These electrical appliances typically include a power cord that is receivable within acorresponding electrical outlet for supplying electrical power to the appliance. It can be appreciated that by utilizing a power cord
to supply electrical power to the appliance, such cord may constitute a potential hazard to those parties in closeproximity thereto. For example, each year a substantial number of children may tip over an electrical appliance by inadvertently engaging its power cord.
In certain electrical appliances such as electric frying pans, thermostatic control devices are utilized to insure that the cooking surface of the electrical appliance is maintained at a proper temperature. Typically, these thermostatic controldevices include a temperature probe which is removably attached to the electrical appliance by insertion into a female receiver. This, in turn, allows the thermostatic control device to be separated from the electrical appliance thereby allowing theelectrical appliance to be immersed in water for cleaning.
The electrical appliance includes a removable temperature control devicehaving a mounting panel incorporating a ferrous contact plate and a pair of conductive pins extending therefrom. The power supply cord includes a female electrical receptacle for receiving the pair of conductive pins extending from the mounting panel. In addition, the female electrical receptacle may incorporate a magnet subassembly that is directed toward the ferrous contact plate of the mounting panel for maintaining the electrical connection between the conductive pins and the female electricalreceptacle.
It is a further object and feature of the present invention to provide a detachable power cord apparatus for use with an electrical appliance or a temperature control device therefore that may be detached from the appliance or the temperaturecontrol device in response to a predetermined lateral force or a predetermined shear force thereon.
The connection device includes upper and lower spaced connectionsurfaces projecting from the control housing and defining a cavity therebetween. The upper and lower connection surfaces include corresponding catches axially aligned with each other. A power cord housing supports a first end of a power cord. Thepower cord housing has upper and lower surfaces and a forward end receivable between the upper and lower connection surfaces.
The connection device includes first and secondconnection surfaces that project from the control housing and that partially define a cavity. Each connection surface includes a corresponding depression therein. A power cord housing supports a first end of a power cord. The power cord housing hasfirst and second surfaces and a forward end receivable within the cavity. A first detent element is movable between a first extended position wherein the first detent element projects from the power cord housing and is receivable in the depression inthe first connection surface and a second retracted position.
In addition, first and second appliance terminals communicate with the leadingend of the temperature control device. The trailing end of the temperature control device includes first and second power cord terminals. A thermally-responsive switch is operatively connected to the temperature sensor.
The power cord
housing may include first and second power supply terminals communicating with the forward end thereof and interconnected to the power cord. The power supply terminals are connectable to the power cord terminals of the temperaturecontrol device. The first and second connection surfaces of the temperature control device are generally parallel to each other. The first and second detent element include ball bearings. In its extended position, the first detent element projectsfrom the first surface of the power cord housing and is receivable in the depression in the first connection surface.