US 3658086 A
Valve control apparatus including a housing positionable over an underground valve and opening vertically in alignment with the valve control handle. A vertically elongated guide pipe is engaged with the housing through a reducer for the guided introduction of a removable elongated control rod. An adapter is mounted within the housing below the reducer and in engagement with the valve control handle. The adapter includes a polygonal socket which receives the lower end of the control rod, guided therein by an upwardly directed concave mouth on the adapter.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
l United States Patent ns1 3,658,086 Hart 1451 Apr. 25, 1972 [541 VALVE CONTROL SYSTEM 852,359 4/1907 waicon et a1. `.137/365 1,443,231 l/1923 McCauley ....251/293 X  invento" gygs'gg'mnm Box 871* Brdgepm' 2,931,383 4/1960 Handley ..137/371 x  Filed: Mar. 13, 1970 Primary Examiner-Meyer Perlin Assistant Examiner-F. D. Shoemaker [2 l] APPL No': 19427 Attorney-Clarence A. OBrien and Harvey B. Jacobson  U.S. Cl ..137/368, 251/291, 74/544  ABSTRACT [5l] lnt.Cl F16I5/00 Valve control a pparatus mcludmg a houslng posltronable over  F'eld of Search '5 #37693" 287% an underground valve and opening vertically in alignment with the valve control handle. A vertically elongated guide pipe is engaged with the housing through a reducer for the guided in-  References Cited troduction of a removable elongated control rod. An adapter UNITED STATES PATENTS is mounted within the housing below the reducer and in engagement with the valve control handle. The adapter includes 6041622 5/ l 898 Lobde et 3L" 137/365 a polygonal socket which receives the lower end of the control 3,548,863 l; andllcey rod, guided therein by an upwardly directed concave mouth 181,34 l arec i on the ada tel- 407,955 7/1889 Kallaher et al.. 137/369 p 534,609 2/1895 Lunt ..251/292 2 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures III uw 5 e 3,858,086 SHEET 1UP 2 PTENTEDAPR 2 5 |972 iffffffftfi .E E N F arrest E Har! /NI//f/Wok.
BY meda Ulf;
VALVE CONTROL SYSTEM The invention herein generally relates to underground valves, and is more particularly concerned with a control system therefor which enables the utilization of a removable control rod.
While controls of various types for underground valves are generally known, such known apparatus is in many instances difficult or at least extremely awkward to use, requiring a permanently mounted upwardly projecting control rod or entailing a tedious manipulation of a removable control rod when engagement with the valve is desired. Accordingly, it is a primary object of the instant invention to provide a system or apparatus wherein, through a unique adapter in particular, a removable control rod can be utilized in a simplified and highly effective manner, the adapter itself providing means for positively guiding the control rod into locked engagement therewith.
Another significant object of the instant invention resides in the provision of a valve control system incorporating a valve housing which provides an underground protective enclosure for the valve and a means for mounting the valve controlling and control rod guiding apparatus.
Further objects of the instant invention entail the provision of control apparatus which is of basically simple and commercially practical construction, adaptable for the accommodation and operable control of substantially any type of conventional underground valve.
Basically, the objects of the instant invention are achieved through the provision of valve control apparatus which includes a vertically orientated housing opening upwardly in vertical alignment with the valve control handle and mounting, through a reducer, an elongated control rod guide tube for the guided reception of the removable control rod. The lower end of the control rod is removably received within a socket defined within the upper end of an adapter rotatably retained within the housing by the guide pipe mounting reducer. The adapter is engaged with the control valve handle and includes an upwardly directed concave mouth which acts so as to directly guide the control rod into the adapter socket.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout, and in which:
FIG. l is a vertical cross-sectional view through the valve control apparatus of the instant invention mounted in operative position on an underground valve;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 2-2 in FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the various components of the apparatus;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view ofthe control rod;
FIG. Sis a top plan view ofthe adapter;
FIG. 6 is an elevational view of the adapter;
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view ofthe adapter; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional detail of a modified manner of mounting the guide pipe carrying reducer.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, reference numeral l is used to generally designate the valve controlling apparatus comprising the instant invention. This apparatus is to be utilized in conjunction with an underground valve l2 incorporating a valve control means, for example a handle 14, which must be manipulated, normally rotated, so as to effect the desired opening and closing ofthe valve l2.
The apparatus l0 includes an enlarged valve enclosing housing or cover 16. This housing 16 includes an enlarged downwardly opening lower chamber 18 defined by a cylindrical wall having a pair of diametrically opposed vertically elongated pipe receiving openings or slots 20 therein for an accommodation of the opposed valve connected fluid pipes 22 upon a positioning ofthe housing 16 over the valve I2. The openings or slots 20, as will be appreciated from the drawings, open downwardly through the bottom of the lower chamber wall so as to allow a mounting of the housing 16 through merely a downward seating thereof over the valve l2 and connected pipes 22. ln order to lock the housing 16 in enclosing position over the valve l2, a pair of outwardly projecting flanges 24 are provided to the opposed vertical sides of each of the pipe receiving openings 20, these flanges 24 lying to the opposite sides of the corresponding pipe 22 and incorporating a pair of aligned pin receiving apertures 26 so located as to fall below an opening received pipe 22. Thus, subsequent to the positioning ofthe housing I6 in the manner illustrated in FIG. l, an appropriate cotter pin or the like 28 is extended through each aligned pair of holes 26, thereby locking the housing 16 in position, the cotter pins 28 of course passing below the pipes 22.
The remainder ofthe housing I6 includes an integral frustoconical wall 30 projecting upwardly from the upper end of the cylindrical wall which defines the lower chamber 18. This wall 30 in turn has a vertically elongated reduced diameter cylindrical wall 32 projecting vertically from the upper end thereof and defining an elongated upwardly opening upper chamber 34 vertically aligned with the valve control handle 14 which is accommodated within the conical transition chamber defined by the frusto-conical wall 30. Appropriate reinforcing gusset plates 36 can be provided peripherally about the housing 16 in intimate engagement with the frusto-conical wall 30 and upwardly projecting cylindrical wall 32 for a rigidification of the cylindrical wall 32 which is to mount the various guiding apparatus for the control rod 38 as shall be described presently.
A valve engaging adapter or vale control 40 is rotatably received within the lower portion of the upper chamber 34 and projects therebelow for engagement'with the valve handle I4 whereby upon a rotation of the adapter, a corresponding rotation of the valve handle 14 and a controlled opening or closing of the valve l2 will be effected. The adapter 40, while rotatabley within Likewise, the upper chamber 34, generally closely conforms thereto for a guided stabilization thereof during rotation by the chamber defining wall 32. ln order to accommodate the lower end of the control rod 38, the adapter 40 is provided with a centrally located upwardly opening polygonal socket 42, at least the lower end portion ofthe control rod 38 being similarly shaped for a telescopic and nonrotational reception therein. Preferably, both the socket 42 and the lower end of the control rod 38 will be rectangular or square in cross-section. ln order to positively guide the lower end of the control rod 38 into locked engagement with the adapter socket 42, the upper end of the adapter 42 is provided with a concave or funnel-shaped depression 44 therein, defining an enlarged circular mouth, the concave depression 44 commencing at the upper outer edge ofthe cylindrical adapter and terminating at the rod receiving socket 42. ln this manner, upon a vertical movement of the lower end of the rod 38 into engagement with any portion of the upper end of the adapter 40, this lower end will immediately be guided into the socket 42 and easily seated completely therein through merely a slight rotation of the rod 38 should the corners thereon not be immediately exactly aligned with the socket corners.
The lower end of the adapter 40 is configured for releasable reception over the valve handle 14 in a manner whereby rotation therebetween is precluded so as to enable a rotation of the valve handle I4 in conjunction with a rotation of the adapter. ln the illustrated embodiment, the valve handle 14 has a T-head thereon, accordingly, the lower end of the adapter 40 is provided with a transversely extending handleengaging slot 46 thereacross of a size so as to receive the crossbar of the handle 14 in a non-rotating manner. Should other types of valve handles be involved, the lower end portion of the adapter 40 will be appropriately configured for an accommodation thereof. In order to prevent an accumulation of water or debris within the .control rod receiving socket 42, a reduced diameter bore 48 extends downwardly from the lower end of the socket 42 through the bottom of the adapter 40, or in the illustrated embodiment into the downwardly opening transverse notch 46. This bore 48 is of course of a size so as to be too small to accommodate the control rod 38. Finally, with reference to FIGS. 3 and 6, it will be noted that the exterior of the adapter 40 is provided with vertical and annular reinforcing ribs 50 whereby a high degree of rigidity is provided without excessive bulk or weight.
The adapter 40 is rotatably retained within the upper chamber 34 by a tubular member or reducer 52 mounted within the upper portion of the upper chamber 34 in overlying relation to the upper end of the adapter 40. The reducer 52 is internally threaded through the lower portion thereof for releasably receiving the threaded lower portion of an elongated hollow vertically projecting guide pipe 54. The reducer 52 is to be rigidly fixed within the upper portion of the upper chamber 34. This can be effected utilizing an appropriate cement, assuming the housing 16 and reducer 52 are constructed of an appropriate rigid synthetic plastic. By the same token, the reducer 52 can be externally threaded, as suggested in FIG. 8, for a threaded locking within internal threads provided within the upper portion of the cylindrical chamber 34. This latter interlocking arrangement will normally be utilized when either or both the reducer and the housing 16 are constructed of metal, although the threaded interlockcan also be provided between members constructed of an appropriate plastic material.
With reference to FIG. 1 in particular, it will be noted that the internal bore through the reducer 52 is of a smaller diameter than the widest diameter of the concave mouth or depression 44 of the upper end of the adapter 40. By the same token, the internal diameter of the guide pipe or tube 54 is less than that of the reducer 52. In this manner, the introduced lower portion of the control rod 34 will be centrally guided directly to the concave guiding portion 44 of the adapter for a continued guiding movement into the socket 42.
The guide pipe 54 itself is stabilized by the unthreaded upper portion of the reducer 52 and extends upwardly therefrom to the ground surface. The control rod 38 is of a size freely receivable through the guide pipe 54 and freely rotatable therein whereby no interference with the rotation thereof will occur. The guide pipe 54 operates so as to generally guide the control rod 34 down to the adapter, with the concave upwardly directed mouth of the adapter effecting a final directing and guiding of the lower end portion of the control rod 38 into the adapter socket 42. ln order to facilitate a manipulation of the control rod 38, the upper end thereof can be provided with an appropriate handle S6` lncidentally, another particular advantage of the specific apparatus of the instant invention is the fact that such apparatus provides a unique means for enabling a proper lubrication ofthe valve. One of the most difficult problems arising in connection with the utilization of underground valves is the tendency for such valves to corrode and freeze up, access thereto being extremely limited insofar as providing for a smooth operation thereof. However, with the apparatus of the instant invention, and in particular the concave guiding mount 44 and the bore completely through the adapter 40, penetrating oil can be merely poured into the upper end of the guide pipe 54. The oil, or other appropriate type of lubricant, will flow and be guided directly to the valve itself, thereby providing a simple and positive means for maintaining the valve properly lubricated. Likewise, the apparatus herein is in itself ofcorrosion resistant material and construction.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that a highly unique valve control system has been devised, the system incorporating the desirable feature of utilizing a removable control rod, in conjunction with the provision of specific means for enabling an exact guiding of the lower end of the control rod into locked engagement with the valve handle mounted adapter so as to ensure a positive control of the valve itself for regulation of the fluid flow therethrough. The apparatus used is structurally simple although specifically unique insofar as the construction of the components and the assembly thereof is concerned, the apparatus including a valve protecting hous in in addition to the rod (guiding portion thereof.
he foregoing is consi ered as illustrative only of the principles ofthe invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
l. A valve control system for underground valves, said system including a valve engaging adapter, means for vertically positioning said adapter for rotational valve adjusting movement, a guide passage extending vertically upward from said adapter, a control rod selectively introducible downward through said passage and into locked engagement with said adapter, said adapter including means for for guiding said rod into locked engagement therewith, said means for vertically positioning said adapter includes a housing, said housing including an enlarged lower chamber receivable over the underground valve, a reduced upwardly opening upper chamber communicating with said lower chamber and oriented for vertical alignment with said lower chamber received valve, said adapter being rotatably received within the lower portion of the upper chamber, said guide passage comprising a hollow pipe and a reducer fixed within the upper end of the upper chamber and releasably mounting the lower end of the guide passage pipe, thereby engaging the pipe with the upper chamber, said pipe projecting vertically upward from the reducer so as to extend to ground level, said adapter including an upwardly directed polygonal socket, the lower end of the control rod being polygonal and conforming to said socket for slidable reception therein, thereby effecting a locked engagement with said adapter for a rotation thereof, said adapter also including an upwardly directed concave mouth surrounding the upper end of said polygonal socket and defining said means for guiding the rod into locked engagement with the adapter, said adapter further including means on the lower end thereof in opposed relation to said socket for releasable engagement with the control member of said valve. the internal diameter of the guide passage pipe being less than the internal diameter of the reducer, the internal diameter of the reducer being less than the maximum diameter of the rod guiding socket mouth for a direct guiding of the control rod into the socket mouth, said adapter including an elongated bore of a reduced diameter relative to said socket, said bore extending vertically through said adapter and opening through the lower end thereof in straight opposed relation to said socket, whereby a vertical through passage is defined in said adapter in direct communication with said valve and said guide passage for the introduction of lubricants and the like to said valve.
2. The system of claim l wherein said housing lower chamber includes vertically elongated openings therein for the accommodation of valve communicating fluid pipes, each of the lower chamber openings having a pair of outwardly projecting flanges to the opposed vertical sides thereof for positioning to the opposite sides of an opening received fluid pipe, the flanges associated with each lower chamber opening including a pair of transversely aligned pin-receiving apertures located so as to be positionable beneath an opening received fluid pipe, and pin means selectively received through each pair of openingsfor locking of the housing to the corresponding fluid pipe.