US 3120329 A
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Feb. 4, 1964 1-. E. NOAKES MULTIPLE UNIT LIQUID DISPENSER 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Sept. 12, 1960 arrests Patented Feb. 4, 1954 3,120,329 MULTIPLE UNIT LIQUID DHSPENSER Thomas E. Noalres, Detroit, Mich assignor to American- Radiator & dtandard Sanitary Corp, New York, N.Y., a corporatien of Delaware Filed Sept. 12, 19%, Ser. No. 55,538 2 Claims. (61. 222373) This invention relates to mechanism for dispensing liquid additives into washing machines.
One embodiment of the invention comprises a dispenser structure having a series of liquid storage reservoirs into which the housewife may periodically (e.g. once a week) charge different liquid additives such as liquid detergent, bleach, rinse conditioner, dye, or liquid starch. The number of storage reservoirs corresponds with the number of dilferent type additives to be handled by the dispenser, is. there is one storage reservoir for each different additive.
Each reservoir is provided with a metering chamber and a manually operable control means for admitting selected quantities of liquid additive from the reservoir into the metering chamber. Each metering chamber is provided with a discharge conduit which communicates with the drum or tub of the washing machine, and each discharge conduit is provided with an electrically-operated means for selecting the instant in the machine cycle at which the liquid is delivered to the drum or basket. In this connection it will be understood that in a multi-liquid system as proposed herein, it is desirable that the different liquids be pumped into the machine at various different times in the washing machine cycle.
One object of the invention is to provide a multi-liquid dispenser of the above type wherein the housewife may manually select the quantity of each liquid additive at the time she loads the machine with articles, and wherein the dispenser automatically delivers the selected liquid quantities at the proper periods in the machine cycle.
Another object of the invention is to provide a liquid dispenser which may be utilized as an add on feature with conventional washing machines, the arrangement being such as to permit the manufacturer to offer the dispenser as optional equipment without substantial redesign of its washing machine.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dispenser which may be mounted in a position on the machine suitable for convenient access by the housewife for liquid charging purposes.
Another object of the invention is to provide a dispenser which may be readily cleaned when necessary.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a dispenser which may be constructed to blend with the styling of various different makes of washing machines.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dispenser which can handle a plurality of dilferent liquid additives but which has a fairly low manufacturing cost.
Other objects of this invention will appear in the following description and appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional clothes washing machine having a dispenser of the present invention mounted thereon.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged exploded rear perspective view of the FIG. 1 arrangement.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially on line 3-3 in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view of an electrical control means utilized in the FIG. 2 construction.
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the FIG. 4 control means.
FIG. 6 is a view of a conventional washing machine and a conventional clothes dryer located one above the other, with a dispenser of the present invention positioned therebetween.
Before explaining the present invention in detail it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
Referring to the drawings, and particularly FIG. 1, there is shown a conventional clothes washing machine 10 having the conventional splash back or console portion 12 extending upwardly from its top 14 adjacent the rear thereof. Detachably positioned on the upper wall 16 of the splash back portion 12 is a dispenser 18 of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 1 the dispenser is constructed as a horizontally elongated casing structure extending substantially the full width of the washing machine 10 so as to blend with the styling thereof.
The illustrated dispenser casing is defined by a bottom wall 24, and two opposed end walls 26 and 28, a back wall 30, a front wall 32, and a top wall 34. Disposed above bottom wall 24 is an intermediate wall 36 which extends from end wall 26 to a vertical partition 38. The area above intermediate wall 36 is partitioned by two vertical partitions 4t) and 42, the three spaces thus formed constituting liquid reservoirs designated by the numerals 41, 43 and 45. The dispenser casing is provided with a top access opening 47 which is normally closed by a hinged lid or cover 49, said lid being pivotally mounted on the casing, as by means of pivot pins 50. By raising the lid the housewife secures access to the various liquid reservoirs 41, 43 and 45.
In the illustrated embodiment each liquid reservoir is provided with wall structure therebelow serving to define a metering chamber. In the drawings the various metering chambers for the respective reservoirs are designated by numerals 51, 53 and 55. Each of the metering chambers are of similar construction, and a description of one will sufiice for a description of all. As shown in FIG. 3 metering chamber 53 is defined by a lower portion of the housing front wall 32, a forwardly sloping wall portion 48, and a rear wall portion 48m. The aforementioned intermediate Wall 36 constitutes the top wall of the metering chamber, and it is suitably configured to define a port 52 for admitting liquid from reservoir 43 to the metering chamber 53 by gravity fiow. Control of the liquid flow through the port is effected by a poppet valve 54 which is afiixed to a slidable stem 56. A suitable seal is provided at 58 to seal the joint between the stem and front wall 32.
Stem 56 is carried on a manually actuable push button 69. The front wall 32 is providedwith a tubular guide extension 57, and push button 69 is provided with a mating telescoping tubular portion 59, the arrangement being such that push button 60 can be constructed as a relatively large easily operated device with the mating portions 57 and 59 acting to adequately guide the push button in its movement. A compression spring 61 is disposed between wall 32 and button 66 so that when the manual pressure is released the valve 54 is ensured of automatically moving to its closed position.
Referring to FIG. 1, it will be seen that a portion of the front wall 32 adjacent each button 60 is cut out to accommodate a transparent viewing window 63. The wall area adjacent each viewing window is provided with suitable graduations 65 to indicate quantity of liquid in the respective metering chamber at any one time. By this arrangement the housewife can depress the push button at and simultaneously View the liquid level as it rises in the metering chamber. When a suitable liquid level is reached in the metering chamber she can release button 69 to allow spring 61 to automatically close the valve and thereby trap a selected quantity of liquid in the chamber. It will be understood that each of the various push buttons 6%? can be actuated independently at the beginning of the machine cycle so that each of the metering chambers can be filled to the desired level. The selected level may of course be different in each metering chamber in accordance with the character of the wash load and the type of additive being handled by the respective chamber.
Under the present invention an electrically-operated control mechanism is provided to automatically control the time at which the liquid is delivered from each metering chamber into the washing machine. The electrical control mechanism of the illustrated embodiment is indicated generally by numeral '70 in FIG. 2, and the details thereof are shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. As shown in FIG. 4 the control means comprises an electrically-operated air pump indicated generally by numeral 76 and an electrically operated valve means indicated generally by numeral 78. The general arrangement is such that pump 76 may be energized to heat 21 contained body of air so as to build up internal air pressure, and selected ones of the valves in the valve means 78 may be energized to direct the built-up air pressure to the spaces above the liquids in the previously mentioned metering chambers. The built up air pressure is thus utilized to pump the liquid from the metering chambers into suitable conduits which discharge the liquids into the washing machine.
Referring more particularly to FIG. 4, the pump means 76 comprises a cup-like housing element 86, and an overlying cover portion 82, the juncture therebetween being occupied by a suitable annular gasket 84. Suitable clips 86 are utilized to secure elements 80 and 82 together, the arrangement being such that a sealed chamber 88 is defined by the two cooperating housing elements. Positioned within chamber 88 is an electrical heater 94 which may comprise a plurality of turns of resistance wire trained on a suitable framework 92. The framework may be supported by a plurality of metallic brackets 87 and 39 seated on the bottom wall of housing element 8%). Suitable rivets 85 may be utilized to mount the brackets and electrically interconnect same to the spade-type terminals S1 and 83.
Bracket 87 is electrically connected with an insulated lead '79 which extends upwardly and then laterally to connection with a bimetal leaf 91 forming part of a thermostatic cut-out switch. The other connection for the switch is through an insulated lead 95 which extends down to a terminal 97 for the heater 90. The other terminal for the heater is formed by bracket 89.
The bimetal leaf 91 is arranged so that as the air temperature in chamber 88 rises (due to the action of the heater) the bimetal is deformed to break the electrical path from lead 79 to lead 95, thus de-energizing the heater. By this action the hen er is caused to provide a pulsing air pump action for thereby delivering relatively large quantities of liquid without requiring an excessively large capacity air space pressure development.
The sequence is such that in an illustrative cycle the heater is energized to pump a liquid pulse from chamber 53 (by heating the air in chamber 88), after which the heater is de-energized by switch leaf 91 to allow the air to cool and draw additional air into the system through tube 133 (FIG. 3) and the liquid in chamber 53, after which the leaf 91 cools to again energize the heater for pumping an additional pulse of liquid through tube 133. By thus pulsing the heater the entire liquid contents of chamber 53 can be discharged through tube the The pulsing action is of course automatic as long 3 current is supplied to terminal 31 (which is preferaoly under the control of the Washing machine timer).
Referring now to valve means '78 (FIG. 4), the cover element is provided with three separate vertical passage sections 82a, 82b and 32c, one for each of the previously mentioned metering chambers 51, 53, 55. Flow of pressurized air in each passage section is controlled by a separate electrical valve arrangement, and since the valve arrangements are similar, a description of one will sufiice for a description of all.
The valve arrangement for passage section 82b comprises an annular rubber valve seat element 96 seated in a recess in element 82. The central opening through element 9-6 registers with the armature-plunger 98 of a conventional solenoid 163. In order to prevent loss of air pressure there is arranged above element 96 cover element 102, having a peripheral flange portion located on an annular gasket Hi4. Element 102 is suitably mounted on the main cover element 82 by an annular clamp element 1%, suitable screws 103 (FIG. 5) being provided to hold the clamp element and solenoid cover in their illustrated positions.
An upward projecting tubular extension 110 on element 162 acts as a guide for the armature-plunger 93 and as a seat for the compression spring 112. The arrangement of parts is such that when the coil of solenoid 103 is energized the armature-plunger 93 is drawn upwardly in the guide portion 1113 so as to open passage 82b to the superjacent space 109. In this manner the air pressure deveioped by energization of heat wire is transmitted to the space 169. A passage section 114 extends down wardly from space 1139 to a laterally extending passage 115, said lateral passage in turn communicating with an upwardly directed passage 118. As shown in FIG. 4 the passage structure may be suitably formed by means of an insert 129 and gasket 122.
Passage 118 is formed within a tubular extension 124 formed on cover 82. As best shown in FIG. 4 this tubular extension mounts one end of a rubber hose 123. As
est seen in FIG. 2 hose 123 extends away from control means 70, through an opening 126 in a partition 138, and thence into connection with a hollow extension projecting from the bottom wall 43 of the metering chamber 53. As shown in FIG. 3 the hollow extension is continued upwardly within the metering chamber, as at 130, so that the air pressure which is developed in chamber 88 (FIG. 4) may be transmitted to the upper portion of the metering chamber. This air pressure may then act against the liquid Within the metering chamber to pump same into a tube 132. In the illustrated embodiment, tube 132 is mounted on a tubular extension of the metering chamber backwall 480. This extension is projected to the back side of wall 48a so as to mount a second tube 133.
As best shown in FIG. 2 tube 133 extends downwardly and longitudinally of the dispenser easing into connection with the casing bottom wall 24 so as to be capable of discharging liquid out of the dispenser. When the dispenser is installed on the washing machine the discharge end of tube 133 registers with a suitable funnel means 143, said funnel means being connected with a conduit means 144 leading to the tub or drum of the machine (not shown). By such an arrangement liquid may be conveyed from metering chamber 53 to the tub or drum of the Washing machine when control means 70 is energized.
The described type of control for the discharge from chamber 43 is also utilized for chambers 41 and 45. Thus, with respect to chamber 41, solenoid 101 operates as solenoid 103, line 121 functions as line 123, line 131 functions as line 133, and funnel means 14-1 functions as funnel means 143. Similarly, chamber 45 is provided with the control components indicated generally by numerals 105, 125, 135, and 14-5.
It will be understood that liquids will be dispensed from the various dispensing chambers at different times in the operational cycle of the machine, and that the machine timer can be utilized to program signals to the dispenser controls. In conventional washing machines the timer sequentially operates switches in the electrical lines which energize the various different motors and electrical valves in the washing machine proper. The present invention is not concerned with the particular type of timer mechanism employed within the machine proper since whatever timer construction is employed the same may be utilized to control the supply of current for heater 90 and the three solenoids 101, 103 and 105. The timer may be utilized for this purpose by connecting selected ones of the timer switches with the terminals in a female electrical receptacle 140 (FIG. 2). As shown in FIG. 2 receptacle 140 may be mounted on wall 16 of the machine so that when the dispenser 18 is installed on the machine the electrical spade-type contacts 149, 150, 151 and 152 extend into the receptacle openings so as to electrically connect with leads to the timer switches (not shown).
The various contacts may be suitably connected with leads which extend within a cable 154 leading up to terminal board 156. As shown in FIG. 2 the terminals on the board mount short leads which feed current to the various solenoids. Certain of the terminals may also be used to feed current to heater 90. It will be understood that the heater is connected with the common terminal on the board so that the heater is energized whenever any one of the solenoids is energized. The solenoids are energized at different periods in accordance with the timer program.
The features of the invention can be utilized in the dispensing of various liquid additives, and the showing of a three liquid system is of course illustrative. Whatever the number of additives to be dispensed, at periodic intervals, it may be necessary to clean the liqiud reservoirs of encrusted additive accumulations. With the illustrated apparatus such clean out operations can be accomplished by merely removing the dispenser casing 18 from its position atop the splash back portion 12 and submerge the entire assembly in a suitable cleaning solution. During such clean out operations a certain amount of the cleaning water may be introduced into various ones of the tubes 131, 133 or 135. However, such water is not harmful to the dispenser parts since the electrical components thereof are sealed within the casing and isolated from water contact. The dispenser 18 may be removably mounted on the washing machine by any suitable mechanism, but as shown in the drawings, the mounting means includes two slot-forming brackets 160 suitably secured to the machine back wall, and two extensions 161 projecting downwardly from the dispenser casing backwall 313.
It will be seen that with the illustrated arrangement the general design of the machine casing is substantially unaffected, the only modification thereof being the openings for mounting the electrical receptacle 140 and three funnels 141, 143 and 145. Suitable leads must of course be connected to receptacle 140, as during manufacture of the machine, and suitable tubes must be extended from the liquid-receiving funnels to direct the liquid into the washing machine tub or drum.
In the arrangement shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 the metering chambers are located below their respective reservoirs so that liquid is conducted into the metering chambers by a gravity flow. Certain liquids have a viscosity characteristic which tends to cause plugging of small orifices and interference with gravity flow. When such high viscosity liquids are utilized the liquid flow may be effected by small pumps (not shown) in which case the metering chambers can be located above the storage reservoirs if desired.
FIG. 1 illustrates the dispenser as located on the rear portion of the washing machine.
FIG. 6 illustrates an arrangement wherein the dispenser may be operatively mounted between the conventional washing machine 170 and the conventional clothes dryer 172. As shown in FIG. 6 the clothes dryer and clothes washer are mounted in stacked relationship, with a boxlike insert 174 arranged therebetween. This box-like insert is a conventional construction, and the present invention is not concerned with the provision of such an insert. The present invention as embodied in the FIG. 6 construction is directed to the disposition of the dispenser as a bin-like structure tiltably mounted within insert 174.
The tilting feature may be accomplished by suitably configuring the front wall of insert 174 to define an up wardly facing notch or groove, and providing a knife edge strip 176 on the lower wall of the dispenser 18. A suitable handle 178 may be mounted on the front wall of the dispenser to tilt the dispenser out from the insert 174. The purpose in the tilting feature is of course to enable the housewife to gain access to the dispenser reservoirs for charging thereof with liquid, and to remove the dispenser for cleaning. The electrical connections may be completed and separated as necessary by employing a flexible cable and fixed receptacle as shown at 180 and 182. If desired the dispenser may be mounted to slide rectilinearly into and out of the insert in the manner of a drawer.
The drawings and description herein are intended to be illustrative of the invention, and modifications may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
1. In 'a washing machine having a splash panel with a horizontally disposed top and an inlet thereon that is fluid flow connected with the tub of the machine,
the improvement of a dispenser for liquid, positioned on the horizontally disposed top of the machine,
said dispenser including a casing defining an upper reservoir and a lower metering chamber,
a conduit connecting said reservoir and said metering chamber in liquid flow relation,
normally closed valve means in said conduit to admit variable quantities of liquid to said metering chamber from said reservoir,
a discharge port in said metering chamber and positioned above the normal liquid level of said metering chamber,
a first conduit extending from said discharge port to the bottom of said metering chamber,
a second conduit extending from said discharge port to the inlet of the horizontal top of the washing machine,
and means for forcing liquid through said first conduit and said discharge port of said metering chamber and through said second conduit into the inlet of the washing machine.
2. In a dispenser for liquid,
a unitary casing having an integral wall intermediate the bottom and top to divide the casing into an upper reservoir and a lower metering chamber,
said wall completely separating said reservoir and metering chamber from one another vertically,
a port in said wall for gravity flow of liquid from said reservoir to said metering chamber,
valve means operable in said port,
said metering chamber having a slanting bottom defining a lowermost portion,
a discharge port in said metering chamber and positioned above the normal liquid level of the metering chamber,
a conduit connected to said discharge port and extending to the lowermost part of said metering chamber,
and a gas inlet extending through the bottom of said metering chamber and terminating above said discharge port.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 524,900 James Aug. 21, 1894 1,785,097 Raymond Dec. 16, 1930 (Uther references on following page) 7 UNITED STATES PATENTS Sweetland May 22, 1934 Rosenberg Sept. 24, 1935 Parson May 25, 1943 Baak May 24, 1949 Hanks Aug. 29, 1950 8 Erlanger Aug. 4, 1953 Martiniak Jan. 6, 1959 Bloom Feb. 3, 1959 Rosander May 19, 1959 Brucken July 26, 1960 Marchi Jan. 22, 1963
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