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Número de publicaciónUS3921421 A
Tipo de publicaciónConcesión
Fecha de publicación25 Nov 1975
Fecha de presentación18 Nov 1974
Fecha de prioridad18 Nov 1974
Número de publicaciónUS 3921421 A, US 3921421A, US-A-3921421, US3921421 A, US3921421A
InventoresKretchman Gerald L, Ohmann William
Cesionario originalWhirlpool Co
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Removable detergent dispenser for automatic washer
US 3921421 A
Resumen
An automatic detergent dispenser assembly has a bracket affixed to a flange adjacent the top access opening to the tub of an automatic washer of the vertical axis type, by which a dispenser cup may be mounted by a cooperating fitting to overhang the tub. A solenoid mounted beneath the bracket and flange selectively releases a catch on the cup, allowing a trap door on the bottom of the cup to spring open and dispense detergent from the cup into the tub. The bracket and solenoid are mounted by a single screw and have keying means to prevent rotation between the parts. The trap door is hinged on pins integral with the door and engaging corresponding eyes on the cup, and a torsion bar along the hinge line provides a biasing force to open the door upon release of the catch by the solenoid.
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United States Patent 1191 Kretchman et al.

[ 1 Nov. 25, 1975 REMOVABLE DETERGENT DISPENSER FOR AUTOMATIC WASHER [75] Inventors: Gerald L. Kretchman, Stevensville;

William Ohmann, St. Joseph, both of Mich.

[73] Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation, Benton Harbor, Mich.

[22] Filed: Nov. 18, 1974 [21] Appl. No.: 525,081

Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby Assistant Examiner-Philip R. Coe

Attorney, Agent. or FirmHill. Gross, Simpson, Van Santen, Steadman, Chiara & Simpson [57] ABSTRACT An automatic detergent dispenser assembly has a bracket affixed to a flange adjacent the top access opening to the tub of an automatic washer of the vertical axis type, by which a dispenser cup may be mounted by a cooperating fitting to overhang the tub. A solenoid mounted beneath the bracket and flange selectively releases a catch on the cup, allowing a trap door on the bottom of the cup to spring open and dispense detergent from the cup into the tub. The bracket and solenoid are mounted by a single screw [56] References Cited and have keying means to prevent rotation between UNITED STATES PATENTS the parts. The trap door is hinged on pins integral with 2,523,301 9/1950 WOOClSOfl 68/17 R the door and g g g Corresponding y on the Cup, i and a torsion bar along the hinge line provides a bias a 3,160,319 12/1964 Patzelt et 61.... 222/181 x mg forcelto 9 the door upon release of the Catch 3,207,373 9/1965 Dannenmann... 68/17 R x by the so 3,233,782 2/1966 Ullman et a1. 222/l8l X 3,258,792 7/1966 Rickel 68/17 R x 9 8 Draw F'gures /9 Z/ 1- 111- 1 JHHI]! m v I 4;, I! i 3/ U.S. Patent Nov. 25, 197 5 Sheet10f3 3,921,421

U..S., Patent Nov. 25, 1975 Sheet2of3 3,921,421

US. Patent Nov.25, 1975 Sheet3of3 3,921,421

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to an improved apparatus for removably mounting a detergent dispenser cup to a flange adjacent an opening above a wash tub in a clothes washing machine, and providing for improved operation thereof.

2. Description of the Prior Art It is well known in the dispenser art to provide a container with a hinged bottom which is opened by means ofa solenoid plunger releasing a catch upon signal from a timing mechanism, as in US. Pat. No. 3,233,782 or U.S. Pat. No. 3,044,667. It is also known to make a dispenser assembly removable for loading from a position on an inside wall of the washing machine, as in US. Pat. No. 3,160,319. US. Pat. No. 3,258,792 shows the use of multiple screws to mount a dispenser assembly to the flange or recessed panel about a washing machine tub; US. Pat. No. 2,819,600 shows a dispenser located in the tub opening and emptied bythe operation of closing the lid over the opening.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An automatic washing machine of the vertical axis type has a detergent dispenser cup for dispensing detergent in powder form which is mountable on the recessed flange in the upper panel of the cabinet surrounding the opening to the washing tub and beneath the openable lid of the machine. The dispenser cup comprises a bowl portion which overhangs the tub opening, and a mounting portion which is engaged by a bracket affixed to the flange adjacent the tub opening. A solenoid mounted beneath the mounting bracket has a plunger oriented to release a catch on a trap door of the dispenser bowl, allowing the door to open the bottom of the bowl andrelease detergent into the tub.

In accordance with the principles of this invention, the mounting bracket and the solenoid are attached to the flange about the tub opening by a single screw. Keying means prevent relative rotation between the mounting bracket or the solenoid and the flange on which they are mounted. Further, the mounting bracket is a simple structure having convex vertical surfaces away from the tub opening which prevent horizontal motion of the dispenser cup and allow ready placement and removal of the dispenser cup into and from its operating position. Further, the dispensers trap door isbiased to an open position, 270? from the closed position, by a torsion bar which runs along a line between the hinge pins on which the door pivots. Another feature of the invention is the assembly of the door to the bowl by integral molded hinge pin elements which engage corresponding eyes in the dispenser body.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING the mounting bracket and the solenoid, and the placement of the dispenser;

bracket, and solenoid of the present. invention. partially in plan view and partially in cross-section;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view through the dispensing cup of the invention, showing the trapdoor both in closed and (by broken lines) in open. positions;

FIG. 5 is a plan view from beneath the flange about the tub, showing the mounting of the solenoid in rela' tion to the rim about the tub opening;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken on line Vl--Vl of FIG. 5, showing mounting details of the bracket and solenoid in relation to the flange;

FIG. 7 shows a top plan view of the dispenser cup of the present invention. with the trap door rotated l80 from its closed position and parts of the structure broken away to show details; and

FIG. 8 is a view along lines VIII-Vlll in FIG. 7. showing details of the torsion bar feature of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT An automatic clothes washing machine shown generally at 10 has a cabinet composed of side panels I1 and a top panel 12, on which is mounted a control center 13. Within the cabinet are located a washing tub 14, an agitator at the vertical axis of the tub l4, and water supply and drive control means shown generally at 16. The wash tub 14 is open at the top and access thereto is obtained through a lid 17 which is hinged on the panel 12 and in its closed or operating position occupies a recess 18 in the panel 12. Inwardly of the door recess 18 is a downwardly inwardly sloping flange 19 which terminates in a rim 20 which overhangs the opening in the tub 14.

A mounting bracket 21 is affixed to the flange 19 between the rim 20 and a corner of the lid recess area 18. The mounting bracket 21 has an upper face 22 which is horizontal with respect to the washing machine 10 in its installed position. and according to the present invention, vertical rear faces 23, 24 each generally parallel to respective edges of the lid 17 or the lid recess 18 and joined together at a smoothly curved portion 35.

Further. in accordance with the principles of the present invention. a single mounting screw 25 passes through a mounting aperture 26 in the mounting bracket 21 perpendicular to the surface of the flange 19. The screw 25 passes through an aperture 27 in the flange l9 and threadedly engages a base 28 of a solenoid bracket 29 by a threaded aperture 30 in said base 28. Thus, the single screw 25 attaches the mounting bracket 21 and the solenoid bracket 29 to the flange 19 in a single operation. A pair of keys 31,31 are formed in the vertical rear faces 23, 24 and protrude through key holes 32,32 in the flange l9 and engage receiving apertures 33,33 in the base 28 of the solenoid bracket 29. These keys 31,31 prevent the mounting bracket 21 and the solenoid bracket 29 from rotating with respect to the flange 19 during or after assembly, even though only a single mounting screw 25 is employed.

The dispenser cup of the present invention is shown in general perspective view in FIG. 2, at 40. The dispenser cup comprises generally a mounting portion 41 and a bowl or detergent holding portion 42 for holding a quantity of detergent in powder or granular form. The mounting portion 41 principally comprises a substantially triangular upper surface 42 which joins upper edges of vertical rear walls 44,45 to the upper edge of a rear wall 46 of the bowl portion 42. The rear walls 44,45 join at substantially a right angle to one another about a curved portion 47 whose interior surface 48 substantially corresponds to the outer surface of the joint between the vertical rear walls 23,24 of the mounting bracket 21. A forward interior wall 49 of the mounting portion 41 joins and stiffens the rear walls 44 and 45 and insures proper positioning of the mounting portion 41 over the mounting bracket 21.

The bowl portion 42 of the dispenser cup 40 is open at the top and has four generally vertical walls defining a detergent storage zonejThese walls are the rear wall 46, a front wall 50, and side walls 51,51. The front and rear walls and 46, respectively. are conveniently curved to correspond to the curve of the rim 20 of the flange 19 and to avoid obstructing too greatly the access of an operator to the clothes tub. The rear wall 46 of the bowl portion 42 is joined near its mid-portion to the forward wall 49 of the mounting portion 41 by means of webs 53,53.

The bottom of the bowl 42 is closed by a trap door 54 which in a closed position underlies the lower edge of each of the walls 46,50, and 51,51 of the bowl 42 and thereby retains granular detergent within the bowl.

In accordance with the principles of the present invention the door 54 is attached to the lower edges of side walls 51,51 adjacent the front wall 50 of the bowl 42 by means of hinge pins 55,55 integral in the door, which engage corresponding eyes or recesses. 56,56 formed in inward protrusions 57,57 of each of the side walls 51,51.

Also in accordance with the principles of the present invention. a torsion bar 58 extends substantially along a line between the hinge pins 55.55, bearing against the exterior or lower surface of the trap door 54 by an arm 59 and against a lower edge of a side wall 51 at the other end 60, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The bar or spring 58 is pre -stressed to bias the door 54 firmly into its open position against the front side of the front wall 50 of the bowl portion 42. The torsion bar 58 lies in a channel 61 formed in the lower surface of the trap door 54, as shown in FlG. 4. A U-shaped reinforcing bar 62 is affixed over the hinged edge of the trap door 54, capturing the torsion bar 58 in its channel 61 as well as strengthening the edge and preventing the door from flexing so that its hinge pins 55,55 could disengage from the eyes 56,56 in the end walls 51,51.

The trap door 54 is provided with a latch portion 65. The latch portion 65 comprises a bar 66 offset from the body of the door 54 but joined thereto by arms 67,67 and a three-sided reinforcing web 68 surrounding an aperture inwardly of the bar 66.

When the trap door 54 is in its closed position, against the lower edges of the four walls 46,50, and 51,51 of the bowl 42, the latch bar 66 is engaged by a catch 69 on the end of an arm 70 which is pivoted on the underside of the dispenser cup 40 between the walls 49 and 46 at 71, as shown in FIG. 4. The arm 70 is biased to the rear of the dispenser. away from the wall 46, by a leaf spring 72 fitted into a recess 73 in the arm 70 and bearing against the rear of the wall 46. A sharp corner 74 at the forward termination of the spring 72, at its point of contact with the rear of the wall 46, will slightly deform the material of the wall 46 and assist in preventing withdrawal of arm 70 from the recess provided on the underside of the dispenser cup 40. A plate 75 mounted across the webs 53,53 behind the rear wall 46 restrains the arm 70 from moving too far from the wall 46 when the door 54 is not in its closed position and holds the arm 70 and catch 69 thereon in proper position for engaging automatically the bar 66 of the door latch 65 when the door is closed by an operator prior to filling the bowl with detergent powder.

A solenoid is carried by the solenoid bracket 29 beneath the flange 19 of the washer panel 12 and behind the rim 20 above and adjacent the tub 14 of the machine. The solenoid 80 may be of any type compatible with the electrical system of the machine and capable of driving a plunger 81 from a rest position within an aperture 82 in the rim 20 to strike the rear surface of the arm 70 when the dispenser is in its mounted position and to move the arm sufficiently far to release the catch 69 from the latch bar 66 and so allow the trap door 54 to spring open. The solenoid 80 is conveniently mounted by press-fitting into the solenoid bracket 29, so that the solenoid 80 may be considered to include its bracket 29 for mounting with the dispenser cup mounting bracket 21 by means of the single screw 25. Conventional electrical connections 83 are provided to connect the solenoid 80 to the appropriate devices in the control center to dispense detergent at the proper time during the washing cycle.

In operation, assembly of the dispenser mounting bracket 21 and the solenoid 80 via its bracket 29 to the washer flange 19 is accomplished in manufacture by the single screw 25 attachment as described. An operator of the washing machine raises the lid 17 and lifts the dispenser cup 40 from the mounting bracket 21 and closes the trap door 54 on the bottom of the bowl 42 so that the catch 69 is securely engaged with the latch 65 on the door. The operator may then use the dispenser as a scoop or may pour granular detergent into the cup in preparation for washing a load. The clothes may be placed in the tub 14 before or after the dispenser 40 is replaced on the mounting bracket 21; delaying replacement of the dispenser will give slightly more access area to the tub if desired. After the dispenser 40 has been placed on the mounting bracket 21 and the washing cycle is started. the operator need give the dispenser no further attention.

At the proper time in the washing cycle. as determined by conventional control means, the solenoid 80 will be briefly energized, driving the plunger 81 momentarily against the arm 70 and displacing it to the right in the orientation of FIG. 3 a distance sufficient to release the catch 69 from the latch bar 66. The torsion bar 58 will swiftly pivot the trap door 54 through an arc of substantially 270 from its closed position to a fully open position against the front wall 50 of the bowl 42, out of the way of clothes washing in the tub l4, and allowing detergent within the bowl 42 to drop by gravity into the tub 14. When the washing cycle is complete. the dispenser cup 40 may be removed again from the mounting bracket 21 to somewhat facilitate removal of clothes from the tub 14 through the opening in the top thereof.

Although various modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art, it should be understood that we wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of our contribution to the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. An automatic detergent dispenser assembly for an automatic clothes washing machine of the vertical axis type, wherein a removable dispenser cup is located during operation of the machine above a washing tub and beneath a closeable lid affording access to the tub and the dispenser. and a bowl of the dispenser cup has a trap door operable by solenoid means to dispense detergent into said tub, comprising:

a mounting bracket affixed by attachment means to an upper side of a flange of the washing machine beneath said lid,

said attachment means also securing said solenoid means to an interior side of the flange opposite said mounting bracket; and

a mounting portion of said dispenser cup being removably engageable with said mounting bracket and holding the bowl of said dispenser cup over said washing tub for release of detergent thereinto upon operation of said solenoid means.

2. An automatic detergent dispenser assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said attachment means comprises a single screw.

3. An automatic detergent dispenser assembly as defined in claim 2, wherein said mounting bracket is keyed by a protrusion thereon to surfaces defining an aperture in said flange, to prevent relative rotation between said bracket and said flange.

4. An automatic detergent dispenser assembly as defined in claim 2, wherein said mounting bracket is keyed by a protrusion thereon to surfaces defining an aperture in each of said flange and said solenoid, to prevent relative rotation among said bracket, solenoid, and flange.

5. An automatic detergent dispenser assembly as defined in claim 1, wherein said mounting bracket and said mounting portion of said dispenser cup have cooperating vertical surfaces, whereby said dispenser cup may easily be placed into and removed from its operating position.

6. An automatic detergent dispenser assembly as defined in claim 1, said trap door having an edge with integral hinge pins each engaging a respective eye means on the dispenser cup upon which said trap door pivots between open and closed positions.

7. An automatic detergent dispenser assembly as defined in claim 6, further comprising a torsion spring 6 along said edge of said trap door and bearing on said door and said dispenser cup to bias said door from said closed position through substantially a 270 arc to said open position.

8. An automatic detergent dispenser means for use with a vertical axis automatic clothes washing machine. comprising. in combination:

a mounting bracket affixed to an upper surface of a flange of the machine beneath an access door to a washing tub;

a solenoid affixed to an interior surface of said flange opposite said mounting bracket.

said solenoid having a plunger;

a dispenser cup having a mounting portion removably engageable with said bracket. and

a bowl portion adjacent said mounting portion and overhanging said tub in an operating position:

said bowl portion having walls to enclose a quantity of detergent.

a trap door abutting lower edges of the walls of said bowl in a closed position of said door and having a hinge at each end of a wall opposite said mounting portion,

each hinge having a pin integral with said door and engaging a corresponding eye in one of the walls of the bowl,

said door having a torsion bar along a line between the hinge pins and biasing the door to move in an are from said closed position through substantially 270 to an open position against the wall opposite said mounting portion of said cup. and

catch means latching said trap door in its closed position and movable by said solenoid plunger to release said door upon said actuation of said plunger; thereby to provide an automatic dispenser cup easily removable from and replaceable in said washing machine.

9. A removable automatic detergent dispenser means as defined in claim 8, further defined by said mounting bracket and solenoid being affixed to the flange with a single screw therethrough and prevented from rotating by key means offset from said screw and passing among said bracket, panel, and solenoid.

Citas de patentes
Patente citada Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US2523801 *5 Abr 194726 Sep 1950Gen ElectricWater supply valve and soap dispenser arrangement for automatic clothes-washing machines
US3044667 *6 Oct 195917 Jul 1962Procter & GambleDetergent dispenser for automatic clothes washing machines
US3130738 *18 Abr 196128 Abr 1964Design & Mfg CorpAutomatic detergent dispenser for dishwashing machines
US3160319 *6 Mar 19638 Dic 1964Bauknecht Gmbh GDetergent dispenser for washing machines
US3207373 *11 Jun 196321 Sep 1965Bauknecht Gmbh GMeans for introducing a detergent into washing machines
US3233782 *11 Dic 19638 Feb 1966Mullins Mfg CorpDispensing and venting assembly for a dishwasher
US3258792 *12 Nov 19635 Jul 1966Whirlpool CoMethod and apparatus for dispensing an additive to a washing machine
Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US3988908 *24 Jul 19752 Nov 1976Fedders CorporationDetergent dispensing apparatus for washing machine
US5836180 *4 Abr 199717 Nov 1998Whirlpool CorporationAutomatic washer and dispenser cup therefor
US6353954 *6 Jun 200012 Mar 2002Maytag CorporationLaundry pretreatment system
US7007862 *7 Nov 20037 Mar 2006The Clorox Co.Rinse release dispensing device
US20050109860 *7 Nov 200326 May 2005Ken ChiangRinse release dispensing device
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.68/17.00R, 134/93
Clasificación internacionalD06F39/02
Clasificación cooperativaD06F39/026
Clasificación europeaD06F39/02D