Method and apparatus for reducing water usage during a washing cycle

Abstract

A washing machine including a wash tub, a basket rotatably coupled within the wash tub, an agitator coupled within the basket, and a controller is provided. The controller is configured to receive user defined settings for a wash cycle, send a signal to add, to the wash tub, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings, send a signal to execute a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings, send a signal to drain water from the wash tub, and initiate a rinse cycle by sending a signal to add, to the wash tub, a second predefined quantity of water that is less than the first predefined quantity of water.

Claims

1 . A washing machine comprising: a wash tub: a basket rotatably coupled within the wash tub; an agitator coupled within the basket; and a controller configured to: receive user defined settings for a wash cycle, send a signal to add, to the wash tub, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings; send a signal to execute a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings; send a signal to drain water from the wash tub; and initiate a rinse cycle by sending a signal to add, to the wash tub, a second predefined quantity of water that is less than the first predefined quantity of water. 2 . The washing machine in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the controller is further configured to send a signal to initiate the rinse cycle without performing a spin cycle prior to initiating the rinse cycle. 3 . The washing machine in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the predefined second quantity of water is added at a substantially constant flow rate for a predefined period of time. 4 . The washing machine in accordance with claim 1 , wherein the predefined second quantity of water is not based on the user defined settings. 5 . The washing machine in accordance with claim 1 , further comprising a pressure sensor. 6 . The washing machine in accordance with claim 5 , wherein the controller is further configured to receive, from the pressure sensor, an indication that a first water level indicative of the first predefined quantity of water is reached, and send a signal to stop adding water to the wash tub upon receiving the indication that the water level has reached the first water level. 7 . The washing machine in accordance with claim 5 , wherein the controller is further configured to execute a rinse agitation for a predefined period of time that is less than the predefined period of time for the wash agitation and would be for a time period shorter than the shortest entire timer interval of the electromechanical timer. 8 . The washing machine in accordance with claim 5 , wherein the controller is further configured to: receive, from the pressure sensor, an indication that a water level has reached a second water level after the rinse cycle has been initiated; and send a signal to stop adding water to the wash tub upon receiving the indication that the water level has reached the second water level. 9 . A method to facilitate reducing an amount of water usage during a wash cycle of a washing machine, wherein the washing machine includes a rotatable basket coupled within a wash tub, the method comprising: receiving user defined settings for a washing cycle; adding, to the wash tub, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings; executing a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings; draining water from the wash tub; and adding, at a substantially constant water flow rate, a second predefined quantity of water that is less than the first predefined quantity of water. 10 . The method in accordance with claim 9 , wherein the second predefined quantity of water is not based on the user defined settings. 11 . The method in accordance with claim 9 , wherein a spin is not executed prior to adding the second predefined quantity of water. 12 . The method in accordance with claim 9 , further comprising executing a rinse agitation. 13 . The method in accordance with claim 12 , wherein the rinse agitation is not based on the user defined settings. 14 . The method in accordance with claim 12 , wherein the rinse agitation is executed for a predefined period of time that is less than the predefined period of time for executing the wash agitation and for a time period shorter than the shortest entire timer interval of the electromechanical timer. 15 . One or more computer-readable media having computer-executable components, the components comprising: an interface component that causes at least one processor to receive user defined settings for a washing cycle; a wash cycle component that causes at least one processor to send a signal to add, to a wash tub, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings; an agitation component that causes at least one processor to send a signal to execute a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings, the wash cycle component further causes the at least one processor to send a signal to drain the water from the wash tub; and a rinse cycle component that causes at least one processor to initiate a rinse cycle by sending a signal to add, to the wash tub, a second predefined quantity of water that is less than the first predefined quantity of water. 16 . The computer-readable medium in accordance with claim 15 , wherein the second predefined quantity of water is supplied at a substantially constant flow rate for a predefined period of time, and wherein a spin is not executed prior to initiating the rinse cycle. 17 . The computer-readable medium in accordance with claim 15 , further comprising a water pressure component that causes at least one processor to identify when a water level has reached a first water level indicative of the first predefined quantity of water, and send, to the wash cycle component, instructions to stop adding water to the wash tub upon identifying that the water level indicative of the first predefined quantity of water is reached. 18 . The computer-readable medium in accordance with claim 15 , further comprising an agitation component that causes at least one processor to send a signal to execute a rinse agitation for a predefined period of time that is less than the predefined period of time for the wash agitation. 19 . The computer-readable medium in accordance with claim 15 , wherein the period of time for executing the rinse agitation is not based on the user defined settings. 20 . The computer-readable medium in accordance with claim 15 , wherein the period of time for executing the rinse agitation is ten seconds
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional application No. 61/369,600 filed on Jul. 30, 2010, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0002] The field of the invention relates generally to washing machines, and, more particularly, to methods and apparatus for reducing an amount of water usage during a wash cycle of a washing machine. [0003] Washing machines typically include a cabinet that houses a wash tub for containing wash and rinse water, a perforated clothes basket within the wash tub, and an agitator within the basket. A drive and motor assembly is mounted underneath the wash tub to rotate the clothes basket and the agitator relative to one another. [0004] Conventionally, a washing cycle of a washing machine includes an initial fill process that provides an amount of water in the wash tub based on a wash setting selected by a user. Thus, when a user selects a “large load,” a maximum amount of water is supplied inside the wash tub. Alternatively, if a user selects a “small load,” a minimum amount of water is supplied inside of the wash tub. As the wash tub is filled with the selected amount of water, articles of clothing in the wash tub are submerged in the water, and the water is thereafter agitated and drained. Next, a spin cycle is typically executed followed by a rinse cycle where a quantity of rinse water supplied inside the wash tub is equal to a quantity of water provided during the initial fill process. As the wash tub is filled with the rinse water, articles of clothing in the wash tub are submerged in the rinse water, the rinse water is agitated, the rinse water is drained, and a final spin cycle is executed. [0005] While it has become increasingly desirable to reduce water consumption in washing operations, reducing water consumption decreases a level of water in a washing machine and may not permit loads to be properly wetted or properly agitated. As well, it potentially causes additional strain on the drive and motor assembly due to increased density resulting from a decreased level of water. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0006] In one aspect, a washing machine including a wash tub, a basket rotatably coupled within the wash tub, an agitator coupled within the basket, and a controller is provided. The controller is configured to receive user defined settings for a wash cycle, send a signal to add, to the wash tub, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings, send a signal to execute a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings, send a signal to drain water from the wash tub, and initiate a rinse cycle by sending a signal to add, to the wash tub, a second predefined quantity of water that is less than the first predefined quantity of water. [0007] In another aspect, a method to facilitate reducing an amount of water usage during a wash cycle of a washing machine is provided. The washing machine includes a rotatable basket coupled within a wash tub. The method including receiving user defined settings for a washing cycle, adding, to the wash tub, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings, executing a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings, draining water from the wash tub, and adding, at a substantially constant water flow rate, a second predefined quantity of water that is less than the first predefined quantity of water. [0008] In yet another aspect, one or more computer-readable media having computer-executable components is provided. The components including an interface component that when executed by at least one processor, causes the at least one processor to receive user defined settings for a washing cycle, a wash cycle component that when executed by at least one processor, causes the at least one processor to send a signal to add, to a wash tub, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings, an agitation component that when executed by at least one processor, causes the at least one processor to send a signal to execute a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings, the wash cycle component further causes the at least one processor to send a signal to drain the water from the wash tub, and a rinse cycle component that when executed by at least one processor, causes the at least one processor to initiate a rinse cycle by sending a signal to add, to the wash tub, a second predefined quantity of water that is less than the first predefined quantity of water. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0009] Non-limiting and non-exhaustive embodiments are described with reference to the following figures, wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the various views unless otherwise specified. [0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective cutaway view of an exemplary washing machine. [0011] FIG. 2 is schematic view of the washing machine shown in FIG. 1 . [0012] FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram of a controller for the washing machine shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 . [0013] FIG. 4 is a diagram illustrating a process for reducing an amount of water usage during a washing cycle of a washing machine. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0014] Reducing water consumption during washing cycles while also providing an ability to properly clean articles can be a difficult task. In order to clean articles, a certain water level is needed to wet the articles. Thus, reducing an overall water consumption can be problematic when water levels are reduced in washing cycles and articles are not properly wetted due to the reduced water levels. [0015] Existing washing machines enable a user to select a particular washing cycle based on, for example, a size of a load being washed. Once a user selects a washing cycle, a wash cycle is initiated by adding water to a wash tub in the washing machine to a water level that is based on the selected washing cycle. For example, if a user selects a “large load” washing cycle, a high level of water is added to the wash tub. Alternatively, if a “small load” washing cycle is selected, a lower level of water is added to the wash tub. Thereafter, the articles in the load being washed are agitated and the water is drained from the wash tub. Before a rinse cycle is performed, a wash spin is executed to remove access water absorbed by the articles during the wash cycle. After the wash spin, the wash tub is once again filled to the same water level described above with respect to the wash cycle, the articles are agitated, the water is drained from the wash tub, and the process is repeated until the selected washing cycle is completed. [0016] As described in detail below, eliminating a spin cycle between a wash cycle and a rinse cycle enables water that would have been removed from the articles during a spin cycle, to be “carried over” to the rinse cycle. By eliminating the spin cycle between the wash cycle and the rinse cycle, an overall level of water in the rinse cycle is increased since a substantial amount of water is retained in the articles from the wash cycle, which helps reduce an overall amount of water added for the rinse cycle. Further, by eliminating the spin cycle between the wash cycle and the rinse cycle, the articles are prevented from being thrown outward and up a side of the basket wall in the washing machine. Therefore, with the articles at the bottom of the basket and not compressed against the sides of the basket, the articles can be submerged with a lower water level. [0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective cutaway view of an exemplary washing machine 50 . While embodiments of the disclosure are illustrated and described herein with reference to washing machine 50 being a vertical axis washing machine, aspects of the disclosure are operable with any device that performs the functionality illustrated and described herein, or its equivalent. [0018] Washing machine 50 includes a cabinet 52 and a cover 54 . A backsplash 56 extends from cover 54 , and a control panel 58 including a plurality of input selectors 60 is coupled to backsplash 56 . Control panel 58 and input selectors 60 collectively form a user interface enabling a user to select washing machine cycles and features. In one embodiment, a display 61 indicates selected features, a countdown timer, and other items of interest to washing machine users. In a further embodiment, display 61 may be, for example, a capacitive touch screen display. User input functionality may be provided in display 61 which acts as a user input selection device, in conjunction with, or in place of input selectors 60 . Display 61 may be configured to be responsive to a user contacting display 61 to selectively perform functionality of washing machine 50 . Thus, a user can select, for example, washing machine cycles by contacting a surface of display 61 as well as other functions provided herein. [0019] Washing machine 50 further includes a lid 62 mounted to cover 54 that is rotatable about a hinge (not shown) from an open position (not shown) that facilitates access to a wash tub 64 located within cabinet 52 , to a closed position that prevents access to wash tub 64 . Wash tub 64 includes a bottom wall 66 , a sidewall 68 , and a basket 70 that is rotatably mounted within wash tub 64 . A pump assembly 72 is located beneath wash tub 64 and basket 70 for gravity assisted flow when draining wash tub 64 . Pump assembly 72 includes a pump 74 and a motor 76 . A pump inlet hose 80 extends from a wash tub outlet 82 in bottom wall 66 to a pump inlet 84 , and a pump outlet hose 86 extends from a pump outlet 88 to an appliance washing machine water outlet 90 . [0020] FIG. 2 is a front elevational schematic view of washing machine 50 . As shown in FIG. 2 , basket 70 is rotatably mounted in wash tub 64 in a spaced apart relationship from side wall 68 and bottom wall 66 . Basket 70 includes a plurality of perforations therein to facilitate fluid communication between an interior of basket 70 and wash tub 64 . A hot liquid valve 102 and a cold liquid valve 104 deliver fluid (e.g., water) to basket 70 and wash tub 64 through a hot liquid hose 106 and a cold liquid hose 108 , respectively. Valves 102 and 104 , and hoses 106 and 108 together form a liquid supply connection for washing machine 50 and, when connected to a building plumbing system (not shown), provide a fresh water supply for use in washing machine 50 . Valves 102 and 104 , and hoses 106 and 108 are connected to a basket inlet tube 110 , and water flows from basket inlet tube 110 through nozzle assembly 112 into basket 70 . In some embodiments, at least one of valve 102 and 104 includes a flow regulator incorporated there within such that over a range of usable inlet pressures, a resulting water flow rate is substantially constant. In one embodiment, a known dispenser (not shown in FIG. 2 ), may also be provided to supply a wash solution by mixing fresh water with a detergent or other composition for cleansing of articles in basket 70 . [0021] In an alternative embodiment, a known spray fill conduit 114 (shown in phantom in FIG. 2 ) is employed in lieu of nozzle assembly 112 . Spray fill conduit 114 includes a plurality of openings along its length that are arranged in a predetermined pattern to direct incoming streams of water towards articles in basket 70 . The openings in spray fill conduit 114 are spaced sufficiently from each other to produce an overlapping coverage of liquid streams into basket 70 . Articles in basket 70 may therefore be uniformly wetted even when basket 70 is maintained in a stationary position. [0022] An agitator (e.g., agitation element 116 ), such as a vane agitator, impeller, auger, oscillatory basket mechanism, or some combination thereof is disposed in basket 70 to impart an oscillatory motion to articles and liquid in basket 70 . In other embodiments, agitation element 116 may be a single action element (e.g., oscillatory only), a double action element (e.g., oscillatory movement at one end, single direction rotation at the other end) or a triple action element (e.g., oscillatory movement plus single direction rotation at one end, singe direction rotation at the other end). As illustrated in FIG. 2 , agitation element 116 is oriented to rotate about a vertical axis 118 . [0023] Basket 70 and agitation element 116 are driven by motor 120 through a transmission and clutch system 122 . A transmission belt 124 is coupled to respective pulleys of a motor output shaft 126 and a transmission input shaft 128 . Thus, as motor output shaft 126 is rotated, transmission input shaft 128 is also rotated. Clutch system 122 facilitates driving engagement of basket 70 and agitation element 116 for rotatable movement within wash tub 64 , and clutch system 122 facilitates relative rotation of basket 70 and agitation element 116 for selected portions of wash cycles. Motor 120 , transmission and clutch system 122 , and belt 124 collectively are referred to herein as a washing machine drive system. Alternatively, instead of using a transmission drive equipped washing machine, drive systems that do not include transmissions could also be used herein. [0024] Washing machine 50 may also include a brake assembly (not shown) that can be applied to maintain basket 70 in a stationary position within wash tub 64 or released to allow basket 70 to spin within wash tub 64 . In one embodiment, pump assembly 72 is activated to remove liquid from basket 70 and wash tub 64 through drain outlet 90 and a drain valve 130 during appropriate times in washing cycles as washing machine 50 is used. In one embodiment, washing machine 50 also includes a reservoir 132 , a tube 134 and a pressure sensor 136 . As will be described in greater detail below, pressure sensor 136 may be a multiple stage pressure sensor configured to detect a plurality of fluid levels in wash tub 64 . As water levels rise in wash tub 64 , air is trapped in reservoir 132 creating a pressure in tube 134 that is monitored by pressure sensor 136 . Liquid levels (e.g., water levels), and more specifically, changes in liquid levels in wash tub 64 may therefore be sensed, for example, to indicate laundry loads and to facilitate associated control decisions. In further embodiments, load size and cycle effectiveness are determined or evaluated using other known indicia, such as motor spin, torque, load weight, motor current, and voltage or current phase shifts. [0025] Operation of washing machine 50 is controlled by a controller 138 which is operatively coupled to the user interface input located on washing machine backsplash 56 to enable a user to select washing machine cycles and features. In response to a selection by the user via input selectors 60 , controller 138 operates various components of washing machine 50 to execute selected machine cycles and features. One of ordinary skill in the art guided by the teachings herein will appreciate that controller 138 may be used to control washing machine system elements and to execute functions beyond those specifically described herein. [0026] FIG. 3 is a schematic block diagram of controller 138 . Controller 138 may include a timer 301 , such as, without limitation, an electronic, mechanical or electromechanical timer device. One of ordinary skill in the art and guided by the teachings herein will appreciate that an electromechanical timer device/system is a very well known cost effective means to control a washing machine (e.g., washing machine 50 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 ). In one embodiment, timer 301 may include a series of switches which are actuated by a rotating cam driven by a small motor through a set of gears. Switches turn on and off various components of the washing machine, for example, water valves, drive motors, and pumps. Timer 301 may include a knob that a consumer uses to make washing cycle selections as well as to turn on and off the washing machine, for example, washing machine 50 . A cam in timer 301 may dictate a sequencing and operation of washing machine 50 . Further, the cam in timer 301 is unique for each predetermined cycle configuration selected. Timer 301 may be connected to various components (e.g., water valves, drive motors, pumps, and the like) through a wiring harness. In one embodiment, selector switches are connected through a wiring harness in series. The consumer can use the selector switches to make washing cycle selections, such as, water temperature, washing options, water level, and the like. Furthermore, a pressure switch (also called a pressure sensor) may be connected to timer 301 through a wiring harness. The pressure sensor is configured to sense a water level in wash tub 64 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 ) as well as send a signal to timer 301 when a selected water level is achieved. [0027] With continued reference to FIG. 3 , controller 138 may also include a memory area 302 and at least one processor 304 . In general, controller 138 and/or processor 304 may execute instructions such as described hereinafter with reference to the components illustrated in FIG. 3 , and the operations illustrated in FIG. 4 . [0028] Memory area 302 stores components for reducing a quantity of water used during a full washing cycle of washing machine 50 . For example, memory area 302 stores instructions, calibration constants, elements of selected washing cycles (e.g., an amount of water needed for a selected washing cycle and corresponding water levels), and other information to satisfactorily complete a selected washing cycle in washing cycle algorithm 306 , as well as one or more computer-executable components. Exemplary components include, but are not limited to an interface component 308 , a wash cycle component 310 , a rinse cycle component 312 , a water pressure component 314 , and an agitation component 316 . While components 308 - 316 are shown to be stored in memory area 302 , components 308 - 316 may be stored and executed from a memory area remote from controller 138 . For example, wash cycle algorithm 306 may be stored in a cloud service, a database, or other memory area accessible by controller 138 . Such embodiments reduce the computational and storage burden on controller 138 . [0029] Processor 304 executes computer-executable instructions for implementing aspects of the disclosure. In some embodiments, processor 304 is transformed into a special purpose microprocessor by executing computer-executable instructions or by otherwise being programmed. For example, processor 304 may execute interface component 308 , wash cycle component 310 , rinse cycle component 312 , water pressure component 314 , and agitation component 316 . Interface component 308 , when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to receive user defined settings for a washing cycle. Wash cycle component 310 , when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to send a signal to add, to wash tub 64 , a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings. In some embodiments, the first quantity of water is determined to be added once the water added to wash tub 64 reaches a particular water level. Thus, if a “large load” is selected by a user, water is added to wash tub 64 until a water level indicative of a “large load” water level is reached. In some embodiments, to determine when the first quantity of water has been supplied to wash tub 64 , water pressure component 314 , when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to identify (e.g., via pressure sensor 136 ) when a water level has reached a first water level indicative of the first quantity of water. Thereafter, the water pressure component 314 , when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to send, to wash cycle component 310 , instructions to stop adding water to wash tub 64 upon the identification that a water level indicative of the first quantity of water has been reached. Agitation component 316 , when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to send a signal to execute a wash agitation for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings. Once the wash agitation is complete, wash cycle component 310 , when executed by processor 304 , further causes processor 304 to send a signal to drain the water from wash tub 64 . [0030] In one embodiment, rinse cycle component 312 , when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to initiate a rinse cycle by sending a signal to add, to wash tub 64 , a second quantity of water that is less than the first quantity of water added in the wash cycle. As mentioned above, in order to remove water prior to the rinse cycle, a typical washing machine executes a spin (e.g., a wash spin) after water is drained from wash tub 64 and prior to the rinse cycle to remove additional water from the articles and wash tub 64 . However, by eliminating a wash spin prior to a rinse cycle, articles in basket 70 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 ) remain wetted. Therefore, in one embodiment, a quantity of water absorbed by the articles and not removed prior to the rinse cycle is “carried over” to the rinse cycle. Thus, the quantity of water available during the rinse cycle includes the quantity of water added during the rinse cycle and the quantity of water that would typically be removed during a spin cycle. [0031] In some embodiments, the second quantity of water is supplied by providing a substantially constant flow of water for a predefined period of time, unlike that of the first quantity of water in the wash cycle which is supplied by adding water to wash tub 64 until a particular water level is reached. For example, upon an initiation of the rinse cycle, a valve, (e.g., at least one of valves 102 and 104 shown in FIG. 2 ) is energized for a predefined period of time. The valve includes a flow regulator incorporated therein such that over a range of usable inlet pressures, a resulting water flow rate is substantially constant. For exemplary purposes, if it is determined that the valve supplies five gallons of water per minute, and a reduced level of water of, for example, 15 gallons is to be added to wash tub 64 , rinse cycle component 312 , when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to add water to wash tub 64 for three minutes. That is, after three minutes of supplying water at a substantially constant rate, 15 gallons of water is added to wash tub 64 . Further, the quantity of water added during the rinse cycle (e.g., 15 gallons) is increased by the quantity of “carry-over” water from the wash cycle. As such, the quantity of water available during the rinse cycle is greater than the quantity of water added to wash tub 64 during the rinse cycle. In addition to “carry-over” water, by eliminating a wash spin prior to the rinse cycle, the articles are prevented from being compressed against a side of basket 70 . As such, the articles remain in a bottom of basket 70 which not only enables the articles to be submerged in water even with a reduced water level, but also increases a permeability of the articles during the rinse cycle. In one embodiment, a quantity of water supplied during a rinse cycle is constant regardless of a load size selected prior to initiation of the work cycle. Thus, a quantity of water (e.g., the second quantity of water) supplied during a rinse cycle is the same quantity whether a “large load” or a “small load” is selected by a user. [0032] In some embodiments, agitation component 316 when executed by processor 304 , causes processor 304 to send a signal to execute a rinse agitation for a predefined period of time that is less than the predefined period of time for the wash agitation. For example, the rinse agitation is executed for about ten seconds to about one minute. Thus, unlike conventional rinse agitations that are executed from two minutes or more in duration, this abbreviated rinse agitation reduces wear and tear on a drive/motor (e.g., due to the decreased quantity of water used in the rinse cycle and the decreased time of the agitation), saves energy, and reduces wear on articles. [0033] Referring next to FIG. 4 , an exemplary flow chart illustrates a process 400 for reducing water usage during a wash cycle of washing machine 50 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 ). In one embodiment, process 400 is executed by controller 138 utilizing timer 301 (as shown in FIG. 3 ). In a further embodiment, process 400 is executed by processor 304 (as shown in FIG. 3 ). The process includes receiving, at 402 , user defined settings for a washing cycle. At 404 , upon initiation of a wash cycle, a first quantity of water based on the user defined settings is added to wash tub 64 (as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 ). In the described embodiments, the first quantity of water is measured via a pressure sensor (e.g., pressure sensor 136 shown in FIG. 2 ). In one embodiment, when a first water level is reached, pressure sensor 136 sends an indication to processor 304 that the first water level which is indicative of the first predefined quantity of water has been reached. Processor 304 then sends a signal to an inlet valve (e.g., valves 102 and 104 as shown in FIG. 2 ) to close. [0034] At 406 , a wash agitation cycle is executed for a predefined period of time based on the user defined settings. For example, if a user selects a “large load,” the predefined period of time for executing the wash agitation may be greater than a wash agitation for a “small load”. At 408 , water from wash tub 64 is drained. At 410 , upon initiation of a rinse cycle, a second predefined quantity of water, less than the first predefined quantity of water, is added at a substantially constant water flow rate. As mentioned above, unlike the first predefined quantity of water, the second predefined quantity of water is not based on the user defined settings. [0035] In one embodiment, pressure sensor 136 is a multiple stage pressure sensor configured to detect a plurality of fluid levels in wash tub 64 . Thus, the pressure sensor may be configured to detect a fluid level indicative of the first quantity of water, and also configured to detect a fluid level indicative of the second quantity of water. For example, pressure sensor 136 may send a signal indicating that a sufficient quantity of water has been added to reach the second water level after the rinse cycle has been initiated. In addition, a signal is sent to stop adding water to wash tub 64 . Accordingly, in one embodiment, pressure sensor 136 may be used as a back-up, or in place of a water valve supplying the second predefined quantity of water at a constant flow rate for a predefined period of time. [0036] As mentioned above, prior to adding the second predefined quantity of water, a wash spin is not executed. By eliminating a wash spin prior to adding the second predefined quantity of water to, for example, wash tub 64 , articles remain wetted and not compressed. Further, water that would have been removed by executing a wash spin remains absorbed by the articles and is then “carried over” to the rinse cycle. As such, a rinse cycle includes the reduced quantity of water added during the rinse cycle as well as the “carry over” water absorbed by the articles during the wash cycle. Next, a rinse agitation may be executed for a predefined period of time that is less than the predefined period of time typical for rinse agitation. In some embodiments, unlike the wash agitation, the rinse agitation is not based on the user defined settings. As such, the rinse agitation may be for the same period of time regardless of washing cycle settings selected by a user and would be for a time period shorter than the shortest entire timer interval of a electromechanical timer. [0037] Exemplary Operating Environment [0038] A controller or computing device such as described herein may have one or more processors or processing units, system memory, and some form of computer readable media. By way of example and not limitation, computer readable media include computer storage media and communication media. Computer storage media include volatile and nonvolatile, removable and non-removable media implemented in any method or technology for storage of information such as computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules or other data. Communication media typically embody computer readable instructions, data structures, program modules, or other data in a modulated data signal, such as a carrier wave or other transport mechanism, and include any information delivery media. Combinations of any of the above are also included within the scope of computer readable media. [0039] The controller/computer may operate in a networked environment using logical connections to one or more remote computers. Although described in connection with an exemplary computing system environment, embodiments of the present disclosure are operational with numerous other general purpose or special purpose computing system environments or configurations. The computing system environment is not intended to suggest any limitation as to the scope of use or functionality of any aspect of the present disclosure. Moreover, the computing system environment should not be interpreted as having any dependency or requirement relating to any one or combination of components illustrated in the exemplary operating environment. Examples of well known computing systems, environments, and/or configurations that may be suitable for use with aspects of the present disclosure include, but are not limited to, personal computers, server computers, hand-held or laptop devices, multiprocessor systems, microprocessor-based systems, set top boxes, programmable consumer electronics, mobile telephones, network PCs, minicomputers, mainframe computers, distributed computing environments that include any of the above systems or devices, and the like. [0040] Embodiments of the present disclosure may be described in the general context of computer-executable instructions, such as program modules, executed by one or more computers or other devices. The computer-executable instructions may be organized into one or more computer-executable components or modules. Generally, program modules include, but are not limited to, routines, programs, objects, components, and data structures that perform particular tasks or implement particular abstract data types. Aspects of the present disclosure may be implemented with any number and organization of such components or modules. For example, aspects of the present disclosure are not limited to the specific computer-executable instructions or the specific components or modules illustrated in the figures and described herein. Other embodiments of the present disclosure may include different computer-executable instructions or components having more or less functionality than illustrated and described herein. Aspects of the present disclosure may also be practiced in distributed computing environments where tasks are performed by remote processing devices that are linked through a communications network. In a distributed computing environment, program modules may be located in both local and remote computer storage media including memory storage devices. [0041] Aspects of the present disclosure transform a general-purpose computer into a special-purpose computing device when configured to execute the instructions described herein. [0042] The order of execution or performance of the operations embodiments of the present disclosure illustrated and described herein is not essential, unless otherwise specified. That is, the operations may be performed in any order, unless otherwise specified, and embodiments of the present disclosure may include additional or fewer operations than those disclosed herein. For example, it is contemplated that executing or performing a particular operation before, contemporaneously with, or after another operation is within the scope of aspects of the present disclosure. [0043] When introducing elements of aspects of the present disclosure or the embodiments thereof, the articles “a,” “an,” “the,” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of the elements. The terms “comprising,” “including,” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements other than the listed elements. [0044] Having described aspects of the present disclosure in detail, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of aspects of the present disclosure as defined in the appended claims. As various changes could be made in the above constructions, products, and methods without departing from the scope of aspects of the present disclosure, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description and shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. [0045] This written description uses examples to disclose the claimed subject matter, including the best mode, and also to enable any person skilled in the art to practice the claimed subject matter, including making and using any devices or systems and performing any incorporated methods. The patentable scope of the present disclosure is defined by the claims, and may include other examples that occur to those skilled in the art. Such other examples are intended to be within the scope of the claims if they have structural elements that do not differ from the literal language of the claims, or if they include equivalent structural elements with insubstantial differences from the literal language of the claims.

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