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March 27, 1962 j. E. Rhodes 3,026,699
Filed Jan. 6, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 1
3,026,699 WASHING MACHINE John E. Rhodes, Louisville, ICy., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York r Fiied Jan. 6, 1961, Ser. No. 81,075 •> 7 Claims. (CI. 68—12)
This invention relates to automatic clothes washing machines, and more particularly to an arrangement in such machines whereby the drain pump conventionally 10 included for removal of vitiated water from the machine is adapted to be used also for the removal of water from vessels such as sinks or basins used in the same area as the machine.
Washing machines, as they are commercially available 15 at the present time, normally include a liquid container, means in the container for washing clothes, suitable means to introduce liquid to the container, and suitable means for draining liquid from the container. The drain means normally includes a pump connected to the bot- 2^ torn of the container so that the liquid is forcibly removed at the appropriate time. With this type of structure, automatic washing machines may readily be used wherever desired in the home, including basement areas where the receptacle to which the drain of the machine 23 discharges may be higher than the level of the machine. This occurs, for instance, where the washing machine is used in the basement of a home having a septic tank, and the machine drain is connected directly to a pipe leading to the septic tank. With this set of circumstances, the drain water from the machine actually is raised above the level of the septic tank by the pump so that it may flow thereinto from the machine.
While such circumstances present no problem with respect to automatic washing machines, they do present a substantial obstacle to the effective use of sinks, basins, stationary tubs, and the like in the basements of homes using septic tanks. If fact, where there is no sump or drain opening in the basement floor appropriate for ^ use as a drain discharge from the sink or stationary tub, it has, in effect, been impossible to use sinks in the basements of such homes.
It is therefore an object of my invention to provide a washing machine in which the drain pump conventionally 4g provided in such machines is, in addition, arranged so that it may be used to drain any basins, tubs or the like used in the same area as the washing machine.
A further more specific object of my invention is to provide a washing machine which includes, in its top Qq surface, a basin which may be drained by the drain pump of the washing machine.
In one aspect of my invention I provide a washing machine which, in the usual manner, has a liquid container, means for washing clothes in the container, means 55 for introducing water to the container, and a drain pump positioned below the container with an inlet connected to it so as to drain the container upon operation of the pump. In addition to this I also provide another conduit connected to the pump inlet, and this conduit 60 is adapted to be connected to the drain of a basin positioned above the pump. Suitable means may then be provided to operate the drain pump so that it may be used either in its usual context in connection with the operation of the washing machine or for the independent 63 purpose of draining the basin or the like to which the conduit is connected.
As a preferred construction, the basin to which the drain pump is connected is formed as an integral part 7Q of the washing machine in the top thereof. As another specific preference, the top basin part is pivotable so that
it actually forms a lid for providing access to the washing machine.
The subject matter which I provide as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. The invention itself, however, both as to its organization and method of operation, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings, FIGURE 1 is a view in perspective of an improved washing machine incorporating my invention;
FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view of the clothes washing machine of FIGURE 1, the view being partially broken away and partially in section to illustrate details;
FIGURE 3 is a schematic diagram of an electrical control circuit incorporating my invention, which circuit forms a part of the machine of FIGURES 1 and 2; and
FIGURE 4 is a schematic view of a development of the surfaces of the cams shown in FIGURE 3, thereby indicating the operation of switches by the cams.
Referring now to FIGURES 1 and 2, there is shown therein a washing machine 1 which has an appearance cabinet 2 within which the components of the washing machine are mounted. The cabinet 2 includes conventional vertically extending side walls 3, a top section 4, and a lid 5 which may be pivotably secured on a pin 6 (FIGURE 2) so as to be pivotable upward to an open position to permit access to an opening 7 formed in top section 4 of the cabinet. The lid 5 includes a recessed portion 8 which serves as a water receiving basin or sink. In the conventional manner, an opening 9 may be provided at the bottom of the basin to permit draining of water therefrom, the opening 9 being closable by a suitable stopper member 10 which may be manually inserted into and removed from the opening 9.
Mounted so as to be supported on portion 4 and extend upwardly therefrom at the back of the washing machine 1 is a backsplasher portion 11 which, in the usual manner, contains the controls for the machine 1. Provided on the front portion 12 of backsplasher 11 there may be provided a suitable manually operable member 13 so as to permit an operator to manually initiate a sequence of operations in the machine 1. Also mounted on the backsplasher 11 is a faucet 14 which extends out over basin 8 so that water provided for the faucet serves to fill the basin. In the conventional manner, a pair of handles 15 and 16 may be used to control the flow of hot and cold water respectively through faucet 14. It will be understood that the usual provisions for connecting sources of hot and cold water to the faucet 14 through valves controlled by handles 15 and 16 respectively may be made, and are not shown herein because they are entirely conventional in nature.
Referring now to FIGURE 2 in particular, within the cabinet 2 of washing machine 1 there is a conventional basket or clothes receiving receptacle 17 provided over its side and bottom walls with perforations 18 and disposed within an outer imperforate tub or casing 19. Basket 17 may be provided with a suitable clothes retaining member 20 for preventing clothes from being floated over the top of the basket, and with a balance ring 21 to help steady the basket when it is rotated at high speed (as will be explained).
Tub 19 is rigidly mounted within appearance cabinet 2. As shown, a gasket 22 may be provided so as to form a seal between the top of tub 19 and portion 4 of the cabinet to prevent escape of moisture and moist air into the cabinet around the tub. The rigid, mounting of tub 19 within cabinet 2 may be effected by any suitable
means. As a typical example of one such means, I provide strap members 23, each of which is secured at one end to an inturned flange 24 formed at the top of each wall 3 of the cabinet, the other end of each strap member being secured to the outside of the tub 19. As can 5 be seen, the basket 17 is positioned within the tub 19 so that access may be had to the interior of the basket for inserting clothes thereinto and removing clothes therefrom through the opening 7 when lid 5 is raised.
At the center of basket 17 there is positioned a vertical 10 axis agitator 25 which includes a center post 26 and a plurality of curved water circulating vanes 27 joined at their lower ends by an outwardly flared skirt 28. Both the clothes basket 17 and the agitator 25 are rotatably mounted. The basket is mounted on a flange 29 formed 15 on a rotatable hub 30, and the agitator 25 is mounted on a shaft (not shown) which extends upwardly through the hub 30 and through the center post 26 and is secured to the agitator so as to drive it. During a typical cycle of operation of the machine 1, water is introduced 20 into the tub 19 and basket 17, and the agitator 25 is then oscillated back and forth on its axis, that is, in a horizontal plane within the basket, to wash the clothes therein. Then, after a predetermined period of this washing action, basket 17 is rotated at high speed to extract centrifugally 25 the washing liquid from the clothes and discharge it to drain. Following this extraction operation, a supply of clean water is introduced into the basket for rinsing the clothes and the agitator is again oscillated. Finally, the basket is once more rotated at high speed to extract the 30 rinse water.
The basket 17 and agitator 25 may be driven through any suitable means as the specific transmission means is not a feature of the present invention. By way of example, I have shown them as driven from a reversible motor 35 31 through a drive including a clutch 32 mounted on the motor shaft. Clutch 32 allows the motor 31 to start without a load and then accept the load as it comes up to speed. A suitable belt 33 transmits power to a transmission assembly 34 through a pulley 35. Thus, depending upon 40 the direction of motor rotation, pulley 35 of transmission 34 is driven in opposite directions.
The transmission 34 is so arranged that it supports and drives both the agitator drive shaft and the basket mounting hub 30. When motor 31 is rotated in one direction 45 the transmission causes agitator 25 to oscillate in a substantially horizontal plane within the basket 17. Conversely, when motor 31 is driven in the opposite direction, the transmission rotates the wash basket 17 and agitator 25 together at high speed for centrifugal liquid extraction, While the specific type of drive mechanism used does not form part of the invention, reference is made to Patent 2,844,225 issued to James R. Hubbard et al. on July 22, 1958 and owned by the General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention. That patent discloses in g5 detail the structural characteristics of a transmission assembly suitable for use in the illustrated machine.
In addition to operating the transmission 34 as described, motor 31 also provides a direct drive through a flexible coupling 36 to a pump structure indicated gen- 60 erally by the numeral 37, which may include two separate pumping units 38 and 39 both operated simultaneously in the same direction by motor 31. Pump 38 is a drain pump with an inlet 40 connected by a conduit 41 to an opening 42 formed at the lowermost point of tub 19. gDrain pump 38 also has an outlet which is connected by a conduit 43 to a suitable drain (not shown). The pump 39 has an inlet connected by a conduit 44 to the interior of tub 19 and an outlet connected by a conduit 45 to a nozzle 46. The pumps are formed so that in the spin direction of rotation drain pump 38 draws in liquid from opening 42 through conduit 41 and then discharges it through conduit 43 to drain; in the other direction of rotation, pump 39 draws in liquid through conduit .44 and discharges it through conduit 45 and nozzle 46, each of the 75
pumps being substantially inoperative in the direction of rotation in which it is not used.
Nozzle 46 is positioned to discharge into a filter pan 47 secured on the top portion 48 of agitator 25 so as to be movable therewith. With this structure, then, when the motor is rotating so as to provide agitation, pump 39 draws liquid through conduit 44 from tub 19 and discharges it through conduit 45 so that the liquid passes from nozzle 46 into filter pan 47, and then down through a number of small openings 48 provided in the bottom of the filter pan and back into basket 17. In this manner, the filter pan 47, with its small openings 48a and its upstanding side wall 49, causes lint which is separated from the clothes during the washing operation to be filtered out of the clothes and thus prevents it from being redeposited on the clothes. This type of structure is more fully described and claimed in Patent 2,481,979 issued to Russell
H. Colley on September 13, 1949 and assigned to General Electric Company, owner of the present invention.
The motor 31, clutch 32, transmission 34, basket 17 and agitator 25 form a suspended washing and centrifuging system which is supported by the stationary structure of the machine so as to permit isolation of vibrations from the stationary structure. It will be understood that such vibrations occur primarily as a result of high speed spinning of basket 17 with a load of clothes therein as mentioned above. While any suitable suspension may be used, for illustrative purposes I show a suspension structure which includes a channel member 50 with transmission 34 mounted on top thereof and motor 31 mounted to the underside thereof. The channel member in turn is secured to upwardly extending rigid members 51, and each of the two upwardly extending members 51 is connected to a cable 52 supported from the top of the machine. While only a portion of the suspension system is shown in the drawing, such a vibration isolating system is fully described and claimed in application Serial No. 843.611 for Vibration Isolating System, now Patent No. 2,987,190, filed on September 21, 1959 by John Bochan and assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention.
In order to accommodate the movement which occurs between basket 17 and tub 19 without any danger of leakage between them, the tub 19 is joined to the upper part of transmission 34 by a suitable flexible boot member 53 which may be of any suitable configuration, many of which are known in the art, so as to permit relative motion of the parts to which it is joined without leakage therebetween. Hot and cold water may be supplied to fill tub 19 through conduits 54 and 55 which are adapted to be connected respectively to sources of hot and cold water (not shown). Conduits 54 and 55 extend into a conventional mixing valve slructure 56 having solenoids 57 and 58 so that energization of solenoid 57 permits passage of hot v/ater through the valve to an outlet 59, energization of solenoid 58 permits passage of cold water through the valve, and energization of both solenoids permits mixing of hot and cold water in the valves and passage of warm water through outlet 59.
The level to which the water rises in the basket and tub may be controlled by any suitable means. One typical way of doing this is to provide an opening 60 in the side of tub 19 adjacent the bottom thereof, the opening 60 being connected through a conduit 61 and a tube 62 to a conventional pressure sensitive device (shown only schematically, in FIGURE 3, by the numeral 63) which may be positioned within the backsplasher 11 of the machine
I. In the conventional manner, as the water rises in basket 17 and tub 19, it exerts increasing pressure on a column of air trapped in tube 62 and at a predetermined pressure level the column of air then trips the pressure sensitive mechanism to shut off whichever of solenoids 57 and 58 may be energized.
Returning now to the basin 8 formed in the lid 5 of machine 1, it is provided, as already stated, with a drain