US 2913995 A
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J. A. BRENNER COMBINED FOOT VALVE AND GUARD Nov. 24, 1959 Filed April 29, 1958 INVENTOR. Joseph f\. Brenner ATT NEY /I AP w Kanul United States Patent 2,913,995 COMBINED FOOT VALVE AND GUARD Joseph A. Brenner, Hanover, Pa. Application April 29, 1958, Serial No. 726,091-
4 Claims. (Cl. 103-229) This invention relates to a combined foot valve and guard, and more particularly, to a foot valve and guard attachable to the lower end of a well pipe of a flexible nature commonly referred to in the trade as plastic pipe. Without restriction thereto however, the combined foot valve and guard also may be attached to rigid metallic well pipe if desired.
Applicants prior Patent No. 2,730,959, granted January 17, 1956, is directed to a separable guard and guide for a foot valve or the like and this structure operates satisfactorily when properly attached to a foot valve or similar structure. It has been found however that some difliculty is experienced in manufacturing and utilizing the guard and guide to which said patent pertains, due
principally to the fact of the relatively wide variety of sizes and shapes of foot valves and other similar structures now manufactured by many different competing producers. This has resulted in a fairly extensive range of diameters and lengths of external surfaces onthe foot valves and the like to which the guard and guide of said patent must be attached. For satisfactory results, such attachment must be very firm because of the shocks and stresses to which the guard and guide is subjected when lowering the well pipe assembly into a well casing. That is, the principal purpose of the guard and guide is to protect the foot valve or other similar structure which it surrounds especially while lowering the well pipe assembly into the well casing and particularly when the guard and guide contacts the bottom of a well cavity.
In an effort to insure tight connection of the guard and guide of said patent to the exterior of a foot valve or the like, said patent contemplates the use of adaptor bushings so as to minimize the inventory necessary for the guard and guides per se. of bushings however presents a still further inventory problem.
It is the principal object of the present invention to obviate the difliculties described above by providing a foot valve attachable to the lowerend of a well pipe and to which guard and guide arms are connected integrally, preferably as a unitary casting, whereby it is only necessary to furnish a very limited number of different sizes of combined foot valves and guards which respectively are attachable to a reasonable range of diameters of threaded Well pipe or threaded-couplings connectable to the foot valve portion of the unit and to which flexible, so-called plastic well pipe may be connected by clamps or the like. I I
The integrally combined foot valve and guard of the present invention therefore solves a number of basic problems presented by the structure of the applicants prior patent in that it affords a standard type of foot valve and eliminates the necessity of connecting a guar and guide firmly to the foot valve.
Another object of the invention is to provide an integral foot valve and guard which not only eliminates the necessity of tightening the guard firmly to the foot valve, but the integral structure also avoids the possibility of Furnishing suitable sizes corrosion causing a loosening of the guard relative to the foot valve and, as anadjunct to this object of the invention, it is a further object to mold or cast the integral foot valve and guard from highly non-corrosive material of either metal or non-metal, such as synthetic resin, and the screen or strainer which surrounds the valve preferably is made from highly non-corrosive material such as stainless steel.
Still other objects of the invention are to provide simplified construction which is readily manufactured and the separable parts of which readily are adjusted and assembled, certain features and shapes of some of the elements being such as to facilitate the'assembly thereof.
Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawing comprising a part thereof.
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 is an exemplary vertical sectional view of a fragmentarily illustrated lower portion of a well casing and lower end of the well cavity adjacent the same, in which an exemplary well pipe is connected at its lower end to a combined foot valve and guard embodying the principles of the present invention.
Fig. 2 is a perspective view, on a larger scale than in Fig. 1, of an exemplary combined foot valve and guard embodying the present invention.
Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the foot valve and guard shown in Fig. 2, as seen on the line 3-3 of Fig. 6.
Fig. 4 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view of a slightly different embodiment of the invention in which it is contemplated that certain metallic inserts are molded fixedly in synthetic resin from which other portions of the unit are molded or cast.
Fig. 5 is a horizontal sectional view taken on the. line 55 of Fig. 3. 4
Fig. 6 is a top plan view of the combined foot valve and guard shown in Fig. 3 but illustrated on a somewhat larger scale.
Referring to Fig. 1, it will be seen that the fragmentary lower end of a well casing 10 is disposed within earth 12 adjacent the bottom well cavity 14. It is to be understood that the present invention primarily is intended for use in water wells, that is, wells supplying water for domestic or other types of use. Wells of this type conventionally are drilled and successive lengths of well casing 10 are lowered into the drilled hole until a suitable underground stream of water is contacted. At the completion of the drilling operation, the well pipe or pipes, depending upon the type of pump utilized, are assembled and lowered into the well casing 10. In the exemplary illustration of Fig. 1, a conventional jet pump unit 16 is illustrated but it is to be understood that such illustration is not to be regarded as restrictive.
As distinguished from using metallic well pipe which is rigid and furnished in relatively long standard lengths of approximately 2l'feet or the like, the use of somewhat flexible, so-called plastic pipe is being made more and more extensively at present because it is not only easier to handle but it also can be supplied in much longer lengths than metallic well pipe, thereby obviating the necessity of making pipe joints. Considering the fact however that many wells in which such flexible pipes are used are of substantial depth, guiding the lower end of the pipe and foot valve on the lower end thereof into final position in the bottom of the well is difl'icult because of the flexibility of the pipe. This difliculty is more acute when the lower end of the assembly which has the projecting foot valve thereon reaches the bottom well cavity 14 in which irregular projections, mud, and other obstacles are encountered and against which it is preferable to guard and protect the foot valve so that it will function in desired manner when the pump assembly finally is installed within the well.
In the exemplary embodiment shown in Fig. l, flexible, so-called plastic well pipes 18 and 20 have been illustrated. The lower ends of these are connected by clamps 22 to suitable couplings 24 threaded into the upper end of the jet pump unit 16. The lower end of the unit 16 has a threaded tubular projection 26 to which the exemplary combined foot valve and guard unit 28 is threadably connected tightly.
The exemplary combined foot valve and guard 28 comprises a suitable valve housing 30 having a hollow interior 32, the upper end of the housing 30 having a threaded cylindrical opening 34 which is threadably connectable to the tubular projection 26 for example. The housing 30 also is provided with an appropriate hexagonal surface 36, for example, to facilitate the tightening of the unit 28 by means of a wrench.
Interiorly, the valve housing 30 is provided with a valve seat 38 preferably of a smaller diameter than the threaded opening 34, particularly for purposes of permitting the insertion of the valve head 40 through the opening 34 when the entire unit is being assembled.
Cast integrally with the housing 30 from suitable metal such as corrosion resisting brass, bronze and aluminum, is a yoke 42 which preferably is substantially U-shaped as clearly shown in Fig. 3. Yoke 42 also is somewhat fiat and extends transversely across the longitudinal axis of the unit 28. Also, the upper end of yoke 42 supports an integral, transverse strut 44 having an axial guide bearing 46 therein, which slidably receives and guides the valve stem 48. In the preferred construction, the strut 44 has a cylindrical extension 50 which adds greater length to the bearing 46 and also affords a seat for the upper end of compression spring 52 which extends between said seat and a nut 54 threaded onto the lower end of valve stem 48.
The lower end of the yoke 42 is provided with an axially extending threaded hole 56 for purposes to be described. Also, the upper end of the yoke 42 is integral with an annular flange 58 which provides a seat for the upper end of cylindrical screen 60. The screen 69 may be formed from woven wire, preferably of stainless steel or some other suitable corrosion resisting material, or the screen may comprise perforated sheet material such as stainless steel or other suitable metal, synthetic resin, or the like,-all capable of being highly resistant to corrosion. Either the woven wire or the perforated sheet material may be formed into cylindrical configuration by bending the same into a cylinder and the vertically extending edges are bent upon themselves so as to overlap and the overlapped portions are interengaged, as shown in Fig. 5, to form a vertical seam 62 which preferably is disposed inwardly in horizontal sectional view as shown in Fig. 5, whereby the upper end of said seam is received \g/thifl a notch 64 which is formed in the annular flange The preferably cylindrical screen 60 is held in operative position, in which the upper end thereof closely conforms to and surrounds the annular flange 58, by a disclike cap 66 which preferably is formed from material similar to that from which the unit 28 is cast or molded. Relative to its position of use, the upper surface of the cap 66 is provided with a pair of concentric circular ridges 68 and 70 so as to provide therebetween an annular seat 72 which receives the lower end of screen 60. Further, the inner ridge 68 has an interruption to provide a space 74 within which the lower end of vertical seam 62 is received in corresponding manner to that in which the upper end of the seam is received within notch 64. Hence, the seam and the reception thereof within the notch 64 and space 74 affords aligning means for the screen relative to the seat comprising flange 58 on valve 4 housing 30 and further aligns the cap 66 relative to screen 60, whereby relative rotation between these various elements is prevented especially when securing the cap 66 in operative position by means of a single screw 76 which extends through a central hole 78 in cap 66. The head of the screw 76 engages the cap 66 and the upper end of screw 76 is threadably received within the threaded hole 56 in yoke 42. This simple assembly arrangement is all that is required to secure the screen 60 in operative position relative to the valve housing 30 and the yoke 42. Further, the yoke 42 preferably is of a transverse width substantially equal to the interior diameter of screen 60, whereby the opposite legs of yoke 42 provide guiding means for centering the screen 60 relative to the annular flange 58 when assembling the same therearound.
The valve head 40 is of a diameter slightly less than the threaded opening 34, whereby said head may be inserted therethrough when assembling the entire structure. Head 40 preferably is centrally apertured and threaded for connection to the threaded stem 80 on the upper end of valve stem 48. In the preferred construction, a yieldable valve face member 82, molded or otherwise formed to be complementary to the valve seat 38, is formed from any suitable material such as rubber, pliable synthetic resin, or the like, and is mounted between a washer 84 and the lower surface of valve head 40. The yieldability of the face member 82 affords long life to the valve unit and substantially automatic seating of the valve head relative to the seat 38.
In assembling the valve structure, the valve head 40 and yieldable face member 82 are connected to the upper end of the valve stem 48, after which the valve stem is inserted through opening 34 and guide bearing 46. Spring 52 then is mounted over the valve stem and the nut 54 is tightened in place against the lower end of the valve stem. Spring 52 preferably is formed of material which is highly resistant to corrosion such as stainless steel. The valve stem 48, nut 54, valve head 40, and washer 84 likewise are formed of material which is highly resistant to corrosion such as brass, bronze or aluminum in the embodiment illustrated in Figs. 2 and 3.
To aflord suitable guard and guide means for the valve structure described above relative to the embodiment shown in Figs. 2 and 3, a plurality of arms 86 are molded or cast integrally with the valve housing 30. The normally upper end portions 88 of said arms extend upwardly and inwardly to the valve housing 30, while the lower end portions 90 of said arms extend downwardly and inwardly and are integrally connected together to form a guide point 92. As will be seen particularly from Figs. 2 and 3, the intermediate portions of the arms 86 are disposed a substantial distance in a lateral direction outwardly from the exterior of the valve housing 30, whereby the arms 86 comprise a cage-like enclosure within which the screen 60 and yoke 42 are safely enclosed, especially since substantial space is provided between said screen and the intermediate portions of the arms 86. The spaces between adjacent arms are sufficiently great to readily permit the insertion of the screen 60 between a pair of the same when assembling the screen upon the yoke 42. Further, the guide point 92 is disposed axially below the valve housing 30 and is positioned a substantial distance below the cap 66 for the screen 60, whereby adequate space is provided between the arms 86 and all surfaces of the screen 60 and cap 66.
The spacing of the arms 86 substantial distances from the screen 60 and cap 66 is primarily for purposes of enabling the arms 86 to contact the interior of the well casing 10 or the sides or projections in the bottom well cavity 14 While lowering the well pipe and valve assembly down the well casing 10 and into the bottom well cavity 14. The arms 86 are of suitable dimension to be adequately strong to resist even rough handling during such operations. Due to the fact particularly that the arms 86 are integral with the valve housing 30, and the housing 30 is tightly connected by threaded means to the jet pump unit 16 for example, or any other suitable pump unit on the lower end of the well pipes 18 and 20, there is nodanger of the guard and guide comprising arms 86 being loosened relative to the valve structure during the lowering or positioning operations.
When the guide point 92 engages the bottom of the well cavity 14 as shown in exemplary manner in Fig. 1, for example, at least momentarily, the weight of the entire pump unit 16 and at least a part of the weight of the well pipes 18 and 20 may be sustained by the arms 86 of the guard and guide portion of the unit 28. The strength of the arms 86 also is adequate to sustain the same. the guide point 92 contacts the bottom of the well cavity 14 andpreferred practice is that the well pipe assembly then be retracted upwardly a short distance before securing the upper ends of the well pipes 18 and 20 to the head or upper end of the well cap which usually is connected to the upper end of well casing 10.
Should the guide point 92 contact loose sand or mud when it engages the bottom of the well cavity 14, the substantial spacing of said point 92 below the screen 60 will prevent the screen 60 from being submerged within the mud as is found to be common practice when no guard or guide means are utilized and well pipe and pump units are lowered into a well cavity in the manner described. Under such circumstances where no guard or guide is used, the foot valve and screen are the lowermost elements on the assembly being lowered into the well. Frequently these are submerged in mud at the bottom of the well and become so clogged that it is impossible to pass water therethrough to the pump unit 16 for example. Accordingly, it then is necessary to withdraw the entire assembly from the well, clean the screen and valve members, as well as replace any damaged part as is highly common experience, and then lower the unit again into the well, hoping that the lowering will be stopped before again contacting mud in the bottom of the well. The use of a guard and guide on the valve assembly in accordance with the present invention, obviates these difiiculties and time consuming procedures, whereby usually only a single lowering of the assembly into the well is necessary when adopting the present invention.
For the majorityof usages, it will be satisfactory if the integrally combined and unitarily cast or molded valve housing 30, yoke 42, and arms 86 are formed from corrosion resistant metal such as brass, bronze and aluminum. The casting readily may be machined and otherwise buffed or ground to finish the casting for use, as well as to provide therein an accurate and smooth valve seat 38, threads 34, guide bearing 46, and threaded hole 56. All of such operations readily may be performed from the normally upper end of the casting comprising the valve housing 30, especially by mounting the same in a suitable chuck. Hence, manufacturing operations are maintained at a minimum and the final assembly of the various elements comprising the entire unit is accomplished quickly and with relatively little expense.
Under some circumstances, it is known that certain well waters for example contain ingredients which are relatively corrosive to commonly used non-ferrous metals such as brass, bronze and aluminum. Especially under such circumstances, but for other purposes to be described, it also is contemplated that the integrally combined foot valve and guard comprising the present invention may be made from materials other than nonferrous metals. A fragmentarily illustrated exemplary construction of this type is illustrated in Fig. 4, wherein it is contemplated that the same basic structural shapes for the various elements of the unit may be used as illustrated in Figs. 1 through 3, 5 and 6. However, in Fig. 4, it will be seen that the valve housing 94 and the integrally molded or cast arms 96 comprising the guard However, experienced installers can feel when and guide means of the assembly may be molded or cast from'suitable synthetic resins which preferably are of a relatively hard and rigid nature. For example, phenolic condensate products which are pressure molded are suitable for this purpose. Other examples of both thermosetting and thermoplastic synthetic resins which may be used are melamine and epoxy resins, as well as certain vinyl resins. If the selection of a certain resin, because of its strength characteristics, requires increasing the size of the portion of the structure from which said structure is molded, such is contemplated within the purview of the present invention.
An annular flange 98 is provided on the lower end of housing 94 to form a seat for the upper end of cylindrical screen 100. Also, a yoke 102 is molded or cast integrally with the housing 94. Similarly, the cap 103, which functions like cap 66 of the preceding embodiment, preferably is molded from material such as that from which housing 94 is formed.
If desired, the valve seat, guide bearings, and threaded openings formed within the yoke 102 and housing 94 may be molded integrally therewith from the same material. However, if metallic valve seats, guide bearings and the like are preferred, suitable metallic inserts may be molded integrally, in situ, with the synthetic resin portions which are to hold the same as illustrated in exemplary manner in Fig. 4. It will be seen from this figure that a metallic valve seat 104, formed from some highly non-corrosive material such as stainless steel, may be molded to the interior of housing 94. The valve stem 106 also may be formed from stainless steel or the like and a valve head 108, molded from synthetic resin, may be threaded onto the upper end of valve stem 106, incidentally clamping a preferably yieldable valve face member 110 against a flange or nut 112, formed from stainless steel or the like, and threaded onto valve stem 106. The valve face member 110 may be formed either from suitable rubber or yieldable synthetic resin material.
Within the strut 114, a metallic bearing insert 116 may be molded to accommodate the valve stem 106. Both the bearing insert 116 as well as the compression spring 118 may be formed from stainless steel or the like so as to be highly resistant to corrosion. The lower end of yoke 102 also may have a threaded metallic insert 120 molded thereinto for engagement by a securing screw 122, both the insert 120 and screw 122 being formed 7 from stainless steel or the like.
The upper end of valve housing 94 may be either directly internally threaded, in which instance the threads 124 preferably are as coarse as is required for good service, or a suitable metallic threaded insert, of stainless steel or the like, also may be molded within the housing 94 for purposes of securing the foot valve and guard unit 28' to the lower end of the pump assembly to be inserted within a well. Otherwise, the shape and function of the elements comprising the entire unit 28' which is similar in shape and function to the unit 28 of the previously described embodiment, are substantially the same. It also will be understood that the screen 100 may be formed similarly to the screen 60 of the preceding embodiment and preferably is formed from stainless steel or other metal highly resistant to corrosion However, if desired, the screen 100 may be molded from suitable synthetic resin and comprise for example a perforated cylinder, if desired.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that the present invention comprises several embodiment of foot valves and guard and guide units which are molded or cast integrally therewith. Such arrangement provides a standardization of foot valve to which a guard and guide is integrally connected so that the two can not become separated either accidentally or otherwise. Further, the valve structure is highly simplified and alfords very convenient means for attaching a screen to surround the valve entrance. Mounting the screen upon the valve structure is simplified by utilizing a yoke which has guiding edges at opposite sides thereof for the screen. Further, clamping the screen to the yoke by means of a cap having only a central aperture to receive a single screw simplifies and facilitates the attachment of a clamping cap to the screen, the screw being threadably connected to the lower end of the yoke.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in its several preferred embodiments, and has included certain details, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
1. An integral foot valve and guard unit attachable to the lower end of the a well pipe and comprising a valve housing having a valve seat and valve guide means integrally connected therewith and arranged to be connected at one end to the lower end of a well pipe, a plurality of arms connected integrally at one end with said valve housing and positioned circumferentially therearound, said arms each extending outwardly and downwardly from said valve housing when said housing is disposed in its normal position of use and the opposite ends of said arms extending inwardly and downwardly commonly and being united integrally to each other to form a guide point, said guide point extending in alignment with the axis of said valve housing and the portions of said arms between the ends thereof being spaced radially outwardly from the axis of said housing substantially beyond the exterior of said housing to form an integral cage-like enclosure, a valve member movably positioned relative to said valve seat and having a stern slidably guided by said valve guide means of said housing, substantially cylindrical screen means positioned operatively to surround said valve guide means, said screen means being within said cage-like enclosure and spaced inwardly from said arms thereof and at least two of said arms being spaced apart in a lateral direction a distance at least equal to the diameter of said screen to permit the same to be inserted into said cagelike enclosure and positioned in operative position to surround said valve guide means, and means detachably engaging said screen means to secure the same in said operative position relative to said valve guide means.
2. An integral foot valve and guard unit attachable to the lower end of a well pipe and comprising a valve housing having a valve seat and means on said valve housing to connect it, a yoke depending from and integral with said valve housing and provided with valve guide means, a plurality of arms cast integral at one end with said valve housing and positioned circumferentially therearound, said arms each extending outwardly and downwardly from said housing when disposed in its normal position of use and the opposite ends of said arms extending inwardly and downwardly from said valve housing commonly and united integrally to form a guide point, said guide point extending in alignment with the axis of said valve housing and the portions of said arms between said ends thereof being spaced radially outwardly from the axis of said housing substantially beyond the exterior of said housing to form an integral cagelike enclosure, a valve member movably positioned relative to said valve seat and having a stem slidably guided by said valve guide means of said yoke, said yoke extending beyond the lower end of the valve stem to provide attaching means, substantially cylindrical screen means positioned operatively to surround said yoke and valve guide means, said screen means being within said cage-like enclosure and spaced inwardly from said arms thereof and at least two of said arms being spaced apart in a lateral direction a distance at least equal to the diameter of said screen to permit the same to be inserted into said cage-like enclosure and positioned in operative position to surround said yoke and valve guide means, and means detachably connected to the attaching means of said yoke and engaging said screen means to secure the same detachably in said operative position relative to said yoke and valve housing.
3. The foot valve and guard unit set forth in claim 2 further characterized by said screen means being substantially cylindrical and open at opposite ends, one end being seated against the lower end of the valve housing, and the means securing said screen means in operative position comprising a cap extending across the lower end of said screen means and having seating means to engage said lower end of the screen and also having a hole substantially central thereof, the lower end of said yoke having a threaded hole, and a screw extending through said hole of said cap and threaded into said threaded hole of said yoke.
4. The foot valve and guard unit set forth in claim 3 further characterized by said cylindrical screen being formed from a sheet curved into a cylinder with the ends overlapped to form a rib extending longitudinally along said screen, the seat for said screen in said valve body having a notch to receive one end of said rib of said screen and said cap also having an opening to receive the other end of said rib, thereby indexing said screen relative to said valve body and cap to prevent relative rotation therebetween.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,169,792 French Feb. 1, 1916 2,174,805 Raulerson Oct. 3, 1939 2,730,959 Brenner Jan. 17, 1956