Patents Represented by Attorney Thomas E. Turcotte
  • Patent number: 5269601
    Abstract: Plaques are formed on the sidewalls of the liner in a refrigerator to reduce thermally induced bowing of the cabinet. The plaques may consist of indentations in the liner, which in a preferred form are rectangular, or arrays of multiplanar indentations. The plaques provide increased surface area in the liner to permit thermal expansion without bowing, and also increase the structural rigidity of the liner to resist bowing. Thermal bowing is encountered where there are long unsupported wall surfaces and high temperature gradients across the wall. Therefore the plaques are very effective in the freezer compartment of a side-by-side refrigerator, where bowing can be severe in the absence of the disclosed corrective measure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 1992
    Date of Patent: December 14, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen G. Williams, David L. Schwartz
  • Patent number: 5268546
    Abstract: A microwave oven having browning means which includes a metal browning plate (10), the underside of which is provided with a layer (11) of a ferrite material. Via an input opening (6) for supplying microwaves to the oven cavity, polarized microwaves are propagated into a space provided under the browning plate. The browning plate is preferably of a circular shape and fitted to be carried by a rotating bottom plate (8) in the microwave oven.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1991
    Date of Patent: December 7, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool International B.V.
    Inventor: Lars-Erik Berg
  • Patent number: 5261248
    Abstract: An ice making apparatus includes a mold in which water is frozen to form an ice body. Also included are an electric motor and an ejector blade for ejecting the ice body from the mold. An ice body collecting bin located subjacent the ice making apparatus collects ice ejected from the mold. A sensing or bail arm extends downwardly into the collecting bin to sense the level of the ice bodies in the bin. The sensing arm is pivotally mounted to the ice maker, and includes a free end which is supported by a spacer mounted to the ice maker. The spacer positions the free end away from the path between the mold and the bin, thereby preventing blockage of ice bodies by the free end. The ice maker includes structure for suspending operation of the ice maker in the event that the sensing arm is obstructed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 15, 1992
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: James L. Willis, Tariq A. Diab
  • Patent number: 5261247
    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 set of fuzzy logic rules determines that one of the other evaporators should be operated or that the operation of the evaporators should be terminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 9, 1993
    Date of Patent: November 16, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Timothy M. Knezic, Steven J. Kuehl
  • Patent number: 5259217
    Abstract: A clothes washing machine comprising a device for determining the weight of a clothes load placed in the washing machine drum, a microprocessor circuit control and memory for controlling the operation of the motor for the washing machine such as to cause the drum to spin; for measuring the quantity of water remaining in the clothes load after spinning; for determining the type of constituent fabric of the clothes load, based on the quantity of water remaining in the clothes; and for operating the washing machine in accordance with the determined fabric type.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 1991
    Date of Patent: November 9, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool International B.V.
    Inventors: Claudio Civanelli, Raffaele Paganini
  • Patent number: 5255531
    Abstract: A mullion assembly includes a mullion rail and hot gas tube for preventing condensation on the mullion of a refrigerator/freezer. The mullion rail is rollformed of steel and includes complementary channels for retaining refrigerator and freezer liners. One of the channels includes an additional formed portion to accept and positively retain a hot gas tube in surface contact with a rear surface of a front wall of the mullion rail to provide acceptable heat transfer from the tube to the steel along the entire length of the mullion rail.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 5, 1993
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Stephen G. Williams, Michael W. Greenwood
  • Patent number: 5255844
    Abstract: A water temperature control system for achieving one of a plurality of wash water temperatures for a washing machine having a hot water valve, a cold water valve and an inlet conduit for carrying a combined supply of water from the hot and cold water valves to a wash bath. If a WARM FILL option is selected by the user, the cold water valve is continuously energized thereby maintaining the valve in an open condition and a normally closed temperature responsive switch is connected in series with the hot water valve. The normally closed temperature responsive switch has a predetermined temperature set point and is located on the inlet conduit. The normally closed temperature responsive switch operates to cycle the hot water valve on and off to control the inlet wash water temperature at or below the first preselected set point. If a HOT FILL option is selected, the hot water valve is continuously energized and a normally open temperature responsive switch is connected in series with the cold water valve.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: James C. Miller, David A. Przygocki, Lori S. Miller
  • Patent number: 5255530
    Abstract: A control for a refrigerator having a freezer compartment, a fresh food compartment, and a refrigeration system having an evaporator disposed within the freezer compartment, a condenser, and a compressor for compressing the refrigerant in the system. The refrigerator includes a variable speed motor to drive the compressor, a variable speed condenser fan for moving air over the condenser, and a variable speed evaporator fan for circulating air over the evaporator and to the freezer compartment and fresh food compartment. Means are provided for responding to the temperature within the fresh food compartment for varying the speed of the evaporator fan such that the temperature of the fresh food compartment is controlled. Means are provided for responding to the temperature within the freezer compartment for varying the speed of the compressor motor and the condenser fan such that the temperature of the freezer compartment is controlled.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 9, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 26, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Donald E. Janke
  • Patent number: 5254243
    Abstract: An electric control for a water conditioning system includes a solenoid valve which controls water inlet into the system and which is controlled by a flow switch that senses product water flow from a water faucet or other outlet. The flow switch also energizes an indicator lamp for indicating processing of water. The flow switch also controls a second solenoid valve which allows water flow into the pressure or "squeeze" side of a bladder type product water storage tank. When product water flow occurs, the second solenoid valve opens to permit supply water to flow therein, providing additional pressure to the product water side of the storage tank. Accordingly, product water flow is effected from the storage tank to the product water outlet. When a predetermined low pressure is sensed, a pressure switch located on the product water side of the storage tank opens the first solenoid valve to supply water to the system for processing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 19, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Keith E. Carr, Edward C. Peterson
  • Patent number: 5251455
    Abstract: A refrigeration appliance having at least two refrigeration compartments, each compartment having its own access door, is provided wherein there is a first evaporator for the first compartment the first evaporator operating at a first pressure level and a second evaporator for the second compartment, the second evaporator operating at a pressure level higher than the first pressure level. There is a control device for directing refrigerant to a selected one of the evaporators from a condenser and for preventing a flow of refrigerant into the first evaporator when refrigerant is being directed into the second evaporator to cool the second compartment. Around the first compartment is placed insulation having a higher thermal resistance than that placed around the second compartment since the first compartment is kept at a lower temperature that the second compartment. A phase change material may be used in association with one or both of the evaporators.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 12, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Nihat O. Cur, Steven J. Kuehl, Richard A. Sunshine
  • Patent number: 5249441
    Abstract: In an automatic washer including a perforate wash basket, valves are provided which restrict the fluid flow through the perforations during portions of the wash cycle when the basket is stationary or slowly rotating or oscillating, but permit extraction and fluid flow therethrough during higher spin speeds. These valves may take the form of individual elastomeric sheet-like components which are attached around the basket, or they may be grouped into functional units occupying larger areas, such as bands or sheets of elastomeric material. The valve openings are formed as slits or cuts in the elastomeric material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: October 5, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Jim J. Pastryk, Sheryl L. Farrington, John W. Euler, Devinder Singh
  • Patent number: 5248196
    Abstract: A refrigeration apparatus cabinet has an outer shell and an inner liner to define an insulation space therebetween. There is an opening through a wall of the liner and opening into the insulation space. An opening through a wall of the shell opens into the insulation space. A wiring harness is provided in the insulation space. The wiring harness comprises a pair of electrical plug-in connectors and a plurality of conductors extending therebetween, one connector being received in the liner wall opening and the other connector being received in the shell wall opening. Foamed-in-place insulation is provided in the insulation space, the connectors sealing the liner wall opening and the shell wall opening to prevent leakage of the foamed-in-place insulation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 28, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Shelby A. Lynn, Edward L. Ryan, III, Donald R. Howerton, Lori A. Cook
  • Patent number: 5247146
    Abstract: This invention provides a method and apparatus for determining the weight of foods contained in a microwave oven and for controlling their treatment in accordance with that weight. The apparatus determines the weight by measuring the heating of a body of microwave-sensitive material disposed in the chamber during a stage of operation of the magnetron at a predetermined power for a predetermined time, wherein the heating of the body disposed on a wall of the cooking chamber which is not screened by the foods is measured by comparing the variation in the electrical characteristics of components disposed external to the chamber. The electrical components are disposed in a position corresponding with the body and in a position corresponding with a part of the wall which is not associated with the body, such that ambient temperature variations in the body are compensated for by corresponding temperature variations in the wall not associated with the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1991
    Date of Patent: September 21, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool International B.V.
    Inventors: Claudio Civanelli, Ivano Frattini, Carlo Montanari
  • Patent number: 5237142
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for determining the weight of foods contained in a microwave oven and for controlling their treatment in accordance with that weight. The apparatus determines the weight by measuring the heating of a body of microwave-sensitive material disposed in the chamber and not shielded by the food during a stage of operation of the magnetron at a predetermined power for a predetermined time, wherein the heating of the body disposed in the cooking chamber is measured. Thereafter, cold is administered to the body so as to return its temperature to a constant value and maintain it thereat until another weight determination is to be made. The method is implemented by an apparatus including a body constructed of microwave-sensitive material positioned on a wall of the cooking chamber, a temperature sensor for sensing the rise in temperature of the material when exposed to microwave energy, and a cold generator for returning the temperature of the material to a constant temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool International B.V.
    Inventors: Enzo Cigarini, Claudio Civanelli, Mario Fioroli
  • Patent number: 5237139
    Abstract: This invention provides a microwave oven that is supplied with microwave energy through upper and lower feed openings in a side wall of the cavity. A wave guide is provided to feed those openings and is dimensioned to provide a resonance condition in the wave guide and a selected quality factor (Q-value) which is high in comparison with the Q-value of the oven cavity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 1991
    Date of Patent: August 17, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool International B.V.
    Inventors: Lars-Erik Berg, Per O. G. Risman
  • Patent number: 5233718
    Abstract: The present invention contemplates a rinse process which can be used with any wash cycle, but which has particular utility following a wash cycle have a highly concentrated detergent solution.The method of rinsing fabric provided by the present invention is useful in a washer having a wash chamber rotatable about a horizontal axis. The steps undertaken in the method begin with loading fabric to be washed into the wash chamber of the washer. The fabric is then washed in a detergent solution while rotating the wash chamber about its horizontal axis for a first period of time. Next the detergent solution is drained from the wash chamber. The fabric is then rinsed by adding water to the wash chamber while spinning the wash chamber at a speed to effect less than a one gravity centrifugal force on the fabric such that the fabric will tumble within the wash chamber as it spins. Finally, the wash chamber is drained of the rinse water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 10, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Anthony H. Hardaway, Mark B. Kovich, Sheryl L. Farrington, Jim J. Pastryk, Jeanne C. Van Newenhizen, John W. Euler
  • Patent number: 5231847
    Abstract: A refrigeration appliance is provided having at least two refrigeration compartments, each compartment having its own access door. The appliance includes a single evaporator located in a plenum which is selectively in communication with each of the compartments, a single compressor, preferably run by a variable speed motor, and a refrigerant circuit including a series of conduits for providing a flow of refrigerant to the evaporator and compressor. A first restriction device is provided in the conduit connecting the compressor with the evaporator, the restriction device operating at a first pressure level. A second restriction device is also provided in the conduit connecting the compressor with the evaporator, preferably in parallel with the first restriction device, the second restriction device operating at a pressure level higher than the first pressure level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 14, 1992
    Date of Patent: August 3, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Nihat O. Cur, Steven J. Kuehl, Douglas D. LeClear, Kenneth P. Chen
  • Patent number: 5228212
    Abstract: A method for controlling the length of a cycle for drying clothes contained in the drum of a clothes dryer machine, comprising measuring the quantity of water released by the clothes within a predetermined time during their drying, a signal being provided for stopping the machine if the measurement obtained is less than a predetermined value. The method includes measuring the quantity of water released from the clothes during their drying and employs apparatus to generate signals based on this measurement, the signals being fed to a control unit which controls air circulation through the drum and heating of the circulated air, the control unit monitoring the measured water released quantity, and acting to terminate the drying cycle when the variation has a negative gradient and when the signals correspond to a measured water quantity which is constant with time.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool International B.V.
    Inventors: Daniele Turetta, Claudio Civanelli
  • Patent number: 5219103
    Abstract: An apparatus for the storage and dispensing of particulate coffee in a domestic refrigerator comprising a sealed bin for preserving the freshness of the particulate coffee and a manually operated transfer mechanism for dispensing the coffee into a container for the preparation of coffee beverages. The transfer mechanism includes a rotary auger and a pick-up wheel disposed within the bin and operatively connected to a manual crank on the front of the bin. The auger feeds the coffee to the pick-up wheel, which deposits the coffee into a graduated chute from which the user may dispense the coffee to a suitable container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 1991
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventor: Dwight A. Carper
  • Patent number: 5219370
    Abstract: An improved wash process is provided wherein during a low speed spin portion of the wash process, the wash chamber or wash basket is rotated about its horizontal axis at a spin speed to effect less than a one gravity centrifugal force on the fabric such that the fabric will tumble in the wash chamber. During this tumbling action a recirculating spray of highly concentrated detergent solution, preferably in the range of at least 0.5% to 12% by weight is directed onto the fabric for a first period of time. After the first period of time, the detergent solution is diluted somewhat, although the concentration remains above a normal concentration of 0.06 to .28%. The wash chamber will again be spun to effect less than a one gravity centrifugal force on the fabric such that the fabric will tumble in the wash chamber. The lesser concentrated detergent solution will then be recirculated on to the fabric during a second time period.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 1992
    Date of Patent: June 15, 1993
    Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation
    Inventors: Sheryl L. Farrington, John W. Euler, Mark B. Kovich, Jim J. Pastryk, Anthony H. Hardaway