Patents Represented by Attorney Thomas E. Turcotte
  • Patent number: 5335988
    Abstract: A refrigeration apparatus cabinet has an outer shell and an inner liner to define an insulation space therebetween. The shell has a deck including an enlarged opening. A conduit extends downwardly along a rear wall of the liner, with a distal end extending through the deck opening. A foil access cover is adhered to the deck about the opening to cover the opening, with the conduit extending outwardly from the space. A body of foamed-in-place insulation is provided in the space, with the access cover sealing the deck opening to prevent leakage of the foamed-in-place insulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 3, 1993
    Date of Patent: August 9, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Shelby A. Lynn, Donald R. Howerton
  • Patent number: 5331789
    Abstract: A vacuum processing machine and method are provided for use in assembling a vacuum insulation panel from a gas impermeable bag and a gas porous pouch filled with a microporous powder. The machine has a housing which is sealable in an air tight manner. A pair of substantially parallel plates are positioned within said housing. The housing is openable to receive the bag between the facing front sides of the plates. A vacuum source communicates with an interior of said housing to evacuate gases from said bag and pouch. Heat sealing apparatus are positioned within the housing for sealing an edge of said bag after evacuation of said gases from said bag and pouch. A nozzle for injecting a trace amount of helium at a pressure preferably below 1 mm Hg into the bag after evacuation of the gases and before sealing of the bag may be provided if desired.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 26, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Nihat O. Cur, Richard W. Kruck
  • Patent number: 5327703
    Abstract: A method for assembling a vacuum insulation panel is provided which includes the steps of: loading a quantity of microporous powder into a gas permeable pouch; pressing the pouch into a desired form; sealing the pouch; heating the powder to a temperature elevated above standard room temperature; inserting the pouch into a gas impermeable bag while the pouch and powder remain at the elevated temperature; evacuating gases from the powder pouch while it is at the elevated temperature; evacuating gases from the bag; and sealing the gas evacuated bag with the gas evacuated pouch therein to form a vacuum insulation panel. The heating of the powder may occur only just before insertion of the pouch into the bag, or may occur both before the powder is loaded into the pouch as well as just before insertion of the pouch into the bag. Further, a trace amount of Helium (at a pressure of approximately 1 mm Hg) may be put into the bag before it is sealed in order to permit testing of the sealed panel for leaks.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 12, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Nihat O. Cur, Richard W. Kruck, David B. Kirby
  • Patent number: 5322366
    Abstract: A refrigerator door includes an inner door panel having parallel, vertical dikes and horizontal shelves extending between the dikes. A door shelf support system includes a shelf trim piece mountable on the inner door panel. The trim piece includes end walls having openings receiving projections extending sidewardly from the dikes to provide a snap-fit connection without openings extending through the dikes. The trim piece can be a one-piece structure having a channel at a bottom edge for receiving a front edge of the shelf to provide a closed shelf arrangement, or can have a shorter front wall to provide an open shelf arrangement with the trim piece wall spaced above the door shelf.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 21, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: John R. Revlett, Donna J. Heacock, Patrick A. Braun, Jeffrey A. DeBoer
  • Patent number: 5319942
    Abstract: An automatic control for an air conditioner having a compressor motor and a fan motor and a method for its operation are provided. While the control operates both motors to cool an enclosed space, a temperature indicative of the air temperature in the space is sensed and compared with a first preselected temperature value. When the sensed temperature is no longer greater than the preselected temperature, operation of the compressor motor is terminated. Thereafter the fan motor is operated for a first preselected time period. During the first time period, a currently sensed temperature indicative of the air temperature in the space is compared with a second preselected temperature value. When the sensed temperature is no longer less than the second preselected temperature during the first time period, operation of the compressor motor is resumed and the process described above with respect to cooling the space is repeated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: John K. Paustian, Patrick J. Glotzbach, Larry J. Manson
  • Patent number: 5321229
    Abstract: A cooking appliance or an electronic control for a cooking appliance or an electronic control for a cooking appliance and method of controlling the same includes a remote control unit having a built-in temperature sensor, positional switch and low-battery detection circuit is in two-way intermittent wireless communication with the appliance control unit. The appliance control unit includes a switch means for controlling the heating elements of the cooking appliance wherein the switch means for each heating element includes two power switches connected in series and coupled with a redundancy detection circuit for the detection of a failure of one of the two power switches. Two-way communication between the two control units of the present invention is constantly monitored to ensure proper operation of the cooking appliance and to provide a mechanism to report errors to the user or to shut down the cooking appliance, as appropriate, soon after an error is detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: June 14, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Ronald W. Holling, Jerome D. Huener, Larry J. Manson
  • Patent number: 5315838
    Abstract: A filter monitor for indicating the condition of an air filter in a room air conditioner to determine whether the filter is clogged. The filter monitor assembly includes a shell mounted on the front of the air conditioner, with an air pressure equalization passage permitting air flow through the shell when a clogged air filter creates a negative air pressure inside the air conditioner housing. A signal flag within the shell is normally retracted by the force of gravity, but is visibly extended outside the shell by the pressure-induced air flow through the shell, indicating that the air filter is clogged.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 16, 1993
    Date of Patent: May 31, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Christopher M. Thompson
  • Patent number: 5314044
    Abstract: A brake band retainer mechanism for an automatic washer is provided which ensures that the brake band will be held away from the brake drum when the brake is in the relaxed position, yet will be held close to the drum for ready engagement. A support frame for the brake assembly has four legs, one of the legs pivotally carrying a bracket to which the band is attached, two opposite legs have a flange thereon providing radial and vertical support for the band in its relaxed position, and a fourth, intermediate leg carrying a resilient member which presses against an outer surface of the band to bias the band against the support flange surfaces when the band is relaxed. The resilient member is held on the fourth leg without additional fasteners.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 24, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Brenner M. Sharp
  • Patent number: 5312138
    Abstract: A drain hose assembly for an automatic washer comprising a flexible corrugated plastic hose having an end inter-connectable with the automatic washer and a second barbed connection end insertable into a tubular elastomeric connection member such that a rotatable sealable connection is provided between the barbed connection end and the tubular elastomeric connection member. A flexible corrugated plastic extension member may be provided having the tubular elastomeric connection member integrally molded onto one end. The extension member may have, at the end opposite the elastomer connection member, a barbed connection end for further interconnections. The extension member may therefore, be sealably and rotatably connected to the drain hose for adding length. An elastomeric tubular nozzle formed into an approximate 180.degree. arc and having an enlarged end including the formed elastomeric connection member may be provided for providing a discharge end to the drain hose assembly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: May 17, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: John L. Patera, Cindy K. Williams, Lawrence N. Mears
  • Patent number: 5305485
    Abstract: An automatic washing machine having an automatic liquid level control system including an ultrasonic transmitting and receiving arrangement. The automatic washer includes a vertical axis tub disposed within a cabinet and further having a rotatable perforate wash basket disposed within the tub for receiving a load of clothes and a quantity of washing liquid. The cabinet includes an openable lid disposed above the tub and the wash basket. A transducer is provided, mounted in the cabinet lid, for operating in a first mode as a transmitter for transmitting a sonic pulse into the wash basket. The transducer operates in a second mode as a receiver for generating an electronic signal responsive to receipt of a sonic echo pulse from the surface of the load of clothes disposed within the wash basket. The height of the load of clothes may then be determined in accordance with the elapsed time between transmission of the sonic pulse and reception of the corresponding sonic echo pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 4, 1993
    Date of Patent: April 26, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Edward H. Getz, R. Bruce Sherer
  • Patent number: 5297403
    Abstract: An automatic washing machine having a imperforate stationery tub and further having a rotatable plastic wash basket, for receiving a clothes load, disposed within the tub. The rotatable plastic wash basket includes a cylindrical outer wall defining a vertical axis and having an upper end open for receiving the clothes load. A base integral with the cylindrical outerwall is provided for forming a bottom of the rotatable basket. A hub member is positioned centrally in the base and is drivingly connectable with a drive shaft for rotating said rotatable wash basket. The base further includes an annular cavity, formed within the base, surrounding the hub member. The annular cavity has a substantially triangular radial cross-section such that the base comprises walls which define the annular cavity and form a triangular truss optimally configured for providing strength and rigidity to the wash basket base.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 1992
    Date of Patent: March 29, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Eric K. Farrington, Brenner M. Sharp
  • Patent number: 5281956
    Abstract: A control for a clothes dryer with an induction drive motor and an electric resistance heater element. A single sense winding is threaded through sensors monitoring drive motor current and heater current, generating an output voltage each time the alternating motor or heater current passes through a zero-crossing. The control monitors the ON/OFF condition of the heater and samples the lagging phase angle of the motor current, and provides an improved system of detecting when the clothes load is dry. The control provides a clothes cool-down period with controlled moisture regain as per the user dryness selection. Numerous heater related diagnostic conditions are monitored at the start of each cycle, or, throughout each cycle, including: heater ground fault detection; 208 or 240 VAC service voltage identification; heater open/short circuit detection; open door detection; heater box thermostat cycling; and restricted air flow detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 22, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 25, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Larry T. Bashark
  • Patent number: 5280227
    Abstract: An electronic control for a motor which eliminates the motor centrifugal switch and more particularly a control for a domestic refuse compactor which permits the user to control the approximate full trash bag weight and obtain more compaction from a split phase induction drive motor. A ferrite core sensor on the main winding of the drive motor samples the lagging phase angle of the motor main winding current during a compaction stroke. A low force cycle is achieved by terminating the stroke as soon as phase samples fall below a threshold defined at the start of each cycle by a locked motor main winding phase sample acquired prior to starting the motor. A medium force cycle terminates the stroke when compaction forces exceed the main winding breakdown torque.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 26, 1991
    Date of Patent: January 18, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Larry T. Bashark
  • Patent number: 5272884
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for sequentially operating a refrigeration system with multiple evaporators is provided in which only one evaporator is operated at a time and is run until a detected demand for cooling associated with that evaporator is satisfied, or until a predetermined time period has elapsed which corresponds to the normal run time for that evaporator. If the run time expires prior to the demand for cooling being satisfied, and if demand for cooling by another one of the evaporators is present, then operation of the first evaporator is terminated and the other evaporator is operated. Efficiency enhancements are provided such as prematurely initiating operation of a second evaporator at the conclusion of operation of a first evaporator if it appears that a demand for cooling by the second evaporator will occur within a short period of time following termination of operation of the first evaporator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Nihat O. Cur, Steven J. Kuehl, Jatin C. Khanpara, Douglas D. LeClear
  • Patent number: 5272888
    Abstract: An ice storage and delivery system is provided for a refrigeration apparatus including a refrigerated compartment housing an ice making apparatus and a door providing selective access to the compartment and including a dispenser for delivering formed ice bodies. The system includes an ice container assembly in the refrigerated compartment having a container for storing ice bodies and an auger for conveying ice bodies from the container to a downwardly facing discharge opening. A platform rests on a shelf in the compartment below the ice making apparatus. The platform includes support means for supporting the container assembly below the ice making apparatus and an ice chute for delivering ice bodies from the container discharge opening to the dispenser. A drive motor is mounted to the platform and is operatively associated with the wire auger for driving the wire auger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Michael H. Fisher, Brian P. Kelley, Gregory G. Hortin
  • Patent number: 5271251
    Abstract: A vertical axis washer is provided with a rotatable wash basket that has one or more inwardly directed baffles, but no central agitator structure. Surfaces are provided in association with the baffles, which may be in the form of ramps on the bottom wall of the basket, to cause the fabric load within the washer to move up the side of the basket wall and to slide along the baffles in a swirling motion as the basket is accelerated and decelerated during the washing cycle, which causes the fabric to be flexed and rearranged in the basket. This washer construction is particularly suited to be used in conjunction with a concentrated detergent solution wash cycle.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Mark B. Kovich, Jim J. Pastryk, Sheryl L. Farrington, Devinder Singh, John W. Euler, Anthony H. Hardaway, Phalguni S. Roy
  • Patent number: 5269154
    Abstract: A closure is shown for use with an ice dispensing apparatus having an ice chute operatively associated with a discharge opening. The closure includes a door case having a front wall of a size and shape corresponding to the opening and a rearwardly turned perimeter wall connected to the front wall and having an outwardly turned flange. An insulation core is disposed within the perimeter wall rearwardly of the front wall. A gasket engages the opening incident to the closure being in the closed position. A rear wall is provided for substantially covering the opening incident to the closure being in the closed position A resistance heater is positioned in the door case between the front wall and the insulation to prevent sweating of the closure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Christopher G. Schmidt
  • Patent number: 5269160
    Abstract: A self-centering drive system is provided in an automatic washer wherein the input drive shaft and the output agitator shaft are drivingly connected by a planetary gear system. A bearing system is provided for the output drive shaft to allow the output drive shaft to seek the best operating center with respect to the input drive shaft and a surrounding ring gear member. Reduced noise, bearing wear and cost advantages are achieved.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 29, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Douglas E. Wood
  • Patent number: D342781
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 28, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Christopher M. Thompson, James E. Harris
  • Patent number: D348375
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 24, 1992
    Date of Patent: July 5, 1994
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Ned N. Ivanovich