US 3116563 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 7, 1964 B. GELBMAN INSTALLATION FIXTURE Filed NOV. 2, 1960 Tijfi.
BY 6% za u United States Patent 3,116,563 LNSTALLATHON FIXTURE Burton Gelbrnan, Felix Lane, Norwalk, Conn. Filed Nov. 2, 1960, 'Ser. No. 66,727 5 Claims. (Cl. 33-207) This invention relates to an installation fixture for electrical outlets such as wall switches and plugs.
Those skilled in the building industry fully appreciate that an electrical outlet such as a wall switch or socket plug is formed in a standard manner with an arrangement of opposed arms, each of which is slotted for adjustment and for securing to an outlet box. Thus, the switch or plug is placed in an outlet box with the arms against threaded brackets. Screws then fasten the two arms to hold the outlet in a particular aligned and secured position within the box.
It is always desired that the socket plug be positioned either in correct alignment with the horizontal or in correct alignment with the vertical. It is customary also to secure a wall switch outlet in correct alignment with the vertical so that the switch button itself is properly aligned with the vertical.
Electricians installing outlets of the type described find it diflicult to determine whether or not the outlets are properly aligned, since to align the outlets properly it is frequently necessary to walk away from an outlet and then view it, all of which is time consuming. If the outlets are not properly aligned, then the application of the finishing plate, which covers much of the switch or socket plug as the case may be, will be at an angle that is not pleasing to the eye. It is then necessary to remove the finishing plate, readjust the outlet and then reapply the plate, all of which is further time consuming.
As a feature of my invention I contribute an installation fixture that makes possible the securing of an electrical outlet in a correct aligned position without complicating in any way the adjustment and securing of the outlet.
As a more particular feature of my invention, 1 utilize an installation fixture equipped with one or more spirit levels, and positioning means coacting with structural parts of an electrical outlet. Through the coaction of the positioning means on the fixture with the structural parts of the electrical outlet, the fixture is aligned relatively to the horizontal in the same position as the outlet. It is then possible through the spirit level or levels to determine just whether or not the electrical outlet is properly placed. As a further feature of the invention the fixture is so formed, preferably through cutouts, that the spirit levels may be viewed whether at one side or the other side of the fixture. Further, this formation of the fixture and the cutouts thereof may be utilized for the application of a tool, such as a screw driver, to fasten the screws holding the electrical outlet in its adiusted position.
As a further feature of the invention the electrical outlet may be moved through the intermediary of the positioning means extending from the fixture, so as to facilitate adjustment of the electrical outlet, after which the movement of a tool through a cutout or opening of the installation fixture secures the electrical outlet in place.
I have thus outlined rather broadly the more important features of my invent-ion in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that my contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of my invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject of the claims appended hereto. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception on which my disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures Patented Jan. 7, 1564 for carrying out the several purposes of my invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions as do not depart from the spirit and scope of my invention, in order to prevent the appropriation of my invention by those skilled in the art.
Referring now to the drawings, P16. 1 is a perspective exploded view showing my installation fixture positioned relatively to a switch type electrical outlet for use in accordance with the teachings of my invention;
FIG. 2 is similar to FIG. 1 but illustrates the fixture used in connection with a socket plug type outlet; and
FIG. 3 is a section of the fixture taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
Referring now more particularly to the drawings, reference numeral it) indicates an electrical outlet of that type in which a switch is actuated by a finger piece 11. The outlet is formed with integral upper and lower arms 12 in a standard fashion, each of the arms being slotted at 13 whereby through the application of screws 14- the outlet may be secured in adjusted position to a part of an electrical outlet box not shown specifically, but designated generally by the reference letter B. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that up to this point 1 have described merely a standard type of switch outlet and a standard type of installation.
In FIG. 2, I show another form of standard electrical outlet designated by reference numeral 15. The type of outlet 15 is termed a socket plug, and is of course wellknown in the art. In brief, it is formed with structural means comprising upper and lower slotted openings 16 and 17 respectively, adapted for the entry of the usual switch prongs extending from a male-type plug. Socket plug 15 is further equipped with upper and lower arms 18 each slotted at 19 whereby to be secured by screws 2th in a standard manner to a standard type of box B. Again, it will be quite clear to those skilled in the art that there is nothing different or novel about the socket plug 15 or its installation.
It will be well at this point to indicate that electrical outlets, once installed, are generally covered by a finishing plate. This finishing plate, when used for covering a switch of the type shown in FIG. 1, has two screw hole openings for the passage of screws that fit into threaded openings of the arms 12 and 13 of the switch outlet, these threaded openings constituting structural means being designated in FIG. 1 by reference numerals 22 and 23. In the case of a socket plug type outlet, the finishing plate is formed so as to coact with the shape of the socket plug 15, thereby requiring only a single fastening screw which enters the central threaded opening 2d of the plug 15. It is again emphasized that the electrical outlets are standard and for that reason are not described in greater detail.
The installation fixture of my invention is well shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, and comprises a main plate designated by reference numeral 25. The face 26 of the main plate 25 has extending therefrom positioning means in the form of pron s 27 and 28, these prongs being so formed and positioned that prongs -27 will enter the slots 16 of the socket plug 15, and prongs 23 will enter the slots 17 of the said outlet 15. The other face of the main plate 25 is designated by reference numeral 30 and has extending therefrom positioning means comprising an upper post 31 and a lower post 32. Each of these posts is equipped with a small end pin 33 of a size adapted to enter the threaded openings 22 and 23 of the switch outlet shown in MG. 1.
The face "3% of the main plate has an upper spirit level 35 secured thereto and also a lower spirit level 36. A side spirit level 37 is also secured to the face 30 and is used when the main plate is positioned to a socket applied horizontally on a wall. Near the upper and lower spirit levels and 36 there are relatively large openings designated by reference numerals it) and I shall now describe just how my installation fixture is utilized. Let us say that a workman is installing switch outlet It). He applies the screws 14 rather loosely, leaving the outlet It; adjustable relatively to the box 8. He then places the fixture so that the two pins 33: of the posts 31 enter the threaded openings 22 and 23. bviously, the fixture is now aligned in the same rotated position relatively to the vertical that is occupied by the electrical Outlet 16. By looking at spirit level 36 which is easily seen through the opening 41, it can be determined whether or not the fixture is in a correct horizontal position. If it is, then naturally outlet ill will also be in a correct position. It is now possible to insert a screw driver through openings it) and 4t and to tighten the screws 14 to secure the switch outlet ll) firmly in a true horizontal position. If some adjustment is neces ry, it is obviously very easy to move the switch outlet either through the pins 33 or by the screw driver inserted at openings 49 and 41. Once the switch outlet has been adjusted, then the finishing plate that is secured thereto at threaded openings 22 and 23 will also be properly aligned.
If the electrical outlet happens to be of the socket plug type, then the prongs 27 and 28 are applied to the slots 16 and .17. Now, the screws 2i) may be tightened in FIG. 2 through the insertion of a screw driver at openings and 41, provided the spirit levels show that the outlet 15 is in a desired horizontal position. Adjustment of the outlet is easy through use of the prongs 27 and 28 or through the screw driver, as the case may be.
Spirit level 37 is utilized when it is desired to mount the switch outlet 15 in a horizontal position at right angles to the position illustrated in FIG. 2.
I believe that the rather considerable merits of my invention and its utilization will be understood by those skilled in the art.
1. An installation fixture for an electrical outlet of the type having a central control portion and opposed end fastening brackets, comprising a plate adapted to be placed against said electrical outlet and to overlie said outlet, a spirit level secured to said plate, positioning means extending from one side of said plate and constructed for particular engagement with structural means on said electrical outlet whereby the engagement of said positioning means with the structural means may position the fixture in vertical alignment with the position of said electrical outlet in a standard box, said positioning means lying inwardly of the periphery of said plate relatively to said spirit level to render said spirit level elfective to indicate the alignment of said outlet, and said plate being cut away so that the fastening devices holding said electrical outlet fastening brackets fixed to its box are accessible for operation by a tool applied from beyond that side of the fixture opposed to the side from which said positioning means extend.
2. In an installation fixture for electrical outlets of the type having a central control portion and opposed end fastening brackets, a main plate member, a spirit level secured to said main plate member, positioning means extending from said main plate member and constructed for particular engagement with structural means on an electrical outlet when said main plate member is held against said outlet, the engagement of said positioning means with the said structural means permitting the rotation of said outlet by said main plate member through said structural means relatively to a standard box, and said main plate member being cut away at opposed ends thereof so that the fastening devices holding said electrical outlet fastening brackets against a standard outlet box are accessible for operation by a tool applied from beyond that side of the main plate member opposed to the side of said main plate member held against said outlet.
3. In an installation fixture for electrical outlets of the type having a central control portion and opposed end fastening brackets, a main plate member, a spirit level secured to said main plate member, positioning means extending from each side of said main plate member cooperable alternatively with structural means on electrical outlets whereby the engagement of said positioning means at one side with the structural means may position the main plate member in a vertical alignment in accordance with the vertical alignment of the electrical outlet, and said main plate member being formed with openings positioned so that said spirit level is seen through one of said openings when one of said positioning means is used to position the main plate member relatively to an electrical outlet, and said openings being so positioned also that fastening devices holding said electrical outlet brackets in adjusted position are accessible to a tool applied through said openings from beyond that side of the main plate member opposed to the side from which the particular positioning means engaged with said outlet structural means extend.
4. In an installation fixture for electrical outlets of the type having a central control portion and opposed end fastening brackets, a main plate member, a spirit level secured at one side of said main plate member, a particular type of positioning means extending from one side of said main plate member and another type of positioning means extending from the other side of said main plate member with each type cooperable with structural means on said electrical outlets whereby the engagement of said positioning means at one side with the structural means may position the main plate member in a vertical alignment in accordance with the vertical alignment of the particular electrical outlet, and said main plate memher being formed with openings through one of which said spirit level is seen when the positioning means at either side of said main plate member are used to position the main plate member relatively to an electrical outlet, and said openings being formed so that fastening devices holding said electrical outlet brackets in adjusted position are accessible to a tool applied through said openings regardless of which positioning means are in engagement with an electrical outlet.
5. In an installation fixture for electrical outlets of the type having a central control portion and opposed end fastening brackets, a main plate member, a spirit level fixed to said main plate member to locate a horizontal position of said main plate member in a vertical plane, two types of positioning means extending from said main plate member, one type located on each side of said main plate member and alternatively cooperable respectively with two types of structural means on said outlets through reversal of said main plate member whereby the engagement of one type of said positioning means with said structural means may determine the vertical alignment of said main plate member in accordance with the vertical position of said outlets, said positioning and structural means effecting rotation of said outlets by rotation of said main plate member, and said main plate member having openings formed inwardly of its periphery so that fastening devices holding said electrical outlet brackets in a standard box are accessible to a tool applied from beyond that surface of the main plate member opposed to the surface of said main plate member facing the particular electrical outlet when said main plate member engages said outlet.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS