Title:
CLEANING HEAD FOR CLEANING CARPETS AND THE LIKE IN SITU
United States Patent 3848291


Abstract:
A portable cleaning head comprising part of apparatus for cleaning carpets and the like wherein cleaning solution is supplied under pressure from a reservoir system via a cleaning solution supply hose to the cleaning head for spraying onto a carpet and the cleaning head is adapted to be coupled to a vacuum hose connected to a vacuum pick-up system for picking up via the cleaning head and storing cleaning solution applied to the carpet. The cleaning head comprises a floor head assembly and a handle assembly pivotally attached at one end to the floor head assembly and having hand grips at its other end. The floor head assembly contains sprayer means, suction nozzle means and solenoid actuated valve means to control the supply of cleaning solution to the sprayer means. The handle assembly includes two hand grips rigidly carried by two hollow elongated members, an electrical plug and an on-off switch located adjacent the hand grips for coupling the cleaning head to a source of electrical current via a power cord or the like, electrical conductors disposed within one of the hollow elongated members coupling the solenoid to the electrical plug, and fluid coupling means carried by the other hollow elongated member for coupling the sprayer means to the cleaning solution supply hose via this elongated member. A hose is provided between the elongated member and the sprayer means.



Inventors:
MORSE G
Application Number:
05/230886
Publication Date:
11/19/1974
Filing Date:
03/01/1972
Assignee:
CARPETECH CORP,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/321, 15/324, 15/410
International Classes:
A47L11/34; A47L11/40; (IPC1-7): A47L7/00
Field of Search:
15/321,322,324,320,410
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3663984PORTABLE VACUUM CARPET AND UPHOLSTERY CLEANING APPARATUS1972-05-23Anthony et al.
3540072FLOOR CONDITIONER1970-11-17Wolter et al.
3439374STEAM AND VACUUM NOZZLE1969-04-22Wisdom
3366288Dispenser having a motor operated valve assembly1968-01-30Goldschein
2844840Combination wet mop, dry mop, and vacuum cleaner1958-07-29Gray
2819485Movable vacuum cleaner structure1958-01-14Sparklin
2635276Floor scrubbing and drying machine1953-04-21Norris
1996934Suction cleaner1935-04-09Siedle
1821715Surface washing machine1931-09-01Kuchinsky



Primary Examiner:
Hornsby, Harvey C.
Assistant Examiner:
Moore C. K.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Frederick, Melvin E.
Claims:
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to protect as Letters Patent is

1. In a cleaning head for use with ancillary equipment for cleaning carpets and the like comprising a vacuum source including a vacuum hose adapted to be connected to said cleaning head and a source of cleaning solution including a cleaning fluid supply hose adapted to be connected to said cleaning head, the combination comprising:

2. The combination as defined in claim 1 and additionally including a roller member rotatably carried in said cover member rear portion and having an axis of rotation, and said handle assembly is pivotally connected to said rear portion adjacent said axis of rotation.

3. The combination as defined in claim 2 wherein said weight is disposed in the furthermost rear portion of said light enclosure means.

Description:
The present invention relates to carpet and upholstery cleaning apparatus, and more particularly to cleaning head apparatus for receiving and spraying a cleaning solution on a carpet and withdrawing from the carpet cleaning solution and entrained dirt.

In the cleaning of carpets and upholstery, it has been found effective to discharge a jet of pressurized cleaning solution into the pile, nap, or weave of the fabric to be cleaned, and to thereafter apply suction to the fabric to withdraw the used cleaning solution from the fabric together with the dirt loosened and entrained in the cleaning solution.

Cleaning apparatus of the type referred to above may comprise, for example, a liquid tank and vacuum tank each mounted on separate base structures housing a drive motor and its associated components. A motor drives a suction blower, the intake side of which is coupled to the interior of the vacuum tank while the discharge side of the vacuum blower discharges to the atmosphere. A liquid pump also driven by a motor is connected to draw cleaning solution from the liquid tank and feed the cleaning solution under pressure to heating means which is then supplied through a hose to spray means in the cleaning head adapted to discharge the cleaning solution onto the material being cleaned. For a more thorough discussion, reference is made to patent application Ser. No. 25,521, filed Apr. 3, 1970, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,663,984, issued May 23, 1972, and assigned to the same assignee as this application.

Other cleaning devices particularly devoted to commercial cleaning fields have been provided which include fluid distribution means and a vacuum means for picking up fluid and loosened material from surfaces after the surface has been scrubbed by brushes or the like. Still other devices have been provided which include means for high pressure fluid distribution and vacuum pick-up means for receiving the fluid delivered to the surface to be cleaned.

The picked-up fluid may or may not be returned for recirculation. These devices operate on the principle that the high pressure fluid delivery serves as the cleaning and scrubbing element thereby eliminating the use of brushes or other scrubbing devices.

Whether one is concerned with two-tank cleaning apparatus as described above or any other apparatus having similar power requirements, in every case the power consuming characteristic of the apparatus has in the past been effectively limited to relatively low levels. This power limitation is due to the fact that the National Electric Code requires that all residential and industrial conventional convenience outlets be wired and fused for only 15 amperes.

In the past this limitation in available electrical power from any convenience outlet has severely limited the design, capability, and efficiency of such devices because their electrical power consumption must be limited to relatively low values, even if separate electrical devices are provided for connection to separate outlets as taught in the aforementioned patent application Ser. No. 25,521. For a description of a method of and apparatus for combining electrical power from two separately fused circuits and supplying same to carpet cleaning apparatus of the type here concerned, wherein current in excess of that available from one convenience outlet may be supplied to the vacuum drive motor for example, while still supplying sufficient current to the other power consuming devices, reference is made to patent application Ser. No. 154,889, filed June 21, 1971, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,697,771 and assigned to the same assignee as this patent application.

As to cleaning heads, many variations in structure are known ranging from very complex structures to relatively simple structures. See, for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,960,710, 3,436,787, and 3,496,592.

The present invention is directed only to a cleaning head adapted for use with substantially any vacuum source of the type sometimes referred to as the "wet vacuum" type, together with suitable means for supplying cleaning solution under pressure.

Cleaning heads of the type here concerned in use are moved relative to a surface so that a surface element or strip is first sprayed with cleaning solution under pressure impinging thereon at an acute angle thus to penetrate the nap in the case of a carpet, and as the motion progresses the element is next subjected to a vacuum. When the vacuum nozzle reaches the wet element, the cleaning fluid, now containing dirt particles, dissolved grease and the like, is withdrawn and deposited in the collection tank.

It is an object of the invention to provide an improved cleaning head for cleaning carpets and the like.

Another object of the invention is to provide a cleaning head comprising a floor head assembly and a handle assembly wherein the handle assembly forms part of the means for supplying cleaning fluid to the floor head assembly.

A further object of the invention is to provide a cleaning head comprising a floor head assembly and a handle assembly wherein part of the handle assembly contains within it electrical components for supplying current to the floor head assembly.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a cleaning head having solenoid actuated valve means remote from the handle assembly that permits automatic operation during normal use and manual operation in the event the solenoid fails.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a cleaning head comprising a floor head assembly having at its forward end a fluorescent light fixture including weighting means to insure that the forward end of the floor head assembly exerts a predetermined pressure on the surface being cleaned.

The novel features that are considered characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims; the invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will best be understood from the following description of a specific embodiment, when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cleaning head comprising a floor head assembly and a handle assembly in accordance with the invention with parts broken away of the light housing;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view with parts broken away of the hand grip portion of the handle assembly;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view of the handle assembly and the interior of the floor head assembly showing the arrangement of parts therein;

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the electrical wiring circuit; and

FIG. 5 is an end sectional view taken on line 5--5 of FIG. 1 showing details of the front portion of the floor head assembly.

Directing attention now to FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 there is shown a cleaning head in accordance with the invention comprising a floor head assembly 11 and a handle assembly 12 comprising two hollow side members 13 and 14 formed of square heavy metal tubing each pivotally attached at one end to pivot pins 15 and 16 carried by the rear of the floor head assembly 11. The side members 13 and 14 each curve upwardly and rearwardly toward each other and extend a distance suitable for a person of average height to comfortably grip the hand grips 17 and 18 to operate the cleaning head. The hand grips 17 and 18 are disposed at right angles to respectively the side members 13 and 14 and form part of a square hand grip member 19 of the same size and material as the side members 13 and 14. As best shown in FIG. 2, the square hand grip member 19 is welded to the uppermost ends of the side members to form a rigid structure and seal the side members at this point. Disposed between the side members 13 and 14 and below the square hand grip member 19 is an enclosure 21 having mounted therein a triple-throw, triple-pole switch 22 and an electrical plug 23 adapted for connection to a power cord (not shown).

Mounted in and extending above the upper surface 24 of the square hand grip member 19 is a spring loaded normally open switch 25. An opening 26 (see FIG. 2) is provided in side member 13 to receive electrical conductors 27 as and for the purposes described hereinafter. The outermost portion of the square hand grip member 19 is covered with suitable coverings 28 and 29 of plastic, rubber or the like to facilitate holding of the handle assembly. Whereas a water-tight weld is not required for side member 13 such a weld is necessary for side member 14 since this side member is utilized as a fluid conduit for cleaning fluid. To this end is provided a hose coupling 31 communicating with the interior of hollow side member 14 and adapted for connection to a cleaning fluid supply hose (not shown) coupled to the source of cleaning solution from which cleaning fluid is supplied under pressure.

Adjacent the floor head assembly is a flexible hose 32 sealably communicating with the interior of side member 14 and terminating at the inlet 33 of a solenoid actuated valve 34 disposed in the floor head assembly. Side member 14 is provided with a water-tight seal below hose 32 as at 35 to prevent leakage of cleaning fluid from side member 14. For purposes of strength the side members adjacent the floor head assembly may be closed by solid metal end plugs 41 and 42 of the same size and configuration as the side members, welded thereto and adapted to pivotally engage pivot pins 15 and 16. An opening 43 is provided in side member 13 adjacent the floor head assembly and through which extends the previously mentioned electrical conductors 27.

The floor head assembly comprises a heavy metal cover 44 to which is attached the components disposed therein and side members 13 and 14. The cover 44 is provided with a generally rectangular shaped rear portion 45 and a generally triangular shaped middle portion 46 which terminates in a generally rectangular front portion 47 to which is attached a light housing 48. Rotatably carried in the rear portion of the cover is a split roller 49 mounted on a shaft 51. Secured to one side of the middle portion 46 of the cover, in a protective housing 52, is a solenoid actuated valve 34 the inlet 33 of which is coupled to the flexible hose 32 and an outlet 53 of which is coupled to a fluid dispensing manifold 54 more fully described hereinafter. Secured to the opposite side of the middle portion 46 of the cover is a further protective housing 55 in which is disposed an electrical terminal block 56 and the ballast 57 for the fluorescent light 58 disposed in the light housing 48 carried by the front portion 47 of the cover. The conductors 27 connected at one end to switches 22 and 25 are connected to the terminal block 56 as and for the purposes hereinafter described. Also secured to the cover 44 intermediate the housings 52 and 55 is a hollow vacuum nozzle unit 59 having an elongated, narrow suction opening 61 at the extreme front portion of the cover 44 and below the light housing 48. Rearward of the suction opening 61 the vacuum nozzle unit 59 decreases in width so that it fits between the housings 52 and 55 and terminates in a tubular rear portion 62 adapted to receive vacuum hose 63 which is carried by the handle assembly and terminates adjacent the hand grips. The vacuum hose 63 is adapted to be coupled to a further vacuum hose (not shown) which terminates at the vacuum source.

The cleaning fluid dispensing manifold 54 is disposed and secured to the cover 44 rearwardly of the suction opening 61 and is provided with two rows of jet outlet nozzles 64 uniformly spaced one from another and adapted to discharge fan-shaped jets of cleaning fluid. The nozzles are preferably canted slightly with respect to opening 61 such that the edges of the fan-shaped spray from each of the nozzles overlap but do not interfere one with another. This overlap is desirable to prevent what is commonly referred to as streak lines in a carpet. The jet outlet nozzles 64 may be of conventional configuration and design whereby various arrangements of spray distribution may be provided. The jet outlet nozzles are preferably oriented to direct their spray discharge to impinge on the surface being cleaned at an angle of about 20° to 40°; thus the row of nozzles adjacent the suction opening are oriented to direct their spray discharge to impinge the surface being cleaned in the direction of the suction nozzle at an acute angle of about 20° to 40° and the second row of jet outlet nozzles are similarly oriented, but at an acute angle away from the suction opening of about 20° to 40°. The provision of a spray discharge directed both in a forwardly and rearwardly direction results in both sides of the fibers comprising the nap of the carpet receiving a spray discharge. This results in more effective cleaning. Further, the spray discharge from each row of jet outlet nozzles tends to further loosen, dislodge and especially lift to the top of the nap the embedded dirt loosened and dislodged by the other set of spray discharge nozzles. Still further, the two rows of jet outlet nozzles provide in a single pass multiple agitation of the carpet fiber without necessitating a second pass and superfluous undesirable wetting of the carpet fiber.

Directing attention now to FIG. 4 which shows the electrical wiring circuit in the handle assembly and the floor head assembly, it will be seen that the actuating coil 65 of the solenoid valve 34, ballast 57 for the fluorescent lamp, and fluorescent lamp 58 are coupled to the power cord 66 via plug 23, switches 22 and 25, conductors 27, and terminal block 56. Switch 22 as shown has an off position and two on positions to permit the operator to select one of two modes of operation. In the off or first position, neither the solenoid valve or the light may be actuated; in the second position the solenoid valve may be actuated with the light on, and in the third position the solenoid valve may be actuated but the light will be off. When switch 22 is in its second or third position, it will be seen that when switch 25 is closed, current will be supplied to the coil 65 of solenoid valve 34, thereby opening valve 34 and permitting cleaning fluid to be supplied to manifold 54 and sprayed on the carpet via the nozzles 64.

Details of the forward portion 47 of the cover, vacuum nozzle unit 59, weight 70, and lamp 58 are shown in FIG. 5 to which attention is now directed. As will be seen from FIG. 5 the forwardmost surface of cover 44 and vacuum nozzle unit 59 slopes rearwardly at an angle to opening 61 to provide space for and receive the light housing 48. Housing 48 extends the length of opening 61 and is generally triangular in cross section to provide a generally rectangular appearance and receive at its rearmost portion triangular shaped weight 70, lamp 58, and window 71. The weight 70 is made triangular in cross section to fit in and fill the rearmost portion of the light housing 48. The lamp 58 is mounted just forward of the weight 70 and may be fixedly attached as by screws or the like to the lamp housing 48 to securely hold the weight in place. The volume of the weight 70, which may conveniently be formed of lead is selected to provide the proper pressure between vacuum nozzle housing 59 and the carpet being cleaned. To reduce the amount of weight needed, the pivot point for the handle assembly and the axis for the split roller 49 are located as close together as possible and as far to the rear of cover 44 as possible so that, with weight 70 located as far forward as possible in accordance with the invention, the longest possible lever arm is provided thereby permitting the smallest possible sized weight to be used. The preceeding arrangement and combination of parts in combination with the disclosed handle assembly results in an extremely rugged cleaning head with the smallest number of components and of minimum total weight with the provision of the highest possible pressure of the vacuum nozzle unit on the carpet.

With the reservoir tank and vacuum pick-up systems assembled and in operative condition and the cleaning head operative connected by plugging the power cord 66 into plug 23, connecting the cleaning solution hose to coupling 31, and connecting the vacuum hose to the vacuum hose 63 carried by the handle assembly, the cleaning head is ready for use. To this end the floor head assembly with opening 61 in contact with the carpet being cleaned, is drawn in successive strokes across the carpet or material to be cleaned, while at the same time operating switch 25 with the thumb as required to direct fan-shaped streams of heated cleaning fluid from the jet outlet nozzles in the cleaning fluid dispensing manifold on the material being cleaned. The dirt from the material being cleaned, loosened and dislodged by the action of the jets of cleaning fluid, together with the cleaning solution used, and atmospheric air drawn through such material, are all sucked into the vacuum nozzle unit 59 and pass thence through the vacuum hose 63 and discharged in the vacuum tank system.

The invention provides a simple and highly effective cleaning head for applying high pressure, high temperature cleaning fluid and vacuum to a carpet or the like. Apparatus in accordance with the invention is compact, simple and relatively inexpensive to manufacture and use and is very effective, inexpensive and easy to operate.

Further, the provision of a handle assembly in accordance with the invention eliminates the necessity of a separate and exposed water hose carried by the handle for supplying cleaning solution to the floor head assembly and exposed wiring carried by the handle. This effects not only a reduction in the weight of the cleaning head by eliminating components without eliminating their function, but effects increased protection of parts and increased dependability with a considerable improvement in the appearance of the cleaning head. The provision of a floor head assembly in accordance with the invention permits a reduction in the effort required to use it and an increase in cleaning efficiency as compared to prior art devices.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood, however, that various changes and modifications may be made in the details thereof without departing from the scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.