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 numberUS3236990 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 22, 1966
Filing dateOct 28, 1964
Priority dateOct 28, 1964
Publication numberUS 3236990 A, US 3236990A, US-A-3236990, US3236990 A, US3236990A
InventorsReginald A Bates
Original AssigneeReginald A Bates
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Weatherproof switch assembly
US 3236990 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 22, 1966 R. A. BATES WEATHERPROOF SWITCH ASSEMBLY Filed Oct. 28, 1964 INVE/VTUR REGINALD A. BATES BYM. ,arro z/Ers United States Patent 3,236,990 WEATHERPROOF SWITCH ASSEMBLY Reginald A. Bates, Solvay Station, Syracuse, N.Y. Filed Oct. 28, 1964, Ser. No. 407,133 13 Claims. (Cl. 200-168) This invention relates to a weatherproof switch assembly and more particularly to such an assembly wherein there is a seal provided between the wall plate and the wall portion supporting the switch.

There are many installations which require weatherproof sealing if the electrical switches are to provide reliable and safe operation. Wall plates which are provided with an opening through which the switch operating lever may extend present additional problems in obtaining a suflicient seal, it being necessary to provide a seal around the perimeter of the wall plate and also where the switch lever extends through the wall plate. The problem is particularly acute with respect to the seal for the switch lever since there is a substantial movement of the lever which must in some manner be provided for by the seal. It is further desirable that the seal should in no way make the switch lever more difficult to operate, and furthermore it is helpful to be able to at all times readily see in which position the switch lever may be resting. It is with these problems in mind that the weatherproof switch assembly of this invention has been developed.

It is an object of this invention to provide a weatherproof switch assembly wherein sealing means are provided for sealing the perimeter of the wall plate and for further sealing the aperture in the wall plate through which the switch operating lever extends.

It is another object to provide a weatherproof switch wherein the sealing means is a unitary member for sealing both the perimeter of the wall plate and the aperture through which the switch operating lever extends.

It is a still further object to provide a weatherproof switch assembly wherein the seal for the wall plate aperture is a flexible and transparent bubble providing free movement of the switch lever therewithin.

It is another object to provide a weatherproof switch assembly which includes a conventional switch having the usual switch operating lever, means for flush mounting the switch in a wall Opening with the switch lever extending outwardly beyond the plane of the wall in which the opening is formed, a conventional wall plate having a centrally disposed aperture therein, the wall plate being positioned such that the switch lever will extend freely through the Wall plate aperture and the perimeter of the wall plate covers the periphery of the wall opening, and a flexible sealing member between the perimeter of the wall plate and the wall and a transparent flexible bubble portion extending outwardly through the wall plate aperture to freely cover the switch lever thus providing a weatherproof seal between the wall and wall plate.

The above and other objects will become more apparent from the following detailed description and drawing, showing by way of example, two embodiments of this invention and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of the wall plate mounted with a unitary sealing member which seals the perimeter of the wall plate and the wall plate aperture through which the switch operating lever extends,

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1 showing the relationship of the sealing member to the wall plate, wall and switch, and

FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view similar to that of FIG. 2 illustrating a second embodiment wherein the sealing means comprises two seals, one for the perimeter of the wall plate and the other for the wall plate aperture.

The drawing illustrates two embodiments of the invention, FIGS. 1 and 2 showing the first and FIG. 3, the sec- Patented Felo. 22, 1966 0nd. The embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2 comprises a con ventional toggle switch 10 mounted in outlet box 12 by means of a mounting strap 14 spanning the open face of the outlet box and secured thereto by means of screws 16. The outlet box 12 is appropriately positioned in wall opening 18 by any suitable and appropriate means. The toggle switch 10 includes the usual operating lever 20 which in this instance oscillates between upper and lower positions corresponding to the on and off switch connections.

Wall plate 22 has a more or less centrally disposed aperture 24 and an angularly disposed downwardly extending flange 26 around its entire perimeter. The wall plate is also provided with a pair of vertically spaced holes through which screws 28 pass for threaded engagement wth strap 14 to secure the wall plate in assembled position.

The unitary sealing member 30 comprises a planar portion 32 generally coextensive with the wall plate 22 and a bubble portion 34 fitting outwardly through wall plate aperture 24. Bubble portion 34 comprises a generally cylindrical wall portion 36 terminating in a convex end covering cap 38.

As best illustrated in FIG. 2, the unitary sealing member 30 is assembled so that the outer edges of the depending Wall plate flanges 26 will engage and force the planar portion 32 of the sealing member into engagement with the wall portion 36 surrounding wall opening 18 to thereby provide a seal between the wall portion surrounding wall opening 18 and the perimeter of the wall plate 12. The bubble portion 34 fits in and through the wall plate aperture 24 and is of sufficient size both in diameter and height to provide for completely free movement of switch operating lever 20 in all positions. In other words, the bubble portion 34 is of such size that the switch lever 20 Will never touch it unless the bubble is flexed inwardly.

The sealing member 30 is formed of a transparent resilient synthetic resinous material, for example, silicon rubber. In any event the material should be flexible, reasonably transparent, not readily affected by wide temperature variations and not subject to rapid deterioration by weather and sunlight.

In order to operate the switch lever 20 the bubble portion 34 is flexed inwardly as indicated in dotted lines to engage the lever and move .it to the alternate position as shown in dotted lines, Upon removal of pressure the flexed bubble will return to its normal position completely spaced from the switch lever.

It should be noted that the bubble portion 34 of sealing member 30 is made rather large in order to accommodate switch operators of various sizes and types. Even a push button type switch would embody this type of sealing arrangement. It is this universal feature which provides substantial commercial advantages to this invention.

The embodiment illustrated in FIG. 3 is like that of FIG. 2 except for the sealing means; consequently identical numerals will be employed to indicate corresponding components in FIG. 3. The sealing means of this embodiment comprises two separate members. A rather thick spongy rubber-like sealing gasket 40 is positioned so that the outer edges of the depending wall plate flanges 26 engage and force same into sealing contact with the Wall portion 36 surrounding wall opening 18 to thereby provide a seal between the wall plate 22 and the wall portion surrounding wall opening 18. It should be noted that the gasket width is only suflicient to provide a seal and will somewhat overlap or extend beyond the outer edges of flanges 26. There is at least one advantage derived from this thickened gasket namely the fact that unevenness or other dimensional inequalities between the wall and wall plate can readily be accommodated and yet have a good seal.

The bubble 42 which fits into wall plate aperture 24 comprises a cylindrical wall portion 44 covered at its outer end by convex cap 46. The open end of cylindrical wall portion 44 is provided with a pair of spaced peripheral flanges 48 and 50. The space between said flanges is slightly greater than the thickness of the wall plate 22 so that the bubble may be mounted on the wall plate by having these flanges 48 and 5t? engaging opposite faces of the wall plate surrounding the wall plate aperture 24. This bubble is made of the same material as the unitary seal member 30 of the first embodiment. Bubble 42 is of the same dimensions as bubble portion 34- of the first embodiment and functions in identical manner.

One of the advantages of the two piece seal arrangement is that different materials may be used. For example, a thick spongy rubber-like material may be used for the gasket 40 while a silicon rubber or the like may be used to form the bubble 42. In addition, there will be less material used in the two-piece arrangement. This is naturally an important consideration. Further, if one of the seals became ineffective for any reason it is necessary to only replace it rather than the entire seal as would be the case in a unitary seal.

I claim:

1. A weatherproof switch assembly comprising in combination, a conventional switch having the usual switch operating lever adapted for oscillation to turn the switch on and off, means flush mounting said switch in a wall opening with the switch lever extending outwardly beyond the plane of the wall in which the opening is for-med, a conventional wall plate having a centrally disposed aperture therein, said wall plate being positioned such that the switch lever will extend freely through the wall plate aperture, and the perimeter of the wall plate covers the periphery of the wall opening and a unitary flexible sealing member between the perimeter of the wall plate and the wall, and having a bubble portion extending outwardly through the wall plate aperture to freely cover the switch lever thus providing a weatherproof seal between the wall and the wall plate.

2. The invention as described in claim 1 and wherein the unitary flexible sealing member is transparent.

3. The invention as described in claim 1 and wherein the bubble portion of the sealing member is sufliciently large so that the switch operating lever will remain spaced from the bubble in any operating position while the bubble is not flexed.

4. A weatherproof switch assembly comprising in combination, a conventional switch having the usual switch operating lever adapted for oscillation to turn the switch on and off, means mounting said switch in a wall opening with the switch lever extending outward-1y beyond the plane of the wall in which the switch receiving opening is formed, a wall plate having an aperture therein, said wall plate being positioned with the switch lever extending outwardly through the wall plate aperture and the wall plate perimeter covering the Wall immediately surrounding the wall opening, and a flexible sealing means between the perimeter of the wall plate and the wall adjacent thereto, said sealing means having a bubble portion extending outwardly through the wall plate aperture to cover the switch lever thus providing a weatherproof seal between the wall and the wall plate.

5. The invention described in claim 4 and wherein the bubble portion of the sealing means is transparent.

6. A weatherproof switch assembly comprising in combination, a conventional switch having the usual switch operating lever adapted for oscillation to turn the switch on and off, means flush mounting said switch in a wall opening with the switch lever extending outwardly beyond the plane of the wall in which the opening is formed, a conventional wall plate having a centrally disposed aperture therein, said wall plate being positioned such that the switch lever will extend freely through the wall plate aperture and the perimeter of the wall plate covers the periphery of the wall opening and a flexible sealing memher positioned between the perimeter of the wall plate and the periphery of the wall opening to provide a weatherproof seal therebetween, a flexible bubble mounted in the wall plate aperture with the closed portion extending outwardly to provide space to cover the switch lever and provide a weatherproof seal between the bubble and the wall plate aperture.

7. The invention as described in claim 6 and wherein the bubble is of sufficient size such that the bubble may be normally flexed from without to operate the Switch lever and yet provide complete clearance in all positions of the switch lever when the bubble is not flexed.

8. The invention as described in claim 7 and wherein the bubble comprises a cylindrical wall covered at the outward end by a convex cap portion, a pair of spaced peripheral flanges extending radially outward from the open end of the cylinder, the space between said flanges being sufficient to allow the flanges to fit snugly on opposite sides of the wall plate aperture to secure the bubble therein.

9. A weatherproof sealing means for use in conjunction with a generally flush mounted conventional switch having the usual switch opera-ting lever adapted for oscillation to turn the switch on and off, means mounting said switch in a wall opening with the switch lever extending outwardly beyond the plane of the wall in which the switch receiving opening is formed, a wall plate having an aperture therein, said wall plate being positioned with the switch lever extending outwardly through the wall plate aperture and the wall plate perimeter covering the wall immediately surrounding the wall opening, and wherein the weatherproof sealing means comprises a flexible sealing means adapted to fit between the perimeter of the wall plate and the wall adjacent thereto, said sealing means having a bubble portion adapted to extend outwardly through the wall plate aperture to cover the switch lever thus providing a weatherproof seal between the wall and the wall plate.

10. A weatherproof sealing means for use in conjunction with a generally flush mounted conventional switch having the usual switch operating lever adapted for oscillation to turn the switch on and off, means flush mounting said switch in a wall opening with the switch lever extending outwardly beyond the plane of the wall in which the opening is formed, a conventional wall plate having a centrally disposed aperture therein, said wall plate being positioned such that the switch lever will extend freely through the wall plate aperture and the perimeter of the wall plate covers the periphery of the wall opening, said sealing means comprising a flexible sealing member adapted to be positioned between the perimeter of the wall plate and the periphery of the wall opening to provide a weatherproof seal therebetween, a flexible bubble adapted to be mounted in the wall plate aperture with the closed portion extending outwardly to provide space to cover the switch lever and provide a weatherproof seal between the bubble and the wall plate aperture.

11. The invention as described in claim 10 and wherein the bubble is of sufficient size such that the bubble may be normally flexed from without to operate the switch lever and yet provide complete clearance in all positions of the switch lever when the bubble is not flexed.

12. The invention as described in claim 11 and wherein the bubble comprises a cylindrical wall covered at the outward end by a convex cap portion, a pair of spaced peripheral flanges extending radially outward from the open end of the cylinder, the space between said flanges being suflicient to allow the flanges to fit snugly on opposite sides of the wall plate aperture to secure the bubble therein.

13. A weatherproof sealing means for use in conjunction with a generally flush mounted conventional switch having the usual switch operating lever adapted for oscillation to turn the switch on and off, means flush mounting said switch in a wall opening with the switch lever extend- 5 6 ing outwardly beyond the plane of the Wall in which the cover the switch lever thus providing a weatherproof seal opening is formed, a conventional wall plate having a between the Wall and the Wall P centrally disposed aperture therein, said wall plate being positioned such that the switch lever will extend freely References Cited by the Examiner through the wall plate aperture, and the perimeter of the 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS wall plate covers the periphery of the wall opening, said 2 934 725 5 19 1 Hubbell et 1 200.468 sealing means comprising a unitary flexible sealing mem- 3 028,467 4/1952 Hubbell 20 1 8 ber adapted to fit between the perimeter of the wall plate and the wall, and having a bubble portion adapted to ex- ROBERT MACON Actmg Primary Exammer' tend outwardly through the wall plate aperture to freely 10 H. O. JONES, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2984725 *Dec 11, 1958May 16, 1961Hubbell Inc HarveyWeatherproof plate for pressureoperated switch
US3028467 *May 25, 1959Apr 3, 1962Hubbell Inc HarveySealing cover plate for toggle switches
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3684819 *Feb 25, 1971Aug 15, 1972Wilson Ronald GSealing boot for an electrical receptacle
US3778577 *Jan 3, 1973Dec 11, 1973Singer CoMoisture sealing device for toggle switches
US5280135 *Aug 9, 1991Jan 18, 1994Intermatic IncorporatedOutdoor electrical outlet cover
US5380968 *Sep 29, 1993Jan 10, 1995A.P.M. Hexseal CorporationProtective cover for switches
US5788059 *Jul 16, 1996Aug 4, 1998Jahangiri; Farhad FredElectrical switch cover and cover-switch assembly
US6437242Jan 5, 2001Aug 20, 2002Pass & Seymour, IncOpening mechanism for electrical outlet box
US6909060Jan 27, 2003Jun 21, 2005Michael ShoteyCover for electrical switch
US7642476Feb 13, 2007Jan 5, 2010Sandvik Mining And Construction OyPush-button arrangement and push-button
EP0905729A1 *Sep 24, 1998Mar 31, 1999LegrandFront panel for electrical apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/302.3
International ClassificationH01H23/06
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/06, H01H2009/048
European ClassificationH01H23/06