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Publication numberUS2984725 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1961
Filing dateDec 11, 1958
Priority dateDec 11, 1958
Also published asDE1183979B
Publication numberUS 2984725 A, US 2984725A, US-A-2984725, US2984725 A, US2984725A
InventorsErnest R Carlson, Hubbell Harvey
Original AssigneeHubbell Inc Harvey
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Weatherproof plate for pressureoperated switch
US 2984725 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1961 H. HUBBELL ET AL 2,984,725


M y 1961. H. HUBBELL ETAL 2,984,725

WEATHERPROOF PLATE FOR PRESSURE-OPERATED SWITCH Filed Dec. 11, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS United States Patent WEATHERPROOF PLATE FOR PRESSURE OPERATED SWITCH Harvey Hubbell, Southport, and Ernest R. Carlson, Fairfield, Conn., assiguors to Harvey Hubbell, Incorporated, Bridgeport, Conn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed Dec. 11, 1958, Ser. No. 779,689

4 Claims. (Cl. 200-168) This invention relates to a cover or face, plate for the front or open side of a wall box in a house wiring system in which a switch is mounted, and has for an object to provide a new construction of face or cover plate by which this open side of the box is sealed against entrance of moisture and dirt and rendered weatherproof, and in which the plate is provided with means by which the press switch type of switch may be operated even though sealed within the box.

Another object is to provide a face plate of this character which is adapted for use on different variations of wall boxes in which the switch may be mounted.

With the foregoing and other objects in view, we have devised the construction illustrated in the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification. It is, however, to be understood the invention is not limited to the specific details of construction and arrangement shown, but may embody various changes and modifications within the scope of the invention.

In these drawings:

Fig. 1 is a front view of the plate mounted on a wall box in which a switch is mounted;

Fig. 2 is a longitudinal section substantially on line 22 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 3 is a transverse section substantially on line 3-3 of Fig. 2;

Fig. 4 is a detail section on an enlarged scale taken substantially on line 4-4 of Fig. 1;

Fig. 5 is a similar section showing use of the plate on a slightly different wall box;

Fig. 6 is a rear view of the plate;

Fig. 7 is a transverse section thereof on a larger scale substantially on the line 77 of Fig. 6;

Fig. 8 is a front view of the metal reinforcing plate used as a part of the face plate, and

Fig. 9 is an end view thereof.

In the drawings a wall box 10 of the usual metal construction is used in which is mounted an electric switch 11 of the press switch type of switch. This type of switch is operated by pressure inwardly on an operating member which may be either a sliding button or a pivoted button, the switch shown being of the latter type including a pivoted operating member or button 12 which is operated by inward pressure or pressure to the right as shown in Fig. 2 and downwardly as shown in Fig. 3, the structure of the switch being such that successive pressures on the member 12 to shift it inwardly or rearwardly will operate the switch alternately to the on or 01f positions. This is the type of switch disclosed in the application of Harvey Hubbell and Ernest R. Carlson, for patent for Single Push Button Switch, filed Jan. 3, 1957, Serial No. 632,369, now Patent No. 2,933,578, dated April 19, 19 .60. The box 10 is provided with means 13 by which the usual wiring connections may be conducted to the box, such, for example, as a B.X. cable from which conductor wires 14 may be connected to the switch in the usual manner. The box is open at the front by an opening 15a in its front wall 15 to which the mounting yoke 16 of the switch may be connected by any suitable means, such, for example, as the screws 17.

The improved cover or face plate 18 for the open side of this box is a weatherproof plate, and when in position on the open side of the wall box 10 weatherproofs this box and the switch mounted therein against the entrance of moisture, dirt, and so forth. It is a generally planar flexible rubber-like plate and may comprise either natural or synthetic rubber, and as shown comprises a planar body portion 19 with a backwardly or inwardly extending peripheral flange 20. This flange has a flexible rearwardly extending inclined portion extending throughout the entire periphery of the plate and rests against a peripheral shoulder 21 on the front side of the box 10. This shoulder may or may not be on the bottom of a recessed edge of the box, but is shown on such a recessed edge in the drawing with the rear surface of the body of the plate resting on the front surface 22 of the box. inwardly a short distance of the outer peripheral edge of the front face of the plate it is provided with a groove or channel 23 extending throughout the periphery of the plate to provide a reduced flexible connection between the inclined flange 20 and the body of the plate, as indicated at 24. This provides a thinner section connecting the flange to the body. It increases the flexibility of the flange and permits it to yield, as indicated in Fig. 5, to accommodate and permit use of the plate on boxes having different heights of the shoulder 25 or 26 of the channel or recess around the edge of the box, as indicated by the parallel lines 27 and 28 of Figs. 4 and 5.

As indicated, the plate may be of flexible rubber-like material such, for example, as natural or synthetic rubber, and its central or body portion is stiffened and made more rigid by molding into this material a stiffening plate 29, which may, for example, be a steel plate brass-plated. This plate, as shown in Figs. 2 to 7, is molded in the flexible rubber-like material, leaving a continuous front or body surface 30 which may or may not have decorative features 31. The plate 29 is of smaller size than the body of the rubber material, but is enclosed within this material with this material extending over the opposite edges of the plate, as indicated at 32 in Fig. 6, and also in Figs. 3, 4 and 5. The front wall of the wall box may be recessed, as indicated at 33, to receive this portion of the plate.

At the center portion of the plate it is provided with an outwardly extending hollow flexible grip 34 over an opening 35 in the stiffening plate 29. This finger grip is preferably convexly curved on its outer surface with laterally spaced fiat sides. It is open at the rear side of the plate in position over the switch operating member 12 so that this operating member extends into the hollow finger grip 34 as shown in Figs. 2 and 3. Therefore, inward pressure on the flexible finger grip 34 will shift the operating member 12 inwardly or rearwardly to operate the switch. To provide a better contact between the finger grip and the switch operating member a portion of the outer wall of the finger grip is increased in thickness and rigidity by an inwardly extending lug 35 which engages the outer surface of the switch operating member 12 when this finger grip member is pressed inwardly.

For securing this cover or face plate over the open side of wall box 10 it is provided with openings for securing screws. There may be two different sets of openings for different arrangements of screws to accommodate the device to different sizes or types of wall boxes. In Figs. 1 to 4 it is shown as secured to the wall box by four screws 37 located adjacent the four corners of the plate and threaded into the front wall of the box, as indicated in Figs. 4 and 5. The stiffening or reinforcing plate 29 is provided with notches 38 in its edges in alignment with these openings, or in an alternate construction only two screws are used to secure the plate to the wall box, the openings for which are shown at 39 with holes 42 in alignment therewith in plate 29. However, in order that the plate be kept entirely sealed or impervious to passage of moisture to the wall box, the openings 39 and those 37:: for the screws 37 are molded with a thin transverse closing web or Wall. The webs for the openings 37 are shown at 40 in Fig. 7, and the webs for the openings 39 are shown at 41 in Fig. 2. These walls are thick enough to seal either set of openings when the other set is used for securing screws, but thin enough so that they may be ruptured by insertion of either set of screws when securing the plate in place over the open side of the wall box.

Thus this plate provides an effective weatherproof seal for the open side of the wall box in which the switch is mounted, and because of the flexible flange is adapted for variations in the wall boxes with different depths of peripheral channels or grooves indicated at and 25. Also, either type or arrangement of securing screws for the plate may be used without breaking this seal or weatherproof effect, as the other set of screw holes remains sealed by thin walls, either 40 or 41. The body portion of the plate of rubberlike material is given the proper rigidity and stiffness over the opening 15a in the front wall of the box by the stiffener plate 29, and the switch is readily operated through the flexible finger grip 34 while still maintaining the weatherproof or sealing effect.

Having thus set forth the nature of our invention, we claim:

1. A cover plate for the open side of an electric switch wall box comprising a body of flexible rubber-like material including a rearwardly projecting peripheral flange adapted to engage the front wall of the box and weatherproof it, said plate including a body portion stiffened by a substantially rigid stiffener plate molded within the material of the body; said stiffener plate provided with an opening therethrough, and said body portion provided with a hollow flexible finger grip on its front side open through its rear side in alignment with the opening in the stiffening plate.

2. A cover plate for the open side of an electric wall box comprising a body of rubber-like material stifiened by a metal plate molded into the material. A peripheral integral rearwardly extending flange on said body adapted to engage the front wall of the box and provide a weatherproof seal therewith, and said body provided with an integral convexly curved flexible finger grip projecting forwardly therefrom and adapted to be depressed rearwardly and by said rearward motion shift the operating means of an electric switch in said box.

3. A cover plate for the open side of an electric wall box comprising a body of rubber-like material provided with a rearwardly extending peripheral flange adapted to engage the front wall of the box and provide a weatherproof seal therewith, said body provided in its front surface with a peripheral channel spaced inwardly a short distance from its outer edges providing a reduced flexible connection between the body and flange adapted to yield to permit the flange to shift outwardly to accommodate variations in wall boxes, and said body provided with an integral convexly curved finger grip on its forward side shiftable rearwardly to operate an electric switch mounted in the box.

4. A cover plate for the open side of an electric wall box comprising a body of rubber-like material provided with a rearwardly extending peripheral flange adapted to engage the front wall of the box and provide a weatherproof seal therewith, said body provided with a plurality of sets of openings for securing screws with an integral thin cross film of the material forming a seal for said openings and adapted to be ruptured by insertion of the screws, and said body provided with an integral convexly curved finger grip on its forward side shiftable rearwardly to operate an electric switch mounted in the box.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,237,501 Goggin Aug. 21, 1917 2,197,178 Gates Apr. 16, 1940 2,259,622 Despard Oct. 21, 1941 2,343,060 Horning Feb. 29, 1944 2,439,408 Mitchell Apr. 13, 1948 2,475,404 Reed July 5, 1949 2,750,480 Freeman June 12, 1956 2,795,144 Morse June 11, 1957 2,812,402 Dixon Nov. 5, 1957

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Referenced by
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US3200989 *Jun 13, 1962Aug 17, 1965Hubbell Inc HarveyLocking weatherproof cover attachment for electrical outlet box
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U.S. Classification200/302.3, 174/66, 220/241, 200/294
International ClassificationH01H23/06
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/06, H01H2009/048
European ClassificationH01H23/06