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Publication numberUS3776261 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 4, 1973
Filing dateMay 15, 1972
Priority dateMay 15, 1972
Publication numberUS 3776261 A, US 3776261A, US-A-3776261, US3776261 A, US3776261A
InventorsHoughton C
Original AssigneeHoughton C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Water conserving apparatus
US 3776261 A
Abstract
A water conserving apparatus designed particularly for use on recreational vehicles where a limited water supply is available, the apparatus includes a valved by-pass line connected to the hot water line to return the water located within the remote end of the hot water line to downstream of the water heater.
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United States Patent [1 1 Houghton 1 .1 1 Dec. 4, 1973 WATER CONSERVING APPARATUS [76] Inventor: Connie n. l-loughton, 28000 Foxlane Dr., Saugus, Calif. 91350 [22] Filed: May 15, 1972 [21] Appl. No.2 253,253

[52] US. Cl... 137/337, 137/351, 137/608 [51] Int. Cl... F161: 49/00,'Fl7d H00 [58] Field of Search 137/608, 606, 337, 137/338, 339, 340, 351, 344

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,842,155 7/1958 Peters 137/337 2,915,080 12/1959 Holmes 137/337UX 6/1958 Saylor 137/344 X 2,758,610 8/1956 Hively 137/337 X 2,969,451 l/1961 3,556,124 1/1971 Walton 137/337 X Primary Examiner-Samuel Scott Attorney-Robert E. Geauque [57] ABSTRACT A water conserving apparatus designed particularly for use on recreational vehicles where a limited water supply is available, the apparatus includes a valved bypass line connected to the hot water line to return the water located within the remote end of the hot water line to downstream of the water heater.

7 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures RESERVOIR 1 WATER CONSERVING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Recreational vehicles contain a reservoir tank of fresh water in order to supply the outlets within the recreational vehicle. The conventional form of: recreational vehicles have at leastone cold water outletI and one hot water outlet.iThe water is heated through a type of water heating apparatus which isIalso located within the recreational vehicle. In larger sized recreational vehicles theremay be as many as two or three hot and cold water outlets.

When a person desires hot water, the person normally actuates thevalve which is connected to'the hot water line with the water being discharged therefrom. Normally, the hot water faucet is located at some distance from the water heater and if it has been-a few minutes from the last time that hot waterwas drawn from theIfaucet, the initial flowof water will be;quite cool. The normal procedure is for the person to discharge the initial cool water into admin and then to make use of the subsequent flow of hot water: The wait for the water to tum hot is often quite annoying,-Iand also the sudden advent of hot water after substantial flow of relatively cold water can be quite discomforting such as in a shower.

It is not uncommon for the amount of cold water located within the remote end of the hot waterline to be one quart or greater in volume. A normal supplyreservoir for such a vehicle would be forty gallons. This means that whenever a person desires to use hot water,

a significant portion of the overall water supply is lost because that water is not heated. It is readily apparent that if this lost water be conserved, more waterwould be available for use and alsoIthe time in between refilling of the reservoir will belengthened.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The water conserving'apparatus of this invention is designed to be employed in combination with a conventional water supply systemwithin arecreational ve-' hicle. The conventionalwater supply system includes a reservoir which is adapted to contain a limited supply of water. This water is to be removed from the resenvoir by a pump which in turn conductsthewater eitherIinto a water heater or into a cold water supply line: The cold water supply 'line is connected to a faucet I assembly within the recreational vehicle to supply the-waterIIfor use. The water is conducted from the hot water heater into a hot water supply line which is connectedto a second faucet assembly to supply the hot water for use. A by-pass line is connected to the hot water supplyIline adjacent the faucet assembly. The by-pass line is to conductfluid from the hot water line and return such downstream of the water heater. The purposeof the bypass line is to run off the portion of thewater upstream of the water heater which is located within the hot water supply line and conduct such back intothe system to be reheated. Therefore, when a person thereafter activates a hot water faucet, instant hot water is discharged therefrom.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a schematic view of the water conservation I apparatus of this invention; and

1 FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view Ithrougha an illustrated I form of valve which is employedI .within I'theIapparatus of this invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OFITHEWSHQWN EMBODIMENT I Referring particularly Ito thedrawing, there is shown I in FIG 1a water reservoirI lIwhich:is to retain Ia given quantity of water. Aconnectingline 12 is connected to the reservoir 10 and isIadaptedytoI receivei thezwater from the reservoir? 10.; The :Ifreeend of the connecting line 12 is connected ItoIaxpumpl 14-. The structure ofIIthe I pump 14formsInoidirect part:of thiszinvention and is deemed to be conventionaLIThepump l4 isconnected 15 to Ian output-IlineI l6IIwhich Iin tum is connected to La switchingI apparatus 18.1 The switching apparatus 18 is I to activate the pumping apparatusat: anytime the pressure withinithe overall system dropsIbelow a predeter- I mined level. Such switching apparatuses: are deemed I to I 20 be conventionalIand need InotIbeidescribed here in de- WithinIIthe outputIline 16, which isIlocated in betweenItheIwater heaterl20 andthe switching apparatus I18,.aI cold water supply line 22- isII connected. Cold I water supply line 22 is shown to supply IwaterIto a pinrality of faucets 24,326 I and II 28. It I is Ito be understood lthat theIfaucets 24, 26 and 28i are conventionalIin construction and I are to be manually I actuatable :in a con- I ventional Imanner.

ForIpurposes of :IdescriptionIit is envisioned that the apparatus ofLthisIinventionIIwill be employedxwithin a 5 recreational vehicle, not IIshown.ITheIfaucet 24 is toIbe locatedin a kitchen sink fixture 30 Iwith I the faucet: 26 locatedI within .a showerf32 Iand the faucet28located within aIwashI basin 34; Howeventit is toIbeI-I understood that theI'showing of the rthreeI separate Ifixtures 30,32

o and 34 is merely forpurposes of illustration andit is not intended ItOIlimitItheIuSe OfIthe apparatus of this invention I within a I three-fixture type of. installation; The apparatus of this invention could be ernployedIinIa one- I fixture installation Ias IwellIas a IO-fixture installation.

Additionally,. although the apparatus I of :this I invention I has been found I to I be particularly advantageous within I a recreational vehicle I which I employs I a I limited I water capacity it is envisioned that the apparatus of :this invention could be readily employed in other environments Iwhereverthere is a: limited water supply. Actu- I ally, it is not even necessary to usethe. apparatus of this I invention in a limited watersupply environment. Whereven in any environment it is desired to conserve I water,

I the apparatus of this invention would be; particularly I useful; I'Howeventheapparatus ofthis invention is to be employed in demand type of water systems; I in other I words; a water system which uses a pump and not a-sys- I tem I which Ipressurizes the reservoir.

I Connected to itheuwaterheater 20 is the: hot water I supply line 36. The hot watersupplypline 36 is tosupply hot water to faucets 38, 40 and. The faucets38,40

I and 42 are to be normally constructed :similar to :the

construction of the prcviouslymentioned faucets,

26 andI28. TheI hot water usupply line includes Connected within the branch conduit 44 adjacent faucet 38 is a by-pass line 50. in a similar manner. connected within the branch conduit 46 adjacent faucet 40 is a by-pass line 52, and connected within the branch conduit 48 adjacent faucet 42 is a by-pass conduit 54. The by-pass conduits 50, 52 and 54 are basically similar in construction and are all connected to a main by-pass line 56. A valve 58 is located within the by-pass line 50 in close proximity to the valve 38. In a similar manner, a valve 60 is located within the by-pass line 52 adjacent faucet 40. Also a valve 62 is located within the line 54 in close proximity to the faucet 42. The main by-pass line 56 is interconnected to the connecting line 12 which is located between the pump 14 and the reservoir 10.

Referring particularly to FIG. 2 of the drawing, the valve 58 is shown in greater detail. It is to be understood that the valves 58, 60 and 62 will be substantially identical in construction and in all probability will be essentially similar in construction to the faucets previously mentioned. The inlet portion 55 of the by-pass line 50 which is connected to the branch line 44 is fixedly mounted within housing 64 of the valve 58. The line 50' communicates with conduit 66 in the housing 64.,The inlet conduit 66 can either be closed or open by a plunger 68. The plunger 68 is connected to a head 70 which is screw threadingly retained within the housing 64. A handle 72 is secured to the head 70 and is adapted to rotatably move the plunger within the housing 64. It can be seen that by activating the handle 72 the plunger 68 can be moved either way from the conduit 66 thereby permitting water to pass therethrough, or it can be applied against the conduit 66 thereby preventing water from passing therethrough.

With the plunger 68 moved away from the conduit 66, water is permitted to pass through the conduit 66 and into the outlet portion of the by-pass portion 50. The outlet portion of the by-pass line 50 is connected through outlet conduit 74 located within the housing 64.

The operation of the apparatus of this invention is as follows: Let it be assumed that a person is located in the area of the kitchen sink fixture 30 and desires the use of hot water. it is to be understood that similar operational features would be employed if a person were in the area of the shower fixture 32 or the wash basin fixture 34. The person first rotates the handle 72 so as to move plunger 78 away from the inlet conduit 66. As a result, hot water is permitted to pass through the branch conduit 44 into the inlet by-pass conduit 50', through the inlet conduit 66, through the outlet conduit 74 and into the by-pass line 50. The water then is conducted through the by-pass line 50 into the connecting line 12 and is to be repumped by the pumping apparatus 14 into the water heater 20. The person is to maintain this valve 58 in the open position until by sense of feel he realizes that hot water is being suppliedthrough the valve 58. At that time the person then closes the valve 58 and then activates faucet 38, thereby obtaining hot water instantly in the area of the fixture 30. Therefore, there should be no waste of water which is supplied to the drain within the fixture 30.

A main advantage of this invention is that the capacity of the recreational vehicle holding tank is not used up as quick as a vehicle without this invention. Besides decreasing the capacity of the fresh water supply, the

. capacity of the holding tank (from the drains of the fixtures) is used up by the waste water when the apparatus of this invention is not employed.

What is claimed is: 1. A water conserving apparatus comprising: a limited capacity reservoir adapted to contain water;

a pump connected to said reservoir to remove water therefrom and conduct the water into a water heater;

a hot water supply line connected to said water heater and upstream thereof, said hot water supply line to supply heated water to an end removed from said water heater;

a by-pass line connected to said hot water supply line adjacent said end, said by-pass line to return water downstream of said water heater; and

a valve connected within said by-pass line, said valve being selectively manually actuatable to conduct water through said by-pass line;

said pump located exteriorly of said reservoir, a connecting line located between said reservoir and said pump, said by-pass line connected to said connecting line, whereby said by-pass line returns water downstream of said pump.

2. A water conserving apparatus comprising:

a limited capacity reservoir adapted to contain water;

a pump connected to said reservoir to remove water therefrom and conduct the water into a water heater;

a hot water supply line connected to said water heater and upstream thereof, said hot water supply line to supply heated water to an end removed from said water heater;

a by-pass line connected to said hot water supply line adjacent said end, said by-pass line to return water downstream of said water heater;

a valve connected within said by-pass line, said valve being selectively actuatable to conduct water through said by-pass line;

a second valve connected to said hot water supply line, said second valve being manually actuatable to conduct water exteriorly of said hot water supply line; and

said first valve being located directly adjacent said second valve.

3. An apparatus as defined in claim 2 wherein:

said first valve being manually actuatable.

4. An apparatus as defined in claim 3 wherein:

said pump located exteriorly of said reservoir, a connecting line located between said reservoir and said pump, said by-pass line connected to said connecting line, whereby said by-pass line returns water downstream of said pump.

5. In combination with a recreational vehicle, said recreational vehicle having a limited capacity water reservoir, a pump located within said vehicle and capable of removing water from said reservoir, a water heater located within said vehicle, said pump to supply water to said water heater, a hot water supply line connected to said water heater, said hot water supply line to supply heated water to an end remote from said water heater, the conducting of water through said hot water supply line being controlled by means of a first manually actuatable valve, the improvement compris- 5 ing:

a by-pass line connected to said hot water supply line adjacent said end, said by-pass line to return water downstream of said water heater; and

a second valve connected within said by-pass line, said second valve being selectively actuatable to conduct water through said by-pass line;

said pump located exteriorly of said reservoir, a connecting line located between said reservoir and said pump, said by-pass line connected to said connecting line, whereby said by-pass line returns water downstream of said pump.

6. In combination with a recreational vehicle, said recreational vehicle having a limited capacity water reservoir, a pump located within said vehicle and capable of removing water from said reservoir, a water heater located within said vehicle, said pump to supply water to said water heater, a hot water supply line connected to said water heater, said hot water supply line to supply heated water to an end remote from said water heater, the conducting of water through said hot water supply line being controlled by means of a first manually actuatable valve, the improvement comprismg:

a bypass line connected to said hot water supply line adjacent said end, said by-pass line to return water downstream of said water heater;

a second valve connected within said by-pass line, said second valve being selectively actuatable to conduct water through said by-pass line;

a second valve connected to said hot water supply line, said second valve being manually actuatable to conduct water exteriorly of :said hot water supply line; and

said first valve located directly adjacent said second valve.

7. The combination as defined in claim 6 wherein:

said pump located exteriorly of said reservoir, a connecting line located between said reservoir and said pump, said by-pass line connected to said connecting line, whereby said by-pass line returns water downstream of said pump.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4648426 *Jun 20, 1985Mar 10, 1987Oberholtzer Steven LHot water supply system
US4672990 *Oct 11, 1985Jun 16, 1987Robillard Fred WSystem for freeze protection of pipes
US4738280 *Mar 9, 1987Apr 19, 1988Oberholtzer Steven LHot water supply system
US4870986 *Mar 1, 1988Oct 3, 1989Barrett John PDispensing system
US5187818 *May 14, 1991Feb 23, 1993Barrett Sr John PFlushing system for a water closet
US5261443 *Jan 4, 1993Nov 16, 1993Walsh Paul FWatersaving recirculating system
US5277219 *May 3, 1991Jan 11, 1994Metlund EnterprisesHot water demand system suitable for retrofit
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Classifications
U.S. Classification137/337, 137/351, 137/861
International ClassificationF17D1/00, F17D1/08
Cooperative ClassificationF17D1/08
European ClassificationF17D1/08