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Publication numberUS3788342 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 29, 1974
Filing dateFeb 14, 1973
Priority dateFeb 14, 1973
Also published asCA995096A1, DE2406025A1
Publication numberUS 3788342 A, US 3788342A, US-A-3788342, US3788342 A, US3788342A
InventorsMilette K, Quintana E, Uyeda T
Original AssigneeItt
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum breaker valve
US 3788342 A
Abstract
A vacuum breaker valve for use with a toilet such as employed in recreational vehicles. The valve comprises a two-piece plastic valve housing comprising a base member and a cap member sealed to one another. The base member includes a water inlet pipe and an outlet port. A valve element rests on the top of the water inlet pipe. The cap member has an atmospheric opening above the valve element. The base and cap members are formed with cylindrical walls positioned in nested coaxial relationship which define a tortuous path between the inlet and outlet port, which is greater than the actual vertical height of the valve.
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United States Patent Milette et al.

[ Jan. 29, 1974 VACUUM BREAKER VALVE 3,120,855 2/1964 Fischer 137/218 Inventors: Kenneth A. Milena, Laguna Beach; 3,180,352 4/1965 Kersten et al 137/218 Tim M. Uyeda, South San Gabriel Primary Examiner-Henry T. Klmksiek 5222:531 Huntmgton Attorney, Agent, or FirmThomas L. Peterson [73] Assignee: International Telephone and [57] ABSTRACT g gfi Corlmratlon New York A vacuum breaker valve for use with a toilet such as employed in recreational vehicles. The valve com- [22] Filed: Feb. 14, 1973 prises a two-piece plastic valve housing comprising a base member and a cap member sealed to one an- [211 Appl' 332371 other. The base member includes a water inlet pipe and an outlet port. A valve element rests on the top of [52] US. Cl. 137/218 the Water inlet pipe. The cap member has an atmo- [51] Int. Cl F 16k 45/00 spheric opening above the valve element. The base [58] Field of Search 251/333; nd p member are formed with cylindrical walls 137/216-218; 4/41 positioned in nested coaxial relationship which define a tortuous path between the inlet and outlet port, [56] References Cited which is greater than the actual vertical height of the UNITED STATES PATENTS valvel,342,955 6/1920 Gebhardt 251/333 10 Claims, 13 Drawing Figures 1 I V W411 28 m "1' v 4 34 y 6 40 I r 1 A I 50 '30 i I I 1 I 9O\-{ \\i1 L v 94 9e 62 I t 98 42 l 46 VACUUM BREAKER VALVE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to a valve assembly and, more particularly, to an improved vacuum breaker valve which is suitable for use with recreational vehicle toilets.

Statutory provisions require that toilet systems be employed with vacuum breaker valves to prevent syphoning of water out of the systems back to the fresh water supply. This requirement applies to toilets for recreational vehicles as well as standard household toilets. For this application, it is desirable that the vacuum breaker valve be simple in construction and operation, low cost, and comply with local State and Federal codes. It is the object of the present invention to provide such a valve.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the principal aspect of the present invention there is provided a vacuum breaker valve particularly suited for recreational vehicle toilets, although it could be used with other types of toilets if desired. The valve comprises a two-piece valve housing consisting of a base member and a cap member sealed to each other. The base member includes a water inlet pipe and an outlet port. A valve element rests on the top of the inlet pipe. The cap member is formed with an atmospheric opening above the valve element which is closed when the valve element is lifted off the inlet pipe. Upstanding walls formed on the base and cap members, respectively, are positioned in nested coaxial relationship to define a tortuous path between the inlet pipe and outlet port so that the linear distance between the inlet and outlet of the valve is greater than the actual vertical height of the valve. Thus, a relatively long tortuous path is provided in a compact assembly. This path serves to minimize the possibility of contaminates in the toilet bowl passing back through the vacuum breaker valve to the water supply during a sudden vacuum surge in the system.

Because the housing of the valve assembly of the invention is formed of only two parts, it is economical to manufacture by conventional molding techniques.

According to another aspect of the invention, the valve assembly is provided with two outlet ports. The upstanding walls on the base and cap members are shaped and arranged in such a manner that a pair of tortuous paths of different lengths are provided which communicate the inlet pipe with the outlet ports so that, when the valve element is lifted from the inlet pipe, fluid entering the pipe will exit at different pressures from the two outlet ports. The high pressure port is adapted to be connected to a wash down spray nozzle which may be directed at any point in the bowl for effective cleaning. The other outlet port is adapted to be connected to the toilet bowl inlet for rinsing and filling the bowl.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation of one form of a vacuum breaker valve constructed in accordance with the present invention, the valve being shown mounted on an upper wall portion of a toilet;

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2a is a bottom view of the valve element used in the assembly illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the valve illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the valve illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the base member of the valve illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side elevation of an alternative form of a valve constructed in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view taken along line 77 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the valve illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a bottom view of the valve illustrated in FIG.

FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the base member of the valve illustrated in FIG. 6;

FIG. 11 is a bottom view of the cap member of the valve illustrated in FIG. 6; and

FIG. 12 is a horizontal sectional view taken along line l212 of FIG. 7.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the various views, there is illustrated in FIGS. 1-5 one embodiment of the valve assembly of the present invention, generally indicated 20. The housing of the valve 20 consists of two integral parts, namely, a base member 22 and a cap member 24.

The base member 22 includes a vertically extending water inlet pipe 26 which terminates at its upper end in an annular rim or seat 28. A cylindrical wall 30 surrounds the upper portion of the pipe 26. The wall 30 and pipe 26 are joined together adjacent their upper ends by means of an annular flange 32. A portion 34 of the wall 30 extends slightly above the flange 32. A plurality of vertically extending strengthening ribs 36 extend between the inlet pipe 26 and the cylindrical wall 30. Four of such ribs 36 are illustrated in FIG. 4, it being understood, however, that any number of ribs may be provided. A second cylindrical wall 38 surrounds and is spaced from the cylindrical wall 30. The top edge 40 of the wall 38 is located below the upper portion 34 of the wall 30. The bottoms of the walls 30 and 38 are joined together by means of a flat wall or flange 42 which lies in a plane essentially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the inlet pipe 26. The wall or flange 42 extends outwardly beyond the cylindrical wall 38 and extends upwardly to provide a short cylindrical wall segment 44 which is spaced from the wall 38. An outlet port 46 extends downwardly from the bottom wall 42 on one side of the base member between the wall 38 and the wall segment 44.

The cap member 24 of the valve housing includes a cup-shaped portion 48 defining a cylindrical wall 50 which is coaxial to and mounted in nesting relationship between the walls 30 and 38 of the base member. The bottom edge 52 of the wall 50 is spaced slightly above the bottom wall 42 of the base member. The cap member also includes a second cylindrical wall 54 which surrounds and is spaced from the wall 50. The spacing between the walls 50 and 54 is sufficient to allow the cylindrical wall 38 of the base member to be nested in coaxial and spaced apart relationship with respect to said walls. The bottom or base 56 of the cup-shaped portion 48 of the cap member is spaced above the rim 28 and is formed with an atmospheric opening 58 which is coaxial with the rim. An annular flange 60 depends from the cup-shaped portion a short distance below the base 56 and joins the cylindrical wall 54. The top edge 40 of the cylindrical wall 38 on the base member is spaced below the flange 60 on the cap member. The outer diameter of the cylindrical wall 54 of the cap member is slightly less than the inner diameter of the short cylindrical wall segment 44 of the base member so that the two members may be mounted in telescoping relationship. An annular flange 62 extending outwardly from the wall 54 rests on the top 64 of the short wall segment 44 on the base member.

It is seen that the cylindrical parts and walls 26, 30, 50, 38, 54 and 44 are concentrically mounted with respect to each other.

Preferably, the cap and base member of the valve are formed of a suitable thermo plastic, such as polypropylene or ABS, and are sealed together at the mating junction of the walls 54 and 44 by spin welding, sonic welding, or solvent bonding.

A valve element, generally indicated 66, rests on the annular rim 28 at the top of the water inlet pipe 26. The valve element includes a generally flat top plate 68 formed with a downwardly extending cylindrical flange 70 at its outer periphery. Four radially extending ribs 72 extend downwardly from the plate 68. The distance between the outer edges 73 of opposed ribs of the valve element is less than the inner diameter of the water inlet pipe 26 adjacent its upper end so that the valve element may freely slide axially in the pipe. A circular gasket 74 of suitable resilient material is positioned on top of the plate 68 and is retained thereon by means of a rivet 76 which is force-fitted into a bore 78 in the valve element. A lip 80 extends downwardly from the cap member 48 adjacent the periphery of the opening 58. The diameter of this annular lip is less than the diameter of the valve element so that when the latter is lifted, due to water pressure in the pipe 26, the valve element will seat upon the lip 80 to close the atmospheric opening 58 thereby creating a continuous path to the outlet port 46.

The valve of the invention is adapted to be mounted on an upper wall portion 90 of a toilet assembly. The wall 90 is formed with a relatively large elongated aperture 92 and a smaller slot 94 spaced therefrom. The aperture is slightly longer than the distance between the remote sides of inlet pipe 26 and port 46. The lower ends of the inlet pipe 26 and outlet port 46 extend through the aperture 92 below the wall 90 when the valve 20 is mounted on the wall as best seen in FIG. 2. A small lip 96 extends outwardly from the left side of the outlet port 46. The upper surface of the lip 96 is spaced below the lower surface of the bottom wall 42 of the valve a distance slightly less than the thickness of the wall 90 so that the lip 96 will engage under the wall 92 to secure the valve thereto. At the opposite end of the valve there is formed a resilient latching finger 98 which extends downwardly from adjacent the upper portion 64 of the short wall segment 44. At the lower end of the finger 98 there is provided a pawl or latch 100 forming a shoulder 102 which engages the lower surface of the wall 90 when the valve is assembled thereon. As seen in FIG. 2, the finger 98 is deformable inwardly to the position shown in phantom to allow the finger to be inserted through the aperture 94 of the wall when the valve is mounted thereon. Thus, the lip 96 and latch or pawl member on the resilient finger 98 serve to frictionally hold the valve assembly on the wall 90.

It is seen from the description so far that there is provided by the present invention a valve assembly having a housing formed of only two parts, namely, the base member 22 and cap member 24. The nested cylindrical walls formed on the two parts cooperate to define a tortuous path between the inlet pipe 26 and the outlet port 46 which provides a linear path for liquid flow which is substantially greater than the vertical height of the valve assembly. Thus, an elongaged tortuous path is provided in a relatively compact assembly.

It will be appreciated that when water is introduced into the lower end of inlet pipe 26, the valve element 66 will lift off the rim 28 and close the atmospheric opening 58. The water will follow the path indicated by the arrows seen in FIG. 2, raising over the upper portion 34 of the wall 30, dropping downwardly through the space between the walls 30 and 50, passing upwardly through the space between the walls 50 and 38, then downwardly through the space between the walls 38 and 54, and out through the outlet port 46. As will be understood in the art, the outlet port 26 is adapted to be connected to a water supply for a toilet while the outlet port 46 is adapted to be connected to the toilet bowl, not shown. When the valve element 66 is seated on the rim 28, the port 46 is vented to atmosphere through the hole 58 in the cap member, thus breaking any vacuum which might be produced in the toilet system between the water supply and the outlet port. Thus, water in the toilet bowl connected to port 46 cannot be syphoned back through the valve to the water supply.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 612 of the drawings which illustrate an alternative form of the valve assembly of the present invention, generally indicated 20a. This valve is basically the same as that shown in FIGS. 1-5 except that the outer upstanding walls 38 and 54 of the base 22 and cap 24, respectively, have a generally oblong circular configuration in horizontal cross-section. The center axes of these outer upstanding walls are offset from the common axes of the inner cylindrical walls 30 and 50 of the assembly. in other words, the outer upstanding oblong configured walls are eccentrically disposed with respect to the inner cylindrical walls of the valve. As a consequence, the right side of the walls 38 and 54, as seen in FIG. 7, are spaced from the cylindrical walls 30 and 50 a distance greater than the opposite sides of the oblong walls, thereby defining therebetween a relatively large chamber on the right side of the valve. The valve illustrated in FIGS. 612 also differs from that shown in FIGS. 1-5 in that there is provided a second outlet port 112. The port 112 extends downwardly from the base plate 42 of the valve and is in direct communication with the large chamber 110. The port 112 is adapted to be connected to a spray outlet at the rim of a toilet bowl or to a hand operated sprayer. Thus, two tortuous paths of different lengths are formed in the valve, the longer path extending from valve seat 28 to outlet port 46 and the shorter path extending from valve seat 28 to outlet port 112. By this arrangement, there is provided a pressure drop in the valve such that water exiting through port 112 to the spray outlet has a higher pressure than the water exiting from the outlet port 46 to the bowl per se, thus allowing a stronger pressure for wash down by the spray than for filling the bowl.

The cap member 24 of the valve illustrated in FIGS. 6-12 is formed with a horizontally extending outer flange 116 terminating in a downwardly extending lip 117 which is sealed at its inner surface to the upstanding cylindrical wall segment 44 of the base member. A pair of projections 118 extend from opposite sides of the lip 117. The projections are provided with vertically extending passages 119 which are adapted to receive screws threaded upwardly through a toilet support plate (not shown) for securing the valve to the plate.

What is claimed is:

l. A vacuum breaker valve for use with a toilet or the like comprising:

a two-piece valve housing comprising a base member and a cap member sealed to one another;

said base member including a water-inlet pipe terminating at one end in an annular rim;

a valve element resting on said rim;

said base member further including at least one outlet port;

said cap member having an opening therein above said valve element adapted to be closed by said valve element when said element is lifted off said rim; and

means on said members defining a tortuous path communicating said inlet pipe with said outlet port whereby, when said valve element is lifted off said rim, fluid entering said inlet pipe will exit from said outlet port, said path defining means including generally cylindrical walls integrally formed on said base member and said cap member, respectively, surrounding said inlet pipe and positioned in nested coaxial relationship, said walls being spaced apart a distance sufficient to allow free flow of liquid therebetween.

2. A valve as set forth in claim 1 wherein:

said base member and said cap member are each integral plastic moldings;

said base member also has a relatively flat bottom wall;

said water inlet pipe and outlet port extend perpendicular from one side of and bottom wall; and said base member cylindrical wall extends perpendicular from the other side of said bottom wall.

3. A vacuum breaker valve for use with a toilet or the like comprising:

a two-piece valve housing comprising a base member and a cap member sealed to one another;

said base member including a water-inlet pipe terminating at one end in an annular rim;

a valve element resting on said rim;

said base member further including a pair of outlet ports;

said cap member having an opening therein above said valve element adapted to be closed by said valve element when said element is lifted off said rim; and

means on said members defining a pair of tortuous paths of different lengths communicating said inlet pipe with said outlet ports, respectively, whereby when said valve element is lifted off said rim, fluid entering said inlet pipe will exit at different pressures from said outlet ports.

4. A valve as set forth in claim 3 wherein:

said path defining means includes generally cylindrical walls on said base member and said cap member in nested coaxial relationship;

said path defining means also includes upstanding walls on said members of generally oblong circular configuration, said upstanding walls being in coaxial nested relationship; and

the center axes of said upstanding walls being offset from the axes of said cylindrical walls.

5. A valve as set forth in claim 3 wherein:

said path defining means includes a first pair of nested upstanding walls defining relatively narrow flow paths therebetween and a second pair of nested upstanding walls surrounding said first pair of walls and eccentrically disposed with respect thereto whereby one side of the walls of said second pair are spaced from the first pair a distance greater than the opposite side thereof, thereby defining between said one side and said first pair of walls a relatively large chamber.

6. A valve as set forth in claim 5 wherein:

one of said outlet ports communicates with said relatively large chamber; and

the other outlet port communicates with the space between the walls of said second pair.

7. A vacuum breaker valve for use with a toilet or the like comprising:

a two-piece valve housing comprising a base member and a cap member sealed to one another;

said base member including a water-inlet pipe terminating at one end in an annular rim;

a valve element resting on said rim;

said base member further including at least one outlet port;

said cap member having an opening therein above said valve element adapted to be closed by said valve element when said element is lifted off said rim;

means on sqid members defining a tortuous path communicating said inlet pipe with said outlet port whereby, when said valve element is lifted off said rim, fluid entering said inlet pipe will exit from said outlet port,

said base member also having a relatively flat bottom surface, said water inlet pipe and outlet port extending below said surface; and

a resilient finger on said base member extending downwardly below said surface and formed with a pawl at its terminal end.

8. A valve assembly comprising:

a two-piece valve housing comprising a base member and a cap member;

said base member including an upstanding water inlet pipe terminating at its upper end in an annular rim, a cylindrical wall surrounding said pipe and joined thereto adjacent their upper ends, an upstanding wall surrounding said cylindrical wall, a first flange joining the lower'ends of said cylindrical wall and said upstanding wall, and a second flange extending outwardly from the lower end of said upstanding wall;

said cap member including an inverted cup-shaped portion having cylindrical side walls concentric with said inlet pipe and nested between said cylindrical and upstanding walls of said base member, the bottom of said cup-shaped portion being spaced above said rim and having an opening therein adjacent to said rim, a second upstanding wall surrounding and spaced from said base member upstanding wall, a third flange joining the upper end of said second upstanding wall to said cup-shaped portion, and the lower portion of said second upstanding wall being joined to the periphery of said second flange;

said walls being spaced apart a distance sufficient to allow free flow of liquid therebetween;

a valve element resting on said rim; and

said base member further including at least one outlet port, said one port extending from said second flange and communicating with the space between the upstanding walls on said base and cap members.

9. A valve assembly as set forth in claim 8 wherein:

said upstanding walls are of generally oblong circular configuration; and

said outlet ports are disposed on generally opposite sides of said inlet pipe.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1342955 *Apr 19, 1918Jun 8, 1920Gebhardt Henry JValve
US3120855 *May 31, 1961Feb 11, 1964Hoover Ball & Bearing CoAnti-siphon ball cock assembly
US3180352 *May 4, 1962Apr 27, 1965Water Saver Faucet CoAnti-siphon check valve
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3929149 *May 23, 1974Dec 30, 1975Robert Manufacturing CompanyBackflow preventor for automatic dishwashers
US5492145 *Sep 26, 1994Feb 20, 1996Environmental System & Solutions, Inc.Anti-syphon fluid control valve apparatus and method
US5520367 *Sep 26, 1994May 28, 1996Environmental System & Solutions, Inc.Anti-syphon fluid control valve apparatus and method
US6123095 *May 12, 1998Sep 26, 2000Watersaver Faucet Co.Vacuum breaker with buoyant float cup
Classifications
U.S. Classification137/218
International ClassificationF16K24/06, F16K15/18, F16K15/00, F16K24/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16K24/06
European ClassificationF16K24/06
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 22, 1985ASAssignment
Owner name: ITT CORPORATION
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:INTERNATIONAL TELEPHONE AND TELEGRAPH CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004389/0606
Effective date: 19831122