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Publication numberUS3732524 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 8, 1973
Filing dateNov 25, 1970
Priority dateNov 25, 1970
Also published asCA938690A, CA938690A1
Publication numberUS 3732524 A, US 3732524A, US-A-3732524, US3732524 A, US3732524A
InventorsEckart G, Reed A
Original AssigneeWoodhead Inc Daniel
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical receptacle with safety cover
US 3732524 A
Abstract
Electrical receptacle having terminal posts in a recess in the side of the receptacle body, and a hinged or removable safety cover for said recess extending across the terminal posts.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 1 Reed et a1.

1 1 May 8, 1973 [541 ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE WITH SAFETY COVER [75] Inventors: Alan B. Reed, Oak Park; George R.

Eckart, Lake Zurich, both of I11.

[73] Assignee: Daniel Woodhead, Inc., Northbrook,

[22] Filed: Nov. 25, 1970 [21] App1.No.: 92,813

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,659,303 2/1928 Rovere .339/198 J X 2,123,309 7/1938 McKee ..339/196 R 2,262,712 11/1941 Shenton ..339/164 R 2,814,787 11/1957 Jessup ..339/36 3,318,362 5/1967 Joyce... ..l6/l28 R X 3,402,422 9/1968 Baer 1 v ..16/128 R FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Canada ..339/36 France 339/198 J Primary Examiner-Richard E. Moore Altorney]0hnst0n, Root, OKeeffe, Keil, Thompson & Shurtleff [57] ABSTRACT Electrical receptacle having terminal posts in a recess in the side of the receptacle body, and a hinged or removable safety cover for said recess extending across the terminal posts.

2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 3,096,133 7/1963 Stanley .339 4412 3,463,109 8/1969 Weiler ..l6/128RX 16 ;i o S e 17 2) ELECTRICAL RECEPTACLE WITH SAFETY COVER INTRODUCTION The invention herein concerns improvements in electrical outlet receptacles and particularly is directed to provision of a safety cover or plate extending over the terminal posts. This cover or plate guards against accidental shortings across the terminal posts; guards against voltage leakage between terminal posts and/or outlet boxes via wire strands connected to the terminal posts, dust accumulation or other electricity-conducting materials; and further protects workmen from accidental shock which might otherwise occur upon their touching the terminal posts during mounting or removal of the receptable in an outlet box.

Terminal guards or shields have heretofore been proposed, none of which, however, embodies the concept of a hinged or removable cover or plate extending across a recess in the body of an electrical receptacle, in which recess the terminal posts are accommodated. For example, in US. Pat. No. 3,219,049 a rubber shield is fitted over the terminal posts, the base of a lamp socket to shield the post, the post screw, and the bare wire held by the screw. In U.S. Pat. No. 2,860,997, a sleeve or envelope of insulating material serves a similar purpose.

THE INVENTION HEREIN Briefly, the invention provides improvements in safety features for electrical receptacles by a hinged or removable cover or plate adapted to be moved out of the way during attachment of wires to terminal posts on electrical receptacles. These terminal posts may be situated in any wall of the receptacle body, although generally they are provided on a side wall thereof. The posts are generally screws, but other means for fixing the wires onto the electrical conducting portions of the receptacle maybe used in lieu of screws. For purposes of the present invention, it is preferred that these posts be located in a recess or offset portion of the side wall of the receptacle body. The hinged or removable cover plate extends across the recess or offset portion.

In the case of the hinged cover or plate, one side or end thereof is hinged in or at one end of the recess or offset portion. Theopposite, swinging end of the cover or plate preferably latches in or at the opposite end of the recess or offset portion. In the case of removable covers or plates, opposite ends thereof are either slidably fitted in or snap-fitted in inwardly facing grooves or slots at opposite ends of the recess or offset portion.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the drawings, wherein:

FIG. I is a top perspective view of a preferred embodiment having a hinged cover or plate extending across the terminal posts;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary rear elevation of the terminal post portion of the electrical receptacle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of another embodiment wherein the cover or plate is slidably removable from its terminal post-shielding position;

FIG. 4 is an exploded, side elevation of an electrical receptacle having a cover or plate corresponding to that illustrated in FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, rear elevation similar to FIG. 2 and to FIG. 3 with a removable, snap-in and snap-out cover or plate.

THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS The electrical receptacle 10 of FIG. 1 is of generally conventional construction. It is composed of a hollow, thermosetting polymer base 11 and a thermoplastic polymer cover plate 12. The cover plate has two projecting, electrical plug receiving socket members 13 and 14 to provide, in the illustrated case, a duplex receptacle. The sockets l3 and 14 have slots 15 which receive the conducting blades of a conventional male plug and an opening 16 for the ground prong of the plug. Mounting brackets 17 and 18 extend from opposite ends of the receptacle l0 and have thereon break-off plaster ears 19. A metal plate 20 with a tapped hole 21 is mounted in the center portion of the cover plate 12 the tapped hole 21 adapted to receive a screw which holds the face plate (not shown) on the front face of the receptacle.

The internal, electrical-conducting parts of the electrical receptacle are of conventional construction and are not illustrated. One or both sides 22 of the hollow body 10 has a recess or offset portion 23. A pair of terminal post screws 24 and 25 are screw threaded in the internal, electrical-conducting parts of the receptacle. These terminal posts are used to fixedly secure wires in conducting contact against the slotted conductor plates 26 and 27, respectively. The conductor plates 26 and 27 are in turn connected with internal plug blade-contacting members beneath the respective slots 15 of the sockets 13 and 14.

The safety feature provided by the subject invention is the terminal post cover or plate 28 made of non-conducting material, e.g., a clear, translucent or opaque thermoplastic polymer. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1

' and 2, the cover or plate extends longitudinally across the recess or offset portion 23. One end of the cover or plate has a bead 29 rotatably received in a mating grooved socket 30 having a circular arc of slightly more than The bead and socket provide a hinge in the recess or offset portion-facing side 31 of the ear 32 which defines one end of the recess or offset portion 23.

The ear 33 at the opposite end of the recess 23 has in its recess-facing side 34 a catch groove 35 adapted to receive and hold the latch-edge 36 on the swinging end of the cover or plate 28. The cover or plate 28 is longitudinally flexible and will bow slightly as the latchedge 36 slides down the sloping face of the side 34 until the edge 36 is latched in the catch groove 35 as shown in FIG. 2. The cover or plate 28 is swung open by a light pressure against the underface of the cover or plate 28.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 3 and 4, the cover or plate 280 has beads 29a and 29b at opposite ends thereof. These beads are slidably received in arcuate sockets 30a and 30b in the recess-facing sides 31 of the ears 32a and 32b. The cover or plate 28a is removed from its terminal-covering position by sliding it rearwardly out of the open rear ends of the sockets 30a and 30b.

The cover or plate 28b in the embodiment of FIG. is a snap-in, snap-out cover or plate. It is longitudinally flexible. Its latch-edges 36a and 36b on the sloping end segments 37 and 38 snap fit into respective catch grooves 35a and 35b in the recess-facing sides 34a and 34b in the manner previously described for the latch and catch arrangement 35 and 36 in the embodiment of FIG. 2. The receptacle also has a conventional:

ground post 39 for attachment of a ground wire to the receptacle.

The invention thus provides a receptacle body having one or more terminal posts on a wall thereof. The terminal post or posts preferably are accommodated in a recessed portion of said wall. The terminal post or posts are covered by a non-conducting safety plate or coverheld on said wall by means mounting the plate thereon with the plate movable into and out of covering relationship with the post.

The preferred means is a hinge means hingedly mounting one end of the safety plate on said side, preferably at one end of said recess, with coacting latch-catch means on the opposite, swinging end of the safety plate andon said side, respectively, e.g., on the opposite end of said recess. The preferred hinge means is a round bead on said one end of said safety plate with said bead being rotatably seated in a round socket in said side, e.g., the recess-facing part of the receptacle body at said first-mentioned end of said recess.

Other means for mounting the safety plate on said wall with the plate movable into and out of covering relationship with the terminal post or posts include opposed, parallel grooves on opposite sides of said post or posts and slidably receiving opposite ends of the safety plate or cover. Such opposite ends may be round beads slidably accommodated in round sockets forming said opposed grooves, e.g., round sockets at opposite ends of the terminal post-accommodating recess.

A further means for mounting the plate on the receptacle body wall with the plate movable into and out of covering relationship with the terminal post or posts is a snap-in, snap-out structure formed by opposed grooves or sockets on opposite sides of said post or posts, e.g., at opposite ends of the terminal post-accommodating recess. They receive and hold opposite ends of the safety plate or cover when the latter is pressed into covering relationship over the terminal post or posts. These snap-in grooves or sockets preferably are formed in the recess-facing side of opposite ends of the recess. S loping faces above the grooves or sockets guide the ends of the safety plate or cover into the grooves or sockets when the plate or cover is pressed into covering position.

It is thought that the invention and its numerous attendant advantages will be fully understood from the foregoing description, and it is obvious that numerous changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of the several parts without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention, or sacrificing any of its attendant advantages, the forms herein disclosed being preferred embodiments for the purpose of illustrating the invention.

The invention is hereby claimed as follows:

1. An electrical receptacle comprising a hollow receptacle body having an electrical plug-receiving socket member mounted therein said socket member having openings to receive the blades or prongs of an electrical male plug, said hollow receptacle body having a side wall with a recessed portion therein, a terminal post for receiving an electrical wire and mounted in said recessed portion, a non-conducting safety plate covering said recessed portion, and hinge means pivotally mounting one end of said safety plate at one end of said recess, and a catch groove in said side wall across the other end of said recess, said groove releasably holding therein the edge of the opposite end of said safety plate whereby said plate is pivotable into and out of covering relationship with said post.

2. An electrical receptacle comprising a hollow receptacle body having an electrical plug-receiving socket member mounted therein, said socket member having openings to receive the blades or prongs of an electrical plug, said hollow receptacle body having a side wall with a recessed portion therein, a terminal post for receiving an electrical wire and mounted in said recessed portion, a non-conducting safety plate covering said recessed portion, and means movable mounting said plate on said side wall with said plate being movable into and out of covering relationship with said post, said means including hinge means hingedly mounting one end of said safety plate on said side wall and coacting latch-catch means on said side wall and on the opposite, swinging end of said safety plate, said hinge means comprising a round bead on said one end of said safety plate, said bead being. rotatably seated in a round socket in said side wall.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3944319 *Sep 9, 1974Mar 16, 1976Giampa Anthony JElectric terminal fitting
US6843680May 22, 2003Jan 18, 2005ProtectconnectElectrical distribution terminal guard
US6884111May 22, 2003Apr 26, 2005ProtectconnectSafety module electrical distribution system
US7052313Apr 20, 2005May 30, 2006ProtectconnectElectrical distribution wiring module
US7081009Apr 20, 2005Jul 25, 2006ProtectconnectElectrical distribution functional module
US7081010 *Apr 20, 2005Jul 25, 2006Protect ConnectSafety module electrical distribution system
US7265291May 3, 2006Sep 4, 2007Protectconnect, Inc.Electrical distribution wiring module
US7321120Nov 26, 2005Jan 22, 2008Protectconnect, Inc.Motion detector module
US7332683Jul 25, 2006Feb 19, 2008Protectconnect, Inc.Dimmer switch module
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US7762838Apr 21, 2008Jul 27, 2010ProtectconnectSafety module electrical distribution system
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Classifications
U.S. Classification439/142
International ClassificationH01R25/00
Cooperative ClassificationH01R25/006
European ClassificationH01R25/00D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 5, 1985AS01Change of name
Owner name: DANIEL WOODHEAD, INC.
Effective date: 19850214
Owner name: WOODHEAD INDUSTRIES INC
Jun 5, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: WOODHEAD INDUSTRIES INC
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:DANIEL WOODHEAD, INC.;REEL/FRAME:004414/0228
Effective date: 19850214
Jul 17, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: DANIEL WOODHEAD, INC.
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:DANIEL WOODHEAD, INC. (MERGED INTO) DANIEL WOODHEAD, INC. OF DELAWARE;REEL/FRAME:003902/0648
Effective date: 19810408
Jul 17, 1981AS03Merger
Owner name: DANIEL WOODHEAD, INC.
Effective date: 19810408
Owner name: DANIEL WOODHEAD, INC. (MERGED INTO) DANIEL WOODHEA