US Pat. No. 9,581,355

MOTOR/DAMPER ASSEMBLY FOR FUEL-FIRED WATER HEATER

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A motor/damper apparatus for use with a fuel-fired liquid heating device having a top surface defined by an outer perimeter
and from which a flue upwardly projects, said motor/damper apparatus comprising:
a support structure contained within a boundary defined by the outer perimeter of the liquid heating device and having a base
plate with a bottom side portion configured to rest on and be secured to said top surface of the liquid heating device, the
bottom side portion comprising an opening extending upwardly therethrough sized to receive said flue, the bottom side portion
forming a flat perimeter extending completely about said opening and being arranged to rest on said top surface completely
about said opening, the support structure being securable to the top surface at at least one of opposing sides of said opening;

an open-ended collar secured to said support structure, said collar axially extending upwardly from said opening in the bottom
side and overlying said opening so that combustion exhaust products that pass through said opening also pass through said
collar, said opening and a lower portion of said collar being configured to receive said flue;

a damper member pivotally supported within said collar above said lower portion thereof; and
a motor directly connected to and supported on a portion of said support structure and having an output shaft operatively
coupled to said damper member to selectively rotate it relative to said collar.

US Pat. No. 9,109,844

NESTED HELICAL FIN TUBE COIL AND ASSOCIATED MANUFACTURING METHODS

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A heat exchanger comprising:
a heat conductive tubular member helically coded about a longitudinal axis and having longitudinally spaced apart coils; and
a series of heat transfer fins circumscribing the coiled tubular member and being spaced apart along its length in a heat
conductive relationship therewith,

the fins on longitudinally adjacent pairs of coils of said tubular member having nested facing edge portions which collectively
form a nested fin area that coils between the tubular member adjacent coil pairs in axially spaced relationships therewith,
said nested fin area substantially impeding fluid flow therethrough in a direction generally transverse to said longitudinal
axis, and the heat transfer fins also having laterally outer portions that are laterally inwardly bent relative to said longitudinal
axis to a generally V-shaped configuration, and circumferentially folded over one another relative to said longitudinal axis.

US Pat. No. 9,389,000

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR PRE-HEATING WATER WITH AIR CONDITIONING UNIT OR HEAT PUMP

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. Apparatus for heating water, comprising:
a first tank for storing water;
a heat exchanger associated with said tank and being operative to receive refrigerant and transfer heat therefrom to said
tank;

air conditioning apparatus operative to utilize refrigerant flowing through a refrigerant circuit portion of said air conditioning
apparatus to regulate the temperature of air being delivered to a conditioned space, said refrigerant circuit portion being
in fluid communication with said heat exchanger;

a control system operative to selectively cause at least a portion of the flowing refrigerant to pass through said heat exchanger;
and

a second tank for storing water, said second tank for storing water being piped in series with said first tank for storing
water, and

said heat exchanger comprises a heat conductive tube externally wrapped around said first tank in heat conductive contact
therewith, and the second tank not being externally wrapped by a heat conductive tube.

US Pat. No. 9,188,372

AIR CONDITIONER AND HEAT PUMP CONDENSING UNIT CHASSIS WITH ENHANCED SERVICEABILITY ACCESS

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. An air conditioning system condensing unit comprising:
a plurality of air conditioning components; and
a chassis having a top side wall with a removable top peripheral section positioned at a single corner of said side wall,
a bottom side portion, and a vertical outer side wall structure extending between said top side wall and said bottom side
portion, the chassis defining an interior chamber within which said plurality of air conditioning components are operatively
disposed,

said outer side wall structure having a removable side peripheral section that is in underlying alignment with said removable
top peripheral section of said top side wall and extends from said top side wall to adjacent said bottom side portion, wherein
said removable top peripheral section and said removable side peripheral section are removable to create in said chassis an
opening providing both horizontal and vertical service access to said plurality of air conditioning components.

US Pat. No. 9,377,342

PULSED POWER-BASED DRY FIRE PROTECTION FOR ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. Liquid heating apparatus comprising:
a tank for storing liquid to be heated;
an electric heating element extending through the tank interior and being energizable to heat tank liquid within which it
is immersed;

an AC electrical power circuit coupled to said electric heating element and operative to energize it; and
an electrical dry fire protection circuit coupled to said AC electrical power circuit and operative to:
utilize AC power from said AC electrical power circuit to power said electric heating element with a plurality of electrical
test pulses having first predetermined durations and being separated by rest periods of second predetermined durations during
which said electric heating element is depowered;

determine an average of a representative value corresponding to an electrical current flow through said electric heating element
during each of said plurality of electrical test pulses; and

preclude the operative energization of said electric heating element if the average of the representative value corresponding
to the electrical current flow through said electric heating element during an electrical test pulse subsequent to the first
electrical test pulse is less by a predetermined amount than the average of the representative value corresponding to the
electrical current flow through said electrical heating element during said first electrical test pulse.

US Pat. No. 9,341,384

ENDOTHERMIC BASE-MOUNTED HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A water heater comprising:
a hollow base;
a tank adapted to hold a quantity of water to be heated, said tank having upper and lower ends and being supported atop said
base;

a heat pump circuit operable to provide primary heat to water in said tank, said heat pump circuit comprising refrigerant
tubing in which (1) a compressor disposed within said base, (2) a condenser in heat exchange contact with said tank, (3) a
refrigerant expansion device, and (4) an evaporator disposed within said base are connected in series in a manner such that
said compressor is operative to flow refrigerant sequentially through said condenser, said expansion device, and said evaporator
and then back to said compressor via said refrigerant tubing;

a duct positioned along an outwardly facing edge of said tank and through which air may be flowed into said base without surrounding
or being surrounded by said tank;

a fan operative to sequentially flow air through said duct into said base, across said compressor, across said evaporator,
and then outwardly from said base directly to an environment external to said water heater; and

secondary heating apparatus operable to heat water in said tank.

US Pat. No. 9,157,655

ENDOTHERMIC BASE-MOUNTED HEAT PUMP WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A water heater comprising:
a hollow base having a top side and a periphery extending downwardly from said top side, said periphery having horizontally
oppositely disposed air inlet and air outlet openings extending therethrough;

a tank adapted to hold a quantity of water to be heated, said tank having upper and lower ends and being supported atop said
base;

a heat pump circuit operable to provide primary heat to water in said tank, said heat pump circuit comprising refrigerant
tubing in which (1) a compressor disposed within said base inwardly adjacent said air inlet opening therein, (2) a condenser
coil defined by a length of said refrigerant tubing externally wrapped around a lower portion of said tank in a heat exchange
relationship therewith, (3) a refrigerant expansion device, and (4) an evaporator coil disposed within said base inwardly
adjacent said air outlet opening therein are connected in series in a manner such that said compressor is operative to flow
refrigerant sequentially through said condenser, said refrigerant expansion device, and said evaporator and then back to said
compressor via said refrigerant tubing;

a vertically elongated duct disposed externally adjacent said tank, said duct having an upper end portion disposed adjacent
said upper end of said tank and having an air inlet opening, and a lower end portion disposed adjacent said air inlet opening
of said base and communicating the interior of said duct with the interior of said base through said air inlet opening of
said base;

an evaporator fan disposed within said base between said compressor and said evaporator and being operative to sequentially
flow air into said air inlet opening of said duct, downwardly through said duct into said base, across said compressor, across
said evaporator, and then outwardly from said base through said outlet opening therein;

a resistance type electric element extending through the interior of said tank and being energizable to provide secondary
heat to water in said tank; and

a control system operative to selectively energize said electric heating element and/or said heat pump circuit.

US Pat. No. 9,046,286

HEAT PUMP POOL HEATER START-UP PRESSURE SPIKE ELIMINATOR

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

9. For use in conjunction with heat pump apparatus comprising a refrigerant circuit having a compressor, a condenser, an expansion
valve and an evaporator operatively interconnected in refrigerant tubing in a manner such that during operation of said heat
pump apparatus refrigerant in said refrigerant tubing sequentially flows outwardly from said compressor, through said condenser,
through said expansion valve, through said evaporator and then back into said compressor, said condenser including a housing
portion having an inlet, an outlet, and a heat transfer portion of the tubing, a method of preventing an undesirably high
compressor pressure spike upon start-up of said heat pump apparatus after a shutdown period thereof, said method comprising
the steps of:
forming a refrigerant-receiving cavity externally around a first refrigerant tubing portion disposed between said compressor
and said condenser;

forming a refrigerant transfer path, through which refrigerant may flow into said cavity from within a second refrigerant
tubing portion during said shutdown period, by communicating an outlet end of a refrigerant transfer tube with said cavity
and directly coupling an inlet end of said refrigerant transfer tube to said second refrigerant tubing portion; and

passing a fluid from the inlet of the housing portion, along an exterior of the heat transfer portion of tubing, and to the
outlet of the housing portion.

US Pat. No. 9,651,268

GAS FIRED MODULAR BLOWER CONTROL AND ASSOCIATED METHODOLOGY

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A heat pump system comprising:
a reversible refrigerant circuit heat pump operable in heating and cooling modes to selectively heat or cool air being delivered
to a conditioned space;

a fuel-fired modular blower selectively operable to generate combustion heat; and
a control system associated with said heat pump and said modular blower and having a heat pump thermostat electrically connected
to a modular blower control,

said heat pump thermostat being operative to transmit to said modular blower control (1) a first signal indicative of heating
operation of said heat pump, and (2) a second signal indicative of a need for alternative heat during a heating demand cycle,
and

said modular blower control being operative, in response to receipt of both of said first and second signals, to cause said
fuel-fired modular blower to generate combustion heat in place of refrigerant-based air heating of said heat pump; wherein
said modular blower control, in response to receipt of both of said first and second signals, is operative to cause said fuel-fired
modular blower to generate said combustion heat to replace refrigerant-based air heating of said heat pump during heating
operation thereof, unless the outside ambient temperature is not less than a predetermined temperature.

US Pat. No. 10,072,853

WATER HEATER HAVING A SUPPLEMENTAL PHOTOVOLTAIC HEATING ARRANGEMENT

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A water heater comprising:an insulated tank having a water inlet and a water outlet, said tank further defining an interior volume to contain a quantity of water;
a primary heating arrangement disposed with respect to the tank to apply heat energy to the water to heat the water, said primary heating arrangement configured to maintain the water during standby periods between upper and lower set point temperatures;
a supplemental heating arrangement disposed with respect to the tank to apply additional heat energy to the water to lessen energy usage by said primary heating arrangement during the standby periods, said supplemental heating arrangement including
at least one photovoltaic panel,
a supplemental heating element, and
control electronics operatively interposed between said at least one photovoltaic panel and said supplemental heating element; and
a controller in electrical communication with the primary heating arrangement and the control electronics of the supplemental heating arrangement to selectively control heating at the primary heating arrangement and the supplemental heating arrangement, wherein said controller is operative to adjust at least one of said upper and lower set point temperatures in response to changes in available energy from said at least one photovoltaic panel.

US Pat. No. 9,234,678

STACKABLE WATER HEATER APPARATUS

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. Electric water heating apparatus comprising first and second electric water heaters each having a tank adapted to hold
a quantity of water to be heated, thermal insulation arranged to insulate a portion of said tank, an electric heating structure
for heating water disposed in said tank, an electrical control circuit for controlling said electric heating structure, and
electrical wiring, the electrical control circuits of the first and second water heaters and the electrical wiring forming
a control unit, wherein the control unit is arranged to the electric heating structure of the second electric water heater
to be powered only if the electric heating structure of the first electric water heater is not powered, said first and second
electric water heaters being in a vertically stacked end-to-end relationship in which top and bottom ends of said first and
second electric water heaters, respectively, are interfittingly interlocked with one another,
wherein the first and second water heaters comprise junction boxes and a vertical wiring passage extending between the junction
boxes and through the thermal insulation, the vertical wiring passage containing the electrical wiring, the junction boxes
being arranged to be vertically aligned when the first and second water heaters are interfittingly interlocked with one another
to electrically connect said electric wiring of said first and second electric water heaters.

US Pat. No. 9,048,634

WATER RESISTANT DIRECT SPARK IGNITER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A moisture and pollution resistant direct spark igniter comprising:
a cylindrical ceramic body having external annular ribs thereon and a lower end into which an opening upwardly extends;
a vertically elongated high voltage electrode rod having an upper end received in said body opening; and
a vertically elongated ground rod supported in a spaced apart, generally side-by-side relationship with said body and said
electrode rod,

lower end portions of said electrode rod and said ground rod being horizontally offset from upper end portions of said electrode
rod and said ground rod by longitudinally intermediate portions of said electrode rod and said ground rod that slope downwardly
and horizontally toward one another, said lower end portions of said electrode rod and said ground rod further having knurled
external side surfaces and sloping downwardly and horizontally away from one another, juncture areas between said longitudinally
intermediate and lower end portions of said electrode rod and said ground rod forming therebetween a spark gap area spaced
upwardly apart from the lower ends of said electrode rod and said ground rod.

US Pat. No. 9,945,582

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR PRE-HEATING WATER WITH AIR CONDITIONING UNIT OR HEAT PUMP

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. An apparatus for heating water, comprising:an air conditioning apparatus operative to utilize refrigerant flowing through a refrigerant circuit portion of said air conditioning apparatus to regulate the temperature of air being delivered to a conditioned space;
a tank for storing water;
a heat exchanger associated with said tank and being operative to receive refrigerant and transfer heat therefrom to said tank, the heat exchanger comprising a first end forming a part of the refrigerant circuit portion and a second end forming a part of the refrigerant circuit portion,
a first valve disposed at the first end of the heat exchanger and arranged to control flow of refrigerant at the first end of the heat exchanger;
a second valve disposed at the second end of the heat exchanger and arranged to control flow of refrigerant at the second end of the heat exchanger; and
a bypass circuit forming a part of the refrigerant circuit portion and arranged to selectively flow refrigerant in a manner bypassing the heat exchanger, the first valve, and the second valve.

US Pat. No. 9,945,587

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR HYBRID WATER HEATING AND AIR COOLING AND CONTROL THEREOF

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A system for conditioning air and for heating water, comprising:a first refrigerant path;
a second refrigerant path that is independent of the first refrigerant path;
a first condenser in the first refrigerant path and the second refrigerant path;
a fan disposed with respect to the first condenser to move air in a first air flow path across the first condenser so that
the first condenser transfers heat to the air in the first air flow path from refrigerant in the first refrigerant path that moves through the first condenser and
the first condenser transfers heat to the air in the first air flow path from refrigerant in the second refrigerant path that moves through the first condenser;
an evaporator in the first refrigerant path and the second refrigerant path and disposed in a second air flow path so that air in the second air flow path transfers heat to refrigerant in the first refrigerant path that moves through the evaporator and refrigerant in the second refrigerant path that moves through the evaporator;
a second condenser in the first refrigerant path and that defines a water flow path so that the second condenser transfers heat to water in the water flow path from the refrigerant in the first refrigerant path that moves through the second condenser; and
a control system in operative communication with the first refrigerant path, the control system directing the refrigerant in the first refrigerant path, in a first state of the first refrigerant path, to the first condenser and not to the second condenser and, in a second state of the first refrigerant path, to the second condenser,
wherein the control system determines a condition under which the system activates the first refrigerant path and deactivates the second refrigerant path and to move the first refrigerant path from the second state to the first state responsively to the condition.

US Pat. No. 9,939,175

FLUE DAMPER CONTROL ALGORITHM FOR STANDING PILOT TYPE FUEL-FIRED WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. Fuel-fired liquid heating apparatus comprising:a tank adapted to hold a quantity of liquid to be heated;
a combustion chamber adjacent to said tank;
a flue communicating with said combustion chamber and extending through said tank;
a damper structure disposed within said flue for controlled movement between open and closed positions;
a main fuel burner operative to discharge hot combustion products through said flue to heat liquid within said tank;
a standing pilot type fuel burner that discharges hot combustion products into said flue during standby periods of said fuel-fired liquid heating apparatus when said main burner is not firing;
an ambient temperature sensor that measures ambient temperature outside the tank; and
control apparatus having a selectively variable liquid temperature control set point temperature and having an ambient temperature threshold value different than and based on the liquid temperature control set point temperature, said control apparatus also being operable to determine the ambient temperature measured by the ambient temperature sensor, said control apparatus being arranged to open said damper or keep it in an open position, after said main burner is off and independent of a liquid temperature of the liquid in the tank, when the ambient temperature measured by the ambient temperature sensor is above the ambient temperature threshold value for a measurable, predetermined continuous time period to prevent overheating of the liquid in the tank by said standing pilot type fuel burner during standby periods of said fuel-fired liquid heating apparatus,
wherein the ambient temperature threshold value is a first value when the liquid temperature control set point temperature is within a first range of values, and wherein the ambient temperature threshold value is a second value when the liquid temperature control set point temperature is within a second range of values.

US Pat. No. 9,879,881

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR HEATING WATER WITH REFRIGERANT FROM AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. Apparatus for heating water, comprising:
a tank for storing water;
a heat exchanger in thermal communication with the tank and configured to receive refrigerant and transfer heat therefrom
to the tank;

an air conditioning system comprising
an air handler actuatable to move an air flow through an air flow path into a conditioned space,
a refrigerant path having a first portion that passes through the air flow path and a second portion that is offset from the
first portion in the refrigerant path and that passes through the heat exchanger,

a pump disposed in the refrigerant path and being actuatable to move refrigerant through the refrigerant path, and
a valve system within the refrigerant path that controls refrigerant flow within the refrigerant path, that is selectively
configurable to alternatively allow refrigerant flow through the second portion and bypass refrigerant flow across the second
portion, and that is selectively configurable between a first state and a second state, wherein the refrigerant path is configured
so that

in the first state of the valve system, the refrigerant path flows from the pump, to and through the first portion, then to
and through the second portion, and then to the pump, and

in the second state of the valve system, the refrigerant path flows from the pump, to and through the second portion, then
to and through the first portion, and then to the pump; and

a control system comprising at least one controller in operative communication with the air handler, the valve system, the
pump, and a temperature sensor disposed at the conditioned space that generates a signal corresponding to a temperature of
the conditioned space and in response to which the control system is configured to actuate and deactuate the air conditioning
system, and a computer-readable medium containing program instructions executable by the at least one controller to control
actuation of the air handler, the valve system, and the pump,

wherein the control system is in communication with the valve system to selectively move the valve system from one of the
first state and the second state to the other of the first state and the second state, and

wherein the program instructions are configured so that the control system,
in a first mode of operation, actuates the air handler to move the air flow through the air flow path and actuates the pump
and the valve system to move refrigerant through the first portion of the refrigerant path and the second portion of the refrigerant
path, and

in a second mode of operation, maintains the air handler in an inactive state and actuates the pump and the valve system to
move refrigerant through the first portion of the refrigerant path and the second portion of the refrigerant path.

US Pat. No. 9,863,636

FUEL-FIRED HEATING APPLIANCE HAVING FLAME INDICATOR ASSEMBLY

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A flame indicator assembly for a fuel-fired heating appliance, the fuel-fired heating appliance comprising a burner assembly
comprising at least one burner, wherein the burner assembly completely encloses a flame at the at least one burner, and control
electronics, the flame indicator assembly comprising:
a flame sensor configured to allow flow of electric current in response to exposure to the flame, the flame sensor configured
for electrical communication with the control electronics of the fuel-fired heating appliance;

a visual indicator module attached to the flame sensor, the visual indicator module comprising at least one light source;
and

a mounting bracket to which the flame sensor and the visual indicator module are mounted and that is configured to be attached
to the burner assembly,

wherein the visual indicator module is in operative communication with the flame sensor so that the at least one light source
is actuated in response to the flow of electric current.

US Pat. No. 9,835,359

STACKABLE WATER HEATER APPARATUS

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. An electric water heating system comprising:
a first individually separable electric water heater comprising:
a first tank sized to hold a first quantity of water less than 55 gallons;
a first electric heating structure disposed within the first tank and adapted to heat the first quantity of water; and
a first control circuit in electrical communication with the first electric heating structure, the first control circuit comprising
a first temperature sensing element configured to detect a temperature of the first quantity of water;

a second individually separable electric water heater configured to have the first individually separable electric water heater
mounted thereon, the second individually separable electric water heater comprising:

a second tank sized to hold a second quantity of water less than 55 gallons, the first and second tanks being sized so that
the combined first and second quantities of water are greater than 55 gallons;

a second electric heating structure disposed within the second tank and adapted to heat the second quantity of water; and
a second control circuit in electrical communication with the first control circuit and the second electric heating structure,
the second control circuit comprising a second temperature sensing element configured to detect a temperature of the second
quantity of water;

a first jacket structure outwardly circumscribing the first tank and forming a first insulation space between the first jacket
structure and the first tank;

a second jacket structure outwardly circumscribing the second tank and forming a second insulation space between the second
jacket structure and the second tank; and

a first insulation material disposed in the first insulation space and a second insulation material disposed in the second
insulation space,

wherein the first individually separable electric water heater includes a first upper junction box and a first lower junction
box, wherein the second individually separable electric water heater includes a second upper junction box and a second lower
junction box, wherein the first control circuit is connected in series with the second control circuit, and wherein the first
upper junction box is configured to receive power from a branch circuit and supply the power to the first control circuit
and, via the first lower junction box and the second upper junction box, to the second control circuit connected in series
such that the first control circuit and the second control circuit form a control unit that is configured to prevent both
the first electric heating structure and the second electric heating structure from being simultaneously operable.

US Pat. No. 9,714,774

DOWNFIRED HIGH EFFICIENCY GAS-FIRED WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A fuel-fired liquid heating apparatus comprising:
a tank adapted to hold a quantity of liquid to be heated, said tank having upper and lower ends;
a combustion products transfer chamber structure underlying said lower end of said tank, said combustion products transfer
chamber structure being a single chamber having a top wall defined by and sized to match said lower end of said tank, said
top wall being convexly shaped to be higher in a central region of said tank than at sides of said tank, said combustion products
transfer chamber structure having a first sidewall;

a combustion product discharge conduit disposed externally of said tank and having an inlet end communicating directly with
an interior of said combustion products transfer chamber structure through an opening in said first sidewall of said combustion
products transfer chamber structure, said combustion product discharge conduit having a vertically extending portion adjacent
said tank;

a partially submerged combustion chamber extending downwardly into an interior of said tank through said upper end thereof,
said partially submerged combustion chamber being spaced upwardly apart from said lower end of said tank, said partially submerged
combustion chamber comprising at least one second sidewall and a bottom wall that define an interior space of said partially
submerged combustion chamber, and said partially submerged combustion chamber disposed in said interior of said tank such
that an exterior surface of said bottom wall and at least a portion of said at least one second sidewall of said partially
submerged combustion chamber are in direct contact with said quantity of liquid to be heated;

a single pass heat exchanger structure disposed in said interior of said tank and being defined by a plurality of flue pipes
intercommunicating said partially submerged combustion chamber and said combustion products transfer chamber structure, said
plurality of flue pipes having inlets and outlets respectively connected directly to said partially submerged combustion chamber
and said combustion products transfer chamber structure, respectively, wherein said single pass heat exchanger is a condensing
heat exchanger structure;

a condensate drain fitting disposed on said combustion products discharge conduit at a location adjacent a bottom of said
vertically extending portion of said combustion product discharge conduit at a location laterally displaced from said tank;
and

a fuel burner operative to create hot combustion products within said interior space of said partially submerged combustion
chamber for transfer therefrom sequentially through said plurality of flue pipes, into said combustion products transfer chamber
structure, and then outwardly from said combustion products chamber structure into said combustion products discharge conduit.

US Pat. No. 9,803,887

CATHODIC CORROSION AND DRY FIRE PROTECTION APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A liquid heating apparatus comprising:
a corrodible vessel;
an electric heating element extending through an interior portion of the corrodible vessel and having an electrically conductive
sheath; and

a protection apparatus operative to utilize the electrically conductive sheath to (1) inhibit corrosion of the corrodible
vessel and/or (2) prevent dry firing of the electric heating element, the protection apparatus including a sensing portion
for sensing the magnitude of a voltage potential between the electrically conductive sheath and the corrodible vessel,

wherein the protection apparatus further includes a control portion coupled to the sensing portion of the protection apparatus
and operative to sequentially (1) measure the magnitude of the voltage potential between the electrically conductive sheath
and the corrodible vessel in the absence of an impressed voltage potential on the electrically conductive sheath, (2) record
the magnitude of the voltage potential if it is above a predetermined value thereof, (3) apply the impressed voltage potential
to the electrically conductive sheath equal to the magnitude of the voltage potential that was measured plus a predetermined
additional impressed voltage potential magnitude, and (4) terminate the impressed voltage to the electrically conductive sheath.

US Pat. No. 10,126,018

ELECTRIC WATER HEATER HAVING DRY FIRE PROTECTION CAPABILITY

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A method of detecting a dry fire event in a water heater having a water tank that defines a water tank volume, that has an orientation when the water heater is in an operative position, and that has at least one heating element disposed in the water tank volume, comprising the stepsof:providing a non-invasive liquid level sensor that is secured to a housing, wherein the housing encompasses a housing volume for containment of water and wherein the housing volume comprises the water tank volume, the non-invasive liquid level sensor at a position relative to the at least one heating element at which the non-invasive liquid level sensor senses a presence of water in the housing volume indicating whether the at least one heating element is immersed in water when the water tank is in the orientation, wherein the non-invasive liquid level sensor outputs a signal that varies based on whether the non-invasive liquid level sensor senses the presence of water and wherein the non-invasive liquid level sensor is completely outside the water tank;
receiving the signal from the non-invasive liquid level sensor at a controller;
if the signal received at the receiving step by the controller indicates that the at least one heating element is immersed in water, providing power to the at least one heating element from a power supply; and
if the signal received at the receiving step by the controller indicates that the at least one heating element is not immersed in water, preventing supply of power to the at least one heating element from the power supply.

US Pat. No. 9,951,945

DIFFUSER PLATE FOR PREMIXED BURNER BOX

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A fuel-fired heating appliance having a combustion system comprising:a housing having an interior and a wall portion;
an ignition device carried by the housing and operative to combust a fuel/air mixture entering the interior of the housing to form hot combustion gas;
first heat exchanger tubes and second heat exchanger tubes having inlets communicating with the interior of the housing through the wall portion of the housing for receiving hot combustion gas generated within the interior of the housing;
a fan for flowing the hot combustion gas from the interior of the housing through the first heat exchanger tubes and the second heat exchanger tubes, wherein the fan is positioned and operable such that more of the hot combustion gas flows through the first heat exchanger tubes than the second heat exchanger tubes thereby creating a non-uniform temperature differential therebetween in the absence of a diffuser plate disposed in the housing; and
the diffuser plate carried by the housing and through which the fuel/air mixture may enter the interior of the housing, the diffuser plate having a perforation arrangement configured to alter relative combustion gas flow rates through the first heat exchanger tubes and the second heat exchanger tubes in a manner reducing the non-uniform temperature differential therebetween,
wherein the perforation arrangement is such that outer ends of the diffuser plate comprise both a first set of perforations and a second set of perforations, whereas a central portion of the diffuser plate comprises only the first set of perforations, the first set of perforations being smaller in size than the second set of perforations, and
wherein the diffuser plate is positioned in the housing such that the inlets of the first heat exchanger tubes are aligned with the central portion of the diffuser plate and the inlets of the second heat exchanger tube are aligned with one of the outer ends of the diffuser plate.

US Pat. No. 10,041,702

APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR HYBRID WATER HEATING AND AIR COOLING AND CONTROL THEREOF

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A system for conditioning air and for heating water, comprising:a refrigerant path;
a first condenser in the refrigerant path and disposed in an air flow path so that the first condenser transfers heat to air in the air flow path from refrigerant moving through the first condenser in the refrigerant path;
a second condenser in the refrigerant path and that defines a water flow path so that the second condenser transfers heat to water in the water flow path from refrigerant moving through the second condenser in the refrigerant path;
an evaporator in the refrigerant path and disposed in a second air flow path so that air in the second air flow path transfers heat to refrigerant moving through the evaporator;
a compressor in the refrigerant path and configured to move refrigerant in the refrigerant path;
a three-way valve comprising a first connection to a first output line in the refrigerant path from the compressor, a second connection to an input line in the refrigerant path to the first condenser, and a third connection to an input line in the refrigerant path to the second condenser;
a port in the three-way valve, comprising a fourth connection distinct from each of the first connection, the second connection, and the third connection, the fourth connection connected to a bypass refrigerant path connected to an input to the compressor in the refrigerant path where such input is downstream from the evaporator with respect to the refrigerant path;
a second output line in the refrigerant path from the first condenser to the evaporator; and
a control system in operative communication with the refrigerant path and the three-way valve configured to
selectively direct refrigerant flow from the first connection, through the second connection to the first condenser or through the third connection to the second condenser,
upon directing refrigerant flow through the third connection to the second condenser without directing refrigerant flow through the second connection to the first condenser, draining refrigerant from the first condenser, in response to pressure in the first condenser or the second output line, and
selectively open the port in the three-way valve in response to pressure in the first output line.

US Pat. No. 10,180,270

MODULAR COOLING SYSTEM FOR HIGH-RISE BUILDING

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. An air conditioning system for a high-rise building, the air conditioning system comprising:a first condenser unit located at a roof top of the high-rise building;
a second condenser unit located at the roof top of the high-rise building;
a first compressor separate from the first condenser unit and in fluid communication with the first condenser unit, the first compressor located at a first floor of the high-rise building that is below a location of the first condenser unit;
a second compressor located at a second floor of the high-rise building, wherein the second floor is below the roof top and the first floor;
a first oil separator to separate oil from a refrigerant, wherein the first oil separator is in a path of the first refrigerant from the first compressor to the first condenser unit and wherein the first oil separator is distal from the first condenser unit and proximal to the first compressor; and
a second oil separator located at the second floor of the high-rise building and in a path of a second refrigerant from the second compressor to the second condenser unit, wherein the second oil separator is distal from the second condenser unit and proximal to the second compressor;
a second oil separator located at the second floor of the high-rise building and in a path of a second refrigerant from the second compressor to the second condenser unit.

US Pat. No. 9,874,375

ELECTRIC WATER HEATER HAVING DRY FIRE PROTECTION CAPABILITY

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A water heater, comprising:
a tank defining an interior volume;
a heating element disposed within the interior volume;
a temperature sensor disposed with respect to the heating element so that the temperature sensor detects temperature of an
area ambient to the heating element in the interior volume; and

a controller in communication with the temperature sensor and configured to
upon detecting a condition for activating the heating element, receive a first signal from the temperature sensor indicating
temperature of the ambient area and determine a first temperature based on the first signal,

after determining the first temperature, actuate the heating element for a cumulative actuation period sufficient to heat
water ambient to the heating element by at least a predetermined increment and separate periods of actuation of the heating
element within the cumulative actuation period by respective inactive periods of the heating element sufficient to maintain
the heating element below a predetermined maximum temperature,

after the cumulative actuation period, receive a second signal from the temperature sensor indicating temperature of the ambient
area and determine a second temperature based on the second signal,

disable the heating element if the second temperature exceeds the first temperature beyond a threshold corresponding to the
predetermined increment, and

actuate the heating element in response to the condition, if the second temperature does not exceed the first temperature
beyond a threshold corresponding to the predetermined increment.

US Pat. No. 10,151,511

ELECTRIC WATER HEATER HAVING DRY FIRE PROTECTION CAPABILITY

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A water heater, comprising:a tank defining an interior volume;
a heating element disposed within the interior volume;
a temperature sensor disposed with respect to the heating element so that the temperature sensor detects a temperature of an area ambient to the heating element in the interior volume; and
a controller in communication with the temperature sensor and configured to actuate the heating element at a predetermined actuation rate and for a cumulative actuation period so that the predetermined actuation rate maintains the heating element below a predetermined maximum temperature in air and so that upon conclusion of the cumulative actuation period, the heating element contributes at least a predetermined amount of energy to the area that is measurable by the temperature sensor when the heating element is immersed in water.

US Pat. No. 10,036,570

HEAT TRANSFER BAFFLE ARRANGEMENT FOR FUEL-BURNING WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A fuel-burning water heater comprising:a housing defining a water storage chamber for containing a quantity of water to be heated and a combustion chamber located beneath the water storage chamber;
an inlet extending through the housing into the storage chamber for delivering water into the storage chamber for heating;
an outlet extending through the housing from the storage chamber for discharging heated water from the storage chamber;
a fuel burner disposed in the combustion chamber for receiving and combusting a mixture of fuel and air for heating water contained in the water storage chamber;
an exhaust flue extending from the combustion chamber vertically through the water storage chamber and outwardly from the housing for exhausting combustion by-products generated by combustion of the fuel-and-air mixture, and
a baffle arrangement disposed within the exhaust flue to promote heat transfer from the combustion by-products via the exhaust flue to water contained in the water storage chamber for supplementing the heating of the water by the fuel burner,
the baffle arrangement comprising:
an elongate planar base having an upper end, a lower end, opposed lateral sides and a longitudinal centerline therebetween, and
a plurality of fins that are exhaust-directing and spaced longitudinally along opposite sides of the centerline,
each fin comprising a planar body extending perpendicularly from the elongate planar base and extending upwardly at an acute angle from adjacent the longitudinal centerline to adjacent a respective side,
the plurality of fins being effective to deflect combustion by-products laterally outwardly within the exhaust flue to increase residence time therein and to promote contact with the exhaust flue for heat exchange,
the plurality of fins being of selectively varying respective configurations and surface areas between the lower end and the upper end of the elongate planar base for achieving a selectively controlled pressure drop within the exhaust flue,
wherein first selected fins of the plurality of fins are circular,
wherein second selected fins of the plurality of fins are ovoid,
wherein third selected fins of the plurality of fins have linear edges, and
wherein each of the first selected fins has less surface area than each of the second selected fins and each of the third selected fins, and wherein each of the second selected fins has less surface area than each of the third selected fins.

US Pat. No. 9,739,483

FUEL/AIR MIXTURE AND COMBUSTION APPARATUS AND ASSOCIATED METHODS FOR USE IN A FUEL-FIRED HEATING APPARATUS

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A fuel-fired heating apparatus comprising:
a combustion system including:
a burner box that is coupled to a fuel-air mixing structure that is configured to generate a fuel-air mixture, the burner
box having an interior, an inlet end, and an outlet end;

an ignition device disposed in the interior of the burner box between the inlet end and the outlet end and operative to combust
the fuel-air mixture entering the interior of the burner box from the fuel-air mixing structure through the inlet end of the
burner box to form hot combustion gas within the interior of the burner box;

at least one array of linearly arranged heat exchanger tubes having inlets communicating with the interior of the burner box
through the outlet end of the burner box for receiving the hot combustion gas generated within the interior of the burner
box, the outlets of the heat exchanger tubes being coupled to a collector box structure;

a suction fan disposed in the collector box and operable to induce a flow of the hot combustion gas from the interior of the
burner box through the at least one array of linearly arranged heat exchanger tubes such that a per-heat exchanger tube flow
of the hot combustion gas is greater for a first set of heat exchanger tubes than a second set of heat exchanger tubes creating
an operating temperature differential in the at least one array of heat exchanger tubes during firing of the fuel-fired heating
apparatus; and

an elongate diffuser apparatus comprising a plurality of non-uniform perforations that include: (a) a first set of perforations
disposed throughout the elongate diffuser apparatus, and (b) a second set of perforations that are larger in size than the
first set of perforations, the second set of perforations disposed at a portion of the elongate diffuser apparatus such that
the portion of the elongate diffuser apparatus comprises both the first set of perforations and the second set of perforations,

wherein the elongate diffuser apparatus is disposed at the inlet end of the burner box and arranged such that the first set
of perforations face the first and second sets of heat exchanger tubes while the portion of the elongate diffuser apparatus
comprising the first and second sets of perforations faces the second set of heat exchanger tubes, and

wherein said arrangement of the elongate diffuser apparatus at the inlet end of the burner box alters relative combustion
gas flow rates through the first set of heat exchanger tubes and the second set of heat exchanger tubes in a manner that reduces
the operating temperature differential between the first set of heat exchanger tubes and the second set of heat exchanger
tubes by allowing a larger volume of the fuel-air mixture to flow through the portion of the elongate diffuser apparatus facing
the second set of heat exchanger tubes than a remainder portion of the elongate diffuser apparatus.

US Pat. No. 9,772,119

FUEL-FIRED HEATING APPLIANCE HAVING IMPROVED BURNER ASSEMBLY

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A burner assembly for a fuel-fired heating appliance that defines a direction of flow of a fuel and air mixture in a flow
path and that has a heat exchanger assembly, a burner box disposed upstream of and in fluid communication with the heat exchanger
assembly, and a mixing box disposed upstream of and in fluid communication with the burner box, the burner assembly comprising:
a plurality of burners defined in a mesh structure, wherein each of the plurality of burners defines at least one peak at
a distal end thereof in the direction of flow of the fuel and air mixture;

a diffuser plate having a plurality of perforated areas defined therein, the plurality of perforated areas respectively corresponding
to the plurality of burners;

the diffuser plate being disposed in a fixed position upstream of the mesh structure so that when the burner assembly is disposed
in the flow path, a respective flow of the fuel and air mixture is directed from each of the plurality of perforated areas
to its corresponding burner of the plurality of burners; and

a bracket that secures the mesh structure to the burner box, wherein the mesh structure and the diffuser plate are coupled
with the bracket, and the bracket has a surface that is arcuate in the direction of flow and through which the plurality of
burners extend.

US Pat. No. 9,874,380

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING AN ELECTRONIC EXPANSION VALVE IN A REFRIGERANT CIRCUIT

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

13. An air conditioning system comprising:
a refrigerant-based air conditioning circuit having a compressor, a condenser coil, an electronic expansion valve and an evaporator
coil that are fluidly coupled in series; and

an expansion valve control system comprising:
a unit control communicably coupled to a thermostat and operative to receive compressor operation-related signal information
and responsively generate at least one output signal representative of the compressor operation-related signal information,
wherein the at least one output signal is indicative of a run state of said compressor; and

an expansion valve control operative to receive from said unit control only said at least one output signal, and to receive
from one of said coils coil operation-related signal information, and to responsively output a control signal useable to control
said expansion valve, said control signal being related in a predetermined manner to the signals received by said expansion
valve control.

US Pat. No. 10,508,830

HIGH EFFICIENCY GAS-FIRED WATER HEATER

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A water heater, comprising:a tank defining an interior volume for holding water;
a burner in communication with a fuel source and an air source;
a first flue tube having a first cross-sectional area, extending generally vertically into the interior volume, and being disposed in communication with the burner so that an interior of the first flue tube receives exhaust fluid from combustion of fuel from the fuel source at the burner;
a second flue tube disposed within the interior volume and having a second cross-sectional area and a length, wherein the second flue tube is non-linear along at least a portion of the length within the interior volume;
a third flue tube having a third cross-sectional area and that is attached in fluid communication with the first flue tube within the interior volume, that is attached in fluid communication with the second flue tube within the interior volume, and that extends between the first flue tube and the second flue tube so that the exhaust fluid from the first flue tube flows to the second flue tube via the third flue tube, wherein an interior surface of the third flue tube slopes toward the second flue tube over at least a portion of the third flue tube extending from its attachment to the second flue tube; and
an outlet that extends through the tank from the interior volume to an area exterior of the tank,
wherein
the second flue tube is connected to the outlet so that said exhaust fluid flows from the second flue tube through the outlet,
the second flue tube is sloped toward the outlet over its length between the third flue tube and the outlet,
the first cross-sectional area is greater than the third cross-sectional area,
the third cross-sectional area is greater than the second cross-sectional area, the third flue tube has a length and has an inverted U-shape along the length of the third flue tube between the first flue tube and the second flue tube, and the third flue tube connects to the first and second flue tubes at respective opposite ends of the inverted U-shape.

US Pat. No. 10,512,183

CONTROL BOARD ENCLOSURE WITH SLIDING PLATFORM

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A control board enclosure assembly comprising:a cover configured to couple to a housing wall and define a space between the housing wall and an inner surface of the cover, the cover comprising a first end, a second end opposite the first end, a front wall, a first wall, and a second wall, wherein the first wall and the second wall face each other and wherein the front wall, the first wall, and the second wall extend from the first end to the second end;
an insert comprising a mounting panel, the insert configured to slide inside the cover between a first position within the space and a second position at least partially outside of the space; and
a control board coupled to the mounting panel such that the control board is disposed between the mounting panel and the inner surface of the cover when the insert is in the first position and the control board is at least partially outside the space when the insert is in the second position,
wherein the cover further comprises one or more mounting tabs configured to couple with the housing wall, and
wherein the cover further comprises at least one guide track defining a channel and extending from at least one of the first wall or the second wall and into the space, a portion of the insert configured to slide along the at least one guide track.

US Pat. No. 10,281,143

PRE-MIX FUEL-FIRED APPLIANCE WITH IMPROVED HEAT EXCHANGER INTERFACE

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A fuel-fired heating appliance comprising:a combustion chamber that defines an inner cavity and comprising an inlet end and an outlet end;
a burner;
a refractory comprising an inlet face that defines an inlet through aperture and an outlet face, the outlet face of the refractory comprising a counterbore recess that extends inward from the outlet face and defines a periphery of an outlet through aperture;
wherein the burner and the refractory are disposed in the inner cavity of the combustion chamber such that a portion of the burner is disposed between the inlet face of the refractory and the inlet end of the combustion chamber;
a mounting bracket that is coupled to the outlet end of the combustion chamber to securely retain the refractory within the combustion chamber, the refractory defining a first housing adjacent the burner, the first housing configured to receive combustion gases from combustion at the burner;
a heat exchanger tube defining a second housing with an inlet disposed in the counterbore recess of the refractory and proximate the outlet face of the refractory of the first housing so that the inlet of the heat exchanger tube receives the combustion gases from the outlet through aperture of the refractory of the first housing, wherein heat from the combustion gases is conducted through the heat exchanger tube and wherein the heat exchanger tube is configured to transfer heat to air that is blown across an exterior of the heat exchanger tube to condition a space served by the fuel-fired heating appliance; and
a barrier that is configured to inhibit heat transfer from the combustion gases to an interface between the mounting bracket and the heat exchanger tube at the outlet of the combustion chamber,
wherein a portion of the barrier is disposed in the counterbore recess of the refractory such that the portion of the barrier is disposed between the inlet of the heat exchanger tube and the outlet face of the refractory while a remainder portion of the barrier extends towards and into an interior of the heat exchanger tube such that the barrier is disposed between the interface and the combustion gases as the combustion gases flow through the outlet of the combustion chamber and into the inlet of the heat exchanger tube.

US Pat. No. 10,190,806

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR CONTROLLING AN ELECTRONIC EXPANSION VALVE IN A REFRIGERANT CIRCUIT

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A method of controlling a refrigerant-based air conditioning circuit having a compressor, a condenser coil, an electronic expansion valve and an evaporator coil fluid coupled in series, said method comprising the steps of:providing an expansion valve control;
providing a unit control;
transmitting to said expansion valve control only signal information relating to operation of said compressor and operation of one of said condenser coil and said evaporator coil, wherein said compressor has a plurality of operational stages and wherein said step of transmitting to said expansion valve control is performed by causing said unit control to transmit to said expansion valve control only a first signal indicative of a run state of said compressor and a second signal indicative of an operational stage of the plurality of operational stages of said compressor; and
controlling said electronic expansion valve by transmitting from said expansion valve control to said electronic expansion valve a control signal related in a predetermined manner to said signal information.

US Pat. No. 10,345,006

PULSED POWER-BASED DRY FIRE PROTECTION FOR ELECTRIC WATER HEATERS

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A method of preventing dry firing of an electric heating element, comprising steps of:powering the electric heating element with a plurality of electrical test pulses having first predetermined durations and being separated by rest periods of second predetermined durations during which the electrical heating element is depowered;
determining an average of a representative value corresponding to an electrical current flow through the electric heating element during each of the plurality of electrical test pulses; and
precluding operative energization of the electric heating element if the average of the representative value corresponding to the electrical current flow through the electric heating element during an electrical test pulse subsequent to a first electrical test pulse is less by a predetermined amount than the average of the representative value corresponding to the electrical current flow through the electrical heating element during the first electrical test pulse.

US Pat. No. 10,215,425

GAS FIRED MODULAR BLOWER CONTROL AND ASSOCIATED METHODOLOGY

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A heat pump system comprising:a reversible refrigerant circuit heat pump operable in heating and cooling modes to selectively heat or cool air being delivered to a conditioned space;
a fuel-fired modular blower selectively operable to generate combustion heat; and
a control system associated with said heat pump and said modular blower and having a heat pump thermostat electrically connected to a modular blower control,
said heat pump thermostat being operative to transmit to said modular blower control both a first signal and a second signal, (1) the first signal indicative of heating operation of said heat pump, and (2) the second signal indicative of a need for alternative heat during a heating demand cycle, and
said modular blower control being operative, in response to receipt of both of said first and second signals, to cause said fuel-fired modular blower to generate combustion heat in place of refrigerant-based air heating of said heat pump.

US Pat. No. 10,480,824

LEAK DETECTION SENSOR ASSEMBLIES FOR WATER HEATERS

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A water heater comprising:a bottom pan that comprises:
a base
a sidewall disposed along a perimeter of the base; and
a leak sensor assembly that is configured to detect water that leaks from the water heater, the leak sensor assembly comprising:
a sensor housing that comprises a sensor channel that is formed therein such that the sensor channel is disposed at an elevation from the base of the bottom pan when the sensor housing is disposed on the base of the bottom pan; and
a leak sensor that is disposed in the sensor channel of the sensor housing,
wherein the sensor housing comprises a body that has a disc shaped profile and a through hole formed therein,
wherein the through hole is configured to receive a fastener therethrough to couple the sensor housing to the bottom pan,
wherein the body is formed of two halves that are hingedly coupled to each other, and
wherein the sensor channel extends circumferentially along a perimeter of the body and on an outer surface of the body;
a shut-off valve that is configured to control a flow of the water into a storage tank of the water heater; and
a controller that is coupled to the leak sensor and configured to control the shut-off valve,
wherein responsive to receiving a signal from the leak sensor that the leak sensor has detected water, the controller is configured to:
close the shut-off valve during a first mode of operation, and
send a query to a computing device of a user associated with the water heater and close the shut-off valve based on an input from the user during a second mode of operation.

US Pat. No. 10,436,476

MOTOR/DAMPER ASSEMBLY FOR FUEL-FIRED WATER HEATER

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A motor/damper assembly for a fuel-fired water heater, the motor/damper assembly comprising:a support plate structure comprising:
a base plate portion formed of a sheet having a planar bottom surface and having an opening extending therethrough sized and shaped to receive a flue extending from a top surface of the water heater, the planar bottom surface of the sheet extending around a complete perimeter of the opening and being shaped and arranged to rest flat on the top surface of the water heater when the flue is extending through the opening, and
first and second side support plates connected to opposing sides of the base plate portion and extending substantially perpendicular to the planar bottom surface of the base plate portion; and
an open-ended collar extending upwardly from the opening of the base plate portion, the collar being sized and shaped to cooperate with the flue so that combustion exhaust products pass from the flue through the collar when the support plate structure is disposed on the water heater;
a damper member pivotally supported within the collar;
a motor supported by the support plate structure and arranged to rotate the damper member in the collar; and
a housing having an open bottom portion shaped to receive and cover the base plate portion, the first and second side support plates, and the motor.

US Pat. No. 10,415,892

HEAT EXCHANGE TUBES AND TUBE ASSEMBLY CONFIGURATIONS

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A heat exchange tube comprising:a standard diameter section comprising a largest diameter; and
at least one reduced diameter section comprising a reduced circumference and an integral flattened ridge, the integral flattened ridge extending outwardly from the reduced circumference and past the largest diameter of the heat exchange tube.

US Pat. No. 10,378,791

ELECTRIC WATER HEATER HAVING INTEGRATED LOCK

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A water heater, comprising:(a) a tank having a wall defining a volume therein for holding water;
(b) a first heating element extending through the wall and into the volume, the first heating element configured for connection to a power source and so that, when connected to the power source, a portion of the first heating element within the volume generates heat;
(c) a connector configured for connection to the power source, and a first electric circuit between the connector and the first heating element;
(d) a switch, wherein the switch is disposed in the first electric circuit and the first electric circuit is configured so that, if the switch is in a first state, the first electric circuit is in an electrically conductive state between the connector and the first heating element and, if the switch is in a second state, the first electric circuit is in an electrically non-conductive state between the connector and the first heating element; and
(e) a controller comprising a processor, the controller in operative communication with the switch and responsive to a key so that actuation of the controller by the key transitions the switch between the first state and the second state, wherein the key is an alphanumeric code, and wherein the water heater further comprises an interface having an alphanumeric entry device, wherein the interface is in communication with the processor so that entry of the key via the alphanumeric entry device causes the interface to transmit the entered key to the processor.

US Pat. No. 10,274,226

ELECTRONIC CONTROL SYSTEM FOR ELECTRIC WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. An electric liquid heating apparatus comprising:a tank for storing liquid to be heated;
an upper electric heating element extending through an upper portion of an interior of said tank;
an upper temperature sensor operative to sense a temperature representative of a temperature of said liquid in said upper portion of said tank;
a lower electric heating element extending through a lower portion of the interior of said tank;
a lower temperature sensor operative to sense a temperature representative of a temperature of said liquid in said lower portion of said tank, said upper and lower temperature sensors externally mounted on said tank; and
a control system electrically coupled to said upper and lower electric heating elements and said upper and lower temperature sensors, the control system adapted to control the upper and lower electric heating elements in a non-simultaneous actuation manner, the control system using an algorithm executing a performance operation mode, such that:
(1) when an initial temperature detected by said upper temperature sensor is less than a predetermined magnitude:
said control system initiates a high demand routine where said control system determines that a heat demand exists in said upper portion of said tank, and
responsive to determining that said heat demand in said upper portion of said tank exists, said control system selects one of said upper and lower heating elements to meet said heat demand in said upper portion of said tank based on a sensed presence or absence of predetermined magnitudes of (a) said temperature of said liquid in said lower portion of said tank sensed by said lower temperature sensor, (b) a rate of change of said temperature of said liquid in said lower portion of said tank sensed by said lower temperature sensor, (c) said temperature of said liquid in said upper portion of said tank sensed by said upper temperature sensor, and (d) a rate of change of said temperature of said liquid in said upper portion of said tank sensed by said upper temperature sensor, and
(2) when said initial temperature detected by said upper temperature sensor is not less than said predetermined magnitude, said control system:
(a) activates said upper electric heating element to satisfy a heat demand in said upper portion of said tank, as detected by said upper temperature sensor, and,
(b) activates said lower electric heating element to satisfy a heat demand in said lower portion of said tank, as detected by said lower temperature sensor, only if no heating demand exists in said upper portion of said tank,
wherein said initial temperature is sensed by said upper temperature sensor responsive to initially activating said upper heating element.

US Pat. No. 10,502,451

DIFFUSER PLATES AND DIFFUSER PLATES ASSEMBLIES

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

17. A diffuser plate assembly for a thermal transfer device, wherein the diffuser plate assembly comprises:a first diffuser plate comprising a first body having a plurality of first apertures and a second aperture, wherein the plurality of first apertures and the second aperture traverse through the first diffuser plate; and
a second diffuser plate placed in parallel with the first diffuser plate, wherein the second diffuser plate comprises a second body having a plurality of third apertures, a fourth aperture, and a fifth aperture,
wherein the plurality of first apertures and the plurality of third apertures have a first shape and a first size, wherein the plurality of first apertures are configured to receive a first end of a plurality of tubes and the plurality of third apertures is configured to receive a second end of the plurality of tubes,
wherein the second aperture has a second size, wherein the second size is larger than the first size,
wherein the plurality of first apertures and the plurality of third apertures are arranged in a pattern,
wherein the pattern of the plurality of first apertures is interrupted by the second aperture to create a first arrangement of the plurality of first apertures, and
wherein the pattern of the plurality of third apertures is interrupted by the fourth aperture and the fifth aperture to create a second arrangement of the plurality of third apertures.

US Pat. No. 10,458,678

APPARATUS AND METHODS FOR HEATING WATER WITH REFRIGERANT AND PHASE CHANGE MATERIAL

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. An apparatus for heating water, comprising:a first tank defining a first inner volume for storing the water that is to be heated;
a second tank that defines a second inner volume that is adjacent the first inner volume so that heat transfers between the first inner volume and the second inner volume, wherein the second inner volume is fluidly isolated from the water in the first inner volume, and wherein the second inner volume contains a phase change material; and
an air conditioning system comprising a refrigerant path defined by a refrigerant conduit, a portion of the refrigerant conduit passing through the second inner volume, wherein the portion of the refrigerant conduit that passes through the second inner volume is disposed radially inward and spaced apart from a second tank sidewall of the second tank such that the phase change material encases an outer surface of the refrigerant conduit over a majority of a length of the portion of the refrigerant conduit that is within the second inner volume.

US Pat. No. 10,451,365

TUBE SHEETS AND TUBE SHEET ASSEMBLIES

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A planar tube sheet for a thermal transfer device, wherein the planar tube sheet comprises:a body having a uniform thickness and a plurality of apertures that traverse therethrough, wherein each of the plurality of apertures has a length that equals the thickness of the body and is configured to receive a plurality of tubes of the thermal transfer device; and
an outer perimeter defining the body, wherein the outer perimeter has three or more first recess features disposed therein,
wherein the three or more recess features have a first shape and a first size, wherein the first shape is any shape aside from a semi-circle, wherein the body and the outer perimeter are planar with respect to each other,
wherein the outer perimeter, not considering the three or more first recess features, has a circular shape, and
wherein the three or more first recess features are substantially equally distributed around the outer perimeter.

US Pat. No. 10,415,849

DOWN-FIRED HIGH EFFICIENCY GAS-FIRED WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A fuel-fired liquid heating apparatus comprising:a tank adapted to hold a quantity of liquid to be heated, the tank having an upper wall and a lower wall;
a combustion products transfer chamber structure disposed outside and below the tank such that the lower wall of the tank defines a top end of the combustion products transfer chamber structure;
a combustion products discharge conduit that is disposed external to the tank and coupled to the combustion products transfer chamber structure such that the combustion products discharge conduit is in fluid communication with the combustion products transfer chamber structure, wherein an inlet end of the combustion products discharge conduit is disposed in and coupled to a sidewall of the combustion products transfer chamber structure while a remainder of the combustion products discharge conduit is disposed outside and spaced apart from the tank;
a combustion chamber comprising a side wall and a bottom wall that defines an interior space, wherein the combustion chamber extends into an interior of the tank through the upper wall of the tank and towards the lower wall, wherein the combustion chamber is partially submerged in the interior of the tank such that an exterior surface of the bottom wall and an exterior surface of at least a portion of the side wall of the combustion chamber are in direct contact with the quantity of liquid in the tank, and wherein the combustion chamber terminates adjacent the upper wall of the tank;
a single pass heat exchanger structure disposed in the interior of the tank and connecting the combustion chamber and the combustion products transfer chamber structure, wherein the single pass heat exchanger structure comprises an inlet end that is disposed in the combustion chamber to receive hot combustion products created by a fuel burner and an outlet end that is disposed and opens into the combustion products transfer chamber structure that is disposed outside and below the tank and that has the combustion products discharge conduit attached thereto to exhaust the hot combustion products; and
the fuel burner is operative to create the hot combustion products within the interior space of the combustion chamber for transfer therefrom sequentially through the single pass heat exchanger structure, into the combustion products transfer chamber structure, and then outwardly from the combustion products chamber structure into the combustion products discharge conduit.

US Pat. No. 10,330,052

LOW NITROGEN OXIDE EMISSION WATER HEATER

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. A water heater comprising:a tank defining a first volume for holding water and having a lower tank wall beneath the first volume, wherein the lower tank wall defines a first surface opposite the first volume;
at least one side wall extending below the lower tank wall about a periphery of the tank, thereby defining a second surface;
a bottom wall adjoining the at least one side wall opposite the lower tank wall, thereby defining a third surface, so that the first surface, the second surface, and the third surface define a second volume;
a duct in communication with an ambient air source external to the second volume so that a third volume at least partially bounded by the duct receives air from the ambient air source, wherein the duct is in fluid communication with a pressurized fuel gas source so that the third volume receives a flow of fuel gas from the pressurized fuel gas source and so that the ambient air and fuel gas flow out of the third volume at least partially bounded by the duct in an output flow, and wherein at least a portion of the volume at least partially bounded by the duct is disposed outward of the second volume and the periphery; and
a burner assembly partially disposed within the second volume, wherein the burner assembly comprises
a collection housing defining an inlet that receives the output flow and that defines an enclosure in fluid communication with the inlet so that the enclosure receives the ambient air and the fuel gas from the output flow for mixture in the enclosure, wherein the collection housing bounds the ambient air and fuel gas within the enclosure except for flow thereof from the inlet and through an upper aperture in the collection housing,
a skirt wall extending below the bottom wall about the periphery of the tank, so that a fourth volume is defined at least partially by the bottom wall and the skirt wall, wherein the skirt wall defines a plurality of holes therethrough, and wherein the duct is attached to the skirt wall over at least one of the plurality of holes so that the duct is in fluid communication with the fourth volume to receive ambient air therefrom, and
a perforated burner surface disposed within the second volume above the upper aperture and opposing the lower tank wall.

US Pat. No. 10,330,362

COMPRESSOR PROTECTION AGAINST LIQUID SLUG

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

15. A heat pump system, comprising:an indoor coil; an outdoor coil; a compressor; a reversing valve; and
a liquid slug protector device, wherein a refrigerant flows from the indoor coil or from the outdoor coil to the compressor through the liquid slug protector device, wherein the liquid slug protector device comprises:
a housing having an inlet port, an outlet port, and a cavity;
a piston disposed in the cavity and comprising an inflow channel;
a backing structure disposed in the cavity and comprising an outflow channel, wherein a first refrigerant flow path from the inlet port to the outlet port includes the inflow channel and the outflow channel; and
a peripheral channel that is at least partially bound by the piston, wherein a second refrigerant flow path from the inlet port to the outlet port includes the peripheral channel and the outflow channel and wherein the second refrigerant flow path is closed when the piston abuts against the backing structure;
wherein the piston is moveable toward and away from the backing structure in response to changes in pressure exerted on the piston by the refrigerant, wherein the piston is movable toward the backing structure until the piston abuts against the backing structure, and wherein the first refrigerant flow path is open both when the piston is spaced from the backing structure and when the piston abuts against the backing structure.

US Pat. No. 10,451,303

ELECTRONIC DETECTION OF VENT BLOCKAGE AND BLOWER MALFUNCTION IN TEMPERATURE CONTROL SYSTEMS

Rheem Manufacturing Compa...

1. A temperature control system comprising:a blower impeller assembly comprising:
a blower impeller that is configured to create an airflow through the temperature control system;
a motor coupled to and configured to drive the blower impeller; and
a sensor that is coupled to the motor and configured to measure a current drawn by the motor to maintain the blower impeller at a set angular speed; and
a controller that is communicatively coupled to the sensor and configured to:
receive, from the sensor, sensor data to electronically detect based on the sensor data at least one of a blockage in a vent coupled to the temperature control system and a malfunction of the blower impeller, the sensor data comprising an amount of the current drawn by the motor to maintain the blower impeller at the set angular speed, the vent having a given length;
determine whether the amount of the current drawn by the motor is within a current value tolerance range associated with an average amount of current drawn by the motor to maintain the blower impeller at the set angular speed during a normal operation of the temperature control system for the given length of the vent; and
responsive to a negative determination that the amount of the current drawn by the motor is within the current value tolerance range, determine whether the amount of the current drawn by the motor is less than a blower impeller locked value and greater than a blower impeller missing value,
wherein the blower impeller locked value is representative of a first amount of current drawn by the motor to maintain the blower impeller at the set angular speed when the blower impeller is locked, and wherein the blower impeller missing value is representative of a second amount of current drawn by the motor to maintain the blower impeller at the set angular speed when the blower impeller is inoperative.

US Pat. No. 10,352,586

ENCLOSURES FOR WATER HEATERS

RHEEM MANUFACTURING COMPA...

1. An enclosure for a water heater, the enclosure comprising:a cover comprising an outer surface, at least one body coupling feature, and at least one water heater coupling feature, wherein the at least one water heater coupling feature comprises a first plurality of ridges placed in parallel with each other, wherein the first plurality of ridges are disposed on the outer surface of the cover; and
a body detachably coupled to the cover, wherein the body comprises at least one cover coupling feature that couples to the at least one body coupling feature of the cover,
wherein the first plurality of ridges of the at least one water heater coupling feature is configured to receive an enclosure coupling feature of the water heater, wherein the enclosure coupling feature comprises a tab that extends from the water heater, wherein the tab, when received by two adjacent ridges of the first plurality of ridges, secures the body against a tank of the water heater.