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Dec. 31, 1946.
Filed Dec. 2S, 1944
Patented Dec. 31, 1946
I Arthur Robert lDraíi‘in, Camberweìl, Melbourne,
Victoria, Australia
Application December 26, 1944, Serial No. 569,840
In Australia December 13`, 1943
11 Claims. (Cl. 219-39)
This invention relates to electric water heaters
of the storage type, designed to provide for a
substantially continuous supply of hot water for
domestic and other purposes and more especially
to such installations which operate upon electric
current supplied on an oiî peak or restricted hour
tariff (sometimes known as night heating) and
under a higher or ordinary domestic, comercial
or industrial tariiî (sometimes known as day
switched orf, the diiîerence in temperature is
most noticeable and low temperature water is
likely to be drawn off ata comparatively early
stage. In cases where a thermostat device is ñt
ted, it is located near the bottom of the storage
Vessel but such device is of-no practical use when
ers may be said to fall into two main classes, i. e.
operating upon the ordinary tariff unless it is
desired that the entire body of water should be
Tyre B-_According to this type an electric
heating element is immersed in the water near
the bottom of the storage vessel and heats the
entire body o1" water during the off-peak or re
those `which operate upon the “displacement” or
stricted hour period. - Notwithstanding the use of
“pressure” principle according to which cold
water is fed into the bottom of the storage
a throw-over switch for replenishment when
operating upon the ordinary tariii, a long delay
chamber and hot water is taken oil from the
occurs before hot water at a desirable temper
So far as concerns the manner of generating
and delivering the hot Water, such storage heat
top, and those which operate upon the “falling
level” or “spill over” principle according to
ature is available for drawing off. This delay is
due to the fact that the element has to transmit
which the hot water is delivered o1' drawn olic 20 its heat into the main body of water and thus,
from near the bottom of the storage vessel.
all of the water has to be heated before any hot
I consider that the displacement or pressure
water can be drawn on”. Similarly to type A, type
principle is to be preferred for various reasons,
B is frequently fitted with a thermostat device
primarily in that it provides a better operating
near the bottom of the vessel, but this device
efficiency, which is of paramount importance. In 25 switches off the current only when the whole of
addition, there is the physical advantage that
the storage vessel has been heated.
the storage vessel of a “displacement or pressure”
Type C.-According to this type, two separate
type heater may be installed in practically any
heating elements are employed, one -being im
position such as under the floor, on the floor,
mersed in the water at or near the botto-m of the
in a cupboard, or in the roof of a building,
vessel and the other element, usually known as
Whereas‘wíth the falling level type of heater, the
an upper or booster element, is arranged within
storage vessel requires to be elevated above the
the vessel near the top thereof and is intended
highest draw onq point or tap of the system.
to replenish the supply of hot water at the upper
There are numerous types of heaters which
operate upon the aforesaid “displacement or
part of the vessel to meet an urgent demand. If
the quantity of water above the upper or booster
pressure” principle. The salient features of the
element amounts to say l0 gallons then, while
four main types of such heaters will now be
briefly described as `such description. will >assist
a better _understanding of the present invention
and the important advances which arise there
Type A.-According to this type a circulation
the installation represents an improvement upon
electric heater is arranged externally of the stor
age vessel and progressively heats all oi the water
in the latter by a circulation of the water from
the bottom of the vessel through the heater and
into the top of the vessel.
Satisfactory results
are obtainable when operating upon a continuous
heating tariiî but it is found when operating dur
ing the oli-peak or restricted hour period there ‘
is a very great difference in temperature between
the hot _water at the top of the vessel and the
`water at-the bottom or the vessel, at the end ol
the heating period. Thus when hot water is
being drawn oil and the electric current is f
types A and B, it suffers from the disability that
it does not make sufficiently hot water available
for drawing off until substantially the whole 1D
gallons of water has been heated throughout. In
this type, a thermostat device is ñtted near the
bottom of the storage vessel to control the heat
during the oil-peak or restricted hour period,
but the upper or booster element is either
switched on or oli by hand, or if it is desired to
be rendered automatic in operation, then an ad
ditional thermostat has-to be ñtted.
Type D..--In this case a heating element is im
mersed near the bottom -of the vessel and is so
arranged that a proportion of the heat is trans
mitted. into the main body of water, while the re
mainder of the heat is transmitted to a confined
body of water which passes by way 'of an external
tube to the top of the vessel. The heating ele
ment, when operating under the restricted hour
tariii heats the whole of the water in the storage
clusion of the heating period. When the supplt7
scribed with reference to one practical embodi
ment illustrated in the accompanying drawing in
Figure 1 is a vertical elevation, partly in sec
of hot water approaches exhaustion during day
time use, replenishment of hot water is effected
Figure 2 is an enlarged sectional elevation of the
hot-water control valve or diverter device and
vessel although there is a slight temperature var
iance between the top and the bottom at the con
associated parts.
by operating a throw-over switch whereupon the
An installation in accordance with the inven
electric current is charged for at the ordinary
tariff. A proportion o-f the heated water is de 10 tion includes a cylinder or vessel 2 of appropriate
capacity to serve as a hot water reservoir. This
livered to the top of the storage vessel readyV for
vessel is surrounded by a lagging 3 of appropriate
drawing oir, but a considerable proportion ofj the
heat insulation material and has a cold water
heat is still transmitted direct tc the main body
inlet ll at its bottom connected with an overhead
of water. Thus, while this type represents an im
provement over the previously mentioned types, it 15 cold water supply tank (not shown) which, as
usual, may be fitted with a ball-cock device or the
still does not replenish hot water at the top of the
vessel with suiiicient rapidity. It is customary
A single electric heating element 6 of the water
circulating type is located in any suitable posi
rent when the entire body of water has been raised 20 tion preferably immediately beneath the bottom
of the sto-rage vessel. The heating element casing
to a given temperature. This is'eiiective for the
'I is surrounded by a jacket 8 one end of which is
ofi-peak or restricted hour tariff heating but if
connected by a pipe 8a with the bottom of the
the current is carelessly'or otherwise left switched
storage vessel near the point where the cold feed
on after replenishing the supply of hot water dur
to provide a. thermostat device near the bottom of
the vessel for automatically switching cif the cur
25 water enters the vessel. A baiile (not shown) may
be provided within the lower part of the vessel to
mostat will not switch off the current until the
prevent the incoming feed water from mixing withentire body of water has been heated to the pre
the hot water in the upper part of the vessel.
determined temperature notwithstanding that
The heater water jacket 8 should be inclined
only a relatively small amount of hot water may
be required for immediate use. This is, of course, 30 slightly towards its other or outlet end from which
a pipe or conduit 9 extends upwardly and may
wasteful and uneconomic.
be said to have three branches. One branch I0
The present invention aims to overcome the
leads horizontally into the storage vessel at a rela
foregoing disadvantages and disabilities in a sim
tively slight distance above the bottom thereof. A
ple and practical manner and to provide for the
utmost efficiency, convenience, reliability and 35 second branch II continues vertically upwards
and enters the top of the storage vessel preferably
economy in the operation of storage heaters of
adjacent the hot water outlet 2a which may have
the kind in question.
the usual exhaust pipe (not shown) associated
' More speciiically the invention, while employ
therewith. The third branch I2 extends hori
ing only a single heating element and a single
thermostat control device, provides for the entire 40 zontally outwards in alignment with the iirst
branch and is connected to the water control valve
body of water to be heated to an even tempera
or diverter device I3 as best seen in Figure 2.
ture throughout, which is ideal especially when
These three pipes or branches should extend
operating on the off-peak or restricted hour tariff,
through the heat insulating material 3 around the
and also provides, as and when required, for the
most rapid replenishment of hot water at the top 45 storage vessel so as to avoid dissipation of heat.
As illustrated, Áthe device I3 comprises a rela
of the storage'vessel so that it becomes readily
tively small capacity water chamber I4 into the
available to meet a sudden demand or emergency.
upper part of which the third mentioned branch
In order to accomplish this and certain other
I2, or a tail piece I2a connected thereto, opens.
desirable _objects as' will be explained more fully
hereinafter, I employ a single heating element of 50 Around the exterior of the lower part of this
water chamber there is clamped a relatively low
the water circulating type and connect it with a
hot water storage vessel and in a water ñow cir
wattage electric hea-ting coil I5, suitably insu
cuit which includes a hot water control valve or
lated, and which may be adapted to be energised
diverter device.V In one condition this device di
only when the installation is operating under the
rects the heated water from the circulatory heater 55 ordinary tariff. In such cases this heating coil
ingoperation upon the ordinary tariiî, the ther
into the lower part of the storage vessel so that the
may be operatively connected with a throw-over
entire body of water is gradually brought to a de
sired temperature, and, in another condition, di
Retained within the lower part of the chamber
verts all of the heated water from the heater di
I4 is an expansible bellows I8 containing~ a suit
rectly into the top part of the vessel, so that hot 60 able quantity of an appropriate substance'which
water is almost instantaneously or, at least, very
has a high rate of expansion when subjected to
quickly available at any draw oiî tap of the sys
heat. Upstanding from the head or top of these
tem, notwithstanding that the major portion of
bellows is a rod I'I connected by a pivoted bell
the water in the vessel is cool or well below a de
crank lever I8 with a horizontal rod I9 extending
sirable high temperature.
65 from a plunger Zülwhich is disposed in the third
The water control valve o-r diverter device is
preferably arranged to be brought into action au
tomatically upon switching over to operation upon
the ordinary tariiî, while a single .thermostat de
viceis arranged to exercise control over the heat
ing element at all times, i. e. whether it is op
erating under the oir-peak (night-time) tariii’ or
branch I2 and has a tapered or conical nose 2|
adapted to make contact with a correspondingly
shaped seating 22 in the first branch I0. 'A spring
23 may be associated with the before-mentioned
parts in order to yieldingly oppose' expansion of
the bellows device and to retract the plunger 20'
from the seating 22 of branch Ill. 'I'he plunger
ordinary (day-time) tariiî.
should be .a good sliding ñt within kthe third
VThe above and various other objects, features
branch but it is preferably tapered away as atï 24
and advantages of the invention will now be de 75 and has an end portion or `tail piece 24a of nor
mal: diameter .at the rear of the tapered part 24.
the upper part. of the- storage vessel.
. Only one thermostat control device is required
interval of time the thermostat. will again switch
onthe'current where the water surrounding it
has `dropped appreciably in temperature. This
according to this invention, and such device,
which ‘may be: of any suitable form. and suitably
connected in the electric circuit, is ,preferably
After an
automatic. switching on and off action will be
located within a tube 25 closedv at its inner end
repeated until eventually all the water is heated.
It will be. apparent from the foregoing that the
invention> permits of full advantage being taken
When‘the installation is in use under the. oir
of botlr off-peak and normal. tariffs and, -by virtue
peak tariff the`v plunger 20 will, by reason of the
of the hot water control valve or diverter, enables
spring` 23 and the collapsed condition of. the
hotl water to be obtained at any time at any draw
bellows ITS, be withdrawn from the seating 22 in
oiî pointin .the system without wastage of electric
branch- pipe Ill' as seen in unbroken lines in Fig
current, in a; most economical way in that such
ure'f2. Thus; hot water fromvthe. heating~ element
hotl water is delivered. directly from the heating
jacket will flow through branchv I0 into the lower 15 element jacket into the top of the storage vessel.
portion of’ the. storage vessel so that the entire
In addition to the ability to quickly replenish
body of water therein will> be gradually brought
the supply of hot water at ordinary tariff, the di'
up to a substantially uniform temperature. When
verter device also enables, if it is so desired a
this has been eiïe‘cted to the required tempera
portion only of the water to be heated at the off
ture, the supply of electric current to the heating 20 peak or restricted hour tariil”. This is eiîected
element will be automatically cut-off. by the
by moving the usual throw-over switch to the oiî
thermostat device.
peak position and switching the low wattage heat
If and when the supply of hot water in the
ing coil I5 into circuit. Thereupon the water in
storage vessel has become exhausted or is :ap
the upper part of the storage vessel will be heated
proaching exhaustion and hot water is urgently
and as soon as it has reached the desired tem
required at `any draw-01T point in the system., as
perature- the thermostat will automatically cause
may frequently happen in day-time, then the
the current to the heating element to be initially
low Wattage heating coil is brought into action.
switched off.
~ ^
The heat produced by this coil rapidly heats the
It will be noted that a small diameter pipe 26
water in the chamber I4 and when such water
leads from pipe 9 into the water chamber I4 and
reaches a suitable~ `temperature the bellows de'
that another small diameter pipe 21 leads from
vice I6 expands, and, through medium of the
the rear part of pipe I2 upwardly into pipe II.
aforesaid rods and lever, moves the plunger 20
The primary purpose of the pipes 26, 21 is to pre
along the third. branch I2v so that the cone or
vent steam accumulation and overheating ofthe
like, Shaped nose 2| of the plunger contacts with ' water in chamber I4 when the coil I5 is switched
the seating 22 at the inner end of branch I0, as
on, Under such condition, and with the plunger
indicated by broken lines in Figure 2. As a result,
'moved onto its seating, the two pipes provide for
the hot water from the heating element cannot
a small by-pass or circulatory iiow of hot water
now enter the water storage vessel through
from pipe 9, through pipe 26 the chamber I4 and
branch I0 but passes around the tapered portion 40 pipe 21, into pipe II. The tail piece 24a of the
23 of .the plunger and travels upwardly through
plunger will, at this stage, be located between pipe
the second branch Il into the top of the storage
21 and branch I I as indicated by broken lines in
vessel so that the heated water is practically in
Figure 2.
stantlyv available for drawing. on.
Until the tail piece 24a moves to the right past
andv projecting horizontally into the vessel at a
relatively short `distance from the top.
By tapering the plunger as- aforesaid and ar» ,
ranging for such tapered portion to come adja
centjthe upper end of pipe 9, there is a desirable
restriction in the pathway for the hot water
which ensures it reaching the top of the vessel
at the desired temperature. There are several
advantages in. adopting such method of restric~
tion, in relation to the usual method of- requiring
thewater in chamber and a quick movement of
the plunger against seating 22.
the Water to pass through a small ñxed oriñce or
hole. Thus, there is no likelihoodv of Athe re~
stricted pathway becoming blocked by foreign ,
matter in the water, and any' matter that may
be deposited `around the pathway will be re
moved by the movement of the plunger.
When the throw-over switch is returned to the
off-peak position, the low wattage heat coil is
simultaneously switched oiT so that the water in'
cham-ber I4 will cool and .the `pressure of the
contained chemical or other substance in the bel
lows will be reduced so that the associated spring
23 will force the bellows back to normal and at
the same time cause the plunger to be withdrawn
Vfrom the seating at the inner end of the branch
I0 .whereby direct communication is re-estabw
lished between the heating elementaiacket and
the-lower part of the storage vessel. "
pipe' 21 as aforesaid there will not be any circu
lation of hot water through chamber I4 and this
is an advantage as it will lead to quick heating of
' If thethrow-over switch is left on' in the normal
,tariiï position, then the current supply tothe
heating element will be automatically switched
kof! -by the thermostat device aftera predeter
mined quantity of hot water has accumulated in 75
It is to be understood that the construction of
the hot water control or diverter device I3 may
be varied in many respects. For instance, the
heating coil I5 could be replaced by a solenoid a‘p
propriately connected in the electric circuit and
arranged to actuate the plunger 20 or other suit
able valve through suitable linkage, upon opera
tion of the change over switch. Alternatively, a
plunger or other suitable valve could be adopted
for manual operation.
Having now described my invention what I
claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Pat
ent is:
l. In a water heater of the storage type suit
able for operation under the off-peak and the or
dinary tariffs of electric supply, a hot water stor
age vessel, a heating element of the water circu
lating type having a water inlet connected with
the lower part of said vessel, a thermostat con~
trol. device for said heating-element, andra water
flow circuit extending between a hot water outlet
of said heating element and upper and lower hot
water inlets of said vessel, said circuit having in
terposed therein the controldevice which, selec
tively, directs heated water 4exclusively from the
heating element into the lower part of said vessel
second branches, a Valve member selectively ’oper
ableA to- exclusively vcut on" communication be
tween‘the iirst branch and the second' branch
while maintaining the ñrst branch open to'said
pipe, or tor exclusively cut >off communication
vesselso as to effect a rapid development of hot
between said pipe and the iirst branch while
Water for immediate withdrawal. ' 1
' Y
maintaining the pipe in communication with said
2.*In a Water'heater, as claimed inv claim l,
second branch by Awayof said third branch, said
wherein said water ñow circuit includes a pipe
valve 'member including( a plunger having' a
extending »upwardly from the hot water outlet of
said heating element, a first branch extending i) tapered portion to- 'restrict communication'be
tween said pipe leading from the heating element
from said pipe into the lower part of the storage
and said second> branch when the valveis in“
vessel, a second. branch extending into the top of
one selected position, said plunger having a tail
the storage vessel, and a third 'branch- .for inter
piece of normal'diameter spaced rearwardly from
connecting said ñrst and second branches, a valve
softhat the .entire body of water- therein.. is gradu
ally raised to a desired even temperature through-.
out or exclusively directs all of the hot. water
from the heating element into the top part of the
member being provided and selectively~ operable~ .
to.; cut 01T exclusively communication between the
ñrst> branch'and the second branchmaintaining
the iirst branch open to said pipe, or to- exclusive
ly cut off communication between said pipe and
the ñrst branch to cause the pipe to communicate '
with said second branch. 1
3. In a water heater, a combination as claimed
in claim 1, wherein said control device includes a
relatively small capacity water chamber con-i
nected in saidflow circuit and heated by a rela
tively low wattage coil, a heat expansivebellows
in said chamber, a valve for .controlling the ilow
of hot water from said heating element exclusive-v
ly to the lower part Vor to'th'e top of said'vessel,
and operative connection between'said bellows
and said valve.
4. In a water heater, a combination as claimed
said tapered portion.
. 7. A water heater as claimed in claim 1, wheres
inv said hot water control device' is opera-blebto
direct hot `water exclusively into the'top ofthe
storage vessel automatically upon the operation
of a switch for changing over from olif-peak
tariii‘ to ordinary tariff. .
8. A water heater as claimed in claim 1, where
in said heating element is located adjacent the
bo-ttom of said vessel, and wherein said thermo~
_ stat device is positioned within the upper part
of said vessel and is adapted to control the
supply of current to the heating element both
when hot-water from the heating element is
directed to the bottom or to the top of the vessel
and irrespective of whether the'apparatus is. op-l
erating under the off-peak tariff or the ordinary
9. An improved water heater of the storage
in claim 1, wherein said control device includes
type, including a hot water storage vessel, a
a relatively small capacity water chamber con‘
nected in said ilow circuit and~~heated by a re1 3.5. heating element located beneath the vessel and
disposedxwithin a casing; a water jacket sur:
atively low wattage coil, a heat expansive bellows
rounding _said casing, an inlet’pipe 'exten-_ding
in said chamber; a valve for controlling the flow
froml the lower part oi the vessel into theî one
of hot water from said heating element ex
end of said‘jacket, a hot water outlet pipe lead-f
clusively to the lower part or exclusively toA the
top of said Vessel,- and operative connections be 40 ingupwardly' from the other'end of said jacket,
a first branch extending from said outlet pipe
tween said bellows andA said valve, saidv bellows
into the lower part of the vessel, a second branch
being retained within said water chamber with
extending from said outlet'pipe into the top of
its upper free end connected to a rod carrying
the storage vessel and a control device .operative
said valve'member.
5. In va water heater, a combination as claimed
selectively to place vsaid hot water outlet pipe
in claim 1, wherein said water flow circuit in»
into exclusive communication _with said _ñrst
cludes a pipe extending upwardly from the hot
branch or with said second branch as may be
Water outlet of' said heating element, a- first
branch extending from said pipe into the lower
10. An improved Water heater asl claimed in
part of the storage vessel, a second branch ex- f” claim 9, wherein a thermostat device isarranged
a third branch interconnecting said ñrst and
within-and at an appropriate distance beneath
the top of said storage vessel and is operatively
second branches, a valve member being provided
and operative selectively to exclusively cut off
control its operation irrespective of theselected
communication between ‘the’ ñrst branch and the «
positions of saidcontrol device.
tending into the top of the .storage vessel, and
connected with said heating element so as to
11. In a water heater, a combination as claimed
second branch» while maintaining the ñrst branch
open to said pipe, or »to exclusively cut »off
in claim '1, wherein said controldevice includes
a relatively small capacity water chambercon
communication between- said pipe and the first
nected’in said iiow circuit to be' heatedby a
branch and maintain the pipe in communication
with said second branch by way of said third i., relatively low wattage coil, a heat expansive bel-_
lows in said chamber,- a valve for controlling the
branch, said valve member including a plunger
now of hot water from said heating element ex
having a tapered portion to restrict communica
clusively to the lower part or to the top of said
tion .between said pipe Yleading from the heating
vessel, an operative connection between said bel
element and said second branch when the valve
isin one selected position.
a ¿
lows and said valve, and arelatively small d_i¿-_
cludes a .pipe extending upwardly'from Ythe -hot
aineter pipe establishing communication between
said hot water outlet from the ¿heating element
'and said water> chamber vand another relatively
water outlet of said heating` element, _.a ñrst
small diameter pipe for-establishing communica
.6. In a water heater, a combination as claimed
in claim l, wherein said water ñow circuit in-`
branch `extending. from said pipe into the lower
part of the storage vessel, a secondvbranch ex-l
tending into the top of the storage vesseL'and. a.
thirdbranch for interconnecting said ñrstv and
tion'between said chamber and the >top part of
said storage __vessel'when said control device is
' in one selected position.
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