Title:
Method of controlling rinsing process of washing machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method of controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine having a pulsator to wash laundry, the method includes a wrinkle prevention rinsing process. During the wrinkle prevention rinsing process, the pulsator is stopped for a pulsator stopping time which is set to be longer than a pulsator driving time, thereby forming wrinkle preventing water flows to minimize wrinkles in the laundry. The wrinkle preventing rinsing process may be performed before a final spin-drying operation is performed. The wrinkle preventing rinsing process may be performed after a general rinsing process, which is performed at least once. The wrinkle preventing rinsing process may be performed for a wrinkle preventing rinsing time that is set to be longer than a general rising time for the general rinsing process.



Inventors:
Jung, Jung-ran (Suwon-City, KR)
Application Number:
10/235892
Publication Date:
11/27/2003
Filing Date:
09/06/2002
Assignee:
SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS CO., LTD. (Suwon-City, KR)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
8/159, 68/12.12
International Classes:
D06F33/02; D06F35/00; (IPC1-7): D06F33/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050039266Particulate composition comprising dye fixativesFebruary, 2005Kvita et al.
20080235879Method of producing substantially wrinkle-free textile surfacesOctober, 2008Birckbichler et al.
20080263782Method and apparatus for wet-processing strand-shaped textile goodsOctober, 2008Christ et al.
20070277331Protecting areas of skin proximate hair or nails from hair colors/ dyes and other contaminantsDecember, 2007Goldstein et al.
20090158534Dyeing of Wool FibresJune, 2009Jungen et al.
20090193596COMPOSITIONS FOR SPRAY DYEING CELLULOSIC FABRICSAugust, 2009May
20050091759Home dry cleaning system and methodMay, 2005Kleinman
20020007524Method for dyeing dry hairJanuary, 2002Sorensen
20100064446Laundry machine and controlling method thereofMarch, 2010Bae et al.
20050204481Process for accelerated wetting of laundry in a drum washing machineSeptember, 2005Czyzewski et al.
20030024662Cationic fibresFebruary, 2003Besemer et al.



Primary Examiner:
PERRIN, JOSEPH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
STAAS & HALSEY LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A method of controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine having a pulsator to wash laundry, the method comprising performing a wrinkle prevention rinsing process which includes: driving the pulsator for a pulsator driving time; and stopping the pulsator for a pulsator stopping time, wherein: the pulsator stopping time is longer than the pulsator driving time, and the driving and stopping of the pulsator generate wrinkle preventing water flows which minimize wrinkles in the laundry.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the wrinkle preventing rinsing process is performed before performing a final spin-drying operation of the washing machine.

3. The method according to claim 2, wherein the wrinkle preventing rinsing process is performed after performing at least one operation of a general rinsing process of the rinsing operation.

4. The method according to claim 3, wherein: the wrinkle preventing rinsing process is performed for a wrinkle preventing rinsing time, and the wrinkle preventing rinsing time is set to be longer than a general rinsing time for the general rinsing process.

5. The method according to claim 3, wherein: the pulsator driving time is shorter than a general pulsator driving time for the general rinsing process, and the pulsator stopping time is longer than a general pulsator stopping time for the general rinsing process.

6. The method according to claim 3, wherein the general rinsing process of the rinsing operation comprises: discharging wash water contained in the washing machine; spin-drying the laundry to remove the wash water absorbed into the laundry; and rinsing the laundry by rotating the laundry, in new wash water, in opposite directions.

7. The method according to claim 1, wherein the rinsing operation is performed after a washing operation of the washing machine.

8. The method according to claim 1, wherein the driving and stopping of the pulsator in the wrinkle prevention rinsing process is performed more than once.

9. The method according to claim 1, wherein the driving and stopping of the pulsator in the wrinkle prevention rinsing process disentangles the laundry and allows a fabric of the laundry to absorb wash water contained in the washing machine.

10. The method according to claim 1, wherein the performing of the wrinkle prevention rinsing process further includes: discharging wash water contained in the washing machine; spin-drying the laundry to remove the wash water absorbed into the laundry; and supplying new wash water to the washing machine, wherein the driving of the pulsator rotates the laundry, in the new wash water, in opposite directions.

11. A method of controlling a washing machine having a pulsator to wash laundry, the method comprising performing one or more driving and stopping operations of the pulsator, wherein: the stopping operation of the pulsator is longer than the driving operation of the pulsator, and the driving and stopping of the pulsator generate wrinkle preventing wash water flows of wash water contained in the washing machine and disentangle the laundry.

12. The method according to claim 11, wherein: the wrinkle preventing wash water flows minimize wrinkles in the laundry, and the stopping of the pulsator allows a fabric of the laundry to absorb wash water contained in the washing machine.

13. The method according to claim 11, wherein the performing of the one or more driving and stopping operations of the pulsator is performed before performing a final spin-drying operation of the washing machine.

14. The method according to claim 11, wherein the performing of the one or more driving and stopping operations of the pulsator is performed after performing a general rinsing operation of the washing machine.

15. The method according to claim 11, wherein: the driving of the pulsator is shorter than a driving pulsator operation of the general rinsing operation, and the stopping of the pulsator is longer than a stopping pulsator operation of the general rinsing operation.

16. A method of operating a washing machine having a pulsator to wash laundry, the method comprising: performing a washing operation of the washing machine to wash the laundry; performing one or more rinsing operations of the washing machine to rinse the laundry; performing a wrinkle prevention operation, wherein the wrinkle prevention operation comprises: one or more operations of driving and stopping the pulsator, wherein: the stopping of the pulsator is longer than the driving of the pulsator, and the driving and stopping of the pulsator allow a fabric of the laundry to absorb wash water contained in the washing machine and generate wrinkle preventing wash water flows of the wash water; and performing a spin-drying operation of the washing machine to spin-dry the laundry.

17. A washing machine to wash laundry, comprising: a water tub having a wash tub rotatably disposed therein; a pulsator which rotates the wash tub; a wash motor which drives the pulsator; and a control unit which controls driving and stopping of the pulsator, wherein the control unit generates wrinkle preventing wash water flows of wash water contained in the washing machine by stopping the pulsator for a longer period of time than driving the pulsator to disentangle the laundry.

18. The washing machine according to claim 17, wherein the control unit generates the wrinkle preventing wash water flows after a general rinsing operation of the washing machine and before a final spin-drying operation of the washing machine.

19. The washing machine according to claim 17, further comprising: a function selection unit which selects a washing function of the washing machine; a temperature sensor unit which senses a temperature of the wash water supplied to the water tub; a water level detecting unit which detects a water level of the water tub; a weight detecting unit which detects a weight of the laundry; and a rotation number detecting unit which detects a rotation number of the wash motor, wherein the control unit communicates with the function selection, temperature sensor, water level detecting, weight detecting, and rotation number detecting units.

20. The washing machine according to claim 18, further comprising: a water supply value drive unit which selectively opens a water supply valve of the washing machine; a water discharge valve drive unit which selectively opens a water discharge valve of the washing machine; a display unit which displays operating information of the washing machine; and a washing motor drive unit which drives the wash motor, wherein the control unit controls the water supply value drive, water discharge valve drive, display, and washing motor drive units.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of Korean Patent Application No. 2002-28079 filed on May 21, 2002, in the Korean Industrial Property Office, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to a washing machine, and more particularly to a method of controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine.

[0004] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0005] Generally, a washing machine is an apparatus which performs a washing operation of laundry by rotating a pulsator in forward and reverse directions to cause wash water therein to impact against the laundry.

[0006] A conventional washing machine performs washing, rinsing and spin-drying operations. Factors, such as a washing time, a rinsing time, a spin-drying time, wash water levels, and the number of times the rinsing operation is repeated are preset according to the amount and kind of laundry. The rinsing operation includes, in order, wash water discharging, spin-drying and rinsing processes, and is repeated two to five times at a preset water level.

[0007] In the rinsing operation, used wash water is first discharged from a water tub, and the wash water absorbed into laundry is removed by rotating a wash tub at a high-speed for a preset spin-drying time. Afterwards, water is supplied to the water tub until a reference water level, which is preset according to the amount and kind of the laundry, is reached, and the laundry is rinsed by forward and reverse rotations of the pulsator. The rinsing operation removes bubbles and detergent remnants contained in the laundry.

[0008] In the conventional rinsing process of the rinsing operation, the water is simply supplied to the water tub and, thereafter, the laundry is rinsed. In such a case, the laundry adhered to a wall of the wash tub during the spin-drying process of the rinsing operation falls to a center portion of an interior of the wash tub. Accordingly, since the rinsing process of the rinsing operation is performed while the laundry is still entangled, the entanglement of the laundry is not eliminated and the laundry is lumped into a body.

[0009] Therefore, where the spin-drying operation is performed in such a state, the laundry is wrinkled by the high-speed rotation of the wash tub during the spin-drying operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method of controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine, which prevents entanglement of laundry, so as to perform a spin-drying operation of the laundry without wrinkling the laundry.

[0011] Additional objects and advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description which follows and, in part, will be obvious from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention.

[0012] To achieve the above and other objects of the present invention, there is provided a method of controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine having a pulsator to wash laundry, the method comprising performing a wrinkle prevention rinsing process which includes driving the pulsator for a pulsator driving time and stopping the pulsator for a stopping time, wherein the pulsator stopping time is longer than the pulsator driving time, and the driving and stopping of the pulsator generate wrinkle preventing water flows which minimize wrinkles in the laundry.

[0013] The wrinkle preventing rinsing process may be performed before performing a final spin-drying operation of the washing mcahine.

[0014] The wrinkle preventing rinsing process may be performed after performing at least one operation of a general rinsing process of the rinsing operation.

[0015] The wrinkle preventing rinsing process may be performed for a wrinkle preventing rinsing time that is set to be longer than a general rising time for the general rising process.

[0016] The pulsator may be driven for a pulsator driving time that is shorter than a pulsator driving time for the general rinsing process, and stopped for a pulsator stopping time that is longer than a pulsator stopping time for the general rising process.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:

[0018] FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a washing machine to which the present method of controlling a rinsing operation is applied;

[0019] FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an apparatus which controls a rinsing operation of the washing machine shown in FIG. 1, in accordance with the present invention;

[0020] FIG. 3A is a flowchart illustrating a method of controlling the rising operation of the washing machine shown in FIG. 1 according to an embodiment of the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 3B is a flowchart illustrating a wrinkle preventing rinsing process of FIG. 3A; and

[0022] FIG. 4 is a timing chart for a pulsator at a general rinsing process and the wrinkle preventing rinsing process of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0023] Reference will now be made in detail to the embodiments of the present invention, examples of which are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to the like elements throughout. The embodiments are described below in order to explain the present invention by referring to the figures.

[0024] FIG. 1 shows a sectional view of a washing machine to which the present method of controlling a rinsing operation is applied.

[0025] The washing machine includes a water tub 2 which is positioned in the interior of a housing 1. A wash tub 3 is rotatably disposed in the water tub 2. A pulsator 4 is rotatably mounted on a bottom of the interior of the wash tub 3. A wash motor 5 is mounted beneath a peripheral portion of the bottom of the water tub 2, and rotates in forward and reverse directions. The wash motor 5 is connected to a clutch mechanism 8 via pulleys 6 and a belt 7.

[0026] The clutch mechanism 8 receives a rotating force of the wash motor 5 to rotate the pulsator 4 in the forward and reverse directions during washing and rinsing operations, and to rotate the wash tub 3 at a high speed in a forward direction during a spin-drying operation.

[0027] A water supply conduit 9 is installed in an upper portion of the housing 1 to be connected to an outside water pipe (not shown). A water supply valve 10 is disposed in the water supply conduit 9 to control a water supply.

[0028] A water discharge valve 11 is disposed under the water tub 2 to discharge the water contained in the water tub 2, and connected to a water discharge conduit 12.

[0029] FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an apparatus which controls a rinsing operation of the washing machine shown in FIG. 1.

[0030] The apparatus includes a function selecting switch 20, a temperature sensor 21, a water level detecting unit 22, a weight detecting unit 23, and a rotation number detecting unit 24 which are electrically connected to an input side of a control unit 30. The control unit 30 controls the overall operation of the washing machine. The function selecting switch 20 selects a desired washing function, such as a washing, rinsing or spin-drying function. The temperature sensor 21 senses a temperature of water supplied to the water tub 2. The water level detecting unit 22 detects a water level of the water tub 2. The weight detecting unit 23 detects a weight of laundry. The rotation number detecting unit 24 detects a rotation number of the wash motor 5.

[0031] In addition, a water supply valve drive unit 40, a water discharge valve drive unit 41, a display 42, and a washing motor drive unit 43 are electrically connected to an output side of the control unit 30. The water supply valve drive unit 40 selectively opens and closes the water supply valve 10. The water discharge valve drive unit 41 selectively opens and closes the water discharge valve 11. The display 42 displays various information including a current operating state of the washing machine. The washing motor drive unit 43 drives the wash motor 5.

[0032] Hereinafter, with reference to FIG S. 3A and 3B, a method of controlling the rinsing operation of the washing machine shown in FIG. 1 will be described.

[0033] FIG. 3A shows a flowchart illustrating the method of controlling the rising operation of the washing machine shown in FIG. 1.

[0034] With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the control unit 30 supplies wash water to the water tub 2 up to a water level preset by a user, and drives the wash motor 5 through the washing motor drive unit 43 in forward and reverse directions to rotate the pulsator 4 according to the kind and weight of laundry and the preset water level. Accordingly, the laundry is washed by water flows formed by the forward and reverse rotations of the pulsator 4 in a washing operation 100.

[0035] Where the washing operation 100 is completed, the control unit 30 performs washing water discharging, spin-drying and rinsing processes for a preset rinsing time, for example, 13 minutes.

[0036] That is, the control unit 30 controls the water discharge drive unit 41 so as to open the water discharge valve 41 to discharge the used wash water from the water tub 2 to the outside. In addition, the control unit 30 rotates the wash tub 3 at a high speed to remove the wash water absorbed into the laundry, and controls the water supply valve drive unit 40 so as to open the water supply valve 10 to supply fresh wash water to the water tub 2. Furthermore, the control unit 30 controls the washing motor drive unit 43 so as to rotate the wash motor 5 in forward and reverse directions to rotate the pulsator 4 in forward and reverse directions, thereby performing a rinsing process 101 of the rinsing operation.

[0037] Thereafter, the control unit 30 repeatedly performs the rinsing process for a preset number of times, for example, four times, in processes 102, 103, and 104.

[0038] Where the last rinsing process, for example, the rinsing process 104 is performed, the control unit 30 performs a wrinkle preventing rinsing process 105 by disentangling the laundry so as to have a fabric of the laundry absorb wash water and prevent wrinkles from forming in the laundry.

[0039] After performing the wrinkle preventing process 105, the control unit 30 completely discharges the wash water from the water tub 2 and spin-dries the laundry by rotating the wash tub 3 at a high-rotation speed to remove the wash water absorbed into the laundry in a spin-drying operation 106.

[0040] After performing the spin-drying operation 106, the control unit 30 controls the washing motor drive unit 43 so as to stop the wash motor 5 to end an overall washing procedure.

[0041] FIG. 3B is a flowchart showing the wrinkle preventing rinsing process 105 of FIG. 3A.

[0042] With reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, where the wrinkle preventing rinsing process is started, the control unit 30 performs washing water discharging, spin-drying and rinsing sub-processes for a set rinsing time.

[0043] That is, the control unit 30 controls the water discharging valve drive unit 41 so as to open the water discharging valve 11 to discharge the used wash water from the water tub 2 to the outside in a washing water discharging sub-process 200.

[0044] Where the wash water is discharged to the outside, the control unit 30 spin-dries the laundry by rotating the wash tub 3 at a high speed to remove the wash water absorbed into the laundry in a spin-drying sub-process 201.

[0045] Where the laundry is spin-dried, the control unit 30 controls the water supply drive unit 40 so as to open the water supply valve 10 to supply wash water to the water tub 2 to a preset water level in a washing water supplying sub-process 202.

[0046] Where the supplying of the wash water is completed, the control unit 30 controls the washing motor drive unit 43 so as to drive the wash motor 5 to rotate the pulsator 4 in forward and reverse directions for a first preset time (for example, one minute) in a sub-process 203.

[0047] Where the first preset time elapses, the control unit 30 stops the rotation of the pulsator 4 for a second preset time (for example, four minutes) which is set to be longer than the first preset time in a sub-process 204. As a result, the laundry is disentangled by wrinkle preventing water flows formed by a starting and stopping operations of the pulsator 4. Accordingly, the formation of wrinkles in the laundry is minimized.

[0048] Where the second preset time elapses, the control unit 30 may repeat the above-described sub-processes 203 and 204 once more in sub-processes 205 and 206. Accordingly, the entanglement of the laundry is further eliminated, and the formation of the wrinkles in the laundry is further minimized.

[0049] FIG. 4 shows a timing chart for the pulsator 4 at a general rinsing process and a wrinkle preventing rinsing process of the present invention.

[0050] As depicted in FIG. 4, a rinsing time T for the wrinkle preventing rinsing process is set to be longer than a rinsing time To for the general rinsing process (such as rinsing 1, rinsing 2, rinsing 3 and rinsing 4 of FIG. 3A).

[0051] During the wrinkle preventing rinsing process, the pulsator 4 is driven for a pulsator driving time T1, and the pulsator is stopped for a pulsator stopping time T2 which is set to be longer than the pulsator driving time T1, thereby disentangling the laundry and allowing a fabric of the laundry to absorb the wash water. This, in effect, prevents the wrinkles from forming in the laundry.

[0052] As described above, the present invention provides a method of controlling a rinsing operation of a washing machine, wherein the method allows a spin-drying operation to be performed after an entanglement of laundry is eliminated, so as to minimize the formation of wrinkles in the laundry.

[0053] Although a few embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes may be made in these embodiments without departing from the principles and spirit of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims and their equivalents.