Water filter abstract
A cord rewinder assembly for a wet filter type vacuum cleaner with
a moist air discharge outlet includes a conventional cord rewinder
and a deflector plate. The deflector plate not only shields the
cord rewinder from direct contact with the moist airflow discharge
but also functions to remove moisture from the airflow so that it
can be utilized to cool the electrical components of the cord rewinder.
Incoming air carrying dirt and dust is cleaned by passing the air
stream through a canister of water and a series of secondary filters.
The clean discharge air, which contains moisture and water vapor,
impinges on the deflector plate and is redirected downwardly at
a high velocity toward a cavity. The airflow enters the cavity at
a lower velocity, passes beneath the deflector plate and reverses
direction. The decrease in airflow velocity and the redirection
of the airflow allows the moisture and water vapor to drop out of
the airflow. The resulting dry airflow is safely directed across
and through the cord rewinder to remove heat generated by the electrical
components thereof. The heated airflow is then exhausted through
a vent with a removable cover. The cord rewinder and deflector plate
are coupled to and housed within a box-like panel that may replace
the panel or fixture located over the discharge outlet of existing
water filter type vacuum cleaners.
Water filter claims
What is claimed is:
1. A wet vacuum cleaner apparatus comprising a main housing having
a discharge outlet for discharging moist airflow from said vacuum
cleaner and a cord rewinder assembly connected to said main housing
over said discharge outlet, said cord rewinder assembly comprising
a cord rewinder and a deflector plate positioned between said discharge
outlet and said cord rewinder for redirecting the moist airflow
to remove moisture from the airflow.
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said cord rewinder assembly
further comprises a panel for enclosing said cord rewinder and deflector
plate, said panel being connected to said main housing.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said cord rewinder assembly
is retrofitted to said apparatus, said main housing having a fastener
arrangement for connecting a vent panel over said discharge opening,
said panel being connected to said main housing in place of said
vent panel without modifying the fastener arrangement of said main
4. Apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said panel has a front,
upper, side and lower walls and an open back, said deflector plate
extending between the walls of said panel and dividing said panel
into a first cavity located between said deflector plate and said
open back, a second cavity located between said deflector plate
and the front wall of said panel, and a bottom cavity located beneath
said deflector plate, said bottom cavity connecting said first cavity
and said second cavity.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said first cavity has
a smaller volume than said bottom cavity.
6. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said panel has an opening
for venting airflow from said second cavity.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 wherein said opening is a socket
for securing a vacuum hose thereto.
8. Apparatus according to claim 6 further comprising a removable
cover over said opening, said cover having ports provided therein
for venting said airflow.
9. Apparatus according to claim 4 wherein said deflector plate
has upper, lower and side edges, said upper and side edges of said
deflector plate being sealed to said upper and side walls of said
panel, respectively, the lower edge of said deflector plate being
spaced from said lower wall of said panel.
10. Apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said deflector plate
redirects the moist airflow through about 180.degree. to remove
11. A cord rewinder apparatus comprising a rotatable reel for supporting
a power cord, means for coupling said power cord to an electrically-driven
device, and means for cooling said rotatable reel and said coupling
means, said cooling means including means for redirecting a moist
discharge airflow to substantially remove the moisture therefrom
prior to passing said airflow across said rotatable reel and coupling
12. Apparatus according to claim 11 wherein said redirecting means
comprises a deflector plate positioned between said discharge airflow
and said rotatable reel and coupling means.
13. Apparatus according to claim 12 further comprising a panel
for housing said rotatable reel and coupling means and said deflector
14. Apparatus according to claim 13 wherein said panel has a front
wall and side, upper and lower walls extending from said front wall,
and an open back, said reel and coupling means being located between
said front wall of said panel and said deflector plate.
15. Apparatus according to claim 14 wherein said front wall of
said panel has an opening provided therein, and further comprising
a cover having ports therein, said over being removably located
over said opening.
16. A vacuum apparatus comprising a wet vacuum cleaner having a
discharge outlet for discharging a moist airflow from said vacuum
cleaner, a cord rewinder positioned over said discharge outlet,
and means located between said discharge outlet and said cord rewinder
for removing moisture from said moist airflow to form a less moist
airflow and directing the less moist airflow over the cord rewinder.
17. A method of cooling electrical components of a cord rewinder
of a water filter type vacuum cleaner having a moist airflow discharge
comprising the steps of:
redirecting the moist airflow discharge to remove moisture therefrom
and form a substantially dry airflow; and
passing said substantially dry airflow over said cord rewinder.
18. Method according to claim 17 wherein the step of redirecting
said moist airflow discharge comprises deflecting said discharge
airflow from a first cavity having a first volume to a second cavity
having a greater second volume to decrease the velocity of said
discharge airflow, and changing the direction of travel of said
discharge airflow through about 180.degree..
19. Method according to claim 18 further comprising exhausting
said dry airflow from said vacuum cleaner after passing said dry
airflow over said cord rewinder.
20. Method according to claim 17 wherein the step of redirecting
said moist airflow discharge further comprises deflecting said discharge
airflow with a deflector plate downwardly from a back surface to
a front surface thereof to a bottom cavity positioned beneath said
deflector plate and simultaneously reducing the velocity thereof
then directing said discharge airflow upwardly into a front cavity
located at the front surface of said deflector plate, said cord
rewinder being located in said front cavity.
21. Method of retrofitting a wet vacuum cleaner with a cord rewinder
assembly, said vacuum cleaner having a moist air discharge outlet
with a fixture overlying the outlet, said fixture being secured
over said outlet with a fastener arrangement, comprising the steps
removing the fixture overlying the discharge outlet of said vacuum
placing said cord rewinder assembly over said discharge outlet;
electrically connecting said cord rewinder assembly to an electrical
circuit of said vacuum cleaner; and
mechanically securing said cord rewinder assembly to said vacuum
cleaner using at least a part of said fastener arrangement.
22. Method according to claim 21 wherein said cord rewinder assembly
comprises a deflector plate and a cord rewinder, and wherein the
step of placing said cord rewinder assembly over said discharge
outlet further comprises the step of positioning said deflector
plate between said discharge outlet and said cord rewinder so as
to redirect the moist discharge air from said outlet with said deflector
plate and substantially dry the same.
23. Method according to claim 21 wherein said fastener arrangement
includes a plurality of bolt holes formed in said vacuum cleaner,
said bolt holes being used to connect the cord rewinder assembly
to said vacuum cleaner.
Water filter description
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to cord rewinding apparatus for vacuum
cleaners and more particularly to a cord rewinder assembly for a
wet vacuum cleaner having a deflector plate for shielding the cord
rewinder from the wet discharge air and for redirecting the wet
airflow along a path that drys the air prior to its passing across
the cord rewinder.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The inclusion of cord rewinder apparatus in dry vacuum cleaners
is well known. A typical cord rewinder apparatus includes a reel
upon which a power cord is wound. A spring or other biasing means
is operatively connected to the reel to rotate the reel in a direction
to retract or rewind the power cord when it is at least partially
unwound from the reel. Also included is a brake assembly which,
in its locked position, frictionally stops rotational movement of
the reel in the rewind or retract direction. When rewinding the
cord is desired, the brake assembly is disengaged, manually or otherwise,
from the reel, thereby unlocking the reel and enabling the biasing
means to rotate the reel in the retract direction. Power is coupled
from the power cord via electrical components, including conductive
strips and contacts disposed on the reel. The contacts are electrically
connected to the motor, fan and other electrically-driven components
of the vacuum cleaner. Some examples of conventional cord rewinder
apparatus for vacuum cleaners are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5255768
and 5622243 the disclosures of which are incorporated herein
Such conventional cord rewinder apparatus are not suitable for
use in wet vacuum cleaners. For a cord rewinder to be included in
any device, it must meet the standards outlined by Underwriters
Laboratories (UL), including strict maximum temperature rise limits
for the electrical components. Currently, most commercially available
vacuum cleaners utilize a high amperage draw, which causes the electrical
components thereof to heat up to unacceptably high temperatures.
To reduce those temperatures and cool the components, dry vacuum
cleaners are often equipped with elements, such as baffles or the
like, to divert a portion of the vacuum cleaner discharge airflow
directly through the coil rewinder and over the heated components
to cool them. Using the vacuum discharge airflow as a cooling medium
is not feasible for existing wet vacuum cleaners, inasmuch as it
is imprudent and unsafe to pass the discharge air, which may contain
water vapor, over electrical components. Heretofore, the only cord
rewinders that have been able to pass the UL temperature rise tests
are those incorporating discharge airflow cooling. As a result,
wet vacuum cleaners currently on the market do not include cord
In view of the foregoing deficiencies of the conventional apparatus,
it would be desirable to provide a UL certifiable wet vacuum cleaner
that incorporates a cord rewinder. It would also be desirable to
provide a method of and apparatus for cooling the cord rewinder
using the discharge airflow as the cooling medium. It would further
be desirable to provide a cord rewinder that is compact and readily
incorporated in existing wet vacuum cleaners without any modifications
or adjustments to the existing vacuum cleaner structure.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention is directed to a method of and an apparatus
for retrofitting a wet vacuum cleaner with a cord rewinder, the
temperature of which is controlled using the vacuum discharge airflow.
A deflector plate positioned between the vacuum cleaner's discharge
outlet and the cord rewinder shields the cord rewinder from direct
contact with the wet discharge airflow and further functions to
reduce the moisture content of the wet airflow so that it can be
utilized to cool the electrical components of the cord rewinder
and comply with UL requirements.
According to the apparatus aspects of the invention, the cord rewinder
assembly is installed in place of a vent cover on the main housing
of a conventional wet vacuum cleaner. The assembly covers the discharge
outlet provided in the main housing and is secured in place using
the existing bolt pattern for the vent cover. The cord rewinder
assembly comprises a deflector plate and a conventional cord rewinder,
including a reel and biasing and braking means for controlling rotation
of the reel. The cord rewinder and deflector plate are situated
inside of and connected to a panel or housing having an open back
and a front with a vent provided therein. The deflector plate is
positioned such that it shields the cord rewinder from direct contact
with the wet discharge airflow. When assembled, the deflector plate
divides the panel into three distinct regions or cavities: a small
capacity, rear region or cavity that abuts the discharge outlet
in the main housing of the vacuum cleaner; a large, front region
or cavity in which the cord rewinder is mounted; and a large capacity
region or bottom cavity positioned beneath the deflector plate and
interconnecting the front and rear regions.
The airflow exiting through the discharge outlet in the main housing
of the conventional vacuum cleaner is wet and cannot be used for
cooling heated electrical components. According to the present invention,
the wet airflow is transformed into a substantially dry airflow.
Specifically, the wet airflow enters the rear region of the cord
rewinder assembly, impinges upon the deflector plate and is immediately
redirected downwardly toward the large capacity bottom cavity. Given
the relatively small capacity of the rear region of the assembly,
the airflow travels downwardly at a high velocity airflow. As the
airflow enters the large capacity bottom cavity, it slows down and
reverses direction upwardly substantially 180.degree. toward the
front region of the assembly. As a result of the slowing and reversal
of the airflow, substantially all the water vapor and moisture carried
thereby drops into the bottom cavity. The airflow, which is now
substantially moisture free, passes into the front region housing
the cord rewinder, travels over and around the cord rewinder, thereby
cooling the electrical components thereof, and exits through the
vent in the front of the panel. For blowing applications, the vent
cover positioned over the vent opening provided in the front panel
of the cord rewinder assembly is removed and the free end of a vacuum
hose can be secured in the vent opening.
The present invention has immediate and unique applications in
the wet vacuum cleaner industry. Existing cord rewinder technology,
which has only been applied in dry equipment, can be incorporated
into the cord rewinder assembly of the present invention and used
with wet vacuum apparatus with high amperage draws while still adhering
to the strict temperature rise standards set by UL. Further, existing
wet vacuum cleaners, none of which are known to incorporate cord
rewinders, can be easily retrofitted with the present invention.
For example, retrofitting the commercially available Rainbow.RTM.
water filter type vacuum cleaner made by Rexair, Inc. of Troy, Mich.
48084 simply involves replacing the removable vent cover panel with
the cord rewinder assembly of the present invention. No modifications
or adjustments to the existing wet vacuum cleaner is required. The
cord rewinder assembly of the invention simply slides into position,
is readily electrically connected to the electrical components in
the main housing, and is secured in place using the same bolt holes
used to secure the vent cover panel of the Rainbow .RTM. vacuum
With the foregoing and other objects, advantages and features of
the invention that will become hereinafter apparent, the nature
of the invention will be more clearly understood by reference to
the following detailed description of the invention, the appended
claims and to the several views illustrated in the drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional wet vacuum cleaner
showing the cord rewinder assembly of the invention mounted to the
FIG. 2 is an exploded fragmentary perspective view of the cord
rewinder assembly of the invention showing the manner of its attachment
to the side of the wet vacuum cleaner of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3--3 of FIG.
2 showing the path the discharge airflow takes around the deflector
plate and through the cord rewinder.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Referring now to the drawings, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a
perspective view of a wet vacuum cleaner, which is designated generally
by reference numeral 10 retrofitted with a cord rewinder assembly
12 constructed according to the invention. Apparatus 10 is a conventional
liquid bath vacuum cleaner known as a Rainbow.RTM. wet vacuum cleaner
including a water pan 14 detachably connected to a main housing
16 by conventional connecting means, such as latches 18. Although
the present invention is described in connection with the Rainbow.RTM.
wet vacuum cleaner apparatus, it should be understood that the principles
of the present invention could be applied to any other design of
wet vacuum cleaner to permit use of the wet vacuum discharge air
to cool the heated components of the apparatus.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3 cord rewinder assembly 12 including
a deflector plate 20 and a conventional cord rewinder 22 is incorporated
into a box-like panel 24 that is mounted over the discharge outlet
26 (FIG. 2) of the housing 16. As shown in FIG. 3 the cord rewinder
22 is a conventional one, including a rotatable reel 28 about which
a power cord 30 is wound, biasing means (not shown) for urging the
reel 28 in a direction for retract rotation, and a brake assembly
(not shown), including a manually actuated release means 32 (FIG.
1), for locking and unlocking the reel 28. Electrical coupling means
34 such as conductive strips, wires and contacts, electrically
connect the power cord 30 to a circuit (not shown) for supplying
electrical power to the electrically-operated components of the
vacuum cleaner 10 i.e., motor and fan assemblies (not shown) located
within the housing 16 for creating an airflow through the vacuum
cleaner 10. It should be understood that the specific features,
elements and structure of the cord rewinder 22 including the coupling
means 34 are not important, inasmuch as any cord rewinder would
be compatible with the present invention, including those incorporated
in cord rewinders for dry vacuum cleaners or other tools or appliances.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3 a preferred embodiment of the cord
rewinder assembly 12 includes the box-like panel 24 for housing
the deflector plate 20 and the cord rewinder 22. Panel 24 has a
front wall 36 upper, lower and side walls, 38 40 and 42 and 44
respectively, extending from the front wall, and an open back 46.
The front wall 36 has a housing 48 with a circular cross-section
for receiving the reel 28 of the cord rewinder 22. The cord rewinder
22 is situated in the panel 24 with a substantial portion of the
reel 28 located inside the housing 48 and flange members 50 52
extending substantially parallel to the front wall 36 of the panel
24. A notch 54 (FIG. 2) is provided in the upper wall 38 of the
panel 24 through which pass electrical wires 72 for joining the
power cord 30 to the circuit in the main housing 16. Deflector plate
20 which is preferably a rigid sheet of plastic or Plexiglass.RTM.,
is located in the panel 24 between the rear flange member 52 of
the cord rewinder 22 and the open back 46 of the box-like panel
24. The upper edge and side edges of the deflector plate 20 abut
the upper wall 38 and side walls 4244 of the panel 24 with an
open space or bottom cavity 56 being formed between the lower edge
57 of the deflector plate 20 and the lower wall 40 of the panel
24. The deflector plate 20 is sealed along its upper and side edges
to the upper and side walls 38 42 and 44 so that the discharge
airflow 78 from the discharge outlet 26 may only proceed downward
through open space 56. All edges of the deflector plate 20 extend
beyond the outer edges of the cord rewinder 22 thereby preventing
any wet air from coming into direct contact with the cord rewinder.
Any acceptable connecting means, including bolts, screws, clips
and the like, may be used to secure the deflector plate 20 and the
cord rewinder 22 to the panel 24.
Referring to FIG. 3 the deflector plate 20 divides panel 24 into
a first region or cavity 58 located between the deflector plate
20 and the discharge outlet 26 of the housing 16 a second region
or cavity 60 located in the circular housing 48 and a bottom cavity
62 located beneath the deflector plate 20 and defined by the lower
wall 40 and side walls 42 44 of the panel 24 a lower portion 64
of the front wall 36 and a wall 66 of the housing 16 abutting the
open back 46 of the panel 24. The first cavity 58 has a much smaller
volume than that of the bottom cavity 62. The front wall 36 of the
panel 24 has an opening 68 located near the upper periphery thereof
through which the airflow is exhausted. The opening 68 is preferably
formed as a socket having dimensions such that an end of a vacuum
hose can be removably and securely connected thereto for blowing
operations. A vent cover 70 with ports 71 is removably positioned
over the opening 68 when no hose is attached thereto. An additional
opening (not shown) is located in one of the walls of the panel
24 through which the power cord 30 extends.
The cord rewinder assembly 12 is readily mounted on the side wall
of the main housing 16 of the vacuum cleaner 10. In existing wet
vacuum cleaners, a removable vent cover, which often includes means
for securing the power cord thereto, forms a portion of the outer
surface of the main housing 16. The panel 24 of the present cord
rewinder assembly 12 serves as a direct replacement for that vent
cover, with no modifications to the main housing 16 being required.
Referring to FIG. 2 the panel 24 slides into the void left in
the side wall of the main housing 16 when the vent cover is removed
and covers the entire discharge outlet 26. Wires 72 are fed through
the notch 54 in the upper wall 38 of the panel 24 and are connected
to a circuit in the main housing 16. The cord rewinder assembly
12 is secured to the main housing 16 in the same manner and using
the same or similar connecting means as the vent cover, i.e., using
the same bolt pattern.
FIG. 3 best illustrates how the present invention operates. As
in all existing wet vacuum cleaners, cleaning air is suctioned into
the vacuum cleaner and passes through the water pan 14 where dust
and other particles are removed therefrom. The cleansed air then
passes through filters 76 (FIGS. 2 and 3) located in the discharge
outlet 26 where any additional particles are removed. When the
present invention is installed, the clean discharge airflow 78
instead of being exhausted to the surrounding environment, is expelled
into the cord rewinder assembly 12. Airflow 78 passing into panel
24 is clean, but contains water vapor or moisture.
It is important that the airflow 78 be substantially dry prior
to contacting any electrical components of the cord rewinder. The
present invention accomplishes that objective by positioning the
deflector plate 20 between the discharge outlet 26 and the cord
rewinder 22. As the cleansed, moist airflow 78 exits the discharge
outlet 26 in the main housing 16 of the vacuum cleaner 10 it enters
small volume cavity 58. Deflector plate 10 completely shields at
least the cord rewinder 22 from direct contact with the moist airflow
78 and redirects the airflow 78 downwardly toward open space 56
the only exit from cavity 58. Given the relatively small volume
of cavity 58 the airflow 78 proceeds downwardly and through the
open space 56 at a high velocity. That high speed airflow 78 immediately
enters the large volume bottom cavity 62 located beneath the deflector
plate 20 and the cord rewinder 22. Importantly, no portion of the
discharge airflow 78 comes in contact with the cord rewinder without
passing through cavity 62. It is in cavity 62 that the airflow 78
slows down, makes an approximate 180.degree. turn, and proceeds
upwardly into cavity 60 where the cord rewinder 22 is located.
As the airflow 78 slows and turns in cavity 62 water vapor and
moisture drops from the airflow 78. By the time the airflow 78 enters
cavity 60 it is substantially dry and safely passes around and
over the cord rewinder 22 including the electrical components to
cool the same. Because of the relatively high amperage draw of the
cord rewinder 22 the electrical components thereof heat up. By
passing the dried airflow 78 through cavity 60 the generated heated
is carried off by the airflow 78 thereby cooling the components.
The airflow 78 now heated and dry, is exhausted to the atmosphere
through vent opening 68 in the panel 24.
While the invention is especially useful in the embodiments shown
in FIGS. 1-3 and described above, it may also be effective using
modified configurations. For example, the location of the open space
56 between the deflector plate 20 and the wall of the panel 24 may
be changed and the orientation and shape of the deflector plate
20 modified while still providing for the effectiveness of the device.
Other arrangements and means for drying the wet air may also be
incorporated without departing from the scope of the present invention.
Further, the dry airflow may be directed to other regions of the
vacuum cleaner to cool the motor and/or other components which generate
heat during their operation. Also, the sizes, shapes and other dimensions
and features of the constituent parts of the cord rewinder assembly
may be modified. In addition, while the invention has been described
for use in a wet type vacuum cleaner, it should be readily understood
that it is useful in any application or apparatus where a substantially
dry airflow is desired.
Although certain presently preferred embodiments of the present
invention have been specifically described herein, it will be apparent
to those skilled in the art to which the invention pertains that
variations and modifications of the various embodiments shown and
described herein may be made without departing from the spirit and
scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention
be limited only to the extent required by the appended claims and
the applicable rules of law.