Title:
SPOUT MOUNTING
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A spout retention device is disclosed which mounts a spout to a support member. The spout retention device may keep the spout is a spaced apart relationship relative to the support member and may be made of an insulating material.



Inventors:
Davidson, Kyle Robert (Fishers, IN, US)
Application Number:
12/117243
Publication Date:
11/12/2009
Filing Date:
05/08/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
137/801, 137/15.02
International Classes:
E03C1/04; E03B9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANE, LAUREN ASHLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Masco Corporation (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Claims:
1. A method of mounting a spout to a support member having an opening therein, the spout having a spout body and a spout shank, the method comprising the steps of: providing a spout having a spout body and a spout shank; providing an insulating sleeve having an upper portion and a tube; securing the insulating sleeve to the sink deck; receiving the spout shank in the tube of the insulating sleeve so that the upper portion of the insulating sleeve supports the spout body; and securing the spout to prevent removal of the spout shank from the sleeve of insulating tube.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of securing the insulating sleeve to the sink deck includes the steps of: inserting the tube of the insulating sleeve through the opening of the support member; coupling a retainer to the tube of the insulating sleeve, the upper portion of the sleeve pressing against an upper surface of the support member and the retainer pressing against a lower surface of the support member to secure the insulating sleeve to the support member.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the tube of the first component includes threads and the retainer includes threads sized to engage the threads of the tube and the step of coupling the retainer to the tube includes the step of threading the retainer onto the tube until the retainer is snug against the lower surface of the support member.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the threads of the tube and the threads of the retainer are double threads.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein a lower portion of the spout shank extends beyond a lower portion of the tube of the insulating sleeve and the method further comprises the steps of: receiving the lower portion of the spout shank in a valve assembly; and coupling the valve assembly to the lower portion of the spout shank such that a valve of the valve assembly is in fluid communication with a fluid conduit within the spout shank.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the step of coupling the valve assembly to the lower portion of the spout shank includes the step of coupling a valve housing of the valve assembly to the spout shank.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein the valve housing includes a first keyway and the spout shank includes a second keyway and the step of coupling the valve housing to the spout shank includes the steps of: aligning the first keyway and the second keyway; and inserting a key into the first keyway and the second keyway to secure the valve housing to the spout shank.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the key is a clip.

9. The method of claim 5, wherein the valve assembly is a diverter valve assembly.

10. The method of claim 1, wherein the isolating sleeve is adjustable to accommodate a range of potential thicknesses of the support member while keeping the tube at a constant length.

11. The method of claim 1, wherein a lower portion of the spout shank extends beyond a lower portion of the tube of the insulating sleeve and the method further comprises the steps of: receiving the lower portion of the spout shank in a housing; and coupling the housing to the lower portion of the spout shank.

12. A method of installing a spout to a support member having an opening therein, the method comprising the steps of: securing a sleeve to the support member; positioning a spout shank of spout in the sleeve from above the support member, the sleeve holding the spout to prevent tipping of the spout while permitting the movement of the spout relative to the sleeve; and from below the support member locking the spout in place relative to the sleeve.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the step of locking the spout in place relative to the sleeve includes the steps of: positioning a housing proximate a lower portion of the sleeve; and securing the housing to the spout shank, the housing permitting water to pass there though to the spout shank.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the housing is a valve housing which supports a diverter valve.

15. A spout retention device for mounting a spout to a support member having an opening and to a water supply housing, the spout retention device comprising: a sleeve having a first portion which presses against one of an upper surface of the support member and a lower surface of the support member and a second portion extending beyond a lower surface of the support member; a first retainer which presses against the other of the upper surface of the support member and the lower surface of the support member; and a second retainer which couples the spout to the water supply housing while being spaced apart from the sleeve.

16. The spout retention device of claim 15, wherein the second retainer is positioned below a lower surface of the sleeve.

17. The spout retention device of claim 15, wherein the second portion of the sleeve is a tube which receives a portion of the spout, the tube having a length of about at least 2.5 inches.

18. The spout retention device of claim 15, wherein the second portion of the sleeve is a tube which receives a portion of the spout, the tube having a length in the range of about 0.7 inches to about at least 2.5 inches.

19. The spout retention device of claim 15, wherein the sleeve and the first retainer cooperate to accommodate a support member having a thickness of up to about 2.5 inches.

20. The spout retention device of claim 15, wherein the first retainer is threadably engaged with an outer surface of the second portion of the sleeve, the threads of the first retainer and the outer surface of the second portion being double threads.

21. The spout retention device of claim 15, wherein the sleeve is an insulating sleeve which keeps the spout spaced apart from the support member.

22. The spout retention device of claim 18, wherein the sleeve is spaced apart from the fluid communicated to the spout.

Description:

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a spout mounting assembly and methods to assemble a spout to a support member, and in particular to an insulating spout mounting assembly and methods to assemble a spout to a support member with the insulating sleeve.

Exemplary systems for securing a faucet are provided in U.S. Pat. No. 6,104,985; U.S. Pat. No. 6,209,153; U.S. Pat. No. 6,370,712; U.S. Pat. No. 7,175,158; and US Published Application 2007/0031624.

In an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, a spout retention device is provided which supports a spout in an upright position while the spout is secured to a support member from below the support member. An exemplary support member is a sink deck.

In an exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, a method of mounting a spout to a support member is provided. The support member having an opening therein. The spout having a spout body and a spout shank. The method comprising the steps of providing a spout having a spout body and a spout shank; providing an insulating sleeve having an upper portion and a tube; securing the insulating sleeve to the sink deck; receiving the spout shank in the tube of the insulating sleeve so that the upper portion of the insulating sleeve supports the spout body; and securing the spout to prevent removal of the spout shank from the sleeve of insulating tube.

In another exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, a method of installing a spout to a support member is provided. The support member having an opening therein. The method comprising the steps of securing a sleeve to the support member and positioning a spout shank of spout in the sleeve from above the support member. The sleeve holding the spout to prevent tipping of the spout while permitting the movement of the spout relative to the sleeve. The method further comprising the step of locking the spout in place relative to the sleeve from below the support member.

In a further exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure, a spout retention device for mounting a spout to a support member is provided. The support member having an opening. The spout retention device being coupled to a water supply housing. The spout retention device comprising: a sleeve having a first portion which presses against one of an upper surface of the support member and a lower surface of the support member and a second portion extending beyond a lower surface of the support member; a first retainer which presses against the other of the upper surface of the support member and the lower surface of the support member; and a second retainer which couples the spout to the water supply housing while being spaced apart from the sleeve.

Additional features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of the illustrative embodiment exemplifying the best mode of carrying out the invention as presently perceived.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The detailed description of the drawings particularly refers to the accompanying figures in which:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a spout mounted to a sink deck with an insulating sleeve;

FIG. 1A is an isometric view of a spout having a pull-out wand mounted to a sink deck with an insulating sleeve;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the components of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3. illustrates the insulating sleeve assembled to the sink deck;

FIG. 4 illustrates the assembly of a diverter valve assembly to a spout shank placed in the insulating sleeve; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5A is a sectional view of the assembly of FIG. 1A; and

FIG. 6 is a top view of the retainer and diverter valve assembly of FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The embodiments of the invention described herein are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise forms disclosed. Rather, the embodiments selected for description have been chosen to enable one skilled in the art to practice the invention. Although the disclosure is described in connection with water, it should be understood that additional types of fluids may be used.

Referring to FIG. 1, a spout 100 is shown coupled to a support member 102 through a mounting assembly 101 (FIG. 3). Spout 100, in one embodiment shown in FIG. 1, includes a spout body 104 and an aerator 106 through which water exits spout 100. Spout 100, in another embodiment shown in FIG. 1A, includes spout body 104 and a pull-out sprayhead 105 through which water exits spout 100. Support member 102 may be any member to which spout 100 is mounted thereto. Exemplary support members include sinks, sink decks, countertops, and other suitable support members.

Referring to FIG. 2, a spout insert 110 is shown. Spout insert 110 is coupled to spout 100 and includes a passageway 112 through which a waterway 121 (FIG. 5) passes. Water flows from a water supply 192 to spout 100 through waterway 121. Passageway 112 includes threads 118 to receive mating threads 119 on a spout shank 120. Spout insert 110 is coupled to spout 100. In one embodiment, spout insert 110 further includes keyways 116 which are received by keys (not shown) in spout 100. Spout insert 110 may be coupled to spout 100 in any suitable manner. In one embodiment, spout insert 110 is brazed to a spout tube (not shown) of spout 100.

As shown in FIG. 5, water from water supply 192 flows through a diverter valve 114 on its way to waterway 121 when a side spray 194 is implemented with spout 100. In one embodiment, an on/off valve or a mixing valve is provided between water supply 192 and diverter valve 114 to control the flow and/or temperature of the water communicated to the output of spout 100 and/or side spray 194. In one embodiment, an on/off valve or a mixing valve is provided between waterway 121 and an output of spout 100 (or side spray 194) to control the flow and/or temperature of the water communicated to the output of spout 100. As shown in FIG. 5A, water from water supply 192 flows to pull-out sprayhead 105 through a tube 129 (FIG. 1A) when a pullout sprayhead 105 is implemented with spout 100. In one embodiment, an on/off valve or a mixing valve is provided between water supply 192 and pull-out sprayhead 105 to control the flow and/or temperature of the water communicated to the output of spout 100.

Spout shank 120 includes a fluid passageway 122 therethrough. Spout shank 120 further includes a pair of recessed regions 124A and 124B to receive spacers 126A and 126B. As discussed herein, spacers 126A and 126B provide a frictional fit between spout shank 120 and a sleeve 140. In one embodiment, sleeve 140 is an electrically isolating sleeve. Spout shank 120 also includes a pair of o-ring grooves 128A and 128B which receive corresponding o-rings 130A and 130B. O-rings 130A and 130B seal off with a diverter valve assembly 170.

In one embodiment, spout 100 includes a waterway 121 which is passed into fluid passageway 122 of spout shank 120 and seals against an interior wall of spout insert 120. Referring to FIG. 5, an exemplary waterway is a tube 121 having an overmold component 123. The overmold component 123 carries at least one seal 125 which seals against the interior wall of fluid passageway 122.

In one embodiment, tube 121 is made of a non-metallic material. Exemplary non-metallic materials include thermoplastic and thermoset materials, including polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyethylene. Further illustratively cross-linked materials may be utilized such as cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). Exemplary thermoset materials include polyesters, melamine, melamine urea, melamine phenolic, and phenolic. Additional details about exemplary PEX materials may be found in one or more of U.S. Pat. No. 5,895,695, U.S. Pat. No. 6,082,780, U.S. Pat. No. 6,287,501, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,902,210, the disclosures of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

Sleeve 140 includes a tubular section 142 and an upper support section 144. A lower surface 146 (see FIG. 5) of upper support section 144 rests against an upper surface 148 of support member 102. An upper surface 150 of upper support section 144 supports spout insert 110. Tubular section 142 receives spout shank 120. As illustrated in FIG. 5, tubular section 142 is shorter in length than spout shank 120. This permits the coupling of a valve housing 170 directly to spout shank 120. An exemplary valve housing 170 is a diverter valve housing. As such, in the illustrated embodiment sleeve 140 is not in contact with the fluid provided to spout 100. In one embodiment, tubular section 142 is longer than spout shank 120.

In one embodiment, the length of tubular section 142 is selected to hold spout 100 in a generally upright position without the aid of a hand of an installer. In one embodiment, tubular section 142 is about 2.5 inches in length. In one embodiment, tubular section 142 is at least about 0.7 inches in length. Tubular section 142 and retainer 156 cooperate to adjust to support members having a thickness up to about 2.5 inches.

Returning to FIG. 2, an outer surface 152 of tubular section 142 is threaded and engages an inner threaded surface 154 of a retainer 156. In one embodiment, the threads of tubular section 142 and retainer 156 are double threads which permit a faster advancement of retainer 156 in direction 158 relative to tubular section 142. Retainer 156 includes ribs 160 or other geometry which assist an installer in spinning retainer 156 to advance retainer 156 in direction 158 or in direction 162. Retainer 156 further includes a pair of through openings 164A and 164B through which fasteners 166A and 166B pass, respectively. Fasteners 166A and 166B are used to lock the position of retainer 156 relative to support member 102. Exemplary fasteners include jack screws and other suitable fasteners. A washer 168 is positioned between retainer 156 and support member 102 and includes threaded openings 169A and 169B to receive fasteners 166A and 166B, respectively. Washer 168 distributes the forces produced while securing spout 100 over retainer 156 without failure permitting the use of materials such as plastic for retainer 156.

A valve housing 170 is shown which includes a fluid passageway 172 that receives valve 114. A retainer 174 is shown which couples valve housing 170 and spout shank 120. Retainer 174 includes key features or legs 198 which are received in a keyway or recess 176 of spout shank 120 and a keyway or recess 178 of valve housing 170. In the illustrated embodiment, retainer 174 is a clip. As shown in FIG. 5A, retainer 174 is coupled to spout shank 120 and prevents the upward movement of spout shank 120 relative to tubular section 142.

As shown in FIG. 6, retainer 174 includes a lock feature, illustratively an opening 175 which cooperates with a lock feature 177 on valve housing 170 to hold retainer 174 relative to valve housing 170. Lock feature 177, in the illustrated embodiment, is a protrusion extending from arms 179 of valve housing 170.

In one embodiment, spout 100 is installed in the following manner. Sleeve 140 is positioned in an opening 103 in a support member 102, illustratively a mounting deck such as a countertop. Lower surface 146 of sleeve 140 is positioned in contact with upper surface 148 of the mounting deck. In one embodiment, a washer or seal may be interposed between lower surface 146 of sleeve 140 and upper surface 148 of support member 102. If not previously accomplished, openings 169A and 169B in washer 168 are aligned with openings 164A and 164B in retainer 156. Fasteners 166A and 166B are threaded into openings 169A and 169B in washer 168 till they extend slightly beyond an upper surface of washer 168.

The assembly of retainer 156, washer 168, and fasteners 166A and 166B is assembled to sleeve 140. Inner threaded surface 154 of retainer 156 is threadably engaged with outer surface 152 of sleeve 140 and the assembly of retainer 156, washer 168, and fasteners 166A and 166B is rotated relative to sleeve 140 to advance the assembly of retainer 156, washer 168, and fasteners 166A and 166B in direction 158. Once washer 168 is snug against lower surface 149 of support member 102, fasteners 166A and 166B are further advanced in direction 158 and press against surface 149 of support member 102 or based on the material of support member 102 are embedded into support member 102 preventing the loosening of retainer 156. At this point mounting assembly 101 including sleeve 140 is secured to support member 102 as shown in FIG. 5.

Spout insert 110 is assembled to spout 100. In one embodiment, spout insert 110 is brazed to spout 100. Spout shank 120 is assembled to spout insert 110. In one embodiment, mating threads 119 of spout shank 120 is threaded into threads 118 of spout insert 110. Spacers 126A and 126B are assembled to spout shank 120. In one embodiment, spacers 126A and 126B include a longitudinal slot 127 and snap onto spout shank 120. O-rings 130A and 130B are received in recesses 128A and 128B in spout shank 120. In one embodiment, spout 100 is provided by the manufacturer already assembled to spout insert 110, spout shank 120, spacers 126A and 126B, and o-rings 130A and 130B as a spout assembly 190 (see FIG. 3).

Spout assembly 190 is then positioned such that spout shank 120 is received in tubular section 142 and upper surface 150 of sleeve 140 contacts spout insert 110. In one embodiment, spacers 126A and 126B provide a friction fit with an inner wall 153 (see FIG. 5) of tubular section 142. In one embodiment, o-rings provide a friction fit with an inner wall 152 of tubular section 142. The length of tubular section 142 is selected to prevent spout assembly 190 from tipping. This allows the installer to complete the installation below support member 102 without having to balance spout assembly 190 above support member 102. In one embodiment, tubular section 142 has a length of at least about 2.5 inches.

Due to the fact that spout shank 120 and the waterway provided therein is independent of the mounting assembly 101 (FIG. 3) the degree of spout jump is minimized or generally eliminated.

Spout assembly 190 is placed in fluid communication with a water supply 192. Exemplary water supplies includes a hot water connection, a cold water connection, an output of a mixing valve, and other suitable sources of water. In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 5, valve housing 170 houses a diverter valve 114 which either communicates water to spout 100 or to a side spray 194. In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 5A, waterway 129 communicates water to spout 100.

Referring to FIG. 4, diverter valve housing 170 is coupled to spout assembly 190 in the following manner. Diverter valve housing 170 is received by tubular section 142 and recess 176 and recess 178 are aligned. As shown in FIG. 5, legs 198 of retainer 174 are received in recess 176 and recess 178 to couple valve housing 170 to spout assembly 190. Returning to FIG. 4, the positioning of legs 198 in recess 176 and recess 178 involves a linear translation of retainer 174. Retainer 174 also includes a handle 200 to assist in the positioning of legs 198 in recess 176 and recess 178 and in the removal of legs 198 from recess 176 and recess 178. When valve housing 170 is coupled to spout assembly 190, spout assembly 190 may not be removed in directions 158 or 160 from sleeve 140.

Referring to FIG. 5, o-rings 130A and 130B provide a seal between tubular section 142 and an inner wall 202 of valve housing 170. Fluid from water supply 192 may be passed through valve 114 to fluid passageway 122 and on to waterway 121 or to side spray 194.

In one embodiment, sleeve 140 is made from an insulating material. Exemplary insulating materials include any non-ferrous metal or other non-conductive plastics. Since spout assembly 190 is spaced apart from support member 102 by sleeve 140, spout assembly 190 is electrically isolated from support member 102. This is useful in situations wherein spout assembly 190 includes a capacitive sensing element or other electronics to control the operation of spout assembly 190.

Exemplary capacitive sensing elements are provided in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/325,927, filed Jan. 5, 2006, titled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR DETERMINING WHEN HANDS ARE UNDER A FAUCET FOR LAVATORY APPLICATIONS”; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/324,901, filed Jan. 4, 2006, titled “BATTERY BOX ASSEMBLY”; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/325,128, filed Jan. 4, 2006, titled “SPOUT ASSEMBLY FOR AN ELECTRONIC FAUCET”; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/325,284, filed Jan. 4, 2006, titled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING STRAIN RELIEF OF A CABLE”; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/326,986, filed Jan. 5, 2006, titled “VALVE BODY ASSEMBLY WITH ELECTRONIC SWITCHING”; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/326,989, filed Jan. 5, 2006, titled “POSITION-SENSING DETECTOR ARRANGEMENT FOR CONTROLLING A FAUCET”; U.S. Pat. No. 6,962,168, issued Nov. 8, 2005, titled “CAPACITIVE TOUCH ON/OFF CONTROL FOR AN AUTOMATIC RESIDENTIAL FAUCET” U.S. Pat. No. 6,968,860, issued Nov. 29, 2005, titled “RESTRICTED FLOW HANDS-FREE FAUCET” U.S. Published Patent Application 2005/0151101A1, published on Jul. 14, 2005, titled “CONTROL ARRANGEMENT FOR AN AUTOMATIC RESIDENTIAL FAUCET”; and U.S. Published Patent Application 2005/0150556A1, published on Jul. 14, 2005, titled “CONTROL ARRANGEMENT FOR AN AUTOMATIC RESIDENTIAL FAUCET”, U.S. Published Patent Application 2007/0157978A1, and U.S. Published Patent Application 2007/0246550A1, the disclosures of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

Referring to FIGS. 1A and 5A, in one embodiment spout 100 includes a pull-out sprayhead 105 and may be spaced apart from spout body 104. Exemplary spout base portions and pull-out sprayheads and methods for coupling each are disclosed in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/794,229, filed Apr. 20, 2006, titled “ELECTRONIC USER INTERFACE FOR ELECTRONIC MIXING OF WATER FOR RESIDENTIAL FAUCETS”, Attorney Docket DFC-P0028, U.S. Published patent application Ser. No. 11/325,128, Publication No. 20060130907, titled “SPOUT ASSEMBLY FOR AN ELECTRONIC FAUCET,” U.S. Published patent application Ser. No. 11/325,284, Publication No. 20060202142, titled “METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR PROVIDING STRAIN RELIEF OF A CABLE,” and U.S. Published patent application Ser. No. 11/393,450, Publication No. 20060283511, titled “MAGNETIC COUPLING FOR SPRAYHEADS,” the disclosures of which are expressly incorporated by reference herein.

Although the invention has been described in detail with reference to certain preferred embodiments, variations and modifications exist within the spirit and scope of the invention as described and defined in the following claims.