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Publication numberUS2412452 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 10, 1946
Filing dateFeb 28, 1944
Priority dateFeb 28, 1944
Publication numberUS 2412452 A, US 2412452A, US-A-2412452, US2412452 A, US2412452A
InventorsLee B Green
Original AssigneeLee B Green
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Flush tank control
US 2412452 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec..1'0, 1946. GREEN 2,412,452

FLUS H. TANK CONTROL Filed Feb. 28, 1944 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 NVENTOR. Y 55 5. Gees/v [476' 3 F Wi 5% 55a .4 7' TOR/VEYS Dec. 10, 1946. r L. B. GREEN 2,412,452

FLUSH TANK CONTROL Filed Feb. 28, 1944 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 56.5 INVENTOR.

[5 5. Gas-5w Patented Dec. 10, 1946 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,412,452 FLUSH TANK CONTROL Lee B. Green, Lakewood, Ohio Application February 28, 1944, Serial No. 524,226

1 Claim. Cl. 137-68) This invention relates to water distributing systems and more particularly to a control for the filling of flush tanks or the like.

An object of this invention is to provide novel means for controlling the filling of flush tanks, or the like, and by which the filling can be carried out in a quiet, emcient and reliable manner.

Another object of the invention is to provide novel control means, of this kind, permitting the use of a remotely located valve for controlling the supply of water to the tank.

Still another object of this invention is to provide novel means by which the filling of a flush tank, or the like, can be electrically controlled.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide novel control means, of the character mentioned, in which a float-actuated switch located at the tank controls the remotely located water supply valve.

It is also an object of this invention to provide tank control means of this character, wherein novel safety means prevents overfilling of the tank in the event of current failure during the filling operation,

Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description and the accompanying drawings, in which Fig. l i an elevational view, partly in section and somewhat diagrammatic in form, showing tank filling means embodying this invention;

Fig. 2 is a partial side elevation showing the float-actuated switch with portions thereof broken away;

Fig. 3 is a partial plan view of the float-actuated switch, viewed as indicated by line 3-3 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a plan view of the remotely-located filling valve and the actuating means therefor;

Fig. 5 is a detailed elevational view, partly in section, further illustrating the remotely located filling valve;

Fig. 6 is a transverse sectional view taken through the float-actuated switch substantially on line 6-5 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 7 is a partial vertical sectional View taken through the float-actuated switch as indicated by line l-l of Fig. 6 and showing the switch on a larger scale; and

Fig. 8 is a sectional view similar to Fig. 7 but showing the movable switch member in another position.

The tank filling and control means of my invention is especially suitable for flush tanks of the kind used with toilets and other plumbing fixtures and is hereinafter described as being used in this connection, but it should be understood, however, that the invention can be applied to various other kinds of tanks and can be used with liquids other than water.

In Fig. 1 I show a flush tank l0 adapted to contain a quantity of water i l and having a bottom outlet l2 for connection with a toilet or other plumbing fixture (not shown). The outlet I2 is controlled by a conventional ball valve !3 which normally engage a seat l4 but is adapted to be unseated by the lever l5 and linkage 16 to permit the discharge of the water i! through the outlet. The lever I5 is adapted to be swung by means of the usual actuating handle 11 connected with such lever and located exteriorly of the tank l0.

Water is supplied to the tank in through a conduit lB-which is connected with a suitable source of water under pressure, such as the water supply pipe I 8. The flow of water through the conduit I8 is controlled by means of a valve unit 20 which is preferably located at a point relatively remote from the tank l0, such as in the basement or in a plumbing shaft.

Th valve unit 26 comprises a control valve 2| located in the conduit [8 and an actuating device 22 for actuating the valve 2 l. The control valve 2| is provided with a movable valve element 23 which is normally urged toward a closed position in engagement with the seat 23 by means of a spring 25 and is adapted to be opened by upward movement of the valve stem 26.

The valve actuating device 22 is here shown in the form of an expansible chamber device having a sectional housing 28 containing a transversely extending flexible diaphragm 29. The housing 28 may be connected with th control valve 2! by means of the spaced guide posts 39 and the transverse yoke 3!. An actuating stem 32 slidable in the housing 28 and projecting therefrom is adapted to be lifted by the diaphragm 29, for imparting valve-opening movement to the stem '26. A movable yoke 33 carried by the stem 32 is guided on the posts 3i] and is engaged by the compression springs 34 which normally tend to produce a downward or return movement of the actuating stem 32. The adjacent ends of the stems 2S and 32 preferably have an intervening gap 35 therebetween which can be varied in width by adjustment of the nut 36 for varying the timing, or the extent of opening, of the control valve 2|.

The lower portion or section of the housing 28 contains a pressure chamber 3! adapted to be supplied with pressure fluid such as water from the supply pipe 19. Inlet and outlet pipes 38 and 5 39 connected with the housing 28 provide passages for the flow of pressure fluid into and out of the chamber The flow of water through these passages is-controlled by a pair of solenoid actuated valves "ill and ll, the valve lid being located in the inlet passage 38 and the valve ll being located in the outlet passage 39. The inlet valve 0 is connected with the water supply pipe l9 by a conduit'dZ. The conduit is leading from the outlet valve M is a drain or waste connection.

The solenoid valves 40 and M each comprise a valve body having a passage Es therein which is controlled by a movable valve element or pin 55. The valve element 65 is urged towards a closed position by a compression spring contained in a housing 4 and is adapted to be opened by energization of a magnet or solenoid contained in such housing. For a purpose which will be explained hereinafter, the passage 64 of the outlet valve ti is somewhat smaller in size than the corresponding passage as of the inlet valve it.

For controlling the actuation of the solenoid valves 46 and ill I provide an electric switch Q3 which is located at the flush tank is and controls the energization of these valves in response to variation in the water level in the tank. The electric switch 33 is preferably, though not necessarily, located in the tank iii and, to this end, I provide a water-tight housing as in the tank in which the switch il} is located. The housing to comprises elongated tubular member 69a mounted in the tank ill in upright relation by means of a fitting 5% which extends through the bottom wall of the tank. The fitting 5% is provided with passages El and 52 therein, the former of which communicates with the interior of the housing as and accommodates an electric conductor cord 53. The passage 52 is a water passage connecting the conduit is with the interior of the tank ill.

The electric switch 48 comprises a pair of cooperating stationary and movable switch members 55 and 55 located in the housing ill adjacent the upper end thereof. The switch member 55 is preferably a cup-shaped member formed of molded insulation, or other suitable material, and having a transverse end or bottom wall ill on which a group ofannularly spaced contact elements 55$, 59 and 63 in the form of resilient fingers are mounted. The switch member at is retained in the housing ill and is located therein by engagement with the annular rib or seat 6 l The movable switch member so comprises a cylindrical body of molded insulation, or other suitable material, carrying a ring-shaped contact element 32 with which the annularly spaced contact fingers 5t, 58 and Bil cooperate. The portion of the ring 62 which cooperates with the contact finger Ell is notched or recessed toprovide a blank area or section 63 with a narrow ring portion 52a thereabove. lhe movable switch member so is also provided with a radial projection as which is movable in a groove 65 of the stationary switch member 55 and holds the movable switch member against arcuate shifting so that the contact finger fill will always operate on the portion of the ring 62 in which the blank area 63 is located. 7

The electric switch it is operated in response to variation in the level of water in the tank it and for this purpose I provide a float 8? in the tank which is operably connected with the movable switch member The float bl can be in the form of a hollow ball mounted on the outer end of a lever or arm 68. lever 68 has a forked portion tea. which is pivotally connected with a collar 69 by means of the pivot pin it. The collar 69 is clamped on, or otherwise attached to, the housing 49 at a point adjacent the annular rib (ii and carries an upwardly extending guide rod H. The guide rod H has an arm portion Ha which extends laterally above the upper end of the housing [l9 and is provided with a guide opening 'Hb.

An actuating rod 12 connected with the movable switch member 55 extends out of the housing 59 through a cover member is and is of a length to extend through the guide opening lip of the guide member ii. The switch actuating rod 12 carries a pair of clamps it and it which form axially spaced stops thereon. A thrust member l6 which is slidable on the exposed rod. portion l2a located between the stops "a l and T5, is connected .with the forked portion 63a of the float arm 58 by means of a pair of push rods or links H. I A flexible sleeve "it formed or" rubber, or other resilient material, surrounds the upper end of the housing ts and is connected with the switch actuating rod '52. The sleeve it forms a shield or seal by which water is prevented from entering the upper end of the housing 59.

In Fig. 1 I show the float bl in full lines in its upper position corresponding with a filled condition of the tank Hi. I also show a broken-line Y float position 61a adjacent the upper position The inner end of the and two broken-line positions bib and Sl'c adjacent the bottom of the tank. The position (i'lc represents the lowest position to which the float is movable and which corresponds with an empty condition of the tank. During the major portion of its movement between the positions 51 and lilo, the float has a substantially free travel during which the water level is rising or filling in the tank, and which travel is'a ccompanied by an idle movement of the sleeve it along the rod portion 52a between the stops i i and iii. The sige niflcance of these different float positions will be further explained presently.

To enable the switch 43 to control the solenoid valves 4%) and M, I provide circuit connections extending between such valves and switch. The

switch element 53, which can be conveniently referred to as the energizing or current supply contact, is connected with one side of a current supply line by the conductor so and is at all times in engagement with the ring contact 62. The contacts 59 and 88 can be conveniently designated the valve opening and closing contacts. The valve opening contact 5% controls the energization of the solenoid valve 5E3 and is connected with the latter by the conductor 3i. The valve closing contact 60 controls energization of the solenoid valve M and is connected with the latter by the conductor 82. A common conductor 83 provides a return connection by winch the solenoid valves ll! and l! are connected with the other line conductor 84.

To explain the operation of my flush tank control means, let it be assumed that the handle l! is actuated to lift the valve l3 and permit the tank it to be emptied through the outlet !2. The emptying of the tank ill permits the float ll to drop and to pass through the position. Elli to its lowermost position 670. The downward movement of the float between the positions 6i and Glb is a free travel which produces an idle movement of the sleeve 16 on the rod portion 72a but when the float drops to approximately the position 5Tb the sleeve it engages the stop i l. The subsequent downward movement of the float to the position 610 shifts the movable switch member 56 from the position shown in Fig. 7 to that shown in Fig. 8 thereby bringing the ring 62 into engagement with the valve opening contact 5i} and causing the solenoid valve All to be energized.

The energization of the solenoid of the inlet valve ii} will open the valve element thereof to supply pressure fluid to the diaphragm chamber 32'. The water pressure in this chamber will lift the diaphragm 9 against the action of the springs 34 and and will open the control valve 2i causing water to be supplied to the tank Hl through the conduit l8 and the passage 52 of the fitting Bil. This same downward movement of the switch member 55 which energizes the inlet valve also causes the valve closing contact st to be temporarily engaged by the narrow ring portion and this engagement temporarily energizes the solenoid valve ll. However, this does not prevent the opening of the control valve 2| because, as explained above, the opening at of the solenoid valve ll is more restricted than the corresponding opening of the solenoid valve ti) and also because the ring portion 52a quickly moves out of engagement with the contact finger til.

As water flows into the tank lil the level will rise therein and the float 61 will be moved upwardly through the position Bid to the posi tion 61. This upward movement of the float from its lowermost position 10 to a point adjacent the position 61a is a substantially free movement accompanied by an idle travel of the sleeve it on the rod portion 'l'2a but when the float nears the position iila the sleeve 16 engages the upper stop "F5. The subsequent upward movement of the float to the position or shifts the switch member 56 from the position shown in 8 back to the position of Fig. 7. As the float moves through the position Gla the narrow ring portion 62a engages and traverses the valve closing contact fill.

The movement of the contact portion 62a over the contact 69 causes temporary energization of the valve closing solenoid 4!. This energization of the solenoid valve 4i permits water to flow out of the diaphragm chamber 2? but inasmuch as the opening t l of the outlet valve Al is more restricted than the corresponding opening of the inlet valve 58, the diaphragm chamber will r not be fully emptied and the control valve 2! will remain open or partially open to continue the filling of the tank It. The continued movement of the switch member 56 toward its extreme position shown in Fig. 7 causes the ring portion 62a to leave the contact 6% while the contact 59 is still in engagement with the ring 82. Immediately after the ring portion 62a leaves the valve closing contact Ell the valve opening contact is also disengaged by the ring 62 thus deenergizing the solenoid valve 49, The closing of the solenoid valves 40 and 4| upon movement of the switch member 56 to its Fig. '7 position as just explained, causes some water to be trapped in the chamber 31 but this water is forced out through the normally open drain passage 86 by the action of the springs 36 thus permitting the control valve 2| to close. The closing of the valve 2| leaves the float 6'1 substantially in its full line position and leaves the switch 48 with the contact resting on the blank area 63 so that the 6 valve closing solenoid 4! will be left in a doomed-- gized condition.

To prevent overfilling of the tank ii] in the event that current failure should occur during the filling operation, I provide a safety means in the valve unit 28. This safety means comprises the above mentioned normally open drain or outlet connection for the diaphragm chamber 37 through which the pressure in this chamber can be relieved to permit closing of the control valve 2|. Such current failure would, of course, result in deenergization of both of the solenoid valves 40 and 4| which would permit these valves to close and such closing of these valves would result in pressure fluid being trapped in the diaphragm chamber 31 if the outlet connection 86 were not provided. The outlet 86 is a relatively restricted passage of smaller size than the passage 44 of the inlet valve 40 so that it will not prevent filling of the chamber 3'! and actuation of the diaphragm 29 when opening of the control valve 2! is called for or signaled by the float-actuated switch 48. If desired, the outlet passage 86 can be provided with a pet cock 8! by which the size of this passage can be Varied in accordance with the desired functioning of the valve unit 20.

As shown in Fig. 1, the outlet l2 of the tank 10 can be provided with a conventional upright overflow tube 89 whose upper end extends above the normal upper level of the water I l. The tank also contains a bypass tube 90 which discharges water from the inlet passage 52 into the overflow tube 89 during the filling of the tank for the purpose of filling the syphon or trap in the toilet or other plumbing fixture connected with the outlet l2. The orifice or opening 9| by which the inlet passage 52 is connected with the tank I 0, is preferably of a shape such that a flow of water will be produced through the bypass tube 90 into the overflow tube 80 during the tank filling operation.

From the foregoing description and the accompanying drawings it will now be readily understood that I have provided novel means for controlling the filling of flush tanks or the like in a quiet, eificient and satisfactory manner. It will be seen also that my control means involves the use of a float-actuated switch located at the tank, by which a remotely located valve in the water supply line to the tank, can be controlled.

While I have illustrated and described my flush tank control in more or less detail, it will be understood, of course, that I do not wish to be correspondingly limited but regard my invention as including all changes and modifications coming within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claim.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

In combination, a flush tank, a conduit connected with said tank for supplying water thereto, a valve in said conduit, electrically controlled means for actuating said valve, a water-tight housing in said tank, a fitting extending through the wall of said tank and mounting said housing therein, said fitting having a passage connecting said conduit with the tank and a second passage leading into said housing, an electric switch in said housing and connected with said electrically controlled means by conductors extending through said second passage, and a float in the tank responsive to the water level therein and operatively connected with said switch.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2590147 *Jun 3, 1946Mar 25, 1952Sloan Valve CoFlush valve arrangement and installation
US2832370 *Nov 19, 1956Apr 29, 1958Apco IncAutomatic blending reservoir
US3134404 *Feb 27, 1961May 26, 1964William B JaspertElectro-magnetically operated floating armature valves
US3146788 *Sep 7, 1961Sep 1, 1964Culligan IncTime control brine refill system
US3365710 *Oct 26, 1966Jan 23, 1968Max C. DuplessyWater loss detector
US4380835 *Apr 7, 1981Apr 26, 1983Yao Li HoElectric flush tank
US5937455 *Aug 7, 1995Aug 17, 1999Donati; William R.Electrically operated toilet water inlet valve system having a variable fill level
U.S. Classification137/412, 200/84.00R, 4/405, 4/406, 4/DIG.300, 4/249
International ClassificationF16K31/20
Cooperative ClassificationY10S4/03, F16K31/20
European ClassificationF16K31/20