Patent Number: 8,820,100

Title: Apparatus, method, and system for automatically turning off an actuator in a refrigeration device upon detection of an unwanted condition

Abstract: An apparatus, method, and system for automatically turning off an electrically powered actuator in a refrigeration mechanism upon detection of an unwanted condition. In one aspect of the invention, the electrically powered actuator can be the motor of an ice maker/dispenser. The detection can be accomplished by sensing the presence of an object along or near an ice dispensing pathway from the ice maker/dispenser. The unwanted condition could be the presence of the object for more than a preset time period. This would allow to distinguish between an unwanted object such as silverware or clogged ice versus a wanted object such as flowing ice cubes, crushed ice, or shaved ice.

Inventors: Culley; Brian Keith (Mount Vernon, IN), Boarman; Patrick J. (Evansville, IN), Voglewede; Ronald L. (Saint Joseph, MI), Jeffery; Randell L. (Stevensville, MI)

Assignee: Whirlpool Corporation

International Classification: F25C 1/00 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 9/02/12018