US 3821512 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 Stanford 1111 3,821,512 [4 1 June 28, 1974 1 1 ELECTRICALLY HEATED GUTTERS AND DOWN SPOUTS  Inventor: George H. Stanford, 191 Spurwink Rd., Scarborough, Maine 04074 22 Filed: Sept. 28, 1972 21 App1.No.:293,297
 US. Cl 219/213, 52/11, 52/15, 52/16, 219/200, 219/301, 219/535  Int. Cl. 1105b 1/00, E04d 13/06  Field of Search 219/200, 201, 213, 535, 219/301; 52/11-15, 16
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 217,002 7/1879 Decrow 52/11 X 929,684 8/1909 Mills et a1. 52/11 1,313,742 8/1919 Schad 52/12 2,111,251 3/1938 Spilsbury 52/11 X 2,421,978 6/1947 Andrews 52/11 2,699,484 1/1955 Michaels 219/213 3,125,657 3/1964 Colten 219/535 3,224,216 12/1965 Crouch 219/200 UX 3,426,488 2/1969 Stanford 52/15 3,550,381 12/1970 South 52/11 3,694,622 9/1972 Bentley 219/213 Primary ExaminerA. Bartis 5 7] ABSTRACT A water conductor includes a gutter and mounting means substantially coextensive in length. The mounting means has upper and lower portions attachable to the facia of a building with the lower portion having a support underlying the gutter. The support and the gutter have lengthwise complemental locking portions as do the gutter and the upper portion of the mounting means. Where gutter freezing is a problem, a heating element is positioned between the mounting means and the gutter.
111 Claiims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENIEUJme m4 SHEU E OF 3 BEA 5 BIA ELECTRICALLY HEATED GU'I'IERS AND DOWN SPOUTS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Gutters and down spouts present a troublesome problem. Should ice form in a gutter, there is a real threat that water will eventually back up under the shingles and leak into the building as snow accummulates in valleys and along the eaves with interior damage resulting. Even if such damage does not occur, an ice-full gutter will overflow to form icicles. Down spouts, while usually less troublesome, can lead to the gutter problems as they sometimes become ice blocked, usually at their lower ends where they are commonly angled away from the building. With some buildings, there may be freezing at their upper ends in the event the down spout has to be angled inwardly towards the side of the building.
The problem of iced gutters has long been recognized and one solution is to dispose an electric resistance cable along the eaves or in valleys and also lengthwise of a gutter to prevent ice from forming therein. In either case, the cable or cables are exposed to hold leaves and dirt so that servicing is required even if the arrangement proves effective in preventing ice from forming.
THE PRESENT INVENTION The general objective of the invention is to provide a water conductor that includes a gutter and mounting means that are substantially coextensive. The mounting means includes upper and lower portions with the lower portion provided with a support to underlie the gutter and with the mounting means attachable to the facia of a building before the gutter is connected thereto. The support and the gutter have lengthwise complemental locking portions adjacent the junction of the outer and bottom walls of the gutter and the inner wall of the gutter and the upper portion of the mounting means also have lengthwise, complemental locking portions.
Another objective of the invention is to enable the gutters to be protected against becoming blocked by ice, an objective attained by including one or more heating elements between the gutter and the mounting means.
Yet another objective of the invention is to provide that such water conductors may be produced in desired lengths, an objective attained with gutter and mounting means that are extrusions and they may be plastic extrusions.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Preferred embodiments of the invention are shown in the accompanying drawings of which FIG. 1 is a section taken vertically through an installed gutter in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a like view illustrating another embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a partly sectioned perspective view of an installed down spout in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 4 is a section, on an increase in scale, taken approximately along the indicated line 44 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is a schematic view of the wiring diagram of a typical gutter installation in accordance with the invention.
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated by FIG. I, a gutter consists of a gutter member 10 shown as supported by a backing member Ill including a facia portion B2. A typical building construction has side wall sheathing l3 and a wood facia board 114 nailed to studding l5 and to a double side wall plate 16. In order to provide the advantages of the construction illustrated by US. Pat. No. 3,426,488, a tapered, drip edge strip l7 underlying the shingles 18 is fastened to the roof sheathing l9 with its butt edge protruding outwardly beyond the wood facia board 14 and having a depending marginal rib 20 formed with a lengthwise channel 211 that is upwardly and inwardly inclined towards the building to receive the downwardly and outwardly inclined flange 22 extending lengthwise of the upper edge of the facia portion l2 thus to provide a tight joint. The facia portion 12 is shown as secured by an upper and lower series of nails 23.
The upper surface of the backing member 11 and the outer surface of its facia portion 12 provide a supporting seat for the gutter member III that is shaped and dimensioned to accommodate the major portion of its bottom and its inner wall.
In installing a gutter in accordance with the invention, backing members ll are first secured to the facia boards 14 of the building. It will be appreciated that while the gutter members 10 and the backing members 11 are both desirably plastic extrusions, for practical reasons they must be cut into a relatively small range of standard lengths. When installed, the ends of one backing member lll abut the ends of other backing members Ill and, if such abutment occurs at a corner, the abutting ends are mitered. Comers can, of course, be formed from short pieces cut from a standard length if necessary.
When the backing members II have been secured in place, a heating cable or cables 24 are installed with their number and disposition being dependent on such factors as the size of the building and heating requirements that are necessary, in that locale, to protect the gutter from freezing. With a small building, a heating cable 24 might extend at least once completely around it but typically, a building is encircled by a series of cables 24, see FIG. 5, and these may all be under the control of a three way relay where it is desired to have the electrical load brought to maximum by stages. Typically, each heating cable 24 is of sufficient length to enable it to be doubled upon itself once or twice to ensure that heat will be applied to the bottom of the gutter member or members along which it extends throughout a sufficiently wide zone to ensure effective heating. The upper surface of each backing portion II where it underlies the bottom of a gutter member 10 is provided with parallel channels 25 extending from end-to-end thereof to receive a length of a cable 24, desirably as a snap fit to avoid or minimize the use of cableanchoring staples.
If additional heating is required, that part of each facia portion l2 that is to be engaged by the inner wall of a gutter member It) may be recessed to accommodate another heating cable 24, desirably in the form of grooves 26 similar to the grooves 25 and extending from end-to-end of the facia portion.
The thus installed heating cable or cables 24 have their ends extending through the wall structure and into the building, commonly into an attic, where they are connected to a main line 27 by a junction 28, see FIG. 5, together, where the load requires it, with a relay, not shown, providing the appropriate number of stages. Lengths of gutter members are then secured to the seats which the attached backing members 11 provide and where a gutter member 10 abuts another gutter member, their abutting ends are sealed together by means of a suitable adhesive or by a solvent. Where such abutments occur at a corner, the abutting ends are mitered and, as in the case of the backing member 11, corners can be formed from short pieces cut from a gutter member of a standard length.
Each gutter member 10 is secured to the underlying backing member or members 11 as by a suitable adhesive or by the use of a suitable solvent for the mutually engaged surfaces. In order to facilitate the completion of the gutter assembly, each facia portion 12 has an outwardly disposed hook 29 extending from end-to-end thereof and overlying and holding the upper edge of the inner wall of the gutter member or members 10 while the outer edge of each backing member 11 has an upwardly disposed hook 30 extending from end-to-end thereof and disposed and dimensioned to catch in a complementally shaped recess 31 extending lengthwise of the bottom of each gutter member 10 adjacent its outer wall thus to enable each gutter member to be snap-fitted in place and securely held until securely bonded to the backing member with the heating cables 24 between them.
The embodiment of the invention illustrated by FIG. 2 is similar to that of FIG. 1 so that corresponding parts will not again be described and such are distinguished by the suffix addition A to the appropriate reference numerals. In FIG. 2, however, the grooves 25A and 26A are formed in recesses 32 and 33, respectively, each extending from end-to-end of the backing member 11 and each of these is covered by a plastic strip 34 secured in place by an adhesive or by the use ofa suitable solvent.
It has been noted that each cable 24 or 24A may be and usually is doubled back upon itself once or twice. In order for that disposition of a heating cable to be made, it is necessary to provide a cross channel where such doubling occurs. Such channels are indicated at 35 in FIG. 2 and each is shown as in transverse communication with a bore 36 through the facia portion 12A enabling the cable 24A to enter the building through a bore 37.
It will thus be appreciated that gutters in accordance with the invention consist of an assembly that meets manufacturing and installation requirements and results in a gutter that may be heated whenever necessary to prevent ice forming therein.
Reference is now made to FIGS. 3 and 4 wherein there is shown a down spout in accordance with the invention, the down spout including a down spout portion 38 shown as rectangular in cross section and having a wall 38A bordered by ribs 39 having inturned shoulders 40. A backing portion 41 is dimensioned to be a snap fit in the channel defined by the ribs 39 and held therein by the shoulders 40.
The wall 38A is recessed to receive a heating cable 24 and is shown as having its recess in the form of lengthwise channels 42 shaped and dimensioned so that a cable 24 is a snap fit therein.
Both the down spout portion 38 and the backing portion 41 are extrusions that are cut into certain standard lengths and they may be mitered to enable elbows to be provided where needed. Desirably both portions are of a suitable plastic, polyvinyl chloride, for example. While it is usually unnecessary to heat the vertical section of a down spout, a channel 42 thereof may be used to conceal the heating cable 24 leading to the outwardly angled end section 43 of the down spout in which end the wall 38A is in an underlying position. In the case the down spout requires an inwardly angled upper end section 44, the down spout may be arranged, as shown, so that the wall 38A will underlie the bottom thereof although usually rising heat is sufficient to prevent icing in that zone. The abutting ends of the several sections are securely interconnected in any desired manner, usually by a suitable adhesive or by the use of an appropriate solvent.
As in the case of the gutter, it is preferred that where heat is required as in the ends 42 and 43, that the cable 24 be doubled upon itself once or twice in order that heat be applied through a sufficiently wide zone requiring that the wall 38A be cross channelled to accommodate the resulting bends. A separate cable 24 may be provided for each end of the down spout and each cable 24 extends through a side of the down spout portion 38 and into the building where it is connected, along with the several other cables to the main line in the manner illustrated by FIG. 5. After a cable 24 has been properly incorporated in a down spout in the down spout portion or portions 38, the backing portion or portions 41 therefor are secured in place by a suitable adhesive or by the use of an appropriate solvent.
1. A water conductor comprising a gutter of substantial length and including inner, outer, and bottom walls, and mounting means substantially coextensive with said gutter and including upper and lower portions attachable to the facia of a building, said lower portion including a support underlying the bottom wall of the gutter, the gutter, the support, and the upper portion having lengthwise locking portions, the locking portions of the support and the gutter being complemental and interengaged and adjacent the junction of its bottom and outer walls, and the locking portions of the inner wall and the upper portion being complemental and interengaged, said interengaged portions connecting the gutter to the mounting means thereby to enable the mounting means to be attached to the facia without the gutter and the gutter then connected to the mounting means.
2. The water conductor of claim 1 and a heating element between the gutter and the support.
3. The water conductor of claim 1 in which the upper surface of the support has at least one recess extending from end-to-end thereof, and a heating cable is positioned therein.
4. The water conductor of claim 3 in which the mounting means is an integral member including said upper and lower portions and has at least one recess between the upper locking portion and the support and a heating element is positioned therein.
5. The water conductor of claim 4 and a strip overlying the heating element in the support and secured thereto and a strip secured to the mounting means and upper and lower portions.
9. The water conductor of claim l in which the locking portion of the gutter and the support are between the support and the bottom wall of the gutter.
10. The water conductor of claim l in which the gutter and the mounting means are extrusions.
Ill. The water conductor of claim 1 in which the extrusions are plastic extrusions.