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Publication numberUS2338667 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1944
Filing dateJan 24, 1941
Priority dateSep 13, 1935
Publication numberUS 2338667 A, US 2338667A, US-A-2338667, US2338667 A, US2338667A
InventorsRiche Arthur L
Original AssigneeRiche Arthur L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Water treatment apparatus
US 2338667 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

4, A. L. RICHE v WATER TREATMENT APPARATUS Original Filed Sept. 13, 1935 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Jan. 4, 1944. A A. LTRICHE v 2,338,667

WATER TREATMENT APPARATUS Original Filed Sept. 13, 1935 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 the art.

Patented Jan. 4, 1944 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE WATER TREATMENT APPARATUS Arthur L. Riche, Freeport, Ill.

Original application September 13, 1935, Serial No. 40,379. Divided and this application January 24, 1941, Serial No. 375,838

23 Claims.

This invention relates to water treatment devices and has special reference to automatic devices wherein the operation thereof is controlled in response to a photoelectric test on the effluent water.

An object of the invention is the provision of generally improved means for testing a stream of changing fluid and the actuation of control mechanism in response to the tests.

A further and more specific object is the provision of a zeolite water softener wherein all steps of the regeneration which involve a flow of liquid through the softener are automatically controlled in response to tests on the effluent water.

Another object is the provision of testing means wherein the frequency of the tests is proportional to the flow of the fluid to be tested.

Other objects and attendant advantages will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings, in which pending application, Pat. No. 2,254,782, issued September 2, 1941.

In Figs. 1 and 2 I have shown in diagrammatic form the apparatus for testing and controlling the operation of a zeolite water softener which is so arranged that it may be used either for operating the softener in a completely automatic .manner, or to perform the tests and emit signals to indicate when the operations should be performed manually. The control mechanism has a driven shaft diagrammatically shown at It adapted to be integral with or connected to a shaft Iii (Figure i) when the control device is used for automatic actuation of a, softener. The shaft it carries cams ii, l8, l9 and 2| adapted to actuate valves 22, 2?, 2d and 25, respectively. In the particular valve arrangement shown in Figure l, the valves 22 and 2? are interconnected and the valves 25 and 25 are interconnected, though this particular arrangement is shown merely by way of illustration, and numerous other suitable valve arrangements are well known in A pipe 23 is connected to a supply of of reagent into the cell 3?.

hard water which during normal softening operation passes through pipes 21 and 23 to the bottom of the softener tank indicated generally by the numeral 29. The softened water emerges from the softener through the pipe 3! and passes into the service line 32 by way of the valve 24, the valves in Figure 1 being shown in the service position. A regenerating solution tank 33 is connected to pipe 21 through check valve 34 and to valve 23 by line 35 in such manner that when hard water is passed into the line 35 through opening of the valve 23, solution will be forced out of the tank by way of the check valve 34 into the line 28 to the bottom of the softener. The valve 25 is connected to drain through a pipe 36.

The testing and control device has an observation cell 31 provided with a pair of glass windows through which light may be projected. This cell is connected to the outlet of the softener by means of a pipe 38, a valve 39 and a pipe 4i and to drain through a pipe 42. The observation cell is also connected to a source of reagent supply 33 through a pipe i l, a check valve 25, a pump it, a check valve ti, and a pipe &8. iii shaft 49 is driven from a motor shaft of the control mechanism in a manner which will presently appear so as to periodically make one complete revolution for the purpose of performing a test. During this rotation of the shaft a cam 5i allows the stem of the valve 39 to rise, shutting off the flow of water to the cell 31 and shortly thereafter a cam 52 on the shaft 19 releases the piston 53 of the reagent pump, a spring 54 causin the return of the pis ton and the simultaneous injection of a quantity This reagent has the property of reacting chemically with the calcium and magnesium salts in the hard water to produce a precipitate, though it will be understood that where the device is used for a purpose other than the detecting of hardness or regenerating solution in the water, any other suitable reagent will be employed which will product a physically perceptible change in the solution in the cell 31. In the present instance a suitable reagent is a standard solution of potassium salts of non-volatile fatty acids (of which corn oil has been found preferable) held in solution by the addition of a 1sugar of glycerine and filtered at a low temperaure.

The control mechanism shown in Fig. 2 is effective to make periodic tests on the effluent from the softener and in response to said tests rotate the shaft I 6 a quarter turn when the effluent water becomes hard, thus initiating regeneration of the softener. The mechanism is also efiective to make periodic tests of the efiluent from the softener when regenerating solution is being ad mitted thereto and upon the appearance of this solution in the effluent from the softener to again turn the shaft 16 through a quarter turn for the purpose of stopping the flow of regenerating solution. Thereafter the brine is allowed to stand in the softener tank for a predetermined period which is automatically measured by the control mechanism at the termination of which the control mechanism rotates the shaft l5 through a further quarter turn bringing thesoftener valves into the rinse position. Thereafter the test and control mechanism tests the efiluent from the softener and when the spent regenerating solution has been completely washed from the softener automatically again turns the shaft 16 through a final quarter turn returning the valves to the service position.

I will now describe in detail the structure by which this :automatic actuation of the valves is accomplished.

A flow switch 55 is positioned in the water line 26 carrying hard water to the softener so that the contacts thereof are closed only when water is flowing in the pipe 26 in quantity greater than that required for test purposes. The switch 55 is connected into 'a circuit 56a, 56b and 560 of a synchronous self-starting timing motor 58 of the type used in blocks so that the timing motor only runs when water is flowing in the pipe 26, except to open the contacts during a test, the purpose being to test the water at certain intervals based on the time the water flows. .A contact disk 51 is carried on a shaft 58 driven by the timing motor 56 and carries a plurality of contacts 59 adapted to engage a fixed contact 6| at spaced intervals, dependent upon the relationship between the shaft 58 and the motor, to initiate a test. In this particular construction the shaft makes .a complete revolution each hour of running time so that tests are initiated each time water has flowed in the pipe 26 for a total of fifteen minutes. regulated to suit requirements.

When contacts 59 and 61 are closed, the circuit is closed between the poles 62 and 63 of a repulsion motor 64, the field 65 of which is energized by current flowing from electrical supply lines 66 and .6] by way of lead 550., flow switch 55, wire 5%, a wire Ste, a manually operated switch 68 and wire Etc. The circuit through the poles of he motor is closed through .a wire .Br'ia, brush 6!! on .a wire :25], contact disk 51, the contacts .39

and 61, contact .disks 'H and F2 which are electrically interconnected, leads 258 and 283, a disk 13 having contacts M and 7-5 and brushes l6 and ll, and a wire 25.3. Upon the closing of this circuit the drive motor 64 begins to rotate, turning shaft 4:3 to which it is geared by suitable gearing not shown.

The contact disk 73 together with contact disks is, M and 8,2, cams 5i and '52, and a clutch member 1313 are carried on the shaft 39 and rotate with it, A brush 85 is connected to the motor pole 63 and is positioned to be out of contact with disk '19 when the drive motor is stopped but to engage the disk upon slight rotation thereof to complete the circuit between the poles by way of the disk '18.. a brush 85 associated therewith and wire 215.9. :Ehortly thereafter the contact 1 3 leaves the brush "it breaking the starting circuit at this point. A wire 55d shunts around the flow switch 55 and connects with a brush 82a engaging a con- The interval can, of course, be

tact ring 82b on the disk 82 and a brush 82c connected into the circuit including the wire b engages the disk 82 at all points except the start ing point to insure continuous supply of current to the field 65 through a complete revolution of the shaft 49.

When the motor 64 starts, cam 5i on the shaft 49 cuts oif the flow of water through observation cell 31, whereupon cam 52 causes reagent to be injected into the sample of water retained in the observation cell. A delay ensues 'while shaft 45 continues its rotation to the point where disk 8! engages interconnected switches 86 and El. Thereupon switch 8'! closes, the contacts therein being closer spaced than the contacts of switch 86, causing current to flow through a lamp 88 by way of wires 56c, switch 68, wire 58c, wires 26!, 2e2, 263, 264, 285, and resistance H6, and projecting a beam of light through the observation cell 31 onto a light sensitive cell 89 connected to an amplifying tube 91 in such mannor that a decrease of illumination on the light sensitive cell causes an increase of tube output. The light sensitive cell and amplifying unit are advantageously enclosed as shown at 13 to exclude extraneous light.

The power supply is alternating from a transformer 92 which is energized by way of wire 56c, switch 68, wire 55c, switch 87, wire 25!, wire 92a, and wires 218 and 279, but both the photoelectric :cell and the amplifying triode act as half-valve .rectifiers on opposite sides of the cycle. A con denser 93 serves to bring the two sufficiently into phase so that the potential drop over a resistance 94 puts the negative bias on the grid of the tube which reduces the plate current to zero, when the intensity of light from the lamp 88 is proper- .ly adjusted.

If soft water is flowing in the observation cell 3'! when the flow of water is cut off, the injection of reagent therein has no effect upon the light absorption characteristics of the fluid and the drive motor 64 continues its operation until the shaft 49 has been driven through a complete revolution without the remainder of the mechanism being actuated. However, when hard water begins to appear in the effluent from the softener, the observation cell 3'! will necessarily contain water having a certain degree of hardness so that when the reagent is injected it will react with the hardness producing constituents of the water such as the calcium and magnesium I salts, causing a precipitation within the observation cell which interferes with the passage of light therethrough. When this precipitate becomes sufiicient to block the light to a predetermined degree, the output from the tube 9| will reach a point suliicient to actuate a relay 95 causing it to pick up and close a contact 96, the current concurrently passing through a milliammeter 9'! which gives a visual indication to the operator. The cam H which has continued its rotation, as previously described, closing the contact 81, now closes the contact 86. Upon closing of the contact 86 nothing happens unless the relay 95 has picked up, in which case current will fiow through a magnetic clutch 93 by way of a wire 266, a switch I22, a wire 26?, the contact 86, a wire 268, the relay contact 95, wires 216 and 269, a contact disk 99, conductor 21!, a conductor 2T2, contact disk I04, wires 217, 2751 and 279 causing the magnetic clutch to engage and rotate the shaft i5 until the circuit is broken at contact disk I04, whereupon the clutch will release and the shaft 49 will complete its revolution independently. Thereupon a lamp I is in circuit with the clutch 98 through a wire 206, a wire 213, a contact disk IOI, wire 21I, clutch 93', Wire 212, wire 214, lamp I05, and wires 215, 216, '211, 218 and 219, the burning of the lamp I05 indicating to the operator that the softener is in need of regeneration. While the lamp I05 is in series with the clutch, it does not permit enough current to pass to hold the clutch in engagement. The operator then depresses switch I01 shunting out the lamp I05 and closing the circuit through the clutch by way of wires 266 and 213, disk I01, wire 21L clutch 98, wire 212, disk I06, wire 214, a wire 23L switch I01, a wire 282, and wires 215, 216, 211, 218 and 219, and holds switch I01 closed until insulator 104a of contact disk I04 has moved beyond its brush to establish the circuit direct from wire 212 to 211. The closing or" the switch IIi'I simultaneously closes the circuit between the poles 02 and 63 of the drive motor by way of wire 259, brush 11, contact 14, brush 16, wires 283, 258 and 284, switch I01 and wires 285 and 236, thus causing this shaft 49 to again rotate through one revolution. During this rotation of the shaft 49 the clutch 93 will remain engaged until the circuit is broken at contact disk IIlI, causing the shaft IE to be rotated a sufficient distance to complete a quarter turn thereof and moving the valves (Figure 1) into a position to close the valve 22, open the valve 23, close the valve 24 and open the valve 25, thereby placing the valves in a position to admit regenerating solution from the tank 33 into the softener tank 23. Where it is desired to operate the softener in a completely automatic manner, the switch I01 is maintained closed at all times so that when the relay 95 picks up, the

shaft IE will not be stopped by operation of the contact disk I04 but will pass completely through a quarter turn into the regenerating position.

In this position of the shaft I5 and of the softener valves, regenerating solution is being fed into the softener and tests are performed to determine when this solution has completely displaced the water in the softener. For this purpose a contact disk I08 is carried on the shaft 58 of the timing motor and has a plurality of contacts 39 adapted to make contact with an opposed contact III at more frequent intervals. When regenerating solution has begun to come through the softener it will appear in the observation cell 31 at one of the successive tests causing the relay 95 to pick up upon closing of the contact 31, the contact Iii being connected to a contact disk H2 by conductors 281a and 281, the circuit between the poles I52 and 53 being closed through the wire 63a, a brush 69a, disk I03, contact Hi, conductors 281a and 281, disk H2, a conductor 283, disk 12, wires 253 and 283, brush 16, contact 14, disk 13, contact 15, brush 11 and wire 259. With the relay 95 closed, the closing of the contact 85 completes the circuit through the magnetic clutch by way of the contact disks 99 and Ice as previously described and maintains the clutch closed for a quarter turn through the establishment of a circuit through the contact disk IEII. This brings the valves of the softener to a position in which all of the valves except are closed holding the regenerating solution quiescent in the softener for the completion of reaction between it and the zeolite.

It will be observed that when the regenerating solution is being passed into the softener and emerges therefrom in the eiiluent line so as to reach the observation cell 31', this solution will come through the softener in high concentration. Furthermore, this effluent will be spent solution containing principally calcium and magnesium salts obtained from the zeolite bed. This high concentration of spent solution will produce a large amount of precipitate in the observation cell upon reaction with the reagent and will obscure most of the light from the lamp 83, thereby giving a, very high tube output. In order to change the test range and protect the relay its sensitivity is decreased during the tests when the valves occupy the brine intake position by the closing of an adjustable shunt around the relay coils which is accomplished by contact disk H5, wires 289 and 29L and resistance IIEl. Furthermore, for the best results from the tube its output should be held below a certain maximum which is accomplished by shunting a part of the control resistance H8 in series with the lamp by way of wires 219, 218, 211, disk ltd, conductor 212, disk I93, a contact IE1 and a conductor I; thus increasing the illumination on the photoelectric cell 89 and decreasing the tube output.

As the shaft I5 moves into the last mentioned or soaking position, a circuit is closed between the power lines through contact disks I93 and Hit, the current passing through the resistance I18 of a thermal timer designated generally by M9 by way of awire 292, resistance I13, a wire disk I53 and associated brush, conductor 212, disk 595 and associated brush, and wires 211, 213 and 2153. Upon the lapse of a predetermined period of time, the blade of the thermal timer will cause contacts Iiiil to be made to close the circuit through the winding 55 of the motor 04 by way of wire 5550, switch wire 523e, winding 55, a wire 2%, contact I28, and wires 215, 211, 2153 and 219. The blade also closes the circuit through the poles 92 and E3 of the drive motor through wire 2%, contact I235, th timer blade H9, wires 2%, 213, 283, contact brush 16, contact 1e, disk 13, contact 15, brush 11 and wire 259, causing the shaft 39 to rotate through a complete turn, and simultaneously the circuit through the magnetic clutch will be closed by way of wire 292, the thermal timer blade IIil, contact area, wires 285 and 2%, contact disk i532, conductors 21! and 212, disk Iii-'5 and conductors 211, 218 and 219. Shortly after movements of valves begin a new circuit is set up by current flowing directly through wires 2%, 213 and disk Iti to wire 21L The shaft 55 is then indexed an additional one-quarter turn so as to open valve 22, close valve 25:, close valve 2 1 and open valve 25:30 that water will flow through the softener and into drain by way of the pipe 36. As water flows through the softener, the timing motor will periodically cause the closing of the contacts Hi9 and iii to bring about periodic tests on the efiluent. Since spent regenerating solution is passing through the observation cell 31 during the initial part of this test cried, the relay $5 will be picked up upon each of the tests so that when the contact 836 is closed the circuit through the clutch 38 be completed through the contact disk However, when the spent regenerating solution is con'ipietely washed from the softener, no precipitation will occur in the observation celi and consequently the relay will not pick up so that when the switch 88 is closed the circuit through the clutch 99 will. be closed by way of wire switch E22, wire 261, switch 35, wire 25%, the relay, contact iiiI, a wire 231, wire 2%, disk m2, conductors 211 and 212, disk We, and wires 211, 218 and 219,

causing the shaft 55 to rotate through the final one-quarter turn, returning the valves to the service position shown in Figure 1 and completing the regeneration of the softener, disk fill and wires 26%, H3, maintaining the circuit closed after the opening of the relay. At this point the flow switch 55 and timing motor 56 again take up the duty of initiating periodic tests on the effluent soft water from the softener.

The switch 63 is provided to permit manual calibration and adjustment of the light sensitive testing mechanism as desired without in any wise aifecting the actuating mechanism for the shafts 49 and I5. By closing this switch to complete circuit directly from wire 560 to wire 264 the lamp 88 is caused to come on, and the effect of this may be observed on the milliammeter El.

Where the testing and actuating device is desired to be used as an alarm mechanism with the valves to be operated manually, a switch I22 is provided adapted to be thrown to the left facing Fig. 2 to close contacts 523 to a bell I24 or other signal device. With the switch in this position when the test indicates water of more than the desired hardness, the bell will ring during the time that contact 8% is closed. Likewise, when the test for regenerating solution in the wash water is desired, a switch I25 is thrown from the position shown in Fig. 2 to, a lower position to close contacts lit which places the contacts I89 and I i l in control of the testing time and the contact l2! of the relay 95 in control of the bell so that a signal will be given when water free of hardness producing constituents passes into the observation cell and the next succeeding test is accomplished.

It will be seen that I have provided a generally improved zeolite water softener wherein regeneration of the softener is initiated in response to the change in character of the eilluent, and wherein each step of the regeneration in which liquid flows through the softener is initiated in response to changes in the effluent so that the maximum efiiciency in the regeneration operation is obtained. I have also provided improved testing means for testing the character of the water and improved means for actuating the valves of a softener or other mechanism as a result of the test. I have also provided a test mechanism wherein the frequency of the test is proportioned to the time of flow of the fluid being tested.

While I have thus described and illustrated specific embodiments of the invention, I am aware that numerous alterations and changes may be made therein without resort to invention, and I do not want to be limited except as required by the scope of the appended claims, in which I claim:

1. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating, and rinse positions, light sensitive means for periodically testing the eliluent of the softener for hardness and for regenerating solution connected to receive effluent water from said softener tank, and means responsive to said testing means for moving said valve means from the service position when the test indicates hardness in the water, from the regenerating position when the test indicates regenerating solution in the water, and from the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of regenerating solution in the wash water.

2. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating, and rinse positions, light sensitive means connected to receive effluent from said softener for periodically testing the efliuent for hardness and for regenerating solution, means responsive to said testing means for moving said valve means from the service position when the test indicates hardness in the water, from the regenerating position when the test indicates regenerating solution in the water, and from the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of regenerating solution in the wash water, and means to vary the frequency of test in different positions of the valve means.

3. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating, soak and rinse positions, light sensitive means connected to receive efiiuent from said softener for testing the effluent for hardness and for regenerating solution, means responsive to said testing means for moving said valve means out of the service position when the test indicates hardness in the water, out of the regenerating position when the test indicates regenerating solution in the water, and out of the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of brine in the water, and timing means for initiating the movement of said valve means from the soak position.

4. The combination with liquid treatment apparatus of conduits for conducting liquid to and from said apparatus valve means in said conduits for controlling the flow of said liquid through said apparatus and means for actuating said valves in response to changes in the character of the liquid flowing from said apparatus comprising means for periodically performing a light sensitive test on said liquid flowing from said apparatus including a drive motor, clutch means to drive said valve means, and an electrical circuit means for engaging said clutch means in response to a predetermined result from said light sensitive test means.

5. The combination with liquid treatment apparatus of conduits for conducting liquid to and from said apparatus valve means in said conduits for controlling the flow of said liquid through said apparatus and means for actuating said valve means through a predetermined cycle in response to changes in the character of the liquid flowing from said apparatus comprising light sensitive means connected to receive said liquid flowing from said apparatus for periodically testing the same including a drive motor, a magnetic clutch for establishing driving connection between said motor and said valve means in response to a predetermined result from said testing means, and switch means set by operation of the clutch to establish control circuits for subsequent valve operations.

6. The combination with liquid treatment apparatus of conduits for conducting liquid to and from said apparatus, valve means in said conduits for controlling the flow of said liquid and means for actuating said valve means through a predetermined cycle in response to changes in the character of the liquid flowing from said apparatus comprising light sensitive means connected to receive said liquid flowing from said apparatus for periodically testing said liquid including a drive motor, a magnetic clutch for establishing driving connection between said motor and said valve means in response to a predetermined result from said testing means,

control circuits for said magnetic clutch, switch nected. to receive efiluent from said tank for testing the eflluent to determine the point of exhaustion of the zeolite, a source of electric current for said testing means, means including circuit means for initiating regeneration of the softener in response to said test, and means for determining the frequency of said tests comprising an electric timing motor connected to said source of current and a flow switch in the circuit of said timing motor for controlling the supply of current to the timing motor, said switch being held closed by a predetermined flow of water through the softener whereby to operate the timing motor only upon the flow of water through the softener.

8. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating, and rinse posi tions, light sensitive means connected to receive eiiiuent from said tank for periodically testing the effluent for hardness and for regenerating solution, means responsive to said testing means for moving said valve means out of the service position when the test indicates hardness in the water, out of the regenerating position when the test indicates regenerating solution in the water, and out of the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of regenerating solution in the water, and means connected to said testing means for decreasing the sensitivity of the testing means when the valve means occupies the regenerating position.

9. The combination with liquid treatment apparatus of valve means for controlling the flow of liquid and means for actuating said valve means through a predetermined cycle in response to changes in the character of the liquid comprising light sensitive means connected to receive treated liquid from said apparatus for periodically testing said liquid, a plurality of circuit closing mechanisms for initiating tests at different intervals, means for driving said valve means in response to a predetermined result from said testing means, and means set upon movement of the valve means to select said circuit closing mechanisms for different frequencies of test in diiferent valve positions.

10. The combination with liquid treatment apparatus of light sensitive testing means comprising means for testing the light absorption characteristic of said liquid flowing from said apparatus, a control circuit for said testing means, a

plurality of timing means for periodically energizing said last mentioned means at different intervals to determine the frequency of said tests, and manually operable means for connecting any one of said timing means in circuit with said testing means to energize the same at different testing intervals.

11. The combination with liquid treatment apparatus of light senstive testing means for testing the light absorption characteristics of said liquid flowing from said apparatus, means to be operated in response to a predetermined test result, a control circuit for said testing means, a plurality of timing means for initiating operation of the testing means at different time intervals, and manually operable means for connecting any one of said timing means in circuit with said testing means to select diiferent testing periods for different liquid conditions.

12. The combination in a zeolite water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank, means for operating said valve means to admit regenerating solution thereto and wash the same therefrom, light sensitive testing means connected to receive effluent from said softener for periodically testing the hardness of the effluent water from said tank and for the presence of regenerating solution, said testing means having a plurality of circuits, means in one of said circuits to emit a signal when said effluent reaches a predetermined hardness and upon the absence of regenerating solution, a plurality of timing means in said circuits for initiating operation of the testing means at different time intervals, and manually operable means for connecting different timing means in circuit with said testing means when testing for hardness and for regenerating solution to select different testing periods.

13. The combination in a zeolite water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through the softener, means for operating said valve means light sensitive testing means connected to receive eiiluent from said tank for testing the eliiuent of said softener having a plurality of circuits, timing means in one of said circuits for periodically initiating said testing means to test the efiluent for hardness, signal means, relay means in one of said circuits electrically connected to said signal means operative in response to a predetermined result of said testing means corresponding to a predetermined hardness to energize said signal means, a second timing means in one of said circuits for initiating the testing means at more frequent intervals, and switch means manually operative to place the secondary timing means in control of the testing period and to energize the signal means upon failure of the relay means to respond to the testing means to indicate the absence of hardness producing constituents in the effluent.

14. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating and rinse positions, light sensitive means connected to receive efliuent from said tank for periodically testing the efiluent of the softener for hardness and for regenerating solution, means for periodically supplying current to said testing means and means re sponsive to said testin means for moving said valve means from the service position when the test indicates hardness in the Water, from the regenerating position when the test indicates regenerating solution in the water, and from the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of regenerating solution in the water, said last mentioned means including a relay, a plurality of circuits controlled by said relay, and switches in said circuits selectively operated in different positions of said valve means.

15. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solutions, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating and rinse positions, light sensitive means connected to receive eiiluent from said softener for periodically testing the effluent for hardness and for regenerating solution, means for periodically supplying current to said testing means, means responsive to said testing means for moving said valve means from the service position when the test indicates hardness in the Water, from the regenerating position when the test indicates regenerating solution in the water, and from the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of regenerating solution in the water, said last mentioned means including a relay, a plurality of circuits controlled by said relay, and switches in said circuit selectively operated in different positions of said valve means, and means in circuit with said testing means to vary the frequency of test in difierent positions of the valve means.

16. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating and rinse positions, electrical means for actuating said valve means between said positions, light sensitive means connected to receive effluent from said softener for periodically testing the eiiiuent for hardness and for regenerating solution, means for supplying current to said testing means, and means including a relay in circuit with and responsive to said testing means, a plurality of circuits to said electrical means, and switch mechanism for selectively connecting said circuits to the relay in different positions Of the valve means, said circuits and switch mechanism being arranged to successively energize said electrical means to move said valve means from the service position when the test indicates hardness in the effluent, fro-m the regenerating position when there is regenerating solution in the effluent, and from the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of regenerating solution in the effluent.

17. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controllin the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating and rinse positions, light sensitive means connected to receive eiiiuent from said softener for periodically testing the effluent for hardness and for regenerating solution, control circuits for supplying current to said testing means, controlled circuits, means responsive to. said testing means for moving said valve means from the service position when the test indicates hardness in the water, from the regenerating position when the test indicates regenerating solution in the water, and from the rinse position when the test indicates the absence of regenerating solution in the water, said last mentioned means including a relay in said controlled circuits actuated in response to said tests, and a plurality of timing means selectively operable on said testing means to initiate tests thereby at different intervals, and switch means for connecting predetermined timing means into said control circuits in different positions of the valve means to perform tests at different intervals in different positions of the valve.

18. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve mean for controlling the flow through said tank movable in succession through service, regenerating and rinse positions, light sensitive means connected to receive efiluent from aid softener for periodically testing the effluent for hardness and for regenerating solution, control circuits for supplying current to said testing means, controlled circuits, and switch mechanism in said controlled circuits movable by the valve means to set up said controlled circuits for effectuating the next succeeding valve operation, said testing means including relay means in said controlled circuits for completing said controlled circuits in response toa predetermined outcome of said tests.

19. The combination in a zeolite water softener of a softening tank having a hard water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow of liquid through service, regenerating and rinse steps, means connected to receive effluent from said softener tank for testing the effluent from said tank for hardness and for regenerating solution, and means for determining the frequency of test on said efiiuent comprising a circuit, an electric motor in said circuit and a how switch in said circuit for controlling the supply of current to the motor adapted to be held closed by a predetermined flow of Water in the water supply line.

20. The combination in a liquid treating device of a liquid treatment tank having an inlet for liquid to be treated, means for controlling the flow of liquid through said tank, mean connected to receive liquid from said tank for testing the effluent from said tank for a predetermined characteristic, and means for determining the frequency of test comprising a circuit, an electric timing mot-or in said circuit for energizing said testing means, and a flow switch in said circuit for controlling the supply of current to the motor adapted to be held closed by a predetermined fiow of liquid through said tank.

21. The combination with a water softener having a softener tank having a hard water inlet, a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable between service, regenerating and rinse positions, and means for moving said valve means between said positions of light sensitive means connected to receive efiiuent from said softener tank for periodically testing the effluent of the softener for hardness and for brine, and means including a circuit for varying the sensitivity of the testing means in different positions of said valve means.

22. The combination with liquid treatment apparatus of valve means for controlling the flow of said liquid, and means for actuating said valve means through a predetermined cycle in response to changes in the character of the liquid comprising light sensitive mean connected to receive treated liquid from said apparatus for periodically testing said liquid including a motor for driving the tester, circuits for supplying current to said tester and said motor clutch means for driving said valve means from said motor, a plurality of circuits controlled from said testing means, means in one of said controlled circuits for engaging said clutch in response to a predetermined test result, and switch means set at the time of operation of the clutch to successively establish said control circuits for successive valve operations.

23. The combination in a water softener of a softener tank having a hard Water inlet and a source of regenerating solution, valve means for controlling the flow through said tank movable 15 between service, regenerating and rinse positions, means for driving said valve means progressively through said positions, light sensitive means connected to receive efliuent from said softener tank for testing the efiluent of said softener through a hardness testing cycle, a regenerating solution testing cycle and a rinse testing cycle, circuits for each .valve position, switch means in said circuits controlled by the valve means to set said tester for said successive cycles and to set said circuits for each valve position, and means for closing said circuits in reponse to predetermined results in each of said test cycles to index the valve means through a regeneration cycle.

ARTHUR L. RICHE.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2435366 *Jan 27, 1934Feb 3, 1948Automatic Pump & Softener CorpAutomatic water softener
US2460011 *Apr 14, 1945Jan 25, 1949Hungerford & Terry IncBase exchange water treating equipment
US2474145 *Apr 16, 1945Jun 21, 1949Marvin GambillWater softener
US2906332 *Jul 12, 1956Sep 29, 1959Capital Plating & Machine CoControls for water softening apparatus and system
US2962437 *Jan 3, 1955Nov 29, 1960Union Tank Car CoMethod of operating water softening apparatus
US3281594 *Aug 28, 1959Oct 25, 1966Walter E GarrisonSludge-pumping control system
US3361415 *Sep 30, 1965Jan 2, 1968Donald F. LaneDemineralizer control system
US3482697 *Oct 31, 1967Dec 9, 1969Monsanto CoWater conditioning system
US3531402 *Jan 17, 1969Sep 29, 1970L & A Products IncApparatus and method for regenerating a water softening system
US4273658 *Sep 25, 1979Jun 16, 1981Exxon Production Research CompanyThickener control process
Classifications
U.S. Classification210/96.1, 250/214.00R, 250/576, 68/13.00A, 210/85, 210/141, 210/138, 250/215, 361/175
International ClassificationC02F1/68, G05D11/00, G05D11/13
Cooperative ClassificationG05D11/13, C02F1/686
European ClassificationC02F1/68P2, G05D11/13