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Publication numberUS3902671 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 2, 1975
Filing dateMar 20, 1974
Priority dateApr 30, 1973
Publication numberUS 3902671 A, US 3902671A, US-A-3902671, US3902671 A, US3902671A
InventorsSymmons Paul C
Original AssigneeSymmons Paul C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Spray aerator
US 3902671 A
Abstract
The invention is an improved combination spray aerator device for attachment to water taps. It comprises a valving member, a spray-forming means, and an aerator assembly, with the valving member being operative to direct water either to the spray-forming means for discharge as a non-aerated spray or to the aerator assembly from which it is discharged as an aerated spray.
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[4 1 Sept. 2, 1975 United States Patent [191 Symmons Moen............... 8/1970 Samuels et a1.. 10/1973 Ward SPRAY AERATOR 2,583,232 1/1952 Russell 2,633,343 3/1953 Aghnides [76] Inventor. Paul C. Symmons, King Ceaser Rd 3286935 [1966 Code et Duxbury, Mass. 02332 3334 1 19 7 3,524,591 [22] Filed. Mar. 20, 1974 2,768,735

[21] App]. No.: 453,096

Related A li fi Data Primary ExaminerRobert S. 'Ward, Jr. [63] Continuation-impart of Ser No. 355,744, April 30,

Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Schi11er & Pandiscio 1973, abandoned.

ABSTRACT [52] US. Cl. 239/428.5; 239/407; 239/432;

The invention is an improved combination spray aerator device for attachment to water taps. It comprises a 239/438; 239/446; 239/537 B05b l/16; B05b 1/18; B05b 7/00 51 Int Cl [58] Field of Search 239/289, 407, 408, 419.5, "alvmg member, a P Y- means, and aerator assembly, with the valving member being operative to direct water either to the spray-forming means for discharge as a non-aerated spray or to the aerator assembly from which it is discharged as an aerated spray.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,529,223 11/1970 Moen........................ 239/428.5 UX 17 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEU SEP 2 975 sum 2 s 3 I SPRAY AERATOR Aerator assemblies which are attached to faucet spouts are well known in the prior art. Some of the types known are constructed so that water flowing from a spout is formed into jets of water and discharged at a high speed into a mixing chamber. The chamber is constructed so that air is ingested by the local drop in static pressure. Air and water mix in the chamber and in many cases are discharged through a screenlike flow straightening and mixing means. In some forms of aerator spray assembly construction an air abutment is provided against which jets of water are impinged to effect minute break up of the water jets prior to mixing with air. In other forms air is drawn into the mixing chamber through air passageways thatextend from adjacent the outlet of the aerator'assembly in a direction opposite the direction of waterflow before entering the mixing chamber and then moving downstream as part of the water air mixture. Examples of prior art aerators are shown and described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,858,120; 2,962,226; 2,989,249; 3,635,405 and 3,684,191 and the references cited therein. Also, combination spray aerator assemblies are known which are adapted to be mounted by associated swivel means to a liquid supply pipe, such as a water tap or faucet spout, and which are operable selectively to discharge the liquid in aerated condition or as an unaerated spray. Such devices are exemplified in US. Pat. Nos. 3,261,555, 3,286,935, 3,358,934, 3,450,350,3,520,481, and 3,524,591, and the references cited therein.

The commercially available combination spray aerators have been found to have one or more disadvantages such as relatively high cost, difficulty of disassembly and reassembly for cleaning and repair, excessive size and unsatisfactory performance in either the aerating or non-aerating modes of operation, or both.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved combination spray and aerator assembly in which all of the component parts are designed and constructed to provide convenience in assembly.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a spray aerator device which can easily be disassembled in order to clean and/or replace parts and is free of other limitations of prior devices.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a device of the character described which utilizes a conventionally available aerator assembly and has several improved parts made of plastic.

A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a spray aerator device for attachment to a liquid supply pipe which can be adjusted to produce an aerated stream or an all liquid or non-aerated needle spray of controlled conical shape, and which can be swiveled to vary the direction of the water discharge.

The foregoing and other objectsare achieved by a spray aerator device having an annular adapter which is threaded and adapted to mate with threads formed on a faucet spout. A swivel member comprising a stem having a central bore or water passageway is mounted so as to swivel in the adapter. The water passagewayof the stern communicates with at least one radially directed aperture formed in the stem. An assembly comprising spray-forming means and a valving or flowswitching member is coaxially mounted on the stem so as to be axially slidable between two positions. This assembly comprises a first chamber which is alignable for communication with the radial aperture or apertures in the stem of the swivel member and communicates with discharge openings on the spray-forming means. The flow-switching member also comprises a cup-shaped end portion. An aerator assembly is connected to the cup-shaped end portion of the flow-switching member and cooperates therewith to define a second chamber which also is alignable with the radial aperture or apertures in the flow-switching member. An annular diffuser member is attached to the downstream end of the stem of the swivel member within the second chamber and is provided with apertures for directing water from the second chamber into the aerator assembly. The latter aerates water received from the second chamber and discharges it as a concentrated stream. In operation, the flow-switching memberfls slidable between a first and second position. In the first position, water can flow out of the aperture in the stem into the first chamber and be discharged from that chamber via the discharge openings of the spray-forming means, whereby a non-aerated needle spray is produced. In this first position the aerator assembly is bypassed. In the second position, the first chamber is blocked off and water can flow out of the aperture of the stem into the second chamber. From the second chamber the water can flow through the diffuser member into the aerator assembly where it is aerated before being discharged.

Other features and many of the attendant advantages of the invention are disclosed in or rendered obvious by the following detailed description which is to be considered together with the accompanying drawings wherein: l v

FIG. shows a side elevational view in longitudinal section of one embodiment of the invention attached to the end of a faucet spout;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional .view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1; I

FIG. 4 is a partially explode-d view of the apparatus of FIG. 1; and i FIG. 5 is a side elevational view in longitudinal section of a preferred embodiment of the invention attached to the end of a faucet spout.

In the drawings, like numerals designate like parts.

Referring now to FIG. 1, an illustrated embodiment of the invention comprises a flow control device 2 and an aerating unit 4 and is attached to the discharge end of a faucet spout 10. The spout 10 is provided with an internal screw thread 14 and an inwardly directed flange or seat 16 in order to receive a resilient seal washer or gasket 20 and an annular .faucet attaching member or coupling 22. The latter has a cylindrical portion 24 which is externally threaded so as to mate with threads 14. Coupling 22 also is provided with an external flange 26 whose outer edge surface is knurled to facilitate turning it with a wrench relative to the spout l0. Coupling 22 may be made of a suitable nonwasher absorbing plastic or a non-corrosive metal such as brass and the like.

The interior surfaces of washer and coupling 22 are shaped so that when assembled they form a spherical seal or socket 28 for a ball 30 formed on the upstream end of a swivel member 32. The latter has an elongate stem section 34 characterized by an axial bore 36, an end wall 37, and four equally spaced radial openings or apertures 38 located adjacent to end wall 37. The outer diameter of the upstream portion of the stem is made greater than the diameter of the downstream portion of the stem in order to form a shoulder 40, and an O-ring 42 is provided in a groove formed in the outer surface of its larger diameter portion. A threaded center hole 44 is formed in end wall 37. Swivel member 32 may be made of a suitable nonwater absorbing plastic or a non-corrosive metal.

The flow control device 2 also includes an annular, axially slidable valving or flow-switching member 50 formed with an axial bore 52 and an internal radial flange 54. The member 50 is made of a non-water absorbing plastic. The internal diameter of flange 54 and the diameter of bore 52 are respectively each slightly larger than the diameters of the downstream and upstreamportions of stem section 34 so as to enable member 50 to make a snug sliding fit on stem section 34. On the upstream side of flange 54 the outer surface of member 50 is cut away at two diametrically opposed locations so as to form two arcuate slots 56. Slots 56 are deep enough to intersect the inner surface of member 50 and thereby form two diametrically opposed side openings 58 that communicate with bore 52. Slots 56 provide flow dispersion of water discharged through openings 58. The downstream end of member 50 is formed with a counterbore 60 so as to form annular shoulder 62. Counterbore 60 is provided with a liner 64. The latter is force fitted in counterbore 60. Liner 64 may be made of a suitable wear-resistant plastic or metal material and is preferably made of brass. The upstream end of liner 64 has an annular flange 66 with a diameter that is smaller than the internal diameter of shoulder 62 and is only slightly larger than the outer diameter of the downstream end of stem section 34. A space is thus provided between flange 54 and liner 64 for a metal washer 68 and O-ring 70. Washer 68 and the inner margin of liner flange 66 act as retainers for O-ring 70 which serves to provide a water-tight seal between stem section 34 and member 50.

The exterior of member 50 is provided with an outwardly extending flange 72 and a circumferential groove located between flange 72 and slots 56 in which is mounted on O-rin g 74. The downstream end of member 50 is externally threaded as shown at 76.

An annular spray cap 78 is mounted on valving member 50. Spray cap 78 is made of the same material as member 50 and is formed with a spray skirt 80 and an inwardly directed flange 82 at the upstream end of skirt 80. The latter has a shaped circumferential flange 84 that functions as a gripping portion or handle. The inner diameter of flange 82 is sized so that it will make a snug fit with the exterior surface 51 of member 50. Spray cap 78 is mounted on member 50 so that its flat annular upper surface 86 abuts the flat annular lower surface of flange 72. The axial dimension of flange 82 of the spray cap is such that the flange does not obstruct the openings 58 in member 50. O-ring 74 provides a seal between flange 82 of the spray cap and the outer surface 51 of member 50. Spray cap 78 cooperates with member 50 to form a flow chamber 88 that communicates with openings 58 of member 50.

An annular spray body 90 is mounted between spray cap 78 and member 50. The spray body 90 has a cylindrical inner surface 92 and a conically tapered outer surface 94. The latter is formed with a series of axially extending slots 96 spaced uniformly around its periphery. The base surface 98 of each slot extends substantially parallel to the axis of the spray body. The inner surface 92 of spray body 90 is sized so that it will make a relatively tight fit with the exterior surface 51 of member 50. Spray body 90 is made of the same material as spray cap 78.

The flow control device 2 also includes a stiff diffuser disc 100 that is provided with a plurality of apertures 102 and a central opening 104. The disc is secured to the downstream end of stem section 34 by a retaining screw which is screwed into the tapped hole 44. Disc 100 is located flush with the end surface of liner 64 when member 50 is positioned as shown in FIG. 1, and is sized so that its outer edge slidingly engages the inner surface of liner 64. Disc 100 preferably is made of any non-corrosive metal, preferably brass. As shown, the apertures 102 have a diameter which is smaller than the diameter of apertures 38 and are located on the disc 100 so that the distance from the center of opening 104 to the nearest point of any of the apertures 102 is greater than the radius of the downstream end of stem 34.

The member 50, spray cap 78 and spray body 90 are clamped in assembled relation, as shown in FIG. 1, by a conventional aerator assembly 4 that is attached to the lower end of member 50. In the illustrated embodiment the aerator is like the one shown in US. Pat. No. 3,684,191 but may be made as shown in US. Pat. No. 3,635,405. It comprises a barrel 122 which has internal threads 124 adapted to mate with threads 76 of member 50 and an inwardly extending rim or flange 126 which serves to retain other inner parts of the assembly. These parts include a jet-forming, cupshaped member 128 having radial slots 130 which are adapted to form jets of water as water flows therethrough. A resilient seal washer 132 is provided between member 128 and the end of valving member 50. The aerator assembly also includes an annular support and air intake member 134 which has an inturned flange 136 at its downstream end and laterally extending portions 138 (see FIG. 3) which engage the inner surface of barrel 122 so as to hold the two parts in concentric relation and provide air intake passageways 14.4. A spacing ring 140 having a convex curved inner surface is mounted between members 128 and '134 in radial spaced relation with slots 130. A plurality of screens 142 are disposed within intake member 134 and retained by its flange 136. Screens 142 act as diffusing members and also to catch any dirt particles entrained in the water.

When water is discharged, the valving member may be slidably moved between a first position wherein a non-aerated water spray is discharged and a second position wherein a coherent jet of aerated water is discharged. The flrst position is achieved by sliding member 50 downwardly on stem 34 to the extent permitted by engagement of disc 100 with the internal flange of liner 64. Disc 100 thus acts as a stop for member 50. In this position the apertures 38 of stem 34 are aligned with the openings 58 of member 50, with the result that water can flow into chamber 88and leave that chamber via the openings defined by the slots 96 of spray body 90 and the surrounding inner surface of spray cap 78. The arcuate slots 56 provide flow direction control into chamber 88 and the discharge passageways formed by slots 96 act to form a cylindrical needle-like spray. In this position O-ring 70 prevents water from leaking into the aerator assembly. The second position of member 50 is shown in FIG. 1 and is achieved by sliclably moving member 50 upwardly on stem 34 until disc 100 is engaged by rubber washer 132. In this position the openings 58 in member 50 are blocked off by stem 34 and water can flow from the apertures 38 of stem 34 into a chamber 101 formed between the stem and liner 64. The member 50 tends to remain in this second position because of water pressure acting on flange 66 of liner 64. The water leaves chamber 101 through apertures 102 of diffuser disc 100, into the jet-forming, cupshaped member 128. The water then flows as jets through slots 130 and these jets impinge against the curved inner surface of ring 140 to effect a minute break up of the water streams. The incoherent water then enters the mixing chamber 146 found between air intake member 134 and member 128 where it is mixed intimately with air drawn in through passageways 144 before passing through screens 142 to issue as a coherent aerated stream.

FIG. 5 illustrates the preferred embodiment of the invention which is identical to and operates in the same manner as the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, except that disc 100 is replaced by an improved stiff diffuser disc 150. Disc 150 is provided with a plurality of apertures 152 and a central opening 154. Like disc 100, the apertures 152 of disc 150 have a diameter which is smaller than the diameter of apertures 38. Disc 150 is mounted on the downstream end of stem 34 and held in place by retaining screw 110 which is screwed into the tapped hole 44. It is noted that the downstream end of stem 34 is preferably reduced in diameter to the approximate diameter of opening 154 so as to provide a shoulder 156 for engagement by disc 150. The lower surface of disc 150 is flush with the end surface of liner 64 when member 50 is in its upper position as shown in FIG. 5, and is sized so that its outer edge slidingly engages the inner surface of liner 64. In order to insure that water will not leak between the outer edge of the disc 150 and the inner surface of liner 64, an annular groove is provided around the periphery of disc 150 for receiving a sealing member in the form of O-ring 158. The disc 150 can be made of the same material as disc 100 and thus is preferably made of any non-corrosive metal, such as brass or the like. The use of O-ring 158 to prevent water leakage between the outer edge of disc 150 and liner 64 is advantageous to avoid a decrease in water pressure in chamber 101 when flowswitching member 50 is in its UP position as shown, thereby assuring that enough water back pressure is present to prevent member 50 from moving down under its own weight far enough to switch flow into chamber 88. Provision of O-ring 158 permits looser tolerances with respect to the inner diameter of liner 64 and the outer diameter of disc 150 than is the case with the corresponding parts of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

The invention herein described and illustrated has a number of advantages, notably ease of assembly and disassembly, use of a conventional aerator assembly, and positive valving to alternately effect production of an aerated stream or a non-aerated needle type spray with the spray pattern being generally cylindrical. It also permits the useof plastic materials for most of its parts. Various plastics will satisfy the requirements of the invention, such as Delrin polypropylene, Teflon. Forming the spray cup and. body separate from the valving member facilitates forming and shaping the apertures 58 and slots 56 and 96. Other conventional aerator assemblies also may be used in place of aerator unit 4. Still other advantages will be obvious to persons skilled in the art.

Since certain other obvious changes may be made in the illustrated embodiment of the device without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained herein be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

What is claimed is:

1. A liquid aerator and spray device for selectively producing either an aerated stream of liquid or a needle spray, said device comprising:

a member having a stem with a longitudinally extending passageway and at least one laterally directed aperture connected to said passageway, means for connecting said stem to a liquid supply pipe; and

an assembly for receiving liquid passing out of said at least one aperture and selectively discharging said liquid as an aerated stream or a needle spray, said assembly comprising a liquid valving member, spray forming means and aerating means;

said valving member being mounted on said stem and having at least one side opening, said valving member being slidable on said stem between a first position in which said at least one side opening communicates with said at least one aperture and a second position in which said at least one side opening is blocked from receiving liquid discharged from said at 'least one aperture;

said spray forming means being mounted for movement with said valving member relative to said stem and comprising means defining a plurality of discharge openings that are disposed in a concen tric array around said stem and are in liquid communication with said at least one side opening in said valving member;

said aerating means being mounted for movement with said valving member and said spray forming means relative to said stem and comprising means for mixing air with liquid delivered thereto via said at least one aperture of said stem;

said valving member comprising means for directing liquid discharged from said at least one aperture of said stem into said aerating means when said valving member is in said second position.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein said spray forming means is clamped between a portion of said valving member and a portion. of said aerating means, whereby said valving member, spray forming means and aerating means are slidable as a unit on said stem.

3. A device according to claim 1 wherein said valving member comprises a cup-shaped portion and said aer ating means comprises a barrel which is secured to said cup-shaped portion of said valving member.

4. A device according to claim 3 wherein said spray forming means is clamped between a portion of said valving member and said barrel.

5. A device according to claim 3 further including a diffuser disc attached to the end of said stem and disposed within the cup-shaped portion of said valving member, said diffuser disc and said cup-shaped portion coacting with said valving member is in said second position to define a flow chamber for receiving liquid flowing out of said passageway via said at least one aperture of said stem, and further wherein said disc is provided with openings for conducting liquid from said chamber into said aerating means.

6. A device according to claim further including means engageable with said disc and coacting therewith to determine said second position of said valving member.

7. A device according to claim 5 wherein said valving member comprises means defining a shoulder that is engageable with said disc to determine said first position of said valving member.

8. A device according to claim 5 wherein said openings provided in said disc are smaller than said at least one aperture of said stem.

9. A device according to claim 5 further including sealing means between said disc and said cup-shaped portion for preventing leakage of liquid between said disc and said cup-shaped portion of said valving member.

10. A device according to claim 9 wherein said sealing means is attached to said disc at its periphery.

11. A device according to claim 10 wherein said periphery of said disc is provided with a groove and said sealing means is an O-ring mounted in said groove.

12. A device according to claim 5 further including fastener means for securing said disc to said stem, said fastener means extending through a hole in said disc and being secured in a hole in said stem.

13. A device according to claim 1 wherein said spray forming means comprises a spray cap mounted on said valving member, and a spray body mounted between said spray cap and a portion of said aerating means, said spray body and said spray cap being clamped between said aerating means and a portion of said valving member.

14. A device according to claim 13 wherein the exterior of said spray cap is shaped to form a handle for moving said spray cap so as to slide said valving member along said stem.

15. A liquid aerator and spray device for selectively producing either an aerated stream of liquid or a needle spray, said device comprising:

a member having a stem with a longitudinally extending passageway and at least one laterally directed aperture connected to said passageway, means for connecting said stem to a liquid supply pipe;

a diffuser disc attached to the end of said stem; and an assembly for receiving liquid passing out of said at least one aperture and selectively discharging said liquid as an aerated stream or a needle spray, said assembly comprising a liquid valving member, spray forming means and aerating means; said valving member being mounted on said stem and having at least one side opening and a cup-shaped portion, said valving member being slidable on said stern between a first position in which said at least one side opening communicates with said at least one aperture and a second position in which said at least one side opening is blocked from receiving liquid discharged from said at least one aperture; said spray forming means being mounted for movement with said valving member relative to said stem and comprising means defining a plurality of discharge openings that are disposed in a concentric array around said stem and are in liquid communication with said at least one side opening in said valving member; said aerating means being mounted for movement with said valving member and said spray forming means relative to said stem and comprising means for mixing air with liquid delivered thereto via said at least one aperture of said stem; said valving member comprising means for directing liquid discharged from said at least one aperture of said stem into said aerating means when said valving member is in said second position; and said disc being disposed so as to coact with said cupshaped portion when said valving member is in said second position to define a flow chamber for receiving liquid flowing out of said passageway via said at least one aperture of said stem, said disc having at least one discharge opening for conducting liquid from said flow chamber into said aerating means, said disc providing an impedance to discharge of liquid from said flow chamber-whereby to provide a liquid pressure in said flow chamber which opposes movement of said valving member from said second position to said first position. 16. A device according to claim 15 further including sealing means around the periphery of said disc for preventing leakage of liquid between said disc and said cup-shaped portion.

17. A device according to claim 16 wherein said periphery of said disc is provided with a groove and said sealing means is an O-ring seated in said groove.

* fik.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,902,671 Dated September 2, 1975 Inventor) Paul C. Symmons It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that .said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 7, line 3, "with" should be when Signed and Scaled this twenty-fifth D ay Of November 19 75 [SEAL] Attest:

RUTH c. Mason a c. MARSHALL DANN Arresting Officer Commissioner oflatents and Trademarks

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Classifications
U.S. Classification239/428.5, 239/446, 239/537, 239/438, 239/432, 239/407
International ClassificationE03C1/084, B05B7/04, B05B1/16, B05B1/14, B05B1/18, E03C1/02
Cooperative ClassificationB05B1/18, E03C1/084, B05B7/0425, B05B1/1663
European ClassificationE03C1/084, B05B7/04C1, B05B1/16B6