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Publication numberUS2867345 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 6, 1959
Filing dateApr 9, 1956
Priority dateApr 9, 1956
Publication numberUS 2867345 A, US 2867345A, US-A-2867345, US2867345 A, US2867345A
InventorsBellek Frank G
Original AssigneeBell Electric Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Weatherproof outlet
US 2867345 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 6, 1959 F. e. BELLEK 2,367,345

WEATHERPROOF OUTLET Filed April 9, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR: F R A N K G.

v ATTORNEY Jan. 6, 1959 F. G. BELLEK 2,867,345

WEATHERPROOF OUTLET Filed April 9, 1956 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 4


wEATHERPRooF OUTLET Frank G. Bellek, Chicago, 111., assignor to Bell Electric Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of Illinois Application April 9, 1956, Serial No. 576,986 1 Claim. (Cl.220--24.3)

This invention relates to weatherproof outlets, and more particularly to an electrical outlet or the like which can be selectively covered or exposed for use by a simple manual adjustment thereof.

Heretofore, electrical outlets have been constructed either without any closure means, with the result that the metallic parts became corroded, or else covers were used which required an excessive amount of effort to position them in open position and to maintain them in such position. Often, removable parts such as screws were employed which would readily become lost or worn.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an outlet having a closure which snaps into closed position with a positive sealing action which protects the outlet against all weather conditions, and which can easily be opened and will automatically remain in open position as long as desired, without any hazard of lost parts or accidental closing.

Another object of the invention is to provide an allweather outlet as described wherein a torsion spring is efietcive to bias the cover into' closed position so that there will be no seepage of moisture into the socket or other element thus protected, but which is mounted in a manner such as to place the spring under tension stress and thereby bias the cover into locking engagement with one of the bracket arms of the bracket when the cover is in open position.

Another object is to provide a bracket affixed to the base plate of the outlet having a complementary configuration in relation to the cover so as to effect the tension stress in the spring and locking of the cover.

Another object of the invention is to provide an outlet as described wherein the cover will be guided by the bracket and the torsion spring into perfect registration with outlet opening without the need for accurate adjustment of parts.

Another object of the invention is to provide an abutment flange for the cover whose width determines the extent of lateral movement of the cover required to effect its release from opened position and which serves to increase the torsion force for snapping the cover into sealed position in response to such lateral movement.

Another object is to provide a finger rest formed integrally with the cover whereby the lateral movemeent of the cover into closing position may be readily performed without extraneous adjustments, together with handle means for raisinng the cover the required number of degrees to cause it to lock in open position.

Yet another object is to .provide a weatherproof outlet as described which is simple and economical to manufacture and which is of rugged construction to withstand violent impacts and a variety of weather conditions.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds in accordance with the drawings, in which:

Fig. l is a front elevation of the weatherproof outlet of the invention;

atent 2,867,345 Patented Jan. 6, 1959 ice Fig. 2 is a vertical cross sectional view taken through the lines 2-2 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a horizontal sectionalview taken through the lines 3-3 of Fig. 1; v

Fig. 4 is a sectional view taken through the lines 4-4 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 5 is a sectional view taken through the lines 5-5 of Fig. 3;

Fig. 6 is a side elevational view of the weatherproof outlet in open position; and

Fig. 7 is a sectional view taken through the lines 7-7 of Fig. 6.

Referring now to Figs. 1 through 3, the weatherproof outlet 10 of the invention comprises a base plate 12 having an annular flange 14 which defines a circular opening 16 adapted to be disposed in register with a conventional electrical wall socket (not shown). a depending annular flange 20 is adapted to seat in sealing relationship to the flange 14 by means of a gasket 22 within annular flange 20. The cover 18 has an arcuately shaped handle 24 formed integrally at one end thereof and at the other end a hinge extension 26 is provided which is pivotally and slidably mounted on a pivot bar 28 held in spaced-apart arms 30 and 32 of a bracket 34, the flange extension 26 having parallel flanges 35 and 36 defining openings 38 and 40 for receiving the pivot bar 28. The cross-bar 42 of the bracket is fastened to the base plate 12 of the outlet by rivets 44 and 46.

In order to afford automatic closing, or locking of the cover 18 in its open position, a helical spring 48 is mounted axially on the pivot bar 28 with one end 50 secured in a groove 52 defined by the bracket base 42 and the other end 54 engaging the cover hinge extension 26 in a recess 56 therein, as will be hereafter further described.

The hinge extension 26 has a width substantially equal to the distance between the bracket arms 30 and 32, and in order to permit lateral movement of the cover 18 relative to the bracket 34, in moving the cover into or out of locked open position, the flange 36 is spaced inwardly of the bracket arm 32 a predetermined distance, thereby defining an abutment flange 58 formed integrally with the hinge extension 26. Such lateral movement may be effected by an arcuately formed upwardly extending finger tab 64) integral with the extension 26 of cover 18 and in perpendicular relationship thereto.

Referring now to Figs. 4 through 7, in order to provide for effective operation of the spring 48, the hinge extension 26 is elevated a predetermined distance relative to the substantially circular portion of the cover 18 by means of a shoulder 62 so that in the sealing position of the cover the extension 26 will preferably be substantially coplanar with the upper ends of the bracket arms 30 and 32. The pivot bar 28 is spaced a predetermined distance below extension 26 and above the base 42 of the bracket 34. The end 50 of the spring 48 is thereby lead outwardly of the cover 18 and downwardly beneath the pivot bar 28 into pivotal engagement in the groove 52 of the bracket base 42 by means of a reverse bend in this end. In order to provide for free lateral movement of the end 50, base 42 is cut away at 64 on each side of groove 52, as will be described hereinafter. End 54 of the spring 48 extends from the side of the pivot bar nearest the cover 18 at an upwardly and outwardly inclined angle, when the cover is seated into recess 56 defined by flange extension 26. Recess 56 is formed at an upwardly inclined angle relative to the plane of the extension so that end 54 will be maintained in firm engagement therein. Also, the recess is relatively wider than the spring end 54, so that slight lateral play is afforded when the spring moves from the closed position to the open position (where it and the recess will be disposed substantially A cover 18 having 3. horizontally), or from open to closed position. The end 50 will be pivoted about an axis defined by groove 52 during such movement of the cover in the cut-out portion 64 of cross bar 42-."

Referring to Fig. 7, the manner in which'the cover-18" normally hold the extension 26 and: its abutment flange 58 against the' bracket arm 32 Whenthe cover is inthe seated position of Fig. 3. However, when the cover is lifted so that flange-58disengages arm 32, the tension of spring 48 will forceflange' 58' behind bracket arm 32 and thereby lock it and the cover 18-againstthe downward bias 'of thespring.

ln operation, therefore, the cover 18*may be lifted by meansof handle 24 from the-annular flange '14 sothat when it passes a position; for example, substantially beyond 90' relative to base plate 12 as-seenin 'Fig; 6 sufiicient-for flange 58 to clear bracket arm 32, the tension of the spring 48-will automatically "move it to the right forlocking engagementwith the bracket 32- as stated.

Likewise, when it'is desired toseat the'cover 18 on the flange again, theoperator needonly pressthefingertab 60 to move the cover 18 leftward, suitable indicia being preferably inscribed on' the cover to indicate the correct direction of movement. When the abutment flange 58*has moved laterally past thebracket'arm32, the torsion force of" the spring 48, which will'be'augmented by upward movement of end-54 against" hinge extension 26 in re= sponse to increasedtension in the spring; will cause the cover to-seat against-flange 14. The hinge extension 26 will then be guided throughout by" the abutting'relation' of bracket arm 32 and abutment flange 58 so that annular flange 20 will be held in precise registration with flange 14 during seating of the cover.

The outlet can be easily installed by inserting'screws (not shown) through openings 66 and 68 defined by the base 12. The materials of which the outlet is constructed may be conventional, the base plate 12 being preferably of brass while'the cover 18 is a Zinc die casting, and the bracket 34 is steel sheet. The pivot bar 28 is preferably a tubular aluminum rivet while stainless steel is used for'the'helical spring 48. Thegasket 22 may be made of thick sponge rubber.

Because there are relatively few parts and these are in permanently assembled condition, the device is not subject to wear or mechanical breakdown. Furthermore, the simplicity of the construction is such that variations in manufacturing tolerances will not aifect its operation while the ease with which the cover can be moved from open to closed position, orfrom closed into automatically locked open position, insures that it can be used in ordinary household as Well as commercial application without difliculty.

Although I have described my invention with respect to certain principles and details in a specific embodiment thereof, it'will be understood'by those skilled in the art that these may be varied in accordance with the spirit and scope of the hereunto appended claim.

I claim:

An all weather electrical outlet comprising a base plate defining an upstanding annular flange providing an outlet opening, a cover having a flat seating surface to seat on said annular flange, a hinge extension on said cover having parallel side edges and an inner surface which is parallel to the seating surface, a bracket secured to said base plate having a.pair of upstanding parallel bracket arms; a pivot bar secured by said bracket arms in parallel spaced relation to said base plate, a pair of depending flanges on said hinge extension defining openings for receiving said pivot bar, one of said flanges being disposed inwardly a predetermined distance from the adjacentside edge of said'hinge extension to define a cover hinge extension abutment flange, and a spring helically disposed on said. pivot bar having one end secured to saidbracket and'the other end secured to said cover a distance from said first endto exert tension stress on said spring to move said" cover and abutment flange laterally with the inner surface of the abutment flange contacting the rear surface of one of the bracket arms wherein the cover is locked in open position when said cover is pivoted upwardly a predetermined extent, said spring further being under torsion stress to bias said cover. downwardly upon said annular flange when said coverand abutment flange are moved laterally in the opposite direction past-said bracket arm rear surface.

References Citedin the file of this patent UNITED. STATES PATENTS

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2985334 *Nov 21, 1958May 23, 1961Slater Saul IWeatherproof electrical outlet
US2997520 *Dec 16, 1957Aug 22, 1961Bryant Electric CoWeatherproof covering for an outlet box
US3104064 *Mar 22, 1961Sep 17, 1963Bell Electric CoStake-down outdoor light
US3127048 *Jul 26, 1962Mar 31, 1964 Integral weatherproof plastic lid
US3137407 *Apr 25, 1962Jun 16, 1964Hubbell Inc HarveyWeatherproof lift cover plate for electrical wiring devices
US3180962 *Nov 3, 1961Apr 27, 1965Driscoll Neil JElectrical control device and enclosure arrangement
US3189212 *Jul 11, 1961Jun 15, 1965Bell Electric CoWeatherproof outlet with reciprocably movable closure pivot pin
US3203747 *Nov 8, 1963Aug 31, 1965Phillip VercellottiHair disposal unit and attachment
US3777926 *Oct 6, 1971Dec 11, 1973Bunker RamoClosure for a connector box
US4456145 *Sep 30, 1982Jun 26, 1984L. E. Mason Co.Weatherproof outlet cover
US4657233 *Apr 19, 1985Apr 14, 1987Vroom James WAssist apparatus for ramps
US4697830 *Dec 31, 1984Oct 6, 1987Petro-Tube, Inc.Stabbing guide
US5041818 *May 21, 1990Aug 20, 1991Lapro CorporationLid with movement control device
US5124506 *Jul 9, 1990Jun 23, 1992Amp IncorporatedFace plate with seal and cover
US5219240 *Jan 29, 1991Jun 15, 1993Nhk Spring Co., Ltd.Angle adjusting device for a display device
US5417340 *Jun 1, 1993May 23, 1995Hubbell IncorporatedSpring-biased floating hinge structure
US5779083 *Mar 29, 1996Jul 14, 1998Thomas & Betts CorporationElectrical receptacle cover assembly including dual acting spring
US8022298Sep 20, 2011Hubbell IncorporatedWeatherproof outlet and gasket assembly
US20100000757 *Jan 7, 2010Hubbell IncorporatedWeatherproof outlet and gasket assembly
DE102012103550A1 *Apr 23, 2012Oct 24, 2013Phoenix Contact Gmbh & Co. KgSteckdose
U.S. Classification220/242, 16/307, 16/295
International ClassificationH01R13/447, H01R13/44
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/447
European ClassificationH01R13/447