US 3065948 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 27, 1962 J. E. NOLAN AUTOMATIC SHUT-OFF FAUCET Filed July 12, 1960 Arrow/75.
United States Patent 3,065,948 AUTOMATIC SHUT-OFF FAUCET John E. Nolan, Fort Thomas, Ky., assignor to American Radiator & Standard Sanitary Corp., New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed July 12, 1960, Ser. No. 42,326 Claims. (Cl. 251-52) This invention relates to lavatory faucets, and particularly to lavatory faucets of the type which, once turned on, shut-off automatically after a predetermined time interval. More specifically, the invention is directed to improvements in that type of automatic shut-off faucet in which a dash pot is used to control the length of time that the faucet remains on.
Typically, a faucet of this type is operated by a plunger which is adapted to be depressed against the force of a spring to turn on the water. The valve inside the faucet which opens to permit the water to flow usually comprises an annular shoulder on the plunger. This valve normally is held in closed position by the spring against a circular valve seat through which the plunger projects. The dash pot is located within the body of the faucet at the inner end of the plunger where it is below the valve seat and, thus, submerged in water. A piston is mounted on the lower end of the plunger and when the plunger is depressed, the piston is moved to the bottom of the dash pot. A restricted orifice in the bottom of the dash pot, below the piston, throttles the flow of water into the dash pot and slows the upward, valve closing movement of the spring urged plunger. Thus, the rate of valve closure is primarily controlled by the size of the dash pot orifice.
The dash pot has been the source of considerable trouble in the maintenance of this type of faucet in the past. Submerged as it is within the faucet, the restricted orifice of the dash pot is subject to becoming fouled by hard 'water deposits, scale, foreign material, etc., and in order to get to it for adjustment, cleaning, etc. it has been necessary in the past to disassemble the faucet which has required employing someone, such as a plumber, having the necessary skill and tools.
'The primary objective of the invention has been to provide a faucet of the type set forth in which the dash pot orifice may be cleaned or adjusted from outside the body of the faucet. In the preferred embodiment, this is accomplished by a simple manipulation of the plunger. Thus, it
is not necessary to disassemble the faucet and it can be maintained by an unskilled workman.
Another objective of the invention has been to provide a faucet of the type set forth in which provision is made to protect the dash pot and the main valve from scale, particles, etc., so that the faucet requires less attention than faucets of this type have required in the past. Another objective has been to provide a self-closing faucet in which the internal construction has been sim- 'plified such that the faucet is less expensive to manufacture and such that there is less likelihood of a malfunction occurring in use.
Other objectives of the invention will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description of the drawings in which: I
FIGURE 1 is a transverse cross sectional view of a selfclosing faucet embodying the principles of the invention. In this figure, the faucet is shown in off position.
FIGURE 2 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 in which the faucet is shown in on position.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary cross sectional view showing the details of construction of one form of dash pot throttle valve and showing the plunger coupled to the throttle valve.
FIGURE 4 is a view similar to FIGURE 3 showing the way in which the throttle valve may be adjusted by rotating the plunger.
FIGURE 5 is a transverse cross sectional view of a modified form of a dash pot with parts being shown in elevation for illustration purposes.
FIGURE 6 is an enlarged fragmentary cross sectional view showing details of the throttle valve of the dash pot shown in. FIGURE 5.
The faucet of this invention is designated generally by the numeral 10, and following conventional practices, it is adapted to be mounted upon the back deck of a lavatory bowl, a portion only of which is shown at 11. The body of the faucet, designated 12, in the instance shown is generally cylindrical in shape and it is disposed at an angle of 45 degrees to a base 13 which rests upon the upper surface,
of the back deck of the lavatory. This deck has a hole 14 in it through which a tail piece 15 extends. The faucet is locked to the lavatory by means of a washer 16 which surrounds the tail piece and is held up against the undersurface of the deck by means of a nut 17 threaded onto the tail piece. Water is supplied to the faucet through tail piece 15, a supply line being coupled to the lower end of the tail piece as shown at 18.
The faucet shown employs a stub spout 19, this spout being threaded internally to receive an aerator 20. As shown, the spout is at the underside of the faucet and it projects at 45 degrees downwardly toward the lavatory bowl (not shown).
The interior of the faucet body is hollow and generally cylindrical, however, two areas at the interior of the faucet body preferably are machined to provide precise fits. One of these areas, toward the interior of the faucet from the spout, is machined to provide a right angular shoulder 21 which projects inwardly from the inner wall of the faucet body. As shown, the inner wall of the faucet body is smooth immediately above and below shoulder 21 to provide two seats 22 and 23 respectively, the purposes of which will be explained. The other machined area, toward the outer end of the faucet body from the spout, includes an enlarged cylindrical bore 24 at the outer end of the faucet, an internally threaded section 25 just to the inside of bore 24 and another cylindrical bore section 26 which is slightly smaller in diameter than cylindrical bore 24 and which is just to the inside of the threaded section 25.
The two machined areas at the inside of the faucet body receive and seat an insert designated generally by the numeral 27. This insert has threads at its outer end which engage the threaded section 25. In order to assist in the-tightening of the insert into the faucet body, a cross slot 28 is provided in the outer face of the insert. A cylindrical portion 29 of the insert is of a size to fit smoothly within the cylindrical bore section 26 of the faucet body just inwardly of threads 25. The insert 27 also has an annular shoulder 30 on it which is designed to seat against shoulder 21. In addition, a cylindrical section 31 of the insert fits smoothly into the seat 22 of the faucet body. An annular groove 32 is provided in cylindrical section 31 and'it seats an 0 ring 33 which seals the insert with respect to the inside of the faucet body adjacent to shoulder 21. Another, similar ring 34 is seated within a groove 35 within the cylindrical section 26 of the insert at the outer end thereof adjacent to threads 25. This latter 0 ring seals the outer end of the insert. As shown, the insert is necked-in in the sections thereof between those portions in which the 0 rings 33 and 34 reside. This necked-in portion provides an annular passageway 36 within the faucet body which opens to spout 19 through a passageway 37.
The interior of the insert is hollow and it comprises three sections. The first of these is at the inner end of the insert wherein a cylindrical bore 38, concentric to the longitudinal cylindrical axis of the insert, opens to the interior of the faucet body. The annular area on the inner end of the insert 27, immediately surrounding bore 38, constitutes a valve seat 39. At a point spaced inwardly of the valve seat, another cylindrical section 40, which is slightly larger in diameter than bore 38, meets an even larger diameter bore 41, which extends through the major portion of the center of the inlet, at a shoulder 42. The latter shoulder seats a washer 43 against which the inner end of a coil spring 44 rests. This spring urges an elongated actuating plunger, designated generally 45 toward an outer off position in which the main valve of the faucet, designated generally 46 is held against valve seat 39. This prevents flow of water from the interior of the faucet below the valve seat into the hollow insert. With the valve open, however, water may enter the hollow interior of the insert and then flow from the insert through radial passageways 47 into the annular passageway 36 and thence through outlet 37 to spout 19.
Plunger 45 is both rotatably and slidably journalled within insert 27. The plunger has two annular flanges 4849 which are in spaced relation and which are of a diameter to be slidably received in the large cylindrical bore 41 of the insert. The space between these two flanges is filled by an 0 ring 50 which prevents water from escaping past these two flanges. The inner one of these two flanges seats the outer end of coil spring 44. The part of the plunger to the inside of the two flanges 48- 49 is necked-down, as shown, where it extends through the hollow interior of the insert 27; however, the inner end flares out as shown at 51 and when the faucet is off the flared end fits within the cylindrical bore 38 at the inner end of insert 27. Beyond the flared end 51, a threaded stud 52 is provided on the plunger. This threaded stud receives respectively a resilient valve washer 53, a metal back-up member 54 for washer 53, a cup piston 55 and a nut 56. Cup piston 55 is oriented so that its inside fits over the metal back-up member 54 and the nut 56, in being tightened onto the threaded stud 52 holds the assembly in place on the inner end of the plunger. It is to be noted that the very inner end of the plunger, projecting inwardly beyond nut 56, is configurated to provide a Phillips screw driver head 57, the purpose of which will be explained.
The opposite end of the plunger outwardly beyond the two annular flanges 48-49 is generally cylindrical, and adjacent to the outer end thereof, an annular groove is provided at 58 to receive a set screw 59. This set screw is threaded radially through a cap 60 which covers the outer end of the plunger and provides a convenient button for depressing the plunger. The cap is also gen erally cylindrical and it substantially fills the cylindrical bore 24 at the outer end of the faucet body. In order to prevent the cap from turning, one side thereof has a key 61 thereon which engages in a way 62 cut into the wall of bore 24. Preferably, way 62 is at the underside of the faucet, which has the effect of keeping the cap in a position in which the set screw 59 is not visible. It is also preferred that set screw 59 have a hexagonal socket in it so that it may be manipulated by an Allen wrench. The underside of the cap 60 has a threaded bore 63 in it and this bore receives an adjustable abutment screw 64 which may project beyond the inner end of the cap, as shown in FIGURE 2, to limit the stroke of the plunger when it is depressed against the force of coil spring 44 to bring the inner end of the screw into contact with the outer end of insert 27. It is preferred that abutment screw 64 have the same type hexagonal socket in it that set screw 59 has so that it may be adjusted by the same tool. It may be seen that the cap may be removed by loosening set screw 59. This makes abutment screw 64 available for adjustment and in addition exposes a hexagonal socket 65 which is formed in the outer end of the plunger. This socket is adapted to receive an Allen wrench, a portion only of which is shown at 66. In this way, the plunger may be revolved so that the Phillips screw driver head 57 at the inner end of the plunger becomes, in effect, an extension of the Allen wrench which is at the outer end of the plunger.
Reference is now made to FIGURES 1 through 4. In these figures, a dash pot as shown generally at 67 which comprises a cylinder 68 and a throttle valve assembly 69. The axis of cylinder 68 is coextensive with the longitudinal axis of plunger 45 and it surrounds the lower end of the plunger and the valve structure of the faucet, including piston 55 which is secured to the lower end of the plunger. The outer or upper end of cylinder 68 has internal threads 70 in it and these threads engage cooperating threads 71 which are provided on insert 27 just below the shoulder 21. The dash pot thus becomes an extension of insert 27 and the two are assembled before installation in the faucet body. The wall of the cylinder has slots 72-72 cut in it on opposite sides to permit a flow of water from the area inside the faucet body surrounding the dash pot and into the dash pot above piston 55 so that when the plunger is depressed as shown in FIGURE 2, there is a free passageway through the faucet valve surrounding the necked-in portion of the plunger, into the hollow interior of the insert 27, and thence to the stub spout 19 by way of radial passageways 47 an annular passageway 36.
As shown, the slots 72-72 are adjacent the internal threads 70 near the upper end of the cylinder. It is preferred that the upper end of the cylinder have a screen 73 on the outside thereof, this screen serving to prevent large particles from entering slot 72 and possibly fouling the valve seat 39. A wall 74 at the inner or lower end of cylinder 68 has a centrally located, threaded coupling member 75 formed as an integral part of it, this threaded coupling member projecting from the center of the wall toward the inside of the faucet with its axis aligned with the axis of the plunger. Throttle valve assembly 69 for the dash pot threads onto coupling member 75. As shown in FIGURE 3, the throttle valve assembly is generally cylindrical and its outer end has a bore therein which is threaded as shown at 77 to engage with the coupling member 75. The opposite end of the assembly 69 also has an enlarged bore 78 in it and this bore receives a graded density filter indicated generally by the numeral 79. As shown, this filter is progressively finer going from the outer area 80 through the intermediate area 81 to the innermost area 82. This filter assembly is to protect the throttle valve itself from particles and thereby reduce maintenance.
A cylindrical seat 83 is provided within the assembly, the axis of this seat being coextensive with that of the rest of the assembly and with the axis of the plunger. A restricted passageway 84 opens from the enlarged bore 78 in which the screen assembly 79 is disposed to the underside of the seat 83. Seat 83 receives a rubber annulus 85 and it is pressed down onto its seat by means of a threaded sleeve 86 having a passageway 87 through its center. The threaded sleeve is received in threads 88 tapped into an axial bore which extends through the wall 74 at the lower end of the cylinder of the dash pot. The outer periphery of the rubber annulus fits snugly within the seat 83. Thus, when the threaded sleeve 86 is tightened down onto it, the resulting compression causes a constriction of the opening through the annulus which provides a throttling effect for flow of water through passageway 84 and into the dash pot beneath cup piston 55. This type of throttle valve has the advantage in a faucet of this type in that scale accumulations upon it may be broken free by tightening and loosening threaded sleeve 86 several times. (This action is very similar tothe pulsating action of the deicing boots which are utilized on aircraft.) The exposed end of threaded sleeve' 86 is configurated as shown at 89 to receive the Phillips screw driver head 57 which is on the lower end of the plunger 45.
In the routine operation of the faucet, the abutment screw 64 on the underside of cap 60 is set so that the plunger may be depressed to a point where the Phillips screw driver head 57 is just clear of the upper end of sleeve 86. This is shown in FIGURE 2. In this position, water is free to flow from the inside of the faucet body through the slots 72 at the upper end of the dash pot cylinder and thence through the open valve of the faucet to the spout. Also in this position, the cup piston is down in the cylinder of the dash pot and in order for it to move out under the force of spring 44, water must flow through the throttle valve assembly. Thence, the time interval for the closing of the faucet is a direct function of the size of the opening in rubber annulus 85. In order to adjust the size of this opening and therefore set the faucet for a desired time interval, the cap 60 is removed and an Allen wrench such as the one shown at 66, or an equivalent tool, is engaged in the hex socket 65 at the outer end of the plunger. With the cap removed and abutment screw 64 out of the way, the plunger may be depressed inwardly beyond the normal on position such that Phillips screw driver head 57 couples with threaded sleeve 86. If it is desired to increase the flow time interval, threaded sleeve 86 is tightened down onto rubber annulus 85. Of if the time interval is to be reduced the threaded sleeve is loosened. On the other hand, if the time interval flow has gradually increased through prolonged use of the faucet, the threaded sleeve may be alternatively tightened and loosened as previously described to break loose accumulations of scale on the annulus at the opening therethrough. Hence, the faucet both may be adjusted and the throttle valve may be cleaned from outside the faucet body without the need for a plumber to disassemble it. Another adjustment is provided for timing the faucet in abutment screw 64. It may be threaded in or out to vary the length of the stroke of plunger 45. Thus, between the two, the adjustment of the throttle valve and the adjustment of the stroke of plunger 45, the faucet can be adapted to a wide latitude of operating conditions by any routine maintenance man.
Referring now to FIGURES 5 and 6 wherein there is shown a modification of the dash pot assembly. In this instance, the dash pot cylinder is designated 90 and the throttle valve assembly 91. As shown, these two are formed as an integral plastic molding, which reduces manufacturing costs. As in the case of the embodiment of FIGURES 1-4, the dash pot of FIGURES 5 and 6 has internal threads 92 at its upper end, the wall of the cylinder just inwardly of threads 92 is slotted as shown at 93 and a cylindrical screen 94 is provided to prevent particles from entering slots 93. Also as in the case of embodiment shown in FIGURES 1-4, the lower end of the assembly has an enlarged bore 95 in it to receive an assembly 96 of screens, shown diagrammatically only, to protect the throttle valve. In the modification, a different type of throttle valve is employed. In this case, a restricted passageway 97, which is the equivalent of restricted passageway 84, receives a tapered needle valve 98 which is formed as an integral part of a threaded plug 99, which plug is engaged in a threaded bore in the lower end of the cylinder 90 as shown at 100. It may be seen that by tightening and loosening threaded plug 99, the needle valve 98 which is tapered as shown in FIGURE 6 decreases and increases the effective opening for the passageway of water through restricted passageway 97; Plug 99 has a central bore 101 through it and this bore opens to branch passageways 102102 which extend from central bore 101 to the underside of threaded plug 99 to permit water to pass from restricted passageway 97 into the cylinder above threaded plug 99. This plug has its upper end configurated as shown at '103 to receive a Phillips screw driver head such as one shown at 57. Here again, the size of the eifective opening through passageway 97 may be adjusted from outside of the faucet as has been previously described in connection with the embodiment of the invention shown at FIGURES l-4. Also, by tightening the needle valve down all of the way and then opening it wide, accumulations of scale may be first broken loose and then flushed from the passageway or orifice. As in the embodiment of FIGURES 1-4, the modified form of dash pot is threaded onto the lower end of insert 27 prior to installation in the faucet.
It may be seen therefore that it is unnecessary to turn off the supply of water to the faucet, as has been necessary in the past in faucets requiring disassembly in order to make adjustments in the throttle valve. Hence, a workman can make an adjustment, when one is necessary, and immediately try the faucet without first having to reassemble the faucet, then go to some remote point to reopen valves in the supply line to the faucet and then make the check of the faucet to determine whether or not the desirable adjustment has been made.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that changes in the details of construction of the embodiments of the invention shown here may be made to adapt the faucet to specific installation requirements without departing from the principles of the invention as set forth in the following claims.
Having described my invention, I claim:
1. In a self-closing lavatory faucet of the type having a valve body, a flow passage through said body, a valve member including an actuating plunger mounted within said body for reciprocation therein and cooperating with a seat in the flow passage, said actuating plunger having a portion extending exteriorly of said valve body, spring means for biasing said plunger to an off position where by said actuating plunger is adapted to be depressed against the force of said spring means to turn on the faucet, a dash pot having an opening communicating with said flow passage and providing a cylinder in said flow passage in which the valve member sealingly reciprocates, an adjustable member controlling flow through the dash pot opening, and means for selectively engaging said actuating plunger with said adjustable member for the adjustment thereof.
2. The lavatory faucet of claim 1 wherein said adjustable member is rotatable about an axis which is coextensive with the axis of said actuating plunger.
3. A self-closing lavatory faucet comprising a valve body having a flow passage therethrough, a valve member cooperating with a seat in the flow passage and including an actuating plunger having a portion extending exteriorly of the valve body, said valve member being movable longitudinally of its axis from an outer off position to an inner on position, a spring between said valve body and said valve member normally urging said plunger toward said off position, said dash pot having an opening communicating with said flow passage and providing a cylinder in said flow passage in which said valve member sealingly reciprocates, a rotatable adjustable member controlling flow through the dash pot opening, and means to selectively engaging said actuating plunger with said adjustable member upon inward movement of said plunger beyond said on position.
4. The lavatory faucet of claim 3 wherein said faucet R e ces Cited in the file Of this patent includes a movable abutment means normally blocking UNITED STATES PATENTS ggfi gog ggs of sald actuatmg Plunger beyond 531d 2,181,581 Fraser Nov. 28' 1939 5. The lavatory faucet of claim 3 wherein said means 5 2710736 Mlner June 1955 for selectively engaging said actuating plunger with said FOREIGN PATENTS adjustable member includes a screw driver head at the 431,44 Great Britain J l 8, 9 5 inner end of said actuating plunger and a screw driver 565,630 Great Britain Nov. 20, 1944 receiving means on said adjustable member. 590,657 France Mar. 21, 1925