Title:
Odor removing toilet seat system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An odor removing toilet seat system 10 includes a toilet seat with an airflow chamber. The airflow chamber has a plurality of apertures. The blower assembly is connected to the airflow chamber by an intake tube. The blower assembly withdraws air from the airflow chamber. The withdrawal of air from the airflow chamber creates a vacuum within the airflow chamber. The vacuum draws exterior air from a toilet bowl into the airflow chamber. The plurality of apertures travel from the airflow chamber to the exterior air in the toilet bowl. The exterior air is drawn from the toilet bowl through the plurality of apertures and into the airflow chamber.



Inventors:
Kang, Tae C. (Glendale, CA, US)
Application Number:
09/835771
Publication Date:
10/17/2002
Filing Date:
04/16/2001
Assignee:
KANG TAE C.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/30; E03D9/05; (IPC1-7): E03D9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PARK LAW FIRM (3255 WILSHIRE BLVD SUITE 1110, LOS ANGELES, CA, 90010, US)
Claims:
1. An odor removing toilet seat system comprising: a) a toilet seat having an airflow chamber, wherein the airflow chamber has a plurality of apertures; b) a blower assembly connected to the airflow chamber, wherein the blower assembly withdraws air from the airflow chamber, thereby drawing exterior air from a toilet bowl into the airflow chamber; and c) an exhaust tube attached to the blower assembly, wherein the blower assembly expels the air into the exhaust tube, wherein the exhaust tube travels down through the toilet bowl and into a toilet bowl outlet, and thereby expels the air from the exhaust tube into a sewer drain pipe.

2. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 1 wherein the airflow chamber is substantially circular shaped.

3. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 2 having an intake tube attached to the blower assembly and attached to the airflow chamber, wherein the airflow chamber further having a first outlet and a second outlet, wherein the first outlet and the second outlet are connected to the intake tube.

4. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 3 wherein the toilet seat further having a hard top layer and a spongy lower layer, wherein the lower layer accepts the airflow chamber.

5. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 4 wherein the exhaust tube is substantially flat

6. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 1 further comprising an intake tube attached to the airflow chamber and attached to the blower assembly, and wherein the airflow chamber further having a first channel and a second channel, wherein the first channel and the second channel are joined at the intake tube.

7. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 6 wherein the toilet seat further having a hard top layer and a spongy lower layer, wherein the lower layer accepts the airflow chamber.

8. An odor removing toilet seat system comprising: a) a toilet seat having an exterior lower surface and an airflow chamber, wherein the airflow chamber is attached to the exterior lower surface, wherein the airflow chamber has a plurality of apertures; b) a blower assembly connected to the airflow chamber, wherein the blower assembly withdraws air from the airflow chamber, thereby drawing exterior air from a toilet bowl into the airflow chamber; and c) an exhaust tube attached to the blower assembly, wherein the blower assembly expels the air into the exhaust tube, wherein the exhaust tube travels down through the toilet bowl and into a toilet bowl outlet, and thereby expels the air from the exhaust tube into a sewer drain pipe.

9. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 8 wherein the airflow chamber is substantially circular shaped.

10. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 9 further comprising an intake tube attached to the airflow chamber and attached to the blower assembly.

11. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 10 wherein the airflow chamber further having a first channel and a second channel, wherein the first channel and the second channel are joined at the intake tube.

12. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 11 wherein the exhaust tube is substantially flat.

13. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 12 wherein the toilet seat is an existing toilet seat, wherein the airflow chamber is attached to the exterior lower surface of the existing toilet seat.

14. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 8 having an intake tube attached to the blower assembly and attached to the airflow chamber, wherein the airflow chamber further having a first outlet and a second outlet, wherein the first outlet and the second outlet are connected to the intake tube.

15. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 14 wherein the exhaust tube is substantially flat.

16. The odor removing toilet seat system of claim 15 wherein the toilet seat is an existing toilet seat, wherein the airflow chamber is attached to the exterior lower surface of the existing toilet seat.

Description:

BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to a venting system. More particularly the present invention pertains to a venting system for removing foul smelling air directly to a sewer line from the bowl of a toilet.

[0002] Previous ventilation systems for toilets and similar apparatus are described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,864,664 to Higgins and U.S. Pat. No. 4,984,305 to Boisvert. Prior ventilation systems have predominantly expelled the foul air through an integral passage traveling from the toilet reservoir, internally down the back of the toilet and into the sewer drain outlet. Alternately, the foul air is expelled through an exhaust tube that travels external to the toilet structure and is visible on the outside of the toilet bowl. The traditional devices are often an integral part of the toilet and not intended for retrofitting of existing toilets, where drilling holes into the existing toilet. Toilets are commonly manufactured from porcelain, which is prone to breaking and shattering when holes are drilled into the existing toilet structure.

[0003] In the prior art devices the fumes emanating from the toilet bowl are drawn into the intake conduit by the blower assembly. The blower assembly and associated electrical wiring are often located above the water level in the reservoir holding tank. The electrical wiring is encased in a water resistant or watertight covering. The electrical component parts are mounted within the holding tank, where they are subject to a high humidity atmosphere. It would be advantageous to have the blower assembly separated from the humid atmosphere of the water reservoir-holding tank, which would prolong the life of the blower assembly.

[0004] The exposure of the electrical wiring and electric blower assembly to the high humidity atmosphere of the water reservoir-holding tank creates a potentially unsafe situation. Severe electrical risk can occur when electrical parts are corroded by moisture and the electrical insulation deteriorates. Additionally, traditional venting systems that have the blower assembly inside of the water reservoir-holding tank are susceptible to the blower assembly falling into the water from improper attachment to the holding tank or deterioration over time of the attachment supports.

[0005] Unpleasant odors in bathroom air are typically vented using a fan in the ceiling or an open window. Bathrooms that are in the interior of a building do not have windows. Once the unpleasant odors permeate the entire volume of air in the bathroom, then all of the air must be removed from the room to clean the air. The prior art toilet bowl ventilation systems gather the air, while the air is still in the toilet bowl, before it permeates and fouls the remainder of the air in the bathroom. Toilet bowl ventilation systems clean the air quicker and with less energy usage than traditional ceiling fan ventilation methods.

[0006] Therefore, there is a need for a toilet tank bowl ventilation system that can be easily mounted on an existing toilet. The system needs to be electrically safe. The exhaust tube needs to be substantially hidden from sight.

SUMMARY

[0007] An objective of the present invention, an odor removing toilet seat system, is easy mounting to an existing toilet. This objective is met by having an intake tube and an exhaust tube that can operate without drilling holes in the existing toilet. An airflow chamber is contained within a new toilet seat. The new toilet seat can replace the existing toilet seat. There is no requirement to modify or change any other parts of the existing toilet. Alternately, the airflow chamber can be designed to be mounted on the existing toilet seat, so even the toilet seat does not have to be replaced.

[0008] An additional objective is having the exhaust tube substantially hidden from sight. The odor removing toilet seat system uses an exhaust tube that travels down through the toilet bowl and into the toilet bowl outlet. When the toilet seat is closed, there is only a short portion of the exhaust tube that is visible between the blower assembly and the toilet seat.

[0009] Another objective of the invention is to mount the blower assembly outside of the water holding tank. All of the electrical components parts of the odor removing toilet seat system are installed external to the water reservoir holding tank. Having the blower assembly separated from the humid atmosphere of the water reservoir-holding tank prolongs the life of the blower assembly. A very important safety feature is achieved by eliminating or minimizing the exposure of the electrical wiring and electric blower assembly to the high humidity atmosphere of the water reservoir holding tank. The risk of severe electrical shock is reduced, since the electrical parts are less susceptible to corrosion by moisture. The electrical insulation does not deteriorate as rapidly.

[0010] The odor removing toilet seat system saves energy costs. The invention gathers the air, while it is still in the toilet bowl, before it permeates and fouls the remainder of the air in the bathroom. The odor removing toilet seat system cleans the air quicker and with less energy usage than traditional ceiling fans. Increasing electricity costs make the odor removing toilet seat system economically beneficial for retrofitting of existing toilets, as well as, providing more pleasantly scented air.

[0011] An odor removing toilet seat system includes a toilet seat with an airflow chamber. The airflow chamber has a plurality of apertures. The blower assembly is connected to the airflow chamber by an intake tube. The blower assembly withdraws air from the airflow chamber. The withdrawal of air from the airflow chamber creates a vacuum within the airflow chamber. The vacuum draws exterior air from a toilet bowl into the airflow chamber. The plurality of apertures travel from the airflow chamber to the exterior air in the toilet bowl. The exterior air is drawn from the toilet bowl through the plurality of apertures and into the airflow chamber.

[0012] An intake tube can be attached to the airflow chamber and attached to the blower assembly. The exterior air is drawn from the airflow chamber into the intake tube, then into the blower assembly. An exhaust tube is attached to the blower assembly. The blower assembly expels the air into the exhaust tube. The exhaust tube travels back into the toilet bowl, down through the toilet bowl and into a toilet bowl outlet. The air is expelled from the exhaust tube into a sewer drainpipe. Typically the exhaust tube must loop from the bottom of the toilet bowl up into the toilet bowl outlet.

[0013] The airflow chamber can be substantially circular shaped when the toilet seat is made as a substantially full circle. Another style of toilet seat has a slight opening at the front. With this open style of toilet seat the airflow chamber can have a first channel and a second channel. The first channel travels along one side of the seat and the second channel travels along the opposing side of the seat. The first channel and the second channel are physically separated at the front where the toilet seat has the opening. At the rear of the toilet seat the first channel and the second channel are joined at the intake tube.

[0014] The toilet can include a hard top layer and a spongy lower layer. The user sits on the hard top layer. The hard top layer is not permeable, so liquids remain on the exterior of the top layer where they can be easily cleaned. The lower layer contains the airflow chamber. The lower layer can be of a porous spongy material that allows exterior air to permeate through the lower layer from the toilet bowl into the plurality of apertures. Alternately, the plurality of apertures and the airflow chamber can be adjacent to and directly connected to the exterior air in the toilet bowl without any intervening material.

[0015] A second embodiment of the odor removing toilet seat system has the airflow chamber attached to the exterior lower surface of the toilet seat. In the first embodiment the airflow chamber is contained within the toilet seat. The second embodiment allows the odor removing toilet seat system to be attached directly to an existing toilet seat. Often toilet seats are matched to the remainder of the toilet and the user would prefer to keep the existing toilet seat. In the first embodiment the airflow chamber is contained within the toilet seat and the existing toilet seat is completely replaced. The second embodiment contains the airflow chamber attached to the exterior lower surface of the toilet seat. The airflow chamber has the plurality of apertures that draw air from the toilet bowl into the airflow chamber. The exhaust tube can be round in circumference or a substantially flat shape.

[0016] The invention is described in detail in the following drawings, description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] FIG. 1 is a side view of the invention mounted on an existing toilet.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a cutaway view showing the interior of the toilet and the invention with the airflow chamber inside of the toilet seat.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a cutaway view showing the interior of the toilet and the invention with the airflow chamber attached to the lower surface of the toilet seat.

[0020] FIG. 4 is a top view of the invention with the airflow chamber and apertures shown in dashed lines.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a top view of the invention with the substantially circular shaped airflow chamber and the apertures shown in dashed lines.

[0022] FIG. 5 is a top view of the invention with the airflow chamber having a first channel and a second channel shown in dashed lines.

[0023] FIG. 6 is a top view showing the round exhaust tube.

[0024] FIG. 7 is a top view showing the substantially flat exhaust tube.

DESCRIPTION

[0025] Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3; an odor removing toilet seat system 10 includes a toilet seat 12 with an airflow chamber 14. The airflow chamber 14 has a plurality of apertures 16. The blower assembly 18 is connected to the airflow chamber 14 by an intake tube 20. The blower assembly 18 withdraws air 100 from the airflow chamber 14. The withdrawal of air 100 from the airflow chamber 14 creates a vacuum within the airflow chamber 14. The vacuum draws exterior air 100 from a toilet bowl 102 into the airflow chamber 14. The plurality of apertures 16 travel from the airflow chamber 14 to the exterior air 100 in the toilet bowl 102, when the airflow chamber 14 is contained within the toilet seat 12. The exterior air 100 is drawn from the toilet bowl 102 through the plurality of apertures 16 and into the airflow chamber 14.

[0026] Referring particularly to FIG. 2, which is a cutaway view of FIG. 1. The cutaway view is not taken along a single plane, but is cut to show the internal aspects of the airflow chamber 14, intake tube 20 and the exhaust tube 22. The airflow chamber 14 is inside of the toilet seat 12. The plurality of apertures 16 travel from the airflow chamber 14 through the toilet seat 12 to draw exterior air 100 into the airflow chamber 14. The cover 17 is above the toilet seat 12. The toilet seat 12 has a hard top layer 32 and a spongy lower layer 34. The spongy lower layer 34 contains the airflow chamber 14. The plurality of apertures 16 are spaced along the length of the airflow chamber 14. The plurality of apertures 16 connect the bottom of the airflow chamber 14 to the exterior air 100 in the toilet bowl 102.

[0027] FIG. 3 is cutaway view similar to FIG. 2. The airflow chamber 14 is attached to the lower surface 36 of the toilet seat 12, rather than having the airflow chamber 14 inside of the toilet seat 12. The plurality of apertures 16 are spaced along the length of the side of the airflow chamber 14.

[0028] The intake tube 20 can be attached to the airflow chamber 14 and attached to the blower assembly 18. The exterior air 100 is drawn from the airflow chamber 14 into the intake tube 20, then into the blower assembly 18. Although not shown, in one variation the blower assembly 18 can be attached directly to the airflow chamber 14, without the need for an intake tube 20. The intake tube 20 is not required when the blower assembly 18 is mounted near the toilet seat 12. It is more aesthetically appealing to mount the blower assembly 18 near the floor 104 and to the rear of the toilet 106, where the blower assembly 18 is less visible. When the blower assembly 18 is mounted near the floor 104, the intake tube 20 is used to transport the air 100 from the airflow chamber 14 to the blower assembly 18. The blower assembly 18 is mounted on the exterior of the toilet 106.

[0029] All of the electrical parts of the odor removing toilet seat system 10 are installed external to the water reservoir holding tank 114. Reliability is increased with the blower assembly 18 separated from the humid atmosphere of the water reservoir holding tank 114. Also, increased safety is achieved by eliminating or minimizing the exposure of the electrical wiring and electric blower assembly 18 to the high humidity atmosphere of the water reservoir holding tank 114. The electrical parts are less susceptible to corrosion by moisture. The electrical insulation does not deteriorate as rapidly, thus the risk of severe electrical shock is reduced.

[0030] An exhaust tube 22 is attached to the blower assembly 18. The blower assembly 18 expels the air 100 into the exhaust tube 22. The exhaust tube 22 travels back into the toilet bowl 102, down through the toilet bowl 102 and into a toilet bowl outlet 108. The air 100 is expelled from the exhaust tube 22 into a sewer drainpipe 110. Typically the exhaust tube 22 must loop from the bottom 112 of the toilet bowl 102 up into the toilet bowl outlet 108. The exhaust tube 22 can turn downward again where air 100 is expelled into the sewer drainpipe 110.

[0031] The toilet 106 can include the hard top layer 32 and the spongy lower layer 34. The user sits on the hard top layer 32. The hard top layer 32 is not permeable, so liquids remain on the exterior of the top layer 32 where they can be easily cleaned. The lower layer 34 contains the airflow chamber 14. The plurality of apertures 16 directly connect the airflow chamber 14 to the exterior air 100 in the toilet bowl 102 without any intervening material. Alternately, although not shown, the lower layer 34 can be of a porous spongy material that allows exterior air 100 to permeate through the lower layer 34 from the toilet bowl 102 into the plurality of apertures 16.

[0032] Referring to FIG. 4, the airflow chamber 14 can be substantially circular shaped when the toilet seat 12 is made as a substantially full circle. The airflow chamber 14 travels around the toilet seat 12 in substantially a full circle. The airflow chamber 14 has a single connection to the intake tube 20. The exhaust tube 22 travels under the airflow chamber 14 as the exhaust tube 22 enters the toilet bowl 102. The exhaust tube 22 enters the toilet bowl outlet 108.

[0033] Referring to FIG. 5, another style of toilet seat 12 has a slight opening 24 at the front. With this open style of toilet seat 12 the airflow chamber 14 can have a first channel 26 and a second channel 28. The first channel 26 travels along one side of the seat and the second channel 28 travels along the opposing side of the seat. The first channel 26 and the second channel 28 are physically separated at the front where the toilet seat 12 has the opening 24. At the rear 30 of the toilet seat 12 the first channel 26 and the second channel 28 are joined at the intake tube 20. The airflow chamber 14 has two outlet connection points to the intake tube 20. The first channel 26 is attached at the first outlet 38 to the intake tube 20 and the second channel 28 is attached at the second outlet 40 to the intake tube 20.

[0034] The exhaust tube 22 can be substantially round in circumference or a substantially flat shape. Referring to FIG. 6, a substantially round exhaust tube 22 is illustrated, entering into the toilet bowl outlet 108. The round shape is more visible than the flat shape. The round shape allows a greater quantity of air 100 to travel through the exhaust tube 22.

[0035] Referring to FIG. 7, the exhaust tube 22 with a substantially flat shape lies close to the inner surface of the toilet 106 where the exhaust tube 22 is less visible and more aesthetically appealing. Less volume of air 100 travels through the flat shaped exhaust tube 22 than would through a similar sized round exhaust tube 22. The flat shaped exhaust tube 22 can be manufactured from a pliable rubber material that expands when the air 100 travels through the exhaust tube 22. The flat shaped exhaust tube 22 would expand into a substantially round or an oval shape to handle a larger volume of air 100, when the blower assembly 18 is operating. The flat shaped exhaust tube 22 would lie flat on the surface of the toilet bowl 102 when there was no air 100 pressure present from the blower assembly 18. Although not shown, the entire length of the exhaust tube 22 can be substantially flat or just certain portions can be flat and the remainder round.

[0036] Referring once again to FIG. 3, the second embodiment of the odor removing toilet seat system 10 has the airflow chamber 14 attached to the exterior lower surface 36 of the toilet seat 12. In the first embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 2, the airflow chamber 14 is contained within the toilet seat 12. The second embodiment allows the odor removing toilet seat system 10 to be attached directly to an existing toilet seat 12. Often toilet seats 12 are matched to the remainder of the toilet 106 and the user would prefer to keep the existing toilet seat 12. The existing toilet seat can also be completely replaced in the second embodiment, with the airflow chamber 14 attached to the exterior lower surface 36 of the new toilet seat 12. In the first embodiment the airflow chamber 14 is contained within the toilet seat 12 and the existing toilet seat 12 is completely replaced.

[0037] The second embodiment contains the airflow chamber 14 attached to the exterior lower surface 36 of the toilet seat 12. The airflow chamber 14 has the plurality of apertures 16. The blower assembly 18 is connected to the airflow chamber 14 or alternately to the intake tube 20. The blower assembly 18 withdraws air 100 from the airflow chamber 14, which draws exterior air 100 from the toilet bowl 102 into the airflow chamber 14. The exhaust tube 22 is attached to the blower assembly 18. The blower assembly 18 expels the air 100 into the exhaust tube 22. The exhaust tube 22 travels down through the toilet bowl 102 and into a toilet bowl outlet 108, expelling the air 100 from the exhaust tube 22 into a sewer drainpipe 110.

[0038] The airflow chamber 14, intake tube 20 and exhaust tube 22 can be manufactured from a rubber or plastic material. The toilet seat 12 can be rubber or plastic on the exterior, with a foam material on the interior. The blower assembly 18 is commonly available and known to those skilled in the art.

[0039] Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with regard to the preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the appended claims should not be limited to the descriptions of the preferred versions contained herein.