Title:
TOILETS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toilet (10) is provided which comprises a toilet bowl (12) and an odour extraction apparatus (13). The toilet bowl (12) has a flush water inlet (18) and an odour extraction outlet (20) communicable with the odour extraction apparatus (13). At least a portion of the odour extraction outlet (20) is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet (18). In this way, the toilet (10) ensures that odoriferous gases are extracted from the toilet bowl (12) without a significant amount of flush water being extracted through the outlet (20) at the same time.



Inventors:
Aitchison, Donald Alexander (Inverary, GB)
Application Number:
12/443129
Publication Date:
03/11/2010
Filing Date:
10/01/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/05
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANE, LAUREN ASHLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DICKINSON WRIGHT PLLC (2600 WEST BIG BEAVER ROAD SUITE 300, TROY, MI, 48084-3312, US)
Claims:
1. A toilet comprising: a toilet bowl and an odour extraction apparatus, the toilet bowl having a flush water inlet and an odour extraction outlet communicable with the odour extraction apparatus, and wherein at least a portion of the odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

2. The toilet of claim 1, wherein the entire odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

3. The toilet of claim 1, wherein the odour extraction apparatus and the odour extraction outlet are substantially coaxial.

4. The toilet of claim 3, wherein the extraction apparatus and extraction outlet have a common axis, and wherein the common axis is substantially horizontal.

5. The toilet of claim 3, wherein the extraction apparatus and extraction outlet have a common axis, and wherein the common axis is substantially vertical.

6. The toilet of claim 3, wherein the odour extraction apparatus comprises an extraction fan adapted to be connected to the extraction outlet, and an extraction duct located downstream of the extraction fan.

7. The toilet of claim 6, wherein the extraction fan, the extraction duct and the extraction outlet are coaxial.

8. The toilet of claim 1, wherein the toilet bowl has a plurality of odour extraction outlets.

9. The toilet of claim 8, wherein the toilet comprises a plurality of odour extraction apparatus for each respective odour extraction outlet.

10. The toilet of claim 1, further comprising a switch adapted to activate the odour extraction apparatus.

11. The toilet of claim 10, wherein the switch is positioned on a door providing access into a room in which the toilet is located, the switch being adapted to activate the odour extraction apparatus in response to the opening of the door.

12. The toilet of claim 10, wherein the switch is incorporated into a light switch in a room in which the toilet is located, the switch activating the odour extraction apparatus in response to operation of the light switch.

13. The toilet of claim 10, further comprising a timer adapted to de-activate the odour extraction apparatus once a predetermined time period has elapsed from the switch activating the odour extraction apparatus.

14. The toilet of claim 1, wherein the toilet bowl further comprises a toilet seat pivotably attached thereto, and wherein the odour extraction outlets are located in the toilet seat.

15. The toilet of claim 1, wherein the odour extraction apparatus further comprises means to prevent gases flowing into the toilet bowl through the apparatus.

16. The toilet of claim 15, wherein the means to prevent gases flowing into the toilet bowl through the apparatus comprises a non-return valve.

17. A toilet bowl having a flush water inlet and an odour extraction outlet, and wherein at least a portion of the odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

18. The toilet bowl of claim 17, wherein the entire odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

19. The toilet bowl of claim 17, further comprising a toilet seat pivotably attached thereto, and wherein the odour extraction outlet is located in the toilet seat.

Description:

The present invention concerns improvements in or relating to toilets and to ventilation of a room or other enclosed space containing a toilet. In particular, though not exclusively, the present invention relates to a toilet having an odour extraction apparatus.

There is a common desire to remove unpleasant odoriferous gases which arise during use of a toilet. There is also a requirement to provide ventilation to WCs and bathrooms, especially internal WCs or bathrooms where there is no external wall or window. Proposed solutions include using a modified toilet bowl or seat having an aperture or bore in communication with a duct and an extractor fan to provide improved ventilation of the toilet bowl.

It has been found that such prior art has a disadvantage of being inefficient and/or liable to collect water during the flushing process.

There is, therefore, a need for an improved toilet having an odour extraction apparatus.

WO99/35349 by the present applicant discloses an odour extraction apparatus for use within a toilet bowl, the apparatus comprising: a chamber adapted for communication with an evacuation means and an outlet from the evacuation means. The odour extraction apparatus is adapted so as to be fitted to a rear portion of the toilet bowl such that in use the evacuation means acts to remove odours from the toilet bowl via the chamber. However, there is a desire to further improve this apparatus.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to obviate or at least mitigate one or more problems in the prior art.

According to a first aspect of the present invention there is provided a toilet comprising:

    • a toilet bowl; and
    • an odour extraction apparatus,
      the toilet bowl having a flush water inlet and an odour extraction outlet communicable with the odour extraction apparatus, and wherein at least a portion of the odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

Preferably the entire odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

The height of the odour extraction outlet and the flush water inlet is taken to be the height above the base of the toilet bowl.

Preferably, the odour extraction outlet includes an extraction passage extending from within a flush channel of the toilet bowl. The flush water inlet communicates with the flush channel.

Preferably the extraction passage is formed within a top rim of the toilet bowl.

Preferably, the passage enters the toilet bowl at an acute angle to the flush rim.

Preferably, the odour extraction outlet channel and odour extraction apparatus provide a substantially unrestricted flow path such that, in use, gases lose an minimal amount of energy when evacuated therethrough.

Preferably, there is provided a substantially straight flow path between the odour extraction outlet and the odour extraction apparatus.

Preferably, the odour extraction apparatus further comprises an evacuation chamber, and wherein there is provided a substantially straight flow path between an outlet from the extraction apparatus and an inlet to the evacuation chamber, such that, in use, gases lose a minimal amount of energy when evacuated therethrough.

Preferably, the evacuation chamber is attached to a cistern.

In one embodiment the evacuation chamber may vent directly to an outside region via an external wall.

In an alternative embodiment the evacuation chamber may vent to an external vent pipe, the vent pipe being coupled to a plurality of toilets. This latter arrangement is particularly advantageous, e.g. in communal buildings such as hotels, offices or the like.

Preferably, the odour extraction outlet is disposed towards a rear portion of the toilet bowl.

Preferably, there are provided a plurality of odour extraction outlets and each odour extraction outlet has a corresponding odour extraction apparatus. The plurality of odour extraction apparatus are connected in parallel to the toilet bowl.

Preferably, each odour extraction apparatus comprises at least one extractor fan.

Preferably, each extractor fan vents odours directly to an outside region via an external wall.

According to a second aspect of the present invention there is provided a toilet bowl having a flush water inlet and an odour extraction outlet, and wherein at least a portion of the odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

Preferably the entire odour extraction outlet is located higher up the toilet bowl than the flush water inlet.

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:—

FIG. 1 is a schematic side view of a first embodiment of a toilet;

FIG. 2a is a cross-sectional side view of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2b is a schematic plan view of the toilet of FIG. 2a;

FIG. 2c is a cross-sectional view along line A-A shown in FIG. 2b;

FIG. 2d is a cross-sectional view along the line B-B shown in FIG. 2b;

FIG. 3 is a rear view of a toilet bowl of the toilet of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic side view of a second embodiment of a toilet.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2a-2d, a toilet 10 comprises a toilet bowl 12, and an odour extraction apparatus 13 in the form of an extraction fan 14 and ducting 16 connected to the toilet bowl via an odour extraction outlet 20. The toilet bowl 12 has a flush water inlet 18 and two odour extraction outlets 20. The odour extraction outlets 20 are housed in a top rim 22 of the toilet bowl 12. The toilet bowl 12 is a one-piece moulded unit. However, it should be appreciated that the toilet bowl 12 could be manufactured from any suitable number of pieces, moulded or not.

As best illustrated in FIG. 2b, each odour extraction outlet 20 is coupled to an odour extraction apparatus 13 and is positioned such that at least a portion of each outlet 20 is located higher on the toilet bowl 12 than the flush water inlet 18. In other words, at least a portion of each outlet 20 is higher from the base of the toilet bowl 12 than the flush water inlet 18, at the point where each of the outlets 20 and inlet 18 open into the bowl 12. This height difference is illustrated in FIG. 1, where the height A of the outlet 20 is greater than the height B. In fact, it is preferable that the entire outlet 20 is located higher on the toilet bowl 12 than the inlet 18. The odour extraction apparatus 13 are coupled to the toilet bowl 12 in parallel.

The toilet 10 may also comprise a cistern 24 which is coupled to the flush inlet 18 of the toilet bowl 12 in a conventional manner, so that the toilet bowl 12 may be flushed and the contents thereof removed via a waste outlet 26.

The apparatus 10 further includes a switch (not shown) which is activated by a user so as to activate the extractor fans 14. Each extractor fan 14 has a timer which deactivates the fan 14 after a predetermined amount of time has elapsed after the fans 14 have been activated. Alternatively, the extractor fans 14 may be activated by the act of flushing or even entry of an individual into a closed space containing the toilet 10.

Now referring specifically to FIGS. 2a to 2d, it can be seen that the flush water inlet 18 is located in a central rear position of the toilet bowl 12. The toilet bowl 12 includes a flush channel 30 located within the rim 22, which directs water from the inlet 18 around the bowl 12. As well as being positioned such that at least a portion of each outlet 20 is higher than the flush inlet 18, the two outlets 20 are also laterally spaced from one another and positioned in a rear portion of the toilet bowl 12.

The outlets 20 include extraction passages 28 which connect the outlets 20 and the bowl 12. The extraction passages 28 open into the bowl 12 at a greater height above the base of the toilet bowl 12 than either the flush inlet 18 or flush channel 30. The extraction passages 28 extend downwards from the rim 22 and enter the toilet bowl 12 at an acute angle to the flush channel 30. By positioning the passages 28 in the rim 22 above the flush channel 30, the passages 28 capture any rising gases generated in the toilet bowl 12, and direct the gases to the outlets 20.

FIG. 2b illustrates how the two extractor fans 14 are coupled to their respective outlets 20 in the toilet bowl 12. Downstream, the fans 14 are connected via extraction ducts 16 to an evacuation chamber 50, or alternatively a vent pipe (not shown). The evacuation chamber 50 may vent directly to an outside region via an external wall (not shown). Alternatively, the evacuation chamber 50 may vent to an external vent pipe (not shown), the vent pipe being coupled to a plurality of toilets.

The toilet 10 is arranged such that each odour extraction apparatus 13 is substantially co-axial with its respective outlet 20. In other words, the outlet 20, fan 14 and extraction duct 16 are co-axial. As a result, the toilet 10 ensures that extracted gases have a substantially unrestricted flow-path out of the toilet. Consequently, the odour extraction apparatus 13 can extract gases more efficiently as the fans 14 do not have to work excessively to move the gases around restrictive passages in the apparatus.

To further assist in the efficient extraction of the gases, the extraction outlet 20 tapers outwardly in the direction of gas flow away from the toilet bowl, such that a remote end of the outlet 20 which attaches to the fan has a greater diameter than an opposite end of the outlet 20 at the toilet bowl. In addition, the fan 14 and a first end of the extraction duct 16 attached thereto have the same diameter as the remote end of the outlet 20. A second end of the extraction duct 16 remote from the fan 14 tapers to a narrower diameter than the first end in order that the extraction duct 16 can be attached to a typical waste pipe. As an example of these relative diameters, the remote end of the outlet, the fan and first end of the extraction duct have a diameter of 90 mm whilst the second end of the extraction duct has a diameter of 40 mm.

In a preferred embodiment, the fans 14 are 12V fans which are powered from the standard wiring circuit of the building or transportation means in which the toilet 10 is installed. The diameter of the fan (i.e. the fan blades) may be chosen such that the toilet 10 may be used as a ventilation unit for bathrooms, public toilets and the like. This eliminates the need for additional fans to remove moisture or the like from the room.

In one embodiment, the fans are variable speed fans and when the toilet is not being used, the fans may run at a high speed to allow air to be extracted. However, when the toilet lid is raised or when a person sits on the seat of the bowl 12, a switch will be activated to reduce the speed of the fans allowing a more gentle flow of air to be drawn through the toilet bowl.

The toilet of the present invention may be provided in a building structure, e.g. a house; a communal building, e.g. a block of flats, offices, a hotel or the like; a static caravan or the like; or in a transportation means, e.g. an aeroplane, train, bus, motor home, caravan or the like.

In certain applications, e.g. if the toilet 10 is located in an internal room (i.e. a room with no external wall to the outside), then a flexible hose or the like is used to couple the extractor ducts 16 to an internal vent pipe associated with a main waste outlet be means of a T-junction. The internal vent pipe may receive the output of a plurality of such toilets 10. Typically, the internal vent pipe extends along or up a building in which a toilet is located and provides a centralised vent to an outside region. This may be the case, for example, in commercial premises such as hotels or offices.

In use, the toilet 10 is used for evacuating odoriferous gases which arise during use of a toilet. This is achieved by a user activating a switch (not shown), so as to activate the extraction fans 14 which draw air from the toilet bowl 12 and out through the extraction ducts 16. When the toilet is flushed there is less likelihood of water being drawn into the extraction apparatus 13 or any part thereof because at least a portion of the odour extraction outlets 20 are above the flush water inlet 18. Furthermore, positioning the extraction outlets as high as possible in the toilet bowl ensures that any gases rising in the bowl are caught and extracted through the extraction outlets.

Although the toilet 10 has been shown and described above having pairs of odour extraction outlets 20 and associated odour extraction apparatus 13, it should be appreciated that the toilet 10 may alternatively comprise a single outlet 20 and odour extraction apparatus 13. The single odour extraction apparatus 13 would comprise a fan 14 and extraction duct 16 and be connected to the single outlet 20.

Additionally, whilst the illustrated preferred embodiment of the invention shows the odour extraction apparatus 13 and odour extraction outlets 20 as co-axial about a generally horizontal axis, it should be appreciated that this is not the only arrangement possible. As an alternative, the odour extraction apparatus 13 and odour extraction outlets 20 can be co-axial about a generally vertical axis, as shown in FIG. 4. This allows the extraction apparatus 13 and cistern 24 to be close coupled within an existing flush-fit cistern housing 40 if desired.

Furthermore, the extractor fans 14 may be actuated by operation of a light switch used to illuminate the room in which the toilet 10 is located. Alternatively, the extractor fans 14 may be operated by opening the door of the room in which the toilet 10 is located.

The toilet bowl may further comprise a toilet seat (not shown) which houses the outlets 20. Whether or not the outlets 20 are housed in the seat, the seat may have an elastomeric strip disposed peripherally on an underside thereof. The strip provides a seal between the seat and the toilet bowl 12, at least when a person is sitting on the seat. This seal helps to contain odours and ensures that the air flow comes from a front area of the toilet.

The toilet may comprise one or more odour extraction outlets and respective odour extraction apparatus.

Extractor fans 14 may be used which have non-return vanes attached to the fan. In this way, if a fan stops working, it will not allow air to flow back into the toilet. Alternatively, a non-return valve can be provided in the ductwork downstream of the fans (i.e. on the other side of the fans from the toilet bowl) to prevent any external air entering the apparatus. Furthermore, this arrangement allows for a single speed fan to be used, such that if the apparatus is to be used in a dual role, i.e. to also ventilate a room, one fan can be stopped when a person is to use the toilet, without the air being forced back into the toilet bowl 12.

An additional extractor fan may be provided between the ducting 16 and vent pipe to enhance the airflow through the extraction apparatus 13.

These and other modifications and improvements may be incorporated without departing from the scope of the present invention.