US 2033467 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
( March 10, 1936. w c, GROENIGER 2,033,467 1 AIR VALVE VACUUM BREAKER Filed Jung 7, 1935 lNVENTOB Wi am Patented Mar. 10, 1936 PATENT OFFICE AIR VALVE -VACUUM BREAKER William C. Groeniger, Columbus, Ohio, assignor to John B. Pierce Foundation, New York, N. Y.,
a corporation of New York Application June 7, 1935, Serial No. 25,477
6 Claims. (Cl. 4-70) My present invention relates to plumbing devices, and more particularly to an improved automatic self-policing vacuum breaker or air valve for plumbing systems.
In modern day plumbing systems, particularly water supply systems, Where the water main is utilized to supply water for general purposes such, for example, as drinking and cooking water, as Well as water for sanitary purposes, grave danger exists of pollution of the drinking and cooking water by the return of Water to the main supply pipe which has passed from the main supply riser into sanitary devices such as toilets or bathtubs. This is quite possible, and has caused several serious epidemics throughout the United States and elsewhere. This is possible for the reason that the main supply riser from the water mains of the city or town line run from the bottom to the top of the house or building and is tapped at each floor to the delivery device located on each floor.
It is obvious that the main supply riser in the house or building will act as the long leg of a siphon, so that if water has been withdrawn from the main supply riser into a sanitary device, such as a toilet or bathtub, at one of the upper floors, and a delivery device of sufficient capacity or a plurality of smaller devices having a total capacity which is sufficiently great are simultaneously turned on on the lower floors, there is a downward suction created in the main supply riser which acts to Withdraw the water from the toilet or bath (which constitutes the short leg of the siphon) and such possibly pol- I luted water passes into the main supply riser. It is quite possible, of course, that before such possibly polluted water has reached the point at which water is being then drawn from the main supply riser, the downward suction will have stopped, but nevertheless the polluted water remains in the main supply riser to-be thereafter drawn into any of the devices on any of the floors and to be there used for drinking or cooking purposes.
Various devices have been suggested for remedying this defect in prior water supply systems, none of which however have been entirely successful until applicants present invention. In applicants present invention the device is interposed in the line or lines at each floor and preferably in association with each delivery device thereon, and which will positively and automatically prevent water which has once passed from the main supply riser from ever returning thereto under any circumstances. This device is in the nature of an air valve or vacuum breaker, which upon the production of a back pressure or suction in the main supply riser, will automatically and positively break the vacuum and allow air to flow into the riser. Such device is, as stated above, preferably arranged in. association with each device for drawing water from the main supply riser, and as it is possible in any mechanical device to have an occasional breakdown due to several causes primarily mechanical breakdowns of some part or parts of the device, I have arranged my device to permit physical evidence of such breakdown to be made so that upon the occurrence of such event, an occupant of the building, or some person in control thereof, will be apprised of the breakdown condition and will be enabled to remedy the same quickly, easily and effectively. My device is so constructed that such repair or replacement of the defective parts may be made without disturbing any essential part of the installation,
The principal object of my invention, therefore, is an improved vacuum breaker for water supply systems and the like.
Another object of my invention is an improved automatic self-policing vacuum breaker or air valve for water supply systems.
Other objects and novel features of the construction and arrangement of parts comprising my device will appear as the description of the invention progresses.
In the accompanying drawing,
Fig. 1 is a side elevation of a portion of the main supply riser connected with a water drawing device and receiving receptacle, and with my improved device associated with thewater drawing device and receiving receptacle.
Fig. 2 is a vertical, central, sectional elevation through my improved device.
Fig. 3 is a sectional plan view on the line 3-3 -of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is a sectional plan view on the line 4-4 of Fig. 2, and
Fig. 5 is a perspective view of the flexible valve associated with and forming part of my device.
Referring to the drawing, l0 designates the main supply riser of a water supply system which extends, as is usual, from the water mains of the city or town upwardly through the height of a building, and preferably and ordinarily is placed out of view in such building behind a wall as, for example, behind the wall ll. At each floor of the building, as at the floor l2, the main supply riser III is tapped by the lateral I3 or by a plurality of such laterals, sufllcient in number to supply the amount of water necessary for drinking, cooking purposes, and sanitary devices on such floor l2. What is true as regards floor I2 is of course true with regard to all of the floors in the building referred to, but not shown. I designates an efllcator which is connected to the lateral l3 by an elbow l5 and an automatic flush valve 16. This is the usual type of installation and when it is necessary to supply water to the eflicator I; from the main supply riser 10 the handle I! of the automatic flush valve i6 is manipulated, and a sufilcient quantity of water is drawn through the valve l6 and passes through the elbow l5 into the efiioator i4.
It may happen, and in the past has happened, in a number of instances that the volume of water necessarily retained in the eflicator i4 lies above the top of the entrance of the elbow l5 to the efilcator and therefore, should the flush valve 16 for any reason be defective or not functioning properly, the elbow i5, valve i6, and laterals i3 will act as the short leg of a siphon, of which the long leg is composed of the main supply riser ill. Under such conditions if a back pressure is created in the main supply riser H), as by the operation of the plurality of water drawing devices located at floors in the building lower than that indicated by the reference numeral l2, a siphoning action will take place and water, which may be contaminated, is drawn from the bowl portion of the eflicator I! up through the elbow i 5 and flush valve I6 and lateral I 3 into the main supply riser l0, and thus passes into the source of supply of water for all of the various floors.
Under such circumstances it is obvious that there is grave danger of polluted or contaminated water passing subsequently from the main supply riser 10 into and through various water drawing devices on the various floors of the building, and which water may be used for drinking or cooking purposes. Several epidemics have been started in the United States and elsewhere from this cause.
To prevent such occurrences I have associated with the flush valve i6 and elbow i5, and interposed between such elements, my improved device, which comprises a body portion l8 non-cylindrical in form as shown in plan in Fig. 4 and internally threaded at its upper open end as indicated by reference numeral I9. Positioned at the low er interior and of the body 18 is a cylindrical member 20 provided at its lower end with a chamber to receive the upper end of the elbow l6, and externally threaded at its lower end to receive a packing nut 2| with which is associated a packing 22, the packing nut 2i and the packing 22 being utilized to make a water tight connection between the upper end of elbow l5 and cylindrical member 20. The cylindrical member 20, adjacent to its upper end, is concentrically arranged in the axis of the body l3 and is separated therefrom, and held in position with respect thereto, by a plurality of radially extending struts or spokes 23, as clearly shown in Fig. 4.
The spaces between the adjacent struts or spokes 23 provide passages through which may pass air or water, depending upon the circumstances of operation of the device, to be hereinafter described. Formed at the top of the cylindrical body 20 is a valve seat 24, such valve seat lying in a plane parallel to but below the plane in which lies the bottom of the interiorly threaded portion I9.
Associated with the body i8 is a cylindrical member 25, the lower end of which is threaded to cooperate with the threads E9 in the body i3. Above the threaded portion the member 25 is constricted, and this upper open end is threaded to receive the lower threaded portion of a nipple 26 forming part of the automatic flush valve l6. At the lower end of the nipple 26 is placed a washer 21, and by means of which a water tight joint between the member 25 and nipple 26 is assured.
In the lower interior part of the threaded portion of the cylindrical member 25, and centrally 1 located with respect thereto, is a circular disclike member 28 provided on its lower peripheral face with a valve seat 29. The outer diameter of the disc-like member 28 is less than the internal diameter of the upper open end of the cylindrical member 20. The disc-like member 28 is held in spaced relation with respect to the member 25 by a plurality of integrally formed radially extending struts or spokes 30, as clearly shown in Fig. 3.
Located in the bottom of the internally threaded upper end of the body i8 are metallic washers 3i, and a flexible valve 32 preferably of leather or rubber or other suitable flexible resilient material. This valve 38 is annular in form and has a depending portion 33 defining the central opening therein. The upper face of the valve 32, immediately adjacent to the depending portion 33 engages, under certain conditions, with the annular valve seat 29. The outer periphery of the depending portion 33, as well as the under face of the valve 32 immediately adjacent such depending portion 33 engages, under certain conditions, with valve seat 24.
Valve member 32 and the specific construction thereof is clearly shown in Figs. 2 and 5. Valve 32 is held in position on top of the metallic washers 3| by the lower end of the body 25, as clearly shown in Fig. 2.
With my improved device constructed and assembled as above described, and as clearly shown in vertical sectional elevation in Fig. 2, and assuming the same to be operating normally, the valve 32 will be in the full line position shown in section in Fig. 2. If under these conditions the handle I l of the automatic flush valve I6 is operated, and water will be allowed to pass from the main supply riser l0 through the lateral l3, automatic flush valve l6, and through the device constituting the subject matter of my present invention. Such water will pass downwardly through the nipple 26, through the body 25, through the passages between adjacent struts or spokes 30, and against the upper surface of the annular valve 32.
Because of the character of the material of which the valve 32 is composed, the pressure and weight of the water will flex the valve 32 and will move the same from the full line position shown in Fig. 2 into the dot and dash line position shown in such figure. When in this latter position, it is obvious that the outer peripheral face of the depending portion 33, and the lower face of the valve 32 immediately adjacent thereto, will engage with the valve seat 24, thereby preventing water from passing through the spaces between adjacent struts or spokes 23, and such water will pass downwardly through the elbow l5 into the eificator I4.
In the particular case illustrated when the automatic flush valve l6 has permitted a certain amount of water to be delivered to efllcator I4, it will close and all parts of my improved device will return to normal. That is, the annular valve 7 32 will again assume its full line position as shown in Fig. 2.
If a back pressure is developed in the main supply riser I, so as to develop the condition where the elbow l5 and the automatic flush valve l6 act as a short leg of a siphon, one of several conditions may arise. If the back pressure developed in the main riser I is sufliciently great, the annular valve member 32 will flex so as to bring the upper surface thereof immediately adjacent the downwardly depending member 33 into engagement with the valve seat 29, and will positively prevent any water from being drawn upwardly from the eflicator I4 through the elbow l5 and into the main supply riser I0. If the'back pressure developed in the main riser I0 is not large, but sufficient under ordinary circumstances to draw Water standing in the bowl portion of the eflicator I4 through the elbow I5 and into the main supply riser, the annular valve 32 will not be flexed sufficiently to positively bring same into engagement with the valve 29, but will allow air to be drawn upward through the spaces between adjacent struts or spokes 23 between the valve seat 24 and the downwardly depending portion 33 of annular valve 32, upwardly through the orifice in such valve 32, and between the upper face of the valve 32 and the valve seat 29 and into the nipple 26. The vacuum created by the back pressure in the main riser Ill will therefore be broken and water will be positively prevented from being drawn from theeflicator l4 into the main supply riser l0.
Should the valve 32 for any reason'become defective, so as not to properly perform its functions as set out above, water passing from the main supply riser l0 through the automatic flush valve l6, and through the device will not flex the valve 32 properly and such valve will therefore fail to seat on the valve seat 24. Water therefore passing through will have a portion thereof diverted over the valve seat 2 and between the under face of the valve 32. Such water passing through the spaces between the struts or spokes 23 will flow downwardly onto the floor l2, and its presence will-be a suficient indication to an observer that something is wrong with the device. This feature of my invention, which I-may designate asa policing feature is extremely im'- portant, as it visually calls itself to the attention of the user who will, himself, repair the damageor will cause the same to be repaired, thereby maintaining the device in operative condition at all times.
While I have necessarily shown and described the preferred embodiment of my invention some-,- what in detail, it is understood that I may vary the size, shape and arrangement of parts comprising my device within relatively wide limits without departing from the spirit of the invention;
1. An improved automatic self-policing vacuum breaker or air valve, comprising a valve body, a chamber formed therein, an entrance passage at one end of the body communicating with the chamber, an exit passage at the opposite end of the body communicating with the chamber, and with the atmosphere, a plurality of inwardly extending arms located in the chamber, a valve seat supported by said arms at the inner ends thereof, a valve seat formed on the inner end of the exit passage, and a resilient annular valve member arranged between the valve seats and normally out of engagement with the valve seats,
whereby entrance of air to the outlet passage and the inlet passage is permitted through the annular valve member.
2. In an improved automatic self-policing vacuum breaker or air valve, the combination of a body, a chamber formed therein and open at its lower end, an entrance passage at the other end, an exit passage centrally located at the open end of the chamber and spaced therefrom, a valve seat formed on the inner end of the exit passage, a valve seat located in the chamber and spaced apart from the inner circumference thereof, a resilient annular valve interposed between the valve seats, said valve cooperating with the valve seat on the exit passage when fluid flows through the chamber in one direction to seal the opening existing between the exit passage and the open end of the chamber, whereby leakage of fluid to the outside of the valve body is prevented.
3. In an improved automatic self-policing vacuum breaker or air valve, the combination of a valve body, a chamber formed therein, an entrance passage arranged at one end of the body, the end of the chamber remote from the entrance passage being open to the atmosphere, an exit passage of smaller internal diameter than the diameter of the open end of the chamber being secured at the end of the body remote from the entrance passage, a plurality of radially extending arms arranged in said body, a cylindrical valve seat of less diameter than the internal diameter of the chamber secured at the inner ends of said radially extending arms, an annular valve secured at its peripheral edge in said chamber and located between the said valve seats and normally out of engagement with said valve seats, said resilient valve on the passage of fluid through the body from the entrance to the exit passages flexing the resilient valve into association with the valve seat on the inner end of the exit passage, whereby leakage of fluid from the valve located in the chamber, and a resilient annular valve secured at its peripheral edge to the valve :body normally but of engagement with the valve seat and-seating thereon on an excess of negative pressure of fluid within the chamber, whereby reverse fiowof fluid through the valve body is prevented. 1
i 5. "In an improved automatic self-policing vacuumbreaker or air valve; the combination of a valve body, a chamber formed therein, an entrance" passage. through the body into the chamber at one end of th'e'body, the other end of the body being open to the atmosphere, an exit passage at the open end of the chamber and spaced apart therefrom about-its periphery, whereby the exit passage is open to the atmosphere, a resilient annular valve cooperating with said valve seats secured at its peripheral edge to the valve body within the chamber, said open passage from the atmosphere to the exit passage remaining open on failure of the valve to properly function, whereby on such failure of fluid passing through the valve body is permitted to flow out of the open end of the chamber.
6. In an improved automatic self-policing vacuum breaker or air valve, the combination of a valve body, a chamber formed therein, an inlet passage at one end of the body, an outlet pa'svalve seats and normally out of engagement sage at the other end of the body, a. valve seat therewith and permitting, under normal condicentrally located within the chamber and intertions, the entrance of air to the inlet and outlet mediate the inlet and outlet passages, a valve passages. seat formed at the inner end of the outlet pas- WILLIAM C. GROENIGER. sage, and a flexible valve interposed between the