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United States Patent Application 20170204682
Kind Code A1
Ward; Stephen ;   et al. July 20, 2017

Jumper Tube Connector/Connection Apparatus and Method

Abstract

Embodiments of a jumper tube connection assembly generally include a retention clip having beveled and locking surfaces, a retention clip frame, and a biasing means, wherein the clip is restrained partially within the frame and is pivotable in response to a jumper connector contacting the beveled surface during shunt tube engagement therewith, and wherein the biasing means positions the locking surface to prevent jumper connector reverse movement. Other embodiments generally include a retention clip having a locking component, a retention clip support, and a biasing means, wherein the clip is restrained partially within the support and is pivotable in response to force biasing the locking component away from a shunt tube during jumper connector engagement therewith, wherein upon force cessation the biasing means positions the locking component in engagement with a jumper connector orifice, thereby preventing disengagement thereof from the shunt tube. Methods of utilizing the embodiments are also provided.


Inventors: Ward; Stephen; (Houston, TX) ; Everritt; Steven Mark; (Houston, TX) ; Camp; Steven; (Houston, TX) ; Rajkumar; Vijay; (Houston, TX)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Ward; Stephen
Everritt; Steven Mark
Camp; Steven
Rajkumar; Vijay

Houston
Houston
Houston
Houston

TX
TX
TX
TX

US
US
US
US
Assignee: Delta Screen & Filtration, LLC
Houston
TX

Family ID: 1000002579728
Appl. No.: 15/478607
Filed: April 4, 2017


Related U.S. Patent Documents

Application NumberFiling DatePatent Number
15169944Jun 1, 2016
15478607
62170580Jun 3, 2015
62310999Mar 21, 2016

Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: E21B 19/16 20130101; E21B 17/046 20130101
International Class: E21B 17/046 20060101 E21B017/046; E21B 19/16 20060101 E21B019/16

Claims



1. A jumper tube connection assembly for shunt tube connection, comprising: a retention clip; a retention clip frame; and a biasing means; wherein: said retention clip comprises a beveled surface and a locking surface; said retention clip is disposed at least partially within said retention clip frame; said retention clip frame is attachable to the exterior of a first substantially tubular component; said retention clip frame comprises a guard component proximate a first end thereof, wherein said guard component restrains said retention clip at least partially within said retention clip frame; said retention clip frame comprises a bottom stop disposed proximate a second end thereof, wherein said bottom stop substantially prevents movement of said retention clip in the direction of said retention clip frame second end; said biasing means is at least partially disposed within a first end portion of said guard component and biases a portion of a retention clip proximate, a first end thereof, toward a second end portion of said guard component; said biasing means restrains said retention clip in an initial position in relation to said retention clip; said retention clip disposed in said initial position is pivotable at least partially within said retention clip frame in response to a force applied against said beveled edge by a first end of a second substantially tubular component being advanced into sliding circumferential engagement with said first substantially tubular component; and advancement of said second substantially tubular component into sliding circumferential engagement with said first substantially tubular component such that a second end of said second substantially tubular component is disposed between said first end of said retention clip and said locking surface allows said retention clip to be forced by said biasing means back into said initial position, whereby said locking surface prevents longitudinal movement of said second substantially tubular component in the direction of said retention clip frame second end.

2. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 1, wherein said retention clip comprises a recess adapted and configured such that a portion of said second end portion of said guard component is disposable therein.

3. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 1, wherein said biasing means comprises a spring.

4. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 1, wherein a bottom surface of a second end of said retention clip comprises a step adapted and configured to engage a portion of said retention clip frame bottom stop.

5. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 1, wherein said retention clip comprises a connector stop disposed between said locking surface thereof and said first end thereof, wherein said connector stop is adapted and configured to prevent movement of said second substantially tubular component in the direction of said first end of said retention clip.

6. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 1, wherein said locking surface comprises a groove.

7. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 1, wherein said retention clip frame is attached to or integral with the exterior of said first substantially tubular component.

8. A method for connecting shunt tubes, comprising: providing a jumper tube connector assembly longitudinally intermediate two said shunt tubes to be connected, wherein: said jumper tube connector assembly comprises: a jumper tube; and two jumper connectors, each comprising a first end and a second end; wherein: the first end of a one jumper connector is circumferentially slidingly engageable around a first end of said jumper tube; the first end of the other jumper connector is circumferentially slidingly engageable around a second end of said jumper tube; and affixed, directly or indirectly, to the exterior of at least a first said shunt tube is one or more jumper tube connection assemblies; wherein: at least one said jumper tube connection assembly comprises: a retention clip; a retention clip frame; and a biasing means; wherein: said retention clip comprises a beveled surface and a locking surface; said retention clip is disposed at least partially within said retention clip frame; said jumper tube connection assembly is affixed to the exterior of one said shunt tube via said retention clip frame; said retention clip frame comprises a guard component proximate a first end thereof, wherein said guard component restrains said retention clip at least partially within said retention clip frame; said retention clip frame comprises a bottom stop disposed proximate a second end thereof, wherein said bottom stop substantially prevents movement of said retention clip in the direction of said retention clip frame second end; said biasing means is at least partially disposed within a first end portion of said guard component and biases a portion of said retention clip, proximate a first end thereof, toward a second end portion of said guard component; said retention clip is pivotable at least partially within said retention clip frame in response to a force applied against said beveled edge by an end of a jumper connector being advanced into sliding circumferential engagement with the shunt tube to which said retention clip frame is affixed; and said locking surface is adapted and configured to contact the second end of a jumper connector that is circumferentially engaged with said first shunt tube; and installing said jumper tube connector assembly by sliding into circumferential engagement the second end of a first jumper connector with an end of said first shunt tube, and sliding into circumferential engagement the second end of the other jumper connector with an end of the other shunt tube; wherein: the second end of said first jumper connector is advanced into contact with said beveled surface, thereby forcing said retention clip to pivot at least partially within said retention clip frame, said pivoting comprising movement of said retention clip second end in a direction away from said first jumper connector; and said first jumper connector is advanced to a position whereby the first end thereof is disposed between said locking surface and the second end of said first jumper connector, thereby allowing said retention clip to reversingly pivot, said reverse pivoting being at least in part due to biasing of said biasing means against said portion of said first end of said retention clip, and comprising movement of said retention clip second end in a direction toward said first jumper connector; whereby: longitudinal movement of the first jumper connector along the shunt tube in a direction away from said first end of said retention clip, beyond said locking surface, is prevented by said locking surface; and longitudinal movement of said retention clip in a direction away from said first end of said retention clip frame, beyond said bottom stop, is prevented by said bottom stop.

9. The method of claim 8, wherein said retention clip comprises a recess adapted and configured such that a portion of said second end portion of said guard component is disposable therein.

10. The method of claim 8, wherein said biasing means comprises a spring.

11. The method of claim 8, wherein a bottom surface of a second end of said retention clip comprises a step adapted and configured to engage a portion of said retention clip frame bottom stop.

12. The method of claim 8, wherein said retention clip comprises a connector stop disposed between said locking surface thereof and said first end thereof, wherein said connector stop is adapted and configured to prevent movement there beyond of a jumper connector in the direction of said first end of said retention clip.

13. A jumper tube connection assembly for shunt tube connection, comprising: a retention clip; a retention clip support; a pivot pin; and a biasing means; wherein: said retention clip comprises a locking component proximate a first end thereof; said retention clip is disposed at least partially within said retention clip support; said pivot pin extends transversely through said retention clip; said pivot pin is disposed at least partially within at least a portion of said retention clip support; said retention clip is pivotable about said pivot pin; said retention clip support is attachable, via an edge thereof, directly or indirectly, to the exterior of a first substantially tubular component; said biasing means is disposed at least partially within said retention clip support; said biasing means contacts a portion of a second end of said retention clip, thereby biasing said retention clip second end away from said retention clip support edge, and biasing said locking component in the opposite direction; said locking component is adapted and configured to engage an orifice in the exterior of a second substantially tubular component circumferentially engaged around said first substantially tubular component; thereby preventing disengagement of said second substantially tubular component from said first substantially tubular component.

14. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 13, wherein said biasing means comprises a spring.

15. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 13, wherein said retention clip support is attached to, directly or indirectly, or integral with, the exterior of said first substantially tubular component.

16. The jumper tube connection assembly of claim 13, wherein said locking component comprises at least one beveled surface.

17. A method or connecting shunt tubes, comprising: providing a jumper tube connector assembly longitudinally intermediate two said shunt tubes to be connected, wherein: said jumper tube connector assembly comprises: a jumper tube; and two jumper connectors, each comprising a first end and a second end; wherein: the first end of a one jumper connector is circumferentially slidingly engageable around a first end of said jumper tube; the first end of the other jumper connector is circumferentially slidingly engageable around a second end of said jumper tube; and affixed, directly or indirectly, to the exterior of at least a first said shunt tube is one or more jumper tube connection assemblies; wherein: at least one said jumper tube connection assembly comprises: a retention clip; a retention clip support; a pivot pin; and a biasing means; wherein: said retention clip comprises a locking component proximate a first end thereof; said retention clip is disposed at least partially within said retention clip support; said pivot pin extends transversely through said retention clip; said pivot pin is disposed at least partially within at least a portion of said retention clip support; said retention clip is pivotable about said pivot pin; said retention clip support is attached via an edge thereof, directly or indirectly, to the exterior of said first shunt tube; said biasing means is disposed at least partially within said retention clip support; said biasing means contacts a portion of a second end of said retention clip, thereby biasing said retention clip second end away from said retention clip support edge and biasing said locking component toward said first shunt tube; said locking component is adapted and configured to engage an orifice in the exterior surface of a jumper connector circumferentially engaged around said first shunt tube; thereby preventing disengagement of the jumper connector from said first shunt tube; installing said jumper tube connector assembly by sliding into circumferential engagement the second end of one jumper connector around an end of one shunt tube, and sliding into circumferential engagement the second end of the other jumper connector around an end of the other shunt tube; wherein: a force is applied to said retention clip whereby said retention clip pivots about said pivot pin and said locking component is moved away from said first shunt tube; the second end of a first jumper connector comprising at least one orifice in the exterior surface thereof proximate said second end thereof is then advanced into circumferential engagement around said first shunt tube; whereby a portion of said first jumper connector comprising one said orifice is disposed between said first shunt tube and said locking component; and said force is then removed from said retention clip, thereby allowing said retention clip to reversingly pivot, said reverse pivoting being at least in part due to biasing of said biasing means against said portion of said second end of said retention clip, and comprising movement of said locking component in a direction toward said first jumper connector; whereby: said locking component at least partially engages said one said jumper connector orifice, thereby preventing longitudinal movement of said first jumper connector along said first shunt tube.

18. The method of claim 17, wherein said biasing means comprises a spring.

19. The method of claim 17, wherein said force is applied to said second end of said retention clip in a direction toward said edge thereof.

20. The method of claim 17, wherein said locking component comprises at least one beveled surface.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of prior U.S. patent application Ser. No. 15/169,944, filed Jun. 1, 2016, which claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Applications Nos. 62/170,580, filed on Jun. 3, 2015, and 62/310,999, filed Mar. 21, 2016, which applications are all incorporated herein by reference as if reproduced in full below.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention relates generally to systems and methods of controlling fluid flow in a well bore. More specifically, the present invention addresses apparatuses and methods of connecting shunt tubes and leak-off tubes used in completion operations.

BACKGROUND

[0004] Down-hole completion operations commonly require filter screens to restrain flow of sand and particulates existing in the well environment from entering pipe openings. In a common application, shunt tubes are utilized exterior of a base pipe to provide fluid communication downhole independent of flow through the base pipe.

[0005] As presently practiced, jumper tubes are provided at connections of the base pipe sections. Jumper tubes provide fluid connection of a shunt tube on a pipe section to a corresponding shunt tube attached to an abutting pipe section. Jumper tubes are installed after connection of pipe sections.

[0006] Generally, for adjoining pipe sections, shunt tube ends are aligned when pipe sections are connected. The jumper tube is inserted between respective shunt tube ends. The jumper tube has a connector at each end comprising a telescoping tube section slideable on the jumper tube. Each telescoping tube section is extended to cover a corresponding shunt tube end. Seals are provided intermediate the telescoping sections and corresponding jumper tube sections, and intermediate the telescoping sections and corresponding shunt tube ends to provide a contained fluid flow path from a shunt tube through a jumper tube to the next corresponding shunt tube.

[0007] Traditionally, set screws are used to retain a telescoping tube section to a corresponding shunt tube end and to retain a telescoping tube end to a corresponding jumper tube. Exemplary jumper tube connectors utilizing set screws are described in U.S. Pat. No. 7,497,267 to Setterberg, Jr. and U.S. Pat. No. 7,886,819 to Setterberg, Jr. In one known technology, as disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2013/0220606, removable "snap-on clips" may be utilized to secure a jumper tube connector. Each of these jumper connector retaining mechanisms, however, requires the use of separate components that must be provided and individually installed.

[0008] By another technology, as is disclosed in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2015/0240572, which application is incorporated herein by reference as if reproduced in full below, jumper tube connectors are secured by means of a retainer ring segment disposed on the interior of a shroud assembly utilized to protect the jumper tube connector assembly.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] Embodiments of the present invention comprise a jumper tube connector assembly and/or jumper tube connection assembly. In one embodiment, a jumper tube connector assembly comprises a jumper tube and two fasteners biased toward the jumper tube. In one embodiment, the jumper tube connector assembly further comprises two connectors, the connectors slideable on the jumper tube. In one embodiment, in an un-installed position, each fastener at least partially covers and is biased against the exterior of a connector, wherein upon slidably engaging the connector with a shunt tube, i.e., an installed position, the connector ceases to be disposed between the fastener and the jumper tube, and a portion of a bottom surface of the fastener is biased proximate the jumper tube, whereby an end surface of the fastener is disposed such that the connector is prevented from moving in a direction toward the fastener.

[0010] In one embodiment, a jumper tube connection assembly comprises a shunt tube and two fasteners affixed, directly or indirectly, to the shunt tube, wherein the fasteners comprise opposingly oriented retention clips each comprising a locking surface and disposed such that upon axially movement of a connector there between, the retention clips are biased apart, and circumferential engagement of the connector with the shunt tube by movement of the connector in one direction allows the locking surfaces to prevent axial movement of the connector in the opposite direction.

[0011] In another embodiment, a jumper tube connection assembly comprises a shunt tube and one or more fasteners affixed, directly or indirectly, to the shunt tube, wherein the fasteners comprise pin-locking retention clips each comprising a spring-loaded pin for connection to a jumper connector and disposed such that upon biasing the pin away from the shunt tube (or shunt tube extended), axial movement of a connector into circumferential engagement with the shunt tube by movement of the connector, followed by removal of the biasing force, allows the pin to prevent axial movement of the connector.

[0012] In another embodiment, a jumper tube connection assembly, which is affixable to a shunt tube, comprises a retention clip having a beveled surface and locking surface, a retention clip frame, and a biasing means, wherein the retention clip is restrained partially within the retention clip frame in an initial position, and is pivotable in response to a jumper connector contacting the beveled surface during sliding circumferential engagement thereof with a shunt tube. Upon engagement of the jumper connector with the shunt tube, the biasing means re-positions the retention clip in its initial position, whereby the locking surface prevents disengaging movement of the jumper connector in relation to the shunt tube.

[0013] In still another embodiment, a jumper tube connection assembly, which is affixable to a shunt tube, comprises a retention clip having a locking component, a retention clip support, and a biasing means, wherein the clip is restrained partially within the support and is pivotable in response to a force applied to the retention clip biasing and maintaining the locking component away from the shunt tube during sliding circumferential engagement of a jumper connector therewith. Upon engagement of the jumper connector with the shunt tube, removal of the force allows the biasing means to position the retention clip whereby the locking component is disposed at least partially within a jumper connector exterior surface orifice, thereby preventing disengagement of the jumper connector from the shunt tube.

[0014] Further embodiments of the present invention comprise a method of retaining jumper connectors with a fastener. In an additional aspect, embodiments of the present invention comprise a spring-loaded system for securing a leak-off tube utilized in conjunction with jumper tube connector assemblies.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] For a more complete understanding of the exemplary embodiments, reference is now made to the following Description of Exemplary Embodiments of the Invention, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0016] FIG. 1 depicts a view of a jumper tube connector assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an uninstalled arrangement.

[0017] FIG. 2 depicts an additional view of a jumper tube connector assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an installed arrangement.

[0018] FIG. 3 depicts a view of a jumper tube connector assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an uninstalled position.

[0019] FIG. 4 depicts a view of a jumper tube connector assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an installed position.

[0020] FIG. 5 depicts an embodiment of a method of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 6 depicts a view of a leak-off tube retention mechanism of an embodiment of the present invention with the leak-off tube in a retracted position.

[0022] FIG. 6A depicts a detailed view of a portion of FIG. 6.

[0023] FIG. 7 depicts a view of a leak-off tube retention mechanism of an embodiment of the present invention with the leak-off tube in an extended position.

[0024] FIG. 7A depicts a detailed view of a portion of FIG. 7.

[0025] FIG. 8 depicts a view of a jumper tube connection assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an uninstalled position.

[0026] FIG. 8A depicts a view of an embodiment of a retention clip locking surface of the present invention.

[0027] FIG. 9 depicts a view of a jumper tube connection assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an installed position.

[0028] FIG. 9A depicts another view of a jumper tube connection assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an uninstalled position.

[0029] FIG. 10 depicts an embodiment of a method of the present invention.

[0030] FIG. 11 depicts a view of a jumper tube connection assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an uninstalled position.

[0031] FIG. 12 depicts a view of a jumper tube connection assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an installed position.

[0032] FIG. 13 depicts an embodiment of a method of the present invention.

[0033] FIG. 14A depicts an embodiment of a retention clip of the present invention.

[0034] FIG. 14B depicts an embodiment of a retention clip frame of the present invention.

[0035] FIG. 15A depicts an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0036] FIG. 15B depicts an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention attached to a shunt tube.

[0037] FIG. 15C depicts a view of a portion of a jumper tube connector assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an installed position.

[0038] FIG. 16 depicts a cutaway view of an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0039] FIG. 17A depicts an embodiment of a portion of a retention clip of the present invention.

[0040] FIG. 17B depicts another embodiment of a portion of a retention clip of the present invention.

[0041] FIG. 18A depicts a cutaway view of an embodiment of a portion of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0042] FIG. 18B depicts a cutaway view of an embodiment of a portion of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0043] FIG. 19 depicts a cutaway view of an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0044] FIG. 20 depicts an embodiment of a method of the present invention.

[0045] FIG. 21A depicts an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0046] FIG. 21B depicts an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention attached to a shunt tube.

[0047] FIG. 22A depicts an embodiment of a retention clip of the present invention.

[0048] FIG. 22B depicts an embodiment of a retention clip support of the present invention.

[0049] FIG. 22C depicts a cutaway view of an embodiment of a retention clip support of the present invention.

[0050] FIG. 23A depicts a cutaway view of an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0051] FIG. 23B depicts a cutaway view of a biasing means of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention.

[0052] FIG. 24A depicts an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention attached to a shunt tube.

[0053] FIG. 24B depicts an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention, in a disengaged position, attached to a shunt tube.

[0054] FIG. 25A depicts a view of a portion of a jumper tube connector assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in a partially installed position.

[0055] FIG. 25B depicts a view of a portion of a jumper tube connector assembly of an embodiment of the present invention in an installed position.

[0056] FIG. 26 depicts an embodiment of a method of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

[0057] The exemplary embodiments are best understood by referring to the drawings with like numerals being used for like and corresponding parts of the various drawings. As used herein, longitudinal refers to the axis A-A identified in FIG. 1 (or similarly oriented tubing or component axes), and transverse refers to a direction normal to axis A-A of FIG. 1 (or axes similarly perpendicular to the longitudinal axis). The terms top, bottom, upper, lower, upward, downward, and the like are used herein for convenience only and other orientations are contemplated, as would be understood by one skilled in the art, The terms "down-hole," "up-hole," and the like, as used herein to describe typical orientations for sub-surface drilling of a well bore are only exemplary, and other orientations are contemplated, as would be understood by one skilled in the art. Although the embodiments of the invention described herein are disclosed in reference to connection of shunt tubes, the invention is not so limited and may be employed in the connection of any types of tubes, pipes, or the like.

[0058] Referring to the embodiment of FIG. 1, a jumper tube connector assembly 10 comprises one or more fasteners 20 fixedly attached to one or both ends of a jumper tube 30. As would be known to one skilled in the art, jumper tube 30 is adapted to provide for fluid flow there through and may be of any useful geometry. In one embodiment, fastener 20 comprises a "snap clip" that functions similar to a binder clip in that it utilizes tension to provide bias against objects disposed adjacent thereto. In other embodiments, fastener 20 may comprises springs, hinges, and/or other biasing mechanisms.

[0059] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, snap clip 20 comprises a strip of metal bent to form an angle of less than ninety degrees (90.degree.), although other geometries may be employed. The bent metal strip is attached at a proximal end 40 thereof to an exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30 such that the snap clip 20 formed thereby is biased toward jumper tube 30 and at least a portion of the surface of snap clip 20 is disposed proximate exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, snap clip 20 is provided such that at least a portion of the bottom surface (not visible in FIG. 2) of snap clip 20 contacts exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30.

[0060] In this embodiment as depicted in FIG. 1, when force is applied to distal end 110 of snap clip 20 in a direction away from jumper tube 30, an object (such as jumper connector 50) can be inserted between the bottom surface (not visible in FIG. 1) of snap clip 20 and exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30, and when the force is removed, snap clip 20, being biased in the direction toward jumper tube 30, retains the object against jumper tube 30. Although in the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 snap clip 20 comprises metal, it may be constructed from other materials as would be understood by one skilled in the art. In one embodiment, snap clip 20 comprises spring steel.

[0061] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the fastening mechanism at the depicted end of jumper tube 30 comprises two snap clips 20; however, the invention is not so limited and various embodiments may comprise a single snap clip 20 (see FIGS. 4 and 5), or three or more snap clips 20. For ease of description only, embodiments of the invention may be described in detail herein with respect to a jumper tube connector assembly 10 comprising a plurality of snap clips 20.

[0062] The one or more snap clips 20 may be disposed along all or part the transverse diameter of a "top" surface 32 of jumper tube 30. A single snap clip 20 may be centered with respect to the transverse axis of jumper tube 30, or may be offset therefrom. Multiple snap clips 20 may be evenly or unevenly spaced along the transverse diameter of jumper tube 30. In other embodiments (not shown), one or more snap clips 20 may be disposed on one or more side surfaces 34 of jumper tube 30. In additional embodiments (not shown), one or more snap clips 20 may be disposed on top surface 32 of jumper tube 30 and snap clips 20 may be disposed on one or more side surfaces 34 of jumper tube 30.

[0063] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1, snap clips 20 are fixedly attached proximate proximal end 40 thereof to jumper tube 30. In FIG. 1, the two snap clips 20 are affixed to jumper tube 30 at approximately the same location along the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30, but the invention is not so limited and snap clips 20 may be affixed to jumper tube 30 at different locations along the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30. In addition, snap clips 20 may be of similar length or of differing lengths with respect to their dimension along the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30, and snap clips 20 may be of similar width or of differing widths with respect to their dimension along the transverse axis of jumper tube 30. In one embodiment, end surfaces 130 of two or more snap clips 20 are disposed at approximately the same location with respect to the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30.

[0064] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, fixed attachment of snap clips 20 to jumper tube 30 comprises welding of snap clips 20 to jumper tube 30. Other methods of fixed attachment may be employed. In addition, snap clips 20 may be integrally formed as a component of jumper tube 30.

[0065] Still referring to FIG. 1, in one embodiment a jumper connector 50 adapted to provide for fluid flow there through and which may be of any useful geometry is circumferentially disposed around a portion of jumper tube 30. One or more seals (not shown), such as but not limited to seal rings, may be disposed within jumper connector 50 to provide a fluid seal between jumper connector 50 and jumper tube 30. In the "uninstalled" arrangement depicted in FIG. 1, jumper connector 50 is provided such that a portion of the exterior surface 60 of a distal end 70 thereof is disposed between the exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30 and at least a portion of the bottom surface (not shown) of snap clips 20. As snap clips 20 are biased toward jumper tube 30, jumper connector 50 is retained in this position with respect to the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30. Snap clips 20 may comprise a protuberance 90, such as but not limited to a knob or handle on the top surface 100 of snap clips 20, which assists in providing displacement of a distal end 110 of snap clips 20 away from jumper tube 30 so that a portion of the distal end 70 of jumper connector 50 may be slid between the exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30 and at least a portion of the bottom surface (not shown) of snap clips 20 to provide jumper connector 50 in the uninstalled arrangement.

[0066] FIG. 2 depicts an embodiment of jumper tube connector assembly 10 in an "installed" arrangement wherein a proximal end 120 of jumper connector 50 is slidingly engaged with a shunt tube (not shown in FIG. 1). Such movement of jumper connector 50 with regard to jumper tube 30 along the longitudinal axis thereof displaces distal end 70 of jumper connector 50 such that no portion of jumper connector 50 remains disposed between snap clips 20 and jumper tube 30. As snap clips 20 are biased toward jumper tube 30, such transposition of jumper connector 50 from its uninstalled arrangement to its installed arrangement results in at least a portion of the bottom surface (not shown) of snap clips 20 contacting exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30. In such an arrangement, an end surface 130 (labeled in FIG. 1) of at least one of snap clips 20 prevents movement of jumper connector 50 toward snap clips 20 along the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30.

[0067] As depicted in FIGS. 1 and 2, end surface 130 of each snap clip 20 comprises substantially the dimensions of the snap clip 20 proximate thereto; however, the present invention is not so limited and other end surface geometries and dimensions as would be appreciated by one skilled in the art may be employed. In one embodiment (see FIG. 3), an end surface 130 may comprise a planar surface substantially normal to the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30. In one embodiment (not shown), end surface 130 may comprise a fixture, such as but not limited to a knob or handle, which assists in providing displacement of a distal end 110 of snap clips 20 away from jumper tube 30.

[0068] Referring now to FIG. 3, an embodiment comprising two jumper tube connector assemblies 10 of the present invention in an uninstalled position is depicted. In referring to FIG. 3 and throughout, for convenience only, reference is made to a higher vertical paginal representation as "up-hole," and a lower vertical paginal representation as "downhole," as would be understood by one skilled in the art. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, two jumper connectors 50 are disposed circumferentially to each jumper tube 30. Each jumper connector 50 is retained with respect to the longitudinal axis of jumper tube 30 by a single snap clip 20. In FIG. 3, jumper tube connector assemblies 10 are disposed proximate shunt tubes 140 disposed on each of two connected pipe sections 150.In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, pipe sections 150A and 150B are connected by pipe connector 170. In the embodiment of FIG. 3, an up-hole shunt tube 140A comprises a down-hole end 160A thereof, and a down-hole shunt tube 140B comprises an up-hole end 160B thereof. As depicted in the embodiment of FIG. 3, jumper tube connector assemblies 10 are disposed such that alignment with corresponding shunt tubes 140A, 140B disposed on pipe sections 150A, 150B allows for sliding engagement of proximal ends 120 of jumper connectors 50 circumferentially around ends 160A, 160B of shunt tubes 140.

[0069] As shown in FIG. 4 in an embodiment depicting jumper tube connector assemblies 10 in an installed position, proximal ends 120 of jumper connectors 50 are engaged circumferentially around ends 160 of shunt tubes 140. In one embodiment, one or more seals (not shown), such as but not limited to seal rings, disposed within a jumper connector 50 provide a fluid seal between that jumper connector 50 and the shunt tube 140 with which it is engaged.

[0070] As also shown in the embodiment of FIG. 4, sliding engagement of jumper connectors 50 with shunt tubes 140 results in displacement of jumper connectors 50 from a position between the exterior surface 80 of jumper tube 30 and at least a portion of the bottom surface (not shown) of snap clips 20. Consequentially, at least a portion of the bottom surface (not shown) of each snap clip 20 is biased into contact with an exterior surface 80 of a jumper tube 30. As is further depicted in the embodiment of FIG. 4, this installed position provides end surface 130 of snap clip 20 in a position which prevents movement of jumper connector 50 along jumper tube 30 in the direction of snap clip 20.

[0071] In another embodiment of the invention (not shown), snap clips 20 are fixedly attached to shunt tubes 140 to be connected, similarly to how they are attached to jumper tube 30 as described above, with the difference being the proximal ends 40 and distal ends 70 of the snap clips 20 are oppositely disposed along the shunt tubes. In this embodiment, jumper connectors 50 are slidingly fluidly engaged with the shunt tubes 140 and retained with the snap clips 20 by providing each jumper connector 50 at least partially between a bottom surface of a snap clip 20 and the exterior surface of a shunt tube 140, as previously described with regard to jumper tube 30. A jumper tube 30 can then be disposed and aligned between corresponding shunt tubes 140 to be connected, and the jumper connectors 50 are slidingly circumferentially engaged with opposite ends of the jumper tube 30. When jumper connector 50 is slidingly engaged sufficiently with jumper tube 30 to displace jumper connector 50 from its retained position between the bottom surface of snap clip 20 and shunt tube 140, the end surface 130 of snap clip 20 prevents movement of jumper connector along shunt tube 140 in the direction of snap clip 20. In this embodiment, jumper tube 30 may be equipped with, in lieu of snap clips 20, one or more features, such as but no limited to protrusions, knobs, or the like, on the exterior service of jumper tube 30, that prevent further movement of jumper connector 50 there along.

[0072] FIG. 5 depicts an exemplary method 200 for utilizing an embodiment of jumper tube connector assembly 10 of the present invention comprising the following steps:

[0073] A jumper tube connector assembly preparation step 210 comprising providing a jumper tube, such as jumper tube 30, at least one fastener, such as fastener 20, attached to the jumper tube, and two jumper connectors, such as jumper connectors 50, wherein each jumper connector is fluidly engaged with one end of the jumper tube, and at least one jumper connector so engaged is retained by a fastener against the jumper tube.

[0074] A jumper tube connector assembly provision step 220 comprising providing the thus prepared jumper tube connector assembly between an aligned pairs of shunt tubes, such as shunt tubes 140, to be fluidly connected, such that each jumper connector is disposed proximate and aligned with a shunt tube.

[0075] A jumper tube connector assembly installation step 230 comprising slidably extending each jumper connector into fluid engagement with a shunt tube such that each jumper connector retained by a fastener is no longer retained against the jumper tube by the fastener, but rather is blocked by the fastener from moving along the jumper tube in the direction of the fastener.

[0076] Method 200 is merely exemplary, and additional embodiments of a method of utilizing a jumper tube connector assembly of the present invention consistent with the teachings herein may be employed. For example, in one embodiment, one or both of the jumper connectors may be provided separately from the jumper tube and slidingly engaged with a shunt tube, whereupon the jumper tube is provided and each jumper connector already fluidly engaged with a shunt tube is slidingly fluidly engaged with the jumper tube.

[0077] In one embodiment of the present invention, depicted in FIGS. 8, 8A, 9, & 9A, a jumper tube connection assembly 410 comprises one or more fasteners, such as retention clips 420, fixedly attached to shunt tube 140 proximate end 160 thereof. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 8, two retention clips 420 are affixed to shunt tube 140. In other embodiments (not shown), one or more retention clips 420 may be affixed to a shunt tube bracket, such as shunt tube bracket 350 depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7, and/or a shunt tube housing, such as a shunt tube housing 630 depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12.

[0078] In various embodiments, retention clips 420 may be affixed at approximately the same location along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140, but the invention is not so limited and retention clips 420 may be affixed to shunt tube 140 (and/or a shunt tube bracket or shunt tube housing) at different locations along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140. In addition, retention clips 420 may be of similar length or of differing lengths with respect to their dimension along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140, and retention clips 420 may be of similar width or of differing widths with respect to their dimension along the transverse axis of shunt tube 140. In addition, one or more retention clips 420 may be attached to a "side" surface 144 of shunt tube 140, as shown in FIG. 9A, a "top" surface 142 of shunt tube 140, and/or a "bottom" surface (not shown) of shunt tube 140. In one embodiment, end surfaces 530 of two or more retention clips 420 are disposed at approximately the same location with respect to the longitudinal axis (or axis extended) of shunt tube 140. A retention clip 420 may comprise metal, or may be constructed from other materials as would be understood by one skilled in the art. In one embodiment, retention clip 420 comprises spring steel.

[0079] In one embodiment, fixed attachment of retention clips 420 to shunt tube 140 and/or a shunt tube bracket and/or a shunt tube housing comprises welding of retention clips 420 to shunt tube 140 and/or a shunt tube bracket and/or a shunt tube housing. Other methods of fixed attachment may be employed. In addition, retention clips 420 may be integrally formed as a component of shunt tube 140 and/or a shunt tube bracket and/or a shunt tube housing.

[0080] Still referring to FIG. 8, in one embodiment, a distal end 510 of retention clip 420 comprises a beveled surface 512 extending inward from an outside surface 514 of the distal end 510 of retention clip 420. As shown in the embodiment depicted in FIG. 8, retention clip 420 may comprise a locking surface 540. In one embodiment, locking surface 540 is substantially planar and oriented substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140.

[0081] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 8, beveled surface 512 is configured such that insertion of a jumper connector 50 between two opposing retention clips 420 biases the distal ends 510 thereof further apart. Continued movement of the jumper connector 50 in the direction of end 160 of shunt tube 140 eventuates in circumferential engagement of jumper connector 50 with shunt tube 140, as described above with regard to jumper tube connector assembly 10. As shown in the embodiment of FIG. 9, engagement of jumper connector 50 with shunt tube 140 provides an end surface 550 of the distal end 70 of jumper connector 50 beyond beveled surface 512, thereby allowing the distal ends 510 of retention clips 420 to return to their unbiased position. In this installed position of jumper connector 50, locking surface 540 prevents axial movement of jumper connector 50 along jumper tube 30 in a direction toward distal end 510 of retention clip 420. In one embodiment, jumper tube connection assembly 410 comprises one or more retention components 560 configured and adapted such that upon disposition of jumper connector 50 in an installed position, end surface 580 of proximal end 120 of jumper connector 50 is provided proximate a retention component 560, and further axial movement of jumper connector 50 along shunt tube 140 in a direction away from distal end 510 of retention clip 420 is prevented. In one embodiment, a retention component 560 comprises the welding material utilized to connect a retention clip 420 to a shunt tube 140 (or a shunt tube bracket or a shunt tube housing) by welding. In other embodiments (not shown) a retention component 560 may comprise, but is not limited to, a protuberance on the exterior surface of a shunt tube 140 (or a shunt tube bracket or a shunt tube housing), and/or a protuberance on the internal surface 570 of a retention clip 420.

[0082] In another embodiment of a retention clip 420 shown in FIG. 8A, locking surface 540 comprises a groove 545 adapted and configured to retain end surface 550 of the distal end 70 of jumper connector 50 upon disposition of jumper connector 50 in an installed position.

[0083] In another embodiment of an alternative jumper tube connection assembly 410 (not shown), wherein only one retention clip 420 is employed or wherein two retention clips 420 are not disposed in an opposing orientation, manipulation of jumper tube connector 50 into engagement with shunt tube 140 still allows for prevention, by one (or more) locking surfaces 540, of axial movement of jumper connector 50 along jumper tube 30 in a direction toward distal end 510 of retention clip 420. In such an embodiment, one or more retention components 560 may prevent further axial movement of jumper connector 50 along shunt tube 140 in a direction away from distal end 510 of retention clip 420.

[0084] In one embodiment, aligned shunt tubes 140, such as depicted in FIG. 3, may each be equipped with an opposing pair of retention clips 420, whereby installation of two jumper connectors 50 sealing engaged around the opposite ends of a jumper tube 30 may be accomplished by providing each jumper connector between a pair of retention clips 420, and slidingly moving the jumper connectors away from each other until each jumper connector 50 circumferentially engages a shunt tube 140 and is disposed such that the locking surface 540 of each retention clip 420 restricts axial movement of the jumper connector 50 engaged therewith in a direction toward distal end 510 of retention clip 420.

[0085] FIG. 10 depicts an exemplary method 700 for utilizing an embodiment of jumper tube connection assembly 410 of the present invention comprising the following steps:

[0086] A jumper tube connection assembly preparation step 710 comprising providing an aligned pair of shunt tubes, such as shunt tubes 140, each equipped with an opposingly oriented pair of retention clips, such as retention clip 420, affixed thereto, wherein each retention clip comprises a locking surface, such as locking surface 540.

[0087] A jumper tube connector assembly provision step 720 comprising providing a jumper tube, such as jumper tube 30, equipped with a pair of jumper tube connectors, such as jumper tube connector 50, each circumferentially engaged with the jumper tube at either end thereof, whereby the jumper tube and jumper tube connectors are axially aligned with and disposed between the aligned shunt tubes.

[0088] A jumper tube connector assembly installation step 730 comprising axially extending each jumper connector between a pair of the retention clips and engaging each jumper tube connector with a shunt tube, whereby each locking surface restricts movement of the jumper connector proximate therewith in a direction toward the other jumper connector.

[0089] Method 700 is merely exemplary, and additional embodiments of a method of utilizing a jumper tube connection assembly 410 of the present invention consistent with the teachings herein may be employed. For example, in one embodiment, one or both of the jumper connectors may be provided separately from the jumper tube and slidingly engaged with a shunt tube, whereupon the jumper tube is provided and each jumper connector already fluidly engaged with a shunt tube is slidingly fluidly engaged with the jumper tube.

[0090] In another alternative embodiment of the present invention, a jumper tube connection assembly 610 is depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12. In one embodiment, jumper tube connection assembly 610 comprises one or more fasteners, such as a pin-locking retention clip 620. A pin-locking retention clip 620 may comprise metal, or may be constructed from other materials as would be understood by one skilled in the art. In one embodiment, pin-locking retention clip 620 comprises spring steel. In one embodiment, one or more pin-locking retention clips 620 are affixed to a side (not labeled) of shunt tube housing 630. A pin-locking retention clip 620 may be affixed to a shunt tube housing 630 by welding. (Welding material labeled in FIG. 11 as item 660). Shunt tube housing 630 may be affixed to shunt tube 140. In one embodiment, shunt tube housing 630 is affixed to shunt tube 140 by welding. In one embodiment (not shown), shunt tube housing 630 may be affixed to or integral with a shunt tube bracket, such as shunt tube bracket 350 (see FIG. 6). In one embodiment (not shown), pin-locking retention clips 620 may be affixed directly to a shunt tube 140 or be integral therewith.

[0091] In one embodiment, pin-locking retention clip 620 extends from shunt tube housing 630 along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140 toward end 160 thereof. Although the embodiment shown in FIG. 11 depicts pin-locking retention clip 620 extending beyond end 160 of shunt tube 140, the invention is not so limited, and additional embodiments, such as but not limited to, wherein shunt tube 140 extends beyond a pin 640 or extends beyond an end 690 of pin-locking retention clip 620, may be employed. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 11, pin-locking retention clip 620 extends substantially parallel to shunt tube 140 (or shunt tube 140 extended) and separated therefrom.

[0092] In various embodiments, pin-locking retention clips 620 may be affixed at approximately the same location along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140, but the invention is not so limited and pin-locking retention clips 620 may be affixed to shunt tube housing 630 at different locations along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140. In addition, pin-locking retention clips 620 may be of similar length or of differing lengths with respect to their dimension along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140, and pin-locking retention clips 620 may be of similar width or of differing widths with respect to their dimension along the transverse axis of shunt tube 140.

[0093] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 11, pin-locking retention clip 620 comprises one or more pins 640. In one embodiment, pin 640 extends from an "inner" surface 650 of pin-locking retention clip 620 toward an exterior surface of shunt tube 140 (or shunt tube 140 extended). In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 11, pin 640 extends through pin-locking retention clip 620; however, the invention is not so limited and other configurations may be employed. In one embodiment, pin 640 comprises a spring-loaded mechanism (not shown) that allows for biased movement of an end 680 of pin 640 away from the exterior surface of shunt tube 140 (or shunt tube 140 extended) and toward inner surface 650 of pin-locking retention clip 620.

[0094] In one embodiment, pin 640 is adapted and configured to be insertable into a jumper connector 50 orifice 52, as shown in FIG. 12. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 12, grasping of handle ring 670 and pulling pin 640 in a direction away from shunt tube 140 (or shunt tube 140 extended) allows jumper connector 50 to be extended between inner surface 650 of pin-locking retention clip 620 and an exterior surface of shunt tube 140. In other embodiments (not shown), pin 640 is adapted and configured to be biased away from shunt tube 140 by contacting movement therewith by jumper connector 50 as the jumper connector 50 is moved toward end 160 of shunt tube 140. As shown in FIG. 12, movement of jumper connector 50 into engagement with shunt tube 140 in an installed position allows for insertion of at least a portion of pin 640 into orifice 52, thereby restricting movement of jumper connector 50 along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 12, when jumper connector 50 is disposed in an installed position with respect to shunt tube 140, end surface 580 of proximal end 120 of jumper connector 50 is provided proximate or in contact with end surface 635 of shunt tube housing 630, although other configurations may be employed.

[0095] In one embodiment, aligned shunt tubes 140, such as depicted in FIG. 3, may each be equipped with a shunt tube housing 630 comprising one or more pin-locking retention clips 620, whereby installation of two jumper connectors 50 sealing engaged around the opposite ends of a jumper tube 30 may be accomplished by biasing the end 680 of each pin 640 of each pin-locking retention clip 620 in a direction toward inner surface 650 thereof while providing each jumper connector 50 into circumferential sealing engagement with a shunt tube 140, whereby removal of the biasing force provides each pin 640 into at least partial engagement with an orifice 52 of each jumper connector 50.

[0096] FIG. 13 depicts an exemplary method 800 for utilizing an embodiment of jumper tube connection assembly of the present invention comprising the following steps:

[0097] A jumper tube connection assembly preparation step 810 comprising providing an aligned pair of shunt tubes, such as shunt tubes 140, wherein each shunt tube is equipped with a shunt tube housing, such as shunt tube housing 630, and each shunt tube housing is equipped with at least one pin-locking retention clip, such as pin-locking retention clip 620, and each pin-locking retention clip comprises at least one pin, such as pin 640.

[0098] A jumper tube connector assembly provision step 820 comprising providing a jumper tube, such as jumper tube 30, equipped with a pair of jumper tube connectors, such as jumper tube connector 50, each circumferentially engaged with the jumper tube at either end thereof, whereby the jumper tube and jumper tube connectors are axially aligned with and disposed between the aligned shunt tubes.

[0099] A jumper tube connector assembly installation step 830 comprising biasing the end, such as end 680, of each pin of each in-locking retention clip in a direction toward an inner surface, such as inner surface 650, thereof while providing each jumper connector into circumferential sealing engagement with a shunt tube, whereby removal of the biasing force provides each pin into at least partial engagement with an orifice, such as orifice 52, of each jumper connector.

[0100] Method 800 is merely exemplary, and additional embodiments of a method of utilizing a jumper tube connection assembly 610 of the present invention consistent with the teachings herein may be employed. For example, in one embodiment, one or both of the jumper connectors may be provided separately from the jumper tube and slidingly engaged with a shunt tube, whereupon the jumper tube is provided and each jumper connector already fluidly engaged with a shunt tube is slidingly fluidly engaged with the jumper tube.

[0101] As would be understood by one skilled in the art, a combination of a jumper tube connector assembly 10 and/or a jumper tube connection assembly 410 and/or a jumper tube connection assembly 610 may be employed to connect jumper connectors 50 and a jumper tube 30 to aligned shunt tubes. In addition, a shunt tube 140 may be equipped (directly or via a shunt tube housing 630 or shunt tube bracket 350) with one or more retention clips 420 and one or more pin-locking retention clips 620.

[0102] In another aspect of the present invention, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, a mechanism for securing and a method for securely deploying a leak-off tube is provided. A leak-off tube, sometimes referred to as a "slit tube," is another component of a downhole fluid communication system commonly utilized in conjunction with shunt tubes. See for example, U.S. Pat. No. 8,960,287 issued to Holderman, et al., which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety. Referring to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6, a leak-off tube 300 is disposed proximate and substantially parallel to one or more shunt tubes 140 along a pipe section 150. Typically, leak-off tube 300 comprises a plurality of apertures 310. In practice, leak-off tube 300 is provided as an outlet for fluids introduced into the pipe section 150 connection location. In one aspect, leak-off tube 300 may provide a conduit for fluids into a screened section 390 (labeled in FIG. 7) of a pipe section 150.

[0103] As depicted in the embodiment of FIG. 6, leak-off tube 300 is equipped with one or more spring-loaded buttons, sometimes referred to as "snap" buttons, 320. While the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6 shows two spring-loaded buttons 320, the invention is not so limited and in various embodiments only one spring-loaded button 320 is employed while in other embodiments three or more spring-loaded buttons 320 may be utilized. A more detailed view of the spring-loaded button arrangement is shown in FIG. 6A. In the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 6A, the two spring-loaded buttons 320 are disposed on opposite sides of leak-off tube 300, however other orientations of spring load buttons 320 may be employed.

[0104] In an un-extended or "retracted" position as, depicted in the embodiment of FIGS. 6 and 6A, leak-off tube 300 is retained within a first fitting, such as an upper retainer ring 330, by protrusion of the spring-loaded buttons 320 through upper retainer ring orifices 340 in an upper retainer ring 330 that is operatively connected to a shunt tube bracket 350. In other embodiments (not shown), a leak-off tube may be connected to a pipe section 150 other means, as would be understood by one skilled in the art.

[0105] In one embodiment, in operation, spring-loaded buttons 320 are manually depressed to release leak-off tube 300, which is adapted to be slidingly moveable toward a second fitting, such as a lower retainer ring 360, disposed on a manifold bracket 370 of opposite pipe section 150. When leak-off tube 300 is advanced into engagement with lower retainer ring 360, spring-loaded buttons 320 are manually depressed and introduced into engagement with lower retainer ring orifices 380, whereby, via by removal of the depression bias, leak-off tube 300 is retained in the extended position.

[0106] In an embodiment of a method of the present invention, a leak-off tube, such as leak-off tube 300, comprising one or more spring-loaded buttons, such as spring-loaded buttons 320, is provided, whereby the spring-loaded buttons are disposed at least partially through upper retainer ring orifices, such as upper retainer ring orifices 340, in an upper retainer ring, such as upper retainer ring 330, such that the leak-off tube is retained in engagement with the upper retainer ring; the spring-loaded buttons are depressed to disengage retention of the leak-off tube by the upper retainer ring, and the leak-off tube is slidingly moved into engagement with a lower retainer ring, such as lower retainer ring 360, containing one or more lower retainer ring orifices, such as lower retainer ring orifices 380; the spring-loaded buttons are depressed to allow for introduction thereof at least partially through the lower retainer ring orifices, thereby providing retained engagement of the leak-off tube with the lower retainer ring.

[0107] In another embodiment of the present invention, a jumper tube connection assembly 910 (see FIG. 15A) comprises a fastener, such as retention clip 920 (depicted in FIG. 14A), a retention clip frame 990 (shown in FIG. 14B), and a biasing means 925 (shown in FIG. 18B). In one embodiment, a jumper tube connection assembly 910 may be fixedly attached to the exterior of shunt tube 140 proximate end 160 thereof, as shown in FIG. 15B. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 15B, one jumper tube connection assembly 910 is attached to shunt tube 140 via a retention clip frame 990, while in other embodiments (not shown), a plurality of jumper tube connection assemblies 910 may be attached to shunt tube 140, each via a retention clip frame 990. In other embodiments (not shown), one or more jumper tube connection assemblies 910 may be affixed to a shunt tube bracket, such as shunt tube bracket 350 depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7, and/or a shunt tube housing, such as a shunt tube housing 630 depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12, each via a retention clip frame 990.

[0108] In various embodiments, jumper tube connection assemblies 910 may be affixed at approximately the same location along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140 (each via a retention clip frame 990), but the invention is not so limited and jumper tube connection assemblies 910 may be affixed to shunt tube 140 (and/or a shunt tube bracket or shunt tube housing) at different locations along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140. In addition, jumper tube connection assemblies 910 may be of similar length or of differing lengths with respect to their dimension along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140, and jumper tube connection assemblies 910 may be of similar width or of differing widths with respect to their dimension along their transverse axis with respect to shunt tube 140. In addition, one or more jumper tube connection assemblies 910 may be attached to a "side" surface 144 of shunt tube 140, as shown in FIG. 9A, a "top" surface 142 of shunt tube 140, and/or a "bottom" surface (not shown) of shunt tube 140. In one embodiment, a locking surfaces 940 of each of two or more retention clips 920 are disposed at approximately the same location with respect to the longitudinal axis (or axis extended) of shunt tube 140.

[0109] A retention clip 920 and/or a retention clip frame 990 may comprise metal, or may be constructed from other materials as would be understood by one skilled in the art. In one embodiment, retention clip 920 and/or a retention clip frame 990 comprise spring steel.

[0110] In one embodiment, fixed attachment of jumper tube connection assemblies 910 (each via a retention clip frame 990) to shunt tube 140 and/or a shunt tube bracket and/or a shunt tube housing comprises welding of retention clip frames 990 to shunt tube 140 and/or a shunt tube bracket and/or a shunt tube housing. Other methods of fixed attachment may be employed. In one embodiment, attachment is accomplished by affixing at least a portion of an end surface 928 of a guard component 994 of retention clip frame 990 to shunt tube 140. In addition, retention clip frames 990 may be integrally formed as a component of shunt tube 140 and/or a shunt tube bracket and/or a shunt tube housing.

[0111] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 14A, retention clip 920 comprises an elongated implement comprising a proximal end 911 and a distal end 921, and defining a longitudinal axis there between. In one embodiment, retention clip 920 comprises a recess 916 proximate proximal end 911 thereof. In one embodiment, recess 916 is configured to complement, and cooperate with, a guard component 994 of retention clip frame 990 (shown in FIG. 14B), whereby retention clip 920 is maintained proximate retention clip frame 990 (see FIGS. 15A and 16). In one embodiment, retention clip 920 comprises a connector stop 960 comprising a connector stop surface 962. A connector stop 960 may be integral with or attached (removably or irremovably) to retention clip 920. In various embodiments, a connector stop surface 962 of connector stop 960 may comprise any useful geometry and orientation with regard to retention clip 920, such as, but not limited to, the planar surface structure and slightly upward angled orientation shown in FIG. 14A. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 14A, proximal end 911 of retention clip 920 comprises a beveled surface 918, however the invention is not so limited and other geometries of proximal end 911 may be employed.

[0112] In one embodiment, distal end 921 of retention clip 920 comprises an end surface 930. In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 14A and in greater detail in FIG. 17A, end surface 930 of retention clip 920 is non-planar and comprises a "step" 931. In one embodiment, step 931 comprises a "vertical" surface 932 that is substantially perpendicular to end surface 930, and a "horizontal" surface 933 that is substantially parallel to end surface 930. In another embodiment of retention clip 920, shown in FIG. 17B, end surface 930 is substantially planar.

[0113] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 14A, retention clip 920 comprises locking surface 940. In one embodiment (not shown), locking surface 940 is substantially planar and oriented substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of retention clip 920. In the embodiment of FIG. 14A, locking surface 940 comprises a groove 945 adapted and configured to retain end surface 550 of the distal end 70 of jumper connector 50 upon disposition of jumper connector 50 in an installed position with respect to shunt tube 140. (See FIG. 15C) In one embodiment, distal end 921 of retention clip 920 comprises a beveled surface 912 extending inward from an inside edge 923 of end surface 930 of retention clip 920 to an outside edge 924 of locking surface 940.

[0114] In the embodiment of jumper tube connection assembly 910 shown in FIG. 16 (and in greater detail in FIG. 18A), a retention clip 920 is partially constrained by retention clip frame 990 guard component 994 (cutaway view of guard component 994 shown for clarity). In one embodiment, recess 916 of retention clip comprises a top recess surface 934, a bottom recess surface 936, and a side recess surface 938, each adapted to be disposed about a first end portion 942 of guard component 994. Although the embodiment depicted in FIG. 16 shows top recess surface 934 and bottom recess surface 936 substantially parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to side recess surface 938, the invention is not so limited and other arrangements may be employed.

[0115] In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 18B, a biasing means 925 is positioned within a second end portion 944 of guard component 994, which is disposed proximate a proximal end 995 of retention clip frame 990. In one embodiment, biasing means 925 comprises a compressible (tension) spring, such as a coil spring, also known as a helical spring, although other compressible devices or materials capable of performing the same function, including but not limited to, natural or synthetic rubber comprising components, may be employed.

[0116] In one embodiment, biasing means 925 may be attached (removably or un-removably) to back surface 946 of guard component 994 of retention clip frame 990 and/or outside surface 914 of retention clip 920, within second end portion 944 of guard component 994. In one embodiment, biasing means 925 may be disposed within second end portion 944 of guard component 994 in a nonattached arrangement. In one embodiment, biasing means 925 urges proximal end 911 of retention clip 920 toward the first end portion 942 of guard component 994. In one embodiment (not shown to maintain image clarity), such urging provides contact between at least a portion of side recess surface 938 and first end portion 942.

[0117] In one embodiment, retention clip frame 990 comprises a bottom stop component 992 proximate a distal end 991 of retention clip frame 990. In one embodiment, bottom stop 992 comprises an upper surface 993. In one embodiment, upper surface 993 is substantially planar and is oriented substantially perpendicular to a longitudinal axis of retention clip frame 990 defined between distal end 991 and proximal end 995 of retention clip frame 990. In one embodiment, upper surface 993 is oriented substantially parallel to at least a portion of bottom surface 930 of retention clip 920.

[0118] In one embodiment of jumper tube connection assembly 910, comprising the non-planar retention clip 920 end surface 930 embodiment shown in FIGS. 14A and 17A, in an initial (jumper connector 50 uninstalled) position, retention clip 920 is disposed such that bottom stop 992 is positioned wherein at least a portion of horizontal surface 933 of step 931 is proximate or in contact with a portion of upper surface 993 of retention clip frame 990, and wherein at least a portion of vertical surface 932 of step 931 is proximate or in contact with a portion of an inner side surface 996 of bottom stop 992 (as labeled in FIG. 16). In another embodiment of jumper tube connection assembly 910, comprising the substantially planar end surface 930 embodiment shown in FIG. 17B, in an initial (jumper connector 50 uninstalled) position of retention clip 920 (not separately shown), at least a portion of end surface 930 of retention clip 920 is proximate or in contact with upper surface 993 of retention clip frame 990.

[0119] In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 16, beveled surface 912 and end surface 930 are configured such that upward force applied to beveled surface 912 first forces retention clip 920 upward only (due to engagement of vertical surface 932 of step 931 with inner side surface 996 of bottom stop 992 which substantially prevents horizontal movement of retention clip 920). As a result of this upward movement of retention clip 920, step 931 is disengaged from bottom stop 992. Further upward force on beveled surface 912 forces distal end 921 of retention clip 920 outward (toward an outside surface 997 of retention clip frame 990), and proximal end 911 of retention clip 920 inward (toward second end portion 944 of guard component 994) as retention clip 920 pivots about a second end portion 944 pivot edge 948, as shown in FIG. 19.

[0120] Discontinuance of force being applied to beveled surface 912 results in, via the outward biasing force supplied by biasing means/spring 925 to proximal end 911 of retention clip 920, outward movement of proximal end 911 of retention clip 920 (toward first end portion 942 of guard component 994) and inward movement of distal end 921 of retention clip 920 (i.e., in a direction consistent with the outside surface 914 of retention clip 920 moving toward the inside surface 998 of retention clip frame 990). Continued inward movement of distal end 921 of retention clip 920 eventuates in the vertical surface 932 of step 931 being disposed inward of inner side surface 996 of bottom stop 992, whereby retention clip 920 drops slightly downward such that step 931 is re-engaged with bottom stop 992 as in its initial position with respect thereto.

[0121] In an embodiment of jumper tube connection assembly 910 wherein end surface 930 comprises the embodiment thereof depicted in FIG. 17B, beveled surface 912 and end surface 930 are configured such that upward force applied to beveled surface 912 forces distal end 921 of retention clip 920 outward (toward outside surface 997 of retention clip frame 990), and proximal end 911 of retention clip 920 inward (toward second end portion 944 of guard component 994) as retention clip 920 pivots about second end portion 944 pivot edge 948, similarly to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 19.

[0122] Discontinuance of force being applied to beveled surface 912 results in, via the outward biasing force supplied by biasing means/spring 925 to proximal end 911 of retention clip 920, outward movement of proximal end 911 of retention clip 920 (toward first end portion 942 of guard component 994) and inward movement of distal end 921 of retention clip 920 (i.e., in a direction consistent with the outside surface 914 of retention clip 920 moving toward the inside surface 998 of retention clip frame 990). Continued inward movement of distal end 921 of retention clip 920 eventuates in retention clip 920 being disposed in its initial position (not separately shown) with respect to retention clip frame 990, wherein at least a portion of end surface 930 of retention clip 920 is proximate or in contact with upper surface 993 of retention clip frame 990.

Method

[0123] FIG. 20 depicts an exemplary method 1100 for utilizing an embodiment of jumper tube connector assembly 910 of the present invention comprising the following steps:

[0124] A jumper tube connection assembly preparation step 1110 comprising providing an aligned pair of shunt tubes, such as shunt tubes 140, wherein each shunt tube is equipped with at least one jumper tube connection assembly, such as jumper tube connection assembly 910, wherein each jumper tube connection assembly is attached to a shunt tube 140 exterior via affixation thereto of a jumper tube connection assembly retention clip frame, such as retention clip frame 990, each retention clip frame comprises a bottom stop, such as bottom stop 992, each jumper tube connection assembly is equipped with a retention clip, such as retention clip 920, each retention clips comprises a bottom surface, such as bottom surface 930, a beveled surface, such as beveled surface 912, and a locking surface, such as locking surface 940, each retention clip is at least partially restricted within the retention clip frame by a guard component, such as guard component 994, and each retention clip is biased against the retention clip frame by a biasing means, such as biasing means 925.

[0125] A jumper tube connector assembly provision step 1120 comprising providing a jumper tube, such as jumper tube 30, equipped with a pair of jumper tube connectors, such as jumper tube connector 50, each circumferentially engaged with the jumper tube at either end thereof, whereby the jumper tube and jumper tube connectors are axially aligned with and disposed between the aligned shunt tubes.

[0126] A jumper tube connector assembly installation step 1130 comprising axially extending each jumper connector between a shunt tube and a retention clip beveled surface and engaging each jumper tube connector with a shunt tube, whereby each locking surface restricts axial movement of the jumper connector proximate therewith in a direction toward the other jumper connector and each bottom stop restricts axial movement of the retention clip proximate therewith in the same direction.

[0127] Method 1100 is merely exemplary, and additional embodiments of a method of utilizing a jumper tube connection assembly 910 of the present invention consistent with the teachings herein may be employed. In addition, in other embodiments, one or more of these steps may be combined, repeated, re-ordered, or deleted, and/or additional steps may be added. For example, in one embodiment, one or both of the jumper connectors may be provided separately from the jumper tube and slidingly engaged with a shunt tube, whereupon the jumper tube is provided and each jumper connector already fluidly engaged with a shunt tube is slidingly fluidly engaged with the jumper tube. In addition, one or more retention clip frames may be integral with a shunt tube or attached to or integral with a shunt tube bracket or shunt tube housing, as described above.

Operation

[0128] In one embodiment, a jumper tube connection assembly 910 connected to a shunt tube 140, as shown in FIG. 15B, is utilized in the connection of a jumper connector 50 to a shunt tube 140, as previously described. In an embodiment employing a retention clip 920 as depicted in FIG. 14A, while the retention clip 920 is oriented in an initial position with respect to retention clip frame 990 (see FIG. 16), a jumper connector 50 is longitudinally advanced toward the shunt tube 140, wherein end surface 580 of proximal end 120 of the jumper connector 50 contacts a beveled surface 912 of at least one retention clip 920. As described above, continued movement of the jumper connector 50, in contact with a beveled surface 912, in the direction of shunt tube 140, forces the retention clip 920 slightly upward, then outward, where after the jumper connector 50 is provided in circumferential engagement with shunt tube 140, as described above with regard to jumper tube connection assembly 10. In one embodiment, at least one connector stop 960 prevents jumper connector 50 from being advanced farther along shunt tube 140 than desired. When the end surface 550 of distal end 70 of jumper connector 50 has been advanced beyond locking surface 940 of retention clip 920, contact force against beveled surface 912 is ceased and force produced by biasing device 925 against proximal end 911 of retention clip 920, as described above, urges retention clip 920 back into its initial position with respect to retention clip frame 990. In this installed arrangement, jumper connector 50 is prevented from slidingly disengaging from shunt tube 140 (i.e., moving longitudinally toward distal end 921 of retention clip 920), by locking surface 940. In addition, retention clip 920 step 931 is engaged with retention clip fame 990 bottom stop 992, as described above, thereby preventing further downward movement retention clip 920 with respect to retention clip frame 990. (See FIG. 15C).

[0129] In an embodiment of the invention utilizing a jumper tube connection assembly 910 comprising a retention clip 920 comprising a substantially planar end surface 930 (as shown in FIG. 17B), longitudinal advancement of a jumper tube connector 50 toward a shunt tube 140, wherein end surface 580 of the proximal end 120 of the jumper connector 50 contacts a beveled surface 912 of at least one retention clip 920, continued movement of the jumper connector 50, in contact with a beveled surface 912, in the direction of shunt tube 140, forces the retention clip 920 substantially only outward, whereby the jumper connector 50 is provided in circumferential engagement with shunt tube 140, as described above with regard to jumper tube connection assembly 10. In one embodiment, at least one connector stop 960 prevents jumper connector 50 from being advanced farther along shunt tube 140 than desired. When the end surface 550 of distal end 70 of the jumper connector 50 has been advanced beyond locking surface 940 of retention clip 920, contact force against beveled surface 912 is ceased and force produced by biasing device 925 against proximal end 911 of retention clip 920, as described above, urges retention clip 920 back into its initial position with respect to retention clip frame 990. In this installed arrangement, jumper connector 50 is prevented from slidingly disengaging from shunt tube 140 (i.e., moving longitudinally toward distal end 921 of retention clip 920), by locking surface 940. Additionally in the installed position, downward movement of retention clip 920 is prevented by bottom stop 992 due to engagement of at least a portion of end surface 930 of retention clip 920 with upper surface 993 of bottom stop 992.

[0130] In one embodiment, aligned shunt tubes 140, such as depicted in FIG. 3, may each be equipped with a jumper tube connection assembly 910, whereby installation of two jumper connectors 50 sealing engaged around the opposite ends of a jumper tube 30 may be accomplished by providing each jumper connector proximate a retention clip 920 beveled surface 912, and slidingly moving the jumper connectors away from each other until each jumper connector 50 circumferentially engages a shunt tube 140 and is disposed such that the locking surface 940 of a retention clip 920 restricts longitudinal movement of the jumper connector 50 engaged therewith in a direction toward distal end 921 of retention clip 920.

[0131] In still another embodiment of the present invention, a jumper tube connection assembly 1010 is depicted in FIG. 21A. In one embodiment, jumper tube connection assembly 1010 comprises a fastener, such as retention clip 1020, a retention clip support 1090, a biasing means 1048 (shown in FIGS. 23A and 23B), and a pivoting means, such as a pivot pin 1028 (shown end-on in FIG. 21A). In one embodiment, one or more jumper tube connection assemblies 1010 may be fixedly attached to the exterior of shunt tube 140 proximate end 160 thereof, as shown in FIG. 21B. In one embodiment, such attachment involves an exterior end surface 1032 of retention clip support 1090. In other embodiments (not shown) a jumper tube connection assembly 1010 may be fixedly attached to a shunt tube bracket, such as shunt tube bracket 350 depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7, and/or a shunt tube housing, such as a shunt tube housing 630 depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12. In other embodiments (not shown), all or a portion of a retention clip support 1090 may be formed integral with a shunt tube 140, shunt tube bracket 350, or shunt tube housing 630.

[0132] In various embodiments, jumper tube connection assemblies 1010 may be affixed at approximately the same location along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140, but the invention is not so limited and jumper tube connection assemblies 1010 may be affixed to shunt tube 140 (and/or a shunt tube bracket or shunt tube housing) at different locations along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140. In addition, jumper tube connection assemblies 1010 may be of similar length or of differing lengths with respect to their dimension along the longitudinal axis of shunt tube 140, and jumper tube connection assemblies 1010 may be of similar width or of differing widths with respect to their dimension along the transverse axis of shunt tube 140. In addition, one or more jumper tube connection assemblies 1010 may be attached to a "side" surface 144 of shunt tube 140, as shown in FIG. 9A, a "top" surface 142 of shunt tube 140, and/or a "bottom" surface (not shown) of shunt tube 140. In one embodiment, a locking component 1030 (see detailed description below) of two or more retention clips 1020 may be disposed at approximately the same location with respect to the longitudinal axis (or axis extended) of shunt tube 140. A retention clip 1020 and or retention clip support 1090 may comprise metal, or may be constructed from other materials as would be understood by one skilled in the art. In one embodiment, retention clip 1020 and/or retention clip support 1090 comprises spring steel.

[0133] In one embodiment depicted in detail in FIG. 22A, retention clip 1020 comprises an elongated implement comprising a proximal end 1024 and a distal end 1026. In one embodiment, retention clip 1020 comprises a locking component 1030. In one embodiment, locking component 1030 comprises a portion of retention clip 1020 shaped and sized to be at least partially inserted into an orifice in an exterior surface of a jumper connector 50 (such as orifice 52 described above) when that jumper connector 50 is engaged with a shunt tube 140 to which a jumper tube connection assembly 1010 comprising that retention clip 1020 is attached. In various embodiments, a locking component 1030 may comprise any useful geometry as required to effectively cooperate with an orifice 52. In one embodiment, locking component 1030 comprises one or more beveled leading edges 1080 to facilitate insertion of locking component 1030 into an orifice 52. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 22A, locking component 1030 comprises a top surface 1082 and a bottom surface 1084 that are oriented substantially perpendicular to the long axis of retention clip 1020; however, other orientations may be utilized. In one embodiment, retention clip 1020 comprises a pivot pin orifice 1022 there through, extending from a front surface 1050 thereof to a back surface (not shown) thereof. In one embodiment, pivot pin orifice 1022 comprises a substantially tubular structure having a substantially fixed inner diameter.

[0134] In one embodiment, a retention clip support 1090 of jumper tube connection assembly 1010 comprises a structure adapted to partially contain retention clip 1020. In one embodiment, retention clip support 1090 comprises a single component, while in other embodiments (not shown), retention clip support 1090 may comprise a plurality of interconnected or otherwise cooperating components. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 22B, retention clip support 1090 comprises an exterior end surface 1032 adapted to be contacted with and affixed along a portion of the exterior of a shunt tube 140 (see FIG. 21B).

[0135] In the embodiment of FIG. 22B, retention clip support 1090 comprises an exterior front surface 1034 comprising a front pivot pin orifice 1036. In the embodiment of retention clip support 1090 depicted in a cutaway view in FIG. 22C, a back pivot pin orifice 1038 can be seen extending from a back surface of retention clip support 1090 (not shown) there through into a hollowed-out interior section 1040 of retention clip support 1090. In one embodiment, the diameters or front pivot pin orifice 1036 and back pivot pin orifice 1038 are substantially consistent there through and/or substantially equal. In one embodiment, front pivot pin orifice 1036 and back pivot pin orifice 1038 are aligned such that a pivot pin 1028 (partially shown in FIG. 21A) can be extended through exterior front surface 1034, through interior section 1040, and through the back exterior surface (not shown) of retention clip support 1090.

[0136] In one embodiment depicted in FIG. 23A (in cutaway view), retention clip 1020 may be positioned partially within retention clip support 1090, whereby the proximal end 1024 of retention clip 1020 extends upward through a slot 1042 of retention clip support 1090 (see FIG. 22B), the distal end 1026 retention clip 1020 extends downward through hollowed-out interior section 1040 and beyond a bottom a bottom edge 1044 of retention clip support 1090, and wherein a pivot pin 1028 can be inserted through front pivot pin orifice 1036, through a retention clip 1020 pivot pin orifice 1022, and through the back exterior surface (not shown) of retention clip support 1090 via back pivot pin orifice 1038. In one embodiment, the outer diameter of pivot pin 1028 is sized such that, when it is inserted through retention clip support 1090, contact thereof with at least a portion of the interior surface of front pivot pin orifice 1036 and at least a portion of the interior surface of back pivot pin orifice 1038 provides a snug fit there between. In one embodiment, the diameter of pivot pin orifice 1022 is nominally greater than the diameters of front pivot pin orifice 1036 and back pivot pin orifice 1038, thereby allowing retention clip 1020 to pivot about an inserted pivot pin 1028 in a plane substantially perpendicular to the long axis of pivot pin 1028.

[0137] In one embodiment, retention clip support 1090 comprises a biasing means channel 1046. (See FIG. 22C). In one embodiment, a biasing means 1048 is insertable at least partially within biasing means channel 1046, as shown in FIG. 22a and a more detailed view thereof depicted in FIG. 23B. In one embodiment, such a biasing means 1048 comprises a compressible (tension) spring, such as a coil spring, also known as a helical spring, although other compressible devices or materials capable of performing the same function, including but not limited to, natural or synthetic rubber comprising components, may be employed.

[0138] In one embodiment shown in detail in FIG. 23B, biasing means 1048 comprises a spring 1052 and a spring cover 1054 (collectively spring assembly 1056). In one embodiment, spring cover 1054 comprises a component adapted and configured to communicate biasing force from spring 1052 to a retention clip 1020 inner surface 1058 (only a portion of which is visible in FIG. 23A) which faces shunt tube 140 when jumper tube connection assembly 1010 is installed thereupon. In one embodiment, spring cover 1054 comprises 304L stainless steel or 316L stainless steel. In one embodiment, spring cover 1054 comprises an elongated component comprising a first end transverse diameter 1060 adapted and configured to allow a portion thereof to fit at least partially within an inner opening 1062 of a helical spring 1052, and a second end transverse diameter 1064, that is greater than the transverse diameter 1078 of inner opening 1062, and is adapted and configured to retain a portion of spring cover 1054 without inner opening 1062 of a helical spring 1052, as shown in FIG. 23B. In one embodiment, spring cover 1054 comprises a bias communication end surface 1066 that is adapted and configured to communicate force from spring 1052 (via spring cover 1054) to a portion of the retention clip 1020 between distal end 1024 of retention clip 1020 and pivot pin orifice 1022. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 23B, a bias communication end surface 1066 of spring cover 1054 comprises a rounded geometry, however the invention is not so limited and other geometries, including but not limited to a substantially planar geometry, may be employed, as would be understood by one skilled in the art.

[0139] In the embodiment shown in FIG. 23A, positioning of a biasing means 1048 at least partially within biasing means channel 1046, and a retention clip 1020 at least partially within retention clip support 1090, wherein a pivot pin 1028 may be inserted through pivot pin orifice 1022 and through at least a portion of front pivot pin orifice 1036 and at least a portion of back pivot pin orifice 1038, provides a jumper tube connection assembly 1010 wherein retention clip 1020 is biased by biasing means 1048 such that proximal end 1024 is biased away from exterior end surface 1032, and distal end 1026 is biased toward exterior end surface 1032.

Method

[0140] FIG. 26 depicts an exemplary method 1200 for utilizing an embodiment of jumper tube connector assembly 1010 of the present invention comprising the following steps:

[0141] A jumper tube connection assembly preparation step 1210 comprising providing an aligned pair of shunt tubes, such as shunt tubes 140, wherein each shunt tube is equipped with at least one jumper tube connection assembly, such as jumper tube connection assembly 1010, wherein each jumper tube connection assembly is attached to a shunt tube 140 exterior via affixation thereto of a jumper tube connection assembly retention clip support, such as retention clip support 1090, each jumper tube connection assembly comprises a retention clip, such as retention clip 1020, that is at least partially contained within the retention clip support and restrained therein by a pivot pin, such as pivot pin 1028, and which comprises a locking component, such as locking component 1030, and a biasing means, such as biasing means 1048, which biases the locking component toward the shunt tube.

[0142] A jumper tube connector assembly provision step 1220 comprising providing a jumper tube, such as jumper tube 30, equipped with a pair of jumper tube connectors, such as jumper tube connector 50, each circumferentially engaged with the jumper tube at either end thereof, whereby the jumper tube and jumper tube connectors are axially aligned with and disposed between the aligned shunt tubes.

[0143] A jumper tube connector assembly installation step 1230 comprising applying a biasing force to each retention clip so that the locking component thereof is moved away from the shunt tube, while providing each jumper connector into circumferential sealing engagement with a shunt tube, whereby removal of the biasing force provides the locking component of each retention clip into at least partial engagement with an orifice, such as orifice 52, of the proximate jumper connector.

[0144] Method 1200 is merely exemplary, and additional embodiments of a method of utilizing a jumper tube connection assembly 1010 of the present invention consistent with the teachings herein may be employed. In addition, in other embodiments, one or more of these steps may be combined, repeated, re-ordered, or deleted, and/or additional steps may be added. For example, in one embodiment, one or both of the jumper connectors may be provided separately from the jumper tube and slidingly engaged with a shunt tube, whereupon the jumper tube is provided and each jumper connector already fluidly engaged with a shunt tube is slidingly fluidly engaged with the jumper tube. In addition, one or more retention clip frames may be integral with a shunt tube or attached to or integral with a shunt tube bracket or shunt tube housing, as described above.

Operation

[0145] Various stages of employment of an embodiment of a jumper tube connection assembly 1010 are shown by FIGS. 24A, 24B, 25A, and 25B. As shown in FIG. 24A, affixation of exterior end surface 1032 of jumper tube connection assembly 1010 to the exterior of a shunt tube 140 proximate and end 160 thereof provides retention clip 1020 in an initial position, wherein the distal end 1026 of retention clip is biased toward shunt tube 140 and wherein proximal end 1024 of retention clip 1020 is biased away from shunt tube 140. In one embodiment, such bias provides an initial position wherein an engagement edge 1068 of locking component 1030 is disposed proximate or in contact with the exterior surface of shunt tube 140.

[0146] As shown in FIG. 24B, forced movement of proximal end 1024 of retention clip 1020 toward shunt tube 140 (and/or forced movement of distal end 1026 of retention clip 1020 away from shunt tube 140) compresses biasing means 1048 and causes retention clip 1020 to pivot about pivot pin 1028, whereby engagement edge 1068 of locking component 1030 is moved away from the exterior surface of shunt tube 140. As long as such force to retention clip 1020 is maintained, jumper tube connection assembly 1010 will remain in this "disengaged" position.

[0147] As shown in FIG. 25A, movement of the proximal end 120 of a jumper connector 50 in the direction of end 160 of shunt tube 140 and eventuating in circumferential engagement of jumper connector 50 with shunt tube 140 (as described above with regard to jumper tube connection assembly 10) with the jumper tube connection assembly 1010 in the disengaged position, provides a portion of jumper connector 50 between the exterior surface of shunt tube 140 and the engagement edge 1068 of locking component 1030. As can be seen in FIG. 25A, in this position a jumper connector 50 orifice 52 may be substantially vertical aligned with, and proximate to, locking component 1030 of retention clip 1020.

[0148] As shown in FIG. 25B, removal of the force being applied to retention clip 1020 to maintain jumper tube connection assembly 1010 in the disengaged position results in biasing means 1048 acting on retention clip 1020 whereby distal end 1026 of retention clip 1020 is forced toward jumper connector 50, and more specifically, locking component 1030 is forced toward orifice 52, which eventuates in locking component 1030 being at least partially inserted into orifice 52. Disposition of a portion of locking component 1030 into orifice 52 prevents longitudinal movement of jumper connector 50 with respect to shunt tube 140. When disengagement of jumper connector 50 from shunt tube 140 is desired, force is one again applied as described above to force locking component 1030 away from shunt tube 140 (and now away from jumper connector 50), whereby the portion of locking component 1030 inserted into orifice 52 is withdrawn therefrom, and jumper connector 50 may be slidingly disengaged from shunt tube 140.

[0149] In one embodiment, aligned shunt tubes 140, such as depicted in FIG. 3, may each be equipped with a jumper tube connection assembly 1010, whereby installation of two jumper connectors 50 sealing engaged around the opposite ends of a jumper tube 30 may be accomplished by applying force to each retention clip 1020 to provide each locking component 1030 in a disengaged position, slidingly moving the jumper connectors away from each other until each jumper connector 50 circumferentially engages a shunt tube 140, and then removing the force from each retention clip 920, whereby distal end 1026 of each retention clip 1020 is forced toward a proximate jumper connector 50, and more specifically, each locking component 1030 is forced toward a proximate orifice 52, which eventuates in locking components 1030 being at least partially inserted into respective orifices 52, which restricts longitudinal movement of each jumper connector 50 in a direction toward the distal end 1026 of the proximate retention clip 1020.

[0150] While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been described and illustrated, modifications thereof can be made by one skilled in the art without departing from the teachings of the invention. Descriptions of embodiments are exemplary and not limiting. The extent and scope of the invention is set forth in the appended claims and is intended to extend to equivalents thereof. The claims are incorporated into the specification. Disclosure of existing patents, publications, and known art are incorporated herein by reference to the extent required to provide details and understanding of the disclosure herein set forth.

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