Title:
Article for use in a fluid diversion system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A synthetic resin article is provided for use in a fluid diversion system with one or more distribution lines. The article's frame has a top, at least one side, a bottom and an interior. At least one aperture is formed at the top. An intake port is disposed on at least one side of the frame, for engagement with the system distribution line. A drainage structure is disposed on the bottom of the frame for downward drainage of standing water into the surrounding soil or other environment. When the system delivers fluid through the distribution line, it is received in the interior of the frame and drains slowly out through the drainage structure but normally when the system delivers fluid to the interior at a sufficient rate, the fluid rises to the top of the frame and percolates out of the outlet aperture. In preferred embodiments, the top includes a plurality of small outlet gratings for additional percolation. In particularly preferred embodiments, the outlet gratings are formed as a plurality of slots for optimized percolation and diffusion.



Inventors:
Frost, Gregory Charles (Lawrence, KS, US)
Application Number:
11/118312
Publication Date:
11/02/2006
Filing Date:
04/29/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/302.1
International Classes:
E02D19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAYO-PINNOCK, TARA LEIGH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephen R. Robinson (Rockville, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An article for use in a fluid diversion system having one or more distribution lines, the article comprising: (a) a synthetic resin frame having a top, at least one side, a bottom and an interior, portions of the top forming an outlet aperture; (b) an intake port disposed on at least one side of the frame, for mating engagement with the system distribution line; and (c) a drainage structure disposed on the bottom of the frame, such that when the system delivers fluid through the distribution line, it is received in the interior of the frame and drains slowly out through the drainage structure, and wherein when the system delivers fluid to the interior at a sufficient rate, the fluid rises to the top of the frame and percolates out of the outlet aperture.

2. The article of claim 1, wherein a plurality outlet slots are formed at the top of the frame.

3. The article of claim 2, wherein the top is substantially rectangular in shape, having two opposing shorter ends and two opposing longer ends, and a lid is formed thereby.

4. The article of claim 3, wherein a hinge is integrally formed on at least one side of the frame, the hinge disposed adjacent and interlockingly engaged with the lid.

5. The article of claim 4, wherein the lid is capable of upward movement in a range of 180 degrees about the hinge axis.

6. The article of claim 5, wherein the intake port is formed in one of the shorter ends, namely a proximal end, and the other opposing shorter end is the distal end.

7. The article of claim 6, wherein the lid opens from distal end for ease of access to the intake port without obstruction from the lid when it is in the open position.

8. The article of claim 7, wherein reinforcement ribs are integrally formed on the lid, disposed to project downward into the interior.

9. The article of claim 8, wherein a port adapter is disposed within the intake port, the intake port presenting a port diameter, the adapter presenting an adapter diameter less than the port diameter, the port adapter having a predetermined diameter for mating engagement with the distribution line.

10. The article of claim 3, wherein the four sides are configured for folding so that all four are reversibly foldable to allow a substantially flat, folded profile.

11. An article for use in a fluid diversion system having at least one distribution line, the article comprising: (a) a synthetic resin frame having a top, a proximal side, a distal side, a bottom, all defining an interior therewithin, portions of the top forming a plurality of slots, the frame including a hinge structure formed to join the proximal side and the top, the bottom including portions forming a plurality of apertures; (b) a circular intake port disposed on at least the proximal side of the frame, for engagement with the system distribution line, the intake port presenting a port diameter; and (c) a lid disposed at the top of the frame, the lid capable of upward movement in a range of 180 degrees about the hinge axis to facilitate ease of access to the intake port without obstruction by the lid, when the lid is moved to the open position, such that when the lid is closed and the system delivers fluid through the distribution line, it is received in the interior of the frame and drains slowly out through the outlet aperture, and wherein when the system delivers fluid to the interior at a sufficient rate, the fluid rises to the top of the frame and percolates out of the slots.

12. The article of claim 11, wherein reinforcement ribs are integrally formed on the top, disposed to project downward into the interior.

13. The article of claim 11, wherein a port adapter is disposed within the intake port, the adapter presenting an adapter diameter less than the port diameter, the port diameter having a predetermined magnitude for mating engagement with the distribution line.

14. The article of claim 11, wherein a lid is formed in the top of the frame, the lid capable of upward movement in a range of 180 degrees about the hinge axis to facilitate ease of access to the intake port without obstruction by the lid, when the lid is moved to the open position.

15. The article of claim 11, wherein all sides are configured for folding so that all sides are reversibly foldable to allow a substantially flat, folded profile.

16. An article for use in a fluid diversion system having at least one distribution line, the article comprising: (a) a synthetic resin frame having a top, a proximal side, a distal side, a bottom, all defining an interior therewithin, portions of the top forming a plurality of slots, the frame including a hinge structure formed to join the proximal side and the top, the bottom including portions forming a plurality of apertures; (b) a circular intake port disposed on at least the proximal side of the frame, for engagement with the system distribution line, the intake port presenting a port diameter; (c) a lid disposed at the top of the frame, the lid capable of upward movement in a range of 180 degrees about the hinge axis to facilitate ease of access to the intake port without obstruction by the lid, when the lid is moved to the open position. (d) a port adapter disposed within the intake port, the adapter presenting an adapter diameter less than the port diameter, the port adapter having a predetermined diameter for mating engagement with the distribution line; and (e) reinforcement ribs integrally formed on the lid, disposed to project downward into the interior, such that when the lid is closed and the system delivers fluid through the distribution line, it is received in the interior of the frame and drains slowly out through the outlet aperture, and wherein when the system delivers fluid to the interior at a sufficient rate, the fluid rises to the top of the frame and percolates out of the slots.

17. The article of claim 16, wherein all sides are configured for folding so that all sides are reversibly foldable to allow a substantially flat, folded profile.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of fluid diversion systems and more particularly to systems for rain gutter diversion.

2. Description of the Related Art

Rainfall is an important concern for homeowners and other building owners. Rain is typically collected in a guttering system disposed at the bottom of the roof slope. The rain is then gravitationally guided to one or more downspouts, normally sited at the corners of the building. Downspouts are usually substantially vertical, extending to the groundsoil or other surface structure, such as concrete. Downspouts are typically curved at the bottom with an outlet, so as to dump rainfall in an outward moving fashion away from the building. This is the most common means of disposing of rain falling on a building.

The major problem with such a system is that the water coming out of the downspout outlet normally does not have sufficient velocity to escape the area surrounding the foundation of the building. Standing water around a foundation is a major structural risk. Even water diffusing into soil in proximity to the foundation presents a risk, namely mold and undesirable settling of the foundation leading to structural damage. Also, water in proximity to the foundation may lead to saturation leaking into the basement.

Many attempts have been made to deal with these problems by transporting the water further from the foundation, away from the area in diffusion proximity to the foundation. One method is to provide a drainage channel extension to the downspout outlet in order to discharge the water outside the diffusion area, such as at U.S. Pat. No. 6,240,680. If the pipe is long enough, and if the soil is graded so that the water doesn't flow back toward the foundation, such a technique may solve the problems created by the presence of standing or diffusing water close to the foundation. However, another problem may be created. Such a configuration may result in erosion of soil at the mouth of the extension pipe after repeated discharges, resulting in creation of a trough in the soil or other landscape damage. In addition, such a discharge fails to provide a beneficial distribution of water, which could occur if the water were distributed more widely and with less velocity.

Another attempt is to not only extend the drainage channel but also provide a more suitable water discharge at the end of the system, for example the Pop-Up Drainage Emitter manufactured by NDS, Inc. of Lindsay, Calif. The Pop-Up Drainage Emitter provides an elbow at the end of the channel with a lid capable of upward extension when subject to water pressure. The water flows through the channel, into the elbow and then pushes the lid upward to provide uniform radial discharge about the top. This system however still does not optimize water discharge for purposes of landscaping and soil treatment because the velocity of the water discharged is too great with even a moderate rain. In fact the system in question is designed for direct dumping of water to the sewer, as indicated on the packaging for the Emitter. What is needed is a system which provides water discharge sufficiently far away from the building and yet also providing for gentle discharge of water at the outlet to avoid erosion and to promote a slow, maximum-volume “perking” of the water about the discharge site.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention solves the problem of effective diversion of water from a building or other structure by providing a system utilizing an article which promotes substantially complete diversion of fluid in the system away from the foundation of the building or other structure wherein standing fluid (such as water) is a structural risk for the foundation or other structure. The article also includes gratings at the top for beneficial dispersion of the fluid outward from the top of the article for gentle yet volume enhanced fluid diffusion.

The present invention provides a synthetic resin article for use in a fluid diversion system with one or more distribution lines. The article's frame has a top, at least one side, a bottom and an interior. At least one grating is formed at the top. An intake port is disposed on at least one side of the frame, for engagement with the system distribution line. A drainage structure is disposed on the bottom of the frame for downward drainage of standing water into the surrounding soil or other environment. When the system delivers fluid through the distribution line, it is received in the interior of the frame and drains slowly out through the drainage structure but normally when the system delivers fluid to the interior at a sufficient rate, the fluid rises to the top of the frame and is dispersed out of the outlet aperture.

In preferred embodiments, the top includes a plurality of small outlet gratings for additional gentle dispersion. In particularly preferred embodiments, the outlet gratings are formed as a plurality of slots for optimized distribution and velocity of dispersion.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partially schematic side view of a system featuring a box in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a box in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of the box;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of the box;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the box with the lid open;

FIG. 6 is a top view of the box with the lid in its fully open position;

FIG. 7 is a side view of the box;

FIG. 8 is a partial side view of the box utilizing an adapter.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Turning to the drawings in general and FIG. 1 in particular, a system 10 (partially schematically shown) is depicted having a house 12, with a sloped roof 14, peripheral guttering 16, a gutter drain 18, a connector 20, a diffusion region 22, a pipe 24, and a box 26 (also known as a Burble Box™) in the context of the present invention.

House 12 could be any structure that collects water to be disposed of at the peripheral ground and any possible configuration of roof could be used rather than the one shown schematically at roof 14. Peripheral guttering 16 could employ any technique for collection and routing of rainwater. Connector 20 could be a PVC elbow, by way of example. Diffusion region 22 is an area around the base of the structure and foundation 19 is typically made of concrete, stone or other masonry materials or the like and has about it a diffusion region 22 such that standing water or rainfall may effect either the soil 23 or the foundation 19 adversely, as is well known in the art. Pipe 24 may be a PVC pipe set with at least a 1% gradient by way of illustration, although even a level gradient would be functional. Box 26 of the present invention will be discussed in detail below.

Referring to FIG. 2, box 26 generally includes a frame 28, a portal 30, and a drainage structure 32 (see FIG. 3). Drainage structure 32 is essentially made up of four apertures 34 in the preferred embodiment, as seen in FIG. 3.

Still referring to FIG. 2, frame 28 is generally made of a synthetic resin material such as industrial strength plastic. Frame 28 includes an interleaved structure 36 allowing for easy assembly and utilization of a “knockdown profile” for shipment and storage. Frame 28 includes a top 38, a bottom 40 (see FIG. 3), a first longitudinal side 42, a second longitudinal side 44 (see FIG. 3), a distal side 46 (see FIG. 3) and a proximal side 48.

Top 38 includes a lid 50, a hinge 52, a plurality of gratings 54, reinforcement ribs 56 (see FIG. 4), and has dimensions of 24″ in length and 16″ in width, in the preferred embodiment. The volume of frame 28 is approximately 3.56 cubic feet in this embodiment. Lid 50 opens from distal side 46 as illustrated in FIG. 5 and has full range of motion so that lid 50 can be rotated 180 degrees from the closed position shown in FIG. 2 to an open position as seen in FIG. 6.

Referring to FIG. 3, bottom 40 is disposed opposite top 38 (shown at FIG. 2). Drainage structure 32 includes four small apertures 34 in the preferred embodiment, as shown. The dimensions of bottom 40, like top 38 are 24″ in longitude and 16″ in width as indicated respectively dimensional indicators “a” and “b”.

First longitudinal side 42 connects top 38 to bottom 40 as shown in FIG. 2. Dimensions of first longitudinal side 42 in the preferred embodiment are 24″ in length and 16″ from top to bottom. Likewise and with reference to FIG. 3, second longitudinal side 44 connects top 38 and bottom 40. Second longitudinal side 44 is opposite and facing first longitudinal side 42 as shown. The dimensions of second longitudinal side 44 are the same of those first longitudinal side 42 in the embodiment.

Referring again to FIG. 3, distal side 46 is distal from proximal side 48 and portal 30 (see FIG. 2). Distal side 46 connects top 38 to bottom 40 as well as first longitudinal side 40 to second longitudinal side 44 and has dimensions of 16″ from top to bottom and 16″ from side to side.

Referring again to FIG. 2, proximal side 48 includes portions forming portal 30. The thickness of proximal side 48 is 1″ in the preferred embodiment as is the thickness of the first side 42, second side 44, distal side 46, top 38 and bottom 40. Portal 30 has a 6″ diameter and has associated with it in the preferred embodiment a 4″ adapter piece 58 (see FIGS. 7 and 8) which may be shipped separately or with box 26. Adapter piece 58 has an outer diameter of 6″ for mating engagement with portal 30 and an inner diameter of 4″.

Referring to FIG. 4, which is a sectional view ¼″ deep into distal side 46, distal side 46 includes two threaded bores 60 aligned with threaded holes 57 for mating reception of two respective threaded bolts 62.

Referring to FIG. 1, in operation, when rainfall occurs or other moisture appears on roof 14 of house 12, the gravitational action causes the rainfall or other liquid to collect in guttering 16 where it is gravitationally delivered to gutter drain 18 via connector 20 into pipe 24 which normally has a positive gradient so that the water then naturally flows downward through pipe 24 to box 26. It will be readily appreciated that with the small volume of box 26 that even a very modest rainfall will entirely fill box 26.

Referring to FIG. 2, as the rainfall rises in box 26 most of the water will exit out of lid 50 via the plurality of gratings 54 with a “burbling” action meaning the water comes out in a somewhat random burbling fashion. The number of gratings 54 is sixty and their size is preferably ½″×2½″ each, shaped as slots. The sixty gratings 54 are arranged in three columns of twenty each. There are 2″ between columns and there is a ½″ space between each grating 54 in each column. This distribution of gratings 54 across lid 50 is designed to create the gentle burbling action which results in an optimally wide dispersal of the water about the periphery of top 38 in a dispersion area 64, the surface boundary of which is indicated by the dotted line (see FIG. 6). The maximized dispersal area 64 means a larger amount of soil around box 26 will be moistened advantageously, as will be readily appreciated by those skilled in the art. Because of the gentle percolation action caused by the grating configuration and geometry, water will be permitted to spread evenly around box 26 providing for a gentle dispersal, yet a maximized volume of water into the surrounding soil. This provides the further environmental advantage of cleansing the water through such percolation and an advantage to a homeowner of maximizing water distribution throughout soil.

With reference again to FIG. 1, this operation of system 10 in the course of rainfall provides for the effective diversion of water away from the diffusion region 22 surrounding foundation 19 so as to avoid the deleterious effects of moisture around a foundation. Box 26 further provides for a dispersal of the water at the top 38 of box 26 at a predetermined location for optimum dispersal of the rainfall benefiting the soil and preventing erosion at the same time.

With reference to FIG. 4, reinforcement ribs 56 strengthen top 38 so that normal mechanical stresses encountered by box 26 (such as humans or animals walking over the top 38 of box 26 will be mitigated by the added strength).

Referring to FIG. 6, the cleaning of box 26 is facilitated by the design of lid 50. The box is shown in its cleaning/monitoring position. Lid 50 has been opened so that it is now resting on the ground behind the box. In preferred embodiments, lid 50 is secured in a closed position by threaded bolts 62. To open lid 50, bolts 62 are simply unscrewed and lid 50 is lifted by hand.

Since lid 38 opens from the distal side 46, it will be appreciated that easy access to portal 30 is obtained for routine maintenance in cleaning (as indicated by the angle of the arrow in FIG. 5). Such cleaning will normally consist of cleaning bottom 40 of any standing debris (obstructions, leaves, silt) and clearing out portal 30. Because of drainage structure 32 there will be no standing water remaining in box 26 thus avoiding the health issues such as mosquito breeding sites, etc. After cleaning lid 50 is returned to the closed position and bolts 62 are threadably reinserted.

Also note the safety feature of gratings 54 designed so as to avoid a small animal getting caught or small children from getting their fingers trapped.

Finally, in the event that the user intends to install a pipe 24 in his yard with a 4″ diameter rather than a 6″, box 26 is adapted for such purposes by simple installation of adapter 58 into portal 30 as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. In this fashion a snug mating engagement of pipe 24 and adapter 58 occurs for optimum efficiency of box 26.

It should be apparent that the invention not only accomplishes the major functions required from such apparatus, but does so in a particularly advantageous manner. It should be equally apparent, however, that various minor and equivalent modifications from the embodiments disclosed herein for illustrative purposes could be employed without departing from the essence of the invention. It is to be understood, therefore, that the invention should be regarded as encompassing not only the subject matter literally defined by the claims which follow, but also technical equivalents thereof.