Washing machine
United States Patent 2192316

This invention relates to home washing machines. Considering the background and embodiment - of the invention, the equipment considered herein may be contrasted with the conventional household washing machine which is a unit movable on casters, in general comprising a leg supported tub or...

Felix, Kellermann
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Felix, Kellermann
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This invention relates to home washing machines.

Considering the background and embodiment - of the invention, the equipment considered herein may be contrasted with the conventional household washing machine which is a unit movable on casters, in general comprising a leg supported tub or vessel or chamber through and from the bottom of which rises the oscillating agitator shaft driven from motor actuated gearing underneath the tub. A non-stationary unit requires bothersome connections, such as a loose cable connection for the motor, hose connections for water supply and drainage, and it requires an additional pump to elevate the draining liquid to the level of an available sink to gain discharge by way of the house plumbing, and this again necessitates moving the machine about and near to a sink.

20, A washing machine installed according to this invention will eliminate potential dripping, leakage, spilling, anda other inconveniences attendant to the manipulation, operation, tunction and upkeep of the aforementioned connections required in the movable standard unit. Such adaptation to an existing fixture also avoids potential danger or Injury to the operator's toes every time that the relatively heavy movable unit is to be rolled Into the place where the abovementioned connections must be made or the machine be used. Still another thing to be avoided by converting a standard movable washing machine into a fixture is the phenomena that vibrations, undesirable of themselves, are liable to 30 cause a movable machine especially when filled with water and wash, to shift bodily from its place of operation as a result of its own vibratory impulses, this phenomena being aggravated by any slight slope found to exist in the floors. When unattended, the unit thus filled and loaded may gather momentum sufficient to result in harmful collision or injury to children or the like.

The invention therefore according to one broad aspect envisions the arrangement of a washing machine as a normally immovable fixture in direct operative relation to or connection with the water supply- and drain system of the home.

Consequently one object is to do away with the above set forth shortcomings of the standard movable washing machine.

Other objects are to improve the construction per. se of a type of washing machine unit which includes a wash tub having a drain outlet and an agitator shaft rising through and from the tub bottom at a point spaced from said drain outlet and driven from mechanism underneath the tub; to improve the machine with respect to structural interrelation of its parts or component sections; to improve and simplify its man- u ner of assembly; and otherwise to produce an efficient machine which operates noiselessly or with a minimum of vibration.

These ends are attained by equipping, conditioning or designing a washi ching machine or unit for stationary use and for direct operative connection to the drain system of.the home, and with respect to convenient operative relation to or direct operative connection with water supply outlets of the plumbing system in the home; fur- I~ ther by improving the unit itself with respect to structural unification or consolidation of its component sections or parts, and again by improving design, layout and arrangement of such component sections in themselves. 20. Some of the features lie in an unique structural combination of the tub with the agitator drive mechanism, more particularly in a certain self-sustained mounting of a drive mechanism and motor unit, and in certain other design teatures in the drive mechanism among which are compactness, structural stability, and detail improvements in the gearing of the mechanisms.

In a preferred embodiment the agitator drive mechanism and its motor are supported by and from the bottom of the tub. More particularly, a unitary assembly of drive mechanism and motor is supported from the tub bottom with which it is directly connected or in which it is anchored.

In a specific construction an anchoring member w surrounding tlhe agitator .shaft holds the drive unit in place from within the tub. In a specific sense, a lock nut from within the tub holds the drive unit firmly anchored. 'In a preferred embodiment the nut engages upon an upwardly extending neck portion of the gear casing.

Furthermore particularized, an encased drive mechanism and motor unit is designed compactly around or snugly about, the axis of the agitator shaft, and with certain abutment or bearing 4& faces arranged between the drive unit and the underside of the tub, and otherwise, the mounted position of the mechanism is stabilized, and designed with a minimum of overhang.

The invention possesses other objects and fea- go tures of advantage, some of which with the foregoing will be set forth in the following description. In the following description and in the. claims, parts will be identified by specific names for convenience, but they are intended to be as generic in their application to similar parts as the art will permit. In the accompanying drawings there has been illustrated the best embodiment of the invention known to me, but such embodiment is to be regarded as typical only of many possible embodiments, and the invention is not to be limited thereto.

The novel features considered characteristic of the invention are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment when read in connection with the accompany14 ing drawings in which: Fig. 1 is a diagrammatic side view of the equipment installed; Fig. 2 is an enlarged side view of the encased mechanism of Mg. 1, with parts broken away; Fig. 3 is a top plan view with parts broken away and showing annular bearing face; Pg. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line i3- of Pig. 3; Fig. 5 is a plan view of a mechanism similar 2 to ig. 3, with the addition of branch drive mechanism for accessory devices; Fig. 6 is a detail side view of branch drive mechanism as shown in Fg. 5.

Fig. 1 shows the equipment according to this 0 invention as an installed or set unit in which the numeral 10 indicates that section which constitutes the wash tub, II collectively indicates the drive mechanism mounted in self-supporting fashion with respect to the tub. This Smechanism is shown to include the gear casing 12 from.which extends a gear shift lever 13, an agitator arbor 14, and a retaining nut 41. The tub 1I Is indicated to be set in the wall I6, although it may have other or additional support* Ing means, legs, or supporting framework, or the like. A drain connection including a suitable union or nipple is indicated at 17, and water supply faucets at 18, both constituting connections with the house plumbing. The tub may be of any suitable material, and it may be of porcelain, or metal, or other suitable material.

An agitator member 18a (see Fig. 1) is shown to be placed upon the agitator arbor 14.

According to Figs. 2, 3 and 4, the details of 60 the drive gear mechanism comprise a gear casing IS, consisting of a body portion 20 and a cover 21 therefor. Lugs 22 on the inside of the body portion 20 and screw bolts .2 indicate the manner of securing the cover 21 in place.

65 The drive gear mechanism proper comprises a vertical oscillatable agitator shaft 24 shown to rest in a socket 24a upon the bottom of the casing and mounted in ball bearings 25 and 2S. i The agitator shaft has a square lower portion 26a upon which is slidable a pinion 27 which I can be shifted into and out of operative driving 5 engagement by means of a yoke 28 and a shift t lever 29. An oscillatable gear sector 31 is piv- s otally mounted at 32 in the bottom of the casing t 66 and meshes in driving engagement with the pin- t ion 27 when the latter is in operative shift position. The gear sector 31 is actuated from a s rotating worm gear 33 through a connecting rod . 34. The worm gear 33 is pivotally mounted at m'n 35 in the bottom of the casing and driven by a a motordriven worm 35a, electromotivating means a or a motor being indicated at 36 and shown to ti be structurally united with the drive gear g mechanism by way of its being mounted within sl 7T the gear casing. Oil connections for the motor ti are shown at 36a and venting means or vent holes at 36b (see Fig. 3). 41 (see Fig. 2) indicates bracket means for the motor.

The agitator shaft 24 extends through a hole 41 in the tub bottom wall indicated at 42 (see Fig. 4), and is surrounded by tubular member 43 screwed by way of its lower threaded portion 44 into a cylindrical upwardly extending portion or neck 45 of the casing cover and shown to be secured thereon by a lock nut 45a and so as to make a water tight joint between the tubular member 43 and the neck portion 45 of the casing cover.

The neck 45 is provided with an exterior thread over which fits a lock nut 46 which serves as a retaining or anchoring member for the entire lj agitator drive mechanism with respect to the tub. The lock nut 46 firmly anchors the drive unit to the tub and is shown to have a discshaped portion 47 for greater stability of mounting. so An annular upper gasket element or spacer 48 (see Pig. 4) is interposed between the lock nut 46 and the bottom wall of the tub, another similar annular element 49 being shown between the casing cover 21 and the tub, the annular element U 49 being centered upon the casing cover by way of a shoulder 50. The lock nut 46 is shown to have a marginal shoulder portion 46a into which fits the gasket 48. Both annular elements 48 and 49 are of liberal diameter and as large as the size of the casing will permit to stabilize the mounting thereof.

The agitator shaft terminates at the top in a square head 51 intended for the reception of an agitator element such as shown at 18a (in Fig. 1). A rising portion or agitator arbor 5 la within the tub includes the tubular member 43 (Fig. 4) and the agitator shaft 24 surrounded by it. Over this arbor 51a usually fits the agitator element 18a proper, in the manner indicated in 4 ig. 1.

The agitator drive mechanism shown in Figs. 5 and 6 Is similar in its general design and operation to the one shown in the preceding Figs. 2, 3 and 4, except for the addition of readily adjustable branch drive mechanism to actuate auxiliary devices of which a wringer and an ironer are examples. Accordingly the basic mechanism is substantially the same as described in the preceding figures. Distinctive portions and as- S0 sociated parts however are shown in Pig. 6 comprising a gear sector 52 actuated from a worm wheel 53 through a connecting rod 54 formed with a lateral offset portion 55. A motor driven worm 56 indicates the drive for thr worm wheel u 53, the worm wheel being mounted upon an axle 53a. It is noted that the worm wheel 53 is rela;ively raised from the bottom of the casing, (hence the offset portion 55 in connecting rod i4) to gain space for branch drive gearing 95, 0 i9 interposed between the worm wheel 53 and he bottom of the casing. Accordingly there Is hown a substantial mounting or bearing porion 57 for the worm wheel axle 53a journaled n the bottom of the casing. 66 Branch drive is realized through a pair. of piral gears 58 and 59. Gear 58 being fixed on 7orm wheel axle 53a, while gear 59 is held in nesh with its companion gear by way of a swingble yoke 69 loosely mounted on worm wheel xle 53a. The last mentioned spiral gear 59 roates a branch drive shaft 61 leading out of the ear casing through a horizontally extending lot 62 (see Fig. 5) in a desired adjustalle direcon, the possible range of radial adjustment be- yI ing shown by arc 3I in Pig. 4 corresponding to 1 the length of the slot t2.

Whereas the operation of this machine or equipment will be clear from the foregoing deg scription, attention is called to the method of assembly of the agitator drive mechanism upon the tub. A partial assembly comprising the gear casing 19 with its drive gear, motor and agitator arbor 51a will have placed upon it and fitted over the shoulder 50 of the casing cover, the annular spacer or gasket which may be of a resilient or semi-resilient suitable material. This partial assembly is lifted to the tub from below as the agitator arbor comes to lodge in the is bottom opening 41 of the tub until the gasket portion or spacer 40 comes to lie against the underside of the tub bottom. At that time the lock nut 46 mounted with the gasket 48 will have been slipped over the agitator arbor and s0 screwed down upon the neck portion 45 of the casing cover tight enough to secure a firm and water tight connection of the entire drive mechanism with the tub bottom. The agitator 19a proper may then be applied to the agitator ar2I bor. In the operation of the machine in the embodiment herein. shown, the torsional driving reactions of the forces imparting oscillation to the shaft 24 are ultimately absorbed entirely and directly by the bottom portion of the tub.

The machine thus assembled is then connected up to the water supply and drain system of the house plumbing, and firmly set in any suitable manner, unless it is preferred to set the tub first and then to apply the mechanism in I5 the simple manner described. Suitable drain outlet valve mechanism operable from the outside of the tub may be provided. Hot and cold water is supplied from the faucets II quickly and conveniently and directly to the tub, while drainage is effected in a similar direct manner into the house drain by manipulating a drain valve mentioned above. There is no moving or shifting of parts or heavy machinery, the operation is quick, and the space requirements of j this piece of equipment are the same as that of the ordinary set washtub usually installed in homes. By displacing such set tubs with equipment organized on the principle of this invention, a relative saving in space-is effected which o) is equivalent to the space of a standard movable washing machine.

A tub constructed according to this invention for direct water supply- and drain connections and with a special agitator hole such as the Sone shown at 41 in Pig. 4 provided therein, may be furnished and installed per se, and subsequently the agitator drive unit such as herein described may be added to the tub and mounted by way of said agitator hole.

co I claim: 1. In a washing machine having a set tub spaced from the floor and provided with water supply plumbing and adapted to be filled with water to a suitable arbitrary level, said tub having an opening in the tub bottom for connection of the tub with the drain plumbing and having a second opening in the tub bottom; power driven washing mechanism comprising an oscillation producing drive unit having a casing 6 in which drive gearing operates and which is disposed underneath the bottom of the tub, said casing having an upwardly extending interiorly as well as exteriorly threaded neck portion, a motor unitary with said drive unit, a tubular portion extending from said casing through said second opening into the interior of the tub and adapted to be surrounded by water, although rising above said water level, said tubular portion being connected with said casing by way 16 of the interior thread in said neck portion, vertical oscillatory shafting driven by said gearing and extending through and guided by said tubular portion; disconnectible securing means provided to be effective by way of said second- g mentioned opening in the tub bottom, between the tub bottom and the gear-motor unit for thus supporting the gear-motor unit from the tub in effect solely through the medium of the tub bottom, said securing means comprising an 2 annular member threaded to engage upon the exterior thread of said neck portion, and an agitator member attachable to the top portion of said shafting to oscillate therewith, said agitator member adapted to extend downwardly into s0 the body of water surrounding said tubula~i portion.

2. Mechanism according to claim 1, in which annular bearing faces are effective between the tub bottom on the one hand, and said annular 85 member and said casing on the other hand.

3. In a washing machine having a set tub body spaced from the floor and adapted to be filled with water, said tub having an opening in the tub bottom for connection of the tub with drain plumbing and having a second opening in the tub bottom, power driven washing mechanism comprising an oscillation producing drive unit having a casing in, which driving elements operate and which is disposed underneath the bottom of the tub, electromotivating means unitary with said drive unit, a neck portion extending from said casing into said opening, an oscillatory member driven by said driving elements and disposed to be effective by way go of said neck portion, disconnectible securing means provided to be effective by way of said second-mentioned opening in the tub bottom between the tub bottom and the drive unit and designed thus to establish said unit in coopera- M tive association with respect to the tub and supported in effect solely through the medium of the tub body, means effective between said oscillator member and said neck portion and adapted to prevent escape of water, and an agi- g tator member operatively connected with said oscillatory member.

E. KXL.TRMANN. I I I I I Il rlrl ii