Jam 1961 w. c. BELL ETAL 2,968,174
7 WASHING MACHINES Filed Nov. 4 1957 6 Sheets-Sheet 1 W. C. BELL ET AL WASHING MACHINES Jan.'l7, 1961 Filed Nov. 4, 1957- 6 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig. 3
Jan. 17, 1961 w. c.' BELL ET AL WASHING MACHINES Filed NOV. 4, 1957 6 Sheets-Sheet 3 HHI 1 Jan. 17, 1961 Filed Nov. 4, 1957 W. C. BELL ET AL WASHING MACHINES 6 Sheets-Sheet 4 Jan. 17, 1961 w. c. BELL ETAL WASHING MACHINES 6 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed Nov. 4, 1957 Jan. 17, 1961 Filed Nov. 4 1957 W. C. BELL ET AL WASHING MACHINES CTS CLOSED RINSI G 2 Fl AL LON SPIN IN v F /'g.9
6 Sheets-Sheet 6 FULL United States Patent Ofiice 2,968,174 Patented Jan. 17, 1961 2,968,174 WASHING MACHINES William Charlton Bell, Uxbridge, Harold George Dunn, Harrow Weald, Edward Kershaw Haydon, Greenford, Dennis John William Plint, Ealing W.l3, and Walter William Ralph Searle, Uxbridge, England, assignors to The Hoover Company, North Canton, Ohio, a corporation of Ohio Filed Nov. 4, 1957, Ser. No. 694,280
Claims priority, application Great Britain Nov. 6, 1956 7 Claims. (Cl. 68-24) This invention relates to washing machines and is particularly, though not exclusively, applicable to washing machines of the kind which automatically perform a spin-drying operation in addition to a washing operation, and possibly one or more rinsing operations.
According to the present invention a washing machine includes a basket to contain the clothes, located within a container for washing liquid and mounted to rotate about a horizontal or oblique axis, an impeller of disc-like form mounted in one end of the basket to rotate coaxially with the basket, and means for rotating the basket and the impeller simultaneously, and also relatively to one an other for washing the clothes. Driving means are arranged to rotate the impeller at a speed many times that of the basket and to rotate the impeller and basket in opposite directions for washing.
If the machine is used for washing only, the basket may be watertight. Alternatively where the machine serves also as a spin drier, it may be perforated, and mounted within a stationary watertight container. In the latter case the driving means may be arranged to drive the basket at a low speed for washing and rinsing and at a substantially higher speed for spin drying.
In one arrangement the end of the basket remote. from the impeller is open to provide a charging opening for the insertion of clothes.
In one form of the invention the axis of the impeller and basket is oblique, with the impeller in the, lower end of the basket. For example the axis may be inclined to the horizontal at such an angle that the top of the impeller is not substantially above the bottom of the. charging opening.
Preferably the rotating basket has in it a number of ribs arranged to lift the clothes and allow them to fall in the neighborhood of the impeller. Where the axis is horizontal the ribs should be helically inclined but if the axis is oblique the vanes may be either helical, or arranged in planes passing through the axis.
The basket may be closely surrounded by an outer casing which remains stationary while the basket rotates, the capacity of the lower part of the outer casing being not much greater than that of the basket so, as. to make the maximum space available for clothes in a given quantity of water.
The invention also includes a method of washing clothes which comprises immersing them in washing liquid in a basket provided with a disc-like impeller, and rotating the basket and impeller simultaneously and also, relatively to one another in opposite directions, and with the impeller at a speed many times that of the basket.
Many types of washing machines have, been employed in the past, including on the one hand a rotating basket or tumbler and on the other hand a disc-like impeller mounted in the side wall of a st t o ry casing, .The former type of washing machine lends itself readily to spin drying since the water can be emptied from it and the basket then rotates at a higher speed in order to centrifuge liquid from the clothes. On the other hand the washing efficiency of such a machine tends to be relatively poor. The side wall disc impeller type of machine is extremely compact and gives good washing elliciency, but does not provide any means for spin drying.
The arrangement in accordance with the invention, having both a disc-like impeller and a rotary basket, with the axis inclined so that the access opening can be above the water level while the impeller is below it, has substantial advantages over either of the types referred to above. In particular it enables efiicient washing to be carried out with a relatively small quantity of water.
The invention may be carried into practice in various ways but one specific embodiment will be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein: I
Figure 1 is a perspective external view of a complete automatic washing and spin drying machine;
Figure 2 is a right front perspective view of the washing machine with the outer casing removed;
Figure 3 is a left rear perspective view;
Figure 4 is a longitudinal section of the main working parts of the Washing machine;
Figure 5 is an enlarged fragmentary section on the line 5-5 of Figure 4 showing the cross-section of a rib;
Figure 6 is a view similar to part of Figure 4 showing the gearbox in section on a larger scale; V a
Figure 7 is a view of one of the coil spring clutches, progressively broken away and sectioned;
Figure 8 is a schematic circuit diagram; and
Figure 9 is a timing schedule of the complete washing and drying cycle. I I
As shown in Figure 1, the combined washing and spin drying machine comprises an outer casing 10 of generally rectangular form with a top forward corner edge cut off obliquely to provide a sloping access panel 11 having in it an opening 12 for the insertion and removal of clothes, the opening being normally closed by a door 13 having an observation window. The door 13 is mounted on hanges 14 at its lower edge and provided with a latch 15 at its upper edge to hold it closed. To the left and right of the opening are control dials 16 and 17 for a timer and a hot-automatic-cold switch respectively.
As shown in Figures 2 to 4 the casing contains a frame 20, chiefly made up of channel section members, in which a stationary container 25 is suspended. Rigidly secured to one end of the container 25 is a casing 29 which houses a gearbox and affords bearings for a rotary washing and spin drying basket 30, and a disc-like'wash'ing impeller 31 is mounted coaxially in the end of the spin drying basket. The impeller 31 may be of the form disclosed in United States Patent No. 2,478,188.
The container 25 is suspended in the frame 20 by means of rubber belts 32 and wire ties 33, and the frame is provided with upper and lower bufle'rs or cushions 34 and 35 and side buffers 36. When the container is filled with liquid it rests gently against the lower buffer 35.
When it is emptied prior to spin drying the container is lifted clear of the buffers, its weight being supported jointly by the wire ties and rubber belts whereby the latter provide resilience and damping. In the event of ex cessive vibration the container may engage any one of the buffers which will serve as a stop to check such vibra* tion. Near its mouth the container is provided with four weights 37 to add to the inertia of the non-rotating part of the suspended system andhence reduce the efiects of lack of balance in' the rotating part.
As shown in Figure 4 the, spin drier basket is of perforated sheet metal comprising a generally flat circular.
rear wall 38 affording a recess 39 for the impeller-31, and
merges at its outer periphery into a shallow frusto-conical wall 40 which has in it a narrow band of relatively large holes 41 to assist rapid filling. The wall 40 curves into a generally cylindrical portion 42 in which most of the holes 43 are formed and then merges into a deeper tapered portion 44 having an opening 45 for insertion and removal of the clothes situated at the end remote from the gearbox and presented adjacent the opening 12 in the sloping front upper panel of the casing. The outer stationary container 25 is of generally similar shape also comprising a conical end wall 47, a cylindrical portion 48 and a tapered portion 49, and closely encloses the hasket 30. The stationary container 25 is made in two portions having flanges secured together as indicated at 46 in a plane at right angles to the axis, so as to permit assembly. The lower part of the container is encircled by a pump 50 of the somewhat crescent-shaped form shown in Figures 2 and 3 and the wall of the container is slotted or omitted as shown at 51 in Figure 4 to aiford communication between the interior of the sump 50 and that of the container 25. In the drawings the sump 50 is shown as fabricated separately from the container 25 but if preferred it may be made as part of it in the form of a gentle bulge or protuberance merging smoothly into the container.
The mouth of the tapered portion 49 of the container 25 is connected to the opening 12 in the outer casing by means of an annular bellows 55 of moulded resilient material such as rubber forming a watertight seal while allowing swinging or vibrating movement of the stationary casing. As shown in Figure 4 the rear edge of the bellows 55 is formed by a rear ring 56 of molded rubber which is secured to the container 25 and extends into the mouth 45 of the basket 30 to cover the intervening gap. The front edge of the bellows is formed by a front-ring 57 of molded rubber having a groove to receive the margin of the opening 12 in the sloping front access panel 11 and forms a seal with an annular rib 58 on the door 13. A pipe 59 extends from the bottom of the bellows to drain any liquid that may collect in it, down into the sump 50.
The rotating basket 30 has in it five ribs 60 of smoothly curved cross-section extending from the opening 45 to the rear end of the cylindrical portion 42, generally lying in planes passing through the axis of rotation. Figure shows the section of a rib at its deepest point.
The axis of rotation of the basket 30 is inclined to the horizontal at a convenient angle, say 35 degrees, the
dimensions being such that the lowest point of the access opening 12 is slightly above the highest point of the impeller 31 so that the water level may be above the impeller but below the access opening.
A main electric driving motor 70 is bolted to the gearbox 29 for the purpose of driving the impeller 31 and also driving the washing and spin drying basket 30 either at a slow speed in the opposite direction to the impeller for washing, or at a high speed for spin drying. As shown in Figure 4 the motor casing carries a pin 71 connected to a vibration damper or snubber 72. The snubber 72 comprises a rubber molding having inner and outer rings 73 and 74 respectively connected together by a number of somewhat S-shaped arms 75. The outer ring 74 is bonded into an angle section ring 76 secured to a sloping plate 77 carried by the frame 20 of the machine.
The arrangement of the gearbox is shown in Figure 6. From this figure it will be seen that the impeller 31 is in the form of a disc having on its exposed surface a number of smoothly curved radial ribs 78 and is carried on a central shaft 81. The impeller shaft 81 is surrounded by a hollow shaft 82 to which is rigidly secured a hub 83 serving to reinforce and carry the inner end of the washing and spin drying basket 30. Rigidly mounted on the hollow basket shaft 82 is a driven member 84 of an overload friction clutch having a driving member 85 provided with an inner front sleeve 86 and an outer front sleeve 87 The main driving motor has a shaft 90 driving a bevel gear 91 meshing with and driving a pair of driven bevel gears 92 and 93. The motor 70 is mounted with its axis not quite at right angles to that of the impeller shaft 81 and the rear driven gear 92 is slightly larger than the front driven gear 93 so that the latter rotates slightly faster than the former. Each of the gears 92 and 93 also include a set of bevel teeth 94 and 95 which have the same number of teeth and mesh with a pair of planet bevel gears 96 carried by radial shafts 97 forming a spider secured to an inner rear sleeve 98 the forward end of which abuts the inner front sleeve 86. The driven gear 93 has a rear outer sleeve 99 which abuts the end of the front sleeve 87.
It will be appreciated that rotation of the driving gear 91 rotates the front driven gear 93 in one direction while simultaneously rotating the rear driven gear 92 in the opposite direction at a slightly lower speed. The speed of the spider 97 will correspond with half the algebraic sum of the speeds of the two driven gears 92 and 93, and accordingly the spider will rotate in the same direction as the front driven gear 93 but at a very much lower speed.
The adjacent ends of the inner front and rear sleeves 86 and 98 are coupled together by means of an inner helical coil clutch 104 which encircles them. This clutch is not under manual control and acts as a freewheel to transmit a drive from the spider 97 to the basket 30 at a slow speed at all times when there is no drive to the basket at a greater speed by other means. At the same time the adjacent ends of the outer front sleeves 87 and 99 are coupled together by an outer helical coil clutch 105. The coil clutch 105, shown on a larger scale in Figure 7, is under the control of a solenoid 106. The coil 105 is surrounded by a collar 107 having a slot 108 through which projects the outturned leading end 109 of the coil 105. The collar 107 also has a projection 110 punched out from it and the solenoid 106 controls a stop 111 which can be projected by a spring (not shown) into the path of the projection 110 or can be withdrawn by energizing the solenoid.
The operation of the clutch is that when the solenoid 106 is energized to withdraw the stop 111 the movement of the gear 93 is such as to wind up the coil 105 and tighten it round the outer sleeves 87 and 99 so as to lock them together. When, however, the solenoid 106 is deenergized the stop 111 is moved by the unshown spring into the path of the projection 110 so as to arrest rotation of the collar 107, thereby stopping the movement of the leading end of the spring 105 and causing it to unwind and expand so as no longer to grip the outer sleeves 87 and 99. Accordingly when the solenoid 106 is energized the basket 30 will be coupled to the bevel 93 and as this is rotating very much faster than the spider 97 the basket 30 will be rotated at a correspondingly high speed and the inner helical coil clutch 104 will merely overrun, functioning as a freewheel.
Rigidly secured to the rear end of the impeller shaft 81 is a collar 113 about which is rotatably arranged a rear sleeve 114 of the rear driven gear 92 and a rear helical coil clutch 115 encircles a part of the collar 113 and a part of the rear sleeve 114 so as to be capable of coupling the impeller shaft 81 to the rear driven gear 92. As in the case of the clutch 105 the clutch 115 is controlled by a solenoid 116 acting on a stop 117 which can be withdrawn by the solenoid from the path of a projection 118 on a collar 119. Accordingly if the inpeller solenoid 116 is energized but the basket solenoid 106 is not, the impeller will be rotated at high speed with the rear gear 92, while the basket will rotate slowly in the opposite direction with the spider 97.
It will be appreciated that the arrangement of the gearbox 29 provides for a number of different speeds in a tion ratio of the order of perhaps 30:1. tion of the basket 30 requires very little reduction ratio and it is naturally desirable that it should be in the. same direction as the slow rotation. On the other hand the rotation of the impeller 31 requires very little reduction but it is desirable that it should be in the opposite direction to that of the basket 30. The arrangement described meets these requirements in a compact and simple manner.
Thus in one specific case with a motor speed, of 1420 r.p.m. the gear ratios are such as to give the gear 92 a speed of 650 rpm. and the gear 93 a speed of 745 rpm. (inthe opposite direction). This gives the spider 97 a speed of about 47 rpm. in the same direction as the gear 93.
For the purpose of automatically filling the machine it is provided with hot and cold inlet pipes 134 and 135 controlled by hot and; cold inlet valves 136 and 137 actuated by hotand cold solenoids 138 and 139. Extending from the valves 136 and 137 are pipes 140 and 141 leading to the top of and across the machine into an atmospheric head pipe 142 of which the lower end communicates through a flexible corrugated pipe 143 with the sump 50.
In order to empty the container 25, a pump 145 is provided (seen in Figure 2) which is driven by an electric motor 146 and serves to draw liquid from the sump 50 through a pipe 147 and discharge it through an outlet hose 148.
The whole operation of the machine is under the automatic control of a timer 150 and a pair of levelresponsive switches 151 and 152 connected by pipes 153 and. 154 to pressure accumulators 155 and 156 respectively. From the bottoms of both pressure accumulators a single pipe 157 runs round the bottom of the machine and opens into the pipe 147 so as to communicate with the bottom of the sump. Each pressure accumulator consists simply of a cylindrical vessel of which the upper part will contain air and the lower part liquid when the switch is to operate. Due to the cross-section of the accumulator a comparatively small change of level will produce the displacement of air needed to operate the switch 151 or 152, as comparedwith what would be required if the liquid surface were in a small pipe.
The switches 151 and 152 may be of known type comprising a flexible diaphragm acting against an adjustable spring to operate snap-action contacts. The switch 151 has one pair of contacts which closes when the container is approximately empty while the switch 152 has two pairs of contacts one of which closes when the container is full and one of which closes when the container is not full.
The timer 150 consists of a small self-starting synchronous motor 170 driving a number of cams which serve to control eight pairs of contacts 171 to 178. The general construction of the timer is well known and the cams may be arranged in various ways, for example one cam may operate more than one of the pairs of contacts 171 to 178. The timer is connected by sprockets 158 and 159 and a chain 160 to the timer control dial 16.
Figure 8 is a schematic diagram showing the arrangement of the circuits, while Figure 9 is a timing diagram indicating which contacts are closed during each of the seventy-two divisions of a complete washing and drying cycle. From the detailed description given below it will be observed that the seventy-two divisions do not quite represent the whole of the cycle since the timer 15th is switched off during filling and emptying stages as a result of the level-responsive switches 151 and 152. Accordingly a number of the divisions (actually Nos. 5 and 6, 18, 29 and 30, 36, 46 and 47 and 53) are prolonged by whatever periods are required for the hot and/or cold water supply to fill the container through the hot and/or cold valves and whatever periods are required for the emptying pump 145 to empty the container 25.
The fast rota- It is believed that the electric circuit will be clear from Figure 8'. Thus a, source of current lhas one. terminal connected, through: the timer contacts 171 to a busbar 181 and its other terminal; is connected through the timer contacts 172 to a busbar 182. A door controlled busbar 1184 is connected to the busbar 181 through a door-controlled switch 183 which is closed only when the door 13 is closed. The main driving motor 70 is connected between the busbars 184 and 182. The impeller solenoid 1 16 is connected in series with the timer contacts 173 across the busbars 184. and 182. The pump motor 146 is connected in series with the timer contacts 174 across the busbars 181 and 182.
The timer motor has one terminal connected to the busbar 184 andits other terminal connected by a conductor 185 which in turn is connected through the close-when-empty level-responsive. switch 151 to the busbar 182. The basketv spinning solenoid 106 has one terminal connected through the timer contacts to the busbar 184 and its other terminal connected to the conductor 185. In addition the conductor is connected through the timer contacts 176 and. the close-when-full contacts 186 of the level-responsive switch 152 to the busbar 182.
The hot-automatic-cold switch 17 has pairs of contacts 191 to 196. In the normal automatic position the hot solenoid 138 has one terminal connected through the contacts 192 to the busbar 181- and the other terminal connected to aconductor 198 which is connected through the timer contacts 177 to the close-when-notfull contacts 187' of the level-responsive switch 152, and thence to the busbar 182. The'cold solenoid 139 normally has one terminal connected through the contacts of the hot-automatic-cold' switch to the busbar 181 and its other terminal connected through a conductor 199 and through the timer contacts. 178 to the conductor 198.
In the hot position of the'hot-automatic-cold switch 17 the contacts 191 and 194 are closed whereby the contacts 191 are in parallel with the contacts 192 so that the operation of the hot solenoid is unaffected, while the contacts 194 are not, connected so that the circuit of the cold solenoid 139' is in any event broken. In the cold position the contacts 193 and 196 are closed whereby the latter are in parallel with the contacts 195 so that the. operation of the cold solenoid 139 is unaffected. The contacts 193 are in parallel with the. timer contacts 178 so that in this position the contacts 178 are shortcircuited and the operation of the cold solenoid is not dependent upon the timer contacts 178, and the hot solenoid 138 is open-circuited.
The sequence of operation of the timer contacts may be followed with the aid of Figure 9 in which the lefthand column indicates the seventy-two successive intervals of the timer, and in the next eight columns a cross indicates whether each of the timer contacts 171 to 178 is closed during that particular interval. The columns on the right are thought to be self-explanatory and indicate respectively the various operations that occur, whether the container is empty or full and whether the timer is on or oif.
Program charge of clothes in the basket together with an appropriate quantity of soap or detergent. She then closes the door thereby closing the switch 183 and manually moves the timer to position 4 by turning the dial16.
In interval 4 contacts 171 and 17 2 close to connect the busbars 181 and 182 to the source of current. As
these contacts remain closed throughout the cycle from interval 4 to interval 68 inclusive it will not be thought necessary to mention them again. In intervals 5 and 6 contacts 176 and 177 also close. It will be appreciated that throughout the washing cycle, provided the door 13 is left closed, the basket 30 is continuing to rotate at a slow speed. Contacts 176 provide the return circuit for the timer motor 170 through the close-when-full contacts 186 to ensure that the timer 150 will start again when the container has been filled as referred to below. Contacts 177 close the return circuit for the hot solenoid 133 through the not-full contacts 187, thereby admitting hot water from the hot supply. As soon as the water level in the container 25 rises above the empty mark the close-when-empty switch 151 opens and stops the timer 150, so that interval number 5 or 6 is prolonged for whatever period may be necessary to fill the container 25. When the container is full the switch 152 snaps over from the not-full contacts 187 to the full contacts 186 thereby releasing the hot solenoid 138 and shutting off the supply of hot water, and at the same time restarting the timer motor 170. During the remainder of interval 6. or of intervals 5 and 6, nothing furtliier happens and the basket merely rotates at a slow spee The reason for allowing two intervals, Nos. 5 and 6, for filling. is that if the filling rate is very slow the first interval might expire before the empty mark had been reached and the timer stopped to prolong the interval. Without interval 6 the operation might then continue and washing begin with the container nearly empty. Moreover if the user should move the timer through interval 5 initially, interval 6 will still be available to allow the level to reach the full mark.
Durin intervals 7-16 contacts 173 and 176 are closed. The latter serve as before to keep the timer running through the close-when-full contacts 186. They perform this function throughout the majority of the cycle and it will not be considered necessary to point it out again. Contacts 173 energize the impeller solenoid 116 and drive the impeller 31 for a washing cycle.
In interval 17 only contacts 176 remain closed to keep the timer going.
In interval 18 contacts 174 are also closed, energizing the pump motor 146 to drive the emptying pump 145 and start emptying the container. When the level has fallen below the full mark the close-when-full contacts 186 of the switch 152 will open, thereby stopping the timer motor 170 so that interval 18 is prolonged as much as may be necessary to allow the container to be emptied. When the container is empty the close-whenempty contacts 151 will close and restart the timer motor 170.
In intervals 19 and 20 contacts 174 remain closed so that the pump 145 continues to run but contacts 176 are opened. These contacts remain open throughout the spinning period about to take place, in order to ensure that the only return circuit for both the spinning solenoid 106 and the timer motor 170 is through the close-whenempty switch 151 as more fully explained below.
In intervals 21 to 25 contacts 174 remain closed and contacts 175 close, so that the pump 145 continues to run and in addition the spinning clutch 105 is engaged and the basket 30 rotates at high speed. It will be observed that the circuits of both the timer and the spinning solenoid 106 find a return path only through the close-when-empty switch 151. Accordingly if the water centrifuged from the clothes is sufficient to raise the level in the container 25 above the empty mark the spinning clutch 105 will be disengaged and in addition the timer 150 will be stopped until such time as the pump (which is unaffected by the closewhen-empty contacts) has had time to reduce the levelagain. This is a feature of very considerable importance since if an attempt is made to spin the basket 30 at high speed when it is immersed in water to any substantial depth the motor is liable to be overloaded. By the arrangement described this is avoided without the necessity of providing a large sump 50 or a large pump 145. A large pump is wasteful since it would only be working at maximum capacity for a very small fraction of the cycle, while a large sump is objectionable in that it would involve the use of a much larger quantity of hot water, in addition to increasing the energy and time required for filling and emptying. By the arrangement described the size of the sump and the amount of water required can be reduced to a minimum.
Actual capacities may of course vary but in one case a machine taking a dry clothes load of 8 lbs. employs 7 gallons of water, of which only about 1% gallons is situated in the sump and in the space between the container 25 and the basket 30. In other words nearly 75% of the total water volume is within the basket.
The opening of the contacts 176 ensures that there is no return circuit through the close-when-full contacts 186 of the switch 152. This is a safeguard to ensure that the spinning solenoid 106 can only be energized when the container is empty and not when it is full. Thus for example if the user should manually advance the timer during the washing cycle so as to cut out the emptying cycle (interval 18) contacts 175 might be closed with the container full. Similarly if the emptying pump failed or became blocked interval 18 might finish and contacts 175 close with the container still full.
The fact that the timer 150 is switched off whenever the spinning solenoid 106 is de-energized by opening of close-when-ernpty switch 151 ensures that the full period of spinning will be provided not taking into account any periods during which the spinning clutch is de-energized.
In interval 26 the contacts 175 open and disengage the spinning clutch and the contacts 174 remain closed so that the pump continues to run.
In interval 27 the contacts 174 open to shut off the pump and in fact none of the timer contacts are closed (except for contacts 171 and 172).
In interval 28 contacts 176 again close preparatory to the next filling cycle for the purpose already explained above.
In intervals 29 and 30 contacts 177 and 178 also close, thereby opening both the hot valve 138 and the cold valve 139 so as to supply a mixture of hot and cold water. As soon as the level rises above the empty mark the close-when-empty switch 151 opens, thereby stopping the timer. When the container 25 is full of tepid water the timer is started again through the contacts 176 and the close-when-full contacts 186. The two intervals Nos. 29 and 30 are provided for this filling for the same reasons as for the first filling in intervals 5 and 6.
In intervals 31 to 34 contacts 173 also close so that the impeller 31 is driven for a first rinsing period during which the operation is similar to the washing period of intervals 7-16 except that the first rinsing period is shorter, the water is not so hot, and there is of course no added soap in it.
In interval 35 contacts 173 are open so that the impeller 31 stops but contacts 176 remain closed.
Interval 36, with contacts 174 and 176 closed, is a repetition of interval 18 during which the container 25 is emptied.
Intervals 37-45 are a repetition of intervals 19 to 28 except that the spinning is slightly shorter.
Intervals 46 and 47, the second tepid filling cycle, are a precise repetition of intervals 29 and 30, the first tepid filling cycle.
Intervals 48-52, the second rinsing cycle, are a precise repetition of intervals 31-35, the first rinsing cycle.
Interval 53, emptying again, is a precise repetition of intervals 18 and 36.
V Intervals 54-68, the final long spinning, are similar to intervals 19-28 and intervals 37-45, the initial spinning periods, with the exception that the final spinning is more prolonged and the pump 145 continues to run for an extra long interval. Thus contacts 174 are closed during intervals 54 and 55 to run the pump; during intervals 56-65 these contacts remain closed and the pump 145 continues to run while in addition contacts 175 are closed to run the basket 30 at spinning speed. In intervals 66 and 67 contacts 175 are open so that the basket slows down again while contacts 174 remain closed so that the pump continues to run. In interval 68 contacts 174 are open so that the pump is shut ofi and in fact no timer contacts are closed (except for contacts 171 and 172).
Finally at the end of interval 68 contacts 171 and 172 are opened thereby stopping the timer motor and isolating the whole circuit by cutting ofi the busbars 181 and 182 from the supply. Accordingly the timer remains in position 69 until it is manually moved on again to position 4 in order to begin the next cycle.
The cycle has been described on the assumption that the hot-automatic-cold switch 17 is left in the automatic position. In this case the first filling for washing is with hot water, and each subsequent filling for rinsing is with tepid water, namely a mixture of hot and cold. This may be modified by the user at any moment by operation of the switch 17. For example, if a cold rinse is wanted she can move the switch to the cold position any time after the hot filling. Or again if the hot water is too hot for washing she can switch to cold during a portion of the hot filling period, and similarly to adjust the rinse temperature she can switch to hot or cold during the course of the tepid filling for as long as may be required to effect the desired adjustment.
The door operated contacts 183 control all the circuits except the filling and pump circuits, so that if at any time the user opens the door and puts her hand into the machine the basket and the impeller will both stop and there is no danger of her hand coming into contact with moving parts. On the other hand since the filling circuits are independent of the door-controlled contacts the user can if she wishes open the door during a filling period to feel the temperature of the water without interferring with the filling operation. Also as the operation of the pump is independent of the door operated contacts it will continue to empty the container even if the user should open the door while it is doing so, for example during or immediately after the final stages of a spinning cycle.
The actual time of the cycle and its various parts will vary with circumstances but in one specific case each of the 72 intervals of the timer (of which the cycle actually uses 65) represents 22 /2 seconds, making a total of about 25 minutes. To this must be added the filling and emptying periods, of which each hot filling period might be of the order of 2 minutes and each tepid filling period and each emptying period of the order of 1 minute, making a total cycle of the order of 32 minutes.
On the other .hand certain of the periods may in some cases be reduced, without sacrifice, for example the early spinning periods and certain of the intervals, bringing the total cycle time down to perhaps 25 minutes,
Moreover the invention can also be applied to a machine for washing only, without spin drying, in view of the very efiicient Washing efiected and the economical use of hot water. In this event the stationary container may be dispensed with, the rotating basket being made watertight.
In each of the arrangements described, with the axis oblique, it is believed that the efficient and economical washing is to a large extent due to the feeding of the clothes longitudinally as they are picked up successively and then allowed to fall vertically, namely in a direction having a component along the axis towards the impeller. A similar feeding movement can however also be produced by arranging the machine with the axis horizontal and providing vanes arranged along helices or otherwise oblique to the axis.
, posite directions to wash clothes in said basket, and, means for declutching said impeller and rotating said basket at increased speed to remove liquid from the clothes and expel such liquid through the perforations of said basket into said container.
2. A combined clothes washer and drier comprising a stationary container for washing liquid, a perforated spin basket mounted for non-displaceable rotation within said container and having a charging opening in one wall for removable insertion of clothes, a cover for said opening, an impeller in said basket adjacent a wall opposite said charging opening, means mounting said basket and impeller on an oblique axis with the top of said impeller below the bottom of said opening for maintaining the level of the washing liquid above said impeller and below said opening, means mounting said impeller for non-displaceable rotation coaxially with said basket, means for continuously rotating said impeller and basket simultaneously in opposite directions to wash clothes in said basket, and drive means for declutching said impeller and rotating said basket at increased speed to remove liquid from the clothes and expel such liquid through the perforations of said basket into said container.
3. A clothes washing machine comprising a container for clothes and water, a charging opening for inserting clothes in said container, means mounting said container for rotation about its axis, a disclike impeller within said container and supported on a wall opposite said charging opening and having its major area arranged along said wall, means mounting said impeller for rotation on an axis coaxial with said container, means supporting said container and impeller upon an oblique axis, and drive means for rotating said impeller and container simultaneously and continuously in opposite directions for washing clothes.
4. A clothes washing machine as described in claim 3, and said drive means including means for rotating said impeller at a greater speed than said container during the washing of clothes.
5. A clothes Washing machine as described in claim 3, a stationary container for water, said clothes container being perforated and mounted within said stationary container, and said drive means including means for declutching said impeller and for rotating said perforated clothes container at a substantially higher speed for spin drying the clothes.
6. A clothes washing machine as described in claim 4, and said drive means for washing the clothes including a motor driven shaft arranged substantially transverse to the axis of said clothes container and connected by a gear to a pair of coaxial ditierent sized driven gears to rotate the latter in opposite directions at difierent speeds, differential gears connecting said different sized driven gears to a planet carrier to rotate the latter at reduced speed, and clutch means for coupling one of said driven gears to said impeller and said planet carrier to said clothes container to effect said continuous rotation of said impeller and clothes container in opposite directions and at diiferent speeds.
7. A clothes washing machine as described in claim 3, and a plurality of ribs along the interior of said container for lifting the clothes and allowing them to drop into the water, said ribs extending from adjacent said charging 11 opening and terminating forwardly of said impeller, whereby the clothes are dropped into the water forwardly of said impeller.
1,331,515 Loudenback Feb. 24, 1920 2,296,258 1 Breckenridge Sept. 22, 1942 2,303,979 Blake Dec. 1, 1942 2,498,734 Bozanich Feb. 28, 1950 Castner Jan. 17, 1956 References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS FOREIGN PATENTS France Apr. 29, 1957 1,060,954 Skitt May 6, 1913 1,144,868
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