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Publication numberUS2479224 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 16, 1949
Filing dateJan 20, 1947
Priority dateJan 20, 1947
Publication numberUS 2479224 A, US 2479224A, US-A-2479224, US2479224 A, US2479224A
InventorsFlinn Frank E
Original AssigneeFlinn Frank E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Pipe-cleaning snake and operating handle therefor
US 2479224 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Aug. 16, 1949. F I 2,479,224

E CLEANING SNAKE AND OPERATING HANDLE THEREFOR Filed Jan. 20, 1947 Patented Aug. 16, 1949 UNITED STATES i twins 1 BIBE GLE-ANING-SNAKE AND: OPERATING HANDLE THEREFOR Frank-E. Flinn, Miami, Fla. ---"App1i,cati on-Janua ryr20, 1947, Serial Noa72ai l2t5 4 Claims. (01. 15-10430) This invention relates to novel formsof probing rodsor snakes lusedby plumbers, electricians, telegraph and telephone. linemen,.and others for passing'throughpipes or tubes to .clearfthem of obstructions, loosen congested matter therein, or to guide a "flexible wire. or line therethrough.

The use ofJsnakeshas-often been accompanied by extreme di'fficultyrin pushing or pullingthem through the pipe .orftube becauseof excessive friction and poor, grippingmeans. Gripping with the handle woul'dprovidevvery little gripping pressure, causing the hands to' burnQfron friction or slipping over the snake. Whenfgrippin the snake with pliers, the snake would often bend and .become kinkedmaking. it .useless. for the. purpose it was intended.

The object of the present invention is not only to eliminatethe above difiicultiesgbutfurther to provide simultaneouslyrmeans for. indicatingthe distance between various'poi'nts'in the pipe or tube in which the..novel snake is used, by pro-v viding the snake strip with a sei'iesof beads equally spaced at known intervals and having a simple, easily detachable gripping means for cooperation withthebeaded portions of the snake to prevent slipping andreduce'the tendency to bend or kinkthefsnake. I

.A toim'ake a novel form of snake and gripping means therefor, which are simple but effective to reduce friction inwthe pipe or-tube, as well asprovide measuring means to indicate the distance toan obstructiom-or the length of. the pipe ortube, and to preventslipping of the gripping means.

A further object is-to providea non-slipping gripping block for a beaded snake having a'slot for said snake anda socket at one end in the bottomof said slot foralbeadto enter and lock the block against slipping along said snake.

A further object is to construct a gripping block for a snake strip having beads formed at intervals thereon, which will readily slip over an unbeaded portion andstoponsaid bead to form anon-slipping ripwhereby'to push said snake axially with little tendency to bend or kink it. Y

Other and morespecific objects-of the present invention willappearin-the following detailed description of oneiorm of device constructed in accordance withthe'invention, having reference to the accompanying drawing-wherein:

Figure 1 shows a portion of a-snake strip, broken between the successive-beads to shorten the figure, with a gripping blocksmountedin plac or pus ine-o pull ngthe-sna e-upwardly,

'Figure2-shows aqportion' of thesame snake strip and {gripping lblock turn d through 90 abou't'rthe-aiiis' of-Jthe snake from the position shown in Figure 1. 7

Figures isa view of "th'eblock by itself inthe sameposition-as shownin lthe combination of Figure .1, bFigure 4 is a-view of the" block turned through 9.

Figure '5is an end view oftlie block as seen from above'inFigures 1, 2,-Jo'r'3.

Figures 6 and 7 are sectional views of the block taken on .the'linesii fi er Figure '4 and .of

Figure 3,respectivly, and I Figure 8 is a sectionalview ofab'eiiten'd' portion of a pipe with the correfiiiondin l ortionof a snake being 'pushed,theretlirough,- and a gripping block placed ther'eon 'for pushing the snake. Figure 9 isa cross-sectional vi'ewof a, preferred form of. snake bodyrportion. M

Referring now to the drawings, the snake 1 has itsbo'dy portion cinch-circular contourpreferably bing g'oblong in crossa's'ection with parallel .side "faces-sand has beads 2 formed thereon at intervals which maybe or apredetermine'dlength, a'daptablei'or insertion in apipe or tube for therpurposfes outlined above,

The gripping block 3 may be made of metal or other suitable material an'tIis :large enough to provide a goddgfipby'haJnd. :It hasa slot "4 extending fromlone fofits narrower sides "5 to approximately itslrniddle. "'Here one-end of'the slot is enlarged resume bead "to freely pass through'this end, the; rest or the slot bein just big enough 'to'allowfan unbeaded portion of the snake strip to slip through it e'dgew'ise. This ens largeduportion of "the jslotisfshownat 6 and extends approkimateiyto theicenter'ofthe block. Withsuch construction, it willbere'adilyseen, as shown inFi gure 8; thatthesnake when passed through a "pipe er "tube" will touch the sides I of said pipeor'tube onlyatthe bead points, thus reducing the friction which anordinary snake strip without thebeads would normally produce. This means aconsiderablereduction ofefiort required to push orpull a snake'ithrough ariy1particular pipe or'tubeq v :In Figure 8, the snake l: is beingpushedthrough the pipe 1 by'rmeansof the block 3, which "has been *slipped onto thestripabove the bead 2', with the enlarged ,:endportion .of the -s10t 6 extending downwardlygand then moved down so that'bead Wenteredsaidenlarged portion and wasstopped by thevupper ,eiidthereof where it na rows tothethi-cknessof th snake strip. .Thus,

the block will not slip off the strip, nor any further along the strip when pushed forwardly.

When the snake is pushed down by means of the gripping block as far as possible, the block is backed off the bead by movin it upwardly along the snake strip and then slipped off the strip. A new hold is established at another bead higher up on the snakestrip in the same manner, and the snake is pushed further into the pipe, etc.

If it were desired to pull the snake out of pipe 1, the block 3 would be reversed so that the enlarged portion 6 would extend upwardly and the block would be slipped onto the strip below one of the beads and then moved upwardly over the bead to provide a non-slip contact therewith in revers direction. The advantages of the assembly of the snake and its operator. are more or less obvious. Since the snake body is oblong in cross-section, and the width of the operator kerf 4 is greater than the thickness of the snake body but less than the width of such body, the two can be assembled only by positioning the operator between successive snake beads and providing relative movement of operator and snake edgewise of the snake to place the snake in the axial zone of the operator. Since the kerf enlargement is limited to the axial zone of the operator and extends from an intermediate point in the zone lengthto an end of the operator, the remainder of the kerf in the axial zone maintains the kerf width condition which prevents rotation of the snake within the operator. Hence,

thus providing a snake completely, serviceable under these conditions.

In this connection, the presence of the bead zones at regular distances and comparatively short distancesa foot, for example-is of definite advantage, due to the fact that the user may employ the operator close to the entrance of the drain on which he is operating, if desired. With the beads spaced a foot apart, the advance is by steps of approximately such length with the operator shifted between steps. Hence, the length of snake exposed between the drain and the operator is comparatively short and thus less likely to bend materially or buckle under turning or pushing pressures. Due to this manner of using 7 the assembly, it is apparent that both snake and any positioning of the operator on the snake I whether in positionrelative to a bead point or between adjacent bead points-so connects the operator andsnake that any movement ofthe operator rotatively will provide 2. corresponding movement of the snake.

The operator must be initially positioned by application to the snake between adjacent beadsa beaded zone cannot enter the kerf through the open side-and then be shifted longitudinally of the snake body to place the bead zone within the operator; body has been moved to the bottom of the kerfthe axial zone of the operator which carries the enlarged portion indicated at '6 which extends from an end of the operator to an intermediate point. When the operator has been moved lengthwise in this zone sufiicient to bring the bead into contact with the bottom of the enlargement 6, the assembly is in such condition that not only can the snake be rotated by rotating the operator, but can be advanced--by.pushing on the trailing end ,of the operator-or be moved backward-by drawinglthe operator in the direction or its leadin end. Hence, the operator can be used, at will, for movement of the snake in. either direction and at the same time enable the rotative movement of the snake to be had whenever the operator is applied.

As is apparent, the assembly is designed for service more particularly under conditions where it can be readily manipulated by hand operation of the operator, although not limited to such conditions since the operator is of such shape and dimensions as will enable the application of a wrench thereto to aid'in providing rotating movement. The operator is fairly small and readily received within the hand or fingers for manipulation in positioning and in service; the snake body cross-section is generally approximately 0.125" in width and 0.0625" in thickness,

this can be done only when the snake operator, while separable, are specifically dimensioned for service in combination, since, in service, the two elements are completely and directly complemental, with both required for the desired efiicient service.

The construction is very simple, the device is easily made, and its operation is quick and positive, eliminating slipping of the gripping means and reducin any tendency to bend or kink the snake. Also, if the beads are formed at equal intervals of a foot, a yard, or any other predetermined distance, a count of the number of beads between points in the pipe or tube will indicate the distance advanced, so that the beads not only serve as a means for reducing the friction between the snake and the pipe or tube, but also provide means for indicating distances in the pipe or tube.

Obvious modifications in the form and arrangement of parts of this device may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention, as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed as new, is:

1. A separable snake and operator assemblage comprising a metallic snake having its cross-sec tional body portion non-circular in contour with parallel side faces and having a succession of spaced surface beads, and an operator therefor kerfed longitudinally from its axial zone outward with the kerf width greater than the thickness of the snake body and less than the width of such body, said operator having the kerf enlarged within the axial zone of the operator with the enlargement extending from an intermediate point of such zone length to an end of the operator with the enlargement dimensioned to receive a bead zone of the snake, whereby the operator is positionable on the snake solely when being applied to the snake body intermediate successive bead zones and by relative movement of the snake body edgewise into the kerf depth to such axial zone and then advancing the operator lengthwise of the snake body to position a bead zone Within the kerf and in contact with the bottom of the enlargement.

2. An assemblage as in claim 1 characterized in that the snake is formed of a strip of flexible material having a stiifness suitable for pushing through a congested pipe or tube, the body of the strip being oblong in cross-section, said strip 'carrying a plurality of beaded zones in spaced relation in the direction of length of the strip and with the spacing of predetermined length.

3. An assemblage as in claim 1 characterized in that the operator is of rectangular block contour with the kerf extending from an edge of the block and parallel with the planes of the opposite sides of the block. 7 V

4. A snake and operator assemblage comprising a metallic snake, and an operator therefor, said snake having its body of oblong rectangular cross-section with planar sides with the width of a side of greater dimension than the dimension of its thickness, said body having a succession of side beads spaced apart in the direction of length of the snake, said operator having a shaped contour approximately presenting an enlarged simulation of the cross-sectional form of the snake body and having a length materially less than the distance between successive beads of the snake, said operator having its body kerfed longitudinally from its longitudinal axis outward to an edge face of the contour with the kert width less than the width of the snake body and greater than the thickness of such snake body, said operator additionally having the keri enlarged in such axial zone to a sectional shape larger in area than the section of said body and limited to such zone with the enlargement extending from an end of the operator to an intermediate point in the length of the axial zone of the operator, whereby the operator is positionable on the snake solely by applying the operator to the snake body between adjacent beads and by relative movement of the body edgewise into the kerf depth to such axial zone and then advancing the operator lengthwise to position a bead 'zone within the enlarged portion of the kerf and into contact with the bottom of such enlargement, the positioned operator being cooperative with the snake to provide rotation of the snake body by rotary movement of the operator in any applied position of the operator and with the operator operative to provide advancement or withdrawal of the snake lengthwise of the latter by pushing or pulling pressures applied upon the operator in directions lengthwise of the snake body when a bead zone is seated on the bottom of the enlarged axial zone.


REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:

UNITED STATES PATENTS 20 Number Name Date 400,958 Seely Apr. 9, 1889 1,122,289 Loveland Dec. 29, 1914 1,341,431 Morrow May 25, 1926 Re. 16,413 McIntosh Aug. 31, 1926 25 1,844,433 Markowitz Feb. 9, 1932 2,005,936 Crane June 25, 1935 2,234,398 Ciaccio Mar. 11, 1941

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US400958 *Feb 2, 1889Apr 9, 1889 Leading-in apparatus for conduits
US1122289 *May 6, 1914Dec 29, 1914William J LovelandSelf-centering holder for testing-machines.
US1341431 *Nov 4, 1919May 25, 1920James G MorrowGrip for test-pieces
US1844433 *Mar 7, 1931Feb 9, 1932Joseph MarkowitzSewer pipe cleaning device
US2005936 *Mar 26, 1934Jun 25, 1935Crane Hubert RFlexible-rod, sewer cleaning apparatus
US2234398 *Jun 13, 1939Mar 11, 1941Hubert R CraneSafety rod turning device
USRE16413 *Apr 3, 1883Aug 31, 1926 Casada
Referenced by
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US4760991 *Jul 10, 1987Aug 2, 1988Meitoh Denki Kohji Kabushiki KaishaTensing rope
US6775873 *Dec 11, 2000Aug 17, 2004Eugene H. LuomaApparatus for removing hair from a drain
US7356869Apr 15, 2005Apr 15, 2008S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad
US7784141Aug 31, 2010S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad and cleaning fluid reservoir
US8046865Nov 1, 2011S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Cleaning tool with cleaning pad having a non-woven fiber bundle on both sides
US8164025Apr 24, 2012Klein Tools, Inc.Method and system for marking a material using a laser marking system
US8168921Jun 22, 2010May 1, 2012Klein Tools, Inc.Method and system for marking a material using a laser marking system
US8212178Jul 3, 2012Klein Tools, Inc.Method and system for marking a material using a laser marking system
US20060200929 *Sep 29, 2005Sep 14, 2006S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Flexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad and cleaning fluid reservoir
US20060231120 *Apr 15, 2005Oct 19, 2006Knopow Jeremy FFlexible cleaning tool with replaceable non-woven pad
US20070180640 *Oct 18, 2006Aug 9, 2007S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Flexible Cleaning Tool With Replaceable Non-woven Pad and Cleaning Fluid Reservoir
U.S. Classification15/104.33, 403/291, 254/134.3FT
International ClassificationE03C1/12, B08B9/02, B08B9/043, E03C1/302
Cooperative ClassificationE03C1/302
European ClassificationE03C1/302