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Publication numberUS3830217 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 20, 1974
Filing dateJun 14, 1972
Priority dateJun 14, 1972
Publication numberUS 3830217 A, US 3830217A, US-A-3830217, US3830217 A, US3830217A
InventorsG Maness, J Stanton
Original AssigneePepper Mill Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Fireplace construction and method with flaming water hearth
US 3830217 A
Abstract
A fireplace construction of a type having a flue thereabove for discharging smoke and gases from a hearth therebelow includes a flaming water hearth construction comprising a reservoir for containing a pool of water to be disposed beneath the flue and a gas burner disposed beneath the surface of the water and having a number of gas discharge openings therein distributed over a relatively broad area. A pilot light is provided above the surface of the water but adjacent to it together with means for sensing the heat generated by the pilot light. The last named means is interconnected to the gas control valve for closing the valve in the event that the pilot light sould fail. Means are further provided for passing bubbles of air into the pool of water at a number of discrete spaced positions sufficient to activate the water and providing a simulated boiling movement of the water while the gas is burned on the surface thereof. The gas discharge openings in the burner face downwardly in a common plane in order to prevent water from entering the burner to any substantial degree.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Maness et a1.

[ Aug. 20, 1974 1 4] FIREPLACE CONSTRUCTION AND METHOD WITH FLAMING WATER HEARTH [73] Assignee: Pepper Mil1,'lnc., Reno, Nev.

[22] Filed: June 14, 1972 [21] Appl. No.: 262,651

[52] US. Cl. 126/120, 239/18, 240/2 LC [51] Int. Cl. F24b 1/18 [58] Field of Search 126/120, 360 A; 239/18,

239/20, 22; 240/2 LC, 2 LF; 431/2, 125

Primary Examiner-William F. ODea Assistant Examiner-Peter D. Ferguson Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Flehr, Hohbach, Test, Albritton & Herbert ABSTRACT A fireplace construction of a type having a flue thereabove for discharging smoke and gases from a hearth therebelow includes a flaming water hearth construction comprising a reservoir for containing a pool of water to be disposed beneath the flue and a gas burner disposed beneath the surface of the water and having a number of gas discharge openings therein distributed over a relatively broad area. A pilot light is provided above the surface of the water but adjacent to it together with means for sensing the heat generated by the pilot light. The last named means is interconnected to the gas control valve for closing the valve in the event that the pilot light sould fail. Means are further provided for passing bubbles of air into the pool of water at a number of discrete spaced positions sufficient to activate thewater and providing a simulated boiling movement of the water while the gas is burned on the surface thereof. The gas discharge openings in the burner face downwardly in a common plane in order to prevent water from entering the burner to any substantial degree.

6 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAIEmmmczmsm 'SIIEEI 105 2 FIREPLACE CONSTRUCTION AND METHOD WITH 'FLAMING WATER HEARTH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention pertains to a fireplace construction and method for'providing a flaming water'hearth which is particularly useful in conjunction with indoor "fireplaces of the type utilizing a flue disposed above "the hearth fordischarging smoke and gases from the hearth below.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION AND OBJECTS In generahthere isprovided a fireplace construction forming a-flaming water hearth comprising areservoir for containing a pool of water therein. Gas burner means having a plurality-of gas discharge openings therein :are-distributedover a relatively broad'area beneath the surfaceof the'wate-r. Meansprovidinga pilot light above but adjacent the surface of the water serves to ignite gas escaping "from the surface of the water as discharged via theopenings of the. gas burner. A water inlet "flow passageand anoutlet'flow passage for passing water into'and out of'the reservoir serve-to maintain the water'at a predetermined level .whileskimming off the warmer surface water from the reservoir. Means for passing gas to :the openings of the burner-for discharge beneath the surface of the water serveto provideasupply of gas risingupwardly'through the-water to beignited by thepilotlight.

Accordingto the preferred embodimennit ispreferable to provide meansforpassing bubbles of air into the pool of water in thereservoir at a numberiof discrete spacedfpositions sufficient to activate the water in-providing a-simulated boiling movement .of the water.

The method of *forming a flaming'water'hearth comprises generally the steps of discharging gaslbeneath-the surface of a pool of water,.buming'the gas at the surfaceof the water,ldischargingbubbles of air into-the pool from beneath at a sufficient number of .discrete spaced locations to activate the water to simulate. a boiling movement in the water, dispensing the bubbles at substantially equal pressure, and continuously removing heated .water from the surface of thepoolwhile resupplying water to thepool-from beneath at the same rate so as to;maintain the surface of the pool at. a predetermined level.

In general, it is an object ofthe present'inventionto provide an improved flaming hearth for a fireplace construction and novel method of maintaining-theiflaming water hearth.

The foregoing and otherobjects of the invention-will be more readily evident'from'the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEFDESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. l is an isometric view of one embodiment of the fireplace constructionincorporated in'the invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged top plan view of the flaming water hearth portion of the fireplace construction shown inFlG. 1;

FIG. 3 is across-sectionalview of. the hearth portion of the construction, taken along line 3'3.in.FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged top plan view of the burner assembly shown'imFlGS. l-3;

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 55 in FIG. 4, illustrating the mounting of a pilot light and thermocouple sensor; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 1, illustrating means for skimming water off the surface and'maintaining the water at a predetermined level.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The flaming water hearth construction 10 disclosed herein is shown'in atypical environment such as a clubroom wherein a circular seat 11 is formedabout a well 12 and access to the seating arrangement is made by means of stairsteps 13 leading radially downwardly into well '12. The ceiling 14 of the clubroom 16 supports downwardly therefrom a frusto-conically shaped flue .17 for discharging smoke and gases from the hearth 10.

In general, hearth construction 10 comprises anv annular tank 18 forming a reservoir for a pool of water 19. Tank 18 .is evenly supported by suitable structual beams .21 whereby the underside of tank- 18-maybe spaced somewhat, for example, on the orderof 4 inches comprises generally a burner manifold element 24 of generally square-shaped configuration, as shown, and

provided with a number of generally evenly distributed discharge openings 26 formed in the underside of 'the various pipe sections 27, 28. Pipe sections 27, 28 are interconnected to form a square-shaped manifold subdivided midway between the two sides by means of conventional Tee and elbow black iron connectors.

A gas supply line 29 serves to support manifold element 24 in a generally horizontal plane above a gas supply solenoid-operated safety valve 31. A gas main 32, controlled by a shutoff valve.,33, supplies gas under moderate pressure such as lbs. per square inch-to the inlet side. of valve 31. Valve 31 includes amanually operated handle 33 for use in controlling-the flow of gas through line 29.

Means providing a pilot light above but adjacent the surfaceof'thewater in pool 19 comprises a small tubing 34 whichtapsoff'from valve 31 to lead over to a small support fixture 36. Anupwardly extending strap support37 attached to one of the pipe sections 27 serves to support the fixture 36 above butadjacent the level of waterin pool 19. As thus arranged, the end of-tubing 34 is led upwardly throughthe fixture 36-to discharge a stream of gas against a deflector 38.

"Means disposed inthe region of the pilotilight and in heattransmitting relation withthe pool of water serve to control the operation of the safety valve 31, which valveis of known design andthermocouple-operated.

Thus, support fixture 36 carries the end 390 of athermocouple 39 in close proximity to the pilotlight, the pilotlight formed at deflector 38. The other end of thermocouple 39 interconnects to a controller 41 of known construction whereby in the event that the pilot light should fail and the gas remain on, thermocouple 39 would cool in the sensitive region of its end 39a and shortly activate valve 31 to its closed position.

It is further to be noted that the upwardly extending end 39a of thermocouple 39 lies in heat transmissive relationship to the water in pool 19 so that in the event that water in the pool should accidentally be drained or lowered, the excess heating created at the end 390 of thermocouple 39 will be sensed immediately by the controller 41 so as to close valve 31.

In order to initially ignite burner assembly 23, the handle 33 is depressed downwardly approximately a quarter turn and then the pilot light is lighted and permitted to continue operation until the thermocouple has been warmed sufficiently to permit full operation of the valve 31 by lifting the handle 33.

Means for providing a simulated boiling movement of the water as the gas is burned above includes means for passing bubbles of air into the pool 19 of water at a number of discrete spaced positions sufficient to activate the water and cause it to move in the manner of boiling action.

In discharging air bubbles into the bottom of pool 19, the air is discharged at each of a number of discrete locations with substantially equal pressure notwithstanding the fact that each of the air openings 43 may be disposed at a different distance from an air manifold 42 employed to supply the air to the openings. Accordingly, each opening 43 is coupled by means of a length of copper tubing which is substantially the same length as all other copper tubing employed to couple the other air openings to the manifold. Thus, where the air openings are relatively close to manifold 42, a relatively large coil of copper tubing such as at 46 serves to supply the extra length to compensate for the longer length of tubing extending to the radially outermost air openings 43. Accordingly, it has been observed that a sub stantially equalized pressure discharge of bubbles at a number of spaced points through the bottom wall of tank 18 serves, when gas at the surface of the pool 19 is ignited, to give the illusion of a burning and boiling tank of water. The introduction of air into the tank serves to assist in turning the water over, however, so as to remove the warmer water from the upper surface of the pool and to circulate the warmed water with cooler water farther below and in this manner keep the surface water temperature from becoming too warm.

Means, in addition, are provided for skimming off the warmed surface water while maintaining the water level at a substantially constant predetermined height. Thus, an inlet flow passage 57 supplies water into the tank substantially at the floor and an outlet overflow passage for passing water out of tank 18 while maintaining the water therein at a predetermined level is formed at 48 beneath the counter top 22. Outlet flow passage 48 leads to an overflow drain 49.

Finally, a perforate pan or firebowl 51 having holes 55 is disposed beneath the surface of the water of pool 19 and contains the burner assembly 23. The interior wall surfaces of firebowl 51 and also of burner assembly 23 are all darkened by a flat black paint or other coloration so as to cause burner assembly 23 to visually merge into the background of firebowl 51 when submerged.

The exterior wall surfaces of firebowl 51, however, are colored brightly with an epoxy protective coating whereby when a flood of light is discharged into the pool of water, it will be reflected from the surfaces of bowl 51 back into the pool to provide a contrast to the color of the Water directly above the black firebowl 51.

Thus, light recesses 52 are disposed variously about the side wall of tank 18 and includes aheat treated pane orlens 53 through which light can be provided from a light source 54 and diffused by means of the plastic honeycomb 56. i

A striking result is achieved in forming the flaming water hearth by carrying out the steps of discharging gas beneath the surface of the pool of water while burning the gas at the surface of the water and simultaneously discharging bubbles of air into the pool from beneath at a sufficient number of discrete spaced locations serving to activate the water to simulate a boiling movement of the water and to circulate the hot surface water to the lower cooler regions of the pool. The discharge of bubbles is maintained at substantially equal pressure while heated water is continuously removed from the surface of the pool as a resupply of water is provided from deep beneath the surface at the same rate so as to maintain the surface of the pool at a predetermined level.

From the foregoing, it will be readily evident that there has been provided an improved flaming water hearth construction which provides a striking and safe operation suitable for use in restaurants, clubrooms and the like or out-of-doors.

We claim:

1. In a fireplace construction a flaming water hearth construction comprising a reservoir for containing a pool of water, a water inlet flow passage and an outlet overflow passage for passing water into and out of said reservoir while maintaining said water at a predetermined level, gas burner means having a plurality of gas discharge openings therein distributed over a relatively broad area beneath the surface of the water, a perforated pan disposed beneath said surface and containing said burner means, the interior wall surfaces of said pan and said burner means all being dark and the same color to cause said burner to visually merge into the background of said pan, means providing a pilot light adjacent the surface of the water, and means for passing gas to said openings to be discharged beneath the surface of the water so as to rise and be ignited by said pilot light.

2. In a fireplace construction according to claim 1 comprising means for discharging bubbles of air into said pool while said gas is burning at the surface of the pool to give the appearance of boiling, flaming water and serving to activate and circulate the warmed surface water with cooler water from farther below so as to keep the surface water temperature from becoming too hot.

3. In a fireplace construction a flaming water hearth construction comprising a reservoir for containing a pool of water, a water inlet flow passage and an outlet overflow passage for passing water into and out of said reservoir while maintaining said water at a predetermined level, gas burner means having a plurality of gas discharge openings therein distributed over a relatively broad area beneath the surface of the water, means providing a pilot light adjacent the surface of the water, means for passing gas to said openings to be discharged beneath the surface of the water so as to rise and be ignited by said pilot light, a perforate pan disposed beneath said surface and containing said burner means, the interior wall surfaces of said pan and said burner means all being dark and the same color to cause said burner to visually merge into the background of said pan, the exterior wall surfaces of said pan being colored brightly, and means disposed about said reservoir for flooding said pool with light to be reflected from said exterior wall back into said pool to provide a contrast between the color of the water directly above the pan and that of the remainder of the water surface.

4. In a fireplace construction a flaming water hearth comprising a reservoir for containing a pool of water therein, gas burner means having a plurality of gas discharge openings therein distributed over a relatively broad area beneath the surface of the water, means providing a pilot light adjacent the surface of the water for igniting and burning gas discharged from said openings, means for passing gas to said openings to be discharged beneath the surface of the water to rise and be ignited by said pilot light, means for passing bubbles of air into said pool at a number of discrete spaced positions sufficient to activate the water and provide a simulated boiling movement to the water concurrently with the burning of said gas at the surface of the water, said means for passing bubbles including an air manifold, individual lengths of tubing extending radially from said manifold to each of said air discharge positions, and coils of tubing in said interconnecting tubtherein so as to supply the extra length to compensate for the longer length of tubing extending to the radially outermost air openings.

5. In a fireplace construction a flaming water hearth construction comprising a reservoir for containing a pool of water at a predetermined level, gas burner means having a plurality of gas discharge openings therein distributed over a relatively broad area beneath the surface of the water. a perforate pan disposed beneath said surface and containing said burner means, the interior wall surfaces of said pan and said burner means all being dark and of the same color to cause said burner to visually merge into the background of said pan.

6. in a fireplace construction a flaming Water heart construction comprising a reservoir for containing a pool of water at a predetermined level, gas burner means having a plurality of gas discharge openings therein distributed over a relatively broad area beneath the surface of the water, a perforate pan disposed beneath said surface and containing said burner means, the interior wall surfaces of said pan and said burner means all being of the same color to cause said burner to visually merge into the background of said pan.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4003361 *Apr 5, 1974Jan 18, 1977Schutt Keith MFireplace assembly with variable appearance
US4074680 *Jul 9, 1976Feb 21, 1978Marvin Sexton GoodingTelescoping hood fireplace
US5700142 *Jun 6, 1996Dec 23, 1997Symtron Systems, Inc.Liquid pilot assembly
US5967134 *Aug 4, 1998Oct 19, 1999Visionary Solutions, LlcLiquid gas grill apparatus and method
US6192881 *Dec 30, 1998Feb 27, 2001Ronald Scott NixPortable fireplace
US6354288 *May 18, 2000Mar 12, 2002Mcdonald Timothy W.Portable fireplace
US6790033 *Sep 6, 2002Sep 14, 2004Fleming Sales Company, Inc.Outdoor fireplace with cascading waterfall fire screen
US6901925 *Oct 1, 2002Jun 7, 2005David P. CoughlinFireplace with waterfall
US7175424 *Jun 22, 2004Feb 13, 2007Toby FrinkIndoor/outdoor patio heater fire sculpture
US8469702 *May 26, 2010Jun 25, 2013William H. MuffFire and water display with integrated safety features
US20100304318 *May 26, 2010Dec 2, 2010Muff William HFire and water display with integrated safety features
CN101225968BJan 28, 2007May 19, 2010吴展航High-efficiency energy-saving multifunctional range and heating system thereof
Classifications
U.S. Classification126/513, 239/18, 126/503, 126/519, 362/101
International ClassificationF24C3/02, F24B1/18, F24C3/12
Cooperative ClassificationF24B1/1808, F24C3/022, F24C3/122
European ClassificationF24C3/12A, F24C3/02A, F24B1/18K