Liquid Or Moisture Responsive Patents (Class 200/61.04)
  • Patent number: 10297135
    Abstract: A dryness sensor uses a block of superabsorbent polymer that absorbs liquid and increases in size as liquid is absorbed. When the block of superabsorbent polymer increases in size in the presence of liquid, the block of superabsorbent polymer contacts one or more electronic components coupled to a moisture detection circuit that provides an indication of moisture. When the block of superabsorbent polymer loses moisture, it decreases in size until the block of superabsorbent polymer no longer contacts the one or more electronic components. The moisture detection circuit detects when the block of superabsorbent polymer no longer contacts the one or more electronic components, and provides an alert indicating a lack of moisture. The dryness sensor could be used, for example, to monitor the moisture content of soil in a pot that has a house plant growing in the pot.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2018
    Date of Patent: May 21, 2019
    Assignee: Perfection Holdings LLC
    Inventor: Matthew T. Johnson
  • Patent number: 10249165
    Abstract: A child safety boundary alarm system, for warning caregivers of a dangerous situation when a child passes a boundary near a hazard such as a swimming pool. The system includes a base unit, an auxiliary unit, and a bracelet worn by the child. The caregivers have portable electronic devices. The base unit and auxiliary unit have annunciators and the system is connected to a computer network. When the base unit determines that the child has crossed the boundary, audible and visual warnings are generated by the annunciators and notifications are provided to the electronic devices of the caregivers using the computer network.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2019
    Inventor: Chad Doetzel
  • Patent number: 10147563
    Abstract: The invention relates to an on-load tap changer (2) according to the reactor switching principle for uninterrupted load switching between different tap windings of a tapped transformer (1), comprising: —an inductor (3) which is designed as an inductive transition reactance; —the inductor (3) being part of the on-load tap changer (2).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 4, 2018
    Assignee: MASCHINENFABRIK REINHAUSEN GMBH
    Inventors: Uwe Kaltenborn, Alfred Bieringer, Christian Hammer, Christian Pircher, Andreas Sachsenhauser, Thomas Schuster
  • Patent number: 10118132
    Abstract: An inspection apparatus of an electrolyte membrane is provided. The apparatus includes a lower supporter having a gas line through which gas flows or a concave portion that stores the gas. An upper supporter is disposed at an upper side of the lower supporter, and includes an opening. A membrane-electrode assembly is disposed between the lower supporter and the upper supporter. An upper cover covers an upper portion of the opening, and is formed with a plurality of partitions. An exhaust port is formed at the upper supporter to exhaust deionized water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 23, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2018
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Jae Jun Ko, Hyun Young Pi, Kwi Seong Jeong
  • Patent number: 10076099
    Abstract: A magnetic tracking tag for animals may detect the occurrence of a predation event. The tag may include a pH sensitive material that degrades in the environment of a predator's gut. The degradation of the pH sensitive material causes a change in a detectable magnetic field of the tag, which allows the tag to detect the predation event and adjust its operation accordingly.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: September 18, 2018
    Assignee: InnovaSea Marine Systems Canada Inc.
    Inventors: Terrance William Fraser, Gary Donald Marsh, Chad Douglas Murphy, Douglas Bruce Oakley, Timothy Bruce Stone, Dale Mitchell Webber, Ryan Isaac Fielden, Kimberly Jean Miller, Mary Anne White, Aubrey Johannes Ingraham, Philip Ronald Huntley
  • Patent number: 9975152
    Abstract: An automatic air conditioner condensate drain line clean-out system (1) having a flushing line (6) which is preferably supplied by a home's hot water heater and connected to a condensate drain line (3). A supply valve (10) that supplies the hot water preferably controlled by a timer (11) that allows the system to be activated on a reoccurring basis. A drain valve (13) is located on the condensate drain line subsequent to a point of connection between the flushing line and the condensate drain line to prevent backflow of water from the flushing line into a drain pan (2) of the air conditioning system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2017
    Date of Patent: May 22, 2018
    Inventor: Steven M. McClarren
  • Patent number: 9655311
    Abstract: A rain sensor can be configured to shut off one or more irrigation devices during and/or after a period of rainfall. The rain sensor can include a moisture basin mounted therein. The moisture basin houses an absorbent element configured to expand in at least one direction when wetted. Expansion of the absorbent element can activate a signal actuator to generate a shut off signal to one or more irrigation devices. The moisture basin can retain excess moisture when the absorbent element is fully saturated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 23, 2017
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: James A. Bell
  • Patent number: 9512584
    Abstract: Provided herein are devices, systems and methods for the in situ monitoring of a fire burning area. The device comprises a flotation unit having a body housing, an electronic unit with a radiofrequency antenna exteriorly disposed thereon configured to monitor, record and transmit/receive data obtained from within a burning fire, such as an oil fire, wirelessly to a primary collecting unit and, optionally, an ignition unit to ignite the fire. The system comprises the flotation units, means for connecting the units for deployment on the water and the hardware/software necessary to run the system and analyze and calculate temperature, position and surface area of the burn. The flotation devices communicate wirelessly to each other and to a primary collecting unit which provides the communicated data to a processing unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Inventor: Michel Ghosn
  • Patent number: 9513185
    Abstract: A detecting element is provided for detecting leaks of an electrically nonconductive liquid, in particular of hydrocarbons, as well as a detection cable and a detection system using such a detecting element. The detecting element includes a detection member made of a material which inflates upon contact with the liquid and which is loaded with electrically conductive particles, to be conductive when not contaminated by the liquid, and to lose the conductivity when inflating from contact with the liquid. The detection member is electrically connected to an electronic management module, which is arranged for detecting the presence of the liquid by noticing a decrease in the conductivity of the detection member. In a preferred embodiment, the detection cable includes four insulated conductive wires, one of which is embedded in the detection member which is itself protected by an inflatable casing, which is also insulating and water-proof.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 4, 2014
    Date of Patent: December 6, 2016
    Assignee: TTK
    Inventors: Olivier Gautier, Olivier Gillot, Stefan Balatchev
  • Patent number: 9500770
    Abstract: Methods and apparatus are provided herein for sensing rain fall for use in irrigation control. In one embodiment, a wireless rain sensor comprises a housing at least partially covering a first sensor, a controller and a wireless transmitter. The first sensor comprises a moisture absorptive material located to be contacted by rain fall and configured to expand in response to the contact with the rain fall and contract in response to an absence of the rain fall. The controller is coupled to the first sensor and configured to output signals corresponding to a variable amount of expansion and contraction of the moisture absorptive material. The wireless transmitter is configured to transmit wireless signals, at least one wireless signal comprising data corresponding to the variable amount of expansion and contraction of the moisture absorptive material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: Rain Bird Corporation
    Inventors: Randall A. Hern, David G. Fern, Gerald E. Peterson, David M. Redmond
  • Patent number: 9417200
    Abstract: A moisture concentration detecting device including a gas chamber; a pair of porous electrodes facing each other in the gas chamber; a solid electrolyte membrane sandwiched between the electrodes; a case which covers the electrodes and the solid electrolyte membrane and on a surface of which a pleated portion is provided; an impedance measuring circuit measuring an AC impedance between the electrodes by applying an AC voltage to the electrodes; a storage device storing therein conversion information for converting an AC impedance between the electrodes into a moisture concentration in the insulating gas; and a computing unit obtaining a moisture concentration in the insulating gas from a measured value of the AC impedance by referring to the conversion information stored in the storage device with respect to the measured value of the AC impedance input from the impedance measuring circuit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2012
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC CORPORATION
    Inventors: Tatsuya Yabe, Yoshiyuki Tamura
  • Patent number: 9249981
    Abstract: A condensate overflow detection device includes a frame, a housing, an affixing device, a surface placement mechanism, a float and an actuator. The housing has a bottom and a plurality of pan engagement side surfaces extending upwardly from the bottom, each of which is disposed at a different angle relative to the bottom surface. The housing defines a vent structure passing therethrough that allows water to pass into the housing. The affixing device clamps a pan engagement side surface to a sidewall of a secondary condensate pan. The surface placement mechanism places one of the pan engagement side surfaces opposite from the affixing device. The float, disposed within the housing, has a first position when no water has entered the housing and a second position when a predetermined level of water has entered the housing. The actuator causes an event when the float is in the second position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: DiversiTech Corporation
    Inventors: Jonathan M. Sada, Keith H. Platt
  • Patent number: 8957335
    Abstract: The invention relates to an electrical isolating device (2) comprising a first connecting part (4a), a second connecting part (4b), an isolation point (6) which in the closed state forms a current path between the first and the second connecting parts (4a, 4b) and is located spatially between the connecting parts, wherein in the isolated state the isolation point (6) isolates the current path between the connecting parts (4a, 4b), and further comprising an auxiliary drive (8) which influences isolation of the isolation point (6). Particularly reliable isolation is ensured in that a flowable medium (10) driven by the auxiliary drive is disposed in such a way that it surrounds the isolation point (6) at least partially at least at the moment of isolation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 16, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 17, 2015
    Assignee: Auto Kabel Managementgesellschaft mbH
    Inventors: Oliver Sprenger, Frank Gronwald, Wolfgang Hentschel
  • Patent number: 8664467
    Abstract: Absorbent articles incorporating sensory element members are disclosed. The absorbent articles may be disposable pant like garments designed to assist urinary toilet training such as of young children. Upon urination by the wearer, the article produces a feedback response which is transmitted to the wearer by the sensory element member. Wetness based, temperature based and other feedback responses are disclosed. The feedback response should be immediate and unmistakable to the wearer and also be temporary and harmless.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 4, 2014
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventors: Donald Carroll Roe, Jennifer Joan Nandrea, Masaharu Nishikawa
  • Patent number: 8590559
    Abstract: A leak detector assembly uses fluid collected from a leaking conduit to automatically prohibit flow. The assembly includes a housing having a bottom, a top and a perimeter wall extending between the bottom and the top. A basin is coupled to the top of the housing. A drain opening is positioned in the basin. A collection pan is positioned below the drain opening to collect fluids passed through the drain opening from the basin. An electrical circuit is coupled to the collection pan. A sponge is coupled to the collection pan positioned over and contacting spaced contacts whereby the sponge completes the electrical circuit when the sponge becomes wet. A stop valve is coupled to a fluid conduit providing fluid to a position over the basin. The stop valve is operationally coupled to the electrical circuit whereby the stop valve closes upon the electrical circuit being completed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 23, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Inventor: Ezequiel Gutierrez
  • Patent number: 8471715
    Abstract: A disposable diaper with wireless alarm system includes a) a disposable diaper structure; b) a disposable diaper telltale conductive strip; c) an attachable, removable, reusable battery-powered sensor-transmitter device; and d) a wireless receiver with an alarm signal. Multiple diapers with different frequencies and optional disconnect sensors may be included and controlled by local or remote computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Inventors: Anthony Solazzo, Herbert Heflich
  • Patent number: 8413286
    Abstract: A toothbrush can include a handle and a head. At least one bristle can be attached to the head. The toothbrush can also have an illumination member, an illumination circuit and an activation device. The activation device can include two contact members fixed in a non-contact position on an outside of the handle. A method can include causing conduction between the contact members to activate the illumination circuit. The toothbrush can be an electric toothbrush. The electric toothbrush can have an illumination member positioned such that light from the illumination member can be seen by a user in a mirror facing the user.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 11, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 9, 2013
    Assignee: Dr. Fresh, LLC
    Inventor: Puneet Nanda
  • Patent number: 8299317
    Abstract: An absorbent article includes a liner and an outercover in facing relation and at least one conductive element located between the liner and the outercover. At least a portion of the conductive element is exposed through the liner and/or the outercover to define at least one external contact point. The external contact point defines a perimeter and the liner and/or the outercover is sealed about the perimeter. The contact points provide external access to the internal conductive elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2012
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Darold Dean Tippey, Andrew Mark Long, Thomas Michael Ales, III, Thomas David Ehlert
  • Patent number: 8207394
    Abstract: A signaling device is provided for sensing and indicating the presence of a body exudate in an absorbent article, the device including a housing and a detection circuit disposed within the housing, the detection circuit including an induction coil and a marginal oscillator. A body exudate collection and detection system is also provided including an absorbent article and a signaling device adapted to be used in conjunction with the absorbent article, the signaling device including a housing and a detection circuit disposed within the housing, the detection circuit including an induction coil and a marginal oscillator. The signaling device can also include an attachment mechanism for removably attaching the housing to the absorbent article. The detection circuit can also include an electrical common and a conductor in electrical communication with the electrical common and with the body exudate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2012
    Assignee: Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.
    Inventors: Joseph Raymond Feldkamp, Jeffrey Robert Heller, Shawn Jeffery Sullivan, Sudhanshu Gakhar
  • Patent number: 8115643
    Abstract: An excrement detection sensor in which two pairs of conductors 1, 2 and 3, 4 are formed between a carrier body 6 and a coating body 7 both having water-proof property and insulating property, wherein the cover body is formed with an urine introduction port 8 correlating the paired conductors and with a faeces introduction port 9 correlating the other paired conductors, and when urine enters into the urine introduction ports, the one pair of the conductors are short-circuited and when faeces enters into the faeces introduction ports, the other one pair of the conductors are short-circuited, whereby the urination and the evacuation can be distinctively detected.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 14, 2012
    Assignee: Uni-Charm Corporation
    Inventors: Ichiro Wada, Miou Suzuki, Kiyoshi Toda, Yuichi Hirai, Masaho Hayashi, Hiroshi Uematsu, Toshihiko Uenishi
  • Publication number: 20110266118
    Abstract: Embodiments of the invention are related to oxidative opening switches and related methods, amongst other things. In an embodiment, the invention includes a switch assembly including a first terminal, a second terminal, and an oxidative switch element in electrical communication with the first terminal and the second terminal, the switch element comprising a conductive material and an oxidizer, the switch element configured to interrupt electrical communication between the first terminal and the second terminal as a result of an oxidation reaction between the conductive material and the oxidizer. In an embodiment, the invention includes a fast opening switch for pulse power applications. Other aspects and embodiments are provided herein.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 8, 2011
    Publication date: November 3, 2011
    Inventors: Richard F. Johnson, Randy Berg, Stanley E. Wood
  • Publication number: 20110135984
    Abstract: Danger of electrocution and fire from high voltage systems in electric and hybrid electric vehicles is mitigated by isolating high voltage electric power sources, of vehicles involved in accidents, in a sealed enclosure. It involves the use of voltage disconnect devices to rapidly, manually or automatically disconnect and isolate the vehicle energy storage devices from the electrical system of the vehicle with ease and safety. The electrical power source may be a battery, a battery pack, a capacitor or other device which may be used to store electrical energy onboard a vehicle.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 4, 2010
    Publication date: June 9, 2011
    Inventor: Jack A. Ekchian
  • Patent number: 7910797
    Abstract: An absorbent article includes a backsheet having a longitudinal axis, a topsheet attached to the backsheet and having a body-facing surface, and an absorbent core disposed between the backsheet and the topsheet. The article may also include barrier leg cuffs. The article further includes a sensation aspect, which sensation aspect may be provided between the core and the topsheet. The sensation aspect may be, for example, a temperature sensation aspect. A visible indicator may be associated with the sensation aspect.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 18, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2011
    Assignee: The Procter & Gamble Company
    Inventors: Jennifer Joan Nandrea, Masaharu Nishikawa
  • Patent number: 7858839
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for alerting a colostomate or medical attendant to the presence of fecal matter. The device includes a hollow plug detachably securable to a flexible port positioned about the stoma. The port carries an alarm circuit which is triggered when fecal matter enters the plug lumen which will alert the colostomate to an impending episode. The signal may be vibratory, audible or visible and may be transmitted to a remote location. The device includes an inflatable air cuff which, when inflated, presents a physical barrier to the passage of fecal matter. Gas may pass through filters in the tube. The method involves positioning the device in the stoma, inflating the cuff and generating an alarm when matter is sensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2009
    Date of Patent: December 28, 2010
    Assignee: Oakington Corp.
    Inventor: Nyle S. Elliott
  • Patent number: 7808392
    Abstract: The present invention provides an apparatus and method for removably attaching one or more electronic components to an article of clothing. Opposing magnets and attachment members for the magnets are placed on opposite sides of clothing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 22, 2008
    Date of Patent: October 5, 2010
    Assignee: Enuresis Solutions LLC
    Inventor: Kaiomars P. Anklesaria
  • Patent number: 7737321
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for alerting a colostomate or medical attendant to the presence of fecal matter. The device includes a hollow plug detachably securable to a flexible port positioned about the stoma. The port carries an alarm circuit which is triggered when fecal matter enters the plug lumen which will alert the colostomate to an impending episode. The signal may be vibratory, audible or visible and may be transmitted to a remote location. The device includes an inflatable air cuff which, when inflated, presents a physical barrier to the passage of fecal matter. Gas may pass through filters in the tube. The method involves positioning the device in the stoma, inflating the cuff and generating an alarm when matter is sensed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 23, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2010
    Inventor: Nyle S. Elliott
  • Patent number: 7696889
    Abstract: A fluid leak detection system includes a reservoir, a predetermined quantity of a disinfecting liquid contained within such a reservoir, and at least a pair of elongated conduits. A mechanism for automatically opening the distal end of the at least one conduit includes a leaking fluid absorbent member disposed along the distal end of each of the conduits. The fluid-dissolvable member is dissolved by the leaking fluid and absorbed by the member to permit the conduit to be unfolded and allow the disinfecting liquid to flow outwardly from the distal end of the at least one conduit. The system further includes a support frame attached to a support surface, an interface, a communications device electrically coupled to a switch, a monitoring station, and a communications link connecting the communications device to the monitoring station.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 9, 2007
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2010
    Inventor: Woodrow J. David
  • Patent number: 7671754
    Abstract: A sensor for detecting the presence of a liquid. The sensor includes a housing having a concave upper surface, a concave lower surface, and a peripheral wall connecting the upper surface and the lower surface, the wall extending above the upper surface and below the lower surface. A plurality of apertures are formed in the wall. A plurality of electrically conductive members extend above the upper surface and below the lower surface and are separated from one another by a gap in which a liquid can accumulate. The electrically conductive members are configured to generate an output signal when a conductive liquid comes into contact with the electrically conductive members and bridges the gap. An output connector is coupled to the plurality of electrically conductive members and is configured to carry the output signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2007
    Date of Patent: March 2, 2010
    Assignee: Amtrol Licensing Inc.
    Inventors: Albert R. Heilmann, Jonathan Sauerbrery, Christopher A. VanHaaren
  • Publication number: 20090062758
    Abstract: A wetness monitoring system is provided for an absorbent article, the wetness monitoring system including a signaling device including a counter to count the number of discrete insults, a timer to monitor the elapsed time that the article has been worn, and an alarm to indicate that the number of discrete insults has reached an insult limit or that the elapsed time has reached an elapsed time limit, whichever occurs first. The signaling device can be adapted to indicate one of first, second, and third conditions, the first condition being that the number of discrete insults has reached an insult limit, the second condition being that the elapsed time has reached an elapsed time limit, and the third condition being the first to occur of either of the first and second conditions, and wherein the condition to be indicated is selected by the wearer or by a caregiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 30, 2007
    Publication date: March 5, 2009
    Inventors: Thomas Michael Ales, III, Andrew Mark Long, Meghan Elizabeth Collins
  • Patent number: 7419405
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a dehumidifier safety cut-off system. This invention is an after-market safety accessory for existing dehumidifiers which operate through the use of a condensate-pump. The safety cut-off system would automatically shut down a dehumidifier in the event of pump failure by disabling the power supply to the dehumidifier. This system would consist of a compact housing with an external power cord, a transformer, a normally closed relay, and a pair of external, low voltage leads that would be connected to the safety float switch leads of the condensate pump. The invention could also feature an alternative version that could be hard wired in place.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2008
    Inventors: Rock Landes, Sam Landes
  • Patent number: 7382269
    Abstract: An apparatus for monitoring environmental conditions favorable for mold, mildew and fungus growth includes a microprocessor having a data map, a temperature sensor attached to the microprocessor, a relative humidity sensor attached to the microprocessor, an indicator array attached to the microprocessor, and a power supply attached to the microprocessor. The indicator array may be a single warning light or an array with a plurality of warning lights. The indicator array may also be an audio speaker. The indicator array may also include a message display for digitally displaying one or more ambient condition.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 3, 2005
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2008
    Inventor: Ralph Remsburg
  • Patent number: 7145053
    Abstract: A battery operated moisture indicator for selective attachment to an existing diaper worn by a baby, having an audible alarm and having a liquid crystal display bulb, for providing an audible alert and a visual alert, respectively, when the diaper has been wet by the baby. The circuit includes a mechanism for selectively activating the alarm and the liquid crystal display bulb when an aqueous electrolyte-containing solution has wetted the diaper. The moisture indicator is provided with a diaphanous sac having a clip for selectively attaching the moisture indicator to the external surface of the front of an existing diaper, thereby providing a moisture indicator that is comfortable for a baby to wear.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 18, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 5, 2006
    Inventors: Christian Emenike, Chinwe Chris-Emenike Emenike
  • Patent number: 7131335
    Abstract: A pressure transmitter for transfer of a pressure prevailing in a first medium onto a second medium, including a pressure chamber 4 in a platform 1, which chamber is separated from the first medium by means of a dividing membrane 2, wherein the pressure can be transferred by means of the second medium to a pressure measurement cell. For timely recognition of an impending failure of the dividing membrane, an early warning detector is provided with a sensor chamber 6 having an opening, which faces the first medium; and a sensor 7, which monitors a property of a medium container in the sensor chamber; and a barrier facing the first medium, pressure-tightly sealing the opening, and which, under contact with the first medium and equal conditions as experienced by the dividing membrane 2, fails earlier than the dividing membrane, thus making possible a flow connection between the sensor chamber 6 and the first medium.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 19, 2002
    Date of Patent: November 7, 2006
    Assignee: Endress — Hauser GmbH + Co. KG
    Inventor: Olaf Textor
  • Patent number: 7112752
    Abstract: A system and method for delaying the activation of a powered device, such as a battery powered device. The activation of the device is triggered by contact with a particular environmental characteristic encountered by the device. For example, the system can be configured to activate upon contact with a particular pH value. Upon contact with the particular environmental characteristic, the restraining component (such as a magnetic field or a separating member) that prevents activation of the device is moved, modified, or caused to yield such that the device is activated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2006
    Inventor: Justin B. Wenner
  • Patent number: 7084363
    Abstract: A variable differential adjustor for a fluid pressure-actuated switch, with the fluid, in the preferred form of the invention, being air. The restrictor has a restrictor housing with a fluid passage in which a restrictor plug, typically a set screw, is engaged. By judicious adjustment of the position of the set screw, fluid flow to and from a pressure-actuated switch is controlled, controlling when the switch is activated to control apparatus such as a sump pump, and when the switch is deactivated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Assignee: Trusty Warns, Inc.
    Inventor: Karl Niedermeyer
  • Patent number: 7082959
    Abstract: A pilot operated shutoff valve system with leak detector for automatically shutting off a water supply to appliances such as a clothes washing machine, dishwashing machine, sink, toilet, or refrigerator equipped with an ice maker, comprising a sealing member movable within said valve body between an open position wherein the sealing member does not block main fluid flow, and a closed position wherein the sealing member blocks main fluid flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 21, 2006
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2006
    Inventor: Robert C. Franklin
  • Patent number: 7071830
    Abstract: A sensor for indicating moisture, comprising a unit whose conductivity is dependent on the current moisture exposure and an electric circuit, the unit being included as a component in the electric circuit and the electric circuit being activable by applying an electric field and/or a magnetic field over the same to generate a measurable signal, which is dependent on the total resistance of the circuit. The unit comprises an enzyme together with a substrate, which enzyme is activated when moisture exposure occurs to catalyse a reaction with the substrate that is dependent on the degree of moisture exposure, the substrate reaction product increasing the conductivity of the unit. The invention also relates to the use of such a sensor and a method of using a sensor to indicate moisture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 4, 2006
    Assignee: Bioett AB
    Inventors: Bengt Sahlberg, Johan Sjöholm, Ernst Wehtje, Per-Olof Erlandsson
  • Patent number: 6977351
    Abstract: A rain sensor for use with an irrigation control system includes a position sensing element. A moisture absorptive element is supported for receiving rainfall. An actuating element is mechanically connected to the moisture absorptive element for movement adjacent the position sensing element as the moisture absorptive element expands and contracts to thereby induce a change in the position sensing element that can be used to generate an interrupt signal without any mechanical connection between the moisture absorptive element and the position sensing element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: December 20, 2005
    Assignee: Hunter Industries, Inc.
    Inventor: Peter J. Woytowitz
  • Patent number: 6950032
    Abstract: A water protection system apparatus for detecting and stopping a flow of water which includes a power supply, a water ionization switch, and a controlled valve assembly. The water ionization switch selectively conducts electricity when exposed to water and includes an initially dry non-conductive crystallized compound. The compound ionizes when exposed to water to form an electrolyte which conducts electricity. This switch is connected to a controlled valve assembly to stop the flow of water in response to the detection of water by the switch. Other refinements include modifications to the switch housing and condition indicators for monitoring the system and signaling water detection and shutdown operations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 26, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 27, 2005
    Assignee: Dry Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: John K. Hewitt, Ronald Andrew Cina, Ronald August Cina
  • Patent number: 6853305
    Abstract: A tape-drive condensation sensor includes a probe with first and second spaced-apart electrodes that define a passage for air flow within a pneumatic conduit. A voltage source is coupled between the electrodes and the voltage of the source and the spacing between the electrodes are adapted to pass a current when a drop of condensation forms between the electrodes. An alarm circuit is activated by the flow of current, the alarm being adapted to signal an event of discernible condensation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2002
    Date of Patent: February 8, 2005
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Mariel Acosta-Geraldino, Diana Joyce Hellman, Wayne Alan McKinley
  • Patent number: 6846994
    Abstract: A system and method are provided to delay closure of an electrical circuit of a battery-powered electrical device, intended to operate remotely in an environment in which the pH value changes from one value to another. Two electrical contacts of an electrical circuit are separated by an insulator that holds the circuit open until the device is exposed to an environment having a predetermined pH value. Exposure of the insulator to an environment having that pH value causes the insulator to dissolve and the circuit to close, energizing the device. Alternatively, A Hall effect transistor or a reed switch may be used as the switch. It is held open by the presence of a magnetic field held in place by material that is dissolvable at a predetermined pH level. When a region having that pH level is reached, the material dissolves and the circuit closes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2003
    Date of Patent: January 25, 2005
    Inventor: Justin B. Wenner
  • Patent number: 6787718
    Abstract: An elongated sensor is provided for detecting the presence of a liquid in an electronics system. The sensor includes an elongated sensor element having a pair of adjacent electrical conductors, and a liquid permeable material that when dry electrically insulates the conductors, and when wet with a liquid at any point along the length of the conductors allows electric coupling of the conductors. The sensor also includes a detector operable to detect the presence of the liquid by sensing the electrical coupling of the conductors.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: Agilent Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: John William Andberg, Stephen Jerry Chaikin
  • Patent number: 6750773
    Abstract: A liquid flow meter (50), including a microcontroller (60) and associated algorithm, monitors urine flow through a cartridge trap (20). Measuring the duration of such flow and the number of times the urinal is used will determine, in accordance with preset criteria, when servicing or replacement is needed, and alerts a service person to that effect by a warning light (68) or other signal. Because urine has a high mineral content, it is electrically conductive, effective to complete circuits between closely spaced metal contacts (62a-62c, 64a-64c) coupled to the PROM, which allows the manner and existence of the urine to be detected. The liquid flow meter is installed in the cartridge trap by utilizing and placing a split ball stem (52) located at the base of the meter into a mounting hole (42) located in the center of the drain holes (36) on the cartridge cover (26).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 15, 2004
    Assignee: Falcon Waterfree Technologies
    Inventor: Michael Higgins
  • Patent number: 6731215
    Abstract: A leakage response system for an appliance includes a leakage sensor which is operative to change an electrical parameter upon contact by a conductive liquid, a controller circuit electrically coupled with the strip for generating an activation signal in response to contact of the strip by a conductive liquid and a response device coupled with the controller circuit and activated by the signal. The sensor includes a mat which is constructed of top and bottom outer layers of electrically conductive fabric separated by a central nonconductive fabric layer; and a pair of fusing layers fusing the top and bottom layers to the central nonconductive layer. The sensor may also include a pair of conductive pins for installation into a surface for detecting moisture hidden within the surface. The response device may include an audible alarm and/or a valve for shutting off the water flow in the appliance water supply line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: May 4, 2004
    Inventors: Frederick H. Harms, Charles McKenzie
  • Patent number: 6723932
    Abstract: A water-immersed switch which does not conduct electricity in the absence of a dielectric liquid, such as water, and which conducts electricity in the presence of the dielectric liquid. The water-immersed switch includes a modified copolymer containing acrylonitrile and at least one of styrene and/or a conjugated diene, as constituent units, and acidic groups introduced into said modified copolymer, and a plurality of electrically conductive electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 20, 2004
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroshi Ohki, Haruo Watanabe, Yasuhito Inagaki, Tsutomu Noguchi
  • Patent number: 6683535
    Abstract: A water detection system for detecting water and activating an alarm is provided. The water detection system includes an alarm relay and a water sensor. The water sensor includes a solid state switching and amplifying circuit for detecting low levels of current flow and amplifying the signal to activate the alarm relay. In one embodiment, the water detection system further includes an alarm panel, including visual and audible alarms activated by the alarm relay. In one embodiment, the water detection system includes multiple water sensors for providing zone protection. In one embodiment, the alarm relay is configured to shut-down the device causing the presence of water. A method for implementation of the water detection system is also provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 2000
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2004
    Assignee: Alderon Industries, LLC
    Inventor: Gene H. Utke
  • Patent number: 6679101
    Abstract: A device for detecting leaks in membranes, etc., for liquid media, whereby the membrane is provided, over at least one partial area of its surface extension, with at least one electrical conductor that produces a change in a measurement signal of the electrical resistance of the conductor when a change occurs on the membrane surface, the membrane being provided with a swellable nonwoven that joins or separates the conductors when influenced by the liquid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: Carl Freudenberg KG
    Inventor: Gerhard Röhner
  • Patent number: 6680618
    Abstract: A low-cost leak sensor that prevents leakage current from flowing between electrodes when moisture is deposited. A leak sensor is formed on an insulating substrate. The leak sensor has a through hole having a pair of opposed walls with a predetermined space. The opposed walls are provided with conducting films. On the opening of the through hole in the insulating substrate, a pair of lands are connected electrically with the pair of conducting films. A pair of wiring patterns are connected electrically with the pair of lands on the insulating substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 20, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Tokai Rika Denki Seisakusho
    Inventors: Kazuya Otani, Yuji Takasu, Mitsuo Mori
  • Publication number: 20030201158
    Abstract: An elongated sensor is provided for detecting the presence of a liquid in an electronics system. The sensor includes an elongated sensor element having a pair of adjacent electrical conductors, and a liquid permeable material that when dry electrically insulates the conductors, and when wet with a liquid at any point along the length of the conductors allows electric coupling of the conductors. The sensor also includes a detector operable to detect the presence of the liquid by sensing the electrical coupling of the conductors.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2002
    Publication date: October 30, 2003
    Inventors: John William Andberg, Stephen Jerry Chaikin
  • Patent number: 6635834
    Abstract: A system and method are provided to delay closure of an electrical circuit of a battery-powered electrical device, intended to operate remotely in an environment in which the pH value changes from one value to another. More specifically, two electrical contacts, at least one being movable, of a normally closed electrical circuit, connecting a battery in series with a battery-powered electrical device, are separated by a material that holds the circuit open until the device is exposed to an environment having a specified pH value. Exposure of the material to an environment having that specified pH value causes the material to dissolve. The dissolving of the material causes the circuit to close, energizing the device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2003
    Inventor: Justin Bernard Wenner