US 3560706 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent I72] Inventor Eduardo ,I. A. Fonseca 1,854,880 4/1932 Berthold 219/309 Avenida T rapiche. Quinta Obelia. 3,370,154 2/ 1968 Fuchslocher 219/309 La Floresta. Caracas. Venezuela FOREiGN PATENTS P 599322 1015057 /1952 France 1. ZOO/81.9 Med 471 730 9/1927 Great Britain 219/309  Patented Feb. 2, 1971 Primary Examiner-A. Bartis An0rneyWaters, Roditi, Schwartz & Nissen  ELECTRIC FLUID HEATER AND FLOW RESPONSIVE SWITCH THEREFOR 2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
[ Cl 21 /3 9, ABSTRACT: A hydraulic switch which functions upon change I 37/ 4 Z 1 2 307. 2 l 9/ 2. 219/496 of hydraulic pressure which is created when a fluid enters the  lnt. 01h /40, device or when a is retained within said device on the 24h U2 Holb 2 opening of a faucet situated on an outlet pipe of the device. Field of Search 137/341; the inter al ressure reduces, thus allowing a piston to move. Z l 2 2 496 Electrical contacts connected to said piston are displaced 56 R f ed therewith for contact with fixed electrical contacts, thus clos- 1 e ing a circuit and allowing application of electric power to a UNITED STATES PATENTS mechanism to be operated, e.g. a water heater. motor, genera- 942,874 12/1909 Stevens 219/308 t r. ng n s, compressors. A shaft is attached to the piston 1,704,627 3/ 1929 Osterheld 200/81.9X and is axially biassed by springs to normally hold the electrical 2,916,576 12/1959 Croskey et al.. ZOO/81.9 contacts in spaced relation. When the piston is displaced, the 1,670,767 5/1928 Grassi et al. 219/307 springs are stressed.
' 92 84 //2 [/4 u 86 [/4 a0 //0 2 a2 86 1/0 76 96 4 74 a 76 I l i 20 1 a I 32 I6 PATENT ED FEB 2 Ian SHEET 1 OF 3 FIG.4
PATENTEUFEB 2:97: 3560.706
ELECTRIC FLUID HEATER AND FLOW RESPONSIVE SWITCH THEREFOR This invention relates to flow responsive switches.
Upon the opening of a faucet situated on the outlet line of a water supply, the general pressure reduces. lt isan object of the invention to employ this internal pressure reduction to operate an electrical switch and, more particularly, to employ such switch in connection with a heating device or such other utilization means as can be switch controlled.
In achieving the above and other of its objectives there is proposed, in accordance with the invention, apparatus comprising fluid dispensing means for the controlleddischarge of a fluid, there being operatively employed with such dispensing means an electrical circuit means and a control means operatively associated with the fluid dispensing means and responsive to fluid pressure therein to actuate the electrical circuit means.
As a feature of the invention there will be employed in connection with said electrical circuit means, heating means which is operatively disposed to the fluid discharged by the dispensing means.
According to a constructional feature of the invention, the aforesaid dispensing means includes inlets and outlets with the control means including piston located therebetween.
According to another constructional feature of the invention, the dispensing means is provided with a chamber between the aforesaid inlet and outlet and in which the aforesaid piston is located, the control means including a piston shaft coupled to the piston and a diaphragm bounding the aforesaid chamber and through which the piston shaft passes in fluidtight relationship whereby the piston and shaft are movable in response to pressure in the aforesaid chamber.
According to yet another constructional feature .of the invention, the aforesaid shatt includes a shoulder portion, the electrical circuit means comprising a fixed disc sandwiching said diaphragm against said dispensing means and through which the shaft displaceably extends, said fixed disc being provided with a recess in which the aforesaid shoulder is seated, there being further provided a movable disc connected to said shaft and displaceable therewith, and electrical contacts being provided on respective of the discs and brought into contact with each other by movement of the aforesaid piston and shaft.
As yet a further constructional feature of the invention there are provided guide rods on one of the aforesaid discs, the other of the discs being provided with guide openings through which the guide rods protrude.
The chamber in the dispensing means may be of cylindrical shape with axially aligned end slots enabling fluid flow past the aforesaid piston with the latter displaced at least partially past these slots.
According to still another feature of the invention, springs are provided between the shaft and movable disc on the one hand and between the movable and fixed discs on the other hand. The discs may be provided with recesses to accommodate the springs and the shaft may be provided with an abutment member such as a nut against which one of the aforesaid spring means will bear.
While the aforesaid features of the invention provide for a particularly effective embodiment of the invention, it is to be noted that these features constitute specific embodiments of the invention and that the broader aspect of the invention relates generally to the mode in which a response is made through a pressure drop in a hydraulic circuit for purposes of controlling the application of an electrical potential.
Other objects and features of the invention, as well as advantages thereof, will become apparent from the following detailed description of some preferred embodiments thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a switch and hydraulic circuit provided in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a sectional side view of the construction of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a diametrical sectional view of one of the elements of the construction illustrated in FIG. 2 turned 90;
HO. 4 is a detailed sectional view of one of the elements of the construction in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective exploded view of another embodiment of the invention.
In FlGS. 1-4 is shown a flow controlled switch inclusive of a fluid dispensing means comprising an upper cylindrical body 10, a lower cylindrical body 12, there being provided an inlet pipe 14 coupled to cylindrical body 10 and an outlet pipe 16 coupled to the lower cylindrical body 12. An electrical circuit means 18 is provided and is controlled by fluid pressure existing within the fluid dispensing means, as will be shown in greater detail hereinafter. Body 10 is provided with a cylindrically shaped central chamber 20 having at the lower end 22 thereof axially aligned open ended slots such as indicated at 24 and 26. Pipe 14 has a central bore 28 through which fluid enters the chamber 20.
Body portion 12 includes a chamber 30 constituting a continuation of chamber 20 when the two body portions are assembled, the outlet pipe 16 having a bore 32 through which the fluid is discharged from the device.
The means which is directly responsive to the fluid pressure in the chamber 20 comprises a piston 34 including an extension 36 constituting a part of the shaft 38 when these two elements are connected together as provided for by the inclusion of male thread 40 and female thread 42. When these elements are connected together, a shoulder 44 on shaft 38 sandwiches a diaphragm 46 against end 48 of extension 36, whereby a fluid tight assembly is provided.
The shaft 38 includes a threaded extremity 50, the purpose of which will be hereinafter indicated. Piston 34 is normally located between bore 28 and slots 24, 26 so as to be able to respond to pressure differences between bore 28 and bore 32. Assuming that end 52 of chamber 20 is sealed off, it will follow that a venting of bore 32 will causepiston 34 to be drawn downwardly and to a position whereat fluid can escape around the piston 34 by means of the aforesaid slots 24, 26 whereafter fluid will pass into chamber 30 and thence out of the device via outlet pipe 16.
The apparatus of the invention furthermore comprises a fixed disc 54 which is afi'ixed to body 10 by means of bores 56 which accommodate bolts (not shown), the fixed disc 54 entrapping or sandwiching the diaphragm 46 against the body 10 and therefore obturating the end 52 of chamber 20.
Fixed disc 54 includes a recess 57 which accommodatesthe shoulder 44 of shaft 38 when the shaft is in its normal position of rest, whereat the face 58 of disc 54 and the diaphragm 46 are in abutting face-to-face relationship.
Mounted on the fixed disc 54 are bronze guide rods 60, 62 which may be provided with threaded receptacles 64 with which are associated nuts and bolts 66 and 68. A transversely threaded bore 70 may be provided in the rods in which is accommodated a threaded bolt 72. The guide rods and 62 provide fora guiding function as will be explained hereinafter and as well provide for electrical connections, as will also become hereinafter apparent.
The apparatus of the invention moreover includes two electrical contacts 74 and 76 mounted on fixed disc. 54 and to which connections can be made by means of bolts 78 and 79, accommodated in the threaded receptacles diametrically disposed in said disc. The bolts 78 and 79 are electrically insulated from disc 54 by suitable conventional electrical insulation means.
The apparatus of the invention further comprises a movable disc 80 provided with guide holes 129 and 130 in which the guide rods 60 and 62 are slidably accommodated. Disc 80 is moreover provided with a central aperture 82 having shouldered section 84 which accommodates the end 86 of spring 88 which is seated in recess 84 and which is wound around the shaft 38 and locked thereon by means of a nut 90 and a washer 92 mounted on the threaded end 50 of shaft 38. In addition to this spring. A further spring 94 is provided which is sandwiched between the movable disc 80 and the fixed disc 54, the end 96 of the spring being accommodated in the recess 98 provided in disc 54 for this purpose.
A cap 100 is provided to conceal the variouselements of the switching device and to protect the same against miscellaneous foreign material. Said cap is provided with electrical terminals 102 and 104 by means of which electrical cables 106 and 108 are externally connected to electrical power sources or the like.
Electrical cables 106 and 108 are connected by means of bolts 78 and 79 to contacts 74 and 76. These latter contacts in turn will make contact with contacts 110 mounted by threaded extremities 112 and nuts 114 on the movable disc 80. Preferably, however, cables 106 and 108 are connected to rods 60 and 62 by means of bolts 72 or 68, there being provided bridges 116 and 118 of mechanically flexible nature connecting rods 60 and 62 to the contacts 110 mounted on movable disc 80.
Contacts 110 are electrically insulated from disc 80 by suitable conventional electrical insulation means and contacts 74 and 76 and rods 60 and 62 are electrically insulated from disc 54 by suitable conventional electrical insulation means.
In the above construction, when the outlet pipe 16 is closed a pressure exists in chamber ,20 which seats shoulder 44 in recess 56 in the fixed disc 54. The length of shaft 38 is such that movable disc 80 is spaced from fixed disc 54 so that contacts 110 are spaced from contacts 74 and 76, thereby providing an instantaneous opening of the electrical circuit.
Upon opening of outlet 16 the pressure in chamber 20 decreases and piston 34 is carried along with the flow of fluid which escapes via slots 24 and 26 into bore 32. The accompanying movements of shah 38 brings movable disc 80 towards fixed disc 54 whereupon contact is made between contacts 110 and the contacts 74 and 76. Current flow is from cable 106 to rod 62 and thence via bridge 116 to contact 110 and thence to contact 76 on fixed disc 54. The current proceeds from this point to a utilization circuit (not shown) to the contact 74 and thence via bridge 118 to rod 60 and from this rod to cable 108 to complete the circuit, when the power supply is single-phase with midpoint grounding.
The utilization circuit mentioned above may be of various known types and may include any motor generator or heater or the like which is suitably operated by electrical power provided by cables 106 and 108.
One such arrangement is shown in FIG. 5, wherein is illustrated the above described apparatus, along with a heating unit 120 mounted at the bottom of the aforesaid hydraulic circuit. This heating unit comprises a spiral winding 122 of electrically conductive but suitable resistive material capable of generating heat, which winding is in turn spirally wound on a core 124 of conventional material. The ends of the heater winding are connected to terminals 126 and 128 which are connected by rods (not shown) extending through the body to the aforesaid contacts 74 and 76.
To accommodate this additional constructional mass, the body 12 is reshaped as indicated to a longer cylindrical body having a bore 30 within which is fitted the heating device 120.
The outlet pipe 16 is arranged as above and it will bcapparent from what has been described in the proceedings that water discharged from the device'will be heated by the coil and will be actuated upon a drop of pressure fluid existing within the hydraulic circuit. t
There will now be obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications and variations of the structure ,set forth hereinabove. These modifications and variations will not, however, depart from the scope of the invention, if defined by the following claims.
1. Apparatus comprising: fluid dispensing meansincluding an upper cylindrical body provided with a cylindrically shaped central chamber having an open upper end anda'tth'e lower portion of the peripheral wall surface thereof axial open ended slots, and an inlet pipe attached to said body and having a central bore through ,w rch fluid can enter the chamber; a lower cylindrical body connected to said upper body and provided with a cylindrically shaped central chamber constituting a continuation of the chamber of the upper cylindrical body, said slots in said upper body opening into the central chamber of the lower body and an outlet pipe connected to said lower body and provided with a bore through which fluid is discharged; electrical circuit means adapted for being controlled by fluid pressure existing within the fluid dispensing means and including: a shaft extending outwardly through the open upper end of the chamber in the upper body, a diaphragm, a piston connected to said shaft and forming therewith a displaceable member, said piston being slidable in the cylindrically shaped chamber of the upper body, said diaphragm engaging said displaceable member and forming a fluid tight assembly therewith, said piston normally being located between the bore of said inlet pipe and said open ended slots to block flow fluid from the inlet pipe to the outlet pipe through the chambers of said upper and lower bodies, said piston being adapted to respond to differences between pressures in said inlet pipe and said outlet pipe; a fixed disc on said upper cylindrical body, said fixed disc entrapping said diaphragm against said upper cylindrical body for obturating the upper end of the chamber of said upper cylindrical body, said fixed disc having an opening which accommodates the passage of said shaft, guide rods on said disc, electrical con tacts on said disc to which connections can be made; a movable disc connected to said shaft and displaceable therewith and provided with guide holes in which said guide rods are slidably accommodated, contacts on the movable disc and aligned for engagement with the first said contacts, said movable disc being provided with a central aperture having at least one shouldered section on the upper surface thereof, a spring abutting said shouldered section and encircling said shaft at the upper end thereof and locked thereon, and spring means between said movable disc and said fixed disc for keeping said movable disc centralized.
2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 comprising an electrical heating coil connected to said contacts on said fixed disc and operatively associated with at least one of said chambers to heat fluid therein.