Abstract: An alarm system for a storage hot water heater comprising an alarm housing, power supply leads inserted through the top of a hot water heater tank, a fluid collection pan positioned under the tank, and a fluid detection sensor associated with the pan. The alarm housing is configured to provide prompt owner/operator notification after only a small amount of fluid is collected in the pan under the tank. Owner/operator notification can be provided via audible, visual, and/or remote means, such as but not limited to a signal transmitted to a home security device that is relayed to a 24-hour security monitoring network. Since the alarm housing is hard wired, reliance on batteries is avoided and the system's useful life meets or exceeds that of the associated hot water heater. In addition, the leads never have to be removed from the hot water heater tank and can be made tamper-resistant.
Abstract: A generally mushroom-shaped vibration isolator having a broad cap and a smaller diameter stem that is used for safety enhancement between a heavy furnace, air conditioning unit, storage hot water heater tank, or other fluid-producing unit, and a fluid-collecting pan positioned under it. Vibration isolator stems are placed within indentations in raised areas of the pan and comprise highly impact-resistant materials, temperature-resistant materials, provide enhanced air movement and heat deflection around a furnace/unit/tank, reduce after-installation furnace/unit/tank movement, and meet furnace non-combustible clearance requirements. The cap has a broad underside surface, top surface radially-extending ribs and cutouts, and may have a slightly convex top, while the stem has at least one outwardly-depending wedge-shaped projection that is sufficiently flared-out to flip over as it is inserted into an indentation for a tight fit within several sizes of indentation, as well as removal resistance.
Abstract: A furnace riser block configured for placement under residential or commercial furnaces and having a generally isosceles trapezoid configuration when viewed from any of its four sides. It is made from strong and lightweight plastic materials that absorb vibration. At least two riser blocks are used together to support a furnace, each having a bottom flange, four corner protrusions, two side protrusions offset from a central location, a deep draft on all four of its sides, a high width-to-height ratio, vertical ribbing that creates a scalloped configuration and increases its vertical loading capability, and multiple indentations in its top surface each configured for receiving a metal jacket riser member that gives an additional inch of clearance when needed in an installation and/or receipt of a vibration isolator. The furnace riser block is stronger, lighter in weight, and safer to handle and ship, than known furnace supports made from metal material.
Abstract: An illuminated holder for storing one roll of toilet paper in a protected and conveniently accessible position atop a toilet tank, although positioning in other conveniently accessible locations in a bathroom is also contemplated. The holder has a grooved base, a cylindrical main body, an upwardly-tapering cap, and a light emitting diode (LED) that provides a source of illumination through a translucent light shield positioned between the main body and the cap. A photovoltaic cell and rechargeable battery preferably power the LED light, and a sensor automatically activates the LED light in dimly lit surroundings. One roll of toilet paper is placed on the base at a time, and then covered until needed by the assembled main body, shield, and cap. Optionally, the base may have high-friction feet configured for gripping the top of a toilet tank cover and maintaining the holder in its desired position of use.
Abstract: A fluid-sensing switch system that can monitor pre-established threshold fluid levels in the primary drain pan inside an air conditioning unit or other condensate-producing unit, and also in a secondary drain pan positioned under the unit, providing redundant safety response capability. Once the threaded plug of a sensing probe is connected to the unit's weep hole, it positions a center sensor extending through a false-trigger-reducing resilient piece in a position to wait for rising fluid capable of breaching a weep hole dam. The center sensor provides a first power potential, while a circular sensor also present provides the second power potential needed for signal generation. A signal-generating member connected to both sensors is electrically connected to the unit to shut it off, and/or activate a pump that removes fluid from the secondary drain pan. When mounted on a secondary drain pan, the signal-generating member provides the redundant safety response capability.
Abstract: A device attached to a fluid-level sensing probe used in association with the primary drain pan located inside an air conditioning unit or other condensate-producing unit, which provides quick testing for proper sensing probe function without its removal from the condensate-producing unit. A tester can simply press a different finger against each of two electrically-conductive rods attached to an inverted U-shaped mount that is typically fixed to the upper perimeter edge of a secondary drain pan positioned underneath at least a portion of the condensate-producing unit. If the sensing probe is properly functioning, the tester will immediately know, as a circuit will be completed and the condensate-producing unit will be shut off and/or a pump activated to assist removal of collected condensate from the secondary drain pan. For user convenience, an optional quick disconnect can be provided between the sensing probe and the inverted U-shaped mount.
Abstract: A water detection assembly having an electronic fluid-sensing probe located in-line within a primary drain line associated with a fluid-producing unit via probe connection to an access port used for clearing and removing clog-causing debris from the primary drain line. The probe has no moving parts and quick-disconnect connection to a signal-generating unit. The access port is configured for vertical or horizontal installation and introduction of chemicals to clean the drain without retrograde backflow into the fluid-producing unit. The probe is inserted into the access port through a longitudinal opening when vertically installed, and alternatively through a lateral opening in a horizontal installation. When the probe detects fluid, the connected signal-generating unit sends an electronic signal that shuts off fluid production, activates an alarm or pump, and/or provides remote notification.
Abstract: An endoscopic system and method that is adaptable for therapeutic applications as well as sensor operation and is capable of producing 3-dimensional human vision simulated imaging with real dynamic convergence, not virtual convergence. Applications may include use in any space, including but not limited to, intra-abdominal cavities, intra-thoracic cavities, and intra-cranial cavities. Further, two or more diagnostic/sensor probes may be used, with at least two being the same kind to create the 3-dimensional effect, such as but not limited to, camera, ultrasound, and magnetic-resonance imaging. Diagnostic/sensor probes are each mounted to the end of a different arm, with the other ends of the two arms both being attached to the same hinge that allows them to turn freely on the same axis from side-to-side within a 180 degree angle range of movement on the distal end of a main tubular shaft system. Medical, as well as other applications, are contemplated.
Abstract: A multi-level fluid-collecting pan configured for placement under an upright cylindrical hot water heater tank and support thereof. It has a circular bottom surface integral with a raised central hub, multiple raised arcuate spokes extending outwardly from the hub, and multiple elevated risers extending from the perimeter wall toward the hub. A perimeter wall around the bottom surface defines a non-raised fluid-collecting area. Vibration isolators that support a hot water heater tank upon the risers maintain the tank above any accumulated water in the non-raised areas of the bottom surface. Low elevation risers in perpendicular orientation to some risers, a nesting configuration with mismatched indents, sturdy and impact-resistant materials, a drain opening in the perimeter wall, and an upturned lip extending upwardly from the perimeter wall, are also preferred. The hub, spokes, and risers cover much of the pan's bottom surface and force accumulated water toward the perimeter wall.
Abstract: A projection laser scanner and method used to locate otherwise difficult-to-see items inadvertently dropped onto relatively flat surface areas, such as but not limited to floors, countertops, and tabletops, which uses a laser beam with a broad field of view to illuminate items raised above the surface area, giving each a glowing appearance. Should surface areas comprise raised features, the laser beam will illuminate them. However, dropped items thereon will still be very evident and remain easy to locate. Safety applications of the projection laser scanner are many, and include but are not limited to, finding dropped medication, small tools, eyeglass screws, contact lenses, pins, needles, staples, and other objects that one would not want a small child or pet to find and swallow; broken glass or ceramic shards; rings, earrings, and gemstones inadvertently separated from jewelry; as well as countless other difficult-to-see items that blend into background surface areas.
Abstract: An attachment (10) for operably mounting and supporting a ladder (12) comprises an angular frame (18, 20) adapted for receipt by a vehicular hitch (14). The frame (18, 20) includes crosspieces (26) adapted for receiving rungs of the ladder (12), which are releaseably connected together with fasteners (28). In the second embodiment, the fasteners (28?) are captured on the frame (18?, 20?).
Abstract: A two-piece clamping assembly with an integral rail plate used to rapidly and securely mount a float switch within a fluid collection container for fluid level monitoring. It is usable with both metal and plastic condensate collection pans, and successfully accommodates their differing wall thickness dimensions and different upper edge configurations. When its front and back clamping members are joined together over the top edge, lip, or flange of a pan using one centrally located top fastener, and at least one additional fastener is inserted through the back clamping member until it engages the exterior surface of the pan, the pan's upper edge becomes secured within an inverted J-shaped slot formed between the two clamping members. Vertically-extending internal ribs and horizontally-extending projections strengthen the clamping assembly. Preferred plastic materials also make the clamping assembly impervious to corrosion.
Abstract: A simple-to-use adornment device, and method, employed by a user close-at-hand for personal safety enhancement. It contains a personal alarm or remote control device while maintaining a capability for immediate alarm/remote activation to summon assistance. It has a jewelry appearance or comprises a modular casing to which exchangeable decorative elements can be attached. Since it improves the aesthetic look of an associated alarm/remote, users are more likely to wear it habitually and experience enhanced personal safety and well-being as a result thereof. Inner and outer members with asymmetrical keyed guides are in sliding relation to one another to form the casing with one-way assembly, and a cord/chain connected to the members maintains their association with one another even when disassembled. Openings in each member are aligned to provide activation button access. Optional features include an interior resilient spacer, a cover, a clasp, and sheet pockets associated with the outer member.
Abstract: A method and an improvement to saw systems configured to convert raw I-joists from inventory to pre-cut sizes and/or cut routed patterns in I-joists for utility pass-through applications prior to their shipment to a construction site or return to inventory, whereby a controlled amount of adhesive and a protective liner are automatically and successively applied to the top flange of each I-joist. The saw system improvement comprises coordinated mechanical, electrical, and pneumatic components.
Abstract: A rugged pan for supporting a fluid-producing unit in fluid collection and overflow applications. The pan has an integrated support system for enhanced material strength, which reduces cracking and premature failure during installation and extended periods of use. Strengthening features include perimeter grommets, angled corners, at least three elongated and longitudinally-extending center supports each having a non-linear perimeter configuration, a corrugated array of laterally-extending uppercuts and undercuts substantially across the pan, and a stress-transferring member connected between adjacent non-linear supports.
Abstract: A clamping device of unitary construction comprising a tubular bridge secured between an inverted U-shaped clamping member with a vertically-extending slot and two rail plates placed in a back-to-back configuration. The dual rail plate structure permits the mounting of a pivotally-deployable float switch within the lowermost corner of a tilted fluid collection pan, when expedited response time is needed for stopping fluid flow into a collection container after only a minimal amount of fluid has accumulated in the lowered corner. The unitary construction of the clamping device, use of thumbscrews to secure its clamping member over the top edge of a fluid collection container wall, and its simple rail plate construction allow for rapid installation of a float switch within a fluid collection pan or other fluid collecting container. Vertically-extending internal ribs strengthen the clamping member. Preferred plastic materials also make the clamping device impervious to corrosion.
Abstract: A one-piece liquid-level float switch housing and drain line assembly for use with a collection tray or pan to collect condensate and shut off the source of condensate production when it exceeds a pre-established threshold level. The assembly is configured for rapid connection through a pre-formed drain line opening in the perimeter wall of a condensate collection tray/pan to place the deployable float body within its housing in a level orientation relative to the tray/pan without additional leveling adjustment. The housing has an open bottom and vertically-extending slots providing fluid inlet, debris blocking, and air venting functions for enhanced float body operation. The condensate pan/tray used with the assembly has a nesting configuration that includes a perimeter wall with varying combinations of gussets, curved ribs, angled corner configurations, and support shelves, and a central bottom surface with raised patterns, all of which strengthen the tray/pad during installation and use.
Abstract: A knitting needle with one or more elevation changes that provide ergonomic benefit on the portions of its shaft typically held by knitters during stitch/loop creation, to allow knitting with enhanced comfort, faster knitting, and/or knitting for longer periods of time with less risk of hands becoming prematurely tired, numb, or aching from the repetitive motion inherent in knitting activity. The needle may also have different cross-sectional configurations that provide additional ergonomic benefit, in place of the traditional circular shape still most commonly used. The elevation changes are not positioned on the pointed tip of the needle, or within approximately one-and-one-half to two inches thereof, and are not so configured or pronounced as to interfere with the easy movement of stitches along the needle's shaft. A tube or post may further be added to the end cap on the non-pointed end of a single-point needle for convenient point protector mounting.
Abstract: A crochet hook with one or more elevation changes associated with the exterior surface of its elongated shaft that provide ergonomic benefit on the grip area of the shaft typically held by a person crocheting, to allow crocheting with enhanced comfort, faster crocheting, and/or crocheting for longer periods of time with less risk of hands becoming tired, numb, or aching from the repetitive motion inherent in crocheting activity. The hook's shaft may also have different cross-sectional configurations that provide ergonomic benefit, such as that of a triangle with softened edges, instead of the traditional circular shape still most commonly used. The elevation changes typically extend longitudinally along the crochet hook shaft a minimum of approximately two-and-one-half to three inches, and are not usually positioned on the hook associated with the crochet hook's shaft, or within approximately one to one-and-one-eighth inches thereof.