Title:
Toilet lid safety lock
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toilet lid safety lock comprising a rigid base frame (46,32) adapted for slidable placement between a toilet seat assemblies mounting hinges and toilet bowl by loosening existing seat to bowl attachment fasteners (110a,b) and inserting either a side-mount embodiment (FIG. 2) for seat assemblies with distances approximately 2 inches or less between the toilet seat hinges and tank, or a rear-mount embodiment (FIG. 1) for standard size lid assemblies with distances of more than 2 inches between the mounting hinges and tank that comprises; pivotally mounted lock arm (16,38) attached to the mounted platform base adapted with a pivotal lock pad to make contact with the top side of the toilet lid (24) to block the lid from opening until the user pulls a handle (58a,b) to disengage a non-rotating slidable spring biased lock bar (62) that is inserted into a lock bar receiver (88,108) disposed in the pivotal lock arm, raises the toilet lid simultaneously, and closes the lid to allow the lock arm to rotate to the forward position until a stop plate (90,104) aligns and inserts the spring biased (68) lock bar into the lock bar receiver, thereby engaging the locking mechanism.



Inventors:
Watkins, Timothy Joseph (Schiller Park, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/229210
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
09/19/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Timothy, Joseph Watkins (PO Box 56092, Harwood Heights, IL, 60656-0092, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A toilet lid securing apparatus comprising: (a) a rear-mountable device capable of coupling between a toilet seat assembly hinge and surface of a toilet bowl utilizing existing fasteners adapted for connection to toilet bowl seat assembly surface mounting areas with distance of approximately 2 inches or more between a toilet tank and extreme edge of said toilet seat hinge assembly, and said toilet lid securing apparatus comprises side-mountable embodiment for toilet bowl surface mounting areas with restricted distance between a toilet tank and hinge mount area and uneven bowl surface mounting areas, a lock-arm adapted for pivotal connection to said rear and side mountable devices with means for preventing said lock-arms from rotating until a biased locking mechanism is overcome, and said lock-arm comprises a upper pivotal portion adapted for adjustment to allow said upper pivotal portion to be in contact or close proximity to surface of a toilet lids top side, whereby gaining access into said toilet lid requires said biased locking mechanism to be overcome and lid simultaneously raised, closing lid allows gravity to rotate said lock-arm to a predetermined position allowing said biased locking mechanism to re-engage, thereby blocking the lids ability to rotate to the open position, respectively.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to preventing small children from gaining access into a toilet bowl, more specifically to blocking a toilet lids ability to rotate to the lid open position.

2. Description of Prior Art

The use of toilet lid locking devices is known prior art. More specifically, toilet lid locking devices used to deny access of small children into toilet bowls are known to consist basically of familiar, expected and obvious structural configurations, not withstanding the myriad of designs encompassed by crowded prior art which have been developed for the fulfillment of countless objectives and requirements.

The current invention is directed toward improving devices for denying access of small children into toilet bowls in a manner that is safe, aesthetically pleasing, and economical to the consumer.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,507,813 to Lawson (1985) describes a automatically engagable locking device consisting of a single mounting bar attached to the underside of the lid that carries a pivoted, spring-biased locking arm that is released by simple finger pressure and returns to a positive locking position automatically.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,724,551 to Gardner (1986) describes a lid lock comprising a hinge arm connected to the toilet lid, a locking base connected to a hinge arm, and a locking handle pivotally connected to the locking bar that engages and disengages the locking system.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,395,784 to Camp (1981) describes a rectangular-shaped lock block with a forked interface hinge that is joined by a common axle which also serves to hold the interface hinge firmly against the toilet seat to deny access.

In respect, the Toilet Lid Safety Lock according to the present invention substantially decreases the conventional concepts and designs of the prior inventions, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of denying access of a small child into a toilet bowl by blocking a toilet lids ability to rotate to the open position The present invention achieves its intended objects and advantages through a new and useful unobvious combination of methods, steps and components with the use of a minimum number of functional parts and at a reasonable cost to manufacture with readily available materials.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, besides the objects and advantages of the inventions process to block a toilet lid from rotating to the open position, several additional objects and advantages of my invention are:

    • (a) to provide toilet lid locking apparatus that can be universally applied to a wide variety of toilet bowl seat assemblies thereby precluding the need to manufacture a wide variety of different toilet lid securing apparatus,
    • (b) to provide a toilet lid securing apparatus that requires no modifications be made to existing toilet bowls, or toilet seat assemblies,
    • (c) to provide a toilet lid securing apparatus that is aesthetically pleasing,
    • (d) to provide a toilet lid securing apparatus that is easy to install at an inexpensive price for the consuming public.
    • (e) to provide a rear-mount lid lock for toilet bowls with a space of approximately 2 inches or more from the extreme end of the toilet seat hinge connection points to edge of the toilet bowl.
    • (f) to provide a side-mount lid lock for uneven surfaced bowls and seat hinge connection points in close proximity or flush against the toilet tank.

The foregoing has outlined some of the more pertinent objects of the invention. These objects should be construed to be merely illustrative of some of the more prominent features and applications of the present invention. Many other beneficial results can be attained by applying the disclosed invention in a different manner or by modifying the invention within the scope of the disclosure.

Therefore, it can be appreciated that there exists a continuing need for a toilet lid safety lock, in this, the present invention substantially fills this need. The prior art and commercial techniques do not suggest the inventive combination of component elements and features configured as disclosed and claimed herein.

Still further objects and advantages will become apparent from a consideration of ensuing description and drawings.

DRAWING FIGURES

In the drawings, closely related figures have the same number but different alphabetical suffixes.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of the rear-mount embodiment of the safety lock and the manner of placement.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of the side-mount embodiment of the safety lock and the manner of placement.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the rear-mount base frame and the manner of construction.

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the side-mount base frame and the manner of construction.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of the bolt lock group and the manner of construction

FIG. 6 illustrates a exploded view of the rear-mount bolt lock housing assembly and the manner of construction.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view and manner of construction of the rear-mount insert sleeve assembly.

FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective view and manner of construction of the rear-mount lock arm assembly.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of the rear-mount embodiment in the open lid position.

FIG. 10 illustrates a perspective view of the rear-mount embodiment in the lid closed position.

FIG. 11 illustrates a exploded view of the side-mount bolt housing group assembly and the manner of construction.

FIG. 12 illustrates a exploded view of the side-mount lock pad assembly.

FIG. 13 illustrates a perspective view of the side-mount lock arm and manner of construction

FIG. 14 illustrates a perspective view of the side-mount embodiment in the lid open position.

FIG. 15 illustrates a perspective view of the side-mount embodiment in the lid closed position.

Reference Numerals in Drawings
16rear-mount lock-arm
18upper lock arm portion
20rear-mount lock pad adjustment block
22rear-mount lock pad
24toilet lid
26toilet seat
28toilet bowl
30pin insert point
32side-mount base frame assembly
34side-mount lock pad
36side-mount adjustment pin insert
38side-mount lock-arm
40lock group housing assembly
42sleeve insert cover box
44oblong vertical mount slot
46rear-mount base frame assembly
48oblong horizontal mount slot
50alignment shaft support wall
52abside-mount base frame connection slots
54base frame lateral adjustment slots
56elevated platform
58abbolt handle
60adupper slide rails
62lock bar
64alignment shaft
66bolt
68telescoping spring housing
70spring retainer
72abbolt handle channels
74spring retainer slide grooves
76adbolt slide grooves
78spring retainer insert slot
80side-mount alignment shaft insert
82alignment insert sleeve
84rear-mount lock pad adjustment pin
86alignment shaft hole
88beveled edge lock bar receiver
90rotation stop plate
92side-mount screw insert sleeve
94female threads
96abnon threaded insert pin opening
98male threads
100 side-mount insert pin
102 screw slot
104 rotation stop
106 side-mount alignment shaft hole
108 side-mount lock bar receiver
110 seat mount assemblies
112 bolt retainer wall with lock bar slot
114 vertical adjust holes

SUMMARY

In accordance with the present invention, a Toilet Lid Safety Lock comprises a rear-mount version for toilet bowls with distances of approximately 2 inches or more from the extreme edges of the of the bowl hinge connection assembly to the toilet tank, and a side mountable embodiment for bowl hinge assemblies that are under 2 inches, flush against the toilet tank, or have and uneven seat assembly mounting area.

In either case, the user slides a handle to disengage a lock bar from a lock bar receiver and opens the lid simultaneously, and closes the lid to allow the spring biased bolt to slide forward to engage the lock bar into the lock bar receiver, thereby preventing the lid from rotating to the open position.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated embodiments of the invention.

DESCRIPTION—FIGS. 1 TO 15

A typical embodiment of the toilet lid safety lock is illustrated in FIG. 1,2. The current invention, with the exception of a spring is constructed of a suitable rigid plastic as the preferred material, however any water resistant rigid material may be used as a substitute. The current invention can be made by injection mold with minimal assembly required by a manufacturer. The current invention illustrated in FIG. 1, is the rear-mount embodiment adapted for toilet bowls with a seat mounting surface with a distance of approximately 2 inches or more from the extreme edges of the seat to bowl mount area to the toilet tank. FIG. 2 illustrates the side-mount embodiment of the current invention that is adapted for use with toilet seat assemblies that have distances of less than 2 inches from the mounts to the tank, or uneven seat assembly mounting areas. The rear-mount embodiment consist of a base frame assembly 46, either hollow or solid, of sufficient thickness and internal support so that it is rigid none flexible. The base frame assembly is adapted to conform to the existing toilet bowl seat mounting holes. There is an opening 48 placed on at least one side of the platform base frame that is approximately one inch in length to facilitate sliding the frame into position, and an opening on the opposite end 44 on the top side that is approximately one inch in length that is used to allow the base frame to pivot into position and provide resistance from the frame sliding laterally. The side-mount embodiment consist of a base frame assembly 32 adapted to be slidably positioned and aligned to existing toilet bowl seat mounting holes to slots 52a,b and adjusted laterally with slots 54a,b. The side-mount base frame is either hollow or solid and of sufficient thickness and internal support to not allow any flexibility. The side mount embodiments base frame has a elevated platform 56 that serves to keep the locking mechanism and base from making contact with a toilet bowl in the event there is a bowl design that has a sloped surface. The platform base frame will make complete contact with the toilet bowls seat mount area 110. For each embodiment, there is a standardized interchangeable bolt assembly FIG. 5, constructed as 1 piece with the exception of the spring housing 68, that is hollow or solid, and of sufficient thickness so that it is rigid and none flexible. The bolt 66, is adapted to fit slidably inside a bolt housing assembly 40, wherein upper and lower slide rails 60a,d are disposed on the top and bottom to facilitate sliding and keep the lock bolt assembly in proper orientation.

On the bolt assembly are handles 58a,b for the user of the lid lock to facilitate sliding the bolt assembly to a rearward position to disengage a locking mechanism. A generally rectangular shaped lock bar 62 with beveled edges, (not illustrated) is attached to the front side of the bolt assembly and adapted to slide into a beveled edge (not illustrated) lock bar receiver in a lock arm 16. On the center of the lock bar is a alignment shaft 64 that is approximately 2 inches in length that has a primary purpose of aligning the lock bar, lock bar receiver, and alignment shaft receivers 82,106. The bolt assembly is spring biased in a direction towards the lock bar by a suitable strength spring enclosed in a telescoping tube 68 and placed inside the lock group housing assembly behind the lock bolt and secured with a sliding spring retainer 70.

The bolt housing assembly FIG. 6, is standardized for both rear-mount and side-mount embodiments, and consist of a hollow square box 40 of sufficient thickness and strength to withhold the torque exerted when the force of a toilet lid 24 being opened transfers the power to the lock arm, lock bar, and bolt assembly that is slidably disposed inside the bolt housing assembly that is attached to either base frame 46, or 32. Inside of the bolt housing assembly are grooves 76a,d (grooves A-B Not illustrated) that are adapted to align with the slide rails on the bolt assembly to facilitate sliding of the bolt assembly inside the bolt housing assembly. On the sides of the bolt housing assembly are parallel handle channels that are adapted to allow the handles on the bolt assembly to slide and the handles to protrude. On the end of the bolt housing assembly is a spring retainer insert slot 78 and the spring retainer slide grooves, 74a (74b not illustrated) that allow the spring retainer 70 to be inserted. On the opposite end of the bolt housing assembly are a bolt retainer wall with lock bar slot, 112 that serves to align the lock bar with the lock bar receiver, and to arrest the forward motion of the bolt assembly.

FIG. 7 illustrates the rear-mount alignment shaft hole 82 located inside of the sleeve insert cover box 42 and adapted to slidably receive the alignment shaft and provide a stabilizing base for the alignment shaft. The side-mount alignment shaft hole 80 provides the same function as the rear-mount embodiments alignment shaft hole with the only difference being that it is disposed in the alignment shaft support wall 50.

The rear-mount embodiment comprises a lock arm assembly FIG. 8 that is disposed rotatably between the bolt housing assembly the sleeve insert cover box. The lock arm assembly comprises a base portion 16 that is held in position by the alignment shaft 64 that passes through a hole in the center of the lock bar receiver opening 88 that aligns with the rear-mount alignment shaft sleeve assembly, lock bar and lock bar receiver. The lock bar receiver is adapted to receive the lock bar when the lock bar is pushed forward. The rotation stop plate 90, which is simply a portion that extends from the extreme bottom forward edge of the lock arm and adapted to allow the lock arm assembly to rotate clockwise without obstruction, and when rotated counter clockwise; the rotation is arrested at a specific point that aligns the lock bar, and lock bar receiver by the stop plate making contact with the base frame assembly 46. The top portion of the lock arm assembly 18 is designed to be parallel with the surface of the toilet lid, and extend approximately 5 inches towards the center of the lid. On the opposite end away form the toilet tank is a opening adapted to allow a rear-mount adjustable block 20 that is generally rectangular, and disposed in a manner to receive a rear-mount lock pad adjustment pin 84 that is inserted through a pin insert point 30 and vertical adjustment holes 114 in the adjustment pad block. The adjustment pad block can rotate approximately 15 degrees from center in either direction. A rear-mount lock pad 22, is approximately 5″×3″ inches and disposed on the extreme bottom end of the lock pad adjustment block. The function of the lock pad is to be lowered or raised to a specific height so that it makes contact with the surface of the toilet lid. FIG. 9 illustrates the rear-mount embodiment in the open lid position. The lock pad remains in contact with the toilet lid because of the adjustment blocks ability to pivot, which keeps the lock arm assembly from rotating further towards the toilet tank and binding. The space saved by the lock pads ability to pivot is extremely important because the space between the lock arm and toilet take is very limited in some toilet configurations. FIG. 10 illustrates the rear-mount embodiment in the lid closed position.

When the lid is closed, the weight of the lock pad causes the lock pad to pivot to its original position, which allows the lock arm to fully rotate forward until the arrest plate aligns the spring biased lock bar and lock bar receiver, respectively.

FIG. 11 illustrates the side-mount bolt housing assembly, which is constructed in the same manner as the rear-mount bolt housing 40, and bolt assembly FIG. 5. The side-mount bolt housing assembly is disposed on either side of a toilet seat assembly in close proximity to one seat hinge bowl mount on the side-mount base frame assembly 32.

FIG. 12 illustrates the side-mount lock pad assembly that is constructed of a suitable ridged material and consist of a rotatable lock pad 34, and screw insert sleeve 92. The lock pad length and width may vary, however the preferred length is between 3 to 5 inches, and a width of approximately 2 to 3 inches. The sleeve 92 serves as a spacer that allows the lock pad to rotate 360 degrees. Inside the sleeve are female threads 94 adapted to receive the male threaded end 98 of the insert pin 100. The insert pin is inserted through non threaded insert openings 96ab in the top side of the lock arm and into the sleeve assembly. The non threaded lock arm openings 96ab are for adjusting the height of the lock pad assembly and toilet seat.

FIG. 13 illustrates the side-mount lock arm assembly which consist of suitable strong rigid material that a child could not bend, pull or cause to break. The lock arm assembly 38 is adapted to fit rotatably between the alignment shaft support wall 50 and the bolt retainer wall 112. The lock arm has a slight bend to conform roughly to the general shape of a toilet lid. On the bottom end of the lock arm is a lock bar receiver 108 that is adapted to slidably receive the lock bar 62. In the center of the lock bar receiver is an alignment shaft opening 106 that works in the same manner as the rear-mount embodiment. On at least one side of the lock arm is a rotation stop 104, adapted to arrest the forward rotation of the lock arm in the closed lid position and to align the lock bar receiver, and allow the spring biased lock bar to insert and engage the system.

FIG. 14 illustrates the side-mount embodiment in the lid open position. Because of the aforementioned slight bend in the lock arm and the lock pads ability to rotate, the side mount embodiment can be positioned near the hinge mount and close to the edge of the toilet seat.

FIG. 15 illustrates the side mount embodiment in the locked lid closed position.

From the description above, a number of advantages become evident.

    • (a) provides a durable inexpensive means to secure a toilet lid
    • (b) will fit most lid and seat assemblies, including padded seats
    • (c) provides a lid locking apparatus that is easily installed
    • (d) provides a lid locking apparatus that works on wall mounted toilets
    • (e) can be made by injection mold
    • (f) provides a lid locking apparatus which has all the advantages of the prior art and none of the disadvantages associated therewith
    • (g) provides a product that can be easily massed produced with readily available materials
    • (h) provides ease of application due to the simplicity of the design
    • (i) provides a apparatus that can be easily removed and reused.

OPERATION—FIGS. 1-15

The manner of using the Toilet Lid Safety Lock for both embodiments FIG. 1,2, side-mount, and rear-mount, is to loosen the existing seat assembly fasteners enough to slidably position the rear-mount base 46 into position by first sliding the oblong horizontal mount slot 48 around the fastener and between the base frame and toilet bowl, then pivoting the oblong vertical mount slot 44 into position and re-tightening the fasteners. After loosening the fasteners, the side-mount embodiment is slidably placed into position by first raising the lid and seat, and sliding the side-mount base in the direction of the toilet tank into position between the base frame and toilet bowl, with connection slots 52a,b, aligning to the existing fasteners. The toilet seat is then closed and the side-mount base frame is adjusted latterly with the base frame lateral adjustment slots 54a,b to a suitable position, whereby the fasteners are re-tightened. On both embodiments, the lock arms, 16,38 are placed into position between the bolt retainer wall 112 and insert sleeve cover box 42 for the rear-mount embodiment and adjustment shaft support wall 50 for the side-mount embodiment. On both embodiments, the bolt assembly FIG. 5, is slidably inserted into the lock group housing assembly 40 with the alignment shaft 64 passing through the alignment shaft holes 86,106 and inserted slidably into the alignment shaft insert sleeve 82 or the side-mount alignment shaft insert 80. The telescoping spring housing 68 is inserted behind the bolt assembly FIG. 5, and the spring retainer 70 is inserted into the spring retainer insert slot 78 and spring retainer slide grooves 74. On the rear-mount embodiment, the rear-mount lock pad adjustment pin 84 is removed from the pin insert point 30 to allow the lock arm 16 to rotate in the forward position until the rotation stop plate 90 aligns the lock bar, and lock bar receiver in the lid closed position. The removed insert pin is then reinserted into the pin insertion point through the nearest adjustment hole 114 that will allow the lock arm to rotate until the rotation stop aligns the locking mechanism. The side-mount embodiment requires the user to remove the insert pin 100 and raise or lower the lock pad 34 to the required position that will allow the lock arm to rotate forward so that the rotation stop 104 will align the locking mechanism. The lock pad height is adjusted by using one of the non-threaded insert holes 96. The pin is then reinserted and screwed into the female threads inside the screw insert sleeve. On both embodiments require the user to pull the bolt handles 58a,b to the rear which disengages the locking mechanism, and open the lid simultaneously. When the user closes the lid, the weight of the lock arm causes the lock arm to rotate forward until the stop plates arrest the rotation, thereby aligning the spring biased locking mechanism which pushes the lock bar into the lock bar receiver, thereby engaging the lid lock, respectively.

SUMMARY RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE

Accordingly, the reader will see that the toilet lid safety lock can be used to inexpensively and conveniently to lock and secure a toilet bowl lid and deny access of small children. As to the manner of usage and operation of the present invention, the same should be apparent from the above description, accordingly, no further discussion relating to the manner of usage and operations will be provided.

With respect to the above description, then it is to be realized that optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, fit function, and manner of operation, assembly and usage, 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 specifications are indeed to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention further, since numerous modification will readily occur to those skilled it the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to exact connection and orientation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modification and equivalents may be resorted to, fling within the scope of the invention. In as much as the present disclosure includes all contained in the appended claims as well as that of the foregoing description, and although this invention has been described in its preferred forms with a certain degree of particularity, it is understood that the present disclosure of the preferred form has been made only by way of example and numerous changes in details of construction and combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus the scope of this invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by examples given.





 
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