BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to wells of the type commonly used to house water connections for mobile homes or the like and, in particular, to an integrally formed cover for such wells fabricated from a material having insulating qualities.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Today the use of mobile homes and the like has become popular and many mobile home parks have been constructed. While many of these facilities are of a semipermanent nature, wherein a mobile home is placed at a site for a relatively long period of time and the utilities such as gas, water and electricity are brought to the home and are connected thereto in a conventional manner, provision still must be made for easily disconnecting the utilities if the mobile home is to be moved to a different site.
A particular problem at such facilities is the supplying of water to mobile homes. Presently, water is normally piped underground beneath the frost line and communicated to individual wells associated with each mobile home site, with the well opening to the surface of the ground for easy access. The well is usually defined by a tile and has a water carrying pipe extending to the top open end of the well, with some type of valving means therein which permits the connection of a second water carrying conduit to the pipe such that the water may be easily connected to the water inlet fittings on the mobile home. The well may also be provided with a second valving means disposed at the bottom of the well for turning the water off at the bottom of the well below the frost line.
If the well is left open during the winter months, snow and the like will enter the well, and, due to the depth of the well, the snow is difficult to remove. In addition, the pipe may freeze, resulting in unnecessary expense and inconvenience due to the breakage of the pipe.
It would therefore be desirable to provide a means for preventing water, snow and the like from entering the well, while at the same time providing an insulated cover for the well so that upon the installation of a heating element the water in the pipes will be maintained above freezing temperatures. Such a cover should be inexpensive, simple to construct and should not interfere with easy accessibility to the well when it is desired to make connections or disconnections with pipes contained within the well.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, comprises an insulated cover adapted to be positioned on a well to prevent the entrance of snow, water and the like therein, as well as to provide insulation to aid in preventing the freezing of the water within the well pipe.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved insulated cover for wells.
Other objects, advantages, and applications of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art of well covers when the accompanying description of some examples of the best modes contemplated for practicing the invention is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawing wherein like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view through a well and a well cover constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the well cover illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, longitudinal cross-sectional view of a modification of the well cover illustrated in FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the well cover illustrated in FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring to the drawing and particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2 wherein there is illustrated an example of the present invention in the form of a cover 10 adapted to enclose the open end 12 of a well 14. The well 14 is formed from a tile or the like with a cylindrical side wall 15 and a radially enlarged upper portion defining a rim 16 on which the cover 10 is securely mounted. The lower end of the well 14, which is approximately five feet below the surface 20 of the ground, to be below the frost line where this is necessary, preferably opens to a bed of gravel 18 so that any rain water seeping into the well 14 may drain into the ground. A water pipe 26 extends through the open bottom of the well 14 and is adapted to be connected to a main water supply (not shown) to communicate water to a user, such as a mobile home 28, through a flexible hose 46. A vertically disposed pipe 30 is connected to the pipe 26 through a right angle joint 32 and an on-off valve 34 of a conventional construction. The valve 34 is disposed below the frost line and is controlled by a handle 36 located at the open end 12 of the well 14 and connected to the valve 34 by any suitable means, such as an elongated rod 38. Thus, when it is desired to shut off water flow between the pipes 26 and 30, the handle 36 is rotated to close the valve 34. This would be necessary if, for instance, the mobile home 28 were to be disconnected and moved during the winter months.
The upper end of the vertically disposed pipe 30 has a second on-off valve 40 operated by a handle 42 in the conventional manner. The exhaust side of the valve 40 has a fitting 44 which permits easy coupling to the flexible hose 46. The hose 46 is adapted to extend out from the cover 10 for connection to a suitable water inlet fitting 48 on the mobile home 28.
The cover, which is preferably fabricated from a material having good insulating qualities, such as fiber glass, comprises a top wall 50, preferably dome-shaped in appearance, having an integral side wall 52 depending from the outer periphery of the top wall 50. The lower portion 54 of the cover 10 is preferably thickened and has an annular recess 58 formed on the inner surface and extending upwardly from the bottom edge 56 of the side wall 52 and terminating in an annular shoulder 60 which abuts a shoulder 61 defined by the upper edge of the rim 16 when the cover 10 is positioned on top of the well 14 to close the opening 12.
As can best be seen in FIG. 2, the lower annular section of the side wall lower portion 54 defining the annular recess 58 has a plurality of angularly spaced slots 62 extending upwardly from the bottom edge 56 of the cover 10 and completely around the outer perimeter of the cover 10 to form flexible fingers 64. Each slot 62 extends completely through the lower wall portion 54 and upwardly from the bottom edge 56 a distance approximately equal to the height of the recess 58. The inner diameter of the cover 10, as measured at the recess 58, is approximately equal to the outer diameter of the rim 16, such that the rim 16 will receive the cover 10. A band 68, of a metal or plastic construction, is disposed around the fingers 64 and preferably has a length slightly less than the perimeter of the lower side wall portion 54 in which the fingers 64 are formed. The ends 70 and 72 of the band 68 are bent outwardly, and each end 70 and 72 has an axially aligned threaded bore which accommodates a threaded fastener 74 such that when the fastener 74 is tightened the two opposing bent ends 70 and 72 of the band 68 are brought closer to one another, decreasing the diameter of the band 68 and tightening the band 68 around the fingers 64 to exert a compressive force thereagainst to securely retain the cover 10 on the rim 16.
The wall section 54 is further provided with an enlarged aperture 78 that extends up from the bottom edge 56 of the cover 10 and above the flexible fingers 64 a sufficient distance to permit the hose 46 to extend therethrough without interference from the band 68. Although not shown, the aperture 78 can be closed with an insulating material after the cover 10 has been positioned on the well and the hose 46 is extending therethrough to prevent cold air, snow, moisture and the like from entering into the well 14.
During the winter months as is common the hose 46 will be wrapped with a flexible heating element 94. One end of the heating element 94 is provided with an electrical plug 96 and the other end can be left to hang loosely in the interior of the well 14. The insulated cover 10 will help retain the heat from the heating element 94 within the well 14 and will thereby aid in preventing the water in pipe 30 from freezing.
It can be seen that by simply loosening the band 68 by means of the fastener 74, the cover 10 may be removed from the well 14 and easy access may be had to the valves 34 and/or 40, such that the hose 46 may be removed therefrom if desired and the valves 34 and/or 40 may be turned on or off, as desired.
It can also be seen that the cover 10 provides insulation and protection for the well pipes and valves from the elements such that with the use of the heating element 94 as shown the water therewithin will not freeze during the winter months.
Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4 wherein there is illustrated a second example of the present invention in the form of a cup-shaped cover 80 adapted to be secured to the rim 16 of the well 14 by means of the band 68. The cover 80 is adapted to enclose the open end 12 of the well 14 when it is not in use to prevent snow, rain and the like, as well as objects such as toys etc., from entering the well 14. The cover 80 is preferably constructed of a material having good insulating qualities, such as fiber glass, and comprises an annular top wall 82 having an integral side wall 84 depending from the outer periphery thereof.
As can best be seen in FIG. 3, the juncture of the annular peripheral portion of the top wall 82 and the side wall 84 forms a shoulder 86 that abuts the top edge of the rim 16 when the cover 80 is positioned thereon. The side wall 84 has a plurality of angularly spaced, vertical slots 88 extending up from the bottom edge 70 of the side wall 84 to a point just below the juncture of the side wall 84 and the top wall 82. The slots 88 define a plurality of angularly spaced fingers 92 that are flexible inwardly and outwardly and function in the same manner as the fingers 64 hereinbefore described with respect to the cover 10 illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Thus, when the cover 80 is positioned on the open end 12 of the well 14 and the rim 16 is received within the side wall 84, the fingers 92 can be compressed inwardly by the band 68 to provide a snug fit between the cover 80 and the rim 16.
It can thus be seen that the present invention provides a well cover which is fabricated from a material having good insulating qualities, which is simple in its construction, design and inexpensive to fabricate.
Although two examples of the present invention have been disclosed, it is to be understood by those skilled in the art of well covers that other forms of the invention may be had all coming within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.