US 3682389 A
A water distributing system incorporating spinner-type spray units. Each spray unit consists of one or more support rods, a head, a water distributing spinner rotatably mounted on a laterally projecting portion of the head, and the discharge end of a water supply tube retained by the head and so directed as to discharge water on the spinner for a spray distribution thereof to the surrounding area. The head is a molded one-piece member and mounts the spinner, the discharge end of the supply tube, and the support rod or rods.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Chapin 1 Aug. 8, 1972 154] SPINNER SPRAY SYSTEM 2'11 Appl. No.: 47,833
 US. Cl. ..239l222.21, 239/224, 239/276  Int. Cl. ..B05b 3/04  Field of Search ..239/2l4, 223, 224, 222.17,
 I References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,260,301 10/1941 Cushman ..239/222.2l X 477,164 6/1892 Baker ..239/222.l7 3,006,558 10/ 1961 Jacobs ..239/276 X 2,785,013 3/ 1957 Stearns ..239/224 2,706,133 4/1955 North, Jr. et al ..239/550 X 768,618 8/1904 Neumeyer ..'.239/222.17
2,063,381 12/1936 Holland ..239/222. 19 X 3,030,032 4/1962 Luhman, Jr. ..239/222. 1 7 3,532,273 10/ 1970 Siddall et a1 ..239/222.17 3,199,791 8/1965 Chapin ..239/542 3,482,785 12/1969 Chapin et a1. ..239/542 Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr.
Assistant Examiner-Michael Y. Mar Attorney-Clarence A. O'Brien and Harvey B. Jacobson 1 1 ABSTRACT A water distributing system incorporating spinner-type spray units. Each spray unit consists of one or more support rods, a head, a water distributing spinner rotatably mounted on a laterally projecting portion of the head, and the discharge end'of a water supply tube retained by the head and so directed as to discharge water on the spinner for a spray distribution thereof to the surrounding area. The head is a molded one-piece member and mounts the spinner, the discharge end of the supply tube, and the support rod or rods.
13 Clains, 13 Drawing Figures PATENTEUA 9 sum 3 or 3 INVESTOR Richard '0. Chap/n BY W SPINNER SPRAY SYSTEM The invention herein is concerned with a water distribution system, and more particularly a system wherein a relatively small spray discharge can be provided directly at a large number of individual plants, whether positioned in separate containers or merely spaced from each other on a bench or in the field.
The horticultural industry has a need for a system that will provide an efficient watering of a large number of individual plants wherein the water can be distributed substantially directly to the soil or other growing media directly at and about the individual plants. Most conventional spray operations rely either on high pressure discharge systems wherein a considerable volume of water is discharged through only a few outlets at a substantial pressure, or the provision of restricted nozzle type small orifices which, while producing a spray, give rise to the substantial likelihood of malfunctions.
The present invention is concerned with a system which provides the desired spray distribution of water directly at and about individual plants utilizing a small water volume at a low pressure. This is achieved through individual spinner units which are supplied, from a main, through individual feeder tubes having flow passages and discharge ends with no significant restrictions therein and from which the full flow of water ejects for engagement against the corresponding spinners. The action of the spinner breaks up the stream of water and effects an outward spreading thereof. The flow passage through each supply tube which extend from the main to the individual spinner units is relatively small,'on the order of 0.03 to 0.08 inch in diameter. Thus, the small discharge from the main into each of the individual supply tubes will enable a maintenance of the pressure within the main over runs of a substantial length. As previously indicated, the flow passage through each individual supply tube is unrestricted. This avoids any tendency of blockage or clogging developing due to the presence of impurities or the like in the water supply. The water discharges from each supply tube in a solid stream which, upon striking the freely rotatable spinner in the path thereof, is distributed in a generally arcuate pattern to provide the relatively broad spray-type coverage desired without requiring restrictive nozzles or the like.
This conversion of the unrestricted discharging stream into a spray pattern is particularly desirable in insuring a proper watering of the individual plants in that were the water to directly flow from the small tubes onto the soil or other growing media utilized, the distribution of the water would only extend as far as capillary action would permit. This of course varies with the types of growing media. For example, with media such as bark, there is substantially no capillary action involved and a stream of water discharged thereon would merely move straight down. Thus, the spray pattern achieved herein is of particular importance in such circumstances.
Other advantages achieved by the specific construction involved herein include the provision of a spinner unit which is so configured as to be substantially trouble-free in operation and not likely to be stopped by striking or rubbing on plant leaves or the like. The particular spinner unit is also so constructed as to provide for a good spray pattern over a large range of pressures, the unit being durable, inexpensive and adapted for relatively simple manufacturing procedures. The unit is also self-supporting, easy to position, stable when positioned, capable of distributing a small amount of water over a relatively large area, and provided with an integral individual flow cut-off.
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. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a water distributing system incorporating the features of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of the upper portion of one of the spinner spray units;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged side elevational view of the portion of the unit illustrated in FIG. 2, with portions broken away for purposes of illustration;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 4-4 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 5-5 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another variation of the spinner spray unit;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross-sectional view taken substantially on a plane passing along line 7-7 in FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 8-8 in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a further variation of the spinner spray unit;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 10-10 in FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 1 1-1 1 in FIG. 10;
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the upper portion of yet another variation of the spinner spray unit; and
FIG. 13 is an enlarged cross-sectional detail taken substantially on a plane passing along line 13-13 in FIG. 12.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings, the water distributing system of the instant invention includes an elongated water main 20, a plurality of individual spinner spray units 22, and a supply or feeder tube 24 for each unit 22.
The unit 22 includes a head 26, normally molded in one-piece of rigid polyethylene, the spinner 28 mounted on the head 26 by means of a spinner shaft 30, and a pair of depending support rods 32. The head 26 is of a narrow relatively tall construction, requiring only suflicient width so as to frictionally receive and mount the various elements secured thereto.
Viewed from the side, the head 26 is of a generally C- shaped configuration including a vertical back 34 and forwardly projecting parallel upper and lower arms 36 and 38 vertically aligned with each other. The lower arm 38 is provided with a flat upper surface, at least at the outer end portion thereof, and terminates in an enlarged cylindrical portion 40 through which the spinner shaft 30 is received. This enlargement of the portion 40 is significant in that it enables an accommodation of the spinner shaft 30 without any undue weakening of the area. The upper portion of the spinner shaft 30 projects above the cylindrical portion 40 and arm 38 for reception within a depending sleeve-like portion 42 integral with and depending from the spinner 28 in alignment with the desired center of rotation thereof. The sleeve 42 and spinner 28 are rotatably received on the projecting portion of the shaft 30 for a spinning operation thereof in response to the discharge of water thereagainst as shall be explained subsequently.
The upper arm 36 terminates in an outer end portion which is downwardly enlarged, as at 44, so as to terminate in slightly spaced relation above the upper end of the spinner 28. This outer end portion of the upper arm 36 is provided with a vertical bore therethrough, the upper portion 46 of the bore having an internal diameter substantially equal to that of the external diameter of the corresponding supply tube 24 for a frictional retention of the discharge end of this tube 24 therein. The lower portion 48 of the bore is of a reduced diameter relative to the upper portion 46 thereof and is equal in size to the flow passage through the supply tube 24, thus providing a smooth continuation of the supply tube fluid passage without any restriction thereof such as might facilitate clogging due to impurities in the water supply. It will be appreciated that, in so constructing the supply tube receiving bore or passage, a tubing seating shoulder is provided between the passage portions 46 and 48 which is equal in thickness to the thickness of the tube 24 for a seating of the tube thereagainst upon a frictional introduction thereof into the upper passage portion 46.
The second end of each of the supply tubes 24 is engaged with the main 20 in communication with the fluid passage therein for the reception of water therefrom. This engagement can be eflected in a simple and highly effective manner by merely punching a small hole through the main 20, the main normally being of a slightly flexible polyethylene, and frictionally engaging the end of the supply tube 24 therethrough, the inherent resiliency of the material of the main 20 tending to positively retain and seal the tube 24 therein.
slopes downwardly at a steep angle and continues across the base of the spinner 28 and through one comer portion of the end opposed from the wall 52. The second corner portion 54, of the end opposed from the wall 52, is elevated to a height substantially less than that of the wall 52 and has the inner face thereof also sloping downwardly along an arcuate path toward the adjacent discharge corner. A side wall 56, of generally the same height as the corner 54, extends between the corner 54 and the back wall 52 along the corresponding side of the spinner 28 with the inner face of the side wall 56 forming a conintuation of the back wall and corner faces so as to complete the downward and sweeping curvature of the discharge portion of the spinner 28.
The spinner 28 is so located below the point of discharge of the water whereas the discharging water engages against the inner face of the back wall 52 below the top thereof and spreads and travels down the arcuate cooperating inner faces for a discharge from the opposed comer portion. This engagement of the water with the spinner and subsequent discharge from the spinner produces a spinning action of the spinner in a complete circle with the rotational rate thereof varying with the pressure of the discharge of water. By the same token, a spray circle of from 3 inches to 6 feet can be obtained depending on the pressure in the tube 24.
As previously indicated, the spinner 28 spins freely on the spinner shaft 30 and in fact can, upon a slight flexing, be removed for replacement or cleaning should such be necessary.
The head 26 is completed by a depending base portion 58 extending from the back 26 forwardly to approximately rnid-point along the length of the lower arm 38. This base portion 58 includes a pair of Should it be desirable or necessary to close off one of the spinner spray units 22, one need merely remove the outer end of the corresponding feeder tube 24 from the upper passage portion 46 and insert this end into an upwardly opening blind bore or socket 50 provided in the upper arm' 36 immediately inward of the through passage. This bore or socket 50 is of a size so as to frictionally receive the end portion of the tube 24 and retain this end portion against accidental release therefrom. It will be appreciated that the low pressure in the system, while supplying water under sufficient pressure so as to properly effect the desired spinning spraying action, also enables a sealing of one or several of the supply tubes in this manner without materially affecting the operation of the remainder of the system.
With the supply tube 24 positioned in the through passage as initially described, the flow passing therethrough discharges directly downward onto the spinner 28 causing a spinning of this member 28 and a spray discharge of the water therefrom in an arcuate or substantially circular pattern. The spinner 28 is generally oblong in shape having a high rear wall 52 rising from one end thereof. The innerface of this end wall downwardly opening blind sockets which frictionally receive and grip the upper ends of the pair of support rods 32. A thin web interconnects the two sections of the base portion 58 within which the blind bores are defined. The support rods 32 extend downwardly parallel to each other and provide a means for a positive anchoring of the unit 22 in the growing medium adjacent a plant.
The use of two spaced rods presents a substantial degree of stability andretains the unit 22 against any tendency to rotate. While FIG. 1 illustrates the units 22 mounted within pots, these units are equally adaptable for random installation along bench or field growing crops, the flexible nature of the supply tubes 24 enabling a positioning of the various units 22 so as to best direct the spray discharge directly about the soil adjacent the individual plants. Incidentally, should it be deemed desirable, the support rods, rather than comprising separate rods frictionally secured to the head 26, can be integrally formed therewith, thus providing for a molding of the head and support rods as a single unit, requiring only the addition of the spinner to complete the device.
Referring now to FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, a related form of spinner spray unit 62 has been illustrated therein. This unit includes a molded plastic head consisting of a vertical portion 64 and an upper laterally projecting horizontal portion 66. A single support rod 68 is utilized, the upper section of this support rod being frictionally fixed within a downwardly opening blind bore provided in the downwardly directed vertical portion 64 of the molded head.
The spinner 70 is rotatably received on an elongated spinner shaft 72 fixed to and depending from the outer section of the horizontal head portion 66, this spinner shaft 72 having an enlargement 74 on the lower end thereof so as to rotatably retain the spinner 70 thereon. The spinner itself includes a generally conical exterior, truncated at the upper end and provided with an upwardly directed integral collar 76. The spinner 70 is hollow, opening downwardly through the enlarged base thereof and is provided with a central full height integrally formed sleeve 78 through which the spinner shaft 72 passes. In this manner, the spinner 70 surrounds the shaft 72 and projects upwardly from the enlargement 74 in the lower end thereof, the lower end of the collar portion 78 being slightly rounded so as to rotatable seat on this enlargement. The exterior of the spinner 70 is provided with a series of vertical rounded ribs 80 peripherally thereabout which ribs follow the upwardly converging conical exterior of the spinner 70.
Water is fed to the spinner 70 by means of a supply tube 82, equivalent to the aforedescribed supply tubes 24, The end portion of the supply tube 82 is received through and frictionally retained in a bore extending transversely through the vertical head portion 64 with the extreme inner end of the tube 82 being so located as to direct the stream of water issuing therefrom against the spinner 70 to one side of the center of rotation thereof. In this manner, as the stream of water hits the spinner 70, the spinner will rotate and throw the water along an arcuate path to cover a substantially enlarged area. If deemed necessary, an integral enlargement 84 can be provided along the side of the head in the area through which the tube end portion projects so as to provide additional bulk thereat and avoid any weakening in this area.
FIGS. 9, and 11 illustrate another spinner spray unit variation, designated by reference numeral 86. The head of the unit 86 includes integrally formed vertical and horizontal portions 88 and 9.0 with the horizontal portion projecting laterally from the lower end of the vertical portion 88. A single support rod 92 is frictionally received within a blind bore 94 opening through the lower end of the vertical head portion 88. An elongated spinner shaft 96 is fixed through and de pends from the horizontal head portion 90 in outwardly spaced relation to the support rod 92, the lower end of the spinner shaft 96 having an enlargement 98 formed thereon so as to rotatably retain the spinner 100 on the shaft 98. The spinner 100 includes a disk-like upper portion 102 having a dished upwardly directed upper face with a series of radially orientated fins 104 positioned at equally spaced points peripherally thereof. These fins 104, noting the drawings, have upper edges coplanar with the surrounding rim of the disk-like portion 102 and terminate, at the inner ends thereof, in outwardly spaced relation to the spinner shaft 96. .An integral sleeve 106 is formed with and depends concentrically from the undersurface of the disk portion 102 in free surrounding relation to the spinner shaft 96. The lower end of the sleeve 106 rests on the shaft enlargement 98, thus effecting the rotational mounting of the spinner 100. The water to be spray distributed is introduced through a supply tube 108, similar to the aforementioned supply tubes. This tube 108 has the discharge end portion thereof frictionally retained within a bore provided through the vertical head portion 88. The extreme end of the tube 108 is orientated in spaced relation to the spinner and at downward angle so as to discharge the water against the spinner fins 104 to one side of the center of rotation of the spinner. The water engaging against the spinner fins 104 will effect a rotation of the spinner and con sequently an outward distributing of the water in a spray pattern so as to achieve the desired wide coverage with a relatively small amount of water introduced at a relatively low pressure. As with the previously described unit, an appropriate integral enlargement 110 can be provided so as to strengthen the molded head at that point where the supply tube 108 passes therethrough.
FIGS. 12 and 13 show a further variation wherein the spinner spray unit has a molded head thereon formed in the same manner as the head of the variation in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, including a vertical portion 110 and an upper horizontal portion 112 projecting integrally and laterally therefrom.
The spinner 114, associated with this form of the invention, is rotatably received on a vertical upwardly projecting spinner shaft 1 16 fixed to the horizontal portion 112 toward the outer end thereof. The spinner 114 includes a lower disk-like portion 118 having a downwardly projecting peripheral rim 120 and a plurality of peripherally spaced radial fins 122 extending inwardly from the peripheral rim 120 and terminating short of the central spinner shaft 116. These fins are of a greater height than the peripheral flange or wall 120 and project downwardly therebelow. The spinner 114 includes an integrally formed sleeve 124 projecting centrally upward from the disk-like portion 118 in surrounding relation to the spinner shaft 116, the upper end of the shaft 116 including a spinner retaining enlargement 126 thereon. The spinner 114 is retained in spaced relation above the horizontal head portion 112, for a free spinning thereof, by a separate sleeve 128 loosely received about the spinner shaft 116 between the spinner 1 l4 and the upper surface of the horizontal portion 112, this sleeve 128 having the upper portion thereof received between the inner ends of the fins 122 with the disk-like portion 1 18 of the spinner 114 resting freely thereon. Water is introduced upwardly at an angle against the downwardly directed fins 122 from a supply tube 130, similar to the previous supply tubes. The discharge end portion of the supply tube 130 is received through and frictionally retained within a passage defined primarily through the vertical portion 110 of the molded head, and appropriately integrally formed enlargement 132 is utilized to increase the strength of the molded head at the portion wherein the discharge end of the supply tube 130 is received. The discharging water, as will be readily appreciated, engages the fins 122 to one side of the center of rotation of the spinner 1 14 so as to induce a spinning movement thereof and a corresponding outwardly spraying of the water in a partially circular or arcuate pattern.
In all of the forms above described, it will be appreciated that the water is supplied in a smooth uninterrupted stream with the supply tube having no substantial restrictions to the free flow of the water therein such as might tend to cause clogging due to impurities or the like in the water. Notwithstanding this free flow of water and a discharge in the nature of a solid stream, the final distribution of the water is in a highly desirable spray pattern enabling the coverage of a relatively wide area. This is achieved through the utilization of an appropriate spinner rotatably mounted in the path of the discharging water so as to receive, be activated by, and in turn distribute the water. In this manner, there results the highly desirable advantage of eliminating any restrictive nozzles or the like in systems which are of a size wherein such restrictions could adversely affect the operation thereof, while at the same time obtaining a wide spread pattern of water.
The system, utilizing small feeder tubes, molded components, and low pressure, enables the effective individual watering of large number of plants in a highly efficient and economical manner. The spinner itself is highly compact and of a size so as to, while providing a highly effective spray pattern, be generally enclosed and protected by the mounting head. The mounting head in turn is of a molded one-piece construction and functions so as to mount all of the components of the device, including the spinner, the support rod or rods, and the discharge end of the water supply tube. In all instances, each of the supply tubes has the main connected end thereof engaged through and frictionally retained within the wall of the main so as to receive water directly therefrom, no expensive connectors or the like being used or required. The low volume of water removed from the main by each of the supply tubes, while ample to activate the spray unit so as to achieve a maximum distribution of the water, has little effect on the pressure within the main itself. Hence, this pressure in the main can be maintained over long runs so as to enable the effective distribution of water through an activation of numerous individual spinner spray units, the efficiency of which is assured by the unique construction of the various units. Further, while not specifically illustrated, each of the variations can be provided with a blind bore shut-off similar to 50 in the form of FIGS. 1-5, if so desired.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the 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 as claimed.
What is claimed as new is as follows:
1. For use in a spinner spray system, a spinner spray unit, said unit including a mounting head, a water distributing means mounted on said head, support means fixed to said head and depending therefrom for engagement with a support base adjacent a plant, and water supply means mounted on said head, said water supply means including awater discharge end orientated in spaced alignment with said water distributing means for a discharge of water against said water distributing means for a subsequent distribution thereof in a spray pattern, said water distributing means being a spinner rotatable in response to the engagement and discharge of water therewith and therefrom, said mounting head being of a molded one-piece plastic construction, said support means comprising at least one elongated rod, said molded head having a downwardly opening socket defined therein, the upper portion of said support rod being received and frictionally retained within the head socket, said water supply means comprising an elongated water supply tube having a supply end in opposed relation to the discharge end, said supply end being orientated in water receiving communication with a source of water under pressure, said supply tube having an unrestricted flow passage throughout the full length thereof between and through the supply and discharge ends, said head including a passage defined therethrough in alignment with said spinner, the portion of the supply tube at the discharge end thereof being fi'ictionally received within said passage, thereby achieving the alignment of the discharge end with the spinner.
2. The invention of claim 1 including individual shutoff means associated with said supply tube.
3. The invention of claim 2 wherein said shut-off means comprises a blind socket defined in said head, said socket selectively receiving the discharge end portion of the supply tube, said socket being of a size so as to frictionally retain the discharge end portion of said supply tube and effectively precluding the discharge of water therefrom.
4. The invention of claim 3 wherein said spinner comprises an upwardly directed face sloping downwardly from a high water receiving point to a low forwardly and laterally located water discharge point, said spinner rotating about a vertical axis spaced from said water discharge point, the water discharging end of the water supply tube being orientated to discharge water downwardly on the spinner at the water receiving point.
5. The invention of claim 1 wherein the spinner is in the shape of a truncated cone, the exterior of said spinner having a series of generally vertical ribs defined thereon at equally spaced points thereabout, the water discharging end portion of the supply tube being directed approximately horizontally toward the spinner.
6. The invention of claim 1 wherein said spinner comprises a horizontally orientated disk-like member, and a plurality of radially extending fins provided within the confines of the disk-like member and projecting vertically therefrom.
7. The invention of claim 6 wherein said fins underlie said disk-like member and project downwardly therefrom, the water discharging end of the supply tube being upward for discharge against said fins.
8. The invention of claim 6 wherein said fins overlie said disk-like member and project vertically upward therefrom, the discharging end of the water tube being downwardly directed for a discharge of water against the fins.
9. For use in a spinner spray system, a spinner spray unit, said unit including a mounting head, a water distributing spinner rotatably mounted on said head, and water supply means mounted on said head, said water supply means including a water discharge end orientated in spaced alignment with said water distributing spinner for a discharge of water against said spinner for a subsequent distribution thereof in a spray pattern, said water supply means comprising an elongated water supply tube having a supply end in opposed relation to the discharge end, said supply end being orientated in water receiving communication with a source of water under pressure, said head including a passage defined therethrough in alignment with said spinner, the portion of the supply tube at the discharge end thereof being frictionally received within said passage, thereby achieving the alignment of the discharge end with the spinner.
10. The invention of claim 9 wherein said spinner comprises an upwardly directed face sloping downwardly from a high water receiving point to a low forwardly and laterallylocated water discharge point, said spinner rotating about a vertical axis spaced from said water discharge point, the water discharging end of the water supply tube being orientated to discharge water downwardly on the spinner at the water receiving point.
1 l. The invention of claim 9 wherein the spinner is in the shape of a truncated cone, the exterior of said spinner having a series of generally verticaLribs defined thereon at equally spaced points thereabout, the water discharging end portion of the supply tube being directed approximately horizontally toward the spinner.
12. The invention of claim 9 wherein said spinner comprises a horizontally orientated disk-like member, and a plurality of radially extending fins provided within the confines of the disk-like member and projecting vertically therefrom.
13. For use in a spinner spray system, a spinner spray unit for distributing a stream of water in a substantially horizontal pattern comprising, a single water supply nozzle means discharging a water stream, a water deflecting spinner, said deflecting spinner being mounted for rotation on an axis substantially coincident with the axis of said stream, said spinner including a substantially single water deflecting means, said spinner being vertically orientated with said deflecting means being upwardly directed, said water deflecting means comprising a single face sloping downwardly from a high water receiving point to a lower and outwardly located water discharge point, said nozzle means discharging vertically downward onto said deflecting means, said deflecting means redirecting the whole of said water stream as a single stream and to impart a rotary motion to the deflecting spinner in response to the action of said water stream, and, through the rotation of the spinner, distribute said single stream in a substantially uniform radial pattern around said spinner, said deflecting spinner being rotatably mounted on a single upwardly directed pivotal pin member, said pivotal member providing both axial and longitudinal support and alignment of the rotatable spinner in spaced relation to said stream discharging nozzle means.