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Plumbing supply boxes




Title: Plumbing supply boxes.
Abstract: Plumbing supply boxes may be made of a thermoset plastic material that will not melt or permit the boxes to collapse inside a wall if subjected to flames or high temperatures resulting from a fire. If the thermoset plastic boxes have a drain opening, a thermoplastic tubular drain adaptor may be connected thereto that can be solvent welded. Relatively small intumescent pads may be installed in close proximity to the drain opening which, if subjected to flames or high temperature caused by a fire, will expand and form an insulating char that seals off the drain opening. The boxes may be slidable in opposite directions along adjustable support brackets to permit the boxes to be mounted in any desired position in stud bays having different spacings between the stud walls for ease of alignment of one or more openings in the box with in-wall plumbing. ...


USPTO Applicaton #: #20100000614
Inventors: Terry L. Zahuranec, Matthew L. Schmidt


The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20100000614, Plumbing supply boxes.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

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This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/077,671, filed Jul. 2, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

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The present invention relates to plumbing supply boxes that are installable in wall recesses for connecting one or more water shut-off valves and/or drain lines to in-wall plumbing.

BACKGROUND

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OF THE INVENTION

Plumbing supply boxes are commonly used to connect hot and/or cold water supply lines and/or one or more waste drains to appliances and plumbing fixtures such as washing machines, icemakers, water softeners, sinks, toilets and the like. Oftentimes these boxes are molded out of a suitable thermoplastic material to enable any drain outlets to be solvent welded to thermoplastic drain pipes.

If these thermoplastic supply boxes are to be recess mounted in walls that are fire rated, the boxes must be similarly fire rated to insure that the original fire rating of the walls is maintained even though the boxes may melt and collapse inside the walls when subjected to flames or high temperatures caused by a fire. Heretofore one known way to obtain the requisite fire rating for thermoplastic supply boxes was to make the walls of the boxes thicker to better withstand heat and attach a relatively large intumescent pad to the back side of the boxes. Accordingly, should the boxes be subjected to sufficient heat to cause the boxes to melt and collapse inside the walls, the heat will also cause the intumescent material to expand sufficiently to form a hard char to seal off the wall opening previously occupied by the boxes and thereby restore the walls to the original fire rating.

A major disadvantage in using such intumescent pads to achieve the requisite fire rating for thermoplastic supply boxes is the relatively high cost of the intumescent pads and poor structural integrity of the supply boxes at high temperatures.

SUMMARY

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OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides fire rated plumbing supply boxes that are less costly than previous known fire rated thermoplastic supply boxes and have a higher degree of structural integrity at high temperatures. Also the plumbing supply boxes of the present invention may easily be mounted in any desired position in stud bays having different spacings between the stud walls and also be easily aligned with in-wall plumbing.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the plumbing supply boxes may be made of a thermoset plastic fire rated material that will not melt or collapse inside a fire rated wall when subjected to flames or high temperatures caused by a fire.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the themoset plastic supply boxes may include one or more drain openings containing a thermoplastic tubular drain adaptor to which thermoplastic drain pipes can be solvent welded.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a relatively small amount of intumescent material may be installed in close proximity to the thermoplastic drain adaptor, whereby if the boxes are exposed to enough heat to cause the drain adaptor to melt, the intumescent material will expand and form an insulating char that seals off the associated drain opening.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the supply boxes may be field convertible to different valve and drain outlet options.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, adjustable support brackets may be used to mount the supply boxes in stud bays having different spacings between the stud walls.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the supply boxes may be slidable along the support brackets within stud bays to allow the boxes to be aligned with in-wall plumbing.

These and other objects, advantages, features and aspects of the invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter more fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawings setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but several of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

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In the annexed drawings:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of one form of plumbing supply box of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear perspective view of the plumbing supply box of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse section through the plumbing supply box of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the plumbing supply box similar to FIG. 2 but showing an enclosure containing a small quantity of intumescent material removed from the bottom of the box.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective longitudinal section through the supply box of FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged side elevation view of a test cap for sealing off a drain outlet in the bottom of the plumbing supply box during pressure testing of a sanitary drainage system to which the drain outlet is connected.

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of another form of plumbing supply box of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a rear perspective view of the plumbing supply box of FIG. 7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

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OF THE INVENTION

Referring now in detail to the drawings, wherein the same reference numbers are used to designate like parts, and initially to FIGS. 1-5, there is shown one form of plumbing supply box 1 of the present invention that may be installable in a wall recess (not shown) for connecting one or more water shut-off valves and/or drain lines to in-wall plumbing in a manner well known in the art. The box includes bottom and top walls 2, 3, rear wall 4 and side walls 5, 6. One or both of the top and bottom walls may include alternately rearwardly and forwardly facing aligned channels 8, 9, 10 for receipt of respective pairs of adjustable metal support brackets 11, 12 that may be telescopically connected together as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. This permits the support brackets to be moved in or out relative to one another for securely mounting the box between stud walls in a stud bay having different spacings therebetween (for example, 16 inch to 24 inch spacing). In addition, this permits the box to be slid along the support brackets in opposite directions within the stud bay for aligning the box with in-wall plumbing (not shown). The outer ends of the support brackets may be securely mounted to stud walls made of wood, composite or metal using suitable fasteners such as nails or screws.




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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20100000614 A1
Publish Date
01/07/2010
Document #
File Date
12/31/1969
USPTO Class
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
0




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20100107|20100000614|plumbing supply boxes|Plumbing supply boxes may be made of a thermoset plastic material that will not melt or permit the boxes to collapse inside a wall if subjected to flames or high temperatures resulting from a fire. If the thermoset plastic boxes have a drain opening, a thermoplastic tubular drain adaptor may |
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