US 2610147 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept- 9, 1952 L. G. LINDSAY I 2,610,147
CONTROL. FOR WATER SOFTENING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 2, 1948 2 SHEETS-SHEET l A j ,.J 34 47 6 35' Ziornqy p 9, 1952 L. G. LINDSAY 2,610,147
CONTROL FOR WATER SOFTENING APPARATUS Filed Oct. 2, 1948 2 SHEETSSHEET 2 0 35 .[nvezaior ZZornqg Patented Sept. 9, 1952 OFFICE 2,610,147 common F' 'jlt WATEK SOFTENING APPARATUS LynnG'l Liindsay, St. Paul, Minn: Appfitatienoctbtet 2, 194's; seriaiNbis'zsti This invention relates to water softening l p;- lfi'ajraitus and-controls therefor, and particularly to controls for water softeners of the type wh'efe body of the water softening maiterietl"\rihich-requires regeneration periodically; a It is an Object Of my invention to provide "for apparatus" or this class an improved; semiautomatic control andtiming meehatiism' which ie quires '21, minimumcf skill aindeffortbn I nt of" the opetattof' anawhereby the eriodic re gn'ei'ation f the softening material is fal'il itaite'd". V IA bartiiiltf'dbject i to fifdviiie in a co'htfol off'the' class' decrib'ed' peculiarly inexpensive-- and reliable meanslor accuratelir lirnitingenfq re Strit'ingthe feftof flow of regeneratin liquid through the softening material during regenere tion, in co'mbihation with fneztris for frarpidly drawing'off the" water whic must be displeiced to permit jtl'l'e" charging of th'eepparatus" with regenerating mater'iai;
Another abject is to provide in asso'cietien with a valve member which'i's sb'lin'g bia'se'd'to one position and adapted to be me'rineilyset in another position, novel and improved latch meeh= aniemfati'aptetlf to be actuated by clock meclia niein'tocausetlievalve member tn-move totl'ie first mentioned position after the-ela se of a predetermined'period oftime.
Further objects are to provide en iile xpen siveycompact and efficient control which weerticularly, although not exclusively; adapt'eg to facilitate the regeneration and flushing of domeetic Water softeners. A V
The invention also includes certain other novel features of construction which will appear-and bemore fully pointe'dout in the foll'owingspecification and claims.
Referring to h the accompanying drawings which illustrate, by way of ex'amplan'd not for the purpose of limitation, a preferred embodiinent of my'invention:
Figure 1 is' a side elevational view'showing my improved control on a'water softener of the upflow type, the softener being shown in central vertical section; Fig. 2" isa top plain view of the centre-lend showing the water softening apparatus iii-hmizontalsection, the section beingtaken approxi mately 0nthe' line'2"=2 of Fig. 1; V A Fig. 3 ise; horizontal section through-thesoftener'tetnk taken-On the 5 line ii-e 3" of F ig. l
Fig-(4 is a; central, longitudinalsectionthrough the herd water inlet fitting;
re s'pectively'of Fig; 11, and I "Fig. 14'is an endview ortnearem restricting va v -heed. H
The water s'bffiehiidg gpbef'gtfisfilmsti'e, thear'awings has a, substantially c iineri ii lf5jcdnttti11irlg" away; It or,wa.ter*sbitemh teria'l siippoited oheib'ed I1 of gieti'leli 7 11 m top'opehirig and iem'evap ec p anews' accesstoebrine ompertment 2 upper portio'n' ofthe tank 1 0 puipese ing with granular regenerating in'eten meaning. A* rizontaiiy-extentnng separates theiowe p rti n 0'1 the brine'cqmpartment I205 Hate w the'cham'b'er 'gothreughe p pe u tir'ol of vaiye zzn jm wat r ehtei's"t through ettingzageig ri;22111 49 h l restricted inlet port 2 4"edaiatedtofiiiecttiie ter at nign eibcity in a ewirling' niahne'r cha ber 20; the fittin -ca m ng giiepdse'd' trtcdirect thewater substantially t to the cylindrical wall of the chamber An aidally extending pipe 25 i s"r necteci at its umie'r end' tothe piaii' 1 extends dbwhweci'my and centrally tlie f roni to a. point ear thebo'ttom of the"tankz g wtlfi aflrjnitted'to the qpper 'end of' thepip'e 25 thib gli .afgtiainer tubezsjwriieh fits l oosly'i end ot the pipe'25 andisisupported key "27' extending through a; peifbiatigjrijii' "lie tube endresting" oi the'ubber surface ofthepe 5 tition is. To fecilitate cl aning-crime st tube 26 it is thus maiiefeadilyremovibl fli'rougli the opehingfinthe 11015 of thetank' weenie 513 1.8 is open.
Fixed the i ew rer dor theipifieijsii'se. izo'ntally extending bafilepl'ate 28 having integral;
members 29 projecting downward to rest on the inner surface of the tank bottom.
An outlet for the tank i5 is located at an elevation' above the water softening material it and is provided with a strainer tube 3b which extends horizontally within the tank and communicates with the inlet port of my improved control valve having a casing indicated generally by the numeraltl The tank outlet fitting comprises a threaded nipple 32 inwhich an inlet port 33 for the casing Si is formed. This main control valve casing is also formed with a drain port 34 communicating with the waste or drain pipe 35 and a service port 36 communicating with a service pipe 31 adapted to conduct soft water to the faucets or other service outlets.
As best shown in Fig. 12 the drain port 3:3 is in continuous communication through a passag'e 38 with a chamber 39 formed in the casing 31, Movable in the chamber 39 is the head All of a valvemember adapted to limit and control the rate of fiow of liquid from the softener to the drain pipe. This valve head All has a conical face adapted to close against a seat 4! formed in the casing 3| and extending across the face of the conical surface is-a kerf d2 (Fig. 14) adapted to permit continuous flow of water at a predetermined fixed rate when the head 45 is in closed position against its seat ii. The head ill is mounted on a screw threaded' stem 43 which projects to the interior of the. casing and is operative by means of a handle as to move the head 40 to and from the seat 4!.
Spaced annular valve seats'45 and iL'are provided in the casing 31 for a valve head t! which is fixed on an operating stem it and adapted to be moved from closed position in contact with one of these seats to a closed position in contact with the other seat. The port 33 opens into a chamber 29 extending between the valve seats 45 and it and a chamber 5t, also formed in the casing 3|, is connected by a passage 5| to allow flow of liquid to the seat 5i and valve head at which controls the rate of flow to the drain passage 38 and the drain pipe 35. Thus when the head 4'! is closed against its seat 45 flow of liquid from the inlet port 33 to the service port 35 and pipe 3'! is permitted and flow from the port 33 to chamber 58 is out off. When the head 37 is closed against its seat 3 6, fiow to the service pipe 31 is substantially out off and flow to the drain pipe 35 is permitted at a rate which is determined either by the fixed orifice defined by' the kerf 32 or by the enlarged passage between the head it and seat 5! when the head is in open position. The valve head ll is spring biased toward closed position on its seat 45 by a spring 52 which is confinedon the stem at between a head 53 fixed on the outer end thereof and a bearing 5d formed in the casing 3 l Mounted in axial alignment with the valve stem 48 is a plunger 55 having an operating knob 56 on its outer end and carrying a spring 5'! in a recess in its inner end. The spring 5! normally projects to engage the outer face of the head 53 and to transmit thrust to the stem I48. An annular shoulder 53 is formed on the plunger 55 for engagement with latch mechanism comprising a radially movable detent fiil'mounted in a housing 66 carried by the outer end portion of thevalv e casing fell The casing til-is formed with a cylindrical bearing member'jiaila which embraces the casing 3i and is secured theretoby means of set screws 6517 (Fig. 9). A pair of antifriction' rollers 6! are, carried by the lower end detent and anchored at its upperend to a pin E33 projecting from the housing 6%. Carried by the upper end portion of the detent 59 is a small roller t4 (Figs. 6 and 11) which is held in rolling contact with the peripheries of carn disks 65 and 6E, shown separately in Figs. 7 and 8. These disks are mounted in face to face contact one with the other on a spindle El which projects ried by the detent 59.
from actuating mechanism for the detent 5%. Suitable spring operated clock mechanism is contained in a front portion of the housing 6i! and the spindle El projects from the front of the housing and base. manually operable knob 68 fixed on its front end for manual operation of. the spindle. The cam 66 is fixed on the spindle (i-l and the cam is free to turn thereon within the limits determined by the movement of, a pin 69, which projects from the cam disk 66, in an arcuate slot it formed in the disk 65. A recess H is formed in the otherwise circular periphery of the cam disk 65 and a recess 72 of somewhat dif ferent shape is formed in the otherwise circular periphery of the cam disk 66, both of these recesses being adapted to receive the roller 64 car- A cam surface 72a extends at a gradual incline from the inner extremity of the recess E2 to the outer periphery of the cam disk 66 for engagement with the roller E54 and toactuate the latter radially outward relative to the cam disks and spindle 61? when it is desired to set the detent 59 in engagement with the shoulder 58 of the plunger 55.
The clock mechanism in the housing Gil includes a main spring l3 operatively connected to spindle it! for winding and having a friction clutch device M which connects the spring 73 to the spindle tl-through suitable speed reducing gearing to turn the knob 68 counter-clockwise toward a stop pin 15 at a predetermined relatively slow rate. The knob 68 is formed with a pointer which by reference to a dial and legends on the front face of the housing 60 may be set for a suitable period of time corresponding to the time required for regeneration and flushing of the body of softening material :6.
As shown in Fig. 13, the seat 63 for the valve head 41 is formed with a minute kerf EB which permits equalization of the pressure at opposite faces of the head ll when the latter is closed against its seat 56. I thereby guard against the holding of the head 4'! in closed position on the seat A6 with sufficient fluid pressure to prevent the expansion of spring 52 when the valvestem as is released by withdrawal of the detent 59 from engagement with the shoulder .58 at the end of the regenerating and flushing period.
Operation During the normal water softening operation the valve head 50 is closed against its seat 4!, the head 41'! is closed against its seat 45, as indicated Figs. 12 and 11 respectively, and the valve 22 is open. This allows hard water to pass from the pipe 2i into the chamber em, from this chamber through the slots in the strainer tube 28, downwardthrough. the pipe 25 andto flow from the outer perimeter of the ba'fll'e'plate 23 into'and through the bodies'of gravel 1 and-water softening material It. The hardening salts arethereby removed from the water and the soft water is forced out of the tank through the strainer tube 30 into the valve casing 3| through the port 33 and out the service porttii and pipe 31 past the valveseat 45.
When regeneration is required, the-valve 22 is closed to cut-off the supply ofhard water to the tank l5 and the valve handle 44 is turned to withdraw the head-4bfrom the seat 4|. The cap [8 is then removed, allowing air to enter chamber 20, and a sufficient quantity of water is allowed to flow out of the chamber 20 through pipe 25 and valve casing 3| for replacement by the charge of common salt or other regenerating material which is to be placed in the chamber 20 through the top opening. By providing for the quick and wide opening of the valve head 40 relative to its seat 4-! thereby allowing water to flow rapidly from the salt chamber 20 to the drain pipe 35 under the small headof gravity available, I greatly facilitate and hasten the initiation of the generating treatment. This 'is particularly advantageous with water softeningapparatus of the upflow type where thereis only a small head of water above the drain outlet and it is necessary to provide greatly restricted flow to drain during the regenerating and flushing period.
The valve head 49 is allowed to remainin its open position for the brief period required to drain off the excess water from the tank l5 and then the handle 44 is'manip-ulated to close the head 40 against its seat 4|, regenerating material is charged into the chamber 2!] and the cap 18 is closed and secured in sealed relation to the tank. As the next operation preparatory'to regeneration, the knob 56 of the plunger 55 is thrust inward against the bias of the Springs 52 and 51 to close the valve head 4! against its seat 46 and the knob 58 of the timing mechanism is turned clockwise to a position where its pointer indicates time in minutes required for regenerating and flushing. When the knob 68 is in its terminal osition in contact with the stop pin 15, the roller 64' is in its elevated position within the recesses "H and 12 in the cam'disks-65and 66. The operator by turning the knob fifi clockwise from its zero position causes the-cam surface 12a to engage the roller 64 and to actuate this roller together with the detent 59 downward out of the recesses "H and 12. Such movement of the knob 68 and spindle 61 brings the roller 64 in contact with the circular peripheral surfaces of the cam disks 65 and 66 so that the detent 59 is held in its downwardly extended or locking position with respect to the shoulder 58 on the plunger 55. Rotation of the knob 68 and spindle 61 in a clockwise direction also winds the main spring 13 of the clock mechanism so that thereafter, through the friction drive, the clock mechanism slowly returns the spindle 61 and knob in a counter-clockwise direction toward its initial or zero position. During this operation the circular peripheries of the cam disks 55 and 66 revolve in contact with the anti-friction roller 54. Ordinarily the time required for regeneration and flushing does not exceed one hour and my time control mechanism is preferably provided with a dial having legends and calibrated to indicate by reference to the pointer on the knob 68 suitable regenerating and flushing periods.
The operator, having set the knob 68, by reference to the dial, for the time required for regeneration and flushing, finally opens the valve 22 to start the regenerating andflushingcycle. During this cycle water at high velocity isinjected into the brine chamber z ll throughthe noz'zle port 24 which causes the water to swirl at fairly high velocity around the walls and within thechamber 2D to thereby rapidly dissolvethe-Saltor other solid regenerating material. The resulting-brine flows through the slots in the strainer tube-26, downward through this tube-andpipe 25- to the bottom of the tank and thenceradially outward beneath the bafile plate 28 which-eific'iently distributes the liquid through the gravel bed [land thence to the body of sof-tening material IS. The brine regenerates the material [B and the spent brine and impurities flow out through thestrainer tube 30', valve casing 3I- and drain pipe 35. fSDG- cifically, the valve head-41 being closed against its seat4ii, the spent brine andimpurities from the softening material enter the casing 3i through the port 33 and flow to and through the chamber-50 and passage 51 to thevalve head 40, thence through the restricted passage-definedby the kerf 42 to the chamber 39 and then through passage 38 and port 34 to pipe 35. The rate'of-"ilow to the drain is thus determined by the cross sectional area of the kerf 4-2 in the valve-head 40 and pressure of the water. For best results the rate of flow must be regulated in accordance with matically returns the apparatus to normal softening operation. The required reversal-of the position of the valve head 41'takes place when the recesses H anal-2 in the cam disks65and GBreach a position in alignment with the roller 64 so that the roller enters these-recesses under the force exerted by the spring62 as it withdraws the detent 59* from engagement with'the shoulder 58 onthe plunger 55. The plunger is thereby released to the position shown in Fig. 11 and spring 52 is allowed to expand and to actuate the valve head 41 toopen position relative to its seat 46 and to closed position against its seat 45, thereby stopping the flow of liquid to drain and allowing the soft water to enter the service .pipe 31. The spring 51 is somewhat stiffer than the spring 52 and is only slightly compressed when the valve head 41 closes against the seat 46. The spring 51 thus compensates for wear on the valve head 41 and insures firm closing of the head against the seat 46.
By providing interchangeable valve heads 40 formed with kerfs 42 of various diiferent and suitable cross sectional areas, my apparatus is adapted to efficiently regenerate softeners where the water to be softened is supplied at various pressures or pressure ranges and contains varying amounts of hardening salts. Since the passage defined by the kerf 42 should for most domestic installations have a cross sectional area smaller than .01 square inch, the initiation of the regenerating operation would be greatly delayed if the flow of water from the tank preparatory to regeneration were limited by the rate of flow required during regeneration. By providing the quickly movable valve head 40 I facilitate the rapid drawing off of water from the brine chamber 20 when the charge of granular regenerating material is to be charged intothe tank.
A further important feature of my invention resides in the arrangement of the clock operated spindle 6! in laterally spaced relation to the plunger 55 and the latch mechanism comprising the detent 59 which is movable perpendicularly to the axes of the spindle 61 and plunger 55 in a straight line extending between said axes,
This arrangement of latch and operating mechanism is peculiarly compact and simple and results in unusually reliable operation which is further promoted by the anti-friction rollers 6! and 64 and my arrangement whereby the roller 64 throughout the time control period engages the circular peripheries of the cam disks 65 and 66 which are concentric with the operating spindle 61. With this arrangement there is a minimum of resistance to the operation of the clock mechanism and no increase or other variation in such resistance during any part of the cycle of operation.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. For water softening apparatus having a tank containing softening material, said tank having an outlet for liquid, a control comprising, a casing having an inlet port connected to said tank outlet, a service port connected to a service pipe and a drain port connected to a drain pipe, a valve member movable in said casing to selectively control the flow of liquid to said service or drain ports, a second valve member movable to restrict the flow of liquid to said drain pipe, a seat for said second valve member, a passage of fixed cross sectional area disposed to permit flow of liquid at a predetermined rate past said seat to the drain pipe when said second valve pipe and a drain port connected to a drain pipe, a valve membermovable in said casing to selectively control the flow of liquid to said service or drain ports, a second valve member movable in said casing to restrict the flow of liquid to said drain port, said casing being formed with a seat for said second valve member, a passage of fixed cross sectional area disposed to permit flow of liquid at a predetermined rate past said seat to the drain pipe when said second valve member is in closed position relative to said seat and means for actuating said second valve member to an open position relative to said seat to thereby increase the rate of flow to said drain pipe.
3. For water softening apparatus having a tank containing softening material, said tank having an outlet for liquid communicating with said tank at an elevation above the water softening material therein, a control comprising, a casing having an inlet port connected to said tank outlet, a service port connected to a service pipe and a drain port connected to a drain pipe, a valve member movable in said casing to selectively control the flow of liquid to said service or drain ports, a second valve member movable to restrict the fiow of liquid to said drain pipe, 21 seatfor said second valve member, a passage formed in said second valve member to permit flow of liquid at a predetermined fixed rate past said seat to the drain pipe when said second valve member is in closed position relative to said seat and means for actuating said second valve mem: her to an open position relative to said seat to thereby increase the rate of flow to said drain pipe.
- LYNN G. LINDSAY.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
V UNITED STATES PATENTS Number