|Publication number||US3799181 A|
|Publication date||Mar 26, 1974|
|Filing date||Sep 5, 1972|
|Priority date||Sep 5, 1972|
|Publication number||US 3799181 A, US 3799181A, US-A-3799181, US3799181 A, US3799181A|
|Original Assignee||Maddren H|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (9), Referenced by (27), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Maddren METHOD HOT WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM AND 1 51. Mar. 26, 1974 3,111,942 11/1963 Miller ..l37/337X Primary Examiner-Henry T. Klinksiek 76 I v tor: Herbert Maddren 29 S in l l n en Drive, Bilackwood l ane Attorney, Agent, or FirmPaul Maleson; Morton J.
Rosenberg  F1led: Sept. 5, 1972 1 1 pp 280,443 57 ABSTRACT i A hot water supply, system and method adapted for  US. Cl. 137/1, 137/337 use in residental and/0r commercial edifices. The hot  Int. Cl. F 16k 49/00 water supply system provides for water at a predeter- Field of Search 7, .1 mined temperature to be passed through a faucet for 137/335, 341 use. Where the water temperature is less than the required predetermined temperature, the water is recir- RefeI'BIIQQS Cited culated to a hot water heater. The .system includes a UNITED STATES PATENTS pumping mechanism for forcing recirculated water 2,842,155 7/1958 Peters 137/337 mm the hm water heat the sysiem Provides 3,286,791 [H1966 C f ct 31m, 137/334 X a mechanism for directing water in a predetermined 2,758,610 8/1956 Hively 137/337 x flow path responsive to the water temperature. The 2,900,645 8/1959 Rom 137/337 X flow path of the water is either through the faucet or ,915,080 12/1959 Holmes.. 137/337 X directed back to the hot water heater dependent on 29691451 1/1961 Logan l37/337 the aforementioned water temperature. 3.097,661 7/1963 Lee 137/335 3,103,946 9/1963 Troxell 137/337 14 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 38 36 2o |8J 26 12 J 19 HEATER 22 P I4 J 16 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a piping flow diagram of the hot water supply system showing a plurality of faucets;
FIG. 2 is an electrical circuit diagram of the hot water supply system recirculation mechanism for a plurality temperature at a faucet..More in particular, this inven- I tion pertains to the field of recirculating water within a water supply system when the water has not reached a predetermined temperature.
2. Prior Art Hot water supply systems are known in the art. In some prior systems hot water is provided at the faucet or tap through the addition of heat exchangers. However, such systems do not provide for an electrical bypass to recirculate the cold water back to the water heater. Such prior systems provide for'constant recirculation which increases the operating complexity and lowers the reliability of the water supply system.
Other prior systems provide recirculation systems where the water of two different temperature values are mixed. However, such prior systems although providing some heated water, do not only permit water at a predetermined temperature to be tapped from the faucet.
Other systems for providing hot water include mechanisms where an electric heater is provided below the faucet. Although heated water is tapped, no recirculation is provided and cold water is still initially tapped from the faucet leading to loss of this processed water from the water supply system.
In other prior systems thermostats in combination with bypass values are used. However, in such cases, the water which is not used is passed into the sewerage system and no attempt is made to recirculate the water. In such cases this once again leads to the wasting of processed water.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Anobject of the instant invention is to provide a hot water supply system where only water reaching a predetermined elevated temperature is tapped from a faucet.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a hot water supply system where processed water which has not reached a predetermined elevated temperature is recirculated through the water supply system.
A still further object of the subject invention is to provide a hot water supply system which conserves the use of processed water.
Another object of the current invention is to recirculate processed water which is not acceptable for use, thereby reducing the water charges to be paid by a user.
A hot water supply system which comprises at least one faucet for passing water at a predetermined temperature external to the hot water supply system. A hot water heater is connected to the faucet by at least one water conduit. A mechanism for pumping the water into the hot water heater is included in the water supply system as well as a mechanism for directing the water in a predetermined flow path as a function of the water temperature. The water directing mechanism is opposingly connected to the hot water heater and the water pumping mechanism.
of faucets and defining an activity state I prior to the tapping of water from a faucet;
FIG. 3 is an electrical circuit diagram for one faucet of the water supply system, defining an activity state II at the time the faucet is opened or turned on;
FIG. 4 is an electrical circuit diagram for one faucet of the water supply system definingan activity state III between the time the faucet has been opened and the time the water has reached a predetermined elevated temperature; and,
FIG. 5 is an electrical circuit diagram for one faucet of the water supply system defining an activity state IV after the water has reached the predetermined elevated temperature.
DESCRIPTION oF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIG. 1 there is shown a schematic flow diagram of hot water system 10 for use in residential and commercial buildings. Water system 10 provides for water to be emitted from faucet 12 only after the water has reached a predetermined temperature. When faucet 12 is turned to an open position, water is pumped from hot water heater 14 through system 10. However, in most cases, the water is not heated sufficiently for use since the water in the pipes has had a chance to cool considerably from the last opening of faucet 12. Therefore, an electric circuit, shown in FIG. 2., is actuated which recirculates the colder than acceptable water back to hot water heater 14 while maintaining faucet 12 in a closed position. When the water has reached a predetermined elevated temperature, the circuit'opens faucet 12 for the release of hot water. In this manner, a considerable amount of processed water can be saved by the consumer resulting in savings in water bills. Additionally, system 10 would greatly reduce the amount of processed water being sent into sewerage systems.
As shown in FIG. 1, water is brought into the building or other edifice through external water conduit or pipe 16. The water being brought into the edifice through pipe 16 is relatively cold and comes from standard water pipelines carrying processed water for use by the consumer. External water conduit 16 is attached to hot water heater 14 for maintaining a constant supply of water to be heated. Heater 14 may be a standard water heating unit well known in the art.
The water flow passes from heater 14 through water inlet piping 18 to a plurality of faucets 12 where water can be drawn off for use when it has reached a predetermined temperature. When the water being drawn through piping 18 is not hot enough, faucet 12 is maintained in an off position. The water bypasses faucet 12 and flows through recirculation pipes 20. The water then enters pump mechanism 22 where it is redirected to water heater 14 through water conduit 16. Pump 22 may be a standard water pump of any well known variety.
Water recirculation mechanism 24 is clearly shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. FIG. 2 shows a plurality of systems 1 0 operating while FIGS. 3 and 4 show only one system for different states of actuation. Each mechanism 24 includes an actuation switch 26 for energizing recirculation mechanism 25. Switch 26 may be of the push button variety or formed integral with faucet 12 to automatically actuate mechanism 24 when faucet 12 is turned on. Recirculation mechanism or circuit system 24 also includes thermal switch 28 for sensing the temperature of the water passing through pipes 18 and maintaining or breaking the electrical path as a function of water temperature. Relay 30 having operating relay switches 32, 34 provide an electrical path to solenoid valve 36 which either closes T" valve 38 to permit recirculation of water through recirculation pipes 20 or opens valve 38 to provide water passage from faucet 12.
Electrical operation of water system may be broken into four states defining the different operating modes of the hot water system 10. As herein described, the states will be defined in a chronological sequence in normal operating procedure and will be labeled with the designations I, II, III, IV.
State I, as shown in FIG. 2, defines the electrical state of recirculation mechanism 24 prior to faucet or water release mechanism 12 being turned on by a user. In this electrical state, pump motor 40 is deenergized or turned off, therefore, no water is being pumped through lines 18 from hot water heater 14. At this state, solenoid valve 36 is also deenergized. Solenoid valve 36 acts on T" value 38 in a normally open type position. In other words, when valve 36 is in a deenergized state, water would be directed from pipes 18 through faucet 12 for use. When solenoid 36 is energized, it moves to a closed position, blocking water passing into faucet 12, and redirects the water to recirculation pipes 20 as shown in FIG. 1. However, in state I even though solenoid 36 is in a deenergized mode, no water is flowing from faucet 12 because faucet 12 is in an off position. Further in this state, thermal switch is closed forming a continuous electrical path between thermal switch node points 42, 44. Therefore, in this state, an electrical path does exist between voltage lines 46, 48 and node point 44. At this time, actuation switch 26 is in an open position and is not contacting actuation switch nodal points 50, 52. Relay 30, which magnetically operates relay switches 34, 32, is in an open position. Therefore, since the circuit is broken or discontinuous at nodal points 50, 52 and at switch 32 nodal points 58, 60, it is seen that no electrical path is completed to valve 36 or relay 30. Further, in this state, it is seen that relay switch 34 is also open, thereby breaking the electrical path between node points 62, 64 and consequently keeping pump motor 40 in a deenergized state.
In summary of state I, it is therefore understood that pump 22 is deenergized, solenoid valve 36 is deenergized, actuation switch 26 is open, thermal switch 28 is closed, and relay switches 34, 32 are open. This results in no flow in pipes 18 and 20 during this activity state.
Activity state 11, as shown in FIG. 3, defines the electrical state of recirculation mechanism 24 at the time faucet 12 is turned on and actuation switch 26 is closed. As is apparant, actuation switch 26 may be actuated by the turning on of faucet 12 or through a separate push button type of arrangement, not important to the inventive concept of the invention as herein detailed.
At thisactivity state, it is seen that thermal switch 28 remains in a closed position, since the water in pipes 18 is generally not hot enough to cause opening. Actuation switch 26 has been manually closed, thereby forming a continuous circuit through nodes 50 and 52. This in turn, energizes relay 30 and closes relay switches 32, 34. Once relay switch 32 is closed, solenoid valve 36 is also energized and closes the water path through faucet 12. At the same time, since relay 30 has been energized, switch 34 is closed, completing a continuous electrical path from voltage lines 46, 48 to pump motor 40. Therefore, activity state 11 represents the initial time at which faucet 12 is turned on and recirculation mechanism 24 is actuated through the closingof actuation switch 26.
Activity state III, as shown in FIG. 4, defines the electrical state of recirculation mechanism 24 from the time switch 26 was closed in activity state II until the water in pipes 18 has reached a predetermined elevated temperature. In this activity state thermal switch 28 remains closed since the water has not reached the elevated temperature necessary for the opening of switch 28.
Actuation switch 26, is shown in the open condition breaking the circuit between nodes 50 and 52. However, relay 30 remains actuated through line 66, closed switch 32, and lines 68, 70. It must be remembered that this electrical flow path was insured in activity state II when switch 26 was closed, thereby closing relay switch 32.
Since switch 32 is closed, solenoid 36 is energized during this activity state by the continuous electrical path from line 66, through closed switch 32 and line 72. Therefore, although faucet 12 is turned on, water is directed to recirculation pipes 20. Additionally, it is seen that since relay 30 is energized, relay switch 34 is closed and pump motor 40 is kept running during activity state III.
Therefore, in state III, water passes from heater 14, through conduits 18, into pipes 20; pump 22 and back to hot water heater 14. During this time period, the water is not emitted from faucet 12 since it has not reachced the proper elevated temperature.
Activity state IV, as shown in FIG. 5, defines the electrical state of recirculation mechanism 24 after the water in pipes 18 has reached the predetermined elevated temperature. Once the water has reached the prescribed temperature, thermal switch 28 opens, thereby breaking the electrical circuit between thermal switch node points 42 and 44. This has the effect of deenergizing relay 30 and opening associated switches 32, 34. Further, the electrical flow path to solenoid 36 is cut off and solenoid 36 is deenergized. This permits water to flow from faucet l2 and blocks the water path to recirculation conduits 20. Additionally, once relay 30 is deenergized, switch 34 is opened also and pump motor 40 is turned off, thereby deenergizing the pump 22.
In this manner, in activity state IV, the water has reached a predetermined temperature and opened thermal switch, 28. This cuts off power to pump 22, relay 30 and solenoid 30. I-Ieated water is then emitted from faucet l2 and no water is recirculated through pipes 20.
In summary, operation of each of the major components is shown in the following table for each of the activity states:
ACTIVITY TABLE Emer- I gized Deener- Open Closed gized ACTIVITY STATE l Actuation Switch X Thermal Switch (28) X Solenoid Valve (36) X Pump (22) Relay (30) Relay Switch (32) Relay Switch (34) ACTlVlTY STATE ll Actuation Switch Thermal Switch (28) Solenoid Valve (36) Pump (22) Relay (30) Relay Switch (32) Relay Switch (34) ACTIVITY STATE lll Actuation Switch (26) X Thermal Switch (28) v X Solenoid Valve (36) Pump (22) Relay (30) Relay Switch (32) Relay Switch (34) ACTIVITY STATE lV Actuation Switch Thermal Switch (28) Solenoid Valve (36) Pump (22) Relay (30) Relay Switch (32) Relay Switch (34) In general, what has been herein described is hot water supply system 10, for forcing water through faucet 12 when the water is at a predetermined temperature and for recirculating the water to hot water heater 14 when the water temperature is determined to be less than the predetermined temperature. Water supply system includes faucet 12 which only passes water at the predetermined temperature to an external environment. As seen in FIG. 1, hot water heater 14 is connected to faucet 12 through water conduits 18. Water pump 22 pumps or directs water being recirculated through conduits back into hot water heater 14. The mechanism for directing water 24 in a prescribed flow path is connected opposingly to hot water heater 14 through conduits l8 and pump 22 through conduits 20.
As will be understood, relay 30 inserted into the circuit'as shown becomes a latched relay. This is provided by the fact that once actuation switch 26 contacts nodes 50 and 52, relay 30 is energized. This has the effect ofclosing relay switches 32 and 34 between nodes 58, 60 and 62, 64 respectively. Once'relay 30 is energized, switch 26 may be released from node points 50, 52 and relay 30 will remain energized since closed relay switch 32 and line 68 provide a continuous electrical path to relay 30.
Although switch 26 is shown as being releasable it is understood that during activity states II, III and IV represented by FIGS. 3, 4 and 5 actuation switch 26 may continually contact nodes 50, 52 and the relay energization will not be impaired. Therefore, actuation switch may be activated by faucet 12 being turned on or be included as a separate pushbutton type of mechamsm.
A number of modifications and variations of the pres ent invention as hereinbefore set forth may be made without departing from the spirit and skillthereof, and therefore only such conditions should be imposed as are indicated by the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A hot water supply system, comprising;
a. at least one valved faucet for passing water from said hot water supply system only when said water is at least at a predetermined temperature;
b. a hot water heater connected to' said faucet by a water inlet pipe and a water recirculation pipe;
c. means for piping water through said inlet pipe and said recirculation pipe to said hot water heater, said pumping means being operable only when said valved faucet is open; and,
d. temperature actuated means for directing water in a predetermined flow path when said valved faucet is open, said flow path being a function of said water temperatureas follows;
1. water temperature below said predetermined temperature, flow path beingfrom inlet pipe to recirculation pipe only, for recirculation of said heater;
2. water temperature at least at predetermined temperature, flow path from inlet pipe to valved faucet only. I
2. The not water supply system as recited in claim 1 wherein said means for directing said water includes electrical circuit means for actuating said faucet responsive to said Water temperature, said electrical circuit means passing water into said faucet when said water is at said predetermined temperature and recirculating said water to said hot water heater when said water temperature is less than said predetermined temperature.
3. The hot water supply system as recited in claim 2 wherein said electrical circuit means includes solenoid valve means connected to said faucet for (l) passing water into said faucet when said water is at said predetermined temperature and (2) recirculating said water to said hot water heater when said water is at a temperature less than said predetermined temperature.
4. The hot watersupply system as recited in claim 3 wherein said electrical circuit means includes:
a. means for determining said temperature of said water passing .into said faucet; and,
b. relay means connected to said temperature determining means and said solenoid value means for maintaining a continuous electrical path from said determining means to said solenoid valve means when said temperature of said water is less than said predetermined temperature.
5. The hot water supply system as recited in claim 4 wherein said determining means includes a thermal switch, said thermal switch for (l) maintaining a continuous electrical path to said solenoid valve means when said water temperature is less than said predetermined temperature, and (2) breaking said electrical path to said solenoid-value means when said water temperature is at said predetermined temperature thereby directing water flow through said faucet.
6. The hot water supply system as recited in claim 5 wherein said relay means includes a first relay switch and a second relay switch, said first relay switch for maintaining a continuous electrical path from said thermal switch to said solenoid valve means when said relay line.
7. The hot water supply system as recited in claim 6 wherein said second relay switch maintains a continuous electrical path from said voltage supply line to said pump when said relay means is electrically activated from said voltage supply line.
8. The hot water supply system as recited in claim 7 including means for initially actuating said relay means, said actuation means for electrically connecting said relay means to said voltage supply line when said water temperature is less than said predetermined temperature.
9. The hot water supply system as recited in claim 8 including circuit means for maintaining an electrical path from said voltage supply line to said relay means when said initial actuation means is removed from providing an electrical connection from said voltage supply line to said relay means.
10. A method of providing water at a predetermined temperature to flow from a valved faucet, including the steps of;
a. determining the temperature of said water available near said faucet from a hot water heater;
b. opening said valved faucet;
c. preventing said water from flowing through said open valved faucet and only recirculating said water to said hot water heater when said water temperature is less than said predetermined temperature, said recirculation being forced only when said valved faucet is open and said water is at less than said predetermined temperature; and,
d. preventing said water from recirculating and directing said water solely through said faucet when said water is at least at said predetermined temperature.
11. The method as recited in claim 10 wherein the step of recirculating said water includes the step of en ergizing a solenoid value connected to said faucet for blocking a water path through said faucet.
12. The method as recited in claim 11 wherein the step of recirculating said water includes the step of energizing a pump for forcing said recirculated water into said hot water heater.
13. The method as recited in claim 12 wherein the step of directing said water through said faucet includes the step of deenergizing said solenoid value means for blocking a water path to said hot water heater.
14. The method as recited in claim 13 wherein the step of determining said temperature of said water includes the step of maintaining a continuous electrical connection from a voltage supply line to said solenoid value when said water temperature is less than said predetermined temperature.
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|U.S. Classification||137/1, 137/337|
|International Classification||F16K31/02, G05D23/01, G05D23/13|
|Cooperative Classification||G05D23/1393, F16K31/02|
|European Classification||G05D23/13E, F16K31/02|