Title:
TUB BOX AND METHOD OF USING SAME
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tub box, for use in enclosing a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap, includes a closed hollow one-piece housing adapted to receive the drain trap and sewer-line. The housing has opposite first and second end walls, and a compressible continuous side wall having a plurality of collapsible parallel folds attaching the end walls. A knock-out part has a base portion extending outwardly from the housing and a crown portion extending from the base portion. The base and crown portions are of different diameter so that removal of the crown portion creates a crown hole sized for a pipe of a given diameter while removal of the base portion creates a base hole sized for a pipe of a different diameter. A stake fastener, adapted to be secured about a stake, is located on the housing.



Inventors:
Condon, Duane (Ramona, CA, US)
Ball, William T. (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/164938
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
12/12/2005
Assignee:
WCM INDUSTRIES, INC. (Colorado Springs, CO, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/042
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Sheridan Ross PC (Denver, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tub box for use in enclosing a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap, comprising: a closed hollow one-piece housing adapted to receive a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap; and wherein the housing has opposite first and second end walls, and a continuous side wall attaching the end walls.

2. The tub box of claim 1, wherein the continuous side wall include a plurality of collapsible parallel folds so that the box can be compressed.

3. The tub box of claim 2, wherein the parallel folds allow the tub box to varying in size to accommodate the restrictions of an area in which the box is placed.

4. The tub box of claim 2, wherein the parallel folds allow the tub box to be flattened for shipment.

5. The tub box of claim 1, further comprising a knock-out part in the housing for receiving a plumbing pipe that extends through the part into the interior of the box.

6. The tub box of claim 5, wherein the knock-out part extends outwardly from the surface of the housing.

7. The tub box of claim 5, wherein the knock-out part has a base portion and a crown portion, the base portion being directly adjacent to the housing, the base and crown portions being of different diameter so that removal of the crown portion creates a crown hole sized for a pipe of a given diameter while removal of the base portion creates a base hole sized for a pipe of a different diameter.

8. The tub box of claim 1, further comprising a stake fastener located on the housing adapted to be secured about a stake.

9. The tub box of claim 2, wherein the parallel folds are lock open ribs that lock into a given position once the tub box is expanded.

10. The tub box of claim 5, wherein the knock-out part extends outwardly from an angularly extending portion of the surface of the housing.

11. A tub box for use in enclosing a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap, comprising: a housing having opposite first and second end walls, and a side wall attaching the end walls, the housing adapted to receive a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap; and the side wall including a plurality of collapsible parallel folds so that the box can be compressed.

12. The tub box of claim 11, wherein the parallel folds allow the tub box to varying in size to accommodate the restrictions of an area in which the box is placed.

13. The tub box of claim 11, wherein the parallel folds allow the tub box to be flattened for shipment.

14. The tub box of claim 11, further comprising a knock-out part extending outwardly from the surface of the housing for receiving a plumbing pipe that extends through the part into the interior of the box, wherein the knock-out part has a base portion and a crown portion, the base portion being directly adjacent to the housing, the base and crown portions being of different diameter so that removal of the crown portion creates a crown hole sized for a pipe of a given diameter while removal of the base portion creates a base hole sized for a pipe of a different diameter.

15. The tub box of claim 11, further comprising a stake fastener located on the housing adapted to be secured about a stake.

16. The tub box of claim 11, wherein the parallel folds are lock open ribs that lock into a given position once the tub box is expanded.

17. The tub box of claim 14, wherein the knock-out part extends outwardly from an angularly extending portion of the surface of the housing.

18. A tub box for use in enclosing a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap, comprising: a housing having opposite first and second end walls, and a side wall attaching the end walls, the housing adapted to receive a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap; a knock-out part extending outwardly from the surface of the housing for receiving a plumbing pipe that extends through the part into the interior of the box; and wherein the knock-out part has a base portion and a crown portion, the base portion being directly adjacent to the housing, the base and crown portions being of different diameter so that removal of the crown portion creates a crown hole sized for a pipe of a given diameter while removal of the base portion creates a base hole sized for a pipe of a different diameter.

19. The tub box of claim 18, further comprising a stake fastener located on the housing, the stake fastener having an elongated vertical slot adapted to be secured about a stake.

20. A method of installing a tub box for use in enclosing a drain trap and a portion of a sewer-line pipe connected to the drain trap, comprising: providing a tub box with a top portion; pouring a concrete slab around to the tub box so that the top portion extends above the concrete slab; and cutting the top portion from the remainder of the tub box to create an opening in the tub box that permits the insertion of the drain trap into the tub box.

21. The method of claim 20, further comprising the step of securing the tub box to the ground.

22. The method of claim 21, further comprising the step of adjusting the shape of the tub box to fill a desired space near the drain trap.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the desired space is defined by a staked area and the tub box is secured to the stakes.

24. The Method of claim 23, further comprising the step of adjusting the shape of the tub box to conform to the staked area.

25. The method of claim 22, the shape of the tub box is locked into a given position once the tub box is expanded.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Tub boxes are commonly used to form a cavity in a concrete slab for receiving a trap for a bath tub or the like so the tub can easily be connected to the drain system. Typically such tub boxes comprise two identical plastic housing portions fitted together, each including continuous side walls forming a hollow enclosure open at one end and closed at the other end. Surrounding the open end of each housing portion is a radially outwardly protruding edge flange adapted to be placed in mating engagement with the edge flange of another housing portion to form a joint therebetween.

As the tub box is installed, stakes such as lengths of concrete reinforcing rod are secured to the tub box so as to hold the tub box in a desired location until such time as the area immediately adjacent to the lower or bottom housing portion is filled in and until a slab is poured relative to the complete tub box.

Normally the ground will be filled in around the tub box prior to the slab being poured to such an extent that the slab will only extend around a portion of the upper housing portion. It is normally intended to utilize these tub boxes so that after the slab is poured and has set up a portion of the upper housing portion can be exposed so that it will be severed from the remainder of the structure in order to provide access into the interior of the tub box so that plumbing can be connected in a normal manner.

Suitable round knockouts are provided in one or more side walls, and if desired, in the closed end wall of each housing portion. When removed, these knockouts provide one or more round access openings for passage of a pipe used to connect the trap within the tub box to the drain system.

One drawback of previous tub boxes is that the joint that is formed between the engaging edge flanges of two housing portions is not always effective in keeping concrete or dirt that is placed around the tub box after installation from entering the tub box between the flange portions, regardless of whether tape, clips, studs and/or adhesive are used to bond the edge flanges of the housing portions together. Moreover, when adhesive is used to bond the edge flanges of the housing portions together to secure the trap cavity within the box from concrete, it is sometimes difficult to keep a bead of adhesive in place on the edge flanges of the housing portions before the edge flanges are pressed into engagement with each other.

Another disadvantage of previous tub boxes is that the housing portions sometimes stick together when stacked during storage and shipping, making it difficult to pull them apart when desired.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a one piece tub box.

A further object of the invention is to provide a tub box that is collapsible for easy shipping.

A still further object of the invention is to provide a tub box that is adjustable to fit to spaces of variable size.

An even further object of the invention is to provide a tub box with at least one knock-out part protruding from the housing of the tub box.

These and other objects will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A tub box, for use in enclosing a drain trap and a portion of a sewerline pipe connected to the drain trap, includes a closed hollow one-piece housing adapted to receive the drain trap and sewerline. The housing has opposite first and second end walls, and a compressible continuous side wall having a plurality of collapsible parallel folds attaching the end walls. A knock-out part has a base portion extending outwardly from the housing and a crown portion extending from the base portion. The base and crown portions are of different diameter so that removal of the crown portion creates a crown hole sized for a pipe of a given diameter while removal of the base portion creates a base hole sized for a pipe of a different diameter. A stake fastener, adapted to be secured about a stake, is located on the housing.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a sectional side view of a plumbing system environment utilizing the device of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a tub box of this invention;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the tub box of this invention with two separate pipes inserted therein;

FIG. 4 is a side view of the tub box of this invention with a single pipe inserted therethrough;

FIG. 5 is a side view of the tub box of this invention with two separate pipes inserted therein and a top portion removed; and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged sectional side view of an installed tub box from FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIGS. 1 and 6, a tub box 10 is shown as installed in a plumbing system 12 for a building 14. The plumbing system 12 includes a drain trap 16 draining from a tub 18 and a sewer-line pipe 20. The tub box 10 encloses the drain trap 16 and a portion of the sewer-line pipe 20 connected to the drain trap 16.

With reference to FIG. 2, a closed hollow one-piece housing 22 forms the tub box 10 of the present invention. The housing 22 has first and second end walls 24 and 26, respectively, positioned opposite from one another. A continuous side wall 28 attaches the end walls 24 and 26. The continuous side wall 28 includes a plurality of collapsible parallel folds 30 so that the tub box 10 can be compressed. These parallel folds 30 allow the tub box 10 to varying in size to accommodate the restrictions of an area in which the tub box 10 is placed. Additionally, the parallel folds 30 allow the tub box 10 to be flattened for shipment.

It is contemplated that the parallel folds 30 be able to lock open in an open position. In this embodiment, the parallel folds 30 would lock into a given position once the tub box 10 was expanded, and would prevent the tub box 10 from re-collapsing.

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 6, one or more stake fasteners 32 are located on the housing 22. Each stake fastener 32 can be one of several designs for securing a stake 33. For example, the stake fastener 32 can be a snap fastener or a tie fastener such as a slip, cleat or other type of tie fastener.

As shown, each fastener 32 is provided with an elongated vertical slot 34 adapted to be secured about stake 33, where the stake 34 anchors the box 10 to the ground 35. However, other fastener 32 designs capable of being secured about stake 33 are contemplated, as discussed above. The stake fasteners 32 secure the tub box 10 in a fixed position, and prevent the side wall 28 from compressing once the stake fasteners 32 are secured to the corresponding stakes 33. The compressible side wall 28 permits the tub box 10 to varying in size to accommodate placement of the stakes 33 in the ground 35. Thus the compressible side wall 28 permits the tub box 10 to varying in size to accommodate irregular spaces and/or the irregular placement of the stakes 33.

Still referring to FIGS. 2 and 6, one or more knock-out parts 36 extend outwardly from the surface of the housing 22. Knock-out parts 36 are positioned on the end walls 24 and 26. Additionally, one or more of the knock-out parts 36 can be positioned on an angularly extending portion 38 of either of the end walls 24 and 26. As shown, the tub box 10 is provided with three knock-out parts 36, where two of these knock-out parts 36 are positioned on the end walls 24 and 26 and one knock-out part 36 is positioned on an angularly extending portion 38. Alternatively, a different number of knock-out parts 36 can be provided and positioned in a different arrangement than that shown without departing from the present invention. This placement of the knock-out part 36 permits piping 20 to enter the tub box 10 at multiple angles.

Each knock-out part 36 has a base portion 40 and a crown portion 42. The base portion 40 is directly adjacent to the housing 22, and the crown portion 42 extends outwardly from the base portion 40. The base and crown portions 40 and 42 are of different diameter. The two diameters allows the knock-out part 36 to receive pipe of various diameters that extend through the knock-out part 36 into the interior of the tub box 10, while fitting closely thereto. Specifically, removal of the crown portion 42 creates a crown hole sized for a pipe of a given diameter while removal of the base portion 40 creates a base hole sized for a pipe of a different diameter. Removal of the crown portion 42 and/or the base portion 40 is accomplished by cutting the unwanted portion 42 and/or 40 from the tub box 10. It will be understood that each knock-out part 36 could be provided with only one diameter or more than two diameters without departing from the scope of the present invention.

Still referring to FIGS. 2 and 6, in use, an area in the ground 35 is prepared to receive the tub box 10. Stakes 33 are placed in the ground 35 to stake out the area intended for the tub box 10. The collapsed tub box 10 is unpackaged and expanded to meet the stakes 33. The stake fasteners 32 secure the tub box 10 to the stakes 33 and prevent the side wall 28 from compressing.

Alternatively, the stakes 33 are secured to the stake fasteners 32 prior to the stakes 33 being inserted in the ground. In this case, the box 10 is expanded to fill the desired space, and the stakes 33 are placed in the ground 35 to secure the box 10 in place. Thus the tub box 10 is held in a desired location until such time as the area immediately adjacent to the housing 22 is filled in by earth 35 and/or until a concrete slab 44 is poured relative to the tub box 10.

With reference to FIGS. 2-6, one or more sections of pipe 20 are then placed through corresponding knock-out parts 36 as desired (FIGS. 2 and 3). The concrete slab 44 is then poured around to the tub box 10, leaving a top portion 46 of the housing 22 exposed to the surface (FIGS. 2 and 3). The top portion 46 is then cut from the remainder of the housing 22 in order to provide an opening 48 into the interior of the tub box 10 (FIG. 5). Preferably, the top portion is cut off at the grade level of the concrete slab 44. The opening 48 permits the drain trap 16 draining from tub 18 to be connected in a normal manner to the sewer-line pipe 20 (FIG. 6).

Due to the design tightness of the knock-out parts 36 as well as the one-piece nature of housing 22, the present invention has a greater resistance to bugs entering the installed tub box 10, as compared to the prior art devices. Additionally, these features also reduce the possibility of moisture being transmitted from within the tub box 10 to the concrete 44 and/or earth 35 or vise versa, as compared to the prior art devices. The reduction in moisture transmission would accordingly result in a corresponding reduction in mold or other harmful environmental conditions.

It is therefore seen that this invention provides a simplified tub box of one piece construction. The invention also provides a tub box that is collapsible for easy shipping. In addition, the invention provides a tub box that is adjustable to fit to pre-inserted stakes. Finally, the invention provides a tub box with at least one knock-out part protruding from the housing of the tub box for receiving piping.

It is therefore seen that this invention will accomplish at least all of its stated objectives.