US20080092323A1 - Storage cabinet for central vacuum cleaning system - Google Patents

Storage cabinet for central vacuum cleaning system Download PDF

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Publication number
US20080092323A1
US20080092323A1 US11/585,711 US58571106A US2008092323A1 US 20080092323 A1 US20080092323 A1 US 20080092323A1 US 58571106 A US58571106 A US 58571106A US 2008092323 A1 US2008092323 A1 US 2008092323A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
hose
cleaning
cabinet
closure
valve
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
US11/585,711
Inventor
James F. Smith
Neal T. Yoder
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H-P PRODUCTS Inc
H P Products Inc
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H P Products Inc
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Priority to US11/585,711 priority Critical patent/US20080092323A1/en
Assigned to H-P PRODUCTS, INC. reassignment H-P PRODUCTS, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SMITH, JAMES F., YODER, NEAL T.
Publication of US20080092323A1 publication Critical patent/US20080092323A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L5/00Structural features of suction cleaners
    • A47L5/12Structural features of suction cleaners with power-driven air-pumps or air-compressors, e.g. driven by motor vehicle engine vacuum
    • A47L5/22Structural features of suction cleaners with power-driven air-pumps or air-compressors, e.g. driven by motor vehicle engine vacuum with rotary fans
    • A47L5/38Built-in suction cleaner installations, i.e. with fixed tube system to which, at different stations, hoses can be connected
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L9/00Details or accessories of suction cleaners, e.g. mechanical means for controlling the suction or for effecting pulsating action; Storing devices specially adapted to suction cleaners or parts thereof; Carrying-vehicles specially adapted for suction cleaners
    • A47L9/0009Storing devices ; Supports, stands or holders
    • A47L9/0063External storing devices; Stands, casings or the like for the storage of suction cleaners
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47LDOMESTIC WASHING OR CLEANING; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47L9/00Details or accessories of suction cleaners, e.g. mechanical means for controlling the suction or for effecting pulsating action; Storing devices specially adapted to suction cleaners or parts thereof; Carrying-vehicles specially adapted for suction cleaners
    • A47L9/24Hoses or pipes; Hose or pipe couplings
    • A47L9/242Hose or pipe couplings
    • A47L9/244Hose or pipe couplings for telescopic or extensible hoses or pipes

Abstract

A storage cabinet for mounting between a pair of wall studs in a structure having a central vacuum cleaning system is adapted to store a length of flexible cleaning hose, a cleaning wand and other cleaning attachments. A hose valve is located in the cabinet and is connected to one of a plurality of vacuum supply tubes in the structure. A first end of the hose is connectable to the hose valve and a second end is connectable to the cleaning wand. A closure device is provided in the cabinet for sealing an open end of the hose when not in use enabling the other vacuum tubes in the structure to be operational without shutting off the vacuum to the cabinet hose valve.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Technical Field
  • The invention relates to a central vacuum cleaning system, and in particular to a storage cabinet connected to one of several vacuum system tubes and connected valves for storing the cleaning hose and cleaning attachments in a convenient, readily accessible location. More particularly, the invention relates to an in-wall storage cabinet which enables the cleaning hose to remain attached to a vacuum system valve in the cabinet while other vacuum system valves in the structure remain operational.
  • 2. Background Information
  • Central vacuum systems for home and commercial use have been used for many years, examples of which are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,943,698 and 3,173,164. These systems generally are comprised of a main vacuum source which is usually mounted in the basement or other location in the structure or closely adjacent thereto. The vacuum source is connected to various locations in the structure by tubing which terminate in valves mounted in the wall into which one end of a length of cleaning hose is removably connected for cleaning an area adjacent the wall valve. These wall or hose end valves usually include some type of closure lid, which seals the hose receiving opening in the valve enabling another of the valves to be operational within the structure. Many of these valves are provided with electrical contacts or switches which energize the main vacuum source. The vacuum hose also may be provided with a pair of electric conductors for actuating the central vacuum source by a switch on the handle, such as shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,064,355, 4,133,972, 4,194,081 and 4,368,348.
  • When using the cleaning system, the homeowner will generally have a single length of cleaning hose with various attachments which are stored in a closet or other location and then moved from room to room to be connected to the wall valve for cleaning the area adjacent the valve location. In many situations, this is less convenient than desired since the homeowner must continually go to a remote location to retrieve the cleaning attachments for use in a particular room and for returning the cleaning attachment, cleaning wand and hose to the closet for final storage. Also, these storage areas become cluttered and occupy needed space in other closets of the house.
  • Some central vacuum cleaning systems attempt to solve some of these storage problems by having the hose retractably inserted into the vacuum supply duct when not in use such as shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,953,806, 3,593,363, 5,526,842 and 7,010,829. In another attempt to solve this storage problem in a central cleaning system, an in-wall storage cabinet was developed and shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,740,581. However, the storage arrangement of this latter system requires the use of a permanent hose connection to the wall and a power-driven mechanism for retracting the hose when not in use. Although this may perform satisfactory for its intended purpose, it is a more costly installation than may be desired by many homeowners and it requires the hose to be dedicated to a single vacuum source, thus preventing the same vacuum source to be energized for supplying a vacuum to other wall valves in the structure. Also, these units may tend to be weak because their size is very limited, and in addition, their dirt capacity may also be limited.
  • Thus, the need exists for an improved storage facility in a structure for the components of a central vacuum cleaning system, and in particular the hose, which facilitates the use of the cleaning equipment in a relatively simple, inexpensive and unobtrusive manner in the structure, and most importantly enables the cleaning hose to be either removed from the storage cabinet and used in another distant wall valve or remain in the storage cabinet connected to the valve while enabling other valves in the structure to be active, that is, have the vacuum source supplied thereto from a single central vacuum supply source, by providing a closure device for an open end of the cleaning hose when not is use and stored in the cabinet.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention provides a central vacuum cleaning system having a convenient storage compartment for the cleaning hose, cleaning wand and other cleaning attachments in a cabinet, preferably mounted between the studs of the building, which has a wall valve located therein which is connected to one of a plurality of vacuum source tubes, which tubes extend from a main central vacuum source to various locations in the structure.
  • Another feature of the invention is to provide such a cleaning system in which the cleaning hose is removably connected to the valve and removable from the storage cabinet or can remain connected to the valve by providing a sealing device at an open end of the hose which enables the central vacuum source to be active and provide a source of vacuum at other wall valves throughout the structure, enabling another hose to be used by the homeowner at one or more of these other valves if desired.
  • Another aspect of the invention is to mount a plurality of storage brackets on the walls of the storage cabinet for removably mounting various cleaning attachments thereon, and in which a door is pivotally mounted on the cabinet and when closed, provides a closure for the cabinet, as well as a less obtrusive appearance to the adjacent living space.
  • A further feature of the present invention is to provide the storage cabinet with a pair of vertically spaced arcuate-shaped brackets around which the hose can be placed in a looped fashion preventing it from becoming tangled with the other cleaning attachments, each of which may have its separate mounting bracket, and which enables the hose to be easily removed and taken to another location for subsequent use if desired by the homeowner.
  • Still another aspect of the present invention is to provide a closure device for an open end of the hose which can have various configurations such as an elastomeric member which is inserted into or about the open end of the hose for sealing the same while the vacuum system is energized but used at another location; in which the closure device could be an ON/OFF valve built into an end of the hose; in which the closure device could be a bracket with some type of flapper valve or ball movable automatically into sealed engagement with an open end of the hose by the vacuum created therein; and in which all of these closure devices enable a seal to be maintained at an open end of the hose while it remains connected to the wall valve, eliminating the need for the homeowner to remove the hose from the wall valve when not is use, enabling other wall valves in the structure to be activated, that is having a vacuum applied thereto for use with another section of hose, if desired by the homeowner.
  • These features and advantages are obtained by the central vacuum cleaning system of the present invention, the general nature of which may be stated as including a vacuum source mounted within or adjacent the structure; a plurality of vacuum tubes extending from the vacuum source to various locations within the structure; a cabinet located in one of the structure locations, wherein the cabinet contains a hose receptacle or valve connected to one of the vacuum tubes, a length of hose having a first end connectable to the hose valve and a second end connectable to a cleaning attachment, a plurality of cleaning attachments mounted in the cabinet, and a closure device for sealing an open end of the hose enabling the vacuum source to be operational in another of the structure locations.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A preferred embodiment of the invention, illustrated of the best mode in which Applicant contemplates applying the principles, is set forth in the following description and is shown in the drawings and is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.
  • FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic sectional view of a structure having a central vacuum source and a plurality of vacuum tubes extending to various locations of the structure, one of which is connected to the in-wall storage cabinet of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the storage cabinet mounted between a pair of wall studs with the closure door in an open position.
  • FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view of a wall valve with an end of the cleaning hose inserted therein.
  • FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of a first type of closure device for the open end of the cleaning hose when in a stored condition.
  • FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view of another embodiment of the closure device for the open end of the hose.
  • FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view of an ON/OFF valve type of closure device mounted in the handle end of the cleaning hose.
  • FIG. 6A is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 6 showing the ON/OFF valve mounted in the valve attachment end of the hose.
  • FIG. 7 is another type of end closure device consisting of a plug insertable into the open end of the hose.
  • FIG. 8 is another embodiment of the closure device showing a device slip-fitted over the open end of the hose.
  • FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of another type of closure device and mounting bracket for an open end of the hose.
  • FIG. 10 is a top plan view of the closure device shown in FIG. 9.
  • Similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The central vacuum cleaning system of the present invention is indicated generally at 1, and is shown in FIG. 1 mounted within a usual structure 3. A central vacuum source 5 is located within the structure, such as in a lower level 7, but could be at other locations in the structure or outside closely adjacent thereto. A plurality of vacuum source tubes 9 extend from vacuum source 5 to various locations or rooms within structure 3. The number of ducts will depend upon the size of the house, the number of rooms, size of vacuum source 5 and other factors. Each of the supply ducts will terminate at a wall valve 11 such as shown in FIG. 3.
  • Wall valve 11 will have some type of closure flap or door 13 which will seal the wall valve opening 15 when not in use. Wall valve 11 as shown in FIG. 3 is only one type of wall valve that can be used in system 1 and can be different if desired without affecting the concept of the invention. Wall valve 11 may have electrical contacts 17 which engage other contacts 19 formed in attachment end 20 of a cleaning hose 21 when end 20 is inserted therein to actuate central vacuum source 5 through electrical conductors 23. Hose contacts 19 are connected to an ON/OFF switch (22) mounted in the handle of the cleaning hose by a plurality of conductors 25 embedded within the hose. Open end 27 of hose 21 communicates with the vacuum supply source indicated by Arrows 29 of vacuum tube 9 when inserted therein, which for many types of wall receptacles will be a frictional sliding engagement.
  • In accordance with one of the main features of the invention, a storage cabinet indicated generally at 31, is mounted in structure 3, preferably between spaced wall studs 33 of one wall 35. Cabinet 31 preferably will have a flat back wall 37, a pair of vertically extending side walls 39 which are secured to studs 33, and top and bottom walls 41 and 43 respectively, forming an interior storage compartment 45. A closure door 47 preferably is pivotally mounted on the cabinet by a plurality of hinges 49. However, if desired, cabinet 31 can be mounted on the outer surface of the wall 35 and not inserted between studs 33 without affecting the concept of the invention.
  • In further accordance with the invention, valve 11 is located within storage compartment 45 of cabinet 31 preferably on one of the side walls 39 or bottom wall 33 as shown in FIG. 2. A plurality of cleaning attachment mounting brackets preferably are attached to back wall 37 for holding various cleaning attachments, such as a bracket 51 for holding a power driven cleaning brush nozzle 53, a bracket 55 for holding a non-powered cleaning nozzle 57, brackets 59 for holding cleaning wand 61, as well as additional brackets 63 for holding other types of cleaning attachments usually used in a central vacuum cleaning system which are adapted to be connected to the end 65 of cleaning wand 61. These various brackets and cleaning attachments can vary without affecting the concept of the invention. The mounting brackets furthermore include a pair of curved brackets 67 which are vertically spaced within storage compartment 45 and preferably mounted on back wall 37, about which a length of cleaning hose 21 is arranged in a looped configuration enabling the hose to be separate from the various cleaning attachments and easily removable and replaceable from and into the storage compartment. Another mounting bracket 67 preferably is attached to back wall 37 for holding the cleaning appliance attachment end 69 of hose 21, usually adjacent an operating handle 71.
  • Again, in accordance with one of the features of the invention, hose 21 can remain attached to wall valve 11 as shown in FIG. 2 in communication with the connecting vacuum tube 9 when in a stored condition, enabling the other supply ducts to be active, that is, supplying a source of vacuum to their associated wall valves for insertion of the end of another cleaning hose therein. The ability to leave hose 21 attached to valve 11 increases the convenience to the user since it reduces tangling of the long section of hose 21 when stored in and removed from the cabinet and eliminates the need for connecting and disconnecting the hose from the valve each time the hose is used.
  • The ability to leave hose 21 connected to valve 11 while maintaining the vacuum at all of the valves in the structure is possible by the use of a closure device indicated generally at 75, which seals open end 77 of hose 21 which is adjacent handle 71 and opposite to open end 27 at the wall valve. Closure device 75 effectively seals open end 77 mechanically or by the vacuum suction created therein when vacuum source 5 is energized and providing a vacuum at the various wall receptacles throughout the structure. Various types of closure devices are shown in FIGS. 4-10 and are described below. These are just several of the various types of closure devices which can be utilized in vacuum cleaning system 1 to achieve the advantages of the present invention.
  • A first embodiment shown in FIG. 4 includes a cup-shaped bracket 79 which is mounted on back wall 37. An elastomeric disc 81 is mounted in the bottom of bracket 76 and will seal open end 77 when placed thereagainst upon handle 71 being placed in a stored position.
  • In a second embodiment shown in FIG. 5, a cage-like structure 83 contains a movably mounted spherical ball 85, or other contoured-shaped member like a cylinder or prism, which when handle 71 is placed in a storage bracket or clip 87 on back wall 37 will be sucked upwardly against and close open end 77 of the hose as shown by Arrow A.
  • A third embodiment is shown in FIG. 6 and is a mechanical ON/OFF valve 89 incorporated into end portion 90 of handle 71. FIG. 6A is an alternate construction and shows valve 89 incorporated into the end portion of hose 21 adjacent valve attachment end 20. Valve 89 is rotated as shown by Arrow B, FIG. 6, between ON/OFF positions where it blocks and unblocks either open end of the hose. ON/OFF valve 89 could be a rotary ball valve or similar structure incorporated into handle 71 or the attachment end of the hose which normally is inserted into the wall valve.
  • A fourth type of closure device is shown in FIG. 7 and is an elastomeric plug 91 insertable into open end 77 to seal the same when handle 71 is in a stored position on bracket 87. Preferably plug 91 is secured to back wall 37 on a cord 93 or the like, to make it readily accessible to seal the open end of the handle when in the stored position and preventing its misplacement when not in use.
  • A fifth embodiment is shown in FIG. 8 and is another elastomeric member 95 in the form of an end cap which is slidably frictionally inserted over open end 77 of handle 71 to seal open end 77 when not in use. Elastomeric cap 95 also can be secured to back wall 37 by a cord 96.
  • A sixth embodiment of the closure device is shown in FIGS. 9 and 10. A flexible flapper valve 97 can be mounted on an end of bracket 87 by a fastener 98 and is movable into sealing engagement with open end 77 as shown by Arrow C when handle 71 is placed in a stored position as shown in FIG. 9 on bracket 87. Bracket 87 may be formed with one or more slots 99 into which a connection stud 100 can be inserted when storing handle 71 to ensure that the open end 77 is in proper position for sealing by flapper valve 77 or for receiving elastomeric members 91 and 95 therein, as well as for sealing by ball 85 and pad 81. Stud 100 is the usual type of device found on the end of many cleaning handles and may be spring biased to be snap-fitted into holes formed in the various cleaning attachments for mounting the same on the handle.
  • Again, in accordance with the main feature of the invention, the end closure device enables the open end of the hose adjacent the handle or the open end adjacent the valve attachment end to be sealed permitting the hose to remain connected to the wall valve enabling the central vacuum source 5 to be energized and supplying a vacuum to other wall valves throughout the structure. This enables cleaning hose 21 to remain in cabinet 31 and attached to the wall valve if desired by the homeowner, with a second hose being used at the other locations throughout the structure, or if desired, cleaning hose 21 can be removed from wall receptacle 11 and taken to other cleaning locations. Most importantly, cabinet 3 provides a convenient structure in which the hose, and preferably the various cleaning attachments, can be stored and readily accessible to the cleaning personnel.
  • In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
  • Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.

Claims (20)

1. A central vacuum cleaning system for a structure comprising:
a vacuum source mounted within or adjacent the structure;
a plurality of vacuum tubes extending from the vacuum source to at least two locations within the structure;
a cabinet located in one of the structure locations, said cabinet containing:
a hose valve connected to one of the vacuum tubes;
a length of hose having a first end connectable to the valve and a second end connectable to a cleaning attachment; and
a closure device for sealing one of the ends of the hose enabling the vacuum source to be operational in another of the structure locations.
2. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the first end of the hose is removably connectable to the hose valve.
3. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the cabinet includes a pivotally mounted closure door.
4. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the cabinet is mounted between a pair of spaced studs of a wall of the structure.
5. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the cabinet is formed with an interior storage compartment; in which the hose valve is mounted in the storage compartment; and in which a plurality of brackets are mounted on a back wall of the storage compartment for removably mounting a plurality of cleaning attachments in the storage compartment.
6. The cleaning system defined in claim 5 wherein the mounting brackets include a pair of vertically spaced curved brackets for receiving the length of hose in a looped fashion thereon.
7. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the cabinet includes a pair of spaced side walls located adjacent a pair of spaced studs of a wall of the structure and spaced top and bottom walls forming an internal storage compartment, and a pivotally mounted closure door.
8. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the first end of the hose is slidably frictionally engageable in the valve.
9. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the closure device is an elastomeric member removably attached to an open end of the second end of the hose.
10. The cleaning system defined in claim 9 wherein the elastomeric member is a plug insertable into the open end of the second end of the hose.
11. The cleaning system defined in claim 9 wherein the elastomeric member is a cap slidably insertable over the open end of the second end of the hose.
12. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the closure device includes a bracket for removably mounting the second end of the hose in the cabinet and a flapper valve moveable into a sealed closure engagement with an open end of the hose second end by a vacuum created in the said one vacuum supply duct.
13. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the closure device is a contoured member moveably mounted in a cage located adjacent the second end of the hose when the hose is in a stored condition in the cabinet.
14. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the closure device is a bracket containing a pad adapted to engage and seal an open end of the second end of the hose when the hose is in a stored condition in the cabinet.
15. The cleaning system defined in claim 1 wherein the closure device is an ON/OFF valve mounted in one of the first and second ends of the hose which opens and blocks an open end of said hose end to the said one vacuum supply duct.
16. A cabinet adapted to be mounted between spaced wall studs of a structure having a central vacuum cleaning system which includes a vacuum source mounted within or adjacent the structure and a plurality of vacuum source tubes extending from the vacuum source to at least two locations within the structure:
said cabinet having a plurality of walls forming an internal storage compartment containing:
a hose valve adapted to be connected to one of the vacuum tubes;
a length of hose having a first end connectable to the hose valve and a second end connectable to a cleaning attachment; and
a closure device for sealing one of the first and second ends of the hose when stored in the storage compartment enabling the vacuum source to be operational in another of the structure locations.
17. The cabinet defined in claim 16 wherein the cabinet includes a plurality of brackets mounted in the cabinet for removably mounting a plurality of cleaning attachments in the storage compartment.
18. The cabinet defined in claim 17 wherein the mounting brackets include a pair of vertically spaced curved brackets for receiving the length of hose in a looped fashion thereon.
19. The cabinet defined in claim 16 wherein the closure device includes a bracket for removably mounting the second end of the hose in the cabinet and a flapper valve moveable into a sealed engagement with an open end of the hose second end by a vacuum created in the said one vacuum supply duct.
20. The cabinet defined in claim 16 wherein the closure device is an elastomeric member removably attached to an open end of the second end of the hose.
US11/585,711 2006-10-24 2006-10-24 Storage cabinet for central vacuum cleaning system Abandoned US20080092323A1 (en)

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US20090083930A1 (en) * 2007-09-28 2009-04-02 Christian Marcil Auxiliary vacuum unit for a central vacuum cleaning system
US20090188072A1 (en) * 2008-01-29 2009-07-30 H-P Products, Inc. Vacuum hose storage system
US20100005612A1 (en) * 2008-06-24 2010-01-14 Kenneth Charles Moore Central vacuum for vehicles
US20110119860A1 (en) * 2009-11-23 2011-05-26 Christian Marcil Auxiliary vacuum device for a central vacuum cleaning system
US20120304414A1 (en) * 2011-05-31 2012-12-06 James Roger Harman Dual port valve assembly and retractable hose central vacuum cleaning system

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US20120304414A1 (en) * 2011-05-31 2012-12-06 James Roger Harman Dual port valve assembly and retractable hose central vacuum cleaning system
US9993126B2 (en) * 2011-05-31 2018-06-12 James Roger Harman Dual port valve assembly and retractable hose central vacuum cleaning system

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