Title:
Frost free sillcock with improved handle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A frost free sillcock generally comprising an elongated housing having an inlet portion and an outlet portion, a valve cartridge provided with a stem disposed within such housing, and a handle including a rigid section mounted on an end of such stem and a resilient section mounted on such rigid section.



Inventors:
Hickman, David F. (Oxford, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/542595
Publication Date:
02/22/2007
Filing Date:
10/04/2006
Assignee:
Legend Valve & Fitting, Inc. (Shelby Township, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
D03D51/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FOX, JOHN C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A frost free sillcock comprising: an elongated housing having an inlet portion and an outlet portion; a valve cartridge provided with a stem disposed within said housing; and a handle including a rigid section mounted on an end of said stem and a resilient section mounted on said rigid section.

2. A sillcock according to claim 1 wherein said resilient section is formed of a polymeric material.

3. A sillcock according to claim 1 wherein said resilient section is formed of a rubber material.

4. A sillcock according to claim 1 wherein said housing includes a mounting flange.

5. A sillcock according to claim 1 wherein said rigid section of said handle includes a tubular portion, and said resilient section of said handle includes a tubular portion disposed on said tubular portion of said rigid section, and an annular portion.

6. A sillcock according to claim 1 wherein said rigid section of said handle includes an annular portion and tubular portion, said stem end is received in said tubular portion of said rigid section and connected to said annular portion of said rigid section, and said resilient section includes a tubular portion disposed on said tubular portion of said rigid section and an annular portion disposed on said annular portion of said rigid section.

7. A sillcock according to claim 6 wherein said stem end and said tubular portion of said rigid section of said handle are provided with engaging sections permitting the transfer of rotary motion from said handle to said stem, about a longitudinal centerline thereof, and said handle is secured to said stem by means of a threaded fastener.

8. A sillcock according to claim 6 wherein said annular portion of said resilient section of said handle is provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced depression engageable by the fingers of a user to facilitate a gripping of said handle.

9. A sillcock according to claim 6 wherein said annular portion of said resilient section of said handle is provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced longitudinally disposed segments.

10. A sillcock according to claim 9 wherein each of said segments is provided with a protruding rounded configuration to facilitate the gripping of said handle.

11. A sillcock according to claim 8 wherein said resilient section of said handle is formed of a polymeric material.

12. A sillcock according to claim 8 wherein said resilient section of said handle is formed of a rubber material.

13. A handle mountable on the end of a stem of a sillcock comprising: a rigid section including a tubular portion in which said stem end may be received, and an annular portion; and a resilient section including a tubular section disposed on said tubular portion of said rigid section and an annular portion disposed on said annular portion of said rigid section.

14. A handle according to claim 13 wherein said resilient section is formed of a polymeric material.

15. A handle according to claim 13 wherein said resilient section is formed of a rubber material.

16. A handle according to claim 13 wherein said annular portion of said resilient section is provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced depressions.

17. A handle according to claim 13 wherein said annular portion of said resilient section is provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced, longitudinally disposed segments about the periphery thereof.

18. A handle according to claim 17 wherein said segments are provided with protruding, rounded configurations.

19. A handle according to claim 18 wherein said resilient section is formed of a polymeric material.

20. A handle according to claim 18 wherein said resilient section is formed of a rubber material.

Description:

This application is a continuation of U.S. Design Patent Application, Ser. No. 29/258,006, filed Apr. 14, 2006, which is a division of U.S. Design Patent Application, Ser. No. 29/220,073, filed Dec. 23, 2004, now U.S. Design Pat. No. 527,797, dated Sep. 5, 2006.

This invention relates to a sillcock and more particularly to a frost free sillcock having an improved handle facilitating its use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Frost free sillcocks commonly are installed on the exterior of residential, commercial and other buildings to provide a source of outdoor water for watering vegetation, washing various structures, equipment and other articles and possibly servicing vehicles. Typically, such sillcocks are used by homeowners who attach hoses thereto and operate the handles thereof to produce a flow of water under pressure. Commonly, the handles of such sillcocks are made of a metal, often of a cast steel, which has been found to be difficult or uncomfortable to firmly grip and turn to provide the flow of water. This especially has been found to be prevalent where a sillcock has not been operated for a period of time such as over the winter months in northern climates. It thus has been found to be desirable to provide a sillcock intended to be installed on the exterior of a building usually a residential structure, having an improved operating handle which may be easily and comfortably grasped and turned manually and which will not be injurious to or difficult for a user thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The principal objective of the present invention is achieved by providing a frost free sillcock generally comprising an elongated housing having an inlet portion and an outlet portion, a valve cartridge provided with an actuating stem disposed in such housing and a handle including a rigid section mounted on an end of such stem and a resilient section mounted on the rigid section. Preferably, the rigid section of the handle is provided with a tubular portion which receives the end of the stem, and an annular portion formed integrally on the end of the tubular portion to which the end of the stem is secured, the resilient section includes a tubular portion disposed on the tubular portion of the rigid section and an annular portion disposed on the annular portion of the rigid section, and the resilient section is formed of a polymeric or rubber material. It further is preferred that an outer edge of the annular portion of the resilient section be formed with a plurality of circumferentially spaced recesses to facilitate the manual gripping of the handle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 of the drawings is a front perspective view of a frost free sillcock embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the frost free sillcock shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the frost free sillcock shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view thereof;

FIG. 5 is a top plan view thereof;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view thereof, opposite the side shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view thereof;

FIG. 8 is a rear elevational view thereof;

FIG. 8b is a front perspective of the handle of the sillcock shown in FIGS. 1 through 8, removed therefrom;

FIG. 9 is a rear perspective of such handle;

FIG. 10 is a front elevational view of such handle;

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of such handle; and

FIG. 12 is a rear elevational view of such handle.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings, there is illustrated a sillcock 20 which generally includes a housing 21 containing a conventional valve cartridge having a stem extending therethrough and out of an end thereof, and a handle 22 connected to the free end of the stem. The housing includes a tubular portion 23 containing the valve cartridge and stem, and a cast section 24 which includes a mounting flange 25, an outlet spout portion 26 and a vacuum breaker 27, through which the end portion of the stem extends. The tubular portion of the housing is intended to be inserted in a suitable opening in the wall of a structure, and the sillcock is adapted to be secured to the building structure with the tubular portion extending through the opening thereof by means of positioning flange portion 24 against the outer surface of the building structure and securing the sillcock on the building structure by means of a pair of threaded fasteners extending through openings 28 and 29 provided on flange 24, threaded into the building structure to secure the sillcock in place. Tubular section 21 of the sillcock is provided with a threaded end portion 30 onto which a component of the water supply system of the building structure may be connected to provide a supply of water under pressure to the valve cartridge of the sillcock, in the conventional manner. Outlet spout portion 26 similarly is provided with a threaded end segment 31 onto which the end fixture of a hose may be threaded onto, also in the conventional manner.

As best shown in FIGS. 8b through 12, handle 22 includes a rigid section 32 which is connected to the free end of the stem, and a resilient section 33 disposed on rigid section 32. Rigid section 32 includes an annular portion 34 provided with a center opening 35 and an integral tubular portion 36 disposed coaxially with opening 35. The rigid section further includes a cylindrical portion 37 formed integral with annular portion 34 and disposed within tubular portion 36, coaxially therewith. Cylindrical portion 37 further includes an axially disposed opening 38 having a square-shaped cross sectional configuration, communicating with opening 35 in annular portion 34. The end portion of the actuating stem connected to the valve cartridge is provided with a similarly configured end portion which is received in opening 38 of the handle and secured to the rigid section of the handle by means of a threaded fastener 39, as best shown in FIG. 3.

Resilient handle section 33 includes an annular portion 40 and an integral tubular portion 41. Tubular section 41 is disposed on and secured to tubular portion 36 of the rigid handle section to firmly secure resilient section 33 on rigid section 32. Annular section 40 is substantially cup-shaped including a face segment 42 formed integral with tubular portion 41 and an annular segment 43 provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced, shallow depressions 44. Each successive set of depressions 44 is provided with a substantially longitudinally extending segment 45 projecting slightly beyond face surface 34 and is provided with a rounded surface 46.

Handle 22 is connected to housing section 26 with the outer end of the actuating stem connected to the rigid section of the handle, by means of a set of nuts 50 and 51 provided with suitable washers to prevent leakage through such connection.

With the sillcock as described being mounted and secured to the wall of a building, connected to a water supply within such structure and possibly a hose connected to outlet portion 26, the sillcock may be operated by simply manually grasping handle 22 and turning it in the conventional manner. The configuration of the handle as described permits the hand of the user to effectively grasp the handle. The softness of the resilient section of the handle further permits the easy and comfortable application of force to turn the handle. If the sillcock has been standing unused for a period of time and tends to be frozen in place, requiring additional force to turn the handle, the softness of the resilient section of the handle permits the application of greater force while minimizing the discomfort of the hand of the user.

Any suitable resilient material such as a polymeric material or a rubber material may be used to form the resilient section of the handle. Typically, such resilient section would be molded either indirectly and applied to the rigid section of the handle or molded directly onto such rigid section.

The provision of an outer resilient section of such handle facilitates and minimizes if not eliminates any discomfort to the hand of the user in either breaking open the valve or closing it tightly. In turning the handle, in either breaking it open or turning it to a closed position, the resiliency of the handle permits the application of forces in either breaking open or tightly shutting the valve which are partially absorbed by the resiliency of the material of the handle.

Although a particular configuration of the valve has been described, it is contemplated within the scope of the invention to provide other configurations providing for suitable means to adequately grip and turn the valve, accommodating the hand and strength of the user.

From the foregoing detailed description, it will be evident that there are a number of changes, adaptations and modifications of the present invention, which come within the province of those persons having ordinary skill in the art to which the aforementioned invention pertains. However, it is intended that all such variations not departing from the spirit of the invention be considered as within the scope thereof as limited solely by the appended claims.