US 3565338 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Allen C. Wright Moraga, Calif.
 AppLNo. 832,928
 Filed June 13,1969
 Patented  Assignee Feb. 23, I97 1 Haws Drinking Faucet Company Berkeley, Calif.
 ANTI-SURGE FLOW CONTROL DEVICE FOR A DRINKING FOUNTAIN OR THE LIKE 8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr.
Assistant Examiner- Edwin D. Grant Att0rneyJoseph B. Gardner ABSTRACT: A flow-control device to prevent surging of the water discharge from a drinking fountain or the like. The device is particularly useful in association with freeze-proof drinking fountains that necessarily have a relatively long supply conduit extending between the elevated discharge nozzle of the fountain and the control valve thereof which is buried within the ground at a depth below the frostline. In fountains of this type, the supply conduit is substantially drained of water following each use, thereby causing it to contain a long column of air at the initiation of each cycle of use that tends to be compressed in front of and entrained within the water flowing upwardly toward the nozzle. Such compressed and entrained air causes surging or erratic behavior of the water discharge from the fountain. The flow-control device is located along such water supply conduit and provides a relatively long chamber having an inlet communicating with the supply conduit on the valve side thereof, and an outlet through which a flow tube extends into the chamber toward adjacency with the inlet but not in direct alignment therewith. The flow tube also communicates with the supply conduit but on the nozzle side thereof. Water discharging from the inlet into the chamber tends to have trapped and entrained air removed therefrom so that the flow of water leaving the chamber via the flow tube is substantially surgeless.
the like and, more particularly,
This invention relates generallyto drinking fountains and man antisurge flow control device therefor. a
Outdoor drinking fountains used in localities having subfreezing temperatures at least during certain seasons are sub-'- ject to damage unless special provision is made to prevent water in the supply conduits and valve mechanism from freezing when subjected to such temperatures. Standard practice for this purpose is to locate the on-off valve controlling the flow of liquid to the discharge nozzle of the fountain beneath the ground surface at a depth below the frostline, and to associate with the valve some system by means of which the rather long supply conduit extending upwardly. from the valve to the nozzle of the fountain is substantially drained after each use of the fountain. With such an arrangement, there is no water confined within the supply conduit for a period of time sufficient to enable it to become frozen.
Such conventional arrangements have the disadvantage that a rather long column of air extends between the control valve and discharge nozzle of the fountain prior to each cycle of use thereof, and the presence of such air column causes surging or erratic flow of the water discharge-from the nozzle whenever the valve is first opened. Surging, it is believed, is caused by the entrainment of air within the water flowing upwardly toward the nozzle and by compression and expansion of air pockets pushed by the rising stream of .water toward the discharge nozzle. it will be apparent that suchjs urging or erratic and uneven discharge of water from the nozzle of a drinking fountain is inconvenient and undesirable and in view thereof, an object, among others, of the present invention is to provide a means for preventing the sa'me.
Another object of the invention is in the provision of an improved antisurge flow control device adapted forinterposition in the supply conduit of a drinking fountain or the like and operative when so interposed to substantially eliminate or materially reduce surging of the water discharge from the nozzle thereof.
Still another object is that of providing a flow-control device of the character described having an elongated surge chamber equipped with an inlet at one end and an outlet at its other end, and in which a flow tube extends through the outlet toward adjacency with the inlet but is offset therefrom so that substantially no air-entrained liquid is" ejected directly from the inlet into the flow tube. 1 g
A further object is'to provide' an improved flow control device as described having a flow regulator seated within the inlet thereof so as to provide a relatively uniform flow volume into the chamber of such device over a relatively large range of pressures at which liquid is supplied thereto.
Additional objects and advantagesof the invention, particularly as concerns specific features and details thereof, will become apparent as the specification develops.
An embodiment of this invention is illustratedin the accompanying drawing in which: I: g
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a drinking fountain in which a device embodying the invention is incorporated;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged, broken sectional view taken along the line2-2ofFlG.1;
FIG. 3 is a further enlarged side view in elev'ation of the device;
FIG. 4 is a longitudinal sectional view ofthe'device taken alngtheline4-4ofFlG.3;and W f FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view-taken along the line 5-5 ofFlG.4.
The drinking fountain illustrated in FlG.,l is intended to be exemplary and depicts a flow control device embodying the invention in a typical environmental setting therefor. Since such flow-control device is especially useful'in' association with freeze-proof drinking fountains, the fountain shown in FIG. 1 is an outdoor fountain that may be subjected to subfreezing temperatures and it is denoted in its entirety with the numeral 10. The fountain includes an upwardly extending pedestal 11 of cylindrical configuration equipped at its lower walkway. At its upper end, the pedestal 11 has a bowl orreceiver 16 connected thereto and supported thereby.
The bowl l6 has'the usual concave shape and it is provided centrally with a plurality of drain openings or ports 17 that communicate with a waste conduit 18 disposed centrally within the hollow interior 19 of the pedestal 11. The waste conduit 18 extends downwardly through the pedestal 11 to a location beneath the mounting plate 12, and it is connected therebelow to the usual waste or sewage system (not shown).
Secured to the bowl 16 along the rim 20 thereof is a nozzle 21 through which water is ejected by appropriate manipulation of a valve (not shown) located beneath the plate 12 ordinarily at a depth lower than the frostline so that water delivered thereto will not freeze during the subfreezing temperatures common in many areas to the winter months. Such valve is manipulated between the on and off positions thereof by any suitable control means which, in the form shown, constitutes a foot pedal or lever 22 connected with such valve through a linkage assemblage concealed within the hollow interior 19 of the pedestal 11. A supply line 24 having such valve therein connects the nozzle or outlet 21 with a source of pressurized water (or any other liquid), and such supply line is located within the hollow interior 19 of the pedestal 11.
Disposed along the supply conduit 24 in general proximity to the outlet or discharge nozzle 21 is an antisurge flow control device 25 through which all water delivered to the discharge port 21 must pass. The flow-control device 25 includes a casing formed of a generally cylindrical sidewall 26 and end caps 27 and 28 sealingly related thereto, and it defines a chamber 29 therein. Both the casing and chamber are elongated longitudinally so that the length of each is substantially greater than the transverse dimensions thereof. The casing is provided with an inlet 30 that takes the form of a flow passage extending through and centrally oriented with respect to the end cap 27. For this purpose the end cap 27 may be provided centrally with an extension or connector 31 having external threads to enable the same to be connected to the supply conduit 24 on the side thereof leading to the concealed valve controlling the flow of water through the supply conduit. Analogously, the casing is also provided with an outlet 32 formed in an extension or connector 34 that may be externally threaded to facilitate connection thereof with the supply conduit 24 on the side thereof leading to the nozzle 21.
The flow-control device 25 and any fountain with which it is used may be connected to sources of liquid having supply pressures that vary over a wide range. For the purpose of providing a relatively uniform flow volume over such wide pressure range (usually a range of about p.s.i. starting from a pressure of the orderof l5 p.s.i.g. and extending to a pressure of theorder of p.s.i.g.), a flow regulator 35 is located along the supply conduit 24 and is conveniently seated within the inlet 30 as shown in FIG. 3. in certain instances, the flow regulator 35 may be a conventional pressure regulator but more appropriately it is a pressure compensated flow control device enabling the chamber 29 and conduit thereabove to drain downwardly so as to obviate the continued presence of water therein which otherwise would freeze when subjected to subfreezing winter temperatures.
Flow-control devices 35 having the characteristic of providing a relatively uniform flow volume over a wide pressure range and which also permit liquid to drain therethrough are well known in the art and an example thereof is the unit sold under the name Flow Control Device" by the Dole Manufacturing Company Division of Eaton Yale 8r Towne, Inc. The inlet passage 30 may be sized so that the flow regulator 35 can be inserted thereinto and held in place by a relatively snug friction fit. The particular flow regulator 35 shown has an opening 36 therethrough, as illustrated in FIG. 5, enabling water to flow therethrough in either direction to supply the chamber 29 with water in one instance and to permit liquid to drain therefrom in another instance.
Located within the chamber 29 is a flow tube 37 that projects from the outlet 32 toward adjacency with the inlet 30 to enable the inner end portion of thetube 37 to be immersed in liquid delivered to the chamber 29, as shown in FIG. 3 by the depiction of the presence of water within the lower end portion of the chamber. The inner end portion of the tube 37 is offset from the inlet 30 so that substantially none of the water discharging therefrom into the chamber 29 is ejected directly into the flow tube. The flow tube 37 may be bent laterally to provide such offsetting of the inner end thereof relative to the inlet 30 which is a convenient means of effecting the desired relationship as respects the flow control device 25 shown in which both the inlet 30 and outlet 32 are in line with each other and are centrally disposed relative to the chamber 29 and casing defining the same. The terminal end of the flow tube 37 may be spaced slightly from the chamber closure 27 and can be flat so as to define a plane generally normal to the flow axis of the tube, but in other situations it may be convenient to have the flow tube substantially abut the end closure 27 and in such event, the end of the tube is advantageously cut at an angle so that a large unobstructed opening is afforded for ingress of liquid into the interior thereof.
The flow tube 37 may be a separate or independent conduit connected with the supply conduit 24 through a suitable coupling provided for this purpose, or it may comprise a part of such supply conduit, as shown, and simply extend through the outlet 32 in sealing relation therewith. Any conventional arrangement may be used to effect such sealing relation of the flow tube 37, or supply conduit 24 providing the same, with the outlet 32 as, for example, a nut 37 as shown which engages the threaded extension 34 of the end closure 28 and wedges a resilient seal 38 into tight sealing engagement with the exterior surface of the flow conduit. Other means may be used to afiect the desired sealing relation, however, as by brazing or otherwise rigidly securing a metal flow conduit 37 to the metal extension 34 of the end closure 28. A similar versatility is available as respects the supply conduit 24 and extension 31 of the end closure 27, but in the particular device shown the sealing relation is efiected by a threaded nut 39 and resilient washer or seal 40 as herefor explained with respect to the nut 37 and seal 38.
In use of the antisurge flow control device 25, it is most effectively oriented in the generally vertical or upwardly extending position shown in which the inlet 30 is disposed at the bottom of the device and the outlet 32 is positioned at the top thereof. Accordingly, the inlet 30 and the outlet 32 are spaced from each other by a considerable distance, and the elongated character of the chamber 29 is most effectively utilized. The supply conduit 24 on the side thereof connected with the inlet 30 is equipped with a valve controlling the flow of liquid through the conduit which is necessarily'connected to a pressurized source of liquid. The outlet 32 of the flow-control device 25 will be connected to the nozzle or discharge port 21 of the fountain through the flow tube 37. Assuming the fountain to be mounted, it is then ready for use.
As indicated hereinbefore, in the usual case the fountain 10 will be a freeze-proof fountain in which all of the components and supply conduit located above the frostline will be drained of liquid after each use. Accordingly, each time the fountain is used the liquid flowing upwardly toward the discharge port 21 will entrain air and will also tend to compress the air column thercabove and to eject the same through the discharge port 21. As a consequence, during the initial discharge of water from the nozzle and for some period of time thereafter the water tends to surge or flow irregularly from the nozzle 21 rather than flow therefrom at a uniform rate following a constant or steady trajectory. The flow-control device 25 tends to prevent such occurrence by removing all or substantial quantities of the air entrained in the liquid prior to its discharge from the nozzle 21.
In this respect, the high-velocity liquid flowing upwardly through the supply conduit 24 toward the flow-control device 25 enters the chamber 29 at a relatively constant rate (i.e., volume per unit of time) irrespective of the supply pressure because of the presence and operation of the flow regulator 35. The water supplied to the chamber 29 through the inlet 30 nevertheless has a high velocity which is diminished significantly within the large chamber 29, thereby affording an opportunity for the air entrained in the water stream to be released therefrom. The released air and air otherwise present within the chamber 29 tends to be compressed by the entering liquid into a relatively small volume at the upper end portion of the chamber and thereby establishes an air cushion that automatically accommodates any surging of the liquid entering the chamber through the inlet 30 thereof.
Therefore, the lower end portion of the flow tube 37 is immersed in a body of liquid that is relatively quiescent and largely free of entrained air; and at least a portion of the water or other liquid in which the lower end of the flow tube 37 is immersed enters the same and flows upwardly therethrough for discharge through the nozzle 21. Such discharge is relatively smooth and uniform since the entrained air and the presence of other air causing surging has been accommodated by the device 25. Although the use of any fountain tends to be intermittent and for brief intervals, even during those infrequent uses during which liquid is permitted to discharge from the nozzle 21 for long periods, by the time that the chamber 29 has substantially filled with liquid (i.e., compressed the air mass therein to its smallest possible volume under the supply pressure then obtaining) and the velocity of the liquid at the nozzle 21 accordingly tends to increase some, the liquid then being supplied to the nozzle will be substantially free of entrained air and no further surging will occur although the air cushion within the chamber 29 is still effective to accommodate any surging that otherwise may tend to occur.
Evidently then, the flow-control device 25 functions to deliver to the nozzle 21 a relatively continuous column of water or other liquid rather than a surging column having air entrained therein. The device further serves to cushion the delivery of liquid to the nozzle 21 under rapid and repetitive manipulation of the control 22 and valve connected therewith as is often occasioned by children jiggling the valve. The dimensions of the device 25 are not critical but for the purpose of giving some order of magnitude thereto, it may be noted that a device shown to work well is one in which the easing (exclusive of the extensions 31'and 34) has a length of about 2% inches, an outer diameter of about 1% inches, and inlet and outlet openings dimensioned to accommodate conduits having an outer diameter of about three-eighths of a inch.
While in the forgoing specification an embodiment of the invention has been described in considerable detail for purposes of making a complete disclosure thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes may be made in such details without departing for the spirit and principles of the invention.
1. An antisurge flow-control device for a freeze-proof drinking fountain or the like having a relatively long liquid supply conduit extending between the discharge port of such fountain and the valve controlling the flow of liquid thereto, comprising a casing defining a chamber therein adapted to be interposed in such supply conduit generally adjacent such discharge port and having an inlet connectable with such supply conduit on the side thereof leading to such valve and an outlet connectable with such supply conduit on the side thereof leading to such discharge port, and a flow tube projecting into said chamber from said outlet thereof toward adjacency with said inlet so as to have an inner end portion immersed in liquid delivered to said chamber through said inlet and provide a substantially surgeless flow of liquid to such supply conduit for transmission therethrough to such discharge port, said flow tube having the inner end portion thereof offset from said inlet so that substantially no air-entrained liquid is ejected directly therefrom into said flow tube.
2. The flow-control device of claim 1 and further comprising a flow regulator seated within said inlet and operative to provide a relatively uniform flow volume into said chamber over a relatively large range of pressures provided by the source of any liquid delivered to such supply conduit. v
3. The flow-control device of claim I in which said flow tube comprises a part of such supply conduit and extends through said outlet in sealing relation therewith.
4. The flow-control device of claim 1 in which said casing is longitudinally elongated and defines a relatively long chamber therein adapted to be vertically oriented, said inlet being at the lower end of said chamber and said outlet being at the upper end thereof.
5. The flow control device of claim 4 and further comprising a flow regulator seated within said inlet and operative to provide a relatively uniform flow volunie into said chamber over a relatively large range of pressures provided by the source of any liquid delivered to such supply conduit.
6. The flow-control device of claim 5 in which said flow regulator is a pressure compensated flow-control device enabling liquid to drain therethrough from said chamber.
7. The flow-control device of claim 5 in which said flow tube comprises a part of such supply conduit and extends through said outlet in sealing relation therewith.
8. The flow-control device of claim 7 in which said flow regulator is a pressure-compensated flow-control device enabling liquid to drain therethrough from said chamber.