Title:
Flu supporting system and method of manufacture and application
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flue securing apparatus providing a planar metal plate having a flue hole therein and a tab of the metal plate extensive within the flue hole. The tab having a locating hole positioned at a juncture of the tab and one edge of the flue hole. A sheet metal strap is coplanar with the plate and joined thereto by mutual sheet metal attachments. Grooves positioned at the edged of the plate define comers of a roof hole so that a flue is positionable according to code. A step-by-step method is taught of using the plate as a template for cutting the roof hole and for securing a venting flue in place within the plate.



Inventors:
Kopp, John G. (San Clemente, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/784015
Publication Date:
09/20/2007
Filing Date:
04/04/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/82, 126/315
International Classes:
F24C15/08; F23J13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PEREIRO, JORGE ANDRES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP (2424 S.E. BRISTOL, SUITE 300, NEWPORT BEACH, CA, 92660, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A flue securing apparatus comprising: a planar metal plate having a flue hole therein; a tab of the metal plate extensive within the flue hole, the tab having a locating hole positioned at a juncture of the tab and one edge of the flue hole.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a sheet metal strap coplanar with the plate and joined thereto by mutual sheet metal attachments.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising four guide slots arranged at edges of the plate in positions forming comers of a square, the square spaced apart from the flue hole in accordance with at least minimum fire code requirements for distancing flammable structural materials from a flue carrying hot gases.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a plurality of mounting holes in the plate.

5. A flue securing apparatus comprising in combination: a) a planar metal plate having a flue hole therein; a tab of the metal plate extensive within the flue hole, the tab having a locating hole positioned at a juncture of the tab and one edge of the flue hole; and b) a sheet metal strap coplanar with the plate and joined thereto by mutual sheet metal attachments.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 further comprising four guide slots arranged at edges of the plate in positions forming comers of a square, the square spaced apart from the flue hole in accordance with at least minimum fire code requirements for distancing flammable structural materials from a flue carrying hot gases.

7. The apparatus of claim 5 further comprising a plurality of mounting holes in the plate.

8. A method of securing a flue using a planar metal plate having a flue hole therein; a tab of the metal plate extensive within the flue hole, the tab having a locating hole positioned at a juncture of the tab and one edge of the flue hole; four guide slots arranged in opposing edges of the plate in positions forming comers of a rectangle; a plurality of mounting holes; and a sheet metal strap; the method comprising the steps of: a) marking an inside surface of a roof sheeting directly above one edge of a venting flue in a position between opposing rafters; b) penetrating the sheeting with a screw; c) placing the plate on an exterior surface of the roof sheeting with the screw protruding through the locating hole and with the opposing edges of the plate aligned with the rafters; d) marking the locations of the guide slots on the roof sheeting; e) cutting a roof hole in the roof sheeting with the centers of the guide slots establishing comers of said roof hole; f) anchoring the plate to the roof sheeting with the flue hole of the plate centered in the roof hole and bending the tab downwardly; g) extending the venting flue upwardly through the flue hole in the plate; h) securing the strap around the venting flue and the tab thereby holding the venting flue in place relative to the plate and relative to the roof hole.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. patent applications Ser. Nos. 11/394,435, and 11/378,867, respectively filed on Apr. 1, 2006, and Mar. 16, 2006, both of which are incorporated herein by reference.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

THE NAMES OF THE PARTIES TO A JOINT RESEARCH AGREEMENT

Not applicable.

INCORPORATION-BY-REFERENCE OF MATERIAL SUBMITTED ON A COMPACT DISC

Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A “MICROFICHE APPENDIX”

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Present Disclosure

This disclosure relates generally to brackets and hold-down devices and more particularly to mounting plates and supports for vents and flues and to methods for more easily manufacturing and installing such devices.

2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98

Reynoso, U.S. Pat. No., Des 257,947 discloses a design for a bracket for mounting a heater vent pipe between joists and rafters.

Williamson, U.S. Pat. No. 851,720 discloses a flue support consisting of two parallel spaced U-shaped metal straps having their extremities turned outwardly at right angles in a common plane, and a pair of independently formed parallel spaced cross-straps, disposed upon the web portions of the U-shaped straps and having their ends turned downwardly against the outer edges of the webs of the U-shaped straps, whereby longitudinal displacement of the cross-straps from the U-shaped straps is prevented.

Grissom, U.S. Pat. No. 973,777 discloses a flue base, a pair of supports spaced from each other, each support being of substantially U-shape and having outwardly bent and down-turned hook like ends for engagement with adjacent joists, and a centrally perforated flat plate normally resting upon the cross connecting portions of the supports and having notches formed in opposite side edges receiving the vertical leg portions of the supports, whereby the plate will be held against displacement with respect to the latter without the use of fasteners.

Anderson, U.S. Pat. No. 1,127,844 discloses a device comprising in combination a pair of U-shaped stirrups the legs of which are bent to hook formation at their terminals to adapt them to engage over spaced supports, the stirrups lying in space relation to each other, bars extending between the stirrups with their ends resting upon the stirrups, the stirrups and the bars together comprising an open, rectangular and continuous support and a sheet metal plate supported upon the bars and the stirrups and completely overlying the bars and the horizontal portions of the stirrups the plate serving as a base and a closure for the bottom of a brick flue, the bars and the stirrups underlying the line of the bricks of which the flue is made and the plate having an opening formed therein for the reception of a stove pipe.

Legg, U.S. Pat. No. 1,342,918 discloses a flue with an open bottom having a pipe entering the open end thereof, of a flue pan arranged beneath the open bottom of the flue provided with a central aperture adapted to receive the pipe and a tubular member secured to the pan and extending upwardly into the flue surrounding the pipe, the tubular member being provided on the upper end thereof with a resilient flange engaging the pipe.

Epstein, U.S. Pat. No. 2,648,326 discloses a spacer comprising: an elongated strip of deformable sheet metal formed with a longitudinal series of transverse extensions severed from the strip along their opposite sides and one end only, and bent outward from the strip along the other end which extensions are additionally bent adjacent the first end at a distance from the strip beyond the deformable limits of the strip-secured metal to provide footing portions collectively adapted to abut against the perimeter of a structure around which the strip may be wound so as to space the same apart therefrom, and means for fastening the wound strip to a supporting structure the strip of metal having longitudinally extending dimples stiffening the strip at the junctures of the respective extensions at their other ends, the stiffening dimples terminating at stations spaced from the junctures and defining unstiffened transverse bend lines for the strip between the extensions.

Epstein, U.S. Pat. No. 2,648,511 discloses a hanger for a vertical vent pipe, the hanger comprising a vent pot means having a side and a bottom to receive the lower end of a support pipe, the hanger further comprising bracket means adapted to be supported on adjacent ceiling joists, hanger bar means supported on the bracket means, and the pot supported on the hanger bar means, the bracket means comprising a sheet metal body including a surface for securement against the side of one of the joists and having means offset from the plane of the surface, vertical slots formed in the offset means, the slots each having a downwardly tapered upper end portion and an enlarged lower end potion, the hanger bar means being horizontally supportable on the bracket means and having compressible end portions normally thicker than the slots at their narrowest tapered portions adapted to be snapped downwardly into individual slots, the bar means being longitudinally adjustable in the slots, the pot including a bottom and a side wall, the side wall of the pot having receiving means for the bar, the bar means being longitudinally slidable in the bar receiving means, the bar receiving means including portions normally frictionally gripping the bar.

Goldstone, U.S. Pat. No. 2,965,342 discloses a vent pipe support including a frame adapted to be secured to spaced portions of a building, the frame including spaced members adapted to extend between the spaced building portions; a pipe supporting bucket having opposed, generally parallel end walls; brackets secured to the end walls and spaced therefrom in generally parallel relation thereto to provide guideways between the brackets and end walls to receive the spaced members with the bracket s and bucket supported on the space members, the sides of each guideway being defined by an end wall and a bracket secured to the end wall.

Lane, U.S. Pat. No. 3,004,740 discloses a hanger for flue pipes comprising, a generally rectangular frame structure adapted to span a pair of spaced beams and to be secured thereto, a horizontally disposed clamping ring adapted to receive and hold a vertically disposed flue pipe against axial movements, and a plurality of circumferentially spaced centering brackets interposed between the clamping ring and the frame structure the brackets including vertical ears secured to the clamping ring, horizontal ears detachably secured to the frame structure, and angular body portions, the body portions defining radially inwardly projecting elements which are adapted to engage circumferentially space portions of a flue pipe in axially space relation to the clamping ring, whereby to hold the flue against angular movements with respect to the axis of the clamping ring.

Stone, U.S. Pat. No. 3,602,468 discloses a support assembly for securing a prefabricated metal chimney or the like to a sloped roof and comprising a pair of bracket members adapted to be fixed to rafters on opposite sides of the chimney, each being adjustably connected to a plate member which is fixed to the chimney so that the chimney can be held vertically despite the degree of roof slope.

Lane, U.S. Pat. No. 3,809,350 discloses a readily applicable device for use when the user is called upon to install a sheet material vent pipe. It comprises a simple adapter plate having a central opening for insertable and adjustable passage of a conventional type vent pipe, the apertured portion of the plate being encompassed by overhanging coordinating tabs. These tabs have upwardly flexed or canted inner ends which are slightly resilient and which embrace and yieldingly as well as retentively engage that portion of the vent pipe surrounded thereby.

The related art described above discloses several apparatus and methods for securing a vent pipe. However, the prior art fails to disclose a plate with a tab having a locating hole and guide slots for cutting an appropriate and properly positioned hole for the vent pipe to penetrate the roof. The present disclosure distinguishes over the prior art providing heretofore unknown advantages as described in the following summary.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This disclosure teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

Almost all building structures have one or more vent pipes or stacks penetrating a roof structure and extending upwardly above it. Such vents include furnace and water heater vents, clothes dryer vents, toilet line vents, and so on. When vents carry heated gases, such as from furnaces, water heaters and clothes driers, building codes require that such pipes be held securely for structural reasons to avoid collapse and also to prevent heated pipes and vents from being place too near combustible portions of building structures such as wooden sheeting on roofs and roof joists, etc. The fixtures used for anchoring such vents and pipes must position them in conformance with building codes and also provide such structural strength to prevent them from moving, i.e., they must be secure and not loosen over time. It should be realized that such vents and pipes are subject to wind forces as they protrude above building roof lines. Therefore, they must be positioned and anchored in such a manner as to not loosen over time.

A flue securing apparatus provides a planar metal plate having a central flue hole positioned for assuring code spacing distances between a flue and flammable roofing materials through which the flue extends. A tab in the plate has a locating hole positioned at a juncture of the tab and one edge of the flue hole. A sheet metal strap is coplanar with the plate and joined thereto by mutual sheet metal attachments. A step-by-step method is taught of using the plate as a template for cutting an appropriate hole in a roof sheeting and for securing a venting flue in place within the sheeting hole with proper spacing of flue and roofing materials according to building codes.

The present invention is designed to accomplish the above objectives.

A primary objective inherent in the above described apparatus and method of use is to provide advantages not taught by the prior art.

Another objective is provide a vent anchoring apparatus that is inexpensive to manufacture.

A further objective is to provide such an apparatus that is simple to install, takes less time to complete and reduces the possibility of making installation errors.

A still further objective is to provide such an apparatus that assures an installation that meets building codes, maintaining clearances between flammable roofing materials and venting flues.

A yet further objective is to enable installation of a vent securement that is positioned on either an outside surface or an inside surface of a roof.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the presently described apparatus and method of its use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING(S)

Illustrated in the accompanying drawing(s) is at least one of the best mode embodiments of the present invention In such drawing(s):

FIG. 1 is a plan view of my new invention, a mounting plate with a strap attached thereto;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the mounting plate with a tab thereof shown bent downwardly;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the strap;

FIG. 4 is an interior perspective view of a section of a roof with joists, a vent flue, and a plumb-bob used to mark a mounting point on an interior surface of the roof;

FIG. 5 is an exterior perspective view of the section of roof and joists with the mounting plate positioned thereon;

FIG. 6 is similar to FIG. 5, further showing the vent flue extending through the roof and the mounting plate;

FIG. 7 is similar to FIG. 4 showing the vent flue as strapped to the tab;

FIG. 8 is an exploded view similar to FIG. 4 showing a hole cut into roof sheeting, the plate shown positioned away from the hole and in registration therewith for mounting on an exterior surface of the roof, the strap formed into a circle and the tab of the mounting plate bent downwardly, a roof flashing shown positioned above the mounting plate; and

FIG. 9 is an exploded view similar to FIG. 8 showing the mounting plate fastened to an interior surface of the roof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The above described drawing figures illustrate the described apparatus and its method of use in at least one of its preferred, best mode embodiment, which is further defined in detail in the following description. Those having ordinary skill in the art may be able to make alterations and modifications to what is described herein without departing from its spirit and scope. Therefore, it must be understood that what is illustrated is set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as a limitation in the scope of the present apparatus and method of use.

This disclosure teaches a flue securing apparatus for use in industrial, commercial, and residential buildings. A planar metal plate 10 (FIGS. 1 and 2), having a flue hole 12 is preferably fabricated of galvanized steel sheet metal of substantial gauge so that the plate 10 is rigid enough to perform its function according to the following description and method of use. Plate 10 is preferably fabricated by being stamped from a larger sheet of the same material. An elongated tab 14, an integral part of plate 10 extends into the flue hole 12 and has a locating hole 16 positioned at a juncture 18 of the tab 14 and one edge 12a of the flue hole 12. The flue hole 12, when tab 14 is bent down, as shown in FIG. 2, is of adequate size to accept a venting flue 7 even on a peaked roof where the plane defined by plate 10 is at an angle to the axis of the venting flue 7, as best shown in FIGS. 6, 8 and 9. Hole 12 is preferably rectangular in shape so as to accommodate venting flue 7 even when plate 10 is placed onto a peaked roof and flue 7 is plumb.

Four guide slots 20 are spaced apart with two arranged on each of apposing edges 15a and 15b (FIG. 2) of plate 10 in positions that form the comers of a rectangular opening 5a that is cut into the roof sheeting 5, using these four guide slots 20 as a template. The size of plate 10 and the locations of guide slots 20, and the size and position of flue hole 12 in plate 10 are such as to provide for at least minimum clearance (according to building code clearance requirements) between the edges of hole 5a and flue 7 when hole 5a is cut using the guide slots 20 as a guide in accordance with the method of installation of this invention as described below. In other words, the plate 10 is used as a template to determine the extent of opening 5a. Plate 10 also preferably has a plurality of mounting holes 11 as shown in FIG. 1 which are used to secure plate 10 in place on sheeting 5.

In one embodiment of the present apparatus, as shown in FIG. 1, a sheet metal strap 30 is formed coplanar with the plate 10 and joined thereto by small sheet metal attachments 32 which are easily cut to remove the strap 30 from the plate 10. Alternatively, the strap may be formed as a separate part as shown in FIG. 3. In either case, the strap 30 is preferably made of the same material as the plate 10. Strap 30 is long enough to encircle and be fastened to the venting flue 7, as shown in FIG. 7, and has fastening holes 34 near each of its ends 30a and 30b. Adjacent to each of the holes 34 are elongated bumps 36 used to prevent a nut from turning when common hardware is used to secure the strap 30, again, as shown in FIG. 7. The bumps 36 are also useful for rigidizing the ends 30a and 30b of strap 30 so that the ends can be bent at right angles while remaining flat (planar), as best seen in FIG. 7.

The apparatus will now be described in its preferred methods of application in securing a venting pipe or flue as referenced using numeral 7. Assuming that the above described apparatus is available to the installation mechanic, the following methods comprise specific steps that are taken in completing the job of placing and securing the venting flue 7 so that penetrates a roof structure and is secured in place and spaced at a distance from any flammable structural members.

Step 1: The venting flue 7 is mounted on a furnace, water heater, or other device that requires venting of heated gases, and is initially brought vertically upward from the device to a point near the underside of roof sheeting 5 where it is to penetrate, as shown in FIG. 4. Flue 7 is preferably positioned midway between two roof rafters 6, or beams, etc.

Step 2: A plumb bob 4 is dropped from the underside of sheeting 5 to an edge of the flue 7 and preferably is positioned midway between the roof rafters 6, as shown in FIG. 4. A point of penetration “P” is marked on the underside of the roof sheeting 5. A screw or nail 8 is driven into the sheeting 5 at the point of penetration “P” and extends through sheeting 5 in a plumb orientation.

Step 3: Moving now onto the top of sheeting 5, as shown in FIG. 5, with strap 30 separated from plate 10, plate 10 is placed flat on the top surface of sheeting 5 with locating hole 16 placed onto screw or nail 8 and with plate 10 oriented so that its edges 15a and 15b are parallel to the direction of rafters 6.

Step 4: A pen or marker (not shown) is now used to mark the outline of plate 10 including guide slots 20 onto the surface of sheeting 5, and plate 10 is then removed. Next, the hole 5a is cut into the sheeting 5 using the marked outline as a guide wherein the centers of the marked guide grooves define the comers of hole 5a. For a flat roof, the spacing between the guide grooves 20 along edges 30a and 30b may provide for a nearly square hole 5a, but for a peaked roof, the spacing between grooves 20 along edges 30a and 30b will provide for a rectangular hole 5a. One may space grooves 20 for a roof having an slope angle of approximately 27 degrees, i.e., a rise of 6 units in a run of 12 units, and if this is the greatest slope one will encounter, the plate 10 will suffice for all applications with a slope of 27 degrees or smaller.

Step 5A: If plate 10 is mounted on top of sheeting 5, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 8, tab 14 is bent down as shown in FIG. 2, and plate 10 is positioned as shown in FIG. 6. The venting flue 7 is then extended upward through hole 5a and plate 10, with tab 14 abutting flue 7, is fastened to sheeting 5 using common hardware 2 in mounting holes 11.

Step 5B: If the plate 10 is fastened to the underside of sheeting 5 as shown in FIG. 9, tab 14 is bent down and then venting flue 7 is extended upward through hole 5a in abutment with tab 14.

Step 6: The final step is to bend strap 30 into a circle, with its ends bent at a right angle and fasten it around venting flue 7 and tab 14, and then tighten it in place using common hardware as shown in FIG. 7. Preferably the end of tab 14 that protrudes below strap 30 is bent vertically upward to secure the strap 30 in place.

It should be recognized that the present apparatus and method of use enables the mechanic to easily position and size hole 5a, in sheeting 5, so that it is large enough to assure clearance between the edges of hole 5a, which are typically of flammable materials such a wood, and the surfaces of venting flue 7 which usually becomes quite hot during the passage of products of combustion and other gases escaping through flue 7. This is achieved by placing flue hole 12 at a position in plate 10 that allows the required clearance when the guide grooves 20 are used to cut the opening 5a in sheeting 7.

The enablements described in detail above are considered novel over the prior art of record and are considered critical to the operation of at least one aspect of the apparatus and its method of use and to the achievement of the above described objectives. The words used in this specification to describe the instant embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification: structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word or words describing the element.

The definitions of the words or drawing elements described herein are meant to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements described and its various embodiments or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim.

Changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalents within the scope intended and its various embodiments. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements. This disclosure is thus meant to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted, and also what incorporates the essential ideas.

The scope of this description is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that each named inventor believes that the claimed subject matter is what is intended to be patented.