US 1888225 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 22, 1932. R. HETHERINGTON AUTOMATIC THERMOSTATIC CONTROL VALVE Filed Dec. 24, 1928 Patented Nov. 22, 1932 AUTOMATIC. THEBMOS'TATIC CONTROL VALVE Application filed December 24, 1928. Serial No. 328,261.
My invention relates to thermostatic control valves for supply of water and of other A further purpose is to operate a sensitive thermostatic element directly across a. narrow valve inlet opening so that the water flow will be cut off quickly if its temperature be excessive.
A further purpose is to use one of the arms of a Ushaped thermostat as a cut-oif for the water flow.
Further purposes will appear in the spec1 fication and in the claims.
Because shower baths offer very excellent illustrations of the need and also of the use of my thermostatic valve I have illustrated 1t in connection with shower baths, notwithstanding that I recognize that my invention is of much broader application than to shower baths merely and can be used for protection not only against temperatures 1n ur1ous to the person, as in the'case of the shower baths,
but also to control the temperatures ofliquids such as are used in tempering, chemical reac-- Figure 1 is a perspective view of a shower bath equipment embodying my invention.
Figure 1a is a fragmentary view applying the invention to control of the supply to a bank of showers. g V Figure 2 is a longitudinal section of a pore tion of the structure of Figure 1 showing one of my controls. 1 7 Figure 3 is a section of Figure 2 taken'upon the line 33.
V Figure 4 is a section similar to Figure 2 but showing a variation of the form.
Figure 5 is a section of the structure of Figure 4 taken upon the line 55.
In the drawing similar numerals indicate like parts.
The general, uses of thermostatic valves are too well known and too well established to need anything more than the briefest statement and my explanation of theultility of the device will therefore be confined to the .special utility of the shower bath use by which it is here illustrated.
Notwithstanding the recognized value of shower baths, their adoption by hotels and like places of public entertainment has been slow because of the dangers connectedjwith their use carelessness in the opening of the valves or slow delivery of hot water at the start, by which the mixture is not properly adjusted, excessiveuse of cold water by other users, lowering its pressure, or other causes may result in the scalding of the bather and a consequent suit against the proprietor of the establishment. This danger and responsibility place a very high premium on quick and'reliable thermostatic control of the temperature at which the water discharges.
My invention is directed to separatether mostatic control of the water flowing in each path. In this case each shower bath. comprises a separate path, but a bank of showers V or other devices could, of course, be served by'one valve, in either event rendering the shower baths safe'at all times for use. v
The drawing is intended to illustrate a typical shower bath of. the .simplest form 7 having hot and cold water inlets 5 and 6, controlled by valves 7 and 8 to supply water through a riser 9 to a shower head .10. In, showing my thermostatic valve 11 in the connection 12 close to the shower head it is not my intention to suggest that it must be located at this point' as it can be inserted anywhere beyond the point at which the hot and cold water are mixed and entirely independ-' ently of whether or not an intermediate mixing chamber or hand-control valve, or both, be used between the hot and cold water valves 95 and my thermostaticvalve. 1.
Whether thepiping be located. in front of or behind the wall 13 is, of course, wholly ims material. I v 1 q My control valve comprises essentially a 1 casing 14 having an inlet 15, outlet 16 and in-.
static valve element 22; This element is secured to the front wall 23 by arm 24:. and bolts 25. Leakage is prevented by packing 26, 27.
I find that the sensitiveness of the thermostatic element is greatly increased by extending the inlet 15 to a point near to the bend of the thermostat U preferably also flattening it as seen in Figures 2 and 8 so as to apply the inlet hot water directly to the most sensitive part of the thermostat.
The casing provides longitudinally extending lateral walls 28, 29 which seal at the sides and back with the side edges of arm 21' and bend 30 of the thermostatic element 18. These walls are preferably finished so that the thermostatic element may move transversely to the passage with variation in temperature without losing its effective seal.
The clearance between the side edges of the thermostatic element and the lateral walls 28 and 29 may be very slight so as to allow but slight leakage of water between, with the result that the small volume of water beyond the valve will cool before it reaches the sprinkler, protecting against possible scalding. The shutting down of flow through the thermostatic control will cause the water in the casing to cool, hastening readjustment of flow to normal conditions.
In all of the above discussion I have considered the shower bath use of the valve from the standpoint of protection against excessive temperatures because this is the type of protection-which is most sought and which will likely be most used, but I recognize that the invention has utility also in this shower bath use to prevent excessive flow of cold water which would be injurious, for example to patients in a sanitarium. Thiswould require valve reversal merely in the illustration of Figure 4:, for example. If the inlet 17 were brought around to the opposite side of the element 18 in that figure the valve would close by contraction for this purpose.
With increase in temperature thearm 21 moves across the valve opening, and, at. the predetermined temperature, comes in contact with a valve face which maybe the rear wall or arib31 extending outwardly from the rear wall and engaging the side walls 28 and 29. Further closing movement of thefarm 21 merely bends it without interfering with the effectiveness of its seal against rib 31.
I recognize that the thermostatic element need not be used to close the passage by lateral movement and have illustrated in Figures 4 and 5 a construction in which a mere valve opening is closed from the face. It is, of course, open to the qualification that, when closed, the full water pressure assists in holding it closed; but with the advantage that, when nearly closed the water pressure will assist in closing it and will tend to snap it shut.
The passage 19 is closed off from the body of the casing throughout the entire length of the body except at the passage opening 17 where it is capable of being closed by the side face of the thermostatic element.
Because of the necessity for access during manufacture the casing is made in' several parts which are welded or otherwise fastened together by flanges. I have shown these flanges as transverse for reasons of appearance only and with recognition of the fact that any convenient line of division may be used which will give access to the interior for the purpose of finishing the sealing surfaces if desired, and to permit introduction of the thermostatic element. The fastening may be temporary or permanent.
As the thermostatic element is made of thin resilient material there is no danger of injury from over-expansion of the element in either variation as the only eflect of such overexpansion beyond the closing position is to bend the valve arm at intermediate points about the cooperating casing valve face. In Figures 4: and 5 any bending of the arm beyond'the position of complete closure of the valve opening would tend to lift the outer end of the closure away from the face 32 of the passage opening, but this can be taken care of easily by providing for substantially complete but not complete flow out ofi at the desired temperature and for increasingly complete closure from that point up to a designed maximum at which'the thermostatic arm will make engagement with the face 33 of the passage inlet completing the closure. Slight movement beyond this position would merely slightly open the valve between the arm and the face 32.
It will be evident that both variations of my invention provide a valve in which the movable valve element is a thermostatic arm expanding toward and contracting away from position of valve closure; and that both use the water pressure to some extentto snap the valve shut as the arm approaches position of full closure.
It will be further evident that the leakage allowed in the variation of the earlier figures.
may be kept within any predetermined limits desired and may be used to assist in the 're-.
sumption of normal flow conditions, both by relieving the pressure when the arm closes the main opening and by allowing flow of part of the water to drip out through the shower head.
In view of my invention and disclosure variations and modifications to meet individual whim or particular need will doubtless becomes evident to others skilled in the art, to obtain all or part of the benefits of my invention without copying the structure shown, and I, therefore, claim all such in so far as they fall within the reasonable spirit and scope of my invention.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is;
1. In a protective device for shower baths, sources of hot and cold water supply, valves therein, a shower head, piping connections between the sources and head, a thermostatic valve of U-shape in the piping connections adapted to close off the water supply and receiving water delivery against the bend of the U.
2. In a protective device for shower baths, sources of hot and cold water supply, valves therein, a shower head, piping connections between the sources and head, a thermostatic valve in the connections comprising a casing having a valve opening and a thermostatic element of U-shape adapted to swing across the opening to reduce the area of theope'ning and ultimately to close the opening and a nozzle delivering the water supply against the bend of the U.
3. In a protective device for shower baths, sources of hot and cold water supply, valves therein, a shower head, piping connections between the sources and head and a thermostatic valve in the connections comprising a casing having a rear wall and spaced side walls and a U-shaped thermostatic valve ele- 'ment adapted to seal against excessive leakage between it and the side walls and to form a passage between said valve element and the rear wall and to seal against leakage between it and the rear wall with continued expansion of the thermostatic element.
4. A thermostatic valve comprising a casing having a rear wall and spaced side walls and a thermostat having a U-shaped arm adapted to seal against excessive leakage between it and the side walls in the closed position of the valve and to form a passage whenthe valve is open between the arm and the rear wall but to seal by its outer surface against leakage between it and the rear wall with continued thermal expansion of the thermostatic arm.
5. A thermostatic valve comprising a casing having a fluid passage, an opening into the passage and a thermostat having a U-shaped arm adapted to seal against a wall of the opening to seal the opening and an inlet discharging water within the interior of the U and toward the bend of the U.
6. A thermostatic element having a resilient U-shaped valve arm adapted to bend when expanded beyond the intended position of valve closure, a casing and walls in the casing providing a passage and having an opening adapted to be closed by the arm.
7. A thermostatic element of U form having one arm of the U relatively flat and of resilient material, a casing and walls within the casing forming three sides of apassage of which the arm forms the fourth and for which passage the arm forms a closure.
8. A thermostatic control device comprising a casing containing a passage intended :as an outlet passage for the casing, a
to close the passage and an inlet for the casng applying the inlet liquid directly to the lnside of the bend of the U.
9. In a protective device for shower baths, sources of hot and cold water supply, valves therein, a shower head, piping connections between the sources and head, a thermostatic valve in the connections comprising a casing having a valve open at its side and end and a U-shaped thermostatic valve element havmg an arm closing the side and adapted to move across the end, sealing. with the side walls in the casing to protect against excessive leakage between the walls and the arm and a terminal for the connections within the casing delivering the water within the U-shaped valve element and near the bend of the U.