US 3688244 A
To protect more or less permanently mounted electric receptacles against damage and resulting difficult replacement, the invention provides an intermediate socket member which at one end is provided with prongs which are continuously in engagement within the receptacle, and at its other end is provided with socket elements which receive the prongs of the usual plug at the end of a cable. The damage resulting from sparking and the like is thus suffered only by the intermediate socket member and not by the permanently installed receptacle. Means are also provided for sealing the socket member with respect to the receptacle to prevent access of water and moisture, especially in portable installations exposed to the weather.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Savoca et al.
[451 Aug. 29, 1972  REPLACEABLE INTERMEDIATE SOCKET AND PLUG MEMBER  Assignee: J. B. Nottingham & Co., Inc., New
 Filed: July 3, 1969  Appl. No.: 838,750
 US. Cl ..339/60 M, 339/154 A, 339/166 R  Int. Cl. ..H0lr 11/02  Field of Search....339/59, 60, 61, 154, 155, 166, 339/170, 176 P, 193 VS France ..339/60 594,006 3/1934 Germany ..339/ l 66 L16,476 3/1956 Germany ..339/1 66 490,013 8/1938 Great Britain ..339/60 Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Robert A. I-Iafer AttorneyJoseph Hirschmann  ABSTRACT To protect more or less permanently mounted electric receptacles against damage and resulting difficult replacement, the invention provides an intermediate socket member which at one end is provided with prongs which are continuously in engagement within the receptacle, and at its other end is provided with socket elements which receive the prongs of the usual plug at the end of a cable. The damage resulting from sparking and the like is thus suffered only by the intermediate socket member and not by the permanently installed receptacle. Means are also provided for sealing the socket member with respect to the receptacle to prevent access of water and moisture, especially in portable installations exposed to the weather.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures Patented Aug. 29, 1972 3,688,244
INTE'H C RS PAUL c. s'Av c ANTHONY o. MARASCO REPLACEABLE INTERMEDIATE SOCKET AND PLUG MEMBER The present invention relates to connectors, and more particularly to a replaceable intermediate socket for receptacles.
The invention is of particular value in equipment requiring heavy currents, such as welding apparatus, wherein damage to receptacles resulting from sparking, short circuiting, and the like is likely to occur.
In accordance with the present invention there is provided an intermediate socket member which in use is disposed between the more or less permanently mounted receptacle on any type of equipment, and the plug associated with the cable leading to an electrically operated apparatus.
As will be evident, the replacement of damaged receptacles in welding and other types of equipment, in which the receptacle, as is generally desirable, is permanently secured to a panel or other part of the apparatus, can be a troublesome and time-consuming operation. On the other hand, making the receptacle readily removable exposes it to the danger of the entrance of water or moisture to the electrically conducting parts, especially in the case of portable and other equipment which is normally exposed to the weather.
In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an intermediate socket member so constructed that it can be employed with a permanently mounted receptacle, while at the same time means are provided whereby access of water or moisture to the receptacle itself or to the intermediate member is prevented. Any damage resulting from sparking or the like will be inflicted on this intermediate member, so that when it is damaged to the extent that it is no longer serviceable, it can be readily removed and replaced by a new intermediate socket member.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the improved intermediate socket member;
FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the socket member; while FIG. 3 is a section along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and illustrates the intermediate member in connected relation with the permanently mounted receptacle.
Referring to the drawing, there is shown at a plug member made of the usual insulating material, such as Neoprene, and connected to an insulated cable 11 containing two or more conductors, in the present instance two. As shown, the prongs 12 of the plug are adapted to be received within recesses 15 of socket elements 13 of brass or other conducting metal forming part of the intermediate socket member 14, likewise made of insulating material. The prongs of the plug 10 fit snugly within the recesses 15. The socket elements 13 are provided with solid extensions 16 which terminate in prongs 17, which may be polarized by making one of them of larger diameter than the other, as indicated in the drawing.
The prongs 17 are received within correspondingly dimensioned socket elements 18 of a receptacle 19, as shown in FIG. 3, the receptacle forming part of, or more or less permanently mounted on, a panel or the like of, for example, distribution blocks and circuit breaker boxes. The receptacle is provided with a recess 20, of a shape to correspond to that of the intermediate socket member 14. The wall of the recess 20 is provided with an inwardly extending peripheral bead 21, while the socket member 14, which is made of relatively flexible insulating material, such as Neoprene or other synthetic or natural elastomer, is provided adjacent to its forward or left end, as viewed in FIG. 3, with a peripheral recess 22. The terminal portion or lip 23 of the socket member 14 will yield sufficiently, when the intermediate member l4 is compressed by pressure and forced into the recess 20, to clear the bead 21 and then spring behind it in waterand moisture-tight contact. The parts are so dimensioned that the end wall 24 of the member 14 is in close contact with the face 25 of the receptacle 19, whereby a reliable pressure seal is formed between the parts 14 and 19, and maintained by the pressure of lip 23 against bead 21. As will readily beunderstood, the part 13,16 is molded into the intermediate socket member 14.
As will be evident from the foregoing, sparking and pitting resulting from connection and disconnection of the plug 10 or damage to the intermediate socket member 14 from other causes will require only the simple removal of the member 14 and its replacement by a new part, and no work or replacement will be required on the permanently mounted receptacle 19.
It will be seen from the foregoing that despite the separable nature of the intermediate socket member 14, the regions of access of moisture are not increased and are even reduced, so that the possibility of short circuits in the more or less permanently mounted receptacle 19 is practically eliminated. Also, when sparking or other damaging action resulting from careless handling by workmen has pitted or burned away the prongs 12 or socket members 13 to such a degree that they can no longer be used, it is a simple matter to replace the socket member 14 with a new one.
It will also be noted that the number and arrangement of the socket elements 13 and their prong-receiving recesses are identical with those of the receptacle, so that should the intermediate member 14 become non-useable and no replacement at hand, the plug attached to the cable leading to the power-consuming device can be inserted directly into the receptacle.
1. The combination with an electrical receptacle having an insulating body, provided with recesses having conducting linings, and an electrical plug provided with metallic prongs, the latter connected to an electrical cable for supplying current to a power-consuming device, said recesses and prongs being equal in number and being shaped and arranged to interfit to establish electrical connections between feeder conductors connected to said linings and the cable connected to said prongs, of an intermediate combined socket and plug member, the plug of said combined member being pro vided with prongs identical in shape, number and relative location with the prongs of the first-mentioned electrical plug so as to interfit with the recesses of the aforesaid receptacle. The socket of said member being provided with conductor-lined recesses in spaced relation to the associated last-mentioned prongs and identical in shape, number and relative location with the recesses of said receptacle, whereby the combined socket and plug member when plugged into the receptacle, suffers the deteriorating influences to which a receptacle is ordinarily subjected, and can be replaced by an identical combined socket and plug member when worn while the receptacle is protected against such influences, said receptacle having a cylindrical bore in the front face thereof into which the recesses in the body of the receptacle open, the cylindrical wall of the bore having an integral annular inwardly extending bead intermediate its ends, the rear wall of the bore being flat and lying in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the bore, the said combined member being of cylindrical shape and of substantially the same external diameter as the internal diameter of the bore so as to fit into the latter in water-tight manner, said member including means providing an additional water and moisture-tight seal between such member and the receptacle, said means comprising a peripheral groove at a short distance from the prong end of the member, such end portion being relatively flexible and capable of passing over the afore-mentioned bead under hand pressure, whereby said end portion can be flexed as it passes the bead and then springs into position behind the bead in sealing relation with the wall of the receptacle bore, the end face of the intermediate member from which the prongs project being flat and lying in a plane perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of said member, the prongs of the said member being of such length that when they are inserted in the receptacle, the opposing faces of the rear wall of the receptacle bore and of said member are in sealing contact, whereby the seals between the bead and the bore end wall, on the one hand, and the peripheral groove and the end face of the intermediate member, on the other hand, are disturbed much less frequently than a power tool is plugged into the socket of the intermediate member, being disturbed normally only when such member requires replacement.