US 2773554 A
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Dec. 11, 1956 E. A. LINDORF FLOOR DRAIN SEAL- Filed Sept. 6, 1952 INVENTOR.
BY M x .1 I /v United States Patent OfiFice 2,773,554 Patented Dec. 11, 1956 FLOOR DRAIN SEAL Eugene A. Lindorf, South Bend, Ind.
Application September 6, 1952, Serial No. 308,226
1 Claim. (Cl. 182-24) This invention relates to improvements in floor drain seals. More particularly, it relates to an improvement upon a device of the character forming the subject matter of my co-pending U. S. patent application, Ser. No. 259,560, filed December 3, 1951, now abandoned.
In many localities sewers are inadequate to carry oflf surface water during heavy rainstorms. Also, in many instances the sewer line from a home or building to the sewer main is improperly constructed or is so located as to lack an adequate fall. These and other conditions result in development of back pressure in a sewer or sewerconnected line so that overflow at a connected floor drain, particularly at a basement floor drain, may occur from time to time- Floor drain units commonly consist of a cup-shaped member having an outlet at its bottom. The member is mounted in the floor so that its upper edge is substantially flush with or slightly lower than the surrounding floor surface so that water will drain therein. The top of the member is usually spanned by an apertured cover or protective plate removably mounted thereon. The outlet of the cup-shaped member commonly includes a restricted or reduced dimension neck portion at or adjacent the bottom wall of the cup-shaped member, and suitable means, usually including a liquid trap, are connected to the cupshaped member and to the line which leads to the sewer drain.
. It is desirable to keep the sewer drain open at all times except in such emergencies or unusual circumstances as are likely to result in overflow of the floor drain. Also it is desirable to maintain the cover plate of the drain in protective position at all times so that the danger that a person will step into the floor drain by accident, and thus injure himself, is avoided.
Various types of devices have been proposed previously for use to seal a sewer-drain against overflowing due to back pressure or other causes. To the best of my knowledge all of these devices have been subject to some disadvantages which have rendered them impractical. Among such disadvantages have been high cost, interference with normal use of the drain when back pressure conditions do not exist, projection above floor level so as to form an obstacle over which a person may trip or fall, the need for use of tools or the exertion of greater strength than a woman or child can exert, or difiiculty of operation which consumes a large amount of time to operate the device.
Another condition which frequently is encountered is the plugging or obstruction of the line between a floor drain and the sewer, as by roots and other foreign bodies. Such obstructions can sometimes be released .by the application of water under pressure. This can be accomplished by inserting a water line into the drain cup and sealing the space around the water line and within the drain.
,-:.It'is the primary object of this invention to providea device'which'may serve both as'a seal-'to prevent overflow from a floor drain and also as means to be sealingly mounted within a floor drain to permit discharge of water into the drain line under pressure for the purpose of disloclging obstructions in the drain line.
A further object is to provide a device of this character which is small in size, light in weight, easy to operate, and which may be readily converted for use either as a seal for the drain plug or as a sealed mounting for a fluid line.
A further object is to provide a device of this character which can be manipulated to install it in place and to remove it by a manual operation without requiring the use of tools, which is small in size so that it may be stored in a small space, which has "a hand grip accommodating handling of the device and supplementing the leverage which can be exerted by manual manipulation, and which is adaptable to installation in floor drains of a wide range of size and shape.
Other objects will be apparent from the following specification.
In the drawing:
Fig. 1 is a sectional view illustrating the application of one embodiment of this invention in a floor drain and illustrating in dotted lines its connection to a water line.
Fig. 2 is a sectional view illustrating a modified em bodiment of the invention.
Referring to the drawing, and particularly to Fig. l which illustrates one embodiment of the invention, the numeral 10 designates a floor drain having a cup-shaped body with a marginal flange 12 and which is adapted to be inserted in a floor with the flange 12 substantially flush with or slightly depressed below the level of the upper surface of the surrounding portion 14 of the floor, such as a cement basement floor. The drain has integrally formed therewith at its bottom a tubular part 16 defining an outlet passage 18 communicating with the interior of the cup-shaped body. A restriction, such as a circumferential inwardly projecting flange or lip 20 is customarily provided at the junction of the tubular outlet 16 with the cup-shaped body 10. It will be understood that the tubular member 16 will be connected by suitable means, such as a liquid trap (not shown) with a line (not shown) which extends to a main sewer. The body 10 is customarily provided with an inset marginal shoulder portion 22 at its mouth which supports and positions the margin of a cover plate 24 provided with drain apertures 26.
The cover plate 24 is removably mounted and may be provided with means (not shown) for detachably securing it to the cup body 10.
My new plug device is adapted to fit into the drain opening in the manner illustrated in Fig. 1. My device com- I prises a tube 30 which is externally screw-threaded at 32 fined by the flange or lip for at least a portion of its length at one end. A head 34 or other hand grip member, such as a wing nut, is adjustably mounted upon the threaded end of the tube 30. A cross-plate 36 is secured upon the other end of the tube 30. Thus, as illustrated in Fig. l, the tube 30 may be flanged or flared at 38 to form a seat to support an apertured plate 36 at the margin of the aperture. It will be understood, however, that any other means of securing the cross-plate to the shaft may be provided. The size of the plate 36 is smaller than the size of the opening de- 20 of the drain bowl 10 so that said plate may pass freely therethrough.
A body 40 of resilient compressible material having a central passage 42 therethrough is mounted on the carrier unit 30, 36 and encircles the tube 30 and is adapted to bear againststhe end plate 36. The body 40 will preferably be substantially spherical, with its passage 42 of greatest transverse dimension atits center. The dimension of the body parallel to said passage is less than the length of the tube 30. -The normal maximumcross? v sectional dimension of the member 40 is preferably man er than the opening defined by the flange of the drain bowl so that said member may be positioned in said opening with its longitudinal intermediate portion located in the plane of the marginal flangeltt so that the opposite ends of said member will be located, respectively, below and above the member 20, as illustrated in Fig. 1.
A plate 44 has a central aperture of a size greater than the size of the tube and encircles said tube 30 and is adapted to be interposed between the head 34 and the member 40. The plate 44 thus constitutes a pressure plate which is slidable freely upon the tube 30. A handle portion will preferably be provided to extend laterally, that is, beyond the outline of plate 44, .to facilitate positioning of the device as the wing nut 34 is rotated to either apply the device to the drain or to remove it from the drain unit. As here shown, this handle portion 46 extends outwardly angularly from the body and is formed integrally with a plate 48 interposed between the plate 44 and the body 40 and apertured to fit around the tube 30. It will be understood that the handle 46 may be carried by the plate 44, if desired.
The device, consisting of the parts 30-48 is preassembled so that it may be handled and stored as a unit. During storage thereof the nut 34 will be so positioned upon the tube 30 as to avoid application of any compressive force upon the member 40 so that said member may assume its normal shape. The device is compact so that it may be stored easily, and is light in weight so that it may be handled readily. The device also includes a sealing cap 50 which is screw-threaded upon the tube 30 at 32.
When an emergency occurs, such as an unusually heavy rain which is likely to cause a back pressure in the sewer or which has started to produce a back pressure and to cause overflow of the drain, the device may be applied into operative position, plugging the drain and preventing continuance or greater overflow. The cover plate 24 of the drain is removed and the device is inserted into the drain while gripped at the hand grip portion 46 thereof. The member 40 is inserted into the restricted opening 20 and then is expanded laterally by rotation of the nut 34. The wings of the nut accommodate manual manipulation of the nut 34 while .the device is being held by the hand grip 46. The rotation of the nut 34 serves to compress the member 40 in a direction longitudinally of the tube 30. The resilient compressible member 40, being formed of rubber or synthetic rubber, is expanded radially or transversely of the tube 30 as a result of its longitudinal compression. The body is of such size and mass that it can be substantially deformed and, ,particularly, can be expanded into firm sealing contact with the flange or rib 20 of the bowl 10.
The resilience and flexibility of the member 40 permitsthe member to shape itself to conform to the shape of the inner periphery of the flange or rib 20 which commonly is a rough casting and may have a rough or irregular surface. The deforming of the member 40 may be continued beyond the extent required to effect .a sealing engagement with the lip 20,, and preferably is continued until the device is deformed substantially, as illustrated in Fig. 1, into conformity with the cross-sectional shape of the innermost portion of the flange 20 so as to contact parts of the" upper and lower surfaces of the flange 20. This will insure a' positive mechanical anchorage of the device of suflicient strength and force to permit it .to' withstand a substantial amount of pressure. Consequently, the device mechanically anchors itself thereto and eliminates the need for an anchor means separate from the sealing means.
The expansibility of the member 40 possesses the additional virtue that the device can be used or manipulated to adapt it to sewer drains having outlets of difierent sizes and diiferentv shapes, and to accommodate bowls which are shallow as well as bowls which are deep. Thus diffierent styles of floor drains, and the floor drains 4 of diiferent designs and made by diiferent manufacturers, may be accommodated within a wide range, it being possible to apply the device to drains having openings differing in size or diameter as much as one-quarter of an inch.
The overall length of the device is small, which permits the location of the device, including the sealing cap 50, entirely below the level of the apertured drain cover plate 24 while the device is: in use. Thus the cover plate may be replaced after the plug has been installed so that it may serve its normal protective function of preventing accident if a person should step upon the drain. In this case, however, the drain cover serves the dual functions of preventing a person from inadvertently stepping into the drain cup and of preventing a person from stepping upon the plug device and damaging the same or dislodging it from its seated sealing position.
if the device is to be used to release an obstruction in a drain line, it is installed in the drain bowl in the same manner described above, but with the cap 50 removed from the tube 30. Then the tube permits connection of a water line at .the threaded end 32 thereof. This connection is illustrated in broken lines in Fig. 1, and constitutes a threaded female coupling 52 mounted on the end of a conventional garden hose 54 which is connected at a faucet (not shown) in a water supply system. This arrangement permits discharge of water under pressure into the drain line to dislodge the obstacle. The resilient member 48 may be deformed sufficiently to provide a firm mechanical anchorage to withstand the water pressure acting to dislodge the seal from the drain cup.
A modified embodiment of the invention is illustrated in Fig. 2. In this embodiment a tubular stem 60 is provided having an externally screw-threaded end portion 62. The end of the tubular fitting 60 opposite the screwthreaded end is enlarged at 64, thereby providing a shoulder or abutment 66 intermediate its ends. The internal screw threads 68 are formed in the enlarged portion 64' of the tubular fitting.
A resilient body 70, of substantially the same character as the body 40 above described and having a central passage 72 therethrough, receives a portion of the tubular fitting 60'. The opposite ends of the passage 72 are preferably smaller than the central portion of the passage and are of a size greater than the size of the portion 60 of the tubular fitting and less than the size of the portion 64 of the tubular fitting. The longitudinal dimension of the member 70, that is, .its dimension in the direction of the length of the passage 72, is less than the spacing between the shoulder 66 and the end of the small diameter portion 60 of the fitting.
A plate 74, having a central aperture fitting freely and rotatably on the small end portion of the tube 60, bears against the shoulder 66 and against the end of the body 70. This plate is preferably rigid and constitutes a pressure applying plate. A second pressure plate 76 bears against the opposite end of the member 70 and its position lengthwise of the member 60 is controlled by a screwthreaded member engaging the screw threads 62 of the tubular fitting. In the form here shown, an internally screw-threaded sleeve 78 is threaded upon the threaded portion 62 of the tubular fitting, the same being formed integrally with the plate 76 in the construction illustrated. It will be understood, however, that a nut or other means may be employed instead of the sleeve 78, in which event, however, it is required in this embodiment of the inven tionthatthe internally screw-threaded member be fixed against rotation relative to the plate 76. The plate 76 is also preferably provided with impalin'g members 80 projecting from the surface which engages the member 70; However, while these members are preferred, they are not required If desired, the portion 68 of the device may have wings projecting laterally'the'refrom, as illustrated at 82. These wings provide finger-engaging: parts and preferably will project laterally a distance greater than the maximum cross-sectional dimension of the member 70 as shown, so
as to constitute means to prevent the device from falling into the drain opening 16. The member 70 in its normal condition and the plate 76 will both be of a dimension less than the opening defined by the neck 22.
A plug member 84 is externally screw-threaded to fit detachably in the enlarged tubular portion 64 and is provided with projecting means 86 to facilitate its rotation to and from operative position sealing the upper or outer end of the tubular fitting.
This device possesses substantially the same advantages as the device above described and is operated in substantially the same way. The principal difference resides in the fact that the tubular fitting is bodily rotated relative to the member 70 for the purpose of applying or releasing compressive stress to the device between the pressure plates 74 and 76. The members 82 provide leverage to facilitate rotation of the tube and also to hold it in operative position.
The preferred manner of use of this device will be to manipulate it to expand the member 70 to a size equal to or slightly greater than the dimension of the neck in the bowl defined by the flange 20. The device so adjusted can then be inserted in place, and the frictional grip eifected between the member 70 and the rib 20 of the bowl will be sufficient to hold the member 70 in a stationary position thereafter as the operation of laterally expanding the member 70 is continued by further rotation of the member 60. It will be observed in this connection that the pressure plate 76, which is lowermost and inaccessible, is held against rotation with the shaft 60 by the fritcion of the parts and by the impaling members 80 if the latter are employed. The upper bearing plate 74 serves as a bearing plate to permit relative rotation between the tubular fixture and the expansible member 70.
The device forms a seal preventing leakage or overflow at the drain when the plug 84 is in place. By removal of the plug 84, an externally screw-threaded coupling upon the end of a garden hose connected with a pressure line, permits the device to be used to dislodge obstructions in the line between the drain bowl and the sewer, as above explained.
While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described herein, it will be understood that changes in the construction may be made within the scope of the appended claim without departing from the spirit of the invention.
A seal adapted to be mounted in a floor drain having a restricted outlet portion, comprising an open ended tube having an outwardly projecting abutment portion, an expansible member having a passage therethrough receiving said tube with clearance, said member having a normal transverse outer dimension less than said restricted outlet, end plates engaging the opposite ends of said expansible member and apertured to fit around said tube, one plate having continuous circumferential engagement with said outwardly projecting tube portion, internally screwthreaded means associated with the other end plate, said tube having screw-threaded connection with said screwthreaded means, hand grip means carried by one of said screw-threaded parts to accommodate manual relative adjustment of said means, plates and tube to compress said member longitudinally and expand it laterally to a size greater than said restricted outlet, said means and plates sealing the clearance space between said expansible member and tube in the compressed position thereof, one end portion of said tube projecting from said expansible member and being screw-threaded, and a threaded closure member carried by said last named threaded tube portion, said tube has an enlarged projecting end portion defining a shoulder bearing against said first named plate, said tube having an external thread at its small end and an internal thread in its enlarged end, said screw-threaded means being fixedly carried by the other end plate and said hand grip projecting from said enlarged tube portion.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 402,600 Kemp May 7, 1889 922,544 Turner et al May 25, 1909 987,145 Leisinger Mar. 21, 1911 1,185,542 Roberts May 30, 1916 1,286,935 Bythiner, et a1. Dec. 10, 1918 1,369,882 Brown Mar. 1, 1921 1,446,223 Thompson Feb. 20, 1923 1,600,137 Randolph Sept. 14, 1926 1,736,350 Larsen Nov. 19, 1929 1,808,411 Hinkston June 2, 1931 2,177,916 Thomas et a1. Oct. 31, 1939 2,298,551 Davisson Oct. 13, 1942 2,324,545 Svirsky July 20, 1943 2,599,188 Weisman Mar. 4, 1952
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