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Jan. 14; 1947.
w. G. CHRlS-TIANSEN
“ , 2,414,189
AIR VALVE
Filed Oct. 14, 1943
_.
INVENTOR
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#TTORNEYS
Patented Jan. 14, 1947
2,414,189
UNITED STATES \PATENT OFFICE‘
‘
2,414,189
AIR VALVE
Walter G. Christiansen, Essex County, N. J.
Application October 14, 1943, Serial No. 506,166
8 Claims. (Cl. 23.6--63)
1
The present invention relates to air valves for
intermittently heated apparatus and devices,
and more particularly for the radiators in steam
heating systems.
The invention is of particular utility in con
nection with steam radiators, and will accord
ingly be described in detail in connection with a
steam radiator heating system.
Various types of automatic air or vent valves
are at present employed on steam radiators
which are constructed and designed to permit
the discharge of the air in the radiator system
2
two separate connections from the valve body to
the radiator are provided, one for air ‘(and sub
sequently steam), and the other for the con
densate, the ?rst being arranged above the sec
ond. This type of construction is objectionable
because two separate holes have to be drilled
into the radiator, which have to be properly
sealed, and, additionally, because special connec
tions have to be provided between the separate
conduits and the radiator, it being, of course,
impossible to provide a simple threaded connec
tion for both conduits.
Usually this type of valve requires two unions
for connecting the two conduits or pipes to the
by the incoming steam, and which, on becoming
filled with steam, automatically close and thus
prevent further discharge. Steam continuously 15 radiator; also, the “lining up” must be accurate
condenses against the cooler walls of the valve
and the tightening of the connections to the
body and collects therein.~ Although provision
radiator must be carefully and skillfully done to
is ‘usually made for the drainage of the con»
prevent strains from arising in the system. The
densed water into the radiator and thence into
removal of the valve for examination or repair
a drain pipe, it often happens with the air valves 20 is complicated by the fact that two connections
now in use that the valve becomes sealed off from
must be synchronously undone, an operation
the radiator owing to the collection of a body
of water in the lowerparts of the valve. In con
which may be very dif?cult if rusting or sticking
in the threads has occurred; and on re-mount
sequence, during the next heating period of the
radiator, the entering steam is unable to effect
discharge of the collected body of air in the
radiator, with the result that the radiator ceases
to function either wholly or partially. Because
of the low pressure usually prevailing in steam
heating systems, a relatively small head of
water in the air valve is sufficient to seal it effec
tively. When this happens, one has to break
this water seal by jarring the valve, or by taking
it off and shaking out the water. This is more
ing the valve, the previously mentioned di?iculties
of assembly are again encountered.
supplied to the room. ‘
which isproof against water-logging, is of simple
In another type of structure, a single con
nection between the valve and radiator is pres
out, but it is partitioned so as to provide two
separate paths. In. this construction, if the
usual size of piping is employed, a path of very
limited cross-section is provided both for the
air and the condensate, with the result that
clogging is very liable to occur, while only small
collections of water in the air path are sum
than the average householder can be counted on 35 cient to interfere with the further flow of air
therethrough, it being recognized that with the
to do, and as a result, the failure of the air valve
causes frequent annoyance. This is particularly
reduction in the cross-section of the passage
so because the failure of the valves usually occurs
way, the high surface tension of water becomes
when their proper operation is most needed,
a factor in promoting the development of a plug
namely, in the colder periods of a winter season 40 of water in the air passageway, this phenomenon
when the heating cycles are longest and the
especially favoring the retention of drops of
water at the ends of the two paths opening into _
amount of steam entering the valve and con
densing therein is greatest. It will be evident
the radiator, whereby the effective opening is
that even only partial sealing of the valve by col
reduced. In consequence, the whole purpose of '
lected condensate will slow down or impede the 45 the arrangement is defeated.
discharge of air out of the radiator, and conse
It is the general object of the invention to.
quently reduce the rate at which heat can be
provide an air valve for radiators and the like
‘
Attempts have been made to prevent the col
and compact construction, is capable of being
lection of water in the air valve by providing two 50 mounted on the‘ radiator ‘by 'a simple screw
separate paths, one for air (and steam) and the
threaded connection, and is thoroughly reliable
other serving as a condensate return path,
in operation. Other objects of the invention will
but the constructions heretofore devised have ‘, H
appear as the more detailed description thereof
proved to be unsatisfactory for one reason or
proceeds.
another. In one type of such double path valve, ~55 V‘ The air ‘valve of the presentjinvention also emg _
2,414,189
3
ploys separate paths for the air-steam ?ow and
arranged and so related to a common connec- '
of the conduit 2| is downwardly inclined, as
shown at 22, as it enters the body of the valve;
While the conduit 23 leads from the bottom of
tion to the radiator that the advantages of prior
the valve body IE3.
devices are secured and even increased while their '
the flow cross-section available to the incoming
air, air and steam, or steam, and to the discharg
ing condensate, is in each case quite large and
for the condensate return, but these paths are so
disadvantages are eliminated.‘ In my improved
construction, only a single connection between
the valve and radiator is employed so that a sin
As can be seen from Fig. 1,
. is in fact at least as large at any point as the
gle-hole mounting, with its obvious advantages,
internal cross-section of the pipe section I8. It
can be utilized. Furthermore, the connection or 10 will be noted that where a separation of the paths
pipe entering the hole in the radiator is common
for the air and for the condensate occurs, this
to the air and condensate paths, so that both air
and water have a maximum of flow cross-section
The separate paths for the air and
' available.
separation is effected at a point at which the
flow cross-section available to each ?uid need not
be sacri?ced for the other, the pipe section It!
water begin at a point beyond the radiator hole
being free and unobstructed .by any partition or
and each of these paths may be as large as, or
otherwise, and being available both to the air and
even larger than, that afforded by the pipe sec
to the water.
tion which connects the valve with the radiator.
It will also be observed that by virtue of the
The air pipe leads from such pipe section in an
downward inclination of the upper portion 22 of
upward vertical direction until it debouches into 20 conduit 2!, the collection of condensate in such
the body of the valve, more or less at the center
upper portion is prevented, since such condensate
thereof. The {condensate return pipe leads from
will readily flow into the body of the valve and
the bottom of the valve body to a point of con
thence into the condensate return pipe 23.
' nection with the air pipe and, as already indi
To insure further against the collection of con- ,
cated, such point is located at 'a distance from the 25 densate in the portion ‘22, and to prevent any con
radiator mounting.
.
densate collecting on the upper inside walls of the
The present invention presents further im
valve body from entering the conduit 2|, I cause
provements in various details of structure where
the discharge end 22’ of such pipe to extend
by the development of a water seal at various
beyond the wall of the body Iii. This construc
points is effectively prevented, all of which will 30 tion discourages the formation of a mound of
be described in detail by reference to the accom
condensate at the mouth of the conduit section
panying drawing which shows two satisfactory
22. The full cross-section of the outlet of the
embodiments of the invention. In said drawing,
pipe portion 22 is thus made available for the iiow *
Fig. 1 is a vertical sectional view of a valve
constructed in accordance with the invention;
Fig. 2 is an end view inelevation; While
Fig. 3 is a section along the plane 3—3 of Fig. 1;
while
Fig. 4 is a vertical sectional view of a modi?ca
of air and steam.
_
The condensate return conduit 23 may have a
continuously downward slope from the bottom
of the valve body it) to the point of juncture 20
with the pipe section l3. I prefer, however, to
provide the conduit 23 with a depressed portion
tion with parts omitted.
AU 23' which forms a water trap or seal which in
Referring to the drawing, the valve is shown
sures that the air and steam will flow through the
as composed of a body ii! having a removable cap
conduit 2! rather than the conduit 23. In this
! l which is provided with a valve seat l2 con
way the gas and liquid circuits are kept separate
taining a discharge opening 53. The latter is
except for the common pipe section H3. The dis
controlled by a needle valve M which is actuated
charge end of the conduit 23, indicated at 24, is
by any suitable type of thermostatic member,
preferably disposed a considerable distance above
there being shown by way of illustration an ex~
the outlet of the pipe section it, whereby a su?i
pansible drum or diaphragm !5 supported upon
cient “head” is provided for the water discharg
spaced lugs or bosses l6. It will be understood
ing into the junction 20 to insure its rapid down
that while the valve is cold, the diaphragm I5 50 ward ?ow through the pipe l8. By reason of such
is contracted and the needle valve 14 is in re
structure, the discharging condensate will ?ow
tracted condition. ‘Upon the admission of steam
with su?icient speed to secure complete drainage.
to the radiator, shown iragmentarily at IT, steam
The collection of water within the pipe I8 is fur
ultimately enters the valve body I0 and heats the
ther prevented by giving the discharge portion
diaphragm IS. The latter then expands and ulti~
of such pipe a slight downward inclination by‘
mately the valve it closes the discharge open
suitably shaping the interior walls thereof. This
ing l3.
can be done either by boring the discharge end
It will be understood that the specific internal
portion at a downward angle to the horizontal,
construction of the discharge port l3 and the
or by bevelling or tapering the bottom wall por
valve head [4 controlling the same, and likewise 60 tion, as indicated at 25 in Fig. 4. The tendency
the thermostatic element associated with the
of water to collect at a discharge edge by reason
valve head, forms no part of the present inven~
of its high surface tension, is further discouraged
tion, and that any suitable thermostatically op~
in accordance with the invention by extending
erated valve can be associated with the structural
the bottom portion of the pipe section l8 beyond
features constituting my invention and which I
65 the upper portion, as indicated at 26, (Fig. 4)‘.
shall now describe.
The bottom wall is preferablyextended to more
The air valve assembly is mounted by way of
or less of a point, and if desired, the forward
a short threaded pipe section or connection it
edge may be serrated as indicated at 21, to insure
in a tapped hole It in the side wall of the radia
‘dropping off of the condensate.
tor II. The pipe section l8 may be so dimen
It willbeseen from the foregoing that I have
sioned that it will ?t into the standard threaded
provided an air valve which insures the proper
opening in radiators. The pipe connection 18
leads upwardly to a point 20 ,from which there
leads an air and steam conduit 2| and a con
densate return conduit 23.
flow of the air and air-steam mixture on the one
hand, and the condensed water on the other
within their proper circuits, and in such a man
The upper portion 75 ner that the water can at no point accumulate
2,414,189
5
to form a seal or a partial seal in the air or air
steam circuit. The arrangement and construc
6
aperture in the radiator wall and connected with
the said two conduits exteriorly of the valve
body in a region removed from the portion of the
pipe section entering said aperture, the whole in
terior of said pipe section communicating with
the continuous discharge of condensate through
each of said conduits.
such pipe section occurs only in the form of a
3. An air valve as de?ned in claim 2 wherein
thin ?lm so that when the supply of steam is
the air and steam conduit rises from the point
terminated at the end of the period of heating
of juncture with the pipe section to a point above
of the radiator or other vessel or chamber to
which the valve is applied, only a very small 10 the region of its debouchment into the valve body,
and is downwardly inclined from such last-men
amount of water is contained in the pipe section
tioned point to said region.
IB, in fact only about enough to wet the bottom
a. An air valve as de?ned in claim 2 wherein
wall portion thereof. Upon the initiation of the
the air and steam conduit rises from the point
next heating period, therefore, there is no ob
of juncture with the pipe section to a point above
struction or resistance to the flow of the displaced
the region of its debouchment into the valve body,
air into and through the conduit 2|.
and is downwardly inclined from such last-men
It will be evident further that my improved
tioned point to said region, said conduit having av
valve can be utilized on existing radiators by
discharge end protruding inwardly beyond the
simply constructing the pipe section [8 of stand
wall of the valve body, whereby collection of con
ard size with standard thread. The valve can be
densate at the edge of the discharge end is dis
attached to, for example, a radiator, as a com"
couraged.
,
pletely assembled unit; and despite the fact that
5. An air valve as de?ned in claim 2 wherein
only a single connection with the radiator is pro
the condensate conduit is provided with a water
vided, flow areas quite as large as in the case
of a two point connection, are provided for the 25 trap whereby such conduit becomes closed to air
and steam, and such gaseous material is com
air and water.
pelled to flow only through the air conduit.
It will be observed that the bottom portion
6. An air valve as de?ned in claim 2 wherein
it of the valve body and the arrangement and
the condensate conduit is provided with a de
con?guration of the conduits I8, 2|, 22 and 23 are
pressed portion forming a water seal and is dis
of such simple construction and outline that these
posed above the pipe section, whereby a head
parts can be cast integrally as a single piece, no
is provided to insure rapid ?ow of condensate
machining being necessary except for the thread
from said seal to and through said pipe section.
ing l9 and perhaps for the upper part of the body
7. An air-valve for steam radiators comprising
ID to insure a tight ?t with the cap ll. Also, no
additional internal parts are required except for . a valve body, a vent forsaid body, a thermo
statically actuated valve in said body for control
the bellows l5 and valve head [4, so that an ex
ling said vent, an air and steam conduit debouch
tremely simple and inexpensive structure is pro
ing into the valve body above the bottom thereof,
vided by the present invention.
a condensate return conduit connected with the
I claim:
body at the bottom thereof and of su?iciently
1. A valve for automatically controlling the
large cross-section to drain condensed vapor as
discharge of a relatively cold body of air from a
rapidly as it is formed, and a pipe section adapted
chamber into which a hot vapor or gas is being
to be ?tted within an aperture in the radiator
introduced, comprising,‘ in combination with the
wall and connected with the said two conduits
body of the valve, a discharge port therein and
in a region removed from the portion thereof en
a thermostatically actuated valve head control
tering said aperture, the Whole interior of said
ling said port, an air and vapor conduit debouch
pipe section communicating with each of said
ing into the valve body and through the wall of
conduits, and the bottom wall portion of the dis
the valve body at a point spaced above the bot
charge end of the pipe section being extended
tom thereof, a condensate return conduit con
nected with the body at the bottom thereof and 50 beyond the edge of the upper wall portion there
of and being serrated to promote the discharge
of su?‘iciently large cross-section to drain con
of condensate.
densed vapor as rapidly as it is formed, and a
8. An air valve for steam radiators comprising
connecting conduit adapted to be mounted upon
a unitary casting providing a portion of the valve
a wall of the chamber and to lead into the in
terior of the chamber, said two ?rst-mentioned 55 body and a roughly Y-shaped pipe structure in
cluding a condensate return conduit leading from
conduits joining the connecting conduit exteriorly
the bottom of the valve ‘body portion, an air and
of the valve body at a point removed from the
steam conduit rising from the point of juncture
region of mounting of the latter, the whole of
with the condensate return conduit and ex
the interior of said connecting conduit being in
communication with each of the two ?rst-men 60 ternally of the valve ‘body and debouching into
the valve body above the bottom thereof, the
tioned conduits.
third branch of the Y-structure comprising a
2. An air-valve for steam radiators compris
pipe section leading downwardy from the point
ing a valve body, a vent for said body, a thermo
of juncture of the said two conduits and adapted
statically actuated valve in said body for con
to provide the communication with the radiator
trolling said vent, an air and steam conduit de
wall, the whole interior of said pipe section con
bouching into the valve body and through the wall
necting with each of said conduits, an upper
of the valve body at a point spaced above the
body section ?tted to the said valve body por
bottom thereof, a condensate return conduit
tion, a vent in said upper section, and a thermo
connected with the body at the bottom thereofv
and of su?iciently large cross-section to drain 70 statically operated valve member inside the valve
body and controlling said vent.
condensed vapor as rapidly as it is formed, and
WALTER G. CHRISTIANSEN.
a pipe section adapted to be ?tted within an
tion are such that in the common pipe section
[8 there can occur no accumulation of water, and
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