US 3912348 A
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United States Patent [1 1 Seymour Oct. 14, 1975  RAINTIGHT ENCLOSURE FOR 2,899,256 8/1959 Kelly 312/296 3,363,953 1/1968 Lacan 312/229 X 3,479,104 11/1969 Kobryner 312/229 Inventor: Raymond Kelsey Seymour,
'Plainvi1le, Conn.  Assignee: General Electric Company, New Primary Examymer c asmlr Nunbrg Attorney, Agent, or FzrmR. A. Cah11l; W. C. York, N.Y.
Bemkopf; F; L. Neuhauser 22 Filed: Nov. 11, 1974 ] Appl. No.: 522,517
 ABSTRACT  US. Cl. 312/100; 49/483; 49/476;
/296 A raintight enclosure for electrical equipment includes  Int. C1. A47B /00; A47B 96/00 a box-like cabinet with its open front closed off by a Field Of Search side hinged door. An elongated gutter, mounted in the 0, upper front edge of the cabinet, receives the top, in- 52 R, 52 S wardly extending door flange and is effective to colv lect and route Water beyond the cabinet sidewalls  1 References Cited where it runs down the exterior of the cabinet.
UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,593,305 4/1952 Hunter 49/476 9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures U.S. Patent Oct. 14, 1975 3,912,348
Willi V22 RAINTIGI-IT ENCLOSURE FOR ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT I BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Electrical'equipment enclosures for outdoor applications are typically designed with top hinged doors as the most practicable solution to the requirement of raintightness. With a top hinged door, the top front edge of the cabinet can readily be made to sufficiently overlap the top edge of the door tofprevent the entry of water even in a driving rain and still not obstruct opening the door to access the enclosure. In the large enclosure sizes, however, the door becomes quite heavy and cumbersome to handle. Moreover, a top hinged door must in some manner be propped or held open to permit servicing the equipment in the enclosure. Should the restraint maintaining the door open inadvertently fail, injury to personnel accessing the enclosure could result. Consequently,'the door is typically dismounted altogether if prolonged access to the enclosure is required. Obviously, dismounting and then remounting the door is inconvenient to the electrician and costly to the user.
Side hinging of doors for raintight enclosures has been attempted in the past. In one approach, the door, once closed, is cammed or in some other manner bodily shifted upward to a latched position with its upper edge in underlapping or shingled relation with the upper front edge of the cabinet. Another approach is to eliminate this shingled relationship and attempt to achieve raintightness with an elaborate gasketing arrangement. Both of these approaches to providing side hinged doors for raintight electrical equipment enclosures have proven rather expensive.
It is accordingly an object of the present invention to provide a raintight electrical equipment enclosure having a side hinged access door.
Another object is to provide an enclosure of the above character which is inexpensive to manufacture and convenient to use in the field.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and appended claims.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, there is provided an enclosure for electrical equipment which is uniquely structured to accommodate a side hinged access door and yet has the requisite raintightness for outdoor installation. The subject enclosure is rendered raintight without elaborate gasketing, and, if fact, gaskets are eliminated altogether. Also avoided, by virtue of the instant invention, are' mechanisms to bodily shift the closure position of the door into raintight relation with the cabinet. All of this is achieved in the present invention through the incorporation of an elongated gutter in the upper front edge of the cabinet. The open ends of the gutter terminate beyond the cabinet sidewalls. The gutter is generally U-shaped and oriented on its side such that the inwardly turned, flanged upper edge portion of the door is accepted between the two sides of the gutter when the door is swung on its side hinges into closure relation with the open front of the cabinet. At least the lower side of the gutter lying beneath the top door flange is sloped rearwardly toward the base or rear wall of the gutter. Consequently, water entering the gap between the top of the door and the cabinet is collected by the gutter and routed to its open ends where the water can run down the outside of the cabinet sidewalls without consequence. The side and bottom edges of the door are also turned inward to provide flanges which overlap the front edge portions of the cabinet side and bottom walls to complete the raintight closure relationship of the door with the cabinet.
The invention accordingly comprises the features of construction and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereinafter set forth, .and the scope of the invention will be indicated in the claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an electrical equipment raintight enclosure constructed in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
FIG. 2 isa perspective view of the raintight enclosure of FIG. 1 with the side hinged frontal door swung partially open; and
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 1.
Life reference numerals refer to corresponding parts throughout the several views of the drawing.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to the drawing, the raintight enclosure of the present invention, generally indicated at 10 in FIGS. 1 and 2, consists of a box-like cabinet, generally indicated at 12, which in service is mounted upright in the orientation shown with its open front accessed by a door, generally indicated at 14. The door is mounted to the cabinet by side hinges 16 to swing about a verticalaxis, as illustrated in FIG. 2. Manipulation of the door is facilitated by a suitable handle 18 which is rotated to disengage a latch (not shown) from a latch plate 20 mounted to one sidewall 22 of the cabinet.
Door 14 is formed with inwardly turned marginal portions to provide a continuous series of flanges around the four edges of the door. Of these flanges, the two side flanges 34 and the bottom flange 26 overlap the front edge portions of the cabinet sidewalls 22 and bottom wall 28 when the door is closed. To provide the requisite raintightness in accordance with the instant invention, an elongated gutter, generally indicated at 30 in FIGS. 2 and 3, is mounted just under the front edge of the cabinet top wall 32. The gutter, which may conveniently be an aluminum extrusion is U-shaped in cross-section, as best seen in FIG. 3, and its open ends terminate just beyond the cabinet sidewalls 22. The upper front corners of the cabinet sidewalls and the overlapping side skirts of the top wall 32 are notched, as indicated at 34, to accommodate and support the terminal portions of the gutter which is disposed with its open side faced forwardly. Thus, when door 14 is closed, its top flange 36 is received between an upper wall 38 and lower wall 40 of the gutter. Bolts 42 passed through holes in the cabinet topwall 32 and threaded into tapped holes in gutter wall 38 secure the gutter in place. The free end portion of lower wall 40 is made thicker such that its inner surface slopes back toward gutter rear wall 44.
From the foregoing description, it is seen that water entering the gap between the top floor flange 36 and the upper wall 38 of the gutter is collected in the trough formed by the backwardly sloped inner surface of lower wall 40 and routed to the gutter terminations beyond the cabinet sidewalls. The upper end portion of door side flange 24 is spaced somewhat from the open end of the gutter so that the collected water is not backed up, but runs inconsequentially down the exteriors of the cabinet sidewalls. The slope of the lower wall 40 effectively prevents any collected water from running over the wall edge into the interior of the enclosure. The remaining gaps between the door and cabinet are covered by the overlapping door flanges to effectively prevent the entry of water, even during a driving rain, and to prevent the egress of sparks and flames precipitated by an electrical fault within the enclosure. It will be noted that overlapping, to extent required by Underwriters Laboratory, is also conveniently achieved at the junction between the top of the door and the cabinet. The gutter upper wall 38 is lapped by the cabinet top wall 32, and the door flange 36 laps the lower gutter wall 40. While the illustrated embodiment of the present invention utilizes the gutter as a separate piece in a sheet metal enclosure, it will be appreciated that the gutter could be molded as an integral part of a cast metal or molded plastic enclosure.
It will thus be seen that the objects set forth above, among those made apparent in the preceding description, are efficiently attained and, since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
l. A raintight enclosure for electrical equipment, said enclosure comprising, in combination:
A. a cabinet having opposed sidewalls, top and bottom walls, a backwall, and an open front;
B. a door having a front wall and top, bottom and opposed side edge flanges all at right angles to said front wall;
C. hinges pivotally mounting said door to one cabinet sidewall for swinging movement into closure relation with the open front of said cabinet 1. said opposed side and bottom door flanges overlapping the front edge portions of said side and bottom cabinet walls; and
D. a gutter mounted beneath an overhanging front edge portion of said cabinet top wall to provide a trough extending completely across the open front of said cabinet, with said door in closure relation with the open front of said cabinet, said top door flange entering the space between said top cabinet wall overhanging front edge portion and said trough.
2. The enclosure defined in claim 1, wherein said trough is defined by a backwall and a lower wall disposed in underlying relation to said top door flange.
3. The enclosure defined in claim 2, wherein the upper surface of said trough lower wall slopes back toward said trough backwall.
4. The enclosure defined in claim 1, wherein said trough has open ends terminating beyond said cabinet sidewalls.
5. The enclosure defined in claim 1, wherein said gutter is U-shaped in cross-section having upper and lower walls and a connecting backwall, said top door flange being received between said upper and lower walls, and said trough being provided by said lower wall and said backwall.
6. The enclosure defined in claim 5, wherein the upper surface of said lower wall slopes back toward said backwall of said gutter.
7. The enclosure defined in claim 5, wherein said gutter has open ends terminating beyond said cabinet sidewalls.
8. The enclosure defined in claim 7, wherein said gutter upper wall is positioned against said overhanging front edge portion of said cabinet top wall.
9. The enclosure defined in claim 8, wherein said upper wall is fastened to said cabinet top wall pursuant to securing said gutter in position.