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Publication numberUS2121664 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 21, 1938
Filing dateFeb 19, 1935
Priority dateFeb 19, 1935
Publication numberUS 2121664 A, US 2121664A, US-A-2121664, US2121664 A, US2121664A
InventorsHuckins Frank P
Original AssigneeHuckins Frank P
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for preventing conflagrations on boats by fuel leaks
US 2121664 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 21, 1938. HUcKmg 2,121,664


In motor boats propelled byinternal combustion engines, it is of the highest importance to prevent injury or loss of life and destruction of the craft by safeguarding to the highest degree against the special dangers and grave consequences of explosion and fire due to the unavoidable leakage of fuel (such as gasoline or other inflammable fluid) from the parts of the apparatus through which it must pass to the engine or motor. Because of the strains from vibration or jarring of the parts with considerable force that are unavoidable in a motor boat, leakage at one or more points between fuel tank and motor is unavoidable and at those points the danger of leakage exists. Likelihood of leakage from the fuel tank is negligible compared with danger of leakage at points in the service line from the fuel tank to themotor. These points are pump (now used in place of gravity for fuel feed), carburetor and piping. Since leakage is unavoidable, safety of passengers and craft can only be assured by the discovery as promptly as possible after leakage starts.

The only way known to me,-certainly the only dependable way, is to equip the boat with automatic means whose action is caused by the leaking fuel which will collect and segregate the leakage from the bilge, infallibly actuate or set in motion a signal or alarm upon small accumulations of leakage and discharge the leakage from the craft. To allow such an accumulation in the bottom of the boat or bilge water creates a most dangerous condition for spontaneous ignition and for a conflagration consuming the whole craft with little or no opportunity of escape.

By my invention I provide such an automatically operating device of the type just mentioned which includes a collecting means disposed and supported in relation to the carburetor and pump, and their connections in the fuel supply line, and which discharge into a float chamber connected with a pump for discharging the contents of the float chamber from the boat, and means for driving the pump including an electric control circuit whose actuating switches are controlled by a predetermined level in the float chamber, the contacts of the switches being hermetically sealed from the atmosphere and from the vapors of said leakage; there also being signal means in said circuit for giving an alarm when the float chamber is at a predetermined level, and manual control means for the circuit for causing operation of the pump independently of the operation of said float and the switch means controlled thereby. In producing my invention, I have considered the special or peculiar requirements of the case of a motor boat and the necessity that at all times the mechanism shall be in an operative or functioning condition (which means that parts shall not become clogged and prevented from functioning).

My invention consists in whatever is described by or is included within the terms or scope of the appended claims.

In the drawing:

Figure 1 is an enlarged illustration, of leaked fuel operating mechanism that includes both alarm and leaked fuel removing means, certain parts being in section.

' Fig. 2 is a diagrammatic view of the circuit arrangement.

Figure 3 is a side elevation of a boat showing in dotted lines a conventional type of engine to the associated parts of which, most likely to leak fuel, the invention is to be applied.

In Fig. 3 I illustrate in a conventional way a boat B propelled by an internal combustion enfor example designated, respectively, C and G, which may be the usual carburetor and pump from which leakage of gasoline is not only a possibility but is frequently occasioned by vibration and other causes. At the bottom and beneath each of such parts, as shown in Fig. 1, I place a small metal tank It situated to receive leaking gasoline which will drip from the bottom of these parts or their fittings so that the gasoline that leaks will collect in the tank. The series of tanks, thus, provided are in communication close to the bottom by a horizontally extending pipe or tubing I l, whose joints, where joints are unavoidable, are gas-tight so that gasoline may flow from one to the other before any substantial quantity can accumulate therein and from the bottom of the last tank of the series leads an outlet l2, to a float chamber i3, so that by gravity,. gasoline leaking into the several collector tanks of the series will promptly flow to said chamber. Said chamber i3 is completely closed except for the opening in its side with which the pipe it that runs from the last tank is connected and except for a drain cock, l5, fitted to the bottom for drawing off accumulation of fuel or gasoline.

Within the chamber is a float l6, such as that used in a heavy duty vacuum tank which at the bottom has a central vertical spindle, i1, freely slidable in a vertical guide opening in the chamber bottom and at the top at the center has a vertical spindle 58, which extends through a hole in a top plate I9.

' gine E having several parts in its fuel line, two

The top plate I9 is the bottom of a completely closed switch chamber immediately above the float bowl and separate or distinct from the float bowl chamber, it having vertical side walls 20, secured by screws 2!, which pass through an interior flange and which screws serve to clamp the top plate to an external flange at the top of the float bowl, and. having a top formed by a, cover plate 22, tightly secured by screws to an internal flange at the top of the side wall. Within the switch chamber, thus provided above the float bowl, is placed and completely housed the switch that controls an electric circuit which includes signal means 32 and 33 and an electric actuated pump 3i which become active when the switch closes the circuit. The electric pump 37 has an induction port connected, asat 36 with the float chamber at the bottom thereof and, further, has an eduction port connected witha pipe 38 that has an outlet to dischargeoverboard,

as at 39. Preferably, the electric circuit (Fig. 2)

is supplied from the engine starter and ignition battery because it is capable of supplying current enough to operate the alarm means and the pump.

The switch preferably used is a mercury switch 23, of familiar construction, the terminals of which are respectively connected with binding posts 24 rigidly clamped to the switch chamber side wall 20, each with a. terminal connection on the inside of the chamber and a terminal connection on the outside of the chamber for the circuit wires 25.

The mercury switch is carried by one arm of an angle lever 26, pivoted to a vertical post 21, rising from the top plate 19, the arm of said lever passing through a slit 28, at the upper end of the spindle l8, so as to lie between two cross pins 29, fixed to said spindle, one above the other, so that upon the ascent of the spindle with the upward movement of the float, the lever will be swung upward until the weight of the mercury switch passes beyond the dead center, whereupon the switch will swing to position to cause the mercury to shift to circuit closing position; and the upper cross pin upon the descent of the spindle with the float will reverse the swing of the lever and switch and break the circuit by causing flow of the mercury from the electrodes or terminals. The switch carrying lever has a short radial stop arm 39, adapted to engage the post 2'! to stop the swing of the switch when it passes the dead center and reaches circuit closing position.

It will be evident that the switch mechanism and the electrical connections therewith are completely safeguarded by enclosure within the completely enclosed chamber in which they are placed, so that injury to or derangement of them cannot occur from any external cause, and there is no danger of ignition by electric sparks of combustible gases collecting within the float bowl.

At the top of the float bowl side walls, small vent holes 3! are provided that prevent hindrance to the vertical movement of the float by air pressure within the float bowl.

The alarm means include preferably a lamp 32 and a bell or buzzer 33, located on the boat where signals of leakage will be instantly observed by one on board the boat.

Opening downward through the bottom of the float bowl is a liquid outlet 34, which has a horizontal extension 35, which by piping 36 is connected with the inlet port of. an electric pump 31, and from the outlet or eduction port of said pump, a pipe 38 leads to some convenient point to discharge overboard fuel pumped from the float chamber l3 by the pump.

of any fuel that might fail to be removed by the pump and which might be objectionable because of its corrosive or other injurious action on the float if allowed to remain for any length of time therein, I connect with the discharge opening 34-, the drain cock l5.

As has been stated, the signal light 32 and buzzer 33, of course, are mounted where they are certain to be seen and heard which mounting may be understood to be on the instrument board of the boat; and it will be understood that the assembly of parts is advantageously located in the most eflicient place for their action and most convenient having reference to the limits of boat spaces. As illustrated, it will be understood that the equipment shown and described as one embodiment of my invention is in fact applied to a motor boat.

It will be seen that the parts necessary for a complete equipment are simple; they are compact so that they can readily be installed in the restricted space available in a motor boat, and they are stout or rugged and not subject to breakage or derangement from vibration or jars unavoidably incident in the operation of a motor boat. And what is a very important consideration, none of the moving parts are exposed to the danger of contact with objects that would prevent their action, but the moving parts are completely housed and protected. This last named feature is also of importance in installation.

Of course, my invention may be applicable to use on other crafts than motor boats but has been devised particularly for boats.

I show and describe herein matter which forms the subject of my copending application No. 566,821 filed September 2, 1931, of which the present application is a continuation in part, and I refer thereto for the purpose of calling attention to all rights herein which I may have based upon that other application.

What I claim is:

1. In a motor boat, a device for preventing conflagrations due to leakage of inflammable fuels from in-board internal combustion engines of the operable parts thereof. in their fuel supply line, which leakage collects in relatively large quantities in the bilge water of boats, said device comprising in combination with a carburetor of an internal combustion engine and the fuel supply connections thereof, of a drip collecting means disposed and supported in relation to said carburetor and its connections to receive any drip or leakage therefrom, a chamber having a float therein and connected with said collecting means, said collecting means and connection being such as to discharge said drip or leakage received thereby into said float chamber, a pump connected with said float chamber for discharging the contents of said chamber from the boat while isolated from aforementioned bilge water, means for driving said pump and an electric control circuit therefor, switch means included in said circuit and arranged to be actuated by said float for characterized by a manual control switch in said closing said circuit at a predetermined level of circuit for causing operation of the pump actuthe leakage in said float chamber, the contacts of ated means independently of the float and signal the switch being hermetically sealed from the means for giving alarm when leakage has accumu- 5 atmosphere and from vapors of said leakage. lated.

2. In a device as set forth in claim 1 further FRANK P. HUCKINS.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3946694 *Jun 24, 1974Mar 30, 1976Robert BelskyAutomatic emergency bilge water pumpout system
US4306579 *Mar 24, 1980Dec 22, 1981Kelly Michael JMulti-tank fuel control system
US4697535 *Aug 1, 1986Oct 6, 1987Wileman Industries, IncMarine safety system
U.S. Classification137/558, 137/314, 114/183.00R
International ClassificationB63B13/00
Cooperative ClassificationB63B13/00
European ClassificationB63B13/00