Title:
Drain assembly having a removable drain plate
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drain assembly having a removable plate and smooth outlet for a pressure fit coupling.



Inventors:
Higgins, Ernest (Tarrytown, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/340375
Publication Date:
07/15/2004
Filing Date:
01/13/2003
Assignee:
HIGGINS ERNEST
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/22; (IPC1-7): E03C1/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUG PARTNERS LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. An improved drain including a body attachable to a drain outlet and mountable in a drain opening, the improvement comprising a removable plate mounted in the body so that removing the plate allows a device to be passed through said body.

2. The drain of claim 1 wherein the body has an interior surface and an exterior surface, and the exterior surface is smooth so as to improve attachment of the body to the drain outlet.

3. The drain of claim 2 wherein the body is attached to said drain outlet by a threadless connector.

4. The drain of claim 3 wherein the threadless connector is a pressure fit coupling.

5. The drain of claim 1 wherein the device is from the group consisting essentially of a snake and a pressure hose.

6. The drain of claim 1 wherein the body and the plate have cooperating means to mount the plate in the body.

7. The drain of claim 6 wherein the cooperating means comprise a plurality of tabs formed on the plate which cooperate with a flange and cutout arrangement formed on an interior surface of the body.

9. The drain of claim 1 wherein the body and plate are of a cylindrical shape.

10. The drain of claim 1 wherein the body and plate are comprised of stainless steel.

11. The drain of claim 1 wherein the plate is recessed from the drain opening.

12. The drain of claim 1 wherein the plate is cross-member shaped.

13. An improved drain including a body attachable to a drain outlet and mountable in a drain opening, and a plate removably mounted in said body, said body having interior and exterior surfaces, and said exterior surface being smooth so as to allow connection of a pressure fit coupling.

14. The drain of claim 13 wherein removing the plate allows a device is be passed through said body.

15. The drain of claim 14 wherein the device is from the group consisting essentially of a snake and a pressure hose.

16. The drain of claim 13 wherein the body is attached to said drain outlet by a non-threaded connector.

17. The drain of claim 16 wherein the threadless connector is a pressure fit coupling.

18. The drain of claim 13 wherein the body and plate are comprised of stainless steel.

19. The drain of claim 13 wherein the plate is recessed from the drain opening.

20. The drain of claim 13 wherein the plate is cross-member shaped.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to drain assemblies, specifically to such drains which are used to control the flow of water out of a sink, shower, bath tub or the like.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] A typical prior art drain assembly is shown in the series of photographs and captions labeled FIGS. 4(a)-(e). Such a drain has numerous disadvantages. For example, because the plate (FIG. 4(c)) at the bottom of the drain is fixed and not removable, the plate inhibits the insertion of a snake, pressure hose or the like for cleaning of the piping below the drain. This often necessitates removal of the entire drain to order to insert the snake. Another disadvantage exists in that the bottom portion of the drain is threaded (FIG. 4(c)). Consequently, connecting or disconnecting the drain to a tailpiece or drain outlet is complicated and requires the multiple connectors and special tools shown in FIGS. 4 (a) and (b) Unfortunately, the time and labor requirements necessary to maintain a system including drains of this type has resulted in increased repair costs and inconvenience.

[0005] Certain other types of prior constructions have been tried, but all of such constructions have at least one of the inherent disadvantages common to those above denoted. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,232,407 is a basket strainer that is held in a closed position by forced fit of a stem into a hole in the center of the drain plate. However, because the drain plate is fixed, a snake cannot be passed through this type of drain. As another example of prior art, U.S. Pat. No. 5,003,642 is a foreign matter trap for use in a sink or shower drain. The shower drain embodiment as shown in FIG. 1 includes a removable cruciform member. However it is not fixedly secured in the drain, whilst being removable nor is it recessed from the drain opening. Finally, U.S. Pat. No. 6,237,168 is a sink drain assembly where, by inversion, the waste plug can be used as a tool for the removal of the sink seal cap. The waste plug tool fits into the sink seal cap for removal and/or the placement thereon. However, this drain is exteriorly threaded and is therefore not easily connected to a drain outlet.

[0006] None of the above patents disclose a drain that allows the insertion of a snake, pressure hose or the like for the cleaning of the pipes below the drain, whilst also allowing uncomplicated connection of the drain to an outlet.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] In accordance with the present invention, a drain assembly comprises a drain plate removably mounted in a drain body. Removal of the drain plate allows the insertion of a snake, pressure hose or the like for the cleaning of the drain pipes below the drain. Further, the drain body is exteriorly smooth to allow the connection of a pressure fit pipe coupling. Several other related objects and advantages of the present invention are as follows.

[0008] It is a general object of the present invention to provide a drain which substantially eliminates those disadvantages inherent in the both the construction and use of prior known apparatus.

[0009] Another object of the present invention lies in the provision of a drain which facilitates the easy maintenance and repair of the associated drain system.

[0010] Still another object of the present invention resides in the provision of a drain which eliminates the necessity of removing the drain in order to clear the drain system when it becomes clogged.

[0011] Still a further object is to provide a drain which is exteriorly smooth to permit quick and easy connection and disconnection to the drain outlet without the use of threads and their attendant disadvantages.

[0012] Still another important object of the present invention is to provide a drain which is of substantially simple and inexpensive design and manufacturer and which is highly efficient and easily operable for use in a variety of drainage systems.

[0013] These and other objects are accomplished by the parts, construction, arrangement and combination comprising the present invention, the nature of which is set forth in the following general statement and preferred embodiment of which are set forth in the following description and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and which are particularly and distinctly pointed out set forth in the appended claims forming a part hereof.

[0014] The present invention will now be described in more complete detail, with reference being made to the figures identified below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIGS. 1(a)-(c) are side, top, and bottom views of the inventive drain with the plate mounted in the body;

[0016] FIGS. 2(a)-(c) are side, top, and bottom views of the body, without the plate mounted;

[0017] FIGS. 3(a)-(c) are side, top, and bottom views of the plate, not mounted in the body; and

[0018] FIGS. 4(a)-(e) are photographs of a typical prior art drain assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] A preferred embodiment of the drain 1 of the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 1(a)-(c) (plate in body), FIGS. 2(a)-(c) (body alone), and FIGS. 3(a)-(c) (plate alone).

[0020] The drain 1 has two main elements: a body 2 of cylindrical cross section; and a cylindrical plate 3. FIGS. 1(a)-1(c) are side, top, and bottom views of the drain 1 with the plate 3 mounted in the body 2. In the preferred embodiment, the body 2 and plate 3 are both of a rigid metal, such as stainless steel. However, the body 2 and plate 3 can consist of other material suited for the purpose.

[0021] Referring to FIGS. 1(a)-1(c) and 2(a)-(c), the body 2 has an annular top surface 4. Depending from this surface 4 is an annular wall 5. The lower part of the wall 6 is exteriorly smooth. The advantages of the smooth exterior are to allow pressure fit coupling to allow for easy fittings and coupling of different size pipes. At the interior of the wall 5 and recessed from the top surface 4 is an annular flange 7. The flange 7 includes two diametrically opposed cutouts 8. At the underside of the flange 7 are formed two raised portions 9.

[0022] Referring to FIGS. 1(a)-1(c) and 3(a)-3(c), the plate 3 has a top surface 10. This surface 10 includes an annular flange 11. Surface 9 further has a cross-shaped portion 12. This cross-shaped portion 12 defines four openings 13 in the plate surface 10. Depending from surface 10 is a annular wall 14. At the bottom of this wall 14 are two diametrically opposed outwardly extending tabs 15.

[0023] One mounts the plate 3 in the body 2 by hand without tools as follows. Referring to FIGS. 1(a)-1(c), one first positions the plate 3 in the body 2 so that the plate tabs 15 are aligned with the body cutouts 8. Next, one lowers the plate 3 so that the tabs 15 pass through the cutouts 8, and the plate flange 11 comes to bear upon the body flange 7. The plate tabs 15 are now positioned at the underside of body flange 7 and are still aligned with the cutouts 8. One next rotates the plate 3 counterclockwise, as shown by the arrow in FIG. 1(b) . In this way, the plate tabs 15 are caused to rotate arcuately along the underside of the body flange 7, until further rotation is prevented when the tabs 15 engage raised portions 9, as shown in FIG. 1(c). Axial movement of the plate is prevented since the tabs 15 are no longer aligned with the cutouts 8. The plate 3 is now securely mounted in the body 2 and will not be accidentally dislodged.

[0024] The plate 3 is removable from the body 2 by reversing the above steps. Namely, one first rotates the plate 3 clockwise until the tabs 2 engage raised portions 9 and are thus re-aligned with cutouts 8. Consequently, the plate 3 easily lifts out of the body 2.

[0025] Accordingly, an inventive drain 1 is provided which has inherently all those attributes, objects and advantages set forth above, and which provides an extremely new and useful article of manufacture of a type and function unique in the light of prior constructions.

[0026] In the foregoing description of the drain 1, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness and understanding, but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirements of the prior art, because such words are used for descriptive purposes herein and are intended to be broadly construed. Moreover, the embodiment of the improved drain construction illustrated and described herein are by way of example, and the scope of the invention is not limited to the exact details of construction.

[0027] Having now described the inventive drain 1, the construction, the operation and use of the preferred embodiment thereof, and the new and useful results obtained thereby; the new and useful construction, and reasonable mechanical equivalents thereof obvious to those skilled in the art, are set forth in the appended claims.