Title:
REMOVABLE TUB DIVIDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An example tub divider includes a wall moveable between an installed position and an uninstalled position. The wall partitions a tub when in the installed position. A lock pin moves between a first position and a biased position. The lock pin limits movement of the wall when in the first position. An example divided tub assembly includes a plurality of tub sidewalls and a tub at least partially defined by the tub sidewalls. A removable wall is moveable to an installed position for partitioning the tub. A wall extension of the removable wall is receivable within a sidewall aperture defined by one of the tub sidewalls. The wall extension guides movement of the removable wall. A cap has a cap extension for receipt within a cap aperture defined by one the tub sidewalls. The cap limits relative movement between the removable wall and the tub.



Inventors:
Ferris, Jeffrey D. (Langhorne, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/843767
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/23/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/186; A47K3/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LOEPPKE, JANIE MEREDITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Carlson, Gaskey & Olds/Masco Corporation (Birmingham, MI, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A tub divider, comprising: a wall moveable between an installed position and an uninstalled position, said wall partitioning a tub when in the installed position; and a lock pin moveable between a first position and a biased position, said lock pin limiting movement of said wall when in the first position.

2. The tub divider of claim 1, wherein said lock pin limits movement of said wall between the installed position and the uninstalled position.

3. The tub divider of claim 1, wherein moving said wall to the installed position moves said lock pin to the biased position.

4. The tub divider of claim 1, including a tab extending from said lock pin, wherein moving said tab moves said lock pin between the first position and the biased position.

5. The tub divider of claim 1, wherein in the first position, the lock pin extends further from said wall than it does in the biased position.

6. The tub divider of claim 1, wherein said wall houses at least a portion of said lock pin.

7. The tub divider of claim 6, including a second lock pin, wherein opposing sides of said wall house at least a portion of said lock pin and said second lock pin.

8. The tub divider of claim 1, including a cover for limiting relative movement between said lock pin and said wall.

9. The tub divider of claim 1, wherein a spring biases said lock pin.

10. The tub divider of claim 9, wherein said spring comprises a coil spring.

11. A divided tub assembly, comprising: a tub; a removable wall for partitioning said tub; a flange extending from at least one of said tub and said removable wall, said flange engaging a slot on the other of said tub and said removable wall, said flange for limiting relative movement between said removable wall and said tub; and a lock pin moveable between a first position and a biased position, said lock pin limiting movement of said wall when in the first position.

12. The divided tub assembly of claim 11, wherein said tub defines an aperture for receiving said lock pin in the first position.

13. The divided tub assembly of claim 11, wherein said flange is a dovetail type flange.

14. The divided tub assembly of claim 11, including a spring for biasing said lock pin.

15. The divided tub assembly of claim 14, wherein said spring receives a portion of said lock pin.

16. The divided tub assembly of claim 11, wherein said removable wall includes more than one lock pin.

17. A divided tub assembly, comprising: a plurality of tub sidewalls; a tub at least partially defined by said plurality of tub sidewalls; a removable wall moveable to an installed position for partitioning said tub; a wall extension of said removable wall for receipt within a sidewall aperture defined by one of said plurality of tub sidewalls, said wall extension for guiding movement of said removable wall; and a cap having a cap extension for receipt within a cap aperture defined by one of said plurality of tub sidewalls, said cap limiting relative movement between said removable wall and said tub.

18. The divided tub assembly of claim 17, wherein said wall extension extends in a generally downward direction.

19. The divided tub assembly of claim 18, wherein said wall extension comprises an extension pin.

20. The divided tub assembly of claim 18, wherein said cap extension comprises an extension tab.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a removable divider for a tub.

Tubs or sinks are known and have a wide variety of uses. Some tubs hold water while washing dishes, clothes, or other household items of varying sizes. Tubs further provide draining areas for washing machines for example.

Tub dividers span opposing tub walls to partition the tub into separate tub sections. Often one tub section is used for washing an item while the other is used for rinsing. Alternatively, only one tub section is used, which reduces the water required to submerge the item due to the tub sections reduced size relative the entire tub. Tub dividers may interfere when washing an item, especially a larger item.

Some known tub assemblies include a removable tub divider. When installed within the tub, the removable tub divider partitions the tub into separate sections. Removing the tub divider provides the larger tub area.

Many removable tub dividers include relatively complex arrangements for maintaining the position of the tub divider within the tub. Such arrangements can increase the time required to install and remove the tub divider within the tub and the costs associated with manufacturing the tub assembly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An example tub divider includes a wall moveable between an installed position and an uninstalled position. The wall partitions a tub when in the installed position. A lock pin moves between a first position and a biased position. The lock pin limits movement of the wall when in the first position.

An example divided tub assembly includes a tub, a removable wall for partitioning the tub, and a flange extending from at least one of the tub and the removable wall. The flange engages a slot on the other of the tub and the removable wall. The flange limits relative movement between the removable wall and the tub. A lock pin moves between a first position and a biased position. The lock pin limits movement of the wall when in the first position.

Another example divided tub assembly includes a plurality of tub sidewalls and a tub at least partially defined by the tub sidewalls. A removable wall is moveable to an installed position for partitioning the tub. A wall extension of the removable wall is receivable within a sidewall aperture defined by one of the tub sidewalls. The wall extension guides movement of the removable wall. A cap has a cap extension for receipt within a cap aperture defined by one the tub sidewalls. The cap limits relative movement between the removable wall and the tub.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The various features and advantages of this invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description of an embodiment. The drawings that accompany the detailed description can briefly be described as follows.

FIG. 1 illustrates an example tub assembly having a removable tub divider wall.

FIG. 2 illustrates a top view of the example tub assembly of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 illustrates the removable tub divider wall of FIG. 1 in an uninstalled position.

FIG. 4 illustrates a close-up view of the removable tub divider wall of FIG. 1 in an uninstalled position.

FIG. 5 illustrates a close-up view of the tub of FIG. 1 without the tub divider wall.

FIG. 6 illustrates another example tub assembly having a tub divider wall in an uninstalled position.

FIG. 7 illustrates the tub of FIG. 6 without the tub divider wall.

FIG. 8 illustrates the tub assembly of FIG. 6 with a lock cap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

An example tub assembly 10 includes a removable tub divider 14 and a tub 18 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The removable tub divider 14 is a type of removable wall. The tub 18 includes a plurality of sidewalls 22 attached to a bottom 26. In an installed position, the tub divider 14 spans opposing sidewalls 22 to partition the tub 18 into separate, adjacent washing areas 34a, 34b. A tub bottom 26 includes drains 30 on opposing side of the tub divider 14. As known, each of the washing areas 34a, 34b may be separately filled with water directed through a faucet (not shown) moveable between washing areas 34a, 34b. The tub 18 is a laundry tub for example, which can be used for washing a variety of items and for draining a washing machine.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, a seal 38 is secured around a perimeter portion of the tub divider 14. The seal 38 blocks flow between the adjacent washing areas 34a, 34b of FIG. 2 when the tub divider is in an installed position. In one example, the tub divider 14 is formed from a polymer material, such as polypropylene. The seal 38 is also formed of a polymer that is injection molded with the tub divider 14.

The tub divider 14 includes an extending lock pin 42. A spring 46, such as a coil spring, receives a portion of the lock pin 42. The spring 46 biases the lock pin 42 away from the tub divider 14 in a direction A. A tab 50 extending from the lock pin 42 may be used to overcome the spring force biasing the lock pin 42 away from the tub divider 14. An operator contacts the tab 50 to move the lock pin 42 toward the tub divider 14 in a direction B. In this example, the lock pin 42 is shown in a less biased position. Moving the lock pin 42 in direction B, such as when adjusting the tab 50, would move the lock pin 42 from a less biased position to a more biased position.

A cover 54 attaches to the top portion of the tub divider 14 to limit movement of the lock pin 42 and spring 46. The cover 54 may fasten to the tub divider 14 with mechanical fasteners 52, such as screws. In another example, the cover 54 snap fits to the upper portion of the tub divider 14.

FIG. 5 illustrates a portion of the tub 18 having features for engaging the tub divider 14. A tub aperture 58 receives the lock pin 42 when the tub divider 14 is in an installed position. Grooves 62 molded in the sidewalls 22 of the tub 18 receive a flange 66 extending from the tub divider 14. Aligning the flange 66 with the groove 62 facilitates installing the tub divider 14 in a position appropriate for engaging the tub aperture 58 with the lock pin 42. In this example, the flange 66 has a relatively dovetail shape.

Maintaining the position of the lock pin 42 relative to the tub 18 during installation would prevent fully installing the tub divider 14 due to the lock pin 42 contacting a tub upper surface 70. In one installation example, the lock pin 42 contacts the tub upper surface 70 when moving to an installed position within the tub 18, which moves the lock pin 42 in the direction B as the tub divider 14 moves further into the tub 18. Other installation examples include an operator moving the tab 50 to move the lock pin 42 in the direction B, which allows the tub divider 14 to move further into the tub 18.

As the spring 46 biases the lock pin 42 away from the tub divider 14 in direction A, the lock pin 42 may contact one of the sidewalls 22 when moving to an installed position. The lock pin 42 extends along direction A into the tub aperture 58 when the tub divider 14 seats within the tub 18 in an installed position. The lock pin 42 contacts edges of the tub aperture 58, which limits movement of the tub divider 14 away from the installed position and out of the tub 18. In one example, removing the tub divider 14 requires an operator to move the tab 50 toward the center of the tub divider 14 along direction B to withdraw the lock pin 42 from the tub aperture 58 prior to removal.

FIG. 6 illustrates another example tub assembly 100 having a tub divider 114. In this example, the tub divider 114 includes an extension pin 118 received within an aperture 120 defined by the sidewall 122. The example of FIG. 6 illustrates the tub divider 114 moving toward an installed position as the aperture 120 has not fully received the extension pin 118.

As shown in FIG. 7, the sidewall 122 defines the aperture 120 and flanges 126 on the sidewall 122 limit movement of the tub divider 114 relative to the sidewall 122 of the tub 108. The aperture 120 receives the extension pin 118 to guide the tub divider 114 into an installed position.

The tub sidewall 122 also defines a second aperture 130 for engaging an extension tab 134 of a lock cap 138. Moving the extension tab 134 into the second aperture 130 limits movement of the tub divider 114 away from the installed position within the tub 108. The extension tab 134 contacts the sides of the second aperture 130 holding the position of the lock cap 138 and limiting relative movement between the tub divider 114 and the tub 108.

Although described in terms of the extension pin 118 and an extension tab 134, a person skilled in the art and having the benefit of this disclosure would be able to develop additional suitable extension features, which would fall within the scope of this invention.

Further, although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been disclosed, a worker of ordinary skill in this art would recognize that certain modifications would come within the scope of this invention. For that reason, the following claims should be studied to determine the true scope and content of this invention.





 
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