Title:
Quick drain plug
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a hand-actuated drain plug that comprises a tubular member having a proximal head and a distal body adapted to engage a tubular port. The head of the plug has an annular end with at least two surface areas corresponding to an open and closed position. The tubular member defines an axially aligned bore. The plug includes a cap top that comprises a proximal flange coupled to a stem. The flange has a distally oriented surface that is adapted to be placed in orientation with the two surface areas of the annular end corresponding to open and closed positions. The other end of the stem is coupled to a bushing that is sized to fit and slide within the bore of the tubular member. A biasing member positioned between the stem and the tubular member is compressed to bias the plug to a closed position.



Inventors:
Martinez, Juan Constantino (Miami, FL, US)
Stamm, Shane (Boulder, CO, US)
Application Number:
12/215316
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
06/26/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D53/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEE, CHEE-CHONG
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ESPINOSA I TRUEBA, PL (Miami, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A hand-actuated drain plug for a vessel having a tubular port, the drain plug comprising: a tubular member having a proximal head and a distal body adapted to fittingly engage the tubular port, said head having an annular end with at least two surface areas, said tubular member defining an axially aligned bore having an interior, distally oriented annular shoulder located at a proximal end of said tubular member; a cap top comprising a proximal flange coupled to a distal stem oriented substantially perpendicular to said flange, said flange having a distal surface adapted to be placed in orientation with said at least two surface areas of said annular, said distal stem sized to fit within said bore of said tubular member; a bushing coupled to a distal end of said stem, said bushing sized to fit within said bore of said tubular member; a biasing member sized to fit between said stem and said tubular member, said biasing member compressed between said annular shoulder and said bushing; wherein said hand-actuated drain plug is adapted to be placed in an open position such that said flange is adjacent one of said at least two surface areas and in a closed position such that said flange is adjacent the second of said surface areas.

2. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 1 wherein said distal body of said tubular member includes at least one vent adapted to allow fluid to flow through said axially aligned bore of the drain plug.

3. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 1 wherein said bushing defines at least one opening adapted to allow fluid to flow through said axially aligned bore of the drain plug.

4. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 1 further comprising an O-ring coupled to said annular end of said head such that said flange forms a seal between said head and said cap member when said drain plug is in said closed position.

5. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 1 wherein said at least two surface areas of said annular end of said head are defined by a ramped area along said annular end.

6. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a circuit adapted to be attached to a signaling device, said circuit including a conductive portion of said flange and a conductive portion of said head of said tubular member such said conductive portion of said flange and said conductive portion of said head forming a closed circuit when the drain plug is in said closed position and an open circuit when the drain plug is in said open position.

7. A hand-actuated drain plug for a vessel having a tubular threaded port, the drain plug comprising: a bolt-like tubular member having a proximal polygonal-shaped head and a distal externally threaded body adapted to threadingly engage the tubular threaded port, said head having at least two distally distinct surface areas along an annular end, said tubular member defining an axially aligned bore having an interior, distally oriented annular shoulder; a cap member comprising a proximal flange coupled to a distal stem oriented substantially perpendicular to said flange, said flange having a surface adapted to be placed in orientation with said at least two distally distinct surface areas along said annular end of said head, said distal stem sized to fit within said bore of said tubular member; a bushing coupled to a distal end of said stem, said bushing sized to fit within said bore of said tubular member; a biasing member sized to fit between said stem and said tubular member, said biasing member compressed between said annular shoulder and said bushing; wherein said hand-actuated drain plug is adapted to be placed in an open position such that said flange is adjacent the more proximal of said at least two distally distinct surface areas of said head and in a closed position such that said flange is adjacent the more distal of said surface areas of said head.

8. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 7 wherein said distal externally threaded body of said bolt-like tubular member includes at least one vent adapted to allow fluid to flow through said axially aligned bore of the drain plug.

9. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 7 wherein said bushing defines at least one opening adapted to allow fluid to flow through said axially aligned bore of the drain plug.

10. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 7 further comprising an O-ring coupled to said annular end of said head such that said flange forms a seal between said head and said cap member when said drain plug is in said closed position.

11. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 7 wherein said at least two distally distinct surface areas of said head are defined by a ramped area along said annular end.

12. A hand-actuated drain plug as claimed in claim 7 further comprising a circuit adapted to be attached to a signaling device, said circuit including a conductive portion of said flange and a conductive portion of said head of said tubular member such said conductive portion of said flange and said conductive portion of said head forming a closed circuit when the drain plug is in said closed position and an open circuit when the drain plug is in said open position.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims priority to U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/937,507 filed Jun. 27, 2007. The entire disclosure of U.S. provisional patent application No. 60/937,507 is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a drain plug designed to be hand-actuated. More specifically, in the preferred embodiment, the present invention relates to hand-actuated drain plug adapted to replace a traditional drain plug.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Numerous devices have been designed to act as a plug for a drain port or hole. With conventional drain plugs, a threaded bolt is placed into a matching threaded port to stop fluid from flowing through the port. In order to allow fluid to flow through the port, the threaded plug is unthreaded. See U.S. Pat. No. 5,386,881 to Eshelman, disclosing a lawn mower engine oil drain extension having a traditional threaded plug. In some prior art designs, the plug must be completely removed in order to allow the fluid to flow through the port or hole. In other designs, such as that disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 7,121,526 to Alvarez, the cylindrical plug is externally threaded with a transverse opening such that partial removal or unthreading of the plug permits liquid to drain through the bore and out the transverse opening. U.S. Pat. No. 5,908,086 to Conklin discloses a drain plug to replace traditional threaded plugs that utilized a hinged latch that can be opened and closed. This system requires a larger surface area than the threaded plug it replaced because of the additional components. Other systems employ a dual cylinder design wherein an inner cylindrical tube that is closed on one end slides within an outer tube. In one position, the inner tube shaped member seals against the outer tube member, not permitting the transmission of fluid through its bore. In a second position, the inner tube member protrudes above the outer tube, exposing a transverse hole in the inner tube member, allowing the flow of fluid through the hole. See for example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,749,561 to Worthington, U.S. Pat. No. 7,168,683 to Pliml and U.S. Pat. No. 3,642,249 to Cruse. However, these systems are deficient because they fail to provide a mechanism to bias the device in a closed position to avoid an inadvertent opening. Other systems use plugs capable of expanding and contracting within the confines of the port in order to secure the plug and remove the plug, respectively. Plugging the port or opening the port using these prior devices is time consuming, usually requires additional tools, can be messy depending on the type of liquid, and in some applications can be dangerous. U.S. Pat. No. 6,997,434 to Scott discloses a twist cam valve for fuel tanks that requires the use of a tool to open and close. The device disclosed in the '434 patent to Scott uses a cam surface and follower pin at the internal terminal end of the device to open and close the device. In addition, the opening in the cylindrical body of the device that allows the flow of fluid is adjacent its outer flange that it mounted to the exterior of the fuel tank, thus requiring a large area for installation. The design disclosed in the '434 patent does not solve the problem of replacing a drain plug with a device that is substantially similar in size to the preexisting plug. U.S. Pat. No. 2,591,514 to Courtot discloses a drain valve that uses a dual cylinder design with a biasing spring to keep the inner sliding tube in an outward, protruding position such that the device is biased to a closed position. However, it is deficient in that if something inadvertently bumps up against the device, it may be placed into an open position, allowing the fluid it is designed to retain to flow out. There is a need for a simple biased drain plug that cannot be inadvertently placed into an open position that would allow the fluid to flow through the device, causing the vessel it plugs to drain.

In the case of threaded plugs, the threading and unthreading of a bolt can cause fatigue on the bolt threads and on the internal threads of the bolt recipient, leading to damage to either the bolt or its recipient. In many cases, the recipient is impossible or expensive to fix or replace. There is also a need for a replacement threaded plug that does not require installation and removal each time draining is required.

There is a need for a plug or bolt that can be installed and utilized to easily drain a fluid without the need to remove the plug or bolt and that can be operated without the use of additional devices, keys or tools.

Others have created devices that attempt to solve the above mentioned problems. However, those devices are typically larger, making it unusable in some applications, and more complicated, some requiring the use of additional tools to operate. There is a need for a plug or fluid drain bolt that occupies approximately the same envelope or volume such as the drain plug of the present invention that can be hand-actuated to drain liquid from the reservoir to which it is applied.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

The following section of the written description describes some of the objects of the present invention, but the section is not exhaustive of all of invention's objects.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a fluid drain plug that is easy to operate and avoids common problems with traditional plugs.

It is another object of the present invention to provide solutions to the aforementioned problems, including the loss of plugs required to be removed for proper drainage of the reservoir to which the plug or bolt is applied.

It is a further object of the invention to provide a hand-actuated fluid bolt that can quickly be opened or closed without any additional tools.

It is yet a further object of the present invention, depending on the application, to provide a drain plug that reduces the risk of bums by making it easy to actuate.

It a further object of the present invention to provide a drain plug that does not need to be threaded or unthreaded to operate.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a drain plug whose operation does not cause fatigue and damage to the recipient threads or receptacle parts.

It is yet a further object of the present invention, to provide a hand-actuated fluid plug that occupies approximately the same volume as the traditional plug it is designed to replace, making it useable in many applications not possible for some of the larger devices created in the past.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the present invention relates to a hand-actuated drain plug for a vessel having a tubular port or drain hole. The drain plug comprises a tubular member having a proximal head and a distal body adapted to fittingly engage the tubular port or hole. The head of the plug has an annular end with at least two surface areas corresponding to an open and closed position. The tubular member defines an axially aligned bore having an interior, distally oriented annular shoulder located at a proximal end of the tubular member. The drain plug also includes a cap top that comprises a proximal flange coupled to a distal stem oriented substantially perpendicular to the flange. The flange has a distally oriented surface that is adapted to be placed in orientation with the two surface areas of the annular end corresponding to open and closed positions. The stem of the cap top is sized to fit within the bore of the tubular member. The other end of the stem is coupled to a bushing that is sized to fit and slide within the bore of the tubular member. A biasing member sized to fit between the stem and the tubular member is compressed between the annular shoulder and the bushing. The hand-actuated drain plug is adapted to be placed in an open position such that the flange is adjacent one of the two surface areas of the annular end and in a closed position such that the flange is adjacent the second of the two surface areas. The distal end of the tubular member may include one or more vents adapted to allow fluid to flow through them into the axially aligned bore of the drain plug. The bushing may also include one or more openings adapted to allow fluid to flow through the axially aligned bore of the drain plug. In addition, an O-ring may be included between the distally oriented surface of the flange and the annular end of the head such that a seal is formed between them when the drain plug is in the closed position. In an alternative embodiment, the surface areas of the annular end of the head may include a ramped area to guide the cap top from either of its two positions. The present invention may also be used with a circuit adapted to be attached to a signaling device. The circuit includes a conductive portion of the flange and a conductive portion of the head of the tubular member such the conductive portion of the flange and the conductive portion of the head form a closed circuit when the drain plug is in the closed position and an open circuit when the drain plug is in the open position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The subject matter which is regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the claims at the conclusion of the specification. The foregoing, and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention are shown and described in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments which should be viewed in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate an exemplary embodiment of the present invention in a perspective view;

FIG. 2 illustrates a typical prior art threaded plug or bolt;

FIG. 3 diagrammatically illustrates an embodiment of the hand-actuated fluid plug used in connection with a reservoir;

FIGS. 4 and 5 provide side cutaway views of one embodiment of the present invention as utilized in a reservoir;

FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of one embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate a side and cutaway view of an embodiment of the present invention in an open position;

FIG. 9 illustrates an exploded view of one embodiment of the hand-actuated fluid bolt of the present invention;

FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 illustrates another embodiment of the present invention in an open position; and

FIGS. 13, 14 and 15 illustrates the embodiment of FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 in a closed position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention relates to a hand actuated fluid bolt 10 that can be utilized to allow fluid to pass through a valved passageway through the bolt 10. The bolt 10 of the present invention can be manufactured for different size openings and with different exterior structures to match its intended port or opening. It is important to note that the embodiments of the invention, described below are only examples of some of the uses of the teachings described herein. In general, statements made in the specification do not limit any of the various claimed inventions. Moreover, some statements may apply to some inventive features but not to others. Unless otherwise indicated, singular elements may be in the plural and vice versa with no loss of generality. Similar reference numerals and letters represent similar components and system features throughout the drawings and the written description.

FIGS. 1A and 1B illustrate an exemplary embodiment of the present fluid bolt or plug 10 invention in a perspective view. FIG. 3 illustrates the fluid plug 10 inserted at the bottom of reservoir 12. Reservoir 12 can be any vessel that contains a liquid. For example, the reservoir 12 may be an oil crankcase, a holding tank, the hull of a vessel, a P-trap drain, cooler drains, a transmission case, or any other vessel requiring drainage of the liquid contained within it through a port or hole. Because of its versatility, the hand-actuated fluid bolt or plug 10 can be used for many applications. The hand-actuated fluid bolt 10 consists of parts that may be machined or cast.

FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate a cutaway view of the drain plug 10 and vessel 12 shown in FIG. 3. In FIG. 5, the drain plug 10 is illustrated in the open position with arrows 14 indicating the direction of flow through the plug 10. The term bolt as used herein is not meant to limit the present invention to a threaded embodiment but is used generically to indicate the general shape of the device. Similarly, the term plug is used generically to indicate that the invention is generally used as a plug that is inserted into a hole, opening or port.

The exemplary embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B includes a tubular member 20 having a head 40 and a shaft-like body 60. The plug or bolt 10 may be of any size or form that allows fluid to pass through its interior 22 when opened and that engages the similarly shaped port or hole in the particular vessel (see fit between the plug and vessel in FIG. 5). When the bolt 10 is in the closed position (see FIG. 1A) it prevents fluids from passing through the center bore 22. The design of the present invention does not require an envelope or volume greater than the bolt it may be replacing (such as the threaded prior art bolt shown in FIG. 2). For spatial reference, the head 40 shall be referred to as being proximal and the shaft-like body 60 as distal. The proximal head 40 of the drain plug 10 includes a hexagonal, ring shaped end 42 having at least two surface areas 44, 46. Because the core 22 of the tubular member 20 is substantially hollow, the end of head 40 is annular or ring-shaped. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the periphery of annular end 42 is hexagonal to allow for its installation and removal through the use of a traditional wrench or socket. Of course, other shapes may be utilized. The tubular member 20 defines an axially aligned bore 22 having an interior, distally oriented annular shoulder 62 located near the proximal end of the tubular member 20 (see FIG. 8). The purpose of the annular shoulder 62 is to secure a biasing member 66 illustrated as a spring in FIG. 8.

In the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 6 through 9, the plug 10 also comprises a cap top 70 having a proximal 72 flange coupled to a distally oriented stem 74. Stem 74 is oriented substantially perpendicular to the flange 72 and is sized to fit within the bore 22 of tubular member 20. The flange 72 has a distally oriented surface 76. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1A and 1B, the shape and size of flange 72 correspond to the surface area 44 on either side of the circular space 22 (inclusive of the circular space area 22). In addition, the edge of flange 72 includes a distally oriented tab 32, the purpose of which will become clear in the explanation of the operation of plug 10. Head 40 includes an indentation 34 matching the shape and size of tab 32, allowing flange 72 to seat within area 44 when the plug 10 is in a closed position. Surface 44 includes an O-ring 48 that forms a seal between the distally oriented inner surface 76 of flange 72 and surface 44 when the plug 10 is in the closed position. Flange 72 of cap 70 is used to open the device such that the liquid is allowed to flow through the core 22 of plug 10 or used to close the device such that the liquid is unable to flow through it. At the distal end of stem 74 is a bushing 80. The bushing 80 is sized to fit within the bore 22 of the tubular member 20 such that it can glide longitudinally along the inside of member 20 and acts as a guide for biasing member 66. In FIG. 9, showing an exploded view of one embodiment of the present invention, the bushing 80 comprises a hub 82 connected to an outer wheel 84 by radially projecting struts 86, 88, thus defining gaps 90, 92. The bushing 80 may also be constructed solid, but a perforated bushing permits more area through which liquid may flow during use of the plug 10 to drain liquid. In one embodiment the terminal end 78 (FIG. 9) of stem 74 is coupled to the hub 82 of bushing 82 through a threaded union. Other means to couple the two may be used such as placing cotter pin through a hole located at the terminal end 78 of stem 74 once stem 74 is fitted through the center of hub 82 (not shown), or the terminal end 78 may include a groove over which an open spring washer is placed to prevent the stem from exiting from the center of hub 82.

The biasing member 66 in the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1A, 1B and 6 through 9 is sized to fit between the stem 74 of cap top 70 and the inner walls of tubular member 20. The biasing member 66 in FIGS. 8 and 9 is a spring. The biasing member 66 is compressed, with the proximal end 64 resting against the distally oriented shoulder 62 of tubular member 20 and the distal end 68 against bushing 80. The compression spring or biasing member 66 can be sized to accommodate different pressure requirements associated with various applications.

The shaft-like body 60 of the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1A, 1B, 7 and 9 include longitudinally aligned vents 94, 96, 98 along its periphery. The vents 94, 96, 98 enable a greater volume of liquid to drain through the plug 10 when in an open position.

Operation of the hand-actuated drain plug 10 of the present invention is simple. The force created by the compressed biasing member 66 causes the cap top 70 and flange 72 to move distally against the surface areas 44, 46 of head 40. If the plug 10 is in a closed position, the user grabs the peripheral edge of flange 72 and pulls in a proximal direction, causing the flange 72, stem 74 and bushing 80 to move longitudinally relative to the tubular member 20 once the biasing force of the biasing member 66 is overcome. After the flange 72 clears the edge of the surface area 46, the user turns flange 72 such that at least a portion of the area of the flange 72 that sat above the surface area 44 is now located over the proximal area 46. This creates a gap between flange 72 and the surface area 44, allowing fluid to flow through the bore 22 and out of head 40. In the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 9, the distally oriented tab 32 can be placed to rest on proximal area 46. The height of tab 32 provides additional clearance of space between distally oriented surface 76 of flange 72 and the open bore 22 of the plug 10, thus providing less resistance to the liquid draining out through the plug. Once, the liquid has drained through the plug, the flange 72 is twisted or turned again, until the flange 72 is aligned with the distal area 44 such that the flange may rest upon such area, closing the plug. In the embodiment that includes the O-ring 48 (see FIGS. 1B and 9), the flexible 0-ring forms a seal, not permitting leakage of liquid through the bolt or plug 10. O-ring 48 may be made of various flexible materials as is known in the art. In some applications, such as with use in combustion engines, a material capable of withstanding high temperature is preferred. The tab 32 of flange 72 together with the indentation 34 also provides a locking feature to prevent the plug 10 from being slightly opened through an inadvertent bump of the flange 72. This locking feature serves as a redundant method of insuring the cap top 70 remains closed and does not open inadvertently.

The present invention may also include a notification system to provide an electrical signal that can be used together with a visual display, audio response or tactile notification to provide information about the state of the plug 10, i.e., whether it is in an open or closed state. One embodiment of the notification system incorporates a circuit that is created through the head 40 of plug 10. The circuit runs through the head 40 the device such that when the cap top 70 is open, the circuit is broken, and when the cap top 70 is closed, the circuit is closed through the head 40. FIGS. 1A and 1B diagrammatically illustrate leads 102, 104 attached to flange 72 and the side of head 40, respectively. In this embodiment, the device 10 is constructed with materials that only allow conductivity for certain areas. For example, the underside surface 76 of cap top 70 may be hardened metal such that an electrical signal sent via one of the leads 102, 104 is unable to conduct through the surface 76 to one of the respective corresponding surfaces 44, 46. Cap top 70 may be constructed such that only a portion of it, such as the sides 106 of flange 72, is capable of it conducting an electrical signal. As such, when the plug 10 is in a closed position with the flange atop surface 44, the sides 106 of flange 72 make contact with the conductive corresponding portion of surface 44, thus closing the circuit. However, when flange 72 is an open position, the conductive sides 106 are not touching any other portion of the head 40, thus creating an open circuit. Another embodiment, not illustrated in the drawings, has electrical leads coupled to either side of surface area 44. When electrically conductive flange 72 is placed in the closed position, the underside 76 of flange 72 electrically couples the two leads, thus closing the circuit. When the flange 72 is in the open position, the two leads remain separated, thus creating an open circuit. There are several embodiments that can be employed to open and close the circuit such that the relative state of the plug 10 may be relayed through means other than a visual inspection of the device.

FIGS. 10 through 15 illustrate another embodiment of the fluid plug 110 of the present invention. FIGS. 10 through 12 show the embodiment in the open position, and FIGS. 13 through 15 show the plug 110 in the closed position. The alternative embodiment of the present invention is similar to the previously described embodiment with two main differences. First, the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 15 include a biasing member 166 that provides tension rather compression. Second, the interaction between the surfaces 144, 146 of the terminal end of the head 140 and the distally-oriented surfaces of the cap top 170 is slightly modified in that it includes a ramped surface area along a portion of the annular end of the head 140.

The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 10 and 15 includes a tubular member 120 having a head 140 and a shaft-like body 160. The shaft-like body 160 is illustrated with external threads 162. When the bolt 110 is in the closed position (see FIGS. 13, 14 and 15) it prevents fluids from passing through the center bore 122 and out through the head 140. As with the prior embodiment (FIGS. 1A), the design of this embodiment does not require an envelope or volume greater than the bolt it may be replacing (such as the threaded prior art bolt shown in FIG. 2). The head 140 of the drain plug 110 is illustrated with a hexagonal, ring shaped end 142 having at least two surface areas 144, 146 (see FIG. 10). A portion the surface area at the terminal end of the head 140 is ramped 144. Core 122 of the tubular member 120 is substantially hollow. The tubular member 120 defines an axially aligned bore 122 having an interior, distally oriented bar 164 that is illustrated as traversing a diameter of the interior bore 122 of tubular member 120. The purpose of the bar 164 is to secure biasing member 166 illustrated as a wire or cable 166 in FIGS. 11, 12 14 and 15.

The cap top 170 illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 15 have a proximal hexagonally-shaped flange 172. Within the cap top 170, and traversing the interior of flange 172, is a biasing support member 174. The biasing member 166 is thus stretched between bar 164 and support member 174. The flange 172 has distally oriented surfaces 176, 186 that correspond to the surfaces 146, 144 on the terminal end of the head 140. As with the other illustrated embodiment, flange 172 of cap 170 is used to open the device 110 such that the liquid is allowed to flow through the core 122 of plug 110 or used to close the device such that the liquid is unable to flow through it.

The biasing member 166 in the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 15 is sized to fit between the support member 174 of cap top 170 and bar 164. The biasing member 166 is a wire having an elastic quality. The biasing member 166 is stretched, with the proximal end coupled to support member 174 and the distal end coupled to bar 164. The biasing member 166 can be sized to accommodate different pressure requirements associated with various applications.

The shaft-like body 160 of the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 10 through 15 may also include longitudinally aligned vents (not illustrated) to enable a greater volume of liquid to drain through the plug 110 when in an open position.

The claims appended hereto are meant to cover modifications and changes within scope and spirit of the present invention.