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Publication numberUS3717168 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date20 Feb 1973
Filing date12 May 1971
Priority date12 May 1971
Publication numberUS 3717168 A, US 3717168A, US-A-3717168, US3717168 A, US3717168A
InventorsW Yake
Original AssigneeDesign & Mfg Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Water inlet unit for appliances
US 3717168 A
Abstract
A water inlet unit for the vat of a dishwashing machine or the like comprising an inlet nozzle for conducting water from a water valve to an upper chamber of the unit. The outlet of the upper chamber of the water inlet unit is connected to a lower chamber by a passage provided with an air gap. The lower chamber has an outlet communicating with the appliance vat and means therein to assure the smooth and bubble-free flow of water therethrough. The lower chamber is configured to provide a water trap for suds and steam. The upper chamber may be provided at its outlet with a flow guide to remove turbulence from the water passing therethrough.
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tilrtite States atertt [1 1 Yaike [54] WATER llNLET UNIT FOR APPLIANCES [75] Inventor: William 11. Yake, Connersville, Ind.

[73] Assignee: Design and Manufacturing Corporation, Connersville, Ind.

[22] Filed: May 12, 1971 [21] Appl.No.:142,440

[ 51 Feh.2,1973

7/1941 Stoddard ..l37/2l6 6/1953 Stocking ..137/2l6.l

[57] ABSTRACT A water inlet unit for the vat of a dishwashing machine or the like comprising an inlet nozzle for conducting water from a water valve to an upper chamber of the unit. The outlet of the upper chamber of the water inlet unit is connected to a lower chamber by a passage provided with an air gap. The lower chamber has an outlet communicating with the appliance vat and means therein to assure the smooth and bubblefree flow of water therethrough. The lower chamber is configured to provide a water trap for suds and steam. The upper chamber may be provided at its outlet with a flow guide to remove turbulence from the water passing therethrough.

12 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PAm-nmnzoma 3,717,168

SHEET 2 OF 2 INVENTOR S ATTORNEYS WATER INLET UNIT FOR APPLIANES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to a water inlet assembly, and more particularly to such an assembly for use with a dishwashing machine or the like.

2. Description of the Prior Art While the water inlet unit of the present invention may be used with any type of water-filled appliance, for purposes of an exemplary showing the unit will be described in its application to a dishwashing machine. In its most usual form, a dishwashing machine comprises a vat having an access opening either at the top or front thereof and a closure member for the opening. The vat generally contains one or more racks adapted to hold the tableware to be washed.

Automatic dishwashers are arranged to carry on a plurality of operations in sequence. The series of operations is generally referred to as a cycle. Present day dishwashers generally offer the operator a number of cycles from which to choose. A typical automatic dishwasher cycle comprises in sequence a series of operations which may be designated as first rinse, drain, first wash, drain, second rinse, drain, second wash, drain, third rinse, drain, fourth rinse, drain, dry and drain. These various operations are timer-controlled.

At the beginning of each wash and rinse operation, a signal from the timer will open a water valve, actuated by a solenoid or the like, so that the vat may be filled with water to an appropriate level. The wash or rinse water in the vat is directed against the tableware through the agency of a pump and impeller means, spray means or both.

Some sort of water inlet means must be provided in association with the vat, whereby water from the water valve may be caused to enter the vat.

Heretofore, water inlet means have comprised units made up of a considerable number of parts. They were expensive to manufacture and were generally affixed to the exterior of the vat through the use of screws and various brackets. Therefore, they were difficult to service.

Plumbing Codes generally require a one inch air gap in association with the water inlet, so that if a negative pressure is produced in the water line, only air will be taken in. In prior art inlet assemblies, this air gap was determined during assembly of the various parts, so that the amount of air gap present could vary considerably by virtue of relative movement of the various parts of the inlet unit and the care with which it was assembled both by the manufacturer and by repairmen.

The water inlet unit of the present invention is made up of a very small number of parts with a real reduction in the manufacturing cost. The structure of the present invention lends itself well to production as a molded plastic assembly. As will be described hereinafter, it requires no screws or the like for attachment to the vat.

In addition, the water inlet unit of the present invention guarantees the required one inch air gap, since such an air gap is included in its molded design. It also provides a water trap for suds, steam and the like.

Finally, as will be understood by one skilled in the art, the water entering a water inlet unit is generally characterized by turbulence due both to the water velocity and sudden changes of direction. The water inlet unit of the present invention provides better control of the water flow than hitherto possible. Turbulence is reduced to a minimum, as are bubbles, which would otherwise hinder the flow of the water.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The water inlet unit of the present invention is characterized by a small number of parts and lends itself well to production as a plastic molded assembly. The unit comprises an upper and a lower chamber, with a passage therebetween.

The upper chamber has an inlet nozzle adapted to be connected to the outlet of a water valve by a suitable flexible conduit such as a plastic tube or the like. The upper chamber has, at its lower end, an outlet leading to the above mentioned passage. Flow guide means may be provided at the outlet of the upper chamber to remove turbulence from the water flowing therethrough.

The passage between the upper and lower chambers has an appropriate air gap in association therewith, as a part of the molded structure itself.

The lowermost end of the passage communicates with the upper end of the lower chamber. The lower chamber has an outlet means which is adapted to extend through a perforation in the dishwashing machine vat. The bottom end of the lower chamber is configured to provide a water trap for suds, steam and the like. Means are provided within the lower chamber to maintain the smooth flow of water therethrough and to prevent the accumulation of air bubbles therein.

In its finished form, the water inlet of the present invention comprises a two-part unit. The first part comprises the sides and bottom of the lower chamber, together with the outlet means which extends into the dishwasher vat. The second part comprises the upper chamber, the inlet nozzle to the upper chamber, the flow guide (when used), the passage between the upper chamber and the lower chamber, the top of the lower chamber and the means which, when located in the lower chamber, maintains the smooth flow of water therethrough and prevents the accumulation of air bubbles. Means are provided to latch the two parts together. The first part of the water inlet unit is molded in one piece. This is also true of the second part, with the exception of the flow guide. In instances where a flow guide is used, it may be an integral element of the second part, or it may be a separate element affixed to the first part by a snap fit, or the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view illustrating the vat of a dishwasher and the water inlet unit of the present invention, together with the means for connecting the water inlet unit to a water valve (not shown).

FIGS. 2 and 3 are respectively a front elevational view and a side elevational view of the first part of the two-part structure of the present invention.

FIGS. 4 and 5 are respectively a front elevational view and a side elevational view of the second part of the two-part structure of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a cross sectional view taken along section line 6-6 of FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along section line 7-7 of FIG. 4.

FIGS. 81, 9 and M) are respectively a plan view, a side elevational view and a rear elevational view of the flow guide.

FIGS. 11 and 12 are respectively a side elevational view and a rear elevational view of the water inlet unit of the present invention, with indications of the flow of water therethrough.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the vat of a dishwashing machine (the dishwasher cabinet having been removed). The vat, generally indicated at 1, has side walls 2 and 3, a rear wall (not shown) and a bottom 4. The front of the vat comprises an access opening (generally indicated at 5) which will be closed by the dishwasher door (not shown). While, for purposes of an exemplary illustration, a front opening vat is illustrated in FIG. 1, one skilled in the art will understand that the water inlet unit of the present invention can be used equally well with a top opening vat. The side 3 of the vat has a perforation 6 therethrough which is adapted to receive the outlet of the water inlet unit, as will be described hereinafter.

FIG. 1 also illustrates the water inlet unit of the present invention, generally indicated at 7. The Figure further shows a flexible conduit 8 by which the inlet unit 7 may be connected to a water valve (not shown).

As indicated above, in its final form the inlet unit of the present invention is'a two-part structure. The first part of the structure is illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3, and is generally designated by the index numeral 9.

The part 9 comprises a front wall 10, a rear wall 11, side walls 12 and 13, a rounded bottom 14 and an open top 15, defining a lower chamber 90. The side walls 12 and 13 and the front and rear walls and 11 taper slightly toward each other from the top of the part to the bottom.

The front wall 1% has a perforation 16 therethrough surrounded by an annular shoulder 17 and a threaded outlet 18.

On the lower part of the interior surface of the rear wall 11 there is provided three ribs or spacers 1921. Spacer 19 is adjacent side wall 12. Spacer 21 is adjacent side wall 13 and spacer 20 is midway between spacers 19 and 21. The purpose of these spacers will be described hereinafter.

Along the topmost edge of the side 13 there is a lug or rib 22. The rib 22 extends the full width of the side 13 and has a triangular cross section. The rib 22 serves as a catch to maintain the two parts of the water inlet in assembly, as will be described hereinafter.

The second part of the water inlet unit of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 4 through 7. This second part is generally indicated by the index numeral 23. The part 23 comprises an upper portion and a lower portion separated by a horizontal member 24 having a four-sided downwardly depending skirt 24a-24d. As can most readily be seen in FIG. 6, the skirt 24a-24b is rectangular in cross section and is adapted to be received in the open top end of the first part 9. The horizontal element 24 serves as a closure member for the open top end of the part 9 and has a hook-like latch 25 adapted to cooperate with the latch 22 of part 9 to hold the first and second parts in assembly.

The upper portion of part 23 comprises an inlet nozzle 26 leading to an upper chamber 27; The upper chamber 27 is defined by side walls 27a-27d and top 27e. It will be noted that the side walls 27a through 27d extend downwardly to the horizontal member 24, with side walls 270 and 270 extending to the bottom edge of the skirt 24a-24d, forming partitions therein. The upper chamber 27 terminates at a shoulder 28 formed in side walls 270, 27c and 27d. The purpose of this shoulder will be described hereinafter. Those portions of the side walls 27a-27d extending below the shoulder 28 define a passage 29 passing through the horizontal member 24 and leading from the upper chamber 27 to the lower chamber 9a formed by the part 9 of FIGS. 2 and 3.

A side chamber, generally indicated at 30, is formed adjacent side wall 270. The chamber 30 is defined by side wall 270, side walls 30a30c and top wall 30d. The chamber 30 has an opening at its bottom through the horizontal member 24, so that it communicates with the lower chamber 9a. As is most clearly seen in FIGS. 5-7, the wall 30b of side chamber has a rectangular, vertically oriented opening 31 therein at least one inch high. Thus, the chamber 30 is open to the atmosphere. Similarly, there is a vertically oriented, rectangular opening 32 in side wall 27c, between passage 29 and side chamber 30. The opening 32 extends from the point where the top 30d of side chamber 30 joins side wall 27c, to the bottom of side wall 27c.

From the above it will be evident that an invariable, one inch air gap is provided by openings 31 and 32 and chamber 30. Side walls 270 and 30b serve as baffles for the air gap.

Near the top of upper chamber 27, on the exterior of side wall 27b there may be located a lug 33. The lug 33 is illustrated as being a hollow, annular lug. This lug is adapted to maintain the upper portion of the water inlet unit appropriately spaced from the side 3 of the vat 1 when the water inlet unit is installed thereon.

As an integral part of skirt portion 240 there is a downwardly depending element 34, hereinafter referred to as the slide. The slide 34 has an upper portion 34a which slopes downwardly and inwardly, and a lower portion 34b which is substantially vertical. The portion 34a has notches 35 and 36 in its side edges, the purpose of which will be described hereinafter.

The front surface of the portion 34b of the slide has a forwardly extending lug 37 thereon being substantially W-shapecl. The lug 37 has vertical legs 37a and 37b joined by an arcuate portion 370. The upper part of lug portion 37c has a compound curved surface, generally indicated at 38. As can be clearly seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, the surface 38 not only curves from side to side but also upwardly and forwardly. As will be described hereinafter, the lug 37 not only serves as a spacing means, but also as a guide for the water entering outlet 18 (FIG. 3).

At the juncture of upper chamber 27 and passage 29, defined by shoulder 28, there is located a flow guide generally indicated at 39 in FIGS. 4, 5 and 8-10. As will be described hereinafter, the purpose of the flow guide is to remove turbulence from the water as it passes from upper chamber 27 to passage 29.

Turning to FIGS. 8-10, it will be noted that the flow guide comprises an element having sides walls 40 and 41 and a rear wall 42. The rear wall, as is most clearly seen in FIGS. 3 and 9, slopes downwardly and inwardly and has, formed in the exterior surface thereof, a pocket 43.

A pair of dividers 44 and 45 extend from the rear wall 42. These dividers have substantially the same configuration as side walls so and 41 and cooperate with the side walls to form three inwardly and downwardly sloping channels generally indicated at 46-48. Finally, the flow guide is provided with a downwardly depending tab 49 to aid in locating it during assembly of the water inlet unit.

In assembly, the flow guide 39 is inserted upwardly into passage 29 until the upper surfaces of its sides 40 and 41 and its rear wall 42 contact the shoulder 28. It will be noted that side wall 27d adjacent the rear wall 42of the flow guide is thickened, as at 27f. The portion 27f is heated and deformed inwardly into the pocket 43 of the flow guide, so that the flow guide is locked in position with a snap fit.

FIGS. ill and 12 illustrate the water inlet unit of the present invention in final assembly. As noted above, the horizontal portion 24 of part 23 forms a closure for the upper open end 15 of part 9, with the skirt 24a-24d received within the part 9. Hook-shaped latch element 25 is engaged with latch element 22.

The slide 34 is located within the lower chamber 9a formed by element 9. Lug 37 on the portion 34b of the slide maintains the slide in proper spaced position from front wall 10 of the lower chamber 9a. Similarly, the interior lugs lift-20 on the inner surface of rear wall 11 of lower chamber 9a (see FIGS. 2 and 3) maintain the slide in proper spaced position with respect to the wall 1 1. It will be noted that the bottom edge of portion 34b of the slide is spaced from the curved bottom 14 of lower chamber 9a. Finally, the compound curved surface 38 of lug 37 on the slide 341 is located opposite and leads directly to opening 16 in and outlet 18 on the front wall 10 of lower chamber 9a.

The installation and operation of the water inlet unit of the present invention may be described as follows. Parts 9 and 23 are first assembled as described above. The outlet 18 of the water inlet unit 7 is provided with a gasket 51 (see FIG. I). The gasket 51 is adapted to lie between the shoulder 17 surrounding the outlet 18 and that portion of the vat side wall 3 surrounding the opening 6 therein. The upper potion of the water inlet unit 7 is then inserted beneath a simple strap-like bracket 50 (see FIG. 1) welded or otherwise affixed to the exterior surface of the vat side wall 3. The water inlet unit is then rocked forwardly so that its outlet 18 is inserted through the perforation 6 in the vat side wall 3, with the gasket making a water tight seal thereabout. That portion of the outlet 18 which extends into the vat l is engaged by a nut 52 (see FIG. I) made of plastic or other suitable material.

The engagement of the outlet 18 in the perforation 6 in the vat side, the strap-like bracket 50 and the spacing lug 33 on the water inlet unit itself will insure that the unit 7 is firmly and rigidly affixed to the vat. It will be readily understood by one skilled in the art that servicing of the unit 7 has been greatly simplified since it is only necessary to remove nut 52 in order to disengage the unit from the vat side wall. The nozzle inlet 26 of the unit 7 may be connected to a water valve (not shown) through the simple agency of the flexible conduit 3 (see FIG. 1) and clamps 53 and 54.

The operation of the unit may be described as follows. When a signal from the dishwasher timer opens the water valve, water will enter the upper chamber 27 of the unit via conduit 8 and nozzle inlet 26. Due to the velocity of the water and the required sudden change of direction, the water in the upper chamber 27 will be turbulent, as indicated by the arrows in FIGS. 11 and 12. Water from the upper chamber 27 will enter the passage 29, having passed through the channels 46-48 of the flow guide 39. The flow guide changes the turbulent flow of the water to a linear flow (as indicated by the arrows). As the water enters the lower chamber 9a formed by the part 9, it will flow smoothly along the sloping surface of slide 34 to the bottom of the lower chamber. Since the slide portion 34b does not extend to the bottom of the lower chamber, the water may flow beneath the bottom edge of slide portion 34b and along the curved bottom of the lower chamber 9a toward the opening 16 and the outlet 18. The general configuration of the lug 37 on the slide portion 34b, together with the compound curved surface 38 will guide the water to the opening 16 and outlet 18 without materially affecting its linear flow.

Since the curved bottom M of the lower chamber and the bottom edge of the portion 34b of the slide extend below the opening 16 and outlet 18, water will always be present there forming a water trap effective as a suds and steam barrier. The notches 35 and 36 in the portion 34a of the slide 34 serve as pressure relief or overflow wiers for any water which might be forced upwardly past lug 37 and into the space between wall 10 and slide 34 (see FIG. I ll Finally, the one inch opening 31 and the side chamber 30 will, by virtue of their communication with the lower chamber 9a through the horizontal element 24 and their communication with the passage 29 through the opening 32, insure an adequate and invariable air gap, as required by Plumbing Codes.

Modification may be made in the invention without departing from the spirit of it. As indicated above, for example, the flow guide 39 may be omitted. The embodiment illustrated in the Figures has performed satisfactorily without the flow guide, although the flow of water is considerably improved thereby. In instances where the inlet nozzle 26 can be so located as to preclude an abrupt change of direction of the water in the upper chamber 27, the flow guide may not be necessary.

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

l. A water inlet unit for the vat of an appliance or the like comprising an upper chamber, a lower chamber and a passage therebetween, an inlet nozzle communicating with said upper chamber, an air gap in communication with said passage and said lower chamber, said lower chamber having an outlet configured to extend through an opening in a wall of said vat, flow means within said lower chamber to assure smooth and bubble free flow of water therethrough, said lower chamber and said flow means being configured to provide a water trap effective against suds and steam from said vat, said flow means comprising a partition extending downwardly within said lower chamber to a position below said outlet, lug means on said partition adjacent said outlet, said lug means being configured to guide water passing through said lower chamber to said outlet.

2. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein said inlet unit comprises a molded plastic structure.

3. The structure claimed in claim 2 wherein said air gap is formed as a part of said molded plastic structure.

4. The structure claimed in claim 1 including a flow guide at the juncture of said upper chamber and said passage to remove turbulence from the water flowing therethrough.

5. The structure claimed in claim 4 wherein said flow guide comprises an element providing a plurality of downwardly sloping channels for said water at said juncture of said upper chamber and said passage.

6. The structure claimed in claim 1 wherein said water inlet unit comprises a two part structure, a first of said parts comprising said lower chamber, said lower chamber comprising a front wall, a rear wall, side walls, a bottom and an open top, said outlet being located in said front wall near said bottom, the second part of said structure comprising said upper chamber, said inlet, said passage, said one inch air gap and said flow means, means for affixing said second part to said open top of said first part with said flow means located within said lower chamber.

7. The structure claimed in claim 6 wherein said first and second parts each comprise a molded plastic structure, said air gap comprising an integral part of said molded plastic second part.

8. The structure claimed in claim 6 wherein said flow means partition extends from one of said side walls to the other of said side walls, said partition having a first surface portion sloping downwardly and rearwardly from a position adjacent the upper portion of said front wall of said lower chamber, said partition having a second portion extending downwardly from said first portion thereof to a position below said outlet, the bottom edge of said partition being spaced from said bottom of said lower chamber, said second portion of said partition having said lug thereon, said lug extending to said front wall adjacent said outlet, said lug being configured to guide water passing through said lower chamber and beneath said bottom edge of said partition to said outlet.

9. The structure claimed in claim 8 wherein said lower chamber bottom is arcuate and curves from said rear wall to said front wall, said arcuate bottom and said bottom edge of said partition comprising said water trap.

10. The structure claimed in claim 6 including a flow guide affixed within said second part at the juncture of said upper chamber and said passage, said flow guide providing a plurality of downwardly sloping channels to remove turbulence from water as it flows from said upper chamber to said passage.

11. The structure claimed in claim 6 wherein said outlet comprises a perforation in said front wall near said bottom, a shoulder on the exterior surface of said front wall surrounding said perforation, a hollow cylindrical extension on to said shoulder and communicating with said perforation in said front wall, said extension being confi ,ured to pass through said opening in said vat wall, an fastening means to engage said ex ension within said vat.

12. The structure claimed in claim 11 wherein said extension is externally threaded, said fastening means comprising a nut to engage said external threads.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1909336 *25 Jun 192916 May 1933Wilmot Castle CoWater filler for sterilizers
US2250974 *2 Aug 194029 Jul 1941Edison General Elec ApplianceWashing apparatus
US2643665 *24 Sep 194930 Jun 1953Gen ElectricWater inlet system for automatic washing machines
US3398765 *14 Jan 196427 Aug 1968Hitachi LtdBent pipe way having improved flow characteristics
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4657036 *12 Dec 198314 Apr 1987Design & Manufacturing CorporationCombination water inlet, vent stack, blower and blower housing assembly for an automatic dishwasher
US5251939 *19 Jul 199112 Oct 1993Maytag CorporationWater injector system and method for using same
US5878603 *19 Mar 19989 Mar 1999General Electric CompanyQuiet water fill system
US634973128 Feb 200026 Feb 2002Whirlpool CorporationWater inlet system for dishwasher
US8201569 *29 Jan 200919 Jun 2012Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Fluid inlet for a dishwasher
US9247858 *14 Jun 20122 Feb 2016Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Fluid inlet for a dishwasher
US944570522 Sep 201120 Sep 2016Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Fluid inlet for controlled filling of a dishwasher
US20100186785 *29 Jan 200929 Jul 2010Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Fluid inlet for a dishwasher
US20110232701 *6 Jun 201129 Sep 2011Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Mastic-less dishwasher providing increasing energy efficiency and including a recyclable and reclaimable tub
US20120247521 *14 Jun 20124 Oct 2012Electrolux Home Products, Inc.Fluid inlet for a dishwasher
EP1287779A2 *26 Jul 20025 Mar 2003Electrolux Home Products Corporation N.V.Device in the water inlet of a household appliance
EP1287779A3 *26 Jul 200218 Oct 2006Electrolux Home Products Corporation N.V.Device in the water inlet of a household appliance
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/216.1, 68/207, 137/247.41, 138/39, 134/186
International ClassificationA47L15/42
Cooperative ClassificationA47L15/4217
European ClassificationA47L15/42C2
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
19 Jan 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING CORPORATION
Effective date: 19871130
Owner name: WHITE CONSOLIDATED INDUSTRIES, INC., A DE. CORP.
19 Jan 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: WHITE CONSOLIDATED INDUSTRIES, INC., A DE. CORP.
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004825/0106
Effective date: 19871130
Owner name: WHITE CONSOLIDATED INDUSTRIES, INC., A DE. CORP.,O
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:DESIGN AND MANUFACTURING CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004825/0106