US 3024621 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 13, 1962 P. B. PARKER WATER COOLING KIT FOR REFRIGERATORS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 18, 1960 R. m m m 0 A H V 9 6 0 4 8 W d 2 w W A A f 8 MW in I C m @w n March 13, 1962 P. B. PARKER WATER COOLING KIT FOR REFRIGERATORS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 18, 1960 n a a. w M Z P w United States Patent 3,024,621 WATER CGGLING KIT FOR REFRIGERATORS Paul B. Parker, Rte. 1, Box 233, Bossier City, La. Filed Aug. 18, 1960, Ser. No. 50,518 '7 Claims. (Cl. 62339) This invention relates to a water cooling apparatus kit which may be applied or installed within the conventional refrigerator in common use today without any modification of the refrigerator construction.
It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide apparatus for cooling drinking water by means of a household refrigerator which apparatus may be simply installed in the refrigerator and connected to a supply of water external to the refrigerator in any simple and suitable manner without even the slightest physical modification of the refrigerator construction.
Another object of this invention is to provide water cooling apparatus which will provide a steady and constant source of chilled water in the refrigerator which may be dispensed therefrom in a convenient manner and which occupies very little space in the refrigerator.
An additional object of this invention is to provide water cooling apparatus installed in a household refrigerator and connected to a water supply which apparatus includes a flat flexible conduit connecting portion between an external water supply and a water container mounted within the refrigerator, the connecting portion extending out of the refrigerator past the sealing strip on the refrigerator door without any significant disruption of the tight seal between the refrigerator door and the refrigerator chest.
A still further object of this invention is to provide a constant and steady source of chilled water mounted within a refrigerator eliminating thereby use of the water containers commonly used today which require refilling and involve loss of time, loss of space within the refrigerator and also absorption of refrigerator odors.
Another object of this invention is to provide apparatus in kit form made up of materials which are both cheap and readily accessible on the open market to provide a means for supplying chilled water with a minimum of effort and expense.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of an open refrigerator showing the water cooling apparatus of this invention installed therein.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the water cooling container.
FIGURE 3 is a longitudinal sectional view through the water cooler container of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view through the water cooling container of FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 5 is a perspective view of the flexible fiat ribbon-like plastic conduit connector.
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken through a plane indicated by section line 66 in FIGURE 5 illustrating the connector in expanded condition.
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view similar to that of FIG- URE 6 but showing the connector in a collapsed condition.
Referring now to the drawings in detail it will be observed that the water cooling apparatus of this invention is to be installed in a conventional type of household refrigerator generally designated by reference numeral 10. In the example shown in FIGURE 1, the refrigerator 10 is mounted on a floor 12 below which a water supply pipe 14 is disposed. The refrigeraton also includes the usual refrigerator chest area 16 and an insulated door 18 having a sealing strip 20 of flexible material bonded to the inner rim of the door 18 for sealing contact with the beveled surface 22 framing the refrigerator chest 16.
It will therefore be observed that the water cooling and storing container generally indicated by the reference numeral 24 is suspended below and carried on a refrigerator tray 26 of conventional construction. A flexible conduit 22; is therefore connected to the inlet fitting 3%? of the water container 24, the flexible inlet conduit 28 being connected to a water supply conduit 32 by means of the plastic ribbon connector 34 which lies flat against the beveled surface 22 so that the door when closed engages the ribbon connector 34 by means of the sealing strip 20 thereon. The ribbon connector 34 being of a very flat configuration will therefore not disturb the tight seal between the door sealing strip 20 and the surface 22 of the refrigerator chamber. The water supply conduit 32 may accordingly also be of a flexible material, like conduit 28 and may be connected to the water pipe 14 by a conventional type of saddle valve connector 36. In connection with the foregoing description of the installation of the water cooling apparatus, it should be appreciated that the water source 14 may be located elsewhere with respect to the refrigerator in which case longer flexible supply conduit 32. may be supplied with the kit from which the water cooling installation is made. It will also be appreciated that in connection with a differ- 'ent disposition of the water supply source, such as one in which the water pipe is located above the refrigerator, the ribbon connector 34 may extend out of the refrigerator from a side or top portion thereof rather than the bottom portion as illustrated in FIGURE 1. Also, the water container 24 may be mounted within the refrigerator in any convenient manner either being suspended from below the shelf as illustrated in FIGURE 1 or placed merely on top of the shelf. It will also be observed that a water dispensing spigot 38 is provided on the front side of the water container 24 opposite the inlet fitting 30 for convenient dispensing of the chilled water from the container.
Referring now to FIGURES 2, 3 and 4, it will be observed that the water container 24 in the example illustrated has a front portion 40 projecting forwardly from the body of the container 24 and forming recesses 42 and 44 for respectively accommodating the inlet fitting 30 and outlet spigot 38. Also, the top- 46 of the container 24 may include mounting hooks such as hooks 48 at the front end of the container and hooks 56 adjacent the rear end for the purpose of engaging the rod members of the tray construction for suspending the container 24 therebelow. It will of course be appreciated that other suspending means may be used or dispensed with entirely if it is desired to merely support the container 24 on top of a shelf. It will be observed in FIGURES 3 and 4, that the container 24 is compartmented so as to form tubular channels or coils 52 whereby the water contained within the container may be exposed to an increased area of the container material for rapidly conducting heat therefrom for more rapid cooling of the water than would be possible in ordinary water containers. It will therefore be observed that the outlet spigot 38 is connected at one terminal end of the continuous coil formation while the inlet fitting 30 is at the opposite end thereof.
The water inlet fitting 30 as hereinbefore indicated is connected to the water supply by means of the inlet conduit 28 fitting over the inlet fitting 30 which conduit 28 is connected by means of the ribbon-like fluid fiow conducting connector 34 to the water supply conduit 32. The connector therefore as more clearly seen in FIGURES 5 through 7 is made of a plastic material having a flattened portion 54 with cylindrical tubular ends 56 and 58 adapted to be connected to the flexible conduits 28 and 32. As seen in FIGURE 6 the flat portion 54 is in its expanded position due to the pressure of water flowing therethrough for supplying the container 24. When the door of the refrigerator is closed, however, the sealing strip 20 may compress the sides of the flat portion 54 of the connector 34 as seen in FIGURE 7 so as to maintain the tight seal between the door and the refrigerator chest at such time of course, no water is being drawn and hence no water flow pressure is present in the connector 34. It will also be observed from FIGURES and 6, that a pair of parallel seams 60 are provided on the sides of the flat por tion 54 in order to provide the connector 34 with a cer tain amount of rigidity and prevent sausage-like bulging of the sides thereof by the water pressure.
From the foregoing description, the operation and utility of the water cooling apparatus will be apparent. It will therefore be recognized that the apparatus may be sold in kit form and made up of materials readily available on the market. Accordingly the apparatus will be very desirable and widely useful because of the minimum of effort and expense involved in its use. It will also be appreciated that the installation of the apparatus of this invention involves no modification of the refrigerator construction such as boring of holes therethrough and sealing of such holes as was heretofore proposed. A further convenience is provided by the water cooling apparatus in that the container 24 may be removed from its installation, the inlet conduit 28 removed from the inlet fitting 30 which may subsequently be capped and the water container with the chilled water removed to some other location for use.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. Liquid cooling apparatus for installation in a refrigerator having a door with a sealing strip thereon, a liquid cooling container means mounted on a shelf of a refrigerator, removable inlet means connected to said container means, liquid dispensing means connected to said container means, said inlet and dispensing means being disposed within the refrigerator, liquid supply means external to the refrigerator, and flat flexible fluid flow conducting means for connecting said inlet means to the liquid supply means, said conducting means extending out of the refrigerator past the Sealing strip on the door and expansible in response to liquid pressure and compressible in response to closing of the door to maintain the re frigerator sealed by the door.
2. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said flat flexible conducting means includes reinforcing seams thereon for restricting expansion.
3. The apparatus as defined in claim 2, wherein said inlet means and liquid supply means comprise tubular flexible conduits interconnected by the conducting means which comprises a flat plastic conduit of wider dimension than said tubular conduits capable of withstanding repeated closing thereon of the sealing strip of the refrigerator door.
4. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said inlet means and liquid supply means comprise tubular flexible conduits interconnected by the conducting means which comprises a flat plastic conduit of wider dimension than said tubular conduits capable of withstanding repeated closing thereon of the sealing strip of the refrigerator door.
5. The apparatus as defined in claim 4, wherein the container means includes recesses on both sides thereof for accommodating the inlet means and dispensing means,
6. The apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein the container means includes recesses on both sides thereof for accommodating the inlet means and dispensing means.
7. In combination with an insulated enclosure having an opening and a door having a yieldable sealing rim for closing said opening, a liquid dispensing unit comprising liquid storing means positioned within said enclosure and having dispensing means thereon exposed through said opening upon opening of the door, and liquid flow conducting supply means connected to the storing means and including a flattened portion disposed between the opening and the sealing rim of the door expandable in response to flow of liquid therethrough upon dispensing of liquid from the dispensing means when the door is opened.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,047,467 Golrick July 14, 1936 2,416,326 Knibb Feb. 25, 1947 2,786,338 Wurtz et al Mar. 26, 1957