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METHOD OF PREVENTING WATER DAMAGE IN APPLIANCES

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191060D
Publication Date: 2009-Dec-14
Document File: 5 page(s) / 645K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention relates to a system that detects and captures leaks. The system of the present invention has a reservoir that captures water from leaks regardless of the leak origin, has a mechanism that detects a leak condition, and automatically shuts off the water supply.

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Method of preventing water damage in appliances

Background

The present invention relates generally appliances, and more particularly to a system that detects and captures leaks in appliances.

Leaks in appliance, such as dishwashers, washing machines, or refrigerators, may cause damage to the appliance.  If the liquid from the leaks flood outside of the appliance, more damages may also be done to its surrounding area.  If electricity, water, or gas supply has not been properly shut-off when a leak occurs, the condition may be hazardous.

Existing designs install one or multiple sensors to detect leaks. The sensors are mounted at various locations where the leak origins are anticipated. The sensors need electrical power to operate, and would not work if the appliances is disconnected from a power source.  However, leaks would still occur in some appliances even if the appliances are disconnected from the power source.  This is particularly inconvenient when a user is out and town and shuts down various appliances. Existing designs may also incorporate mechanisms to shut off water, gas, or electricity supply when a leak is detected, but using multiple sensors may make the detection of leaks too sensitive and cause nuisance trips.  Using multiple sensors is also not cost-effective because it increases both production cost and maintenance cost.

It would be desirable to have a system in an appliance that can accurately detect and capture leaks.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figures 1(a)-(c) are perspective views of an appliance in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 2 is a sectional view of an appliance in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention with a Water And Gas Shut-off (WAGS) valve.

 

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a system that detects and captures leaks.  The system has a reservoir that captures water from leaks regardless of the leak origin, has a mechanism that detects a leak condition, and automatically shuts off the water supply.

In one embodiment, the present invention channels and collects the water from all leak points into a common location, such as a reservoir.  As shown in Figures 1(a)-(c), flanges or other desired geometries...