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US3197982A - Washing machine - Google Patents

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US3197982A US35209364A US3197982A US 3197982 A US3197982 A US 3197982A US 35209364 A US35209364 A US 35209364A US 3197982 A US3197982 A US 3197982A
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Joseph C Worst
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General Electric Co
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General Electric Co
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    • D06F13/00Washing machines having receptacles, stationary for washing purposes, with agitators therein contacting the articles being washed


Aug. 3, 1965 Filed March 16, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I 2 r 12 g 49 4 x 6 Z 47 4-4 53 w o o o o 0 o 0 0 O 0 O 0 0 F LD 0 O O 0 Z o 0 Z O U a 34 O O O O O O O 4 4.2 o o 03 0 j L 33 (/2330 Z5 22 I T; 24. F H! l H INVENTOR.

JOSEPH C. WORST Wfw HIS ATTORNEY J. C. WORST WASHING MACHINE Aug. 3, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed March 16, 1964 PIC-3.2

H \s ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,197,932 WAfiHlNG MACHINE Joseph C. Worst, Louisville, Ky, assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 16, 1964, Ser. No. 352,093 4 Claims. (Cl. 68-23) This invention relates to washing machines, and more particularly to washing machines which provide draining of a substantial amount of liquid therefrom after a washing or rinsing operation and prior to the start of a centrifuging operation.

In some types of automatic washing machines, the draining of a substantial amount of the free standing liquid in the machinev prior to the start of a centrifuging operation has been found to be desirable. For instance, in machines which have a perforated clothes basket contained within an imperforate tub, the start of centrifuging with a substantial amount of liquid present causes the liquid to be forced outwardly through the clothes by centrifugal pressure. But, if there is a simple draining down of the liquid prior to centrifuging, this undesirable effect may be avoided. Similarly, in machines of the type which have an imperforate clothe-s basket within a clothes tub, the removal of the liquid in the tub prior to.centrifuging of the basket permits a much smaller space to be provided between the bottom of the basket and the tub; this gives additional space for other components of the m chine.

For such reasons as these, there are at the present time on the market some machines which do provide a down draining operation prior to the start of a spin or centrifuging operation. This is easily done, of course, where the pump which provides the draining action is operated by one motor and the centrifuging mechanism is operated by another. It is also easy to do where both are operated from one source, but a special ext rnally controlled neutral position is provided which permits disconnection of the centrifuging transmission while still causing operation of the pump. Both of these expedients, however, represent a substantial expense. The most efficient and economical way for a washing machine to be constructed is to have both the pump and the transmission structure operated from the same motor without a special externally controlled neutral being provided.

Accordingly, it is an object of my invention to provide a Washing machine in which the pump and the centrifuging transmission are operated from the same drive motor, and wherein the connection of the transmission is such that it does not start the centrifuging operation until a substantial part of the free-standing liquid has been drained by the pump.

A further more specific object of my invention is to achieve this goal by a frictional connection arrangement between the transmission and the driving motor which does not cause operation of the transmission until a predetermined rotational speedof the connecting means is achieved.

Yet another more specific object of my invention lies in the utilization of centrifugal force for the operation of the connecting means to connect the motor to the transmission when the predetermined speed is reached.

In carrying out my invention in one form thereof, I provide a clothes Washing machine wherein a drain pump communicates with the bottom of an imperforate tub positioned about a basket for receiving clothes and a substantial quantity of liquid. The basket is rotatable at centrifuging speeds by suitable transmission means so as to discharge liquid into the tub, and the transmission means in turn is driven by a drive motor through an output member. The drive motor is also connected in 3,197,982 Patented Aug. 3, 1965 direct driving relation to the drain pump. A connecting member, for connecting the transmission means to the drive motor, is rotatably mounted on the output member and is frictionally driven thereby. The connecting member includes centrifugally responsive means effective to couple the output member to the transmission means at a predetermined speed of rotation. The structural design is such that the predetermined speed of rotation is attained after a period of time long enough for the pump to remove most of the liquid which was initially in the tub. As a result, there is no centrifuging provided until most of the liquid has been removed, and thereafter the centrifuging automatically starts without the necessity for outside intelligence, and without any clutch neutral in the accepted sense of the word.

The subject matter which I regard as my invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. My invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings, FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of a clothes washing machine including my invention, the view being partly broken away and partly in section to illustrate details;

FIGURE 2 is a side elevational view incross section of the clutch shown in FIGURE 1; and

FIGURE 3 is a view along line 3-3 in FIGURE 2.

Referring now to FIGURE 1, there is shown a washing machine 1 having a conventional basket, or clothesreceiving receptacle, 2 provided over its side and bottom walls with perforations 3 and disposed within an outer imperforate tub 4. Tub 4 serves as a liquid receptacle, the basket and tub together serving in effect as container means for clothes and the liquid in which they are to be washed and rinsed. Basket 2 may be provided with a suitable clothes-retaining member 5 for preventing clothes from being floated over the top of the basket and with a balance ring 6 to help steady the basket when it is rotated at high speed.

Tub 4 is rigidly mounted within an appearance cabinet 7 which includes a cover 8 hingedly mounted on the top portion 9 of the cabinet for providing access to an opening 10 to basket 2. A gasket 11 may be provided so as to form a seal between the top of tub 4 and portion 9 of the cabinet thereby to prevent escape of moisture and moist air into the cabinet around the tub. The rigid mounting of tub 4 within cabinet 7 may be effected by any suitable means. As a particular example of one such means, I have provided strap members 12, each of which is secured at one end to an inturned flange 13 of the cabinet and its other end to the outside of tub 4. At the center of basket 2, there is positioned a vertical axis agitator 14 which includes a center post 15 and a plurality of curved water-circulating vanes 16 joined at their lower ends by an outwardly flared skirt 17.

Both the clothes basket 2 and agitator 14 are rotatably mounted. The basket is mounted on a flange 18 of a rotatable hub 19, and agitator 14 is mounted on a shaft .(not shown) which extends upwardly through hub 19 zontal plane within the basket. This causes Washing of the clothes by effecting relative motion of the clot-hes and the liquid, as well .as suitable flexing of the fabric of the clothes. Then, after a predetermined period of this washmg action, basket 2 is rotated at high speed to extract oi centrifugally the washing liquid from the clothes and discharge it to the tub whence it flows, as will be further explained herebelow, to a drain. Following this extraction operation, clean water is introduced into the basket for rinsing the clothes'and the agitator is again oscillated. Finally, the basket is once more rotated at high speed to extract the rinse water,

Basket 2 and agitator 14 may be driven through any suitable means. By way of example, we have shown them as driven from a reversing motor through a system including a clutch'21, mounted on the motor output shaft and further to be described herebelow. A suitable belt 22 transmits power from clutch 21 to a transmission assembly 23 through a pulley 24. Thus, depending upon the direction of motor rotation, pulley 24 of transmission 23 is driven in opposite directions. Transmission 23 is so arranged that it supports and drives both the agitator drive shaft and basket mounting hub 19. When motor 20 is rotated in one direct-ion, the transmission causes agitator 14 to oscillate in a substantially horizontal plane within basket 2. Conversely, when motor 20 is driven in the opposite direction, the transmission rotates wash basket 2 and agitator 14 together at high speed for centrifugal liquid extraction. It will be understood that trans-missions for elfecting this purpose are well known in the art and that therefore the internal structure of transmission 23 is not further described.

In addition to operating transmission 23 as described, motor 2% also provides a direct drive through its output shaft 25 and a flexible transmission 26 to a pump structure, generally indicated at 27, which may include two separate pump units 28 and 29 both operated simultaneously in the same direction by motor 20. Pump 28 has an inlet which is connected by a conduit 30- to an opening 31 formed at the lowermost point of tub 4. Pump 23 also has .an outlet which is connected by a conduit 32 to a suitable drain (not shown). Pump 29 has an inlet connected by a conduit 33 to the interior of tub 4 and an outlet connected by a conduit 34 to a nozzle 35. The pumps are formed so that in the spin direction of motor rotation pump 28 will draw in liquid from opening 31 through conduit 30 and discharge it through conduit 32 to drain, and in the other direction of rotation pump 29 will draw in liquid through conduit 33 and discharge it through conduit 34 and nozzle 35, each of the pumps being substantially inoperative in the direction of rotation in which it is not used.

Nozzle 35 is positioned for discharge into a filter pan 36 secured on the top portion 37 of agitator 14 so as to be movable therewith. With this structure then, when the motor is rotating so as to provide agitation, pump 29 draws liquid through conduit 33 from tu'b 4 and discharges it through conduit 34 so that the liquid passes from nozzle 35 into filter pan 36 and then down through a number of small openings 38 provided in the bottom of the filter pan and back into basket 2. In this manner, the filter pan 36, with its small openings 38 and its upstanding side wall 3-9, causes lint which is separated from the clothes during the washing operation to be filtered out of the clothes, and thus prevents it from being redeposited on the clothes. This type of structure is more fully described and claimed in Patent 2,481,979, issued to Russell 'H. Colley on September 30, 1949, and assigned to the General Electric Company, owner of the present invention.

Motor 20, clutch 21,, transmission 23, basket 2 and agitator 14 form a suspended washing and centrifuging system which is supported by the stationary structure of the machine so as to permit isolation of vibrations from member 49 with transmission mounted thereon and motor 20 mounted to the underside thereof. The bracket member in turn is secured to upwardly extending rigid members 41, and each of the two upwardly extending members 41 is connected to a cable 42 supported from the top of the machine. While only a portionv of the suspension system is shown in FIGURE 1, such a vibration isolation system is fully described and claimed in Patent 2,987,190 issued on June 6, 1961, to John Bochan and assigned to General Electric Company, assignee of the present invention.

In order to accommodate the movement which occurs between basket 2 and tub 4 without any danger of leakage between them, tub 4 is joined to the upper part of transmission 23 by a flexible boot member 43. Boot 43 may be of any suitable configuration, many of which are known in the art, to permit relative motion of the parts to which it is joined without leakage thercbetween.

Hot and cold water may be supplied to the machine through conduits 44 and 4'5 which are adapted to be connected respectively to sources of hot and cold water (not shown). Conduits 44 and 45 extend into a conventional mixing valve structure 46 having solenoids 47 and 48 so that energization of solenoid 47 perm-its passage of hot water through the valve to a hose 49, energization of solenoid 43 permits passage of cold water through the valve, and energization of both solenoids permits mixing of hot and cold water in the valve and passage of warm water to hose 49. Hose 49 has an outlet 50 positioned to discharge into basket 2 so that when one or both of solenoids 47 and 48 are energized water passes into basket 2 and tub 4.

The level to which water rises in the basket and tub may be controlled by any suitable liquid level sensing means. One typical arrangement for doing this is to provide an opening 5 1 in the side of tub 4 adjacent the bottom thereof. Opening 51 is connected through a conduit 52 and a tube 53 to a conventional pressure sensitive switch (not shown) which may be positioned in the backsplasher 54 of machine 1 in the conventional manner. As the water rises in basket 2 and tub 4, it exerts an increase in pressure on the column of air trapped in tube 53, and at a predetermined pressure level the column of air then operates the pressure-sensitive switch to shut off whichever of solenoids 47 and 48 may be energized. Backsplasher 54 may have suitable manual controls such as that shown at 55. Controls 55 are used to control, for instance, washing and spin speeds, water temperature, water level within tub 4 and basket 2, etc., for the washing of different types of fabrics.

It will be understood that clutch 21 is an important component in a washing machine such as that described in order to prevent overloading of motor 20, when it starts a centrifuging operation for instance. Referring now to FIGURES 2 and 3 for detailed description of the structure of clutch 21, it includes a member 56 having a pulley $7 which provides the driving force to belt 22. Member 56 is mounted on shaft 25 by means of a ball bearing 58. Mounted on a second ball bearing 59 secured on shaft 25 is a connecting member in the form of a carrier plate member 60 having a pair of upstanding pivot pins 61. and 62. A pair of clutch shoe members 63 and 64 are respectively mounted on the pivot pins 61 and 62. Members 63 and '64 respectively have clutching surfaces 65 and 66 adapted to move into driving engagement with the interior surface 67 of member 56. Normally, members 63 and 64 are biased out of engagement with surface 67 by springs 68 and 69 respectively. However, when carrier member so rotates at a sufiiciently high rate of speed centrifugal force overcomes spring 68, and members 63 and 64 move outwardly so that their clutching surfaces engage surface 67.

For a driving relationship from shaft 25 through to member 56 to exist, carrier plate 60 must be positively driven so as to cause the necessary outward movement of members as and 64. To effect this, the carrier plate so also has provided thereon a first pair of dogs 7t) and 71 pivotally mounted on pins 61 and 62, and a second pair of dogs 72 and 73 similarly mounted. The output shaft 25 has rigidly secured thereon, or forward therewith, a portion 74 having a plurality of fiat surfaces 75.

Dogs '76-'73 are respectively provided with inner flat surfaces 7, 77, 78 and 79. Normally, the dogs are kept in spaced relationship with respect to member 74 by the biasing action of four springs 8%), 31, 82 and 83. However, at a predetermined speed of rotation, the centrifugal force acting on the dogs will overcome the spring bias, and the dogs will swing about the pivot pins 51 and 62 with the result that surfaces 76, '77, 78 and 79 move inwardly into engagement with surfaces 75 of member 74. When this happens, there is a driving relationship between shaft 25 and carrier plate 659. As a result of this, the carrier plate dt) is carried along at the output speed of the motor, and surfaces 65 and 66 rapidly move into engagement with surface 67 in order to provide a driving force for the transmission and start a spin operation (assuming that motor 2i is rotating in the appropriate direction to provide spin).

The time which elapses after the start of operation of motor 2%) and before the connection of transmission 23 to motor shaft 25 is a function of how rapidly the carrier plate 60 is accelerated. This acceleration is only effected through the friction in bearing 59, and it will be recognized that it is therefore relatively slow in nature. It has been found in practice that a conventional type of hearing 59 will provide a period of about 80 seconds before the rotation of basket 2 starts and that this period of time is suflicient for substantially all of the liquid in tub d to be drained out by pump 28 so that when the basket starts to rotate it does so without a substantial amount of freestanding liquid. Thus, the effect of a neutral is achieved with very little expense, and with no need for an outside intelligence to provide the neutral for a predetermined period and then eliminate it. Rather, the neutral is an inherent condition which exists while the carrier plate 6% is comming up to the predetermined speed.

It will, of course, be recognized that as the structure has been described, the same result is provided in agitation; that is, when motor 20 starts in the direction to provide agitation through transmission 23, there will be a period of time during which liquid will be recirculated by pump 29 prior to the start of operation of the agitator 14. However, this minor delay in the start of the operation of the agitator is without significance, and cannot do any harm to clothes in the machine or be harmful in any other way. It is, however, if so desired, possible to minimize the delay in operation of the agitator by providing a suitable structure which provides a greater degree of friction in one direction than the other; such a structure may readily be provided by any means well known in the art. For instance, a helical spring 84 may be connected at one end 85 to member 66 and Wound loosely around shaft 25. In the spin direction of rotation of shaft 25, the spring tends to unwind and has no effect; in the other direction of rotation, the spring tightens on shaft 25 and drives member 60as a result, agitator operation starts ahnost immediately. With such an arrangement, then, in the spin direction the plate 60 will take the desired relatively long predetermined amount of time to come up to the predetermined speed, whereas a much shorter time will elapse before the predetermined speed is reached when the rotation is in the direction to provide agitation.

While in accordance with the patent statutes I have described what at present is considered to be the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made thereto without departing from the invention, and I therefore aim in the appended claims to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of my invention.

What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A clothes washing machine comprising:

(a) a basket for receiving clothes and a substantial quantity of liquid;

(b) an lmperforate tub positioned about said basket so as to receive the liquid therefrom;

(c) a drain pump communicating with the bottom of said tub;

(d) transmission means for rotating said basket at centrifuging speed so as to discharge liquid into said tub;

(e) a drive motor having an output member connected in direct driving relation to said pump;

(f) a connecting member rotatably mounted on said output member and frictionally driven thereby;

(g) and centrifugally responsive means on said connecting member effective to couple said output member to said transmission means at a predetermined speed of rotation of said connecting member;

(h) said connecting member having a frictional relationship to said output member such that said predetermined speed of rotation is attained after a period of time sumcient for said pump to remove the major portion of the liquid initially in said tub.

2. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said motor has a shaft extending therefrom and said shaft is said output member.

3. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said centrifugally responsive means comprises at least one member movably mounted on said connecting member and movable in response to centrifugal force at said predetermined speed from a first position to a second position, and said output member has a portion engageable by said movable member when in said second position to provide a driving relationship from said output member to said connecting member.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 1 wherein said basket is perforated over a major portion of its walls so that substantially the same liquid level exists in said basket and said tub.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 5/53 McNairy 6823 X 1/ 64 Moschetti et al 6823

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3986373A (en) * 1975-06-27 1976-10-19 The Maytag Company Drive system for a laundry apparatus
US4430871A (en) * 1982-12-22 1984-02-14 Whirlpool Corporation Neutral pump-out for automatic washer
US4566295A (en) * 1982-12-22 1986-01-28 Whirlpool Corporation Neutral pump-out for automatic washer

Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2639618A (en) * 1950-05-26 1953-05-26 Gen Electric Transmission and clutch for clothes washers
US3116626A (en) * 1961-12-15 1964-01-07 Gen Electric Laundry machine for washing and centrifuging with slip clutch

Patent Citations (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2639618A (en) * 1950-05-26 1953-05-26 Gen Electric Transmission and clutch for clothes washers
US3116626A (en) * 1961-12-15 1964-01-07 Gen Electric Laundry machine for washing and centrifuging with slip clutch

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3986373A (en) * 1975-06-27 1976-10-19 The Maytag Company Drive system for a laundry apparatus
US4430871A (en) * 1982-12-22 1984-02-14 Whirlpool Corporation Neutral pump-out for automatic washer
US4566295A (en) * 1982-12-22 1986-01-28 Whirlpool Corporation Neutral pump-out for automatic washer

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