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United States Patent Application 20180106248
Kind Code A1
Wood; Gregg April 19, 2018

Condensate pump

Abstract

An improved condensate pump for use with items that exhibit condensation having an audible alarm and concentrating flange.


Inventors: Wood; Gregg; (Indianapolis, IN)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

Wood; Gregg

Indianapolis

IN

US
Family ID: 1000002265848
Appl. No.: 15/297373
Filed: October 19, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: F04B 49/10 20130101; F04B 53/16 20130101; F04B 23/02 20130101; F04B 49/04 20130101
International Class: F04B 49/10 20060101 F04B049/10; F04B 49/04 20060101 F04B049/04; F04B 23/02 20060101 F04B023/02; F04B 53/16 20060101 F04B053/16

Claims



1. An improved pump comprising: a pump housing; the pump housing having at least one hole; the pump housing having at least one lip; the pump housing having a first part; the pump housing having a second part; the second part being capable of collecting fluid; at least one level indicator; at least one float; the at least one float being situated in the second part; the at least one float moving as the amount of fluid collecting in the second part increases or decreases; the at least one float, by moving, being capable of actuating the at least one level indicator; the at least one level indicator emitting sound waves upon being actuated by the at least one float; the sound waves passing through the at least one hole; the at least one lip interposing the sound waves.

2. An improved pump comprising: a housing; the housing having a hole; the housing having a lip; a reservoir; the reservoir being located within the housing; the reservoir being capable of collecting liquid; a float; the float being located within the reservoir; a rod; the rod being attached to the float; a switch; a level indicator; the switch electrically connected to the level indicator; the switch being capable of actuating the level indicator; the rod being capable of contacting the switch; the level indicator being capable of emitting sound waves upon being actuated by the switch; the sound waves emitted from the level indicator exiting the pump by passing through the hole; the lip being situated sufficiently proximate to the hole whereby the sound waves emitted from the level indicator become concentrated.

3. An improved pump for removing condensate, the pump comprising: a housing; the housing capable of containing condensate; a float; the condensate floating the float; an activator; the activator being attached to the float; an audible alarm; a switch; the switch being capable of activating the audible alarm; the activator being capable of causing the switch to activate the audible alarm; an orifice; a flange; the orifice positioned sufficiently adjacent to the audible alarm such that sound waves emitted from the audible alarm pass through the orifice; the flange being attached to the housing; the flange being sufficiently positioned adjacent to the orifice such that the flange is interposing with the sound waves.
Description



CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/250,038, filed Nov. 3, 2015, the entirety of which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0002] Damage to property from water occurs too frequently. Often such damage can be prevented. In commercial and residential settings there are opportunities to protect property from flooding caused by machinery, particularly the type of machines that produce condensation. Some such machines, for example, are air conditioners, refrigerators, chillers, sumps, hot water heaters, dehumidifiers and water systems.

[0003] Devices have been made that will collect the water produced by these types of machinery, generally referred to as condensate pumps. The pumps have components that work to collect and expel water as it is collected from the machinery's condensate. But, if condensate, such as water, collects and the pump has malfunctioned for some reason then the water can spill over from the device and out onto property, causing damage. Several model condensate pumps exist in the market but they fail to provide a loud and concentrated audible alarm.

[0004] Condensate pumps include a housing for the pump motor, switches, hoses and other necessary components. Additionally, a condensate pump includes a reservoir that hold collected condensate. However, often neither the housing nor the reservoir is configured to assist in an overflow situation. The pump may not provide an audible alarm that sounds in an overflow situation and pump housings are not made that direct and concentrate an audible alarm's sound in such a way as to maximize the alarm sound.

[0005] There is a need for a condensate pump that has an audible alarm. It is very important that the alarm sound loudly because otherwise property damage can occur unnoticed by a property owner. There also exists in the industry a need for a condensate pump with a housing that assists to concentrate and direct an audible alarm during an overflow situation. Such a pump should be easy to use, inexpensive, and provide an audible alert when a condensate pump needs attention, minimizing the risk of overflowing.

SUMMARY

[0006] The present invention is directed to an apparatus that satisfies this need. One embodiment of the invention comprises a pump housing that can be made of any material, but is preferably molded from plastic. The pump housing has at least one orifice passing through the housing proximal to a lip (or protrusion) extending outwards from the housing. The lip may be fastened to the housing or may be made as an integral part of the housing. In addition to the housing, the pump may include a reservoir where the pump collects the fluid which is being created by condensation coming from machinery.

[0007] The embodiment will have at least one level indicator which is used to monitor the level of condensate in the reservoir. It is manufactured and assembled to indicate a level of condensate that requires attention, so for instance, if the condensate level rises to a dangerous level, the level indicator will provide an audible alarm. The reservoir includes a float that rests upon the collected condensate. The at least one float operates mechanically, i.e. a mechanical float. In this way, by moving with the level of condensate, the float is used to actuate the at least one level indicator, making it sound. The at least one level indicator emits sound waves when it is actuated by the at least one float. Those sound waves will pass through the orifice and will be focused and directed by the lip. This causes the sound waves to become concentrated and directed, making the sound increasingly more audible.

[0008] Another embodiment of the invention comprises a housing that has a hole and a lip. There is a reservoir located within the housing. The reservoir can be an integral part of the housing, or it can be a separate part that is assembled to be part of the pump. The reservoir is where the condensate liquid is collected. There is a float located within the reservoir. The float has a shaft like portion, a rod for example, that is attached to the float. A level indicator has a switch which is electrically connected to the level indicator. When the switch is flipped it turns on the level indicator. The rod, sometimes referred to as the activator, is capable of contacting the switch and will do so if the float rises sufficiently to place the rod in contact with the switch, activating the switch. The level indicator emits sound waves when it is actuated by the switch. The sound waves exit primarily through the hole. The lip, a sort of flange, is situated sufficiently near the hole so that the sound waves emitted from the level indicator encounter the lip and become concentrated and directed. This makes the sound coming from the apparatus more audible.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] These and other features, aspects and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description, appended claims, and accompanying drawing where:

[0010] FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention with a cutaway view of an interior portion of the invention.

[0011] FIG. 2 shows a front view of an embodiment of the invention pump.

[0012] FIG. 3 shows another front view of an embodiment of the invention.

[0013] FIG. 4 shows another perspective view of an embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION

[0014] Overview.

[0015] As shown in FIG. 1, a perspective view of an embodiment of the invention with a cutaway portion comprises an improved condensate pump 1. The inside of the pump 1 revealed by the cutaway portion shows an audible alarm 2. The audible alarm has an activating mechanism, a switch 3. The activating mechanism 3 is triggered by a rod-like actuator 4 that is attached to a mechanical float 5. When condensate collects 6 the float 5 rises and its actuator 4 operates the audible alarm 2 via the activating mechanism 3. When the audible alarm 2 sounds, its sound waves pass through an orifice 8 and those waves are concentrated and directed via a sound directing flange 7 that is part of the pump's housing.

[0016] By manipulation of the sound waves via use of the orifice 8 and flange 7, a user is able to better hear an alarm that warns that the pump needs attention.

[0017] As shown in FIG. 2, a front view of an embodiment of the invention comprises an improved condensate pump 13. The housing of the pump 13 includes a flange 11. The flange 11 focuses and directs the sound waves emanating from an alarm 10. The alarm 10 is situated in close proximity to an orifice 12 that works together with the flange 11.

[0018] As shown in FIG. 3, another front view of an embodiment of the invention comprises a pump 20. The pump 20 has molded into it a lip 23 and a hole 24. The pump 20 has a housing 27 and a reservoir 28. Situated inside the reservoir 28 is a mechanical float 26. The mechanical float 26 has attached to it a rod 21. When the float 26 rises, the rod 21 contacts a switch 25. The switch 25 is connected to and able to activate an audible level indicator 22. The audible level indicator 22 is situated proximate to the hole 24.

[0019] As show in FIG. 4, another perspective view of an embodiment of the invention comprises a condensate pump 40. The condensate pump 40 has molded into its material an orifice 41 and a flange 42. There is located within the pump 40 a level indicator 43 that is actuated by the rising of a mechanical float 44. The level indicator 43 is located near to the hole 41 and flange 42.

[0020] Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with the reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. For example, the activator might be magnetic and actuate a switch magnetically instead of coming into physical contact. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein.

[0021] Any element in a claim that does not explicitly state "means for" performing a specified function, or "step for" performing a specific function, is not to be interpreted as a "means" or "step" clause as specified in 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 112, 6. In particular, the use of "step of" in the claims herein is not intended to invoke the provisions of 35 U.S.C. .sctn. 112, 6.

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