|Publication number||USRE43156 E1|
|Application number||US 12/578,721|
|Publication date||Feb 7, 2012|
|Filing date||Oct 14, 2009|
|Priority date||Jun 6, 2002|
|Publication number||12578721, 578721, US RE43156 E1, US RE43156E1, US-E1-RE43156, USRE43156 E1, USRE43156E1|
|Inventors||Leslie Lindenstraus, Steve Zacharevitz, Dennis A. Oddsen|
|Original Assignee||Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (187), Non-Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (1), Classifications (7), Legal Events (1)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
This application is a continuation in part of application Ser. No. 10/236,406, filed Sep. 6, 2002, which is a continuation in part of application Ser. No. 10/163,488 filed Jun. 6, 2002 now abandoned.
U.S. application Ser. No. 10/852,818 filed on May 25, 2004 and issued as U.S. Pat. No. 7,285,723 on Oct. 23, 2007 is a continuation-in-part of International Application Number PCT/US2003/018115 having an international filing date of Jun. 6, 2003 which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/236,198 filed on Sep. 6, 2002 which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/163,934 filed on Jun. 6, 2002 now abandoned. U.S. application Ser. No. 10/852,818 is also a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/236,406 filed on Sep. 6, 2002 now abandoned which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/163,488 filed on Jun. 6, 2002 now abandoned.
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates generally to the field of electrical wiring devices such as, by way of example, electrical switches and/or receptacles and accessories for said switches and/or receptacles of the type installed in building walls.
2. Description of the Related Art
When modifying the wiring in an existing building, whether public, commercial or residential by adding a wiring device such as a switch, a receptacle or a combination of switches and receptacles, it is necessary to cut a hole in a wall of the building, install a box within the hole, attach the box to a vertical stud and install the wiring device(s) into the box. In new construction, the box is attached to a stud of an open wall and, thereafter, the wall, which may be sheet rock having an opening for access to the box, is placed over the studs. The conventional wall box has pairs of mounting ears for mounting the wiring devices to the box. After the wiring devices are connected to the various conductors which they will service, each is fastened with threaded fasteners such as screws to a pair of ears on the box. The process of connecting a wiring device to various conductors and then attaching the wiring device with the attached wires to the box is done for each wiring device located within the box. Thereafter, a wall plate is typically positioned around each wiring device in the box.
Typical installations can include one or multiple wiring devices positioned side by side in a common box. In installations where there are multiple wiring devices in a common box, the installation of the wall plate can be time consuming. The wiring devices must be aligned with each other, must be positioned parallel to each other and must be spaced from each other by a distance dictated by the spacing between the openings or windows in the wall plate. Misalignment and positioning problems are often caused by wall boxes that are skewed relative to the wall or by walls which may not be flat. It is only after all of the wiring devices are accurately positioned relative to each other that a wall plate can be installed around the wiring devices.
A common type of electrical wiring device in use today is the rocker type Decora-branded electrical switch whose activating member pivots about a centrally located horizontal axis and is flat in its horizontal plane. The trademark “Decora” is owned by the assignee of the present invention. To operate the switch, the rocker paddle (the actuating member) is pushed in at the top to supply electricity to a load such as a light, and is pushed in at the bottom to disconnect the source of electricity from the load. Thus, with two or more rocker type switches positioned side by side in a box, the actuating members or paddles of the switches can be in opposite positions at any one time. For example, with two or more rocker type switches positioned side-by-side in a box, the top edges of the paddles of the switches will not always be in alignment when they are not all in their “on” or “off” positions. The in-out positioning of adjacent switches can also occur when all the switches are in their on or off state if one of the switches is a 3-way or 4-way switch. The irregular in-out positioning of adjacent switches, particularly with 3-way and 4-way switches, can cause visual inconsistency in the mind of the user as to which switch is on and which switch is off when subsequent activation or deactivation of less than all of the rocker switches is desired by a user. Another type of wiring device in use today is a receptacle having a flat face. In normal use, it is not uncommon to gang a receptacle with a switch. A receptacle with a flat face, when ganged with a switch which is not flat in one plane, typically presents a visual discontinuous array of wiring devices which homeowners seem to find visually objectionable.
The present invention discloses a structure which overcomes the deficiencies with respect to the prior art devices by providing a wiring device such as a switch having an actuating paddle which pivots about its upper end and is biased with a spring to assume the same at-rest position when either in its on position or its off position. Repeated pressing and releasing of the lower portion of the face of the rocker paddle alternately closes and opens a set of contacts within the switch to alternately connect and disconnect a load such as a light from a source of electricity each time the paddle is so pressed. Thus, regardless of whether adjacent switches of a gang of switches are on-off switches or 3-way switches, they will always be in alignment. An on-off indicator such as a small light may be provided in the paddle to indicate to a user when the contacts of the switch are opened and closed.
The paddle of the switch has a length-width ratio dimension that is proportioned to provide a finger contact surface of increased area to allow a user to more easily and quickly identify and operate a particular switch. The vertical axis of the switch has a surface of positive first differential, comprised of splines drawn between points of varying distance from a datum plane, and has along the horizontal axis a surface of a positive first differential and negative second differential, comprised of a combination of splines drawn between points of varying distance from the datum plane.
A wall plate according to the present invention is located around the switch and has a single opening for accommodating one or more switches, with no dividing or separating members dividing the single opening, for receiving one or a gang of two or more wiring devices. The shape of the wall plate around the switch along a section which runs along its vertical axis defines a surface of positive first differential and zero second differential, comprised of a combination of splines drawn between points of varying distance from a datum plane. The surface has zero second differential when the rate of height increase of individual splines is constant. The paddle of the switch is not located within a stationary frame. The wall plate, when composed of non-conducting material, can have a conductive coating on one of its surfaces to help provide a conductive path to a ground.
When the wiring device is a receptacle, the face of the receptacle across its width is flat in one plane and has a substantially constant radius along its length to allow for the proper seating of an inserted plug.
The present invention teaches an alignment plate which is capable of accommodating one or more electrical wiring devices. The conventional difficulties encountered with respect to mounting and visually positioning a plurality of wiring devices such as one or more receptacles and/or switches in a wall box and then attaching a wall plate are overcome with the use of the alignment plate of the present invention. Such difficulties have included attempting to position the wiring devices to be in alignment with each other, attempting to position the wiring devices to be parallel to each other, attempting to adjust the spacing between the different devices to be relatively equal and uniform, and attempting to fix all of the devices to be flat against the wall. The alignment plate of the present invention has a single centrally located opening sized to receive one or more wiring devices and a set of alignment pins for each wiring device. Each set of alignment pins on the alignment plate is located along a vertical axis which defines the longitudinal centerline for a wiring device, and each wiring device is equipped at or proximate the ends of its associated ground/mounting strap a multi-function clip for frictionally receiving and holding captive an alignment pin on the alignment plate. The alignment pins accurately position, align and locate all of the wiring devices relative to each other and, together with the multi-function clips, establishes a conductive path to ground. Thereafter the alignment plate and wiring devices attached to the alignment pins on the alignment plate can be attached to a box with mounting screws. The alignment pins accurately position, align and locate the wiring devices and the alignment plate positions all of the wiring devices to a flat plane.
In one embodiment of the switch according to the present invention, an articulated cam driver coupled to the rocker paddle of the switch causes a cam to rotate first in a clockwise direction and then in a counter clockwise direction each time the rocker paddle is depressed. Alternate rotation of the cam drives a slider member back and forth along a linear axis to open and close a set of contacts. A leaf spring of predetermined shape cooperates with a cam follower on the slider member to assist in the movement of the slider and to determine its rest positions. A spring, acting through the rigid member, urges the rocker paddle to always be in its out position when the switch is in its on position and its off at-rest position. An indicator such as an LED located in the paddle indicates the state of conduction of the switch.
In another embodiment of the switch according to the present invention, the cam driver coupled to the rocker paddle of the switch comprises an initially flat ribbon of flexible material such as spring steel formed with a blunt end having a generous radius which drives the cam. A spring urges the rocker paddle to always be in its out position when the switch is in its on and off at-rest position.
In still another embodiment of the switch according to the present invention, the cam driver coupled to the rocker paddle of the switch is a closely wound spring of, for example, piano wire coupled to a conical shaped tip which can be of plastic, metal or the like which drives the cam. A spring urges the rocker paddle to always be in its out position when the switch is in its on and off at-rest position.
The foregoing has outlined, rather broadly, a preferred blending feature, for example, of the present invention so that those skilled in the art may better understand the detailed description of the invention that follows. Additional features of the invention will be described hereinafter that form the subject of the claims of the invention. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they can readily use the disclosed conception and specific embodiment as a basis for designing or modifying other structures for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention and that such other structures do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention in its broadest form.
Other aspects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following detailed description, the appended claim, and the accompanying drawings in which similar elements are given similar reference numerals.
At each of the ends 36, 38 respectively, of attachment plate 30 are two latching pawls 40, 42 which are formed as extensions of attachment plate 30 but which are relatively thinner in cross-section. A narrow projection 48 located between the latching pawls 40 and bent at about a 45 degree angle with respect to the horizontal edge of end 36 of wall plate 30 is used to help release an attached wall plate.
Wall plate 16 is proportioned to fit over attachment plate 30 and box 13 into which the single wiring device, such as switch 18, or a receptacle, is placed and to which it is fastened.
To attach wall plate 16 to attachment plate 30, latching pawls 40, 42 which are a part of attachment plate 30 are made to engage saw-tooth shaped racks 81 on the inner surfaces of end walls 70 and 72 of wall plate 16 as the wall plate is pushed on.
The switch 110 is attached to a ground/mounting strap 123 having ends 122 which provide increased surface area for contact with the surface of a wall and provides support for multi-function clips 130, 151 attached to the ends 122 by fastener means such as screws, rivets, spot welds, pressure bonding, TOX process or the like.
Multi-function clips 130, 151 according to the present invention are attached to the ends 122 of the ground/mounting strap. The multi-function clips can be composed of phosphor bronze, spring brass, spring steel or the like. Referring to
The openings 143 in the multi-function clip can be provided for attaching the clip to the end of the ground/mounting strap with, for example, rivets, screws, the TOX process etc. Openings 145 can be provided for alignment purposes when attaching the clip to the end 122 of the ground/mounting strap 123. The distance between the side edges 154 of the multi-function clip should preferably not exceed 1.533 inches to allow the clip to be attached to the end of the ground/mounting strap without extending over the side edges of the strap 123. The clip shown in
Receptacle 520 is attached during assembly to a ground/mounting strap 123 as shown in
The alignment plate 114 helps to overcome difficulties encountered with respect to mounting and positioning wiring devices such as one or more switches, a switch and/or a receptacle, or one or more receptacles to a box prior to placing a wall plate around the wiring devices. Prior to mounting a wall plate, various difficulties can be encountered such as aligning the wiring devices with each other, positioning the wiring devices to be parallel to each other, adjusting the spacing between the wiring devices to be equal and uniform and fixing all of the wiring devices to be flat against the wall. These difficulties are overcome with alignment plate 114 which has a single opening 116 and a pair of alignment pins 118 in combination with the multi-function clips on the wiring devices of each wiring device that is to be mounted to the alignment plate in side by side relationship. The opening 116 in the alignment plate is sized to receive one or a gang of wiring devices positioned side by side in a box and the alignment plate has a pair of alignment pins 118 for each wiring device which engage the multi-function clips on each wiring device to hold and accurately position each wiring device relative to each other and along a flat plane. Each set of alignment pins on the alignment plate is located on a vertical axis which defines the center for a wiring device and each wiring device has a multi-function clip at each end of the ground/mounting strap for frictionally receiving and holding captive the alignment pins on the alignment plate. When being assembled, the wiring devices, normally after being connected to the electrical wires, may first be attached to the alignment plate and the alignment plate, which now holds captive the wiring devices, is attached to a wall box and wall surface by means of threaded fasteners. Thereafter, a wall plate is positioned around the wiring devices without requiring any further adjustments on the part of a user by simply pressing the wall plate in toward the wall to allow the latching pawls 140 at the end 147 of the multi-function clips to engage tooth shaped racks 80 on the inside ends of the wall plate.
The multi-function clips, in addition to clamping the wall plate to the ground/mounting strap, helps to overcome various difficulties encountered with respect to mounting and positioning one or more electrical wiring devices to a box to allow a wall plate to be quickly and easily positioned around one or more wiring devices and to also be flat against the wall. Each wiring device according to the present invention has at each end of the ground/mounting strap a multi-function clip that has locating openings 134 for receiving and engaging alignment pins 118 on the alignment plate 114. The pins on the alignment plate, when engaged by the openings 134 in the multi-function clips, accurately positions each wiring device vertically and horizontally on the alignment plate, and the alignment plate itself positions the wiring device along a flat plane to allow a wall plate to be positioned around a single wiring device or a gang of two or more wiring devices without any further adjustments being required. Each pair of alignment pins on the alignment plate is located on a substantially vertical axis which accurately defines the center of a wiring device, although it is within the scope of the present invention to provide other alignments, as well. The opening 134 in combination with the projecting members 133 in each multi-function clip receives and holds captive an alignment pin 118. The multi-function clips, in cooperation with the alignment pins, accurately positions and aligns all wiring devices, either singly or a gang relative to each other, and to the alignment plate. As noted previously, the opening 116 in the alignment plate can be made to receive one or more wiring devices. After the wiring device(s) are attached to the alignment plate, the wiring device(s), together with the alignment plate are attached to a wall box and wall surface by means of threaded fasteners such as screws which pass through openings 132 and 153 of multi-function clips 130 and 151, openings 126 in the ground/mounting strap and openings 117 in alignment plate 114. The alignment plate 114 provides a substantially flat rigid support for the wiring devices, and the alignment pins 118, in combination with the multi-function clips insures that all the wiring devices are accurately positioned relative to each other when two or more are ganged together to allow a wall plate to be placed around the wiring devices without requiring any further adjustment.
When assembling wiring devices to a wall mounted box, the electrical cables that have been fed through openings to the confines of the box are stripped of insulation and attached to terminals on the side or back of the wiring device, such as a switch and/or receptacle that is to be mounted in the box. After the wires are attached to the wiring device, the alignment plate may be positioned behind the wiring device by threading the wiring device through the opening in the alignment plate. The alignment plate may have adhesive strips or the like to facilitate temporary positioning to the wall surface. The back face of the ends of the ground/mounting strap is now moved toward the front face of the alignment plate. As the wiring device moves toward the alignment plate, the alignment pins 118 on the alignment plate enter openings 128 in the ground/mounting strap and openings 134 in the multi-function clips 130, 151. As the alignment pins enter the openings 134, they force the upwardly bent projections 133 to resiliently move upward and spread slightly apart to allow the alignment pins to fully enter openings 134. The ends of the upwardly bent projections 133 engage and hold captive alignment pins 118 and resist backward movement and withdrawal of the pins from the openings 134. The body of the switch or receptacle which is now attached to the alignment plate and connected to the electrical wires, is pushed into the box. As the wiring device is pushed into the box, threaded fasteners 108 located in openings 132 and 153 in the multi-function clip 130 and opening 153 of multi-function clip 151 and clearance openings 117 in alignment plate 114 are aligned with and are threaded into threaded apertures 23 in mounting ears of box 13 to hold both the alignment plate and wiring device(s) to the box and wall surface. The head of the threaded fasteners which pass through opening 126 in the ends of the ground/mounting strap of the wiring device and openings 132, 153 in the multi-function clips are larger than either opening and, therefore, holds the wiring device and alignment plate 114 firmly to the box and wall.
The wall plate is now placed over the installed wiring devices. It is to be noted (see
Each multi-function clip 130, 151 contains two side-by-side latching pawls 140. See
Wall plate 138 is proportioned to fit over alignment plate 114, the ends 122 of the ground/mounting strap 123 and the box within which the wiring device is located. The wall plate 138 is located around the wiring device and locked in position by pushing the wall plate toward the wiring device until the ends of the latching pawls on the multi-function clips 130, 151 engage the tooth shaped racks 80 on the inside wall of the top and bottom edges of the wall plate.
Brush terminal assembly 346 includes a rectangular plate 380 composed of electrical conducting material such as brass etc., which supports a yieldable contact bearing arm 344 having a contact 307. A slot 381 located in rectangular plate 380 is a clearance opening for terminal screw 386 which freely passes through the slot 381 and threads into pressure plate 388. Tightening terminal screw 386 clamps the rectangular plate 380 between the bottom surface of the head of the terminal screw 386 and the pressure plate 388. Brush terminal assembly 346 is provided for connection to an electrical conductor by either placing a turn of the conductor under the head of the screw or inserting a straight end of the conductor between the pressure plate 388 and the rectangular plate 380. Tightening the screw 386 locks the conductor between the screw head and rectangular plate 380, or between plate 380 and pressure plate 388. Looking at side wall 306 of shell member 302, the two edges 303 of opening 384 each has a narrow vertical slot or rail 317 for receiving and holding the side edges of rectangular plate 380. Sliding rectangular plate 380 of brush terminal assembly 346 down into slots or rails 317 in the edges 303 of opening 384 positions and holds the brush terminal assembly in opening 384 of the side wall 306 of the shell member 302.
The stationary terminal assembly 312 and the brush terminal assembly 346 are made of conductive material so that a circuit can be completed between the conductive wires connected to screw terminals 305 and 386. Preferably, the conductive components of the switch are all of substantial grade, good quality electrical materials so that substantial currents, for example 10 to 20 amperes, can repeatedly be carried for extended periods of time without significant heat generation, electrical losses or excessive arcing. Such materials can include silver alloys for the contacts, beryllium copper alloy for the brush arm and brass for the remaining conductive components.
Yieldable contact arm 344 of brush terminal assembly 346 is spring biased to move contact 317 toward stationary contact 316. Therefore, more force is needed by the slider 320 to move contact 317 on yieldable contact arm 344 out of engagement with stationary contact 316 than is needed to close the contacts. Referring to
Wall 348 at an end of chamber 340 contains a slot opening 350 which allows the end 342 of slider 320 to enter chamber 340 and engage and move leg 339 toward leg 337 of helper spring 338. Wall 348 helps to keep helper spring 338 within the chamber 340.
As seen in
Flat cam shaped leaf spring 352 can be formed from a flat strip of spring steel to form a flat cam shaped leaf spring having a profile substantially similar to that shown in
To assemble the cam driver (
Actuator 405 is then inserted through opening 399 and into plunger 403. Actuator 405, which can be composed of a metal such as brass or steel, or of a plastic having suitable characteristics, is a shaft 421 having a generous radius at one end 422 and first 423 and second 425 collars at the other end. Collar 423 is smaller in diameter than collar 425 and collar 423 has a diameter slightly larger than the inside diameter of the apex of conical spring 407 and fits into and frictionally engages the apex end of spring 407. The end of collar 425 is located within opening 428 of plunger 403 and contacts internal projection 427.
Thereafter, spring 407 is inserted through opening 399 in the floor member 401 and onto shaft 421 of the actuator 405. Spring 407 has a conical shape, the apex of which is wrapped around and frictionally engages collar 423 and the base of spring 407 has a diameter that is large enough to extend beyond clearance opening 399 in cover plate 404 when said plate 404 is secured to the bottom surface of the floor member 401 to avoid interfering with shaft 421 as it moves up and down and pivots back and forth in rectangular clearance opening 399. Thereafter, cover plate 404 is positioned to cover opening 402 in the floor member 401 and is securely coupled to the bottom surface of the floor member 401 with adhesive or the like. Clearance opening 402 in the cover plate 404 can have a long dimension along the length of the switch and a small dimension along the width of the switch. The small dimension of opening 399 is slightly larger than the diameter of shaft 421 to permit the shaft 421 to move in opening 399 without binding and the long dimension of opening 399 allows shaft 421 to engage and freely rock back and forth while operating cam 366 without binding.
Subplate 412, which is attached to the underside of rocker paddle 111, is a unitary member of a plastic material having two hook shaped members 418 formed thereon which project down from the bottom surface. The hook shaped members 418 are positioned to engage hooks 396 (see
Two arms 422 which project beyond the rear end of the subplate 412 each supports a circular stud 420, one on the outside surface of each arm, which are axially aligned with each other to form a common axel. The circular studs 420 snap into openings 424 in the frame assembly 400 to form a hinge about which the subplate 412 and the rocker paddle 111 pivot relative to the frame and base assemblies. The subplate 412 is secured to the bottom surface of the rocker paddle 111 with an adhesive and/or plastic locking projections or the like to form a unitary assembly.
The switch here disclosed has an on-off indicator 112 such as a light to indicate to a user when the switch is in its conducting state and in its non-conducting state. The light can be of a color or white. In practice, a blue light was found to be preferred. Referring to
Referring now to
Referring now to the frame assembly 400 (see
The frame assemblage 400, which includes the PCB having the LED, resistor, diode and spring terminals 436, 438, is now placed over the switch base assembly 300 and the ground/mounting strap 123 is attached to base assembly 300 with screws, drive pins, rivets or the like to connect the ground/mounting strap 123, switch base assemblage and frame assemblage together. In the embodiment shown, when the rocker paddle 111 is attached to the frame 400, the conical shaped coil spring 407, acting through the plunger 403, exerts an upward force on the rocker paddle 111 and, in addition, spring 407 urges the plunger to its extended out position. The subplate 412 has a cutout 441 through which the plunger 403 passes to contact the underside of the rocker paddle 111. Thus, the top surface of the plunger 403 contacts the bottom surface of the rocker paddle 111 and it is the upward force of the spring 407 which biases the paddle to its outward position and which a user must overcome when pressing on the paddle. In some instances, it may be desirable to have a switch which requires a greater force to operate. If a greater force is desired, it can be obtained with helical spring 408 where the lower end is placed over projection 406 on the frame and the top is placed within the pocket 410 of the subplate. The light pipe 440 is attached to the underside of the subplate and the end 443 is located to receive light from the LED and the end 446 is positioned in the opening in the bottom edge of the paddle and is the indicator which shows the conductive state of the switch. The projections 420 on the arms 422 of the subplate 412 are snapped into the openings 424 in the frame assembly 400 to form the hinge about which the rocker paddle 111 and the frame assembly 400 pivot relative to each other. Thereafter the rocker paddle 111 which includes the subplate 412, is pressed down toward the frame assembly until hooks 418 engage hooks 396. At this time the bottom or underside of the paddle contacts the top surface of the plunger 403 and the application of finger pressure on the rocker paddle will move it toward the frame assembly against the force of spring 407 to drive the shaft 421 of the actuator 405 down through opening 402 to engage the cam eccentric surfaces 372, 374 and operate cam 366.
The section along line 25B-25B of
The section along line 25C-25C of
The section along line 31C-31C of
The wall plate 138 for a single wiring device shown in
As shown in
When the wiring device is a switch as is here shown, the surface of the rocker paddle of the switch is a continuation of contours of the wall plate, so that the surface of the wall plate complements the surface of the switch. When the wiring device is a receptacle, the contour along the width of the receptacle face is substantially flat in one plane and is complex along the length of the face of the receptacle with a substantially constant radius. The shape of the receptacle face is different from that of the switch to allow for the proper seating of an inserted plug. But, again, when the wiring device is a receptacle as is here shown, the surface of the wall plate complements the surface of the receptacle. The wall plate has no exposed mounting screws or other visible metal hardware. When the wall plate is placed around a wiring device, the only visible parts are the wall plate 138 and the wiring device, the switch or receptacle. No fastening means such as screws, etc. for holding the wall plate in place are visible.
To attach the wall plate 138 to a wiring device, the edges 147 of pawls 140 of the bottom and top multi-function clips 130, 151 engage tooth shaped racks 80 located on the inside surfaces of the top and bottom end walls 170 of wall plate 138. There are two tooth shaped racks 80 on the inside edge of each end wall 170 of the wall plate 138. Each tooth shaped rack 80 contains a number of teeth each having an inclined front face 84 and an inclined back face 86. Referring to
Wall plate 138 can have four tooth shaped racks 80 on the inside surface of the top and bottom end walls for receiving four latching pawls where the two center tooth shaped racks receive one pawl from each wiring device. Also, the alignment plate has two tabs 120, which are accessible via slots 74 in the bottom end wall of wall plate 138. The independent operation of the pawls 140 with their respective racks 80 allows the wall plate 138 to compensate somewhat for lack of flatness of a wall in which the wiring devices are installed.
Each wall plate shown in the Figs. can be made of conductive material or of non-conductive material. Where the wall plate is made of non-conductive material such as plastic, a conductive coating can be sprayed, plated, etc. to the front, back or both the front and back surfaces of the wall plate to provide a conductive path from the wall plate to ground on the ground/mounting strap and/or the box through a conductive path. The conductive path can be from the wall plate, through the latching pawls 140 of the multi-function clips 130, 151, the alignment pins 118 on the alignment plate contacting the multi-function clips, and the threaded fasteners contacting the multi-function clips and the box; or it can be through the latching pawls 140 of the multi-function clips and the threaded fasteners contacting the multi-function clips to the ground terminal on the ground/mounting strap and/or the ground connected to the box.
The present invention contemplates a system wherein multiple electrical wiring devices in numbers not expressly set forth hereinabove may be utilized, without departing from the spirit or lawful scope of the invention.
While there have been shown and described and pointed out the fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to the preferred embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions and substitutions and changes of the form and details of the devices illustrated and in their operation may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US9148005||Mar 14, 2013||Sep 29, 2015||Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp.||Wall mounted electrical device cover plate assembly|
|U.S. Classification||174/66, 220/241, 220/242, 174/67|