Title:
Oil Drain Pan and Holder for Preloaded Oil Filters
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A combination oil filter preload storage pan and drain pan includes a pan with a series of differentially sized openings in the top cover thereof and support ribs arrayed within the pan on the base for support of preloaded filters or filters which are to be drained.



Inventors:
Kurtz, Scotty R. (Clarinda, IA, US)
Duncan, Daniel (Overland, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/622043
Publication Date:
07/17/2008
Filing Date:
01/11/2007
Assignee:
Lisle Corporation (Clarinda, IA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/36
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARNETT, NICOLAS ALLEN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD. (71 SOUTH WACKER DRIVE SUITE 3600, CHICAGO, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A combination oil filter pre-load storage and drain pan comprising, in combination: a formed bowl including: a generally flat base, a peripheral side wall of generally uniform height extending from the base to form a fluid tight container, with an open top, said flat base including a generally flat, interior surface with a plurality of spaced support ribs on the interior surface, said support ribs having a generally uniform height from each other; and a top cover over the open top, said top cover including a plurality of generally circular spaced openings forming an array of openings in the top cover, each of the openings one positioned over at least two spaced ribs, at least two of said spaced openings having a unique diameter, said top cover generally parallel to the base.

2. The pan of claim 1 wherein the top cover and containers are a unitary construct.

3. The pan of claim 1 formed from a polymeric material.

4. The pan of claim 1 including at least two spaced handles affixed to the outer periphery of the side wall.

5. The pan of claim 1 wherein the ribs comprise generally parallel, equally spaced integrally formed elements on the base surface.

6. The pan of claim 1 wherein the ribs comprise generally parallel, equally spaced integrally formed elements on the base surface.

7. The pan of claim 6 wherein the ribs have a generally triangular cross section configuration with the apex thereof above the flat inside surface of the base.

8. The pan of claim 6 further including handles on the pan generally aligned with the ribs.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In a principal aspect, the present invention relates to a drain pan for oil filters which is also useful as an oil filter preload storage pan. The device thus accomplishes multiple objectives of providing a means for draining generally cylindrical oil filters as well as a preload storage holder for such oil filters.

Collection of fluids such as oil for the engine, or transmission fluid or other fluids from a vehicle in a drain pan is depicted in various prior art patents. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,503,246 issued Apr. 2, 1996, for a “Crank Case Drain Pan” depicts one type of device. Other types of devices in the marketplace include an oil pan collection device offered by OTC Tools as OTC Product No. 5076 Transfer Tanker. Another product by Todd Industries of Cranston, R.I., is identified as Todd “Low Boy 17 Gallon Oil Drain”, Product No. 2400-34. John Doe Industries offers a similar product identified as a “17 gallon Low Profile Portable Oil Drain”, Product No. JDI-LP4. John Doe Industries also offers a larger version of a similar product identified as “25 gallon Low Profile Portable Oil Drain”, Product No. JDI-LP5. John Doe Industries offers a smaller capacity device identified as “10 Gallon Low Profile Portable Oil Drain”, Product No. JDI-AF10E. Lisle Corporation offers various funnels and oil drain pans and collection devices, including their Product No. 17912, “55 Gallon Oil Drum Drain Funnel”, Product No. 19722 “Catch All Drip Pan”, Product No. 17942 and 17952, “4.5 Gallon Oil Drain Pans”, Product No. 17932, “6 Quart Drain Pan”, Product No. 17922, “Multi Drain Tub”; Product No. 11102, “8 Gallon Oil Lift Drain” and associated U.S. Pat. Nos. D 429,160 and 6,367,586; Product No. 17432“18 Gallon Oil Lift Drain” and associated patents, as listed above; and Product No. 17892 and 17902, “Transmission Drain Funnel”. Thus, the availability of many types and styles of oil drain pans in the market place is known.

Such devices, however, typically are not useful with respect to loading or preloading oil filters and positioning those filters in a desirable manner to facilitate installation of new oil filters. Consequently, the utilization of oil filters that have been preloaded or are new is typically a task considered to be totally separate and apart from an oil draining or other fluid draining operation. Providing a device which will facilitate utility, particularly utility with respect to collection and draining of oil filters or helping position preloaded oil filters for new installation would thus be a desirable result, as discovered by the present inventors and applicants. Thus, the availability of an oil pan construction having multiple utility and purpose is considered a desirable goal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, the present invention comprises a combination (1) oil filter preload storage pan or assembly for holding an array of preloaded oil filters or other fluid filter devices typically used in motor vehicles and (2) as a filter drain pan. The device, thus, is in the form of a bowl or pan, with a generally flat base and a side wall of a generally uniform height extending upwardly from that base to form a fluid container or pan with a generally open top. The base includes spaced interior ribs. The ribs are of a generally uniform height and are spaced from one another to provide support for oil filters which are positioned thereon. A cover over the open top includes an array of generally circular, spaced openings. The openings are designed to receive and hold oil filters or other fluid filters for vehicles in position for ease of access. The filters thus, are supported upon and above the base of the bowl or pan. The filters may be supported in a preload condition or in a drain position where the open side of the oil filter is directed downwardly into the pan. The ribs support the filters so that they may drain into the pan. The top cover insures that the filters will be segregated from each other and properly maintained in position on the ribs. Optional handles may be included for the pan, as well as drain spouts or drain passages through the side of the pan. The side of the pan is dimensioned to insure that the filters can project above the pan cover to allow access to the filters.

Thus, it is an object of the invention to provide a combination oil filter preload storage device as well as a drain pan for receiving oil filters and holding those filters in a manner which will enable them to drain into the pan.

Another object of the invention is to provide a combination oil filter/preload storage pan and drain pan which is easy to maneuver, which is rugged, inexpensive and sized in a manner that enables its use with multiple sizes of oil filters or other fluid filter devices having a generally cylindrical shape.

These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be set forth in the detailed description which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the detailed description which follows, reference will be made to the drawings comprised of the following figures:

FIG. 1 is a side elevation of an embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 2 taken along the line 3-3;

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the combination preload and drain pan embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the embodiment of FIG. 1 depicted as it would be used for supporting and draining of filters positioned therein; and

FIG. 6 is an isometric view depicting the embodiment of FIG. 1 and the passage or drain which provides for removal of fluid from the pan.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the figures, the embodiment depicted includes a bottom or base wall 10, a peripheral side wall 12 formed integrally with the base wall 10 to provide an enclosure or pan which is generally fluid tight. The height of the peripheral wall 12 is generally uniform (in the range of about 3 to 6 inches) and a rim 14 defines the top side of the wall 12. A cover 16 is attached to the top side of the peripheral wall 12 at the rim 14. The cover 16 is typically removable, but may be integral and includes a plurality of generally cylindrical openings 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26, that permit access to the interior of the pan. The openings 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26 may be uniquely sized in a manner that enables the placement of different diameter filters through the openings and extending into the pan. The pan further includes handles 30 and 32 at opposite sides thereof. The handles 30 and 32 enable gripping and carrying of the pan. The cover 16 and base wall 10 are generally parallel. The cover 16 may be generally flat, or ribbed. It may be formed integrally with the remainder of the device or separately and fused or latched thereto.

The base 10 is generally flat and includes a plurality of spaced support ribs 36 running parallel and generally equally spaced one from the other. The ribs 36 are in cross section in the form of a triangle with an upper apex 38 that acts as a support for filters which may be positioned thereon. Typically, the ribs or support members 36 are spaced so that more than one rib is within each diameter (e.g. 2 to 4 inches) defined by the passages 18, 20, 22, 24 and 26. This enables level support of the filters positioned through the various openings uniformly above the base 10. The ribs may extend between and to the peripheral wall 12, or, as shown, may be foreshortened extending within about one inch from the wall at each end to facilitate manufacturing and integrity of the device.

In the embodiment depicted, the handles 30 and 32 are generally parallel and have openings 33 therethrough which are perpendicular to the ribs 36. This is to enhance balance during use of the pan, though the relative orientation of the ribs 36 to the handles 30, 32 may be varied.

FIGS. 4, 5 and 6 depict the utility of the embodiment of the pan. In FIG. 4, various sized filters which are preloaded or which have not yet been used, such as filters 50 and 52, are fitted into appropriately sized openings in the pan and are supported above the base 10 of the pan by the ribs 36. These filters may be easily carried to a work site for installation in a vehicle.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate the pan when used for collection of used filters. For example, used filters 56 and 58 may be fitted through appropriate sized openings with the open end of the filter exposed downwardly for draining into the pan. Again, the ribs 36 support the filters above the base 10 to enable the filters to drain. As shown in FIG. 6, the pan includes a passage or a drain nozzle 60 which is directed through the upper side or margin of the peripheral or side wall 12. The drain passage 60 may include a plug which is removed upon desirable draining from the pan. Note the side wall 12 is generally uniform in height and is less in height than the longitudinal dimension of the filters to insure that the filters will project upward above the cover 16.

In the described embodiment, the entire configuration may be formed from a polyethylene or other polymeric material. For example, high density polyethylene may be utilized. The drain pan may be formed, for example, by a blow molding process or some other type of molding process.

While there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is to be limited only by the following claims and equivalents. For example, the size and the shape or configuration of the openings in the top cover of the pan may be varied. The shape of the pan itself may be varied. The shape and configuration and array of the ribs may be varied. The positioning of the handles relative to the ribs may be varied, though it is most desirable to maintain the handle openings and the ribs generally perpendicular in order to facilitate balance of items within and being carried by the pan. Other variations are considered to be within the scope of the invention without departing from the claims.