US 2900645 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 25, 1959 N. F. ROM 2,900,645
MEANS FOR PREVENTING CONDENSATION ON FLUSH-TANKS Filed April 6, 1951 FIG. 1
WATER HEA TE R 7' SOLENOID l ALv NORMALLYOPEN 14 lwl'Ci. 4
' A TORNEY type.
MEANS FUR PREVENTING CONDENSATION ON FLUSH-TANKS Norman F. Rom, Wauwatosa, Wis.
Application April 6, 1951, Serial No. 219,697
Claims. (Cl. 4-18) The present invention relates to condensation-preventing means for water-closet flush-tanks and the like.
The condensation of moisture on Water-closet flushtanks is objectionable, as the condensed moisture drips therefrom and causes damage to walls and floors. This undesirable condition is particularly marked in warm, humid weather.
An object of the invention is to provide simple but effective means for avoiding condensation of moisture on flush-tanks or the like.
Another object is to provide condensation-preventing means which can readily be installed without requiring alteration or replacement of the tanks.
Still another object is to provide a flush-tank installation in which warm water is supplied to the tank to avoid condensation of moisture thereon, and which includes improved valve means for controlling the temperature of the water.
A further object is to provide a flush-tank installation in which the valve means serves as a combined mixing valve, check valve, and shut-off valve.
A still further object is to provide a flush-tank installation in which the temperature of the water is automatically controlled and is also responsive to humidity conditions.-
The invention further consists in the several features hereinafter described and claimed.
In the accompanying drawing,
Fig. 1 is a schematic view showing a flush-tank installation embodying the invention, parts being shown diagrammatically;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view of a valve device for the installation;
Fig. 3 is a top view of the valve device, and
Fig. 4 is a transverse sectional view of the valve device, taken generally on the line 4-4 of Fig. 2.
Referring to Fig. 1, it designates a conventional flushtank connected to a water-closet 11. Water is conducted to the tank through a pipe 12 which in some instances may be provided with a shut-off valve 12 near the tank. The flush-tank is provided with the usual float valve mechanism, not shown.
In accordance with the invention, means are provided whereby the water in the flush-tank is sufiiciently warm to avoid condensation of moisture on the outer walls of the tank. The water system to which the flush-tank is connected includes a cold water supply pipe 14 and a hot water supply pipe 15, the latter extending from the outlet of a water heater 16 such as a-conventional domestic water heater of the automatically controlled Heaters of this type are usually set to supply hot water at a temperature of the order of 160 Fahrenheit. The supply pipes 14 and have respective branch pipes 14' and 15' which conduct cold and hot water under pressure to the inlets of amixing valve or fixture 50 hereinafter more fully described, and the pipe 12 conducts warm water from the outlet of the valve to the flush-tank. Cold water is conducted under ice pressure to the heater through a pipe '14" which usually,
although not necessarily, is connected to the cold water supply pipe 14.
In some instances, the installation includes automatic control means hereinafter more fully described. The control means includes a solenoid valve 51 in the hot water line having an operating winding or solenoid 52.
Preferably, the solenoid valve is normally open and the winding is energized to close the valve. The control means further includes a chamber-forming housing 53 connected in series with the tank-filling pipe 12 near the outlet of the mixing valve, the housing having therein a thermostatic element such as a vapor bulb 33. The housing also mounts a normally open pressure switch 54 which closes upon reduction of pressure incident to water flow through the pipe 12 during refilling of the flush-tank.
The mixing valve comprises a casing or body 55 having a tubular chamber-forming portion 56 integrally connected at opposite ends to parallel, transversely extending, barrel-shaped or tubular inlet portions 57 and 58. Midway between the inlet portions 57 and 58 the connecting tubular portion 56 has an internally screwthreaded outletboss 59 which is connected to the flushtank pipe 12, the axis of the boss being parallel to the inlet portions. Insorne instances the 'valve casing has a similar alternatively usable outlet boss 60 extending at right angles to and in the same plane as the boss 59,
the boss 60 being closed by a screw plug 61 when not in use, as seen in Fig. 4.
Each of the tubular inlet portions 57 and 58 is bored axially therethrough and includes at one end an internally threaded inlet boss 62 having therein a coaxial inlet port 63 with a surrounding inwardly-facing valve .seat 64, the inlet bosses 62 extending in opposite direction from the outlet boss 59. The cold and hot water branch pipes 14 and 15 are connected to the inlet portions 57 and 58. Preferably, the hot waterbranch pipe 15' includes a length of bendable copper tubing 65 with suitable end couplings 66, one of which is connected to the solenoid valve 51 and the other to the hot Water inlet of the mixing valve. The tubing facilitates connection of the device to existing plumbing installations and also limits the flow of hot water to the mixing valve.-
At the end opposite each inlet boss 62, each of the tubular inlet portions 57 and 58 of the mixing valve has a coaxial boss 67 with external and internal screwthreads 68 and 69. Into each boss 67 is screwed a cupshaped plug 70 having a cylindrical bore 71 coaxial with and facing the valve seat 64. The plug has a toolreceiving slot 72 in its-closed outer end, and has an external annular groove 73 receiving a packing 74 engaging the internal screw-thread 69 of the boss 67. A check valve member 75 cooperates with each valve seat 64 and has a cylindrical stem 76 with a head 77. A valve disk or washer 78 is detachably secured to the head 77 by a screw '79 and is engageable with the valve seat. The valve stem 76 extends into the plug bore 71 and is urged to closed position by a light, compressed coiled spring 80 of corrosion-resistant metal. The spring 80 snrrounds the valve stem and loosely fits between the stem andthe plug bore 71 to guide the stem, one end of the spring bearing on the head of the valve member and the other end of the spring bearing against the bottom of this bore. The springs insure closing of the check valve members in various positions of the valve body. The check valve members serve to prevent interflow of water between the hot and cold water pipes connected to the mixing valve casing.
The bottom of the bore 71 in ,each adjustable screw plug 70 is engageableby the end of the associated check valve stem 76, thus adjustably limiting the opening movement of the check valve member, particularly at the hot water inlet, so as to throttle the flow of hot water and thereby adjust the temperature of the water leaving the mixing valve. Each screw plug can be adjusted While the chamber in thevalvebody is under water pressure. The screw plug at the cold water inlet of the mixing valve is normally in 'itsoutermost position, as seen at the left-hand side of Fig. 2, so as to minimize throttling of the cold water flow. Each plug can he'screwed inwardly against the adjacent end of the associated check valve stem, so as to hold the check valve member on its seat, thus forming a shut-off valve. The plug-receiving endof each of the'inlet portions 57 and 53 is closed by a screw cap 81 having therein a sealing gasket or washer 82. The mixing valve is preferably mounted with the check valve members in vertical position, as shown, but the valve'may be mounted in various other positions, as the springs 80 will insure closing of the check valve members. Each check valve will open in the direction of flow under a slight pressure.
With the construction thus far described, the flush-tank is refilled after each flushing operation with warm water flowing from the mixing valve 50. The cold waterflowing to the mixing valve from the supply pipe 14 is usually at a temperature considerably lower than room temperature, but this water is' mixed with a suitable proportion of hot water at the mixing valve so that the outflowing water will be at room temperature, or at least above dew point, thus avoiding condensation of moisture on the outer walls of the flush-tank. When the relative humidity is high, the dew point will be approximately the same as room temperature. The proportion of hot water flowing into the mixing valve is readily controlled by adjusting the screw plug 70 which forms a stop limiting the opening travel of the check valve member at the hot water inlet. The check valve member at the cold water inlet, however, is free to open to its maximum extent. During the tank-filling operation both check valve members are held open by the pressure of the incoming water. After the flush-tank is refilled, the check valve members reclose, thus preventing interflow of water between the hot and cold water supply pipes.
Normally, the flush-tank will besupplied with'wa'rm water during the humid summer months. During cooler and drier weather, the use of warm water for flush-tank operation may be discontinued. To shut off the flow of hot water to the mixing valve, the screw cap 81 at the hot 'water inlet is removed, and the screw plug 70 is then screwed down until it engages the adjacent end of the stem of the hot water check valve mein'berjthus preventing opening of this check valve member. The cap 81 is then replaced.
In accordance with a further feature of the invention, means are provided to efiect automatic control or regulation of the temperature of the water supplied to the flush-tank, such means being responsive to ambienttemperature or ambient humidity or to both of these conditions. The winding or solenoid 52 of the normally open hot water control valve 51 is connectedin a circuit which includes a source of current such as a step-down transformer 21 connected'to line conductors 17, one of which may have a switch 83. The control circuit includes a conductor 84 connected from one terminal of the transformer secondary to one terminal of the winding 52 of the solenoid valve 51, a conductor 85 connecting the other terminal of the valve winding with one terminal of the pressure switch 54, 'a conductor 86 connecting the other terminal of the pressure switch with a selected terminal of the switch 22 forming part of a control device 23, and a conductor 87 connecting another terminal of the switch 22 with the other terminal of the transformer secondary.
In some instances the control circuit includes a normally closed manually operable switch 88 which when open will prevent energization of the solenoid valve.
The control device 23 is here shown to be of a differential thermometric type actuated by fluid pressure and includes a pair of capsules 24 and 25 disposed back-toback and closed at their outer sides by respective corrugated diaphragms 26 and 27, the capsules having respective pressure chambers 28 and 29. A lever 30 is pivotally mounted on the capsule assembly and has fork-forming arms which are pivotally connected to the respective diaphragms, as by link connections 31. Another arm of the lever carries a movable contact of the switch 22, the complementary stationary contact being adjustable. The capsule chamber 28 is connected by a tube 32 to the bulb 33 in the chamber-forming housing 53. The capsule chamber 29 is connected by a tube 34 to a bulb 35 exposed to the temperature of the room in which the Hushtank is located, or any other room having approximately the same temperature. The bulbs 33 and 35 contain a suitable gas, vapor, or volatile liquid, which upon rise of temperature will produce a pressure in the'respective chambers 28 and 29. Instead of making the bulb 35 directly responsive to room temperature it is desirable to make it responsive to room humidity, or dew point temperature. This is done by exposing the bulb to a'wick 36 immersed in a water cup 37, thus forming in effect a wet-bulb thermometer. The control circuit for the solenoid valve also preferably includes a hygrostat 33, the switch'89 of which is connected in parallel with the switch 22 and is set to close when the relative humidity drops to a value of the order of or 60. At this relative humidity it is usually not necessary to supply warm water to the flush-tank. If desired, a normally closed manually operable switch 90 is connected in series with the hygrostat switch 89, and a normally open manually operable switch 91 is connected in parallel with the hygrostat switch.
In the operation of the system above described, room temperature acting on the bulb 35 expands the diaphragm 27 and opens the switch 22. Upon refilling of the flushtank after a flushing operation, warm water flows to this tank at a temperature determined or limited by the setting of the check valve member for the hot water inlet of the mixing valve 50, the solenoid valve 51 being open. The warm water flowing through the housing 53 heats the bulb 33, thus expanding the diaphragm 26 in opposition to the diaphragm 27 and closing the switch 22 if the warm water flowing to the flush-tank is at a temperature higher than room temperature or within a predetermined range in the vicinity of room temperature. The pressure switch 54 being then closed incident to the drop of pressure of the flowing water, the circuit through the winding of the solenoid valve 51 is closed, thereby closing the solenoid valve to shut off the flow of hot water to the mixing valve. Thetemperature of the tankfilling water then drops, again opening the capsule-operated switch 22 so as to permit reopening of the solenoid valve, and the cycle may be repeated one or more times duringthe tank-filling period. As soon as the flush-tank is filled, the pressure switch 54 opens so as to insure an open condition of the energizing circuit for the solenoid valve. The water in the filled flush-tank is at a suitable temperature to prevent condensation on the tank. If the room temperature rises, the temperature of the tank- .refilling water will also rise, and if the room temperature drops, the water temperature will drop, thus avoiding unnecessary heating of the water.
When the hygrostat 38 is provided, a low relative humidity will cause the hygrostat switch 89 to close, so that when water flows to the flush-tank the solenoid valve 51 will be energized to its closed position during all or most of the tank-filling period, and little or no hot water will'flow to the mixing valve.
Automatic control of the temperature of the tank water flowing to the flush-tank can be discontinued by opening the switch 83, or by opening both of the switches 815 and 9!),- thus preventing closing of the solenoid valve 51. Under this condition the temperature of the water leaving the mixing valve will be determined by the manual setting of the check valve member at the hot water inlet of the mixing valve.
The solenoid valve 51 is preferably normally open, as shown, but if desired this valve could be of the normally closed type by rearranging the control circuit, the control device '23 having an alternatively usable stationary contact for this purpose.
This application constitutes a continuation in part of my copending application Serial No. 718,466, filed December 26, 1946, for Condensation-Preventing Means for Flush-Tanks, now abandoned.
What I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. In combination, a flush tank to which water is supplied, heating means for warming the water to a temperature above dew point to prevent condensation of moisture on the tank, and means responsive to ambient atmospheric condition for varying the warming efiect of said heating means in accordance with variations of dew point temperature.
2. In combination, a flush-tank to which water is supplied, heating means for warming the water before delivery to the tank to a temperature above dew point of the air adjacent said tank to prevent condensation of moisture on the tank, and means responsive to ambient atmospheric temperature for increasing the warming eifect of said heating means when said ambient temperature is increased.
3. In combination, a flush-tank to which water is supplied, heating means for warming the water to a temperature above dew point to prevent condensation of moisture on the tank, and means responsive to ambient humidity for increasing the warming etfect of heating means when the humidity increases.
4. In combination, a flush-tank to which water is supplied, heating means for warming the water to a temperature above dew point to prevent condensation of moisture on the tank, and means responsive to ambient temperature and humidity for increasing the warming effect of said heating means when the dew point temperature increases.
5. In combination, a flush-tank, means for supplying water under pressure to said flush-tank including a cold water supply pipe and a hot water supply pipe, valve means for controlling the flow of water from said hot water supply pipe to warm the flush-tank water to a temperature preventing condensation of moisture on the tank, said valve means including a magnetically operable valve having an actuating winding, and a control circuit for said magnetically operable valve including a pressure switch in series 'with said winding and responsive to the pressure of the water supplied to the flush-tank, said switch being normally in open position and being operable to closed position upon reduction of water pressure incident to water flow to the flush-tank.
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