US 3572553 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Stanley D. Ogden 1,591,799 7/1926 Tinapp 222/67X 1667 Chevy Knoll Place, Glendale, Calif. 2,221,487 1 1/1940 Moore 222/67 91206 3,000,540 9/1961 Wheeler..... 222/479X  Appl. No. 751,081 3,084,047 4/1963 Holstein et a1.. 222/67X  Filed Aug. 8,1968 3,193,144 7/1965 King 222/67 [45 1 Patented 1971 Primary Examiner-Samuel F. Coleman Assistant Examiner-H. S. Lane 54] CONVERSION DRINKING WATER SYSTEM 2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 U.S.Cl. 222/67, 222/185, 137/448  lnLCl. B67d 3/00 ABSTRACT; A drinking water Supply apparatus is described  Fleld of Search 222/479; which is capable f providing a constant supply f water by 222/67 (up), 183, 185 (up), 63; 137/448 gravity flow from a dispenser. The apparatus is especially useful for converting existing bottle-type water dispensers into a  References Cited unit which delivers readily available tap water by gravity flow UNITED STATES PATENTS from the existing dispenser outlet valve while avoiding any 1,079,918 11/1913 Long et al 222/67X return flow to the tap water supply line.
' Patentd March 30, 1971 INVENTOR. fawn .0 H4050 CMM, Jz0
CONVERSION DRINKING WATER SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to water supply apparatus, and more particularly to water dispenser units useful with drinking water stands, or the like. Also the invention can be used in combination with water purifying units.
2. Description of the Prior Art I'Ieretofore drinking water dispensers have comprised normally of two types of units. One unit, being the pressurized fountaintype system, requires a pressurized supply of water and a drain connection to a sewage system. The other type is the bottled water dispenser which uses a bottle of water inverted on top of the dispenser and over the water reservoir. When water is withdrawn fromthe dispenser air bubbles into the water bottle to displace the water withdrawn therefrom.
Both of these types of water dispensers have basic disadvantages. The pressurized fountain type of water dispenser requires a drain which must be coupled into a sewage system, or the like. A pressurized water supply is normally available but in certain locations in the home or in ofr'ice buildings a sewage connection is not. The bottled water-type dispensers are undesirable because, as air bubbles back into the bottle, dust, germs, impurities and other contaminations are carried into the water bottle therewith. This, then will contaminate the water in the dispenser and the bottle. After the bottle is emptied, a full bottle must be replaced before additional water is available. Most dispensers use gallon bottles of water which must be lifted to the top of the dispenser. These bottles weigh as much as 55 pounds, which sometimes is too heavy for some persons to lift. 4
Sometimes the 5 gallon bottles used in the inverted dispenser contain specially treated water, such as fluorinated, demineralized, distilled, purified or spring-fresh water. Such bottled water is normally expensive as compared to ordinary tap water. An attachment or a water purifier or treatment device can be placed in the water inlet' line of the dispenser of this invention to provide the specially treated water. One such purifier is described in US. Pat. No. 2,627,351 and copending application, Ser. No. 731,173, for Liquid Filter Device invented by Hubert S. Ogden, et al.
SUMMARY or THE INVENTION Briefly described, the present invention provides an attachment unit capable of being used with water dispensers. The unit comprises a housing and an apparatus to sense the water level in a reservoir. A means is provided, which is responsive to the sensing apparatus, for replenishing water displaced in the reservoir. The replenishing means is coupled to ordinary tap water inlets, or can be coupled to the liquid filter device as set forth in the aforementioned copending application. I
By this invention tap water under normal pressure is delivered by suitable tubing or piping to an inlet valve housing which is placed over the existing open water reservoir replacing the usual bottle. The housing is affixed to the top of the reservoir to seal the water therein from external atmospheric contamination. The water level-sensing controlling device is coupled to the inlet valve. When tap water is withdrawn from the reservoir the water level control device senses the drop in water level and activates the replenishing means to allow sufficient tap water to enter the water reservoir and fill the reservoir to the preset maximum water level.
The tap water in the reservoir may be cooled, or maintained at room temperature. There may also be a facility to supply water to a separate heating device for dispensing hot water.
An advantage of this invention over the aforesaid prior art water supply sources is that no drain or sewer plumbing is necessary, as with the drinking fountain or other type of pressurized water dispensers. Further there is no need for constantly changing the bottles as in the bottled water dispensers.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a view illustrating a water-cooling stand employing the principals of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a section view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. I to show the internal structure of the water dispensing apparatus of this invention;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged section view of the water dispensing apparatus of this invention;
FIG. 4 is a partial section view of a typical valve arrangement which may be employed with the water dispensing apparatus of this invention; and
FIG. 5 is a top view of the dispensing apparatus taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to FIG. I there is shown a water coolerdispensing apparatus employing the features of this invention. A dispensing stand 10 is provided which may be of the standard type water coolers readily available on the market. A water outlet valve 12 protrudes from the dispenser 10. A drain container 14 is attached to dispenser l0 and positioned under valve 12 to catch any excess water drops therefrom. Such drain container 14 may be the type which is easily removable for emptying when an amount of water has accumulated therein.
FIG. 2 illustrates the internal apparatus of FIG. I wherein the valve 12 is coupled to receive water through a pipe 16 from a water reservoir 18. The reservoir 18 is positioned within the dispenser 10 on suitable brackets 19. The reservoir 18 may be of the pottery type which is capable of keeping water at a cool condition. A refrigeration unit (not shown) may be provided within the housing 10 for keeping the water at even colder temperatures. An inlet valve 20 (illustrated in detail in FIG. 4) is connected to a housing 22 and regulates the water flow from an inlet pipe 24. A water treatment device 25 may be coupled in series with the inlet pipe 24. The float valve 50 is regulated by a float 26 which floats on top of the water within the reservoir 18. (FIG. 3). An air vent 2b is coupled to the top of reservoir 18 and allows air to displace the water dispensed through valve 12. A small filter 30 may be placed on the end of vent 28 to assure that the incoming air is clean and free of contamination. A suitable backflow preventer valve (not shown) may be coupled in series with the water inlet line 2 3 to meet plumbing codes.
Referring now to FIG. 3 there is shown an expanded view of one embodiment of the level sensing and control unit of this invention. It should be noted that the water-cooling dispenser comprised of the cooler stand 10, the water reservoir 18 with outlet device valve 12, and the associated plumbing used therewith, are readily available on the market. In accordance with this invention a housing 22 is provided which has an extending collar 23 around the outer periphery thereof. The
housing 22 and collar 23 are secured to the stand 10 by the screws 32 and 34, for example, and fits over the existing bottle receiving opening on the top of the water cooler 10. Preferably the collar should be securely affixed to the top of the cooler to keep the water in reservoir 18 clean.
With reference to FIG. 4 a threaded sleeve 36 is inserted in an opening 38 of the housing 22 and is secured in place by a nut 4'10 threaded thereon. The sleeve 36 has a collar 42 extending into the housing 22. A plastic type bubble is placed over collar 42 to confine the spray of inlet water. The valve 20 has a sleeve arrangement 44 which is threaded into the sleeve 36 on the outside of the housing 22. An inner sleeve 48 which has an inlet passageway 46 therein is in communication with the outlet tubing 24 through the valve 20. The sleeve 48 protrudes into the collar 42 whereby water flowing through the inlet tubing 24 flows into the water reservoir 18 through passageway 46.
A float valve 50 has an arm 52 coupled to the float 26, as shown in FIG. 3. A sealing member in the form of a rubber cushion arrangement 54 is coupled to one end of an arm 52, the arm 52 is slightly bent in an L shape and is pivotally mounted by a pivot 56 to the collar 42.
When the water level in the reservoir 18 drops below a certain level the rubber cushion 54 drops away from the protruding end of sleeve 48 allowing water to flow into reservoir 18. When the water in reservoir 18 reaches the predetermined level by flowing through the passageway 46, float 26 raises arm 52 and the cushion 54 is raised into contact with the protruding end of sleeve 48 within the collar 42 to substantially stop the water flow into the reservoir 18. By this technique an apparatus is provided to maintain the water in the reservoir 18 at a constant level. Thus a fresh supply of cool water is always available within the reservoir 18. In the event that there is a loss of supply water pressure, the water in reservoir 18 cannot back flow into the water supply lines, which is due to inlet sleeve 48 being above the water level in the reservoir l8, and the vent 28 relieving any vacuum.
While there has been shown but one preferred embodiment of this invention it should be understood that many alterations and modifications are contemplated without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention.
1. In a drinking water-dispensing apparatus including a water reservoir, with a dispensing outlet the improvement of which comprises:
a housing mounted on said drinking water-dispensing apparatus and over said water reservoir;
a water inlet means mounted on said housing including valve means extending through said housing for direct connection to a municipal water line outside of said housing for providing a water supply to the water reservoir;
means including a float disposed in said reservoir for detecting when the water level in said reservoir drops below a predetermined level;
means responsive to said detecting means for directly coupling said float to said valve means for activating said valve means when the water in said reservoir falls below a predetermined level, said means having an arm coupling said float to said valve means, said arm being bent to permit the float to be positioned substantially below said valve means to maintain a water level substantially below said valve means;
a water treatment device coupled in series with said source of pressurized water to provide treated water to the reservoir; and
an air vent being disposed within the water reservoir and positioned above the water level therein and having an air filter connected thereto.
2. The system as defined in' claim 1 wherein said valve means comprises a collar extending through said housing and having a water inlet tube therein being in communication with said municipal water line, and a sealing member being pivotally mounted to said collar and being coupled to said float, said sealing member being capable of coming in sealing contact with the tube in said collar.