A mounting apparatus for a liquid flow meter adapted to be detachably
mounted upon the top edge of a weir. The mounting apparatus includes
a base plate supporting a clock-driven recording drum for rotary
movement above the base plate and for supporting a stilling well
below the base plate. A float shaft, having a float at its lower
end within the stilling well, extends through the base plate for
vertical reciprocal movement and supports a scribing tool above
the base plate for scribing engagement with the recording drum.
The recording drum, scribing tool and all other elements supported
above the base plate are enclosed in a bell jar housing sealingly
held against the top surface of the base plate to provide sufficient
air pressure to limit the rise of any liquid within the bell jar
housing. The bottom surface of the base plate also supports a plurality
of magnets for engaging a ferromagnetic surface fixed to the top
edge portion of a weir for securing the mounting apparatus in a
stable position upon the weir. A magnetic release mechanism is provided
in the form of an elongated handle member having an arm pivotally
mounted upon the base plate and having a free end adapted to cam
against the ferromagnetic surface to force the magnets and the base
plate away from magnetic engagement with the ferromagnetic surface,
so the device can be easily removed from the weir.
What is claimed is:
1. A mounting apparatus for a liquid flow meter for support upon
a weir having a top edge, comprising:
(a) a base plate having a top surface and a bottom surface,
(b) a clock-driven recording drum rotatably supported on the top
surface of said base plate,
(c) a stilling well mounted beneath and depending from the bottom
surface of said base plate,
(d) a float shaft mounted for free vertical movement through said
base plate in said stilling well and above said base plate,
(e) a float on said float shaft for vertical movement in said stilling
well in response to the liquid level within said stilling well,
(f) a scribing tool mounted on said float shaft adapted to engage
said recording drum for scribing thereon,
(g) a magnetic surface on the top edge of the weir, and
(h) a magnetic member fixed to the bottom surface of said base
plate for magnetic engagement with said magnetic surface to hold
said base plate stationary upon the top edge of the weir.
2. The invention according to claim 1 further comprising means
for releasing the magnetic engagement between said magnetic member
and said magnetic surface.
3. The invention according to claim 2 in which said releasing means
comprises an elongated handle member having at least one elongated
arm member having a free end, journal means pivotally mounting said
arm member adjacent said free end to said base plate for retary
movement about a horizontal axis, so that rotary movement of said
handle member about said pivotal axis will cause said free end to
engage said magnetic surface and force said base plate away from
said magnetic surface.
4. The invention according to claim 3 in which said free end has
an arcuate cam surface eccentric about said pivotal axis.
5. The invention according to claim 3 in which said handle member
is U-shaped comprising two of said arm members straddling said base
plate, said journal means pivotally supporting both said arm members
to opposite sides of said base plate and said magnetic surface extending
transversely beneath said base plate for engagement by the free
ends of said arm members, in releasing position.
6. The invention according to claim 5 further comprising an elongated
hook member adapted to detachably engage said U-shaped handle member
for rotating said handle member about said journal axes to release
said magnetic engagement and to lift the mounting apparatus from
7. The invention according to claim 1 in which said magnetic member
comprises a plurality of permanent magnets mounted in spaced relationship
on the bottom surface of said base plate, said magnets being adapted
to seat upon said magnetic surface to hold said base plate in a
substantially horizontal plane.
8. The invention according to claim 1 further comprising a bell
jar housing having an open bottom end and adapted to fit over and
receive said clock-driven recording drum, said float shaft and said
scribing tool, and detachable means holding said bell jar housing
down in sealed engagement upon the top surface of said base plate
enclosing said recording drum, said float shaft and said scribing
9. The invention according to claim 8 in which said means for holding
down said bell jar housing comprises a plurality of circumferentially
spaced hold-down spring members detachably secured to said housing
and said base plate.
10. The invention according to claim 1 further comprising a downstream
level monitor comprising an elongated ferromagnetic rod fixed to
and depending from said base plate on the downstream side of the
weir when said mounting apparatus is supported upon the weir, a
float member freely slidable vertically on said rod and a magnetic
marker member vertically slidable on said rod above said float member,
said magnetic marker magnetically engaging said rod in its uppermost
position urged by said float member.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to liquid flow meters, an more particularly
to apparatus for mounting a liquid flow meter upon a weir.
Liquid flow meters for mounting on weirs and incorporating a float-responsive
scribing tool for recording the changes in liquid flow level upon
a clock-driven recording cylinder, are well known in the art. Such
liquid flow meters are illustrated in the following U.S. Patents:
U.S. Pat. No. 815102; Lea; Mar. 13 1906;
U.S. Pat. No. 871093; Eisenhut; Nov. 12 1907;
U.S. Pat. No. 996546; Watson; June 27 1911;
U.S. Pat. No. 1015556; Gibson; Jan. 23 1912.
The above Lea, Eisenhut and Gibson patents also disclose upright
cylindrical chambers for receiving the vertically movable float,
to function as stilling wells.
Page 1 lines 42-46 of the above Eisenhut patent also discloses
that it is old to mount upon the recording drum a paper chart having
lines which may be calibrated in gallons.
The Watson Patent also discloses a case for enclosing the rotary
recording drum and the upper portion of the float rod and scribing
However, none of the above patents disclose an apparatus for mounting
a liquid flow meter for detachable, but secure, engagement on top
of a weir in a remote or substantially inaccessible position, such
as in a subterranean sewer line beneath a manhole, much less the
means for releasing the meter from the weir and for retrieving the
meter from the inaccessible location.
Moreover, none of the above patents disclose such a detachable
mounting apparatus for support upon a weir in a substantially inaccessible
location in which the recording drum and scribing tool are substantially
protected from rising liquid humidity, corrosive gases, and other
foreign contaminants, located in the highly exposed, substantially
inaccessible position on the weir.
Leaking sewer systems are one of the most serious problems faced
by local municipalities as well as by corresponding state and federal
regulatory agencies, and constitutes a serious threat to the environment.
In order to assess the condition of a sewer system, it must be sub-divided
into small drainage areas and subjected to measurement by liquid
flow meters under various weather conditions. These liquid flow
meters must be mounted upon weirs in the path of the subterranean
sewage flow and must be transported to the weirs and removed therefrom
through manholes. Such flow meters must be extremely reliable to
accommodate the various weather conditions, normally for periods
of a week at a time when the meters are read. The integrity and
reliability of the instrumentation as well as the mounting device
for the meters must be maintained while unattended in substantially
inaccessible locations in hostile environments and subjected to
extreme vagaries of weather conditions.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a mounting
apparatus for a liquid flow meter which is adapted to be stably
mounted upn a weir, particularly in sewage flow channels in relatively
inaccessible and subterranean areas, such as through manholes, and
yet be readily removable.
The mounting apparatus for a liquid flow meter made in accordance
with this invention includes a rigid base plate upon the top surface
of which is supported an encapsulating bell jar housing enclosing
a clock-driven rotary recording drum and the upper end portion of
the float shaft supporting a scribing tool. Depending from the bottom
surface of the base plate is a cylindrical stilling well for receiving
the float and the lower portion of the float shaft. The bell jar
housing protects the sensitive instrumentation from the surrounding
atmosphere as well as providing a pressurized air bubble for resisting
rising water within the housing. Turbulence from the liquid flow
is minimized within the stilling well, in which the liquid level
rises and falls with the level of liquid flowing through the discharge
opening of the weir.
Attached to the bottom surface of the base plate are a plurality
of magnet members, such as permanent magnets, for magnetically engaging
a horizontal elongated magnetic surface fixed to the top edge of
the weir, to provide a stable and secure mounting for the meter
upon the weir even when subjected to turbulent liquid flow.
An elongated U-shaped handle having a pair of elongated arms pivotally
mounted about horizontal axes to opposite sides of the base plate
has free cam-shaped adapted to engage the surfaces and force the
base plate upward and away from the weir when the handle is rotated
to an upward disengaging position. The elongated handle may be manipulated
from a remote location by an elongated hook-shaped member, to disengage
the meter from the weir and to remove the meter from the weir.
The bottom surface of the base plate is also provided with a pair
of spaced flanges adapted to straddle the top edge of the weir in
order to provide additional stability for the base plate.
In a preferred form of the invention, a downstream level monitor
in the form of a steel rod depending from the base plate and having
a slidable magnetic marker urged upward by a float slidable on the
rod and responsive to the liquid level on the downstream side of
the weir, functions as an indicator of the "high-water"
mark of the downstream liquid level. Indication of the downstream
level is important in assessing the validity of the recorded information
on the graph paper on the recording drum.
The bell jar housing is provided with means for not only holding
the housing down in sealing engagement with the top surface of the
base plate, but also with means for readily detaching the housing
when the meter is removed for retrieving the inscribed graph paper
and for replacing the same.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a rear elevational view of the flow meter mounting apparatus,
made in accordance with this invention, shown in operative position
mounted upon a weir, shown fragmentarily, and disclosing a retriever
rod fragmentarily in phantom;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the device, with the weir disclosed
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the device taken along the
line 3--3 of FIG. 1 with the weir in section, and with the retriever
rod removed; and
FIG. 4 is a sectional elevation taken along the line 4--4 of FIG.
1 with the retreiver rod shown fragmentarily in operative position.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
Referring now to the drawings in more detail, the flow meter mounting
apparatus or device 10 made in accordance with this invention is
designed to be mounted upon the top edge or surface 11 of the vertical
wall or barrier 12 of a weir 13 having a weir discharge opening
14. The weir 13 is located transversely of the flow path of the
liquid stream, such as the sewage flow through an underground storm
sewer or sewer channel. The weir 13 is usually mounted in the path
of sewerage flow below a manhole, for convenience in installation,
removal, meter observation, and maintenance. The flow meter device
10 is designed to measure the level 16 of the liquid stream 15.
The mounting apparatus 10 includes a substantially flat base plate
18 adapted to be supported in a horizontal position upon the top
edge 11 of the wall 12 and having a top surface 19 and a bottom
Threadedly fixed into the top surface 19 of the base plate 18 is
a vertically extending spindle 21 supporting for rotary movement
a clock-driven recording drum 22 upon which is mounted a cylindrical
sheet of recording or graph paper 23 preferably calibrated to read
the metered results in gallons per minute.
A scribing tool or pen 25 mounted on top of a float shaft 26 is
adapted to engage the graph paper 23 and inscribe on the graph
paper 23 as the recording drum 22 is rotating at a uniform speed
and as the float shaft 26 moves vertically. The graph paper may
be designed to record the liquid level information continuously
for a period, such as a week, after which the graph paper is replaced
for subsequent weekly recordings.
The float shaft 26 extends through a hole 27 in the base plate
18 and is guided for free vertical reciprocable movement in a low-friction
bushing 28 fixed to the top surface 19 of the base plate 18. The
float shaft 26 is preferably of square cross-section, as is the
corresponding hole 27 to prevent rotary movement of the float shaft
26 as it reciprocates through the hole 27.
The bottom of the float shaft 26 terminates is an enlarged float
29 preferably made of a urethane foam or any other suitable buoyant
material, for floating upon the liquid surface 16.
Surrounding the float 29 and the lower portion of the float shaft
26 in vertical coaxial alignment, is a stilling well 30 in the
form of a transparent cylinder having open upper and lower ends.
However, the lower end of the cylindrical stilling well 30 is covered
by a porous screen member 31 to permit free communication of liquid
between the interior of the stilling well 30 and the body of the
stream 15 yet prevent any unwanted solid particles from entering
the interior of the stilling well 30 to interfere with the operation
of the float 29.
The stilling well 30 is held in position beneath the base plate
18 by a pair of elongated elastic hold-down members, such as the
hold-down springs 32. The lower ends of the springs 32 are secured
to the outer wall of the stilling well 30 by detachable hook fasteners
33 while the upper ends of the holddown springs are secured to
the bottom surface 20 by suitable fasteners 34.
Three set screws 35 are threaded downwardly through the base plate
18 each of which is in vertical alignment with a portion of the
cylindrical wall of the stilling well 30. Thus, by adjusting the
set screws 35 the stilling well 30 can be finely adjusted to a
position truly coaxial with the vertical axis of the float shaft
26. One or more depending flanges 36 may also be provided to laterally
or transversely locate the position of the stilling well 30.
Seated within a circumferential groove 38 in the top surface 19
of the base plate 18 is the bottom edge 39 of an open-ended inverted
bell jar housing 40. The interior of the bell jar housing 40 is
large enough to receive and more or less encapsulate the clock-driven
recording drum 23 spindle 21 scribing tool 25 bushing 28 and
the upper portion of the float shaft 26 above the base plate 18.
A plurality (three of which are shown in the drawings) of elongated
elastic hold-down members, such as the hold-down springs 41 are
secured at their upper ends by detachable hook fasteners 42 to the
side wall of the bell jar housing 40. The lower ends of the hold-down
springs 41 are secured by suitable fasteners 43 to the top surface
19 of the base plate 18.
The bell jar housing 40 is preferably cylindrical and made of transparent
material, such as "Plexiglass," so that the interior of
the housing may be observed for reading the recorded data on the
graph paper 23 and also for observing the operativeness and conditions
of the recording drum 22 and the scribing tool 25.
Depending from the bottom surface 20 of the base plate 18 is a
pair of parallel flanges or fins 45 and 46 spaced just far enough
apart to fit over and receive the top edge 11 of the wall 12. The
flanges 45 and 46 depend far enough down to prevent the base plate
18 and all its supported elements from tipping over, even when acted
upon by external environmental forces, such as a turbulent stream
Since flange 46 is closer to the center of gravity of the device
10 than the flange 45 and is on the upstream side of the weir wall
12 the flange 46 depends substantially below the flange 45 to counteract
tipping of the device 10 in the more prevalent clockwise direction
as viewed in FIGS. 3 and 4. Accordingly flange 46 functions as a
In order to secure the base plate 18 to the weir wall 12 an elongated
member having a magnetic or ferromagnetic surface, specifically
in the form of an elongated angle iron 48 is fixedly secured to
the wall 12 so that the top horizontal flange 49 of the angle iron
48 will extend horizontally along and parallel to the top edge 11
to constitute an elongated magnetic plate or armature. The angle
iron 48 is secured to the wall 12 by fasteners, such as bolts 50.
Although the drawings disclose the magnetic flange 49 spaced above
the top edge 11 the flange 49 may be seated flush against the top
edge 11 if desired.
Fixed to the bottom surface 20 of the base plate 18 in the recess
formed between the flanges 45 and 46 is a magnetic member, such
as the plurality of transversely spaced discrete permanent magnets,
preferably ceramic magnets 52. The bottom surfaces of the magnets
52 are disposed in a horizontal plane so that they may all bear
evenly upon the top surfaces of the horizontal magnetic flange 49.
Thus, when the device 10 is seated in operative position, as disclosed
in the drawings, the magnets 52 magnetically secure the device 10
upon the weir wall 12. Furthermore, the device 10 is stabilized
against cantilevered or tipping movement by the depending spaced
flanges 45 and 46.
The stabilizing flange 46 also functions to assist in locating
the stilling well 30.
A U-shaped handle member 54 having a transverse bight member 55
and a pair of depending elongated arms 56 transversely straddles
the base plate 18. The arms 56 are secured to the opposite edges
of the base plate 18 by a pair of shoulder bolts 57 to permit pivotal
movement of the handle member 54 about the horizontal transverse
axes of the shoulder bolts 57.
The lower ends of both arms 56 form arcuate cam surfaces 58 for
camming engagement with the top surfaces of the magnetic flange
49. The distance between the pivotal axes of the bolts 57 and the
arcuate cam surfaces 58 is greater than the distance between the
bolt axes 57 and the top surface of the magnetic flange 49. Thus,
when the handle member 54 is rotated counterclockwise, as illustrated
in FIGS. 3 and 4 the cam ends 58 bearing against the horizontal
flange 49 will force upward the base plate 18 to separate the magneic
engagement between the magnets 52 and the magnetic flange 49 in
order to facilitate the removal of the device 10 from the weir wall
12. After the magnetic engagement is broken, then the handle member
54 may be utilized to lift the device free of the wall 12.
Where the device 10 is mounted upon a weir 13 within a subterranean
sewer channel, for example, in a remote position below a manhole,
an elongated retriever rod 60 having hooks 61 at its lower end,
may be utilized for engaging the bight member 55 of the handle member
54 in order to pivot the handle member 54 about the axes of the
shoulder bolts 57 and also to lift the handle member 54 and the
device 10 upward from the weir 13. In this manner, the meter mounting
device 10 may be lowered through a manhole for installation or mounting
upon the weir 13 in a sewer channel, and in the same manner removed
from the weir, without the necessity of the operator descending
into the sewer channel through the manhole, himself.
Moreover, the magnetic devices 52 and 49 provide a very stable
mounting mechanism for holding the device 10 in its operative position
while metering the flow and volume of the stream 15 even in a hostile
environment, such as turbulent flow.
After the device 10 is retrieved from a weir 13 it may be checked
for defects or damage, as well as for reading the recordal data,
for replacing the graph paper 23 for cleaning or any other type
of maintenance desired, merely by quickly releasing hook-fasteners
42 of the hold-down spring members 41 and lifting the ball jar
The bell jar housing 40 is preferably cylindrical and the groove
38 in which its bottom edge 39 is received is circular of the same
diameter as the cylindrical housing 40. The drum 22 pen 25 and
graph paper 23 are located at a substantially spaced distance above
the top surface 19 so that in the event the liquid level 16 rises
to completely or partially cover the cylinder housing 40 then any
liquid which might seep through the groove 38 into the interior
of the housing 40 will be retained at a substantially lower level
than the level of the risen stream 15 by the air bubble trapped
within the cylinder 40. Accordingly, no liquid will rise high enough
to damage the operating parts of the meter instrumentation or graph
paper 23. In the preferred form of the invention, the pen, drum
and graph paper are located at least 41/2 inches above the top surface
19 so that these elements are safe from liquid damage, unless the
flow level 16 rises to at least 12 feet above the top of the cylinder
40. In the above described example, the vertical scribing range
of the pen 25 would be approximately 10 inches.
In order to validate the recorded indicia on the graph paper 23
it is necessary to know the maximum height of the downstream level
of the stream during a recorded period. In order to record such
information, a downstream level monitor 63 is provided. This monitor
63 includes a ferromagnetic rod, such as a steel rod 64 fixed to
and depending from the front portion of the base plate 18. A small
monitor float 65 is slidably mounted for free vertical movement
upon the steel rod 64. A stop 66 is attached to the bottom end of
the steel rod 64 to prevent the float 64 from falling off the rod.
Slidably mounted on the steel rod 64 above the float 64 is a magnetic
marker in the form of a magnetic ring 67 which is urged upward by
the rising float 65 and is retained in its uppermost position by
the magnetic attraction of the ring 67 to the steel rod 64. Thus,
the "high-water mark" of the downstream side of the liquid
laterally adjacent the stream 15 can be easily read by the position
of the magnetic ring 67 on the steel rod 64 when the operator comes
to observe or retrieve the device 10. If the "high-water mark"
of the downstream liquid is excessive, it indicates a back-up condition
which renders the reading on the graph paper invalid.