US 3505689 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
mm, 1970 R, 'NEFF ETALQ 3,505,689
ELECTRIC VALVES Filed 001;. 17, 1966 INVENTORS ROBERT J. NE FF GEORGE W. ARMSTRONG FLUSH 9/ /00 FILL 90 FIG-4 V DC. POWER IN United States Patent 3,505,689 ELECTRIC VALVES Robert J. Natl, R.R. 1, Medway, Ohio 45341, and
George W. Armstrong, 284 E. Dayton Drive, Fairborn, Ohio 45324 Filed Oct. 17, 1966, Ser. No. 587,132 Int. Cl. E03d 13/00 US. Cl. 4-100 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE Electric solenoid valves for operation on low voltage DC current are controlled with holding circuits employing magnetic reed switches magnetically associated with the solenoid coils. A non-magnetic insert is received within the axially open end of the coil and one or more reed switches are inserted therein. Also, electric toilet circuits are disclosed employing reed switches magnetically associated with the solenoid-operated flush and/or fill valves.
use with the valves and circuits shown and claimed in the US. patent of Armstrong et al. 3,082,433 issued Mar. 26, 1963 and entitled Water Closets.
It is accordingly an important object of this invention to provide a direct-current operated electric flow control valve and circuit in which a reed switch is magnetically associated with the solenoid coil of the valve and which may be connected to provide a holding circuit for the valve.
A further object of this invention is the provision of a circuit including a magnetically-operated, reed-type switch which is connected in a holding circuit for a DC. operated solenoid valve with which it is magnetically associated, and in which the reed switch carries only the current necessary to maintain the operation of the valve and is therefore not subject to the inductive breaking voltage developed by the solenoid coil.
A still further object of this invention is the provision of a solenoid-operated flow control valve which in-.
corporates a reed switch.
A more specific object of this invention is the provision of a solenoid-operated flow control valve in which a reed switch is positioned and supported Within a nonmagnetic insert which, in turn, is received within the hollow=of the solenoid, for supporting the reed switch in a region of high magnetic flux.
A further specific object of this invention is the provision of circuits particularly adapted for the control of electric toilets of the general types disclosed in the aboveidentifie'd US. Patent 3,082,433.
More specifically, an object of this invention is the provision of simplified operating circuits for electric toilets in which the need for timing switches or holding relays is eliminated.
A further object of this invention is the provision of an electric toilet control circuit which is particularly adapted for promoting flushing of low profile toilets in which a portion of the water tank may be positioned below the level of the bowl.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings and the appended claims.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is an enlarged vertical section of a solenoidoperated flow control valve constructed according to this invention;
FIG. 2 is a wiring diagram of an electric toilet control circuit using two valves;
FIG. 3 is a further wiring diagram of an electric toilet control circuit in which one valve is used;
FIG. 4 is a further wiring diagram of an electric toilet circuit in which three valves are used for operation with low profile toilets; and
FIG. 5 shows a modified form of the reed switch retaining assembly used in the circuit of FIG. 4.
Referring to the figures of the drawings which illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention, an electric solenoid-operated valve which may control the flow of liquid or a gas is shown at in FIG. 1 as having a body forming a fluid inlet 12 and an outlet 13. The valve 10 is of the needle or pilot-operated type in which a pilot valve controls the flow between the inlet 12 and the outlet 13. The valve body 10 may be formed of molded metal or plastic material, and forms an annular land 15 in surrounding relation to the outlet 13.
The valve further includes an elastomeric diaphragm which is positioned in flow-stopping relation to the outlet 13, and includes an outer annular flange portion 21 which forms a fluid tight seal with the body 10 and an inner enlarged central portion 22 which has a lower surface 23 movable into closing relation with the annular land or sealing surface 15 of the body 10. Further, the diaphragm 20 is formed with a central metering orifice 25 and one or more bleed orifices 26, as shown in FIG. 1.
The chamber or space 28 formed above the diaphragm 20 is sealed and closed by a suitable non-magnetic housing or sleeve 30 which has its lower flanged end secured in sealing relationship with the diaphragm 20' at the annular flange portion 21 and which is secured in place on the body by an annular keeper plate 31 and a series of screws 32. The housing 30 has an elongated upper extension 34 which forms means for guiding and retaining an elongated pilot valve member 35 for movement between a raised flow-permitting position, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 1, and a lower position in which the conical tip 36 is in flow-stopping relation to the meter-- ing orifice '25. The valve member 35 is, in etfect, a needle valve and when it is in the raised position, flow is permitted from the inlet 12 to the outlet 13 by the force of the fluid at the inlet causing the diaphragm 20 to rasie off its seat 15. However, when the valve member 35 closes the metering orifice 25, a dilferential pressure is established across the diaphragm by reason of the force of the fluid entering the chamber 28 through the bleed opening 26, causing the diaphragm to close against the annular seat 15.
An electric solenoid structure indicated generally at 40 in FIG. 1 is employed for operating the valve member 35 from a suitable source of DC. power. The structure includes an iron or ferrous frame 41 which is generally C-shaped in profile and has a lower flange 42 supported on the body 11 by the screw 32. The frame 41 receives therein an electric solenoid coil positioned between an upper frame flange 44 and the lower flange 42. The coil 45 is annularly wound and forms an axially open core 46 within the ends of which are inserted steel cylindrical bushings 48 and 49. The bushings are received within annularly indented or raised portions 50 formed in each of the upper and lower flanges of the frame 41 and retain the coil 45 in aligned position on the valve 10. In this position, the elongated upper extension 34 of the nonmagnetic housing 30" is received within the interior of the bushings 48 and 49 coaxially within the coil 45, but extending only partially the length of the central opening 46 formed on the coil 45.
The valve of this invention further includes a reed switch 55 which is magnetically associated with the flux produced by the coil 45. The reed switch 55 has leaves 56 and 57 encapsulated within a glass envelope 58 forming normally open contacts which close under the infiuence of the magnetic field produced by the coil 45. The reed switch 55 is positioned in closely coupled magnetic relation with the coil 45 by an insert 60 which supports and isolates the reed switch 55. The insert 60 may be formed of non-magnetic material, such as polyvinyl chloride and has a lower depending portion 61 received within the coil 45 in the upper bushing 48. The reed switch 55 is positioned within a hollow formed in the lower depending portion 61 in closely coupled relation to the magnetic structure formed by the frame 41 and the coil 45, and is retained in place by suitable potting compound 62 filling the interior of the insert 60. Suitable reed switches for electric solenoid water valves may, for example, be the minature Form A manufactured by Hamlin, Inc., Lake Mills, Wisc.
The valve with the associated reed switch 55 is preferably employed in an electric circuit in which the reed switch forms part of a holding circuit for the valve 10. For this purpose, the valve coil 45 is operated from a source of DC. power, preferably a low voltage source such as 24 volts D.C., for example. 7
Two valves 10 constructed according to this invention are shown in FIG. 28 as applied for the control of the flow of water in an electric toilet control circuit. A transformer 70 may be provided as shown in FIG. 2 with a full wave rectifier bridge 72, as well known in the art forming a source of 24 volt DC power. Also, as shown in FIG. 2, a fragment of a water closet tank 80 is shown including a co-axial ejector 82 for emptying the water from the tank into a toilet boil, not shown, in the manner described and claimed in the above-identified Armstrong et al. Patent 3,082,433. Similarly, the tank 80 may be provided with a liquid level-responsive switch 85 which is connected to a downwardly extending pipe 86 extending into the interior of the tank, and which is responsive to upper and lower liquid levels within the tank, as described in the abovementioned patent.
The circuit shown in FIG. 2 in which two of the valves as shown in FIG. 1 are employed is particularly useful in place of the circuit shown in FIG. 10 of the Armstrong et al. patent for operation on low voltage D.C., and in which there is a fill valve 90 for admitting water into the interior of the tank 80 and a separate flush valve 91 for initiating flushing operation by discharging into the injector 82. This circuit also includes a mode selector switch 95, corresponding to the switch 65 disclosed in that patent, and a momentary push button 96 for initiating a flushing operation, corresponding to the switch 50 therein.
Referring to FIG. 2, when the push button switch 96 is momentarily energized it applies power through section A of switch 95, in the position shown, to operate the solenoid 45 of the flush valve 91. The associated reed switch 55 is closed with the energization of the coil 45. This switch is in a circuit connected to the power source 72 through section C of the selector switch 95 and the raised or upper portion of the liquid level switch 85 to the solenoid coil 45, forming a parallel holding circuit for the valve 91. However, since the starting current to the coil 45 is applied by the push button 96, only the holding current flows through the reed switch 55. For example, with solenoid valves which have coils 45 adapted for operation from a direct current source of 24 volts, it has been found that the reed switch 55 need carry only 0.3 ampere of current.
The reed switch 55 of the valve 91 accordingly forms a holding circuit which is not interrupted until the water level has reached a predetermined low position at which time the liquid level switch moves to its second position thereby interrupting the holding circuit to the valve coil, closing the valve 91. The inductive voltage at opening is carried by the contacts of the level switch and not by the reed switch 55.
The fill valve is. then operated by the closed contacts of the level switch 85 which occur at the lower level, applying power directly to the solenoid coil of this valve through section B of the selector switch 95, and will continue to operate until interrupted by the movement of the switch 85 to its first position, signaling that the tank 80 has been filled. The mode selector 95, which is shown in the full tank mode in FIG. 2, operates in the manner described for the corresponding switch 65 in the Armstrong et al. patent. In the moved position of this switch, the operation of the push button 96 applies energizing power directly to operate the fill valve 90, resulting in the closing of a holding circuit through its associated reed switch 55 and contacts B of the switch until the tank is filled, at which time the holding circuit is interrupted by the movement of the switch 85 to the first position shown. At this time, the switch 85 then applies power to the flush valve 91 through section A which is not interrupted until the tank is again empty.
In the circuit of FIG. 2, only one of the reed switches 55 is used at any one time, depending upon the position of the switch 95. The circuit is reliable in operation and eliminates the need for separate holding relays or timing devices. The reed switches 55 carry only the holding current, and therefore have a long service life.
The circuit of FIG. 3 shows an arrangement using a single valve 90 for both flushing and filling, and as wired, operates in the normally empty mode. The valve 90' performs both a filling action to a tank and a flushing action by flooding the coaxial ejector in the manner described in connection with the single-valve embodiment shown in FIG. 6 of the Armstrong et al. patent. The reed switch 55 of FIG. 3 forms part of a parallel holding circuit through the lower set of level switch contacts, as shown, maintaining the operation of the valve 90 during flushing and filling. This circuit accordingly shows a highly simplified and low cost version which is nevertheless reliable in operation.
FIG. 4 is a modified circuit based upon the circuit of FIG. 2, in which the parts are designated with like reference numerals. The circuit of FIG. 4 is particularly adapted for use with modern low-profile water closet installations, in which the bottom of the water tank may, in some instances, be below the water level within the bowl. In such cases, it has been found highly desirable to add a ring valve 100 which operates during flushing and preferably during filling as well, to augment the water supply in the bowl. In FIG. 4, the solenoid-operated ring valve 100 is shown as being connected electrically in parallel with both the flush valve 91 and the fill valve 90, to achieve maximum benefit from the ring valve so that it may add make-up water to the bowl during filling as well as to augment the flushing action and to wash down the bowl during flushing. For this purpose, pairs of reed switches 55, such as the switch 55a and 55b are positioned within the non-magnetic insert 60, as shown in FIG. 5, and are potted in place by the compound 62. Thus, each of the pair of reed switches 55a and 55b are closed magnetically coupled to the flux produced by the solenoid coil 45.
For the purpose of providing an energizing circuit for the valve 100, the switches 55b are each connected in common with its associated switch 55a, to the associated coil 45. The reed switches 55a each operate in'the manner described in connection with the circuit of FIG. 2. The switches 55b are each connected to apply energizing power to the coil of the ring valve 100 so that the valve 100 is operated at any time that either the fill valve 90 or flush valve 91 is operated. While the switches 55b in this embodiment carry the starting currents for the valve 100, the starting current on a coil operating from a DC. source is not particularly destructive of contacts as compared to the interrupting voltage across the coil. Again, in this embodiment, as in the preceding circuit embodiments, the reed switches are not subject to the interrupting voltage but this is taken by the electrical contacts in the liquid level switch 85. Again, as in the circuit of FIG. 2, the mode selector switch 95 provides selection between normally filled and normally empty tank operation.
It will therefore be seen that this invention provides a solenoid operated flow control valve which incorporates a magnetically operated reed switch within its magnetic structure. Such valves are particularly useful in circuits, such as disclosed herein, in which the reed switch which is associated forms a holding circuit for the valve until interrupted by the occurrence of a circuit change elsewhere. While such valves are particularly useful with the electric toilets disclosed and claimed in the Armstrong et al. patent, they may obviously be used elsewhere, such as in other home appliances, where safe and dependable operation is desired, with the elimination of the need for holding relays.
While the forms of apparatus herein described constitute preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise forms of apparatus, and that changes may he made therein without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A solenoid-operated toilet fill and flush valve circuit adapted for operating an electric toilet or the like from a source of low voltage DC comprising a two-position water level switch responsive to the level of water supply to such toilet having one position corresponding to a low water level and a second position corresponding to a high water level, a Water fill valve having an operating solenoid, a momentary switch connected to apply power from said source to said fill valve, a magnetically operated reed switch magnetically associated with said fill valve solenoid and connected to apply power from said source to said fill valve solenoid through one of said switch positions of said water level switch for continuing the operation of said fill valve until interrupted by the operation of said water level switch, a solenoid-operated flush valve for said toilet, and a further said reed switch magnetically associated with the solenoid of said flush valve and connected to apply power from said source to said flush valve through said water level switch.
2. The circuit of claim 1 further comprising a solenoidoperated ring valve adapted to apply flushing water directly to the bowl of such toilet, and circuit means connecting said ring valve for operation concurrently with one of said fill or fiush valves.
3. The circuit of claim 2 in which said circuit means connecting said ring valve for operation concurrently with one of said fill or flush valves includes a further said reed switch magnetically associated with the solenoid of said one valve.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,487,052 11/1949 Hastings 335-151 X 3,373,449 3/1968 Rusnok 4-100 3,082,433 3/1963 Armstrong et a1 4-44 FOREIGN PATENTS 477,661 1/ 1938 Great Britain.
ROBERT K. SCHAEFER, Primary Examiner T. B. JOIKE, Assistant Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.