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Publication numberUS3878693 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 22, 1975
Filing dateApr 8, 1974
Priority dateApr 8, 1974
Publication numberUS 3878693 A, US 3878693A, US-A-3878693, US3878693 A, US3878693A
InventorsPrada Luis E
Original AssigneeGen Electric
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical system for a refrigerator ice service
US 3878693 A
Abstract
An electrical system of a refrigerator for controlling operation of a freezer light and an automatic ice maker in response to the position of an ice bucket of the ice maker and first and second doors of the refrigerator.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

[ Apr. 22, 1975 United States Patent 11 1 Prada [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS I ELECTRICAL SYSTEM FOR A REFRIGERATOR ICE SERVICE 3.643.464 2/1972 Hilliker.....i...................... 62/377 X Primury limminer-William E. Wayner Assignee:

[57] ABSTRACT An electrical system of a refrigerator for controlling operation of a freezer light and an automatic ice 22 Filed: Apr. 8, 1974 211 Appl. N0.: 458,810

El. .m. fi km me m ef .w m a0 0 d d n .mo .10 Se OS d n .ma t 0m fi d Mn 03 pr. in a .m mm k I new m me 487 4 7 B5 2 c4 54 um 3 1 M m 6 U H 6 m h n C r u a u e n S I. m I M te n I UI .F 7-I0O 555 1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures ELECTRICAL SYSTEM FOR A REFRIGERATOR ICE SERVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION It is now common to find automatic ice makers in the freezer section of household refrigerators that store the ice cubes in an ice bucket or receptacle. To provide access to the ice bucket without opening the entire freezer door. small access doors are provided with mechanisms that will latch onto the bucket and pull it forward as the access door is opened. thereby making it easier to get at the ice cubes in the bucket. An example of such a mechanism is described in L'.S. Pat. No. 3.643.464 Hilliker.

While the mechanism disclosed in this patent operates satisfactorily. it has been found desirable to provide a control means associated with the main freezer door. the ice access door. and the receptacle which will interrupt the ice harvesting cycle when the receptacle is not positioned for receiving ice pieces from the ice maker and which will selectively operate a light within the freezing compartment.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with this invention. a refrigerator has a freezing compartment having a main access opening and an automatic ice maker. a movable ice bucket. and a light positioned in the freezing compartment. A main freezer door is associated with the main access opening and has a minor access opening therethrough. An ice access door is positioned on the main freezer door and associated with the minor access opening. Means is provided for moving the ice bucket along a pathway between first and second positions in response to opening and closing the ice access door. A main freezer door switch is connected to the power means and the light and is actuatable in response to opening and closing the main freezer door. A double-throw switch is connected to the power means in parallel with the main freezer door switch. The double-throw switch has one output terminal connected to the automatic ice maker and the other output terminal connected to a second switch and is positioned at a first location adjacent the ice maker in the pathway ofthe movable ice bucket for actuation thereby. The second switch is connected to the double-throw switch and to the light and is positioned adjacent the ice maker at a location spaced a preselected distance from the double-throw switch in a direction toward the minor access opening and in the pathway of the movable ice bucket for actuation thereby.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIGS. 1 and 2 are diagrammatic side views in partial section of a portion of a refrigerator having the apparatus of this invention:

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic top view in partial section of a portion of a refrigerator having the apparatus of this invention; and

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view ofthe circuit of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In the embodiment of FIG. 1. a refrigerator 10, such as a household refrigerator. has a freezing compartment 12 having a major access opening 14 and an automatic ice maker 16. a movable ice bucket 18. and a light 20 positioned in the freezer compartment. A main freezer door 22 is associated with the major access opening I4 and has a minor access opening 24. an ice access door 26 connected to and associated with the 3 minor access opening 24. and an ice bucket moving means 28 (FIG. 2) associated with the ice access door 26.

Thelight 20 and the automatic ice maker 16 are connected to an electrical power source 30 for the operation thereof. The light 20 is also connected to a third or main freezer door switch 32 for turning the light 20 on and off in response to opening and closing the main freezer door 22. The ice bucket moving means 28 can be of various constructions for moving the ice bucket l3 18 toward and/or through the minor access opening 24 in response to opening the ice access door 26 and rearwardly into the freezing compartment 12 in response to closing the ice access door 26. An example ice bucket moving means 28 can be the apparatus of US. Pat. No. 3.643.464 Hilliker. et al.

In the embodiment of FIGS. I and 3. the ice bucket 18 is movable by the moving means 28 between first and second positions. At the first position (FIG. I the ice bucket 18 is positioned adjacent the automatic ice 35 maker for receiving ice pieces therefrom. At the second position (FIG. 3). the ice bucket 18 is positioned at least a preselected distance along the ice maker 16 in a direction toward the minor access opening 24.

First and second switches 34. 36 are positioned adjacent the ice maker 16 in the pathway of the movable ice bucket 18 for actuation by the ice bucket 18 in response to movement thereof.

The first switch 34 is positioned at a first location ad jacent a rearward end portion 38 of the ice maker 16. The second switch 36 is positioned at a second location spaced a preselected distance from the first switch 34 in a direction toward the minor access opening 24 and spaced from said openings 24.

The spacing between the first and second switches 34. 36 is dependent upon the length of the ice bucket 18 and the size and operation of the ice bucket moving means 28. After the variables of these elements have been determined. one skilled in the art can easily determine the switch spacing necessary for operation of the switches as hereafter more fully described.

In the embodiment of FIG. 3. the switches 34. 36 are actuatable by depressing buttons 40. 41 of the respective switches in response to contacting the ice bucket 18. It should be understood. however. that toggle type switches or others can be utilized without departing from this invention.

In the embodimentof FIG. 4, power source 30 passes electricity to the input terminal 42 of the main freezer door switch 32 and the input terminal 44 of the first switch 34. said switches 32. 34 being connected in parallel. The main freezer door switch 32 is a single-throw switch actuatable in response to opening and closing the main freezer door 22. and the output terminal 60 of switch 32 is connected to the light 20.

The first switch 34 is a double-throw switch having first and second output terminals 46. 48. The first output terminal 46 is connected via line 47 to the ice maker 16 for supplying operating power for harvesting ice pieces from the mold 49 of the ice maker 16 and to a water control valve 52 for controllably passing water into the mold 49. said ice maker 16 and valve 52 being connected in parallel. The second output terminal 48 is connected via line SI to the input terminal 56 of the second switch 36. The second switch 36 is a singlethrow switch having its output terminal 58 connected to the freezer light 20 via line 59.

In operation of the apparatus of this invention. referring to FIGS. I and 4. the ice bucket 18 is at the first position for receiving ice from the automatic ice maker 16. switch actuating button 62 is depressed in response to the main freezer door 22 being closed. and switch actuating buttons 40. 41 ofthe respective first and second switches 34.. 36 are depressed in response to the ice bucket 18 being positioned at the rearward position adjacent the ice maker 16 for receiving ice pieces therefrom. With the switch actuating buttons 40. 41. and 62 in the depressed position. switch 32 is open. switch 34 is closed on the first output terminal 46 and open on the second output terminal 48. switch 36 is closed. the light 20 if off and power is supplied from output terminal 46 to ice maker 16 and control valve 52.

Where the main freezer door 22 is open. actuating button 62 is released (as shown by broken lines of FIG. I). switch 32 is closed in response thereto. and the freezer light 20 is energized.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4. the main freezer door 22 is closed and the ice access door 26 is opened at least a preselected width. thereby causing the ice bucket 18 to be moved from its first position (FIG. 1) to an inter mediate location (FIG. 2) spaced preselected distances from said first and second positions (FIGS. 1 and 3) for the recovery of ice pieces from the ice bucket 18.

At this intermediate location ofthe ice bucket 18. actuating button 41 remains depressed by the ice bucket 18 and switch 36 is closed in response thereto. actuating button 62 remains depressed by the main freezer door 22 and switch 32 is open in response thereto. actuating button 40 is released by removal of the ice bucket 18 from contact therewith and switch 34 is open on the first output terminal 46 and closed on the second output terminal 48 in response thereto. power to the ice maker I6 is terminated. and the freezer light 20 is energized through line 59.

Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4. the ice bucket 18 is at the second position wherein the ice bucket 18 is spaced from the first and second switches 34. 36.

At this second position. actuating button 62 is depressed by the main freezer door 22 and switch 32 is open in response thereto. actuating button 40 is released and switch 34 is open on the first output terminal 46 and closed on the second output terminal 54, power to the ice maker is terminated. power is delivered through switch 34 to the input terminal 56 of switch 36. actuating button 41 is released and switch 36 is open in response thereto. and the light 20 is not energized.

A study of the drawings will show that as the ice bucket I8 is returned from the second position (FIG. 3) to the ice receiving or first position (FIG. I). the above described conditions will be repeated in reverse. Since the freezer light 20 is connected to the power source through switch 32, opening of the main freezer door 22 will energize the light irrespective of the position of or absence of the ice bucket 18.

By so constructing the electrical system of the refrigerator ice service. the freezer light 20 is energized or de-energized in response to the need for light and the operation of the ice maker is terminated when the bucket is not in a preselected position for receiving ice.

While there has been a number of embodiments of the present invention described. it is to be understood that the invention is not limited thereto and it is intended by the appended claims to cover all such modifications falling within the true spirit and scope of the invention.

What is claimed is:

I. In a refrigerator having a freezing compartment having a main access opening. an automatic ice maker. power means. a movable ice bucket. a main freezer door having a minor access opening associated with the main access opening. an ice access door positioned on the main freezer door and associated with the minor access opening thereof. a freezing compartment light. and means for moving the ice bucket in response to opening and closing the ice access door. said ice bucket being movable by said moving means along a pathway between first and second positions. the improvement comprising: i

a main freezer door switch connected to the power means and the light and being actuatable in response to opening and closing the main freezer door.

a double-throw switch connected to the power means in parallel with the main freezer door switch and having one output terminal connected to the automatic ice maker and the other output terminal connected to a hereafter second switch. said doublethrow switch being positioned at a first location adjacent the ice maker in the pathway of the movable ice bucket for actuation thereby; and

second switch connected to the double-throw switch and to the light and being positioned adjacent the ice maker at a location spaced at preselected distance from the double-throw switch in a direction toward the minor access opening and in the pathway of the movable ice bucket for actuation thereby.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3643464 *Jun 29, 1970Feb 22, 1972Gen ElectricExternal ice service
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4100761 *Dec 10, 1976Jul 18, 1978Whirlpool CorporationMovable ice receptacle
US4333588 *Aug 8, 1980Jun 8, 1982General Electric CompanyIce dispenser assembly
US4719765 *Sep 19, 1986Jan 19, 1988Whirlpool CorporationIce storage receptacle light for ice maker
US4997109 *Feb 12, 1990Mar 5, 1991Whirlpool CorporationManual dispensing ice storage bucket
US6438976Jun 4, 2001Aug 27, 2002General Electric CompanyIcemaker assembly
US7426838Aug 17, 2000Sep 23, 2008General Electric CompanyIcemaker assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification62/131, 62/344
International ClassificationF25C1/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25C1/04
European ClassificationF25C1/04