The Mendelson device provides a temperature control device having a male temperature probe at one end that is received by a female receiver on the appliance. Attractive magnetic forces between a metal contact plate on the opposite end of the temperature control device and a magnet on a power supply cord
couple the temperature control device and the power supply cord during use.
The temperature probe remains coupled to the appliance after separation from the power supply plug unless separately removed by the consumer.That is, the point of magnet coupling is between the power supply cord and the temperature-regulating device. One inherent drawback of this system is that the consumer commonly leaves the temperature probe attached to the appliance while immersing the appliance in water for cleaning, which may damage the temperature probe and the temperature regulating capability of the device.
According to one aspect of the invention, a detachable power supply apparatus for an appliance comprises a mounting assembly carried by the appliance and a power supply device carried by a power supply cord. The mounting assembly comprises a heat transfer probe, a heating element terminating in a first electrical terminal, and a first coupling element. The power supply device comprises a temperature regulating device and a second coupling element coupled to the temperature regulating device. The second coupling element is adapted to removably magnetically couple with the first coupling element to couple the appliance with the power supply device. The power supply device also comprises a second electrical terminal adapted for removable electrical contact with the first electrical terminal. Attractive magnetic forces between the first and second coupling elements removably and electrically couple the appliance and the power supply device.
In one embodiment, the first and second coupling elements are magnets of opposite polarity. It should be appreciated that a magnet may exert a magnetic force on a material that is not magnetized. Therefore, one of the coupling elements can be replaced by a material, e.g., ferrous plate, on which the remaining coupling element is able to exert an attractive magnetic force.
According to another aspect of the invention, a heating element terminating in a first electrical terminal and a first coupling element are carried by an appliance. The appliance also carries a heat transfer probe. The heat transfer probe has an inner end portion arranged for contact with the heating element and an outer end portion including a first heat transfer surface.
A power supply device is carried by a power supply cord
. The power supply device comprises a second electrical terminal to selectively, removably receive the first electrical terminal to provide electrical contact between the appliance and the power supply device. The power supply device also comprises a temperature regulating device and a second coupling element coupled to the temperature regulating device. The second coupling element is adapted for magnetic coupling with the first coupling element. A second heat transfer surface is carried by the second coupling element and arranged for severable heat transfer contact with the first heat transfer surface when the first and second coupling elements are magnetically coupled.