US 3815629 A
A sewer relief valve for installation in the cleanout connection to a sewer line, with a flapper which opens to release sewage water when water rises in the sewer line, said flapper being self-closing when the water pressure has been relieved on the line so as to seal the gases in the sewer line. The valve unit is molded of a relatively rigid plastic material with the sealing face of the flapper being formed of a softer inserted piece of nylon plastic so as to form a gas type seal to the sewer line when the valve is in the normally closed position.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Oberholtzer SEWER RELIEF VALVE  Inventor: Jene V. Oberholtzer, PO. Box
28127, Dallas, Tex. 75228  Filed: Oct. 26, 1972  Appl. No.: 301,089
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 166.094, July 26,
 U.S. Cl l37/527.8, 4/21 1  Int. Cl. Fl6k 15/03  Field of Search 137/527, 527.2, 527.4,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 859,139 7/1907 Spencer 137/527.8
[4 June 11, 1974 Primary Examiner-Robert G. Nilson Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Howard l. Podell  ABSTRACT A sewer relief valve for installation in the cleanout connection to a sewer line, with a flapper which opens to release sewage water when water rises in the sewer line, said flapper being self-closing when the water pressure has been relieved on the line so as to seal the gases in the sewer line. The valve unit is molded of a relatively rigid plastic material with the sealing face of the flapper being formed of a softer inserted piece of nylon plastic so as to form a gas type seal to the sewer line when the valve is in the normally closed position.
3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Pmmwwm 1 m 3515529 SHEET 1 BF 2 INVENTOR.
JENE V. OBERHOLTZER wn/MW 1 SEWER RELIEF VALVE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a sewer valve which protects the inside of buildings by preventing the backing up of water in plugged sewer lines, and particularly to such a valve which is adaptable for releasing the backed-up sewage water to outside of the structure without venting sewer gases to the atmosphere. Apartment houses, commerical buildings and homes, have the problem of sewage backing up when, on a lower floor, the sewer line becomes plugged and levels higher in the building continue to'empty water into the sewer line with the result that lower floors in the building are flooded from the sewer water backing up in sink drains and toilets on the lower-leve.
My invention eliminates this problem by means of the installation of an inexpensive and lightweight plastic molded valve which vents the plugged water outside the building and without venting noxious sewage gases outside of the building during normal operation-of the system. Thevalve of this invention is an inexpensive molded device which seals against low gas pressures but releases any water head in the system. Once the plugged sewage water. has been released, the valve closes automatically retaining the sewer gases and preventing their escape. Each valve is provided with a flapper which opens to release the sewage water under pressure and is self-closing without the use of springs or other mechanical aids.
The flapper of the valve formed of a relatively rigid circular section of molded plastic which seats against a shaped circular ribof similarrigidproperties. The sealing face of the valve flapper is formed ofa relatively soft plastic plate, preferably molded of nylon, which is fixed to the flapper so that the weight of the flapper and nylon sealing face are sufficient to form a gas tight seal between the soft nylon sealing face andthe rigid rib which forms the valve seat, said rib being molded into, and protruding from the internal diameter of the valve housing.
In order to provide a gas-tight seal between the sealing face of the flapper and the fixed ribs molded to the valve housing, with said seal being readily broken by the minimal pressure of a small head of water, the circumference of the sealing face of nylon is formed with an integral ribbed lip which protrudes past the plane of the sealing face, with said rib being of a beveled shape to mate with the taper shapeformed on the sealing face of the rib which forms the valve seat.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The'objects and features of the invention may be understood with reference to the following detailed descriptionof an illustrative embodiment of the invention, taken together with the accompanying drawings in which: Y e
FIG.- I is a perspective view of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a'part'ial sectional view taken along line 2-2 in FlG. l',-showing the valve in the closed position; and
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the valve in the open position;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the valve;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view in elevation of the alternate embodiment of the valve in the closed position; and
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the flapper of the valve.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now descriptively to the drawings, in which similar reference characters denote similar elements throughout the several views, FIG. 1-3 illustrate a right-angle, hollow elbow 10 with a top disposed vertical open end 12 adapted to be screwed into a horizontal cleanout pipe in a sewage line disposed outside a building, replacing the clean out plug which is removed from the cleanout line.
Elbow 10 has a bottom disposed horizontal open end 14 disposed above ground levels for discharge of sewage water when pressure builds up in the line.
Disposed within end 12 is the vertically inclined hollow intake section 16 communicating with the line and having an inclined top opening 22; A lid'18 hinged to the opening and having a central weight 20 is normally positioned to close the opening. When sewage water backs up, however, pressure builds up behind the lid 18. Only slight pressure serves to force the lid 18 to open whereby sewage water discharge occurs. As soon as the pressure drops, the lid closes itself because of gravity action on weight 20. I
An alternate embodiment of the'device 30 is shown on FIG. 4-6 which is designed to be installed at the end of a horizontal section of sewage pipe outside of the building. Axis X-X in the installed position lies lies along the general horizontal plane, with opening 37 of the shield 36 facing downwards so that escaping sewage water will not splatter unnecessarily. Shield 36 is formed with a circular tubular rim 49 which snugly fits over the outlet end 48 of the valve chamber 31. The periphery of the inlet opening 47 of the valve intake chamber 31 is fitted with male threads 12 on its external surface for engagement with a conventional sewer pipe coupler. Flapper member 32 is in the form of a circular washer, with a protruding hinge section 38'which is pivotably mounted by pin 39 to the housing of the device 30, so that the flapper member 32 may freely swing in response to either the forced "gravity or the pressure of sewer water, as the case may be. A bumper rod 41 is permanently fixed to the back external surface of the flapper member 32 in the vicinity of the hinge section 38 to limit the maximum travel of the flapper member 32 in the open position and to prevent an attached flexible sealing member 35 from wedging against the sides of the inside of the surface of the housing 28 in the open position. The sealing member 35 is formed of a relatively soft composition of nylon plastic with a-protruding button 51 centrally locatedon its back face, of a size to wedge tightly into the circular washer openingin flapper member 32 so as tobe affixed to flapper member 32. For maintenance purposes, where necessary, sealing member 35 may be removed from engagement with flapper member 32'for replacement purposes, and a new sealing member 35 may be installed. The sealing face of sealing member 35 is of a generally flat circular shape with a protruding beveled lip 42 along the circumference projecting past the surface of the sealing face and beveled so as to form a thin edge to the circular lip 42,said lip 42, because of its reduced cross-section as compared to the thickness of sealing member 35, being sufficiently flexible to tightly grip a mating tapered surface 44 along the circular rib 43 projecting from the valve housing about the valve oriflce 55 in an inclined direction to Axis X-X. Consequently the weight of the flapper member 32 and affixed sealing member 35 is sufficient to pivot the assembly about the hinge pin 39, in the normal horizontal mounted position of the unit 30, to furnish a gas-tight low pressure seal between the engaged surfaces of the lip 42 of the sealing member 35 and the rigid circular tapered rib 43 mounted to the valve housing 28 about the valve orifice 55.
It is to be realized that the presence of sewage gas coming out of the exposed opening 37 of the device would be readily detected by bystanders, regardless of the extremely minute quantity of such escaping gas. The effectiveness of the device lies in the fact that the combination of the flexible rib of the sealing member, engaged along a tapered mating surface, with the rigid rib of the valve seat furnishes such a gas tight seal, yet permits immediate opening of the flapper member 32, and opening'of the orifice 55, under a pressure of a head of water amounting to less than 3 inches, or less than a pressure of 0.01 atmospheres.
Check valves which are employed for other purposes such as preventing the flow of'sewer gases into a building'from an outside sewer line generally rely upon a back pressure of water in the pipe to assist the sealing action of the valve. Other such check valves are similarly employed to permit flow in one direction but not the flow in the reverse direction. A unique feature of this valve is the inexpensive construction employed to obtain a pressure sensitive valve which seals completely against minute flow of a gas of noxious odor, yet releases a flow of water of only slightly greater pressure.
Since obvious changes may be made in the specific embodiment of the invention described herein, such modifications being within the spirit and scope of the invention claimed, it is indicated that all matter contained herein is intended as illustrative and not as limiting in scope.
Having thus described the invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. A sewer relief valve adaptable for fastening to a cleanout pipe of a building sewer line for the relief through the valve of the entrapped water in the sewer line of the building, with said valve maintaining a gas tight seal so as to prevent the escape of any sewer gas through the valve orifice when the sewer line is free of water, said valve being molded of a relatively rigid plastic composition, the valve housing being of cylindrical shape of hollow tubular construction with an inner cir- 4 cular rib protruding from the inside circumference of the valve housing, the axis of said rib lying along one general plane,
said rib forming a restricted circular-shaped opening inside the valve housing of reduced circumference than the inside circumference of the valve housing itself, with the rib formed adjacent its inner periphery with a continuous circular flange that serves as a fixed valve seat,
said flange formed as a circular projection of the rib with the axis of the flange oriented at an angle to the axis of the plane of the rib, with one side of the flange forming the wall of the restricted circularshaped opening of the rib, and with the opposed side of the flange projecting from the rib wall at an obtuse angle to the axis of the rib so as to form a tapered fixed valve seat, together with a circular shaped sealing member, which is fastened to a hinged flapper member in the form of a washer with an internal hole, said sealing member being formed of a soft flexible plastic material, being of a generally circular shape and fitted with a continuous flanged circumference in the shape of a lip which projects beyond the face of the sealing member, said lip being tapered along its inside face so as to fit snugly about the tapered surface of the projecting flange of the rib when the sealing member is engaged with rib flange so as to form a gas tight seal between the sealing member and rib flange in the installed position under the effect of the torque produced by the weight of the sealing member and assembled flapper member about a hinge which joins the flapper member to the valve housing, and to open said seal under the pressure of water in the line.
2. The combination as recited as in claim 1 in which the back face of the flapper member, opposed to the face which engages the sealing member, is fitted with a projecting bumper in the general area of the hinge joined to the flapper member, so as to limit the rotation of the flapper and assembled sealing member in the open position of the valve to prevent the flexible sealing member from wedging against inside circumference of thevalve housing in the open position, and thus failing to close in normal operation in the absence of water pressure. I
3. The combination as recited in claim 1 in which the sealing member is readily removed from or replaced in the flapper member without tools by manual pressure, and sealing member being retained in the flapper member by a projection on the back face of the sealing member which is flexibly engaged in the internal hole of the flapper member.
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