Title:
REMOVABLE SHIPPING RESTRAINT SYSTEM FOR CLOTHES WASHER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shipping restraint system for an appliance having movable suspension components is provided which includes a plurality of locking pins engagable in apertures in the components to prevent their movement during shipping. The locking pins are held in place by a single cotter pin which is attached to a cord retention strap directed to the exterior of the appliance. A loop of the power cord is retained by the cord retention strap. The power cord is further retained to the appliance exterior with a plastic strap. The plastic strap is pinned to the appliance in a manner to retain a self-leveling support system in a position with the leveling legs retracted for shipment. During installation, the power cord must be removed from the retained position, thereby releasing the suspension components and the self-leveling assembly.



Inventors:
Griswold, Eric G. (HOLLAND, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/668581
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
01/30/2007
Assignee:
WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION (BENTON HARBOR, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/68; D06F39/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
WHATLEY, KATELYN B
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WHIRLPOOL CORPORATION - MD 3601 (BENTON HARBOR, MI, US)
Claims:
1. An automatic washer having a shipping restraint system, the washer having a wash tub mounted above a drive assembly and a suspension system including a fixed plate member and one or more movable plate members interposed between the wash tub and the drive assembly all within an outer cabinet, comprising: a plurality of apertures in each of the plate members forming sets of vertically aligned apertures; a first locking pin and a second locking pin, each of the first and second locking pins extendable through one of the sets of aligned apertures; a retaining pin engaging a first passageway in the first locking pin and a second passageway in the second locking pin such that the first and second passageways are secured in a fixed rotational orientation relative to the outer cabinet and holding the locking pins in the apertures; and a strap member including a free end secured in an aperture in the outer cabinet and an opposite end operatively connected to the retaining pin for selectively disengaging the retaining pin from the first and second locking pins thereby effecting the release of the locking pins.

2. The automatic washer of claim 1, wherein the first and second passageways are secured in a substantially parallel orientation.

3. The automatic washer of claim 1, wherein the retaining pin is a cotter pin with a short leg and a long leg, each of the short and the long legs engageable with one of the first and second locking pins.

4. The automatic washer of claim 3, wherein a first distance between an end of the short leg and an end of the long leg is unequal to a second distance between the first locking pin and the second locking pin.

5. The automatic washer of claim 4, wherein an absolute value of a difference between the first distance and the second distance is greater than a locking pin diameter.

6. The automatic washer of claim 1, wherein the free end of the strap member includes a hollow block member with an integral snap feature for securing the hollow block member to the outer cabinet.

7. The automatic washer of claim 6, wherein a power cord for connecting electrical power to the washer is inserted into the hollow block member and retained for shipment by a second snap feature of the hollow block member whereby a force applied to the power cord causes the release of the retaining pin from the first and second locking pins causing the locking pins to fall under gravity bias from the apertures to release the restraint on the plate members.

8. The automatic washer of claim 7, wherein the power cord is formed into a loop, and the loop is retained in the hollow block member.

9. The automatic washer of claim 8, wherein the hollow block member includes a wall to limit a distance that the loop may be inserted into the hollow block member.

10. An automatic washer having a shipping restraint system, the washer having an outer cabinet with a wash tub mounted therein, a suspension system including a fixed plate member and at least one movable plate member interposed between the wash tub and the outer cabinet, a plurality of apertures in each of the plate members forming sets of vertically aligned apertures, a first locking pin with a first passageway and a second locking pin with a second passageway, each of the first and second locking pins extendable through one of the sets of aligned apertures, and a strap member operatively connected to the first locking pin and the second locking pin for selectively disengaging the locking pins from the aligned apertures, the improvement comprising: a single retaining pin operatively connected to the strap member and engaging the first passageway of the first locking pin and the second passageway of the second locking pin such that the first and second passageways are maintained in a fixed rotational orientation with respect to the outer cabinet.

11. The automatic washer of claim 10, wherein the first and second passageways are maintained in a substantially parallel orientation.

12. The automatic washer of claim 10, wherein the retaining pin is a cotter pin with a short leg and a long leg, each of the short and the long legs engageable with one of the first and second locking pins.

13. The automatic washer of claim 12, wherein a first distance between an end of the short leg and an end of the long leg is unequal to a second distance between the first locking pin and the second locking pin.

14. The automatic washer of claim 13, wherein an absolute value of a difference between the first distance and the second distance is greater than a locking pin diameter.

15. The automatic washer of claim 10, wherein the free end of the strap member includes a hollow block member with an integral snap feature for securing the hollow block member to the outer cabinet.

16. The automatic washer of claim 15, wherein a power cord for connecting electrical power to the washer is inserted into the hollow block member and retained for shipment by a second snap feature of the hollow block member whereby a force applied to the power cord causes the release of the retaining pin from the first and second locking pins causing the locking pins to fall under gravity bias from the apertures to release the restraint on the plate members.

17. The automatic washer of claim 16, wherein the power cord is formed into a loop, and the loop is retained in the hollow block member.

18. The automatic washer of claim 17, wherein the hollow block member includes a wall to limit a distance that the loop may be inserted into the hollow block member.

19. The automatic washer of claim 15, wherein the hollow block member includes a flange for positively locating the hollow block member with respect to the outer cabinet.

20. An automatic washer with a shipping restraint system, the washer having a wash tub mounted above a drive assembly and a suspension system including a fixed plate member and one or more movable plate members interposed between the wash tub and the drive assembly all within an outer cabinet, a self-leveling support assembly attached to the outer cabinet and having support legs extendable between a deployed position and a retracted position suitable, comprising: a plurality of apertures in each of the plate members forming sets of vertically aligned apertures; a plurality of locking pins, each of the plurality of locking pins extendable through one of the sets of aligned apertures; a first retaining pin engagable with the plurality of locking pins to hold the locking pins in the apertures; a first strap member operatively connected to the first retaining pin for selectively disengaging the first retaining pin from the plurality of locking pins thereby effecting the release of the locking pins; the first strap member including a free end which extends outward through an aperture in the outer cabinet; a second retaining pin for securing the support legs in the retracted position; a second strap member secured to the outer cabinet at one end by the second retaining pin; a power cord secured to the outer cabinet by the first and second strap members; and whereby a force applied to the power cord causes disengagement of the first retaining pin from the plurality of locking pins thereby releasing the suspension system, the force further causing disengagement of the second retaining pin from the self-leveling support assembly.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a shipping restraint system for appliances and, more particularly, to a removable pin locking system for restraining movement of movable portions of an appliance during shipping.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In appliances having movable portions, such as a basket and tub assembly of an automatic washer, it is necessary to restrain the movable portions against vertical and horizontal movement during shipping. If sufficient shipping restraints are not employed, it is possible for the various portions to move relative to one another beyond their intended limits thus causing damage to the appliance. Specifically, in an automatic washer it is possible for the tub assembly to be shifted laterally against the cabinet, resulting in permanent deformation of the cabinet or damage to the tub assembly, particularly if portions of the assembly are fabricated of a plastic material.

Several different types of shipping restraint systems are proposed in the prior art. An exemplary removable shipping restraint system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,624,117. This system utilizes a plurality of locking pins to restrain the movable portion of the clothes washer suspension system against vertical and horizontal movement with respect to the cabinet. A cotter pin is utilized for each of the locking pins, and the cotter pins are each attached to a strap to affect their release from the locking pins. The strap is attached to the cabinet in an externally accessible location, and retains the power cord in a manner to remind the user to pull the strap out of the cabinet.

There are some disadvantages to the above-described system. First, while the retention of the power cord with the strap serves as a reminder to pull the strap, it is possible to release the cord from the strap without completely removing the shipping restraint. Another disadvantage is that the locking pins can rotate during shipment to a position where the resistance to removal of the cotter pins is higher than desired, and acts as a deterrent to the full removal of the shipping restraint. Another disadvantage is the relative expense of the system due to the complexity of the strap and the number of components utilized in the system.

Accordingly, there exists a need in the art to reduce the multiplicity of parts, reduce the extraction force of the cotter pin removal, and assure the removal of the shipping restrain system from the appliance.

In addition to the above-described suspension system restraint, there may also be other subsystems within the washer requiring restraint during shipping. One such assembly is a self-leveling support assembly of a washing machine.

Self-leveling support assemblies are used to redistribute uneven weight loading caused by setting an appliance on an uneven floor, or by vibrations produced in the operation of the appliance. Such assemblies utilize a tying means to connect two feet which are movable in a general vertical direction. It is known to provide self-leveling support assemblies with a shipping position and a deployed position. An exemplary self-leveling support system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,262,870.

When placed in the shipping position, a tension bar is manually extended to a greatest allowable length and pegged in that position by a pin inserted through the tension bar and received in the horizontal frame member. When the bar is in this position, the pins in the diverging slots are forced to the uppermost ends thereof, fully retracting the feet, but maintaining the feet in a rigid, vertically disposed position to facilitate easy packing and movement without damage to the assembly, and still providing stability for the appliance.

It is necessary to release the self-leveling support assembly to the deployed position during the installation process. Failure to deploy the self-leveling system can result in an inability to level the washer, resulting in excessive vibration, as well as the possibility that the appliance may move relative to the floor.

Accordingly, there exists a need to assure the deployment of the self-leveling system through a shipping restraint system that is inexpensive, and easy to assemble and remove.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to an automatic washer having a removable suspension restraint system that satisfies the needs of reducing the number of parts, reducing the extraction force, and assuring the removal of the suspension shipping restraint system from the appliance. In one embodiment, the present invention relates to a clothes washer having a wash tub mounted above a drive assembly and a suspension system including a fixed plate member and one or more movable plate members interposed between the wash tub and the drive assembly all within an outer cabinet, a plurality of apertures in each of the plate members forming sets of vertically aligned apertures, a first locking pin and a second locking pin, each of the first and second locking pins extendable through one of the sets of aligned apertures, a retaining pin engagable with a first passageway in the first locking pin and a second passageway in the second locking pin such that the first and second passageways are secured in a substantially parallel orientation and holding the locking pins in the apertures, and a strap member including a free end secured in an aperture in the outer cabinet and an opposite end operatively connected to the retaining pin for selectively disengaging the retaining pin from the first and second locking pins thereby effecting the release of the locking pins from the suspension system.

In another aspect of the invention, a removable suspension and self-leveling restraint system is provided that satisfies the need of assuring deployment during the installation process. In this embodiment, there is an automatic washer with a shipping restraint system, the washer having a wash tub mounted above a drive assembly and a suspension system including a fixed plate member and one or more movable plate members interposed between the wash tub and the drive assembly all within an outer cabinet, a self-leveling support assembly attached to the outer cabinet and having support legs extendable between a deployed position and a retracted position suitable, a plurality of apertures in each of the plate members forming sets of vertically aligned apertures, a plurality of locking pins, each of the plurality of locking pins extendable through one of the sets of aligned apertures, a first retaining pin engagable with the plurality of locking pins to hold the locking pins in the apertures, a first strap member operatively connected to the first retaining pin for selectively disengaging the first retaining pin from the plurality of locking pins thereby effecting the release of the locking pins, the first strap member including a free end which extends outward through an aperture in the outer cabinet, a second retaining pin for securing the support legs in the retracted position, a second strap member secured to the outer cabinet at one end by the second retaining pin, a power cord secured to the outer cabinet by the first and second strap members wherein a force applied to the power cord causes disengagement of the first retaining pin from the plurality of locking pins thereby releasing the suspension system, the force further causing disengagement of the second retaining pin from the self-leveling support assembly.

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

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an automatic washer embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the suspension system for the washer shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the suspension restraint system of the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the cord retention strap of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a partial rear view of the washer shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of the self-leveling support assembly;

FIG. 8 is an elevation view of the self-leveling support assembly of FIG. 7 with the leveling legs retracted for shipment;

FIG. 9 is an elevation view of the self-leveling support assembly of FIG. 7 with the legs deployed; and

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the self-leveling leg restraint system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a removable shipping restraint system for use in connection with a clothes washer.

It is desirable to restrain the movable portions of a washing machine suspension system against vertical and horizontal movement during the shipment of the appliance. This can be accomplished through pinning the movable portion of the washer in a fixed position to the structure of the appliance cabinet. A description of such a system is disclosed in commonly-owned U.S. Pat. No. 4,264,117, hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

A laundry appliance of the vertical axis type embodying the principles of the present invention is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1. The appliance 10 has an outer cabinet 12 which houses a wash tub 14 therein, containing a perforate spin basket 16. An agitator 18 is vertically disposed inside the spin basket 16, and a generally circular opening 19 in the top of the tub 14 for entry and removal of laundry is covered by a hinged lid 21.

An electric motor 20 operates through a transmission 22 to drive the agitator 18 and spin basket 16. The wash tub 14 and drive assembly are mounted on a suspension system including legs 24. Each of the legs 24 is rigidly mounted at its lower end to a cabinet frame 13 and at its upper end to a base plate 26. The base plate 26 is thus fixed with respect to the cabinet frame 13.

Slidingly resting on the base plate 26 is a skate plate 28 which supports a stabilizer plate 30 carrying the tub. As shown in FIG. 2, the three plates 26, 28 and 30 are arranged in an overlying manner and translation of the wash tub 14 relative to the cabinet 12 results in movement of these plates relative to one another. To prevent such movement during shipping, two brackets 32 are welded onto the stabilizer plate 30 to overlie both the skate plate 28 and the base plate 26.

As shown in FIG. 3, an aperture 34 is provided in the bracket 32, a second aligned aperture 36 is provided in the skate plate 28 and a third aligned aperture 38 is provided in the base plate 26. Although the three plates are movable relative to one another the apertures 34, 36 and 38 can be aligned to permit the insertion of a locking pin 40 up through the apertures. The pin 40 has an enlarged head 42 which abuts against a bottom surface 44 of the base plate 26 and near a top end 46 there is a through passage 47 for receiving a leg of a retaining pin or cotter pin 48. The cotter pin 48 placement is above a top surface 50 of the bracket 32. Thus, the pin 40 is captured in the three plates and holds them stationary relative to each other both vertically and horizontally. As seen in FIG. 2, there are two sets of such pins and apertures thereby providing a very secure and stable restraint against relative movement of the three plates.

In order to effect removal of the shipping restraint system after the washer 10 has been installed at its final destination, a strap member 52 is made accessible at the cabinet rear panel 56. As shown in FIG. 2, the strap member 52 is attached to a single cotter pin 48 and extends through an opening 54 in a rear panel 56 of the washer 10. The single cotter pin 48 is inserted through the passages 47 of both pins 40.

As shown in FIG. 4, the cotter pin 48 has two legs, a long leg 58 and a short leg 60. In a preferred embodiment, each pin 40 receives one leg of the cotter pin 48. Additionally, one of the legs has a formed area 62 for capturing one of the pins 40. This capture of one pin 40 with the formed area 62 provides a portion of the retention force of the removable shipping restraint system, and positively locates the cotter pin 48 with respect to the pins 40.

By utilizing one leg of the cotter pin 48 for each of the locking pins 40, the assembly process can be optimized. By having the distance between the ends of the legs 59, 61 different from the distance between the two locking pins 40, the assembler can focus on capturing one locking pin 40 at a time. By example, if the distance between end 59 and 61 is shorter than the distance between the pins, the assembler can focus on inserting end 61 into respective passage 47 first. However, if the distance between end 59 and 61 is longer than the distance between the pins, the assembler can focus on inserting end 59 into its respective passage 47 first. Therefore, it is preferable that the above-compared distances are unequal. These unequal distances should vary from one another by at least the diameter of one locking pin 40 to facilitate assembly. The distance between the ends 59 and 61 can be either greater than or less than the distance between the centers of the locking pins 40 such that an absolute value of a difference between the compared distances should be greater than the diameter of the locking pin 40.

It should be recognized that other embodiments of the retaining pin 48 are possible. For instance, the formed area 62 could be placed in the short leg 60, and a straight, long leg 58 could be inserted through the passageways 47 of both pins 40. Alternatively, a straight pin with a single leg could be inserted through both of the pins 40, with the retention of the shipping restraint provided solely by the strap member 52.

By utilizing a single cotter pin 48 to retain a plurality of pins 40, rotation of the pins 40 during shipment is substantially eliminated, as the passageways 47 are maintained in a fixed rotational orientation with respect to the cabinet 12. Depending on the design of the cotter pin 48, the axes of passageways 47 of the two pins 40 are maintained in either a substantially coaxial relationship or in a relationship where the axes of the passageways are in substantially parallel relationship. In any event, the axes of the passageways 47 are maintained in a relationship where they are substantially co-linear with the direction of the removal force applied through the cord retention strap 52. In this manner, the force required for removal is maintained at a uniform and acceptable level to enable full removal during installation.

Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, the strap member 52 will now be described. The strap member 52 is preferably injection molded from a thermoplastic material such as polypropylene. Other suitable materials can be utilized. The strap member 52 has a flexible strip portion 64 with a hole 66 at one end. At the other end, the flexible strip portion 64 flares to a greater width to transition into a first block wall 71 of a cord retention block portion 70.

Second block wall 72 and third block wall 73 are molded opposite one another and in an orthogonal orientation to first block wall 71. A fourth block wall 74 is molded opposite first block wall 71 and interconnects second block wall 72 and third block wall 73. The block walls 71-74 form a generally hollow cord retention block portion 70 that has a generally rectangular cross-section.

In a preferred embodiment, a cabinet retention snap 68 is molded to each of opposite walls 72 and 73. Additionally, a flange 75 is molded orthogonally to first block wall 71. Flange 75, along with a stop lug 77 molded to fourth block wall 74, cooperate to prevent the block portion 70 from being pushed through the hole 54 in cabinet rear panel 56.

Additionally, a cord retention snap 79 is molded into fourth wall 74. As shown in FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, the power cord 76 is formed into a loop 86 and secured with tape joints 88. The loop 86 is inserted into the hollow block portion 70, causing the cord retention snap 79 to deflect. When cord 76 is pushed past cord retention snap 79, the snap drops into the loop 86, thereby retaining the cord. A fifth block wall 90 interconnects walls 71-73, and acts to limit the amount to which the cord loop 86 can be inserted into block 70.

As shown in FIG. 4, the cotter pin 48 is attached to the strap member 52 by inserting one of the legs through the hole 66. To install the shipping restraint system, the locking pins 40 are inserted through the apertures 34, 36 and 38. Each of the legs 58, 60 of the cotter pin 48 is inserted through the passageway 47 of one pin 40. The block portion 70 is then seated in the hole 54 in the rear panel 56, the flange 75 and stop lug 77 providing a positive location. This is accomplished by feeding flange 75 through hole 54 from inside the rear panel 56, and then deflecting fourth block wall 74 toward first block wall 71 while rotating stop lug 77 through the hole. In this location, cabinet retention snaps 68 engage opposite sides of the hole in the sheet metal rear panel 56 to retain the block portion 70 in the hole.

To affect the release of the suspension retention system, the installer pulls on the power cord 76, thereby dislodging the strap member 52 from the cabinet rear panel 56. The cotter pin 48 is pulled out of the locking pins 40 and the pins 40 then fall downwardly under the influence of gravity to disengage from the apertures in the plates. To prevent the pins 40 from falling into the bottom of the cabinet and rolling around or from becoming engaged in other portions of the mechanism, there is provided below each pin 40 a cup 78 which has an open top end 80 to abut against the bottom surface 44 of the base plate 26. A tab 82 projects outwardly from the side of the cup 78 and extends through and is captured in an aperture 84 in the base plate 26. The cup 78 is thus removably retained adjacent to the base plate 26 and will hold the pin 40 after it has been released. If there is ever a need to reship the washer and to provide a shipping restraint, the pins 40 will be available for reuse. The tab 82 can be disengaged from the base plate 26 to provided access to the pins 40 and then the cup 78 can be reattached to the base plate 26 for reuse.

The above-described system provides a suspension restraint system with an intuitive removal methodology. The washer 10 can not be operated until power cord 76 is connected to the electrical supply. This requires that the cord loop 86 is removed from the internal portion of the washer 10. The act of pulling on the power cord will release the suspension system for operation. Once the loop 86 is pulled from the cabinet, the strap member 52 and cotter pin 48 can be removed from the power cord 76 and discarded. Additionally, the tape joints 88 can be removed from the cord 76.

Thus, there is disclosed a removable shipping restraint system which interlocks cooperating horizontally slidable suspension members in an automatic washer. The vertically extending locking pin 40 is gravity biased to fall from its locking position upon release of the restraining means, to thereby unlock the movable members of the washer suspension system. In this manner, the “middle portion” of the washer suspension system is interlocked rather than interlocking either or both of the top and bottom portions of the washer tub and drive assembly. The restraint system has an externally operable release means and does not require opening portions of the cabinet or tilting the cabinet to obtain access to the release means.

With reference to FIGS. 6-9, a retention system for a self-leveling support system will now be described. Domestic appliances such as automatic laundry machines are frequently required to stand on uneven supporting surfaces, such as basement floors or the like. Proper functioning of such machines, in particular vertical axis washing machines having a high speed spin or centrifugal extraction cycle, requires that the machine be level. If the machine is not level the forces generated by the rotating basket and clothes load cause the machine to experience vibrations which are not only noisy, but may also result in structural damage to the machine. In some cases, the vibrations may be sufficient to cause the machine to “walk” over the surface on which it rests.

It is desirable that assemblies constructed to remedy this problem by leveling the appliance be self-leveling so that re-positioning of the appliance by the user will not require readjustment of the leveling assembly by the user. Additionally, storage and packing of the appliance without loss of stability can be achieved if the assembly is retractable to a storage or shipment position while still providing support for the appliance. A description of a retractable self-leveling system for a clothes washer is disclosed in commonly-owned U.S. Pat. No. 4,262,870, hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

It is desirable to assure the release of the self-leveling system during the installation process. This too can be accomplished through interconnecting the power cord 76 to a pin utilized for holding the legs in the retracted position.

As shown in FIG. 8, the assembly 125 may be placed in a retracted position by applying a downward force to move the arms 154 and 155 out of horizontal alignment, and by applying opposed outwardly directed forces to each of the arms 154 and 155 to extend the combination to a greatest length. This action exposes a hole (not shown) in the cabinet frame 13. This hole in frame 13 is exposed through aligned apertures in arms 154, 155. Pin 157 is then inserted through these aligned apertures and into the hole in the frame 13, thereby keeping legs 150, 151 in the retracted position for shipment. When the feet 150 and 151 are in the position shown in FIG. 8, the assembly is suitable for packing and/or movement of the appliance 10 without damage to the retracted feet.

With reference to FIGS. 6 and 10, a flat plastic strip 156 is provided with a hole 158 at one end and an arrowhead snap feature 160 at the opposite end. Pin 157 is inserted through hole 158 prior to assembly to the self-leveling assembly 125. Plastic strip 156 is used to secure electrical plug 164 to the cabinet rear panel 56. Although not shown, the electrical terminals of the electrical plug 164 are inserted into holes which a formed in the cabinet rear panel 56. This enables the plug 164 to abut the rear panel 56 in a low profile fashion to facilitate packaging. A hoop 166 is integrally formed in the electrical plug 164. Plastic strip 156 is routed through the hoop 166, and the arrowhead snap feature 160 is inserted into a hole in the rear panel 56.

With plastic strip 156 fastened to the electrical plug 164, it is assured that pin 157 is removed, thereby releasing the self-leveling leg assembly for operation as shown in FIG. 9.

In a preferred embodiment, pin 157 is a plastic fastener with rib features 164 to provide interference with the aligned apertures in the arms 154, 155, thereby retaining the pin 157 in place for shipment. An integral pull ring 162 is provided to assist the removal of the pin 157 from the cabinet rear panel 56. It will be recognized that other types of fasteners can be utilized to perform the pegging function of pin 157.

In an alternate embodiment, arrowhead snap feature 160 could be replaced with a hole similar to hole 158, and a second pin 157 could be utilized to secure the second end of plastic strip 156 to cabinet rear panel 56.

It should be recognized that the self-leveling shipping restraint system and the suspension shipping restrain system can be implemented independent from one another. In the case where both systems are restrained for shipment, it is desirable to assure the release of both systems prior to operation of the washing machine 10. By securing the release mechanisms of both systems to the action of connecting the washer 10 to its electrical source, a more robust installation can be effectively assured.

Although the invention has been described in detail with particular reference to certain embodiments detailed herein, other embodiments can achieve the same results. Variations and modifications of the present invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art, and the present invention is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications and equivalents.





 
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