US 3104554 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sep 2 1963 F. H. MUELLER ETAL FIRE HYDRANT Filed Dec. 5, 1959 S Sheets-Sheet 1 2 m 0 4 m w /m w 6 68 0 6 a v m m 41;" 8 w M 6 2 l l P 1963 F. H. MUELLER ETAI. 3,104,554
FIRE HYDRANT Filed Dec. 3, 1959 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 4
INVENTOR. A/K rvf MU4LE BY JE/M/ JSwgirb XWJZ MW A ORA/5K5 P 24, 1963 F. H. MUELLER ET AL 3,104,554
FIRE HYDRANT Filed Dec. 3, 1959 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 INVENTOR FRANK H.MUELLER JOHN J. SMITH ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,104,554 FIRE HYDRANT Frank H. Mueller and John J. Smith, Decatur, Ill, assignors to Mueller Co., Decatur, 111., a corporation of Illinois Filed Dec. 3, 1959, Ser. No. 856,981 Claims. (c1. 74-182) This invention relates to improvements in fire hydrants. More particularly, this invention relates to improvements in fire hydrants which will render the same not only cheaper to manufacture, but also easier to maintain and repair. Moreover, the improvements reduce the maintenance requirements for a hydrant and enable the same to be operated or put in service for extended periods of time without any attention.
Fire hydrants conventionally have a valve seat ring threaded into the mouth of the hydrant shoe to provide a downwardly facing valve seat. The threaded engagernent makes it possible to remove the seat ring, for repair or replacement, without digging up the hydrant. The formation of threads within the mouth of a hydrant shoe is a relatively costly machining operation, however, because the shoe is a large, heavy and cumbersome structure.
Consequently, it is an object of this invention to provide a valve seat ring removably engaged within the mouth of the hydrant shoe, but wherein the shoe is not provided with interior threads.
Fire hydrants of the type with which this invention is concerned also normally are provided with drain valve ports which extend through the wall of the seat ring into communication with drain tubes or ports in the side wall of the shoe. Slide valve elements on the hydrant valve stem cooperate with the inner ends of the drain valve ports to open such ports when the main hydrant valve is closed in order to drain the barrel, and to close such ports when the main hydrant valve is open. There is a problem, however, in providing an effective satisfactory seal between the inner ends of the drain valve ports and the slide valve elements.
Accordingly, it is another object of this invention to provide an improved seal between the seat ring drain valve ports and the slide valve elements carried by the stem of a fire hydrant.
Fire hydrants of the type with which this invention is concerned are provided with upper and lower barrel sections having a replaceable frangible connection therehetween to enable the upper section to be knocked over without damage to either section. Similarly, the valve stem must be provided with upper and lower parts coupled together in such a manner that the connection therebetween will readily separate when the hydrant barrel sections are separated by fracture of the frangible connection therebetween. In the past, however, the readily detachable coupling for the valve stem parts has been of such a nature that, on disengagement, the coupling has been difficult to remove from the upper end of the lower part of the valve stem.
Hence, it is a further object of this invention to provide a readily disengageable coupling for upper and lower valve stem parts which will facilitate the removal of the coupling, on disengagement thereof, from the upper end of the lower valve stem part.
Fire hydrants of the type with which this invention is concerned usually have a reciprocating valve stem operated by a stub shaft or screw that is swivelly connected to the hydrant top plate and threadedly connected with the upper end of the valve stem. Such a construction naturally involves the problem of providing a seal to prevent the escape of water through the top plate, about the operating screw or shaft, when the main hydrant 3,104,554 Patented Sept. 24, 1963 valve is open. Additionally, it is desirable to seal off the operating shaft or screw, and the threaded engagement thereof with the valve stem, from the interior of the barrel in order to avoid corrosion problems. In all such constructions, a problem arises in providing a seal that will not deteriorate over extended periods of time and also a seal that is relatively inexpensive while at the same time extremely effective for its intended purpose.
Accordingly, it is still another object of this invention to provide an improved seal for isolating the operating mechanism of a hydrant reciprocating valve stem from the interior of the hydrant barrel. It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved operating mechanism for a hydrant reciprocating valve stem.
In fire hydrant-s of the type with which this invention is concerned, the top plate usually is secured to the barrel by screws that are threaded into tapped apertures or sockets in the upper end of the barrel. Such construction, while effective, results in difiiculties when one of such screws becomes so frozen in place that it is twisted oil. when trying to unscrew the same for removing the top plate from the hydrant barrel. In such an event, the hroken-otf portion of the screw must either he drilled out successfully, or the tapped aperture rebored and retapped to a larger diameter. Failing that mode of repair, the entire hydrant barrel, orthe upper section of a two-part barrel, must be replaced, obviously, a very costly procedure. In any event, it will be seen that the twist ing off of a plate-retaining screw will remove the hydrant from service for a considerable period of time, 13. hazardous occurrence.
Consequently, it is a further object of this invention to provide an improved securement for the top plate of a hydrant which will eliminate the aforedescrioed problems attendant the twisting oil? of a retaining screw or holt.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings in which:
FIGURE 1 is a vertical sectional view of a fire hydrant embodying this invention.
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view of the upper portion of the hydrant shown in FIGURE 1, and taken from the upper right-hand side of such figure.
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the upper portion of the hydrant shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a lower portion of the hydrant shown in FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 5 is a sectional view taken substantially on line 55 of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a view corresponding to FIGURE 3 but illustrating a further modification of this invention.
Referring now to the drawings there is shown in FIG- URE 1, a hydrant shoe 10 adapted to be connected to a water main (not shown) and having an upwardly opening mouth surrounded by a peripheral flange 12 to which is bolted the lower end of a lower section 14 of a twopart barrel 16. The shoe 10 normally is formed of cast iron and within its mouth is an upwardly facing shoulder 18 against which is seated a brass bushing 20. The bushing 20 is retained in place by four uniformly circumferentially spaced stainless steel drain tubes 22 force-fitted through radially aligned apertures in the bushing and in the shoe 10. The outer surface of the bushing 20 is provided with a pair of spaced circumferential grooves, one above and one below the drain tubes 22, having O-rings 24 disposedtherein and engaged with an opposed smooth surface in the mouth of the shoe 10. 1
Interior threads 26 in the upper end of the bushing 20 are engaged by complementary exterior threads 28 on the upper end of a valve seat ring 30 which has an exterior circumferential drain'groove 3'2 registering with theinner ends of the drain tubes 22. The seat ring 30 is provided with a pair of spaced exterior circumferential grooves, one above and one below the drain groove 32, having O-rings 34 therein in sealing engagement with the smooth inner surface of the bushing 20 below its threads 26. Preferably, the upper end of the seat ring 30 has a plurality of circumferentially spaced wrench-engageable lugs 36 for facilitating the screwing of the ring into and out of the bushing 20, while the lower end of the seat ring is provided with a downwardly flaring frusto-conical hydrant main valve seat 38. A pair of diametrically disposed drain valve ports 40 in the ring 30 communicate, at their outer ends, with the drain groove 32. At its inner end, each drain port 44} opens into the flat bottom of a longitudinal interior groove 42 in the ring 39, such groove being substantially rectangular in cross-section, .as shown best in FIGURE A reciprocating valve stem 44 extends within the barrel 16 and secured on the lower end of such stem, as by a transverse pin 46, is a hub portion 48 of an upper valve plate 50. At the periphery'of the plate 50 is a pair of diametrically disposed, upstanding, rib-like drain valve elements 52. The elements 52 constitute slide valves that are fitted in and complementary [to the longitudinal seat ring grooves 42. These elements 52, in the open position of the hydrant main valve, as later explained, are adapted to close the inner ends of the drain valve ports 46. In the flat bottom of each longitudinal groove 42 in the seat ring is an annular or circular groove surrounding the inner end of each drain valve port 40 and having an O-ring 54 therein sealing engaged with the opposed face of the corresponding drain valve element 52. Each element 52 is provided, at its lower end, but above the plate 50, with a drain valve port 56 which registers with the corresponding drain valve port 40 in the seat ring 30 in the closed position of the hydrant main valve. Preferably, the valve stem 44 is provided below the pin 46 with a circumferential groove within which is disposed an O-ring 58 in sealing engagement with the hub portion 48 of the upper valve plate 50. Preferably, the elements 52 are reenforced by inner longitudinal stiflening ribs 60 having side re-enforcing flanges 62.
Clamps-d between the upper valve plate 50 and a lower valve plate 64 is a one-piece annular rubber-like valve washer 66 which has an inclined edge adapted to seat against the valve seat 38 at the lower end of the seat ring 30. The lower valve plate 64 is retained on the valve stem 44 by a cap nut 68 threaded onto the lower end of the stem. Preferably, a lock Washer 70 having bendable outer flanges is interposed between the nut 68 and the lower valve plate 64.
The hydrant barrel 16 also has an upper section 72 that is secured to the lower section 14 by a frangible connection 74 described more in detail in the copending application of Mueller et al., Serial No. 848,319. In this connection, it is sufiicient for the purposes here to point out that the barrel sections 14 and 72 are secured together by a clamp ring 76 bolted to a flange 78 on the lower end of the upper barrel section 72 and having an'inner frangible portion which underlies a circumferential flange '80 on the upper end of the lower barrel section 14. The hydrant normally is buried up to a ground line mark 82 (FIGURE 1) on the lower barrel section 14. From this construction it will be seen that when the upper barrel section 72 is subjected to a severe blow, as by being hit by a motor vehicle, the inner portion of the ring 76 fractures ofi and permits the upper barrel section to be knocked over without damage to either section.
The valve stem 44 likewise must be provided with upper and lower parts 84 and 86, respectively, coupled together by a frangible or otherwise readily disengageable connection to permit ready separation of such stem parts without damage to the valve or operating parts engaged by the lower and upper ends of the stem 16. For this purpose the upper and lower stem parts 84 and 86 have 4 their plane of separation disposed above the upper edge of the lower barrel section 14 and are secured together by a coupling sleeve 88 provided intermediate its ends with a circumferential weakening groove 90. This groove 90 is disposed at the plane of separation between the opposed ends of the upper and lower stem parts 84 and 86. The sleeve 83 is secured to the stem parts 84 and 86 by force-fitted pins 92 and 94, respectively, which extend diametrically through the sleeve and through transverse b-ores in the stem parts.
From the foregoing construction, it will be seen that when the upper barrel section 72 is impacted sufiiciently to break its frangible connection 74 with the lower barrel section 14, the upper stem part 84 will be subjected to a bending moment, relative to the lower stem part 86, sufficient to fracture the stem coupling sleeve 88 about its weakening circumferential groove 90 to thereby permit uncoupling or separation of the stem parts. .Because the lower sleeve-retaining pin 94 is disposed above the upper end of the lower barrel section 14, such pin is readily accessible for being knocked out by an appropriate tool (not shown) so that the two stem parts 84 and 86 can be recoupled, by a new coupling sleeve and a pair of new pins, before the barrel sections 14 and 72 are resecured together by a new clamp ring. It will be seen that if the opposed or adjacent ends of the two stem' parts 84 and 86, and the coupling sleeve 88, were so positioned that the pin 94 connecting the sleeve to the lower stem part was within the upper portion of the lower barrel section 14, i.e., below its upper end, the operation of knocking out the pin 94 to remove the lower half of a fractured sleeve, would be extremely difiicult, because of I the tight quarters within which a knockout tool could be manipulated.
The upper portion of the hydrant barrel 16 preferably is interiorly and exteriorly enlarged throughout a longitudinal zone or section 97 (FIGURE 1) wherein the.
usual hydrant nozzles 96 are located, for reasons described in greater detail in the copending application of James H. Skomp, Serial No. 854,416, filed November 20, 1959, now Patent No. 3,076,474. For purposes here, it is sufficient to point out that such enlargement facilitates variations in the number, spacing, and location of the nozzles 96 during the manufacture of the upper barrel section 72.
Adjacent its upper end, the upper barrel section 72 is. interiorly and exteriorly reduced to define an exterior circumferential groove or recess 98 having a downwardly and outwardly inclined lower wall 100 and an upper wall I that is defined by a circumferential flange 102, the outer periphery of which lies in a cylinder constituting an extension of the outer surface of the enlarged portion 97 ii of the upper barrel section. A top plate 104 preferably of iron, closes the upper end of the barrel 16 and is secured thereto by a plurality of circumferentially spaced bolts 1% extending downwardly through registering bolt holes in the top plate and in the barrel flange 102. The
bolts 106 are engaged within threaded apertures in in-- wardly extending lugs 108 on a band-like segmental ring 110 that smoothly covers the circumferential groove 98 in the upper barrel section 72. The ring 110, which is generally rectangular in radial section and of greater height than width, preferably constitutes a smooth ex:
tension of the outer surface of the enlarged portion 97' of the upper barrel section 72. The ring also is formed in two or more segments to enable attachment and detachment from the bolts 106. Preferably, the ring 110 has an inwardly extending circumferential stiffening rib.
Hydrant top plates frequently are secured to a hydrant barrel by cap screws engaged within tapped recesses or sockets in the upper end of the barrel. Occasionally such screws become so frozen in their engagement with the barrel that a screw is twisted in two by attempts to remove or unscrew the same. In such an event, the broken-off portion of the screw must be drilled out from its tapped socket in the barrel, sometimes necessitating retapping such socket to a larger diameter, or the entire barrel must be replaced. All of the foregoing operations necessarily are time-consuming and expensive and usually take a hydrant out of service for an extended period of time, obviously a most undesirable result. By means of this invention, however, if one of the 'bolts 106 should be broken 011, removal of the corresponding segment of the ring 110 becomes a very simple matter. The broken-off part of the bolt can then be either drilled out of the ring segment, or the latter replaced at relatively small expense. It also will be seen that because the ring 110 covers the groove 98 not only is the latter kept free of dirt and debris, but also the appearance of the hydrant is improved.
As best shown in FIGURES 1 and 3 of the drawings, there is shown a form of the invention wherein the upper end of a valve stem 164 is exteriorly threaded and engaged within a threaded socket 166 in an operating nut 168. The nut 168 is rotatably received in a bearing aperture 170 in a hydrant top plate 172 and has a weather cap 174 secured to the outer end thereof by a pin 176. The weather cap 174 carries an upstanding central noncircular wrench-engageable projection 150 to rotate the valve stem, as will become evident. Preferably, a suitable dirt seal 178 is disposed in a circumferential recess or groove in the bearing aperture 170 adjacent the outer end thereof. Outward movement of the nut 168 is prevented by engagement of an integral flange 180 thereon with the bottom 182 of a counterbore in the inner end of a sleeve portion 184 depending from the plate 172, while inward movement of the nut is prevented by a gland nut 186 threaded into such counterbore into bearing engagement with the flange 180.
The nut 168, and the interengaged threads thereon and on the valve stem 164 are sealed off from the interior of the barrel by a bellows 188 having one end thereof clamped to the lower end of the sleeve portion 184, and other end thereof clamped to the valve stem 164 below the threads thereon. The vaive stem 164 is prevented from rotating by an appropriate arrangement adjacent its lower end, such as the interfitting, arrangement between the slide valve elements 52 and the seat ring 30 shown in FIGURE 5.
Shown in FIGURE 6 is a still further modification oi the invention similar to that shown in FIGURE 3, but wherein a hydrant top plate 190 is not provided with a depending sleeve. In this m'odifiication, an integral bearing flange 192 on an operating nut 194 is positioned adjacent the upper end of the latter and against the bottom 196 of a counterbore formed at the inner end of a bearing aperture 198 in the plate 190. The flange 192 is retained in position by a gland nut 200 threaded into the outer end of such counterbore and locked in position by a lock washer 202.
The nut 194, together with the interengaged threads between such nut and the upper end of a valve stem 204, are sealed off from the interior of the barrel 210 'by a beliows 206 which has the lower end thereof clamped to the valve stem, below the threads thereon. I he upper end of the bellows 206 is extended radially outwardly and clamped between the engaged peripheral portions of the top plate 190 and a flange 208 on the upper end of the barrel 210. Preferably, a thin-walled sleeve 212 is affixed to the gland nut 200 and depends about the lower portion of the operating nut 194 encompassed within the bellows 206 in order to protect the latter against damage by rotative engagement between the operating nut and the bellows.
In this embodiment it will be seen that the top plate 190 is retained on the barrel 210 by bolts 214 that extend freely through aligned bolt holes in the plate and in the 6 flange 208 on the upper end of the barrel 210, :and by nuts 216 threaded onto the bolts within a circumferential groove or recess 218 at the upper portion of the hydrant barrel.
It thus will be seen that the objects of this invention have been fully and effectively accomplished. It will be realized, however, that the foregoing specific embodiments have been shown and described only for the purpose of illustrating the principles of this invention and is subject to extensive change without departure from such principles. Therefore, this invention includes all modifications encompassed within the spirit and scope of the following claims.
1. A fire hydrant comprising: a barrel; top closure means detachably secured to said barrel; a reciprocating valve stem extending upwardly within said barrel; means engaged between said stem and barrel, adjacent the lower ends thereof, for restraining said stem against rotation; an operating nut threadably engaged with the upper end of said stem, rotatabiy mounted in an aperture in said closure means, and projecting above the latter, said nut having an integral collar thereon bearing upwardly against a downwardly tacing shoulder in said aperture; a gland nut threadedly engaged within the lower end of said aperture and bearing against the underside of said collar; and flexible imperforate tubular sealing means having one end thereof sealed to said stem below its threaded connection with said operating nut and the other end thereof sealed to said closure means radially outwardly of said gland nut.
2. The structure defined ing means is a bellows.
3. The structure defined in claim 1 in which the closure means has a depending tubular portion concentric with the aperture and the other end of the sealing means is clamped to said tubular portion.
4. The structure defined in claim 1 in which the other end of the sealing means is clamped between the closure means and the upper end of the \barrel.
5. The structure defined in claim 1 in which the operating nut has a portion depending below the closure means, and including rigid sleeve means affixed to the gland nut and interposed between said depending nut portion and the sealing means.
in claim 1 in which the seal- References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 166,611 Hyde Aug. 10, 1875 535,910 Kupferle Mar. 19, 1895 979,941 Fuller Dec. 27, 1910 1,176,535 Fulton Mar. 21, 1916 1,493,253 Eggleston May 6, 1924 1,731,130 Fulton Oct. 8, 1929 1,944,777 Banks Jan. 23, 1934 2,018,455 Lotton Oct. 22, 1935 2,088,426 Lofton July 27, 1937 2,171,078 Cline Aug. 29, 1939 2,219,566 Sauzedde Oct. 29, 1940 2,228,849 Sandos Jan. 14, 1941 2,249,848 OBrien July 22, 1941 2,276,028 Dick Mar. 10, 1942 2,444,703 J ones July 6, 1948 2,492,030 Beekley Dec. 20, 1949 2,502,915 Atkins et a1. Apr. 4, 1950 2,665,105 Svabek Jan. 5, 1954 2,671,632 Palmer Mar. 9, 1954 2,746,486 Gratzmuller May 22, 1956 2,840,113 Simpson June 24, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 778,725 France Jan. 2, 1935