US 3562731 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb- 9, 1,971 CHARLES Jul-CHENG HSL: y 3,562,73l
SURFACE WATER DETECTOR Filed April 1, 1968 WATE R DETECTOR www 5S John/ENG ,f7/s0 United States Patent O1 3,562,731 Patented Feb. 9, 1971 3,562,731 SURFACE WATER DETECTOR Charles Jui-Cheng Hsu, P.O. Box 460, Grand Central Station, New York, N.Y. 10017 Filed Apr. 1, 1968, Ser. No. 717,664 Int. Cl. G0811 21/00 U.S. Cl. 340--235 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An automatically operative alarm for warning persons of the presence of advancing water in a room such as a boiler or engine room wherein rising water would be capable of damage; the alarm comprising an electric switch that is closable by the expansion of a capsule containing a substance expandable in water, the switch closing a circuit to an audible or visual alarm.
This invention relates generally to automatic alarms. More specically it relates to alarms that are automatically operated by water.
A principal object of the present invention is to provide an automatic water alarm device to warn of the advance or rise of water within a room, and which accordingly would be particularly suitable for a room such as a boiler room or engine room wherein rising water would damage machinery or the like.
Another object is to provide a water alarm which can be placed on a oor or lowest place of a room where the water would iirst collect so to produce an earliest warning, and wherein the water sensitive element of the alarm is in contact with the floor or supporting surface for likewise earliest warning purpose.
Yet another object is to provide a water alarm that can be electrically connected to an audible or visual warning device located in a remote area where persons may be present.
Other objects are to provide a water alarm which is simple in design, inexpensive to manufacture, rugged in construction, easy to use and efficient in operation.
These and other objects will be readily evident upon a study of the following specication and the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. l is a perspective view of the invention shown in operative position,
FIG. 2 is a similar view thereof shown in opened position,
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken on line 3-3- of FIG. 1,
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary exploded view of parts of the device,
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an expandable capsule that forms a fact of the present device,
FIG. 6i is a perspective view of another model thereof,
FIG. 7 is an electric circuit of the invention,
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of yet another expandable capsule model,
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another modified form thereof, and
FIG. 10 is a side view of yet another modified form thereof.
Referring now to the drawing in detail, the reference numeral 10 represents a water alarm according to the present invention wherein there is acase 11 having a hinged cover 12 that can be secured in closed position by a latch 13. The bottom wall 14 of the case has an opening 15 therethrough. A ring 16 secured within the case concentric about the opening forms a seat 17 for supporting a capsule 1.8 formed of a porous cover or envelope enclosing a water expandable powder comprised of Sterculia Lychnophora Hance 19 described in applicants earlier granted Pat. No. 3,280,549, issued Oct. 25, 1966.
The case is formed with downward depressed feet 20 so to allow flow of water under the case and into communication with the capsule which bulges downward through the opening and engages the floor 21.
The cover 12 has an opening 22 therein so to allow an electric cord 23 to enter therethrough, the outer end of the cord having contacts 24 connectable in a series electrical circuit which includes a power source such as a house current or battery and an audible or visual warning alarm 25. The opposite end of the cord extending within the case is connected to a normally open switch 26 comprised of normally spaced apart contacts 27 and 28 within a flexible hollow rubber housing 29 placed within a space 30 of a rubber spacer 31 adjacent the underside of the cover. Adjacent the underside of the spacer is a exible, thin rubber panel 32. A metal disc 33 having a raised ridge 34 is fitted between the switch 26 and panel 32, with the ridge 34 against the switch. As shown in FIG. 3, the switch is in alignment with the capsule so that it may be inuenced by the expansion of the capsule.
In operative use, water entering a room will be detected at earliest moment before the water level rises due to water on the floor engaging the capsule causing the -water expandable powder to swell several times its original volume thus causing the swelling capsule to bear against the switch and close the contacts, thus completing an electric circuit between the power source and the warning device, so to warn persons of entering and rising water.
The capsule may be variously made such as the capsule 18 shown in FIG. 1 formed by round upper and 35 lower panels stitched together around the edges so to form an enclosing pocket containing the powder. Otherj wise as shown in FIG. 5, the capsule may comprise a i rectangular envelope 35; or as shown in FIG. 6, a pocket 36 having an inwardly turned upper edge 37 to which a cover panel 38 is secured; or as shown in FIG. 8, a bag type enclosure 39 having a gathered upper portion to form a mouth 40. Otherwise as shown in FIG. 9, the i capsule may contain or be substituted by a plastic sponge l 41 which is impregnated with particles of Sterculia Lychnophora Hance.
Otherwise the capsule may contain internal contacts which align upon expansion apart of the capsule cover panels so to engage and close an electric circuit. Or the capsule may be accordian conigurated which expands laterally. Otherwise it may comprise parallel capsules 42 all enjoined together along one edge, the opposite edges accordingly being expandable into a circular pattern so to engage contacts 43 and 44 upon opposite sides.
While various changes may be made in the detail construction, it is understood that such changes will be within the spirit and scope of the present inventions as is dened by the appended claims.
1. A surface water detector comprising a case having a cover hinged at one side thereof and latch for securing the cover in closed position upon the case, said case having a bottom Wall with an opening therethrough and foot means to allow for flow of water under the case, a iiattened replaceable capsule of any water expandable powder, such as sterculia lychnophora hance, with a porous cover containing the powder, said capsule being supported upon the bottom wall and depending through said opening for engagement with water that may flow thereunder, means provided on the bottom wall within the case and concentric about the opening to confine the capsule therewithin; said cover carrying a switch that 3 overlies the capsule when the cover is in closed latched position, exible housing means carried by the cover and 4enclosing said switch, engageable by the capsule upon being expanded and serving to actuate said switch, and a signal circuit device connected to-said switch to eifect an alarm and signal the presence of water under the bottom wall of the case.
2. A surface `water detector as defined in claim 1 and said exible housing means on the cover comprising a rubber spacer secured to the cover having an opening housing said switch, a thin rubber panel secured to the rubber spacer and closing said opening therein in a waterproof manner, a metal disc being supported upon the rubber panel inside the rubber spacer opening and having a raised ridge, said switch having normally spaced 1 apart contacts and a exible rubber housing surrounding the contacts and supporting the same, said metal disc ridge engageable with the rubber switch housing to close the switch contacts supported therein.
10 DONALD J. YUsKo, Primary Examiner D. MYER, Assistant Examiner U.S. C1. X.R.