|Publication number||US3778023 A|
|Publication date||Dec 11, 1973|
|Filing date||Dec 22, 1971|
|Priority date||Dec 22, 1971|
|Also published as||CA954497A, CA954497A1|
|Publication number||US 3778023 A, US 3778023A, US-A-3778023, US3778023 A, US3778023A|
|Original Assignee||Sloan Valve Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (74), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
ited States atent 1 Billeter OPERATING ARRANGEMENT FOR FLUSH VALVES  Inventor: Henry R. Billeter, Deerfield, Ill.
 Assignee: Sloan Valve Company, Franklin Park, 111.
 Filed: Dec. 22, 1971  Appl. No.: 210,652
 11.8. CI 251/30, 251/33, 251/41  Int. CL, F16k 31/10  Field of Search 251/33, 41, 30
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,129,938 9/1938 Johnson ..L 25l/33'X 2,308,478 1/1943 Lingold L 251/57 2,339,352
1/1944 Ray 251/30 [451 Dec. 11, 1973 2,461,313 2/1949 Davis 251/25 2,544,016 3/1951 Getz 251/41 X Primary Examiner-Arnold Rosenthal Attorney Parker, Plyer & McEachran  ABSTRACT A cylindrical casing is attached at one end to a flush valve and at the other end supports an electric solenoid. Connecting fluid flow passages in the flush valve body and through the length of the casing lead to the solenoid valve seat. A piston in the casing is operated by hydraulic pressure through the fluid passages when 'the solenoid is operated. This action projects a plunger forward into the flush valve to cause it to operate. The solenoid may be operated by an electrical push button located at a remote point from the flush valve.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures 4 so i 7 3o OPERATING ARRANGEMENT FOR FLUSH VALVES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The invention relates generally to the operation of flush valves for plumbing fixtures by an electrical solenoid which causes the flush valve to be hydraulically operated, and the principle object of the invention is to provide a new and improved hydraulic operating mechanism for flush valves. 1 I
In many plumbing installations for water closets and urinals it is desirable that the flush valves be concealed and mounted behind a wall surface, especially in public places. The flush valves are usually manually operated by a handle projecting through the wall. This poses a problem of providing the correct length of handle extension through the wall between the handle and the flush valve and an accurate line-up of the. parts is also necessary. Such an installation therefore increases the cost of labor and materials.
In applicants pending application, Ser. No. 74,606,
filed Sept. 23, 1970, now U.S.Pat. No. 3,695,288, issued Oct. 10, 197-2, it has been proposed to provide a mechanical .push button operated valve mechanism mounted on a front wall surface which is arranged to operate the flush valve concealed behind the wall by hydraulic pressure extending through flexible tubing from the inlet pressure side of the flush valve, through the push button, and back to a hydraulic operating mechanism on the flush valve. This construction entails the use of two separate lengths of tubing which must be cut off to the approximate correct length and provide with special fittings at each end that could be a cause of leakage. Labor and the added parts entail a cost factor in this arrangement. It has also been proposed that a solenoid valve be supported upon the flush valve and connected by external piping with the inlet pressure side of the flush valve. However on exposed installations this was not desirablebecause of vandalism and overall appearance. The foregoing disadvantages are all overcome by the present invention in which a novel flush valve operating arrangement has been provided which eliminates the use of all external piping, and employs an electric solenoid energized from a remote. point to control the action of hydraulic pressure through flow passages extending throughout the length of the supporting casing, to actuate the flush valve. An object of the invention is to provide a new and improved flush valve actuating mechanism which is positive and reliable in operation, simple in construction, easy to install, and solves many problems encountered in the installation of plumbing equipment.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, the invention consists of certain novel features of construction, operation, and combination of elements which will be more fully described, illustrated, and pointed out hereinafter.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a plan view partly in section illustrating a typical installation of the invention with a flush valve;
FIG. 2 is a partial cross-section of an enlarged view of the flush valve operating arrangement; and
FIGS. 3 and 4 are cross-sectional end views of the sleeve and bushing of the operating arrangement taken along the lines 3--3 and 4-4 respectively, of FIG. 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, this illustrates a typical flush valve installation in which the parts may be concealed behind a wall and in back ofthe plumbing fixture which may be either a water closet or urinal. The flush valve may be commercially known type such as the Sloan Royal" flush valve 5 connected by the inlet supply nipple 6 with the usual control valve or stop 7. The control valve 7 regulates the water supply to'the flush valve from the inlet water supplypipe to which it is'connectedfThe flush valve 5 is equipped with an operating diaphragm (not shown) whose opening from the main flush valve seat is controlled by the operation of the relief valve when its depending stem 8 is actuated or tilted. The opening of the flush valve diaphragm from its valve seat results in the water supply passing from the control stop 7 and downward through the flush tube 9 into the plumbing fixture to flush the same. After an interval when the flush valve seat is automatically closed, the inlet water supply pressure is again present in the pressure chamber 10 around the barrel portion 11 of the flush valve 5.
The actuating arrangement and means for causing the operation of the flush valve' 5, referring to FIG-2, includes a cylindrical casing, indicated at 15, preferably made of brass, having a hex nut 16 formed at one end for threaded engagement at 17 around the opening 18 in the flush valve body 5, for supporting the operating unit. At the opposite end of the casing 15 an electrical solenoid 20 is supported by threaded engagement at 19 with the casing end. As shown in FIG. 1, the solenoid 20 may be electrically connected to either the push button switch 21 or to a timing device 22 for energizing the soienoid from the electrical power source 23. Solenoid 20 may be of any known type consisting of the coil winding 25 adapted when energized to shift the iron core 26 with its rubber seating plug 27 and open the valve seat 28. A restoring spring 24 closes the core 26 upon valve seat 28 when the coil winding is deenergized.
Arranged within the cylindrical casing 15 are two cup-shaped members, a sleeve 30 and a guide bushing, 31. The sleeve 30 has a series of longitudinal spaced ribs 32 formed around its outer surface to space it from the inside diameter of the casing 15 and forms passages 29 between the ribs. At its left hand or bottom end there is formed a smaller diameter extension 33 projecting into the solenoid end through anaxial opening or bore 34 in the casing 15. The outer diameter of extension 33 is spaced from the outer wall of the bore 34, thereby providing open fluid flow passages extending from the space 35 on the left side of the closed valve plug 27, and valve seat 28, passage 34, around the extension 33, and between the series of ribs 32 and passages 29, around the sleeve 30 to the right hand side thereof. An axial passage 36 extends the length of extension 33, from below the valve seat 28 to a pressure chamber 38 within the cup-shaped sleeve 30. The valve seat 28 is preferably formed integral with and around the left hand end of the extension 33 as shown.
A piston 40 is arranged for reciprocal movement within pressure chamber 38 and is preferably constructed of a cup-rubber 41 slidable along the inner wall of sleeve 30 and a back-up washer 42 to which it is molded. A plunger rod 43 is attached to the rear side of the piston 40 and extends axially into the opening 18 of the flush valve body. A restoring spring 44 around the plunger rod 43 normally holds the piston 40 towards the end of flow passage 36, the bumps 45 holding it slightly spaced therefrom. A bleed opening 46 through the piston 41 and washer 42 provides for expulsion of fluid from the left side of the piston in chamber 38 when the piston is restored, and also provides a fluid pressure drop across the piston as will be pointed out hereinafter.
The cup-shaped guide bushing 31 fits within the flush valve opening 18 at one end and at the opposite end into the inner diameter of sleeve 30. An O-ring 50 prevents leakage between sleeve 30 and bushing 31 while O-ring 51 prevents leakage between the bushing 31 and the body opening 18 as shown. The forward open end 52 of bushing 31 serves as a stop for the piston 40 when it is operated. At the bottom end of sleeve 31 a guide portion 53 is formed having an axial opening 54 therein through which the plunger 43 extends and is guided thereby. A series of openings 55 in the bushing 31 around the guide portion 53 serves to drain the chamber 38 whenever the piston 40 is operated. The guide bushing 31 is supported in position in casing 15 by an annular flange 60 around its outer surface which is clamped between a shoulder 61 on the end of casing 15 and against the end 62 of valve body opening 18. A suitable annular sealing gasket 63 is also clamped between flange 60 and edge 62. The flange 60 has a series of slots 64 formed around it which are in alignment with the flow passages 29. The outer surface 65 of bushing 31 is also spaced from the inner diameter 66 of the flush valve body as shown, thereby providing a continuous annular open flow passage 67 through the passages 29, and to the solenoid valve seat 28. A drilled opening 70 extending through the valve body 5 forms a direct flow passage from the fluid pressure side of the flush valve, through flow passages 67, 29, and 34, to the valve seat 28. These connecting flow passages are accordingly always under the fluid pressure present in the water supply pipeline at the control stop 7 and the pressure chamber 10 of the flush valve.
DESCRIPTION OF THE OPERATION In the use of the flush valve operating arrangement, assume that the flush valve 5 together with the casing and solenoid are located behind a wall surface, and that the outlet flush tube 9 of the flush valve extends through the wall to a plumbing fixture such as a water closet or urinal on the front of the wall. The push button 21 may therefore be mounted anywhere on the front wall surface where it is easily accessible to a person using the plumbing fixture. Operating the push button 2] establishes an energizing electrical circuit for solenoid 20 from the current source 23 which results in the solenoid core 26 opening the valve plug 27 from valve seat 28. This results in fluid pressure being effective against the left side of piston 40 over a flow path including the pressure side 10 of the flush valve from control stop 7, flow passage 70, annular passage 67, openings 64 in flange 60, passages 29 between ribs 32, annular opening 34, the now open valve seat 28, flow passage 36, and against piston 40. Accordingly piston 40 is projected forward in chamber 38 and plunger 43 likewise, until the end of plunger 43 engages and tilts the relief valve stem 8 resulting, in the well known manner, in the operation of the flush valve to cause a metered quantity of water to pass into the plumbing fixture, after which the valve shuts off automatically.
Release of the push button 21 results in the solenoid 20 closing its valve plug 27 upon valve seat 28 under action of restoring spring 24, cutting off further fluid flow through passage 36 and against piston 40. Restoring spring 44 now forces piston 40 back in chamber 38 along with its plunger 43 until stopped by the bumps 45 engaging the bottom of cup-shaped sleeve 30. The bleed opening 46 in the piston 40 enables the fluid in front of the piston to be expelled as the piston restores, relieving the pressure against it. This opening 46 also provides the necessary pressure drop across the piston to enable it to smoothly operate. The fluid expelled through opening 46 also passes and drains outward into the discharge tube 9 through the slightly larger openings 55 in bushing 31. In the event the push button 21 is held operated unduly long in an attempt to cause continuous operation of the flush valve, this action will be without effect, because the flush valve is provided with the usual telescoping relief valve stem 8, the lower end of which would come to rest on top the plunger 43 end and the flush valve would close upon its seat regardless of this attempt. However during this action the solenoid 20 will be held operated and fluid pressure from the inlet side of the flush valve will exist through the several flow passages, the bleed opening 46 in the piston, the drain openings 55, and into the flush tube, but this is of no serious consequence since the amount passed consists of only a small dribble.
Leakage through the casing 15 is averted in several places. The O-ring 51 prevents leakage from passage and 67 into the discharge portion of the flush valve. O-ring 50 prevents leakage between sleeve 30 and bushing 31, and sealing gasket 63 outward through the threads 17.
In the interest of economy and to facilitate manufacturing, the cup-shaped sleeve 30 with its ribs 32, and the cup-shaped bushing 31 may each be advantageously molded of some desirable known plastic material. Such material lends itself well to the purpose, since it enables relatively friction-free sliding of the piston 40 in sleeve chamber 38 and plunger 43 in bushing 31. Dimensional stability is also achieved of the two plastic parts so that they retain their shape, avoid leakage and are not affected by water conditions.
From the foregoing description it will be apparent that by this invention, the use of flexible tubing and associated fittings is entirely eliminated, thereby greatly reducing the possibility of leakage, vandalism is avoided, and reduced costs are entailed. In addition the casing 15 and solenoid 20 present a smooth, pleasing appearance on the flush valve, complimenting the general overall look, especially when the flush valve in some cases is installed in an exposed position on the front wall surface above or alongside the water closet or urinal. In this case all the exposed surface parts of the flush valve, casing and solenoid will obviously be chrome plated.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination, a flush valve, an electrical solenoid spaced from the flush valve, a casing connecting the flush valve and solenoid, a cup-shaped sleeve positioned within said casing and having a flow passage through the bottom and adjacent the solenoid, a valve seat surrounding said flow passage opening, a valve member movable toward and away from said seat in response to operation of said solenoid, a guide member in said casing cooperating with said sleeve to define a piston chamber, a piston movable in said chamber and having a plunger thereon extending into the flush valve for use in operating the flush valve, said guide member having an end wall with an opening for said plunger, a spring positioned about said plunger and bottomed on said guide member end wall, and flow passages about the exterior of said sleeve and guide member and inside of said casing for connecting the pressure side of the flush valve with one side of said valve seat, operation of said solenoid moving said valve member away from said valve seat permitting fluid pressure from the pressure side of said flush valve to pass through said flow passage to move said plunger to operate said flush valve.
2. The structure of claim 1 further characterized by and including a bleed opening in the piston to permit expulsion of the fluid between the valve seat and the piston when the piston is restored.
3. The structure of claim 2 further characterized by and including bleed openings in said guide member for use in expelling fluid as the piston is restored.
4. In combination, a flush valve, an electrical solenoid spaced from the flush valve, a casing connecting the flush valve and solenoid, a cup-shaped sleeve posi tioned within said casing and having a flow passage through the bottom end adjacent the solenoid, a valve seat surrounding said flow passage opening, a valve member movable toward and away from said seat in response to operation of said solenoid, a guide member in said casing cooperating with said sleeve to define a piston chamber, a piston movable in said chamber and having a plunger thereon extending into the flush valve for use in operating the flush valve, a spring positioned about said plunger, and flow passages about the exterior of said sleeve and guide member and inside of said casing for connecting the pressure side of the flush valve with one side of said valve seat, said flow passages being defined by a plurality of spaced ribs formed between the inside of the casing and the outside of the cup-shaped sleeve, operation of said solenoid moving said valve member away from said valve seat permitting fluid pressure from the pressure side of said flush valve to pass through said flow passage to move said plunger to operate said flush valve.
5. In combination, a flush valve, an electrical solenoid spaced from the flush valve, a casing connecting the flush valve and solenoid, a cup-shaped sleeve positioned within said casing and having a flow passage through the bottom end adjacent the solenoid, a valve seat surrounding said flow passage opening, a valve member movable toward and away from said seat in response to operation of said solenoid, a guide member in said casing cooperating with said sleeve to define a piston chamber, seal rings between the exterior of said guide member and the interior of said cup-shaped sleeve, a piston movable in said chamber and having a plunger thereon extending into the flush valve for use in operating the flush valve, a spring positioned about said plunger, and flow passages about the exterior of said sleeve and guide member and inside of said casing for connecting the pressure side of the flush valve with one side of said valve seat, operation of said solenoid moving said valve member away from said valve seat permitting fluid pressure from the pressure side of said flush valve to pass through said flow passage to move said plunger to operate said flush valve.
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|U.S. Classification||251/30.1, 251/33, 251/41|
|International Classification||F16K31/36, F16K31/40, E03D3/02, E03D3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||F16K31/406, E03D3/02, F16K31/402|
|European Classification||F16K31/40A, F16K31/40B, E03D3/02|