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A versatile plumbing tool for obviating household drain blockages is primarily operated by a manually operated air pump; however its utility is greatly increased by making it adaptable for operation by household water pressure. The annular housing of an anti-back flow valve functions as a hand grip for applying sealing down pressure on the discharge head during a drain unlocking operation.

Davenport, Clyde E. (Greenwood, SC, US)
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1. A manually operated air pressure apparatus for clearing a plugged household toilet drain, comprising: a head having a rigid round flat horizontal top with a central vertical opening, an inverted dome shaped body of rubber like material with an upper surface secured to the underside of said top and having a central vertical passage therethrough aligned with said central vertical opening, and a fluid connector secured to said top in alignment with said central vertical opening, a manually operated air pump including a cylindrical housing having a discharge opening a one of its axially opposite ends, and a piston rod opening at the other of its axially opposite ends, a piston in said cylinder, a piston rod rigidly secured in coaxial relation to said piston and including a portion extending through said piston rod opening and terminating at a exterior end and a handle secured to said exterior end, by which said piston can be manually reciprocated to discharge compressed air from said discharge opening, and a one way valve including an annular housing having an inlet connected to said discharge opening, and an outlet connected to said connector of said head, said one way valve having open and closed positions of adjustment, in said open position said one way valve restricts air flow less than the air flow is restricted by said central vertical passage of said head, said annular one way valve housing being gripable by a human hand applying down pressure on said head to seal said head against said drain during a fluid discharge drain unblocking operation.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 including a hand operable shut off valve having open and closed positions, said shut off valve being interposed between said one way valve and said pump.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said check valve provides less restriction to air flow then other components of said apparatus through which air passes during operation of said apparatus.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the fluid connections between said one way valve and said pump are threaded connections compatible to garden hose threads and the threads of outdoor household facets to which garden hoses are connectible.



Various hand operated toilet plungers have been devised for facilitating removal of blockage in sewage discharge conduits. The usual hand operated plungers are not always effective because the pressure they generate is limited to that generated by a single down stroke of the plunger.


One embodiment of the present invention utilizes a hand operated air pump in combination with a check valve to supply a sufficient volume of pressurized air to eradicate plumbing blockages. The discharge head engaging the toilet discharge opening is made of a flexible material such as natural or synthetic rubber whereby an effective air pressure seal is formed when the head is pressed into the toilet bowl discharge. The threaded connections are the same as those used in outdoor household water facets and garden hoses, thereby providing alternative use of household water pressure to obviate the drain blockage as described in my U.S. Pat. No. 6,163,895. The cylindrical check valve housing doubles as a hand grip for putting down pressure on the discharge head during use of the device to remove discharge blockages in toilet drains and the like.


Several embodiments of the invention are shown in the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective of one embodiment of the invention with parts broken away for illustration purposes;

FIG. 2 is a side view of an air pump with parts broken away for illustration purposes;

FIG. 3 is a vertical section of an anti-back flow valve;

FIG. 3A is a side view of a large discharge head with parts broken away for illustration purposes;

FIG. 3B is a side view of a small plunger head;

FIG. 4 is a perspective of a second embodiment of the invention showing connection to a garden hose.


FIG. 1 shows a hand operated air pump 11 connected to a relatively large soft head 12, formed from natural or synthetic foam, sponge or soft rubber, by way of a shut off valve 41, a high flow rate anti-back flow valve 13 functioning in the manner of a check valve and a fluid connector in the form of a rigid tube 17 interconnecting the inverted dome shaped head 12 and anti-back flow valve 13. An opening 18 in the upper end of the cylinder 21 of the air pump 11 permits escape of air during the up stroke of the piston 19. The beforementioned major components are secured to one another by threaded connections or couplings which have the same type and size threads as used on garden hoses and outdoor facets to which the garden hoses are customarily connected during use. The discharge head 12 functions as a seal when placed in the discharge hole of the ordinary household toilet and has a central annular discharge opening 23. As shown in FIG. 3A a garden hose compatible threaded connector 14 has external threads 15 glued by a suitable permanent adhesive to the soft sponge like body 52 of the head 12. The one way valve 13 shown in section in FIG. 3 and is shown in an open position. The shiftable valve component 32 is biased toward its closed position, not shown, by a relative weak coil spring 33 mounted in an internal cylindrical holder segment 34 within the cylindrical or annular valve housing 36. When the air pump is manually operated, by a down stroke of the handle 43, the rod 42 and the piston 19, a rapid surge of a high volume of pressurized air is delivered to the blocked toilet discharge passage, not shown. During such a pressure delivery operation, one hand of the operator grips the housing 36 of the anti-backflow valve 13 and applies down pressure on the discharge head 12 to maintain it in sealing contact with the opening of the plugged discharge conduit. The illustrated one way valve 13 permits a high volume flow therethrough with very low resistance. In the open position of the one way valve 13, it restricts air flow less than the air flow is restricted by the central vertical passage of the head 12 or other components of the herein disclosed apparatus.

FIG. 2 shows the hand operated air pump 11 connected directly to the discharge head 12. FIG. 3B shows a smaller diameter head which is useful when unblocking drains having smaller discharge openings.

As shown in FIG. 4, the shut off valve 41, the one way valve 13, the head 12, and the rigid tube or conduit 17 interconnecting the one way valve 13 and the head 12 can be used to remedy toilet blockage and the like by application of pressurized water through a garden hose 42.

The utility of the invention is greatly enhanced by forming all threads of the illustrated interconnected components the same as used on outdoor household water faucets and garden hoses. As shown in FIG. 1, the discharge head 12 includes a rigid round horizontal top or plate 51 with a central opening aligned with an opening 23 in a soft inverted dome shaped pad or body 52. The downward pressure exerted by the plumber's hand on the one way valve housing 36 maintains an effective seal of the head 12 with the toilet or drain discharge opening. By using garden hose type threads on all interconnected components a very effective versatile tool for remedying plumbing blockages is provided.