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Publication numberUS3585076 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 15, 1971
Filing dateAug 29, 1968
Priority dateAug 29, 1968
Also published asUS3544051
Publication numberUS 3585076 A, US 3585076A, US-A-3585076, US3585076 A, US3585076A
InventorsPrange Charles J
Original AssigneeRockwell Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Conduit cleaning apparatus
US 3585076 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 15, 1911 c. J. PRANGE 3,585,075

CONDUIT CLEANING APPARATUS Filed Aug. 29, 1968 2 Sheets Sheet 1 J I Q FIG. I

5| 22 5 '1 47 l/IB [I I I I J 46 z I 35 =\IL.Q @J

33 36 44 34 49 L INVLN'I'OR.

48 CHARLES J. PRANGL BY FIG 3 ATTORNEYS June 15, 1971 c. J. PRANGE 3,585,076

CONDUIT CLEANING APPARATUS Filed Aug. 29,1968 2 Sheets-Sheet z v Q INVENTOR.


War/QM AT TORNEYS United States Patent 3,585,076 CONDUIT CLEANING APPARATUS Charles J. Prange, Cridersville, Ohio, assignor to Rockwell Manufacturing Company, Pittsburgh, Pa. Filed Aug. 29, 1968, Ser. No. 765,229 Int. Cl. B08b 9/04 US. Cl. 134-113 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A length of flexible hose connected to a source of cleaning fluid is coiled on a rotatable reel and has a dis charge nozzle on its free end adapted to be located within and advanced upstream along an underground conduit. A metering roller and indicator assembly carried by a pivoted lever mechanism rests on the top of the coiled hose so that reel rotation drives the roller to operate the indicator. The indicator is resettable to render its reading independent of the vertical distance to the conduit. This informs the operator as to the exact location of the nozzle within the conduit and the exact length of conduit that has been cleaned.

HISTORY AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION The invention relates particularly to the automatic cleaning of underground and similarly difficultly accessible conduits such as sewers by self-propelled hose nozzles that have been introduced into the conduit by uncoiling the hose from a reel located above ground. Liquid such as water is discharged through reverse nozzle jets at high velocity to flush the conduit and drive dislodged debris into the downstream flow while the nozzle is self-propelled upstream along the conduit by reaction from the reversely directed cleaning jets.

Apparatus of this type has been proposed as disclosed in US. Letters Patent Nos. 3,165,109 and 3,321,184. In such devices a length of hose is wound on a reel wherein one end is connected to a source of water under pressure, and the other end mounting the nozzle is first lowered down a manhole to the conduit level. The nozzle is directed upstream and the water supply valve opened to start discharge through the nozzle which starts to move itself along the conduit.

In prior apparatus of this type problems have been encountered that render it important to know the exact position of the nozzle within the conduit.

One problem arises where the nozzle is stopped by an obstruction that requires removal by a cutting tool or the like. By knowing the location of the arrested nozzle, the operator is informed as to the location of the obstruction and the requirements for operating the tool. Another problem arises where it is desired to clean only a certain.

conduit length up to for example its intersection with a main conduit. A further problem arises where the nature of the material being dislodged by the cleaning jets is such that it may repack about the hose downstream and it is desirable to clean the conduit in successive increments, withdrawing the nozzle after each increment to free the hose of downstream material.

The hose could be marked in feet along its length starting at the nozzle, but this would be useless in informing as to exact nozzle position because various conduits are located different distances underground.

The invention solves these problems by providing a distance indicator driven by a roller continually engaging the periphery of the coiled hose on the reel, and this is the major object of the invention. Further objects of the invention reside in mounting the roller to maintain by gravity its drive engagement with the coiled hose, and in providing for reset of the indicator to zero or another 3,585,076 Patented June 15, 1971 ice reference to render the reading independent of the distance between the reel and conduit. An attendant object is the novel method of accurately indicating the exact location of the self-propelled nozzle in the conduit being cleaned wherein the hose is uncoiled to dispose the nozzle at conduit level, an indicator driven from the reeled hose is set at a predetermined reference and the self-propelled cleansing advance of the nozzle is started along the conduit, uncoiling the hose from the rotating reel as it moves along the conduit, is observed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view showing principles of invention involved;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged generally perspective view, partly diagrammatic and showing the invention in a preferred environment.

FIG. 3 is a further enlarged fragmentary view partly broken away and in section showing the associated roller and counter; and

FIG. 4 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the beneficial action of the beveled roller ends during normal operation.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. 1 shows the invention as applied to a sewer or like conduit cleaning arrangement wherein a vertical passage 11 leads down to a generally horizontal underground sewer conduit 12. The problem is to clean the difficultly accessible conduit 12 and know that the entire length or any desired length of it has been subjected to cleaning.

A portable cleaning apparatus indicated at 13, which is usually an assemblage of mechanism mounted on a motor truck, is positioned near the top of passage 11, with the free end of a flexible hose 14 having a special nozzle 15 disposed directly above passage 11. Hose 14 is coiled on a reel 16 that is rotatably mounted on a generally horizontal axis pivot at 17 and several layers of hose are accumulated on the reel.

In the invention a metering roller 18 is mounted for free rotation on the end of a lever mechanism 19 that is freely pivoted to rock about a fixed axis at 20, the combined weight of the lever mechanism and roller urging the roller against the uppermost layer of coiled hose. Roller 18 is connected by a motion transmitting mechanism indicated at 21 to a suitable counter 22 having a readout window 23, for recording revolutions of roller 18 in terms of any desired units of length of hose which has been unwound from the reel. Counter 22 has a zero reset control 24 for a purpose to appear herein below.

In normal operation the reel 16 is rotated until nozzle 15 reaches a predetermined level, such as the floor of conduit 12 as shown in full lines. This means that a length of hose equal to the distance it in FIG. 1 has been unreeled. The apparatus is capable of being used in many different circumstances where this distance it may vary, as from six feet in some places to twenty feet in others. In the invention, after the nozzle 15 reaches the conduit in its operative position to start a cleaning course along conduit 12, the operator resets counter 22 by turning control 24 until the reading at window 23 is zero or some other desired reference point. Thus this reset feature renders the practice of the invention independent of the height of vertical passage 11. If the hose was merely marked in feet from nozzle 15 this would require two readings of counter 22 and the possibility of error would be present.

Now cleaning fluid such as water is pumped through hose 14 and nozzle 15. This nozzle is of the self-propelling type which delivers a reverse jet flushing stream, and these reverse jets react to propel the nozzle forwardly along 1 conduit 12.

As nozzle moves along conduit 12 it aids the reel drive in that it exerts an unwinding pull on thhe hose from rotating reel 16. As reel 16 rotates the metering roller 18 maintains by gravity rolling contact with the outer diameter of the uncoiling hose, and friction between the roller and hose rotates the roller to thereby actuate the counter and accurately measure the length d that nozzle 15 has moved along conduit 12. This is of course a direct measurement of the actual length of conduit 12 that has been flushed by the nozzle, and is a direct indication of the location of nozzle 15 within conduit 12.

Thus according to the invention any desired length of conduit, no matter how far underground or how the conduit changes direction, may be accurately traversed by the cleaning hose nozzle.

Reference is made to FIGS. 2-4 that include further important details of special apparatus for carrying out the novel method shown in FIG. 1.

Reel 16 is rotatably mounted at opposite ends in pivots 17 that are on rigid support frames upstanding from a platform 26 which may be the floor of the truck carrying all of the mechanism and parts shown in FIG. 2. Spaced vertical posts 27 and 28 rigidly upstand from the supports or the floor to carry a pivot structure 20 in the form of a horizontal cylindrical rod 29 extending between posts 27 and 28.

Metering roller 18 is carried by a lever mechanism 19 in the form of two rigid straps 31 and 32 that have apertured ends freely swingably mounted on rod 29. Straps 31 and 32 converge to terminate in adjacent spaced parallel terminals 33 and 34 (FIG. 3) formed with aligned apertures from which extend coaxial bearing thimbles 35 and 36, respectively.

Roller 18 is formed with opposed stub shafts 37 and 38 for freely rotatably mounting it in the bearings at 35 and 36. In the assembly the pivot axis of lever mechanism 19, the axis of rotation of roller 18 and the axis of rotation of reel 16 are all parallel and preferably horizontal.

Counter 22 is of known construction and is fixedly mounted on lever mechanism 19 by a bracket 39 secured as by screws 41 to terminal 34. The counter drive shaft 42 carries a bevel gear 43 meshed with a bevel gear 44 on roller stub shaft 38 providing a direct drive connection. Any suitable motion transmitting mechanism may be used between roller 18 and counter 22.

As shown in FIG. 3 roller 18 has smooth parallel flat sides 45 and 46 parallel to and adjacent the lever terminals, which provides a non-cocking guide mount for roller 18. The central portion 47 of roller 18 is cylindrical and may be rough surfaced or coated with a friction material at 48 for aiding its drive contact with the reeled hose coils. Both ends of roll 18 are beveled so as to provide conical surfaces 49 and 51, the cone angles being about 60 to the roller axis.

FIG. 4 shows diagrammatically the function of the beveled roller ends. Considering that the hose is uncoiling from the reel as in FIG. 2, the coils 14 to 14 will in turn move out from beneath roller 18 as the top layer moves off the reel. When coil 14 moves off the reel, the now unsupported roller 18 will drop to the indicated dotted line position, the beveled roller end 51 contacting coil 14 to provide for gradual transfer of the roller engagement between the hose layers and maintain uniform drive engagement of the roller 18 with the unreeling hose. When coil 14 is removed, the roller 18 drops into contact with the layer below, The same action takes place in reverse on reeling in the hose, at which time measuring may not be important, but here the beveled ends aid in raising the roller 18 as the hose layers build up on the reel.

Referring to FIG. 2, the apparatus on platform 20 includes an engine (not shown) connected by drive belt 52 to a pulley 53 on the input shaft of a pump 55. Fluid under pressure is delivered from the pump through a conduit 56 into the interior of reel 16 where it is connected by a suitable manifold (not shown) to the inner end of hose 14. A valve 57 in conduit 56 is adjustable to shut off or vary fluid flow through hose 14.

Pump 55 has another fluid pressure outlet to a conduit 58 containing a regulating valve 59. Conduit 58 leads to a reversible valve 60 connected by conduits 61 and 62 to opposite sides of a hydraulic motor 63 that is drive connected by chain 64 to a sprocket 65 on reel 16. Valve 59 may be adjusted to control the position and speed of rotation of the direction of rotation of reel 16.

In operation, valve 59 is opened to rotate reel 16 to lower nozzle 15 to the bottom of passage 11, valve 60 being properly oriented at the time. Then valve 59 is closed while the counter is reset to zero and the cleaning pressure is set by valve 57. Alternatively the roller 18 can be held out of engagement with the hose on the reel until the nozzle 15 reaches conduit 12 at which point the nozzle in its operative position and the roller can then be lowered into engagement with coiled hose on the reel. Thereafter the reading on the indicator will correspond with the distance the nozzle 15 has traversed conduit 12. During unreeling of the hose it is preferable to slightly open valve 59 to drive the reel at a speed in conformity with the pull exerted by the moving self-propelled nozzle, thus relieving strain on the hose. If desired counter 22 may be of the reversible type. Such a counter will be driven in a reverse direction as the hose is rewound to retract the nozzle towards the reel. By employing such a counter the exact distance that the nozzle is from the reel as it is retracted toward the reel will be indicated on the counter.

The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.

What is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. Apparatus for cleaning lengths of sewer conduit or the like comprising a reel supported for rotation about an axis, a flexible hose coiled upon said reel, said hose being connected at one end to a. source of fluid, a fluid discharge nozzle on the free end of said hose, a freely rotatable metering roller disposed in drive engagemnt with the outer periphery of the coiled hose on the reel, 3. lver mechanism carrying said roller and freely pivoted about an axis substantially parallel to the roller axis whereby said roller rests upon said coiled hose, and an indicator mounted on said lever mechanism driven by said roller.

2. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein said indicator is calibrated in terms of units of length of said hose.

3. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein said nozzle is of the self-propelling type.

4. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein said indicator has a reset control device.

5. The apparatus defined in claim 1, wherein a generally horizontal rod is supported adjacent the reel and parallel to the reel axis, and said lever mechanism comprises a pair of arms having corresponding ends freely pivoted on said rod and freely pivotally mounting the roller at their other ends.

6. Apparatus for cleaning lengths of conduit comprising a reel supported for rotation about an axis, a flexible hose coiled upon said reel in a plurality of layers of coils, said hose being connected at one end to a source of fluid, a fluid discharge nozzle on the free end of said hose, a freely rotatable metering roller adapted for drive engagement with an exposed layer of coils, an indicator driven by said roller, said roller having a cylindrical portion and at least one beveled portion, said beveled portion being adapted to maintain contact with the outermost layer of coils as said layer is being uncoiled from beneath the roller until the roller is lowered into a position of engagement between its cylindrical portion and the next succeeding inner layer of coils.

7. Apparatus defined in claim 6 wherein said roller has a second beveled portion adapted to contact the next succeeding outer layer of coils as said layer is being coiled onto the reel until the roller is raised into a position of engagement between its cylindrical portion and said next succeeding outer layer.

8. Apparatus for cleaning lengths of conduit comprising a reel supported for rotation about an axis, a flexible hose coiled upon said reel in a plurality of layers of coils, said hose being connected at one end to a source of fluid, a fluid discharge nozzle on the free end of said hose, a freely rotatable metering roller adapted for drive engagement with an exposed layer of coils, and indicator driven by said roller, said roller having a cylindrical portion and at least one beveled portion, said beveled portion being adapted to contact the next succeeding outer layer of coils as said layer is being coiled onto the reel until the roller is raised into a position of engagement between its cylindrical portion and said next succeeding outer layer of coils.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS JOSEPH SCOVRONEK, Primary Examiner D. G. MILLMAN, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4141753 *Dec 27, 1976Feb 27, 1979Creed Bruce WMethod and apparatus for cleaning suction ducts
US4518041 *Mar 22, 1982May 21, 1985Zublin Casper WHydraulic jet well cleaning assembly using a non-rotating tubing string
US4624400 *Oct 21, 1983Nov 25, 1986Westinghouse Electric Corp.Electromagnetic probe drive apparatus
US4644791 *Aug 17, 1984Feb 24, 1987Hitachi, Ltd.Moving apparatus for a hollow curved pipe-arrangement and an operating method in the pipe-arrangement by using the moving apparatus
US4646768 *Jun 29, 1984Mar 3, 1987Mitsubishi Jukogyo Kabushiki KaishaExtendable and retractable cleaning apparatus
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US5007601 *Feb 9, 1990Apr 16, 1991Ryobi Ltd.Water depth measuring device for a fishing reel
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US8046862 *Aug 8, 2008Nov 1, 2011Emerson Electric Co.Drain cleaning apparatus with electronic cable counter
US8176593 *May 21, 2009May 15, 2012Emerson Electric Co.Drain cleaning apparatus with electronic cable monitoring system
US8413347Apr 16, 2012Apr 9, 2013Emerson Electric Co.Drain cleaning apparatus with electronic cable monitoring system
US20090292502 *May 21, 2009Nov 26, 2009Emerson Electric Co.Drain cleaning apparatus with electronic cable monitoring system
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WO1992008091A1 *Oct 31, 1991May 14, 1992Barry Bros Spec ServicesApparatus for projecting devices through the tubes of heat transfer units in an on-line condition
U.S. Classification134/113, 33/745, 254/134.4, 134/24, 134/167.00C, 15/104.31, 134/179
International ClassificationE03F9/00, B65H75/44, B08B9/02, B08B9/053, B65H75/38, A45B5/00
Cooperative ClassificationB65H75/44, A45B5/00, E03F9/00
European ClassificationA45B5/00, B65H75/44, E03F9/00