US 20080245091 A1
The present invention is a drain system for use with a manifold plumbing control unit (MPCU) including a drain pan having a sloping bottom surface with a peripheral wall forming a reservoir. The peripheral wall may include upwardly extending sidewalls, and upwardly extending endwalls secured to the edges of the sloped bottom surface. One or more attachment brackets may extend from the wall to facilitate attachment to one or more wall studs under the MPCU. The drain pan has a unique drain hole assembly in the bottom surface for attachment of a drainage line, that prevents the line from protruding upward to prevent blockage of the drain. A separate access opening is provided in the bottom surface to allow for passage of a water supply line to the MPCU. In alternative embodiments, splash shields may be provided to surround the MPCU to help contain and drain off any spraying or leaking liquid into the drain pan. Methods of installation are also provided.
1. A drain system for a manifold plumbing control unit comprising:
a drain pan having a sloped bottom surface;
a pair of elongate upwardly extending sidewalls attached to said pan and running along two opposite sides of said drain pan;
a pair of upwardly extending endwalls attached to said pan and to each end of the elongate sidewalls connecting the sidewalls to each other;
a drain hole at a lowest point of the bottom surface;
a downwardly extending wall attached underneath said bottom surface around said drain hole for receiving a drain line, the interior of said wall having a perimeter that is larger than that of said drain hole;
an access hole assembly in the bottom surface including an access hole for passage of a water supply line to the manifold plumbing control unit, and an upwardly extending wall surrounding said access hole.
2. The drain system of
3. The drain system of
4. The drain system of
5. The drain system of
6. A drain system for a manifold plumbing control unit comprising:
a drain pan having a sloped bottom surface and a lowermost location on said surface;
at least one upwardly extending wall attached to and extending around outside edges of said drain pan;
a round drain hole at said lowermost location on said bottom surface;
a cylindrical wall extending downwardly from said drain hole for engagement with a drainage line, the circumference of the interior of said wall being larger than the outer circumference of said drain hole forming an annular lip that is flush with said bottom surface;
an access hole assembly in the bottom surface including an access hole for passage of a fluid supply line to the manifold plumbing control unit, and an upwardly extending cylindrical wall surrounding said access hole.
7. The drain system of
8. The drain system of
9. The drain system of
10. The drain system of
11. The drain system of
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13. The drain system of
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15. The drain system of
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17. A drain system for a plumbing manifold control unit comprising:
a drainage means having a sloped bottom surface;
a fluid retaining means extending around outside edges of said drain means;
an opening at a lowest point on the bottom surface;
an engagement means extending downwardly from said opening for receiving a drainage line, the perimeter of the interior of said engagement means being larger than the perimeter of said opening forming a lip that is flush with said bottom surface;
a passage means in said bottom surface for receiving a water supply line; and
an upwardly extending fluid retaining means surrounding said passage.
18. A method for installing a drain system for a plumbing manifold control unit comprising the steps of:
installing a drain pan between a pair of stud boards of a building, said drain pan having an upwardly extending peripheral wall, a sloped bottom surface, a lowermost location on said surface, a round drain hole at said lowermost location on said bottom surface, a cylindrical wall extending downwardly from said drain hole, the circumference of the interior of said downwardly extending wall being larger than the outer circumference of said drain hole forming a lip that is flush with said bottom surface, and an access hole in the bottom surface surrounded by an upwardly extending cylindrical wall;
inserting a drain pipe into said downwardly extending wall such that it abuts against said lip; and
passing a fluid supply line through said access hole.
19. The method of
extending said drain pipe to an exterior location of said building; and
sealingly installing a boot between said supply line and said upwardly extending cylindrical wall.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a drainage device for installation within the frame of a residential or commercial dwelling underneath a plumbing control unit to prevent leakage from the unit seeping into the wall of said structure, creating structural and other safety problems, including the possibility of mold.
2. Description of the Prior Art
The use of drip or drain pans for the collection of moisture under any device which contains and circulates fluid is common. Many times such devices are a precautionary or safety measure to prevent fluids, such as oil, from entering the workplace and causing a safety or environmental hazard. An example of such a drainage tray is described in Pat. No. 4,941,901. This patent discloses a drain pan device specifically for collecting the condensate from wall mounted air conditioning units. Unlike the present invention the apparatus of this patent is not designed to be installed in an enclosed area, such as within a wall.
A relatively new device currently installed in many building structures is a manifold plumbing control unit (hereinafter a “MPCU”). The MPCU is a water distribution unit which supplies water to individual plumbing fixtures through dedicated ports and distribution lines. Such a device has separate hot and cold water inlets and ports to manage the entire plumbing system. These systems are being widely used in hot and cold potable water distribution systems in single and multifamily dwellings, as well as multiple unit structures.
Typically, the MPCU is installed within a wall of a dwelling or commercial structure between a pair of studs. The MPCU is secured in place by attachment to the pair of studs. Once installed, the structure can be built in the normal fashion around the MPCU (i.e., insulation can be placed in the wall and the wall covered in the normal fashion). An access panel is usually created in the wall so that the MPCU unit can be easily accessed for repairs or adjustments. Holes are drilled in the stud boards through which tubing leading to or from the MPCU is run, each such tube eventually extending to a desired water outlet, fixture, or faucet.
The tubing running from the MPCU is usually flexible Vanex® PEX tubing, or similar piping, which runs the entire length from the MPCU to the fixture as a single piece without the need of any fittings to further prevent the chance of leaking. If leaking occurs, it usually occurs at a connection point. Leaks can occur from improper installation of the connection, thereby creating an improper seal. When using the MPCU, the only connection points are at the MPCU unit and at the actual fixture to which water is being provided. As the MPCU has a multitude of fixture points based on the number of water lines installed, there is a great potential for one or more of the connections to leak based on improper installation of the fitting or the PEX tubing to the MPCU.
If, for any reason, the MPCU leaks, the moisture from such a leak is likely to soak into the wall in which the MPCU is installed. This may become problematic as the water may not be detected from some time, as it will be covered from view. If such a leak proceeds to go undetected, extensive water damage could occur. This damage could include the rotting of the wall structure, the floor structure under the wall structure, and damage to the surrounding area. The moisture from such a leak also creates a risk of the development of mold which can be toxic, and harmful to the inhabitants of the building.
Even in a situation where the leak is minor, it may go undetected for quite some time causing more substantial damage than a major leak that is immediately noticed. This is especially true for MPCU systems as the unit is designed to be placed in an integrated position within a wall of a structure to economize space. It is designed to be hidden, which decreases the visibility and access to the unit thereby making it less probable that the owner would notice a leak. An additional problem may occur from the water in the MPCU being under pressure in that a leak may manifest itself in the form of squirting water. In such a case the leak can spray water in many directions, causing damage to any of the adjacent wall surfaces.
It is therefore desirable to provide a convenient, universal drain system which can be hidden from view and provided under and/or around a MPCU in the wall of a building structure. It is also desirable to have a drain system which automatically drains leaking water from an MPCU unit to prevent structural damage and mold. Finally, it is desirable to have a drain system capable of containing a large leak that may spray water in many directions.
The present invention addresses the above problems by providing a plumbing manifold control unit drain system including a reservoir body formed by a sloping bottom surface surrounded by a peripheral wall. In one embodiment, a pair of elongate sidewalls run generally parallel to each other on opposite sides of the bottom surface, and a pair of endwalls connect to the ends of the sidewalls. The sidewalls and endwalls all are secured to or integrated with each other and the edges of the sloped bottom surface. The integrated reservoir body is sealed at all the edges of the sidewalls, endwalls and bottom surface to prevent water from leaking from the reservoir. In other embodiments the drain apparatus has one or more vertically mounted attachment brackets extending from each endwall and/or one or more horizontally mounted attachment brackets extending from the ends of one of the elongate sidewalls for attachment to one or more wall studs under or around the MPCU.
The reservoir body has a drain hole assembly in the bottom surface for attachment of a drainage line (e.g., ˝″ PVC schedule 40 pipe). A stop structure extends into the orifice of the drain hole to prevent the over insertion of a drain supply line. A separate access hole is provided in the bottom surface of the pan allowing for passage of a separate water supply line to the MPCU.
The present invention includes various methods and apparatus for an integrated manifold water distribution system which is to be installed under a MPCU to prevent leaking and damage to the building structure in which it is placed. A preferred embodiment the drain includes a generally rectangular reservoir pan with at least one drainage port on the bottom surface of the pan. The drainage port is designed with one or more stops to ensure that drainage tubing attached to the port does not extend upward past the bottom surface of the pan where it might otherwise create a lip that could prevent water from draining out of the reservoir. In some embodiments, the stop is in the form of a ridge; in other embodiments one or more prongs may be used. In one embodiment, the reservoir is an integrated rectangular unit having two shorter endplates that are installed in close proximity to the wall studs, and longer sideplates that run between the studs in the same direction as the wall surface. In further embodiments, the drain pan may have other styles and/or shapes. For example, the drain pan assembly can be rectangular, oval or kidney shaped in design. In alternative embodiments, the drain pan may extend around the supply line, rather than have the access opening run through the drain pan. In such an embodiment, a supply line access hole assembly is not required in the drain pan.
The bottom surface of the reservoir body is sloped in nature to allow any liquid drain to the lowest point of the bottom surface. At the lowest point of the bottom surface of the reservoir body is a drain hole assembly. The drain hole assembly consists of a circular orifice at a point on the bottom surface where liquid contained in the reservoir will drain through the drain hole orifice. The orifice connects to a short integral cylindrical tube that extends below the reservoir. A drainage pipe is then inserted into this tube to receive liquids draining through the orifice. The orifice and cylinder can be provided in various sizes and/or shapes, but preferably is of a size to accommodate standard piping or tubing to fit into the cylinder. An adhesive or sealant may be provided between the drainage pipe and the cylindrical tube to prevent leaking.
In one embodiment, the diameter of the orifice of the drain hole assembly is smaller than that of the cylinder, and of the drain tube inserted in the cylinder. This creates a generally horizontal lip or edge of material of the bottom surface which acts as a stop to block the drainage tubing from extending above the upper edge of the orifice into the reservoir where it would otherwise act as a dam to the flow of liquid out of the reservoir. While the diameter of the orifice is smaller than that of the cylinder, the orifice is still of a large enough size to allow for proper draining. No part of the drain structure in this embodiment extends up into the floor of the reservoir.
In an alternative embodiment, one or more prongs are provided along and flush with the plane of the bottom surface of the reservoir, extending in a generally horizontal direction towards the center of the orifice of the drain hole assembly. Each prong partially blocks the orifice and serves as a stop to prevent the drain tube or pipe from extending above the upper edge of the orifice into the reservoir where it would otherwise act as a dam to the flow of liquid out of the reservoir. Accordingly, the prongs ensure proper drainage of the reservoir. The prongs should be of sufficient size to prevent the drain tubing or pipe from extending above the horizontal plane created by the prongs, but the prongs should not be of such a size to prevent drainage through the orifice.
In a further alternative embodiment, the drain tubing is secured by sliding the drain tubing around the outside of the lower cylinder. If fully engaged, the drain tube will come in contact with the bottom surface of the pan on the outside of the cylinder, and cannot extend into the reservoir to create drainage problems. Sealant or adhesive may be applied between the tube and the cylinder to further prevent leaking.
It is to be appreciated that different embodiments of the drain hole assembly may use different combinations of prong(s), lip and/or cylinder.
It should be noted that sloped design of the bottom surface of the drainage assembly need not be symmetrical. The bottom surface can be concavely curved with the drain hole at the lowest. point of the curvature. If curved, the curvature need not be symmetrical. In a preferred embodiment, the drain hole assembly can be offset to either side of the reservoir and the curvature can be designed to make the area where the drain hole assembly is located at the lowest point of the bottom surface. In further embodiments, the device may have one or more drain hole assemblies to further assist in draining. If there are more than one drain holes, the bottom surface can be curved in such a manner has to have more than one low point, with a drain hole placed at each low point for proper draining.
In the preferred embodiments, in addition to a drain hole assembly, the reservoir assembly also contains a supply line access hole assembly. The access hole assembly allows for the passage of a water supply line up to the MPCU. In these embodiments, the access hole is placed so as to correspond to an input location on the MPCU, ordinarily relatively close to the center of the drainage reservoir, although different positions may also be provided depending on the requirements of the MPCU. The access hole is of a large enough diameter to allow the water supply line to pass through it. To prevent leakage through the access hole, a cylindrical segment extends upward into the reservoir body, preventing water or other liquid from draining out through the access hole. The access hole is not designed to act as a drain. The cylindrical segment extends a significant distance upward to block water in case the reservoir fills with liquid.
To further prevent leakage out of the supply line access hole, in some embodiments a rubberized boot can be placed over the top of the access hole creating a seal between the supply line and the cylindrical segment. The boot creates a seal by elastically constricting around the supply line and the cylindrical segment of the access hole to create a secure fit.
The height of the walls of the reservoir can vary, but should be of a substantial height to allow for the containment of a significant quantity of liquid as it drains from the drain hole assembly. While the reservoir assembly is designed to hold a certain amount of liquid in the event of a serious leak, liquid should normally drain out immediately. Accumulated water is not desirable due to contamination by bacteria and mold, and as a water source for insects and vermin that may inhabitate the structure. Accordingly, once any leaks are detected, they should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
The reservoir can be secured to the wall in various ways. In some embodiments, the reservoir can be wedged between two stud beams by making the reservoir tray the same size as the distance between the two beams. As stud beams are normally placed at standard distances from each other, the reservoir body can be provided in standard sizes which apply to the standard distances. In some embodiments, one or more holes can be made in each of the endwalls through which a fastening device can be secured to retain the reservoir in place against the studs. In other embodiments, one or more brackets may be provided at the ends of the reservoir that come in close proximity to the wall studs, extending laterally for the attachment of the reservoir to the studs. In some embodiments, a pair of brackets is provided along the plane of one of the longer sidewalls of the reservoir. These brackets may create a flush surface with the sides of the stud facing outward form the wall. In some embodiments, one or more brackets are provided that extend vertically either in an upward or downward direction from the reservoir, to create a bracketing surface for the connection of the reservoir to the studs. The brackets can be an integrated part of the sideplate or endwalls, or alternatively can be separate components which are connected by fasteners to both the reservoir and stud boards. In some embodiments, weakened areas may be provided where the brackets attach to the sideplate or endwalls, allowing the brackets to be easily broken off for removal, if desired. The brackets may extend a distance from the drain reservoir to allow for proper attachment to the stud boards.
The brackets may be provided with one or more openings to allow for fasteners such as nails, screws, bolts, or other fasteners commonly known in the art to connect the brackets to the wall. The openings in the bracket for fasteners are placed away from the reservoir body to allow for the user to be able to insert and secure the fasteners without interference from the reservoir body. In some embodiments, clips are used to connect the reservoir to the stud boards. In some embodiments, bolts may be fastened to the wall, and the reservoir provided with brackets made to slip over or otherwise engage the bolts for proper attachment.
It is to be appreciated that different permutations and combinations of the various brackets and attachment means of these embodiments may be utilized in the same structure.
In some embodiments, an integrated spray skirt assembly is provided around the MPCU to prevent squirting leaks from causing water to come in contact with the wall surface or any other portion of the building structure. In some embodiments, the spray skirt is provided in the form of one or more sheets of material adjacent to the sides and top of the MPCU. These sheets include a backplate which is a generally flat piece of material that is water resistant, such as stainless steel or plastic. The backplate creates a generally vertical surface that runs parallel to the wall of the structure or other surface on the opposite side of the access opening to the MPCU. The bottom edge of backplate is shaped as to extend into the reservoir assembly overlapping the back wall of the drain pan so as to allow liquid that comes in contact with the backplate to run down the plate and into the reservoir.
In some embodiments, two sideplates may also be provided. The sideplates prevent liquid from exiting from the sides of the present invention, or coming into contact with the stud boards or other parts of the building structure. The bottom edges of the sideplates are designed to overlappingly extend into the reservoir assembly. The edges of the sideplates overlappingly connect to the back plate on one edge, and the front panel on the other edge. The sideplates overlap in such manner as to prevent moisture from escaping. It is to be appreciated that any overlapping relationship between the backplate, sideplates and reservoir may be employed such that the water squirting or otherwise escaping from the MPCU is directed into the reservoir and prevented from coming into contact with the building structure.
In most embodiments, the sideplates are provided with access holes which correspond to the water supply lines which exit the MPCU then pass through the sideplates. Ordinarily, holes are drilled through the stud board, and the supply lines travel through the sideplate and stud boards and into the next segment of the wall frame and eventually to various fixtures. The holes in the sideplate generally correspond to the elevation of the exit ports of the MPCU. After the supply lines are installed though the sideplates, rubberized caps (small boots) are placed over the lines to cover the holes in the sideplates, creating a water tight seal to prevent leaking through the holes in the sideplate. If any of the holes in the sideplate are not used (i.e. the sideplates have more holes than waterlines from the MPCU), they can be plugged with rubberized caps to create proper seals.
In some embodiments, a front plate may also be provided to protect the area of the wall in which access to the MPCU is obtained. The front plate may have an access panel which can be removed or opened for maintenance on the MPCU. Alternatively, the entire front plate can be removed for maintenance. The access panel can be attached in any manner commonly know in the art.
In some embodiments, a top plate may be provided above the MPCU with edges that overlap the frontplate, back plate and sideplates. The top plate prevents liquid from exiting over the top of the spray skirt. Openings and boots may also be provided on the top plate to allow passage of any pipes on tubes leading to or from the MPCU, and for sealing of any such openings.
It is appreciated that the components of the components of the splash skirt assembly can be fastened in place by connecting to the walls by ay means customarily used in the art. The edges of all the components overlap in such a manner as to direct water down the splash skirt assembly to collect in the reservoir.
It is contemplated that any combinations of the frontplate, backplate, and sideplates can be constructed as integrated pieces to simplify the structure and assembly of the device. For example, the backplate and sideplates can be constructed from one piece allowing for the user to just install one item, rather than three. It is further contemplated that portions of the spray skirt assembly can be installed. For example, the spray skirt assembly can be installed without the top plate, or alternatively, the sideplates might not be installed and instead the stud boards can act to prevent moisture from escaping. Rubberized boots can even be placed directly over the holes in the stud board. Further, it is contemplated that any or all of the portions of the spray skirt assembly can be integrated with the reservoir assembly.
Due to possible leakage of the unit, rubberized boots can be placed over the supply lines where the lines travel through the sidewalls, creating a barrier to prevent any leakage out from within the area between the wall studs. In some embodiments, these boots are made from an EPDM plastic material that has elastic (elastomeric) properties and/or thermoplastic rubber (TPR). The material from which the boots are made should allow the configuration to stretch enough to create a seal around the tubing and/or drain housing without overextending the flexibility of the material which could lead to cracks.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a drain pan for installation inside a wall of a building below a MPCU to collect and direct any leaking water away from the MPCU to prevent damage to the wall.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide an apparatus for collecting water or other liquid leaking from an MPCU or other liquid containing object in the wall of a building structure.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a unique drain pan for use with an MPCU having a unique structure that prevents accommodation of water leaking from the MPCU, and allows for passage of water supply line(s) to the MPCU.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide leakage protection from an MPCU in lateral directions such as sidewall and topwall protection, if desired.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a self draining reservoir assembly.
It is a further object of the present invention which can be installed and secured to the wall in various ways depending on the wall structure.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a reservoir assembly that can be installed in various building structure types with varying wall thicknesses and distance between stud boards.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide methods for installation of drain pans and related structures for use with an MPCU that collect and direct any leaking water away from the MPCU to prevent damage to the wall.
Additional objects of the present invention shall be apparent from the detailed description and claims herein.
Referring to the drawings wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, and referring particularly to the embodiment of
In several embodiments, the reservoir body 50 has a sloped bottom surface 56 which connects to the bottom of each of the front, back and end walls to form a basin. A drain opening 70 is located at the lowest point of the bottom surface 56. There are no ridges or other obstructions around opening 70 that might otherwise prevent fluids from exiting from the drain unit 50 (see cross sectional view of
In some embodiments, the reservoir body 50 is provided with one or more connecting brackets to allow the reservoir body to be connected to the stud boards 82 of a wall in a manner that is convenient to the user. The illustrated embodiments show a pair of vertically mounted brackets 60, 61, and a pair of horizontally mounted brackets 64, 65. Such brackets may be provided with one or more securing holes 67 though which fasteners commonly know in the art, such as nails or screws in order to attach the brackets to the stud boards 82. In some embodiments, a weakened area 62 may be provided between side brackets 64, 65 and body 50 to allow brackets 64 and/or 65 to be easily broken off for removal, if desired, as shown in
In alternative embodiments, the brackets may not be provided with holes 67. Instead, the brackets may have integrated mounting prongs or clips to secure the unit 50 to one or more stud boards; or nails or screws may be forced directly through the brackets themselves at whatever locations are most desirable. In further embodiments, the brackets may have clamps which extend from the brackets and wrap around the stud boards for a secure connection. It is understood that any combinations of the above brackets and/or attachment mechanisms may be employed to attach the reservoir body 50 to the studs 82. It is to be appreciated that other embodiments of the invention may not have brackets at all, and attach directly to the stud boards directly from (through) one or both of the end walls 54. The end walls can be secured to the stud boards 82 by any means know in the art including the use of fasteners, nails, screws, adhesive, or simply wedging the reservoir in place.
In some embodiments, one or more prongs and/or a grate structure (not shown) may also be provided in opening 70, extending towards the center and/or encompassing opening 70 to prevent the drain pipe 84 from being inserted beyond the bottom surface of the reservoir, which could prevent water from properly draining.
The proportions and relative size of the invention may vary based on the size and type of wall assembly in which the reservoir is to be installed.
As illustrated in
In the preferred embodiments, side walls 104, 105 are generally parallel to the inner surface of the stud boards 82, and generally perpendicular to back shield 101. The a lip or flange 102 at the base of back shield 101 and side walls 104, 105 extends inwardly and overlaps the reservoir body 50, thereby allowing proper draining from the back and side walls into body 50.
Referring to FIGS. 10 and 14-16, it is seen that the illustrated embodiments show one or more openings 107 in the side walls that correspond to the supply lines that exit the MPCU. The supply lies 110 extend through the openings 107 in the side walls and then through openings 109 in the stud boards 82. Rubberized caps 115 may be placed over the openings 107 in the side walls to create seals so leaking water will not run through the openings. Detail of the attachment of caps to supply lines 110 is shown in
The reservoir body embodiments 50 of the present invention should be installed between a pair of stud boards 82 in the wall of a building before connection of the water supply line 91 to the MPCU. Body 50 may be attached to the stud boards using any of several different or combined attachment means, such as the use of screws or nails forced through holes in brackets 64 and/or 65, or forced directly through such brackets if no holes are provided, or forced directly through end walls 54 into stud boards 82. Alternatively or in addition, adhesive may be attached between end walls 54 and stud boards 82, or body 50 may simply be wedged between stud boards 82 using friction. Thereafter, supply line 91 is inserted through access hole 80 and through optional boot 95, and connected to the MPCU 125. Boot 95 is then pulled over upper wall 81 to provide a seal to prevent moisture from draining out through opening 80.
Drain pipe 84 is connected to drain hole 70 by being inserted inside downwardly extending wall 72, with lip 71 preventing pipe 84 from extending above the bottom surface of the reservoir floor 56 which might otherwise prevent proper drainage through hole 70. The frictional connection between pipe 84 and wall 72 may be sufficient to prevent leakage between these two structures, or sealant may be applied between pipe 84 and wall 72 to secure the seal, ensuring that water or other liquid in the reservoir body 50 exits through pipe 84 and does not leak into the wall structure. Pipe 84 is extended downwardly and away from body 50, leading to an exit point where excess liquid can properly drain without causing damage to the structure, such as through a wall to the exterior of the structure.
When either back, side and/or front skirts are used, these are generally installed by similar attachment means to the stud boards 82 prior to installation of reservoir body 50. However, these structures may also be installed after body 50 has been installed. The bottom edges 102, 104 and 105 of these skirts should be placed so as to overlap the inside walls of reservoir body 50. It is to be appreciated that side boots 115 should be provided over supply lines 110 as they are inserted through openings 107 in the side skirts, and then plugs are inserted into unused openings 107 to prevent side wall leakage.
It is to be appreciated that different versions of the invention may be made from different combinations of the various features described above. It is to be understood that other variations and modifications of the present invention may be made without departing from the scope thereof. It is also to be understood that the present invention is not to be limited by the specific embodiments disclosed herein, but only in accordance with the appended claims when read in light of the foregoing specification.