IRRIGATION SADDLE, ADAPTER, AND CAP
1. An irrigation tee with adaptive mounting, comprising:
- an elongated saddle with a first end and a second end connected by a cylindrical saddle wall, at least one of either said first end or said second end being open and capable of being connected to an irrigation pipean aperture in said saddle wall between said first end and said second end, said aperture providing fluid communication between the interior of said saddle and the exterior of said saddle;
said saddle having an exterior surface, said exterior surface having a flange surrounding said aperture and configured to accommodate attachment of an adapter;
one or more adapters, each adapter having a saddle side and a mount side, said saddle side configured to attach to said flange, with said mount side having a mount configured for attachment of an irrigation accessory;
said adapter further defining a port, said port aligned with said aperture such that said port is in fluid communication with the interior of said saddle, andone or more connectors configured to attach said adapter to said flange.
What are disclosed are embodiments of a saddle, cap, and adapter for use in an irrigation system. In a preferred embodiment, the disclosed inventive concepts utilize a dynamic seal that provides an improvement over prior known technology. In a preferred embodiment the adapter and cap are made to be removable so as to be easily changed or replaced.
- 1. An irrigation tee with adaptive mounting, comprising:
an elongated saddle with a first end and a second end connected by a cylindrical saddle wall, at least one of either said first end or said second end being open and capable of being connected to an irrigation pipe an aperture in said saddle wall between said first end and said second end, said aperture providing fluid communication between the interior of said saddle and the exterior of said saddle; said saddle having an exterior surface, said exterior surface having a flange surrounding said aperture and configured to accommodate attachment of an adapter; one or more adapters, each adapter having a saddle side and a mount side, said saddle side configured to attach to said flange, with said mount side having a mount configured for attachment of an irrigation accessory; said adapter further defining a port, said port aligned with said aperture such that said port is in fluid communication with the interior of said saddle, and one or more connectors configured to attach said adapter to said flange.
- View Dependent Claims (2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
- 7. An irrigation tee, comprising:
the exterior of said saddle wall having a mount to which an irrigation accessory may be attached, said mount surrounding said aperture and defining a port, said port aligned with said aperture such that said port is in fluid communication with the interior of said saddle; and said mount further defining an annular projection containing internal and external threading.
- 8. An irrigation accessory comprising a cylindrical plug with a bottom end, a top end, and a hollow interior, said bottom end having external threading capable of engaging internal threading of an irrigation saddle, said bottom end further having a dedicated circumferential channel containing a dynamic O-ring capable of producing a watertight seal upon installation of said plug, said top end having internal threading, the exterior surface of said plug having contours to facilitate use of said plug.
The purpose of the Summary of the Invention is to enable the public, and especially the scientists, engineers, and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection, the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Summary of the Invention is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.
What is disclosed is an irrigation saddle, also known as a tee or coupler, used to support a sprinkler riser and sprinkler. The saddle is cylindrical and tube-like in structure and has one or more open ends to which can be connected irrigation pipe. The saddle also includes a flange to which is attached an adapter designed to provide a mount for a sprinkler accessory, such as a cap and/or sprinkler riser.
The saddle is designed to support a sprinkler riser and sprinkler for irrigation. In general practice, the sprinkler riser is typically connected to the saddle by first connecting the bottom of the riser to the upper portion of a cap by glue or some other means, forming a cap and riser assembly. The cap and riser assembly is then attached to the saddle by threading the bottom portion of the cap onto a threaded mount that extends away from the saddle in a roughly perpendicular orientation with respect to the ground. The mount is positioned above an aperture in the saddle such that water may flow from the irrigation pipe, into the saddle, through the aperture and mount, and then through the cap and riser assembly, ultimately exiting via a sprinkler head. In this configuration the mount and saddle are typically constructed as a single unit and are commonly constructed of plastic. The plastic construction often does not withstand the forces and vibrations generated by impact sprinklers. In addition, the single piece saddle and mount construction is generally designed only for use with a particular irrigation accessory, such as the compatible threaded cap, and generally does not allow for alternative accessories and/or different methods of attachment.
The disclosed device overcomes these general limitations by replacing the common integrated threaded mount with a generally flat interface, herein called a flange, to which various adapters can be attached, with each adapter having a mount.
In most embodiments, each adapter mount will define a port in fluid communication with the interior of the saddle via the aperture. In an alternative embodiment, the adapter may lack any mount or port and, upon installation, would serve to block off the saddle aperture and prevent the flow of any fluid through the aperture. While the saddle may be constructed of one material, such as plastic, each adapter may be constructed of a different material, such as plastic or metal. This allows a user to construct a saddle/adapter combination that best suits their needs, i.e. a combination that can better withstand the forces inherent with impact sprinklers. Also, different adapters may be used to accommodate different irrigation accessories entirely, and may be configured and substituted as needed.
In an example embodiment, one adapter may have a circular shaped mount upon which to attach an accessory. The circular shaped mount may contain female-type threads be configured to accommodate the common male-type circular threaded accessory, such as a sprinkler riser. A second adapter may contain a male-type mount for attachment of a female-type sprinkler accessory, such as a cap. Regardless of the adapter'"'"'s construction or configuration, each adapter is designed to attach to the saddle in a universal way through the use of connectors, such as screws. A gasket may be used between the flange of the saddle and the adapter to prevent water leakage.
In a further embodiment, a circular mount having threading on both the exterior and interior of the mount (i.e. both male and female-type threading) may be used. This combination of threading options allows to allow the attachment of either an internally threaded fixture, such as a strengthening collar, a riser support, stabilizer feet, or some other option, or an externally threaded fixture, such as a riser itself. While this mount may be included as part of an adapter to be attached to a saddle flange, the benefits of using this dual threaded mount are present when the mount is integrated into a saddle as a single piece (i.e. not as an adapter).
Also disclosed is a plug containing a main body that is cylindrical in shape and hollow. The base of the plug contains external circumferential threading capable of being threaded into the internal threading of the circular mount. A seal may also be used between the circular mount and the plug to prevent water leakage during use. In a preferred embodiment, the plug contains a dedicated circumferential channel on the exterior of the base above the external threading. A dynamic O-ring is positioned within the channel. The O-ring is of sufficient thickness such that a water tight seal results even when the plug is not tightly installed in a compatible saddle or other fixture. The pressure of the water in an irrigation system presses the O-ring into a seal preventing from water escaping. This design also results in an integrated sealing device that is not at risk of being dislodged or lost when the plug is removed from the saddle or fixture. In contrast, in a mechanical seal if the cap or plug is not installed correctly and/or becomes loose it may leak.
The opposite end of the plug'"'"'s cylindrical body has a smooth interior into which can be attached a sprinkler riser using recognized methods, such as welding with PVC solvent. Alternatively, the interior of the upper portion of the plug may contain internal threading to which may be attached an externally threaded riser or some other sprinkler accessory. Exteriorly, the plug may also include various shapes and depressions to allow a user to adequately grip the plug during installation of the riser and/or threading of the plug into the circular mount of the saddle.
In a further embodiment a cap is disclosed having a female threading is provided on the inside of a first annular flange to connect to a male threaded flange of a saddle. The cap includes a center channel or tubular section. The tubular section can be threaded for connection to an irrigation riser or other sprinkler connection or it can be unthreaded to provide for a welded connection. A second annular flange is provide and spaced inward of the first annular flange. In a preferred embodiment the second annular flange is a part of a shoulder in the tubular section onto which a riser is seated. The second annular flange includes a channel in its exterior surface that includes an O-ring. The o-ring functions as a dynamic seal in the channel preventing liquid leakage when the irrigation system is pressurized. The second annular flange and first annular flange are spaced apart to provide a receiving space into which the male threaded flange of a saddle is attached, but sufficiently close together such that the channel and o-ring can provide a seal between the second annular flange and the inner surface of the flange of the saddle.
Still other features and advantages of the claimed invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in this art from the following detailed description describing preferred embodiments of the invention, simply by way of illustration of the best mode contemplated by carrying out my invention. As will be realized, the invention is capable of modification in various obvious respects all without departing from the invention. Accordingly, the description of the preferred embodiments are to be regarded as illustrative in nature, and not as restrictive in nature.
While certain exemplary embodiments are shown in the Figures and described herein, it is to be distinctly understood that the presently disclosed inventive concept(s) is not limited thereto but may be variously embodied to practice within the scope of this disclosure. From the foregoing description, it will be apparent that various changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure as defined herein.