Title:
Water level detecting device for an ice-making machine
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A water level detecting device for an ice-making machine includes a transparent tube, a float set in said transparent tube, an infrared ray emitter and an infrared-ray receiver respectively installed in a line at opposite sides of said transparent tube connected to a water tube connected to a water tank. When the float falls down together with the water level in the transparent tube going down with that of the water tank, and positions between the infrared-ray emitter and the receiver, a pump supplying water to an ice making unit is to be stopped by the interruption of the function of the infrared-ray emitter and the receiver. Thus the pump is automatically stopped in case of the water in the tank becoming insufficient, impossible to work idle.



Inventors:
Wang, Chin-hsiang (Tainan City, TW)
Application Number:
11/544579
Publication Date:
04/10/2008
Filing Date:
10/10/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
62/137
International Classes:
F25C1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
ZEC, FILIP
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ching-Hsiang Wang (Tainan City 70499, TW)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A water level detecting device for an ice-making machine, said device comprising: a machine body provided with a water tank in the lower interior, said water tank having its bottom bored with a water outlet, said water outlet connected with a water tube and a water pump, said water tube having its intermediate section connected with a branch water tube, said water pump having one side combined with a connecting tube, said connecting tube having its upper end connected with a feed water tube, said machine body having its upper side disposed with an ice-making unit, said ice-making unit composed of a water container and an ice-making apparatus; and said water level detecting device assembled on said branch water tube and provided with a vertical transparent tube, said transparent tube provided with a float in its interior, said transparent tube having one side disposed with an infrared-ray emitter and the other side disposed with an infrared-ray receiver.

2. The water level detecting device for an ice-making machine as claimed in claim 1, therein an icebox is provided above said water tank of said machine body.

3. The water level detecting device for an ice-making machine as claimed in claim 1, wherein said transparent tube has its upper end connected with an exhaust tube.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to a water level detecting device for an ice-making machine, particularly to one able to detect the water level in a water tank and control a water pump to start pumping water and convey the water to an ice-making unit for making ice, or control the water pump to stop pumping work, able to prevent the water pump from running idle when the water in the water tank is insufficient.

2. Description of the Prior Art

A common method for making ice blocks in a family is to pour water into an ice-making box and then put the ice-making box in the freezing compartment of a refrigerator. However, in addition to making ice blocks, a family refrigerator is used for preserving food; therefore, in the course of making ice blocks, the water in the ice-making box may absorb various flavors of food in the refrigerator. In addition, it needs to take about an hour to make ice blocks in a conventional family refrigerator and the ice blocks made in the refrigerator are limited in amount, unable to meet large needs.

In view of such shortcomings, an ice-making machine for making ice blocks has been researched and developed. Such an ice-making machine is provided with a water tank connected with an ice-making unit by means of a water tube combined with a pump for pumping water in the water tank to flow to the ice-making unit for making ice blocks. However, a user must pay attention to the water level in the water tank all the time to check whether the water level is too low. If the water level in the water tank should be excessively low and the water in the water tank too little to be pumped and conveyed to the ice-making unit, with the pump still continuing to carry out pumping work, the pump would run idle and hence might cause trouble to the machine parts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The objective of the invention is to offer a water level detecting device for an ice-making machine, able to detect the water level in a water tank and control a pump to supply water to an ice-making unit for making ice or control the pump to stop pumping work and thus preventing the pump from running idle when the water in the water tank is insufficient.

The water level detecting device for an ice-making machine in the present invention includes a machine body and a water level detecting device. The machine body has its lower interior provided with a water tank having its bottom bored with a water outlet connected with a water tube and a water pump. The water tube has its intermediate section connected with a branch water tube, and the water pump has one side connected with a connecting tube having its upper end connected with a feed water tube. The machine body has its upper side disposed with an ice-making unit consisting of a water groove and an ice-making apparatus. The water level detecting device is mounted on the branch water tube of the machine body and provided with a transparent tube communicating with the water tube and having a floating ball set in the interior. The transparent tube has one side installed with an infrared-ray emitter and the other side installed with an infrared-ray receiver.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

This invention will be better understood by referring to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a water level detecting device for an ice-making machine in the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a magnified cross-sectional view of the water level detecting device and the water tubes connected with each other in the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view of the water level detecting device in a using condition in the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the water level detecting device in another using condition in the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A preferred embodiment of a water level detecting device for an ice-making machine in the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, includes a machine body 1 and a water level detecting device 2 combined together.

The machine body 1 has its lower interior provided with a water tank 11 having its bottom bored with a water outlet 110 connected with a water tube 12 having its outer end connected with a water pump 13. The water tube 12 has its intermediate section connected with a branch water tube 120, and the water pump 13 has one side connected with a silica gel-made connecting tube 14 having its upper end connected with a feed water tube 140. Further, an ice-making unit 15 consisting of a water container 150 and an ice-making apparatus 151 is assembled at the upper side of the machine body 1, and an ice box 16 is positioned above the water tank 11.

The water level detecting device 2 is mounted on the branch water tube 120 at the intermediate section of the water tube 12 of the machine body 1. The water level detecting device 2 is provided with a transparent tube 20 communicating with the water tube 12 and having its interior set with a float 21. The transparent tube 20 has one side disposed with an infrared-ray emitter 22 and the other side disposed with an infrared-ray receiver 23, and has its upper side connected with an exhaust tube 24.

In using, as shown in FIGS. 14, when the ice-making machine is started for making ice, the water in the water tank 11 will be pumped by the pump 13 to flow into the water tube 12 and then flow into the water container 150 of the ice-making unit 15 through the connecting tube 14 and the feed water tube 140 for the ice-making apparatus 151 to make ice. When the water in the water tank 11 is pumped to flow through the branch water tube 120, the water will get into the transparent tube 20 of the water level detecting device 2, and the float 21 in the transparent tube 20 will be moved upward due to rising of the water level in the transparent tube 20. Simultaneously, the infrared-ray emitter 22 will emit a signal and after the infrared-ray receiver 23 receives this signal, the water pump 13 will be started to pump the water in the water tank 11 to let the water flow to the ice-making unit 15 for making ice. If the water level in the water tank 11 is too low, the water level in the transparent tube 20 will drop and the floating ball 21 will be moved downward together with the water level. When the float goes down to position between the infrared-ray emitter 22 and the infrared-ray receiver 23 to obstruct the infrared-ray emitter 22 and receiver 23 from emitting and receiving signals. This indicates that the water in the water tank 11 is insufficient and hence the pump 13 will stop water-pumping work. Only after water is added in the water tank 11 to let its water level rise, will the floating ball 21 in the transparent tube 20 be moved upward, and when the float 21 is moved upward to a level higher than both the infrared-ray emitter 22 and the infrared-ray receiver 23, the pump 13 will automatically start to pump and convey the water in the tank 11 to the ice-making unit 15 for making ice. By so designing, the pump 13 can be prevented from running idle to insure safety in use.

While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described above, it will be recognized and understood that various modifications may be made therein and the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications that may fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.