rotated to their full line position shown in FIG. 9. It should be noted that in the dotted line position (FIG. 9), the male bayonet members 70, 70 are captured behind the housing cover 10 so that hose end coupler 22 cannot be removed from its connection to the cleaner 11' even though lug in this dotted position is unobstructed by the dial 12'.
Turning now to FIGS. 11 and 12, in which is illustrated a third embodiment of the invention, it can be seen that a dial 12" is mounted eccentrically on an axis 86 by a screwed arrangement such as is shown in the first embodiment of the invention so that the lug 80' is not obstructed by dial 12" in the full line position thereof, but is obstructed when the dial 12" is turned into the tool suction mode and the larger offset portion of dial 12" is generally located at a bottomed condition.
Again, hose end coupler 22" cannot be removed from cleaner 11 in the dotted line position of lug 80, since the tabs 70, in this position (indicated at 71') are locked behind the bag housing 10.
It should be clear from the aforesaid description that interlocked conversion has been provided in which dial conversion of a converter valve is required for release of a tool hose, thereby insuring that the housewife user will place the cleaner in the carpet suction mode when the same is desired, if only to enable removal of the tool hose. Further, it should be noted, that many modifications could be made to the inventive embodiments disclosed while still remaining in its spirit and purview.
What is claimed is:
1. An interlock means for a convertible cleaner including;
a. a conversion valve for providing a carpet suction mode and a tool suction mode,
b. a manually actuatable means for actuating said conversion valve,
c. a hose coupling connectable to said convertible cleaner, and
d. blocking means movable with said manually actuatable means for blocking disconnection of said hose coupling.
2. An interlock means for a convertible cleaner as set out in claim 1 wherein;
a. said blocking means permits disconnection of said hose coupling when said conversion valve is in said carpet suction mode.
3. A convertible cleaner having a connectable tool hose fitting including;
a. a conversion valve for providing a carpet suction mode and a tool suction mode for said convertible cleaner,
b. means for actuating said conversion valve,
c. one of said conversion valve and said means for actuating said conversion valve including blocking means,
d. said blocking means operative to prevent disconnection of said tool hose fitting in tool suction mode and operative to permit disconnection of said tool hose fitting in carpet suction mode.
4. The convertible cleaner set out in claim 3 wherein;
a. said means for actuating said conversion valve is a dial, and
b. said blocking means moves with said dial to provide blocking and unblocking positions.
5. The convertible cleaner set out in claim 3 wherein;
a. said blocking means takes the form of a disc-like member, and
b. said disc-like member rotates into an obstructing or an unobstructing position relative to removal of said tool hose fitting.
6. The convertible cleaner set out in claim 3 wherein said tool hose fitting includes;
a. laterally extending lug means, and b. said blocking means, in one position, interferes with movement of said lug means thereby prevent- 1 ing disconnection of said tool hose fitting.
7. The convertible cleaner set out in claim 3 wherein;
a. said means for actuating said conversion valve is a dial, and
b. said dial carries said blocking means so that movement of said dial causes concommitant movement of said blocking means.
and engagement with said convertible cleaner.