Title:
Apparatus for connecting hose to a cleaner and wet/dry cleaner using same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hose connection apparatus of a dry/wet vacuum cleaner comprises a hose holder mounted at an air inlet of a cleaner body, a hose connection pipe connected to the air inlet, and connected to a suction hose at an end thereof, a secondary connection pipe formed between the hose holder and an outer circumference of a dust receptacle to move between first and second positions, and an operation unit for moving the secondary connection pipe between the first and second positions. The operation unit preferably comprises a cover attached to the cleaner body at a pivoting axis, and acts to move the secondary connection pipe between first and second positions depending on the opening and closing operations of the cover. In the first position, the secondary connection pipe is moved toward the air inlet. In the second position, the secondary connection pipe is moved toward and into contact with the communication hole formed at the dust receptacle. The secondary connection pipe is moved to the second position when the cover is closed, and to the first position when the cover is open.



Inventors:
Park, Joung-soo (Jeonju-city, KR)
Application Number:
10/752231
Publication Date:
04/21/2005
Filing Date:
01/06/2004
Assignee:
PARK JOUNG-SOO
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47L9/00; A47L7/00; A47L9/24; (IPC1-7): A47L5/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SNIDER, THERESA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LADAS & PARRY LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A hose connection apparatus for connecting a suction hose to an air inlet of a cleaner body, the cleaner body being arranged and configured to detachably receive and support a dust receptacle, the hose connection apparatus comprising: a hose holder mounted adjacent the air inlet of the cleaner body; a hose connection pipe for connection to the air inlet, and being connected to a suction hose at an end thereof; a secondary connection pipe formed between the hose holder and an outer circumference of the dust receptacle arranged and configured to move between first and second positions; and an operation unit for moving the secondary connection pipe between the first and second positions, whereby in the first position, the secondary connection pipe is removed from the dust receptacle and is withdrawn toward the air inlet of the cleaner body, and in the second position, the secondary connection pipe is biased toward the communication hole formed at the dust receptacle.

2. The hose connection apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a cover that pivots around an axis disposed adjacent the cleaner body capable to open and close the cleaner body, wherein the operation unit moves the secondary connection pipe between the first and second positions in association with the opening and closing operations of the cover.

3. The hose connection apparatus of claim 2, wherein the operation unit further comprises: a pair of guide members mounted at both sides of the secondary connection pipe, each of the guide members including a first slant projection having a predetermined slant; a second slant projection part having a slant corresponding to the slant of the first slant projection part; a pair of guide shafts supporting the second slant projection part, each guide shaft being mounted within one of a pair of the communication holes that penetrate both sides of the hose holder; and an resilient member resiliently biasing the secondary connection pipe toward the first position, and the pair of guide shafts being arranged to move reciprocally in a vertical direction depending on the opening and closing operations of the cover.

4. The hose connection apparatus of claim 3, wherein each of the guide shafts include a head part coming in contact with the cover when closed and a body part extending away from the head part, the second slant projection parts being integrally formed with the body part.

5. The hose connection apparatus of claim 3, wherein the resilient member comprises a pair of compression coil springs respectively disposed adjacent the first slant projection part of the guide member on an opposite side thereof.

6. The hose connection apparatus of claim 1, wherein a plurality of locking members each having a locking hole are disposed at predetermined positions relative to each other on an inner circumference of the air inlet, and a plurality of locking projections disposed on an outer circumference of the hose connection pipe, arranged and configured for locking to the locking holes, whereby, the hose connection pipe is detachably connected to the air inlet.

7. The hose connection apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a first gasket interposed between the hose connection pipe and the air inlet; and a second gasket disposed around the communication hole of the dust receptacle, thereby preventing undesirable ingress of air flowing into the dust receptacle other than from the suction hose.

8. A dry/wet vacuum cleaner comprising: a vacuum generator which generates a suction force; a cleaner body in which the vacuum generator is disposed in a lower part thereof, and a dust collecting chamber including an air inlet and an air outlet; a dust receptacle detachably mounted in the dust collecting chamber of the cleaner body, the dust receptacle having a communication hole fluidly communicating with the air inlet of the cleaner body; a cover mounted on top of the cleaner body, and pivoting about an axis to open and close the top of the cleaner body; a suction brush connected to the cleaner body by a suction hose, for cleaning a surface to be cleaned; and a hose connection apparatus connecting the suction hose to the air inlet of the cleaner body, wherein, in association with an opening and closing operation of the cover, the hose connection apparatus comes into tight contact with the communication hole of the dust receptacle when the cover is closed, and is separated by a predetermined distance from the dust receptacle so as not to obstruct the vertical motion of the dust receptacle when the cover is opened, and thereby to facilitate removal of the dust receptacle from the cleaner body.

9. The dry/wet vacuum cleaner of claim 8, wherein the hose connection apparatus further comprises: a hose holder mounted adjacent the air inlet of the cleaner body; a hose connection pipe for connection to the air inlet, and being connected to the suction hose at an end thereof; and a secondary connection pipe formed between the hose holder and the dust receptacle to move between a first position and a second position, in which first position the secondary connection pipe is near the air inlet, and in the second position the secondary connection pipe is near the communication hole; and an operation unit for moving the secondary connection pipe between the first and second positions.

10. The dry/wet vacuum cleaner of claim 9, wherein the operation unit further comprises: a pair of guide members mounted at both sides of the secondary connection pipe, each of the guide members including a first slant projection having a predetermined slant; a second slant projection part having a slant corresponding to, but opposite in orientation relative to, the slant of the first slant projection part; a pair of guide shafts supporting the second slant projection part, each guide shaft being mounted within one of a pair of the communication holes that penetrate both sides of the hose holder; and an resilient member resiliently biasing the secondary connection pipe toward the first position, and the pair of guide shafts being arranged to move reciprocally in a vertical direction depending on the opening and closing operations of the cover.

11. The dry/wet vacuum cleaner of claim 10, wherein each of the guide shafts include a head part coming in contact with the cover when closed and a body part extending away from the head part, the second slant projection parts being integrally formed with the body part.

12. The dry/wet vacuum cleaner of claim 10, wherein the resilient member comprises a pair of compression coil springs respectively disposed adjacent the first slant projection part of the guide member disposed on an opposite side thereof.

13. The dry/wet vacuum cleaner of clam 8, wherein a plurality of locking members, each having a locking hole, are disposed at predetermined positions relative to each other on an inner circumference of the air inlet, and a plurality of locking projections disposed on an outer circumference of the hose connection pipe, arranged and configured for locking with the locking holes, whereby the hose connection pipe is detachably connected to the air inlet.

14. The dry/wet vacuum cleaner of claim 8, further comprising: a first gasket interposed between the hose connection pipe and the air inlet; and a second gasket disposed around the communication hole of the dust receptacle, thereby preventing undesirable ingress of air flowing into the dust receptacle other than from the suction hose.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a vacuum cleaner, and more particularly, to a hose connection apparatus for connecting a suction hose to a cleaner body, and a wet/dry vacuum cleaner using such an apparatus.

2. Description of the Background Art

As is well known, a dry/wet vacuum cleaner can clean up not only dry dirt but also moisture mixed with dirt, i.e., containing water. The dry/wet vacuum cleaner comprises a motor part for generating a suction force, a brush part for drawing in water, dust and dirt, a filter part for separating the water, dust and dirt from the drawn in air, and a storage part for storing the water, dust and dirt which are separated from the drawn in air by the filter part.

A greatly improved dry/wet vacuum cleaner is disclosed in Korean Patent Application No. 2002-57713 (filed on Sep. 24, 2002), which is more convenient to use since the dust, water and dirt stored in a dust receptacle are easily removed.

As described in Korean Patent Application No. 2002-57713, the dry/wet vacuum cleaner comprises a vacuum generator which generates a suction force, a cleaner body which includes the vacuum generator in a location underneath the other elements when the vacuum is upright, and a dust collecting chamber having an air inlet and an air outlet, a dust receptacle detachably mounted in the dust collecting chamber, a cover disposed on top of the cleaner body being openable by use of a pivotal movement. The cleaner has a discharge path for providing fluid communication with the air outlet, a suction brush connected to the cleaner body by a suction hose for moving along and cleaning a surface to be cleaned, and a hose connection apparatus connecting the suction hose to the air inlet of the cleaner body.

FIG. 1 shows in a detailed, cutaway perspective view, the hose connection apparatus 10 of a conventional dry/wet vacuum cleaner, wherein reference numeral 1 represents the cleaner body, 2 represents the dust receptacle, 3 represents a hose connection pipe, and 4 represents a hose holder.

As shown in FIG. 1, the cleaner body 1 comprises at one side the hose holder 4 having an air inlet 4a. The dust receptacle 2 has a communication hole 2a, which corresponds to the air inlet 4a, so that the hose connection pipe 3 can be inserted through both inlet 4a and hole 2a when these are aligned. The hose connection pipe 3 has an end that can be inserted into the dust receptacle 2, and thus also penetrating the air inlet 4a and the communication hole 2a. Gaskets 5, 6 act as seals so as to prevent loss of air flowing in.

During cleaning operation of the conventional cleaner the dirt, water and dust flows into the cleaner body 1 together with the air through a suction brush (not shown). The unclean air is discharged into the dust receptacle 2 in the dust collecting chamber, where the dirt and water is collected. When the dust receptacle 2 is full of dirt and dust, the dust receptacle 2 is separated from the cleaner body 1 for emptying.

Since the hose connection pipe 3 of the conventional dry/wet vacuum cleaner shown in FIG. 1 penetrates the air inlet 4a and the communication hole 2a of the dust receptacle 2, before separating the dust receptacle 2 from the cleaner body 1 to remove the collected dirt, first the hose connection pipe 3 must also be separated from the cleaner body 1. Therefore, it becomes inconvenient to use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has been made to overcome the above-mentioned problem. Accordingly, it is an aspect of the present invention to provide a hose connection apparatus of an improved vacuum cleaner in which a hose connection pipe does not have to be separated from the cleaner body in order to remove the dust receptacle, and further discloses a dry/wet vacuum cleaner having such a construction.

In order to achieve the above-described aspects of the present invention, there is provided a hose connection apparatus comprising a hose holder mounted adjacent the air inlet of the cleaner body, a hose connection pipe for connection to the air inlet, and being connected to a suction hose by one end, a secondary connection pipe formed between the hose holder and an outer circumference of a dust receptacle, preferably mounted in a dust collecting chamber, arranged and configured to move between first and second positions, and an operation unit for moving the secondary connection pipe between the first and second positions.

The operation unit comprises a cover that pivots about an axis adjacent the cleaner body, and moves the secondary connection pipe to the first and second positions depending on the opening and closing operations of the cover.

In the first position, the secondary connection pipe moved to the air inlet. In the second position, the secondary connection pipe is moved to the communication hole formed at the dust receptacle.

The operation unit comprises a pair of guide members mounted at both sides of the secondary connection pipe, and each of the pair of guide members including a first slant projection having a predetermined slant, a second slant projection part having a slant corresponding to the slant of the first slant projection part but opposite in orientation, a pair of guide shafts supporting the second slant projection part, and mounted within on of a pair of the communication holes that penetrate both sides of the hose holder, and an resilient member resiliently biasing the secondary connection pipe toward the first position.

Each guide shaft has a head part coming into with the cover when closed and a body part extending away from the head part. The second slant projection parts may be integrally formed with the body part of the guide shaft.

The resilient member preferably comprises a pair of compression coil springs respectively disposed adjacent the first slant projection part of the guide member but disposed on an opposite side thereof.

It is preferable that a plurality of locking members, each having a locking hole are disposed at predetermined positions relative to each other on an inner circumference of the air inlet, and a plurality of locking projections are disposed on an outer circumference of the hose connection pipe, to engage the locking holes and be hooked thereby, whereby the hose connection pipe is detachably connected to the air inlet.

To prevent introduction and ingress of undesirable air flowing in to the dust collecting chamber, the hose connection apparatus according to the present invention comprises a first gasket interposed between the hose connection pipe and the air inlet, and a second gasket disposed around the communication hole of the dust receptacle.

A dry/wet vacuum cleaner to achieve a broader aspect of the present invention comprises a vacuum generator which generates a suction force, a cleaner body in which the vacuum generator is disposed in a lower portion when the vacuum cleaner is upright, and a dust collecting chamber including an air inlet and an air outlet, a dust receptacle detachably mounted in the dust collecting chamber of the cleaner body having a communication hole fluidly communicated with the air inlet, a cover mounted on top of the cleaner body, and pivoting about an axis thereby to open and close the top of the cleaner body, a suction brush connected to the cleaner body by a suction hose for cleaning along a surface to be cleaned; and a hose connection apparatus connecting the suction hose to the air inlet of the cleaner body. In association with an opening and closing operation of the cover, the hose connection apparatus comes into a tight contacting relationship with the communication hole of the dust receptacle when the cover is closed, and is separated by a predetermined distance from the dust receptacle so as not to obstruct vertical motion of the dust receptacle when the cover is opened.

The hose connection apparatus further comprises a hose holder mounted adjacent the air inlet of the cleaner body, a hose connection pipe for connection to the air inlet, and being connected to the suction hose at an end thereof, and a secondary connection pipe formed between the hose holder and the dust receptacle to move between a first position and a second position, in which first position the secondary connection pipe is near the air inlet, and in which second position being the secondary connection pipe is near the communication hole, and an operation unit for moving the secondary connection pipe to the first and the second positions.

The operation unit comprises a pair of guide members mounted one mounted at each side of the secondary connection pipe, and each including a first slant projection having a predetermined slant, a second slant projection part having a slant corresponding to the slant of the first slant projection part, a pair of guide shafts supporting the second slant projection part, each guide shaft being mounted within one of a pair of communication holes that penetrate each of both sides of the hose holder, and an resilient member resiliently biasing the secondary connection pipe toward the first position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become clearer and will be better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 is a detailed, cutaway perspective view showing a hose connection apparatus of a conventional dry/wet vacuum cleaner;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view showing the hose connection apparatus according to an embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a detailed, cutaway perspective view showing an assembled cover of the dry/wet vacuum cleaner employing the hose connection apparatus of FIG. 2, in an open condition;

FIGS. 4A and 4B show details of the operation of the hose connection apparatus in a condition in which the cover of FIG. 2 is open;

FIG. 5 is a detailed, cutaway perspective view showing the cover of an assembled dry/wet vacuum cleaner employing the hose connection apparatus of FIG. 2, in a closed condition;

FIGS. 6A and 6B show details of the operation of the hose connection apparatus in a condition in which the cover as shown in FIG. 5 is closed; and

FIG. 7 shows a dust receptacle in the process of being separated from a cleaner body with the cover of the hose connection apparatus open, as shown in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, preferred embodiments of a dry/wet vacuum cleaner according to the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings.

As shown in FIG. 2, the hose connection apparatus 100 according to the present invention comprises a hose holder 110, a hose connection pipe 120, a secondary connection pipe 130, and an operation unit 140.

The hose holder 110 is mounted in an upper part of a cleaner body 200, as shown in FIGS. 2 to 4. The hose holder 110 has the same curvature radius as the cleaner body 200 (FIGS. 3 and 7), and has a centrally disposed air inlet 111. On an inner circumference of the air inlet 111, a plurality of locking members 112 are disposed at predetermined intervals, each having a locking hole 112a therein. At both sides of the air inlet 111 of the hose connection apparatus 110, a pair of guide holes 113, 113′ are formed. The locking member 112 and the guide holes 113, 113′ will be described in greater detail below.

The hose connection pipe 120 is connected to the air inlet 111 of the hose connection apparatus 110, with one end thereof being connected to a suction hose (not shown). The suction hose is connected to a remote suction brush (not shown) that moves along a surface to be cleaned, and thereby constitutes a communication path between the suction brush and the cleaner body 200. Referring again to FIG. 2, an outer circumference of the hose connection pipe 120 includes a plurality of locking projections 122, which are formed to be hooked by the locking holes 112a of the locking member 112, and which are formed on the inner circumference of the air inlet 111. Therefore, the hose connection apparatus 120 is detachably connected to the air inlet 111 by the locking member 112 and the plurality of locking projections 122. Additionally, a first gasket 150 is interposed between the hose connection pipe 120 and the air inlet 111 as a seal to prevent undesirable ingress of air flowing in through the connection.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the secondary connection pipe 130 is capable of moving between first and second positions within the hose holder 110 and the outer circumference of a dust receptacle 300. At one side of the dust receptacle 300, a communication hole 310 is formed, and is in fluid communication with the air inlet 111 when in the appropriate position. The secondary connection pipe 130 has a large-diameter part 131 having a diameter larger than the air inlet 111, and a small-diameter part 132 of approximately the same diameter as the communication hole 310. In addition, a circular groove 115 having a predetermined depth is formed around the air inlet 111 of the hose holder 110 so that the large diameter part 131 of the secondary connection pipe 130 may be inserted thereinto and the pipe 130 may be rendered movable between first and second positions.

In the first position, the secondary connection pipe 130 is moved to engage the air inlet 111 of the hose holder 110 (see FIG. 3), and in the second position, the secondary connection pipe 130 is moved to disengage from the hose holder and be in contact with the communication hole 310 of the dust receptacle 300 (see FIG. 5).

The operation unit 140 is operated in order to move the secondary connection pipe 130 between the first and second positions. Particularly, the operation unit 140 operates to move the secondary connection pipe 130 between the first and second positions in association with an opening or closing operation of a cover 400 (FIG. 7), which is mounted on top of the cleaner body 200, and can be pivotably opened and closed around an axis. More specifically, when the cover 400 is closed, the operation unit 140 causes the secondary connection pipe 130 to move to the second position, that is, to a position where the small-diameter part 132 is in tight contact with the communication hole 310, as shown in FIG. 5. When the cover 400 is open, the operation unit 140 causes the secondary connection pipe 130 to move to the first position, that is, to a position where the large-diameter part 131 is moved to the air inlet 111, as shown in FIG. 3. In the first position, the secondary connection pipe 130 is located at a predetermined distance from the outer circumference of the dust receptacle 300, and therefore, the dust receptacle 300 is capable of clearing the distal lip of connection pipe 120, and thereby is detachable even when the hose connection pipe 120 is not separated.

Referring again to FIG. 2, the above-described operation unit 140 comprises a pair of guide members 142, 142′ which respectively and preferably include two first slant projection parts 141 having a predetermined slant, second slant projection parts 143, 143′, guide shafts 144, 144′, and resilient members 145, 145′, as shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B.

The pair of guide members 142, 142′ preferably are integrally formed at both sides of the secondary connection pipe 130, respectively having the first slant projection part 141 centrally disposed between each of guide members 142, 142′ and the large diameter part 132 of secondary connection pipe 130, and the guide members 142, 142a are disposed at each end of the secondary connection pipe 130.

The second slant projection parts 143, 143′ each have a slant opposite and corresponding to and capable of engaging the slant of the opposed first slant projection part 141. Preferably, they are mounted in the guide shafts 144, 144′ so that the opposed slant projection parts can come into contact with each other. Meanwhile, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, the second slant projection parts 143, 143′ are preferably formed as separate elements from the guide shafts 144, 144′. However, the second slant projection parts 143, 143′ may alternatively be integrally formed with the guide shafts 144, 144′.

The guide shafts 144, 144′ are mounted within the pair of guide holes 113, 113′ formed at both sides of the hose holder 110 and are arranged to move vertically therewithin. The guide shafts 144, 144′ are comprised of a head part 144a, and a body part 144b extending downwardly away from the head part 144a.

The resilient members 145, 145′ preferably comprise a compression coil spring, but may also take the form of rubber inserts or other appropriate means able to bias the pipe connection 130 in a desired direction. The resilient members 145, 145′ are supported at one end by a spring fixing projection 146 (FIG. 4A) disposed directly corresponding to the first slant projection part 141 of the hose holder 110 at an opposite side thereof, and at the other end by an inner wall of the cleaner body 200 (not shown), thereby resiliently biasing the secondary connection pipe 130 toward the first position.

In FIG. 3, a second gasket 160 is formed around the communication hole 310 in the inner wall of the dust receptacle 300 in order to prevent ingress of incoming air other than the incoming air drawn in from the hose connection pipe 120.

Hereinafter, the operation of the dry/wet vacuum cleaner employing the hose connection apparatus according to the present invention, and the hose connection apparatus, will be described with reference to FIGS. 3 to 7.

FIG. 3 shows the cover 400 (FIG. 7) of the dry/wet vacuum cleaner employing the hose connection apparatus when it is in an open condition, that is, when it pivoted about its axis (as shown in FIG. 7).

As shown in FIG. 3, the pair of guide shafts 144, 144′ are in an upwardly protruded condition, since the guide shafts 144, 144′ are mounted at the hose holder 110 so as to move vertically, so that they can take one of two vertical positions. As a result of the vertical guide shaft condition, the secondary connection pipe 130 is moved to the first position wherein the large-diameter part 131 is inserted in the groove 115 of the hose holder 110. Therefore, the small-diameter part 132 of the secondary connection pipe 130 and the outer circumference of the dust receptacle 300 are separated by a predetermined distance from each other.

The hose connection apparatus is operated when the secondary connection pipe 130 is moved toward the left by the resilient force of the resilient member 145 disposed therebehind, and accordingly, the guide shaft 144 is moved upwardly by the first and the second slant projection parts 141, 143, as shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B.

By the operation of the hose connection apparatus, as shown in FIG. 7, since the secondary connection pipe 130 does not obstruct upward movement of the dust receptacle 300 when the cover 400 is open, the dust receptacle 300 can be separated from the cleaner body 200 without requiring the extra step of separation of the secondary connection pipe 130.

Meanwhile, when the dust receptacle 300 is re-mounted within the cleaner body 200 after being emptied, and the cover 400 is closed, the guide shaft 144 is depressed by the end of cover 400 distally disposed from the axis, as shown in FIGS. 5 to 6B. As a result, the secondary connection pipe 130 is pushed toward the right as shown in FIG. 5, and thus, is moved to the second position wherein the small-diameter part 130 thereof comes into tight contact with the dust receptacle 30 in the vicinity of the communication hole 310. To provide a more complete seal of the communication passage, the outer lip of the small diameter part 132 is pressed against and engages the surface of the second gasket 160.

That is, when the guide shaft 144 descends, the secondary connection pipe 130 is moved toward the right by the second and the first slant projection parts 143, 141 acted on by the resilient force of the resilient member 145.

When the cover 400 is re-opened, the external force depressing the guide shaft 144 is removed, and therefore, the secondary connection pipe 130 is again moved to the first position, as shown in FIG. 3.

As described above, according to the present invention, when the cover 400 is open, the secondary connection pipe 130 is moved toward the hose connection pipe. Therefore, the secondary connection pipe 130 and the dust receptacle 300 are separated from each other by a predetermined distance. Accordingly, the dust receptacle 300 can be separated and removed from the cleaner body 200 without requiring the extra step of separation of the hose connection pipe. That is, the hose connection pipe does not have to be removed from the cleaner body for separation of the dust receptacle 300 from the cleaner body 200. Therefore, the vacuum cleaner becomes more convenient to use.

While the invention has been shown and described with reference to certain preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various modifications, alterations, substitutions and changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.