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Publication numberUS3846598 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 5, 1974
Filing dateNov 2, 1973
Priority dateNov 2, 1973
Publication numberUS 3846598 A, US 3846598A, US-A-3846598, US3846598 A, US3846598A
InventorsMucsi M
Original AssigneeMucsi M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Safety, electrical grounding outlet with safety switch
US 3846598 A
Abstract
A safety, electrical grounding outlet is provided wherein each circuit terminal and its associated circuit prong contact forms an interrupted and non-bridging partial circuit and the outlet includes a switch system for closing or opening each such circuit in response to the insertion into or removal from the ground prong hole of the plug ground prong.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Mucsi [451 Nov. 5, 1974 SAFETY, ELECTRICAL GROUNDING OUTLET WITH SAFETY SWITCH [76] Inventor: Michael Mucsi, 2474 S. Centinela Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90064 22 Filed: Nov. 2, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 412,485

[52] U.S. Cl. ZOO/51.09, 200/243 [51] Int. Cl H01! 33/30 [58] Field of Search 200/51 R, 51.07, 51.09,

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,755,635 8/l973 McGill 200/5109 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 192,069 2/1964 Sweden ZOO/51.09

Primary Examiner-Robert K. Schaefer Assistant Examiner-Gerald P. Tolin Attorney, Agent, or FirmDonald Diamond [57] ABSTRACT A safety, electrical grounding outlet is provided wherein each circuit terminal and its associated circuit prong contact forms an interrupted and non-bridging partial circuit and the outlet includes a switch system for closing or opening each such circuit in response to the insertion into or removal from the ground prong hole of the plug ground prong.

8 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures SAFETY, ELECTRICAL GROUNDING OUTLET WITH SAFETY SWITCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to electrical outlets and, more particularly to electrical grounding outlets having nonshock safety features.

Ordinary electrically grounded outlets present a serious hazard, especially to children, since one of the openings thereof if in communication with the input or hot contact and the insertion of a pin, wire, nail or other metal object into such opening by a child can cause the child to receive an electrical shock of serious consequence.

PRIOR ART OBJECTS Accordingly, an object of this invention is to provide a safety, electrical grounding outlet which is simple in design, economical to manufacture and reliable in operation.

Another object of this invention is to provide an electrical grounding outlet of the character described wherein each circuit terminal and its associated circuit prong contact forms an unbridged partial circuit and the outlet includes a separate switchfor each such circuit together with a common switch actuator for closing or opening the circuits in response to the ground prong of a corresponding and mating plug being inserted into or removed from the outlets ground prong hole. i I

Other objects and advantages will appear from the detailed description of the preferred embodiment of this invention hereinafter set forth.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with this invention, there is provided a safety, electrical grounding outlet which includes a plug receptacle having a ground prong hole and a plurality of circuit prong holes for receiving the ground prong and circuit prongs, respectively, of a corresponding and mating multiprong grounding plug.

Grounding means and a plurality of circuit prong contacts are secured to the receptacle. The ground prong hole is in communication with the grounding A separate switch is provided for each of the nonbridging partial circuits. The switches are mutually actuable to close or open thenon-bridging partial circuits and thereby establish or interrupt electrical communication between the circuit terminal and prong contact of each such circuit.

A non-conductive actuator is disposed within the receptacle for mutually actuating the separate switches. The actuator is reciprocally displaceable between an opened circuit position and a closed circuit position. The switches are actuated to close the non-bridging partial circuits when the actuator is displaced from the opened circuit position to the closed circuit position; and the switches are actuated to open these circuits when the actuator is displaced from the closed circuit position to the open circuit position.

The actuator is displaceably associated with the ground prong hole when the actuator is in the opened circuit position whereby the insertion of the plug ground prong into the ground prong hole displaces the actuator from the opened circuit position to the closed circuit position; and means are provided for displacing the actuator from the closed circuitposition to the opened circuit position in response to the removal of the plug ground prong from the ground prong hole.

The safety, electrical grounding outlet of this invention may be fixedly secured to a support structure or portably secured to one end of an electrical grounding cord and may be adapted to lockingly engage a corresponding and mating multiprong grounding plug.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a front view of a double, 3-hole electrical grounding outlet.

F 2 is a side elevation view, partly in section, of an outlet according to this invention and showing a mating plug connected thereto.

FIG. 3 is a schematic, partial longitudinal view of an outlet according to this invention showing the switches spaced from the interrupted conductor straps of the non-bridging partial circuits formed by the circuit terminais and their associated circuit prong contacts.

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but shows the switches bridging the interrupted conductor straps of the non-bridging partial circuitsin response to the insertion into the ground prong hole of a ground prong f a m ti P FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment for the switches wherein each switch is resiliently secured to one portion of the interrupted conductor strap for releasably bridging the other portion of the conductor strap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION single receptacle unit. i I

The plug receptacle has a ground prong hole 10 and first and second circuit prong holes 12a, 12b for receiving the ground prong l4 and first and second circuit prongs 16a, 16b, respectively, of a corresponding and mating 3-prong grounding plug 18.

Grounding means and first and second circuit prong contacts 22a, 22b are secured to the receptacle. The receptacle ground prong hole is in communication with the grounding means. The first circuit prong hole is in communication with the first circuit prong contact and the second circuit prong hole is in communication with the second circuit prong contact. Thus, the grounding means and the circuit prong contacts engage the ground prong and circuit prongs, respectively, of the 3-prong plug when the prongs thereof are matingly inserted into the receptacle holes.

First and second circuit terminals 24a, 2412 are secured to the receptacle with one of the terminals being the electrical input terminal and the other terminal being the output terminal. The first and second terminals are provided with first and second terminal conductor straps 26a, 26b. The first and second circuit prong contacts are provided with first and second contact straps 28a, 28b. The first terminal strap and the first contact strap form a first interrupted and nonbridging partial circuit 30 between the first terminal and the first contact; and the second terminal strap and the second contact strap form a second interrupted and non-bridging partial circuit 32 between the second terminal and the second contact.

First and second mutually actuable, separate bar switches 34a, 34b are provided for closing or opening the first and second non-bridging partial circuits and thereby establish or interrupt electrical communication between the terminal and prong contact of each such circuit. I

A non-conductive switch actuator 36 is disposed within the receptacle for mutually actuating the bar switches. In a preferred embodiment, the bar switches are secured to the actuator. In an alternative embodiment, each switch is a spring switch 37 which is resiliently secured to one portion of the interrupted conductor strap for releasably bridging the other portion of the conductor strap as shown in FIG. 5. The actuator, which is slidably disposed on a pair of guide rods 38, is reciprocally displaceable between an opened circuit position as shown in FIG. 3 and a closed circuit position as shown in FIG. 4. The switches are actuated to close the non-bridging partial circuits when the actuator is displaced from the opened circuit position to the closed circuit position; and the switches are actuated to open these circuits when the actuator is displaced from the closed circuit position to the opened circuit position.

The actuator, when it is in the opened circuit position, is displaceably associated with the ground prong hole of the receptacle. The actuator is provided-with a hemispherical groove 40 which angularly confronts the ground prong hole such that the insertion of the plug ground prong into the ground prong hole displaces the actuator from the opened circuit position to the closed circuit position. This step, as hereinabove described, closes the non-bridging partial circuits and allows current to flow from the input terminal to its associated circuit prong contact. The movement of the actuator from the opened to the closed circuit position compresses an expansion spring 42 which is disposed within the receptacle in abutting relationship to the forward face 44 of the actuator.

Upon removal of the plug ground prong from the 6 of the non-bridging circuits whereby the flow of current from the input terminal to its associated circuit prong contact is precluded.

Therefore, when the plug is removed from the outlet, the insertion by a child of a metal object into one or both of the circuit prong holes will not cause the child to receive an electrical shock since none of the circuit prong contacts is connected to a source of electrical potential.

While in the foregoing description and accompanying drawing there has been shown and described the preferred embodiment of this invention, it will be understood, of course, that minor changes may be made in the details of construction as well as in the combination and arrangement of parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.

That which is claimed is:

1. An electrical grounding outlet, comprising:

a plug receptacle having a ground prong hole and a plurality of circuit prong holes for receiving the ground prong and circuit prongs, respectively, of a corresponding and mating multiprong grounding P g;

grounding means and a plurality of separate circuit contacts secured to said receptacle, said ground prong hole being in communication with said grounding means and each of said circuit prong holes being in communication with one member of said plurality of separate circuit contacts, with the grounding means and the circuit contacts engaging a ground prong and circuit prongs, respectively, of the aforementioned plug when the prongs thereof are matingly inserted into the receptacle holes;

a plurality ofseparate circuit terminals secured to said receptacle, each of said circuit terminals being associated with one member of said plurality of separate circuit contacts to form a plurality of nonbridging partial circuits;

separate switch means associated with each of said non-bridging partial circuits, said separate switch means being mutually actuable to close or open said non-bridging partial circuits and thereby establish or interrupt electrical communication between the circuit terminal and the circuit contact thereof;

a non-conductive actuator disposed within said receptacle for actuating said separate switch means, said actuator being reciprocally displaceable between an opened circuit position and a closed circuit position, said separate switch means being actuated to close said non-bridging partial circuits when said actuator is displaced from the opened circuit position to the closed circuit position, and said separate switch means beingactuated to open said non-bridging partial circuits when said actuator is displaced from the closed circuit position to the opened circuit position;

said actuator being adjacent said ground prong hole when said actuator is in the opened circuit position whereby the insertion of the plug ground prong into the ground prong hole displaces said actuator from the opened circuit position to the closed circuit position; and

means responsive to the removal of the ground prong from the ground prong hole for displacing the actuator from the closed circuit position to the opened circuit position.

5. An outlet according to claim 4 wherein the biasing device is a spring structure.

6. An outlet according to claim 1 wherein said outlet is fixedly secured to a support structure.

7. An outlet according to claim 1 wherein said outlet is portably secured to an electrical grounding cord.

8. An outlet according to claim 1 wherein said multiprong grounding plug lockingly engages said plug receptacle.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3755635 *Apr 7, 1972Aug 28, 1973Mc Gill WIsolated electrical outlet assembly
SE192069A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3914565 *Aug 26, 1974Oct 21, 1975Niedermeyer Karl OElectrical plug with ground prong activated switch
US4075444 *Jan 9, 1976Feb 21, 1978Hollingsead-Pryor Enterprises, Inc.Electrical connector structure
US4093336 *Feb 10, 1977Jun 6, 1978Rose Manning ISafety circuit and socket construction
US4271337 *Sep 17, 1979Jun 2, 1981Harvey Hubbell IncorporatedSafety receptacle
US4544219 *Jun 1, 1984Oct 1, 1985Harvey Hubbell IncorporatedShuttered electrical receptacle
US4853823 *Mar 21, 1988Aug 1, 1989Amp IncorporatedSafety receptacle
US5967815 *Mar 19, 1998Oct 19, 1999Marc A. SchlessingerVariable orientation switching type electrical receptacle
US6310306Apr 3, 2000Oct 30, 2001John NorlingSafety wall socket assembly
US6881910 *Oct 31, 2003Apr 19, 2005Christopher FoxSecurity device for electrical cords
US7045723Sep 27, 2005May 16, 2006Joti ProjkovskiFail safe electrical receptacle
US7489227 *May 4, 2006Feb 10, 2009Bsafe Electrix, Inc.Electrical receptacle with multiple heat sensors
US7791864 *Feb 7, 2008Sep 7, 2010Interface Group - Nevada, Inc.Electrical power control outlet and system
US8054595Nov 10, 2009Nov 8, 2011Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout
US8130480Jul 28, 2011Mar 6, 2012Leviton Manufactuing Co., Inc.Circuit interrupting device with reset lockout
US8587914Jan 6, 2011Nov 19, 2013Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.Fault circuit interrupter device
EP0172281A1 *Aug 17, 1984Feb 26, 1986W.F. JouElectric safety socket and fuse replacement device
Classifications
U.S. Classification200/51.9, 200/243
International ClassificationH01R13/703, H01R13/70
Cooperative ClassificationH01R13/7036
European ClassificationH01R13/703D