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Publication numberUS20070026701 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/537,254
Publication dateFeb 1, 2007
Filing dateSep 29, 2006
Priority dateApr 5, 2004
Also published asCA2503909A1, CA2503909C, US7164082, US20050287848
Publication number11537254, 537254, US 2007/0026701 A1, US 2007/026701 A1, US 20070026701 A1, US 20070026701A1, US 2007026701 A1, US 2007026701A1, US-A1-20070026701, US-A1-2007026701, US2007/0026701A1, US2007/026701A1, US20070026701 A1, US20070026701A1, US2007026701 A1, US2007026701A1
InventorsStephen Kurek, Anthony Tufano, Emma Levin
Original AssigneeKurek Stephen R, Anthony Tufano, Emma Levin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical wiring device
US 20070026701 A1
Abstract
A wiring device common in household circuits includes a flexible brush that is a separate piece from a screw plate that receives electrical power. A terminal screw can thread into the screw plate. The brush may be positioned between the screw plate and the head of the terminal screw and can have a clearance hole through which the threads if the terminal screw can pass. Good electrical and thermal conductivity is assured between the screw plate and the brush by tightening the screw. A ground strap can be employed to hold a cover to a base of the electrical device. The strap can include openings which engage snap tabs on the cover to lock all components into a complete assembly. The strap also can have hooks which engage the cover to prevent the cover from being pulled out of the strap. The wiring device can be an electrical switch, a receptacle, or any similar type of device.
Images(5)
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Claims(5)
1. A wiring device comprising:
a switch for connecting and disconnecting a current to a load;
a receptacle adapted to receive at least one type of appliance plug;
a housing for mounting said switch and said receptacle therein; and
a cover for substantially concealing said switch and said receptacle wherein when said switch and said receptacle are assembled in combination with said housing and said cover, said switch and said receptacle form a combined device contained within a single housing
2. The device according to claim 1 wherein said housing comprises a single gang housing.
3. The wiring device of claim 1 wherein said switch is a rocker switch.
4. The wiring device of claim 3 wherein said rocker switch is a vertical axis rocker.
5. The wiring device of claim 3 wherein said rocker switch is a horizontal axis rocker.
Description
  • [0001]
    This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 11/088,755 filed on Mar. 25, 2005, which claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application having Application No. 60/559,925 filed on Apr. 5, 2004.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0003]
    The present invention generally relates to wiring devices.
  • [0004]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0005]
    Wiring devices such as receptacles and switches used in household wiring may require reliable operation at low cost. To succeed in the marketplace, successful devices are more economical to produce, are reliable in operation and, when assembled, form a unitary assembly that strongly resists disassembly than competing products.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    A wiring device such as a switch includes a flexible brush that is a movable contact and is a separate piece from a screw plate. A terminal screw can thread into the screw plate. The brush may be positioned between the screw plate and the head of the terminal screw. In an implementation, the brush can have a clearance hole through which the threads of the terminal screw can pass. Good electrical and thermal conductivity is assured between the screw plate and the brush by tightening a terminal screw into the screw plate.
  • [0007]
    A ground strap can be employed to hold a cover to a base of the electrical device. The strap can include openings which engage snap tabs on the cover to lock all components into a complete assembly. The strap also can have hooks which engage the cover to prevent the cover from being pulled out of the strap. The wiring device can be an electrical switch, a receptacle, or any similar type of device.
  • [0008]
    Some implementations of the disclosure have the advantage that there is no need for the brush of an electrical switch device to be permanently attached to the screw plate that can be coupled to the AC power line.
  • [0009]
    The foregoing has outlined, rather broadly, the preferred feature of the present invention so that those skilled in the art may better understand the detailed description of the invention that follows. Additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter that form the subject of the claims of the invention. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they can readily use the disclosed conception and specific embodiment as a basis for designing or modifying other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention and that such other structures do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention in its broadest terms.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    Other aspects, features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings in which similar elements are given similar reference numerals.
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 is an isometric of an assembled wiring device;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2 is a partial cut away isometric of a wiring device showing a flexible brush and a screw plate and their relationship; and
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3A-3B illustrate the cover of an electrical device coupled to a strap.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0014]
    FIG. 1 is an isometric side view of an assembled electrical device 10 including a rocker switch 14 and a receptacle outlet 12. The electrical device can have a cover 22 and a base 24. A grounding strap 20 can be formed around the base 24 and include mounting brackets 18. The brackets 18 can be used to mount the device to a standard electrical junction box (not shown). The strap 20 can be formed of a conductive material and used to hold together the base 24 and the cover 22 by hooks 30 and snap tabs 32. A grounding screw 16 which is electrically connected to strap 20 can be used to receive a grounding wire of an alternating current (AC) power line. In an implementation, the electrical device includes a toggle switch 14 and a receptacle outlet 12 accessible through the cover 22. A toggle switch or a combination of other functions also may be made accessible through the cover 22. AC power line wires (not shown) may be connected to the device by one or more screw plates 26. The wires can be held in electrical contact with the screw plates 28 by terminal screws 26.
  • [0015]
    Referring to FIG. 2, there is shown a base 48 of an electrical device in accordance with the present disclosure. One or more flexible brushes 46 can each be trapped between a respective screw plate 42 and a head of a terminal screw 40. The brushes 46 can be movable contacts that may be moved by operation of the switch 14 and can be of copper alloy having high strength and conductivity. The brush 46 is not permanently attached to the screw plate 42. The screw plate 42 can be of a heavy gauge conductive material for strength and have good electrical conductivity. Each terminal screw 40 can thread into a respective screw plate 42. The terminal screw 40 is adapted to receive and trap a conductive wire of the AC power line (not shown) under its head. Good electrical connection is made between the brush 46, respective screw plate 42 and the conductive wire of the AC power line under the head of the terminal screw 40 by tightening the terminal screw 40 into the screw plate 42. A prior art one piece integral brush/terminal screw part is not required and the flexible brush is not permanently connected to the screw plate.
  • [0016]
    Referring to FIGS. 3A-3B, there is shown a perspective side view (FIG. 3A) and a side view (FIG. 3B) of the electrical device 10 of FIG. 1. The grounding strap 20 can have hooks 30, which can engage the cover 22 of the wiring device 10. The grounding strap 20 also can include openings 60 which can engage snap tabs 32 on the cover 22. The snap tabs 32 can be attached to the cover 22 so that the snap tabs can bend out of the way of the grounding strap 20 during assembly. As the grounding strap 20 is assembled to the cover 22, the strap can cause the snap tabs 32 to flexed inwards of the strap until the snap tabs reach the openings 60. The snap tabs 20 can snap into the openings 60. This arrangement can help prevent the cover 22 of the wiring device from being pulled out of the grounding strap 20 and locks all of the components of the assembled wiring device together. A screw or rivet also may be added to secure the strap 20 to the wiring device cover 22 to provide additional security.
  • [0017]
    While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the apparatus illustrated and in the operation may be done by those skilled in the art, without departing from the spirit of the invention.
Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7670155 *Mar 2, 2010Carlos OrtegaElectrical receptacle for outward facing ground plugs
US7806736Jul 1, 2008Oct 5, 2010Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wiring device terminal and related method of termination
US7862350Aug 20, 2007Jan 4, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc.Combination device including a guide light and an electrical component
US7909664Mar 1, 2010Mar 22, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wire termination apparatus and method
US7963812May 29, 2009Jun 21, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wire termination apparatus and method
US8047883Nov 1, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wire termination mechanisms and methods of use
US8128421 *Jan 12, 2010Mar 6, 2012Carlos OrtegaElectrical receptacle for outward facing ground plugs
US8137145May 29, 2009Mar 20, 2012Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wiring termination mechanisms and use thereof
US8444309Aug 13, 2010May 21, 2013Leviton Manufacturing Company, Inc.Wiring device with illumination
US8465301Mar 1, 2012Jun 18, 2013Duh-Socket, Inc.Electrical receptacle for outward facing ground plugs
US20080233774 *May 22, 2008Sep 25, 2008Duh-Socket, Inc.Electrical Receptacle for Outward Facing Ground Plugs
US20090052162 *Aug 20, 2007Feb 26, 2009Leviton Manufacturing Company Inc.Combination device including a guide light and an electrical component
US20100003865 *Jan 7, 2010Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wiring device terminal and related method of termination
US20100173508 *Jul 8, 2010Carlos OrtegaElectrical receptacle for outward facing ground plugs
US20100304596 *Dec 2, 2010Leviton Mgf.Co.Wire termination apparatus and method
US20100304597 *Mar 1, 2010Dec 2, 2010Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wire termination apparatus and method
US20100304619 *May 29, 2009Dec 2, 2010Leviton Manufacturing. Co.Wiring termination mechanisms and use thereof
US20100304624 *May 29, 2009Dec 2, 2010Leviton Manufacturing CompanyWire termination mechanisms and methods of use
USD674753Jan 22, 2013Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Wiring device with illumination
USD732719 *Mar 28, 2014Jun 23, 2015Hubbell IncorporatedDuplex receptacle with nightlight
USD735378 *Mar 24, 2014Jul 28, 2015Hubbell IncorporatedNightlight
Classifications
U.S. Classification439/107
International ClassificationH01R4/34, H01R4/64, H01R13/648, H01R9/18
Cooperative ClassificationH01R9/18, H01R4/34, H01R4/64
European ClassificationH01R4/34