Title:
Washing machine for washing textiles with a liquid circuit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention suggests a washing machine for washing textiles that comprises a liquid circuit whereby the liquid circuit comprises at least one feed pump and an inflow element for the inflow of the liquid into a washing area where said washing machine considerably improves the washing action or the cleaning action. This is achieved according to the present invention by providing at least one adjusting mechanism for changing the characteristics of the outflowing liquid.



Inventors:
Schrott, Harald (Lindau, DE)
Eichholz, Heinz-dieter (Iserlohn, DE)
Application Number:
11/270619
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
11/10/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
68/184, 68/207
International Classes:
D06F39/08
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ADHLAKHA, RITA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
William D. Breneman, Esq (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. Washing machine for washing textiles that comprises a liquid circuit whereby the liquid circuit comprises at least one feed pump and one inflow element for the inflow of the liquid into a washing area, characterized in that at least one adjusting mechanism is provided for changing the characteristics of the outflowing liquid.

2. Washing machine pursuant to claim 1, characterized in that the adjusting mechanism is designed for changing the direction of the liquid circuit.

3. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims, characterized in that a control unit is provided for changing the liquid circuit.

4. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims, characterized in that at least one distributor opening is arranged above the textiles and/or in the upper section of the receptacle.

5. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the distributor opening is arranged inside the receptacle.

6. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the adjusting mechanism is designed for changing the cross-section of the distributor opening.

7. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the inflow element is designed as a spray nozzle for spraying the liquid.

8. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the spray nozzle is elastically deformable, at least in part.

9. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that at least one sealing element for sealing a locking element of a washing machine housing comprises the distributor opening.

10. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the feed pump contains a heating unit for heating the liquid at least in part.

11. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the heating element is adjusted at least in part to the outer shape of a pump housing using a form-fitting.

12. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the heating element is molded out of a rod-shaped blank into a ring segment.

13. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the heating element is inserted in an outer depression of the pump housing.

14. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that at least one degasification unit is provided for degassing the liquid.

15. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the degasification unit contains at least the heating unit.

16. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the degasification unit comprises at least one outlet opening for dispersing the gases separated from the liquid.

17. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the degasification unit contains at least one collecting area for the gases separated from the liquid.

18. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the outlet opening is arranged on an upper end of the collecting area.

19. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that an actuator is provided for locking and/or opening the outlet opening.

20. Washing machine pursuant to any of the aforementioned claims characterized in that the degasification unit contains at least one pressure-generating unit for impinging the liquid with pressure.

21. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the pressure-generating unit is designed as a feed pump for feeding the liquid.

22. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the pressure-generating unit contains the heating unit at least in part.

23. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that a housing of the pressure-generating unit contains at least one heating element for heating the liquid.

24. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that a drive of the pressure-generating unit contains at least one single-phase synchronous motor and/or a direct current motor.

25. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that an outflow opening is provided for the outflow of the liquid of the pressure-generating unit impinged with pressure whereby a locking element is provided for locking and/or opening the outflow opening.

26. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the outlet opening for the gas is open and the outflow opening for the liquid is closed during the degasification phase.

27. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the outlet opening for the gas is closed and the outflow opening for the liquid is open during the pumping phase.

28. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that a manifold alternation is provided between the pumping phase and the degasification phase.

29. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that the degasification unit comprises a chemical degasification means.

30. Washing machine pursuant to any of the afore-mentioned claims characterized in that a rinsing agent and/or a washing agent and/or cleaning agent contains the degasification means.

Description:

The present invention relates to a washing machine for washing textiles with a liquid circuit in accordance with the preamble of main claim 1.

A wide variety of washing machines is available commercially for washing laundry. Here, the laundry is stored in a receptacle that rotates around an axis of rotation or in a washing drum that is arranged inside an outer tub or liquid storage tank for receiving the suds. The suds can be brought to the desired temperature by means of a heating unit. The heating unit comprises a heating element that extends at least partially into the outer tub or into the suds present in the outer tub and can heat up the suds accordingly.

At present, washing machines comprising an internal liquid circuit are already known. Here, the suds are fed using a feed pump out of the outer tub and into the washing drum whereby a spraying device or the like applies or distributes the suds or the water onto the textiles so that the textiles are pressed by the water or the suds.

The objective of the present invention is to suggest a washing machine for washing textiles that comprises a liquid circuit whereby the liquid circuit comprises at least one feed pump and an inflow element for inflowing the liquid into a washing area where said washing machine considerably improves the washing action or the cleaning action.

Based on a washing machine of the afore-mentioned kind, this objective is achieved by the characteristic features of the main claim 1. The measures mentioned in the dependent claims enable advantageous embodiments and configurations of the present invention.

Accordingly a household appliance according to the present invention is characterized by the fact that at least one adjusting mechanism is provided for changing the characteristics of the outflowing liquid. Using this measure it is possible to achieve an outflow pattern or a spray pattern that can change during the rinsing process or the cleaning process. This leads to a change in the manner in which the textiles to be cleaned are spotlighted, which in turn signifies a variable force effect on the dirt and the like. A force effect that changes advantageously can improve the cleaning action. For example, the adjusting mechanism is designed for changing the direction of the liquid circuit.

Preferably a control unit is provided for checking and/or changing the liquid circuit. Due to this, it is possible to implement the most different and/or controllable liquid circuits or wetting of textiles using the liquid or the suds.

The adjusting mechanism is advantageously designed for changing the cross-section of the outlet opening or the spraying opening. Due to this it is possible to change particularly the strength or the throughflow quantity of the liquid through the nozzle in an advantageous way. This can lead to an improved cleaning action.

In addition, in case of several spray nozzles, individual spray nozzles can comprise cross-sections that change advantageously especially in certain operational phases. This leads to a perfectly novel characteristic that differs according to the various operational phases.

For example, it is possible to achieve a point-symmetrical or a mirror-symmetrical or an asymmetrical change in the cross-section. The orientation of the spray jet cannot be changed or can be changed in a particularly targeted manner depending on the change in the cross-section.

In an advantageous version of the present invention, the adjusting mechanism is designed for changing the direction of the spray jet. As stated earlier, this can take place, for example, by advantageously changing the cross-section.

Preferably at least one distributor opening is arranged above the textiles and/or in the upper section of the receptacle. Due to this, it is possible to advantageously wet the textiles with the liquid or the water.

For example, the distributor opening is located outside the receptacle or the washing drum. The distributor opening is advantageously arranged inside the receptacle. This enables a direct access of the liquid to the textiles, which in turn further improves the wetting action.

Preferably, the quantity of the outflowing liquid for each time unit can be changed. This enables an adjustment to the different program steps and/or textile quantities, degrees of soiling and the like. The adjusting mechanism is preferably designed for changing the cross-section of the spraying opening.

In particular, at least one or more spray nozzles are provided for spraying the liquid. This improves the distribution or wetting of the textiles.

The spray nozzle is elastically deformable at least in part. This advantageously enables the change in the spray direction and/or the cross-section of the opening.

The adjusting mechanism is advantageously designed for changing the cross-section of the spraying opening. Due to this it is possible to change particularly the strength or the throughflow quantity of the liquid through the nozzle in an advantageous way. This can lead to an improved cleaning action.

In addition, in case of several spray nozzles, individual spray nozzles can comprise cross-sections that change advantageously especially in certain operational phases. This leads to a perfectly novel spray characteristic that differs according to the various operational phases.

For example, it is possible to implement a point-symmetrical or a mirror-symmetrical or an asymmetrical change in the cross-section. The orientation of the spray jet cannot be changed or can be changed in a particularly targeted manner depending on the change in the cross-section.

In an advantageous version of the present invention, the adjusting mechanism is designed for changing the direction of the spray jet. As stated earlier, this can take place, for example, by advantageously changing the cross-section. It is possible to change the position and/or orientation of a section containing the spray nozzle/s. e.g. of a spray arm and the like. It is possible, in particular to rotate said section around its longitudinal axis.

In a washing machine according to the preamble of main claim 1, and also for achieving the objective of the present invention, the feed pump contains the heating unit at least in part. Since an additional heating unit such as, e.g. a continuous flow heater and the like is omitted in the design of the pump according to the present invention, there is no additional volume in the liquid circuit that has to be filled with liquid to be heated. In this respect, the quantity of liquid that is to be heated on the whole is reduced. This lowers the energy requirement of the washing machine.

Furthermore, the volume of the outer tub or of the liquid storage tank according to the present invention can be markedly reduced. For example, the outer tub or the storage tank can be adjusted to the outer shape of the receptacle or the washing drum. Among other things, an inner surface of the liquid storage tank can be designed such that it is largely parallel to or at a relatively smaller distance from the outer surface of the receptacle. According to this version of the embodiment, the liquid quantity can be reduced decisively. This leads to a considerable conservation of energy when heating the liquid.

Apart from that, it is advantageous to have a high flow rate in the region of the heat contact for a good heat transfer between a heating element and the liquid to be heated. In the region of the feed pump or the circulation pump, high flow rates are compulsorily present that ensure a good heat transfer by preventing the undesired formation of steam pockets.

Furthermore, in the assembly of a washing machine according to the present invention, a heating element to be mounted separately is also omitted. This consequently reduces the manufacturing expenditure of the washing machine.

In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the heating element is integrated into the housing of the pump. The pump housing in this case simultaneously forms the continuous flow heater against which the liquid to be heated flows optimally.

For this purpose, the pump housing is advantageously provided with a heating surface that is located on the inside. The heating surface can be implemented, for example, using a heat-conducting surface located on the inner side of the pump housing where said heat conducting surface is separate from the actual heat-generating component. This can take place in the form of a coating or even an insertion part. In this connection, it is important to ensure a corresponding heat-conducting connection to the component in which the required heat is generated using the corresponding electrical power consumption.

A heating element is advantageously adjusted at least in part to the outer shape of the pump housing using a form-fitting. In this way it is possible to produce an extensive, direct heat contact between the heating element and the corresponding housing part of the pump which in turn increases the degree of efficiency of the heating. The outer shape is preferably provided with a structure that increases the contact surface. Measures considered for this purpose can include, for example, a structure having an angled or a corrugated cross-section.

In an advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the pump housing of the liquid pump is provided with an outer depression into which the heating element is inserted.

By inserting said heating element into this depression, the contract surface between the corresponding housing part and the heating element is increased which in turn further increases the degree of efficiency. At the same time, the heating element is integrated from the outside into the pump housing so that there are no leakage problems or insulation problems whatsoever with regard to the heating element.

In an advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the outer depression is designed in such a way that a projection is formed on the inner side of the pump housing. This increases the contact surface of the housing in the heated region with respect to the liquid. This measure further increases the degree of efficiency.

Furthermore, in an advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the outer depression is selected such that it is deeper than the corresponding dimension of the heating element so that the housing overlaps the heating element inserted into the depression with a projection. In this manner, the outward heat loss is reduced, i.e. the heat portion that arrives through the housing wall into the liquid inside the pump housing increases. Thus this measure also serves to increase the degree of efficiency of the heating action.

In another advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the heating element is press-fitted on the housing, for example, in the depression. Such a type of compression brings about a particularly tight and extensive contact between the heating element and the corresponding housing part and accordingly serves to improve the heat flow from the heating element into the interior of the housing.

In a special embodiment of the present invention, a heat-conducting filler is provided between the heating element and the housing wall. Such a filler can also improve the heat contact. This holds true particularly in instances where the outer shape of the heating element differs from the shape of the pump housing. Such differences can hardly be avoided within the framework of usual fault tolerances. However, it is possible to ensure a good heat contact with the help of a heat-conducting filler.

The filler can be inserted, for example, before the heating element is inserted into the depression so that the filler is again pushed away at least in part when the heating element is pressed into the depression. Thus any interspace between the heating element and the housing wall is completely filled out as far as possible.

In another embodiment of the present invention, such a filler is provided for simultaneously attaching the heating element. The filler can be designed for example as an adhesive or a solder by means of which the heating element can be permanently fixed into the housing depression.

The outer shape or the structure of the heating element is preferably designed in a manner that results in an increased contact surface to the corresponding section of the housing wall and thus toward the interior of the pump. In a particularly simple embodiment, the heating element is provided with such a structure that increases the contact surface by designing it as a ring segment. A ring segment is advantageous particularly in the case of a cylindrical pump housing. This firstly helps cover almost the entire periphery of the housing cross-section with the help of a single heating element and secondly, the corresponding housing part can be designed as a front-sided cover for the pump housing. This facilitates the manufacturing and the assembly of the washing machine.

Other options of providing the heating element with a structure having an increased contact surface include designing the heating elements spirally, in the shape of a meander and/or snake-like or zigzag shape.

Another option to increase the contact surface between the pump housing and the heating element is to shape the cross-section of the heating element in such a way that it has a greater surface in the direction of the length of the heating element. Thus the cross-section can for example comprise a corrugated or zigzag-shaped structures.

The pump housing is designed advantageously as an at least two-part component whereby the heating element is attached to the housing part. This results in advantages related to the manufacturing process. Firstly, it is possible to shape the depression according to the present invention in an easier manner and secondly a material that is different from the remaining part of the pump housing can be selected for the housing part that supports the heating element. Thus for example, it is possible to use a metal for this housing part that combines good heat conductivity with high temperature resistance. Such a housing part can be manufactured in greater quantities cost-effectively e.g. out of a flat material by compression-molding or deep drawing. For the remaining part of the housing a suitable plastic can be used that can be processed by injection-molding.

In a particularly advantageous embodiment of the present invention, the pump is designed as a centrifugal pump having an axial inflow and a tangential outflow. A centrifugal pump provides a good degree of efficiency with respect to the pumping action and can be easily provided with an integrated heating element according to the present invention. In case of a centrifugal pump, the drive shaft for the pump wheel must firstly be guided out of the housing in a liquid-tight manner and secondly the axial inflow is usually attached on the side lying opposite to the drive.

The heating element according to the present invention can be arranged basically on the side of the axial inflow and also on the drive side. The embodiment where the heating element is located on the side of the inflow offers advantages related to manufacturing and design. The dimensions of the drive need not be adapted to the heating element. In addition, the inflow component can be easily molded into the housing part supporting the heating element, for example, in the form of a pipe, a collar or a flange using the same forming process with which even the outer contour of the pump housing or of the corresponding housing part is shaped.

The housing of a centrifugal pump to which the heating element is attached according to the present invention can be provided with a cylindrical design or even a spiral design, as is frequently the case in centrifugal pumps.

At least one sealing element for sealing a locking element of a washing machine housing preferably comprises a distributor opening. For example, the sealing element is the washing machine door seal that comprises an accordingly advantageous opening and a connecting line. The connecting line advantageously connects e.g. the pump to the sealing.

In a particularly special version of the present invention, at least one degasification unit is provided for degassing the liquid. The effect seen in practice is that liquids such as e.g. suds and the like can absorb more dirt and/or grease if the liquid contains no gas or lesser amount of dissolved gas. The present invention utilizes this effect in an elegant manner.

The degasification unit preferably contains at least one heating unit for heating the liquid. By the heating process, it is possible to advantageously separate the gas or the aerial oxygen present in the liquid or the cleaning suds from the latter.

In a preferred version of the present invention, the degasification unit preferably comprises at least one outlet opening for dispersing the gases separated from the liquid. Due to this, it is possible to advantageously separate the dissolved gas from the liquid. In addition, it is possible to effectively prevent an accumulation of the gases dissolved out of the liquid. If necessary, the gas is released into the inner space of the machine or into the ambience.

The degasification unit advantageously comprises at least one collecting area for the gases separated from the liquid. This helps implement an accumulation process that particularly improves an associated process of discharge of the gas.

For example, the outlet opening is arranged on an upper end of the collecting area. This helps implement a particularly simple and separate storage or collection of the liquid and the gas dissolved out of the liquid.

An actuator is provided advantageously for locking and/or opening the outlet opening. Due to this it is possible to implement a controlled removal of the gas dissolved out of the liquid.

In a special embodiment of the present invention, the degasification unit has at least one pressure-generating unit for impinging the liquid with pressure. This firstly enables the gas to be dissolved out of the liquid by changing the pressure or the pressure conditions of the liquid. Thus the present invention elegantly utilizes the fact that the solubility of gases in liquids depends on, among other things, pressure. Accordingly the liquid containing the gas can be impinged with increased or decreased pressure, i.e. with low pressure or excess pressure so that the gas is dissolved out of the liquid in the most advantageous manner.

Secondly the liquid can be fed with the help of the advantageous pressure-generating unit. For example, the pressure-generating unit is designed as a feed pump for feeding the liquid. Due to this, the liquid can circulate e.g. in an internal liquid circuit inside the machine.

The pressure-generating unit preferably contains the heating unit, at least in part. Since an additional heating unit such as, e.g. a continuous flow heater and the like is omitted in the design of the pump according to the present invention, there is no additional volume in the liquid circuit that has to be filled with liquid to be heated. In this respect, the quantity of liquid that is to be heated on the whole is reduced. This lowers the energy requirement of the washing machine.

Furthermore, the volume of the outer tub or of the liquid storage tank according to the present invention can be markedly reduced. For example, the outer tub or the storage tank can be adjusted to the outer shape of the receptacle or the washing drum. Among other things, an inner surface of the liquid storage tank can be designed such that it is largely parallel to or at a relatively smaller distance from the outer surface of the receptacle. According to this version of the embodiment, the liquid quantity can be reduced decisively. This leads to a considerable conservation of energy when heating the liquid.

Apart from that, it is advantageous to have a high flow rate in the region of the heat contact for a good heat transfer between a heating element and the liquid to be heated. In the region of the feed pump or the circulation pump, high flow rates are compulsorily present that ensure a good heat transfer by avoiding the undesired formation of steam pockets.

Furthermore, in the assembly of a washing machine according to the present invention, a heating element to be mounted separately is also omitted. This consequently reduces the manufacturing expenditure of the washing machine.

In a preferred embodiment of the washing machine according to the present invention, the heating element is integrated into the housing of the pump. The pump housing in this case simultaneously forms the continuous flow heater against which the liquid to be heated flows optimally.

In an advantageous version of the present invention, the drive of the pressure-generating unit contains at least one single-phase synchronous motor and/or a direct current motor. This helps implement a particularly economic drive of the pressure-generating unit and/or the feed pump.

An outflow opening is advantageously provided for outflowing the liquid of the pressure-generating unit that is impinged with pressure whereby a locking element is provided for locking and/or opening the outflow opening. Thus the liquid can be retained inside the housing of the pressure-generating unit and/or the liquid in the housing can be impinged with pressure.

During the degasification phase, the outlet opening for the gas is preferably open and the outflow opening for the liquid is preferably closed. This ensures an advantageous removal of the gas.

During the pumping phase, the outlet opening for the gas is advantageously closed and the outflow opening for the liquid is open. This ensures an advantageous pumping and/or feed of the liquid.

In a preferred version of the present invention, a manifold alternation between the pumping phase and the degasification phase is provided. The cycle operation or batch operation that can thus be implemented enables an almost continuous operation of the household appliance according to the present invention.

In a special embodiment of the present invention, at least one distributor opening is provided for distributing the degassed liquid. This enables an advantageous and particularly even distribution of the degassed liquid on or over the cleaning item, especially the dishes or the textiles. This improves the cleaning action.

The distributor device preferably contains at least one spray nozzle for spraying the degassed liquid. It is possible to further improve the distribution process and in turn the cleaning process with the help of a sprayed liquid.

In a special embodiment of the present invention, at least one distributor opening of the distributor device is arranged above the cleaning item and/or in the upper section of the storage area of the cleaning item. This additionally improves the wetting process of the cleaning item and/or the cleaning action.

The distributor device advantageously contains at least one distributor that is set in motion by the degassed liquid. For example, the distributor is designed as a rotating spray arm, particularly of a dishwasher.

The distributor device preferably contains at least one sealing element for sealing a locking element of a household appliance housing. The sealing element in the form of an elastomer sealing element advantageously comprises at least one distributor opening for the degassed liquid. For example, the sealing element is the washing machine door seal that comprises an accordingly advantageous opening and a connecting line. The connecting line advantageously connects e.g. the pump to the sealing.

In a special embodiment of the present invention, the degasification unit comprises a chemical degasification means. Due to this it is possible to implement a chemical degasification of the liquid or the cleaning suds. For example, a rinsing agent and/or a washing agent and/or cleaning agent contains the degasification means. This means that no additional operating resources have to be added to the machine for the degasification according to the present invention. This in turn does not adversely affect the comfort of the machine for the user.

One embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in the drawing and is explained more elaborately on the basis of the single figure.

FIG. 1 schematically illustrates the section of a spray nozzle 1 according to the present invention.

The spray nozzle 1 is preferably manufactured completely out of an elastomer material and is detachably affixed to a distributor element 2 or to the door seal 2 and the like. For example, the spray nozzle 1 is buttoned in and its projecting base area 4 hits against a wall 3 of the distributor element 2 so that outflowing liquid advantageously presses the spray nozzle 1 against the distributor element 2.

The distributor element 2 is manufactured out of thermoplsastic or a metal. It is advantageously provided with a hollow form and designed as a liquid line or liquid pipe for conveying the operating liquid.

The spray nozzle 1 comprises a first section 5 and a second section 6 where the first section 5 is attached such that it is stationary or non-displaceable with respect to the spray arm 2 and the second section 6 is adjustable or displaceable with respect to the spray arm 2. The second section 6 preferably comprises a taper 7 so that it can be advantageously adjusted depending on the pressure of the throughflowing liquid.

In addition, the spray nozzle 1 comprises a taper or a conical inner contour in the region of the second section 6.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the second section in this version of the present invention is designed in such a way that a clear idle cross-section QR is achieved in the idle position PR, i.e. in the state of non-application of liquid or pressure. This cross-section QR can remain unchanged e.g. essentially up to a pressure p1 that can be determined by the geometry and/or the material of the second section 6. When this limit pressure p1 is exceeded, the cross-section Q of the spraying opening is changed or increased to an important extent.

In a maximum position PM, a maximum cross-section QM is designed. A determinable minimum pressure pM of the throughflowing liquid is designed. In case of a pressure p2 that is greater than or equal to the minimum pressure pM, the cross-section of the spray nozzle 1 remains unchanged. For this purpose, a stop 8 of the distributor element 2 is provided against which the spray nozzle 1 or the adjustable second section 6 hits.

For example, the spraying opening of the spray nozzle 1 is provided with a symmetrical or round cross-section Q. It is also possible to provide a polygonal, particularly a rectangular or quadratic cross-section Q of the spray opening or of the spray nozzle 1.

Furthermore, the borehole or the holder of the distributor element 2 for the spray nozzle 1 can comprise a round, polygonal or similar cross-section.

Generally, by means of the shape of the cross-section spray nozzle 1 and/or the holder of the spray arm 2, it is possible to change the direction of the spray jet to be generated. In order to illustrate this version, a nose 9 of the distributor element 2 is shown in a dashed form on the right side of FIG. 1. Said nose is designed as the stop for the section 6 of the spray nozzle 1. Due to this nose 9, the second section 6 cannot be adjusted to the extent that was possible in the left side of FIG. 1.

An intermediate position P2 of the second section 6 of the right side of the figure is the maximum adjustment of the second section 6 in this region due to the nose 9. Here, an intermediate cross-section Q2 is achieved that comprises a round or oval cross-section QR in the idle position. This generates a change in the direction of the outflowing spray jet. In this example, the spray jet would consequently be deflected slightly to the left when compared to the embodiment without the nose 9.

Basically, the nozzles 1 of the distributor element 2 can be manufactured as a separate individual component or a connected elastomer component, preferably made of liquid silicon and buttoned into or inserted into the intended housing openings of the distributor element 2. Here, the elastomer nozzles 1 have an inner, preferably conical contour that produces a radial force component with a clear diameter of the nozzle 1 when static media pressure is applied. The contours of the single nozzles 1 need not be identical. Instead they can be designed individually. The holder of the nozzles 1 in the distributor element 2 contains additionally another contour against which the outer wall of every nozzle 1 can lean when the nozzle 1 is impinged with accordingly high pressure. Thus, in case of different operating pressures recruiting out of the circulation circuit of the washing machine, e.g. using pumps, change in speed and the like, it is possible to provide at least two clear nozzle cross-sections Q that consequently lead to another individual spray jet characteristic in terms of flow rate, opening angle and/or orientation.

Furthermore, it is also feasible to design an elastomer nozzle that can be compared to a lip valve and that operates such that the nozzle 1 remains closed up to a first swelling pressure, exceeding which a first clear nozzle cross-section Q is provided. Only when the second swelling pressure is exceeded, the nozzle 1 deforms elastically up to the stop 8, 9 of the outer contour achieved due to the geometry of the spray arm housing. Thus by creating variable hydraulic openings, it is possible to advantageously have several hydraulic operating points in one design and with variable piping characteristics.