Cleaning machine
United States Patent 2278769

The present invention relates to cleaning machines, and is illustrated as embodied in a machine for automatically washing and drying clothes. An object of the invention is to provide machines of this character with means for automatically injecting soap or other detergent in amounts sufficient...

Chayie, Oliver J.
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
68/12.18, 68/17R, 200/61.2, 200/82R, 222/135
International Classes:
D06F39/00; D06F39/02; D06F39/08
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The present invention relates to cleaning machines, and is illustrated as embodied in a machine for automatically washing and drying clothes.

An object of the invention is to provide machines of this character with means for automatically injecting soap or other detergent in amounts sufficient to bring the suds to a predetermined level, regardless of variations due to water hardness or varying loads of clothes, etc. Preferably the machine is provided with selective means for automatically giving either a high or a low suds level.

An important feature of the invention relates to actuating a control device for such a detergent-injecting means by the pressure of the rising suds. This is particularly advantageous since an ordinary float mechanism cannot be used, no float being light enough to be raised by a suds such as is formed in a washing machine. I prefer to provide the machine with a selector which is manually operable to give either hot water and a high suds level (for cottons, etc.), or warm water and a low suds level (for woolens, etc.). Various features of the invention relate to the arrangement of the control circuits for machines embodying my novel detergent injecting means, to an arrangement of the injecting means so that it can be driven by the same motor that drives the washing mechanism but for only a part of the machine cycle, and to other novel combinations of parts and desirable particular constructions which will be apparent from the following description of the illustrative constructions shown in the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 is a vertical section through an automatic washing machine embodying my invention, in a vertical plane intersecting the tub just inside the front wall; Figure 2 is a side elevation of this machine with the outer cabinet removed; Figure 3 is a partial top plan view; Figure 4 is a partial rear elevation; 45 Figure 5 is a partial section on the line 5-5 of Figure 3, showing the detergent injecting mechanism; Figure 6 is a partial vertical section on the line 6-6 of Figure 2, showing one construction of control device; Figure 7 is a partial section corresponding to Figure 6, but showing a different form of control device; Figure 8 is a top plan view of a third form of control device and Figure 9 is a partial section therethrough on the line 9-9 of Figure 8; Figures 10 and 11 are partial elevational views showing a fourth form of control device; Figure 12 is a top plan view of the control device of Figures 10 and 11; Figure 13 is a vertical section through a fifth form of control device; Figure 14 is a wiring diagram; and Figure 15 is a diagram of the cycle of the machine.

The particular machine illustrated includes a chassis comprising a base 10 provided with saddles 12 rigidly supporting a tub 14 arranged with i its axis horizontal and having in its front wall an opening for the introduction of clothes, which opening is closed by a suitable glazed door (not shown). The machine is preferably provided with a removable cabinet 16, formed of suitable Sside and top panels, shown in Figure 1 but removed in the other figures.

The tub 14 contains a rotatable open-ended horizontal perforated washing drum or cylinder 18, formed with ribs or baffles 20 in its side wall, and supported only by a short shaft 22 provided with a pulley 24 driven by a belt 26 from a twospeed transmission 28 arranged in a rigid unit with an electric motor 30 by which it is driven.

The motor-transmission unit 28-30 has lateral arms 32 pivoted on the saddles 12, and its weight serves to tension the belt 26.

The machine briefly described above is more fully described, and certain structural features are claimed, in Patent No. 2,173,603 of Adiel Y.

Dodge. The cycle of the machine described below, and its general organization, are claimed in Patent No. 2,165,884 of Rex Earl Bassett Jr. and John W. Chamberlin.

The tub 14 is provided with a drain 36 controlled by a valve 38 actuated by a solenoid 40.

The water drained from the machine when the valve 38 is open is ejected by a pump 42 (driven by the motor 30) through a suitable flexible conduit 44.

Hot and cold water lines 46 supply water to inlet valves 48 controlled by solenoids 50 and 52, the water passing from the inlet valves to a mixing chamber 53 (Figure 2) and thence to a nozzle 55 discharging into the front opening of the tub.

The speed of the transmission 28 is controlled selectively by a lever 54 actuated by a solenoid 56, to give either a relatively low rotary washing speed (about 60 R. P. M. if the drum 18 is 20 inches in diameter), or a much higher speed for centrifugally extracting the water from the clothes at the end of the cycle, to dry them sufficiently to be hung out.

The drain 36 is connected by a conduit 60 to a float chamber 62 containing a float (not shown) which opens a switch 64 (Figure 14) to cut off the supply of water when a predetermined level is attained.

The machine Is controlled to operate according to a predetermined cycle, as for example the cycle diagrammed in Figure 15, by means such as a multiple timer switch illustrated diagrammatically in Figure 14. This timer switch may comprise a shaft 68 driven by a small synchronous clock motor 10, and provided with cams 72 opening and permitting the closing of six sets of spring contacts 74 (indicated in Figure 15 as #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and #6). These contacts 14 form switches opening and closing circuits between 110 volt alternating current supply lines 76 and 78. Three of these circuits (80 through the speedcontrolling solenoid 56, 82 through the hot water solenoid 60, and 84 through the cold water solenoid 52) pass from their switch contacts 74 to the line 76 through the float switch 64, thus opening the water supply circuits when a predetermined water level is attained in the tub 14, and also insuring that the drum 18 cannot be driven at high or extracting speed until the water has drained out of the tub. There is a thermostatic switch 86 in the circuit 84, so that when both circuits 82 and 84 are closed the machine is supplied with warm water of predetermined temperature. Normally the machine is supplied with hot water only for the washing operation (for washing cottons, etc.) the cam 12 for circuit 84 being formed to leave this circuit open at that time. If it is desired to wash with warm water (for washing woolens), a two-position switch 88 is manually moved from its normal position in contact with 138 to the position in contact with 90 to close the circuit 84, whereupon the cold water will come on (under the control of the thermostatic switch 86) whenever the hot water comes on. The described circuits cause the machine to operate automatically according to the cycle diagrammed in Figure 15, as follows: (1) soak, (2) off; then, after being manually started again by advancing the shaft 68 slightly, (3) wash, (4) drain and flush rinse, (5) distribute clothes uniformly in drum 18 by rotation without water in the tub, (6) extract, (7) rinse, (8) drain and flush rinse, (9) distribute, (10) extract, and (11) stop. This cycle is more fully described, and is claimed, in the above identified Bassett and Chamberlin patent.

The present invention relates to supplying soap, or other detergent or cleaning agent, to cleaning machines, whether or not the machines are of the above-described exact construction or operate exactly according to the above-described cycle. In domestic washing machines it has previously not been possible to provide automatic feeding means for such detergents,' because the quantity varies not only with the hardness of the watir (which varies tremendously in different localites), but also with the weight and character/of the load, etc., and according to whether hot6r warm water is used. It has therefore been necessary to adjust the quantity of detergent added, each time the machine is used, by adding it slowly while watching the suds formation.

The automatic feeding means, in the form illustrated in Figures 1-6, comprises a hopper 100, for soap chips or the like, mounted adjacent the tub 18, and in the lower part of which is a rotary screw or worm type feeding element 102 emptying into the tub 18 just behind a protective baffe 104 which keeps water from being thrown directly into the discharge opening of the feeding device during the high-speed extraction step of the machine cycle. The cabinet 16 may be provided with a soap door 106 (Figure 1) over the top of the hopper 100.

The feeder screw 102 is driven by a shaft 108 having a pulley 110 driven by a belt 112. The belt 112 passes over idler pulleys 114, which carry it around to the back of the machine, where it passes over a drive pulley 116 carried by, and shown as a stamping welded to, a friction drive disk 118. The pulley 116 and disk 118 are rotatably mounted on a spring mounting consisting of a suitable bearing bracket carried on the free end of a leaf spring 120 having its opposite end anchored to a bracket 122 welded to the tub wall. A stop pin 124 determines the upper position of disk 118 just high enough to clear the upper surface of the belt 26 where it passes over the pulley 24. When the disk 118 is drawn downwardly, against the resistance of the spring 120, it engages and is frictionally driven by the belt 26, thereby operating the feeder 102.

The free end of the spring 120, and therefore the movable bearing for the disk 118, has secured thereto the core of a solenoid 126 mounted on the back wall of the tub 14. The energization of this solenoid therefore causes feeding of the soap or other detergent into the tub. The solenoid 126 is connected in a circuit 128 (Figure 14) controlled by a special pair #6 of the spring contacts 14 and a corresponding cam 72.

The circuit 128 branches beyond the contacts 74 into two parallel sub-circuits. One of these sub-circuits 130, controlled as described below to give a low suds level in the machine (for washing woolens, etc., in warm water), passes through a switch 132 directly to the line 78. This switch is effective to interrupt feeding of soap only when the switch arm 88 is closed in engagement with contact 90 in the cpld water circuit, soap continuing to feed until switch 136 is opened when arm 88 is in engagement with contact 138.

The other subcircuit 134 passes through a switch 136 to a contact 138 which is engaged by the switch arm 88 whenever the contact at 80 is opened (i. e. whenever the machine is set to wash cottons, etc., with hot water). When the switch 136 is closed the circuit 128 for solenoid 126 is closed, from line 76, (regardless of whether the low-suds switch 132 is open or closed) through switch 136, line 134, contacts 138 and 88, the upper part of circuit 82, hot-water switch contact 74, to line 78.

One type of device, operated by the pressure of the rising suds, for actuating the switches 132 and 136 is shown in Figures 2 and 6. There are of course two of these devices, one opening from the tube at low suds level and the other at high suds level. The switches 132 and 136 themselves are illustrated as standard commercial snap-action push-button switches, and are therefore not shown in detail.

Each of the switch-actuating devices comprises an open-bottom chamber 140, the upper part of which may be a removable stamped cup-shaped cylinder 142 if desired, the chamber being secured to the tub wall at the proper level with its lower end opening from the tub behind a protective baffle 144 curved to deflect the rising suds into the chainberb.140. The cylinder 142 contains a pressure-operated piston 146 connected by a piston rod 148 to a pivotally-mounted bellcrank lever 150 arranged to actuate the corresponding switch 132 or 136. Switches 132 and 136 are normally closed, and are opened by levers 150 as the suds level rises. The idle or "on" position of each lever 150 is determined by engagement with an adjustable stop pin 152.

Figure 7 shows a modification in which the piston rod 148 as it rises lifts a pivoted arm 156 to separate switch contacts 232 (corresponding to switch 132 or 136). In Figures 8 and 9, instead of a piston 140 there is an eccentrically pivoted disk,158 mounted on a shaft 180 carrying a mercury switch 332. In Figures 10, 11, and 12 the pivoted disk 158 actuates a shaft 180, but instead of a mercury switch this shaft carries a cam 162 raising a lever 164 to separate switch contacts 432. In Figure 13, the piston rod 148 is universally jointed to. a lever 166 carrying a mercury switch 532.

In all of these modifications, it is not the buoyant effect of the rising suds which operates the switch, but the pressure of the suds rising in the chamber 140.

Switches 132 and 136 are closed throughout the cycle of the machine, except during the part of the washing cycle after the suds are formed. IThe circuit 128 through these switches, as shown at #6 in Figure 15, is open at contact 12 during the "soak" period, closed during at least the major part of the "wash" period, and then open for the remainder of the cycle. Thus the soap is automatically fed into the tub from the beginning of the "wash" period until the opening of switch 132 (if contacts 88 and 90 are closed), or until the opening of the switch 136 (if contacts 88 and 138 are closed).

While illustrative constructions have been described in detail, it is not the intention to limit the invention to the particular constructions described otherwise than by the terms of the appended claims.

I claim: 4.5 1. A cleaning machine comprising a tub, a feeder for introducing a suds producing cleaning agent into said tub, means for initiating the operation of said feeder, and means actuated by pressure from the suds in said tub for rendering said feeder again inoperative.

2. A cleaning machine comprising a tub, a feeder for introducing a suds producing cleaning agent into said tub, motor-operated drive means for operating said feeder, means for initiating the operation of said drive means, and means actuated by pressure from the suds when they reach a predetermined level in said tub for rendering said drive means inoperative.

3. A cleaning machine comprising a tub, means for introducing suds producing detergent into said tub, and pressure-responsive means actuated by the pressure of the suds rising in said tub and controlling the operation of the detergent-introducing means, said pressure-responsive means including a chamber in fluid communication with the tub in which the suds rise, and a control member in the chamber lifted by the pressure of the rising suds.

4. A cleaning machine comprising motordriven washing mechanism, means for supplying hot water thereto, means cooperating with the hot-water supplying means for supplyingi warm water thereto, a'device for supplying suds producing detergent thereto, a multiple timer switch having circuits controlling said mechanism and said two water-supplying means and including a switch for selectively rendering said two watersupplying means operable as the timer switch operates, two control-devices having switches and operated automatically by the rising of the suds in the machine to different levels respectively to actuate said switches, and a circuit for controlling said detergent device which is controlled by said timer switch and which has branches arranged in parallel and containing respectively said two control-device switches and which branches are selectively rendered operable to ccntrol the suds level by the actuation of said selective switch, in such a manner as to give a high suds level when hot water is being used and to give a lower suds level when warm water is being used.