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Publication numberUS3892453 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 1, 1975
Filing dateOct 7, 1974
Priority dateOct 7, 1974
Publication numberUS 3892453 A, US 3892453A, US-A-3892453, US3892453 A, US3892453A
InventorsDaily Thomas Edward
Original AssigneeFedders Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Dishrack adjustment
US 3892453 A
Abstract
Means to adjust the vertical position of one or both sides of the upper dishrack in a front loading dishwasher. A rack gear and pinion gear arrangement is used on each side of the dishrack to couple a vertically movable bracket to a vertically fixed bracket. A control knob is rotated to rotate the pinion gear and to move the gear racks up or down to thereby adjust the height of the movable bracket and of the dishrack held by the movable bracket.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Daily DISHRACK ADJUSTMENT Thomas Edward Daily, Herrin, lll.

Fedders Corporation, Edison, NJ.

Oct. 7, 1974 Inventor:

Assignee:

Filed:

Appl. No:

U.S. Cl 312/351; 312/311 Int. Cl. A4713 88/00; A47B 95/00 Field of Search 312/247, 311, 312, 351;

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1969 Geiger 312/351 5/1973 Morgan 1 312/351 10/1973 Kaufiman 312/351 July 1, 1975 3,809,451 5/1974 Pitstick 1. 312/351 Primary Exa'n'tiner-Casmir A. Nunberg Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Ryder, McAulay, Fields, Fisher & Goldstein [57] ABSTRACT 12 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures SHEET 1 DISHRACK ADJUSTMENT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In front loading dishwashers, the racks containing the dishes and other articles to be washed are supported within the tub so that the dishracks can be moved horizontally forward, when the front door is open, to facilitate loading and unloading.

The height of the dishwasher is strictly limited where the dishwasher is one of the under-the-counter type. However, even the roll-a-round dishwasher has a height limitation based on consumer acceptability. As a consequence, there is a difficult choice to be made as to the optimum vertical placement of the upper and lower dishracks relative to each other. Large meat platters when placed in the lower dishrack may interfere with movement of the upper dishrack. Other articles, such as pilsner glasses, when placed in the upper dishrack extend too far up to permit rolling the upper dishrack into the tub.

If the user were able to adjust the height of the upper dishrack, the user would be able to select an optimum arrangement for a given loading condition. With such flexibility, the upper dishrack can be placed at its uppermost limit to permit the lower dishrack to receive very large dishes and platters. At the other extreme, the upper dishrack can be lowered to a point where very tall glasses can be placed in the upper dishrack for washing.

There are known systems to accomplish this adjustment in the height of the upper dishrack. One is described in US. Pat. No. 3,472,573 issued to Geiger and another is described in U.S. Pat. No. 3,734,589 issued to Morgan.

However, in order for such a system to be acceptable, it must be simple to operate, low in cost, rugged in structure, reliable in operation, fit within a dimensional requirement set for dishwashers, all without materially reducing the size of the tub and still function in a fashion that will avoid interferring with or degrading the effectiveness of the cleaning operation of the dishwasher.

The major purpose of this invention is to provide an adjustment system to give the user the flexibility to choose the relative clearance for articles placed in the upper and lower dishracks while at the same time meet ing the various criteria for the acceptability of such a device as set forth above.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In brief, in one embodiment of the invention, each side of the upper dishrack is supported on a vertically disposed vertically movable side bracket. On the back (i.e., outboard) surface of each side bracket, there are two spaced vertically extending gear racks. A separate pinion gear is engaged with each of the gear racks. The two pinion gears are supported on a single, rotatable shaft. The shaft in turn is supported on a vertically fixed bracket spaced from the movable bracket. Thus, the pinion gears cannot move vertically. As a control knob is rotated to rotate the pinion gear shaft and the two pinion gears, the two associated gear racks are moved up or down by the pinion gears to thereby adjust the height of the vertically movable bracket and thus of the dishrack held by the movable bracket.

The gear and rack arrangement on the right hand side of the upper dishrack can be operated independently from the gear and rack arrangement on the left hand side of the dishrack. Thus, within certain limits, the upper dishrack can be tilted as well as moved up and down. In this fashion, the dishwasher can accommodate a situation where a few tall glasses, to be washed, are placed on one side of the upper dishrack while a large meat platter is placed on the opposite side of the lower dishrack.

Once the user has adjusted the height of the upper dishrack, the pinion gears are locked in position, thereby locking the gear rack in position. A resilient detent can be used to hold the pinion gear in position. However, it is preferable to use a more positive peg and hole arrangement which is engaged and disengaged by axial movement of the pinion gear shaft.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of a front loading dishwasher. Dash-dot lines illustrate the upper dishrack in the protracted loading position and dash lines illustrate the upper dishrack in the retracted washing position.

FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 illustrate a first embodiment of the invention in which FIG. 2 is an exploded view, illustrating the mechanism on only one side of the upper dishrack.

FIG. 3 is a vertical cross-sectional view of the FIG. 2 embodiment showing the upper dishrack and the associated height adjusting mechanism on both sides of the dishrack.

FIG. 4 is a side vertical cross-sectional view through one side of the FIG. 2 embodiment at the area where the height adjusting mechanism is located, showing both front and back pinion gears. FIG. 4 is taken along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3.

FIGS. 5, 6, and 7 illustrate a second embodiment in which FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the mechanism at one side of the upper dishrack.

FIG. 6 is a vertical cross-sectional view (similar to that of FIG. 3) but of the FIG. 5 embodiment of this invention.

FIG. 7 is a side vertical cross-sectional view (similar to that of FIG. 4) but of the FIG. 5 embodiment showing the height adjusting mechanism at one side of the dishrack. FIG. 7 is taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 6.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a third embodiment in which FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the mechanism at one side of the upper dishrack.

FIG. 9 is a side vertical cross-sectional view (similar to that of FIG. 4) but of the FIG. 8 embodiment showing the height adjusting mechanism at one side of the dishrack.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate a fourth embodiment in which FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the mechanism at one side of the upper dishrack.

FIG. 1 l is a side vertical cross-sectional view (similar to that of FIG. 4) but of the FIG. 10 embodiment showing the height adjusting mechanism at one side of the dishrack.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 provides an illustration of the context of this invention in which a dishwasher 10 can be shown as having an upper dishrack 12 at a retracted position A during the washing cycle and protracted position B when pulled out for loading.

FIGS. 24 illustrate a first embodiment of this invention. Two pinion gears 14 are mounted on a common shaft 16 which shaft 16 projects forward of the front panel of the dishwasher. A manual control knob 18 is I attached to the front of this common shaft 16. The shaft 16 is mounted through two openings in stops 42 which are part ofa bracket 20. This bracket 20 in turn is mounted to the frame of the dishwasher through rollers 32 so that the bracket 20 and the dishrack 12 can move in and out horizontally. However. this bracket 20 is mounted to the frame so that the bracket 20 cannot move vertically thus constraining the pinion gears 14 from moving vertically.

A vertically movable bracket 22 is coupled, through two rack gears 24, to the two pinion gears 14 and thus is vertically movably mounted to the vertically fixed bracket 20. A pair of vertically elongated slots 26 in the vertically movable bracket 22 accommodate the pinion shaft 16 and thus permit vertical movement of the vertically movable bracket 22 while the shaft 16 is held vertically fixed by the bracket 20. As the knob 18 is rotated, the pinions l4 rotate causing the rack gears 24 to move up or down within the limits imposed by the length of the slots 26. Movable bracket 22 can descend no further than is permitted by engagement of the top of the slots 26 and the shaft 16. Similarly the movable bracket 22 can move upwardly no further than is permitted by engagement of the bottom of the slots 26 and the shaft 16.

Fingers 28 extend into the tub portion of the dish washer from the top of the vertically movable bracket 22 and engage the top rods 30 of the upper dishrack 12 to hold the upper dishrack 12 (only a por tion of which is shown in FIG. 2). A mirror image (see FIG. 3) of the arrangement shown in FIG. 2 exists on the other side of the dishrack 12. Thus the two fingers 28 shown in FIG. 2 and the corresponding two fingers on the other side of the dishrack l2 serve to support and hold this upper dishrack I2 within the tub portion of the dishwasher 10.

The vertically fixed bracket is mounted on the frame of the dishwasher 10 through rollers 32 which are mounted on horizontal rails (not shown) so that the bracket 20 can move in a horizontal direction to move the dishrack 12 in and out of the tub of the dishwasher 10. Thus, the fixed bracket 20 is fixed only in a vertical direction and is labeled herein a fixed bracket only to distinguish it from the vertically movable bracket 22.

In operation, rotation of the knob 18, rotates the pinion gears 14 which in turn causes the rack gear 24, the attached movable bracket 22 and the dishrack 12 to move either up or down depending on the direction of rotation of the knob 18. In the design shown, it is possible to rotate the right side knob 18 more or less than the corresponding left side knob (not shown). Thus, the dishrack 12 can be caused to tilt in a fashion such that one side of the dishrack can be positioned higher than its other side. The dishrack 12 can accommodate to this tilting because its upper rods are held between the fingers 28 in a fashion that permits the rods 30 to rotate about their own axes. Thus, an adjustment can be made to the extent that there is clearance between the side of the dishrack 12 and the inboard side of the bracket 22.

The pinions 14 are positioned between end walls 200 of the bracket 20 and the stops 42 so that the pinions 14 cannot move axially and engagement between pinions 14 and racks 24 is maintained.

Two resilient projections 34 operate as detent springs. The springs 34 engage the teeth of the pinion gears 14 so that appreciable manual force is required in turning the knob 18 to overcome the holding power of the springs 34 of the pinion gears 14. However, once the pinion gears I4 have been turned to the position which places the dishrack 12 in the position desired by the user, the detent springs 34 hold the pinion gears 14 and thus the dishrack 12 against further movement. The detent springs 34 have to be resistant enough to hold the dishrack 12 against any expected washing load since the glasses, cutlery or dishes loaded into the dishrack 12 will transmit a downward force through the fingers 28 and the rack gears 24 to the pinion gears 14 tending to cause pinion gears 14 to rotate in a direction that would permit the upper dishrack 12 to descend. However, the detent springs 34 prevent such motion. This engagement between detent springs 34 and pinion gears 14 can best be seen in FIG. 3, which figure illustrates both the right and left hand sides of the washing machine 10.

FIGS. 5-7 illustrate a second embodiment of this invention. The same reference numbers are used to designate parts of the second embodiment which correspond to parts of the first embodiment. Description of structure relationships and operation which is substantially identical to that of the first embodiment will be omitted an unnecessary duplication. However, in the second embodiment, the means for maintaining the position of the upper dishrack 12 is different from that of the first embodiment. In particular, a projection 36 on the inner surface of the knob 18 engages one of the holes 38 deployed around the opening in the bracket 20 through which the shaft 16 extends. This engagement of projection 36 and hole 38 holds the shaft 16 and thus the pinion gear 14 in position.

In this FIG. 5 embodiment, a single coil spring 40 and a single pinion gear 14 are positioned on the shaft 15 between the two stops 42 (this arrangement is best seen in FIG. 7). Thus, on each side of the upper dishrack 12, there is only one pinion gear 14 and one rack gear 24.

In operation, the user pulls the knob 18 forward against the bias of the coil spring 40 thereby disengaging the projection 36 and hole 38 so that the user can rotate the knob 18 bringing the dishrack to the position desired. Once that dishrack position has been achieved the user positions the knob 18 to align the projection 36 with the nearest hole 38 and permits the spring 40 to engage projection 36 and hole 38. The coil spring 40 is positioned around the pinion shaft 16 and is between the forward stop 42 and the pinion gear 14 thereby biasing the pinion gear 14 rearwardly. Thus, when the projection 36 and the hole 38 is aligned and the manual pull released, the knob 18 will retreat to engage projection 36 and hole 38 thereby preventing further rotation of the shaft 16 and the pinion gear 14. This embodiment provides a more positive locking of the upper basket 12 in the position than does the FIG. 2 embodiment.

FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a third embodiment of this invention which differs from the preceeding embodiments in the manner of holding or locking the upper dishrack 12 in position once that position has been se- Iected by the user. Again the same reference numerals are used to apply to identical or substantially similar parts. In FIG. 8 the rear end wall 44 of the fixed bracket 20 contains an opening 46 which is star-shaped in configuration so that the shaft 16, which shaft is square in cross-section, can be held in any one of a number of different angular positions. The rear end of the shaft 16 normally extends through the opening 46 and is prevented from rotating by virtue of engagement between the points of the star-shaped opening 46 and the sides of the shaft 16. When the user wishes to change position of the upper dishrack 12, the knob 18 is pulled forward to disengage the shaft 16 and the opening 46. Once the dishrack 12 has been placed in position, the user releases the knob 18 and the bias spring 40 will force the end of the shaft 16 back against the opening 46. Slight rotational adjustment might be necessary to align the edges of the shaft 16 with the closest points of the star opening 46. This third embodiment like the second embodiment, has the advantage of providing a positive engagement of the shaft 16 to prevent movement of the upper basket 12 when the basket in in position by the user.

FIGS. and 11 illustrate a fourth embodiment of this invention in which a rigid detent 48 is employed to hold the pinion gear 14 and thus the dishrack 12 in po sition. Because the detent 48 is rigid, the pinion gear 14 cannot be rotated while in engagement with the detent 48. Accordingly. in use, the user has to pull the knob 18 forward against the bias of the bias spring 40 until the pinion gear 14 has cleared the rigid detent 48. The user can then rotate the knob 18 and thus the pinion gear 14 until the upper dishrack 12 is in the desired position. The user than releases the knob 18 so that the spring 40 can bias the pinion 14 rearwardly into engagement with the rigid detent 48 thereby holding the pinion gear 14 in position against downward forces on the upper dishrack 12.

What is claimed is:

1. In a dishwasher having a frame, a tub, upper and lower dishracks mounted in the tub, an improvement in the mechanism for adjusting the height of the upper dishrack comprising:

first and second vertically movable dishrack support brackets on opposite sides of the tub, said movable brackets having a tub facing surface and an outboard surface,

first and second dishrack support means attached to the tub facing surfaces of said first and second dishrack support brackets respectively, said support means being adapted to be attached to the side of a dishrack to hold said dishrack against vertical movement relative to said vertically movable support brackets,

first and second rack gears attached to said outboard surfaces of said first and second movable support brackets respectively, each of said rack gears extending vertically along said outboard surfaces of said movable brackets,

first and second vertically stationery support brackets coupled to the frame of the dishwasher for horizontal movement relative to the frame of said dishwasher, said vertically stationery support brackets spaced outboard from said outboard surfaces of said first and second vertically movable support brackets respectively,

first and second rotatable pinion gears, each having an horizontal shaft, said shafts being mounted on respective ones of said vertically stationery support brackets, said pinion gears being permanently in engagement with said first and second rack gears respectively,

said vertically movable support brackets being supported solely by the engagement of said rack gears and said pinion gears,

first and second rotatable manual control means connected respectively to said first and second pinion shafts to permit operator rotation of said pinions to cause said movable support brackets to move vertically. and

first and second holding means to hold said first and second pinion gears respectively against rotational movement.

2. The dishrack adjustment improvement of claim 1 wherein each of said holding means comprises:

a resilient detent extending inboard from said stationary support bracket and engaging the gear teeth of said pinion gear, said detent being sufficiently resistant to deformation to hold said pinion gear against rotation induced by the weight of said dishrack when loaded and being sufficiently flexible to permit rotation of said pinion gear when said control means are manually rotated.

3. The dishrack adjustment improvement of claim 1 further comprising:

third and fourth rotatable pinion gears and third and fourth rack gears,

said third pinion gear being mounted on the same shaft as and axially spaced from said first pinion gear, said fourth pinion gear being mounted on the same shaft as and axially spaced from said second pinion gear,

front and rear end plates attached to and extending inboard from each of said vertically fixed brackets,

front and rear stops attached to and extending inboard from each of said vertically fixed brackets,

each of said four pinion gears being positioned between one of said end plates and one of said stops,

third and fourth rack gears attached to said outboard surfaces of said first and second movable supports brackets respectfully, said third and fourth rack gears extended vertically along said outboard surfaces of said movable brackets, said third and fourth rack gears being permanently engaged with said third and fourth pinion gears respectively.

4. The dishrack adjusting improvement of claim 1 wherein each of said holding means comprises:

a rearwardly facing projection on said manual control means,

a front plate attached to and extending inboard from said stationary support bracket, said plate having a plurality of forwardly facing openings positioned and sized to receive said rearwardly facing projection, and

resilient bias means tending to bias said control means in a rearward direction,

the engagement of said projection and one of said openings holding said control means and associated one of said pinion shaft in position,

said bias means being sufficiently resilient to permit disengagement of said projection and said openings under manual protraction of said control means.

5. The dishrack adjusting improvement in claim 1,

wherein each of said holding means comprises:

said pinion shaft being rectangular in cross-section,

resilient bias means to bias said pinion shaft in a rearward direction,

a rear plate attached to and extending inboard from said stationary support bracket, said plate having a star shaped opening positioned and sized to receive the rear end of said rectangular pinion shaft,

said bias means being sufficiently resilient to permit disengaging of said pinion shaft and said star shaped opening under manual protraction of said control means.

6. The dishrack improvement of claim 1 wherein each of said locking means comprises:

a rigid detent attached to and extending inbound from said stationary support bracket, said rigid detent being in normal engagement with the gear teeth of said pinion gear,

resilient bias means biasing said pinion gear into a normal position in engagement with said rigid detent,

said bias means being sufficiently resilient to permit axial movement of said pinion gear to a disengaging position relative to said rigid detent when said manual control means is protracted.

7. The dishrack adjusting mechanism of claim I having a stop mechanism for each of said movable support brackets comprising:

a vertically disposed plate attached to and extending inboard from said vertically movable bracket, said plate having a vertically elongated slot,

said pinion shaft extending through said vertically elongated slot,

downward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the upper end of said slot and said pinion shaft,

upward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the lower end of said slot and said pinion shaft.

8. The dishrack adjusting mechanism of claim 2 having a stop mechanism for each of said movable support brackets comprising:

a vertically disposed plate attached to and extending inboard from said vertically movable bracket, said plate having a vertically elongated slot,

said pinion shaft extending through said vertically elongated slot,

downward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the upper end of said slot and said pinion shaft,

upward movement of said vetically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the lower end of said slot and said pinion shaft.

9. The dishrack adjusting mechanism of claim 3 having a stop mechanism for each of said movable support brackets comprising:

a vertically disposed plate attached to and extending inboard from said vertically movable bracket, said plate having a vertically elongated slot,

said pinion shaft extending through said vertically elongated slot,

downward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the upper end of said slot and said pinion shaft,

upward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the lower end of said slot and said pinion shaft.

10. The dishrack adjusting mechanism of claim 4 having a stop mechanism for each of said movable support brackets comprising:

a vertically disposed plate attached to and extending inboard from said vertically movable bracket, said plate having a vertically elongated slot,

said pinion shaft extending through said vertically elongated slot,

downward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the upper end of said slot and said pinion shaft,

upward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the lower end of said slot and said pinion shaft.

11. The dishrack adjusting mechanism of claim 5 having a stop mechanism for each of said movable support brackets comprising:

a vertically disposed plate attached to and extending inboard from said vertically movable bracket, said plate having a vertically elongated slot,

said pinion shaft extending through said vertically elongated slot,

downward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the upper end of said slot and said pinion shaft,

upward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the lower end of said slot and said pinion shaft.

12. The dishrack adjusting mechanism of claim 6 having a stop mechanism for each of said movable support brackets comprising:

a vertically disposed plate attached to and extending from said vertically movable bracket, said plate having a vertically elongated slot,

said pinion shaft extending through said vertically elongated slot,

downward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the upper end of said slot and said pinion shaft,

upward movement of said vertically movable support bracket being limited by engagement between the lower end of said slot and said pinion shaft.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3472573 *Dec 11, 1967Oct 14, 1969Hobart CorpRack system for dishwashing machine
US3734589 *Nov 15, 1971May 22, 1973Feeders CorpHeight adjustment means
US3768883 *Dec 27, 1971Oct 30, 1973Gen ElectricRack level adjustment system in a dishwasher
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4043625 *Feb 26, 1976Aug 23, 1977Westinghouse Electric CorporationCam secured support panel
US5474378 *Dec 3, 1993Dec 12, 1995Whirlpool CorporationAdjustable support apparatus for a dishrack
US5860716 *Mar 28, 1997Jan 19, 1999White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Dishwasher rack adjustment mechanism
US6755490Aug 30, 2001Jun 29, 2004Maytag CorporationDishwasher with adjustable rack
US7410228 *Dec 8, 2004Aug 12, 2008Whirlpool CorporationHeight adjuster mechanism for a dishwasher dish rack
US7651180 *Oct 23, 2003Jan 26, 2010Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhDevice for adjusting the height position of a dishware basket which can be pulled out from the rinsing container of a dishwasher
US7731805Nov 30, 2006Jun 8, 2010General Electric CompanyDishwasher rack lift system
US8534471 *Apr 23, 2010Sep 17, 2013Illinois Tool Works Inc.Height adjustment device for a dishwasher rack
US8757742 *Dec 1, 2010Jun 24, 2014General Electric CompanyAdjustable rack assembly for use with a washing appliance
US8813766May 18, 2011Aug 26, 2014Whirlpool CorporationHeight adjuster mechanism for a dishwasher dish rack
US9004082May 18, 2011Apr 14, 2015Whirlpool CorporationDish rack height adjusting employing cam and follower mechanism
US20120082507 *Apr 23, 2010Apr 5, 2012Illinois Tool Works Inc.System for adjusting dishwasher rack height
US20120139399 *Dec 1, 2010Jun 7, 2012Mcdaniel Aaron MatthewAdjustable rack assembly for use with a washing appliance
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/351, 312/311
International ClassificationA47L15/50, A47B88/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/504, A47B88/0407
European ClassificationA47B88/04B, A47L15/50H