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HINGE SYSTEM AND DOOR END CAPS DESIGN FOR A REFRIGERATOR DOOR

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000191342D
Publication Date: 2009-Dec-30
Document File: 4 page(s) / 140K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The present invention relates to a hinge system and end caps design for a refrigerator door that allows for the passing of bulky water and electrical components from the refrigerator cabinet to the refrigerator door.

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Page 1 of 4

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HINGE SYSTEM AND DOOR END CAPS DESIGN

FOR A REFRIGERATOR DOOR

BACKGROUND

The present invention relates generally to home appliances, and more particularly to refrigerator doors having devices requiring a source of water and electrical power.

Refrigerators with in-door water dispensers are known in which the dispenser is accessible from an exterior of the refrigerator, and is able to selectively dispense chilled liquid water or ice. In order to permit the dispenser to work, an electrical conduit and a water conduit must extend from the refrigerator cabinet to the door. Typically this is done with conduits that are routed along an area close to a hinged side of the pivotally openable door so that the conduits will not be readily visible or exposed when the door is opened. In cases where an electrical wire connector or the water pipe connector is larger than the available opening, it can be difficult to pass the water of electrical components through the hinge pins of the door.

As a result, there exists a need for a convenient means of passing water and electrical components through a refrigerator door end cap.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is an exemplary embodiment of an upper refrigerator end cap in accordance with the present invention.

Figure 2 is a top view of an exemplary embodiment of an upper refrigerator end cap in accordance with the present invention.

Page 2 of 4

236249

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present invention relates to a hinge system and end cap design for a refrigerator door that allows for the passing of bulky water and electrical components from a refrigerator cabinet to a refrigerator door. The features associated with this invention include an end cap and filler block. A recess in a first end cap is joined to a recess in a second, larger end cap, making the overall size of the opening larger. After connectors are passed through the opening, filler block is inserted into the recess in the larger end cap, closing off the opening created by the larger end cap.

Figure 1 is an exemplary embodiment of an upper refrigerator end cap in accordance with the present invention. The end cap is attached to the top surface of an outer door of a refrigerator. A hinge system connects the door and end cap to a refrigerator case and permits the door to pivotally open and allo...