US 3823427 A
Apparatus for clearing waste stoppage from conduits such as pipes and drains. The device employs the hydraulic ram principle wherein a column of water or other liquid is used as a flexible shaft between the aerosol drain opener and the stoppage or obstruction. The device employed is an aerosol can capable of withstanding at least 72 psig. at 70 DEG F.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Pittet [1111 3,823,427 11 July 16, 1974 AEROSOL HYDRAULIC DRAIN OPENER  inventor: Gilbert H. Pittet, West Paterson,
 Assignee: Lever Brothers Company, New
221 Filed: Apr. 23, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 353,858
 US. Cl 4/255, 134/17, 134/22 C,
134/24, 134/166 C, 15/407  Int. Cl B08b 5/00, B08b 9/00, E03d 11/00  Field of Search 4/255, 256; 15/406, 407;
134/17, 22 C, 24,166 C, 167 C, 168 C, 169 C; 239/337, 373, 579, DIG. 13
[5 6] Referenees Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,156,584 10/1964 Yurdin 134/17 3,306,252 2/1967 Knight et a1. 239/337 3,315,280 4/1967 Krenn 4/255 3,426,774 2/1969 Conn 15/406 X 3,562,014 2/1971 Childers et a1 134/22 C Primary Examiner-Joseph Scovronek Assistant Examiner-Barry l. Hollander Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Richard A. Gaither, Esq.; Melvin H. Kurtz, Esq.; Arnold Grant, Esq.
[5 7] ABSTRACT Apparatus for clearing waste stoppage from conduits such as pipes and drains. The device employs the hydraulic ram principle wherein a column of water or other liquid is used as a flexible shaft between the aerosol drain opener and the stoppage or obstruction. The device employed is an aerosol can capable of withstanding at least 72 psig. at 70F.
2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures 1 AEROSOL HYDRAULIC DRAIN OPENER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The invention relates to the use of the hydraulic ram principle to clear blocked pipes, drains and other conduits. The principle, simply stated, involves the sudden application of gas pressure to impart a shock to a column of water (or other liquid) against the blockage,
thus clearing the clogged conduit of the blocking waste material. The instant invention, however, employs this principle byusing an aerosol container in order to clear said clogged conduits. The advantages of this invention will be immediately obvious not only to one skilled in the art but also the ultimate consumer for whom this invention is intended. The immediate advantage of the invention is the providing of a clean, non-toxic and rapid way to open a stopped drain with the use of an aerosol container without incurring the expense and delay of calling in outside help.
2. Description of the Prior Art Clogged pipes and drains are acommon and recurring problem to the consumer. The solution to this problem is one that incurs expense, delay and sometimes aggravation when having to depend on outside help. Other solutions involve the use of harsh and/or toxic chemicals requiring the utmost in care and safety, especially where there are small children. While there are presently non-chemical means available'to the consumer to assist in solving the clogged drain problem, there is not, to applicants knowledge, any such means employing the'hydraulic ram principle by use of an aerosol container presently available to the public.
One of the prior art non-chemical means generally employed utilizes a percussion method, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,877,781 wherein a water tight percussion apparatus permits firing of a cartridge so that the shockfrom the cartridge moves through the liquid in the pipe dislodging the waste therefrom. Another means employed is basically that of a piercing means wherein an assembly contains eitheran aerosol can or a pressurized gas cartridge which is pierced in order to allow a stream of gas to pass through a clogged pipe thus clearing the blockage. This procedure is exemplified by U.S. Patents to Stearns, 2;999,264; Caplan et al. 3,l38,8(l3;Frohlich, 3,280,419; and Krenn 3,315,280. There are other so-called portable means presently employed to clear clogged conduits such as Yurdin,
. U .S. Pat. No. 3,156,584 which discloses theuse ofa' liquefied gas carrier for solvent material for the removal of sludge accumulations from pipe lines, The contemplated apparatus of Yurdin, however, is not one readily convenient to the consumer. A patent toConn,
U.S. Pat. No. 3,426,774, discloses theuse of the hy draulic ram principle but his apparatus utilizes a piercing'means to release compressed gas from a bottle or cartridge for a single operation of the ram.
It is an object of the instant invention to provide an aerosol hydraulic ram for use in cleaning blocked pipes, drains, and other conduits wherein a sudden application of gas pressure is employed to impart a shock to a column of water (or other liquid) against the blockage. The ram comprises an aluminum or steel container, a conventional inverted, vertical action aerosol valve of the reciprocating type by which a liquefied gas or propellant within the container may be applied to the column of water, and. an actuator assembly functioning as a sealing plug which may be inserted directly into the blocked pipe which is to be cleared. Unlike prior art devices, the aerosol of the instant invention is used without an external cylinder or shell and is capable of multiple applications. The multiple application feature arises from the use of a vertical on-off valve of the reciprocating type as opposed to a piercing mechanism, as disclosed in the prior art, said valve also allows for a high delivery rate of liquefied gas or propellant. The aerosol is constructed of materials, preferablysteel or aluminum, that will allow the container to withstand an internal pressure of at least 72 psig. at 70F. The container is filled with a liquefied nonflammable propellant or a blend of propellants having vapor pressures of from about 30-70, preferably about 40-60 psig. at 70F. It can readily be seen that full ad vantage of the propellant expansion ratio is taken when the liquefied propellant is released from the aerosol under these conditions. If the use of blends of propellants arecontemplated, one skilled in the art can select blends that will result in the desired vapor pressure, cost, solvency, and specific gravity. The size of the container can vary from 2-16 ounces, preferably 4-8 ounces, to permit multiple uses of the device. Normally, each application will require from about 15 to about grams of liquefied propellant, however, from about 25 to 30 grams of propellant is generally satisfactory. This small amount of propellant is due to the fact that there is no vapor head space between the dispensing head and the column of water. The propellant(s) preferably non-flammable, may be selected from such gases as propellant l2 (dichlorodifluoromethane), vinylchloride, propellant 22 (monochlorotrifluoromethane), propellant ll (trichlorofluoromethane), propellant 1.14 (dichlorotetrafluoroethane) or mixtures thereof. Blends of the non-flammable fluorocarbon propellants, mentioned above, with hydrocarbon propellants or dimethyl ether may also be used. Also within the scope of the invention is the use of blends of compressed gases such as carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, etc. with suitable vapor depressants and fluorocarbon propellant. Suitable hydrocarbon propellants that may be used in admixture with the fluorocarbon propellants are propane, butane, and isobutane.
The use of the instant invention is relatively simple as compared to prior art devices. In order to clear a clogged drain or pipe, one merely fills the clogged drain with water, then sealingly inserts the actuator assembly in the end of the clogged pipe, holding the actuator assembly head with one hand, the other hand holding the aerosol vertically in place and pressing downwardly toward the pipe opening with a force exceeding the externalspring resistance set at 10-30 pounds, preferably 15-25, more preferably 20 pounds. For the sake of clarity, although the external spring is inside the nozzle portion of the actuator assembly it is external to the actuator itself. The valve is forced opened delivering a surge of liquefied propellant to the pipe opening which blows out the obstructing material therein.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention the drain opener comprises a. a conventional aluminum or steel aerosolcontainer having the capability of withstanding at least about 72 psig. at F;
b. an inverted, vertical action valve having a large stem orifice which allows for a high delivery rate and multiple applications, said valve assembly being mounted in the end of said container and being of the vertical reciprocation type such that a force applied to said device results in the discharge of a liquefied propellant therethrough;
c. an actuator assembly functioning as a sealing plug which is inserted into the conduit to be cleared comprising an external spring, a collar mounted in the valve cup, and a resilient head so arranged as to be sealingly inserted in the end of a clogged pipe; wherein said device employs the expansion ratio of the liquefied propellants in order to clear the clogged conduits, said liquefied propellants being selected from the group consisting of freon, vinyl chloride and mixtures thereof and having a vapor pressure of from about 30-70 psig. at 70F, preferably 40-60 psig. at 70F.
So that a full understanding of the present invention may be provided, reference will be made to the accompanying drawings which form a part of this specification and wherein:
FIG. I is a partial sectional view of the actuator assembly in conjunction with the aerosol can, both comprising the device of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view of the nozzle, which acts as a sealing plug of the instant device;
FIG. 3 is a rear view of the nozzle showing the external ribs inside the nozzle which support and guide the nozzle over the body of the can;
FIG. 4 shows the instant drain opening device with the locking feature incorporated therein as illustrated by cutaway section AA; and,
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along Line AA of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is an exploded view of the complete drain opening device of the instant invention.
Referring now to the drawings and more particularly to FIG. I, there is shown the aerosol can 10 upon which is mounted an actuator assembly. The actuator assembly comprises a domed shaped nozzle 12 capable of being sealingly inserted into the opening of a clogged drain, said nozzle 12 having circumferentially disposed about the largest diameter thereof a flange 14, said flange 14 being capable of serving as a supporting seal for the actuator assembly. An internally ribbed sleeve 16 having guide ribs 18, shown with greater particularity in FIG. 3, distends from said flange 14, said sleeve 16 having a diameter equal to the largest diameter of the domed shaped nozzle 12 and being in operable relationship with can 10. The dome shaped nozzle 12 having an annular passage in open communication with an actuator 20 which is internally disposed in said nozzle, said annular passage having concentrically disposed therein frustoconical surfaces 22, 24, 26, terminating at the surface of a collar 30 said collar supports an external spring 40. The collar 30 comprises a flange 32, a depending ring 34 having a seat 36, the ring 34 interengages with and snaps into the valve cup 52 of valve assembly 50. The depending ring 34 is preferably made of a resilient type of material such as plastic to facilitate its interengagement with the valve cup 52. Said valve assembly 50 is one that is conventional in the art and need not be further described other than to say that it comprises a valve cup 52, a valve stem 54, and a valve body, not shown. This entire assembly is of the vertical reciprocating type. The collar further comprises an upstanding ring 38 having a series of circumferentially arranged spring engaging ribs 39. The upstanding ring 38 in conjunction with the ribs 39 and the flange 32 pro vide a seat for the spring 40.
A preferred form of the present invention will feature a child-proof locking arrangement comprising a locking rib 60, a locking collar and a locking slot shown with greater particularity in FIG. 4, cutaway section A--A. Said locking rib 60 is externally disposed to the actuator 20 and said locking slot 80 being disposed on said locking collar 70. Identifying marks 11 on the sleeve of the nozzle 12 and can 10 respectively are present in order to insure that the drain opener is properly aligned for operation. Rotation of the nozzle unit in either direction will lock the device.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view of cutaway section AA which shows the valve cup 52 external spring 40 and the stem 54 of the valve cup.
Several additives may be incorporated with the propellant(s), e.g. detergents, germicides, solvents, corrosion inhibitors, deodorants, and enzymes, to assist in the clearing and cleaning of blocked conduits. Suitable detergent materials may be selected from anionic and cationic surfactants which are soluble in the aerosol media, such as the well-known linear alkylbenzene sulfonates, i.e. LAS, and the various quaternary ammonium compounds. These and other surfactants usable in the instant invention are described in Schwartzand Perry Surface Active Agents, Vol I & II, Interscience Publishers, NY. 1949 and 1958 (incorporated herein by reference).
In situations where a drain or pipe is only partially clogged, an impregnated disposable plug may be inserted into the pipe or drain to form a temporary seal. The drain or pipe can then be filled and the aerosol used as described above. This plug may be impregnated with such things as a deodorant, sanitizer, enzyme, lubricant or detergent to assist in the cleaning operation. There may be occasions wherein a disposable plug cannot be inserted into the drain orifice because of obstructions, such as strainers of various types. In these instances any chipped or granulated water soluble materials may be used in place of the plug. It is also within the scope of the instant invention to employ a stemless valve with a large valve seat orifice in lieu of the valve assembly 50.
The following non-limiting examples are shown to illustrate the instant invention.
EXAMPLE I The following is a description of a typical application of the instant invention wherein the propellant comprises a 60/40 mixture by weight of propellant l2 and propellant 114.
A slow or clogged drain is generally described as one having a flow rate of about l-3 gallons per minute. When this condition persists, the instant invention is utilized as follows:
1. All drain obstructions that can be removed are removed.
2. Fill the sink, tub, or drain containing area with about 2 inches of water.
3. Plug all vents and connecting plumbing arrangements to prevent any dissipation of pressure.
The device is then placed over the drain orifice with one hand. The other hand is used to depress the device by pushing the aerosol can vertically downward. This 1. All percentages are by weight unless otherwise specifled.
EXAMPLE 2 The following formulation typifies the use of a solvent, vapor depressant, deodorizer with the propellant.
by Wt. Propellant l2 90.0 d-Limonene 10.0 100.0
A solvent, perfume, deodorizer, vapor depressant.
EXAMPLE 3 The following formulation is an illustration wherein a detergent and mixture of propellants is incorporated.
by Wt. Propellant l2 75.0 Vinyl chloride 15.0 d-Limonene 9.0 LAS 1.0 100.0
EXAMPLE 4 The following is an example of a mixture of propellants.
% b Wt. 50.0 50.0
Propellant l2 Aerothene TT (1,1,1 trichlorethane) EXAMPLE 5 The following is a mixture of propellants with other minor additives within the scope of this invention.
% by Wt.
Propcllant l2 Propcllant l 1 29.0 Misc. A...
EXAMPLE 6 This example illustrates the use of a compressed gas with a propellant mixture.
% by Wt.
It will be understood that the instant invention is capable of obvious variations and modifications without departing from its scope.
What is claimed is:
1. An aerosol hydraulic device for use in clearing waste stoppage in conduits through the ram effect of liquid comprising:
a. an aluminum or steel aerosol container having the caplability of withstanding at least about 72 psig. at 70 b. an inverted, vertical action valve assembly having a large stem orifice'which allows for a high delivery rate and multiple applications, said valve assembly being mounted in the end of said container and being of the vertical reciprocation type, such that a force applied to said device results in the discharge of a liquefied propellant therethrough;
c. an external spring,
d. an actuator assembly functioning as a sealing plug which is inserted into the conduit to be cleared comprising a dome shaped nozzle capable of being sealingly inserted into the opening of saidconduit; said nozzle having circumferentially disposed about the largest diameter thereof a flange which serves as a supporting seal; distending from said flange and having a diameter equal to the largest diameter of said dome shaped nozzle is an internally ribbed sleeve, said ribs acting as guide ribs; said sleeve being in an operable relationship with said container; said nozzle further contains an annular passage in open communication with an actuator which is internally disposed in said nozzle; said annular passage having concentrically disposed therein frusto-conical surfaces terminating at the surface of a collar which supports said external spring; said collar comprises a flange, a depending ring containing a seat; said depending ring interengages with and snaps into the valve cup of said valve assembly; said collar further comprises an upstanding ring having circumferentially arranged thereon spring engaging ribs; said flange, spring engaging ribs, and upstanding ring providing a seat for said external spring, wherein said device employs the expansion ratio of the liquefied propellants in order to clear the clogged conduits, said liquefied propellants being selected from the group consisting of freon, vinyl chloride, monochlorotrifluoromethane, trichlorofluoromethane, dichlorotetrafiuoroethane, and mixtures thereof.
2. An aerosol hydraulic device according to claim 1 wherein. the actuator assembly has incorporated therein a locking device comprising a locking rib, a locking collar and a locking slot; said locking rib being disposed externally to the actuator and said locking slot being disposed on said locking collar which is mounted in the valve cup of the valve assembly wherein locking is accomplished by rotation of the actuator assembly,
thereby preventing actuation of said device.