US 3487477 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J 6, 1970 HANS-HEINRICH CLAS'SEN ,487, 77
FAUCET WITH AUTOMATIC CLOSURE VALVE FOE WASH BASIN 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Feb. 20, 1968 FIG.]
FlGJcl IN VEN TOR. fiMNS'f/f/IV P/C/f (ZAJJZW BY WW Jan. 6, 1970 HANS-HEINRICH CLASSEN 3,487,477
FAUCET WITH AUTOMATIC CLOSURE VALVE FOR WASH BASIN 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Feb. 20, 1968 INVENTOR. #m-nem/r :znsaw United States Patent Int. c1. F16k 31702,- A47k 1/04 US. Cl. 4-166 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Faucet for fluid flow with electrically controlled shutoff valve for a washbasin where the faucet extends through a hollow space in the rear wall of the basin in which an antenna is concealed that radiates electromagnetic waves the frequency of which is changed due to body capacity when the faucet or the rear wall is approached by a hand or other object, which in turn operates the circuit which operates the valve to open or close the same.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to automatically controlled faucet spouts for liquids equipped with a valve that is actuated by an electromagnet, Automatic liquid discharging faucets of this type are particularly intended for washbasins of operating rooms where the operating personnel may not touch faucet spouts or other objects, especially after they have washed their hands, so that the hands will remain sterilized.
It is known for liquid dispensing spouts of this type to provide an antenna behind the rear wall of the washbasin, which is in the form of a plate and the field of which changes in response to the proximity of a hand and thus changes the tuning of the associated transmitter. The known arrangements of this type have thegshortcoming that the installation is difl'icult because the antenna has to be placed behind the wall of the basin that is proximate the wall on which it is mounted. Furthermore, an antenna in the form of a plate cannot be installed in all types of washbasins; the washbasins for this purpose must rather be provided with the required hollow spaces. Another shortcoming of the plate antenna is that it can only be in stalled by a trained and skilled artisan. It is a further disadvantage of the plate antenna that the tuning of the transmitter with which it is associated is very critical, which also requires a trained operator. It is a further shortcoming of the known plate-shaped antenna arranged behind the washbasin, that the responsiveness of the antenna is also afiected by the shape of the wash basin as well as by the material of the out-flow pipe, of the syphon and of the water-supply pipes. Furthermore, it is inevitable for such an antenna to become soiled because it is not regularly cleaned owing to its concealed location. Particles of dirt, especially in combination with inevitable dampness of the ambient air, cause changes of the electric characteristics of such an antenna.
PREFERRED EMBODIMNT OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the invention these shortcomings are avoided in that a tube or pipe, which surrounds the water spigot pipe by which it is supported in insulated relationship, serves as the antenna.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS Further details and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description of illustrative embodiments of the invention shown in the accompanying drawings in which 3,487,477 Patented Jan. 6, 1970 DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION The wash basin 11 is mounted on the wall 10 in a known manner. The basin is made of ceramic material and has a hollow space behind the separating wall 20 that is proximate the wall 10 in which in other known washbasins which are provided with manual valves, the water pipe lead to the closure valves. In the arrangement shown the water which comes from the supply pipes flows in at 18 through an electromagnetic closure valve 15 and thence through the pipe 14 in the hollow space behind basin wall 20 to the spigot 12. The basin outlet pipe is shown at 13. The known antenna 19 in the form of a plate of a radio wave transmitter which is preferably transistorized is likewise mounted in the hollow space behind the basin wall 20 and connected by way of the conductor 21 with the transmitter in the housing 16. The current supply for the electromagnetic closure valve 17 and the transmitter is provided by lead 17.
If the spigot 12 of FIG. 1 is cut off along the dashed line 22 and the spigot or conduit in accordance with FIG. 2 is connected instead, a particularly suitable elfective embodiment of the invention is obtained. In this embodiment of the invention the known plate type antenna behind the wall 19 in the rear of the basin is not used, but .a tubular conductor member 30 constituting an antenna is used which surrounds the outlet spigot 26. The arrangement in accordance with FIG. 2 has a connecting member 24 provided with threads 23 by means of which it can be connected at 22 after a suitable thread has been cut into the remaining part of the pipe or spigot 12. The connecting pipe 26 leads to a discharge member provided with an aperture 29. A conductor pipe 30 is mounted on and insulated from the fluid conduit pipe 26 by means of two insulator rings 25 and 28, and is connected to the lead 21 (FIG. 1) at the connection point indicated at 31, whereby the insulated conductor pipe 30 constitutes the antenna for the device. A bimetal strip 27 mounted on the pipe 26 which as a result of a change in the temperature of the Water running through the pipe changes its indicated position in a manner that any detuning caused by changes in capacitance between the pipe 30 and conduit 26 is compensated. However, in most instances such compensation is not required.
The device described above operates as follows:
As long as the transmitter is detuned by the proximity of a hand or a body which atfects the capacitance the liquid will flow, because the valve is open as long as the transmitter is detuned.
In accordance with a further development of the invention there is provided a somewhat diiferent embodiment of the mechanism that controls the valve. In this arrangement the valve is operated each time the antenna is detuned and remains in the condition to which it has been automatically set. Furthermore the responding sensitivity of the transmitter is so small that the hand or other object must be brought in close proximity of the antenna detunes the transmitter which operaes the valve detuning of the transmitter at all.
The following manner of operation can be obtained: If the flow of water is to be stopped the hand or other body is brought in close proximity of the antenna. In turn the antenna detunes the transmitter which operates the valve opening mechanism and the valve remains open even if the hand or body is withdrawn. It is now possible to wash the hands or draw water for other purposes as long as one stays away a distance of one half inch from the antenna. If it is desired to close the spigot or faucet one closely approaches the antenna again with a hand without touching it, which in turn detunes the transmitter and again a single switching operation takes place which shifts the valve to the other position of operation, i.e;, the closed condition.
FIG. 1a shows the arrangement of the tubular antenna 30 and its relationship to the transmitter 16 and to the valve 15 more in detail. The antenna is connected to the transmitter 16 by means of a lead 31. The transmitter is connected to the electromagnetic valve 15 which is installed in the water-supply line. The valve is of the type which has a movable member that is spring biased into one position and which can be shifted to a second position in the valve housing. In the present instance the biased position closes the passage between tubes 18 and 14 and in the second position, when current flows through line 32, the valve member is in open position so that water can flow into pipe 14 and to pipe 26 to spout 29.
The transmitter in FIG. 1b has inductive coupling means L and M known to the man skilled in the art. Power is supplied to the transmitter at 17 so that the an-' tenna 30 radiates waves of small intensity. When the field of the antenna is disturbed by approaching a hand or an object to it then the transmitter is detuned in a manner known per se. This detuning is reflected by a change in the current flowing in the emitter-collector circuit of transistor T which causes low current relay D to be drawn up. The contact d or relay D which is normally open is closed when the current flowing through the 'coil of relay D changes.
Even a brief closing of contact d causes contact d to close and send a surge of current through the current surge relay D which also remains in that position to which it had been shifted even if subsequently the contact d is opened again. In this latter position a contact d; is closed by relay d which, as a result, shifts the member of electromagnetic valve 15 shown in FIG. 1a against the force of its biasing spring into position to permit water to flow from pipe 18 into pipe 14. The aforementioned current surge relay is a relay which after current ceases to flow through its coil remains in the position it has assumed after the current surge. In the present case this means that contact d remains closed after the current surge, even if the hand or other interfering object is removed from the proximity of the antenna and relay D returns to that position in which the contact d is open.
When the field of antenna 30 is again disturbed by inserting a hand relay D is again activated and its contact d is closed. The. current surge relay D is again activated and assumes its other position in which contact d is in open position as shown in FIG. 1b. The electromagnetic part of the electromagnetic valve 15 is de-energized and the spring forces the valve member again into the closed position in which no water can flow from conduit pipe 18 into the pipe 14.
1. Automatically operated faucet spout connected to an electrically actuated shutoff valve, particularly for a washbasin, and means adapted to open and close the valve automatically in response to the close proximity of a hand and other bodies including a contact relay for opearting said valve, an electromagnetic wave transmitter connected to said relay for actuating said relay and thereby said valve in response to detuning of said transter, a tubular antenna connected to said transmitter and mounted around said spout and insulator means disposed intermediate said antenna and said spout and adapted to support said antenna on said spout.
2. Automatically operated faucet spout in accordance with claim 1, where said insulator means comprise a pair of annular insulators, one intermediate the adjacent ends of said spout and said antenna, and one said insulator is threadedly connected to a water pipe.
3. Automatically operated faucet spout in accordance with claim 1, including a bimetal strip mounted on said spout within said antenna operative to deform in response to temperature changes and compensate for detuning resulting from such changes.
4. Automatically operated faucet spout in accordance with claim 1 including circuit means connected to said relay comprising a surge relay in circuit with said contact relay, said surge relay having contacts connected to the coil thereof to maintain said surge relay in the position assumed upon activation by said contact relay.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,151,340 10/1964 Teshma. 3,415,278 12/1968 Yamamoto.
ARNOLD ROSENTHAL, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R. 251129