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Publication numberUS20080072892 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/859,582
Publication dateMar 27, 2008
Filing dateSep 21, 2007
Priority dateSep 22, 2006
Publication number11859582, 859582, US 2008/0072892 A1, US 2008/072892 A1, US 20080072892 A1, US 20080072892A1, US 2008072892 A1, US 2008072892A1, US-A1-20080072892, US-A1-2008072892, US2008/0072892A1, US2008/072892A1, US20080072892 A1, US20080072892A1, US2008072892 A1, US2008072892A1
InventorsMartin Wawrla, David Glass, Jeff Hurlburt
Original AssigneeMartin Wawrla, David Glass, Jeff Hurlburt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Catch for condensates
US 20080072892 A1
Abstract
The present invention relates to exhaust condensate removal equipment for energy efficient heating apparatuses that may be positioned either vertically or any angle off horizontal. The device collects condensate from ducts and may be retrofit into existing systems. The device has an inner chamber that collects and directs condensates toward a drain nipple through which the condensate is then removed from the sealed system. The system may optionally include a reusable seal and clamp for ease of maintenance or retrofitting an existing system.
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Claims(20)
1. A conduit section for drainage of flue gas condensate, said conduit section comprising:
a first end, for ingress of a stream of flue gas, said first end having a first seal;
a second end, for egress of the stream of flue gas, said second end having a second seal;
a chamber within said conduit section, said chamber having a first closed end and a second open end, said second open end facing away from the ingress of the stream of flue gas;
a drain portion positioned on said chamber for flow of said condensates from said chamber, wherein said conduit section is removably attachable as all inline unit.
2. The conduit section of claim 1 wherein said conduit section is installed as a unit into an existing exhaust conduit system to remove condensate.
3. The conduit section of claim 1 further comprising:
a first conduit channel within said first end to position and support said first seal; and
a second conduit channel within said second end to position and support said second seal.
4. The conduit section of claim 3 wherein said seal comprising a resilient, flexible gasket body including a first surface, a second surface and at least two edges, a plurality of angular protrusions having a tip and a base, said protrusions disposed on the first surface, a trough between said angular protrusions, wherein said protrusions cover said trough and said tip contacts said base of an adjacent angular protrusion when compressed, a compression cavity having a center, said cavity disposed on the second surface beneath said plurality of angular protrusions, wherein said center of said compression cavity bows when the gasket body is sealed, and at least two sealing walls positioned at said at least two edges.
5. The conduit section of claim 1 further comprising:
a first removable coupling device adjacent said first end; and
a second removable coupling device adjacent said second.
6. The conduit section of claim 1 further comprising:
a butterfly damper, said damper positioned within said first end of said conduit.
7. The conduit section of claim 5 further comprising:
a plurality of compression grooves in said ends, said grooves adjacent said removable coupling device, wherein said grooves contract when compressed.
8. The conduit section of claim 5 further comprising:
a hole positioned adjacent said second end of said conduit;
a worm screw of said second removable coupling device positioned at said hole; and
a band attached to said worm screw, said band positioned within said second end, wherein said second end acts as a female coupling to an existing flue.
9. The conduit section of claim 1 wherein said first end and said second end of said conduit are substantially similar in size.
10. The conduit section of claim 9 wherein said first end and said end of said conduit have a substantially circular cross sectional shape.
11. The conduit section of claim 1 wherein said chamber of said first closed end is formed by a resistance weld between an internal pipe and the conduit.
12. The conduit section of claim 1 is positioned in a horizontal orientation and wherein said drain is oriented in a downward angle.
13. The conduit section of claim 1 further comprising:
a unit with a burner exhausting a flue gas under a positive pressure;
a plurality of exhaust sections sealedly connected to said unit with the burner to remove the flue gas under positive pressure, wherein said conduit section is installed inline to remove condensate from said plurality of exhaust sections.
14. An inline conduit condensate drain, said inline conduit comprising:
a inner conduit having a first diameter and an internal exhaust outlet;
an outer conduit having at least two attachment portions with a second diameter larger than said first diameter of said inner conduit, said inner conduit intersects and is sealedly affixed within said outer conduit;
a condensate chamber, wherein said condensate chamber is formed in said outer conduit and positioned above said intersection of said inner conduit and said outer conduit, and wherein said condensate chamber is spaced away from said inner conduit; and
a drain portion positioned on said condensate chamber, wherein said inline conduit is sealedly attached between at least two other exhaust conduits.
15. The inline conduit of claim 14 further comprising:
at least two sealing channels within said outer conduit adjacent said at least two attachment portions; and
a gasket seal positioned within said at least two sealing channels, said seal comprising a resilient, flexible gasket body including a first surface, a second surface and at least two edges, a plurality of angular protrusions having a tip and a base, said protrusions disposed on the first surface, a trough between said angular protrusions, wherein said protrusions cover said trough and said tip contacts said base of an adjacent angular protrusion when compressed, a compression cavity having a center, said cavity disposed on the second surface beneath said plurality of angular protrusions, wherein said center of said compression cavity bows when the gasket body is sealed, and at least two sealing walls positioned at said at least two edges.
16. The inline conduit section of claim 14 further comprising:
a valve body positioned within said outer conduit;
an opening in said valve body to allow flue gas to pass; and
a valve covering said opening.
17. The inline conduit of claim 14 further comprising:
a flue gas source under positive pressure, wherein said inline conduit is attached externally to said flue gas source under positive pressure.
18. The inline conduit of claim 14 wherein said inline conduit is installed into a duct of a heater unit in a substantially horizontal orientation.
19. A method for draining condensate from positive pressure flues comprising:
providing an inline conduit having a first end, for ingress of a stream of flue gas, said first end having a first seal, a second end, for egress of the stream of flue gas, said second end having a second seal, a chamber within said conduit section, said chamber having a first closed end and a second open end, said second open end facing away from the ingress of the stream of flue gas, a drain portion positioned on said chamber adjacent for flow of said condensates from said chamber, wherein said first seal and said second seal are both external a casing of a flue gas source;
providing a source of flue emissions under positive pressure; and
attaching said inline conduit externally to said source of flue emissions under positive pressure.
20. The method of claim 19 further comprising:
removing an existing section of conduit for installation of said inline conduit.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The application claims benefit to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/826,680 and U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/826,698 both filed on Sep. 22, 2006, the contents of both are incorporated in their entirety. The application also incorporates in reference by their entirety U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/804,010 filed on Jun. 6, 2006.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to removing condensates from vent systems connected to energy efficient heating equipment under positive pressure.

BACKGROUND

In the past heating systems burning gas, oil, coal or even wood had their exhaust emissions evacuated from a building by negative pressure (draft) created in a flue by the temperature differential between hot flue gases and ambient outside temperatures. Unless these flues became obstructed, flue gas leaks and potential carbon monoxide poisoning were avoided, as negative pressure was maintained throughout the vent system. If the flue gas composition in a negative pressure system was to be tested, the technician would customarily drill a hole into the connector pipe, then cover it with a simple patch without fear of leaks, due to the negative pressure.

With the development of high efficiency heating equipment, exhaust systems must be designed to match the heater's performance requirements. Increasing efficiency means that more heat is kept in a home, rather than sending it up and out a chimney flue. As a consequence, flue gas temperatures are reduced to the point where negative pressure within a vent system can no longer be created. For that reason, and with the help of blowers on the heater, flue gases are now mechanically expelled, thus creating positive pressure in a vent system. At the same time, these cool flue gases readily fall below dew point temperatures, creating significant amounts of condensates within a vent system. These condensates can be corrosive, of significant volume, need to be captured before back-flowing into the heating equipment and need to be disposed of properly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A first aspect of the invention is a conduit section for drainage of flue gas condensate, said conduit section comprising a first end, for ingress of a stream of flue gas, said first end having a first seal; a second end, for egress of the stream of flue gas, said second end having a second seal; a chamber within said conduit section, said chamber having a first closed end and a second open end, said second open end facing away from the ingress of the stream of flue gas; a drain portion positioned on said chamber for flow of said condensates from said chamber, wherein said conduit section is removably attachable as an inline unit.

A second aspect of the invention is an inline conduit condensate drain, said inline conduit comprising a inner conduit having a first diameter and an internal exhaust outlet an outer conduit having at least two attachment portions with a second diameter larger than said first diameter of said inner conduit, said inner conduit intersects and is sealedly affixed within said outer conduit; a condensate chamber, wherein said condensate chamber is formed in said outer conduit and positioned above said intersection of said inner conduit and said outer conduit, and wherein said condensate chamber is spaced away from said inner conduit; and a drain portion positioned on said condensate chamber, wherein said inline conduit is sealedly attached between at least two other exhaust conduits.

A third aspect of the invention is a method for draining condensate from positive pressure flues comprising: providing an inline conduit having a first end, for ingress of a stream of flue gas, said first end having a first seal, a second end, for egress of the stream of flue gas, said second end having a second seal, a chamber within said conduit section, said chamber having a first closed end and a second open end, said second open end facing away from the ingress of the stream of flue gas, a drain portion positioned on said chamber adjacent for flow of said condensates from said chamber, wherein said first seal and said second seal are both external a casing of a flue gas source; providing a source of flue emissions under positive pressure; and attaching said inline conduit externally to said source of flue emissions under positive pressure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows an inline catch for condensates;

FIG. 2 shows a bottom view of the catch;

FIG. 3 shows a cross-sectional view of a gasket;

FIG. 4 shows a horizontal install of the inline catch for condensates;

FIG. 5 shows a vertical install of the inline catch for condensates; and

FIG. 6 shows a second embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Although certain embodiments of the present invention will be shown and described in detail, it should be understood that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the scope of the appended claims. The scope of the present invention will in no way be limited to the number of constituting components, the materials thereof, the shapes thereof, the relative arrangement thereof, etc., and are disclosed simply as an example of and embodiment. The features and advantages of the present invention are illustrated in detail in the accompanying drawings, wherein like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout the drawings.

An answer to the problems associated with a condensate that forms within the flue of an energy efficient appliance with a positive pressure exhaust system is to catch and drain the byproduct of combustion, the corrosive effluent fluid that condenses within the ducts. The exhausts of the energy efficient systems must be sealed to prevent leakage of flue emissions that are under pressure. The instant invention retains a seal while removing the collected effluent from the ducts.

To remove condensation from either a new or a preexisting flue duct the instant invention provides a conduit section 100 for drainage of flue gas condensate, said conduit section 100 comprises a first end 10, for ingress of a stream of flue gas 15, said first end 10 having a first seal or gasket 20. The conduit section has a second end 11, for egress of the stream of flue gas 15, said second end 11 having a second seal or second gasket 30. The conduit section 100 may be produced from a material such as either a metal or a plastic. The conduit section 100 if produced of metal may be steel, aluminum or other metallic compound. If metal it may be stamped or formed from a sheet into a conduit section 100 that could be round, oval square, rectangular or any other desired cross section. If the conduit section 100 is plastic it could be made by extrusion or injection molding into the desired length and contour.

The conduit 100 has a chamber 40 within said conduit section 100, said chamber 40 having a first closed end 41 and a second open end 42, said second open end 42 facing away from the ingress of the stream of flue gas 15. The second open end 42 has at least a portion directed to collect condensate as it runs down the inner wall of said conduit 100. A drain portion or drain nipple 50 may be positioned on said chamber 40 for flow of said condensates from said chamber 40, wherein said conduit section 100 may be removably attachable or permanently affixed as an inline unit into an existing flue duct 250. The chamber 40 acts as a reservoir and must have a leak proof seal between the inner wall of the conduit 100 and the outer wall adjacent the second open end 42 otherwise leaking will occur causing water damage. The chamber 40, positioned just above the intersection of the inner and outer portions of the conduit, may be expanded and have a greater diameter from the normal portion of the conduit section.

An equivalent alternative to the above describe embodiment is possible where an expanded chamber 40, as shown in FIG. 1, is mounted over an existing portion of the pipe, but engagement seal 92 is external and sealedly affixed to a pre-existing portion. The outlet portion 94 may be of normal pipe diameter if placed within the expanded region of the chamber 42. The condensate would flow down the inner expanded wall of the chamber 40 and allow collection of condensate without a reduced diameter inner section. The upper end and lower end of the alternative conduit could either be permanently or releasably sealed to the system to prevent water and gas leaks.

The conduit section 100 can be installed into a system in either a horizontal or a vertical orientation as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6 or any angle in between. When the conduit section 100 is mounted any angle off vertical, it may be angled with the drain portion 50 positioned at the lowest point of gravity. The drain portion 50 may be connected to a tube or hose that may be sealed from flue gas leakage by a loop filled with condensate and drain the effluent to a proper point of disposal drain. The tube or hose is sealed from the exhaust flow to prevent release of noxious fumes or vapors harmful to the occupants.

The conduit section 100 may be installed as a unit into an existing exhaust conduit system 250 to remove condensate, which would entail removing a preexisting conduit section by either cutting, unglueing or unbolting the segment of appropriate length that coincides with the length of the inline conduit 100. The section removed may either be a vertical or slanted section of the existing conduit ease of installation being the main factor in selecting the orientation of the pipe. The conduit section 100 then sealedly replaces the removed section of the preexisting conduit to collect condensate and prevent leaks from the system. The conduit section 100 once placed inline may be sealed with a gasket, glued, welded or otherwise made leakproof when installed in the system.

The conduit section 100 may be removably installed to other ducts by having a first conduit channel 60 within said first end 10 to position and support said first seal, which may be an adhesive, which may prevent removal or for removability a first gasket 20, 200 and a second conduit channel 65 within said second end 11 to position and support said second seal such as adhesive or for removability a second gasket 30, 200. The gasket seal 200 may comprise a resilient, flexible gasket body 210 including a first surface 220, a second surface 225 and at least two edges 230, 235. The gasket seal 200 may have a plurality of angular protrusions 240 having a tip 245 and a base 250, said protrusions 240 disposed on the first surface 220, a trough 255 between said angular protrusions 240, wherein said protrusions 240 cover said trough 255 and said tip 245 contacts said base 250 of an adjacent angular protrusion 240 when compressed. The gasket 200 may also include a compression cavity 260 having a center 265, said cavity 260 disposed on the second surface 225 beneath said plurality of angular protrusions 245, wherein said center of said compression cavity 265 bows when the gasket body 210 is sealed, and at least two sealing walls 270, 275 positioned at said at least two edges 230, 235.

The gasket seal 200 may be compressed to form a seal by a first removable coupling device 67 adjacent said first end 10 and a second removable coupling device 62 adjacent said second end 11. The coupling devices 62, 67 can be any fastener such as a band 70 with a worm gear 71 for selectively tightening or loosening of the coupling device. The coupling device 62, 67 may also be a nylon lock tie that would prevent loosening by its unidirectional locking feature. The coupling device 62, 67 may be used in conjunction with a plurality of compression grooves 80 in said ends 10, 11, said grooves 80 adjacent said removable coupling device 62, 67, wherein said grooves 80 contract when compressed. The plurality of grooves 80 may be spaced at equidistant intervals around the circumference of the end 10 of the conduit 100 to prevent buckling of the conduit 100 and to allow for compression of the end 10.

The conduit section 100 may include a hole 75 positioned adjacent said second end 11 of said conduit 100. A worm screw 71 of said second removable coupling device 62 may be positioned at said hole 75. A band 76 having grooves 77 is attached to said worm screw 71, said band 76 positioned within said second end 11, wherein said second end 11 acts as a female coupling to an existing flue. The second end 11 may be slid over the exposed end of an existing flue system or a newly installed system comprising a plurality of ducts. The conduit section 100 may have a first end 10 and said second end 11 of said conduit 100 that are substantially similar in size to allow for easier introduction into a conventional duct. The conduit section 100 may have a first end 10 and said end 11 of said conduit 100 that may have many shapes such as a substantially circular cross sectional shape, rectangular shape, square shape, oval shape or any other desired cross-sectional shape.

The conduit section 100 may be formed of a metal such as steel or other similar alloy in the form of a cylinder. The conduit 100 may be formed from two parts 90, 91 that are joined together. The chamber 40 may be formed by a resistance weld between an internal pipe 90 and an external pipe 91 forming the conduit 100. The resistance weld or interference fit seal 92 along with the necked down section of internal pipe 90 acts as the base of the chamber 40.

The conduit section 100 may include a butterfly damper 350, said damper 350 may be positioned within said first end 10 of said conduit 100 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The butterfly damper 350 may prevent drafts and unnecessary heat loss when the appliance 308 is not in use. The conduit section 100 is for use in combination with a unit with a burner 308 exhausting a flue gas 15 under a positive pressure as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The conduit section 100 may be attached to a plurality of exhaust sections 310 sealedly connected to said unit with the burner 308 to remove the flue gas 15 under positive pressure, wherein said conduit section 100 is installed inline to remove condensate from said plurality of exhaust sections 310.

Another embodiment is an inline conduit condensate drain 500, said inline conduit 500 comprising a inner conduit 510 having a first diameter 515 and an internal exhaust outlet 530. Surrounding the inner conduit 510 is an outer conduit 520 having at least two attachment portions 540, 545 with a second diameter 516 larger than said first diameter 515 of said inner conduit 510, said inner conduit 510 intersects and is sealedly affixed within said outer conduit 520. A condensate chamber 550, wherein said condensate chamber 550 is formed in said outer conduit 520 and positioned above said intersection 560 of said inner conduit 510 and said outer conduit 520, and wherein said condensate chamber 550 is spaced away from said inner conduit 510. To remove the effluent that collects in the condensate chamber 550 a drain portion 555 positioned on said condensate chamber 550, wherein said inline conduit is sealedly attached between at least two other exhaust conduits 570, 571 or the appliance 308 attached to end 505.

The inline conduit 500 may be connected to the two other exhaust conduits 570, 571 by using at least two sealing channels 580, 581 within said outer conduit 520 adjacent said at least two attachment portions 540, 545. The conduit section 500 may be removably installed to other ducts 570, 571 by having a reusable seal or compression gasket 200 installed within the conduit section between the conduit section 500 and the other ducts 570, 571. The seal or gasket 200 may comprise a resilient, flexible gasket body 210 including a first surface 220, a second surface 225 and at least two edges 230, 235. The seal or gasket 200 may have a plurality of angular protrusions 240 having a tip 245 and a base 250, said protrusions 240 disposed on the first surface 220, a trough 255 between said angular protrusions 240, wherein said protrusions 240 cover said trough 255 and said tip 245 contacts said base 250 of an adjacent angular protrusion 240 when compressed. The seal or gasket 200 may also include a compression cavity 260 having a center 265, said cavity 260 disposed on the second surface 225 beneath said plurality of angular protrusions 245, wherein said center of said compression cavity 265 bows when the gasket body 210 is sealed, and at least two sealing walls 270, 275 positioned at said at least two edges 230, 235.

The inline conduit section 500 may further comprise a valve body 590 positioned within said outer conduit 520. There is an opening 591 in said valve body 590 to allow flue gas 15 to pass and a valve 592 covering said opening 591. The inline conduit 500 further comprises a flue gas source under positive pressure 600, wherein said inline conduit is attached externally to said flue gas source under positive pressure 600, which may be an exhaust outlet of an appliance 308 or other fuel burning device 308. The inline conduit 500 may be installed into a duct of a heater unit in a substantially horizontal orientation as shown in FIG. 4.

A method for draining condensate from positive pressure flues 600 may comprise the step of providing an inline conduit 100 having a first end 10, for ingress of a stream of flue gas 15, said first end 10 having a first gasket or first seal 20, a second end 11, for egress of the stream of flue gas 15, said second end 11 having a second gasket or second seal 30, a chamber 40 within said conduit section 100, said chamber 40 having a first closed end 41 and a second open end 42, said second open end 42 facing away from the ingress of the stream of flue gas 15, a drain portion or drain nipple 50 positioned on said chamber 40 adjacent for flow of said condensates from said chamber 40, wherein said first gasket or first seal 20 and said second seal or second gasket 30 are both external a casing of a flue gas source 308. The running of a high efficiency water heater 308, furnace would be sufficient for providing a source of flue emissions under positive pressure 15. The condensate would be collected by attaching said inline conduit 100 externally to said source of flue emissions under positive pressure 15. The inline conduit 100 may be installed by removing an existing section of conduit 310 for installation of said inline conduit 100.

Various modifications and variations of the described apparatus and methods of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Although the invention has been described in connection with specific embodiments, outlined above, it should be understood that the invention should not be unduly limited to such specific embodiments. Various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.

Classifications
U.S. Classification126/307.00R
International ClassificationF23J13/02
Cooperative ClassificationF23J13/02, F23J2900/13004, F23J2213/202, Y02B30/106, F24H8/006
European ClassificationF23J13/02, F24H8/00D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 27, 2010ASAssignment
Effective date: 20100831
Owner name: WELLS FARGO BANK, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: GRANT OF SECURITY INTEREST IN PATENTS;ASSIGNOR:M&G DURA-VENT, INC.;REEL/FRAME:025039/0757
Sep 20, 2010ASAssignment
Effective date: 20100907
Owner name: M&G DURAVENT, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:M&G DURA-VENT, INC.;REEL/FRAME:025017/0043
Sep 3, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:SIMPSON DURA-VENT COMPANY, INC.;REEL/FRAME:024933/0759
Owner name: M&G DURA-VENT, INC., CALIFORNIA
Effective date: 20100630