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Publication numberUS3896520 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 29, 1975
Filing dateOct 23, 1973
Priority dateOct 23, 1973
Also published asCA1025612A1, DE2364772A1, DE2364772B2, DE2364772C3, DE2366071A1, DE7345957U
Publication numberUS 3896520 A, US 3896520A, US-A-3896520, US3896520 A, US3896520A
InventorsWilliams William H
Original AssigneeSpray Brite
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wet and dry vacuum cleaner
US 3896520 A
Abstract
A novel vacuum cleaner having:
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Williams 1 1 WET AND DRY VACUUM CLEANER William B. Williams, Palos Verdes, Calif.

[73] Assignee: Spray Brite, La Mirada, Calif.

[22] Filed: Oct. 23, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 408,920

[75] Inventor:

Primary Examincrl-larvey C. Hornsby Assistant E.\-uminerC. K. Moore Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wills, Green & Mueth [57] ABSTRACT A novel vacuum cleaner having:

a rigid vacuum-retaining outer case, a flaccid dust-retaining container within said case, means for creating vacuum within said case around said container, said means being positioned above said casing and having an inlet communicating with said case.

means communicating with said flaccid container for drawing dirt from a surface to be cleaned into said container under the influence of vacuum, and

baffle means within said case for separating said flaccid container from said inlet.

1n the preferred embodiment, the novel vacuum cleaner comprises:

a rigid vacuum-retaining outer case, the bottom of which is adapted to serve as a liquid reservoir,

a flaccid dust-retaining container within said case,

means for creating vacuum within said case in and around said flaccid container including an inlet communicating with said case,

means communicating with said liquid reservoir for discharging liquid on a surface to be cleaned,

means communicating with said flaccid container for drawing said liquid and included dirt from said surface to be cleaned into said container under the influence of vacuum, and

baffle means within said casing for separating said flaccid container from said inlet while permitting said liquid to flow freely therethrough and round the outside of said container whereby said container can fill with used liquid at a volume rate essentially equal to the rate of depletion of the unused liquid.

4 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEB JUL 2 9 I975 FOOOO WET AND DRY VACUUM CLEANER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Various types of vacuum cleaners are known. One of the most important uses of such cleaners is for the vacuuming of carpets and rugs. It has come to be recognized that the best method of cleaning a soiled carpet or rug is by the spraying thereon of a cleaning solution, usually water containing a detergent, and the sucking up by vacuum of the solution as it takes up the dirt. Devices for carrying out this cleaning procedure are presently available and have been found in practice to suffer from several serious problems. The cleaners now have two cans within a case for containing liquid. One can is for clean or unused liquid and the other is for used or spent liquid. The volume of liquid space is exactly twice that of the initial clean liquid. Such a cleaner has a larger bulk or volume to cleaning capacity ratio which is undesirable. The larger the cleaner, the greater is the labor required to fill, use and empty the container and the less adaptable the machine is for cleaning in tight or cramped spaces. Another problem with existing machines is that the liquid pump and vacuum motor, both electrically powered, are positioned underneath the two cans for containing liquid. I have found this arrangement to pose a significant safety hazard since sloshing is always a possibility, and in the event it occurs, a short circuit or other electrical malfunction can occur resulting in injury to the operator and/or to the electrical components of the cleaner. Yet another defect in the present devices is that the liquid discharged onto the carpet or rug is usually heated to about 160F. This temperature will cause blistering to the hands of the operator if contact is maintained over a prolonged period. To prevent this from happening in prior cleaners the liquid discharge line has been separated from the vacuum hand piece creating a tangle of tubes and lines as the operator moves about on the surface to be cleaned.

The present invention overcomes these problems in a surprising effective and simple way. Having overcome long-standing problems in the art, it is to be expected that this invention will be rapidly adopted in the cleaning equipment industry.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly, this invention comprises a rigid vacuumretaining outer case, a flaccid dust-retaining container within said case, means for creating vacuum within said case around said container, said means being positioned above said casing and having an inlet communicating with said case, means communicating with said flaccid container for drawing dirt from a surface to be cleaned into said container under the influence of vacuum, and baffle means within said case for separating said flaccid container from said inlet.

This invention also comprehends a rigid vacuumretaining outer case. the bottom of which is adapted to serve as a liquid reservoir, a flaccid dust-retaining container within said case, means for creating vacuum within said case in and around said flaccid container including an inlet communicating with said case, means communicating with said liquid reservoir for discharging liquid on a surface to be cleaned. means communi cating with said flaccid container for drawing said liquid and included dirt from said surface to be cleaned into said container under the influence of vacuum, and baffle means within said casing for separating said flaccid container from said inlet while permitting said liquid to flow freely therethrough and round the outside of said container whereby said container can fill with used liquid at a volume rate essentially equal to the rate of depletion of the unused liquid.

It is an object of this invention to provide a novel vacuum cleaner.

It is an object of this invention to provide a more compact vacuum cleaner.

It is also an object of my invention to provide a safer vacuum cleaner wherein the electrical components are protected from accidental contact with water and other liquids.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a vacuum cleaner wherein there is little or no risk of injury to the hands of the operator due to burns and wherein the device is neat and tidy to use.

These and other objects and advantages of this inven tion will be apparent from the detailed description which follows.

According to this invention, the outer casing acts as the clean liquid reservoir and the container for the spent or dirty liquid is flaccid or pliable so that the latter can expand with spent liquid as the supply of free liquid is used by application to the carpet or rug. This construction reduces to nearly one-half the bulk of a vacuum cleaner of any given cleaning capacity. The weight of the machine and the cost of materials is also reduced. The electrical components are all positioned above the liquid and are separated therefrom by an imperforate partition so that even in the event of sloshing, liquid is prevented from reaching such components. The vacuum and liquid lines in the hand piece are joined in essential parallel relationship and surrounded by heat insulating material to protect the operator and eliminate the tangling and inconvenience associated with prior vacuum cleaners.

As detailed herein the present invention preferably embodies several novel features. However, this patent envisions the use of any one or all of them in a vacuum cleaner.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top view of the novel vacuum cleaner of this invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the novel vacuum cleaner of this invention.

FIG. 3 is a plane view of the novel vacuum cleaner with the top cover portion removed.

FIG. 4 is a sectional view along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3 with the top cover portion in place.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5-5 in FIG. 3 with the top cover portion in place.

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along the line 6-6 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 7 is a partial sectional view of the novel vacuum cleaner ofthis invention wherein the device is used as a'dry rather than a wet cleaner.

Turning to the drawings in greater detail, the novel vacuum cleaner included an upper external lid 10, a lower case 12, wheels 14, handles 16 and 18, a lock 20 for jointing the upper and lower portions, vacuum line 22, water or liquid line 24, vents 26, 28, 30 and 32,

flexible hose 34, a rigid hand piece having a vacuum portion 36 provided with head 37 for contact with the rug or other surface to be cleaned, liquid line 38 terminating in nozzle 39 and a regulatory hand operated valve 40 in liquid line 38. Vacuum turn-on switch 42 and pump switch 44 are also provided. Signal light 46 indicates when the fresh liquid supply is depleted.

Within the vacuum cleaner, continuously operating pump 48 pumps fresh water from reservoir 50 via line 52 through liquid line 38. When valve 40 is open, the liquid is discharged at nozzle 39. When valve 40 is closed, the liquid is returned via line 54 after pressure sensitive return check valve 55 in line 54 has opened.

The vacuum motor 56 having exhaust 57 maintains the inside of case 12 under vacuum. The enclosing member 58 prevents the inadvertent drawing of water into the vacuum motor. Member 58 is provided with air filter 60. The used or dirty water is sucked up via line 36 into separator 62. The dirty water then falls into the flexible imperforate vinyl bag 64. Separating wall 66 is provided with perforations 68 and opening 69 so that clean or fresh water and air may flow therethrough to equalize the pressure inside and outside bag 64. Wall 66 also helps to hold bag 64 in place. The bag 64 gradually fills out to full size of case 12 (up to separating wall 66) with used or dirty water.

With particular reference to FIG. 6, it is preferred that lines 36 and 38 be encased in rigid insulating plastic foam members 70 and 72. The foam is surrounded by smooth, non-porous outer casing members 74 and 76. The fastener means 78 holds the foam members 70 and 72 in place.

It is to be understood that this invention is also applicable to dry vacuum cleaning. As shown in FIG. 7, the water can be omitted, in which case the device otherwise is the same except that a disposable dust-retaining cloth collection bag 80 is used in lieu of bag 64. The bag 80 is attached directly to neck 88.

In operation, the vacuum cleaner is normally used as shown in FIG. 2. The flow of liquid is controlled by valve 40. The spent liquid is sucked up via line 36 of the hand piece into bag 64. All of the electrical components are contained in lid and are separated from the liquid by flat horizontal partition 84 which forms a vacuum tight seal with the inside of case 12 by the gasket 86.

The bag 64 is preferably vinyl. However, a variety of flexible imperforate materials are suitable.

It is to be understood that the hand piece can be disconnected from the floor unit for convenience of storage and movement when not in use.

Having fully described the invention it is intended that it be limited only by the lawful scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

I. A novel vacuum cleaner comprising:

a rigid vacuum-retaining outer case, the bottom of which is adapted to serve as a liquid reservoir,

a flaccid dust-retaining container within said case,

means for creating vacuum within said case in and around said flaccid container including an inlet communicating with said case, means communicating with said liquid reservoir for discharging liquid on a surface to be cleaned,

means communicating with said flaccid container for drawing said liquid and included dirt from said surface to be cleaned into said container under the influence of vacuum, and

baffle means within said casing for separating said flaccid container from said inlet while permitting said liquid to flow freely therethrough and round the outside of said container whereby said container can fill with used liquid at a volume rate essentially equal to the rate of depletion of the unused liquid.

2. The cleaner of claim 1 wherein said means for creating vacuum includes an electric motor and wherein said means communicating with said liquid reservoir for discharging liquid includes an electric pump, and further wherein said motor and said pump are both contained in a lid forming a vacuum-tight seal with said case and are located above said case, and are separated from said liquid by an imperforate partition.

3. The cleaner of claim 2 wherein said means communicating with said flaccid container for drawing said liquid and included dirt from said surface to be cleaned further includes a liquid cyclone-type separator which causes said liquid to drop vertically into said flaccid container.

4. The cleaner of claim 1 wherein said means communicating with said liquid reservoir for discharging liquid and said means communicating with said flaccid container for drawing said liquid and included dirt from said surface to be cleaned further includes a portion adapted to be gripped by the operator and being surrounded by a heat insulating foam material in generally parallel relationship.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3034273 *Apr 6, 1959May 15, 1962James R WallaceLiquid collecting vacuum cleaner
US3056994 *Aug 18, 1960Oct 9, 1962Noble John WVacuum cleaning and mopping apparatus
US3117337 *Apr 12, 1957Jan 14, 1964Hoover CoUnitary floor scrubbing and drying appliance
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4158575 *Apr 11, 1977Jun 19, 1979Purex CorporationCleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces
US4164055 *Nov 21, 1977Aug 14, 1979Purex CorporationCleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces
US4170805 *Jun 20, 1977Oct 16, 1979Yugen-Gaisha Waikei GikenWindow glass-cleaning device
US4246676 *Aug 15, 1979Jan 27, 1981Alexander HallsworthLiquid collecting vacuum container
US4287635 *May 7, 1979Sep 8, 1981Jacobs Paul GWet and dry vacuum cleaner
US4463474 *Jun 7, 1982Aug 7, 1984Jacobs Paul GVacuum cleaner
US4686735 *Feb 28, 1985Aug 18, 1987Soeffker Eldred EModular carpet cleaning apparatus
US4759094 *Oct 19, 1987Jul 26, 1988Hako Minuteman, Inc.Scrubbing machine
US4822430 *Aug 22, 1985Apr 18, 1989Carberry Victor VMethod and apparatus for cleaning boiler burners
US5378354 *Nov 9, 1993Jan 3, 1995The Spencer Turbine CompanyArticle/liquid separator
US5473792 *Jan 4, 1995Dec 12, 1995Rug Doctor, L.P.Steam cleaning machine
US5513415 *Jan 20, 1995May 7, 1996Rug Doctor, L.P.Steam cleaning device
US5526547 *Oct 3, 1994Jun 18, 1996William H. WilliamsWet and dry vacuum cleaner
US5735017 *Mar 29, 1996Apr 7, 1998Bissell Inc.Compact wet/dry vacuum cleaner with flexible bladder
US5784755 *Jan 18, 1996Jul 28, 1998White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Wet extractor system
US6167587Jul 8, 1998Jan 2, 2001Bissell Homecare, Inc.Upright extraction cleaning machine
US6286181May 23, 2000Sep 11, 2001Bissell Homecare, Inc.Upright extraction cleaning machine
US6412141Jan 2, 2001Jul 2, 2002Bissell Homecare, Inc.Upright extraction cleaning machine
US6438793Jul 10, 2000Aug 27, 2002Bissell Homecare, Inc.Upright extraction cleaning machine
US6609269May 3, 2002Aug 26, 2003Bissell Homecare, Inc.Upright extraction cleaning machine with unitary accessory hose duct
US7779505Mar 9, 2007Aug 24, 2010Bissell Homecare, Inc.Wet/dry vacuum cleaner
US8117713Sep 22, 2006Feb 21, 2012Bissell Homecare, Inc.Vacuum cleaner with two stage filtration
US8302240Jul 29, 2009Nov 6, 2012Karcher North America, Inc.Selectively adjustable steering mechanism for use on a floor cleaning machine
US8528142May 6, 2013Sep 10, 2013Karcher North America, Inc.Floor treatment apparatus
USRE39304 *Jun 27, 2003Sep 26, 2006Bissell Homecare, Inc.Upright extraction cleaning machine
WO1979000755A1 *Feb 1, 1979Oct 4, 1979N JohannessonFloor treatment unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/320, 15/353
International ClassificationA47L11/00, A47L7/00, A47L11/30, A47L11/34, A47L11/29
Cooperative ClassificationA47L11/4044, A47L11/4016, A47L11/4088, A47L11/34, A47L11/30
European ClassificationA47L11/40N6, A47L11/40F6, A47L11/40D2, A47L11/30, A47L11/34
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 8, 1983AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: PULLMAN-HOLT CORPORATION, 10702 46TH STREET, TAMPA
Owner name: TP INDUSTRIAL, INC.
Effective date: 19831117
Dec 8, 1983ASAssignment
Owner name: PULLMAN-HOLT CORPORATION, 10702 46TH STREET, TAMPA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST. AS OF MAR. 31, 1983;ASSIGNOR:TP INDUSTRIAL, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004200/0797
Effective date: 19831117