US 3776661 A
A fluid actuated pump system including a pump, a source of power for operating the pump and sensing means for connecting the pump with the power source. The sensing means is responsive to a fluid level and includes a housing having an open lower end and a pressure conduit connecting the housing with a pressure-responsive switch. The pressure-responsive switch operates the pump through a dampening heating element.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Ute States Patent 1191 Wohnlich WATER LEVEL CONTROLLED PUMP SYSTEM Inventor:
Joseph F. Wohnlich, Warren, lnd
United Filtration Corporation, Chicago, 111,
Filed: Dec. 28, 1970 Appl. No.: 101,937
U.S. C1. 417/12 Int. Cl. F04b 49/00 Field of Search 417/12, 38, 39, 44, 417/45 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,148,622 LeVan et a1. 417/12 3,223,041 12/1965 Quinn 417/12 X 1,253,687 1/1918 Hicks 417/38 2,488,506 11/1949 Bernhardt 417/38 2,990,780 7/1961 Kreuter..... 417/12 3,104,614 9/1963 Gramenzin 417/38 3,292,547 12/1966 Ward 417/7 Primary ExaminerCharles J. Myhre Assistant Examiner-Barry Grossman Attorney--Par ker, Carter & Markey [5 7 ABSTRACT A fluid actuated pump system including a pump, a source of power for operating the pump and sensing means for connecting the pump with the power source. The sensing means is responsive to a fluid level and includes a housing having an open lower end and a pressure conduit connecting the housing with a pressure-responsive switch. The pressure-responsive switch operates the pump through a dampening heating element.
1 Claim, 5 Drawing Figures DCEDD PATENTED 41975 wig/9% [WWW/M PATENIEU 3.776.661
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1 WATER LEVEL CONTROLLED PUMP SYSTEM SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a system for controlling operation of a fluid pump and to a method of operating a pumping system.
A primary purpose of the invention is a pumping sys- I tern of the type described including means for preventing cycling of the pump by dampening out fluctuations in the switch controlling the pump.
Another purpose is a method of controlling a pumping system in which a fluid level is used to create a pressure column for operating the pump controls.
Another purpose is a pump system utilizing a temperature responsive switch controlled by a heater to dampen excessive actuations of the fluid level means controlling pump operation.
Another purpose is a simply constructed compact reliable pump control system.
Another purpose is a bilge pump system that is not subject to contamination by grease, oil and the like.
Other purposes will appear in the ensuing specification, drawings and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated diagrammatically in the following drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic illustration of the pumping system disclosed herein,
FIG. 2 is an electrical schematic illustrating the connection between the pump and the electrical power source,
FIG. 3 is an enlarged illustration of the fluid level responsive means for controlling pump operation,
FIG. 4 is a view along plane 4-4 of FIG. 3, with parts removed, and
FIG. 5 is a top view of the temperature-responsive switch.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In FIG. 1 the bottom of a boat hull is indicated at and there are sides 12 extending upwardly from the bottom. The space defined by the bottom 10 and sides 12, indicated generally at 14, is commonly referred to as the bilge area of the boat.
Positioned within the bilge area 14 is a housing 16, illustrated in detail in FIG. 3, and a pump 18. Preferably, the bottom of the housing 16 and the pump 18 are at generally the same level, as the function of the housing 16 is to sense fluid level in the bilge and thus control operation of the pump 18. A hollow conduit 20 connects the housing 16 with a switch assembly 22. A battery is indicated at 24 and is connected to the pump 18, the switch assembly 22, and to a master switch 26.
The positive terminal of battery 24 is connected through a fuse by a line 28 to the master switch 26, with the negative terminal of the battery 24 being connected by a line 30 to a junction point 32 from which lines 34, 36 and 38 connect respectively to the master switch 26, the pump 18 and the switch assembly 22(Master switch is connected by a line 40 to switch assembly 22. A line 42 runs from the master switch 26 to junction point 44 which connects to lines 46 and 48 which run respectively to the switch assembly 22 and the pump 18.
FIG. 2 illustrates the electrical components within the switch assembly 22. A microswitch is indicated at 50 and is pressure actuated, as will appear hereinafter. The microswitch 50 is connected on one side to line 38, and on the other side to a heater element 52. The heater element 52 is positioned adjacent a bimetal element 54 having a contact 56 at one end. A contact 58 is positioned adjacent the contact 56 such that when a sufficient amount of heat has been provided by the element 52, the bimetal element 54 will cause the contacts 56 and 58 to close, connecting lines 40 and 46.
As shown in FIG. 3, the housing 16 is in the shape of a bell having an open lower end 60. Feet 61 are used to raise the open end 60 above the surface supporting the bell so that water may flow into chamber 62. The chamber 62 is in communication, through an opening 64, with the hollow conduit 20. Thus, as water rises within the bell 16, air trapped above the rising water level 65 will cause a pressure force to be transmitted through conduit 20 to the switch assembly 22.
Switch assembly 22 includes a base 66 having an outwardly extending bushing 68 upon which one end of the conduit 20 is mounted. There is a passage 70 within the bushing 68 so that the air under pressure forced through the conduit 20 by water rising within the bell 16 will apply pressure against a flexible diaphragm 72 positioned within the base 66. The diaphragm 72 is positioned within a chamber 74 in the base and the left side of a plate 73 carried by the diaphragm is in contact with an arm 76 effective to operate microswitch 50. There may be small passages or the like 78 at free movement of the diaphragm is response to pressure within chamber 74.
Turning to FIGS. 4 and 5, the microswitch 50 is positioned behind the diaphragm 72. The heater element 52, which may be thin wires wound about a strip, is positioned adjacent the bimetal elem'ent S4 with the contacts 56 and 58 being positioned above the microswitch 50. FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the actual mechanical relationship between the contacts 56 and 58, the heater element 52 and the bimetal strip 54.
In operation, as water rises within the bell 16, due to excessive water within the bilge of the boat, a pressure force created by the air trapped above the rising water level 65 will cause the diaphragm 72 to move to the left, in FIG. 3, closing microswitch 50. The closing of microswitch 50 connects the battery 24 to the heater element 52 with the result that temperature within the switch assembly 22 will begin to rise. After a sufficient amount of heat has been generated by the element 52, contacts 56 and 58 will close, completing the circuit to the pump 18. Thus, the pump will begin to remove the water from the bilge, transferring it through a hose section 82 and out of port 84. The pump 18 will continue to operate as long as the contacts 56 and 58 are closed, which will be as long as there is sufficient heat generated by the heating element 52 to maintain the contacts in mechanically closed position.
The master switch 26 may have a hand-operated switch which can set the system for either automatic operation, as described above, or for manual operation, in which the battery is connected directly to the pump and the pump will continue to operate as long as the switch'remains in that position.
Of importance in the invention is the fact that there is a dampening means between the signal to begin pumping and the actual start of the pumping operation. Thus, the pump will not be cycling on and off, as could happen if the boat were rocking in the water such that i will only serve to accumulate heat within the switch assembly 22 until the point has been reached where the bimetal element 54 causes the contacts 56 and 58 to close. Thus, the pump is protected in that there is not a continuous on and off operation of this device. In like manner, the pump will not shut off immediately when the water recedes from the bell. Rather, the pump will continue until the heat from the element 52 has dissipated, which effectively drains the bilge area. In some applications, since the pump will continue after water recedes from the bell, the pump may be positioned below the bell.
An additional important feature of the invention is the fact that closing of the microswitch which begins pump operation through the dampening element or heater 52 is not brought about by water mechanical position of a float riding on top of the water level.
There are no moving parts in the mechanism for operating the pumpv There is no possibility of contamination from grease or oil from the bilge, since it is solely a matter of the rising fluid level creating an air pressure force which causes operation of the pump. The spacing between switch assembly 22 and the pump 18 is not important and in some applications such spacing may be quite remote.
Although the invention has been described in connection with the operation of a bilge pump in a boat, it should be obvious that the invention has substantially wider application. Basements, which habitually receive water or flood, could be pumped with the system described. Also, in swimming pools which are covered with plastic tops, if it is desired to pump out the water on top of the plastic top, the system described herein finds excellent application.
Whereas the preferred form of the invention has been shown and described herein, it should be realized that there may be many modifications, substitutions and alterations thereto.
1. In a fluid-actuated pump system, a housing having an open lower end positioned inthe area to be pumped, a flexible tube connected to said housing, sensing means including a diaphragm, said flexible tube being connected to one side of said diaphragm, a switch positioned on the opposite side of the diaphragm, air trapped in the housing and flexible tube by the rising of fluid in the area to be pumped causing the diaphragm to operate the switch,
a pump, electrical power means for operating the pump, dampening means connected to said power means, said switch being connected in circuit with said power means and dampening means such that closure of said switch causes operation of said dampening means,
switch means in circuit with said dampening means,
pump and power means, operation of said dampening means providing the only path to operate said switch means which in turn completes the circuit between the pump and power means to start operation of the pump.