Patent Information Search
 
Water Filter Patent
 

Hot disconnect replaceable water filter assembly

Water filter abstract

A filter assembly for filtering water from an external source, the filter assembly includes a manifold assembly being fluidly couplable at an inlet to a source of water to be filtered and having a filtered water outlet and having a helical manifold mounting means. A cartridge has a cartridge top member for mating with the manifold assembly and has a fluid inlet, the inlet being fluidly communicable with the manifold assembly inlet and further having a sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water to the filter cartridge from a non-wetted manifold assembly portion and having a cartridge coupler fluid outlet, the outlet being fluidly communicable with a filter cartridge outlet and being in fluid communication with the manifold coupler outlet and further having second sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water to the filter cartridge from an outlet flow of filtered water from the filter cartridge and having helical cartridge mounting means for cooperatively engaging the helical manifold mounting means.

Water filter claims

What is claimed:

1. A filter assembly for filtering water from an external source, the filter assembly comprising: a manifold assembly being fluidly couplable at an inlet to a source of water to be filtered and having a filtered water outlet and having a helical manifold mounting means; and a cartridge having a cartridge top member for mating with the manifold assembly and having a fluid inlet, said inlet being fluidly communicable with the manifold assembly inlet and further having a sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water to the filter cartridge from a non-wetted manifold assembly portion and having a cartridge coupler fluid outlet, said outlet being fluidly communicable with a filter cartridge outlet and being in fluid communication with the manifold coupler outlet and further having second sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water to the filter cartridge from an outlet flow of filtered water from the filter cartridge and having helical cartridge mounting means for cooperatively engaging the helical manifold mounting means.

2. The filter assembly of claim 1 wherein the mating of the manifold assembly to the cartridge top member is via helical tabs comprising the helical manifold mounting means and the helical cartridge mounting means, respectively.

3. The filter assembly of claim 2 wherein the helical tabs impart a longitudinal displacement to said cartridge top member relative to the manifold assembly when engaging/disengaging rotational motion is applied to the filter cartridge.

4. The filter assembly of claim 1 wherein the filter assembly further includes at least one locking mechanism, whereby the manifold assembly and cartridge top member are locked in place and resist unlocking rotation due to normal operating conditions but will release upon a specified pressure condition.

5. The filter assembly of claim 4 wherein the locking mechanism is located on helical tabs.

6. The filter assembly of claim 1 including a locking mechanism having protrusions on a first set of helical tabs that mate with cooperative depressions defined on a second set of helical tabs.

7. The filter assembly of claim 4 wherein the locking mechanism disengages at a pressure greater than 200 lbs. per square inch gauge.

8. The filter assembly of claim 4 wherein the locking mechanism disengages at a pressure between 200 lbs. per square inch gauge and 500 lbs. per square inch gauge.

9. The filter assembly of claim 1 wherein the filter assembly further includes alignment markers indicating engagement of a locking mechanism.

10. The filter assembly of claim 1 wherein the cartridge top member further includes venting means, whereby the cartridge is vented to ambient during disengagement of the cartridge assembly from the manifold assembly.

11. The filter assembly of claim 10 wherein the venting means is comprised of venting ports sealable by engagement of the cartridge assembly with the manifold assembly.

12. In a filter assembly, a method of disengaging a cartridge assembly from a manifold assembly, comprising: rotating the cartridge assembly relative to the manifold assembly; and said rotation acting in sequence for, closing a valve on a fluid inlet; breaking at least one sealing engagement between the cartridge assembly and the manifold assembly; venting residual pressure existing in the cartridge assembly; and disengaging the manifold assembly from the cartridge assembly.

13. The method of claim 12 including coupling the cartridge assembly to the manifold assembly by helical engagement means.

14. The method of claim 12 including imparting longitudinal displacement of the cartridge assembly relative to the manifold assembly by rotating the cartridge assembly relative to the manifold assembly.

15. The method of claim 12 including locking the manifold assembly and cartridge assembly in place by one or more locking mechanisms.

16. The method of claim 15 including commencing disengagement at a pressure greater than 200 lbs. per square inch gauge.

17. The method of claim 15 including commencing disengagement at a pressure between 200 lbs. per square inch gauge and 500 lbs. per square inch gauge.

18. The method of claim 12 including indicating engagement of a locking mechanism by alignment markers.

19. A filter cartridge for use with a filter assembly for filtering water from an external source, the filter cartridge comprising: a cartridge housing having a cartridge top member for mating with a manifold assembly and having a fluid inlet, said inlet being fluidly communicable with a manifold assembly inlet and further having a sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water from a non-wetted manifold assembly portion and having a cartridge coupler fluid outlet, said outlet being fluidly communicable with a filter cartridge outlet and being in fluid communication with a manifold coupler outlet and further having second sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water from an outlet flow of filtered water from the cartridge housing and having helical cartridge mounting means being cooperatively engagable with helical manifold mounting means.

20. The cartridge of claim 19 wherein the mating of the manifold assembly to the cartridge top member is via helical tabs comprising the helical cartridge mounting means.

21. The cartridge of claim 20 wherein the helical tabs impart a longitudinal displacement to said cartridge relative to the manifold assembly when engaging/disengaging rotational motion is applied to the cartridge top member.

22. The cartridge of claim 19 wherein the cartridge top member further includes at least one locking mechanism, whereby the filter cartridge top member is lockable in place with respect to the manifold assembly, the locking mechanism resisting unlocking rotation due to normal operating conditions and is releasable upon a specified pressure condition in the cartridge housing.

23. The cartridge of claim 22 wherein a first portion of the locking mechanism is located on helical tabs.

24. The cartridge of claim 19 including a first portion of a locking mechanism, the locking mechanism having protrusions that are matable with cooperative depressions.

25. The cartridge of claim 22 wherein the locking mechanism when engaged, disengages at a pressure greater than 200 lbs. per square inch gauge in the cartridge housing.

26. The cartridge of claim 22 wherein the locking mechanism when engaged, disengages at a pressure between 200 lbs. per square inch gauge and 500 lbs. per square inch gauge in the cartridge housing.

27. The cartridge of claim 19 wherein the cartridge top member further includes an alignment marker indicating engagement of a locking mechanism.

28. The cartridge of claim 19 wherein the cartridge top member further includes venting means, whereby pressure in the cartridge is vented to ambient during disengagement from the manifold assembly.

29. The cartridge of claim 28 wherein the venting means is comprised of venting ports opened during rotational disengagement of the cartridge from the manifold.

30. An adapter for use with a filter assembly for filtering water from an external source, the adapter comprising: an adapter body having mating means being matable to a manifold assembly and being fluidly couplable at an inlet to a source of water to be filtered and having an unfiltered water outlet being fluidly couplable to a filter cartridge, a filtered water inlet fluidly couplable to the filter cartridge and a filtered water outlet fluidly couplable to the manifold assembly and having a helical manifold mounting means; and means for sealingly mating to a filter cartridge.

31. The adapter of claim 30 wherein the mating of the manifold assembly to the adapter is via helical tabs disposed on the adapter body comprising the helical manifold mounting means.

32. The adapter of claim 31 wherein the helical tabs impart a longitudinal displacement to the adapter body relative to the manifold assembly when engaging/disengaging rotational motion is applied to the adapter body.

33. The adapter of claim 30 wherein the adapter body further includes at least one locking mechanism, whereby the manifold assembly and the adapter body are lockable in place and resist unlocking rotation due to normal operating conditions but are releasable upon a specified pressure condition.

34. The adapter of claim 31 wherein a locking mechanism is located on mating helical tabs.

35. The adapter of claim 30 including a portion of a locking mechanism, the locking mechanism having protrusions on a first set of helical tabs that are matable with cooperative depressions defined on a second set of helical tabs.

36. The adapter of claim 33 wherein the locking mechanism disengages at a cartridge pressure greater than 200 lbs. per square inch gauge.

37. The adapter of claim 33 wherein the locking mechanism disengages at a cartridge pressure between 200 lbs. per square inch gauge and 500 lbs. per square inch gauge.

38. The adapter of claim 30 wherein the adapter body further includes alignment markers indicating engagement of a locking mechanism.

39. The adapter of claim 30 wherein the adapter body further includes venting means, whereby pressure in an engaged cartridge is vented to ambient during disengagement of the adapter body from the manifold assembly.

40. The adapter of claim 39 wherein the venting means is comprised of venting ports.

41. A manifold assembly for use in a filter assembly for filtering water from an external source, the manifold assembly having a manifold body being fluidly couplable at an inlet to a source of water to be filtered and having a filtered water outlet and having a helical manifold mounting means.

42. The manifold assembly of claim 41 wherein the mating of the manifold assembly to a filter cartridge is via helical tabs comprising the helical manifold mounting means.

43. The manifold assembly of claim 42 wherein the helical tabs impart a longitudinal displacement to the filter cartridge relative to the manifold assembly when engaging/disengaging rotational motion is applied to the cartridge.

44. The manifold assembly of claim 41 further including at least one locking mechanism, whereby the manifold body and a filter cartridge are lockable in place and resist unlocking rotation due to normal operating conditions but are releasable upon a specified pressure condition.

45. The manifold assembly of claim 44 wherein the locking mechanism is located on helical tabs.

46. The manifold assembly of claim 41 including a first portion of a locking mechanism, the locking mechanism having protrusions that mate with cooperative depressions.

47. The manifold assembly of claim 44 wherein the locking mechanism disengages at a cartridge pressure greater than 200 lbs. per square inch gauge.

48. The manifold assembly of claim 44 wherein the locking mechanism disengages at a cartridge pressure between 200 lbs. per square inch gauge and 500 lbs. per square inch gauge.

49. The manifold assembly of claim 1 wherein the manifold body further includes alignment markers indicating engagement of a locking mechanism.

Water filter description

RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/308757 filed Jul. 30 2001 which is incorporated herein in its entirety by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0002] The present invention relates generally to the field of residential and commercial water filtration products. More specifically, the present invention relates to a water filtration assembly providing a method of safely installing or replacing filters while allowing the water circuit to remain pressurized.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Point-of-use water filtration systems have become increasingly common in the residential and commercial environment. There are many advantages to these types of systems in addition to the obvious improvements to taste and appearance. In situations where the source water has been municipally treated, point-of-use systems allow the water to retain the disinfecting properties imparted by the municipality until the moment of use. These filtration systems can also be individually tailored to treat specific properties of the source water.

[0004] One disadvantage of point-of-use filtration systems in the residential and commercial environment is that they must be designed to fit in the limited spaces available in these markets. As the design must be compact and unobtrusive, these systems must be designed to allow for frequent and easy replacement of used and exhausted filter elements. Because many of the users in the commercial and residential market may be unfamiliar with the potential dangers of working with a pressurized system, the filtration systems must also be designed with the safety of the user in mind.

[0005] To that end, during normal operation of the filter, the potential for self uncoupling of the filter cartridge from the filter manifold should be eliminated to prevent unwanted leakage and subsequent disengagement of the filter assembly while also permitting the assembly to decouple safely should an increased pressure condition occur beyond the structural failure point of the filter assembly. Further, the act of uncoupling the filter cartridge from the filter manifold should also permit the relief of any excess pressure in a controlled manner to reduce the risk of damage or personal injury.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] The water filter assembly of the present invention meets the aforementioned requirements of the commercial and residential markets. The water filter assembly includes a cartridge assembly and manifold assembly incorporating an interconnection design preventing rapid, violent, and unintentional separation of the components as potential pressure in the water filter comes to equilibrium with the environment.

[0007] A cartridge assembly having a cartridge top member and cartridge filter housing of the present invention is readily matable to a manifold assembly having the manifold assembly component of the present invention. The cartridge top member is permanently attached to the cartridge filter housing through appropriate means such as spin or sonic welding. In effecting such mating between cartridge assembly and manifold assembly, at least one seal provides a watertight seal between the cartridge assembly and the manifold. Additionally, at least two seals in a series relationship provide for effecting a seal between the unfiltered inlet water and the filtered outlet water to prevent contamination therebetween.

[0008] A critical aspect of the manifold assembly and associated mating cartridge top assembly is that, during replacement of cartridge assemblies on the manifold assembly, the water under pressure being supplied to the manifold assembly be automatically and positively shutoff and the residual pressure within the filter assembly be vented to allow benign disengagement during uncoupling. Accordingly, pressure relief ports are spaced equidistant around the sidewall of the receiver well of the cartridge top assembly to assure this venting after the supply water is shut off but before the cartridge filter assembly is disengaged from the manifold assembly, resulting in increased safety to the user.

[0009] An additional feature of the filter assembly is the ability to eliminate the potential for the cartridge filter assembly to uncouple from the manifold assembly during normal operation and under typical operating conditions. Therefore, the present invention incorporates locking tabs on the cartridge top assembly engaging mechanism that mate with cooperative depressions on the manifold assembly engaging mechanism, providing a resistive force to this inherent decoupling effect.

[0010] Furthermore, the design of these locking tabs also permits the filter assembly to decouple should an increase in internal pressure occur that could damage the assembly or nearby objects. The design of these locking tabs can be modified to respond at various levels of aggression to these pressure conditions.

[0011] During installation or removal of a water filter, the user provides rotational force to the filter housing. The interconnection ramps located on the filter end cap interface with the internal ramp assembly of the water manifold and allow the filter and manifold to slidably engage or disengage. As the filter and manifold slidably engage or disengage, the molded engagement ramps on the filter end cap either come into contact or lose contact with the spring valve located in the unfiltered water flow channel of the manifold depending upon whether a filter is being installed or removed. The molded tabs of the manifold prevent separation of the filter and manifold until the entire length of the filter end cap interconnection ramp has been traveled. By appropriately sizing the length of the interconnection ramp in comparison to the engagement ramp, the water filter assembly is allowed to come to pressure equilibrium with the environment before the filter and manifold have been separated. The engagement ramp being shorter than the interconnection ramp causes a break in the fluid circuit resulting in the release of any pressure energy stored in the filter. Because pressure equilibrium is reached while the locking tabs are still engaged, there is no longer energy available that could lead to the rapid and violent separation of the components, thereby leading to an increase in safety for the user.

[0012] The present invention is a filter assembly for filtering water from an external source, the filter assembly including a manifold assembly mountable to an appliance and being in fluid communication with the external source and a cartridge assembly, the cartridge assembly being replaceably fluidly couplable to the manifold assembly by means of a hot disconnect that prevents rapid, unintentional and violent disengagement of the assembly.

[0013] The manifold assembly is fluidly couplable at an inlet to a source of water to be filtered and has a filtered water outlet and mating members for removably mating to the cartridge top member and has a mounting means attached to said manifold providing rotational travel to the cartridge top member for installation, removal and replacement of the cartridge filter.

[0014] A cartridge top member mates with the filter cartridge and has a fluid inlet, said inlet being fluidly communicable with the filter cartridge and being in fluid communication with an adapter assembly valve and further having a sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water to the filter cartridge from the non-wetted portion of the manifold assembly and having a cartridge coupler fluid outlet, said outlet being fluidly communicable with a filter cartridge outlet and being in fluid communication with the manifold coupler outlet and further having sealing means, the sealing means isolating an inlet flow of unfiltered water to the filter cartridge from an outlet flow of filtered water from the filter cartridge.

[0015] The present invention is further a cartridge assembly and additionally a method of disengaging the cartridge assembly from a manifold assembly.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a sectional view of the manifold assembly member of the present invention taken through the inlet and outlet ports;

[0017] FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the manifold assembly member of the present invention taken perpendicular to FIG. 1;

[0018] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of the manifold assembly;

[0019] FIG. 4 is an underside perspective view of the manifold assembly;

[0020] FIG. 5 is a plan view of the cartridge top member;

[0021] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the cartridge top member, topside;

[0022] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the cartridge top member, underside;

[0023] FIG. 8 is a cross sectional view of the cartridge top member taken through its center;

[0024] FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of the cartridge assembly;

[0025] FIG. 10 is a side elevational sectional view of the cartridge assembly;

[0026] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the cartridge filter glue dam; and

[0027] FIG. 12 is a plan view of the cartridge filter glue dam.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0028] The filter assembly of the present invention is shown generally at 10 in the figures. The filter assembly 10 has two major components: a manifold assembly 12 and a cartridge assembly 14. The cartridge assembly 14 further has three subcomponents: cartridge top member 16 cartridge housing 18 and filter element 19.

[0029] The manifold assembly is depicted in FIGS. 1 2 3 and 4. The manifold assembly 12 includes a general manifold body 20. Inlet cartridge fitting 23 is press-fit into inlet bore 21 of manifold assembly body 20 forming inlet port 22. A gap 27 depicted in FIG. 1 is formed between inlet bore 21 and inlet cartridge fitting 23. Inlet port 22 is sealed from gap 27 by means of O-ring 30. Inlet port 22 narrows into tubular inlet flow passage 29. Inlet flow passage 29 leads to valve well 42. Valve well 42 is positioned to accept both high-flow valve 28 and biasing spring 26. Valve well 42 is fluidly coupled to inlet bore 52 of cartridge insert 50 (see FIG. 3). High-flow valve 28 is seated in and also longitudinally translates within valve well 42. Inlet bore 52 has an annular surface 37 upon which ridge 33 of high-flow valve 28 sits to create a water-tight seal when biasing spring 26 is decompressed.

[0030] From FIG. 3 cartridge insert 50 has two main sections, an expanded upper body portion 54 and a second reduced body portion 56. Body portion 56 has a significantly reduced diameter when compared to the diameter of upper body portion 54. Cartridge insert 50 is fixedly coupled to base assembly 43 of manifold assembly 12 at sealing surface 47 shown in FIG. 4. Cartridge insert 50 and base assembly 43 are sealed therein by gasket 48 which separates pressurized inlet and outlet water from the cavity of manifold assembly body 20. The mating of base assembly 43 with cartridge insert 50 fluidly couples outlet 44 of manifold assembly 20 with inlet bore 52 of cartridge insert 50 as well as inlet 46 of manifold assembly 20 with outlet bore 40 of cartridge insert 50.

[0031] Expanded upper body portion 54 includes groove 38. Groove 38 contains a seal 34 preferably an O-ring, for sealing pressurized water from within receiver well 106 of cartridge top member 16 (shown in FIG. 6 and described below) from the cavity of general manifold body 20. Reduced body portion 56 further includes a pair of grooves 36. These grooves 36 are situated in series and hold seals 32 preferably being O-rings, to separate unfiltered inlet water within receiver well 106 from filtered outlet water. Reduced body portion 56 also has bored through its longitudinal center outlet bore 40 for conveying filtered outlet water from cartridge assembly 14.

[0032] Looking at FIG. 3 outlet bore 40 continues through expanded upper body portion 54 by means of a conical projection 59 within which filtered outlet water flows. Conical projection 59 has a wider diameter at its base than its peak, the base therefore narrowing to its point of fluid coupling with outlet flow passage 31. Outlet bore 40 retains a constant inside diameter flow path. From FIG. 1 flow passage 31 has an approximate 90.degree. turn leading to outlet flow passage 35. As before, outlet port 24 is formed from the press-fitting of outlet cartridge fitting 25 into outlet bore 39 of manifold assembly body 20. A similar sealing means of an O-ring 30 is employed to seal the subsequent gap 27 formed between outlet cartridge fitting 25 and outlet bore 39.

[0033] Manifold assembly 12 further has a top manifold hood 62 attached to manifold assembly body 20 using manifold hood connectors 60 as shown in FIG. 3.

[0034] Focusing on FIG. 4 the underside of manifold assembly body 20 has protruding from it cartridge receiver 72 for mating with cartridge top member 16. The mating mechanism between cartridge receiver 72 and cartridge top member 16 is through interior helical tabs 70 located on the inside margin 73 of cartridge receiver 72. Tabs 70 are diametrically opposed on inside margin 73. These tabs 70 extend flush from the bottom surface of receiver 72 and spiral upward at an approximate 8.degree. angle along margin 73 to a position less than half the circumference away from their point of origin. The top surface 74 of these tabs 70 provides the supporting structure for and mates with external helical tabs 104 of cartridge top member 16 shown in FIG. 6 and described below.

[0035] Turning to FIGS. 6 and 7 cartridge top member 16 includes member body 100. Member body 100 has a margin 101 from which exterior helical tabs 104 mate with interior helical tabs 70 of cartridge receiver 72. As with interior helical tabs 70 exterior helical tabs 104 spiral upward at an approximate 8.degree. angle along margin 101 to a position less than half the circumference away from their point of origin. The underside surface 128 of these tabs is supported by top surface 74 of interior helical tabs 70 of manifold assembly 12 from FIG. 4. As can be seen in FIGS. 6 and 7 exterior helical tabs 104 also have at their end points ramps 120 for facilitating engagement with interior helical tabs 70.

[0036] Cartridge top member body 100 has defined therein interior receiver well 106 with inside margin 112 for sealing with O-ring 34 of manifold assembly 12 as shown in FIG. 1. This effects a fluid seal between unfiltered inlet water within receiver well 106 and the cavity of manifold assembly body 20.

[0037] From FIGS. 5 6 7 and 8 a plurality of inlet orifices 114 are formed within the bottom surface of receiver well 106. These orifices 114 are spaced circumferentially and equidistant from each other. A distinct feature of these orifices 114 is that the inside diameter of any individual orifice is designed such that the adhesive forces between the inside surface and any remaining water within that orifice allow for capillary action to prevent dripping when the cartridge assembly 14 is disengaged from manifold assembly 12. These orifices 114 direct inlet water to cartridge housing 18.

[0038] Outlet bore 122 is bored through the center of cartridge top member 16. Within outlet bore 122 reduced body portion 56 of cartridge insert 50 is engaged for conveyance of filtered water. A lip 124 protrudes from the underside of outlet bore 122 providing proper positioning of filter 19 within cartridge assembly 14. Dual ramps 102 extend upward from the bottom of receiver well 106. One or the other of the ramps 102 radially aligns with high-flow valve 28 contact surface 41 to compress and open the valve 28 when cartridge top member 16 is rotatably moved into place to mate with manifold assembly 12.

[0039] The underside surface 128 of each helical tab 104 has a locking tab 108 for mating with a cooperative depression 109 located in interior helical tab 70 of manifold assembly 12. As will be seen, these locking tabs 108 interface with depressions 109 during engagement of cartridge assembly 14 with manifold assembly 12 to lock the cartridge assembly 14 in place and to provide a degree of burst protection to the components of filter assembly 10. The locking tabs 108 will disengage from the respective depressions 109 permitting the cartridge assembly 14 to back off from manifold assembly 12 at a predefined level of hydraulic pressure for benign disengagement.

[0040] Without locking tabs 108 normal pressure levels of the incoming water service and associated vibrations would slowly cause cartridge assembly 14 to uncouple from manifold assembly 12 resulting in leakage and eventual disengagement of cartridge assembly 14 from manifold assembly 12. A unique feature of locking tabs 108 is that they can be designed such that they do not allow for this gradual decoupling of the filter assembly under normal line pressure conditions, but will commence decoupling at a certain pressure condition below the structural strength limits of the filter assembly. The design of the locking tabs 108 determines this pressure condition by being a more aggressive or less aggressive design, a more aggressive design seating more firmly in the depression 109 and requiring greater pressure to unseat the locking tabs 108 from the depressions 109.

[0041] Looking at FIGS. 4 and 6 manifold assembly 12 and cartridge top member 16 have alignment markers, 200 and 202 respectively, to indicate alignment of both components and engagement of locking tabs 108.

[0042] From FIG. 7 the cartridge top member 16 has a margin 116 extending circumferentially from body 100. The interior face 117 of surface 116 progressively slopes centerward to inlet orifices 114. This slope allows for a smoother transition and flow pattern from the interior space within surface 116. Also on the interior face 117 are two weld facilitators 118. The weld facilitators 118 are diametrically opposed from each other.

[0043] Looking at FIGS. 6 and 8 defined around the perimeter of upper sealing surface 112 of receiver well 106 are a plurality of vent ports 110. Vent ports 110 are preferably spaced equidistant around the diameter of sealing surface 112. These vent ports 110 separate that surface 112 from the interior cavity of manifold assembly body 20 located in FIG. 1. As will be seen, these vent ports 110 allow for relief of pressure trapped in the cartridge assembly 14 before complete disengagement during the disassembly of cartridge assembly 14 from manifold assembly 12. The top edge 126 of receiver well 106 is chamfered to facilitate this relief of pressure.

[0044] Turning now to cartridge housing assembly 18 in FIGS. 9 and 10 cartridge housing assembly 18 consists of cartridge housing body 150 and its components as well as filter assembly 19. Cartridge housing body 150 is a cylindrical housing tapered at one end for insertion of filter assembly 19. Lateral supports 154 protrude inward from the narrow end and herein defined as bottom of body 150 for longitudinally supporting filter assembly 19 in place. Concentric and center to supports 154 is an upward directed alignment projectile 156 also used to support and center filter assembly 19 within cartridge housing body 150. Handle 158 is formed from the bottom of housing body 150 and is utilized to assist in applying rotational force to cartridge assembly 14.

[0045] Filter 19 consists of carbon filter 180 or other type filter. The carbon filter 180 is preferably made of activated carbon and is of about one micron size. The carbon block forming the carbon filter 180 has an inner margin 191 that defines an axial bore 190. The preferred embodiment of carbon filter 180 is a molded design as shown in FIG. 10 in which axial bore 190 does not extend all the way through filter 180 but instead to a point in which a portion of filter medium exists between the end of axial bore 190 and alignment projectile 156. With this design, the full exterior surface of filter 180 in fluid contact with the inlet water serves as a filter medium.

[0046] However, an alternative embodiment is an extruded design in which axial bore 190 does extend all the way through carbon filter 180. The extruded design necessitates an end dam on the bottom of carbon filter 180 to prevent unfiltered water migration into axial bore 190. The extruded embodiment is defined by dashed lines 199 extending through carbon filter 180 shown in FIG. 10.

[0047] The outlet of filter element 19 consists of adhesive 182 and glue dam 184. As shown in FIGS. 11 and 12 glue dam 184 further consists of disc 185 supports 186 and outlet tube 188. Disc 185 has a diameter that is less than that of the inside surface of cartridge housing body 150 resulting in a flow path for unfiltered water to filter 180 shown as annular space 152 in FIG. 10. To facilitate the flow of water, the outer edge of disc 185 angles downward via outer edge 187.

[0048] Disc 185 further includes spacers 189 placed equidistant around outer edge 187 further defining the annular space available as a path for unfiltered water. Angled supports 186 are spaced equidistant around the top face of glue dam 184 to brace outlet tube 188. The interior surface of outlet tube 188 is defined herein as sealing surface 192. Sealing surface 192 is sized to accept O-rings 32 as described above in FIG. 3 for the purpose of separating unfiltered inlet water from filtered outlet water. The bottom of sealing surface 192 is defined as outlet face 195. Within outlet face 195 is a bore defining outlet orifice 194 fluidly coupling filtered outlet water of filter bore 190 to outlet bore 40 of cartridge insert 50.

[0049] As shown in FIG. 9 cartridge top member 16 mates with cartridge housing assembly 18 through the coupling of margin 116 with the inside surface 196 of cartridge housing 150.

[0050] In operation, from an external connection (not shown) unfiltered water flows through inlet port 22 of FIG. 1 to inlet flow passage 29 and into valve well 42. When manifold assembly 12 is not engaged with cartridge assembly 14 biasing spring 26 imparts a force upon high-flow valve 28 depressing it from valve well 42 into inlet bore 52 of cartridge insert 50. This effects a watertight seal at annular surface 37 between valve well 42 and inlet bore 52 of cartridge insert 50.

[0051] In coupling operation, manifold assembly 12 is engaged with cartridge assembly 14 and specifically, cartridge top member 16 as follows: Manifold assembly 12 is engaged with cartridge assembly 14 by matching up external helical tabs 104 of cartridge top member 16 with internal helical tabs 70 of manifold assembly 12 using a ramp 120 as an initial guide. The mating helical tabs 70 104 will begin to engage the manifold assembly 12 with the cartridge assembly 14 when a rotational motion is imparted to the cartridge assembly 14 relative to manifold assembly 12. This rotational motion will translate into a longitudinal displacement of cartridge assembly 14 into manifold assembly 12 sealing both interior sealing surface 192 of outlet tube 188 on FIG. 8 as well as sealing surface 112 of cartridge top member 16.

[0052] When alignment marker 200 of manifold assembly 12 (see FIG. 4) is lined up with alignment marker 202 of cartridge top member 16 (see FIG. 6), then ramp 102 of cartridge top member 16 will have fully depressed high-flow valve 28 within valve well 42 of manifold assembly 12 against the compressive force of biasing spring 26. This allows inlet water to flow through as described above. The alignment of markers 200 and 202 also indicates that locking tabs 108 have engaged the depressions 109.

[0053] During normal engagement, as described below, the axial force imparted on high-flow valve 28 by ramps 102 of cartridge top member 16 translates through the body of valve 28 compressing biasing spring 26 and allowing inlet water to flow from inlet flow passage 29 through to receiver well 106 of cartridge top member 16.

[0054] Within receiver well 106 pressurized water is forced through inlet bores 114 (see FIG. 6) along interior surface 117 of FIG. 7 and guided around to the outer circumference of disc 185 and down outer edge 187 of FIG. 9. Flow proceeds into the annular space 152 defined between the exterior of filter 180 and the interior surface of cartridge housing 150 as shown in FIG. 10. Differential pressure between the exterior of filter 180 and axial bore 190 forces this inlet water from annular space 152 through the filter to axial bore 190. From bore 190 filtered water now flows through the flow restriction outlet orifice 194 through outlet bore 40 of cartridge insert 50 to outlet flow passage 31 of manifold assembly 12. From there, filtered water exits manifold assembly 12 through outlet flow passage 35 and out outlet port 24 to an external means connected thereto (not shown).

[0055] In an alternative embodiment, an adapter could be used to facilitate interconnection of the cartridge assembly 14 and the manifold assembly 12. Such an adapter would allow for the use of filter assembly components 10 not originally designed for use with one another.

[0056] The disengagement of manifold assembly 12 from cartridge assembly 14 proceeds as follows, under the definition that alignment marker 200 of manifold assembly 12 is lined up with alignment marker 202 of cartridge top member 16 at 0.degree.. It should be noted that all relative rotational motion between manifold assembly 12 and cartridge assembly 14 also provides relative motion along the longitudinal axis. As rotational force is applied to cartridge assembly 14 to disengage it from manifold assembly 12 from 0.degree. to substantially 17.degree. from alignment, locking tabs 108 are unseated from depressions 109. Simultaneously, the compressive force of biasing spring 26 acts to close the high-flow valve 28 as the valve 28 rides down the ramp 102 (see FIG. 6). As valve 28 descends (longitudinal relative motion), ridge 33 approaches annular sealing surface 37. At substantially 17.degree. of rotation, biasing spring 26 has fully pressed ridge 33 of high-flow valve 28 into contact with annular sealing surface 37 thereby stopping the flow of inlet water to the cartridge assembly. As rotation proceeds, at substantially 34.degree. from alignment, sealing surface 112 will begin to disengage longitudinally from O-ring 34 thus opening vent ports 110 to ambient and allowing vent ports 110 to relieve any excess pressure within cartridge assembly 14. As separation of cartridge assembly 14 from manifold assembly 20 advances, at approximately 120.degree. from alignment, cartridge assembly 14 will be free to fully disengage from manifold assembly 12.

[0057] Under normal conditions of system pressure and vibration, the existence of locking tabs 108 and depressions 109 will necessitate the manual disengagement of manifold assembly 12 from cartridge assembly 14 as described above. However, upon an overpressure condition within the filter assembly, as defined by the level of aggressive design utilized in tabs 108 and depressions 109 internal pressure will unseat locking tabs 108 from depressions 109 without the aid of external means, thereupon commencing the benign disengagement sequence as described above.

[0058] It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that other embodiments in addition to the ones described herein are indicated to be within the scope and breadth of the present application. Accordingly, the applicant intends to be limited only by the claims appended hereto.


Water filter having a filter use time indicator
Water filter with strainer scraping means
Orally operable water filter
Hinge down refrigerator water filter

PUB. APP. NO. Title
20060113237 Hinge down refrigerator water filter
20060107487 Water filter vacuum cleaner
20060037904 Water filter for an electrochemical fuel cell system
20060011523 Water filter cartridge comprising an exchangeable testing unit that contains a conductance sensor
20050279716 WATER FILTER MODULE HANDLING APPARATUS
20050247620 Hinge down refrigerator water filter
20050236308 Filter core controller device of water filter device
20050189289 Water filter
20050173320 Water filter assembly
20050161390 Laminated modular water filter
20050155165 Compact water filter for cleaning pool water
20050115879 Water filter and the production method therefor
20050072725 Inline water filter
20050040096 Laminated modular water filter
20050035042 Water filter cartridge
20040251210 Water filter control unit
20030075492 Laminated modular water filter
20030034289 Water filter
20030034287 Laminated modular water filter
20030024259 Hinge down refrigerator water filter
20030019819 Hot disconnect replaceable water filter assembly
20030019805 Low spillage replaceable water filter assembly
20030015483 Black water filter for high ash containing feedstock
20030000881 Anti-cheating device for water filter
20020189988 APPARATUS FOR CLEANING A SWIMMING POOL WATER FILTER
20020189983 Water filter monitoring and indicating system
20020178537 Vacuum cleaner with water filter
20020134720 Waste water filter having multiple wall filter elements and outlet protection
20020084213 WARM/COLD DOUBLE-CIRCULATION WATER FILTER SYSTEM AND SWIMMING POOL ARRANGEMENT
20020040868 Self-cleaning water filter
20010023843 Water filter cartridge replacement system for a refrigerator

Copyright © 2006 - 2015 Patent Information Search