Title:
Kira-clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A clip device fabricated from a single piece of spring material shaped to be inserted along the top of an electrical junction box and provide a simple replacement for a screw flange damaged by use/ware and unable to support a screw that connects a cover plate to the junction box.



Inventors:
Smith, Fitzgerald Vann (Pendleton, SC, US)
Application Number:
12/319317
Publication Date:
07/23/2009
Filing Date:
01/06/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A44B99/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20040064920Multipurpose paper clip and spring clampApril, 2004Arduini
20080056814Release pinMarch, 2008Klingenberg et al.
20060010662Clamping piece for holding a window pane in a window lifterJanuary, 2006Heyer
20090282653CORD LOCKNovember, 2009Yang
20080301914WOVEN BAND FOR ZIPPERDecember, 2008Hung
20070084020LanyardApril, 2007Chiu et al.
20080134477CABLE ROUTING CLIPJune, 2008Hart et al.
20080028578BUCKLE FOR DIVING GOGGLES OR THE LIKEFebruary, 2008Vaccaro et al.
20060218754Garment coupling system and method of use thereofOctober, 2006Dobson
20100043297ADJUSTABLE GLASS CLAMP FOR CABLE DRIVE WINDOW REGULATORSFebruary, 2010Barr et al.
20030056343Filar pole-type hook strip structure for a thin-profile hook and loop fastenerMarch, 2003Li



Primary Examiner:
DO, ROWLAND
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fitzgerald Vann Smith (Pendleton, SC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A clip device comprising: a tab lock connected to a top piece, said top piece further being connected to a face piece with a bottom piece connected to said face piece such that said top piece and said bottom piece extend parallel to each other in a horizontal plane and further wherein said bottom piece terminates in a grip clamp wherein said grip clamp comprises grip teeth; and further wherein said top piece, said bottom piece, and said face piece each have a length and all share a common width; said clip device being fabricated from a spring material; and a screw receptacle formed in and traversing said face piece and being adapted to receive a cover plate screw to be secured by said clip device to utility box.

2. A clip device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said device is fabricated from a single peace of material and furthermore wherein, the width of 0.25 to 1.00 inch, preferably about 0.50 inches (0.64 cm to 2.54 cm, preferably 1.28 cm).

3. A clip device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the Lengths of the top piece, bottom piece, and face piece are a direct function of the dimensions of junction box to which the clip device is installed.

4. A clip device as set forth in claim 3, varies from 2 inches to 6 inches or longer (5 cm to 15 cm).

5. The clip device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the device is fabricated from one of the following material: durable plastic or spring metal.

6. The clip device as set forth in claim 5, the top piece and bottom piece extend from the face piece and are effectively parallel in the horizontal plane.

7. The clip device as set forth in claim 6, from the top peace, the tab lock and the lip is deflected downward at an angle of 180 degrees to 270 degrees.

8. The clip device as set forth in claim 7, wherein the lip, the grip end deflected inward at an angle of 0 degrees to 90 degrees.

9. The clip device as set forth in claim 6, wherein the grip teeth contact the inner surface of the bottom peace deflected inward at an angle of 90 degrees to 179 degrees.

10. The clip device as set forth in claim 6, wherein the face piece has a screw receptacle.

11. The clip device as set forth in claim 10, the screw receptacle has a Tinnerman nomenclature in functionality.

12. The clip device as set forth in claim 6, wherein the compressive force of the spring material and the form, create a gripping effect to be secured to the utility box.

Description:

This application claims the benefits of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/010,303 filed Jan. 7, 2008 which application is hereby incorporated in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The field of the invention generally is home repair and maintenance devices. More specifically, it is related to repair of electrical junction boxes, and even more specifically it is a clip that when installed in a junction box replaces stripped threads that allow a box cover plate to be connected to and cover the exterior of an electrical junction box.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Junction boxes serve as the location to group spliced wires in household wiring, for locating switches, and for locating plugs (electrical receptacles). For safety as well as appearances, the open face of a junction box is commonly covered with a plate that is attached by a screw device from the plate to a receptacle opening in a flange piece located from the top surface of the receptacle box.

The flange piece and associated receptacle opening commonly are fairly weak, structurally, and subject to failure under conditions of even moderate wear and tear. The result is that he cover plate cannot be secured to the junction box, leaving an unsightly opening in walls, and of more significance, leaving wires exposed and representing a potential shock hazard.

The most obvious remedy is to replace the junction box, but this frequently requires significant damage to a wall, and associated expenses. In addition, it requires at least disconnecting and reconnecting wiring to remove and replace the junction box. Other suggestions have been made, but none represents a simple, minimally disruptive solution to replacing the screw receptacle.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A primary objective is a clip device that will replace the screw receptacle of a junction box.

An additional objective is a clip device that will allow the use of the same or comparable plate when the screw receptacle is replaced.

A still further objective is a clip device that can be installed with minimal damage to a wall.

These and other objectives, goals, and purposes are satisfied by a clip device fabricated from a single piece of material, preferably with spring strength in which the length of the material is divided into five parts: a tab lock end, a top piece, a face piece, a bottom piece, and a clamp grip end, wherein the single piece of material is fabricated such that the top piece and the bottom piece are essentially parallel and connected by the face piece, and the tab lock end terminates the top piece and the clamp grip end terminates the bottom piece, and further wherein spring forces are such that compressive forces tend to force the clamp grip end towards the junction of the top piece and tab lock, and still further in which the clip is installed by sliding the top piece over the top of a junction box and the bottom along the under surface of the top of a junction box, such that the face piece is at the edge of the open end of the junction box and a second screw receptacle opening in the face piece aligns with the first screw receptacle opening in the junction box, the tab lock is secured against the rear of the junction box, and the clamp grip ends are secured into the inner surface of the top of the junction box.

Examination of the Drawings and review of the specification and appended claims reveal clearly how these and other goals, purposes and objectives are satisfied by the current invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows the linear arrangement of the parts of the clip on a single piece of material.

FIG. 2 shows the fabricated clip in profile view.

FIG. 3 illustrates a junction box and how the clip device is positioned on it.

FIG. 4 illustrates a clip device installed on a junction box with a plate positioned to be attached to the junction box.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates the clip device 101 as it is arranged on a single piece of spring material. The device comprises a tab lock 103 with length 127 and lip 104, a top piece 105 with length 119, a face piece 107 with length/height 121 and second screw receptacle 109 traversing the face piece, a bottom piece 111 with length 123, and a clamp grip end 113 with length 125 and grip teeth 115. Width 117 of the pieces is constant and is shown for the top piece. Lengths of the top piece 105, bottom piece 111, and face piece 107 are a direct function of the junction box to which the clip device is installed and varies from 2 inches to 6 inches or longer (5 cm to 15 cm), although such lengths do not constitute finite restrictions. The width varies from 0.25 to 1.00 inch, preferably about 0.50 inches (0.64 cm to 2.54 cm, preferably 1.28 cm). The device may be fabricated from durable Plastic but preferably with any spring material, such a light metal spring as understood by one skilled in the art and generally available commercially.

FIG. 2 is a profile view of the completed clip device 201. Parts previously described in FIG. 1 retain the same index number and descriptions are not repeated with respect to this FIG. 2.

As fabricated (FIG. 2), the various pieces have a common top surface 203 and bottom a surface 205. The top piece 105 and bottom piece 111 extend from the face piece 107 and are effectively parallel in the horizontal plane. The tab lock 103 and the lip 104 are deflected downward (arc 207), and the grip end deflected inward (arc 209). The grip teeth 115 contact the inner surface 205 of the top piece 105 as a result of the compressive force of the spring material from which the device is fabricated.

FIG. 3 is a profile view of the clip device 201 positioned on a junction box 301. The top piece 105 is positioned along the upper surface 303 of the junction box 301, and the bottom piece is positioned along the interior surface 305 of the top 317 of the junction box 301. The face plate 107 of the clip device 201 is aligned with the flange piece 307 of the junction box 301, such that the first screw receptacle 309 and second screw receptacle 109 are aligned. The clip 201 is pushed/pressed, via face plate 107, in a direction towards the first screw receptacle 309 until tab lock 103 can grip the back edge of the 319 of the junction box. The length 119 of the top piece 105 is determined by the length of the junction box 315 such that the tab lock 103 and lip 104 can grip the back edge of the 319 of the junction box.

FIG. 4 is the top piece 105 is pressed towards the back edge 319 of the junction box 301, the tab lock 103 by spring force snaps over the back edge 319 of the junction box 301 securing the clip device; as the spring force of the bottom peace 111, bits the grip teeth 115 into the under surface of the junction box, completing the installation.

As one skilled in the art recognizes, the clip device requires minimal to no destruction of wall material for full installation nor does it require disconnecting wiring, although safety demands that at least the affected circuit be turned off at an appropriate breaker point.