US 2786218 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 26, 1957 E. YOUSEM 2,786,218
CLEANER FOR PIPES, ETC
Filed March 28, 1955 1N VENTOR. AQ/4M YOUJEM Jdorngj/J United States Patent CLEANER FOR PIPES, ETC.
Ephriam Yousem, Los Angeles, Calif. Application March 28, 1955, Serial No. 497,244
2 Claims. (Cl. 15104.3)
lVly invention relates generally to plumbing service equipment, and more particularly to a device particularly adapted to clean pipes, such as sewer and waste lines, quickly and thoroughly.
In modern plumbing systems, various materials and compounds are discharged into the waste lines that in turn empty into a sewer or other disposal means, and many of these materials have the tendency to solidify and obstruct the line. Various devices have been developed for clearing larger sewer lines, those of several inches in diameter, and these devices are quite effective in removing rather large obstructions such as roots, etc. However, it is often necessary to clean the smaller lines leading to the larger lines, and in homes, the waste lines leading from laundry trays, wash basins, etc. may become clogged and obstructed with accumulated bits of lint, hair, and even various types of cement and similar materials.
A number of devices have been proposed for cleaning such lines, these devices usually consisting of a wire member bent in the form of a spiral helix, and connected to a flexible shaft that is rotated by suitable means, such as a hand operated crank or an electric motor. While these devices will often satisfactorily clear a waste line clogged with lint or hair, in the face of hard obstructions such as may be formed by various cements and adhesives that are improperly placed in the waste line, these prior devices fail.
Furthermore, many of the prior devices are not constructed in such a manner that they can properly follow the interior of the pipe, but, requiring a greater radius in which to turn, either become jammed, or damage the pipe.
It is therefore a major object of my invention to provide an improved type cleaner intended primarily to be used in cleaning sewers and waste lines.
Another object of my invention is to provide such a device that will remove hardened obstructions that cannot be penetrated by previous cleaners.
It is a further object of my invention to provide such a cleaner having the ability to follow along the interior of a waste pipe, and to pass around any bends in such pipe without becoming jammed or damaging the pipe.
Still another object of my invention is to provide such a device that is easily and quickly connected to any one of the various types of flexible cables or shafts presently in widespread use, the device being positively anchored to the shaft, but capable of quick and simple replacement.
It is a still further object of my invention to provide such a cleaner having the foregoing characteristics that is both inexpensive to make and simple to use.
These and other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description of one form of my invention, and from the drawings illustrating that form in which Figure l is a perspective view of my improved cleaner "ice as it appears in a pipe, the pipe being broken away to show the operation;
Figure 2 is an end view taken in the direction of the arrow 2 in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a sectional view taken along the axis of the cleaning member and showing the method of attachment to one form of flexible cable; and
Figure 4 is a view similar to Figure 3, but showing the method of attachment to another form of flexible cable.
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to Figure 1 thereof, the numeral 10 indicates generally a flexible cable of the type widely used by plumbers, frequently designated as a snake, and generally consisting essentially of a Wire wound in the form of a helix. On the end of the cable 10 is a tool 11 having generally the shape of a prolate spheroid. Axially aligned with the shaft 10 and at the opposite or front end of the tool 11 is a bit 12 generally similar to a very short twist drill.
The tool 11 is firmly anchored to the cable 10 and the diameter of the tool is substantially equal to or slightly less than the interior diameter of the waste pipe 13 in which the tool is to be used. As will be seen, the length of the tool 11 is such that it can follow any curves or angles that are found in waste pipes.
As seen in Figures 2 and 3, the tool 11 has a plurality of ribs 14 projecting generally radially outwardly from a body portion 15, these ribs extending along the axis of the tool 11 and preferably being shaped so that each has a generally radially extending leading or cutting surface 16 and an angularly disposed rear surface 17 so that in cross section, the rib has a generally triangular shape, as best seen in Figure 2. The envelope of the several ribs 14 has the general shape of prolate spheroid, as mentioned, and the body 15 has a generally comparable shape. The tool 11 is not completely symmetrical, however, since the front or forward end of the tool is somewhat more pointed, while the rear end is flatter, as best seen in Figure 3. In this way, the forward end is better able to penetrate obstructions, while the rear end, where penetration is not important, is shaped to best receive the flexible cable 10 without excess and unnecessary material.
To receive the cable 10, a socket 20 is formed in the rear end of the body 15, the socket being axially centered with respect to the envelope of the ribs 14, and extending into the body 15 a distance sulficient to insure the proper anchoring of the shaft 10. Usually, the depth of the socket 20 is such that it extends a distance beyond the middle of the body 15, but this is not essential, since the depth will depend upon the external diameter of the tool 11, and the size of the cable 10.
As mentioned, the cable 10 is usually formed of a reasonably heavy gauge wire wound in the form of a helix, and the end of the helix may be provided with an eye 21 to receive some form of obstruction removing tool. When my improved tool is used with such a cable, I insert a screw 22 or similar member that passes through the eye 21 and holds the latter so that the cable 10 cannot be withdrawn from the socket 20. The screw 22 may be one having a recessed head, and preferably extends from a point on the body 15, between adjacent ribs 14, to a diametrically opposite point on the other side of the body. A threaded hole 23 receives the screw 22, and suitable means, such as a reduction in the diameter in the hole 23, permits the screw to be tightened so that it will not come loose during the normal operation of the tool.
At the front end of the body 15 I mount a bit 12, this bit being, as previously mentioned, very similar to a twist drill, but with a short shank portion 24 that fits into a corresponding recess 25 in the forward end of the body 15,
The usual helical grooves and cutting edges of a twist drill are formed on the forward end of the bit 12, and the overall length of the bit is quite short, generally in the neighborhood of three-quarters of an inch. The purpose of the bit 12 is to bore a hole and possibly aid in breaking or shattering any obstruction, and consequently there is no need for a long bit.
The bit 12 is held in the body 15 by any suitable means, such as by providing a drive fit between the shank of the bit and the hole 25 which receives it. To permit the bit to be removed when it has become dulled or has been broken, a hole 26 is preferably formed between the end of the socket 20 and the hole 25. In this way, by removing the cable 10. a drive pin or similar member may be placed in the hole 26 to bear against the rear end of the bit 12, and the bit may then be knocked out.
As an example of the various dimensions, a relatively small tool 11, whose maximum external diameter is 5/ is intended for use on a. flexible shaft having an external diameter of one-half inch, which will thus be the diameter of the socket 20. The socket 20 may have a depth of approximately 3 while the overall length of the body portion is approximately l%", and the diameter thereof is 1 16". The bit 12 used in such a device has a diameter of approximately "33 A larger tool, having a maximum external diameter of 15 may likewise be adapted to receive a half inch flexible shaft 10 and to have a socket 20 of approximately at," depth. The diameter of the body portion 15 is approximately one inch, while the overall length of the body is approximately I With such a tool, the bit 12 has a diameter of one-half inch.
The tool is preferably made of metal, and brass or bronze forms a very convenient material, since it is nonrusting, has the necessary strength, and is easily cast. While iron or steel can be used, it usually is not necessary since most obstructions do not require that the ribs 14 have cutting surfaces of this hardness. Brass and bronze h'tve the necessary strength for most cases, and have the further advantage of being somewhat softer than the waste pipe, and consequently will not be likely to damage the pipe or weaken it, where an iron or steel tool might cause trouble.
It will be appreciated that not all flexible cables have an eye 21 on the end, and some are formed with merely a butt end. Such cables are usually intended to fit into a socket or recess having internal screw threads, and in Figure 4, I have illustrated a tool 11a intended to be used with such a cable 10a. It is to be understood that the ribs 14 and the bit 12 are similar to those previously described, and the body 15a is similar except for the particular attaching means for connecting the tool 11a to the cable 10a. The socket 20a, instead of having smooth walls, has screw threads formed therein to receive the coils of the cable 101:, and the screw 22a, which replaces the screw 22, is in the form of a set screw that bears against the coils of the cable and frictionally engages them and forces them against the walls and threads of the socket 20a to lock the cable and prevent its removal.
Other forms of cables in use have different end terminals, some of these taking the form of a square shank, and others taking different forms. In each case, however, the socket corresponding to the socket 20 or 200 is shaped to conform to the particular terminal and a screw 22 passes at least partially through the terminal, or a set screw 22a frictionally engages that terminal. The prin cipal load transmitted between the cable 10, or its equivalent, and the tool 11, or its equivalent, is in the form of torque or a twisting moment that rotates the tool, and an axial thrust or load, by which the tool is forced along the pipe by means of the pressure exerted on the end of the cable outside the pipe. Normally, the tool 11 will not pass through the pipe until the obstruction has been cut or otherwise removed, at which time the tool 10 moves freely in either direction. Consequently, after the ob struction has been cleared, it is a simple matter to withdraw the tool and no particular force need be transmitted from the cable 10 to the tool 11 to accomplish this. However, the connecting methods herein disclosed provide a connection of ample strength to permit the withdrawal of the tool even when an obstruction is encountered in the return or withdrawal of the tool. In this connection, it should be noted that the rear end of the cutting tool acts to again clear the pipe in the event that an obstruction is encountered during this return movement.
Since a clogged waste pipe is usually filled with fluid, it is necessary to have some means to permit the liquid to pass from one end of the tool 11 to the other, or otherwise the tool would be prevented from passing through the pipe. In the present tool, the ribs 14 act as the cutting mcmbers to remove the obstruction, and the spaces or grooves between the ribs permit the passage of the fluid from one end of the tool to the other, as the latter is being inserted into or withdrawn from the pipe.
in operation, the cutting tool 11 is connected to the end of the flexible cable 10, and the latter is then rotated, as by an electric motor, while the cable is forced into the pipe l3. Various machines for doing this are available, and such machines form no part of my present invention.
As the cable 10 is rotated and forced into the pipe 13, the tool 11 is similarly moved, and rotates to clean the interior of the pipe and remove any accumulation of scale or other deposits on the inner walls. When an obstruction is encountered, if it is only partial, it is cut or sheared by the ribs 14, these ribs acting both to cut the obstruction and to clean or ream the interior of the pipe and restore it to its original size. When a complete obstruction is encountered, the bit 12 acts as a twist drill, and forms a small or pilot hole in the obstruction, which hole is then enlarged by the ribs 14 so that the pipe is again clear. If the obstruction is formed by an originally fluid material that has set or hardened, the bit 12 will form the pilot hole and may possibly shatter the obstruction, if it is of a brittle nature. Such a method of operation is not possible with the previously used cleaners and tools that consist of various shaped wires. In addition, the axial length of the ribs 14 is such that the entire surface of the interior of the pipe is cleaned, and there is no possibility of a series of grooves being formed in a coating of scale, etc., as might be the case if a series of radially projecting wires or arms were used. Consequently, by the use of my tool, the pipe is returned to its original useful capacity.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that I have provided a new and useful tool for cleaning pipes fully capable of achieving the objects and securing the advantages heretofore set forth. It is apparent that changes may be made in this device without departing from the broad concept of my invention, and consequently I do not wish to be restricted to the particular form or arrangement of parts herein described and shown except as limited by my claims.
1. A rotary pipe cleaning tool of the class described which includes: a body member having an axial socket therein to receive a driving shaft; generally axially extending cutting ribs projecting substantially radially from said body member and integral therewith, the envelope of said tool, including said body and said ribs, being in the general shape of a prolate spheroid whose major axis is not more than twice its minor axis, said ribs being separated from each other by generally axially extending grooves; a rotary cutting bit axially aligned with said body member and projecting from the end thereof opposite said socket; and locking means operable to connect said shaft to said body to prevent rotation therebetween and removal of said shaft from said socket.
2. A rotary pipe cleaning tool of the class described which includes: a body member having an axial socket in one end to receive a driving shaft, an axial hole in the other end to receive a bit, and a passageway between said socket and said hole to enable said bit to be driven out of said hole; a rotary cutting bit mounted in said axial hole and projecting therefrom, said bit being held against movement with respect to said body; generally axially extending cutting ribs projecting substantially radially from said body member and integral therewith, said ribs extending from the front of said body adjacent said hole, to the rear of said body adjacent said socket, the envelope of said tool, including said body and said ribs, being in the general shape of a prolate spheroid whose major axis is not more than twice its minor axis, said ribs being separated from each other by generally axially extending grooves; and locking means operable to connect said shaft to said body to prevent rotation therebetween and removal of said shaft from said socket.
References Clted in the tile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Boyce Aug. 5, Thurston Dec. 18, Coleman Sept. 6. Schwarz et a1. Sept. 21, Therrien W June 30, Engvall et al. Sept. 8, Eglinton Nov. 23, Johnson et a1. Aug. 15, Hall et a1. Nov. 19,
FOREIGN PATENTS Canada Nov. 16,