Title:
CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING SPRINKLER HEAD WITH RECIPROCATING UP AND DOWN MOTION-PRODUCING ROTATION
United States Patent 3567127


Abstract:
A sprinkler head with nozzle arms is supported for rotation and restricted up and down movement. Pressure of water delivered tends to move the sprinkler head downwardly. An upper chamber in the sprinkler head has a top outlet port and a lower inlet port. Downward movement of the sprinkler head closes the top outlet port causing pressure to build up in the upper chamber which results in raising the sprinkler head. This reopens the upper outlet port allowing the sprinkler head again to move downwardly and repeat the cycle. Each time the cycle is repeated the sprinkler head receives partial rotation through engagement with inclined elements.



Inventors:
Raumaker, Paul H. (Portland, OR)
Stout, William H. (Portland, OR)
Application Number:
04/817472
Publication Date:
03/02/1971
Filing Date:
04/18/1969
Assignee:
PAUL H. RAUMAKER
WILLIAM H. STOUT
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
137/119.09, 137/624.14, 239/241
International Classes:
B05B3/04; (IPC1-7): B05B3/04
Field of Search:
239/63,67,99,101,206,207,225,228,237 THRU
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:



Primary Examiner:
Wood Jr., Henson M.
Assistant Examiner:
Love, John J.
Claims:
We claim

1. In an irrigation sprinkler head assembly, a stationary stem secured to the water delivery pipe, a closure in the top end of said stem, an outer case mounted on said stem for rotation and for limited up and down sliding movement thereon, said outer case having lower and upper portions located below and above said top closure of said stem respectively, an annular chamber in said lower portion of said case extending around said stem, an inwardly extending flange on said case forming the bottom wall of said annular chamber, an outwardly extending flange on said top closure of said stem forming the top wall of said annular chamber, sealing members for said bottom and said top walls, said stem having a discharge opening leading into said annular chamber, whereby the delivery of water under pressure through said stem into said annular chamber exerts a force tending to move said case downwardly on said stem, a nozzle arm on said case extending outwardly from said annular chamber, an upper chamber in said case located above said top closure and said outwardly extending flange of said stem, a bottom inlet port delivering water under pressure into said upper chamber, a top outlet port in said upper chamber larger than said inlet port, sealing means in said upper chamber for said outlet port, mounting means for said sealing means so arranged as to cause said outlet port to be closed when said case is in lowered position and to be opened when said case is in raised position on said stem, whereby the closing of said outlet port when said case is in lowered position will cause water pressure to build up in said upper chamber and move said case upwardly on said stem, and the subsequent opening of said outlet port will cause said case to return to lowered position on said stem, a pair of cooperating clutch assemblies supported on said stem and on said upper port on of said case respectively, upwardly inclined means in one of said clutch assemblies, and means in said other assembly cooperating with said inclined means under the up and down movement of said case to cause partial rotation of said case on said stem with each up and down cycle.

2. The combination set forth in claim 1 with said inclined means consisting of a series of flexible fingers mounted in a circular row in one of said clutch assemblies, and a series of teeth in the other of said clutch assemblies engaging the ends of said fingers each time said case moves downwardly on said stem.

3. The combination set forth in claim 1 with said inclined means consisting of a plurality of inclined pins in one of said clutch assemblies, with the addition of an intermediate member slidable on said pins, said sealing means for said top outlet carried by said intermediate member, and cooperating engaging elements on said intermediate member and on said case causing said intermediate member to engage said case during the upward movement of said intermediate member on said pins.

4. The combination set forth in claim 2 with said sealing means having a shank extending down through said inlet port and through said stem closure, said shank being of smaller diameter than said inlet port, and a coil spring held under compression between the under side of said closure and the bottom end of said shank.

5. An irrigation sprinkler head assembly comprising a stationary stem secured to the water delivery pipe, a closure in the top of said stem, an outer case mounted on said stem for rotation and for limited up and down sliding movement thereon, said outer case having lower and upper portions located below and above said top closure of said stem respectively, an annular chamber in said lower portion of said case extending around said stem, an inwardly extending flange on said case forming the bottom wall of said annular chamber, an outwardly extending flange on said top closure of said stem forming the top wall of said annular chamber, sealing members for said bottom and said top walls, said stem having a discharge opening leading into said annular chamber, whereby the delivery of water under pressure through said stem into said annular chamber exerts a force tending to move said case downwardly on said stem, a nozzle arm on said case extending outwardly from said annular chamber, an upper chamber in said case located above said top closure and said outwardly extending flange of said stem, a bottom inlet port delivering water under pressure into said upper chamber, a top outlet port in said upper chamber larger than said inlet port, sealing means in said upper chamber for said outlet port, mounting means for said sealing means so arranged as to cause said outlet port to be closed when said case is in lowered position and to be opened when said case is in raised position on said stem, whereby the closing of said outlet port when said case is in lowered position will cause water pressure to build up in said upper chamber and move said case upwardly on said stem and the subsequent opening of said outlet port will cause said case to return to lowered position on said stem, whereby said outer case will be caused to reciprocate up and down on said stem as long as water under pressure is delivered through said stem, and means connected with said stem and with said case causing partial rotation of said case with each up and down reciprocating cycle of said case on said stem.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Rotating sprinkler heads have been extensively used in field irrigation systems for many years. Unlike the rapidly whirling sprinklers often used for gardens and small lawns, the sprinklers employed in field irrigation systems preferably are so constructed and arranged that they will rotate at a slow speed, either steadily or intermittently, so that the maximum force of the water jets emitted by the sprinklers will be employed in carrying the water radially outwardly instead of spirally, and so that there may be more effective soaking of the ground in the area covered by the sprinkler head than when the water is delivered in the form of a fine mist from a rapidly whirling sprinkler.

Various mechanisms have been developed for producing a slow rotation of a sprinkler head. These include complex water motors built into the sprinkler structure, ball-driven sprinklers, and sprinklers having many types of rotating or driving elements mounting outside of the main body of the sprinkler head. All of these present well-recognized objectionable features from the standpoint of cost and maintenance, and, even in the case of simple means mounted on the outside of the sprinkler head, there is the problem of such external means becoming damaged or thrown out of adjustment or of becoming impeded by an accumulation of foreign matter or even an accumulation of ice during a spell of cold weather.

The object of the present invention is to provide an improved and practical rotating sprinkler head which will rotate at a constant slow intermittent rate by simple means located entirely within the body of the sprinkler head and operated automatically by the pressure of the water delivered to the sprinkler head.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The sprinkler head assembly includes a stem member secured on the end of the delivery standpipe and an outer case rotatably mounted on the stem member and movable up and down, to a limited extend, thereon. The outer case has a lower annular chamber into which the water passes freely at all times, passing from there into the nozzle-carrying arms which extend outwardly from the lower chamber. The outer case also has an upper chamber into which water passes slowly continuously through a restricted inlet. The upper chamber has a larger top outlet, which, when open, prevents water pressure building up in the upper chamber. The water pressure in the lower annular chamber exerts a constant tendency to move the outer case downwardly on the stem member. However, when the outer case, and with it the upper chamber, moves downwardly, the top outlet in the upper chamber is brought into contact with a closure plug which temporarily closes the top outlet. This causes pressure to build up in the upper chamber to the point where it exceeds the downward pressure in the lower annular chamber and forces the entire outer case to move upwardly. This upward movement reopens the top outlet port, relieving the pressure in the upper chamber and allowing the outer case again to move downwardly, repeating the cycle. Each time the case moves up and down the engagement of inclined elements, or two sets of clutch assembly parts, causes partial rotation of the entire case, and, with it of the nozzle arms.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a sectional elevation of the stem member and outer case and portion of the nozzle-carrying arms extending from the latter, this view showing the outer case in maximum raised position with the closure plug for the top outlet in the upper chamber shown in full lines after being pulled down from the top outlet immediately preceding the return of the outer case to the lower position;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional elevation similar in part to FIG. 1 but showing the outer case returned to lower position;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section on line 3-3 of FIG. 1, drawn to an enlarged scale;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section on line 4-4 of FIG. 1 drawn to the same scale as FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary section on line 5-5 of FIG. 1 drawn to a still larger scale;

FIG. 6 is a sectional elevation showing a modified construction of the invention, with the outer case in lower position;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional elevation similar in part to FIG. 6 illustrating the outer case in raised position immediately prior to its return to lower position;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary section on line 8-8 of FIG. 6;

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary section on line 9-9 of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary section on line 10-10 of FIG. 6 drawn to a larger scale.

Referring first to FIG. 1, the stem member 10 of the sprinkler assembly is firmly secured in the end of a standpipe or water delivery pipe 11 through which the irrigation water is delivered under pressure. The stem member in this particular form of the invention terminates in a top closure comprising an arbor 12 of reduced diameter having a central port 13 of small diameter, referred to later, and an outwardly extending annular flange 14. The stem member 14 is also provided with a pair of diametrically opposite large outlet ports 26, one of which is shown in FIG. 1, through which the water is constantly delivered during the sprinkling operation for discharge through the nozzle arms 24 and 25 of the sprinkler assembly.

The outer case of the sprinkler assembly comprises a lower portion 15 and an upper portion 16, preferably shaped substantially as shown in FIG. 1. The lower portion 15 and upper portion 16 are rigidly secured together by means of the interengagement of outwardly extending spaced teeth 17 on the lower portion and downwardly extending flanged teeth 18 on the upper portion, which teeth are held in engagement by a wire lock 19 and the connection is made watertight by means of a suitable O-ring seal 20.

The cylindrical outer wall of the lower portion 15 has a bottom inwardly extending flange 21. A seal 22 prevents the escape of water between the flange 21 and the outside wall of a stem member 10. Similarly an upper seal 23 prevents escape of water between the flange 14 on the stem member 10 and the outer cylindrical wall on the lower portion 15 of the outer case. The cylindrical wall of the lower portion 15 carries a pair of outwardly extending, diametrically opposite arms 24 and 25, previously mentioned, only the inner portions of which are shown in FIG. 1, which arms carry the water jet nozzles (not shown) at their outer extremities as customary. Thus all the water delivered from the ports 26 passes into the annular chamber 15' of the lower portion 15 of the outer case surrounding the stem member 10 and from there passes out through the arms 24 and 25.

The upper portion 16 of the outer case has a central cylindrical top extension 16' of larger interior diameter than the exterior diameter of the top arbor 12 on the stem member 10 so as to accommodate the top arbor 12 when the outer case is in the lowered position shown in FIG. 2. An outlet port 27 is located in the top of the extension 16', this port 27 being larger than the port 13 in the arbor 12, the reason for which will be explained later. Preferably a hood 28 extends over the outlet port 27 to direct the discharge from the port 27 off to the side of the sprinkler.

A sealing disc 29, of rubber or other suitable material, serving part of the time to seal the top outlet port 27, carries an embedded nut 30 to which the threaded end of an elongated screw shank 31 is secured. The screw shank 31 extends up through the port 13 in the arbor 12, being considerably smaller in diameter than the port 13, so that the port 13 is kept open at all times. A coil spring 32, having its lower end engaging the head at the bottom of the screw shank 31 and its upper end in engagement with the lower face of the arbor 12, exerts a force tending to pull the sealing member 29 down into the lower full line position shown in FIG. 1, but allows it to be drawn upwardly to a limited extent, indicated by the broken lines in FIG. 1, when the outer case of the assembly moves from the lower position of FIG. 2 to the raised position of FIG. 1. The bottom face of the sealing member 29 is formed with radially extending grooves 29' to prevent the sealing member 29 from shutting off the passage of water through the port 13 around the shank 31 when the receiving member 29 is in the lowered position of FIGS. 2 and 1.

A pair of short pins 33 (see also FIG. 4) extend downwardly from the bottom face of the arbor 12 to engage the bottom head on the screw shank 31 to prevent the bottom head and coil spring 32 from sealing the port 13 when the sealing member 29 is in the raised or broken line position of FIG. 1. The screw shank 31 also has corrugations to prevent the port 13 from becoming clogged. A conical screen 34 is placed in the stem member 10 beneath the arbor 12 to prevent foreign matter from passing up into the arbor 12 and on into the upper chamber. The manner in which the up and down movement of the outer case takes place on the stem member 10 will now be briefly described.

The presence of the water in the annular chamber 15' in the lower portion 15 of the outer case, pressing against the bottom wall 21 of the chamber chamber, exerts a constant pressure to move the outer case downwardly from the position of FIG. 1 to that of FIG. 2. As long as the top outlet port 27 is open there will be no buildup of water pressure within the upper portion 16 since the port 13, through which the water enters into the portion 16, is smaller than the top outlet port 27. However, when the outer case is in the lower position of FIG. 2 the outlet port 27 becomes closed by the sealing member 29. The pressure within the upper portion then builds up and, since the area of the upper chamber in this upper portion 16 is greater than the area of the annular chamber 15' in the lower portion, the difference in pressure will force the outer case upwardly from the position of FIG. 2 to the position of FIG. 1. This continues until the sealing member 29 is finally pulled downwardly from the top outlet port 27 due to the increased tension of the coil spring 32. As soon as the sealing member 29 is pulled down from the upper broken line position in FIG. 1 to the lower full line position the discharge of water in the upper chamber out through the larger port 27 lowers the pressure in this upper chamber approximately to that of the atmosphere, whereupon the water pressure in the lower annular chamber 15' forces the outer case back down to lower position and the cycle is automatically repeated.

A circular row of identical and equally spaced inclined fingers 35 (see also FIGS. 3 and 5) of rubber or other suitable resilient material is anchored on a base ring 36 which is secured on the annular top flange 14 of the stem member 10 spaced from and concentric with the arbor 12. The underside of the upper portion 16 around the opening into the top extension 16' is formed with a series of teeth 38 (FIGS. 1,2,4 and 5) which, when the outer case of the sprinkler assembly returns to the lower position of FIG. 2 from the upper position of FIG. 1, engage the top ends of the inclined flexible fingers 35. The effect of this engagement is to cause a slight partial rotation to be imparted to the outer case on the stationary stem 10. Consequently each time the outer case moves down and up on the stem 10 it automatically is caused to rotate slightly in a given direction. Thus, since the up and down movement of the outer case on the stem 10 takes place continuously while water under pressure is being delivered to the sprinkler assembly, the outer case, and therewith the nozzle arms of the sprinkler, are intermittently moved a short distance each time around in a circular path.

In the modified form of the invention shown in FIGS. 6 to 10 inclusive, the stem member 40 (FIG. 6) corresponds to the stem member 10 of FIG. 1, being firmly secured in the end of water delivery pipe 41. The outer case of the sprinkler assembly similarly comprises a lower portion 42, practically identical to the corresponding lower portion 15 of the outer case in the device of FIG. 1, and an upper portion 43, somewhat differently shaped from the corresponding upper portion 16 in FIG. 1 but similarly firmly secured to the lower portion 42 by means of interengaging teeth and a wire lock. The stem member 40 has a top closure wall 44 with an annular outwardly extending flange 44' and upper and lower water seals 45 and 46 are similarly provided between the flange 44' and the cylindrical wall of a lower portion 42, and between the bottom wall of the lower portion and the stem member 40. The water is delivered into the annular chamber 42' through ports 47 in the stem member and thence into the pair of nozzle-carrying arms extending from the lower portion 42. A small channel 48 allows a restricted amount of water to pass continuously into the space above the top of the stem member 40 and into the upper portion 43 of the outer case.

In this modified construction the outer case contains an additional independently acting, inner, upper intermediate hat-shaped member 49 comprising an upwardly extending main portion having a top wall 50 and a bottom annular flange 51, which, part of the time, rests on the top 44 and the flange 44' of the stem member 40. A channel 52, of approximately the same diameter as the channel 48, extends through the wall of the member 49. The top wall on the upper portion 43 is provided with an outlet port 53 which is considerably larger in diameter than the channels 48 and 52. This outlet port 53 is closed most of the time by a flexible sealing member 54 secured on the top wall 50 of the member 49.

A plurality of identical and identically inclined pins 55, one of which is shown fully in FIGS. 6, 7 and 9, have their bottom ends secured in the flange 44' of the stem member 44, and extend obliquely upwardly through apertures in the base flange 51 of the member 49, the apertures in the flange 51 being sufficiently large to allow the member 49 to slide up and down freely on the pins 55. Each of these pins has a top head 55' and carries a coil spring 56 held under compression between the head 55' and the flange 51.

When the outer case, comprising the lower and upper portions 42 and 43, is in the lower position illustrated in FIG. 6, with the upper outlet port 53 closed by contact with the sealing member 54, the passage of water under pressure through the channel 48 and ultimately through the channel 52 will cause the pressure in the upper portion 43 of the outer case to build up until the total amount of the pressure in the upper portion 43 exceeds the downward pressure exerted in the annular chamber 42' of the lower portion of the outer case. In consequence, the outer case will be raised to the position shown in FIG. 7, and, due to the suction exerted on the sealing member 54, will also lift the hat-shaped member 49 until the resistance offered by the compressed coil springs on the headed pins 55 will become sufficient to pull the sealing member 54 down from the outlet 53. When this happens the hat-shaped member 49 will drop down immediately and be followed quickly by the outer case, since the discharge of the water in the upper chamber through the larger outlet 53 will reduce the pressure in the upper chamber immediately. However, when the outer case moves back down again to the lower position of FIG. 6, the top outlet 53 will again be temporarily sealed, causing the cycle to be repeated.

The annular flange 51 of the hat-shaped member 49 carries a ring of teeth 57 and the inner rim of the bottom wall of the upper portion 43 of the outer case is formed with cooperating sockets for engagement by the ring of teeth 57. When the hat-shaped member 49 slides upwardly over the inclined pins 55 it will e be given a partial rotation by its engagement with the pins and this partial rotation will be transmitted to the upper portion 43, and thus to the entire outer case, by the engagement of the teeth 57 with the cooperating sockets. This partial rotation of the outer case continues during the upward movement of the same until the hat-shaped member 49 drops back down to lower position followed by the return of the outer case to lower position. Then further partial rotation again takes place as the hat-shaped member 49 and the outer case repeat the cycle. Thus the result obtained when the invention is constructed in the modified form shown in FIGS. 6 to 10, inclusive, is the same as with the construction previously described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 5, inclusive. The outer case of the sprinkler assembly automatically moves up and down on the stationary stem member, and with each up and down cycle a slight partial rotation of the outer case is produced by engagement of members in a pair of cooperating clutch assemblies, one clutch portion carried by said case and the other portion carried by said stem. The desired result is accomplished without any exterior rotating means and without any complex or costly interior rotating mechanism requiring maintenance and care.