Title:
SUPPORT STRUCTURE FOR CAST IN PLACE CONDUIT, JUNCTION BOXES AND SIMILAR STRUCTURES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Poured concrete floors and ceilings in buildings contain electrical conduit, air conditioning conduit, plumbing and junction boxes, for example. These conduits must withstand the rigorous activity of a construction floor and the concrete poured on them during the construction phase. Rod support structures made out of steel rod stock are used to hold the conduit and junction boxes in place on a temporary plywood floor in between rebar. The support structures have feet. The poured concrete floor covers the conduit, junction boxes and support structures. The footprint of each of the support structures is designed to be as small as possible by having minimum contact with a temporary plywood floor. When the plywood floor is removed, the support structures are substantially buried in the concrete. The concrete floor is underneath the feet, providing minimum exposure of the feet to the surface of the concrete next to the plywood floor.



Inventors:
Thompson, William J. (Newport Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/496586
Publication Date:
01/07/2010
Filing Date:
07/01/2009
Assignee:
Tomarco Contractor Specialties, Inc. (La Mirada, CA, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C5/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
AKBASLI, ALP A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SNELL & WILMER LLP (OC) (COSTA MESA, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A support structure for holding structures in place on a temporary floor, comprising: a single rod having a first and second end formed to have an upright portion at the first end, a bend of less than 90° along its length to form a first foot contacting the floor, a leg portion extending from the first foot to an angle bent into a U-shape to form a second foot contacting the floor, the leg having a downward bend before the second foot, the leg portion extending beyond the second foot and ending in a third foot, contacting the floor, the leg having a downward bend before the third foot.

2. The support structure of claim 1 further comprising a loop formed at the third foot contacting the floor at an outer portion of the loop.

3. The support structure of claim 1 further comprising a loop formed at the first end of the rod in the upright portion.

4. A support structure for holding structure in place on a temporary floor, comprising: a rod having a first end and three second ends formed to have an upright portion at the first end bent at an angle greater than 90° along its length for each of the three second end portions, each second end portion ending in a loop that contacts the floor at an outer portion of the loop, the loops forming three feet.

5. The support structure of claim 3 wherein the rod comprises three separate rods joined together at the upright portion at the first end and separating from each other at the greater than 90° bend.

6. The support structure of claim 4 further comprising one of the separate rods having a loop formed at the first end of the rod at the upright portion for holding conduit.

7. The support structure of claim 4 further comprising two of the separate rods having a loop formed at the first end of each rod at the upright portion for holding conduit.

8. The support structure of claim 4 further comprising three of the separate rods having a loop formed at the first end of each rod at the upright portion for holding conduit.

9. A support structure for holding tubing in place on a temporary floor, comprising: a single rod having a first and second end, a loop at the first end to form a first foot, with the loop contacting the floor at an outer portion of the loop, a greater than 90° bend along the rod extending into a first U-shaped bend forming a second foot, a support portion of the rod extending from the U-shaped bend parallel to floor for a predetermined distance ending in a second U-shaped bend forming a third foot.

10. A support structure for holding tubing in place on a temporary floor, comprising: a single rod having a first end and a second end, a loop at the first end to form a first foot, with the loop contacting the floor at an outer portion of the loop, a less than 90° downward bend along the rod extending into another less than 90° bend to form a second foot, extending into a first upright portion, a 90° bend providing a support portion of the rod parallel to the floor for a predetermined distance, a 90° bend ending the support portion extending into a second upright portion with a less than 90° bend to form a third foot, a less than 90° downward bend along the rod past the third foot, with a loop at the second end forming a fourth foot.

11. The support structure of claim 9 further comprising a saddle mounted on the rod along the support portion.

12. The support structure of claim 10 wherein the saddle extends beyond the support portion of the rod into the first and second upright portions.

13. A support structure for holding tubing in place on a soft surface, comprising: a rod having a first end and three second ends formed to have an upright portion at the first end bent at an angle greater than 90° along its length for each of the three second end portions, the three second ends forming three feet.

14. The support structure of claim 12 further comprising a less than 90° bend in each of the three second end portions placing the three second end portions perpendicular to the surface.

15. A support structure for holding tubing in place on a soft surface, comprising: a flat surface of predetermined size parallel to the soft surface; a plurality of legs extending from an edge of the flat surface towards the soft surface.

16. The support structure of claim 14 further comprising support struts between a pair of legs.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of provisional application No. 61/077,849 filed Jul. 2, 2008 for Cast In Place Supports for Cast in Place Riser Pipes and Conduits, the entire subject matter of which is incorporated herein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to form cast-in-place support structures for conduits, junction boxes and similar structures, and more particularly pertains to cast-in-place support structure for poured floor/ceilings in multiple story buildings or ground level pads.

2. Description of Related Art

Poured concrete floors in multiple story buildings contain rebar, electrical and plumbing conduit and other structures, like electrical connection boxes, which are contained with the poured concrete floor. Prior to a concrete pour, the area is a construction site with plumbers and electricians laying their conduits and cables and other workers, causing damage to conduits that are to be contained within the poured concrete. If conduits are dislodged, a subsequent pour will cause the conduit to plug up and become non-functional. This leads to jack hammering the concrete floor to dig up the buried conduit and lay new conduit. To prevent this problem, support structures are utilized to hold the conduit firmly in place before and during a pour, thereby reducing the amount of damage caused to the conduit by the construction activity prior to the pour. Such support structures tend to have large feet. These large feet rest on a temporary plywood floor, for example, which is the base of a form for the concrete pour. The plywood floor is pulled away after the concrete has hardened. The concrete surface next to the plywood floor becomes the ceiling for the story below. When the plywood floor is pulled away, the large feet of the support structures used are seen in the underside of the concrete, i.e., the ceiling. Not only are these feet unsightly, but they tend to cause chipping, cracking and spackling of the concrete around the feet when the floor form is removed. As a result, extensive patching of the ceiling surface may be required.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention avoids the unsightly show of feet when the temporary pour floor is removed because the feet of the support structure are designed to have minimum contact with the floor. The support structures are formed out of metal or plastic roc stock which may be round, square or rectangular, for example. The feet are formed as part of the support structure. The support structure is designed to have a minimum of three contact points with the temporary floor. Each contact point or foot is minimized in size without compromising the foot's structural integrity. By causing the foot to contact the floor at an angle, only a small part of each foot actually contacts the floor. The three small contact points are surprisingly strong enough to support the rod support structure and all the conduit attached to it. When the temporary floor is pulled away, only a small part of each foot is seen in the concrete from below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The exact nature of this invention, as well as the objects and advantages thereof, will become readily apparent upon consideration of the following specification in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals designate like parts throughout the figures thereof and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a perspective of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a perspective of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a perspective of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 7 is a perspective of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a perspective of a support structure according to the present invention showing the support of conduit;

FIG. 9 is a perspective of a support structure according to the present invention;

FIG. 10 is a perspective from the top indicating the support structure of FIG. 9 supporting an elbow and conduit;

FIG. 11 is a perspective from the side of the support structure of FIG. 9 supporting an elbow and conduit connection;

FIG. 12 is a perspective of a poured concrete ceiling showing the parts of a support structure that are visible from below;

FIG. 13 is a perspective of a poured concrete ceiling showing the parts of a support structure that are visible from below;

FIG. 14 is a perspective of a poured concrete ceiling showing the parts of a support structure that are visible from below;

FIG. 15 is a perspective of the FIG. 6 support structure holding conduit;

FIG. 16 is a perspective of an alternate embodiment of the present invention showing a support structure on a prepared dirt base for slab pour; and

FIG. 17 is a perspective of an alternate embodiment of the invention showing a support structure for use on a dirt base for a slab floor.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a first preferred embodiment of a support structure for support of a cast-in-place conduit. Support structure 21 is made out of rod stock which may be steel or plastic, for example, formed into the shape shown. Support structure 21 has a vertical riser portion 23 to which a pipe riser, for example, may be fastened by zip-lock ties or some other convenient fastening device. A less than 90° bend 25 at one end of riser 23 forms a first foot for support structure 21. The rod stock continues to a 180° bend 29 which forms a second foot of support structure 21. Foot 29 and foot 25 of support 21 contact the same plane, whereas the rest of the rod does not because of the less than 90° downward bends 27 and 31 in the rod. The rod ends in a third foot 33 that has a loop 34 formed at its end. Foot 33 is on the same plane as feet 25 and 29 because of the bend 31 in the rod.

The rod utilized for the support structure of the present invention may be round, rectangular, square or triangular, for example, even though only a round version is illustrated. The rod may be made out of plastic or metal, such as steel for example, and materials having similar characteristics of strength and formability.

FIG. 2 illustrates a variation of the support structure of FIG. 1. The support structure 35 of FIG. 2 has a loop 39 formed at the top of the vertical upright 37. The loop 39 is designed to contain a typical diameter conduit that requires support. Support structure 35 has a less than 90° bend 41 formed in the rod at the other end of the vertical upright, to form the first foot. A 180° bend 45 forms a second foot. Two less than 90° downward bends 43 and 47 cause the second foot to be on the same plane as the first foot 41 without any of the rod touching the temporary floor. A third foot 49, formed into a loop at its end is on the same plane as the other two feet 41 and 45. The rod connecting foot 45 and 49 also does not touch the floor because of bend 47.

FIG. 3 illustrates a support structure that utilizes more than one rod. Support structure 51 utilizes three separate rods 55, 57 and 59 that are connected together in a vertical upstanding portion 53 that acts as an attachment post for conduit. The three rods are bent at like angles 61, 63, greater than 90°, but less than 180° so that the rod ends 65, 67 and 69 approach the floor at an angle and the loops formed at the respective ends only contact the floor at an outside edge.

FIG. 4 illustrates an alternate version of the support structure of FIG. 3. The support structure 71 of FIG. 4 has a loop 75 formed at the top or first end of the vertical support portion 71. The three rods 76, 77 and 79 end in loop feet 81, 83 and 123. The three respective legs approach the floor at an angle, thereby causing the feet to have minimal contact with the temporary floor.

FIG. 5 illustrates an alternate version of the support structure of FIG. 3. The support structure 87 of FIG. 5 has two loops 91 and 93 formed at the top or first end of vertical support portion 89. The three rod legs 95, 97 and 99 end in looped feet 101, 103 and 105, respectively.

FIG. 6 illustrates yet another version of the support structure of FIG. 3. Support structure 107 has three loops 111, 113 and 115 formed at the top or first end of vertical support portion 109, 107. The legs 117, 118 and 119 end in feet 121, 123 and 125, having loops that approach the floor at an angle, in the same manner as the other versions of the support structure shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5.

The function off the support structure 107 is shown in FIG. 15. The support structure 107 is shown holding three separate upstanding conduit portions 213, 215 and 217 that are to be buried in concrete.

While the support structures shown in FIGS. 1-6 are designed to support structures that are vertical, the present invention also contemplates support structures for supporting conduit along a horizontal plane. Such a support structure is shown in FIG. 7. Support structure 127 of FIG. 7 is formed from a single rod to have a trapeze portion 129 which is parallel to the temporary floor. Two 90° bends 131, 133 at each end of the trapeze portion 129 lead to a first and second foot 135, 141 that contacts a temporary floor. The rod extends from foot 135 to a third foot 139 which may or may not end in the loop. Only a portion of foot 139 contacts the temporary floor because the rod is bent upwardly at the foot 135 and then downwardly at an angle 137. The rod extends from the second foot 141 in an upward bend to a fourth foot 145 which ends in a loop. A downward bend 143 in the rod between foot 141 and 145 which is less than 90°, prevents the portion of the rod between foot 145 and 141 from contacting the temporary floor.

FIG. 8 illustrates the support structure of FIG. 7 holding conduit 148 along its trapeze section 129 with the conduit being held fast to the horizontal rod by wire ties 146, for example. Zip ties or some other convenient tie mechanism may also be utilized. Support structure 127 is shown as sitting on a temporary floor 147 which may be plywood or some other removable surface that acts as the floor for the form with which the concrete will be poured.

Another version of the support structure of the present invention which utilizes four feet is shown in FIG. 9. Support structure 149 of FIG. 9 is similar to the support structure of FIG. 7. It has a trapeze portion 151, a pair of 90° bends 153, 155 at opposite ends of the trapeze portion that lead to a first foot 157 and a second foot 163. The rod extends from second foot 163 to third foot 167 which ends in a loop. A bend 165 between foot 163 and foot 167 prevents the rod from contacting the temporary floor. First foot 157 extends to fourth foot 161 which ends in a loop. A bend 159 between the second foot 157 and the fourth foot 161 prevents the rod from contacting the temporary floor. A saddle 169 is attached to the trapeze portion 151 and part of the upright sections that lead to the first foot 157 and second foot 163 of support structure 149, to form a support surface for conduit and 90° elbows, for example.

FIG. 10 illustrates how support structure 149 performs its function to hold a 90° elbow 173 for conduit which is attached to flexible conduit 175 that fits within the diameter of the elbow 173. Pipe tape 176 holds the flexible conduit 175 to the elbow 173. The joint which connects the flexible conduit 175 to the stiff 90° elbow 173 is sensitive and critical. The support structure 149 shown in FIGS. 9, 10 and 11, is designed to prevent dislodgement of this joint by providing a flat support surface by way of saddle 169 to which the flexible conduit 175 and the 90° elbow 173 is firmly fastened by zip-locks 179, for example.

The two feet 161, 167 of the support structure 149 ending in loops facilitate the feet being held fast to the temporary floor 171 by wood screws 177, for example. The loop feet of all the support structures illustrated in this application are designed to permit the use of screws or some other fastening mechanism to fasten the feet to the floor. Such fastening of the feet is required in those situations where the supported conduits and elbows experience a rough environment resulting from foot traffic and the movement of equipment along the construction floor.

FIG. 12 illustrates the concrete floor after it has been poured and set, looking at the floor from the underside, effectively the ceiling 181. What has come through the concrete floor as a result of the footprint of the support structure is shown in FIG. 12. The footprint illustrated is for the support structures shown in FIGS. 3 to 6. What has come through the concrete floor are three fastening screws 183, 187, 185 which pass through the loops in the feet of the support structure to fasten the support structure to the temporary wood floor which has now been torn away. These screw ends 183, 185 and 187 are simply cut away, leaving a small flat round surface. Also illustrated is the edges of the three feet 191, 189 and 193 for the support structure. As can be seen, very little of the feet show through the concrete 181, requiring no touch up or repair work. The structure of those feet allow the concrete to flow around them and below them.

FIG. 13 illustrates the concrete poured ceiling 195 housing a trapeze type support structure, as illustrated in FIGS. 7-11 embedded therein. Only the edges 197, 199, 201 and 203 of the four feet of the support structure are barely visible in the concrete ceiling 195. If fastening screws were used they would also be visible.

FIG. 14 illustrates a ceiling 205 showing the footprint of the support structure illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 embedded there. One wood fastening screw 207 comes through the concrete. Only the edges 209, 211 and 213 of the three feet of the support structure are slightly visible in the concrete ceiling 205.

The result is that no touch-ups are required. There is no torn away concrete or spackling as is common with prior flat footprint support structures.

Referring now to FIGS. 16 and 17 which illustrates the embodiment of a support structure for use in poured concrete foundations at ground level, such as concrete pads. Support structure 219, shown in FIG. 16, has a vertical support rod 221 that is attached to three legs 231, 235 and 227, which are parallel to vertical support rod 221. These legs are attached to support vertical support rod 221 by angled rods 229, 233 and 225. This support structure is used by pounding the support structure 219 into the ground up to the end of the angled portions 229, 233 and 225 of the legs, desired. The angle 223 that these angled portions 225, 229, 233 make with the vertical support rod 221 is greater than 90° but less than 180°.

FIG. 17 illustrates a support structure 237 that is used to support a utility box or conduit that may require a flat surface 239. Flat surface 239 is shown as square but may be any other convenient shape such as rectangular, triangular, round or trapezoidal, for example. Extending from external points, such as the corners of the horizontal flat surface 239, are a plurality of legs 241, 243, 245 and 247. These legs are supported by struts 249 and 251. Support structure 237 is utilized by pounding the legs which may, for convenience, have pointed ends 253, 255 (FIG. 16) into the prepared ground for the slab pour. The legs may be pounded into the ground up to the support struts 249 and 251, thereby providing quite solid support for any conduit or electrical equipment that is attached to the surface 239.