Patent application title: Filter Drain Kit and Method
Thomas Broadway (Battle Mountain, NV, US)
IPC8 Class: AB65B304FI
Class name: Fluent material handling, with receiver or receiver coacting means processes
Publication date: 2012-07-26
Patent application number: 20120186690
A filter drain kit device is provided having a cylindrical storage
container with a lid and handle that holds a flexible drain cup. The cup
includes a puncture device and drain fitting. The kit also includes a
clear plastic drain hose to fit the drain fitting, and a striking hammer.
The items within the kit allow for a method of removing oil from an oil
filter without the spillage that normally accompanies this process. The
components of the kit are meant to be wiped clean after use and placed
back into the storage container, thereby allowing for reusability and
ease of storage while not in use.
1) An engine oil filter draining kit device, said device comprising: a
cylindrical storage container having a handle and a removable lid, a
flexible drain cup having an open bowl shape, a puncture device and a
drain fitting, said flexible drain cup being adapted to fit over said oil
filter while said filter is connected to an engine, a hose with a first
and second end, said first end being attachable said drain cup drain
fitting and said second end adapted to rest within said cylindrical
storage container, a striking device for depressing said puncture device
into said oil filter.
2) The device of claim 1, wherein said puncture device comprises a strikeable piercing tool that is spring mounted to create a puncture of said oil filter when struck and return to an unstruck position thereafter, creating an open orifice in said oil filter for draining of oil therefrom.
3) The device of claim 1, wherein said striking device is a hammer.
4) The device of claim 1, wherein said hose is formed from a clear, plastic material.
5) The device of claim 1, wherein said drain cup is attached to said oil filter by a retention means that secures its static position onto circumference of said oil filter.
6) A method of draining motor oil from an engine oil filter comprising the steps of: placing a cylindrical storage container below an oil filter, placing a flexible drain cap containing a drain fitting and puncture device onto said oil filter terminal end, attaching a first end of a hose to said drain fitting of said drain cap, placing said second end of said hose into said storage container, using a striking device to impact said puncture device and pierce through said oil filter, allowing oil from oil filter to transfer through said drain cap and hose, into said cylindrical storage container, verifying drainage is completed, removing said hose from said drain fitting, draining said hose of excess oil, removing drain cup from oil filter, removing oil filter from said engine and properly discarding said oil filter; cleaning said storage container, hose and cap, storing said components in said storage container for future use.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/435,839 filed on Jan. 25, 2011, entitled "Filter Drain Kit."
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present invention relates to the field of engine oil filters, and more specifically to a method and apparatus for capturing and containing spillable oil during an oil filter removal operation.
 In 1955, Wix Corporation introduced the one piece "spin-on" disposable oil filter assembly. This assembly revolutionized the industry and soon became standard equipment on virtually every car and light truck. The filter includes a thin-wall, continuous outer container that houses and surrounds the paper or porous filter cartridge positioned thereabout. A spin-on assembly is mounted on the engine block and is held in place by compression against a deformable gasket.
 A popular design includes a flat-face O-ring type rubber gasket between the face of the filter housing and a corresponding engine block boss. The design, though efficient for physical removal and reinstallation, creates a "standpipe" above the filter that is always full of additional captured (or pooled) oil when the engine is at rest. Thus, when removing engine oil using this device, some amount of spillage occurs once the seal is broken. Spillage has been considered a problem that mechanics must deal with on a daily basis. Attempts at a solution have included placing a large catch pan under the engine to collect the spilling oil. However, even with these catch pans, spills and splash back still occurs, which can cause injury to a mechanic. The temperature of the spilled oil can be very high, depending on when the vehicle was driven last and what temperature the engine oil is at the time of the change.
 Government regulations and advances in technology have also influenced automobile engine design, wherein modern automobiles incorporate more elaborate engines and subsystems that crowd the space where an oil filter must be placed, making its removal even more difficult because the engine bay is unduly crowded. Therefore the accessibility of the spin-on filter has become more and more limited and hence more prone to spillage during removal.
 There are several existing apparatuses for controlling spillage during oil filter removal. These apparatuses include special filter devices that have an additional boot attached to collect oil, or utilize a coupling device to connect to a container for collection of oil therein. These devices, however, do not address the problem of oil spillage or splash back while the filter is being removed, and further do not provide a device or method that eliminates these issues while changing an engine oil filter.
 The present invention solves these problems by providing a method and means for removing oil filters by removing the imbedded oil within the filter prior to removing the filter itself, along with a means to cleanly collect the excess from the oil pan reservoir. All items necessary for the project are included within the kit that allows for ease of use and reuse.
 2. Description of the Prior Art
 The prior art contains a variety of vehicle oil filter puncture and drain devices. These devices have familiar design and structural elements for the purposes of removing oil filters and excess oil; however they are not conducive to functioning in confined spaces, removing oil from within the filter prior to removal or for storing the elements of the device in a convenient kit for further use.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,694,990 to Crima discloses a flexible, hollow puncture and drainage boot for the insertion of an oil filter. The boot includes a ledge member upon which an end wall of the oil filter is placed that provides a hollow drainage space between a base end wall of the oil filter and a bottom base wall of said boot. This prior art requires the use of an additional container to collect and transport the used oil to discard. The boot, once the filter is drained, needs to be released from the filter, as well as stored in some location. Additional leakage of oil may occur with these additional steps.
 U.S. Pat. No. 6,056,874 to Goodman describes oil from an oil filter and adjacent engine cavities of trapped engine oil transferred outwardly through filter housing sidewalls at designated low points to a temporary boot container by gravity following a piercing operation through the filter housing. Oil transfer to the container is performed prior to breaking the seal between the engine block and the filter. Oil is caught in the boot containment device which incorporates internal tack like hollow piercing elements. The required piercing force to drive the tacks into the filter using common filter strap wrenches, or by light taps from a hammer, wrench or similar tool. The tool to provide the force required to operate the piercing device is not provided. Attachment of the containment boot has the same problems as when the draining occurs without the device, since the boot needs to be removed from a small space and leakage of oil may occur while removing.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,533,554 to Young describes a system for draining oil from an engine through an oil filter of the engine. The device includes an oil filter having a threaded fluid tap extending therefrom. A coupler can be secured to the threaded fluid tap and to a fluid conduit to permit draining oil from the engine into a container. The filter used is required to have a threaded tap extending therefrom. The special filter is adapted to be coupled to an oil filter fitting of the engine. Multiple parts are required in order to couple the filter to the container. Having to connect the coupler in a contained space underneath a car would be a struggle for anyone who has to use this device.
 U.S. Patent Application, Publication No. 2008/0276999 to Ohashi describes a drain valve body for a fluid filter apparatus. A base houses the filter element and tubular body and can be screwed together through relative rotation, a drain cap that is attached detachably to the cap from the outer side and closes a drain hole provided in the cap, and a drain valve body that is provided between the cap and the tubular body. A special filter is required in order to use this device and issues still remain as to the removal of the oil and spillage that may occur. The expense of using a special filter would limit the value of this device.
 U.S. Pat. No. 7,150,828 to Sakata describes a drain structure for a fluid filter which includes a cap internally forming a drain hole. Normally, the drain hole is blocked with the drain member. A cap and case is integral to the filter in this prior art. The drain tool has a drain passage, but there still leaves the problem as to what happens to the oil from the drain passage to some container and further to some removal site. The drain tool and the hooking portions are additional steps that are unnecessary and do not provide any storage or safe removal of the oil that needs to be discarded.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4,865,156 to Poling describes a method and apparatus for changing oil in an internal combustion engine pierces an outer wall of an old oil filter containing old motor oil to form an opening in a lower portion of the filter wall. Old motor oil is drawn from the pierced oil filter into a container by suction through the filter wall opening and a suction conduit. To be used properly, a suction device such as a vacuum motor needs to be supplied. An activity that should be simple has been made complicated by the inclusion of multiple devices. Considering the small amount of space allotted for removal of oil filters, the Poling device would prove cumbersome and overly complicated.
 The devices disclosed in the prior art do not address the need for a device that allows removal of oil from within the oil filter and containment thereof. The current invention relates to a device that allows a user to simply attach a cap to an oil filter, puncture the cap with the device, connect an included hose and discharge the used oil within an included container. The structure and intent of the present invention substantially diverges in design elements from the prior art and consequently it is clear that the present invention is not described by the prior art. A need therefore exists for an improved filter drain device and kit that provides an efficient, safe and clean method of removing used motor oil from an oil filter. In this regard the instant invention substantially fulfills these needs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of filter drain devices now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new means for draining motor oil wherein the device is an efficient, safe and clean alternative to prior methods.
 It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved filter drain device that has all of the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved filter drain device that has all components necessary included within a self-contained kit.
 Another object of the present invention is to provide a device that punctures the cap of an engine oil filter and allows attachment of a drain tube for collection of motor oil therein.
 Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved filter drain device that is meant to be used within a small space.
 Still another object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved filter drain device that can be used in the construction, automotive, trucking and mining industries.
 Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS
 Although the characteristic features of this invention will be particularly pointed out in the claims, the invention itself and manner in which it may be made and used may be better understood after a review of the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like numeral annotations are provided throughout.
 FIG. 1 shows is a side perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention, wherein all parts of the device are shown.
 FIG. 2 shows a side perspective view of a flexible drain cup of the present invention.
 FIG. 3 shows a perspective view of the present invention in use.
 FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of the present invention after the oil filter has been punctured and the motor oil is being drained thereout.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown the filter drain kit 10 with all the components shown outside of the container 11. Shown is the cylindrical storage container 11, lid 12, flexible drain cup 13, hose 14, and hammer 15 or similar striking device. All items are contained in the storage container 11 when not in use. The flexible drain cup includes a puncture device 16 and drain fitting 17, while the storage container 11 includes a handle 18. The elements of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 1, comprise a kit that provides a user with a means to puncture the end of an oil filter, collect the draining motor oil therefrom without spillage and funnel the oil into a drain hose 14 and into a container 11 that eliminates splash back. The kit is self contained and can be stored together when not in use, and likewise be cleaned and reused for future oil changing operations.
 Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a perspective view of the flexible drain cup 13 that is a part of the filter drain kit. The drain cup 13 is a rounded structure resembling an open bowl, which is adapted to fit over the terminal end of an oil filter and remain in place without further diligence from a user. A puncture device 16 and drain fitting 17 are shown in the forefront of the drawing. The puncture device 16 on the flexible drain cup 13 allows for the puncturing of the oil filter from the exterior, piercing a hole therein to allow outflow of oil from within the filter device. The puncture device 16 is a strikeable punch, which when struck on its first side, forces an interior punch through the outer surface of the oil filter. The punch 16 is spring loaded to create a hole and then remove itself therefrom, creating an open orifice of oil to drain from. The flexible drain cup is placed over the bottom end of an oil filter to collect draining motor oil from the orifice. Once the puncture occurs, the fluid inside of the oil filter flows into the cap 13 and through the drain fitting 17 of the flexible drain cup, which is secured to a drain hose for collection and containment of the oil without requiring the user to physically contact or be exposed to the oil during the process. The oil exits the drain fitting 17 through a hose that is attached to the drain cup 13 and extends to a container 11.
 Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown the present invention in a working position, with a user striking the puncture device 16. The flexible drain cup 13 is attached to the oil filter 19 of a vehicle. The striking device 15 is positioned to strike the puncture device 16 attached to the flexible drain cup 13 to pierce the oil filter 19, thus allowing the oil to discharge from the oil filter and into the drain cup 13. An attachment drain hose is fitted to a drain fitting 17 on the cap 13 after this punch procedure is carried out to direct draining fluid into a larger container and to prevent overflow of oil out of the cap 13.
 Referring now to FIG. 4, there is shown the filter drain kit 10 in use, transferring oil from the oil filter through a hose 14 and into a larger container 11. The flexible drain cup 13 is attached to the oil filter of the vehicle. The oil filter has been pierced and is draining oil therefrom into the cap 13 for its passage into the container. A drain hose 14 is connected to drain fitting 17 on the flexible drain cup 13 on a first end, whiles its second end is placed inside a container 11. Motor oil is therefore transferred from the oil filter into the container without exposing the oil to the user or onto a ground surface. The cap 13 provides a shield for exiting oil once the filter has been pierced and the oil begins to flow therefrom. The hose 14 is connected to the draining fitting 17, either prior to piercing the filter or after, depending on the user preferences. The drain fitting 17 and hose 14 coupling prevents oil from flowing over the upper edge of the cap 13 as oil is drained from the filter. The flexible cap 13 may be adapted to securely engage the filter by stretching over its terminal end, or alternatively it may be held in place by the user or secured with a retention means around the circumference of the cylindrical filter. In order to prevent a vacuum, the oil fill cap should be removed from the upper region of the engine, which allows air to enter the volume within the oil pan as oil exits the filter. The secure attachment of the cap may not allow air to backfill and fill this volume, necessitating the oil drain cap opening for proper draining of the engine oil during the disclosed process.
 In use, an individual removes the lid 12 from the storage container 11 and takes out all of its components. The oil filter 19 is loosened so that it can spin off by hand without leaking for later removal. At this point, the user slides the flexible drain cup 13 onto the terminal end of the oil filter 19. One end of the hose 14 is attached to the drain fitting 17 of the flexible drain cup 13, while the other end of the hose 14 is placed inside the storage container 11 or some other suitable container. The puncture device 16 is struck with the hammer 15 to allow the oil from the oil filter 19 to drain into the flexible drain cup 13, through the hose 14 and into the storage container 11. Once the fluid has been drained from the oil filter 19, the user may remove the hose 14 from the storage container 11 and drain the hose 14 of any excess oil. The removal of the flexible drain cup 13 is the next step in the process. The oil filter 19 can then be removed and properly discarded. Once the draining process has been completed, all components should be wiped clean and placed back into the storage container 11 for reuse at a later time.
 The disclosed device and method provides a user with a convenient way to drain motor oil from an oil filter and drain pan without exposing the user to the oil in the process. Motor oil from an engine can be very hot, and is often changed when the oil is at an elevated temperature because of its lower viscosity at high temperatures. This introduces a burn risk and a splash back risk as oil is haphazardly drained from an orifice that is not always directed vertically downward or in a position that would allow clean flow of oil into a catch basin. Removing an oil filter results in a spillage of oil contained therein, which cannot be drained from the oil pan prior to its removal. Therefore, the present invention aims to remove oil from the oil filter before it is removed from the engine, eliminating the common risks for technicians and auto mechanics. Its design, method and combination are unique in the art, and provide an improved means for draining motor oil from an engine.
 It is therefore realized that the present invention is sufficiently distinguished from the prior art. To this point, the instant invention has been shown and described in what is considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments. It is recognized, however, that departures may be made within the scope of the invention and that obvious modifications will occur to a person skilled in the art. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.
 Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.
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