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A portable cordless sprayer comprises a housing structure which detachably
secures to a liquid container. The housing structure provides a handle
which mounts a control switch. The housing also supports a compartment
which is suspended within the container and houses a pump and batteries.
The liquid is sprayed through a conduit and nozzle arrangement which can
be stored on the housing. The pump has a bypass check valve and the nozzle
has a shut-off valve with operating pressures selected so that the pump
will be primed with the nozzle closed and before spraying commences and so
that the nozzle closes quickly when spraying stops. The liquid container
may be refilled when depleted. However, in the preferred embodiment, the
nozzle operates bidirectionally and the pump is reversible which enables
the pump to be used as a means to refill the container to minimize contact
with insecticides, et cetera.
Jones; John E. (Danville, VA), Lineback; Lynn D. (Danville, VA), Sherrill; Charles F. (Danville, VA)
Primary Examiner: Wood, Jr.; M. Henson
Assistant Examiner: Mar; Michael
Attorney, Agent or Firm:Olive; B. B.
What is claimed is:
1. A portable cordless apparatus for disbursing a liquid under pressure for spraying, and the like, comprising:
a. an integral molded housing having an upper horizontal handle-shaped compartment, a base portion with an open bottom appended below said handle compartment, and a lower cup-shaped compartment having an open top end secured to and centrally of
said base portion;
b. a liquid container formed by side, bottom and top walls, said top wall being formed to centrally mount said base portion and having a central opening to receive said cup compartment for suspension within said container during normal operation;
c. locking means for releasably locking said liquid container to said base portion with said cup compartment so suspended;
d. a pump having a battery powered motor and mounted within said cup compartment, said pump having an inlet pipe extending through the wall of said cup compartment and terminating within said container proximate said container bottom wall, having
an outlet pipe terminating externally of said housing, said pump further having bypass piping connected to bypass fluid from the outlet side of said pump to said container and including a check valve with a ball free to move between open and close
positions dependent on the pressure developed at said pump outlet side;
e. battery means mounted in said cup compartment;
f. a manual control switch mounted in said handle compartment and having connected wiring extending through said handle compartment and base portion to said cup compartment enabling said switch to connect said battery means to said pump motor and
thereby operate said pump;
g. circuit means mounted in said housing and adapting said battery means to be connected to external charging means; and
h. conduit means connected to said outlet pipe and adapted to disburse said liquid through a nozzle in some predetermined pattern, said nozzle including a spring loaded ball check valve therein, said bypass piping check valve and nozzle check
valve being designed with operating pressures such that said pump operates through said piping and bypass valve until fully primed and after priming develops sufficient pressure to open said nozzle check valve and maintain said nozzle check valve open so
long as but only so long as said pump operates.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said conduit means comprises:
a. a flexible conduit connected to said pump outlet pipe and extending therefrom; and
b. a wand assembly providing a handle member, a rigid conduit portion connected at one end to said flexible conduit, and a liquid dispensing nozzle connected at an opposite end of said flexible conduit for controlling the dispensing and spray
pattern of said liquid.
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said locking means comprises mating locking flanges formed respectively in said base portion and on said container top wall and adapted to provide locking and unlocking by partial rotation of said housing
relative to said container.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said pump comprises a pair of motor driven intermeshed gears, a pressure plate arranged to contact one end of said gears and spring means arranged to maintain said plate in said contact.
5. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said pump comprises a reversible pump, said nozzle is operable bidirectionally and said switch is arranged to selectively connect said pump for operating for either corresponding direction thereby enabling
said container to be refilled by reversing said pump and drawing fluid through said nozzle.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said cup compartment comprises a cup-shaped vessel adapted to be releasably secured to and within said base portion and said container is adapted to be releasably secured to and within said base portion with
the respective securement of the vessel being independent of the respective securement of the container.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates to sprayers and particularly to cordless, battery-powered garden and yard sprayers.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Conventional portable sprayers for dispensing liquids, e.g., insecticides, pesticides, and the like, have generally comprised a manual air pump and an attached receptacle. Portable paint sprayers have used A.C. driven pumps, compressed air
tanks, and the like, as a pressure source. More recently, cordless sprayers have appeared in the market and which use battery-operated pumps under the tradenames "Burgess", "Black and Decker", "Hudson", "Tudor" and "Rockwell".
Typical prior art includes the following U.S. Pat. Nos.: 1,411,513; 2,257,725; 2,651,545; 2,737,413; 2,752,200; 2,923,481; 2,969,809; 2,980,343; 3,002,599; 3,072,345; 3,140,830; 3,219,278; 3,524,593; and 3,670,966.
The available cordless sprayers offer many advantages; however, an optimum arrangement has not been achieved and there remain many disadvantages such as poor weight balance, nozzle leakage, poor refilling arrangements and substantial lack of
versatility for the many applications and conditions in which cordless sprayers can be used.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention covers a cordless, battery-powered garden and yard sprayer. The sprayer includes a balanced handle and housing combination having a horizontally-disposed external recess and a container or reservoir for liquid storage. The
pump, motor and batteries are stored in a cup-like compartment which is suspended in the container. A spraying wand assembly employed in the invention apparatus includes a flexible conduit having a rigid terminal outer end nozzle portion. The flexible
portion connects to the reservoir, through a self-priming pump and reversible drive motor arrangement and may be either coiled around the sprayer housing in the mentioned recess with the rigid portion clamped to the housing for spraying in such clamped
position or may be used in a fully uncoiled position. The spraying wand nozzle may be adjusted for the type spray or stream condition desired.
A fluid discharge system which minimizes leakage includes a bypass arrangement at the pump and a ball check valve at the nozzle coordinated with respect to their operating pressures such that the pump operates through the bypass until fully
primed and after priming, the fluid pressure opens the nozzle check valve and maintains the nozzle check valve open so long as, but only so long as, the pump operates.
In the preferred embodiment, the nozzle operates bidirectionally and the pump is reversible. By reversing the motor direction, the pump and nozzle can be used as a means of replenishing the fluid supply. The nozzle has a hole near the spray end
and a slidable tube which can be moved rearwardly to expose this hole such that the nozzle can be immersed in a liquid supply and draw replacement fluid into the container.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the portable cordless sprayer of the invention.
FIG. 2 is an exploded pictorial view of the sprayer.
FIG. 3 is an elevation section view taken substantially through the center of the sprayer with the wire leads having been omitted from the view for clarity.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the sprayer with portions thereof cut away for clarity and illustration.
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side elevation section view of the spraying wand handle.
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary side elevation view of the pump and bypass ball check valve used in the sprayer.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary side elevation section view of the pump and reversible drive motor used in the sprayer.
FIG. 8 is a side elevation view of the container cup assembly used in the sprayer.
FIG. 9 is a plan view of the container cup assembly used in the sprayer.
FIG. 10 is a side elevation section view through the nozzle of the preferred embodiment adapted both for spraying and refilling.
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary end elevation section view illustrating the locking relationship of the container and housing and illustrating the rigid tube clamp.
FIG. 12 is a side elevation section view through an alternative type nozzle used for spraying only and slightly enlarged.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, a portable cordless garden and yard sprayer incorporating the features of the invention is designated generally by numeral 10. The sprayer includes a container 11 serving as a reservoir
for the liquid to be sprayed. Container 11 receives in a locking relation a housing designated generally by numeral 12. A pump assembly generally designated 13 receives a flexible tube 14 which in turn receives a wand assembly generally designated 15
and a nozzle assembly generally designated 16.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 2 and 3 for a description of housing 12, left housing section 20 is designed to, when ready for assembly, mate with right housing section 21 by means of screws 22 which mount in screw insets 23 provided in the left
housing section 20. Housing 12 is preferably molded of lightweight plastic and provides a substantially horizontal tubular compartment forming a handle portion 24 as best shown in FIG. 3 and which provides room for internal mounting of the control
switch 25 and associated wiring 26 (FIG. 2). Handle portion 24, made up of left and right housing sections 20, 21, has a slot molded into each housing section. Slot 29 of section 20 and slot 30 of section 21, when plated together, mate and form an
opening which receives switch button 31 but retains button 31 within the opening as it slides back and forth to its extreme positions. Button 31 rests against the top inside wall of handle 24 and is held in a neutral, non-operating position by guides
32, 33, 34 of section 20 and similar guides 35, 36, 37, not shown, of section 21. Switch 25 mounts in position on guides 38, 39 of section 20 and similar guides 40, 41 (not shown) of section 21. Button 31 is molded with a hollow cavity which receives a
coil spring 42 and a switch button 43 to which spring 42 connects. Switch 25 is a reversible switch and can be actuated by pushing down on button 31 so that it clears guides 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37. Button 31 can either be pushed forward corresponding
to a spray position or pulled backward to a refilling position.
Rearwardly of the handle compartment is a terminal 27 suited to connect to an AC source through recharging unit 28 as shown in FIG. 2. Once all parts have been assembled within handle portion 24 and screws 22 tightened into right housing section
21, wiring 26 is allowed to extend from the bottom of housing 12. Handle portion 24 is designed to receive the flanges or guides 130, 131, 132 within slots 133, 134, 135 of handle 24. A one-quarter turn of handle 24 locks container 11 in place.
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate a container cup 47 which is received by guide slot 48 of section 20 and guide slot 49 (not shown) of section 21. Cup 47 has an open top and is a molded plastic unit with top flanges 50, 51 which slide fit into guide
slots 48, 49. Flange 51 has a slot 52 molded into flange 51 as more fully described later in the description. Cup 47 is substantially circular and is slightly tapered from the top to the bottom so that it easily enters opening 17 in container 11 and as
cap 47 slides into opening 17 its contacting diameter increases and preferably provides a tight seal between cup 47 and opening 17. Bottom 53 has a pair of openings 54, 55 molded therein. Cavity 47a of cup 47 is of sufficient depth and diameter to
adequately house pump assembly 13, batteries 56, and wiring 58.
The description will now shift to a description of pump assembly 13 and how it is mounted within cavity 47a of cup 47. Pump assembly 13, see FIG. 7, is composed of a reversible drive motor 59 which has motor leads 60, 61 extending from the base
62 of motor 59 and connected by suitable wiring to the switch and battery. Motor 59 has a drive shaft 63 which extends therefrom and upon which a washer or spacer 64 is mounted. Motor 59 has a raised boss 65 which is received by a mating boss 66 molded
as an integral member of a pump base member 67. Pump base member 67 mounts on shaft 63 through hole 68, see FIG. 2. A driven gear 69 is pressed onto shaft 63. Base 67 has a stud 70 pressed into a hole 71 in base 67. A second gear or idler gear 72 is
then pressed onto stud 70. Pump housing 75 has a hollowed out cavity 76 which has a pair of grooved slots 77, 78 for aligning a pressure plate 79 of the same configuration which is placed into cavity 76 and is brought to bear against the tops of gears
69, 72. Plate 79 is constantly pressed towards gears 69, 72 by coil spring 80. Once housing 75 is in place, screws 81, 82 are placed through holes 85a, 85b of housing 75 and holes 86a, 86b of bottom plate 67. Screws 81, 82 are then tightened down in
threaded holes 87, 88, not shown, in drive motor 59. Gears 69, 72 are relatively small and have relatively few gear teeth, e.g., 9 teeth per gear. Pressure plate 79 and plate spring 80 complete the small but highly efficient gear pump assembly.
Pump outlet 89 is molded as an integral part of pump housing 75. Outlet 89 opens into cavity 76 so that as liquid is pumped through gears 69, 72, it will be forced out into outlet 89 which passes through hole 90 in right housing section 21. A
second or by-pass outlet 91 opens into cavity 76 so that should pump 13 not be primed, pump 13 will prime itself since air will initially be forced through outlet 91, through flexible tube 91a and back into the container 11 until pump 13 is fully primed. Then, liquid will be drawn into cavity 76 by pump 13 through pump inlet 95 and through tube 96 into outlet 89. Further advantages will be pointed up later in the description.
In both the preferred and alternate embodiments, the nozzle check valve operating pressure and the by-pass piping check valve operating pressure are selected such that until the pump becomes fully primed insufficient pressure is developed to open
the nozzle valve. However, once primed the nozzle check valve opens and remains open so long as the pump is energized. However, when the switch is moved from "on" to "off" and the pump is electrically disconnected, the nozzle substantially immediately
shuts off and prevents dripping and syphoning effects which have been experienced with prior art devices and which can be hazardous with insecticides, and the like.
FIGS. 2-4, 6-9, 10 and 12 illustrate the pump and nozzle arrangements used in the invention. Two features of the invention offer special advantages in actual use of the sprayer. One feature allows the pump to be primed before any spraying
commences and the other feature provides for minimizing leaks and pressure losses in the nozzle. With respect to priming, when the pump 13 is initially started air only may be pumped and ball 116 (as seen in FIG. 10 for the reversible flow embodiment)
or ball 144 (as seen in FIG. 12 for the non-reversible flow embodiment), as the case may be, is in a closed seated position which prevents the escape of such air through the nozzle. Just prior to pumping being started, ball 93 (FIG. 6) will be against
its seat 94. However, once pump 13 is operating, the air pressure forces ball 93 off seat 94 and towards seat 94a which allows the air to escape around ball 93, through seat 94a , through outlet 91 (FIG. 6) into return tube 91, into tube 55 (FIGS. 2, 8,
9) and back into container 11. As the pumping sequence continues, liquid begins to flow which increases the pressure at the outlet of pump 13. This increasing pressure then rapidly builds up and causes ball 93 to seat against seat 94a which prevents
further bypassing of air or liquid through tube 91a. As pressure continues to rise, a sufficient pressure is eventually developed to cause ball 116 (FIG. 10) or ball 144 (FIG. 12), as the case may be, to open and spraying to commence. In both
embodiments the valve spring loading, the diameters of the respective balls 116, 144, and the diameters of the passageways of their respective seats 115, 143 are purposely chosen so that a greater pressure is required to open the respective nozzle than
is required to maintain it open. Thus, initial priming is achieved before spraying commences and equally important maximum protection against leaks is achieved with minimum pressure loss during operation. With these objectives in mind, those skilled in
the art may readily determine appropriate spring loading, ball diameters and seat passageway diameters to achieve the operation described. An extremely small vent hole 97 is located in the top wall of container 11 and allows air to get back into
container 11 for venting purposes.
Once liquid is being forced through pump 13, through outlet 89 and then into tube 14, the liquid is directed to the area to be sprayed through flexible tube 14 which can be directed as required. FIGS. 2, 5 and 9 best illustrate wand 15 and
nozzle 16. In addition to being connected to outlet 89, it will be noticed that tube 14 connects at its other end to a rigid tube 100 (see FIG. 5). Rigid tube 100 passes through handle 15 which is composed of left section 101 and right section 102
which are held together by screws 103, 104. Handle 15 is used when the user needs to spray an area where the complete unit 10 cannot be used due to limited access, height, etc. At the other end of rigid tube 100 is an angled portion 105. Nozzle
assembly 16 is secured to this end of tube 100 in a suitable threaded manner. FIGS. 2 and 10 illustrate the preferred embodiment of nozzle assembly 16. A collar 106 is slidably received by nozzle body 107. Collar 106 has a pair of slots 108 which
receive flexible tabs 110 so that tabs 110 ride in slots 108. One side of body 107 is relatively flat so that when collar 106 is slid forward, a passageway 112 is opened up between body 107 and the internal wall of collar 106. Body 107 has a central
bore 113 extending its entire length. At a predetermined distance along the length of body 107 is a hole 114 which extends through the walls of body 107 and opens bore 113. As liquid passes through passageway 112 and down to hole 114, it is drawn
through hole 114 into bore 113 and then back into tube 14 until container 11 is filled with liquid. Bore 113 is of a larger diameter at its forward end than at its rearward end 113a, the two ends being separated by an angled wall 115. Angled wall 115
provides a seating surface for ball 116 so that liquid flow through bore 113 and 113a can be sealed off by ball 116.
Ball 116 is spring loaded by coil spring 117 which rests against ball 116. As previously explained, the operating pressure of spring 117 and the diameters of ball 116 and bore 113a are selected with the priming-spraying sequence in mind. The
diameter of the ball 116 and the diameter of the passageway, i.e., bore 113a , which it closes are chosen such that the pressure to open ball 116 is much greater than the pressure required to keep it open. In this way, the pressure losses, once ball 116
has opened, are minimized and in like fashion the pressure to initially open ball 116 is maximized. Efficiency is gained in the described nozzle ball check design in that a larger pressure is required to open ball 116 than that required to keep it open. This means that ball 116 opens reluctantly which gives maximum protection against leaks but once it has opened when pump 13 starts, a fairly small pressure loss is expended to keep it open.
The forward end of body 106 is externally threaded with threads 118 which allow nozzle body 119 to be screwed thereon by means of mating internal screw threads 120. Nozzle body 119 also has a central bore 121 which aligns with bore 113 and
further provides for a liquid path through nozzle assembly 16. The forward end 122 of nozzle body 119 is solid and prevents further forward flow of liquid. An elongated hole 123 extends through end 122 of body 119 and communicates with bore 121 so that
liquid coming through bores 113 and 121 is allowed to exit through hole 123. An angled groove 124 is cut into the forward end portion 122 of nozzle body 119.
A nozzle cap 125 is received by nozzle body 119. External threads 126 of nozzle body 119 and internal threads 127, not shown, of cap 125 mate so that cap 125 can be screwed down onto body 119. As liquid is forced through bores 113 and 121 and
exits hole 123, the liquid is swirled around and is forced out through groove 124. The liquid then exits nozzle assembly 16 through opening 128 in cap 125. The distance that cap 125 is screwed down on body 119 determines whether the liquid emerges as a
spray or as a stream. Adjustment of cap 125 adjusts the liquid pattern.
Handle 24 has a recessed area 18 molded therein so that tube 14 can be wound around handle 24 and stored in recessed area 18. When tube 14 is wound as described, rigid tube 100 is clamped to unit 10 by means of a suitable clamp 19 so that the
unit 10 can be held in one hand and operated as a fixed positioned spray. Another and more usual operating position is that where tube 14 is unwound and wand assembly 15 is held in the operator's one hand while the handle 24 is held in the operator's
An alternative arrangement of nozzle 16 is that of nozzle assembly 140 (see FIG. 12). This nozzle assembly is designed for spraying purposes only and does not incorporate the refill feature of nozzle 16. For this application, the two-way
control switch 25 can be replaced by a one-way control switch and a unidirectional motor can be substituted for motor 59. Nozzle 140 has a collar 141 which receives rigid tube 100. Collar 141 has a central bore 142 which, as in nozzle assembly 16, has
a tapered portion 143 which seats a ball 144 to cover bore 142a. Ball 144 is held in place against tapered portion 143 by a coil spring 145 until pressure is great enough to compress spring 145 and allow liquid to flow past ball 144. Nozzle body 146 is
threadably secured to collar 141. A central bore 147 aligns with bore 142 of collar 141. The operating pressure of spring 145 and the diameters of ball 144 and bore 142a are selected as previously explained such that the pump will be primed before
spraying commences and such that the pressure required to force ball 144 open is substantially higher than the pressure required to keep it open. Bore 147 receives spring 145 and retains the same in place while permitting liquid to flow through bore
147. Bore 147 terminates at elongated hole 148 as in nozzle 16. Liquid exits bore 147 through hole 148 and travels over angled groove 149 of body 146. A nozzle cap 150 is threadably adjustably received by nozzle body 146. Cap 150 has an opening 151
through which the liquid exits.
In using sprayer 10, container 11 must first be filled with the desired liquid. Using the preferred embodiment, nozzle 16 is set for refilling by sliding collar 106 rearwardly on nozzle body 107 and by depressing switch 25 and moving it
rearwardly which causes motor 59 to be reversed and in effect reverses pump 13. This, as previously described, allows liquid to enter passageway 112 and to be drawn through nozzle 16 into container 11. Once filled, collar 106 is slid back to its
forwardmost position. Unit 10 can now be used as a sprayer by depressing switch 25 and moving it forward causing motor 59 to drive pump 13 and draw liquid through pump 13 once it has primed itself. Nozzle cap 125 is adjusted so that the desired spray
pattern is achieved. By releasing switch 25, liquid flow is stopped instantly without the usual dripping of liquid.
In using the alternative embodiment nozzle 140, sprayer 10 is filled by removing housing 12 from container 11 and filling the container 11 manually. Housing 12 can be removed from container 11 by a simple one-quarter turn of housing 12 which
frees guides 130, 131, 132 of housing 12 from slots 133, 134, 135 of container 11. Once container 11 is filled, guides 130, 131, 132 are aligned with slots 133, 134, 135 and a reverse one-quarter turn is used to lock the housing 12 in place on container
11. Tapered container cup 47, as previously described, provides a tight seal between opening 17 and cup 47. Switch 25 is depressed, pushed forward and held in this position so that pump 13 primes itself and then begins to spray the liquid. Once switch
25 is released, it returns to its neutral or off position and spraying ceases instantly without any dripping as has heretofore been the case.
To generally illustrate the character of one embodiment of the invention, motor 59 operated with a no load speed of 10,000 r.p.m. and with a speed at maximum power of 5,000 r.p.m. Check valve balls 93 and 116 were 0.250 inches in diameter and
nozzle check valve springs 117 and 145 had a spring rate of 0.4lb./in. The diameter of the opening 94 was 0.04 inches and the diameter of the bores 113a and 142a were 0.200 inches, the pump gears were approximately 0.344 inches in outside diameter and
0.375 inches in length and with nine teeth each.