Title:
Pipe cleaning machine and cable retrieving mechanism therefor
United States Patent 3928885


Abstract:
The pipe cleaning machine includes a cable retrieving mechanism which derives its power from the rotational movement of the cable reel and has a cable feed means which is manually actuated into engagement with the cable for retrieving purposes. When the feed means is disengaged, the cable is manually movable into or out of a pipe being cleaned. On completion of a pipe cleaning job the feed means, on being engaged with the cable, automatically retrieves the cable for coiled reception within the cable reel.



Inventors:
Peterson, Henry G. (West Des Moines, IA)
Grimes, Tom (Altoona, IA)
Application Number:
05/544063
Publication Date:
12/30/1975
Filing Date:
01/27/1975
Assignee:
ROTO ROOTER CORPORATION
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
226/143, 242/387, 242/390.3
International Classes:
B08B9/04; B65H51/10; B65H75/36; (IPC1-7): B08B9/02
Field of Search:
15/14
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:



Primary Examiner:
Roberts, Edward L.
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lowell, Rudolph L.
Claims:
We claim

1. In a pipe cleaning machine having a frame, a reel for a coiled spring cable rotatable on said frame, power means on said frame for rotating said reel in one direction, and a cable guide tube rotatable on said frame having one end portion coaxial with the axis of said reel and an opposite end portion extended within and terminating adjacent the outer peripheral surface of the reel; a cable retrieving mechanism comprising:

2. The pipe cleaning machine according to claim 1 wherein:

3. The pipe cleaning machine according to claim 2, including:

4. The pipe cleaning machine according to claim 1, wherein:

5. The pipe cleaning machine according to claim 4, wherein:

6. The pipe cleaning machine according to claim 4, wherein:

Description:
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The cable retrieving mechanism is of a simple and rugged construction capable of operating over a long service life with a minimum of maintenance attention; and efficient in operation to quickly retrieve cable lengths of one hundred feet or more from within cleaned pipes. The mechanism is compact and readily assembled on many different types of pipe cleaning machines without impairing the appearance or ease of portability of such machines. The manual actuator for the mechanism and the switch control for the cable reel driving motor are located in close proximity to each other for convenient accessibility by the machine operator at all times during a pipe cleaning operation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pipe cleaning machine showing the cable retrieving mechanism of this invention in assembly relation therewith, with parts of the cleaning machine being broken away for the purpose of clarity;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged sectional view of the retrieving mechanism taken on line 2--2 in FIG. 1;

FIGS. 3 and 4 are enlarged sectional views as seen on the lines 3--3 and 4--4, respectively, in FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is an exploded perspective view of the cable retrieving mechanism; and

FIG. 6 is a sectional view on the line 6--6 in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is illustrated a pipe cleaning machine 10 having a frame 11 formed with a base 12 and upright end sections 13 and 14, hereinafter to be referred to as front and rear end sections, respectively. The rear end section 14 carries an electric motor 16 in operative association with a speed reduction unit 17 equipped with a power take-off shaft 18, which is in driving connection with a cable reel 19. This connection is accomplished by means of a drive arm 21 mounted transversely of the shaft 18 and provided with laterally extended pins 22 for engaging certain ones of the reel spokes 23.

The reel 19 (FIG. 1) includes a hub 24 that is rotatably mounted on the shaft 18 forwardly of the drive arm 21 and includes the radially extended spokes 23 and circular struts 27 to form a storage chamber for a flexible cable 28 of a coiled spring construction. A cable guide tube 29 has a front linear section 31 and an arcuate rear section 32 that projects through a front central opening 33 in the reel cage 26. The guide tube 29 extends from a point on the forwardly extended center axis of the reel 19 to a point within the reel located near the outer peripheral surface of the reel.

A rear shaft extension 34 on the front linear extension 31 has a spring biased bearing member 36 at its rear end rotatably supported in the reel hub 24. It is thus seen that the linear front section 31, the shaft extension 34 therefor, the reel hub 24 and the power take-off shaft 18 are in axial alignment longitudinally of the machine frame 11. The forward end of the front linear section 31 of the guide tube 29 is coupled, as indicated at 37, to the rear end of a tubular shaft 38 that forms part of the cable retrieving mechanism 39 of this invention (FIGS. 2 and 4). The front end 13 of the machine frame 11 (FIG. 1) terminates in a pair of upwardly converging members 41 of a tubular construction.

A mounting bracket 42, for the mechanism 39, includes a hub 43 that has a pair of transversely opposite diverging members 44 of a tubular construction of a size to slidably receive therein the lower ends of the upper portions of the corresponding ones of the tubular members 41 (FIGS. 1 and 2). A switch unit 46 for controlling the operation of the reel driving motor 16 is mounted on the upper side of the mounting bracket hub 43 with connecting electrical wires (not shown) to the motor 16 being carried in the tubular constructed frame 11.

The mounting bracket hub 43 is of a size to snugly receive therein a front tubular extension 47 (FIGS. 3 and 4) formed as an integral part of a housing 48 for the cable retrieving mechanism 39. The housing 48 is rigidly secured to the front end 13 of the machine frame 11 by clip members 49 connected to the tubular members 41 (FIGS. 1 and 2). As best appears in FIGS. 3 and 4, the housing 48 has front and rear end walls 51 and 52, respectively, side walls 53 and 53a, a top wall 54 and an open bottom 55.

The housing front tubular extension 47 (FIGS. 4 and 5) is provided with bearing members 56 for rotatably supporting therein the tubular shaft 38. Integrally formed at the rear end of the tubular shaft 38 and located within the housing 48 is a worm gear 57. As thus far described, it is seen that the tubular shaft 38, and in turn the gear 57, are rotatable as a unit with the cable guide 29 about a common axis. The rear housing wall 52 is formed with an opening 58 that has inserted therein a cable guide sleeve 59 in axial alignment with the tubular shaft 38. The cable 28, therefore, (FIGS. 3 and 4) is linearly extendible longitudinally through the housing 48 from the guide tube 29.

To withdraw the cable 28 from a pipe (not shown) that has been cleaned, the retrieving mechanism 39 is provided with a cable feed means comprised of an idler roller 61 (FIGS. 3 and 4) rotatably supported on bearings 60 carried on a shaft 62 having its ends in the housing side walls 53 and 53a such that the idler roller 61 is adjacent the rear housing wall 52 with its lower side opposite the opening in the cable guide insert 59. The roller 61 has a concave peripheral surface for engaging the top side of the cable 28 as it travels through the housing 48. Arranged below and opposite the idler roller 61 is a cable feed gear 63 that has a concave peripheral surface of a contour for contact meshed engagement with the lower side of the cable 28.

The feed gear 63 is movable into and out of engagement with the lower side of the cable 28 by means including a pivoted frame structure 64 (FIGS. 5 and 6). This frame is of a generally U-shape having side legs 66 connected adjacent their free ends by a brace member 67 and formed with transversely opposite longitudinally spaced pairs of hub members 68 and 69. Mounted on the pivoted frame 64 is a gear train that is comprised of a drive gear 71 and power transmission gears 72 and 73 connected together by a sprocket chain 74.

The frame 64 has what will be referred to as its forward end pivoted on a shaft 77 for up and down pivotal movement of the rear end thereof. The shaft 77 extends through the front hubs 68 with its opposite ends carried in the housing side walls 53 and 53a. Bearing members 78 on the shaft 77 rotatably support the drive gear 71 and front transmission gear 72 at positions between the legs 66 of the pivoted frame 64 such that the drive gear is in a continuous meshed engagement with the power gear 57 on the tubular shaft 38. The cable feed gear 63 and rear transmission gear 73 are also located between the side legs 66 and are rotatably supported on bearings 79 mounted on a shaft 81 carried in the rear hubs 69.

Thus, on an up and down pivotal movement of the rear end of the frame 64 the feed gear 63 is moved into and out of a meshed engagement with the lower side of the cable 28. In the engaged position, therefore, the cable 28 has opposite sides thereof in engagement with the idler gear 61 and feed gear 63, for retrieving movement forwardly through the housing 48 and the guide tube 29 for a coiled reception within the reel 19. When the feed gear 63 is disengaged from the cable 28, by a downward pivotal movement of the rear end of the frame 64, the cable 28 is freely manually movable in either direction through the housing 48 in engagement with only the idler gear 61 to either retrieve the cable or to feed the cable into a pipe to be cleaned. In this respect, and as shown in FIG. 1, the terminal end of the cable 28 is equipped with a cutting unit 82 which is rotated in a single direction within a pipe in response to the unirotational movement of the guide tube 29 through its cable connection with the reel 19.

The frame 64 is pivotally moved by an actuating assembly (FIGS. 3 and 5) that includes a first link 83 extended longitudinally of the housing 48 adjacent the side wall 53 and a second vertical link 84 projected through the housing top wall 54 at a position adjacent the rear wall 52 and side wall 53 with its lower end pivotally connected at 86 with the rear end of the longitudinal link 83. The front end of the longitudinal link 83 is formed with a longitudinally extended slot for slidably receiving therethrough the shaft 77. With its forward end thus slidably supported on the shaft 77, the longitudinal link 83 is arranged to one side of the pivoted frame 64 with its rear end located below and in bearing engagement with a projected end 87 of the shaft 81 (FIG. 6). It is seen, therefore, that in response to a vertical movement of the vertical link 84 and resultant pivotal movement of the rear end of the pivoted frame 64, the feed gear 63 is moved into and out of feeding engagement with the cable 28.

To vertically move the link 84, the projected upper end thereof is extended in axial alignment through a circular cam member 88 secured to the upper surface of the housing top wall 54 (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5). A coacting cam member 89 mounted on the projected end of the vertical link 84 has a radially extended actuator arm 91. The adjacent cam surfaces of the cams 88 and 89 are of a like contour formed with corresponding high and low sides. When these cam surfaces are in flush mating engagement, as shown in FIG. 4, the pivoted frame 64 is in its lowermost pivotally moved position wherein the feed gear 63 is out of engagement with the cable 28. On movement of the actuator arm 91 to move the corresponding high and low cam sides of the cam surfaces to positions opposite each other, as shown in FIG. 3, the pivoted frame 64 is in its uppermost pivotally moved position wherein the feed gear 63 is in meshed engagement with the coiled spring cable 28. These moved positions of the pivoted frame 64 are determined by adjustment of an adjusting nut 92 threadable on the vertical link 84 for engagement with the top side of the cam member 89. Adjustment of the nut 92 is maintained by an associated locking nut 93.

When the machine 10 is to be used for a pipe cleaning operation, the parts of the retrieving mechanism 39 are in the positions of FIG. 4 wherein the cable 28 is in contact only with the idler roller 61. On operation of the reel driving motor 16, therefor, the guide tube 29, tubular shaft 38 and the gear train on the pivoted frame 64 are continuously rotated. With the reel 19 and guide tube 29 rotating in the same direction the cable 28 is manually movable outwardly from the housing 48 for feeding into a pipe to be cleaned. As is well-known, the unidirectional movement of the reel and guide tube additionally provides for a like rotational movement of the cable 28 to rotate the cutter 82 at its terminal end. On completion of the pipe cleaning operation the manual actuator arm 91 is manipulated to move the cam members 88 and 89 from their positions of FIG. 4 to their positions of FIG. 3. Since the feed gear 63 is in continuous operation, the cable 28 is retrieved immediately on being engaged by the feed gear.

Although the invention has been described with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof, it is to be understood that it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications can be made therein which are within the full intended scope of this invention as defined by the appended claims.