US 3509918 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 5, 1970 w. A. MUZIINICH FLANGE SPAGERS Filed March 29, 1968 INVENTOR WILL/AM A MUZ/IV/CH ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,509,918 FLANGE SPACERS William A. Muzinich, 106 Reservoir Road, San Rafael, Calif. 94901 Filed Mar. 29, 1968, Ser. No. 717,261 Int. Cl. F16] /.00
US. Cl. 138178 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An easily frangible flange spacer for soil pipe is formed as a collar of foamed plastic.
This invention relates to emplacement formers or flange spacers for plumbing fixtures. More particularly it relates to a soil pipe flange spacer adapted to keep a given space surrounding a sewer pipe clear of floor or wall building material during construction.
It is a particular object of this invention to provide a readily frangible flange spacer molded of foamed plastic, such as pre-expanded polystyrene, so that it can be easily broken away from pipe and floor to leave the correct space for setting a flange and wax ring around the pipe surface for connection to the flange of a plumbing fixture, such as a floor drain or water closet. In a preferred form, the flange spacer is in a collar form and is formed by heating a mold filled with foamed plastic particles, the bead form being particularly suitable, so that the particles or beads expand sufliciently to fuse into a tough exterior surface and an inner frangible homogeneous cellular structure as they thermoset. By such expansion and setting, the collar is light weight and easily frangible under tension, but impervious to water and chemicals and has suflicient strength in compression, particularly on its inner surface, to readily conform to rough pipe surfaces.
As particularly distinguished from previously known flange spacers, or emplacement formers, the present invention consists of a sleeve or collar without a transverse cover or top so that the pipe need not be cut to the finished length before the floor is poured. Additionally, such a collar places no limitation on the thickness of wall or floor that can be spaced from the plumbing pipe. Another important feature both practical and economical, made possible by forming such a spacer as a collar is that no special precautions or arrangements need be made to accommodate the pressure plug required by building codes. Such plugs must be installed inside the rough plumbing from the time the pipe is first set until construction is completed to the point of setting a plumbing fixture such as a shower drain, water closet, or the like. While it has been proposed heretofore to form flange spacers with integral end covers of various materials including plastics, either foamed or unfoamed, it has always been considered necessary to form the spacer of a tough, hard material to withstand the weight of concrete poured around the spacer. It has also been thought necessary that the plastic be tough. While this permits the plastic to be burned out (if in concrete) or cut out to open the necessary space for setting of a plumbing fixture, such work takes too long (at journeyman plumbers wages) to gain wide acceptance in the plumbing industry.
As particularly distinguished from such devices, the present invention contemplates that foamed plastic particles or beads be fused into a homogeneous cellular struc ture by expansion within a mold so that at the surface the beads flow together to form a tough skin, but the center is homogeneous throughout the main body of the collar. In this way, the external skin surfaces of the collar, over both its outer and inner circumference, as well as top and bottom, are formed by the beads fusing on contact with the sides of a hot mold while the interior is fused by hot air or steam so that the surfaces are somewhat denser than the remainder of the collar body. In this way, the beads fuse only sufliciently inside the collar to form the desired homogeneous foamed body that will rapidly break under tension. Such a skin structure renders the surface of the spacer impervious to water and chemicals but at the same time the homogeneous inner body provides a slightly yieldable body that can be compressed without tearing or breaking the collar as it is installed on the pipes surface. Similarly, when cement or other construction material is being formed on the outside of the spacer, the material is highly resistant to deformation by the weight of the cement and to invasion by fluids in the cement. Another particular advantage of the frangible flange spacer is that upon completion of construction the entire spacer is instantly broken into large chunks by any sharp or pointed instrument, such as a screw driver, putty knife or chisel stuck into the body and twisted or pried against the body of the spacer itself.
In actual practice, it has been found that flange spacers made in accordance with the present invention can be installed in about five seconds, removed in less than 30 seconds, and leaves a clean pipe and space that can be readily worked to set a plumbing fixture.
Further objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken together with the drawing which forms an integral part of the application.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional vertical elevation view of half of an easily frangible flange spacer constructed in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 illustrates application of the flange spacer of 11:16. 1 to a random length of soil pipe set in a concrete oor.
FIG. 3 illustrates the setting of a typical plumbing fixture on the soil pipe of FIGURE 2 after the flange spacer has been broken out.
FIG. 4 illustrates installation of a plurality of the frangible flange spacers over soil pipe extending through a thick Wall.
Referring now to the drawing and in particular to FIGURE 1, there is shown the preferred structure of the present invention. As indicated, the flange space is formed as collar 10 with a substantially uniform diameter over its circumference 11. Inner circumference 12 of collar 10 is relieved by a plurality of tapered ridges 13 that assist in readily emplacing the flange on a soil pipe 20, as illustrated in FIGURE 2. In the preferred embodiment every fifth ridge, such as 13A, is slightly broader and higher than the adjacent four ridges 13B to modify the amount of compression required to slip collar 10 over cast iron pipe 20. This assists the collar to fit pipe that is rough or even out of round.
As also indicated in FIGURE 2, the length of soil pipe 20 can be random or Wild relative to the finished level of floor 25 without affecting installation or proper placement of flange spacer 10 on pipe 20. Additionally, the collar form of spacer 10 permits installation or removal of pressure plug 27 at any time without disturbing collar 10 or its function. Such plugs are required by many US. building codes. As indicated its function is to pressure seal the drain pipe system so that the entire system can be filled with water (sometimes several floors higher than the waste pipe fitted with the flange spacer). Typically, as seen in FIGURE 2, test plug 27 comprises a rubber sealing member 28 that is squeezed outwardly between upper plate 30 and lower plate 32 by pressure applied by wing nut 34 to plate 30 through washer 35 and screw FIG. 3 indicates a conventional connection of a toilet I bowl base 42 to pipe 20 by flange 21 emplaced in the space formed by removal of collar from pipe and out of floor 25. In this hook-up, standard to US. plumbing practice, an oakum ring 43 is set between pipe 20 and skirt 39 of flange 38. This is a tamp fit. Hot lead 44 is then poured in the remaining space between skirt 39 and pipe 20. Flange face 40 includes slots 41 to receive heads 45 of bolts 46 to which the plumbing fixture base 42 is secured by nuts 47 after horn 49 is pushed into pipe 20. One of the particular advantages of my flange spacer collar is that when lead 44 is poured between skirt 39 and pipe 20, the upper part of soil pipe 20 (normally made of cast iron) can be cracked off along the line of flange face 40 by a hammer (no sawing required). This further speeds the final hook-up and total time required to install a waste outlet in a floor or wall.
The final fluid seal between fixture base 42 and pipe 20 is-made by wax ring 50 set between the bottom of base 42 and the top of flange face 40. As indicated, wax ring 50 is squeezed to seat the corner of the porcelain surfaces of horn 49 and base 42 and cushions the support of base 42 on flange face 40.
FIG. 4 illustrates another particular advantage of the frangible collar form of my emplacement former. As there shown, some installations, such as wall hung water closets, require the waste pipe to run through a thick wall section. In the present example, three collars 10 are installed over a soil pipe 120. Upon setting the flange on pipe 120, two of the collars may be left on pipe 120 as insulators and spacer supports.
In fabrication of my flange spacer collars, I have found it preferable to charge a jacketed mold with a mixture of pre-expanded polystyrene beads ranging in diameter from about A to /s", and having a bulk density of about two pounds per cubic foot. Steam at a pressure of about 18-20 pounds p.s.i.g. is injected into the jacket and contacts the beads through holes spaced about an inch apart around the outer circumference of the mold. They are formed by a .060 drill so that steam freely flows through the beads to expand further and to coalesce them into a homogeneous body of foamed plastic. After about 20-25 seconds steam injection is discontinued. Cold water having a temperature of ordinary tap water is then passed through the jacket for about 10-15 seconds to cool the collar formed of the coalesced mass of beads and to stop further expansion (curing). This operation also reduces the temperature at the skin surfaces and aids in easy removal from the mold. Steam, air and water leave the mold through a plurality of vents, or core holes, forming the inner core of the mold. These holes have a diameter of A". The finished impervious and frangible collar is'then released from the mold.
Various sizes of pre-expanded or foamed beads can be used. The essential requirements are only that the beads be large enough to contain significant air spaces and not too large to easily fill a mold and coalesce into a homogeneous and compact body.
As an example of one commercial form for nominal 4 inch cast iron soil pipe, the flange spacer has an outer diameter of 6 /2 inches, an inner diameter of 4% inches at one end decreasing to 4 inches at the untapered end, with an overall length of 3 /2 inches. The tops of ribs 13A are formed to the full diameter of 4 inches. The other ribs 133 are formed at slightly larger diameter, about 4% inches. As indicated, the taper of ribs 13 is over 2 /2 inches. Thus, a finished annular space of about 1% inches completely around the pipe is open and available in a few seconds when the collar is broken out.
Although only a single embodiment of my frangible flange spacer is shown and described, all modifications thereof coming within the scope of the claims are intended to be included therein.
1. A plumbing flange spacer for sewer pipes and the like comprising a cylindrical collar formed as an easily frangible body of impervious fused foamed plastic particles, the internal circumferential surface of said collar being formed to fit compressively and slidably over the external surface of a sewer pipe or the like and the external circumferential surface being spaced from said inner surface a distance suitable to prevent interference of flooring material formed therearound with acceptance of a fitting of a plumbing fixture drain when said collar is broken away, said internal circumferential. surface including a plurality of axially extending deformable ribs to partially relieve the friction of said collar during emplacement over said sewer pipe or the like.
2. A spacer in accordance with claim 1 wherein some of said ribs have a radial thickness greater than the remainder of said ribs to modify the degree of compression of said frangible material of which said collar is formed to conform to the surface irregularities of said sewer pipe.
3. A spacer in accordance with claim 1 wherein the plastic particles are pre-expanded polystyrene.
4. A spacer in accordance with claim 3 wherein some of said ribs have a radial thickness greater than the remainder of said ribs to modify the degree of compression of said frangible material of which said collar is formed to conform to the surface irregularities of said sewer pipe.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,890,899 6/1959 Simmons 285-235 X 3,350,044 10/1967 Zulauf 248-49 3,421,551 1/1969 Currier 52-99 X CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Primary Examiner