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Publication numberUS3159727 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 1, 1964
Filing dateSep 14, 1962
Priority dateSep 14, 1962
Publication numberUS 3159727 A, US 3159727A, US-A-3159727, US3159727 A, US3159727A
InventorsBoryfewycz Steve
Original AssigneeJohn E Mitchell Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum machine wall plug switch
US 3159727 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)



United States Patent "cc The present invention relates to a wall plug for a machine such as a built-in vacuum cleaner, so designed that when the vacuum outlet in the wall is uncovered to enable the tube of the vacuum cleaner to be connected into it, the cover itself closes an electrical circuit that enables the vacuum machine to be started.

It is evident that this device could be used for other related types of apparatus. It is also recognized that in general this type of device is known in the art. However, in the present arrangement the cover for the vacuum pipe is hingedly mounted on a plate on the wall surface through which the vacuum pipe passes. There are interengageable electrical contact means on the cover and on the plate. They are so arranged that when the cover is closed, cam elements keep the contacts apart. But when the cover is swung open, the contacts are engaged and there is not merely a pressure contact between them, but also a wiping contact. This wiping contact is particularly important because of the dirt and trash involved in the location and operation of this type of apparatus.

It is an object of the invention, therefore, to provide a vacuum outlet device for wall outlets and the like which has a cover that can be moved from open to closed position, which cover when in closed position, maintains electrical contacts separated, but when moved to open position, first closes the contacts and then wipes them together until the cover is in completely open position. It is a further object of the invention to provide this operation in a device wherein there is an over-center action so that the hinged cover is urged into closed position when closed, but is snapped into open position when fully opened. it is a further object of the invention to accomplish this snap action through the spring effect of the electrical terminals themselves in cooperation with an electrically non-conducting means that can hold the elements apart when the cover is closed.

Uther objects will appear from the description to follow. in the drawings:

FlGURE l is a front or outer view of the device;

FIGURE 2 is a back or inner view of the device;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged vertical section taken approximately on the line 3--3 of FIGURE 2, the outer side of the cover being to the right; and

FIGURES 4, 5 and 6 are fragmentary enlarged views showing the operation of the switch contact elements.

A vacuum pipe V is normally disposed in a wall W, they being diagrammatically shown in dotted lines in FZGURE 3. It is contemplated that the present invention will be used with a central vacuum pump in the basement of a building, operated by an electric motor, with vacuum pipes such as the pipe V leading from the central vacuum pump to various parts of the building. Each of the outlets through the walls, such as the wall W, is designed to have the end of a flexible tube on a portable cleaner head inserted into it, so that the central vacuum pump can provide the necessary suction for the individual cleaner head unit.

The cover includes a face plate ltl that constitutes a base for the device. The plate 16 has top and bottom end panels 11 and 12 that have tubular sleeves to receive screws by means of which the device can be secured to the wall W which may be a baseboard or the like. The plate 19 preferably is provided with flanges 13 around its four 3,l5t,?2l Patented Dec. 1, 1964 edges to offset it somewhat from the wall surface. Inwardiy from the end panels 11 and 12, the plate 1d has a middle panel or section 14 that is offset backwardly from end panels ii and 12 to provide a recess for a cover, as will appear. There is a circular offset 15 at the center of the middle panel 14, and concentric with it is a tubular flange in into which the end of the vacuum pipe V may fit. This tubular part then constitutes a tubular connector that can receive the end of a flexible tube fitting of a portable vacuum cleaning head. The tubular portion 16 may be surrounded by a tubular sleeve 17 that can be adjusted axially to accommodate walls of different thickness. The plate is cut away to provide a circular closure seat 18 facing outwardly of the plate.

A cover 26, wmch may be rectangular, is designed to cover the opening or outlet 15, and to be received in the recess formed by the middle panel 14. The cover 20 is pivoted at 22 and 23 at its upper corners so that it can be swung outwardly to uncover the outlet 16. As illustrated, the cover 29 has an outwardly extending flange along its lower edge. This flange 25 stands outwardly from the adjacent panel E2 of the plate It), so that it can be grasped between the thumb and forefinger in order to pull the cover 2% to its open position.

As will be understood, the plate 10 and the cover 20 are preferably made of a molded, plastic, electrically nonconducting material as is the cover 20.

The cover 2i) has a central boss 30 around which a gasket of suitable material such as rubber or plastic 31 is disposed. The gaslr 31 is of a size to engage in sealing relation with the projecting rim 18 on the outlet tube 16. The gasket is fastened onto the cover 20 by a resilient plate 32 that in turn is secured by a self-tapping screw 33 that is in the boss 39.

The foregoing constitutes the cover for the vacuum piping which is opened when the cover is swung out above its pivots 22 and 23. In addition to opening the vacuum piping, the operation of the cover closes electrical contacts. To this end, the face plate 16 has two generally rectangular recesses 49 and 41 notched down into the middle section 14 from its upper edge. Adjacent the lower edge of the two recesses 4i and 41 are two raised terminal bosses and 43.

9n the two raised bosses 42 and 43 are mounted two spring contacts and 4-5. As shown, these contacts are provided with attachment screws for the conventional power connections such as 115 volt AC. electric conductors. The ends of the spring contacts extend forwardly and then upwardly as illustrated in FIGURE 3. Their normal resilience and flexibility cause them to urge their ends forwardly, which is to the right in FIGURE 3, with a spring-like effect. The ends of these spring contacts 4 and extend across the openings 4% and 41.

The cover 2% has two cam projections 48 and 49 that have the contour indicated in FEGURES 3-6, being rounded on their ends and projecting backwardly of the cover 26?, so that when the cover is closed, they engage the ends of the spring contacts 4 and and maintain them displaced backwardly from the back face of the plate it by a certain predetermined distance that will prevent electrical contacting, as will appear, when the cover 29 is closed.

The cover 2 also has an electrical contact plate 52 mounted on its back face so that it extends across the upper edge of the cover 20. As its two opposite ends, the plate 25 has projecting rolled cars 54 and 55 that project upwardly, lying inside the back face of the plate It). This positioning is made possible by the oilset of the middle panel l4 from the nd panel 11 a distance suflicient to enable the plate to be fastened to the back of the cover and the end panel, and yet to have the plate It? close substantially all of the area behind the cover except the outlet 16. The upwardly extending tongue 56 of the plate It) between the two recesses 4'33 and 41 constitute a part of the middle panel that is ofiset backwardly from the end panel ill or" the plate 1%, and it lies over the back of 'the'contact 52 and supports it. The rolled ends 54 and 55 are located adjacent to the upwardly projecting ends of the spring contacts 44 and 45, respectively. When the cover is closed as illustrated in FIGURE 3, the cains ifi and 49 hold the spring contacts 44 and 45 away from the rolled ends and 55.

Operation The wall plug arrangement is designed to be secured in a wall'with the sleeve ltd adjusted to adapt it to the thickness of the wall. Typically the wall element, intowhich the wall plug is mounted, consists of a baseboard. The pipe V from a central vacuum source is connected to the inlet 16. However, it will be assumed that at this time the electrically'operated vacuum pump, which may be in the basement or other remote place in the building, is turned off. If it is turned on, wit'n'the cover it closed, the cover and its gasket 31 prevent the flow of air into the pipe V, and there is no waste of the vacuum. If a user wishes to connect a cleaner head or unit to the inlet 16 at this time, he need only open the cover and insert the flexible hose into the inlet.

Assuming, however, that the vacuum machine is inoperative, when the user desires to connect a vacuum cleaning unit'into the plug, he opens the cover 213 by grasping the handleedge 25 and pulling it to pivot the cover 20 about its pivots 22 and 23. This swings the cover forwardly and upwardly. At the start of this, when the cover 20 is closed, the electrical contacts are open as has been 'stated, because the earns 48 and 49 keep the plates 44 and 45 away from the rolled ends 54 and 55 of the contact 52. This is illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 4. In this condition, the spring lcontact s dl and 45 exert forces against the rounded, generally arcuate, ends of the cams 48 and 49 in a direction that is above the pivots 22 and 23 so that the spring forces of the plates 44 and 45 urge the cover 2% in a closed direction.

As the cover 20 moves out to a partially opened position such as shown in FIGURE 5, the rolled ends 54 and 55 are brought into contact with the contact blades 44- and 55, respectively. This makes initial electrical closure of the switch. It is seen that the cams 48 and 49 begin to withdraw from the blades, being on a shorter radius han the'rolled ends 54 and 55.

As the cover 20 is opened to its full position, the rolled ends 54 and 55 abut against and displace the inner surfaces of the spring contacts 44 and 45, against their resiliency, and wipe downwardly across them. By this arrangement, there is 'a wiping eifect that is augmented by the resiliency of the blades that urges them into contact with the rolled ends 54- and 55. Finally, when the cover is fully opened to the position illustrated in PKG- URE 6, the spring blades 44 and 45'act against the arcuate rolled ends 54 and 55 of the contact 52 with a force that is now below the pivots 22 and 23. Accordingly, the cover is urged in an open position and will be held open by this overcenter typeot action until it is manually closed.

The foregoing wiping action of the switch mechanism is important because there is apt to be dirt around the locations Where these outlets must be used. The wiping action cleans the contacts each time they are opened or closed and assures a good electrical closure.

In this device, the electrical switch elements are kept Well protected and substantially inaccessible to being accidentally touched by the user. The cover shields them when it is closed, and when it is opened, it shields them from above. The recesses 4t? and 41 are kept small, and it is virtually imposible to bridge the spring contacts 44 and 45 accidentally.

Various changes and modifications may be made within the process of tms invention as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications are within the scope and teaching of this invention as defined by the claims appended hereto.

What is claimed is:

i. In an outlet device and switch mechanism: a base, first and second contact means, the first contact means being movably mounted on the baseior movement toward and from the second; means yieldably urging the first contact means toward the second; the second contact means including a member pivotally mounted on the base, with a contact end projecting from the pivot alongside the first contact means and in the line of its movement, a cam on the second contact means extending toward the first and engageable with it to hold the contacts apart; the pivot of the second contact means being located so as to displace the cam from the first contact means and to bring the end of the second contact member against the first, and to cause the second to wipe across the fast contact means as the pivotal movement of the second occurs; the base having an opening therein, and a cover on the pivotal member of the second contact means on the opposite end thereof from the contact end thereof, the cover being removed from the opening as the second contact member is pivoted into engagement with the first contact means.

2. The mechanism of claim 1, wherein the pivot of the pivotal member is located to one side or the point of application of the yieldable force of the first contact means against the cam, when the cover is closed, and is on the opposite side of the point of application of said force when the second contact means has been wiped across the first and the cover is open, whereby the yield'able means may urge the cover to close tightly, or to remain open.

3. In the outlet device of claim 2, the first contact means comprising a resilient member projecting from a point adjacent the opening radially outwardly therefrom to a point beyond the pivot means of the cover, the second contact means extending also beyond the pivot means to be adjacent to the end of the first, the cam on the cover projecting to contact the first contact means radially inwardly from the end, and extending out far enough to displace the end of the first contact away from the second when the cover is closed.

4. In the outlet device of claim 1: the base having an upper panel and a middle portion offset backwardly from the upper panel to receive the cover, the upper edge of the middle portion having spaced recesses extending downwardly therefrom toward the center; the offset of the base providing that the back of the cover adjacent the recesses is substantially continuous with the back of the upper panel of the base, the second contact means comprising a fiat conductor attached to the back of the cover, extending across from recess to recess, and with ears projecting upwardly from the top of the two recesses, the first contact means comprising electrically separate spring strips projecting upwardly to lie adjacent the ears on the fiat conductor.

5. In the outlet device of claim 4, the cam comprising two rounded projections on the cover extending outwardly adjacent each of the spring strips, and the ears on the fiat conductor being rolled to provide rounded engagement portions.

References flited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 498,550 Holtum May 30, 1893 1,300,286 McKay Apr. 15, 1919 1,618,667 Melcher Feb. 22, 1927 1,744,333 Pfaifenberger Jan. 21, 1930 2,424,661 Jones July 29, 1947

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US498550 *Oct 18, 1892May 30, 1893 Mail-receptacle
US1300286 *Jul 1, 1918Apr 15, 1919John Andrew MckayElectrical-fitting connection.
US1618667 *Jun 15, 1926Feb 22, 1927Theodore C WareCombined switch-box and vacuum-line-seal mechanism for vacuum-cleaning systems
US1744333 *Sep 15, 1928Jan 21, 1930Pfaffenberger Edward WMail-box signal switch
US2424661 *Dec 10, 1943Jul 29, 1947Jones Joseph CSignal device for mailboxes
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3291927 *Oct 21, 1965Dec 13, 1966Black & Decker Mfg CoInlet valve assembly for central cleaning system
US3655927 *Apr 15, 1970Apr 11, 1972Whirlpool CoInlet valve and switch for central vacuum cleaner
US4336427 *Oct 3, 1980Jun 22, 1982Vacu-Maid, Inc.Outlet assembly for a vacuum cleaning system
U.S. Classification200/61.6
International ClassificationA47L9/28, H01H3/16, H01R13/52
Cooperative ClassificationA47L9/2868, H01H3/161, H01R13/5213, A47L9/2889
European ClassificationA47L9/28P, A47L9/28S, H01R13/52H, H01H3/16B