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Publication numberUS3631880 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1972
Filing dateApr 2, 1970
Priority dateApr 2, 1970
Publication numberUS 3631880 A, US 3631880A, US-A-3631880, US3631880 A, US3631880A
InventorsHansel William B
Original AssigneeSun Oil Co Pennsylvania
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Suction arrangement for pumps
US 3631880 A
Abstract
A flexible hose, supported at one end by a float in a subterranean liquid fuel storage tank, provides a floating suction or intake for the discharge pump of the fuel dispensing apparatus. For use with an aboveground or surface-type discharge pump, the float and the hose are sized to be insertable into the tank from above the same, by way of the suction pipe mounted in the tank, after the lower portion of the suction pipe has been cut off. The floating suction arrangement can also be used with discharge pumps of the submersible type.
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I United States Patent 1 1 3,631,880

[72] Inventor William B. l-lansel [56] References Cited l; UNITED STATES PATENTS g 1970 318,689 5/1885 Breese 417/61 x Patented 5. 2,858,843 11/1958 Muller 137/172 [73] Assignee Sun Oil Company of Pennsylvania 1 Primary Examiner-Robert M. Walker Philadelphia, Pa. AtmrneysGeorge L. Church, Donald R. Johnson, Wilmer E.

McCorquodale and Frank A. Rechif [54] SUCTION ARRANGEMENT FOR PUMPS 2 Claims, 7 Drawing Figs. ABSTRACT: A flexible hose, supported at one end by a float in a subterranean liquid fuel storage tank, provides a floating [52] US. Cl Suction or intake for th? discharge pump of the fuel dispensing l 11 in: CI 1 16: 1/20 P use an abovesround or face-type IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 5 867d 6 discharge pump, the float and the hose are sized to be inserta- 1501 Field 61 Search 416/61; W the tank from above the same. y y of the uction pipe mounted in the tank, after the lower portion of the suction pipe has been cut off. The floating suction arrangement can also be used with discharge pumps of the submersible .nnmilhh.

SHEET 1 OF 2 PATENTEDJM 41912 INVE NTORZ HANSEL ATT Y.

This invention relates to a suction arrangement for pumps, and more particularly to a suction or intake arrangement for discharge pumps utilized in connection with subterranean liquid fuel (e.g., gasoline) storage tanks.

In underground tanks used in service stations for the storage of liquid fuel to be dispensed, during normal operations (for example, as a result of the condensation of moisture on the walls of the tank) water, rust, scale, etc. accumulate and fall to the bottom of the tank. It is very desirable to avoid pumping any of this extraneous material out of the tank along with the fuel being dispensed. Such-extraneous material should be left in the storage tank, to be removed when the tank is periodically cleaned.

Underground tanks of the aforementioned character may have mounted therein a rigid suction pipe (extending vertically in the tank, and connected at its upper end to an aboveground or surface pump), or they may have therein a submersible pump which has its intake located near the bottom of the tank. One rather obvious way to avoid pumping up undesired material from the bottom of the tank would be to shorten the pump suction or intake sufl'lciently (that is, raise it above the bottom of the tank) so that the suction would never reach the bottom layer of extraneous material. However, this would reduce the effective storage capacity of the tank to such an extent as to be impractical and uneconomic.

An object of this invention is to provide a novel suction arrangement for the discharge pump associated with a subterranean liquid storage tank.

Another object is to provide a novel pump suction arrangement for an underground liquid fuel storage tank which enables fuel only to be pumped from the tank, yet doe not reduce to any appreciable extent the efi'ective storage capacity of the tank.

A further object is to provide a discharge pump suction arrangement for underground tanks which can be readily installed in existing tanks.

A still further object is to provide a novel floating suction arrangement for a discharge pump associated with a subterranean gasoline storage tank.

The objects of this invention are accomplished, briefly, in the following manner: A suction or intake arrangement for an aboveground discharge pump used in conjunction with a subterranean liquid fuel storage tank comprises a flexible tube one end of which is attached to a float and the opposite end of which is secured to the lower end of a suction pipe mounted within the tank. To install such an arrangement in an existing tank, the lower portion of the suction pipe is first cut ofl, and then the assembly of float, tube, and securing means is passed downwardly through the pipe into the tank. The tube end is then secured to the lower (cut) end of the suction pipe upon actuation of a suitable clamping tool which is manipulated from the surface.

A similar floating suction arrangement may be used with a submersible pump mounted within the tank, but in this case one end of the flexible tube is connected to the submersible pump prior to insertion of the latter into the tank.

A detailed description of the invention follows, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of the interior of a storage tank, showing a floating suction arrangement according to one embodiment of this invention in two different operating positrons;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional illustration of the floating suction arrangement of FIG. 1, in condition for installation in an existing storage tank;

FIG. 3 is a cross section taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a floating suction arrangement, assembled with an insertion tool, in position in a suction pipe and ready to be installed therein;

FIG. 5 is a cross section taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a schematic illustration of the interior of a storage tank, showing another embodiment of the floating suction ar rangement; and

FIG. 7 is a view of the FIG. 6 embodiment, in another operating position.

Refer first to FIG. 1, which illustrates an installed pump suction arrangement according to one embodiment of this invention. A vertical section through a subterranean liquid fuel (e.g., gasoline) storage tank 1 is shown; as illustrated, tank 1 may have a cylindrical cross section with its longitudinal axis extending substantially horizontally. A suction pipe or suction tube 2 (by way of example, 1% inches in diameter) is mounted within tank 1, this rigid pipe extending downwardly (vertically) from the top of the tank toward the bottom thereof. In an existing tank (before installation of the pump suction arrangement of this invention), the rigid suction pipe 2 extends down to a point spaced only a small distance (say 2 inch) above the tank bottom, so as to enable hood utilization of the storage capacity of tank 1.

The upper end of pipe 2 communicated with a check valve 3 which is located outside of tank 1 and which is accessible from the ground surface (not shown). Check valve 3 functions to permit liquid flow upwardly, out of tank 1, but to prevent liquid flow downwardly, into this tank. A pipe 4, which extends laterally from valve 3, carries the liquid away from the outlet of this valve; pipe 4 is coupled to the intake of an aboveground or surface pump (not shown), which is preferably of the positive displacement type. This pump, during operation, thus sucks liquid fuel through a dispensing apparatus of suitable type. The check valve 3 is provided with an upper opening to which an access pipe 5 is coupled; this latter pipe extends upwardly to the ground surface. The check valve itself may be removed from its housing when desired by way of pipe 5; when removed, straightline access is possible from the ground surface, through pipe 5 and the valve housing, to the suction pipe 2 within tank 1.

To install the pump suction arrangement of the first embodiment of this invention in an existing tank, the first step would be to remove the check valve and then insert a suitable cutoff tool down through the pipe 5 and the check valve housing into suction pipe 2. By suitable manipulation of the cutoff tool from the surface, the lower portion of pipe 2 (by way of example, approximately the lower half thereof) is cut off an is allowed to fall down to the bottom of the tank.

FIG. 1 illustrates the suction pipe 2 after the lower portion thereof has been cut off, as described. After the suction pipe cutoff has been effected and the cutoff tool removed, the floating suction arrangement itself, plus a hose clamping member (ferrule), which has been coupled to an insertion tool to form a separable assembly, is passed down through pipe 5 and through the check valve housing, and then down into suction pipe 2. All of the parts of the aforesaid separable assembly are sized such as to be insertable into tank 1 by way of p p 1 Now refer to FIG. 2, which shows the suction arrangement plus the clamping member or ferrule in the unclamped position, as it would appear when being passed down through pipe 2. At the lowermost end of the assembly as it is passed down through pipe 2 is a float 6, which may-be a hollow body of some volume and made of a low-density material which is not affected by gasoline. The float 6 is adapted to float in gasoline, with a buoyant force sufi'rcient to support the active portion 7 of the suction arrangement, to which portion the float is attached by means of a flat hinge 8. The hinge 8, which may for example be made of a suitable thermoplastic material, permits the float 6 to swing or pivot in one direction with respect to the portion 7, but not in a direction at right angles to this direction.

The active portion 7 of the suction arrangement includes an inlet member 9, to which one end of the hinge 8 is attached. Member 9 is of hollow cylindrical configuration, having an opening 10 in its side wall into which liquid from the tank 1 can enter. Opening 10 can thus serve as the actual suction inlet for the discharge pump. One end of member 9 is closed and the other end has an opening therein, the closed end of member 9 being toward float 6 and the opposite end being firmly secured to one end of a piece 11 of flexible hose, which is also included in the active portion 7 of the suction arrangement. The end opening-of member 9 communicates with the interior of nose 11, so that liquid (gasoline) from tank 1 can flow through this hose to the discharge pump located above ground. 1

Upon installation in tank 1, the inner (upper) end of hose 11 is clamped securely to pipe 2 (as will be described hereinafter), while the lower (outer) end of this hose is at tached to and supported by float 6, and is thus free to follow the liquid level in tank 1 as the latter rises and falls. The length of hose 11 is such that it can reach a point adjacent the top of the tank 1, but is not such as to extend all the way to the tank bottom. FIG. 1 illustrates the floating" hose in two different positions, corresponding respectively to two different liquid levels in the tank. When the liquid is at the higher level A, the hose l1 assumes a curved shape, as illustrated toward the right-hand side of this figure. When the liquid is at the minimum level B, the hose hangs down vertically from pipe 2, as illustrated at the bottom of FIG. 1. In this extended position, the intake Opening is sufficiently above the tank bottom to ensure that no water will be sucked up through the hose from the bottom of the tank. The arrangement described comprises a floating suction, with the aboveground discharge pump taking its suction (from tank 1) by way of the inlet opening 10 in member 9 and thence through the flexible hose 11, the member 9 and hose 1 1 being supported by float 6 and thus made to follow the liquid level in tank 1.

The internal hose clamping member or ferrule 12 comprises a piece of tubing having a rolled-in or internal flange 13 at its lower end and a rolled-out or external flange at its upper end, the upper flange being adapted to engage the upper end of the flexible hose 1] (see FIG. 2).

Refer now to FIG. 4, which shows the upper end of the separable assembly (flexible hose plus clamping member plus insertion tool), positioned in the lower end of the suction pipe 2 and ready for the operation of clamping the hose 11 to the inside of this pipe. At the lower end of the insertion tool, there is a rigid expander ball 14 which is detachably secured to the lower end of a shank l5 and which is assembled below the flange 13 of ferrule 12, the shank 15 passing through the hole at the lower end of the ferrule. At its upper end, shank 15 has a T-shaped head 16 which fits within a T-shaped slot 17 fonned at the bottom end of a tension rod 18. It may be seen that an upward force exerted on rod 18 will cause the shank I5 and ball 14 to move upwardly.

Outside of tank 1, a screw jack 19 is attached to the upper end of rod 18. Jack 19 may be actuated by a manually operable crank 20, which may be rotated in such a direction as to exert an upward force on tension rod 18.

A relatively fixed or stationary reaction tube 21, whose upper end is secured to a fixed support 22 associated with the jack l9, surrounds rod 18. The lower end of reaction tube 21 is threadably secured to the upper end of an adjustable head 23 the lower annular end face of which is arranged to bear against the upper face of the external flange at the upper end of ferrule 12. The adjustable head 23 clamps the hose assembly to the insertion tool during the clamping operation; a lock nut 24, threaded onto the lower end of tube 21 and bearing against the upper end of head 23, is used to lock the latter in an adjusted position on reaction tube 21.

All of the items of the separable assembly described, below the fixed support 22 which latter is located above ground, outside of tank 1), including float 6, inlet member 9, hose 11, adjustable head 23, etc., are sized to pass readily through pipe 2, that is, to be insertable into the tank by way of this pipe.

The operation of the insertion tool, for perfonning the hose clamping operation, will now be described. By turning the crank in the proper direction, the screwjack 19 is made to pull upwardly on the tension rod 18, pulling the expander ball 14 upwardly past the bottom flange 13 of the ferrule 12. As the ball moves past this bottom flange, it forces the material of this flange radially outwardly, doubling it back on itself to form a bead 130 as illustrated in FIG. 3. The outer face of the ferrule 12 is thereby forced against the inner face of hose 1 l, to force the hose tightly against the inside wall of the suction pipe 2, clamping it thereto.

When the ball 14 passes by the bottom flange 14 as described, the clamping operation is completed and the ball enters the main bore of ferrule 2. The ball 14 is then perfectly free to move upwardly, and the entire insertion tool assembly may be removed, that is, pulled upwardly out of pipe 2. Installation of the floating suction arrangement is then complete, and the check valve 3 may be replaced in its housing. The clamping or securing arrangement at the upper (inner) end of the hose then appears as illustrated in FIG. 3.

In many cases, there is used, for the dispensing of gasoline from subterranean storage tanks, a submersible discharge pump positioned in the storage tank itself, This submersible pump may be of the centrifugal type and, since it is located remotely from the aboveground dispensing apparatus, may be termed a "remote pump. Although the specification, up to this point, has described the floating suction arrangement of the invention in connection with or in conjunction with an aboveground or surface pump (contained in or incorporated in the dispensing apparatus), the floating suction arrangement is also applicable to a remote" or submersible pump. This (second) embodiment of the invention will now be described.

The remote" or submersible pump, for maintenance purposes, is constructed and arranged in such a way that it can be inserted into or removed from the subterranean liquid storage rank bodily, or as a complete assembly or unit. Consequently, the floating suction arrangement of the invention can be applied to or incorporated with the pump while the latter is above ground, prior to it insertion into the tank. The pipe cutoff tool and the insertion tool previously described are therefore not needed or used in connection with this second embodiment of the invention Refer now to FIG. 6, which illustrates the remote" or submersible pump 25 with a floating suction arrangement denoted generally by numeral 26, mounted in a subterranean gasoline storage tank 1' (shown in longitudinal cross section). The screened inlet normally provided in the lower end of the pump 25 is removed, and replaced by a collar or adapter 27 to which one end of a flexible suction hose 28 is connected. When the pump 25 is installed in the tank 1', the collar 27 is located a small distance (say about 4% inches) above the bottom of the tank 1'; FIG. 6 illustrates a high liquid level A approximately corresponding to level A in FIG. 1.

The pump 25 takes its suction from the tank 1 in a manner hereinafter described, and pumps the liquid through a discharge pipe 29 to a discharge head 30 located above (outside of) the tank 1' and of more or less conventional design. The gasoline flows from the discharge head 30 to the dispensing apparatus (not shown) which is located above ground level.

The construction of the floating suction arrangement 26 will now be described. The other end of the flexible hose 28 (i.e., the end opposite to collar 27) is connected by means of a clamp 31 to a sump-type intake member 32. Member 32 is a semicylindrical open-topped trough (covered with a screen if desired) having an opening 33 in one end thereof and at this end a tubular end extension which fits within the adjacent end of the flexible suction hose 28 and is secured therein by means of the clamp 31.

The other (semicircular, closed) end of pump or intake member 32 is hingedly connected (as by a pintle-type leaf hinge) at 35 to one end of a float 36, which is preferably a hollow cylindrical body having sufficient buoyancy when floating in gasoline to support the member 32 and the outer or free end of hose 28.

The arrangement 26 provides a floating suction arrangement for pump 25 which operates in a somewhat analogous manner to the floating suction arrangement previously described in connection with FIGS. 1-5. The lower or outer free end of hose 28, as well as member 32, is supported by float 36, and is thus free to follow the liquid level in tank 1 as the latter rises and falls. When the liquid is at the high level A (FIG. 6), the hose 28 assumes a curved shape. The liquid intake for pump 25 flows through member 32 and hose 28 to this pump.

FIG. 7 illustrates the situation corresponding to a low level B of gasoline (fuel) in tank 1. The level of water and dirt, below the gasoline, is indicated at C, slightly above the tank bottom D. Under these conditions (as governed or controlled by the float 36), the hose 28 lies along the bottom D of the tank, and the sump 32 does also, the open top of the latter facing upwardly. The water level C in the tank is always maintained below the top of the sump member 32. Thus, under low fuel level conditions, the sump member 32 provides a dry (i.e., waterfree) liquid intake for the pump 25; the pump is thus protected against any adverse effects which couldresult from the sucking up of water and dirt from the tank bottom, when the fuel level B in the tank is low.

The invention claimed is:

1. For use with a subterranean liquid storage tank having therein a rigid suction pipe extending downwardly from the top of the tank but terminating a substantial distance above the bottom thereof: a piece of flexible hose adapted to extend between the lower end of said pipe and a point adjacent the top of said tank, a float secured to one of said hose, said float having sufficient buoyancy in the liquid stored in said tank to maintain one end of said hose closely adjacent the upper surface of said liquid but below such surface; means securing the other end of said hose to the lower end of said pipe, said float, said hose, and said securing means all being sized such as to be insertable into said tank from above the same by way of said pipe; and means operable from without said tank for actuating the securing means to its hose-securing position.

2. Structure of claim 1, wherein the actuating means is also insertable into said pipe.

1 i i t i

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US318689 *Jan 2, 1885May 19, 1885 Floating filter
US2858843 *Dec 16, 1955Nov 4, 1958 Muller
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3885588 *Sep 12, 1973May 27, 1975Albert ShotmeyerDevice for removing water from the bottom of underground liquid fuel tanks
US3908690 *Oct 7, 1974Sep 30, 1975Albert ShotmeyerDevice for removing water from the bottom of existing underground liquid fuel tanks
US4179243 *Jun 21, 1977Dec 18, 1979Aide Richard JFloatation pump device
US4253490 *Mar 26, 1979Mar 3, 1981Sun Petroleum Products CompanyVortex eliminator
US5078213 *Apr 19, 1991Jan 7, 1992Canutt Forrest GAdjustable floating pumping system
US5195664 *Apr 3, 1992Mar 23, 1993Steven RheaAll directional fluid pick-up
US5217044 *Nov 13, 1991Jun 8, 1993Great Palins Industries, Inc.Flexible suction pipe
US5398104 *May 27, 1994Mar 14, 1995Hewlett-Packard CompanyPassive toner concentration control system
US5813839 *May 27, 1997Sep 29, 1998Newby; John C.Gas driven external combustion heat engine pump having the outlet pipe connected to a variable buoyant float
US6935542May 15, 2002Aug 30, 2005S. C. Johnson & Son, Inc.Device for retaining and for inserting a flexible tube assembly into a fluid container
US8297952 *Jul 9, 2010Oct 30, 2012Cheng-Kuan WuWater inlet unit for an amphibious pump
US8430278 *Apr 30, 2013William BroderickFloating fluid inlet for liquid containers and method of use thereof
US8550279 *Mar 9, 2009Oct 8, 2013Gregory K. AvakianAnti-siphoning fuel device, system, and method
US8961153 *Feb 29, 2008Feb 24, 2015Schlumberger Technology CorporationSubsea injection system
US9102510Sep 5, 2014Aug 11, 2015Randy CortnerOverturned tanker fuel recovery system
US20030213816 *May 15, 2002Nov 20, 2003Kevin HarrityDevice for retaining and for inserting a flexible tube assembly into a fluid container
US20080190838 *Aug 16, 2004Aug 14, 2008Angus ReardonBailing Apparatus
US20090217992 *Feb 29, 2008Sep 3, 2009Schlumberger Technology CorporationSubsea injection system
US20100224260 *Sep 9, 2010Avakian Gregory KAnti-Siphoning Device And System
US20120006423 *Jan 12, 2012Cheng-Kuan WuWater Inlet Unit for an Amphibious Pump
US20120187156 *Jan 21, 2011Jul 26, 2012William BroderickFloating fluid inlet for liquid containers and method of use thereof
WO2005115873A1 *Apr 18, 2005Dec 8, 2005Entegris, Inc.Blow molded drum with down tube
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/172, 222/464.6, 417/61
International ClassificationB65D47/34, F04B53/10, F04D29/40
Cooperative ClassificationF04B53/1037, F04D29/406
European ClassificationF04B53/10F, F04D29/40P