US 2291813 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Patented Aug. 4, 1942 SPRINKLER SYSTEM Ira W. Knight, Providence, R.` I., assignor to General Fire Extinxuisher Company, Providence, R. I., a corporation of Delaware Application July 24, 1941, Serial No'. 403,846
Claims. (Cl. 169-37) This invention vrelates to improvements in sprinkler systems. More especially it has to do with a system having a stationary tubular connection between a distributing pipe and an automatic sprinkler head xed in position, from which connection the fire extinguishing medium is to be excluded until response of the thermally actuated means of the sprinkler to some predetermined thermal condition.
My invention is shown herein in its application to a pendent head located in a xed relation to and below a ceiling with the tubular connection extended upward through the ceiling to a distributing pipe thereabove. It will be appreciated, however, that the sprinkler and tubular connection may stand upright from the distributing pipe or in any other desired rl-lation thereto.
The best mode in which I have contemplated applying the principles of my invention is disclosed in the accompanying drawing Ibut this is to be deemed merely illustrative because it is intended that the patent shall cover by suitable expression in the. appended claims whatever features of patentable novelty exist in the invention disclosed.
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 is an elevation of a portion of a sprinkler system embodying my invention;
Fig. 2 is a vertical section showing a fitting of a distributing pipe and a tubular connection therefrom to a sprinkler head, the movable parts being shown in their relative positions when the system is inactive;
Fig. 3 is a vertical section like Fig. 2, but with the movable parts shown in their relative positributing pipes may stand iilled with a re extinguishing medium, such as water, if vthere is no danger of freezing. If there is, thenthe distributing pipes are normally lled vwith a gas, usually air, and the water is held back therefrom by some suitable valve means (not shown).
With such a dry pipe type of system, if one or more sprinkler heads respond to a fire, the-water is admitted to the distributing pipes for discharge through the open head or heads. At other times, for test purposes, the water under pressure may be admitted to the distributing pipes to see if they are clear and do not leak. After either a lire extinguishing action of the system, or a test has been made, the water must be withdrawn from the horizontal piping, which may be done conveniently -by any suitable drain such as the pipe 24 shown in Fig. 1. Since it'is not so easy or practical to drain water from any vertical connection 20 whose attached head has not been opened, my improved arrangement maintains these connections closed against the entry of any water thereto unless and until the sprinkler heads respond and are opened for lire extinguishing discharge.
Referring now to Fig. 2, a sleeve 26 is screwed into the bottom outlet Ia of a fitting I8, far enough for the upper end 26a of the sleeve to -be above the level of the bottom of the inner surface of vthe horizontal distributing pipe l0, whose sections are screwed into the aligned openings i8b and |80 of the fitting. Thus when the distributing pipes are drained, no water will stand in a tting above the upper end of the sleeve 26.
A pipe 28 is screwed onto the bottom of the sleeve 26 and locked thereto by a pin 30. This projects through the ceiling I6 to any desired extent, thus enabling the sprinkler head to be permanently xed at any predetermined location by screwing its base 22a onto the pipe and locking it thereto -by a pin 32. Thus, I provide a rm stationary connection between a fitting of a distributing pipe and a sprinkler head located at a fixed distance from the pipe.
The inner circular edge 26h at the top of sleeve 26 constitutes a seatv for a valve 34 which has a hollow stem 36 extending ,downward therefrom through the sleeve 26 and into the pipe 28. Suitable openings 36a are provided through the wall of this stem close by the valve 34 and at the bottom of the stem is an external shoulder 36h which, as here shown, may be formed by a ring 36p attached to the outside'of the stern.
Resting against this shoulder is a'springf-SB .which is lcoiled externally around the stem and at its upper end rests against an internal shoulder 46a of a movable sleeve 40- interposed between the valve stem and the pipe 28.
This sleeve 40 extends downward past the bottom of the valve stem and is attached to the upper end of another movable sleeve 42 which in turn extends downward in the pipe 28 and normally through the base 22a of the sprinkler head. Another and stronger spring 44 is coiled externally about the sleeve 42 between an outstanding shoulder 42a at its upper end and the upper edge 46a of another iixed sleeve 46, which iits tightly -within the pipe 28 and is further secured in place by a .pin 48 extending through an overlying ange 22h on the base of the sprinkler.
With the sleeve 46 thus permanently secured in the pipe 28, a series-of holes 50 are bored through the pipe and sleeve along axes radially disposed with respect to the longitudinal axis of the pipe 28. These holes may subsequently be closed by any suitable self-hardening 1111er 52.
'Corresponding but somewhat larger holes 42h are provided in the sleeve 42, so that when the sleeve is drawn downward-to compress the strong spring 44 and thereby store up poten tial energy and to compress the lighter spring 38 and thereby tightly seat the valve 34a ball detent 54 may be inserted partly through a larger hole 4212 and partly into a. smaller hole 0. As best seen in Fig. 5, less than one-half of a ball projects through the larger hole and cnly slightly into the smaller hole 44 with the surface of the ball seating on the edge of the latter hole. A Wedge member 56 is inserted within the lower end of sleeve 42 and has a conical surface 56a which engages all of the balls and holds them seated on the edges of the holes 44. The engagement of the edges of the larger holes 42h with the balls, keeps the sleeves in their lowermost positions with both springs compressed.
'Ihe wedge member 56 is held in ball-engaging position by the thermally actuated means of the automatic sprinkler head.
Substantially any oi the sprinkler heads now available may be employed in my arrangement but for purpose of illustration I show a sprinkler embodying details disclosed in Letters Patent No. 1,996,077 of April 2, 1935. The thermally responsive element is a frangible bulb 58 charged with a highly expansible fluid capable, when heated to a predetermined degree, oi completely shattering the bulb. One end of the bulb rests on a seating ring 68 which in turn bears against an adjusting screw 62 in the yoke end 22e of the sprinkler.
The other end of the bulb rests on a seating cap 64, which houses spring disks 66 and, as here shown, a portion of the wedge member 56. These several elements represent and in this instance constitute a strut under compression, adapted to give way in response to a fire occurring in its vicinity.
When the strut of the sprinkler is in the position shown in Fig. 2, the wedge member 56 holds the balls 54 seated on the edges of holes 50 in the xed sleeve 46. The balls retain the movable sleeve 42 in its lower position by virtue of the engagement between the edges of the holes 42h and the balls. The lower spring v44 is thus held compressed as is likewise the upper spring 38 since the sleeve 40 is likewise held downward. In turn spring 38 holds the valve stem 36 downward and thus the valve 34 is retained tighty on its'seat. This is the normal stand-by arrangement of the parts and no water is permitted to enter a vertical connection unless its associated sprinkler head responds to nre conditions.
When a iire occurs in the vicinity of a head and heats up the charge in the irangible bulb 58 to the degree at which the bulbl is destroyed, the seating ring 88, cap 64, and disks 58 are thrown clear of the sprinkler. The wedge member 56 is immediately pushed downward and outward of the sleeve 42 by the tendency oi the balls to move inward due to the upward thrust of the sleeve under the torce constantly applied by the compressed springs. As the balls 54 are freed by the removal oi the wedgemember they fall downward and clear of the sprinkler.
The lower spring 44 is made appreciably stronger than the upper spring 38 so that upon the sleeve 42 being released from the balls, it will be moved upward with some violence against the bottom oi the valve stem and the resulting impact on the latter insures unseatingl of the valve regardless oi any possible tendency of the latter to stick to its seat. Thereupon the sleeves 42 and 48, the valve stem 36 and the valve 34 move upward until the upper end of the movable sleeve 48 engages the bottom edge of the ilxed sleeve 26. This brings the holes 36a in the hollow valve stem above the upper end of sleeve 28 so that the water may enter the stem, pass downward therethrough and through the sleeve 42 to be jetted against the deilector 68 for eil'ective distribution over the area protected by the cpened sprinkler head.
It is to be noted that if while the system is inactive, there should be any unequal changes in the lengths of the pipe 28, the sleeves 40 and 42 and the valve stem 36, the springs 38 and C4 will compensate for any such changes and maintain the valve h34 tightly on its seat. This feature permits the head 22 to be spaced a considerable distance below the fitting Il ii desired, without danger of the valve being inadvertently opened by any unequal axial expansion or contraction of the several parts.
1. A sprinkler system comprising a distributing pipe, a tubular connection extending therefrom, closure means normally closing the pipe end of said connection, an automatic sprinkler head fixed in position at the extended end of said connection having thermallyA actuated means, spring actuated means for etlecting the opening of said closure means, and detent means held in retaining position by said thermally actuated means for normally holding said spring actuated means away from said closure means; the said detent means being released upon the said thermally actuated means responding to a predetermined thermal condition to thereby permit said spring actuated means to efiect opening of the said closure means for sprinkler discharge.
2. A sprinkler system comprising a distributing pipe, a tubular connection extending therefrom, closure means normally closing the pipe end of said connection, an automatic sprinkler head xed in position at the extended end of said connection having thermally actuated means, spring actuated means comprising a movable sleeve extending within said connection and a spring tending to move said sleeve toward said closure means, and detent means at the extended end of said connection normally holding said sleeve away from said closure means and thereby holding said spring in restraint; the detent means being held in sleeve restraining position byv said thermally actuated means and being released upon response of the thermally actuated means to a predetermined thermal condition to permit said spring to move said sleeve to effect opening of said closure means for sprinkler discharge.
3. A sprinkler system comprising a distributing pipe, a tubular connection extending therefrom, closure means normally closing the pipe end of said connection, an automatic sprinkler head fixed in position at the extended end of said connection having thermally actuated means, a sleeve extending within said connection and movable toward said closure means, a spring acting upon said sleeveand tending to move it toward said closure means, detent means at the extended end of said connection engaging said sleeve and holding it against movement toward said closure means, and means interposed between said detent means and said thermally actuated means normally retaining the said detentl means in sleeve holding position; the said interposed means being released upon rer spense of the thermally actuated means to a predetermined thermal condition whereupon said interposed means andsad detent means are freed for discharge from said sleeve and said sleeve is moved by said spring to effect opening of the closure means for sprinkler discharge.
4. A sprinkler system comprising a distributing pipe, a tubular connection extending therefrom, closure means normally closing the pipe end of said connection, an automatic sprinkler head fixed in position at the extended end of said connection having thermally actuated means, a sleeve movable within said connection having an opening in its wall, a spring tending to move said sleeve toward said closure means, a ball detent having a portion extending through said opening of said sleeve to engage the internal wall of the connection, and means projecting into said sleeve to hold said ball detent in engagement with the wall of the connection to thereby restrainsaid sleeve from movement toward said closure means; the said projecting means being normally held in ball-holding position by the thermally actuated means and being released from said position upon response of the thermally actuated means to a predetermined thermal condition, whereupon said ball detent is disengaged from said `connection to permit said sleeve to be moved by said spring to effect opening of the closure means for sprinkler discharge.
5. A sprinkler system comprising a distributing pipe having a fitting, a xed sleeve screwed into an opening of said fitting, valve means within said fitting seating upon said sleeve in the direction of ilow therethrough, a second pipe secured to said fixed sleeve and extending therefrom, an automatic sprinkler head iixed in position at the extended end of said second pipe, a second xed sleeve within and'at the extended end of said second pipe, a movable sleeveextending through said second fixed sleeve and into said second pipe, a spring seating on said second fixed sleeve and applying force to said'movable sleeve tending to move it toward said valve means, a series of holes in the wall of said movable sleeve, a series of recesses in said second fixed sleeve corresponding to said series of holes, a series of balls each having a portion extending through one of said holes and engaging one of said recesses of said secondflxed sleeve, and a wedge member extending into said movable sleeve holding said series of balls in said recesses and thereby normally holding said sleeve away fromsaid valve means against the force of said spring; the said wedge member being retained in ball-holding position by the thermally actuatedmeans and being released upon response of the thermally actuated means to a predetermined thermal condition to thereby permitl said balls to be freed from said recesses whereupon said spring moves said movable sleeve to effect opening of the valve means for sprinkler discharge.
IRA W. KNIGHT.