CA2154433A1 - Freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant - Google Patents

Freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant

Info

Publication number
CA2154433A1
CA2154433A1 CA 2154433 CA2154433A CA2154433A1 CA 2154433 A1 CA2154433 A1 CA 2154433A1 CA 2154433 CA2154433 CA 2154433 CA 2154433 A CA2154433 A CA 2154433A CA 2154433 A1 CA2154433 A1 CA 2154433A1
Authority
CA
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
hydrant
fire
water
detector
part
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2154433
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Mario Parisi
Guy Sirois
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
GOURGUE PAUL
Original Assignee
GOURGUE, PAUL
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03BINSTALLATIONS OR METHODS FOR OBTAINING, COLLECTING, OR DISTRIBUTING WATER
    • E03B9/00Methods or installations for drawing-off water
    • E03B9/02Hydrants; Arrangements of valves therein; Keys for hydrants
    • E03B9/14Draining devices for hydrants

Abstract

Disclosed is an improved freeze and water detector for use in detecting frost or freezing temperatures and water accumulation in the lower part of a fire hydrant. This detector has a sensor which includes a float and magnet combination, a thermostat and an electrical circuit to indicate the presence of water and near-freezing temperatures inside the fire hydrant. The detector also has a visual indicator mounted in a casing on the exterior of the fire hydrant.
This casing is mounted in a replacement cap that is substituted for one of the existing caps on the fire hydrant. The detector may include a passive microphone, connected to an audio output jack which is installed inside the casing, to listen to leaks in the underground water supply.

Description

I-h~t AND WATER DETECTOR FOR A FIRE HYDi~AiNr BACKGROUND OF THE INVEi~JTlON
s a) Field of the invention The present invention is concerned with an improvement to the freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant forming the subject matter of Canadian Patent No. 1,260,107 granted in 1989 to Mario PARISI.

b) Brief descriPtion of prior art In Canadian Patent No. 1,260,107, there is disclosed a freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant, comprising a casing that is designed to be mounted outside the fire hydrant and is provided with a window.
The cietector also comprises a galvanometer having a needle with a visual indicator of bright color, the visual i,ld;calor being mounted in the casing and visible through the window. A solar panel is provided to power the galv~.1o",eler when it Ts exposed to external light. This solar panel is mountedin the casing.
A rigid and telescopic tube is fastened at one end to the casing and inserted inside the fire hydrant towards the valve at the bottom of the firehydrant.
A probe is located adjacent to the valve and fastened at the other end of the rigid and telescopic tube, so that when water is present in the lower2s part of the fire hydrant, it raises a floating device which closes a circuit thereby powering the needle of the galvanometer and the visual indlcator in the casing.
The detector further comprises an electrical circuit including wires connected between the solar panel, the galvanometer and the switch located inside the probe, and, connected in parallel, a bimetal thermostat adjusted to the freezing point so that it indicates, even without the presence of water, freezing temperatures Tn the vicinity of the valve inside the fire hydrant.

_ ~154~3~

The detector is useful in areas where freezing temperatures are present for long periods of time. This can cause the underground water supply to freeze, thereby making the fire hydrant useless until a proper equipment is brought in to thaw the water supply. There are many ll,stances where precious 5 time was lost when the firefighters arrived on the scene of a fire to find the water frozen fn the hydrant and this situation was not known beforehand. The de~e-,torhelps avoid unnecessary waste of time by providing a devlce that can be used to periodically check the state of the water supply. The detector also provides means to verify if water has accumulated in the column of the fire hydrant, near10 the valve.
The deteGtor disclosed In thls patent is Il~ lled by drilling a hole in the body of the fire hydrant, inserting the probe so that it rests at the bottom of the fire hydrant adjacent to the valve and then fastening the casing to the outside of the fire hydrant. This method Is impractical as It is expensive and 5 difficult to drill a hole in the body of the fire hydrant.

SUMMARY OF THE INVE~ION

An object of the present invention is to provide an improved freeze 20 and water delector which is easier and more efficient to install and does not involve any drilling in the body of the fire hydrant.
In accordance with the invention, this object is achieved with a detector of the type mentioned above, where the casing is part of a replacement cap of the fire hydrant. This obviates the need for drilling holes in the body of 25 the fire hydrant and the installation is quicker and more efficient.
Another object of the invention is to provide means by which leaks in the underground water supply can be detected.
In accordance with the invention, this other object is achieved by mounting a passive microphone in a detector of the type mentioned above, and 30 connecting the microphone to an audio output jack installed on the casing, sothat by connecting a pair of earphones to the audio output Jack, one can listen for leaks in the underground water supply, and by using a number of such devices, one can pinpoint the general location of the leak in order to repair it.

215~33 BF~IEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A non-restrictive, preferred embodiment of the invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
sFigure 1 is a sido olcvational, cross-sectional view of a fire hydrant equipped with a freeze and water detector according to the invention showing theprobe of the detector installed at the lower part of the flre hydrant;
Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view of the probe shown of Fig. 1; and Figure 3 is a block diagram of the electronic circuit of the detector.

DESCRIPTION OF A PhLI ,,t~ED EME~ODIMEI~T OF THE INVENTION

Figure 1 shows a flre hydrant 1 of conventional structure, which is in the form of a vertical column 4. The flre hydrant 1 has a lower part 18 located 15under the ground level 6 and an upper part 8 located above the ground level 6.The lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1 is connected to an underground water supply 10. Located in the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1 is a valve 5, which can be opened to permit water flow to the upper part 8. The upper part 8 of the fire hydrant 1 includes caps 2 which can be removed to connect hoses, for use 20in fighting fires. The valve 5 is opened and closed by a screw 12 projecting outwardly from the upper part 8.
In regTons where below-freezing temperatures are present for extended periods of time, although the lower part 18 is located under the groundlevel 6, the water 14 located near the valve 5 may freeze, thereby rendering the2 5fire hydrant inoperative until the proper equi,u, I lenl is brought in to thaw the water 14. Furthermore, leaks can develop in the underground water supply 10, causing loss of pressure, and, if severe, inoperation of the system.
The freeze and water detector according to the invention is intended to be incorporated into a conventional fire hydrant like those numbered301 in order to help detect freezing or near-freezing temperatures in the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1 using one or more electronic thermostats 23, 27. The detector also includes a water detector 35, which includes a float 33 and magnet31 combination that activates a reed switch 29 when water is present above the - 21~44~3 valve 5 and a microphone 21 to listen for leaks in the underground water supply 10.
The detector basically comprises:
a probe 19 that is located at the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1 near the valve 5 and is fastened to one end of a multi-conductor cable 17;
a multi-conductor cable 17 extending inside the fire hydrant 1; and a casing 7 that is part of a replacement cap 3 that can be substituted for one of the caps 2 of the fire hydrant 1, and is fastened to the other end of the multi-conductor cable 17.
o The probe 19 which is preferably made of plastic material, houses one or more electronic therrnostats 23 and 27, the reed switch 29, and a passivemicrophone 21 all operatively connected to a printed circuit board 25. The float33 and magnet 31 combination is movably installed inside the probe 19. The passive microphone 21 is connected by wires to an audio output jack 16 through 1 5 the multi-conductor cable 17.
When water is present in the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1, the float 33 and magnet 33 combination rises proportionately to the level of the water, thereby triggering the reed switch 29. This sends a signal to a decoder 37 to warn of water in the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1.
The first electronic ther" lostal 27, which has a precision of + 0.5 C, is set at 0 C so that when the temperature inside the fire hydrant 1 is at thatpoint or below, the thermostat 27 sends another signal to the decoder 37 to warnof impeding r, ee~ing Inside the fire hydrant 1. The second electronic thermostat - 23, which also has a precision of ~ 0.5 C, is set at -1 or -2 C so that yet another signal is sent to the decoder 37 when the temperature inside the fire hydrant 1 is at that point or below to indicate freezing at the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1.
The casing 7, that is part of a replacement cap 3 for the fire hydrant 1, comprises a solar panel 15, the three LEDs 13, 11 and 9 that are preferably of different color and an audio output jack 16. The solar panel 15, when exposed to natural or artificial light such as a flashlight, powers a power supply 39.
The power supply 39 takes the varying voltage from the solar cell 15 and reg~ ~Iqtes it to 5 volts thereby enabling a light emitting diode (LED) driver 2154~3 43. When the solar cell 15 cannot supply a voltage high enough to be regulated to 5 volts, it disables the LED driver 43 so as to avoid false readings.
The decoder 37 analyses the three signals from the first electronic thermostat 27, the second electronic thermostat 23 and the water detector 35, 5 mixes them with the output of an oscillator 41 and alternates the corresponding outputs when two or more signals are active at the same time.
The oscillator 41 gelle,ales a very narrow pulse at approxi",alely a two second interval to pulse the LEDs 9, 11 or 13 at a rate of 0.5 Hz, making the LEDs 9, 11 or 13 more visible than if they were continuously lit, thereby 10 alerting a user of either water, impeding frost or freezing in the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1.
The LED driver 43 controls and regulates the current supplied to the LEDs 9, 11 or 13.
Furthermore, by connecting a set of earphones to the audio output 15 jack 16, a user can listen to noise in the lower part 18 of the fire hydrant 1 which can alert the user to the presence of a leak in the underground water system 10.Although the present invention has been descrTbed herein by way of preferred embodiments thereof, it is understood that any modifications to these preferred embodiments, within the scope of the appended claims, shall in no way 20 change or alter the nature and scope of the present invention.

Claims (8)

1. In a freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant, where said fire hydrant has top and bottom parts, at least one detachable cap mounted at said top part and a valve at the bottom part, said detector comprising:
- a sensor designed to be inserted inside the fire hydrant so as to be adjacent to the valve, said sensor comprising a device for sensing the presence of water in the lower part of the fire hydrant and a switch activated when water is present in the lower part of the fire hydrant;
- an electrical circuit comprising said switch, a solar panel and a visual indicator connected to said device, said solar panel and said visual indicator being mounted in a casing on the exterior of the fire hydrant so that the solar panel may be activated by light to power the visual indicator, and said visual indicator may be seen from outside the fire hydrant whereby, in use, when said sensing device detects the presence of water in the lower part of the fire hydrant, said electrical circuit is closed by the switch of said sensor and said solar panel powers said visual indicator;
the improvement wherein:
- said casing is part of a replacement cap that is substituted for one of said detachable cap of the fire hydrant.
2. The improved freeze and water detector of claim 1, further comprising:
- an audio circuit consisting of a microphone and an audio output jack, said audio output jack being mounted on said casing.
3. The improved freeze and water detector of claim 2, further comprising:
- a temperature sensing device consisting of at least one thermostat and another visual indicator operatively connected to said at least one thermostat, said other visual indicator being mounted on said casing.
4. The improved freeze and water detector of claim 3, wherein:
- said device for sensing the presence of water comprises a float and magnet combination; and - said switch is a reed switch, whereby when the float rises with the water level, it activates the reed switch which in turn closes the electrical circuit and powers the visual indicator.
5. The improved freeze and water detector of claim 4 wherein:
- said thermostat is an electronic thermostat adjusted to detect temperatures near the freezing point and below the freezing point;
and - said other visual indicator includes two distinct visual devices, the first one being powered when the temperature reaches the freezing point and the second one being powered when the temperature is below the freezing point.
6. The improved freeze and water detector of claim 5, wherein:
- said visual devices are light emitting diodes that alternatively are on and off when the circuit is closed, thereby flashing.
7. The improved freeze and water detector of claim 6, wherein:
- said solar panel is sensitive to artificial light.
8. The improved freeze and water detector in claim 7, wherein:
- said sensor, said microphone and said at least one thermostat are mounted in a probe, said probe being adjustably connected to said replacement cap, whereby said probe can be lowered into said fire hydrant so as to be adjacent to said valve.
CA 2154433 1995-07-21 1995-07-21 Freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant Abandoned CA2154433A1 (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CA 2154433 CA2154433A1 (en) 1995-07-21 1995-07-21 Freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CA 2154433 CA2154433A1 (en) 1995-07-21 1995-07-21 Freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
CA2154433A1 true true CA2154433A1 (en) 1997-01-22

Family

ID=4156274

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
CA 2154433 Abandoned CA2154433A1 (en) 1995-07-21 1995-07-21 Freeze and water detector for a fire hydrant

Country Status (1)

Country Link
CA (1) CA2154433A1 (en)

Cited By (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2017139030A1 (en) * 2016-02-12 2017-08-17 Mueller International, Llc Nozzle cap multi-band antenna assembly
US9772250B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2017-09-26 Mueller International, Llc Leak detector and sensor
US9849322B2 (en) 2010-06-16 2017-12-26 Mueller International, Llc Infrastructure monitoring devices, systems, and methods
US9873008B2 (en) 2013-05-21 2018-01-23 Silversmith, Inc. Hydrant monitoring system and method
US9901765B2 (en) 2013-05-21 2018-02-27 Silversmith, Inc. Hydrant monitoring system and method

Cited By (6)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US9849322B2 (en) 2010-06-16 2017-12-26 Mueller International, Llc Infrastructure monitoring devices, systems, and methods
US9861848B2 (en) 2010-06-16 2018-01-09 Mueller International, Llc Infrastructure monitoring devices, systems, and methods
US9772250B2 (en) 2011-08-12 2017-09-26 Mueller International, Llc Leak detector and sensor
US9873008B2 (en) 2013-05-21 2018-01-23 Silversmith, Inc. Hydrant monitoring system and method
US9901765B2 (en) 2013-05-21 2018-02-27 Silversmith, Inc. Hydrant monitoring system and method
WO2017139030A1 (en) * 2016-02-12 2017-08-17 Mueller International, Llc Nozzle cap multi-band antenna assembly

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Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
FZDE Dead

Effective date: 20000721