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Publication Date: 2009-Nov-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 16K

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The Prior Art Database


A draining method for a clothes washer is disclosed. The present invention overcomes a suds lock problem and simultaneously provides a cost effective measure to consumers. The method includes breaking down of suds, vacating water and suds from the clothes washer, spraying water onto the clothes, slowly spinning the clothes washer, and the spinning the clothes washer at a high speed.

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The present invention relates generally to consumer appliances, such as washers and dryers, and more particularly to a draining method for a clothes washer.

During a washing cycle of a washer, large amounts of detergents and water are mixed together to produce suds. Excess suds may be generated under certain combinations of detergent amount, softness of water, material of laundry articles, water temperature and/or the like. The production of excess suds can cause a problem commonly called suds lock. During suds lock, contact of the fluid with a spinning basket acts to further increase the amount of suds, which further raises the height of the mixed water and detergent. As a result, the suds build up beyond the bottom of the spinning basket and climb between the sides of the spinning basket and tub. Moreover, large amount of suds between the basket and the fixed tub produces a significant drag force on the basket, thus causing the basket to slow down considerably. Suds could also remain on clothes after completion of the washing cycle. Further, suds lock may affect the performance level of the washer in subsequent washing cycles due to redeposition of the suds onto the clothes being treated in a later operation. In addition, the suds combining with other matter may become a source of undesirable odors.

Conventionally, various techniques have been developed to prevent the suds lock problem. In one technique, recirculation pumps are used to knock down the suds off the clothes. However, such technique adds cost and complexity to the washer. Further, high efficiency washers have been developed that spin the basket along with water so that the water comes up over an annulus and through a tub cover design, and is redirected toward the suds in the basket. However, the high efficiency washers require utilization of high efficiency detergents, which further adds cost for the consumers. Moreover, some consumers have allergies to such high efficiency detergents.

It would be desirable to have an effective method for overcoming the suds lock problem in a washer.

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Figure 1 is a flow diagram of a draining method for a washer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention.


Figure 1 illustrates a schematic flow diagram of a draining method for a washer in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The present invention allows both regular efficiency detergent and high efficiency detergent to be used in a high efficiency washer without the occurrence of suds lock.

The method starts at step 102 and proceeds to step 104. At step 104, clothes are washed during a wash portion of the washing cycle. Detergent and water are mixed to form suds. At step 106, suds are allowed to settle. The washer is paused for a predetermined time after the wash portion of th...