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Publication numberUS3778577 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 11, 1973
Filing dateJan 3, 1973
Priority dateJan 3, 1973
Also published asCA986564A, CA986564A1
Publication numberUS 3778577 A, US 3778577A, US-A-3778577, US3778577 A, US3778577A
InventorsDavis J, Fromknecht C
Original AssigneeSinger Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Moisture sealing device for toggle switches
US 3778577 A
Abstract
A cap and wall structure for sealing a toggle switch against entry of moisture. The cap comprises an annular skirt encapsulating an annular wall formed about an opening in the wall structure or cover plate. The cap includes a pair of legs which lock it to the wall or plate but allows the cap to slide while a pair of tabs entrap the switch actuating member to actuate the same in response to movement of the cap.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent I 1 Fromknecht et al.

[ 51 Dec. 11, 1973 MOISTURE SEALING DEVICE FOR TOGGLE SWITCHES Inventors: Charles Thomas Fromknecht, I

Anderson; John C. Davis, Greenwood, both of SC.

The Singer Company, New York, N.Y.

Filed: Jan. 3, 1973 Appl. No.: 320,800

Assignee:

U.S. Cl. 200/168 G, 200/172 A Int. Cl. H0lh 9/04 Field of Search 200/168 G, 172 A References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 8/1945 Moyses 200/172 A 4/1971 Meyerhoefer 200/172 A 3,236,990 2/1966 Bates 200/168 G 3,188,438 6/1965 2,420,585 5/1947 2,252,829 8/1941 Bell 200/l72 A Primary Examiner-Robert K. Schaefer Assistant Examiner-William J. Smith AttorneyMarshall J. Breen et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A cap and wall structure for sealing a toggle switch against entry of moisture. The cap comprises an annular skirt encapsulating an annular wall formed about an opening in the wall structure or cover plate. The cap includes a pair of legs which lock it to the wall or plate but allows the cap to slide while a pair of tabs entrap the switch actuating member to actuate the same in response to movement of the cap.

13 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures MOISTURE SEALING DEVICE FOR TOGGLE SWITCHES BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to moisture proofing devices, and more particularly to a structure adapted to prevent the entry of liquids to a conventional toggle type switch.

In addition to the conventional wall switch, most electical appliances utilize conventional toggle type switches actuated by the finger of an operator. Many of these appliances are required to operate outside the home. For example, utility type suction cleaners such as those disclosed in co-pending U.S. Pat. No. 3,732,667, patented May 15, 1973 and U.S. application No. 320,802 filed Jan. 3, 1973 are used outside for vacuuming patios, driveways, walks, etc., and may be inadvertently left outdoors. If the weather changes overnight and a rainstorm develops the switch may be rendered useless or hazardous unless it is properly sealed against the entry of moisture. Moreover, there is a trend to build appliances for outdoor use with a double insulation to protect the user against a dangerous shock in the event the primary insulation fails. Furthermore, the conventional wall switch utilized in the home may not be safe under certain situations, such as those existing in the bathroom, kitchen or laundry room due to the use of large amounts of water and the possibility of one operating such switches being grounded. Moreover, conventional toggle switches may be utilized outside the home on the patio or deck area and thus exposed to the elements of the weather.

Although the known prior art has provided many water proof switch constructions none have provided a simple and effective solution to this problem.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is therefore a primary object of this invention to provide a simple and effective device for sealing a toggle switch against the entry of liquid.

Another object of the present invention is the provision of a moisture proofing switch cap and a cooperating wall or plate structure which prevents entry of moisture to a toggle type switch.

A further object of this invention is the provision of a switch cap in combination with the wall construction of an appliance or the like which will effectively seal a toggle type switch against entry of moisture.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a switch cap and a cooperating cover plate for moisture proofing a conventional toggle switch.

Briefly, these objects are obtained by providing a switch cap having an annular skirt cooperating with an annular wall formed about an opening in the wall structure or cover plate. The capincludes a pair of legs which snap beneath the wall construction" or cover plate to secure the cap thereto while allowing the cap to slide to actuate the toggle switching lever.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The particular features and advantages of the invention as well as other objects will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view partially broken away of a moisture sealing cap constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of the cap of FIG.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of an appliance floor or wall incorporating a first embodiment of the present invention and illustrating the moisture cap and cooperating wall structure thereof;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the construction shown in FIG. 3, but taken at right angles thereto;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the wall construction of FIG. 3 with the cap removed;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 3 but of a second embodiment of the present invention illustrating the moisture sealing cap and a cooperating wall cover plate, for convenience the wall has been rotated from the vertical to a horizontal position; and

FIG. 7 is an elevational view taken through the second embodiment of FIG. 6, but at right angles thereto.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals denote similar parts throughout the various views, a moisture sealing cap constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention is generally indicated by the reference numeral 20. The cap includes a top wall 22 which in the preferred embodiments is substantially rectangular in plan, but may be of any other convenient shape. Depending downwardly from the top is an annular skirt 24 comprising. parallel side walls 26 and 28, and parallel end walls 30 and 32. Each side and end wall of the skirt includes at its lowermost edge a flange 34 which seats against a wall or plate surface as will hereinafter become apparent from the description. Depending downwardly from and formed preferably integral with the bottom surface of the top wall 22 is a spaced pair of legs 36 and 38. The legs are parallel to the side walls 26 and 28 and spaced inwardly therefrom. The free end of each leg includes a respective beveled edge 40 and 42 above which is formed a respective recess or groove 44 and 46. A respective ledge 48 and is thereby defined at the bottom of the respective groove 44 and 46. For reasons which would become clear, the beveled edges 40 and 42 act as camming surfaces for aiding in insertion of the cap in a wall or plate, while the grooves 44 and 46 and the ledges 48 and 50 act to secure the cap properly therein. Also depending downwardly from the bottom surface of the wall 22, preferably parallel to the end walls, is a pair of actuating tabs 52 and 54 which act, and should be of length, to entrap the actuating finger member of a conventional toggle type switch. The cap, and each of its elements, may be conveniently molded from a high impact polypropylene material.

In the first embodiment the cap may be used in combination with a wall structure 56 such as that forming the top of the vacuum cleaner disclosed in the latter of the aforesaid Patent Application. This particular wall structure includes a raised portion 58 to elevate the position of the cap, but it should be understood that the wall may be planar and that the raised portion is merely a result of the particular vacuum cleaner design. The wall 56 in substantially the central portion of the raised portion 58 is formed with an opening60 which preferably may be of the same shape as the cap. Secured by conventional means to a surface 62 beneath the opening is a conventional toggle switch generallyillustrated at 64.

A toggle switch is defined herein and used throughout the specification and claims as a two-position electrical switch with a short knob or actuating finger member such as 66 that is flipped up or down, or from side to side, to open or close a circuit. Examples of such switches are the conventional slide switches illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, and the conventional pivotable switch such as the wall type mounting switch illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7. It should be understood, however, that the actuating member 66 is shiftable in a single plane, that being the plane of the paper in FIGS. 3 and 6. In the embodiment of FIG. 3 the member 66 is slidable while in FIG. 6 the member 166 is pivotable from right to left and vice versa. Conventinal electric wires 68 and 70 lead to and from the terminals 72 and 74 of the switch. In the horizontal installation of FIGS. 3 through the member 66 projects upwardly from, but not necessarily out, of the opening 60.

Forming a border about the opening 60, is an upstanding annular wall 76 of the same geometrical shape in plan as the skirt 24 of the cap, and is defined by the walls 78, 80, 82 and 84. Since the cap preferably is rectangular the walls 80 and 84 are parallel to each other and the walls 78 and 82 are parallel to each other. The lateral spacing between the outer surfaces of walls 78 and 82 is substantially equal to the spacing between the inner surfaces of the cap walls 26 and 28, while the lateral spacing between the walls 80 and 84 is less than that between the cap walls 30 and 32 to thus define a clearance space therebetween. Furthermore, the height of the walls defining the annular wall 76 is equal to or less than the height of the wall defining the skirt 24 as measured from the bottom of the flange 34 to the bottom surface of the wall 22. Preferably the edges of the wall forming the opening 60 parallel to the plane of movement of the member 66 includes a respective lip 86 and 88.

It should now be clear that the cap 24 may be mounted in the floor structure 56 by inserting the legs 36 and 38 into the opening 60 while the skirt 24 circumscribes the wall 76 and the tabs 52 and 54 entrap the member 66 therebetween. The legs 36 and 38 are squeezed slightly toward each other as they are inserted until the cams 40 and 42 snap beneath the floor opening. When the flange 34 engages the floor the lips 86 and 88 may be received within the groove 44 and 46 if the location of the grooves is designed properly. The cap may then slide left to right and vice versa as shown in FIG. 3 while the ledges 48 and 50 secure the cap vertically in the hole aided by the lip and groove arrangement. The clearance space previously defined by the difference in space between the walls 80 and 84 and the walls 30 and 32 is provided for the shifting movement of the member 66 during actuation from on to off and vice versa.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and'7, a conventional metal electrical wall box 90 is disclosed mounted within an opening 92 formed in a wall 94. For convenience of illustration, the subject matter of FIGS. 6 and 7 have been turned on heir side. A conventional pivotable toggle switch 164 is conventionally mounted within the box 90 and includes an actuating member 166. The cap illustrated in these Figures is substantially the same as the cap of FIGS. 1 tbroughS but for a shortening of the legs, and therefore the same reference numerals are applied to the cap of the second embodiment. In this embodiment the cover plate 156 is utilized in place of the floor of the first embodiment and is secured to a wall 94 and to the box by conventional means such as screws 96. The plate 156 in all other respects is similar to the floor 56 but for the absence of a raised portion such as 58. It therefore includes an opening 160 boarded by an upstanding annular wall 176 defined by walls 178, 180, 182 and 184 and may include the lips 186 and 188. The manner of inserting and the manner of operating the cap in the second embodiment is the same as that illustrated and described in the first embodiment.

It should thus be clear to one skilled in the art that I the annular walls 76 and 176 provide a moisture barrier about the switches and that the construction of the cap in combination with the annular wall prevents moisture from entering the switches.

Numerous alterations of the structure herein disclosed will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. However, it is to be understood that the present disclosure relates to a preferred embodiment of the invention which is for purposes of illustration only and not to be construed as a limitation of the invention. All such modifications which do not depart from the spirit of the invention are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described the nature of the invention, what is claimed herein is:

1. In combination, a wall structure having an opening frmed therein, an annular forward facing wall forming a border about the opening, a toggle switch arranged within the opening and having a forwardly projecting planarly shiftable actuating member, and a moisture sealing cap, said cap comprising a substantially forwardly facing wall, an annular skirt rearwardly depending from the forwardly facing cap wall, the depth of said skirt from the rear surface of said cap wall being at least equal to the forward facing depth of the annular wall, said annular skirt having the same annular shape as the annular wall, the skirt in a plane parallel to the plane of movement of said member being longer than said annular wall so as to form a clearance space for movement of said member, and in a plane normal to the plane of movement of said member the interior width of said skirt is substantially equal to the exterior width of said annular wall, said cap including a pair of legs spaced from the skirt parallel to the plane of movement of the member depending rearwardly into the opening beyond the wall structure, each of said legs including means for securing the cap to the wall structure while allowing the cap to slide in the plane of member movement, and means in the cap for entrapping the member so that movement of the cap moves the member.

2. In the combination recited in claim 1 wherein said means for securing the cap to the wall structure comprises a ledge formed on the leg, each ledge facing away from said plane of member movement and underlying the wall structure.

3. In the combination recited in claim 2 wherein said means for entrapping the member includes a pair of tabs depending from the cap and spaced on either side of said member in the plane of member movement.

4. In the combination recited in claim 3 wherein said securing means includes a groove formed in each of said legs adjacent said ledge for receiving the wall structure forming each edge of said opening in planes parallel to member movement.

5. In the combination recited in claim 1 wherein said opening, annular wall and skirt are substantially rectangular.

6. In combination, a moisture proofing cover plate and cap for a wall mounted electrical toggle switch, said plate having a substantially rectangular opening formed therein, an annular forward facing wall forming a border about said opening, said switch being mounted behind the opening and having a forwardly projecting planarly shiftable activating member, said cap comprising a substantially forwardly facing wall, a rectangular annular skirt rearwardly depending from the forwardly facing cap wall, the depth of said skirt from the rear of said cap wall being at least equal to the forward facing depth of the annular wall, the skirt in a plane parallel to the plane of movement of said member being longer than said annular wall so as to form a clearance space for movement of said member, and in a plane normal to the plane of movement of said member the interior width of said skirt is substantially equal to the exterior width of said annular wall, said cap including a pair of legs spaced from the skirt parallel to the plane of movement of the member depending rearwardly into the opening beyond the plate, each of said legs including means for securing the cap to the plate while allowing the cap to slide in the plane of movement, and means in the cap for entrapping the member so that movement of the cap moves the member.

7. In the combination recited in claim 6 wherein said means for securing the cap to the plate comprises a ledge formed on the leg, each ledge facing away from said plane of member movement and underlying the plate.

8. In the combination recited in claim 7 wherein said means for entrapping the member includes a pair of tabs depending from the cap and spaced on either side of said member in the plane of member movement.

9. In the combination recited in claim 8 wherein said securing means includes a groove formed in each of said legs adjacent said ledge for receiving a lip of the plate forming each edge of said opening in planes parallel to member movement.

10. A moisture proofing cover plate and cap adapted for use over a conventional wall mounted electrical toggle switch having a forwardly projecting planarly shiftable activating member, said plate having a substantially rectangular opening formed therein, an annular forward facing wall forming a border about said opening, said cap comprising a substantially forwardly facing wall, a rectangular annular skirt rearwardly depending from the forwardly facing cap wall, the depth of said skirt from the rear of said cap wall being at least equal to the forward facing depth of the annular wall, the skirt in a plane parallel to the plane of movement of said switch member being longer than said annular wall so as to form a clearance space for movement of said member, and in a plane normal to the plane of movement of said member the interior width of said skirt is substantially equal to the exterior width of said annular wall, said cap including a pair of legs spaced from the skirt parallel to the plane of movement of the member depending rearwardly into the opening beyond the plate, each of said legs including means for securing the cap to the plate while allowing the cap to slide in the plane of movement, and means in the cap for entrapping the member so that movement of the cap moves the member.

11. In the combination recited in claim 10 wherein said means for securing the cap to the plate comprises a ledge formed on the leg, each ledge facing away from said plane of member movement and underlying the plate.

12. In the combination recited in claim 11 wherein said means for entrapping the member includes a pair of tabs depending from the cap and spaced on either side of said member in the plane of member movement.

13. In combination recited in claim 12 wherein said securing means includes a groove formed in each of said legs adjacent said ledge for receiving a lip of the plate forming each edge of said opening in planes parallel to member movement.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2252829 *May 2, 1940Aug 19, 1941Bell William BSwitch plate
US2382738 *Mar 7, 1944Aug 14, 1945Moyses Harry EDecorative switch manipulator
US2420585 *Sep 21, 1944May 13, 1947Delta Electric CompanyFlashlight
US3188438 *Mar 22, 1962Jun 8, 1965John LovascoToggle switch insulator
US3236990 *Oct 28, 1964Feb 22, 1966Reginald A BatesWeatherproof switch assembly
US3576408 *Jan 12, 1970Apr 27, 1971Gen Signal Corp TheSwitch actuator for vacuum cleaner
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3917921 *Sep 11, 1974Nov 4, 1975Illinois Tool WorksSlide actuated switch
US4185178 *Aug 31, 1978Jan 22, 1980Drees Anthony JControl cover for power window or power door lock
US4568807 *Aug 2, 1984Feb 4, 1986Eaton CorporationTrigger tool handle switch with structural dust seal
US4914265 *Aug 3, 1988Apr 3, 1990Nicolet Plastique LteeExterior cover for an electrical socket or switch
US5087803 *May 22, 1990Feb 11, 1992Hubbell IncorporatedElectrical switch for hazardous environments
US5380968 *Sep 29, 1993Jan 10, 1995A.P.M. Hexseal CorporationProtective cover for switches
US6204461 *Oct 18, 1999Mar 20, 2001King Of Fans, Inc.Cover for ceiling fan reversing switch
US7638723 *Mar 21, 2007Dec 29, 2009Cooper Technologies CompanyToggle flange
US7709761Mar 21, 2007May 4, 2010Cooper Technologies CompanyElectrical device cradle with multiple integral support regions
US7728240Nov 8, 2007Jun 1, 2010Cooper Technologies CompanyElectrical control device
US7737377Mar 21, 2007Jun 15, 2010Cooper Technologies CompanySlip connection
US20060255891 *Mar 13, 2006Nov 16, 2006Porterfield Donald EElectrical component seal boot
US20090121661 *Nov 8, 2007May 14, 2009Cooper Technologies CompanyElectrical control device
EP0948008A2 *Jul 1, 1998Oct 6, 1999C & K Components, Inc.Sealed slide switch
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/302.3, 200/333
International ClassificationH01H23/14, H01H23/00, H01H23/06
Cooperative ClassificationH01H23/14, H01H23/06
European ClassificationH01H23/14, H01H23/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Aug 24, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: RYOBI MOTOR PRODUCTS CORP., SOUTH CAROLINA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SINGER COMPANY, THE A DE CORP.;REEL/FRAME:005053/0154
Effective date: 19880816
Owner name: SINGER ACQUISITION HOLDINGS COMPANY, 8 STAMFORD FO
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SINGER COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:004998/0214
Owner name: SINGER ACQUISITION HOLDINGS COMPANY, A CORP. OF DE
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:SINGER COMPANY, THE;REEL/FRAME:005003/0684
Effective date: 19880425