US 3797518 A
A ballcock assembly fabricated of a plastic material, in which the standpipe is unitized to include both the water supply line and tank delivery line, and is sectionalized to provide upper and lower sections telescopically interconnected for variable height adjustment to meet the different installation requirements necessitated by a variety of types and sizes of toilet flushing tanks.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Holm et al.
[ ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT BALLCOCK ASSEMBLY Zukley 137/426 X Mar. 19, 1974 Primary Examiner-Alan Cohan Assistant ExaminerDavid R. Matthews Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Whann & McManigal [5 7] ABSTRACT flushing tanks.
The upper section of the standpipe carries a valve housing for a float-operated valve with an inlet flow throttling mechanism that operates in successive stages to first cause a greater than normal submergence of the float, and secondly to release the float for operation with a snap-action to move the valve to fully closed position.
Further, the assembly embodies innovations substantially reducing the operational noises.
16 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 7- a 34 i 71/ 2e 4 70 1 25 274 v 27a i] .4 .1295 24 -a0b 4 25 1 1 l C5- 25; 2 i s.
i /9b i 1 F 1] 5 M I m 1 ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT BALLCOCK ASSEMBLY PRIOR ART In the prior art there are a number of ballcock structures for producing the general objectives of applicants ballcock assembly. The closest art known to applicants are the following patents:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to float operated valves.
Heretofore, it has been known generally from U.S. Letters Pat. No. 2,827,073 to provide a tank refilling valve assembly with an adjustable standpipe to permit variation in the height at which the discharge end thereof is supported above the tank within which the valve is installed. The disclosed structure in this patent is rather complicated and expensive in that it involves long threaded portions on the inlet tube, and which limit the extent of adjustment.
The present invention overcomes the objectionable limitations of the patented device as shown in the foregoing patent, and provides a sectionalized standpipe assembly which includes the water supply line and tank delivery line in spaced relation to provide strength so that the assembly can be constructed of plastic material, and wherein the sections of the standpipe assembly are in telescoped relation so that height adjustments of the order of to 14 inches may be readily accomplished in a facile manner, and wherein the delivery line to the tank will always discharge water at the tank bottom, thus aiding in the elimination of noise.
Also, it has heretofore been known generally from U.S. Letters Pat. Nos. 2,635,622 and 3,070,.1 18, to utilize a valving arrangement which will operate so as to produce a quick closing action of the valve by the associated float. In these patents, the quick closing action is dependent upon the use of a flexible disc member and its being flexed under certain operating conditions. While the mechanism does produce the desired result, the problem arises that these discs over relative long periods of operation, have to be replaced and lose their flexible characteristics to such an extent that the desired quick closing action becomes modified and produces erratic and unstable performance. The present invention overcomes the foregoing by providing a structure, wherein the quick closing or snap-action of the valve to fully closed position is obtained by coacting elements which are fabricated from rigid materials, and thus provide stable and dependable continued operations over long periods of time, and which do not have to be replaced.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates generally to float-operated valves for maintaining a supply of water in a reservoir, and is more particularly concerned with valves of the type generally referred to in the plumbing field as a ballcock valve such as used in connection with the flushing tank of a toilet fixture.
It is one object of the herein described invention to provide an improved ballcock assembly which is of simplified sturdy construction, more efficient in operation, which requires a low order of maintenance, and has a greater field of adaptation for the purpose intended.
A further object is to provide a ballcock assembly having an extremely low noise factor.
Another object is to provide in a ballcock valve assembly, unique means for obtaining longitudinal variation of the elements forming the standpipe for the supplying and delivery of water to the flushing tank.
Another more detailed object in this connection is to provide an adjustable height standpipe structure in which both the water supply line and tank delivery line will be simultaneously adjusted, and wherein the water will always be delivered at the bottom of a tank, thus permitting a wide use of the ballcock assembly for a variety of flushing tanks having different installation requirements.
It is also an object of the present invention to provide a ballcock assembly with improved float-controlled valving mechanism, which sequentially operates to first cause more than normal emersion of the float, and thereafter release the float for movement under its increased emersion forces to move the valve to its fully closed cut-off seated position with a snap action.
Further objects and advantages of the invention will be brought out in the following part of the specification, wherein detailed description is for the purpose of fully disclosing a single embodiment of the invention without placing limitations thereon.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring to the accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a ballcock assembly according to the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of the same as taken substantially on line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view as seen from the top in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a transverse sectional view taken substantially on line 4-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view showing the several operating positions of the valve element.
DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring more specifically to the drawings, for illustrative purposes, the ballcock assembly of the present invention is generally indicated in FIG. 1 as comprising generally a ballcock valving structure 10, which is supported at the uppermost end of a standpipe 111, the lowermost end of which is supported in a conventional manner on the bottom wall 12 of a toilet flush tank by means of an integrally formed inner annular flange 13 at one end of a threaded nipple 14 adapted to extend through an opening in the bottom wall 112 to receive a securing nut 15. The flange 13 and nut 15 coact to clampingly attach the assembly in operating position, a sealing washer 16 being interposed in conventional manner to provide a sealed mounting in the tank.
As will best be seen in FIG. 2, the standpipe 111 is sectionalized to provide a fixed bottom section 11a which is attached to the tank bottom, and a top section 11b which is attached to the ballcock valving structure, the
standpipe sections being telescopically interconnected for lengthwise adjustments by means which will be subsequently described in detail.
The bottom section of the standpipe is fabricated to provide a rigid body 18 of generally transverse ovate configuration and in which parallel longitudinally extending bores 19a and 19b are diametrically positioned on opposite side of an axial longitudinal web 20. The lowermost end of the bore 19a is in communication with the uppermost end of the nipple 14, while the bore 19b at its lowermost end is closed by means of an end wall 21 containing a restricted discharge opening 22 which is positioned above an outwardly and downwardly inclined deflecting surface 23 on the upper side of the annular flange 13 which serves to direct the delivered flow in a direction substantially along and parallel to the bottom surface of the tank with a minimum of noise.
At the uppermost end of the bottom section 11a, the body 18 is formed with a relatively long neck extension 24 through which the bore 19a extends, and a relatively shorter neck extension 25 with reference to the bore As shown in FIG. 2, the ballcock valving structure embodies a two-part housing as generally indicated by the numeral 26, and which is complsed of a bottom or lower wall portion 26a and an upper or cap portion 26b. The bottom wall portion 26a is integrally formed with tubular extensions 27a and 27b to thus form the top section 11!) of'the adjustable standpipe. The tubular extensions are of a size, length and spacing such that they can be telescopically assembled in the bores 19a and 19b of the bottom section 11a of the standpipe. As thus assembled, the tubular extension 27a coacts with the bore 19a to form the water supply line to the ballcock housing, while the tubular extension 27b and associated bore 19b provide the water delivery line to the tank. Each of the tubular extensions is provided along its length at approximately l-inch intervals with a plurality of circumferentially extending O-ring receiving grooves 28. This arrangement permits adjustment of the ballcock housing and ballcock therein at the desired operative position as required by a particular flush tank, simply by a telescopic movement of the top section of the standpipe with respect to the bottom section. At the desired position, O-rings, as indicated at 29a and 29b, which have been previously threaded onto the tubular extensions and positioned in the desired groove, are sealingly compressed by associated locking nuts 30a and 30b, respectively, having threaded engagement with the neck extensions 24 and 25. As a safety feature, the tubular extension 27a may be provided with an additional O-ring sea], as indicated at 31, in the lowermost groove 28 to prevent back-flow in the event that the lock nut 30a should become loosened.
As will be seen in FIG. 2, the lower wall portion 26a of the housing and the upper or cap portion 26b form a valve chamber 33. Water flows into this chamber from the tubular extension 27a through a restricted opening 34 in a lower side of the chamber, this opening being circumscribed by a valve seat 35. Flow of water from the chamber 33 to the tubular extension 27b is through an opening 36 which is circumscribed by a seat 37. The coating 36 is at one end of a passage which converges to a restricted opening 38 at its other end where it is in communication with the upper end of the tubular extension 27b.
lnlet flow to the chamber 33 is controlled by a valve element 39 having a stem 40 guidingly supported in a cylindrical bore 41 formed in the upper side of the chamber, this bore supporting the valve element in axial alignment with the restricted opening 34. The stem is sealed with respect to the cylindrical bore 41 by a conventional groove supported circumferentially extending O-ring 42.
At its lower end, the valve element has a recess 43 which receives a valve washer 44 for valving coaction with the valve seat 35.
The upper cap portion 26b of the housing is provided with an upwardly extending projection which forms a bracket 45 having an end portion positioned within a slot opening 46 of a rectangularly formed end portion of a lever member 47 and pivotally supports the lever member by means of a pivot pin 48. This rectangular end portion of the lever member 47 is provided with a downwardly extending transverse rib 49 with a rounded lower edge 50 for making bearing engagement with the uppermost end of the stem 40. On the opposite side of the pin 48, the lever member 47 is provided with a downwardly directed adjustable stop screw 51 which engages at its lower end with a pad surface 52 for limiting and determining the clockwise pivotal movement of the lever on the pin 48. Screw threaded into the extended end 53 of the lever member is a rod 54 which is adapted to connect with a float, not shown, in a conventional manner.
The float control for the valve element as thus far described would operate in a manner characteristic of typical float-operated valves, and as the float gradually rises and the valve gradually approaches a closed position, the water flow materially diminishes, with the result that the time for filling the tank is materially extended and the throttled delivery of water to the tank produces objectionable noises.
The construction of the valving mechanism for overcoming the above noted objectionable operations of typical flow-type operated valves, constitutes an important feature of the present invention, and will not be described. As will be seen in FIG. 2, the lowermost end of the valve element has been extended outwardly beyond the valve washer to provide a circumferentially extending peripheral margin 55 in which there is formed an annular downwardly opening groove 56 containing an inner side wall 57, a bottom wall 58 and outer side wall 59 which constitutes the inner surface of an outer depending lip 60.
As best seen in FIG. 5, a cylindrical wall 61 surrounds and is outwardly spaced from the valve seat 35. This wall is integrally formed with and extends upwardly from the lower wall portion 26a of the housing and is so oriented that as the valve element 39 moves to seated position, the cylindrical wall will extend into the annular groove 56. The cylindrical wall is formed with an inner wall surface 62 of uniform diameter which extends the entire height of the cylindrical wall, whereas the outer surface of the cylindrical wall is stepped. The lowermost portion of the cylindrical wall has a circumferentially extending outer surface 63 which connects at its uppermost end with an outer surface 64 of lesser diameter through an upwardly and inwardly inclined circumferential shoulder 65.
The valve element and cylindrical wall coact during the closing of the valve element to form a cavity which is in communication with outlet orifices which are sequentially effective to reduce the outlet flow from the cavity at predetermined first and second positions in the valve closing movement. The first of these positions is indicated in FIG. 5 wherein the valve element and cylindrical wall are shown in full lines. At this position, the inner side wall 57 of the annular groove coacts with the inner surface 62 of the cylindrical wall to provide an outflow orifice as indicated at a- Upon further closing movement of the valve element, the outer side wall 59 of the groove reaches a second'position as indicated in dotted lines, wherein the outer side wall 59 of the groove coacts with the lower outer surface 63 of the cylindrical wall to form a further restricted outflow orifice as indicated at b. It will be noted that in going from the first position to the second position, the effective pressure area on the valve element is increased with respect to the inlet water within the cavity.
The inclined shoulder 65 serves to guide the lip 60 to a position surrounding the lower outer surface 63 of the cylindrical wall, and also during movement of the valve element from the first position to the second position acts to deflect the water discharge into the chamber at an inclined fanning out direction.
With the valving arrangement as described above, when the tank has been flushed, the float will have dropped to a position as limited by the setting of the stop screw 51. In such position, the valve will be moved to a fully opened position due to the force of water through the restricted opening 34 acting on the bottom of the valve element. As the water level in the tank increases, the float will move under its normal bouyancy until the valve element reaches the first position as shown in full lines in FIG. 5, wherein the restricted orifice a results in an increase of pressure on the bottom of the valve element. This increased pressure acts to increasingly submerge the float to a greater depth than its normal position. As the valve further moves towards a closing position, while maintaining only slightly decreased flow for filling the tank, the second position as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 5 will be reached, with the result that a substantially increased constant pressure is applied against the closing movement of the valve. As soon as this increased pressure is exceeded by the float valve closing force, the float will move with a snap action and thus carry the valve element quickly to its fully closed position. Thus, a more positive operation is obtained than in the case of typical float valve operations.
As shown in FIG. 2, a flexible diaphragm 66 of rubber, plastic, or other suitable material, extends across the chamber 33 and has a peripheral bead 67 positioned in receiving grooves on the confronting faces of the lower wall portion 261: and cap portion 26b of the housing to provide a seal therebetween. This diaphragm has an opening 68 which closely surrounds the cylindrical wall 61, and another opening 69 which is coaxial with the seat 37 but of smaller diameter so as to provide an overhanging lip for the outlet opening 36, this overhanging lip being deflectable into the opening 36 by the pressure and flow of the water out of the chamber 33, the deflected lip thus forming a streamlined passage and reducing flow noises. Adjacent the cylindrical wall 61, the diaphragm serves as a cushion for the outflow of water from the valve elements as dirccted by the shoulder 65, thereby serving to cushion and further reduce flow noises.-
Anti-siphon openings 70 are provided in the bottom wall portion 26a, each of these openings being circumscribed by a valve seat 71 having valving relation with the diaphragm 66. When the pressure within the valve chamber is reduced, the chamber will be connected to atmosphere. Above the diaphragm, the chamber 33 is in communication with a fitting 72 for making a conventional connection with a refill tube 73.
From the foregoing description and drawings it will be clearly evident that the delineated objects and features of the invention will be accomplished.
Various modifications may suggest themselves to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of our invention, and, hence, we do not wish to be restricted to the specific form or forms shown or uses mentioned, except to the extent indicated in the appended claims.
I. A ballcock valve assembly for controlling the supply of water to a toilet flushing tank, comprising:
a. a standpipe structure;
b. means for connecting the lowermost end of said structure with the tank, and providing a water supply inlet to the standpipe;
c. valve control means at the uppermost end of said structure for controlling delivery of water into the tank; and
d. length adjustable flow connections between the lowermost and uppermost ends of said structure, including tubular axially slidable telescoped members extendably and retractably adjustable to variably position the valve control means at predetermined selectable heights within the tank.
2. A ballcock valve assembly according to claim 1, including means for releaseably locking said telescoped members in a selected position of adjustment.
3. A ballcock valve assembly according to claim 1, wherein the lowermost end also includes a discharge opening for delivery of water into the tank.
4. A ballcock valve assembly according to claim 3, wherein the flow connections comprise separate flow paths in laterally spaced relation for water supplied to the valve control means and water delivered from the valve control means to said discharge opening.
5. A ballcock valve assembly according to claim 1, wherein one of said telescoped members is provided with a plurality of axially spaced circumferentially extending sealing ring receiving grooves corresponding with selectible height adjustments, and the other of said members mounts a lock and sealing nut for securing the members in sealed adjusted relation.
6. A ballcock valve assembly according to claim 4, wherein the lowermost end of the structure comprises a unitary body having parallel bores with open top ends, one of said bores being in communication with said water supply inlet and the other being in communication with the water discharge opening, and the uppermost end of the structure comprises spaced parallel tubular members adapted for endwise insertion into said open top ends for telescopic axial adjustment within said bores.
7. A ballcock valve for controlling supply of water to a toilet flushing tank, comprising:
a. a valve housing defining a valve chamber;
[1. a water inlet in communication with said valve chamber through a restricted opening in a lower side thereof circumscribed by a first valve seat;
c. a water outlet in communication with said chamber through an outlet opening in said lower side in lateral spaced relation to said inlet opening, said outlet opening being circumscribed by an annular seat surface;
d. a valve member in valving relation with said first valve seat and having a stem guidingly supported in an upper side of said chamber;
6. a flexible diaphragm extending across said chamber above said annular seat surface, and being supported peripherally in said housing, said diaphragm having one opening for the passage of said valve member, and another opening coaxial with said annular seat surface but of smaller diameter than the seat diameter, whereby an overhanging lip of the diaphragm is deflectable over said seat surface during water outflow to provide a streamlined noise reducing flow passage; and
. means including a float connected with said valve stem for controlling the operation of said valve element in response to changes in water level within the flushing tank.
8. A ballcock valve according to claim 7, wherein said outlet opening is at one end of a converging passage connecting at its other end with a smaller restricting opening.
9. A ballcock valve according to claim 8, including at least one anti-siphon vent opening in the lower side of said chamber circumscribed by a seat having valving relation with said diaphragm.
10. A ballcock valve for controlling supply of water to a toilet flushing tank, comprising:
a. a valve housing defining a valve chamber;
b. a water inlet in communication with said valve chamber thorugh an opening in a lower side thereof circumscribed by a valve seat;
0. a cylindrical wall around and outwardly spaced from said seat extending inwardly from the lower side of the valve chamber;
, d. a water outlet from said chamber through an opening in a wall of said chamber;
e. a valve element having a stem guidingly supported in an upper side of said chamber, and a lower end in valving relation with said valve seat, whereby said valve element tends to open in response to water pressure at said inlet;
f. a float for operating said valve stem and arranged to exert a downward force to close said valve element;
g. a circumferentially extending radial projection of rigid material carried by the lower end of said stem and forming with said wall a cavity having an annular outlet orifice between the projection and the cylindrical wall;
h. and means for sequentially reducing the flow area of said orifice at predetermined closing movement positions of the valve element, whereby at a first position the force tending to open the valve element will be increased to a value such that the float will be increasingly submerged, and at a second position the force tending to open the valve element will be of a value such that, when exceeded by the increasing float valve closing force, will permit movement of the valve element to fully seated position by the float with a snap action.
11. A ballcock valve according to claim 10, wherein said means comprises at said first position a co-action between a wall surface of said valve element and an inner surface of said cylindrical wall, and at said second position a coaction between a wall surface of said valve element and an outer surface of said cylindrical wall.
12. A ballcock valve according to claim 10, wherein the effective pressure area of the valve element is smaller at said first position than the effective pressure area at said second position.
13. A ballcock valve according to claim 11, wherein the inner surface of the cylindrical wall is of less diameter than said outer surface thereof.
14. A ballcock valve according to claim 13, wherein said inner surface of the cylindrical wall has a greater height than that of said outer surface thereof.
15. A ballcock valve according to claim 14, wherein said outer surface of the cylindrical wall connects at its upper end with a surface of lesser diameter through an upwardly and inwardly inclined circumferential shoulder.
16. A ballcock valve according to claim 11, in which the wall surfaces of said valve element comprise respectively the inner and outer walls of a downwardly opening circumferentially extending groove at the lower end of the valve element, said groove being adapted to receive therein the uppermost end of said cylindrical wall.