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Publication numberUS3859676 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 14, 1975
Filing dateFeb 20, 1974
Priority dateDec 27, 1972
Publication numberUS 3859676 A, US 3859676A, US-A-3859676, US3859676 A, US3859676A
InventorsKato Mikio
Original AssigneeKato Mikio
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bathtub or the like drain control and overflow regulator
US 3859676 A
A rotary drain control for the outlet of a bathtub or the like includes an overcenter crank operating the main drain valve and an adjustable rotary valve for controlling access to the overflow drain adjacent the top of the tub or the like to provide for variations in water level in said tub.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [1 1 [111 3,859,676

Kato Jan. 14, 1975 BATHTUB OR THE LIKE DRAIN CONTROL 2 7/1917 AND OVERFLOW REGULATOR 8/ [76] Inventor: Mikio Kato, 1003 Knottingham PL, 3:221:34? 12/1965 La Vale, Md. 21502 3,497,878 3/1970 3,570,020 3/197] [22] Filed: Feb. 20, 1974 3,795,924 3/1974 [2|] Appl, No.: 444,167

r lrimar Examiner-l-lenr K. Artis Related U.b. A pllcatlon Data y y Division of Ser No 898 Dec 27 1972 Pat N) Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Gardiner, Srxbey, Bradford 7 3 484 and Carlson 52 us. or. 4/206, 4/287 57 ABSTRACT 51 Int. Cl. E03 1 24, E03 1 232 Field of Search 4/199 206 6 A rotary dram control for the outlet of a bathtub or the like includes an overcenter crank operating the main drain valve and an adjustable rotary valve for [56] References Cited controlling access to the overflow drain adjacent the top of the tub or the like to provide for variations in UNITED STATES PATENTS water level in said tub. 306,929 10/1884 Johnson 4/206 1,191,088 7/l9l6 Mercer 4/173 3 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures 20 PATENTEDJAN 1 4% 3,859 676 sum HP 2 .IIIIIIIITIZ PATENTEDJAN 1 4|975 SHEET 9 BF 2 BATHTUB OR THE LIKE DRAIN CONTROL AND OVERFLOW REGULATOR This is a division of application Ser. No. 318,898 filed 12/27/72, now U.S. Pat. No. 3,835,484.

PRIOR ART Any conventional bathtub or bathroom sink is provided with two drains. One drain is located at the low point at the bottom of the tub or sink. The second drain is located in a wall of the particular receptacle generally just below the top of the wall. The first drain is identified as the main drain while the second drain is commonly called an overflow drain. The main drain is closed by any one of a variety of means ranging from simple stoppers to mechanically actuated valves when the receptacle is to be filled. The overflow drain is customarily openat all times and thus provides an emergency or overflow drain when the receptacle is full and serves to prevent overflow of water from the receptacle if the water level gets too high.

Unfortunately, however, because the overflow drain is generally positioned at a point somewhat below the edges of the receptacle, in some cases as much as 6.0 inches below the edges, receptacles having overflow drains cannot be completely filled. While this fact is an advantage insofar as it protects against inadvertent overflow and resultant damage to the surrounding structure, it is a distinct disadvantage where, for one reason or another it is desired to fill the receptacle to its greatest capacity.

In recent years, the very simple expedient of closing the main drain with a simple rubber stopper has given way to more sophisticated valve closing systems utilizing a lever or rotary valve operator which is located for convenience in the same assembly as the overflow drain. Early examples of such devices are found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,871,487 and also later in 3,307,206. Thus where it is desired to provide means, such as shown in Kato U.S. Pat. No. 3,570,020 or Emery U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,221,347 and 3,497,878, whereby an overflow drain may be blocked, such devices are either unusable with the overflor drain-operator type of structure or are not particuarly convenient in that the main drain valve operator is blocked requiring removal of the device to be effected before the operator can be used. Also, such devices are Emery U.S. Pat. No. 3,221,347 are subject to loss and are difficult to keep clean having in mind the natural affinity of soaps and grease for most conventional rubber or plastic based devices. Too, where the operator for the main drain is covered, there is the inherent danger that the heat of the water or receptacle contents would prevent removal of the device or rapid draining of the receptacle via the main drain under pain of severe burns where a person to immerce his hand in the fluid filled receptacle to gain access to the main drain operator.

THE INVENTION The instant invention is designed to provide not only the convenience of an adjustable overflow outlet, but

to do so in conjunction with a main drain valve operator which is easily and readily operated at all times, particularly in case of an emergency situation. The valve operator is also simply designed to provide for easy and reliable day-to-day operation and the assembly retains all of the advantages, both plumbing-wise and aesthetically of the common overflow drain--main drain valve operators so prevalent today. Additionally the overall unit and/or various components are compatible with and may be applied to almost every overflow drain in use including those made by such manufacturers as American Standard. Kohler and the like. The invention then comprises a valved overflow outlet combined with a main drain valve operator having a rotary overcenter crank interconnected with a reciprocating rod disposed within the overflow pipe; a hollow cylindrical valve also in said pipe and movable to a position so as to block the main drain pipe; the rotary crank is supported in a spider mounted in the outlet part in the tub, said spider including a threaded shoulder having a threaded shoulder extension projecting inwardly toward the tub interior; an internally threaded cap is mounted on said shoulder and the skirt of the cap has an elongated opening therein for registry with said shoulder projection for flow regulation or cessation through the overflow pipe; and a handle and shaft assembly is connected to the r otary lever to permit operation thereof.

Having defined the invention in general terms, the details thereof will become apparent from consideration of the following detailed description wherein reference is made to the drawings forming a part of this specification, and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation partly in section, showing the invention installed in a typicall bathroom fixture,

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of the valve operator assembly taken along the line 2-2 of FIG. 1,

FIG. 3 is a view of the assembly shown in FIG. 2 but showing the operator rotated to the drain position,

FIG. 4 is a view in section through the operator assembly taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. I, while FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of the operator assembly as it appears installed within the interior of the bathroom fixture,

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 5 but showing a modified form of main drain operator,

FIG. 7 is a partial view taken along the line 7-7 of FIG. 6.

Turning now to FIG. 1, it may be seen that installation of the valve operator overflow control assembly 20 follows conventional plumbing practice. The main drain of the receptacle, not shown communicates with a T-connector l which in turn is connected to the sewer access pipe 3 and a vertical overflow drain pipe 5.

Overflow drain pipe 5 is connected to an elbow 7 of conventional design, by means of a typical threaded collar 9 and seal 11. As shown the elbow 7 is a reducing elbow, i.e., one end is smaller in diameter than the other with the large end 15 being connected to the receptacle wall and the smaller end 17 connected to the overflow drain pipe. As shown, the large end of the elbow includes an annular stepped face 19 having peripheral lip 21 which fits inside of the overflow port 23 provided in the wall 25 of the receptacle. Suitable seal means not shown may be interdigitated between the outside surface of wall 25 and the face 19 of the elbow. Disposed within the sewer outlet pipe 3 is a hollow cylindrical main drain valve 29 which in one position is located either above or below the main drain opening 1 and in the other position blocks the same opening. Thus, this valve 29 may either open or close the main drain of the receptacle depending on its position relative to the main drain outlet 1, while at the same time, because it is hollow, it does not, in any position block flow pipe 5. Thus. if the receptacle is to be filled above the position of the overflow port 23, some means must be provided to block port 23. This means is in the form of a combined valve operator and overflow valve assembly 30.

Assembly 30 is comprised of a spider plate 31 having a flat annular rim 33 and a diametrically-extending cross rib 35. Rib 35 is provided with two apertures 37, 37', see FIG. in particular, through which a pair of machine bolts 39, 39 pass to engage suitable threaded bores (not shown) provided in elbow 7 adjacent the large end thereof. Thus the spider plate is mounted in abutment with the wall of the receptacle and aligned with the overflow port 23 and the open larger end of elbow 7.

The spider plate is provided with an inwardly, i.e., toward the receptacle interior, projecting central boss 40 and a second concentric outer boss defining an externally-threaded annular shoulder 41. As shown, in particular in FIGS. 4 and 5, shoulder 41 is provided along a portion of its inner terminal edge with an extension 43 which extension is positioned so as to be symmetrically-disposed above and below the diametric center line of said rib. In other words, as viewed in FIG. 4, the shoulder extension occupies an 8 oclock to 1 1 oclock position.

Threadedly secured on shoulder 41 and shoulder extension 43 is a skirted cap 45 having very fine, shallowpitched, interior threads on skirt 47 adapted to mate with similar threads on the shoulder and shoulder extension 41 and 43. The shallow pitch enables the cap 45 to be rotated but with a very little axial travel for a given degree of rotation. Further, the fineness of the threads causes an action similar to a labyrinth seal to prevent leakage of liquid between skirt 47 and shoulder 41.

As clearly seen in FIG. 5, the skirt 47 of cap 45 is provided with an elongated slot 49 which is considerably narrower than the width of the skirt and is also less wide than shoulder extension 43. Thus, when the slot 49 is positioned, by rotation of cap 45, so as to be aligned with the shoulder extension 43, the assembly is sealed against the passage of liquid therethrough. When, however, the cap is rotated, as in FIGS. 4 and 5 so as to be disposed out of alignment with the shoulder extension 43, there is provided a flow passage through assembly which functions as a conventional overflow drain. Thus, one of the stated functions is served by the overflow valve operator assembly 30.

As stated previously, the spider plate 33 is provided with a central inwardly-extending boss carried centrally of the diametric rib 35. The boss and rib are bored to provide a central opening 51 through which extends a shaft 53. The inner or receptacle end of shaft 53 carries a handle 55 suitably affixed thereto by any conventional fastener. A suitable seal 77 surrounds shaft 53 and is seated in the opening 79 of the skirted cap through which shaft 53 also passes.

Shaft 53 is prevented from axial movement by a spring clip locking means 81 which engages a groove 85 provided in shaft 53 as shown in FIG. 1. The outer, i.e., drain end of the shaft 53 has fixed thereto as by pinning or keying an over-center crank means which is comprised of a drum 57 and a crescent-shaped drum extension 59 connected to said drum by a necked-down connecting area 61. A clevis 63 is connected to one terminus of the drum extension and has an eye bolt 65 threadedly engaged therein, said eye bolt being locked against rotation by a lock nut 67. The eye end of eye bolt 65 is in turn connected to one end of a reciprocating rod 69 which has its lower end connected to a cross pin 71 affixed to the drain closure or valve 29.

As clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, when handle 55 is rotated counterclockwise (clockwise as viewed in FIG. 5), the rotary assembly comprising shaft 53, drum 57 and half-moon drum extension are rotated so that the terminus of the extension is rotated toward and to the low point of its rotary travel. The valve 29 and rod 69, clevis 63 and eye bolt 65 move downwardly and the main drain of the receptacle is closed.

On the other hand, when rotation of handle 55 is reversed, the terminus moves counter-clockwise as the drum extension rotates until the free end 75 of the extension abuts against clevis 63. In this position the coupled terminus has passed dead center, i.e., the clevis connection has passed over the high point of its motion so that lever 55 and the entire assembly tend to continue clockwise rotation except for the interference between the free end 75 of extension 59. Thus the rod 69 and valve 29 are lifted and will remain lifted so that main drain is completely open.

As described above the entire unit is an integrated assembly designed for installation as a unit in a conventional bathroom receptacle such as a bathtub or the like. It will be appreciated however, that in some instances it may be desirable to install the overflow valve assembly 20 in an existing receptacle having a different type of operator for example a lever type of main drain operator such as shown in US. Pat. No. 3,493,978. Also, certain rotary type main drain operators employ a simple eye connection to the over center crank means.

In order to accomodate the valve assembly 20 to any conventional overflow drain regardless of the type of operator, the machine bolts 39, 39 are removed and the entire assembly removed. The operator overflow assembly 20, FIG. 4 is then repositioned over the tub outlet and depending on the type of connection the overcenter lever of FIGS. 2 and 3 is used or alternatively the modified over center lever of FIGS. 6 and 7 is used. In this latter version a substitute shaft 53' is inserted through the central apertures 77 and 79 of the shirted cap and spider plate respectively. The substitute shaft 53' carries an L-shaped crank 81 having a longer leg 83 and a shorter leg 85. The terminal end of leg 85 carries a stop pin 87 while the terminal end of longer leg 88 is provided with a removable journal pin 89 fastened by means of a threaded and nut 91 connection to the lever arm. If the connection to the main drain rod is an eye connection, then the hournal pin 89 is removed slipped through the eye and replaced quite readily before the machine bolts 39 and 39' pre reinserted through apertures 37, 37 to anchor the spider plate 31 against the wall of the particular receptacle.

From the above description it can be seen that a combined overflow drain valve and valve operator have been provided in a complete package not heretofore available and which can be installed and utilized in a conventional manner by both plumber and consumer regardless of the type of overflow, main drain operator that may be previously installed. Various changes and modifications will occur to those skilled in the art all falling within the purview of the claims wherein:

What is claimed is:

2. The closure assembly defined in claim 1 wherein said shoulder and shoulder extension are exteriorly threaded and the ski of said apis nt y hreaded, the threads acting as a labyrinth seal when said liquid flow is terminated.

3. The closure assembly defined in claim 2 wherein the pitch of said threads is such as to permit rotary movement of said cap on said shoulder with minimal axial movement of said cap.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US306929 *Oct 21, 1884 johnson
US1191088 *Jul 23, 1915Jul 11, 1916Harley D FearBath-tub.
US1235387 *Jan 30, 1917Jul 31, 1917Jacob SerperBath-tub overflow-shield.
US1281222 *Apr 25, 1917Oct 8, 1918George StepanchakFitting for bath-tubs.
US1353313 *Mar 3, 1920Sep 21, 1920Hermann Waechter CharlesAttachment for bathtubs
US3221347 *Oct 7, 1964Dec 7, 1965Emery William MBath tub over-flows
US3497878 *Oct 19, 1967Mar 3, 1970Emery William MBathtub water regulator
US3570020 *Jul 22, 1969Mar 16, 1971Kato MikioAdjustable valve for bathtubs or the like
US3795924 *Jul 16, 1971Mar 12, 1974Kempler ADrain plugs
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US6895610Mar 21, 2003May 24, 2005Richard C. OlsonPortable bathtub water-level control device
US8201289Jun 30, 2009Jun 19, 2012Kohler Co.Combined control for a basin overflow and a basin drain
EP1612337A2 *Nov 18, 2004Jan 4, 2006Franz Kaldewei GmbH & Co.KGOverflow device with continuous level adjustment for a bathtub
WO2011002598A1Jun 14, 2010Jan 6, 2011Kohler Co.Combined control for a basin overflow and a basin drain
U.S. Classification4/694, 4/287
International ClassificationE03C1/232, E03C1/22
Cooperative ClassificationE03C1/232
European ClassificationE03C1/232