Water filter abstract
A cartridge for a water filter system has a closed housing with
only an inlet and an outlet formed in the lower surface thereof.
A discharge tube extends from the outlet at the bottom, through
the housing, to a position near the top of the housing. There, an
elongated sleeve of filter material filters the water leaving the
housing. The space between the inlet and the filter sleeve is filled
with three different filter materials, most of which is activated
Water filter claims
The invention which is claimed is:
1. A water filter system comprising an appliance assembly for attachment
to a water faucet, water filter cartridge means enclosed within
said appliance for filtering water passing from said faucet to a
discharge port, said water filter cartridge means comprising a completely
enclosed non-porous housing having an inside floor and with only
an inlet port and an outlet port, said inlet and outlet ports being
on the bottom surface of said enclosure, a discharge pipe raising
from said outlet port through the interior of said housing to an
intake port at an end of said pipe and at a location near the top
and inside said completely enclosed housing enclosure whereby all
water passing through said housing is retained within said completely
enclosed housing and is not exposed to contaminants outside said
housing while said water is in transit through said housing, and
an elongated sleeve of filter material covering the intake port
and the upper end of said discharge pipe.
2. The water filter system of claim 1 and three filter elements
inside said housing, said sleeve being one of said three filter
3. The water filter system of claim 2 wherein a first of said three
filter elements is a fiber disk covering the inside floor of said
housing and lying over said inlet, a second of said filter elements
being activated charcoal rising to the inside top of said enclosure,
and the third of said filter elements being said elongated sleeve
of filter material.
4. A cartridge for a water filtering system, said cartridge comprising
a housing formed by a closed non-porous cup having unbroken cylindrical
side walls extending to and sealingly formed with an unbroken upper
end wall, the side walls of said cup being closed on the bottom
by sealing to an unbroken end wall having an inlet port and an outlet
port formed therein, a discharge pipe attached and sealed to said
bottom end wall and extending from said outlet port toward but not
through said upper end wall whereby an end of said discharge pipe
near said upper end wall forms an intake for the pipe leading to
said outlet port, an elongated sleeve of filer material covering
the upper end of said discharge pipe for filtering water entering
said discharge pipe prior to leaving said housing via said discharge
pipe, and filter material inside said housing to filter water passing
from said inlet to said upper end of said discharge pipe with no
part of the passage of said water through said filter being outside
of said housing.
5. The cartridge of claim 4 wherein said filter material inside
said housing comprises a fibrous disk covering said inlet and surrounding
said outlet, and activated charcoal filling the space inside said
6. A water filter cartridge for use in a housing of a faucet filter
appliance, said cartridge having a non-porous housing that is completely
sealed except for an inlet and an outlet positioned in adjacent
position at only one end of said cartridge, a discharge tube extending
from said outlet to a position remote from said outlet and within
said completely sealed housing, an elongated sleeve of filter material
covering at least the remote end of said discharge tube in order
to filter all water entering said discharge tube, said sleeve being
completely within said sealed housing, and filter material filling
the remainder of said housing.
7. The cartridge of claim 6 wherein said filter material comprises
8. The cartridge of claim 7 wherein said filter material also includes
a sheet of fiber material covering said inlet.
9. The cartridge of claim 8 and adhesive means sealing the exterior
sides of said inlet and said outlet until an installation of said
Water filter description
This invention relates to water filter cartridges and more particularly
to cartridges which may be added to appliances attached to water
Known water filtering systems, of the inventive type, are arranged
to be attached to water faucets, as at a kitchen sink, for example.
These filtering systems include an appliance made of metal or plastic,
which is attached to the outlet of the faucet. Mounted on this appliance
is a cup or cover which may be removed in order to either install
a new water filter cartridge or replace an old and spent cartridge.
Then the cup or cover is replaced. A valve on the appliance may
selectively divert the water flowing from the faucet into or away
from the filter cartridge.
Herefore, the cartridges for this appliance have been constructed
within a plastic housing containing one or more suitable filter
materials. The plastic housing of the cartridge has an inlet on
the bottom to enable an entrance of water which rises through the
filter materials. At the top of the cartridge, the rising water
has been discharged into a space between the top of the plastic
housing and the inside of the cup or cover. From that space, the
water ran through a discharge port on the top of the filter and
down a discharge pipe or tube extending through the filter materials
to an outlet part, from which the water issues.
This cartridge design introduces two problems. First, the inside
of the cup or cover (which is not sealed in the factory) becomes
part of the water path. Therefore, it is possible to drop something
into the inside of the cup or cover and, possibly contaminate the
water flowing through the filter. Second, the plastic housing and
the cup or cover are different materials which introduces a number
of problems such as a possible creation of galvanic currents, erosion
of materials, or the like.
At a bare minimum, if nothing else, the manufacturer loses control
over the filtration which occurs within the filter. Therefore, if
a consumer does anything unwise which results in any kind of contamination,
the manufacturer faces a potential product liability litigation.
Even if the manufacturer eventually proves that the damage was caused
by the consumer's own negligence or unwise action, a substantial
cost of litigation may have been experienced.
Beyond these fairly apparent reasons for providing an improved
water filtering system, the prior system tended to concentrate the
flow through choke points where contaminates which are filtered
from the water tend to collect. It would be better to spread the
water more evenly over a larger area.
Thus, there is a need for new and improved water filter cartridges
which are completely sealed and which distribute the flow of filtered
water in a better manner.
Accordingly, an object of the invention is to provide new and improved
water filtering cartridges. Here, an object is to provide cartridges
which are completely sealed at the factory so that there is no uncontrolled
passageway within the filtering system where a consumer may spill
something. Still another object is to reduce choke points in the
filtering system where contaminants may collect.
Another object of the invention is to eliminate paths through unanticipated
dissimilar materials within the filtering system.
Still another object is to provide a cartridge which is compatible
with appliances and existing hardware which are already installed
in the field.
In keeping with an aspect of the invention, these and other objects
are accomplished by a completely factory sealed cartridge having
only one inlet port at a point where water is introduced into the
filtering system and one outlet port where water is discharged therefrom.
The internal end of the discharge pipe is enclosed within the sealed
housing and is covered by an elongated sleeve of filter material
which distributes the filtration over a considerable area instead
of concentrating it in a relatively small area, such as the cross
section of the pipe.
The preferred embodiment of the invention will be understood best
from the attached drawing wherein:
FIG. 1 is an exploded view of an appliance and the inventive cartridge;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of a prior art filter cartridge;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the inventive factory sealed cartridge,
partially broken away to show an internal, elongated filter sleeve
on the internal end of a discharge pipe;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the filter which schematically
shows the water flow path within the prior art filter;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a disk of filter material which
illustrates how a choke point forms where contaminants collect within
the prior art filter;
FIG. 6 is a cross-section which illustrates the water flow path
through the inventive sealed filter cartridge; and
FIG. 7 shows factory installed seals at the inlet and outlet of
the inventive cartridge.
In FIG. 1 an appliance assembly 20 is constructed to be attached
to a faucet at 22 and to discharge water at 24. A two position valve
handle 26 is arranged to discharge faucet water either directly
through outlet 24 or through the filter cartridge 28 and then the
outlet 24. The filter cartridge 28 is enclosed within a cup or cover
30 which is threaded to turn onto threads 32 on the appliance assembly
20. The dimensions and mounting means on the inventive cartridge
28 are identical to the dimensions and mounting means of pre-existing
systems. Therefore, the inventive cartridge may be used in any appliance
assembly which is already in the field.
The prior art cartridge is shown in FIG. 2 as including a plastic
housing 34 having on its lower surface an inlet port 36 and an outlet
port 38. An upstanding discharge tube or pipe 40 is attached inside
the bottom of the housing 34 at the outlet port 38. Inside the
housing, there are three filtration stages, which are: a fibrous
disk 42 activated charcoal 46 and a fibrous disk 48. These three
filter materials fit into the housing 34. The upper end closing
plate 50 is then ultra-sonically welded to the top of the enclosure
34. Upstanding upon the upper surface of plate 50 are a plurality
of bosses 52 which ensure a minimum space 54 (FIG. 4) between the
confronting inside surface of the cup or closure 30 and the top
50 of cartridge 34. A hole 56 is formed in the upper cover 50 of
housing 34 for the water to pass through. Adjacent hole 56 is another
hole 58 leading to discharge pipe 40.
The flow through the prior art filter cartridge is shown in FIG.
4. Water enters inlet 36 and rises through the filter materials
under the influence of the existing water pressure. When it reaches
the top of the cartridge 34 the water overflows, exiting outlet
hole 56 in top 50. The water passes through the space 54 defined
by an O-ring 59 and drains out hole 58 and discharge pipe 40 to
outlet port 38. While in space 54 the water is exposed to an environment
which is out of the control of the manufacturer and could be contaminated
by the consumer. Also, the water is exposed to the metal or the
other material used to make the cover or cup 30. Thus, for these
and other reasons, the water filter is not always as sanitary or
as trouble free as it could be.
It may be recalled that a fibrous disk filters 42 48 are positioned
below and above the charcoal to provide two of the three stages
of filtering. Disk 42 at the bottom of the filter keeps any solid
particles in the water supply from entering the inlet 36. The filter
disk 48 at the top of the filter cartridge is internal to the filter.
Charcoal particles 46 are pressed against the filter disk in the
area immediately below outlet 56 which forms a choke point through
which the out flow is concentrated. Therefore, in this immediate
area 61 (FIG. 5) below outlet 56 charcoal particles and any other
contaminants in the water tend to accumulate as is shown at 61 in
FIG. 5. This concentrated area of contaminate accumulation may lead
to a premature and at least partial failure of the filter.
According to the invention, the upper end 65 (FIGS. 1 3 6) of
the filter enclosure 28 is a solid and unbroken member. FIG. 6 illustrates
the water flow within the inventive enclosure. The discharge pipe
66 raises from a hole 67 in the bottom plate; however, the upper
end of pipe 66 terminates below the upper surface 65. Thus, no water
within the filter can escape from the enclosure 28.
On the upper end, pipe 66 is covered by an elongated sleeve 64
of filter material. Therefore, as the water rises inside the filter
enclosure 28 it passes through the elongated sleeve 64 of filter
material and out the discharge pipe 66. Instead of a filter disk,
as in the prior art, with a choke point limited to the cross-sectional
area 56 (FIG. 5) of the discharge pipe, there is a large and unconcentrated
area over the surface of the sleeve 64. Thus, in the invention,
there is substantially less chance that the output filter will become
clogged, as compared to the area 61 on filter disk 48 of the prior
art structure. Therefore, the filter may be manufactured and completely
sealed while in a clean environment.
Simple adhesive paper disks 70 72 (FIG. 7) may be stuck over the
bottom of inlet 36 and outlet 67. Thereafter the entire filter system
is sealed until the consumer removes these disks to install the
Those who are skilled in the art will readily perceive how to modify
the invention. Therefore, the appended claims are to be construed
to cover all equivalent structures which fall within the true scope
and spirit of the invention.