US 2983799 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' May 9, 1961 B. R. OSIEJA ETAL SWITCHING APPARATUS WITH LOCK-OFF DEVICE Filed July 28, 1958 INVENTORS JOHN DE TORRE 9 BENJAMIN Rv OSIEJA ATTORNEY United States Patent p 2,983,799 SWITCHING TAPPARATUS'WITH LOCK-OFF nnvrcn Benjamin R. 0sieja, Nixon, and John De Torre, Westfield, N.J., assiguors to'Federal Pacific Electric Company, a
The present invention relates to switching apparatus provided with a lock-ofi device. A widely known standardized type of switching apparatus includes a cover and an operating handle that moves in a slot in the cover. An object of this invention is to provide a novel lock-off device that can be mounted on such apparatus to receive a padlock for obstructing operation of the handle. A further object of the invention is to provide such apparatus with a removable lo-ck'ofi device adapted not only to receive a padlock in position to block operation of the handle but also wherein the padlock serves the further function of preventing removal of the lock-offdevice. Correspondingly, a feature of the invention is the provi- ,sion of a novel lock-off for circuit breakers and switches that can be removed readily when no longer wanted.
The illustrative embodiment described in detail below represents the form presently preferred for achieving the foregoing objects. Further objects and features of novelty will become apparent from the following detailed description of the embodiment. This embodiment includes a pair of members hinged together and having overlying portions that have padlock-receiving holes. The hinged members have projecting portions that interlock with the slot and handle of the circuit breaker as the holes in the lock-off are moved into padlock-receiving alignment. As a result, removal of the lock-oft device from the switching apparatus is prevented so long as a padlock extends through the aligned openings in the hinged members, and the padlock is positioned in the path of the operating handle so as'to prevent its operation from off to on or the reverse. When the padlock is removed the lock-off can be readily removed if desired.
The nature of the invention and its further objects and features of novelty will be apparent from the following detailed description of the illustrative embodiment which is shown in ,the accompanying drawings. In those drawings:
Fig. 1 is the top plan view of an embodiment of the invention; n
Fig. 2 is a side .view of the embodiment in Fig. 1 shown in fragmentary cross-section; and
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary cross-section of the apparatus in Fig. 2.
Thedrawings show 'an embodiment of the invention appliedto a circuit breaker of the type in Patent 2,673,264 issued March 23, 1954, to Thomas M. Cole. Such apparatus includesa pair of contacts that are operable between the off or open position and the on or closed position by an over-centering spring mechanism, including a toggle, that is operated by a handle. The circuit breaker includes a trip-free overload release mechanism allowing the contacts to open even though the handle may be held in its on position. A circuit breaker of this form can be used to switch power on and off, and the identical mechanism may be manufactured without, however, including anoverload release arrangement, in which case. the circuit. breaker becomes, simply, a switch. For
this reason, it is convenient to generalize by referring to such switch or such circuit breaker as switching apparatus.
The switching apparatus in the drawings includes a two-part molded casing including a base 10 and a cover 12 which enclose the operating mechanism, the contacts, and the overload release means, description of all of which is omitted here but is fully described inthe foregoing patent to Cole. Cover '12 has a slot 14 formed therein, through which a handle 16 projects. Slot 14 is made long enough so that the handle can be operated to all of the necessary positions required in circuit breaker operation. With handle 16 in the position illustrated, the circuit breaker is off. If, handle 16 were shifted to the extreme right-hand position in slot 14, the circuit breaker would be on. When the overload release mechanism causes automatic opening of the contact, the handle 16 assumes a position somewhat to the left of the on? position. Handle 16 is moved to the extreme right-hand end of slot 14, to reset the overload release mechanism after an overload occurs, to enable later reclosing of the contacts.
Handle 16 has a projecting portion 16a as illustrated, which extends integrally from'a molded piece of insulation formed with two arcuate projections extending in opposite directions from portion 16a. The molded handle part is carried by a pivoted metal part 18 having a pivotal bearing 20. The arcuate handle projections 16a and 16b are circular segments having their center at bearing 20. Handle 16 has a pair of ribs 22 and a pair of grooves 24, and cover 12 has a rib 26, these handle and cover configurations providing a labyrinth path to minimize the possibility of hot gases escaping through slot 14 when the circuit breaker opens in response to a short circuit and the arc is being interrupted. These ribs extend all along the projections 16a and 16b of the handle, and cover rib 26 also extends along the full segmental extent of the handle 16, in its various operating positions.
A lock-01f device 30 is provided that can readily be mounted on the foregoing switching apparatus. This lock-off device includes a pair of members 32 which are formed of sheet metal that are pivotally joined to each other by rivet 34. Each member 32 has a leg extending from pivot 34 on which an abutment portion 36 is formed and each leg has portion 38 projecting beyond its abutment 36. Each projection 38 enters the passage or crevice formed by the cover 12 and the body 16 of the operating handle. The projections 38 diverge and extend in generally opposite directions, so that it is not possible to remove the lock-01f device 30 from the switching apparatus without scissoring members 32. Device 30 can. be removed from its assembled position as shown in the drawings by allowing the two projecting portions 38 to approach each other as the lock-ofl device is pulled away from the switching apparatus. Conversely, when the lock-01f device is to be mounted in place, the operation is reversed, projections 38 entering the crevice between the operating handle and the cover, to the extent limited. by the abutments 32.
In addition to the .abutments 36 and the projecting portions 38, each member 32 includes a portion 39 that overlies the corresponding portion 39 of the other member 32. Holes 40 are formed in these overlying portions for receiving the hasp of a padlock 42.
When the lock-off device is in the position illustrated, holes 40 are aligned with each other and are in a position such that, when the padlock hasp is inserted, it blocks the handle portion 16a from moving its 0 position upward towards its on position; and by like token, if the handle were in its on position before the padlock was inserted, the handle portion 16a would be blocked Patented May 9, 96
from being operated into the off position illustrated. The inserted hasp of the padlock also makes it impossible to scissor the two members 32 of the lock-01f device and thereby prevents the lock-olf device from being removed.
It is a feature of the illustrated embodiment of the invention that the lock-01f device can be used with circuit breakers and similar switching apparatus of standard construction in which :a crevice is provided at one side of an operating handle that swings along a slot in the enclosing cover, without in any way modifying the standard construction of such apparatus. Of course, such a lockofl? device can also be used with similar apparatus. The lock-off device, when mounted on the switching apparatus in position to receive a padlock for locking the handle of the switching apparatus, is secured to the switching apparatus as a fixed part of it automatically by the same lock, without using any permanent supplemental means of attachment. Nevertheless, when the padlock is removed, the lock-otf device is readily removed from the switching apparatus. Notably, the manufactured switching apparatus need not be equipped with an integral lockoff device since the disclosed lock-oil device can be added and removed thereafter as desired. The switching apparatus is thereby restored to its previous condition, free of all vestige of the lock-oil having been used.
The foregoing represents the preferred embodiment of the present invention. However, it will be recognized that variations and modifications as well as varied application of the concepts involved in the illustrative embodiment will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, this invention should be construed broadly in accordance with its full spirit and scope.
What is claimed is:
1. A lock-off device for the operating handle of a circuit breaker or the like having a handle that moves along a slot in the enclosure of such device, said lock-off device including a pair of essentially flat sheet metal members pivoted together in overlying relationship and having a pair of leg portions suitable to enter the enclosure and to extend beyond the extremities of the slot in the enclosure, said members also having a'pair of overlying portions having padlock-receiving holes that are aligned only when the leg portions are in their extended positions, the aligned holes being located to receive a padlock in position to obstruct the movement of said handle along said slot.
2. -A lock-off device for the operating handle of a circuit breaker or the like having a handle that moves along a slot in the enclosure of such device, said lock-oil device including a pair of relatively movable essentially flat sheet metal members assembled in overlying relationship and having a pair of leg portions suitable to enter the enclosure and to extend beyond the extremities of the slot in the enclosure, said members also having a pair of overlying portions having padlock-receiving holes that are aligned only when the leg portions are in such inserted positions, the aligned holes being located to receive a padlock in position to obstruct the movement of said handle along said slot.
3. In combination a circuit breaker or the like having a cover, an operating handle movable along a slot in said cover for opening and closing the contacts thereof, and a locking device for preventing such operation of said handle, said locking device including two relatively movable members having leg portions extending in opposite directions through said slot alongside said handle, said leg portion extending inside cover and each having an abutment engaging the extremity of the slot, said members also having overlying portions embodying padlock-receiving holes that are aligned only when said leg portions are so extended, said aligned holes being in position to receive a padlock in position to dispose the padlock in the path of said operating handle, said cover and said handle having passages therebetween for admission of said legs only by moving said overlying portions from an initial position of misalignment of said holes toward and into hole-aligned positions so that removal of the locking device from the cover requires reverse pivotal movement of said members and is prevented by a padlock inserted in the aligned holes.
4. In combination, a locking device in assembly with a switching device having an operating handle movable between on and off positions and a cover formed with an elongated slot in which said operating handle moves, said operating handle having an outwardly projecting manually engageable portion and oppositely extending internal arcuate portions underlying said cover, and a lock-off device removably assembled to said switching device and including a pair of sheet metal members hinged together, having a pair of oppositely extending legs including respective abutment portions engaging the opposite ends of said slot and additional portions projecting into a space between the cover and the operating handle, said leg portions having projections extending snugly between said cover and said oppositely extending arcuate portions of the handle when in inserted position and said leg portions having abutments engageable with the extremities of the cover slot, said members having overlying portions formed with holes that are aligned when said projecting portions are in their respective inserted positions, said aligned holes being in position to dispose a padlock inserted therein in the path of operation of said handle thereby to block the handle, said leg portions being removable from the cover only by pivoting said members in relation to each other and thereby moving said holes out of alignment, whereby removal of said lock-01f device from said switching apparatus is prevented when said holes are retained in alignment by an inserted padlock.
5. A molded-case circuit breaker having an operating handle extending externally through an opening in the casing thereof, and a lock-off device assembled thereto, said lock-01f device including a pair of essentially flat members pivoted together in mutually overlying relationship and having projecting portions adapted to extend into the opening and to be separated so as to underlie the casing at opposite extremities of the opening, said members having respective padlock-receiving openings in respective overlying portions thereof that are aligned with each other only when said projecting portions underlie the casing as aforesaid, said essentially flat lock-oil device being adjacent to but wholly out of the path of the operating handle and the aligned openings being intermediate the on and 01? positions of the handle.
6. Molded-case switching apparatus, including a cover having an elongated opening, an operating handle movable therein between on and off positions and a lockolf device having relatively movable essentially flat members including portions adapted to enter the opening and then to be extended underneath the cover at opposite ends of said opening, said members having respective overlying portions provided with padlock-receiving openings aligned when said portions are so extended, said essentially fiat lock-off device being disposed adjacent to but wholly out of the path of the operating handle and said padlock-receiving openings when aligned being adjacent the path of said operating handle between said on and oil positions thereof.
7. A lock-01f device adapted to be mounted on molded-case switching apparatus including a cover having an elongated opening and an operating handle movable therein between on and oif positions, said lock-oil device having relatively movable essentially flat members including portions adapted to enter the opening and then to be extended underneath the cover at opposite endsof said opening, and having shoulders engageable with said opposite ends ofsaid opening to limit movement of the device in opposite directions along the elongated opening, said members having overlying portions provided with respective padlock-receiving openings aligned when said portions are so extended, said padlock-receiving openings when aligned being adjacent the path of said operating handle between said on and o positions thereof.
8. Switching apparatus including a casing and an operating handle movable between 0 and on positions and a lock-ofif device mounted thereon closely adjacent to said handle but out of the path of movement thereof between on and off positions, said lock-oif device including a pair of relatively movable members having openings movable into alignment with each other for re ceiving a padlock in obstructing position between the on and 0E positions of the handle, said members having portions that assume interlocking engagement with said casing when said openings are in alignment, said members being movable to release said engagement only by misaligning said openings.
9. In the combination of a lock-oft device mounted on switching apparatus, in which the switching apparatus includes a casing and an operating handle movable along a path between oif and on positions, that improvement wherein said lock-off device includes a pair of relatively movable members disposed wholly out of but laterally adjacent to said path of said handle, said pair of members having respective openings formed for receiving the hasp of a padlock only when the openings are in alignment with each other, said openings being disposed at a position between the on and oiT positions of the handle and closely adjacent to but out of said path of said handle so that a padlock hasp when inserted in the openings is in obstructing position relative to the handle, said members having portions that have interlocking engagement with said casing when said openings are in alignment and said members being movable to release said interlocking engagement only by misaligning said openings in the absence of a padlock hasp.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,169,860 Van Hoom Aug. 15, 1939 2,192,060 Wise Feb. 27,1940 2,663,768 Sorensen Dec. 22, 1953 2,832,857 Landmeier Apr. 29, 1958 2,849,552 Firestone Aug. 26, 1958