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Surface cleaning apparatus with shoulder strap reel

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Publication number
US20080178416A1
US20080178416A1 US11953327 US95332707A US2008178416A1 US 20080178416 A1 US20080178416 A1 US 20080178416A1 US 11953327 US11953327 US 11953327 US 95332707 A US95332707 A US 95332707A US 2008178416 A1 US2008178416 A1 US 2008178416A1
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Patent type
Prior art keywords
cleaning
strap
surface
reel
apparatus
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.)
Abandoned
Application number
US11953327
Inventor
Wayne Ernest Conrad
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G B D Corp
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G B D Corp
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L5/00Structural features of suction cleaners
    • A47L5/12Structural features of suction cleaners with power-driven air-pumps or air-compressors, e.g. driven by motor vehicle engine vacuum
    • A47L5/22Structural features of suction cleaners with power-driven air-pumps or air-compressors, e.g. driven by motor vehicle engine vacuum with rotary fans
    • A47L5/28Suction cleaners with handles and nozzles fixed on the casings, e.g. wheeled suction cleaners with steering handle
    • A47L5/32Suction cleaners with handles and nozzles fixed on the casings, e.g. wheeled suction cleaners with steering handle with means for connecting a hose
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L5/00Structural features of suction cleaners
    • A47L5/12Structural features of suction cleaners with power-driven air-pumps or air-compressors, e.g. driven by motor vehicle engine vacuum
    • A47L5/22Structural features of suction cleaners with power-driven air-pumps or air-compressors, e.g. driven by motor vehicle engine vacuum with rotary fans
    • A47L5/225Convertible suction cleaners, i.e. convertible between different types thereof, e.g. from upright suction cleaners to sledge-type suction cleaners
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L9/00Details or accessories of suction cleaners, e.g. mechanical means for controlling the suction or for effecting pulsating action; Storing devices specially adapted to suction cleaners or parts thereof; Carrying-vehicles specially adapted for suction cleaners
    • A47L9/009Carrying-vehicles; Arrangements of trollies or wheels; Means for avoiding mechanical obstacles

Abstract

A surface cleaning apparatus has a unit that is self contained and has a shoulder strap reel containing a shoulder strap that is manually or automatically deployable or withdrawable.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional applications 60/884,767 (filed on Jan. 12, 2007), 60/870,175 (filed on Dec. 15, 2006) and 60/869,586 (filed on Dec. 12, 2006), all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The invention relates to surface cleaning apparatus, such as vacuum cleaners, wet/dry vacuum cleaners and carpet extractors. More specifically, the invention relates to surface cleaning apparatus which comprise a shoulder strap reel, preferably mounted to a suction and filtration unit
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Various types of surface cleaning apparatus are known in the art, for example hand carryable vacuum cleaners, and vacuum cleaners, which are movable along a surface (e.g. an upright and a canister vacuum cleaner). The vacuum cleaner that may be selected for a particular application, will vary depending upon a number of factors. For example, vacuum cleaners that are used for cleaning an office or a residence require a large capacity dirt container and maneuverability. In order to increase the dirt capacity of a vacuum cleaner, the size of the dirt collection receptacle must be increased. Increasing the size of the dirt collection receptacle may result in the overall size of the vacuum cleaner be increased to such an extent that the maneuverability of the vacuum cleaner decreases.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0004]
    In accordance with this invention, a surface cleaning apparatus that has a shoulder strap reel is provided. An advantage of this design is that a user may employ a shoulder strap with, e.g., a vacuum cleaner, thereby increasing the maneuverability of the vacuum cleaner. Also, by using a shoulder strap, the user may carry part, and preferably, all of the weight of the unit on their torso thereby permitting the user to use a heavier vacuum cleaner (e.g. a larger more powerful motor and/or a larger collection bin).
  • [0005]
    Further, the use of a shoulder strap may enable a user to use both hands for cleaning instead of using one to hold the vacuum cleaner. For example, a user may use one hand to move a surface cleaning wand and a second to move furniture out of the way of the surface cleaning head.
  • [0006]
    By providing a shoulder strap reel, the shoulder strap is available for use when required (e.g., a surface cleaning apparatus is modified for being portable by withdrawing a module from a cradle or from a part of a larger apparatus) or when a user no longer wants to use a handle. Further, the strap may be retracted (manually or by a selfwinding mechanism) when the strap is not required (e.g., for storage or when a handle is used or the surface cleaning apparatus is placed on a cradle or into a larger apparatus.
  • [0007]
    In one broad aspect, the vacuum cleaner comprises a fluid flow path extending from a dirty fluid inlet to a clean air outlet of the vacuum cleaner, and includes a suction motor. A suction and filtration unit comprises the suction motor and at least one cyclone. The at least one cyclone comprises a cyclone inlet, a separated material outlet and a separated material collection chamber in flow communication with the cyclone. A shoulder strap reel is mounted to the suction and filtration unit.
  • [0008]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is lockable in a plurality of positions. Such embodiments may be advantageous because a user may adjust the position of the shoulder strap according to their body size.
  • [0009]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is self-winding. Such embodiments may be advantageous because a user may not be required to wind and unwind the shoulder strap.
  • [0010]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is manually windable on the reel by a user.
  • [0011]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the vacuum cleaner.
  • [0012]
    In some embodiments, the suction and filtration unit has a carry handle provided thereon. Such embodiments may be advantageous because a user may choose to carry the vacuum cleaner by hand, or may choose to employ the shoulder strap, depending on the user's preference.
  • [0013]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the vacuum cleaner and a carry handle is mounted on the shoulder strap reel.
  • [0014]
    In some embodiments, the vacuum cleaner has an openable lid and the shoulder strap reel is provided on the openable lid.
  • [0015]
    In some embodiments, the vacuum cleaner is an upright vacuum cleaner having an upper casing pivotally mounted to a surface cleaning head and the suction and filtration unit comprises at least part of the upper casing and is removably mounted to the surface cleaning head.
  • [0016]
    In some embodiments, the suction and filtration unit is the upper casing and is removably mounted to the surface cleaning head.
  • [0017]
    In some embodiments, the vacuum cleaner further comprises an above floor cleaning wand that is removable with the suction and filtration unit.
  • [0018]
    In another broad aspect, a surface cleaning apparatus is provided. The surface cleaning apparatus comprises a fluid flow path extending from a dirty fluid inlet to a clean air outlet of the surface cleaning apparatus and including a suction motor. The surface cleaning apparatus further comprises a suction and filtration unit comprising at least one fluid treating member and the suction motor. A shoulder strap reel is mounted to the suction and filtration unit.
  • [0019]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is lockable in a plurality of positions.
  • [0020]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is self-winding.
  • [0021]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is manually windable on the reel by a user.
  • [0022]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the surface cleaning apparatus.
  • [0023]
    In some embodiments, the suction and filtration unit has a carry handle provided thereon.
  • [0024]
    In some embodiments, the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the surface cleaning apparatus and a carry handle is mounted on the shoulder strap reel.
  • [0025]
    In some embodiments, the surface cleaning apparatus has an openable lid and the shoulder strap reel is provided on the openable lid.
  • [0026]
    In some embodiments, the surface cleaning apparatus is an upright surface cleaning apparatus having an upper casing pivotally mounted to a surface cleaning head and the suction and filtration unit comprises at least part of the upper casing and is removably mounted to the surface cleaning head.
  • [0027]
    In some embodiments, the suction and filtration unit is the upper casing and is removably mounted to the surface cleaning head.
  • [0028]
    In some embodiments, the surface cleaning apparatus further comprises an above floor cleaning wand that is removable with the suction and filtration unit.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0029]
    These and other advantages of the present invention will be more fully and particularly understood in connection with the following description of the preferred embodiments of the invention in which:
  • [0030]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of an embodiment of a surface cleaning apparatus of the present invention;
  • [0031]
    FIGS. 2A and 2B are perspective illustrations of an alternate embodiment of a surface cleaning head of the present invention;
  • [0032]
    FIG. 3 is a rear perspective illustration of an alternate embodiment of a surface cleaning apparatus of the present invention;
  • [0033]
    FIG. 4 is a cross-section taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 1;
  • [0034]
    FIG. 5 is a cross-section taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 2B, showing a bottom door of a dirt bin in an opened position;
  • [0035]
    FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 3;
  • [0036]
    FIG. 7A is a perspective illustration of an alternate embodiment of a surface cleaning apparatus of the present invention, in a carryable configuration, and showing a user;
  • [0037]
    FIG. 7B is a perspective illustration of the surface cleaning apparatus of FIG. 7A, in a floor cleaning configuration;
  • [0038]
    FIG. 7C is an perspective illustration of the surface cleaning apparatus of FIG. 7A, without a user;
  • [0039]
    FIG. 7D is a side view of the surface cleaning apparatus of FIG. 7B, showing a shoulder strap in a wound position;
  • [0040]
    FIG. 7E is a side view of the surface cleaning apparatus of FIG. 7B, showing a shoulder strap in an un-wound position;
  • [0041]
    FIG. 8 is a cross section taken along line 8-8 in FIG. 3, showing the direction of airflow when the surface cleaning apparatus is in an upright configuration;
  • [0042]
    FIG. 9 is a side-view of the embodiment of FIG. 3, showing the direction of airflow when the surface cleaning apparatus is in a floor cleaning configuration;
  • [0043]
    FIG. 10 is a cross section taken along line 8-8 in FIG. 3, showing the direction of airflow when the surface cleaning apparatus is in an carryable configuration;
  • [0044]
    FIG. 11 is a side-view of the embodiment of FIG. 3, showing the direction of airflow when the surface cleaning apparatus is in an carryable or above floor cleaning configuration;
  • [0045]
    FIGS. 12 and 13 a are perspective illustrations of alternate embodiments of a reel of the present invention;
  • [0046]
    FIG. 13 b is a cross section taken along line B-B in FIG. 13;
  • [0047]
    FIG. 14 is a side view of a further alternate reel of the present invention;
  • [0048]
    FIG. 15 is a partial front view of an alternate embodiment of a surface cleaning apparatus of the present invention, showing an embodiment of a shoulder strap reel in a unwound or in use position;
  • [0049]
    FIG. 16 is a partial front view of the embodiment of FIG. 15, showing a shoulder strap reel in an partially unwound position, which may be used to carry the unit higher off the floor; and
  • [0050]
    FIG. 17 is an exploded view of an alternate embodiment of a shoulder strap reel of the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0051]
    Embodiments of a surface cleaning apparatus 10 of the present invention are shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3. As shown in FIG. 1, the surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be a hand carryable vacuum cleaner. As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, the surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be a wheel-mounted vacuum cleaner, which may be converted to a carryable vacuum cleaner (e.g., a canister or a wet/dry vacuum cleaner). As shown in FIG. 3, the surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be an upright vacuum cleaner, which may be converted to a carryable vacuum cleaner. In other embodiments, the surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be another type of surface cleaning apparatus for example a stick vacuum cleaner, a back pack vacuum cleaner, a carpet extractor or the like.
  • [0052]
    Surface cleaning apparatus 10 comprises a fluid flow path extending from a dirty fluid inlet 12 to a clean air outlet 14. A suction and filtration unit 16 is provided in the fluid flow path. The suction and filtration unit comprises a fluid treating member, preferably a cyclonic cleaning stage 18 including at least one cyclone 20, a motor 22, and a material collection chamber 32.
  • [0053]
    Referring to FIGS. 4-6, in the embodiments shown, the cyclonic cleaning stage 18 comprises a single cyclone 20, extending along an axis 24. The cyclone comprises a cyclone inlet 26, a separated material outlet 28, and an air outlet 30. Material collection chamber 32 is mounted below the cyclone 20, and includes an inlet 34 in fluid communication with separated material outlet 28. Material collection chamber 32 may comprise a divider plate 33 mounted to a pedestal 35, and positioned adjacent inlet 34. Material collection chamber 32 may be emptied in a variety of ways, for example by pivoting a lower portion thereof to an open position, as shown in FIG. 5. It will be appreciated that each of cyclone 20 and material collection chamber or dirt collection chamber 32 may be configured as any such chamber known in the art and may be positioned at any location known in the art. For example, as exemplified, material collection chamber 32 may comprise or utilize a divider plate 33 provided in flow passage from the cyclone chamber to the material separation chamber 32. Divider plate 33 may be mounted at any location. Further, material collection chamber 32 may be positioned in the bottom of the cyclone chamber of cyclone 20 as opposed to in a separate chamber separated by a dirt outlet from the cyclone 20, with or without a divider plate 33.
  • [0054]
    In some embodiments, the suction and filtration unit alternately, or in addition comprises other cleaning elements. For example, as exemplified in FIG. 4 a second cleaning stage 36 is provided downstream from first cleaning stage 18. Air exiting air outlet 30 of cyclone 20 is directed to second cleaning stage 36, which comprises a plurality of second cyclones 38 in parallel. Additionally, a pre-motor filter member 40 is provided downstream from second cleaning stage 36. Accordingly, in this embodiment, fluid enters dirty fluid inlet 12, is directed to cyclone 20, where material is separated from the fluid. The material enters chamber 32, and the air is directed to second cleaning stage 36, where further material is separated from the air. the air is then directed through filter member 40, past motor 22, and out of clean air outlet 14.
  • [0055]
    In another embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, a filter member 40 is provided downstream from cleaning stage 18. Accordingly, in this embodiment, dirty fluid enters dirty fluid inlet 12, passes through a conduit 42 and is directed to cyclone 20, where material is separated from the fluid. The material enters chamber 32, and the treated air travels through filter member 40, past motor 22, and out of clean air outlet 14.
  • [0056]
    It will be appreciated that the dirty fluid to be treated may be water or other liquid (such as in the case of a carpet extractor or a wet/dry vacuum cleaner) or air with entrained dirt (such as in the case of a vacuum cleaner). The first cleaning stage may comprise one cyclone or a plurality of cyclones in parallel and the optional second cleaning stage may also comprise one cyclone or a plurality of cyclones in parallel, one or more filters, or a combination thereof. Additional cleaning stages may also be provided.
  • [0057]
    In the embodiments shown, suction and filtration unit 16 comprises a casing 44 as is exemplified. In the embodiments of FIGS. 4 and 5, casing 44 is a unitary, integrally molded casing comprising a cyclone casing portion 46, a motor casing portion 48, a chamber portion 50, and portions housing any additional components, such as second cleaning stage casing portion 52 and/or filter member casing portion 54. In such embodiments, casing 44 may comprise an openable lid 45, which may be pivotally or removably mounted to the remainder of casing 44, and which can be opened by a user to view or repair portions of surface cleaning apparatus 10. Alternatively, casing 44 may comprise various components, which are mounted together (e.g., one or more of portions 46, 48, 50, 52 and 54 may be provided and secured together to define suction and filtration unit 16, such as by means of an adhesive, welding, a mechanical fastener or a combination thereof). For example, as shown in FIG. 6, cyclone casing portion 46, motor casing portion 48, chamber portion 50, and filter member casing portion 54 are separately molded, and may be mounted together to form casing 44.
  • [0058]
    In the embodiments shown, surface cleaning apparatus 10 is either a carryable surface cleaning apparatus, or is capable of being converted to a carryable surface cleaning apparatus. In the embodiment of FIG. 1, surface cleaning apparatus 10 is a hand carryable vacuum cleaner, and accordingly comprises a handle 56, which, in the exemplified embodiment, is integrally molded with casing 44.
  • [0059]
    In the embodiment of FIGS. 2A-2B, surface cleaning apparatus 10 is a wheel mounted vacuum cleaner. Accordingly, surface cleaning apparatus 10 comprises a plurality of wheels 58. Wheels may be permanently mounted to casing 44 (not shown), or alternatively, may be provided on a wheeled mount or cradle 60, to which casing 44 may removably mounted. In this embodiment, surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be converted to a carryable surface cleaning apparatus by lifting surface cleaning apparatus off of the ground. Surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be lifted off the ground together with wheels 50, or surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be removed from wheeled mount 60 (which may include release an optional lock or catch used to secure unit 16 to wheeled mount 60), and then lifted off the ground, as shown in FIG. 2B.
  • [0060]
    In the embodiment of FIG. 3, surface cleaning apparatus 10 is an upright vacuum cleaner, and accordingly includes a handle 62, mounted to a backbone 64, to which suction and filtration unit 16 and conduit 42 are mounted. Conduit 42 is pivotally mounted to a surface cleaning head 66. In this embodiment, surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be converted from an upright surface cleaning apparatus to a carryable surface cleaning apparatus, shown in FIG. 7 as follows.
  • [0061]
    Surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be converted from an upright vacuum cleaner, shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, to a carryable surface cleaning apparatus, shown in FIGS. 10-11, by rotating valve 68. In the floor cleaning mode, valve 68 connects surface cleaning head 66 to cyclone inlet 26, such that air travels in a direction indicated by arrows A1 from surface cleaning head 66 to cyclone inlet 26. When valve 68 is rotated to the carryable or above floor cleaning position, and above floor cleaning wand 70 is removed from a handle mount 69, air travels through an above floor cleaning wand 70 to flexible hose 72 past valve 68 to cyclone inlet 26. Accordingly, when valve 68 is rotated to the carryable position, a user may detach suction and filtration unit 16 from conduit 42, and carry surface cleaning apparatus 10. Any other valving and wand configuration known in the art may be used.
  • [0062]
    In any of the above embodiments, apparatus 10 may be provided with a shoulder strap 76, shown in FIG. 5, for aiding in carrying cleaning apparatus 10 when used in a carryable position. Shoulder strap 76 may be any strap of suitable strength and size for carry surface cleaning apparatus 10. Strap 76 may be provided with a cushioning pad provided thereon (not shown) which may be slidably mounted on strap 76 so that it may be moved to seat on a user's shoulder when strap 76 is used.
  • [0063]
    Shoulder strap 76 may be mounted to surface cleaning apparatus at any location. Preferably, shoulder strap reel 76 is mounted on an upper surface of unit 16 or a side portion thereof. For example, shoulder strap reel 76 may be mounted on the top surface of unit 16 or it may be mounted on a side wall adjacent the top wall as exemplified in FIG. 7B-7E. In a particularly preferred embodiment as exemplified in FIGS. 7B-7E, shoulder strap 76 may extend from a reel 76 on one side of the unit 16 to a rod or pin or the like mounted on the opposed side, or to another reel 76 on the opposed side. Unit 16 may be provided with a carry handle, in which case handle may be mounted on reel 74, reel 74 may surround the base of the handle or strap 74 may overlie the handle when strap 74 is retraced into the reel, as exemplified in FIGS. 7B-7E. In some embodiments, shoulder strap reel 74 is manually windable on reel 76. In other embodiments, reel 74 may be self-winding.
  • [0064]
    As exemplified in FIG. 5, shoulder strap 76 may be mounted to a first portion 78 of casing 44 at a first end 86 a thereof, and mounted to a second portion 82 of casing 44 at a second end 86 b thereof. The ends 86 a, 86 b of shoulder strap 76 may be mounted to casing 44 by one or more shoulder strap reels 74 mounted to casing 44. In some embodiments, both ends of 86 a, 86 b of shoulder strap 76 may be mounted to a single reel 74. In other embodiments, one end 86 a may be mounted to a reel 74, and the other end 86 b may be mounted to another member, for example a rod 75, to which end 86 b may be affixed, or removably affixed via a releasable clip. Shoulder strap reel 74 may be of a variety of configurations, and be mounted to casing 44 in a variety of ways.
  • [0065]
    Referring to FIGS. 12 and 13, in the embodiments shown, reel 74 comprises a pair of flanges 80 a, 80 b mounted to a first portion 78 of casing 44. In some embodiments, flanges 80 a, 80 b, may be integrally formed with casing 44 or may be separately manufactured and secured thereto by, e.g., an adhesive, welding, a mechanical fastener or a combination thereof. A pin 84 extends between each pair of flanges, and is rotatably mounted thereto by extending through holes 85 a, 85 b provided in each flange. Pin 84 may comprise flanges 87 (shown in FIG. 13A) at the ends thereof, for preventing pin 84 from sliding out of holes 85 a, 85 b. An end 86 a of shoulder strap 76 is secured to pin 84. For example, an adhesive may be used to secure end 86 a to pin 84, or a slot may be provided in pin 84 into which end 86 a may be inserted, or it may be stapled thereto.
  • [0066]
    Strap may be wound or unwound onto pin 84 by a user. For example, if surface cleaning apparatus 10 is being used in a non-carryable configuration, for example is being used in an upright configuration, a user may desire to wind strap 76 onto pin 84, such that it is out of the way of the user. When the user wishes to use surface cleaning apparatus 10 in the carryable configuration, the user may unwind strap 76 to a desired length, such that it may be used.
  • [0067]
    In the embodiment shown in FIG. 12, reel 74 is manually winding, and further comprises a crank 88 coupled to pin 84. Crank 88 may be rotated by a user, such that strap 76 is wound on wound onto pin 84 by rotating crank 88 in a direction indicated by arrow A3, and unwound on pin 84 by rotating crank 88 in a direction opposite to arrow A4. In other embodiments, reel may be manually wound in another manner.
  • [0068]
    In other embodiments, reel 74 is self winding. For example, referring to FIGS. 13A-13B, reel 74 and comprises a torsion spring 90. Torsion spring 90 is a coil spring, and mounted at one end 92 a to flange 80 a, and at the other end 92 b to pin 84. Accordingly, when strap 76 is unwound, pin 84 rotates in a direction indicated by arrow A5, and spring 90 is tensioned. When strap 76 is released, the tension on spring 90 is released, and spring 90 will return to its original position, and re-wind strap 76. In other embodiments, strap reel may be self-winding in another manner. For example, strap reel 74 may be electronically actuated.
  • [0069]
    Strap reel 74 may further comprise a locking member for locking strap 76 in one or more positions. Referring to FIG. 14, an end 94 of pin 84 may comprise teeth 95 extending outwardly from pin 84. Flange 80 a comprises a spring loaded lever 96 rotatably mounted thereto at pivot point 98. In a relaxed state, lever 96 is biased in a direction indicated by arrow A6, and allows pin 84 to rotate in a direction indicated by arrow A7, which corresponds to a direction required to wind strap 76. Lever 96 is configured to prevent pin 84 from rotating in a direction opposite to arrow A7, which corresponds to a direction required to unwind strap 76. Accordingly, in use, a user may retract lever 96 by rotating it in a direction opposite to arrow A6, and unwind strap 76, for example pulling on strap 76. When the strap 76 is in the desired position, the user may release lever 96, such that it returns to its biased position. Accordingly, when the user lifts the surface cleaning apparatus 10 with strap 76, the strap will remain in the position set by the user, and will not unwind further due to gravity. In order to return strap 76 onto pin 84, lever 96 may be moved out of the path of rotation of teeth 95 (e.g., by being translated in the longitudinal direction of pin 84). Alternately, a friction brake, a pin 102 insertable into a hole, or any other reel construction known in the art may be used, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16.
  • [0070]
    As exemplified in FIGS. 15 and 16, when strap 76 is fully retracted, it preferably seats or lies on top of handle 56. Therefore, strap 76 does not interfere with the use of handle 56. Handle 56 may have a portion that is narrower then the strap so that a user may easily grab strap 76 and extend it to an in use position, Alternately, or in addition, handle 56 may be recessed inwardly from the side wall of the surface cleaning apparatus as exemplified in FIGS. 15 and 16, or otherwise configured or the configuration or positioning of the reel adjusted, to provide a space between handle 56 and strap 76 when strap is fully retracted and seats on handle 56. This gap provides a location which a user may utilize to grab strap 76 and extend strap 76 to an in use position.
  • [0071]
    An alternate embodiment of a shoulder strap reel 74 is shown in FIG. 17. In this embodiment reel 74 comprises a reel body 104, a manipulation lever 106, an elastic spring member 108, a brake member 110, and a damper unit 112. Reel body 104 is rotatably supported by a rotary shaft 114, and partially enclosed by reel cover 116. A similar cover may be provided on the opposed side. The strap 76 is wound and unwound around a winding part or hub 118 as the reel body 104 is rotated in one direction or another. Strap 76 may be of any desired width.
  • [0072]
    The reel body 104 is elastically biased by a spiral spring 120 so that the reel body 104 is rotated in the direction D for winding the strap 76 onto hub 118. The spiral spring 120 is wound as the strap 76 is pulled from the reel body 104. The inner end of the spiral spring 120 fits within an insertion recess 122 of the rotary shaft 114 thereby engaging the reel body 104 to the rotary shaft 114, through the spring 120.
  • [0073]
    The brake member 110 can frictionally engage and disengage the reel body 104 to disable or enable control rotation of the reel body 104 respectively when the user operates the manipulation lever 106. The brake member 110 is normally spaced away from reel body 104 allowing the strap 76 to be withdrawn from the reel 74. The brake member 110 is preferably a friction roller, however alternate embodiments include using a friction pad or a toothed member to engage teeth provided on the rim of reel body 104.
  • [0074]
    The manipulation lever 106 comprises a coupling 124 connected or otherwise engaged to the brake member 110, and, a brake activation part 126, which can be selective actuated by the user to move the brake member 110 away from the reel body 104 when the manipulation part 126 is operated. The manipulation lever 106 in this embodiment is installed in the reel 74 to pivot about the rotary shaft 128. Spring member 108 elastically biases the lower end of the manipulation part 126 upwardly and therefore elastically biases the manipulation lever 106.
  • [0075]
    A brake member damper unit 112 impedes or slows the movement of the brake member 110 from contact with the reel body 104 when an actuating force that was applied to the manipulation part 126 is removed. By way of the interference of the damper unit 112, the time between actuation of the manipulation lever 106 to release the brake member 110 and the re-engagement of the brake member 110 to the reel body 104 is lengthened, allowing the manipulation lever 106 to return to its initial position more slowly, which in turn allows the spring 120 more time to fully wind the strap 76. Even if an external force applied to the manipulation lever 106 is removed immediately after the user compresses the manipulation lever 106 to wind the strap 76, the damper unit 112 controls the manipulation lever 106 to slowly return to its original position to assure a sufficient length of time for completely winding the strap 76. In this embodiment end 86 b of strap 76 is releasably securable to a member provided on housing 44, such that when end 86 b is released from the member, strap 76 may be hidden.
  • [0076]
    In any of the above embodiments, all or a portion of reel 74 may be provided in a casing, for example a portion of casing 44, for hiding all or a portion of reel 74.
  • [0077]
    As previously mentioned, surface cleaning apparatus 10 may be provided with one reel 74, or two reels 74. The reels 74 may be mounted to housing 44 at a variety of positions. In some embodiments, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, reel(s) 74 may be mounted to casing 44 at an upper portion 100 thereof. In one particular embodiment, reel(s) 74 may be mounted to casing 44 at lid 45. In such an embodiment, handle 56 may be mounted to reel 74.
  • [0078]
    It will be appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments or separate aspects, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment or aspect, may also be provided separately or in any suitable sub-combination.
  • [0079]
    Although the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, if is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention.

Claims (22)

I claim:
1. A vacuum cleaner comprising:
(a) a fluid flow path extending from a dirty fluid inlet to a clean air outlet of the vacuum cleaner and including a suction motor;
(b) a suction and filtration unit comprising the suction motor and at least one cyclone, the a cyclone comprising a cyclone inlet, a separated material outlet and a separated material collection chamber in flow communication with the separated material collection chamber; and,
(c) a shoulder strap reel mounted to the suction and filtration unit.
2. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the shoulder strap reel is lockable in a plurality of positions.
3. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the shoulder strap reel is self-winding.
4. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the shoulder strap reel is manually windable on the reel by a user.
5. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the vacuum cleaner.
6. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the suction and filtration unit has a carry handle provided thereon.
7. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the vacuum cleaner and a carry handle is mounted on the shoulder strap reel.
8. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the vacuum cleaner has an openable lid and the shoulder strap reel is provided on the openable lid.
9. The vacuum cleaner of claim 1 wherein the vacuum cleaner is an upright vacuum cleaner having an upper casing pivotally mounted to a surface cleaning head and the suction and filtration unit comprises at least part of the upper casing and is removably mounted to the upper casing.
10. The vacuum cleaner of claim 9 wherein the suction and filtration unit is the upper casing and is removably mounted to the vacuum cleaner.
11. The vacuum cleaner of claim 9 wherein the vacuum cleaner further comprises an above floor cleaning wand that is removable with the suction and filtration unit.
12. A surface cleaning apparatus comprising:
(a) a fluid flow path extending from a dirty fluid inlet to a clean air outlet of the surface cleaning apparatus and including a suction motor;
(b) a suction and filtration unit comprising at least one fluid treating member and the suction motor; and,
(c) a shoulder strap reel mounted to the suction and filtration unit.
13. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the shoulder strap reel is lockable in a plurality of positions.
14. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the shoulder strap reel is self-winding.
15. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the shoulder strap reel is manually windable on the reel by a user.
16. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the surface cleaning apparatus.
17. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the suction and filtration unit has a carry handle provided thereon.
18. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the shoulder strap reel is mounted to an upper portion of the surface cleaning apparatus and a carry handle is mounted on the shoulder strap reel.
19. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the surface cleaning apparatus has an openable lid and the shoulder strap reel is provided on the openable lid.
20. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 12 wherein the surface cleaning apparatus is an upright surface cleaning apparatus having an upper casing pivotally mounted to a surface cleaning head and the suction and filtration unit comprises at least part of the upper casing and is removably mounted to the upper casing.
21. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 20 wherein the suction and filtration unit is the upper casing and is removably mounted to the surface cleaning apparatus.
22. The surface cleaning apparatus of claim 20 wherein the surface cleaning apparatus further comprises an above floor cleaning wand that is removable with the suction and filtration unit.
US11953327 2006-12-12 2007-12-10 Surface cleaning apparatus with shoulder strap reel Abandoned US20080178416A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US86958606 true 2006-12-12 2006-12-12
US87017506 true 2006-12-15 2006-12-15
US88476707 true 2007-01-12 2007-01-12
US11953327 US20080178416A1 (en) 2006-12-12 2007-12-10 Surface cleaning apparatus with shoulder strap reel

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US11953327 US20080178416A1 (en) 2006-12-12 2007-12-10 Surface cleaning apparatus with shoulder strap reel

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US20080178416A1 true true US20080178416A1 (en) 2008-07-31

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US11953327 Abandoned US20080178416A1 (en) 2006-12-12 2007-12-10 Surface cleaning apparatus with shoulder strap reel

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US (1) US20080178416A1 (en)
WO (1) WO2008070967A1 (en)

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