Title:
Hose mount
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hose mount includes a hose housing, a swivel device, and a brace. The swivel device supports the hose housing and the brace supports the swivel device.



Inventors:
Pentz, Edward (Boyertown, PA, US)
Application Number:
10/842041
Publication Date:
11/10/2005
Filing Date:
05/07/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H57/14; B65H57/26; B65H75/34; B65H75/44; (IPC1-7): B65H75/34
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
LEE, CLOUD K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Abel Schillinger, LLP (8911 N. Capital of Texas Hwy Bldg 4, Suite 4200, AUSTIN, TX, 78759, US)
Claims:
1. A hose mount comprising: a hose housing, a swivel device supporting the hose housing, and a brace supporting the swivel device.

2. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the brace includes a quick detachment means.

3. The hose mount of claim 2, wherein the quick detachment means comprises a C-clamp, spring clamp or bar clamp which can be manually operated without power tools.

4. The hose mount of claim 3, wherein said swivel device is operable in at least two planes.

5. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein said swivel device comprises a rotational member, an elastic member, a coiled cable or a spooled cable.

6. The hose mount of claim 1, further comprising a light source.

7. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the swivel device includes a rotational member swivelly mounted within an aperture of said brace.

8. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the hose housing comprises a saddle housing having a tubular member including a first and second open end.

9. The hose mount of claim 8, wherein the first and second ends of the saddle housing have a larger diameter than a central portion of said saddle housing.

10. The hose mount of claim 8, wherein the tubular member has a convex side wall portion.

11. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the hose housing comprises a roller structure.

12. The hose mount of claim 11, wherein the roller structure includes a housing and at least one roller attached to the housing.

13. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the swivel device and the hose housing are fixed.

14. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the swivel device and the hose housing can move relative to one another.

15. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the swivel device includes a ring attachment which encircles a portion of the brace.

16. The hose mount of claim 1, wherein the swivel device is capable of rotating about 180°-360°.

17. A method of employing a hose used for delivering blown insulation comprising: clamping a hose mount to an elevated solid structure, said hose mount including a hose housing, a swivel device supporting the hose housing, and a brace supporting the swivel device; and inserting a hose through a hose housing of the hose mount, so that said hose becomes less encumbered during said delivery of blown insulation.

18. The method of claim 17, further including using the hose to blow loose fill insulation into a cavity of a building.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the elevated solid structure is a rafter or truss.

20. A system for blowing insulation into a building cavity comprising: a hose housing having a first and second open end, a swivel device supporting the hose housing, a brace supporting the swivel device, and an insulation hose inserted through the first and second end of the hose housing.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to hoses, and more particularly to hose mounts useful for installing loose fill insulation.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Because of cost-effectiveness, speed and ease of application, as well as thoroughness of coverage in both open and confined areas, the practice of using pneumatically delivered or “blown” loose-fill insulation materials, e.g., glass fiber, rock wool, mineral fiber wool, cellulose fibers, expanded mica, and the like, has become an increasingly popular method by which to install insulation in new and existing building constructions.

Loose-fill insulation blown into attics, basements and outside wall cavities is very effective in reducing heat transfer in existing buildings. Loose-fill insulation can provide a substantial advantage over batt-type insulation in that the loose-fill material readily assumes the actual shape of the interior cavity being filled, whereas the insulative batts are manufactured in a limited number of standard size widths, none of which will as closely match the actual dimensions of wall cavities or accommodate obstructions encountered in the field. Properly installed, loose-fill insulation essentially completely fills a desired area of the building cavity, conforming to the actual shape of the building cavity, including obstructions, such as water, waste and gas lines, electrical conduits, and heating and air conditioning ducts, and provides, in that respect, effective resistance to heat transfer through walls, floors or ceilings.

Loose-fill insulation may be dispensed in a variety of ways. Generally, a hose is used to dispense the loose-fill insulation. The operator positions a hose nozzle in a desired direction and dispenses the insulation from the loose fill source into the area at which the nozzle is aimed. Extending the hose throughout an area, such as an attic or basement, becomes problematic with the weight and configuration of the hose. The movement of the hose during the application process is generally cumbersome for the operator installing the insulation. Long lengths of hose are difficult to maneuver for an operator while being occupied with the task of installing the installation. Hoses resting on the joists or rafters of the attic also may create a tripping hazard or other problems. Also, as the process of filling a building cavity with insulation becomes quicker due to improved blowing mechanisms, the hoses used to direct the insulation are becoming larger to handle the addition capacity, and are therefore more difficult to maneuver. For jobs requiring loose fill to be transported over long distances, control of the hose may require additional personnel for applying the loose-fill insulation. Additionally, the hoses may kink, get cut or otherwise damaged from being dragged along the bottom of the building cavity or from getting caught on articles at the bottom of the building cavity.

What is needed is an apparatus for supporting the hose and aiding in the maneuverability of the hose while installing insulation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one exemplary embodiment, a hose mount is disclosed including a hose housing, a swivel device and a brace. The swivel device supports the hose housing and the brace supports the swivel mechanism.

The hose mount advantageously allows a hose to be elevated, supported and rotationally maneuvered, which, in turn, allows an operator the ability to manipulate and direct the hose more easily within a building for performing operations such as blowing loose-fill insulation into attics.

According to another aspect, a method of employing a hose used for delivering blown insulation is disclosed including clamping a hose mount to an elevated solid structure, and inserting a hose through a rotatable hose housing of the hose mount so that the hose becomes less encumbered during delivery of the blown insulation. The hose mount includes a hose housing, a swivel device supporting the hose housing, and a brace supporting the swivel mechanism.

According to a further aspect, a system for blowing insulation into a building cavity is disclosed comprising a hose housing having a first and second open end, a swivel device supporting the hose housing, a brace supporting the swivel mechanism, and an insulation hose inserted through the first and second end of the hose housing.

The above and other features of the present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the invention that is provided in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate preferred embodiments of the invention, as well as other information pertinent to the disclosure, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one exemplary embodiment of a hose mount shown detached from a rafter.

FIG. 2 is a front view of an exemplary embodiment of a swivel device attached to an exemplary hose housing.

FIG. 3 is a front view of a second exemplary embodiment of a hose mount.

FIG. 4 is a front view of a third exemplary embodiment of a hose mount.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a fourth exemplary embodiment of a hose mount.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a system for blowing insulation into an attic of a building.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a fifth embodiment of a house mount, wherein an elastic swivel mechanism is shown in an unexpanded state.

FIG. 8 is a fifth embodiment of the house mount of FIG. 7, wherein the elastic swivel mechanism is shown in an expanded state.

FIG. 9 is perspective view of a sixth exemplary embodiment of a hose mount.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

This description of the exemplary embodiments is intended to be read in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are to be considered part of the entire written description. In the description, relative terms such as “lower,” “upper,” “horizontal,” “vertical,”, “above,” “below,” “up,” “down,” “top” and “bottom” as well as derivatives thereof (e.g., “horizontally,” “downwardly,” “upwardly,” etc.) should be construed to refer to the orientation as then described or as shown in the drawing under discussion. These relative terms are for convenience of description and do not require that the apparatus be constructed or operated in a particular orientation. Terms concerning attachments, coupling and the like, such as “connected” and “interconnected,” refer to a relationship wherein structures are secured or attached to one another either directly or indirectly through intervening structures, as well as both movable or rigid attachments or relationships, unless expressly described otherwise.

The present invention comprises a hose mount including a hose housing, a swivel device, and a brace. The hose mount is particularly beneficial for use in installing loose-fill or blown insulation, such as cellulose or fiberglass insulation, into building cavities, such as attics, but also may be employed in other applications, especially applications where long hoses need to be maneuvered by operators. Although described herein with respect to some preferred embodiments, which are exemplified in FIGS. 1-8, the brace, the swivel device and the hose housing can each be comprised of a wide variety of different types of such elements. For example the brace may be any device capable of clamping the hose mount to a solid structure. The swivel device may likewise be any device capable of cooperating with the brace and hose housing to allow for rotation of the hose housing. The hose housing may be any device capable of removably carrying a hose.

The elements of the hose mount may be separate elements mechanically connected to one another (e.g., connected by screws), or two or all of the elements may be integral with each other (e.g., formed of a single piece of material or welded together). They can be metal or molded plastic, or contain elastic materials, such as rubber.

The brace, which is preferably attached to, or includes a portion of, an elevated solid structure, such as a rafter or truss in the attic of a building, supports the hose mount and also the hose. The brace can be mounted by, or include, traditional fasteners such as screws, nails or the like, so that it can be later detached, or left in place, following the delivery of insulation. It can also be a bracket, or fastener, which can be attached by hand, without a screw gun or hammer, such as by a threaded hook, eye-bolt or clamp, for example. Preferably the brace includes a mechanism which allows for quick detachment of the brace from one location and the reattachment of the brace at a separate location. The quick detachment mechanism allows an operator to rapidly and efficiently relocate the hose mount to a more effective location, if necessary. Also, preferably the brace is adjustable for mounting the hose mount to solid building structures, such as trusses or rafters, of various widths or thicknesses.

The swivel device may be any device capable of allowing the hose housing, to which it attaches, to rotate around the Y-axis. Preferably the swivel device allows 360° rotation in either direction. It can be a pivoting mechanism that works in two (x-y direction) or three planes (x-y-z direction). It can also be elastic, such as a bungee cord, or extendable, such as a coiled or spooled cable, for example.

The hose housing may comprise any device capable of carrying a hose. Preferably the hose housing is configured to allow for movement of the hose relative to the housing and to prevent the hose from getting caught on the housing.

Referring now to FIG. 1, one exemplary embodiment of a hose mount 100 is shown including a brace comprising a C-clamp 10, a swivel device 20, and a hose housing comprising a saddle housing 30.

There are a wide variety of C-clamps known in the art, any of which may be employed in the hose mount 100. Preferably the C-clamp is formed of metal such as steel or aluminum, but also may be comprised of a polymer material. The C-clamp 10 includes an adjustment member 12. Preferably the adjustment member 12 is a screw-type element which can be rotated inwardly or outwardly to allow the C-clamp to brace the hose mount onto solid structures (e.g., a roof rafter 40) of various widths in the building cavity. The adjustment member 12 also allows the hose mount 100 to be quickly detached from the solid building structure and relocated at a separate location.

The C-clamp also preferably includes a swivel device attachment means. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the swivel device attachment means is an aperture 14 through a bottom edge 16 of the C-clamp. The aperture is sized to allow rotational movement of the swivel device.

The swivel device 20 may include a variety of types of swivel mechanisms as would be known in the art. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the swivel device 20 includes a rotational member 22, providing 180-360° rotation in the x-y plan, for example, and hose housing connection members 24. The rotational member 22 may be a vertical rod having a cap 26. The cap 26 has a diameter larger than the aperture 14 of the C-clamp for retaining the swivel device on the C-clamp 10. The rotational member 22 has a diameter smaller than the aperture 14 of the C-clamp 10 for allowing the swivel device 20 to rotate freely around the Z or vertical-axis, preferably in an entire circular arc of 360°. The connection members 24 are preferably connected to the rotational member 22 and to the hose housing 30, and provide support for bearing the hose housing 30. The rotational member 22 is also preferably connected to the hose housing 30.

Referring to FIG. 2, in an alternative embodiment, the swivel device 50 may comprise a ring attachment 52 which slips over the C-clamp or other type of brace. Use of this swivel device 50 would prevent the need for an aperture in the C-clamp or other type of brace. The swivel device 50 further includes a rotational member 54 and hose housing connection members 56. The rotational member 54 may include any type of swivel type rotational device known in the art, such as, for example, that described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,248,176 to Fredriksson (hereby incorporated by reference), and preferably allows 360° rotational movement of the connection members 56.

The saddle housing 30 preferably comprises an elongated tubular member 32 having a first open end 34 and a second open end 36. The tubular member is preferably made of aluminum, but may also be comprised of other metals or of polymeric materials, e.g., molded plastic such as epoxy, polyethylene, polystyrene, nylon, etc. The first open end 34 and second open end 36 serve as the entrance and exit locations of a hose 40 being carried by the housing 30. Preferably the first and second ends 34, 36 are rounded outwardly as shown in FIG. 1. This reduces the likelihood that the hose 42 will get caught on one of the ends 34, 36 and thus allows the hose 42 to slide or move relative to the housing 30 more easily. The tubular side wall of tubular member 32 is also preferably convex in shape which facilitates sliding or movement of the hose relative to the housing 30, and also allows for less bending of the hose at the ends 34, 36 of the housing 30. Referring to FIG. 2, the housing 30 can optionally include a light source 31, battery 33 or d.c. powered, disposed to provide light to the area to be insulated. Preferably, the light source 31 is swivelly and/or pivotably mounted so that the light source may be adjusted to direct light to different locations, having a central axis 37 at an adjustable angle “α” from the longitudinal axis 57 of the housing so as to present the light where it is most useful.

In a preferred embodiment, the length L of the tubular member 32 is approximately eight inches and an inside diameter D of the tubular member 32 is approximately six inches near the center. However, the length L and diameter D of the tubular member 32 may vary depending on the hose being employed in the application.

The swivel device 20 and the hose housing 30 may be connected or attached to one another by any known means. They may be integral with or permanently attached to one another. For example, where formed of a plastic material, they may be comprised of a single molded part, or where formed of metal, they may be welded together to form a permanent attachment. Alternatively, the swivel device 20 and hose housing 30 may be attached via fasteners, such as, for example, screws or bolts, such as an eye-bolt, or some other mechanical attachment. The swivel device and hose housing may be fixed or may be able to move relative to one another.

Referring to FIG. 3, another exemplary embodiment of a hose mount 200 is shown including a brace comprising a spring clamp 110, a swivel device 120, and a hose housing comprising a saddle housing 130.

In the embodiment shown in FIG. 3, the exemplary spring clamp 110 includes clamping members 112 and a spring element 118. The clamping members 112 include building structure engaging elements 114 and spreading elements 116. The clamping members 112 may be spread to clamp the roof rafter 40 by squeezing the spreading elements 116. The structure engaging elements 114 can be adjustably spread to allow the spring clamp 110 to brace the hose mount 200 onto solid structures, such as roof rafter 40 of various widths in the building cavity. The adjustable spring clamp 110 also allows the hose mount 200 to be quickly detached from the solid building structure and relocated at a separate location. The spring element 118, in addition to being the pivot point for spreading of the spreading elements 116, also preferably acts as the attachment means for the swivel device 120.

The exemplary spring clamp 110 of FIG. 3 is of the type often employed to removably and adjustably clamp lights, such as incandescent lights, to support structures. Various other types of spring clamps, including other types employed with lights, may be used for the hose mount. Depending on the structure of the spring clamp, the spring clamp may need to be modified to allow for attachment of the swivel device.

The swivel device 120 and hose housing 30, as shown in FIG. 2, may be the same as or similar to those described above with respect to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1, or alternatively may be any of those described herein or known in the art. As shown in FIG. 3, the swivel device 120 includes a brace attachment element 122 which rotatably retains the swivel device 120 on the hose mount 200. Various other attachment means may also be employed depending on the structure of the swivel device and spring clamp.

Referring to FIG. 4, another exemplary embodiment of the a hose mount 300 is shown including a brace comprising a pipe or bar clamp 210, a swivel device 20, and a hose housing comprising a saddle housing 30.

As with the C-clamps described above, there are a wide variety of pipe or bar clamps known in the art, any of which may be employed in the hose mount 300. Preferably the bar clamp 210 is formed of metal such as steel or aluminum, but also may be comprised of a polymer material. The bar clamp 210 includes an adjustment member 212. Preferably the adjustment member 212 is a screw-type element which can be rotated inwardly or outwardly to allow the bar clamp to brace the hose mount onto solid structures of various widths in the building cavity. The adjustment member 212 also allows the hose mount 300 to be quickly detached from the solid building structure and relocated at a separate location.

The bar clamp 210 also preferably includes a swivel device attachment means. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the swivel device attachment means is an aperture 214 through the bar 216 of the bar clamp 210. The aperture 214 is sized to allow rotational movement of the swivel device 20.

The swivel device 20 and hose housing 30, as shown in FIG. 4, may be the same as or similar to those described above with respect to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, or alternatively may be any of those described herein or known in the art. Where the swivel device is comprised of the type shown in FIG. 2, the bar clamp 210 would not require an aperture 214.

Referring to FIG. 5, a further exemplary embodiment of a hose mount 400 is shown including a brace comprising a C-clamp 10, a swivel device 20, and a hose housing comprising a roller structure 330.

The swivel device 20 and brace 10, as shown in FIG. 5, may be the same as or similar to those described above with respect to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1. Alternatively, the swivel device may be of the type shown in FIG. 2 or any other known swivel device or swivel attachment. Likewise, the brace may alternatively be of the type shown in FIG. 3 or 4 or any other type of bracing mechanism known in the art.

The roller structure 330 comprises a housing 332 and at least one roller 334. The rollers 334 are attached to the housing 332 and are capable of rotating freely. Preferably, the roller structure 330 includes four rollers which are preferably between approximately one half and one inch in diameter. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 5, the housing is rectangular in shape and is comprised of four flat bars having a one quarter inch thickness T and a width Wr of one inch. Although the inside height H of the roller structure 330 may vary depending on hose size, in one preferred embodiment the height H is approximately eight inches. The housing 332 may be formed of metal or molded plastic, for example.

In an alternative embodiment, the roller structure may include an elongated rectangular housing having a width of a few to several inches, preferably eight inches or more. The elongated housing may include a plurality of sets of rollers at the ends of the housing or spaced intermittently through the housing. This embodiment would be beneficial in preventing kinking or excessive bending of the hose.

The swivel device 20 and the housing 332 of the roller structure 330 may be connected or attached to one another by any known means. They may be integral with or permanently attached to one another. For example, where formed of a plastic material, they may be comprised of a single molded part, or where formed of metal, they may be welded together to form a permanent attachment. Alternatively, the swivel device 20 and housing 332 may be attached via fasteners, such as screws or bolts, for example.

As shown in FIG. 6, the hose mount 100 (which may alternatively be any of the hose mounts described herein) is shown mounted on a rafter 40 in an attic of a building for use in supporting and aiding in the maneuverability of an insulation blowing hose 42 which is being employed to install blown or loose-fill insulation. The hose mount 100 is mounted to the rafter 40 via the brace 10. Before or after mounting the hose mount 100, the blowing hose 42, which has been introduced into the attic through an attic entrance hole 80, is inserted through the hose housing 30. The swivel device 20 allows the operator to then move or direct the hose throughout the attic or other building cavity. Depending on the size of the building cavity to be insulated, a plurality of hose mounts may be employed at different locations in the building.

As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, the swivel device can include an elastic or extendable swivel mechanism, such as elastic cable or coil 120. The elastic cable 120 is shown in its unexpanded state in FIG. 7 and in its expanded state in FIG. 8. The elastic cable 120 can be connected to the brace 10 and housing 30 by any known mechanical means including any of those described herein.

As shown in FIG. 9, a spring clip 700 can be used to attach a coiled cable or bungee cord 701, for example, to an eyebolt 702. Following use, the spring clip can be removed with the bungee cord 701, leaving the eyebolt 702 in place.

Another aspect of the present invention is a method of employing a hose, which includes clamping a hose mount to an elevated solid structure and inserting a hose through a rotatable hose housing of the hose mount. Although this method is advantageously used for blowing loose fill insulation into a cavity of a building, it may also be used for other applications.

Although the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the appended claims should be construed broadly, to include other variants and embodiments of the invention which may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the scope and range of equivalents of the invention.