Title:
Closet fitting
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A water closet fitting including an annular flange, a cylindrical sleeve attached and extending outward of the flange, and a removable seal for temporarily sealing the closet fitting during construction and volumetric pressure testing of a drainage system to which the closet fitting is connected. The closet fitting prevents material during construction of the drainage system from falling into the drainage system and obstructing it.



Inventors:
Hoover, James Wallace (Spartanburg, SC, US)
Application Number:
10/080385
Publication Date:
08/28/2003
Filing Date:
02/25/2002
Assignee:
Plastic Oddities, Inc. (Shelby, NC)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D11/16; G01M3/02; (IPC1-7): E03D11/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BREINER & BREINER, L.L.C. (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:

It is claimed:



1. A closet flange comprising: an open upper end, an open lower end and a wall extending between said upper end and said lower end forming a passageway between said upper end and said lower end; a removable lid having an upper surface and a lower surface positioned in said passageway for sealing said passageway, said lower surface being in direct communication with said lower end and said upper surface being in direct communication with said upper end, a break-line extending around a periphery of said lid outward of said wall, and a tab extending from said upper surface with one end of said tab positioned approximately over said break-line, wherein said tab is constructed and arranged to break said break-line to allow removal of said lid through said upper end.

2. A closet flange in accordance with claim 1 wherein said break-line can withstand a pressure of at least 5 psi applied against said lower surface of said lid without breaking and unsealing said passageway.

3. A closet flange in accordance with claim 1 further comprising a rim for connecting said lid to said wall.

4. A closet flange in accordance with claim 3 wherein a portion of said rim is embedded within said wall.

5. A closet flange in accordance with claim 1 wherein said lid is positioned adjacent to said upper end.

6. A closet flange in accordance with claim 1 wherein said lid is positioned adjacent to said lower end.

7. A water closet fitting comprising: a flange having an upper surface and a lower surface, an opening through said flange defined by a tapered wall extending between said upper surface and said lower surface, a cylindrical sleeve extending outward from said flange having a passageway therethrough aligned with said opening, a seal having a top surface and a bottom surface for temporarily closing said passageway, said seal having an outer rim and an inner removable lid separated by a break-line, and a tab attached to said top surface of said lid and positioned in relation to said break-line so as to allow breaking of said break-line upon movement of the tab.

8. A closet fitting in accordance with claim 7 wherein said rim is embedded in said sleeve.

9. A closet fitting in accordance with claim 7 wherein said rim is embedded in said tapered wall.

10. A closet fitting in accordance with claim 7 wherein said bottom surface of said lid can withstand a pressure of at least 5 psi applied there against without disconnecting said lid from said rim.

Description:

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a water closet fitting including a flange and an integral cylindrical sleeve with a seal therein having a removable central lid for preventing debris and the like from falling into a drain system connected to the closet fitting and for allowing volumetric pressure testing of the drain system once the closet fitting is installed. A tab is attached to the lid to enable the lid to be removed through the flange after pressure testing is completed.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] In drainage system construction, a newly installed or repaired sewage conduit in a waste or sewer drainage system must frequently be isolated from the sewage service line until the plumbing construction is tested by subjecting the system to a fluid or air pressure test to locate any leaks. This is especially true in the case of water closet drains.

[0003] Typically, an outlet end of a newly installed sewage conduit of the drainage system is placed at a juncture near an inlet to a sewage service line. During installation, the two lines are capped and not connected. As a result of usual construction techniques, the juncture is frequently buried before the tests are performed. After testing and inspection are complete, the connection site is re-excaved, the caps removed and a secure connection of the two lines made. The difficulty of making such tests is often aggravated by the fact that at another end of the drainage system a water closet is often installed in a poured, permanent floor, such as concrete. Once the water closet fitting and drain have been installed and allowed to set, it is generally either exceedingly difficult or impossible to access the drain fitting.

[0004] Thus, various patents have been issued disclosing test or isolation valve assemblies used in the inspection of drain systems prior to connection of the systems to sewer lines.

[0005] For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,602,504 to Barber discloses a permanently-installed test fitting for pressure testing pipe connections which is inserted inside of a pipe to block the flow of a fluid through the pipe when testing for leakage within a drainage system. The fitting includes a removable seal portion that is described as being similar in construction to lids found in commercial packaging products such as tennis balls. A pull ring is provided to manually separate the seal at a scribe cut to allow separation of the seal from the fitting.

[0006] U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,624,123 and 5,711,536 to Meyers disclose a pipe seal assembly for use in on-site poured concrete or plastic tank or box components of fluid distribution systems. The assembly is composed of a tear-away membrane used as a seal in a drain pipe. The tear-away membrane has a peripheral score line and a pull-tab for facilitating removal of the membrane from the pipe. In use, the seal member is cast in a concrete wall with the membrane intact. Thereafter, the tear-away membrane can be removed to insert a desired section of pipe through the seal. The membrane is removed by pulling on the pull-tab so as to separate the membrane along the score line.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 4,212,486 to Logsdon discloses a water closet protector stabilizer for a pipe affixed in a concrete slab to prevent wet cement from entering the pipe during pouring of the slab and to provide a cavity in the slab into which fits a closet mounting ring used to secure a water closet to the pipe. The stabilizer includes a collar for attaching to the pipe, a flange attached to the top of the collar and a cover attached to the flange. A top portion of the cover is removable using a series of breakable bridge points formed in the cover. A tab and notch are formed in the top portion to aid in its removal. In use, after the pipe is fixed in the slab, a finger is inserted into the notch and the tab lifted. Upon continued lifting, bridge points are broken and removal of a portion or all of the top depending on the location of the bridge points occurs.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 4,717,608 to Meltsch discloses a terminal assembly for closing open ends of conduit. The assembly is composed of a shrink-tube having a break-out cover in one end for sealing the assembly prior to use and an open end opposite thereto for attaching to the conduit. The cover has a circumferential weakened line and a pull tab that allows for breaking along the weakened line and subsequent removal of the cover.

[0009] Although the patents described above relate to the general field of disclosure of the present invention, none are specifically applied to water closet flanges and problems associated with temporarily sealing drainage systems for pressure testing.

[0010] More recently, U.S. Pat. No. 6,085,363 to Huber discloses a water closet assembly having a removable test baffle for sealing the assembly during pressure tests. The assembly includes a water closet fitting, a flange integral therewith and the test baffle removably attached to the fitting opposite the flange. A means of removing the baffle, such as by a cord, allows the baffle to be removed through the flange as opposed to through the drainage system. Optionally, a removal storage means, in the form of a membrane having a removal tab, is attached to the inner circumference of the baffle to enclose the cord during shipping.

[0011] A water closet fitting is illustrated in FIG. 1 to show, in addition to the above-referenced patents, the conventional means of sealing a water closet fitting for volumetric pressure testing. As illustrated, the closet fitting includes a flange A, a sleeve B connected therewith and a seal C being integral with and molded as part of the closet fitting. Typically, the seal is located within the sleeve directly adjacent to its junction with the flange. After the closet fitting is connected to a drainage system and upon completion of pressure testing, the seal is punched out, for example, by striking it with a hammer or the like. The shortcomings of such conventional fittings is that broken pieces of the seal tend to fall into the drainage systems thereby potentially obstructing fluid flow therethrough, and jagged edges may exist which require extra labor to remove or smooth down to prevent obstruction or bad fit to a pipe end to be inserted.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0012] A primary object of the invention is to provide a closet fitting including a readily removable lid for sealing the closet fitting during volumetric pressure testing of a drain system to which the closet fitting is attached.

[0013] A further primary object of the invention is to provide a water closet fitting including a flange, a cylindrical sleeve attached thereto and a removable lid which seals a common passageway through the flange and sleeve to prevent loss of pressure in a drain system during a pressure test.

[0014] Another primary object of the invention is to provide a closet fitting including a seal having a removable lid therein for preventing construction items and the like from falling into and obstructing a conduit of a drain system connected therewith.

[0015] The objects of the invention are accomplished by providing a water closet fitting including an annular flange for connecting the closet fitting to a stool, a cylindrical sleeve extending outward from the flange and an annular seal having a removable lid positioned within the closet fitting for closing a common passageway extending through the flange and sleeve. Preferably, the seal is positioned within the sleeve directly adjacent to its junction with the flange, however, the seal can be positioned anywhere along the common passageway.

[0016] To facilitate removal of the lid, the seal includes an annular break-line which defines the lid and a pull-tab attached to the lid. The pull-tab can comprise any suitable structure as long as it enables a worker to firmly grasp the tab, pull back on the tab and remove the lid.

[0017] While the break-line must be sufficiently weak to allow removal of the lid, it must not be so weak that the seal is broken when at least 5 psi of pressure is brought to bear against the seal. This is because building regulations require that drainage systems be able to withstand at least 5 psi of pressure without there being any leakage. This way, the closet fitting of the present invention can sufficiently seal a drain system during volumetric pressure testing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional side view of a water closet fitting in accordance with the prior art.

[0019] FIG. 2 is a top view of a water closet fitting in accordance with the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional side view of the water closet fitting of FIG. 2.

[0021] FIG. 4 is a partial, cross-sectional, perspective view of the water closet fitting of FIG. 3.

[0022] FIG. 5 is a partial, cross-sectional view of a water closet fitting of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0023] A preferred embodiment of a closet fitting in accordance with the present invention is illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 5.

[0024] The closet fitting depicted therein is injection molded of plastic, such as ABS or PVC, and generally includes an annular flange 2 for connecting the closet fitting to a stool (not illustrated), a cylindrical sleeve 4 extending outward from flange 2 and an annular seal 6 positioned within sleeve 4. More particularly, flange 2 comprises a substantially flat, annular piece having an upper surface 8 and a lower surface 10 with a number of openings therethrough. The openings include a large, central opening 12 defined, preferably, by a tapered, inner circular wall 14 inward of flange 2 and diametrically spaced key-shaped slots 16, preferably two or four slots. Slots 16 allow for a sliding interlock connection with, for example, a stool to be operatively connected to the closet fitting. In addition, there are four smaller fastening holes 18 spaced apart. Fastening holes 18 are normally used to receive bolts to attach the flange to an upper surface of the flooring into which the closet fitting is inserted in use.

[0025] Extending from and integral with flange 2 is sleeve 4 which has an inner surface 20 defining a passageway 21 therethrough that extends downward from and is continuous with wall 14, the intersection of inner surface 20 and wall 14 forming a circular inner edge 22. Thus, opening 12 and passageway 21 are aligned. Sleeve 4 is adapted to fit in the end of a drain pipe (not illustrated). This way, a stool and a drain pipe, when each connected to the closet fitting, are maintained in fluid communication.

[0026] However, to completely disrupt fluid communication through the closet fitting, when, for example, performing pressure testing of the drainage system to which the closet fitting is connected, sleeve 4 includes seal 6 having a top surface 23 and a bottom surface 25. Seal 6 preferably comprises a metallic membrane having a substantially flat center portion 24, a stepped-up middle portion 26 extending upward from the outer edge of center portion 24 and a stepped-up outer portion 28 extending upward from the outer edge of middle portion 26. An annular rim 30 is formed on the outer edge of outer portion 28 which is partially embedded within inner surface 20 of sleeve 4. The embedded portion of rim 30 is hook-shaped to securely anchor seal 6 therein.

[0027] Attached to top surface 23 of middle portion 26 by a rivet 32, is a pull tab 34. Tab 34 generally comprises a flat, metal piece having a finger-hole 36 therethrough to enable an user to clench tab 34 and thereby attachment point 38 which connects tab 34 to rivet 32. Further to enable an user to clench tab 34, is provided a pair of spaced protuberances 40 on top surface 23 of center portion 24 on which portions of tab 34 rest. A spacing is thus maintained between seal 6 and finger-hole 36 to facilitate grasping of tab 34.

[0028] An annular break-line 42 is formed in middle portion 26 of seal 6 between rivet 32 and outer portion 28 to provide in conjunction with tab 34, a means of removing all but rim 30 of seal 6. Break-line 42 sufficiently weakens the connection of rim 30 to the rest of seal 6 to allow an user to easily remove seal 6, but not so much that bottom surface 25 of seal 6 can not withstand at least 5 psi of pressure there against without separating the central portion of seal 6 from rim 30. This is important since construction regulations require drainage systems to be able to withstand at least 5 psi of fluid or air pressure without leakage. Thus, the closet fitting of the present invention can be located on an end of a pipe of a drainage system during a pressure test and thereafter, the seal readily removed upon completion of the test by simply lifting and pulling back on tab 34.

[0029] Since rim 30 is permanently embedded within wall 20 of sleeve 4 with a portion of rim 30 extending out into passageway 21 after seal 6 has been removed, seal 6 is preferably positioned within sleeve 4 directly adjacent to inner edge 22. This way, an inlet pipe (not illustrated) inserted through the closet fitting after seal 6 is removed will easily extend below rim 30 so that rim 30 will not obstruct flow through the closet fitting. Additionally, wall 14 which is tapered to facilitate insertion of an inlet pipe into the closet fitting, is not interfered with in any way. However, seal 6 can be positioned anywhere along sleeve 4, as well as along wall 14 of flange 2. Additionally, while not as desirable, the angle of wall 14 can be the same as wall 20 without interfering with the purpose of the invention.

[0030] While the preferred embodiment of the closet fitting has been described in detail above, various modifications and variations of the invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims the invention may be practiced otherwise than the above-described.