Title:
Portable hygienic warm water jet having disposable nozzle tip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable bidet uses (a) tap water line-pressure to generate the water jet without an electrical motor, (b) running tap water as the water source of the portable bidet, (c) an automatic control of the maximum water temperature in the optional water heater, (d) an optional device and method of generating warm water, (e) an optional reservoir to store warm water, (f) a rechargeable battery and an ac electrical source as optional energy sources to heat the water, (g) a new disposable nozzle with a release mechanism for an easy release of the nozzle after use, (h) an optional manual water temperature control and (i) an optional new medicine dispenser.



Inventors:
Chung, Jing-yau (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/271207
Publication Date:
04/17/2003
Filing Date:
10/15/2002
Assignee:
CHUNG JING-YAU
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/08; (IPC1-7): E03D9/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARK A OATHOUT (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A portable bidet, comprising: a connector adapted for connection to an existing water source for a volume of running tap water; a water supply line connected to said connector; a housing connected to the water supply line to receive the volume of running tap water as a water source; a flexible tubing connected to the housing for passing the water; a handheld nozzle connected to the flexible tubing, said handheld nozzle including: a water line connected to and receiving water from the flexible tubing; a disposable nozzle connected to the water line for delivering a water jet; a control valve connected to the water line for controlling a volumetric flow rate of the water jet; and a handle/trigger connected to and for said control valve.

2. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said handheld nozzle includes a medicine dispenser mounted in said handheld nozzle and connected to the water line.

3. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said handheld nozzle includes a pump for said medicine dispenser operational by hand independent of said control valve.

4. The apparatus according to claim 2, wherein said handle/trigger is also connected to said medicine dispenser for control of said medicine dispenser.

5. The apparatus according to claim 1, further including a heating device mounted in the housing for heating the received volume of running tap water.

6. The apparatus according to claim 5, further including a thermostat to control the maximum attainable temperature of water heated by said heating device.

7. The apparatus according to claim 5, further including a water temperature control for obtaining a desirable water temperature by mixing non-heated and heated water.

8. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said disposable nozzle includes a release mechanism on one end of said disposable nozzle and has at least one opening in a section of reduced diameter of said disposable nozzle.

9. The apparatus according to claim 5, further including a rechargeable battery insertable into the housing as an electrical power source for said heating device.

10. The apparatus according to claim 5, further including a household ac electrical outlet as a power source for said heating device.

11. The apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the existing water source for the volume of running tap water comprises a hot water source.

12. A disposable nozzle for a portable bidet, comprising: a section of uniform inner diameter at one end of said disposable nozzle having a release mechanism for connecting to a water line; and a tip at the other end of said disposable nozzle.

13. The apparatus according to claim 12, wherein said release mechanism comprises a release ring movable with respect to said section of uniform inner diameter.

14. A handheld nozzle for a portable bidet, comprising: a water line connected to and receiving water from a source of water; a disposable nozzle connected to the water line for delivering a water jet; a control valve connected to the water line for controlling a volumetric flow rate of the water jet; and a handle/trigger connected to and for said control valve.

15. The apparatus according to claim 14, wherein said handheld nozzle includes a medicine dispenser mounted in said handheld nozzle and connected to the water line.

16. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein said handheld nozzle includes a pump for said medicine dispenser operational by hand independent of said control valve.

17. The apparatus according to claim 15, wherein said handle/trigger is also connected to said medicine dispenser for control of said medicine dispenser.

18. A method for delivering a volume of water under pressure to a body, comprising the steps of: mounting a nozzle on a water delivery end of a bidet; supplying a volume of tap water as the volume of water under pressure to the nozzle; controlling a volumetric flow rate of the volume of tap water; jetting water on the body; and disposing the nozzle.

19. The method according to claim 18, further including the step of automatically controlling the temperature of the volume of water under pressure.

20. The method according to claim 18, further including the step of dispensing medicine into the volume of water under pressure.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application is a utility application based on and claims the benefit of U.S. provisional applications No. 60/329,415, filed Oct. 15, 2001 and No. 60/346,348, filed Jan. 7, 2002.

STATEMENTS REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSOR RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX

[0003] Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0004] 1. Description of the Related Art

[0005] The current invention is an improvement over the U.S. Patent, “Portable Hygienic Warm Water Jet Having Disposable Nozzle Tip” issued to the current inventor on Nov. 18, 1986 (U.S. Pat. No. 4,622,704). The above-mentioned patent will be referred to as “the existing Patent” hereafter.

[0006] The existing Patent involves a portable bidet with a heating means providing warm water for cleansing the lower torso of the human body using a disposable nozzle, which delivers a stream of warm water jet to the body.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The current improvements over the existing Patent include the uses of (a) tap water line-pressure to generate the water jet without an electrical motor, (b) running tap water as the water source of the portable bidet, (c) an automatic control of the maximum water temperature in the optional water heater, (d) an optional device and method of generating warm water, (e) an optional reservoir to store warm water, (f) a rechargeable battery and an ac electrical source as optional energy sources to heat the water, (g) a new disposable nozzle with a release mechanism for an easy release of the nozzle after use, (h) an optional manual water temperature control and (i) an optional new medicine dispenser.

[0008] The preferred embodiment of the present invention described in this document uses a rechargeable battery as the power source for heating the water. The system can also use the household ac electrical source or a portable burner such as a candle to heat the water. In the case that an ac electrical source or a portable burner is used to heat the water, other than having no rechargeable battery and some minor changes in the electrical wiring, the system remains the same as that powered by the rechargeable battery. Furthermore, the system can use the hot water from the household hot water line without heating the water within the system. In the case that the system uses the hot water from the household hot water line, the system also remains the same as that powered by the rechargeable battery with the exceptions that it is no longer necessary to have a water heater, a rechargeable battery and the related electrical circuits to heat the water.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] For a fuller understanding of the invention, the following drawings are provided in conjunction with the detail descriptions of the invention which will be presented in the next section:

[0010] FIG. 1 is an illustration of the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0011] FIG. 2 is an illustration of the sectional side view of the water heater unit.

[0012] FIG. 3 is an illustration of the end view of the water heater unit.

[0013] FIG. 4 is an illustration of the handheld nozzle system with the disposable nozzle and the medicine dispenser.

[0014] FIG. 5 is an illustration of the rechargeable battery.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0015] With reference to FIG. 1, the present invention mainly includes a main housing unit 1 which houses a water heater unit 2 which includes a warm water reservoir 6, a rechargeable battery 3, a handheld nozzle system 4, a manual water temperature control 5, a medicine dispenser 7 and storage compartments 8 and 9. The device provides a hygienic warm water jet delivered by the handheld nozzle system 4 using running tap water as the water source.

[0016] In operation, a T-connector 10 is used to reconnect the existing water tank supply line 11 to one end of T-connector 10 at the connector location 12. The other end of T-connector 10 is reconnected to the water tank 16 at the existing water tank connector location 13. The water supply line 14 of the current device is connected to T-connector 10 at the connector location 15 such that the tap water supplies both the existing water tank 16 and the current device through the T-connector 10. It should be noted that a given diameter of the water passageway at location 15 is chosen to regulate the tap water pressure to a desirable supply-line pressure to the current device. This diameter can be a variable one selected manually by means of a pressure regulator.

[0017] The supply-line water is branched out to a cold water line 17a and a warm water line 17b feeding through the heater unit 2. The out-put of the heater unit 2 feeds the warm water line 18. A standard control valve is used in the manual temperature control 5 to provide a desirable water temperature for the individual user at out let 19 using the cold and warm water from lines 17a and 18 respectively. The heater unit 2 is designed to heat up the line water as rapidly as the power source allows when the device is in use. It is also designed to heat up the water in the warm water reservoir 6 when the unit is not in use. A thermal insulator (not shown) may be used on the walls of the warm water reservoir 6 to minimize the heat loss. The heater unit 2 will be described in more detail later with illustrations in FIGS. 2 and 3.

[0018] The water with the selected temperature level in line 19 flows to a flexible tubing 22, which is connected to the handheld nozzle system 4. The nozzle system 4 mainly includes a water line 44, a disposable nozzle 23, a water volume control 25 and a medicine dispenser 7 with a dispenser pump 21. The disposable nozzle 23 along with a nozzle release ring 24 is at the end of the water line 44. For sanitary reasons, the nozzle 23 is disposed after each use. The handheld nozzle system 4 along with the medicine dispenser 7, the disposable nozzle 23 and the release ring 24 will be described in more detail in FIG. 4 with an illustration.

[0019] The rechargeable battery 3 slides into the main housing 1 vertically and connects electrically to the heater unit 2 at the electrical junction 27. When the battery power indicator light 28 is on, it indicates that the battery is due recharging. Using the battery handle 26, battery 3 can be pulled out vertically for recharging at a nearby household electrical outlet with a battery charger (not shown) through an electrical cable with a plug (shown in FIG. 5), which are attached to the battery. The rechargeable battery 3 is further illustrated in FIG. 5.

[0020] As depicted in FIG. 1, a compartment 8 is provided, which stores away the handheld nozzle system 4 and the flexible tubing 22 when the device is not in use. Compartment 9 is also provided to store the new unused disposable nozzles 23 and the medicines to be used optionally by the user in conjunction with the medicine dispenser 7.

[0021] With reference to FIG. 2, the heater unit 2 mainly includes a heating element 30, a warm water reservoir 6 with a rectangular or rounded airtight cover 60 and a base frame 61. An electrical junction 27 is attached to the base frame 61 as shown in FIG. 3. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the tap water is fed into the heater unit 2 through the heater inlet 31. The water is then heated up to a maximum water temperature of, for example, 125 degrees Fahrenheit at the top portion of the warm water reservoir 6. At this temperature, the power is cut off by a standard thermostat control with a sensor 35 at the vicinity of the heater outlet 33. More than one heating element may be employed depending on the heating requirement and the spatial constrain. A pair of prongs 34 on the electrical junction 27, as depicted in FIG. 3, plug automatically into the sockets (not shown) at the bottom of the rechargeable battery 3, when the battery is in position. As shown in FIG. 3, wires 55, 56, 57 and 58 are used to connect the prongs 34 and the terminals of the heating element 30. Wire 55 is connected to wire 56, while wire 57 and wire 58 are both connected to an on-off switch 59 as shown. The wires 57 and 58 are electrically connected when the on-off switch 59 is set at the “on” position by the above-mentioned thermostat control when the water temperature monitored by sensor 35, is below, for example, 125 degrees Fahrenheit. At or above this temperature, in this example, the on-off switch 59 disconnects the wires 57 and 58. An electrical circuit (not shown) parallel to the power circuit which connects the prongs 34 and the heating element 30, is used to light up the indicator light 28, when the battery is “due recharging” after a standard detector (not shown) detects a low battery voltage. In the case that an ac power source, rather than a rechargeable battery is used in the current device, the prongs 34, or the equivalent connectors will be connected directly to the power source.

[0022] FIG. 4 shows a detail configuration of the handheld nozzle system 4. After the water feeds into the nozzle system from the flexible tubing 22, it flows through the volume control valve 25 as shown. The volume control valve 25 is a spring-loaded valve, which is automatically preset to “water-off” position when the system is not in use. Moving valve 25 away from the preset “water-off” position by means of pulling trigger 47 slowly in a backward direction, the volumetric flow rate increases gradually until it reaches the maximum.

[0023] The medicine dispenser system 7 includes a medicine compartment with a cover 50 and a finger-operated locking mechanism 20, which lightly locks cover 50 in position. The medicine is pre-packed in a flexible plastic bag 45 with a small flexible straw 46 extended from the bottom to the outside of the bag 45. The straw 46 is attached airtight to the opening of the sealed bag 45 such that the medicine can only be dispensed through straw 46. As depicted in the Figure, a small side branch 62 with a small hole (not shown) is extended normally to the water line 63. This side branch 62 with two standard one-way valves at 48 and 49, is a finger-operated hand pump 21 for dispensing the medicine in bag 45 through straw 46 which is tightly attached to the pump 21 as shown. When the pump 21 is not in use, a piston inside the pump 21 is drawn away from the water line by a spring force creating a small cavity filled with medicine. Whenever the medicine dispensing is desired, the user pushes the handle of the hand pump 21 in the direction towards the water line 63, consequently a small amount of medicine is pumped into the water line 63 through the one-way valve 48. The locations of trigger 47 and the handle of the pump 21 can be chosen in such a way that the trigger and the handle of the pump can be pulled and pushed respectively using user's different fingers, while the user is holding the handle of the nozzle system 4. The pulling of trigger 47 and the pushing of the handle of pump 21 can be performed simultaneously or independently, providing the user with a choice of dispensing the medicine at any time when the nozzle is in use. It should be noted that the plastic bag 45 in the medicine compartment is exposed to the atmospheric pressure through the air gap between the compartment and its cover 50. To further ensure this constant compartment pressure, a small breathing hole (not shown) can be constructed on the compartment cover 50. Many types of medicines may be used. The medicine may, for example, be a soap or a non-soap.

[0024] The disposable nozzle 23 is lightly pressure-fit to the end of the water line 44 which is bent from the main water line with an angle of about 70 to 90 degrees as shown. The nozzle 23, which is made of a thin plastic or other material such as paper, has a uniform diameter section 51 at one end. It then turns into a nozzle configuration with the smallest diameter at the opening end. A release ring 24 is placed loosely on water line 44 in such a way that the ring 24 can slide freely along the outer surface of water line 44. When the ring 24 is pushed towards the direction of the disposable nozzle 23, it releases the nozzle 23 for disposal. A bendable plastic disposable nozzle 23 similar to the commercially available “bendable straw” can be used to create desirable nozzle angles by the user. In this case, the end of the water line 44 need not be bent as shown and can be in-line with the main water line. Different nozzle openings and nozzle surface profiles can be adopted for different nozzle applications. For example, for a regular external cleansing, a single opening at the tip 64 of the nozzle 23 is preferable, while for an application as a douche, small side-way openings located within the longitudinal grooves on the nozzle surface 65 are more functional and preferable.

[0025] Depicted in FIG. 5 is the rechargeable battery 3 with an handle 26, a combined electrical cable and plug 52 and a rectangular guide 53. As mentioned earlier, using handle 26, the battery 3 slides in the main housing 1, as shown previously in FIG. 1. When the battery 3 is in housing 1, a space is created between the bottoms of the housing 1 and the battery 3. This space is used to store the combined electrical cable and plug 52, which is connected to the bottom of the battery 3. The guide 53 is used not only to orient and to position the battery 3 when it is being placed in housing 1, but also to provide a means of connecting the battery power to heater unit 2 as well as to the battery power indicator light 28, through the electrical junction 27. A pair of electrical sockets (not shown) at the bottom of guide 53 connect automatically to prongs 34 shown in FIG. 2, when the battery 3 is in position. If the ac outlet is readily available near the location of the current device, and if the rechargeable battery rather than the direct ac power source is preferred, the cable and plug 52 can be extended out of housing 1 through a hole (not shown) and plug in the ac outlet indefinitely without removing the battery from the main housing for recharging. It should be noted that the number of rechargeable battery used in the current device is not limited to one. Two or more batteries with different number of heating elements may be employed in the current device depending on the battery capacity and heater power requirements as well as other factors such as the weight of an individual battery unit and the economical considerations.

[0026] As mentioned earlier, the current system can also be powered by the household ac electrical source without any other power source. An optional ac adapter can be provided in the system with the rechargeable battery such that the same heating element is used in both dc and ac applications. In the case that ac electrical source is used, due to higher voltage and current are involved, a circuit breaker can be provided in the system for an additional safety protection of the users. Also when ac electrical power source is used, microwave power or other light power can be used to heat up the water in the water heater.

[0027] Certain variations may be made to the preferred embodiment as would be known to one of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention.