Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3063432 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 13, 1962
Filing dateJan 13, 1961
Priority dateJan 13, 1961
Publication numberUS 3063432 A, US 3063432A, US-A-3063432, US3063432 A, US3063432A
InventorsDouglas R Bond, Charles E Koch
Original AssigneeDouglas R Bond, Charles E Koch
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Water heater protection
US 3063432 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 13, 1962 D. R. BOND ETAL 3,0 3,

WATER HEATER PROTECTION Filed Jan. 13, 1961 I8 TEMPERATURE sw|TcH 23 PRESSURE F G I I3 SWITCH 3%..5? TEM P RE THERMOELECTRIC 2| GENERATOR |5 PRESSURE THERMOELECTRIC GENERATOR IS F G. 2. km

I! v 30 o O 39 40 27 4| F l G. 3.

' DOUGLAS R. BOND -cHARLEs E. KOCH I INVENTORE:

I. a BY ATTORNEYS.

United htates haters 3,063,432 WATER I EATER PRGTECTEGN Douglas R. Bond and Charles E. Koch, Los Angeles, Cat-if. (both of 21327 W. 149th St, Garden-a, (Jalih) Filed Jan. 13, 1961, Ser. No. 82,431 2 Claims. (Cl. 1225l4) This invention relates to the protection of water heaters and the like.

Explanatory of the present invention, the conventional water heater is provided with a cold water inlet that supplies cold water to the heater so as to be heated thereby. 'It is also equipped with a burner supplied with fuel from a fuel source such as for example gas, and with a pilot light usually arranged adjacent the burner which is also supplied with the fuel and which is continually burning so as to be available to ignite fuel at the burner when water in the heater is to be heated. Various safety devices have been heretofore provided for shutting off the supply" of fuel to the burner and to the pilot light in the event that the pilot light becomes extinguished. Such devices have heretofore included a valve in the fuel supply line that is normally held in open position by the electric current generated by a thermo-electric generator located near the pilot light. With such an arrangement, in the event that the pilot light becomes extinguished electric current is no longer generated by the therrno-electric generator and the valve is consequently allowed to close shutting ofi the supply of fuel to the pilot light and to the burner and thus preventing the escape of fuel. Such constructions afiord only a limited protection to the water heater in that if the pilot light is extinguished only the supply of fuel to the water heater is cut off.

There are many aspects of a hot Water heater that require protection. Damage may result from a leak developing in the water heater itself. The pressure or temperature within the water heater may also become excessive which are conducive to the development of leaks. Consequently, for a more complete protection of a water heater it is desirable not only to shut oil the supply of fuel to the heater in the event that the pilot light becomes extinguished but also to shut off the supply of water to the heater. Furthermore, it is desirable to not only shut off the supply of fuel and water to the heater in the event that the pilot light becomes extinguished, but also to automatically perform the same operations in the event that the temperature of the heater becomes excessive, the pressure within the heater becomes excessive, or in the event that leakage from the heater commences even though'temperature or pressure conditions have not become excessive, and even though the pilot light has not become extinguished.

A primary object of the present invention is to provide protection for a water heater thatwill accomplish all of the foregoing desiderata.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a water heater having the protection above mentioned, and wherein the connection of an outside source of electricity is unnecessary, making the water heater suitable for use in installations Where fuel such as gas alone is available.

:With the foregoing and other objects in view, which will be made manifest in the following detailed description and specifically pointed out in the appended claims, reference is had to the accompanying drawings for an illustrative embodiment of the invention, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a diagrammatic view of a water heater protection system embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a wiring diagram; and

FIG. 3 is a vertical section through the valve controlling the water inlet to the heater.

Referring to the accompanying drawings wherein sim ilar reference characters designate similar parts throughout, 10 indicates generally a water heater which may be of any conventional or preferred design. This water heater is supplied with cold water through a cold water inlet 11. Hot water that has been heated by the heater can be withdrawn therefrom through a hot Water outlet 12. The heaer is supplied with fuel through a fuel inlet 13 from a suitable source of fuel supply, such as natural or artificial gas. This fuel is delivered to a conventional or preferred burner, not shown, adjacent which there is the conventional pilot light 14, see FIG. 2. The pilot light receives its fuel from the fuel supply line 13 and serves to ignite the fuel at the burner when the burner is supplied with the same.

In accordance with the present invention a thermoelectric generator 15 is located adjacent the flame of the pilot light so as to be heated thereby and caused to generate electric current as long as the pilot light is burning. This generator is electrically connected to the various elements that afford the required protection. Thus, in the fuel inlet line 13 there is a valve 16 shown as including a solenoid or winding 17, see FIG. 2. The water inlet 11 is equipped with a valve generally indicated at 18, which includes a solenoid or winding 19, see FIG. 2.

Beneath the water heater there is disposed a collecting pan 20 designed to collect water dropping from the heater 19 in the event that leakage develops. In this pan there is disposed an electric switch 21 that is normally closed but which is responsive to open in the event that water collects in the pan 2% and rises therein. In the water heater there may also be switches 22 and 23 that are connected in series in the circuit. Switch 22 may be of a type which is normally closed but which will open in the event that the temperature of the water in the heater be comes excessive. Similarly, switch 23 may be of the type which is normally closed but which will open in the event that pressure in the water heater becomes excessive. These switches are preferably arranged in series in the circuit as illustrated in FIG. 2 between the generator and the solenoids 17 and 19. The solenoids 17 and 19 may be arranged in series with each other or may be arranged in parallel as shown.

The operation of the above-described construction is substantially as follows:

In the event that the pilot light 14 becomes extinguished no more electric current is being generated by the thermoelectric generator 15 and consequently the solenoids or windings 17 and 19 are no longer emphasized thus closing the fuel valve 16 and the water valve at 18.

Neither fuel nor water will be supplied to the heater under these circumstances until these valves are manually reset. However, if leakage should develop in the water heater even though the pilot light 14 continues to burn this leakage will be caught and collected by the collecting pan 2% and astthe level of water rises therein switch 21 will be actuated to open. This opens the circuit between the thermo-electric generator 15 and the windings 17 and 19, causing the fuel supply to be cut ofi and also the water supply. 'Usually the water supply will be stopped when the level of liquid in the collecting pan 20 has risen only a short distance so that even though the water heater may continue to leak after the water supply has been cut off, the damage created by such continued leakage will not be excessive. In the event that the temperature in the water heater becomes excessive, or the pressure becomes excessive, switches 22 or 23 will open causing the fuel valve 16 and the water valve 18 to close. This occurs regardless of the fact that the pilot light 14 may continue to burn up to the time that the temperature or pressure becomes excessive.

It will be appreciated that with the above-described apparatus a considerably greater protection is afforded the Water heater than merely closing the fuel supply line s,oes,ee2

in the event that the pilot light becomes extinguished. By means of the present apparatus not only will the fuel supply line be closed if the pilot light becomes extinguished but the water supply line will also be closed in this event, and in the event that leakage has commenced to start filling the collecting pan or pressure or temperature becomes excessive, the fuel valve and water valvewill be closed even though the pilot light continues to burn. 7

Usually the fuel such as gas that is supplied to awater heater is supplied at relatively low pressure so that the closing of a valve against such a. low pressure by the discontinuance of the small amount of current generated by the thermo-electric generator 15 affords no serious problem. However, in comparison therewith the pres sure at which water is supplied to the heater is of considerably greater magnitude. We have illustrated a valve suitable for this purpose in FIG. 3, wherein there is a valve seat arranged between an inlet and an outlet, not shown. This valve seat is engageable by a valve clocure 26'urged to seat on the seat by a compression spring 27. The valve closure is equipped with a stem 28 having a handle 29 and in the stem there is formed an annular groove 30 in which the end of a slidable keeper 31 is receivable. This keeperhas a link 32 pivotally connected thereto which in turn is pivotally connected to a link 33 at 34. The link 33 is pivotally connected at 35 to the housing 36.

A vertical slidable stem 37 having a handle 38 is connected to'the pivotal connection 34 and is urged upwardly by compression spring 39. It carries an armature 40 that is attracted by the core 41 about which the winding or solenoid 19 is disposed In the normal position the armature 40 is attracted to and engages the core 41 holding the links 32 and 33 just below a mutually aligned position. In this position the keeper 31 is maintained in engagement in its groove 30 despite the magnitude of the force exerted by the compression spring 27 which may be severe on account of the high water pressure.

Whenever'electric circuit through the winding 19 is discontinued or broken either by the extinguishment of the pilot light 14 or the opening of the switches 21, 22,

' or 23, armature 40 is no longer attracted by the core 41 and the compression spring 39 surrounding the stem 37 is then effective to move the stem and links 32 and 33 upwardly and into positions retracting the keeper 31. Spring 27 is then effective to close the closure 26 against the seat 25.

If the fuel supplied to the heater'is supplied under rel- .atively high pressure a similar valve may be employed in the fuel line 13. Other valves may be employed to control the supply of fuel or Water to the heater besides the valve illustrated, it being merely important that such valves be normally maintained in their open position by the small amount of electric current that is usually generated by a thermo-electric generator and which will close whenever such current is either discontinued or the cir- .euit is broken.

. It will be appreciated from the above-described construction that the heater is largely in the nature of a selfcontained unit in that no outside source of electric current need be connected to the heater. Consequently, all elements of protection are available even if the heater is installed at a location where outside electric current is not available.

While all elements of protection are preferably employed some can be omitted where it is determined that these particular elements are unnecessary.

Various changes may be made in the details of construction without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

We claim:

1. In combination, a water heater having a burner and a pilot light, a thermoelectric generator arranged to be heated by the pilot light, a self-closing fuel valve controlling the supply of fuel to the burner and pilot light capable of being held open by the current generated by the thermoelectric generator, 2. selfclosing water valve controlling the supply of water to the heater capable of being held open by the current generated by the thermoelectric generator, normally closed temperature and pressure switches responsive to temperature and pressure respectively to open when the temperature and pressure of the water in the heater become excessive, said temperature and pressure switches being electrically connected in series with each other and to the thermoelectric generator and to the fuel and water valves whereby it the pilot light ceases to burn or the temperature or the pressure becomes excessive the fuel valve and water valve will both automatically close.

2. In combination, a water heater-having a burner and a pilot light, a thermoelectric generator arranged to be heated by the pilot light, a self-closing fuel valve controlling the supply of fuel to the burner and pilot light capable of being held open by the current generated by the thermoelectric generator, 2. self-closing water valve controlling the supply of Water to the heater capable of being held open by the current generated by the thermoelectric generator, normally closed temperature and pressure switches responsive to temperature and pressure re.- spectively to open when the temperature and pressure of the water in the heater become excessive, a collecting pan beneath the heater, a normally closed switch responsive to rise of water in the collecting pan to open when the water rises in the pan,'the last-mentioned switch and the temperature and pressure switches being electrically connected in series with each other and to the thermoelectric generator and to the fuel and water valves whereby if the pilot light ceases to burn or the temperature or the pressure becomes excessive or water rises in the collecting pan thefuel valve and water valve will both automatically close.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US357056 *Feb 1, 1887 Watee overflows
US786761 *Jan 6, 1904Apr 4, 1905Charles E HastingsSteam-generator.
US1045007 *Dec 11, 1911Nov 19, 1912Henry EisenachSafety-valve for water-heaters.
US2006948 *Dec 30, 1933Jul 2, 1935Neptune Meter CoWater heating system
US2129094 *Dec 9, 1935Sep 6, 1938Barber Colman CoSystem of control for burners
US2282244 *Dec 26, 1939May 5, 1942Ransome CompanyHigh pressure safety valve
US2505730 *Mar 11, 1946Apr 25, 1950ConThermoelectric device
US2531159 *Apr 15, 1948Nov 21, 1950Rowell William GSystem for burner cutoff and signaling means upon tank leakage
US2875616 *Jul 19, 1957Mar 3, 1959Ind Heat Engineering CompanySafety cut-off valve
FR1149875A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3473553 *Nov 16, 1966Oct 21, 1969Collins Thomas HAutomatic water cut-off water heaters
US3818874 *Apr 2, 1973Jun 25, 1974Tria PSafety switch assembly for a relief valve
US3976225 *Jul 15, 1974Aug 24, 1976Umc Industries, Inc.Flood control for beverage vendor
US4085773 *Oct 6, 1976Apr 25, 1978Tinney Lyle DWater heater overflow pan
US4252088 *Sep 26, 1975Feb 24, 1981Frisby Gerald RDifferential switch for detecting leaks
US4413592 *Sep 29, 1982Nov 8, 1983Jones George DWater damage preventer pan
US4572113 *Feb 1, 1985Feb 25, 1986Baughman George WWater leak control circuit
US4689472 *Jul 5, 1985Aug 25, 1987Raymund SingletonControl device for corrosion testing apparatus
US4909274 *Jun 23, 1989Mar 20, 1990Rodriguez Osmani AValve apparatus
US4944253 *Oct 10, 1989Jul 31, 1990Bellofatto Richard CSafety system for hydronic water heaters and boilers
US5029605 *Jul 26, 1990Jul 9, 1991Dowling Donald CFluid vessel overflow system
US5345224 *Apr 24, 1992Sep 6, 1994Brown Jimmy DLeak detection and management apparatus including a programmable message device for a hot water heater
US5347956 *May 5, 1993Sep 20, 1994Aos Holding CompanyWater heater with integral mixing valve
US5857482 *Jan 6, 1996Jan 12, 1999Dowling; Donald C.System for control of fluid vessel overflows
US6024116 *Sep 9, 1998Feb 15, 2000Aquagard, LlcValve assembly and acuator operative for automatically shutting off water and gas supplies to a hot water heater upon detection of a water leak
WO2000014757A1 *Sep 8, 1999Mar 16, 2000Aquagard, LlcValve assembly and actuator operative for automatically shutting off water and gas supplies to a hot water heater
WO2011000960A1 *Jul 2, 2010Jan 6, 2011Sauermann IndustrieHeating facility provided with a safety device, and method for protecting a heating facility
Classifications
U.S. Classification122/504, 137/312
International ClassificationF23N1/08, F24H9/20, F23Q9/10
Cooperative ClassificationF24H9/2035, F23Q9/10, F24H9/165, F23N1/087
European ClassificationF23Q9/10, F24H9/16B, F24H9/20A3, F23N1/08F