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EP0028067A1 - Washing machine having drain blockage indicator - Google Patents

Washing machine having drain blockage indicator

Info

Publication number
EP0028067A1
EP0028067A1 EP19800303186 EP80303186A EP0028067A1 EP 0028067 A1 EP0028067 A1 EP 0028067A1 EP 19800303186 EP19800303186 EP 19800303186 EP 80303186 A EP80303186 A EP 80303186A EP 0028067 A1 EP0028067 A1 EP 0028067A1
Authority
EP
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
water
drain
wash
machine
washing
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP19800303186
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Anthony Charles Totterdell
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
KENWOOD Manufacturing CO Ltd
Original Assignee
KENWOOD Manufacturing CO Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F39/00Details of washing machines in so far as such details are not special to washing machines of groups D06F21/00 - D06F25/00 or to any particular type of washing machine defined in groups D06F9/00 - D06F19/00 or D06F27/00
    • D06F39/08Liquid supply or discharge arrangements
    • D06F39/081Safety arrangements for preventing water damage
    • D06F39/082Safety arrangements for preventing water damage detecting faulty draining operations, e.g. filter blockage, faulty pump
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F39/00Details of washing machines in so far as such details are not special to washing machines of groups D06F21/00 - D06F25/00 or to any particular type of washing machine defined in groups D06F9/00 - D06F19/00 or D06F27/00
    • D06F39/08Liquid supply or discharge arrangements
    • D06F39/087Water level measuring or regulating devices
    • DTEXTILES; PAPER
    • D06TREATMENT OF TEXTILES OR THE LIKE; LAUNDERING; FLEXIBLE MATERIALS NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • D06FLAUNDERING, DRYING, IRONING, PRESSING OR FOLDING TEXTILE ARTICLES
    • D06F39/00Details of washing machines in so far as such details are not special to washing machines of groups D06F21/00 - D06F25/00 or to any particular type of washing machine defined in groups D06F9/00 - D06F19/00 or D06F27/00
    • D06F39/10Filtering arrangements

Abstract

A washing machine is provided with means to detect when a drain filter (7) connected to the outlet of the washing chamber (2) is blocked. A low-level water sensor (12) used during normal operation of the machine for normal control of the machine is monitored during a drainage operation and the controller (10) is arranged to establish whether the water sensor (12) has operated a predetermined time after the drain pump (6) is started. If the switch (12) does not change state, then it is assumed that the filter is blocked and, either immediately or at the end of the wash programme, a warning light (20) is illuminated.

Description

  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to washing machines.
  • [0002]
    In conventional clothes washing machines, clothes are agitated in a drum in a washing chamber filled with water to remove soil: they are then rinsed with clean water several times before being spun to remove excess water prior to drying. During this process small particles of lint and other material are dislodged from the clothes. Prior to each refilling of the drum, the soiled water is pumped from the drum to an external drain. One of the difficulties which arises is that large pieces of lint and other particles possibly removed during the washing cycle such as buttons, paper, hair pins etc., may jam or otherwise damage the impellor of the drain pump. In order to avoid this problem a filter, usually in the form of a plastics mesh, is fitted between the drain pump and the drum of the washing machine. It is necessary periodically to remove this filter and clean away any lint, hair, paper etc., to allow a free passage for the easy flow of used water to the drain. If periodic cleaning is not carried out, the flow of soiled water to the drain gradually gets restricted and the draining process slows down. This means that during the time allowed to drain away only a percentage of the soiled soapy wash water is removed prior to rinse water entering the machine. At each rinse stage, dilution of the soapy water takes place but some remains and then an unsatisfactory wash results. In some cases, where the build-up of material is severe, the flow of drain water slows to a trickle and therefore in the time allotted to the draining period, the water level does not drop sufficiently to enable the level sensing switch conventionally provided to operate to admit clean rinse water to the drum. This gives an unsatisfactory wash and is unhygienic. Also, automatic washing machines require a venting arrangement from the drum to allow steam to escape during high temperature washes. When the filter is fouled by excessive lint thus not allowing the drain water to escape as already described, then it is possible for the machine to go into the spin mode with water still in the drum. If this happens, soiled water is then thrown out of the venting arrangement and flooding of the floor will occur.
  • [0003]
    It is, of course, known to provide one or more water level sensors cooperating with the programmer of a machine to control filling and draining operations. During other programme steps to which a predetermined amount of time can be allotted, the programmer acts as a timer so that these steps are allotted fixed times (which may however be varied between different selected wash programmes). However various factors dictate that draining and filling cannot be allotted fixed times so that during those steps the programmer awaits signals from the water level sensor(s) before continuing with the next programme step.
  • [0004]
    According to the present invention we avoid the above problem of blockage of the chamber outlet by monitoring the water level during a draining operation and use this to determine whether the filter is in need of cleaning. If the water does not drain to a particular level in a given time, it can be taken that the filter is blocked. Of course, slow drainage may also be due to a faulty pump or a blockage elsewhere in the machine but checking the filter will at least eliminate that as the source of the difficulty.
  • [0005]
    Thus the present invention is characterised by a device, operative during a draining step, to monitor the water level sensor to provide a signal indicating that the outlet is blocked. This signal may be used, for example, to operate an indicator such as a lamp mounted on the fascia of the machine to alert the user to the need to check the filter. The operation of the lamp or whatever other indicator is used, may be immediate or it may provide the "check filter" signal at the end of the complete operating cycle of the machine. This latter will be satisfactory where progressive blockages are expected.
  • [0006]
    In one embodiment, a timer is activated at the same time as the drain pump during the period in which proper drainage or otherwise is to be detected and the level sensor is subsequently monitored. If the level sensor does not indicate that the level has dropped below the operating point of the sensor before the timer times out, this is taken as indicating improper drainage and the "check filter" indicator is activated, either immediately or at the end of the machine cycle.
  • [0007]
    The invention will be further described with reference to the accompanying drawing in which the sole figure is a somewhat schematic block diagram of one embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0008]
    In the figure, an automatic washing machine 1 comprises a casing 2 defining a wash chamber in which is mounted a horizontal cylindrical wash tub 3 connected to an appropriate drive (not shown) for the various operations of the machine such as wash, spin, etc. Clothes or other articles to be washed are placed in the wash tub via an access door 4.
  • [0009]
    Associated with the washing chain within the casing 2 are an electronic water valve 5 and a drain pump 6 to fill and drain the chamber, respectively. As indicated above, between the drain pump 6 and the chamber is located a filter 7 which prevents material which might jam the impellor of the drain pump 6 from reaching it. Water from the drain pump is pumped via a pipe 8 to an external drain 9.
  • [0010]
    The operation of the machine is controlled by a controller 10 which may comprise a microprocessor or a more conventional electromagnetic arrangement and this controller controls, inter alia, the drive motor of the wash tub, the water valve 5 and the drain pump 6. The controller is suitably arranged so that the user can select the appropriate one of a number of programmes according to the articles to be washed. At various stages in the wash programme selected by the user, the drain pump 6 is operated to drain the water from the wash chamber and then the water valve 5 opened to refill the wash chamber for a subsequent wash for rinse. Of course, at the end of the wash/rinse part of the programme, the drain pump is operated to drain the wash chamber and the water valve 5 subsequently held closed during the spin operation or operations.
  • [0011]
    Water levels within the wash chamber are monitored by the controller by means of a pressure switch arrangement 11. Essentially, this comprises a closed housing in which is located a pressure-responsive diaphragm which controls closure of three sets of contacts 12, 13 and 14. One side of the diaphragm is communicated via a tube 16 with an air bell 17 which is open to the interior of the wash chamber. As the water level changes, the pressure in the wash chamber increases or decreases as appropriate, so the pressure difference acting on the diaphragm changes causes the contacts 12, 13 and 14 to open or close. The contact 12 is arranged to open when the level of water in the wash chamber has increased to a given minimum level while contacts 13 and 1L1 close, respectively, when the wash chamber is half full and full. There is some hysteresis between the switching level for increasing and decreasing water levels so that, for example, the contacts 13 and 14 2 open when the water level has decreased to 3 and 3 full respectively.
  • [0012]
    The switch 12 is used by the controller 10 to indicate when a desired minimum level of water is in the wash chamber and, in view of the hysteresis involved in its switching, is also taken to indicate during draining that the wash chamber is empty. Similarly, the switches 13 and 14 are used by the controller 10 to indicate that the wash chamber is half and completely full respectively during filling to control the operation of the water valve 5.
  • [0013]
    In operation, the machine operates in a conventional manner except as will be described below.
  • [0014]
    At the end of the wash/rinse part of the programme, a "pump-out" signal is applied to controller 10 to energise the drain pump G. This signal also starts a timer 18 within the controller 10. During this period controller 10 monitors the switch 12 and if the latter does not close during the timing period of the timer 18, this indicates that the filter is blocked and a register 19 is set. At the end of the programme, the controller checks the content of the register 19 and, if set, illuminates a warning light 20 which indicates that the filter needs to be removed by the user and cleaned.
  • [0015]
    The controller may alternatively illuminate the lamp immediately or abort the remainder of the programme and continue pumping out past the low level switch operating point, for example continuing for a predetermined time.
  • [0016]
    Rather than on completion of the wash/rinse cycles, the controller 10 could operate to start the timer 18 during each drain period.
  • [0017]
    The "pump-out" signal may be generated by the controller itself, in software in the case of a microprocessor or by an associated, separate programmer.
  • [0018]
    It will be appreciated that although the invention has been described with reference to a clothes washing machine it is equally applicable to other washing machines such as dish washers.

Claims (10)

1. A washing machine comprising a washing chamber having an outlet and a water level sensor associated with the washing chamber characterised by a device, operative during a draining step, to monitor the water level sensor and to provide a signal indicating that the outlet is blocked.
2. A machine according to Claim 1 characterised in that the device is operative to determine whether the outlet is blocked on the basis of the time taken for the chamber to drain.
3. A device according to Claim 1 or 2 characterised in that the device comprises a timer activated at the start of the draining operation and arranged to produce the signal indicating that the outlet is blocked if draining is not completed within a predetermined amount of time.
4. A washing machine according to Claim 1, 2 or 3 characterised by a drain filter located in relation to the washing chamber such that the device will indicate whether the filter is blocked and a drain pump located downstream of the drain filter.
5. A washing machine according to any one of Claims 1 to 4 characterised by a warning light connected to the device to indicate that the outlet is blocked.
6. A washing machine according to any one of the preceding Claims characterised by a controller defining a number of programme steps of operation of the washing machine.
7. A washing machine according to Claims 5 and 6 characterised in that the warning light is arranged to be lit at the termination of a wash programme.
8. A machine according to Claim 6 or 7 characterised in that the programme is caused to abort in the event of the device indicating that the outlet is blocked.
9. A washing machine according to any one of Claims 6 to 8 characterised in that there are a number of draining operations during a wash programme, the device only being operative during the final draining operation of the programme.
10. A washing machine according to any one of Claims 6 to 9 characterised in that the controller is arranged so as in normal operation to interrupt the draining operation when the water level falls below a predetermined level as sensed by the sensor and so that when the device indicates that the outlet is blocked the draining operation will continue to operate for a predetermined time after the water level falls below a predetermined level as sensed by the sensor.
EP19800303186 1979-09-12 1980-09-10 Washing machine having drain blockage indicator Withdrawn EP0028067A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB7931600 1979-09-12
GB7931600 1979-09-12

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
EP0028067A1 true true EP0028067A1 (en) 1981-05-06

Family

ID=10507772

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
EP19800303186 Withdrawn EP0028067A1 (en) 1979-09-12 1980-09-10 Washing machine having drain blockage indicator

Country Status (5)

Country Link
EP (1) EP0028067A1 (en)
JP (1) JPS5695098A (en)
DK (1) DK386580A (en)
ES (1) ES8105807A1 (en)
FI (1) FI802852A (en)

Cited By (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0173823A2 (en) * 1984-08-22 1986-03-12 Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH Circuit arrangement for controlled filling up and refilling of containers with liquids
EP0245870A1 (en) * 1986-05-16 1987-11-19 INDUSTRIE ZANUSSI S.p.A. Filter monitoring device for an electric household appliance
EP0247995A1 (en) * 1986-05-27 1987-12-02 AUSTRIA Antriebstechnik G. Bauknecht Aktiengesellschaft Method and device to monitor the working of a washing machine
EP0580563A1 (en) * 1992-07-22 1994-01-26 SMEG S.p.A. Safety device for dishwashers, in particular for sensing high water consumption
EP0807707A2 (en) * 1996-05-14 1997-11-19 ELECTROLUX ZANUSSI ELETTRODOMESTICI S.p.A. Clothes washing maschine with an innovative-type filter monitoring arrangement
WO1999029953A1 (en) * 1997-12-08 1999-06-17 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Washing machine with a device for jetting water into a spin basket
EP1096052A2 (en) * 1999-10-28 2001-05-02 Electrolux Zanussi S.p.A. Method for controlling the lint filter in an automatic clothes washing machine
EP1862582A2 (en) * 2006-05-30 2007-12-05 BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH Method for operating a washing machine
US7984628B2 (en) * 2003-04-22 2011-07-26 Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha Washing machine capable of detecting leakage at water feed unit
EP2426246A1 (en) * 2010-09-01 2012-03-07 Miele & Cie. KG Method for operating a washing machine with flow device and washing machine
US20130079934A1 (en) * 2011-09-27 2013-03-28 Ip Holdings Llc Computer implemented method for controlling ebb flow watering systems
DE102012111505A1 (en) 2012-11-28 2014-05-28 Miele & Cie. Kg Method for operating washing machine or dishwasher, involves retrieving and evaluating status data of motor during control operation of motor by evaluation unit, and displaying trouble state of motor by display device

Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
DE6811374U (en) * 1968-12-12 1969-08-11 Siemens Elektrogeraete Gmbh Washing or dishwasher with a device for pumping out the washing or rinsing liquid
US3545481A (en) * 1967-11-03 1970-12-08 Angelo R Fratalia Liquid level control device
DE2631344A1 (en) * 1976-07-13 1978-01-19 Philips Patentverwaltung Washing machine or spin drier with a self-aligning pump motor - which indicates when the pump chamber is clogged
DE2818286A1 (en) * 1977-08-18 1979-10-31 Bauknecht Gmbh G Monitoring system for the functioning of an appts. - sets time limits for transition between two measurable valves

Patent Citations (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3545481A (en) * 1967-11-03 1970-12-08 Angelo R Fratalia Liquid level control device
DE6811374U (en) * 1968-12-12 1969-08-11 Siemens Elektrogeraete Gmbh Washing or dishwasher with a device for pumping out the washing or rinsing liquid
DE2631344A1 (en) * 1976-07-13 1978-01-19 Philips Patentverwaltung Washing machine or spin drier with a self-aligning pump motor - which indicates when the pump chamber is clogged
DE2818286A1 (en) * 1977-08-18 1979-10-31 Bauknecht Gmbh G Monitoring system for the functioning of an appts. - sets time limits for transition between two measurable valves

Cited By (19)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0173823A3 (en) * 1984-08-22 1986-09-17 Bosch-Siemens Hausgerate Gmbh Circuit arrangement for controlled filling up and refilling of containers with liquids
EP0173823A2 (en) * 1984-08-22 1986-03-12 Bosch-Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH Circuit arrangement for controlled filling up and refilling of containers with liquids
US4729495A (en) * 1984-08-22 1988-03-08 The Coco-Cola Company Circuit configuration for the controlled filling and refilling of containers with liquids
EP0245870A1 (en) * 1986-05-16 1987-11-19 INDUSTRIE ZANUSSI S.p.A. Filter monitoring device for an electric household appliance
EP0247995A1 (en) * 1986-05-27 1987-12-02 AUSTRIA Antriebstechnik G. Bauknecht Aktiengesellschaft Method and device to monitor the working of a washing machine
EP0580563A1 (en) * 1992-07-22 1994-01-26 SMEG S.p.A. Safety device for dishwashers, in particular for sensing high water consumption
EP0807707A2 (en) * 1996-05-14 1997-11-19 ELECTROLUX ZANUSSI ELETTRODOMESTICI S.p.A. Clothes washing maschine with an innovative-type filter monitoring arrangement
EP0807707A3 (en) * 1996-05-14 1998-09-16 Electrolux Zanussi S.p.A. Clothes washing maschine with an innovative-type filter monitoring arrangement
WO1999029953A1 (en) * 1997-12-08 1999-06-17 Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. Washing machine with a device for jetting water into a spin basket
EP1096052A3 (en) * 1999-10-28 2001-07-04 Electrolux Zanussi S.p.A. Method for controlling the lint filter in an automatic clothes washing machine
EP1096052A2 (en) * 1999-10-28 2001-05-02 Electrolux Zanussi S.p.A. Method for controlling the lint filter in an automatic clothes washing machine
US7984628B2 (en) * 2003-04-22 2011-07-26 Sharp Kabushiki Kaisha Washing machine capable of detecting leakage at water feed unit
EP1862582A2 (en) * 2006-05-30 2007-12-05 BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH Method for operating a washing machine
EP1862582A3 (en) * 2006-05-30 2008-06-11 BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbH Method for operating a washing machine
EP2426246A1 (en) * 2010-09-01 2012-03-07 Miele & Cie. KG Method for operating a washing machine with flow device and washing machine
US20130079934A1 (en) * 2011-09-27 2013-03-28 Ip Holdings Llc Computer implemented method for controlling ebb flow watering systems
US8725301B2 (en) * 2011-09-27 2014-05-13 Ip Holdings, Llc Computer implemented method for controlling ebb flow watering systems
US9901044B2 (en) 2011-09-27 2018-02-27 Ip Holdings, Llc Ebb and flow watering system
DE102012111505A1 (en) 2012-11-28 2014-05-28 Miele & Cie. Kg Method for operating washing machine or dishwasher, involves retrieving and evaluating status data of motor during control operation of motor by evaluation unit, and displaying trouble state of motor by display device

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
DK386580A (en) 1981-03-13 application
ES494959D0 (en) grant
ES8105807A1 (en) 1981-06-01 application
ES494959A0 (en) 1981-06-01 application
FI802852A (en) 1981-03-13 application
JPS5695098A (en) 1981-08-01 application

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Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AK Designated contracting states:

Designated state(s): AT BE CH DE FR IT LU NL SE

RAP1 Transfer of rights of an ep application

Owner name: KENWOOD MANUFACTURING COMPANY LIMITED

18W Withdrawn

Withdrawal date: 19820424

17P Request for examination filed

Effective date: 19811110

R17P Request for examination filed (correction)

Effective date: 19811110

RIN1 Inventor (correction)

Inventor name: TOTTERDELL, ANTHONY CHARLES