US 3860042 A
Disclosed is a snorkel assembly (underwater swimming aid) which has an inhalation check valve at the upper end of the elongated tube, the tube having a mouthpiece at its lower end. Adjacent the mouthpiece the assembly is provided with dual exhalation check valves. Air is inhaled by the swimmer through the upper check valve and exhaled through the lower check valves and rebreathing of exhaled carbon dioxide is thus avoided.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Green [451 Jan. 14,1975
[ DUAL VALVE SNORKEL  Inventor: Thomas N. Green, 4431 Linwood Ct., Apt. 2, Indianapolis, Ind. 46201  Filed: June 4, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 366,551
 US. Cl 128/145 A  Int. Cl A63b 7/00  Field of Search 128/145 A, 145 R, 147, 128/142, 142.3, 142.4, 146.3, 146.4, 146.5
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,304,798 12/1942 Comstock 128/142.3 2,317,236 4/1943 Wilen et al. 128/145 A 3,166,083 l/l965 Girden 128/145 A FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 472,977 7/1952 Italy [28/145 A 9/1946 France 5/1947 128/145 A France 128/145 A Primary Examiner-Richard A. Gaudet Assistant Examiner-Henry J. Recla Attorney, Agent, or FirmWo0dard, Weikart, Emhardt & Naughton  ABSTRACT Disclosed is a snorkel assembly (underwater swimming aid) which has an inhalation check valve at the upper end of the elongated tube, the tube having a mouthpiece at its lower end. Adjacent the mouthpiece the assembly is provided with dual exhalation check valves. Air is inhaled by the swimmer through the upper check valve and exhaled through the lower check valves and rebreathing of exhaled carbon dioxide is thus avoided.
1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures DUAL VALVE SNORKEL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Snorkel tubes are commonly used to permit swimmers to breathe with their head partially or totally submerged. With conventional devices of this type, where inhalation and exhalation takes place through the same tube, a portion of the carbon dioxide laden exhaled air is rebreathed or re-inhaled. Accumulation in the swimmers lungs can cause shortness of breath, fatigue and in severe instances eventual loss of consciousness. Conventional structures have, in their elongated tube, a trap bend to hold any water which might enter the extending end of the tube from reaching the mouthpiece. A small quantity of water accumulating in this trap bend produces an audible gurgle with each breath of the swimmer which is psychologically annoying. Further, conventional structures, after a period of use must be purged of water in the tube by blasting or forcing water out through the tube by exhaling sharply into the mouthpiece.
The structure of the present invention obviates these difficulties by providing dual exhalation valves adjacent the mouthpiece and an inhalation check valve at the remote end of the tube.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of a snorkel assembly embodying the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a portion of the apparatus shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the central portion of the structure shown in FIG. 2 prior to assembly of the check valve components.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring initially to FIG. 1, the assembly embodying the present invention includes an elongated main tube which may be straight or of any desired curved configuration. A threaded collar 11, together with an O- ring 12 provides a pressure fit of the lower end of the tube 10 to the vertical leg 13a of a T-shaped fitting indicated generally at 13. A tubular portion 13b accommodates a hollow rubber mouthpiece component 14. The mouthpiece component 14, as is conventional, is provided with a curved portion 16 which fits the mouth of the wearer and nodules 17 which are clasped between the teeth of the wearer to retain the mouthpiece in place.
The mouthpiece thus extends sidewardly from the leg 13a of the fitting 13 and the horizontal leg of the fitting is formed by the exhalation check valve assemblies as will be evident from FIG. 2. As will be evident from comparing FIGS. 2 and 3 side portions of the lower end of the leg 13a are cut away and accommodate discs 18 and 19. The discs have central apertures 18a and 19a respectively and, as indicated in FIG. 2 the outer face of the disc 19 accommodates in abutting relation the adjacent end of a sleeve 21, the sleeve being fastened to the disc 19 by any suitable adhesive.
The disc 21 has extending transversely across its bore a rigid perforated disc 22 which is provided with a central aperture 23. The perforations through the disc 22 may take any suitable configuration and as here indicated are of pie-shaped sector configuration. Received within the aperture 23 is the shank portion 24 of the molded head 26 which forms a part of the flexible rubber disc 27. It will be understood that when the member 26 is inserted through the aperture 23 the disc 27 will be secured at its center in overlying relation to the perforate disc 22 and will seal off flow through the sleeve 21 when subjected to pressure on its face remote from the disc 22, but will flex away from the perforate disc to permit flow therethrough when subjected to unbalanced pressure on its face adjacent the disc 22. The disc 18 receives an identical check valve assembly which includes the sleeve 31, having a rigid perforate disc 32. The central aperture 33 in the disc accommodates the head 36 and shank 34 of the flexible rubber disc 37. The flexible disc 37 acts to permit flow only in the outward direction through the sleeve 31 in the same fashion as the disc 27 previously described. While the flexible disc members and their mounting means are preferably integrally molded of rubber, it will be understood that other similar elastomeric material might also be utilized.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the upper end of the tube 10 is threaded and receives an inhalation check valve assembly indicated generally at 41. The check valve 41 includes a sleeve 42 which supports a perforate disc 43 which is centrally apertured to accommodate the mounting head 44 of a flexible rubber disc 46. The flexible disc serves to seal off flow through the disc 43 when subjected to pressure on its face remote from the disc 43 but flexes away from the disc 43 to permit flow through it when subjected to unbalanced pressure on its face adjacent the disc 43. The check valve assembly 41 is substantially identical to the exhalation check valve assemblies previously described.
In operation, with the mouthpiece in place, inhalation by the wearer will draw air through the check valve assembly 41 and exhalation by the wearer will exhaust through the dual exhalation valves forming a part ofthe T-shaped fitting 13. It will be noted that water pressure seals the discs 37 and 27 preventing flow through the sleeves 31 and 21 during inhalation and, similarly, the check valve 41 will be closed by pressure against the underface of the disc 46 during exhalation which functions to open, by flexure of discs 37 and 27, the sleeves 31 and 21. There is a one-way flow of air both in exhalation and inhalation and no appreciable portion of the air in the tube is rebreathed. When the wearer surfaces after a dive or a period of complete submersion, the snorkel assembly of the present invention may be purged of water merely by permitting the water to flow out of the sleeves 21 and 31 with only a slight exhalation of the wearer to flex the. valve discs 27 and 37.
1. A snorkel-type swimming aid comprising an elongated tube, a hollow T-shaped fitting removably secured to and communicating with one end of said tube, a mouthpiece member secured to and extending sidewardly from that leg of said T-fitting to which said tube is secured and communicating with the interior thereof, inhalation valve means removably secured to the other end of said tube permitting air to be drawn into the tube but not expelled therefrom, exhalation valve means disposed at the opposed ends of the other two legs of said T-fitting, said exhalation valve means permitting air to be expelled from said fitting but preventing water flow into said fitting when air is drawn into said tube through said inhalation valve means.