US 3526547 A
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Sept. 1, 1970 A. F. SHOCK METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING OUT DRAIN TRAPS Filed Aug. 21. 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR ALBERT F SHOCK ATTORNEYS p 1970 A. F. SHOCK 3,526,547
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING OUT DRAIN TRAPS Filed Aug. 21, 1968 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVEN TOR ALBERT F SHOCK ATTOR N EYS United States Patent Oflice 3,526,547 METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR CLEANING OUT DRAIN TRAPS Albert F. Shock, P.O. Box 116, Nutter Fort, W. Va. 26301 Filed Aug. 21, 1968, Ser. No. 754,354
Int. Cl. B08b 9/06 US. Cl. 134-22 10 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A drain trap clean-out method and apparatus involving the passage of a pressure fluid through a relatively small conduit extending permanently into the inlet vertical leg section of a conventional U-shaped drain trap, for a sanitary plumbing unit, above the trap so that a jet stream of fluid issuing from the downwardly projected conduit inner end sweeps the interior or the larger radius wall of the trap to undercuttingly bore through a blockage in the trap and thereby break up such blockage with a subsequent complete purging action in effecting complete dislodgement and removal of the blockage. The pressure fluid is water from the plumbing unit and a temporary passage means therefor is removably connected between an outer end of the conduit and a faucet of the plumbing unit or a valved controlled permanent passage means is connected between the piping for the plumbing unit and the conduit.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention This invention generally apertains to improvements in Description of the prior art Outlet or drain pipes for sanitary plumbing units in buildings are provided with traps that are installed in the pipes generally in the form of U-shaped elbow pipe sections connected at one end by a vertical inlet leg section with the drain in a sink, tub, or lavatory bowl. Such drains have a tendency to accumulate materials of various natures that leads to the creation of blockages in the drain traps with such clogging or blocking of the drain traps resulting in the back up of effluents through the drain and in the consequent inoperation of the drains.
Many methods and means have been employed for removing such blockages without resorting to disassembly of the pipes and removal of the drain trapfor cleaning. Chemicals are used to dissolve the blockages. Mechanical means are employed to break up such blockages. Also, suction pumps and force pumps are utilized to remove such cloggy materials and free the drain traps.
The use of chemicals is a slow process and can be dangerous in the case of a back up pressure during the chemical reaction. The use of mechanical means, such as snakes, that are forced through the obstruction, does not always result in a complete break up and dislodgement of the obstruction but more often only results in the formation of avpassage through the obstruction which passage does not enlarge sothat when the drain is used again in its normal fashion, the unlodged portion of the obstruction soon rebuilds to again clog the drain trap. The use of suction means, like hand plungers, is only effective in the instance of minor blockages and, at best,
3,526,547 Patented Sept. 1, 1970 the utilization of equipment that is not usually readily available.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In contrast to such known methods, as aforementioned briefly, the present invention simply involves the use of fluid pressure to break up and dislodge an obstruction in a drain trap. Such fluid is generally water brought direct from the faucet of a stopped-up sink or tub to the drain trap at the normal pressure of the 'water present at the faucet through a detachable hose removably connected to the faucet or from the water piping for the sink or tub through a permanent pipe connected to the piping for the sink or tub as an integer thereof by a hand valve. The present invention is based upon a novel concept of using the water in the form of a boring jet stream and directing such jet stream in a particular and most effective manner against the blockage in the drain trap.
The present invention is predicated upon the concept of using a hydraulic undercutting boring action in thrusting through and subsequently breaking up the blockage with a jet stream of fluid being employed as the boring or cutting agent.
In past attempts at solving the removal of blockages in drain traps by force pumps or other hydraulic methods, care has been exercised to avoid any back up in the inlet vertical leg section of the drain trap. However, in accordance with the present invention no attempt is made to prevent such back up, except that an extra length shank section may be added to the inlet vertical leg section of the drain trap so as to increase the length thereof. In this respect, the jet stream of fluid is employed as a boring bit with the jet stream undercuttingly boring through the blockage and the removed shavings being permitted to clear the jet stream and being allowed to back up into the inlet vertical leg section of the drain trap. The jet stream of fluid is' carried into the inlet vertical leg section above the drain trap and the jet stream is directed so that it attacks the blockage With an undercutting boring action at the interior or inside of the larger radius wall of the trap. The jet stream issues from a relatively small conduit inserted into the inlet vertical leg section above the trap with the inserted outlet or discharge end of such conduit being orientated in the inlet section so that the issuing fluid jet stream sweeps the internal larger radius wall of the trap.
It is critical for elfective operation of the purging action that the jet stream be located above the trap and orientated relative thereto so that it sweeps the outside curvature of the, trap or, in other words, that it sweeps the interior of the larger radius wall of the drain trap. In this way, the desired and necessary undercutting boring action of the jet stream is effective to drill through the blockage and loosen the entire blockage and then dislodge it and sweep it downstream from the drain trap.
In carrying out this process, the relatively small diameter conduit is permanently inserted within and carried by theinlet vertical leg section of the drain trap above the trap with the inner end of the conduit being projected downwardly and vertically orientated in a di rection to project the fluid stream issuing therefrom atthe interior or inside of the larger radius wall of the drain trap.
In a removable'temporary installation, the exterior or outer end of the conduit is formed with a fitting so as to detachably accommodate a coupling fitting on one end of a tube or hose which can be removably attached at its other end to the outlet of a faucet, preferably a hot water faucet. In a permanent installation, the outer end of the 3 conduit is connected by a permanent pipe to the water piping for a sink or tub, for example, through a simple valve arrangement, whereby the functioning water can be taken from the water piping, instead of passing through the faucet, by operation of a manual by-pass valve.
Thus, a primary object of the present invention is to provide a very simple but most effective method and means for cleaning out a drain trap by directing a pressure fluid through a permanent small conduit in the inlet vertical leg section of the drain trap above the trap in a manner so that the issuing jet stream sweeps the interior of the larger radius wall of the trap.
A further important object of the present invention is to provide a drain trap clean-out method and means which relies solely upon the force of water from a faucet or the water supply piping of a plumbing unit and which obtains its eflectiveness by virtue of the sweeping directional jet boring path of the water at the interior of the larger radius wall of the trap.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a sink showing the same with a conventional drain pipe assembly having a drain trap of the common U-shaped type which has permanently incorporated therein the purging jet conduit of the present invention with such conduit being shown in operative assembly with a flexible tube that is connected to the hot water faucet of the sink, such being an exemplary illustration of the method and means of the present invention for cleaning out drain traps of building plumbing fixtures.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged detailed vertical sectional view of the drain trap showing the purging jet conduit and illustrating the position thereof with respect to the inlet vertical leg section of the drain trap and showing by means of the arrows the direction of the boring jet stream issuing from the particularly orientated inner end of the conduit with respect to the inlet section and the underlying drain trap; the jet stream, depicted by the arrows, is shown as under cuttingly boring through the blockage in the drain trap by sweeping the inside of the larger radius wall of the drain trap.
FIG. 3 is a transverse, cross-sectional view taken substantially on lines 33 of FIG. 2 and showing clearly the position of the inner discharge end of the conduit with relation to the inside of the frontal wall portion of the inlet pipe section above the larger radius wall of the drain trap.
FIGS. 4 and 5 are fragmentary side and end elevational views, respectively, of a permanent pipe connection between the outer end of the purging jet conduit and the piping for a tub, as one example of a plumbing unit, and showing a by-pass manual valve employed for diverting water from its normal issuance through a faucet arrangement, specifically, a shower pipe into the purging jet conduit.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now more particulraly to the accompanying drawing and initially to FIG. 1, the reference numeral generally designates a sink which is shown in a simplified general fashion as an exemplary environment of the drain trap clean-out method and means of the present invention. The sink 10 has a hot water faucet 12 and is provided with a drain pipe assembly 14 that includes a conventional U-shaped drain trap 16' having an inlet vertical pipe of leg section 18 connected at its upper end to the drain outlet pipe at the bottom of the sink basin.
A conduit 20 is permanently mounted in the wall of the inlet pipe section 18 and is carried thereby as an integral part thereof. The conduit 20 is of relatively small diameter, with a copper tube having been found to *be most eflicient as a conduit material and size. The permanent installation of the conduit may be realized "in many known ways, such as, by inserting the conduit through an appropriate opening formed in the frontal wall portion 22 of the pipe section 18 and sealed so that there will be no possible leakage, such sealing being eflfected in ways well know in the art. Also, such conduit may be cast or formed in integral fashion with the pipe section. In any event, the important factor is the particular placement or positioning of the conduit rather than the manner of structural association thereof with the pipe section 18.
The straight line conduit 20 has an inserted inner end 24 that is slightly bent out of the straight line direction of the conduit so that it lies along the inside of the inlet pipe section 18 in a position where it hugs the inside of the inner frontal wall portion 22 and is parallel therewith. The inner end terminates in a slightly reduced nozzle outlet end for the discharge of the fluid therefrom in a jet stream. The outlet end 26 of the conduit is positioned above the drain trap 16 and oriented relative thereto so that the fluid jet stream issuing therefrom will sweep the inside of the larger radius wall 28 of the drain trap. The path of the boring jet stream is visually depicted by the arrows in FIG. 2.
The conduit 20 projects upwardly and slightly outwardly from the inlet pipe section 1 8 and terminates at its outer end in an internally threaded collar 30 for the instant attachment thereto and removal therefrom of an adapter fitting 32 on one end of a flexible tube 34 which is removably attached at its other end to the hot water faucet 12 so as to convey hot Water from the faucet to the conduit, with the hot water, in this instance, constituting the boring fluid and being of a pressure that is conventional faucet pressure. Preferably, the adapter 32 is of a diameter of approximately one-half inch so that the force of water from the faucet 12 is increased as it is conveyed to the purging conduit 20, with the purging conduit thus being supplied with a full pressure and volume or other source of fluid under pressure of water from the faucet.
It is recommended that the hook-up of the tube 34 be on the hot water faucet where such is available but the temperature of the water is not critical to the chiciency of the boring action of the jet stream and subsequen purging action in the complete dislodgrnent and sweeping removal of the blockage in the drain trap.
The illustrated and described position of the jet stream in relation to the drain trap is critical in effecting the vital undercutting boring action with the jet stream being issued from the nozzle of discharge end 26 of the conduit 20 so that it sweeps the outside curvature of the drain trap or, in other words, sweeps the interior of the larger radius wall 28 of the trap, as depicted by the arrows in FIG. 2.
It is believed that the operation is quite apparent from the foregoing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing. One test of the arrangement and method may be given for exemplary purposes. Thus,the drain trap was removed and a mixture of very stiff heavy clay, moistened only sufliciently to make it tampable, was tamped into the drain trap 16 on both sides of the trap so that the trap was completely blocked in a way that it would not even be clogged by normally collecting sediments during normal use of the drain assembly. The blocked drain trap was reinstalled in place and the tube 34 was hooked up between the faucet 12 and the collar 30. The faucet 12 was opened and in a very short time, with less than a gallon of fluid backup in the inlet pipe section 18, the jet boring and purging action of the water stream cut through such blockage and cleared the trap completely.
In carrying out the present invention with a conventional pipe assembly 14, it may be necessary to add to the length of the inlet vertical pipe or leg section 18 of the drain trap by adding an extra length shank on the upper end thereof at the connection to the basin drain so as to give working room for the purging jet stream and the connecting collar 30 on the outer end of the conduit 20.
Since the purging conduit 20' is a permanent integer with the inlet vertical leg section 18, the collar or hookup connection for the tube 34 or similar pressurefluid conveying means will be provided witli a closure means such as a closure plug (not shown), when the drain assem'bly is in normal operational use.
In the showing in FIG. 1, the installation is of a temporary nature involving the use of the detachable flexible hose or tube 34 which is connected between the faucet 12 and the outer collar end 30 of the purging jet conduit 20 whenever it is desired or necessary to utilize the purging jet conduit for cleaning out the drain trap 16. When the hose or tube 34 is connected between the faucet and the purging jet conduit, the water issuing from the faucet under the control of the valve, attendant with the faucet, is conveyed to the purging jet conduit. After the drain trap has been cleaned out, the hose or tube is disconnected from the faucet and the conduit collar end 30, to which a closure means is then attached so as to seal oil the conduit 20'.
Such temporary arrangement is quite effective but in order to satisfy some plumbing code requirements and to provide a more conveniently operated arrangement, a permanent connection or arrangement, whereby the purging jet conduit is permanently connected or hookedup to the water supply piping, is shown in FIGS. 4 and ,5.
Such permanent connection or arrangement, generally designated by the numeral 36, is shown for examplary purposes in structural association with a tub 38 having a drain outlet 40 connected by a fitting 42 to the inlet vertical by section 18' of a conventional U-shaped drain trap 16' with an overflow pipe 44 also being connected to the fitting 42.
The tub has a water supply piping 46 which includes hot and cold water supply pipes 48 and 50 that are provided with hand valves 52 and 54 and are connected to a tub faucet 56. The tub faucet has a finger actuated gate valve 58 which, when actuated, causes the water, when the water supply valve or valves are open, to flow through a vertical pipe 60 that constitutes a water supply pipe for a shower head (not shown).
The outer end 30 of the purging jet conduit 20' is permanently coupled by a restricting and pressure increasing connection 62 to the lower end of a vertically dispersed water supply pipe 64 that has its upper end connect to a housing 66 for a two day slide valve unit 68 which also has the shower pipe 60 connected thereto.
By closing the valve 58, when one or both of the water supply valves are open, and moving the two-way valve 68 to its second position, the water supply is directed into the pipe 64 and conveyed thereby to the purging jet conduit 20' which is connected to and functions in associated with the drain trap 16' in the same manner as the purging jet conduit 20 in relation with the drain trap 16 of FIGS. 1-3.
While the permanent structural association of the purging jet conduit 20 has been shown specifically in connection with a shower pipe for a bath tub unit, it can be understood that the same can be associated through pipe and valve assemblies with the water supply piping of a sink or basin.
While the best known form of the invention and manner of practicing the method thereof have been described herein and shown in the drawing, it to be understood that such shown and description is merely exemplary of the nature and concept of the present invention, which is to be construed solely within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. The method of cleaning out a clogged conventional U-shaped drain trap having an inlet vertical leg section connecting it to the drain of a sink, tub, lavatory basin and the like sanitary plumbing unit in a building comprising,
(a) introducing a pressure fluid into the inlet vertical section above the drain trap, and
(b) then directing such pressure fluid in the form of a vertical downward boring stream eccentrically against the blockage in the drain trap so that the stream sweeps along the interior of the larger radius wall remotely of the smaller radius wall of the trap and undercutting bores through the blockage along the larger radius wall.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein said pressure fluid is directed against the blockage in the form of a forceful jet stream.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein said pressure fluid is water conveyed from a faucet associated with such sanitary plumbing unit to the inlet vertical leg section at an increased pressure than the force of the water as it issues from the faucet with the pressure of the water being increased solely by virtue of its conveyance from the faucet to the inlet vertical leg section through a narrowed passageway-means having an internal effective diameter less than the diameter of the faucet outlet.
4. The method of claim 2 wherein said pressure fluid is water selectively conveyed from the water supply piping of the plumbing unit.
5. Means for cleaning out a clogged U-shaped drain trap having an inlet vertical section connecting it to the drain outlet of a sink, tub, lavatory basn and the like sanitary plumbing unit in a building comprising:
(a) a conduit connected with the inlet vertical section,
(b) said conduit being disposed through the wall of said inlet vertical section and having an outer end connectable to a source of pressure fluid and disposed externally of the inlet vertical section, and,
(c) said conduit having an inner end eccentrically disposed within the inlet vertical section and terminating therein in an outlet projecting downwardly toward the trap and disposed above the trap and positioned to direct a stream of pressure fluid issuing therefrom to sweep along the interior of the larger radius wall of the tray and remotely of the smaller radius wall thereof.
6. The invention of claim 5 wherein said conduit extends sealingly through an opening in the side wall of the inlet vertical leg section and the inner end thereof is disposed alongside the inside of the side Wall parallel therewith and the outlet of said inner end is in the form of a reduced discharge nozzle from which the fluid issues in the form of a jet stream.
7. The invention of claim 5 wherein said outer end of the conduit terminates in a coupling fitting and a flexible tube is connected at one end to the coupling fitting and is connectable at its other end to a said source of pressure fluid.
8. The invention of claim 7 wherein said source of pressure fluid includes a water faucet structurally associated with the plumbing unit and said other end of the tube is detachably connected to said faucet.
9. The invention of claim 5 wherein said source of pressure fluid includes a water supply piping for the plumbing unit, a pipe permanently connected to the conduit and valve means connecting the pipe to the water supply piping for selectively diverting the water from its normal outlets associated with the plumbing unit for passage into and through the conduit.
70 10. The invention of claim 9 wherein said plumbing unit is a shower tub having a valved tub faucet, and valved hot and cold water supply pipes connected to the faucet, a shower pipe connected to the faucet and receiving the water supply when the faucet valve is closed,
said pipe for the conduit being connected to the shower pipe and said connecting valve means including a twoway valve.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Hutchinson 4256 Wade 4255 Wade 4197 Doyle 4256 Strickland 4256 Heidelberg.
FOREIGN PATENTS 5 719,425 11/1931 France.
MORIlRIS O. WOLK, Primary Examiner I. T. ZATARGA, Assistant Examiner 10 US. Cl. X.R.