US 2770248 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Wwm I3, 1956 B. AUDIA 2,770,248
COIL CLEANERS FOR BEER DISTRIBUTING SYSTEMS Filed7April 23, 1953 JIVVENTOR. BENJAMIN Aum/A ATTORNEY COIL CLEANER FOR BEER DISTRIBUTING SYSTEMS Benjamin Audia, Washington, Pa.
Application April 23, 1953, Serial No. 350,720
4 Claims. (Cl. 137-240) This invention relates to a coil cleaner for a beer distributing system and, more particularly to an electrically controlled system whereby the pipes and coil of the beer distributing system is flushed with a cleaner solution automatically at predetermined intervals of time, or for predetermined periods, or manually, as desired. The present application is an improvement of the invention covered by my application Ser. No. 313,548, filed October 7, 1952, now Patent No. 2,645,379.
it is known that beer distributing pipes must be flushed from time to time with water, or better still, with a cleaning solution, such as a soda solution, in order to keep the lines and coil clean and fresh so as not to change the taste of the beer.
Various apparatus and systems have been devised in the past, generally manually controlled, for cleaning the pipes and coil when desired, but these have not proved satisfactory in operation or fool proof, the judgment of the bartender often being depended upon for their proper operation. Moreover, such systems usually include complicated parts such as differentially operated valves and the like which add considerably to the cost and which often times become faulty in operation and are difficult to adjust and maintain.
An object of my invention is to provide an automatic timer controlled system for periodically flushing, with a cleaning solution, the pipes and coil of a beer distributing system without the aid or judgment of the bartender or other attendant, therefore, being devoid of human error or the effect of carelessness, but which can be selectively operated manually at the will of the bartender if so desired.
A more specific object of my invention is to provide an electrical system operated by a timer which can be preset so as to effect flushing of a beer distributing system with soda or other cleaning solution at periodic intervals of time without the necessity of operating the beer dispensing spigot, whereby, the bartender need not do anything in connection with the cleaning operations, which timer also operates a signal.
A further object is to provide a coil cleaning system including electrically operated valves controlled by a single switch so as to either cause normal flow of beer or of cleaning solution through the coils and pipes of the system.
Other objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from a study of the following description taken with the accompanying drawing, wherein the single figure shows, somewhat schematically, a bear distributing system embodying the teachings of my invention.
Referring more particularly to the drawing, numeral 1 denotes a beer keg which has the usual pipe 2 extending into the top, thereof, which includes a valve 4. A hose 3 connected to a suitable source of pressure such as a compressed air tank (not shown) is connected to the pipe and introduces air under pressure into the beer keg so as to force the beer upwardly through valve 4 thence to the coil 5 which is enclosed in refrigerating tank 6. Cold nitecl States Patent 0 water may be passed through the tank 6, or perhaps some other refrigerant, or the tank may be packed with ice, in order to cool the beer contained within coil 5. The cool beer is then dispensed through the spigot or tap 7.
In order to clean the beer system with a cleaning solution from time to time there is provided a mixing tank 8 which is filled with cleaning material, such as powdered soda, or perhaps some other cleansing solution. A screw cap lid 9 is provided for introducing fresh supplies of soda. A nozzle 10 having a plurality of holes is provided to cause a churning or mixing action to thoroughly mix the soda and water solution. A petcock 11 is provided for draining the mixing tank when desired.
A hot water inlet pipe 12 and a cold water inlet pipe 13 are connected to a mixing valve 14, having a warm water outlet pipe 15. An adjustable valve 16 is provided, which upon turning varies the relative amounts of hot and cold water, therefore the temperature of warm water flowing through outlet pipe 16. The warm water outlet pipe 15 is connected to a magnetic valve 17, thence to a vacuum break valve 18 from which it leads to the mixing tank 8.
A source of electrical potential, indicated by supply lines L1, L2, such as the ordinary household volt source, it provided for energizing a magnetic coil 20 of a three-way magnetic valve 4. A manually operated electric switch 41, when closed, will complete an energizing circuit to the magnetic coil 20 effecting lifting of the plunger rod 21 and rocking of arm 22 above a pivot 22a, and effecting closing of the lower valve port 23, and opening of the upper valve port 24 to provide flow between pipe 29 and pipe 26. Energization of magnetic valve 17 effects opening thereof. When switch 41 is manually opened, therefore interrupting the circuit and de-energizing magnetic coil 20, the plunger rod 21 will drop by virtue of its own weight and aided by a return spring (not shown), so as to effect opening of the lower port 23, and closing of the upper port 24 to provide liquid flow from pipe 2 to pipe 26. More specifically, upon de-energization of coil 20, and lowering of plunger 21 causing clockwise rotation of arm 22 the tappet movable in passage 23 is held in against the port valve thus opening port 23 to the common outlet pipe 26, and at the same time, the port tappet, associated with the upper valve port 24, is pulled out, allowing a port valve spring (not shown) to close the upper port 24 with respect to outlet pipe 26. r
In operation, if it is desired to provide manual control or electric switching, and assuming the three-way valve 4 is in the de-energized position, that is, with plunger rod 21 lowered so as to cause opening of the lower valve port 23, and closing of the upper valve port 24, then by virtue of air pressure introduced through pipe 3 into the beer keg 1, beer will flow upwardly through pipe 2, port 23 of valve 4, outlet pipe 26, through the beer coil 5, and finally out through the dispensing spigot 7. Since the electric supply lines to the coil of magnetic valve 17 are de-energized, magnetic valve 17 will be closed.
Therefore, due to closure of valve 17, as well as to closure of valve port 24, no cleaning solution can flow through the three-way valve 4.
When it is desired by the bartender to flush the beer coil 5 with cleaning solution, he manually closes switch 41, therefore completing an energizing circuit through magnetic coil 20, and through the coil of magnetic valve 17, also, if desired, another magnetic valve 27 may be energized to effect opening of such valve and drainage through pipe 31. Energization of coil 21]) will lift plunger 21 to the position shown and rock arm 22 about pivot 22a as a center, causing closing of the lower valve port 23 and opening of the upper valve port 24, so as to cause cleaning solution to flow from pipe 29, through the upper valve port 24, to the pipe 26, thence through coil 5 and pipe 30 through the valve 27, to drain pipe 31 which permits the cleaning solution to be discharged into the bottom of tank 6 and through a drain outlet 32, connected to a sewer or the like. It should be noted however that magnetic valve 27 and its circuit may be omitted, in which case the cleaning solution flowing through coil 5 would drain through spigot 7 upon opening of the spigot by the bartender. Whether or not a magnetic valve 27 is provided it is still desirable to provide a signal means of any suitable type, such as an alarm or small lamp 33, as shown, to indicate to the bartender when the cleaning solution is capable of flowing through the beer coil 5, so that he will not attempt to draw beer at this time, also to inform him that he should open the spigot to permit the cleaning solution to be drained therethrough. In the meanwhile, of course, energization of the magnetic valve 17 will allow warm water to flow therethrough to the mixing tank 8, thence through the three-way valve 4, to the beer coil 5.
Instead of controlling the valves by manually operated switch 21 which depends upon the judgment of the bartender, it is also possible to provide completely automatic operation requiring no attention whatsoever of the bartender. For this purpose an electric timer, of any well known construction, may be provided, including a timer motor 34, for making or breaking a bridging contact between contact 35 and contacts 36 and 37. Any conventional type of timer unit may be used, for example, a Paragon 7 day calendar-dial time switch, including single pole double throw switch, as shown. In short, the opening and closing of the electrical circuit previously done manually by switch 21 is now accomplished by the timer unit. The timer unit may be preset to operate at any particular time of the day or night, and to keep the circuit energized for any pre-set time interval. For example, the unit may be pre-set so as to. close the contacts once a day, say early morning at 8 oclock and for a period of minutes, after which the closed contacts are automatically opened. By providing a magnetic coil 27, no attention, whatsoever of the bartender is required, since upon energization thereof the cleaning solution will flow from coil 5 therethrough to drain pipe 31. But in some instances it may be desired to have the cleaning solution drain also through the spigot 7 to effect cleaning thereof. This may be done by opening the spigot 7 when the signal means 33 indicates that the cleaning solution is flowing through coil 5. Such solution may thus drain simultaneously through spigot 7 and valve 27. Or, if desired, Valve 27 may be omitted altogether, in which case the bartender will depend upon flashing of the signal lamp 33 or other alarm device to open the spigot 7, and then to close the spigot, when the signal lamp goes out, indicating the expiration of the flushing period. Instead of an electric timer, a spring wound timer such as used on electric ranges and the like may be used, which are well known, and which can be pre-set to delay operation of the switch for pie-set and predetermined intervals of time.
For simplicity of illustration, only one beer keg and one dispensing unit are shown. Obviously a number of dispensing units may be provided and fed, either by a common mixing tank 8, or by separate tanks as desired. Obviously if timer controlled operation is not desired for operating the respective valves, and if manual control of valve 4 is deemed sufficient, such timer controlled unit may be omittedor if the timer unit is desired merely for providing a signal, such as illuminating light 33 or sounding an alarm (not shown), to warn the bartender that he should open the spigot to flush the coil 5 with cleaning solution, and, when light 33 goes out, that he should close it, then the timer unit will be employed solely in circuit relationship with the signal lamp 33 instead of with the magnetic coils of the various magnetic valves.
Thus it will be seen that I h P vide an efficient beer coil cleaning system which may be electrically operated, either by manual operation or time-controlled operation of a single electric switch; furthermore I have pro-- vided an electrically operated system which may be fully automatic in operation and pre-set to operate at predetermined times of the day or night and for predetermined time periods for flushing the beer coil periodically without the aid of the bartender; furthermore I have provided a beer coil cleaning system in which a timer controlled signal means is provided to warn the bartender when he should open the spigot, and to indicate how long the spigot should be kept open in order to properly flush the beer coil with cleaning solution to keep the coil and beer dispensing system clean and thus keep the taste of the beer always at its best.
While I have illustrated and described certain, specific embodiments of my invention, it will be understood that these are by way of illustration only, and that various changes and modifications may be made Within the contemplation of my invention and within the scope of the following claims.
1. Apparatus for flushing a beer coil in a beer dispensing system including a beer supply source and a dispensing spigot, said apparatus comprising a mixing tank for storing a cleaning solution, having a Warm water inlet connection and an outlet connection, a three-way magnetic valve having a first inlet port connective to said source, a second inlet port connective to said mixing tank outlet connection and having an' outlet port connectible to said coil and spigot, electrical control means including an electrical switchfor operating said magnetic valve so as to selectively connect either said mixing tank outlet connection or said beer supply source to said coil and spigot and signal means associated with said dispensing spigot.
2. In a beer distributing'system including a keg for storing beer under pre'ss'tirefa refrigerated beer coil and dispensing spigot,-connectedin series by a piping connection, a three-way magnetic valve in 'saidpiping connection having a first inlet port connected to said keg and an outlet port connected to said coil, a' source of hot and cold water, a mixing tank having a removable cover for receiving pipe cleaning material, said mixing tank having an inlet connected to said source of hot and cold water and an outlet connected to a second inlet port of said valve, a source of electric potential and an electric switch for selectively energizing or de-energizing said magnetic valve, whereby either said mixing :tank outlet or said keg .may be selectively connected to said coil and spigot, and electrically operated indicating means associated with said spigot and responsive to operation of said electric switch for indicating whether beerjor pipe cleaning material is in circuit relationship with said coil and timer means for measuring the duration of the flushing period.
3. Apparatus for flushing a beer coil in a beer dispensing system including a beer supply source and a dispensing spigot, said apparatus comprising a mixing tank for storing a cleaning solution, a warm water inlet connection and an outlet connection, a three-way magnetic valve having a first inletport connective to said source, a second inlet port connective to said mixing tank outlet connection and having an outlet port connectible to said coil and spigot, electrical control means including an electrical switch for operating said magnetic valve so as to selectively connect either said mixing tank outlet connection or said beer supply source to said coil and spigot, and a time controlled device associated with said electric switch and including signal means associated with said spigot for predetermining the period during which said electric switch. will be maintained in a given position.
4. Apparatus recited in claim 1 wherein said mixing tank includes a perforated pipe connected to its inlet for 6 eifecting turbulence and thorough mixing of the pipe 2,254,833 Ashkenaz Sept. 2, 1941 cleaning material and warm water contained in the tank. 2,407,453 Rougier Sept. 10, 1946 2,563,358 Warcup Aug. 7, 1951 References Cited in the file of this patent 2,570,450 Hottenroth Oct 9, 1951 UNITED STATES P N 5 2, 5,379 Audia y 9 3 1,931,527 Burkett Oct. 24, 1933