US 1862686 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 14, 1932. w. NlGH 1,862,686
COUPLING UNIT Filed Oct. 4, 1950 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 June 14, 1932. l. w. KNIGHT 1,862,686
COUPLING UNI T Filed Oct. 4, 1959 2 Sheets-Sh et 2 Z6 La 30 [777 7977 far Patented June 14, 1932 UNITED STATES PATENT; OFFICE IRA W. KNIGHT, OF PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, ASSIGNOR 'IO GENERAL FIRE EX- TINGUISHER COMPANY, OF PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND, A CORPORATION OF DELAWARE COUPLING UNIT Application filed October 4, 1930. Serial No. 486,385.
This invention relates to an improved coupling unit for use in a liquid delivery system.
It is particularly adapted for the type of system disclosed in an application, Serial Numher 325,797, filed December 13, 1928, by
Albert J. Loepsinger and entitled Fire extinguishing systems.
In St ch a system, the distributing pipes are normal y filled with air under pressure, and m are provided with automatic sprinkler heads adapted to open under predetermined conditions. These pipes are connected with a reserv0 r or storage tank partly filled with fire extinguishing liquid, the remaining space in the tank being filled with the air of the system. The connections between these pipes and the tank are such that upon the opening of a sprinkler with consequent drop of pressure in the pipes, the air in the tank is entrapped and acts upon the liquid to force it through the distributing pipes and out the open head.
It is among the objects of the present invention to provide in a simple compact device the characteristic connections of such a system, to wit, a large open connection for flow of the liquid and a restricted connection for transfer of air between the distributing pipes and the supply reservoir during normal stand-by conditions. It is a further feature to provide means actuated by the liquid for closing the restricted connection and for controlling an auxiliary power circuit as the system goes into operation.
The best mode in which I have contemplated applying the principles of my invention is particularly set forth in the detailed description which follows and illustrated in a the accompanying drawings, but it is intended that the patent shall cover by suitable expression in the appended claims whatever features of patentable novelty exist in the invention disclosed.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is an elevation, partly in section of a liquid delivery system comprising my novel coupling unit;
Figure 2 is a plan of the unit;
Figure 3 is an elevation in section as on line 33 of Figure 2; and
Figure 4 is an elevation of the switch box with the cover removed.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, the particular system shown is a fire extinguishing system comprising distribut-- ing pipes, represented by the riser and lateral 12, which lead to a multiplicity of automatic sprinklers such as is seen at 14. The system also comprises a storage tank or reservoir 16 of suitable capacity which is' partly filled with fire extinguishing liquid, in this case water. Between the tank and the distributing system is my novel coupling unit 18. v
This unit has a top flange 20 for CODIIQCUOII with the distributing system and a bottom flange 22 for connection with a saddle flange 24: on the tank 16. Between these flanges 20, 22 is a generally cylindrical portion 26, the upper part of which is interiorly of the same diameter as the delivery pipe and the lower part of which is of greater diameter to provide an annular space 28 around a pipe 30 that is connected to the coupling and extends downward into the tank close by its bottom. The passage thus formed by the cylindrical portion 26 and the pipe 30 is the direct open connection for flow of liquid from the tank into the distributing pipes.
Above the pipe 30, the cylindrical portion 26 has a side opening 32 (see Figure 3) into a float chamber 34 provided by a horizontal portion 36. At one end of this latter portion is a hollow plug 38 opening into the capped chamber 40 which is connected by pipe 42 with the space 28 at the bottom of the cylindrical portion 26. This latter space by virtue of the opening through saddle flange 24 is in efiect a part of the air space of tank 16. In the bottom of the hollow plug 38 is a small hole or restricted opening 44 which is of sufficient size to permit flow of air between the tank and distributing system occasioned by any small or slow changes in their respective pressure as, for example, the pressure fall due to slow leakage or the pressure rise caused by a compressor going into action to restore the normal air pressure of the system. But this hole or opening 44 is too small to allowfor the rapid passage of air between the tank 28, is a restricted connection between the tank and the distributing pipes for gradual or slow flow of air.
In the float chamber 34 is a float 46 having a stem 48 at one end projecting through the end wall 36a of the horizontal portion 36 into the switch box 50. This stem is pivotally supported by a sleeve 52 mounted in the wall 36a and having a tapered hole therethrough.
This sleeve is attached to another sleeve 54 on the stem by a flexible collar 56 of rubber or like material. Accordingly, upon the flow of liquid into the float chamber the float will be tilted upward in the chamber while its ex- Eended stem tilts downward in the switch The lifting of the float causes it toengage the stem 58a of a valve 58 arranged in its spider-like support 60 so that when raised. it closes the hole 44 in the hollow plug 38. The simultaneous downward movement of the stem 48 carries with it a wedge-shaped block 62 adjustablymounted near its end. In the path of movement of this block is a roller 64 (see Figure 4) journaled in an arm 66 of a contact point 68. As the block engages this roller, its wedge shape causes the point to swing over into contact with another point 7 O and thus establish a circuit leading through wires 72, 74 to alarm or other responsive apparatus.
The system is charged by admitting water through ipe 76 until its desiredlevel in tank 16 is rear/lied, this being indicated by the level in the gauge glass 78. Air is then introduced through pipe 80 until the normal standby pressure gauge 82. This pressure is maintained during the quiescent state of the system by virtue of a pressure responsive device 84 which, upon fall of pressure below a predetermined degree causes a compressor (not shown) to force air through pipe 80 and raise the system pressure to a degree at which the device 84 responds to shut off the compressor. Pipes 76 and 80 are provided with check valves 86 to prevent leakage from the system through these pipes.
As is clear from the foregoingdescription, the operation of the coupling device is as follows. With the distributing system filled with air under pressure and the tank nearly full of liquid, the air in the latter is under the same .pressure as that in the distributing pipes. This relation is maintained even though slow changes of pressure occur because sufiicient air can flow through'the restricted connection to equalize such changes.
pipestakes place sorrapidlythat the airin'the tank can not pass'through restriction 44 fast enough to equalize the pressures. Consequently the tank pressure almost immediately exceeds the pressure in the distributing pipes and as a result of that relation water is forced upward through pipe 30 and the unit 18 into the riser 10. As this water thus begins to flow upward it enters the float chamber 34 through opening 32 and very promptly causes the float to tilt and push valve 58 into closed position with respect to opening 44. This effectually cuts oii all escape of air through the restricted connection and entraps it in the tank where its pressure is expended in forcing the water out through pipe 30. Simultaneously with the tilting of the float, the switch points 68, TOarc closed andan alarm caused to sound. Thus th unit permits a slow or minor transfer of air between the supply and the delivery or distributing system to maintain their respective pressure equal, prevents a rapid escape of air from the tank or reservoir in case of a sudden drop of pressure in the distributing pipes thus effecting flow of the liquid, and then acts to cut off further escape of the air and initiate the giving of a signal announcing that operation of the system has begun.
I claim: I
1. A coupling unit for a liquiddelivery system having a distributing pipe-filled wit-h gas under pressure and a supply tank partly filled with liquid, comprising, in combination, means forming an open connection between said pipe and said tank below the level of the liquid therein; means forming a restricted connection between-said pipe and said tank above the level of liquid therein; and means actuated by the liquid upon flow occurring through said open connection for closing said restricted connection.
2. A coupling unit for a liquid delivery system having a distributing pipe filled with gas under pressure and a supply tank partly filled withliquid, comprising, in combination,
an open passageway in said coupling adapted to be connected to said pipe andto a discharge outlet from said tank below the level of liquid. therein; a restricted passageway in said coupling adapted to be connected to said pipe and to the tank above the level of liquid therein; and means in said coupling actuated by discharge of said liquid through the open passageway 'lor closing'the restricted passagewav.
3. A coupling unit for a liquid delivery system comprising, in combination, a passageway for discharge of the liquid; a chamber connected to said passageway; a restricted outlet from said chamber; and means in said chamber actuated by the liquid entering therein from said discharge passage for closing said restricted passage.
4. A coupling unit for a liquid delivery system comprising, in combination, a casing having an open passageway therethrough adapted to be connected at one end to the distributing pipe of said system and at the other end to a supply tank partly filled with liquid; a restricted passageway in said cas ing connecting said open passageway with said tank and comprising a float chamber; a float in said chamber adapted to be moved by liquid entering said chamber from said open passageway; and means actuated by said float for closing said restricted passage- 5 A coupling unit for a liquid delivery system comprising, in combination, a casing having an open passageway therethrough adapted to be connected at one end to the distributing pipe of said system and at the other end to a supply tank partly filled with liquid; a restricted passageway in said casing connecting said open passageway with said tank and comprising a float chamber; a float in said chamber adapted to be moved by liquid entering said chamber from said open passageway; means actuated by said float for closing said restricted passageway; and means actuated by said float for establishing a supplemental power circuit.
6. A coupling unit for a liquid delivery system adapted to connect the delivery pipe of said system to a supply tank partly filled with liquid; said coupling having a passageway t-herethrough adapted to be connected at its lower end with a pipe extending below the level of liquid in said tank; a chamber in said coupling below the last said pipe connection connecting said coupling with the space in said tank above the liquid therein; an offset portion of said coupling having connection with said passageway and with said chamber; means in the last said connection restricting its size; and means in said ofl'set portion adapted upon entrance of water therein from said passageway to close said restricted connection.
7. In a liquid delivery system having a distributing pipe under pressure and a tank holding liquid, coupling means joining tho two having a discharge connection with said tank below the level of the liquid therein; a chamber connected with the tank above the level of the said liquid; a restriction in the last said connection adapted upon a sudden drop of pressure in the distributing pipe to cntrap the pressure in said tank and thereby cause the liquid to flow through said discharge connection into the distributing pipe and into said chamber; and means in said chamber actuated by the liquid entering therein to close said restricted connection.
Signed at Providence, Rhode Island, this 26th day of September, 1980.
IRA W. KNIGHT.
Jar! L ATE er eeRR Patent No. 1,862,686. June 14, 1932.
ERA W. KNIGHT.
certified that error appears in the printed specification of the above numbered patent requiring correction as follows: Page 2, line 41, after "pressure" first occurrence, insert the words is attained, this being shown by the pressure; and that the said Letters Patent should be read with this correction therein that the same may conform to the record of the ease in the Patent Office.
Signed and sealed this 22nd day of November, A. D. 1932.
it is hereby M. J. Moore,
Acting Commissioner of Patents.