US 3813035 A
A four-way valve for heat exchangers and hot water heaters comprising a valve seating housing which includes a hot water inlet opening at one end and a hot water return opening at the other end thereof; a valve guide integrally formed with the housing and disposed about the hot water return opening; and a plurality of spaced-apart, adjacent apertures disposed in a radial arrangement in said housing between said openings thereof. A valve housing head is mounted on the valve seating housing and couples a plurality of heating supply and drain pipes thereto. A hot water pipe from the hot water heater is disposed within the valve guide in the hot water return opening of the valve seating housing to couple the valve to the heater. Valve seats are disposed in the housing and valve head, and are engaged by end members formed on the end of a valve body slidably disposed on the valve guide. A rotatable adjustment head is coupled to the valve body for controlling the flow of water through the valve.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1 1 May 28, 1974 Eilnited States atertt [191 Wobig FOUR- WAY VALVE FOR WARM WATER HEATERS  Inventor: Alberto Bruno Wobig, Luneburg,
Germany  Assignee: Fa. Alberto Wobig Armaturenfabrik, Luneburg, v Germany  Filed: Oct. 7, 1971  Appl. No.: 187,342
 Foreign Application Priority Data Oct. 8, 1970 Germany 2049356 Oct. 8, 1970 Germany 2049355  US. CL; 236/101, 236/43, 137/599.1  Int. Cl. G05d 23/08  Field of Search 237/86, 8 R; 236/101, 43; 165/35; 137/599.1
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,191,862 6/1965 Wobig 236/101 3.641692 2/1972 Traylor 137/5991 TO HEAT EXCHANGER Primary Examiner-William E. Wayner Assistant ExaminerWilliam E. Tapolcai, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmAllison C. Collard  ABSTRACT A four-way valve for heat exchangers and hot water heaters comprising a valve seating housing which includes a hot water inlet opening at one end and a hot water return opening at the other end thereof; a valve guide integrally formed with the housing and disposed about the hot water return opening; and a plurality of spaced-apart, adjacent apertures disposed in a radial arrangement in said housing between said openings thereof. A valve housing head is mounted on the valve seating housing and couples a plurality of heating supply and drain pipes thereto. A hot water pipe from the hot water heater is disposed within the valve guide in the hot water return opening of the valve seating housing to couple the valve to the heater. Valve seats are disposed in the housing and valve head, and are engaged by end members formed on the end of a valve body slidably disposed on the valve guide. A rotatable adjustment head is coupled to the valve body for controlling the flow of water through the valve.
4 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures T0 7 FROM HOT WATER RETURN HEATER sm'r ammmzs m4 3813035 sum 1 ur a TO HEAT EXCHANGER FROM HOT WATER HEATER FOUR-WAY VALVE FOR WARM WATER HEATERS The present invention relates to valves, and in particular to a four-way valve for heat exchangers in hot water heaters.
After the introduction of one pipe hot water heaters, it became necessary to attach multiple-way valves to the heat exchangers for distributing the water in the exchangers and the feeding pipes. A number of different types of multiple way valves, and some four-way valves, are already known. However, all of these known valves have several disadvantages, especially if they are thermostat-controlled. To improve these four-way valves, modified valves, which have an axially slideable hollow cylindrical valve body, the ends of which cooperate with valve seats provided on both ends thereof were suggested. The valve body in these valves is provided with a pipe, which is in flush engagement with the valve body so as to seal it and which extends into the heat exchanger. This valve has several advantages over other types. For example, the valve has a short valve body which is easily varied. It can be installed into one pipe heating body, and is particularly suitable for a heating system having only one connection.
However, this valve is subject to frequent breakdowns, due to the fact that the connecting pipe between the heat exchanger and the valve body must move with the valve body. There have been attempts to install a special guide mechanism for the valve body, and to mount the end of the pipe which extends into the heat exchanger rigidly on the valve housing. However, this caused relatively poor reduction in the cross sections, especially near the valve body. This caused heating fluid by-pass in the valve housing close to the valve body. Strong pressure differentials thus occured, and much liquid exchange took place between the spaces on both sides of the valve body through the valve body seat. Since there still was an exchange of hot liquid when the valve was closed, the heating elements remained hot. This is not desirable during the seasonal transitions from winter to spring and from summer to autumn.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved four-way valve in which the valve body is guided through the valve housing so as to prevent liquid heat exchange through the valve seat.
lt is also an object of the present invention to provide an improved four-way valve which is simple in design, easy to manufacture, and efficient and reliable in operation.
Accordingly, the present invention provides a valve seating housing which has a guide for the valve body, and a bore for receiving the pipe which extends into the heat exchanger. A valve housing head is mounted on the valve housing and has means for attaching a valve body actuating device and bores for receiving the heating pipe coupling means. It has been determined experimentally that these bores should preferably be arranged so that they are adjacent to each other and are disposed downwardly. lt is easy to couple the pipes to the heat exchanger with such an arrangement. The bore in the valve seat housing which receives the pipe is also preferably provided with a ring seal.
In another embodiment of the invention, an improved valve actuating device is used. Conventional actuators for four-way valves consist of a manually operated wheel coupled to a rotatable shaft, which is provided with an actuating lever for the valve body. Indicators which indicate the exact position of the valve body may also be provided in conjunction with the actuating mechanisms. However, the use of this valve is disadvantageous since the position of the indicators for each heat exchanger is different whenever the valve bodies are moved. This requires frequent adjustment of the valves until the desired position is obtained.
It is therefore a further object of the present invention to provide an improved four-way valve in which the adjustment of the heat exchangers is the same, so that the indicated position of the valve bodies may be adjusted from one position to another position, simultaneously.
Accordingly, in another embodiment of the present invention, the actuating means is provided with a rotatable adjustment head which is mounted in a carrier housing positioned on the valve body. The adjustment head is actuated by a coupling member and a shaft which is coupled to the actuating lever of the valve body.
The shaft is mounted within a bearing housing, and the valve body actuating means is coupled to an adjustment means whose movement is independent of the movement of the adjustment head. The adjustment means is preferably an adjustment pin mounted in the carrier housing, and, the adjustment head is preferably a manually operated hand wheel. However, if desired, a bimetal spring may be positioned between the hand wheel housing, shaft coupling and valve body actuating lever to obtain automatic adjustment. With this arrangement, it is preferable that the end of the bimetal spring in the housing be bent into a rectangle to form a frame. The free shanks of these rectangular frames secure a fastening pin which otherwise would be mounted in the housing. As a result, the bimetal spring pivotably moves around the fastening pin, and automatically balances any excentric position of the adjusting shaft. It has been shown experimentally that, in order to overcome the friction of the adjustable shaft at the packing seal, and a stable adjustment, it is preferable if the bimetal spring is arranged so that during a temperature change of 1 C. the rotational movement of the shaft is approximately 2.4 1.1 mm Kp, and preferably, 2.12 1.56 mm Kp. At the same time, the angular adjustment of the free end of the bimetal spring with respect to the end which is connected to the housing should be approximately O.6 0.9, and preferably 0.64 0.75 at a temperature change of about 1 C.
Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings which disclose several embodiments of the invention. It is to be understood, however, that 'the drawings are designed for the purposes of illustration only, and not as a definition of the limits and scope of the invention.
in the drawings, wherein similar reference numerals denote similar elements throughout the several views:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of a four-way valve constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross'sectional view of an actuating means for a four-way valve constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the actuating means and the valve housing of the valve illustrated in FIGS. 1 and FIG. 4 is anend view of the supply opening taken along section 4-4 of FIG. 1.
Referring to the drawings, in particular FIG. 1 there is shown a four-way valve having a valve seating housing 1 and valve housing head 2. Valve housing head 2 includes a valve seat 2a.
The valve is securely mounted to an exchange heater by valve seat housing 1, a sleeve 13, and a ring seal 14. A valve guide 3 for a valve body 4 is provided in valve seat housing 1. The inner space of valve guide 3 is provided with a sealing-and fastening ring 12 in the form of a cylindrical bore 5 for receiving the heating pipes. Water escape openings 20 as shown in FIG. 4 are provided between a hot water supply 19 and a hot water return 20. Water escape openings 21 are opened and closed by valve body 4 and seal 18 so that hot water supply 19 can be turned on. Valve body 4 is adapted to seat against valve seat 21a as shown. Valve body 4 includes a pair of spaced-apart adjacent end membersv4a and 4b. A water pipe 6 is disposed between the hot water supply and the hot water return.
As illustrated in the drawings, the front portion of the valve housing is constructed as the valve housing head 2 and carries coupling members 10 and 11 for the heating pipes. This construction allows easy access to valve body 4 by removing valve seat housing 1 from the heat exchanger. Valve housing head 2 may be manufactured in various shapes and sizes to accomodate different types of installation. The actuating means for valve body 4 is mounted on valve housing head 2, and includes housing 15 in which a bearing for lever 17 is mounted. Lever 17 is adjusted by a coupling member 16 and adjustment head 7.
Actuating means are provided on valve housing 1 for valve body 4, and include housing 15 to which an actuating lever 24 for valve body 4 is attached. Movement of lever 17 is carried out by coupling 16 through bimetal spring 23, which is rigidly mounted at one end to adjustment head 7, which forms a housing for the bimetal spring. The spring is also constructed so that its outer ends have rectangular bends, or frames 28. Bores 27 are provided in the free shanks of the frames. A pin 22 is mounted in head 7 and serves as a fastening means for spring 23. The end of spring 23 is thus pivotably mounted in housing 7.
Besides the previously mentioned advantages of the bimetal spring, there are additional benefits. One is that the spring is not touched by the operator during its adjustment.
When the valve is in its position illustrated in FIG. 1, the water flow path from the heat exchanger through opening 19 and apertures 21 is shut off. Valve body 4 engages the valve seat on valve seating housing 1 and prevents the flow of water from the hot water supply opening 19. Water flows into and out of the valve head through the heating supply and drain pipes coupled thereto and the hot water return pipe 6. When the valve body is moved by means of adjustment head 7, it engages the valve seat in valve head 2, and permits water to flow through opening 19 and apertures into the heating drain pipe disposed in pipe coupling 1 l in valve head 2. Hot water flows from the heating pipe in coupling 10 into pipe 6 through valve head 2. The water flow path when the valve is open is, thus, from the pipe in coupling 10, through pipe 6 into the hot water heater, back through opening 19 through apertures 21,
and out through the pipe in coupling 11.
In FIGS. 2 and 3 an indicator 29 is provided which 5 cooperates with a scale to adjust the adjustment means. For different heat exchangers, different basic indicator adjustments are necessary. It is, therefore, quite difficult, if not impossible, to adjust the various indicators correctly when using a multiplicity of heat exchangers, since the scale adjustment must be fixed in writing. The adjusting means of the present invention allows the adjustment of the indicator to be carried out independently of the position of shaft 17 and, therefore, valve body 4, without influencing the adjustment across the bimetal spring. To achieve this, adjusting pin 25, is mounted in housing 15, and is provided with an off centered pin 26 which cooperates with indicator 29.
As a result of the position of pin 26, indicator 29 is pivotable about the fastening pin and may be adjusted to a certain value on the scale without changing the basic position of the thermostat. It is, therefore, possible to adjust even scale values at all heat exchangers and then to readjust the valves in a simple manner.
While only several embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those persons skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made thereunto without departing from the spirit and scope of the in vention.
What is claimed is:
1. A four-way valve for heat exchangers in hot water heaters, comprising:
a valve seating housing, having an opening at one end for receiving hot water from the hot water heater, another opening in the other end thereof for returning hot water to the hot water heater, a plurality of apertures disposed in said housing between said openings at each end in a radial arrangement, a valve guide member, integrally formed with said housing, and disposed about said opening for returning hot water to the hot water heater, and a valve seat disposed about and adjacent to said apertures;
a valve housing head, mounted on said valve seating housing adjacent said opening in said housing for returning hot water to the hot water heater, including at least one valve seat disposed adjacent said opening for the return of the hot water, said valve head including a plurality of heating pipes coupled thereto for the supply and drainage of hot water to and from said valve head;
a valve body, slidably disposed on said valve guide,
and having outwardly disposed end members integrally formed therewith, one of said end members including sealing means, said end members engaging said valve seats on said valve housing head, and controlling the flow of water therethrough; and
means, movably mounted on said valve housing head, and coupled to said valve body, for moving said valve body on said valve guide and thereby controlling the flow of water therethrough.
2. The valve as recited in claim 1, wherein at least one end of said valve body includes a pair of spacedapart adjacent end members, and wherein said sealing means is a ring seal disposed between a pair of said spaced-apart end members, for engaging said valve seat on said valve seating housing.
head, rotatably mounted on said valve housing head, an annular coupling member, an elongated cylindrical shaft coupled to said coupling member, and an actuating lever coupled to said shaft and said valve body, said lever slidably moving said valve body on said valve guide in response to rotational movement of said adjustment head.