Title:
Ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A ventilated toilet system with a toilet bowl with a toilet rim and a perimeter, that has a plurality of rim holes around the perimeter which is fluidly connected to a flush passage and other parts of the ventilated toilet system. There is also a toilet tank with an overflow float valve that sits on top of an overflow tube, with an overflow tube fitting fitted onto the overflow tube, which is connected to a flush tube that fluidly connects into the flush passage of the toilet bowl. The overflow tube fitting is also attached and fluidly connected to an odor exhaust pipe and to an exhaust fan system to expel odors from the ventilated toilet system.



Inventors:
Mundt, Fred S. (Kirkland, WA, US)
Mundt, Richard S. (Kirkland, WA, US)
Application Number:
10/417074
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
04/17/2003
Assignee:
MUNDT FRED S.
MUNDT RICHARD S.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/05; (IPC1-7): E03D9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard C. Litman (Alexandria, VA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A ventilated toilet system, comprising: a toilet bowl with a toilet rim and a perimeter, that has a plurality of rim holes around the perimeter which is fluidly connected to a flush passage and other parts of the ventilated toilet system; a toilet tank with an overflow float valve that sits on top of an overflow tube, with an overflow tube fitting fitted into the overflow tube, the overflow tube being connected to a flush tube that fluidly connects into the flush passage of the toilet bowl, said overflow tube fitting is also attached and fluidly connected to an odor exhaust pipe; an exhaust fan system to expel odors from the ventilated toilet system, with an electric fan motor, a fan housing, an exhaust fan, a pressure relief valve, an outlet vent and electrical components from the electric fan motor; and a water seal grommet that is used to seal the odor exhaust pipe outer perimeter to the toilet tank.

2. The ventilated toilet system according to claim 1, wherein an odor filter is provided on the odor exhaust pipe.

3. The ventilated toilet system according to claim 1, wherein a pressure relief valve is provided to relieve pressure on the exhaust fan motor, which will keep the exhaust fan motor from sucking water into the odor exhaust pipe.

4. A ventilated toilet system that is retrofit for a toilet bowl and a toilet tank with an overflow tube and an overflow tube fitting, comprising: an overflow tube fitting fitted over the existing overflow tube that is also attached and fluidly connected to an odor exhaust pipe; an exhaust fan system to expel odors from the ventilated toilet system, with an electrical fan motor, a fan housing, an exhaust fan/impeller, a pressure relief valve, an outlet vent and electrical components from the electric fan motor; and a water seal grommet used to seal the odor exhaust pipe outer perimeter to the toilet tank.

5. The ventilated toilet system according to claim 4, wherein an odor filter is provided on the odor exhaust pipe.

6. The ventilated toilet system according to claim 4, wherein a pressure relief valve is provided to relieve pressure on the exhaust fan motor, which will keep the exhaust fan motor from sucking water into the odor exhaust pipe.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] Ventilation systems for toilet systems are well-known and are prevalent in the marketplace. These systems generally involve the use of an exhaust fan to expel malodorous fumes from a standard toilet system. A variety of these toilet systems and retrofit ventilation systems are reflected in the related art.

[0005] U.S. Patent Application Publication 2002/0194670 A1 written by Hashemi, outlines the use of an odor evacuation and mitigation system for a bathroom space which includes a central evacuation fan system, an odor evacuation system for a toilet having a toilet bowl, an automatic flushing system and a steam and moisture ventilation system. The fan system includes an enclosure having a motor and fan therein and is connected to an exhaust hose for expelling odors. The odor evacuation system for a toilet includes a flush valve in communication with a pipe connected to an external suction device for removal of odors through an overflow pipe and an evacuation pipe.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 2,778,033 issued to Majauskas, outlines the use of a ventilator for toilets for efficiently eliminating the obnoxious odors and accompanying germs that appear in a toilet system and exhausting the odors with an electrically driven blower that is automatically initiated at the time the toilet system is in use.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 3,192,539 issued to Martz, outlines the use of a ventilator for toilets and kitchen equipment. The ventilator is a blower or air exhauster situated over the toilet or kitchen equipment and expels the malodorous fumes through the roof of the building with the toilet or kitchen equipment.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 3,681,790 issued to Dooley, outlines the use of ventilating equipment having an exhaust pipe extending as an upward branch from the overflow pipe, up through the tank and then outward to a motor-driven exhaust pump discharging to the outside atmosphere. The exhaust pipe has an opening within the tank above the maximum water lever and is closed by a sleeve valve element linked for operation by the rod carrying the float.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 4,165,544 issued to Barry, outlines the use of a system for eliminating odorous air from a bathroom stool, including a toilet bowl and a water tank connected by a discharge pipe to the toilet bowl. The water tank includes a vertical open top overflow passageway connected to the discharge pipe, so that water in excess of the desired level in the tank is dispensed into the toilet bowl, where the odorous air may be withdrawn from the toilet bowl.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 4,232,406 issued to Beeghly et al., outlines a system for ventilating the toilet bowl of a water closet of the type having a standpipe in the flush tank thereof and wherein the lower end of the standpipe is connected to the conduit, which extends between the flush tank and the flush ring in the toilet bowl.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 5,029,346 issued to Fernald, Sr., outlines the use of a system for venting odors from a toilet having a bowl with a plurality of openings disposed about its rim and a tank to store water with a bowl fill tube interconnected with the openings. A vent is positioned above the level of maximum water storage in the tank. A low pressure region within the vent is an established bias air flow through bowl rim openings in the toilet and also through a bowl fill tube in the toilet tank and into the vent.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,054,131 issued to Sim, outlines the use of a toilet assembly which includes a toilet stool having a ventilation conduit disposed adjacent to the back wall portion of the toilet stool for ventilating objectionable odor from a toilet bowl, the ventilation conduit extending annularly around a siphon conduit at the point where they communicate with a sewer discharge line, a fan member disposed in the lower portion of the ventilation conduit, a toilet holding tank having a motion sensor disposed in the lower portion of the ventilation conduit, a toilet holding tank having a motion sensor disposed on the front exterior of the toilet holding tank which is free from interference from the opening and the closing of a toilet seat cover.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 5,839,127 issued to Curiel, outlines the use of a toilet assembly where an odor extractor device is connected to the overflow tube of the toilet assembly. The water supplied through a conduit to the overflow tube is discharged on a tubular member that is connected to an opening on the lateral wall of the overflow tube. A flexible sheet is mounted over the opening on the internal surface of the lateral wall of the overflow tube.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 5,906,009 issued to Sakar, outlines the use of a toilet bowl with gases and bacteria or virus-laden mist removed directly therefrom by an air evacuation system, both during and after use of the toilet. The system can also include an apparatus for forced air dispensing of air-freshening deodorant or disinfectant during the air evacuation from the bowl, which the dispensing apparatus is driven by but is independent from the flow of air and gas or mist exhausted during evacuation. The air evacuation system may be associated with a dedicated vacuum-creating pump or be integral with a ceiling exhaust fan, which has the capability of either exhausting air from the bathroom or through the toilet bowl air evacuation system.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 5,991,933 issued to Schaffer, outlines the use of a toilet odor removal system, which uses an overflow tube in the water tank and a float valve to open and close an opening in the overflow tube for water overflow purposes and for odor removal purposes. The overflow tube extends through a sidewall of the water tank to an exhaust system.

[0016] U.S. Pat. No. 6,219,853 B1 issued to Johnson, outlines the use of a toilet ventilation system, including a toilet bowl having a plurality of ports for directing water into an interior of the bowl. The toilet includes a tank for holding water and an interior passageway for conveying water from the tank to the ports of the toilet bowl. The toilet also includes an overflow tube mounted within the tank, which is in fluid communication with the interior passageway. The toilet further includes a ventilation port in fluid communication with the interior passageway.

[0017] German Patent No. DE 4321704 granted to Ernst, outlines a toilet cistern which incorporates an absorbent chamber adapted to absorb smells and transform them. Alternatively, the smells are absorbed directly by the cistern via a system of pipes leading to the ventilation shaft or chimney.

[0018] W.I.P.O. Pat. No. WO 95/30802 granted to Eger, outlines the use of a toilet ventilation unit that has a vacuum motor mounted in a wall surrounding the toilet or ceiling space such as an attic. The vacuum motor is connected to the back of the tank and utilizes the water passageway of the toilet to draw odors and aromas from the toilet bowl. A vacuum shut off valve is mounted adjacent to the back of the tank and is actuated concomitantly with the rising and lowering of the water level to shut off the air flow from the toilet bowl.

[0019] U.K. Patent Application No. GB 2319268 A, outlines the use of a toilet ventilation and flushing unit which has a ventilation airway, a flushing device, a two way air valve and an air suction device, which can be located in the water cistern, adjacent to it, or remotely situated to it. The air suction device is connected to the flushing and ventilation unit by means of piping and utilizes the water passageway of the toilet to draw air, odors and aromas from bowl into the ventilation airway, when the water level is above the housing of the two way air valve.

[0020] Although each of the inventions outlined in these patents are novel and useful, what is really needed is a ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve to relief pressure on the exhaust fan motor, which will keep the exhaust fan motor from sucking water into an odor exhaust pipe. Such a toilet system would be in great demand in the marketplace.

[0021] None of the above inventions and patents, taken either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed. Thus a ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve solving the aforementioned problems is desired.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The invention is a ventilated toilet system with a toilet bowl with a toilet rim and a perimeter, that has a plurality of rim holes around the perimeter which is fluidly connected to a flush passage and other parts of the ventilated toilet system. There is also a toilet tank with an overflow float valve that sits on top of an overflow tube, with an overflow tube fitting fitted into the overflow tube. The overflow tube is connected to a flush tube that fluidly connects into the flush passage of the toilet bowl. The overflow tube fitting is also attached and fluidly connected to an odor exhaust pipe, which lead to an exhaust fan system to expel odors from the ventilated toilet system. A water seal grommet is also used to seal the odor exhaust pipe outer perimeter to the toilet tank.

[0023] Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a pressure relief valve on a ventilated toilet system.

[0024] It is another object of the invention to provide a retrofitted ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve for currently existing toilet systems.

[0025] It is a further object of the invention to provide an odor filter for a ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve for municipalities that might prohibit waste odor air to be removed into a concealed space of a building (such as an enclosed wall of a building).

[0026] Still another object of the invention is to provide a ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve to relieve pressure on the exhaust fan motor, which will keep the exhaust fan motor from sucking water into an odor exhaust pipe.

[0027] It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.

[0028] These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0029] FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve according to the present invention.

[0030] FIG. 2 is a side sectional view of a toilet bowl from the ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve.

[0031] FIG. 3A is a side sectional view of a toilet tank from the ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve.

[0032] FIG. 3B is a side sectional view of a retrofit toilet tank from the ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve.

[0033] FIG. 4 is a side sectional view of an odor exhaust pipe and exhaust fan system from the ventilated toilet system with a pressure relief valve.

[0034] FIG. 5 is a side sectional view of an isolated pressure relief valve from the ventilated toilet system.

[0035] Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0036] The present invention is a ventilated toilet system 10, used by a person P who is going to the bathroom and is generating disposable waste W, which is depicted in FIG. 1. The ventilated toilet system 10 comprises a toilet bowl 20 (FIG. 2), a toilet tank 30 (FIG. 3), an exhaust fan system 50 (FIG. 4) and a pressure relief valve 54 (FIG. 5), all of which are integral to each other to form the ventilated toilet system 10.

[0037] The toilet bowl 20 depicted in FIG. 2, is not a novel feature of the ventilated toilet system 10 and is similar to other toilet bowls 20 that are described in the related art (e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 3,192,539 issued to Martz). The toilet bowl 20 has a toilet rim 22 and an inner perimeter 24 that has a plurality of rim holes 26 around the inner perimeter 24 which are fluidly connected to a flush passage 28 and other parts of the ventilated toilet system 10. The disposable waste W generated by a person P is flushed from the toilet bowl 20 through a waste outlet 29 and into a sewer line (not shown).

[0038] FIG. 3 depicts the components of the next part of the ventilated toilet system 10, which is the toilet tank 30. The toilet tank 30 has an overflow float valve 31 that sits on top of an overflow tube 32, with an overflow tube fitting 33 fitted onto the overflow tube 32, which is connected to a flush tube 34 that fluidly connects into the flush passage 28 of the toilet bowl 20. The overflow tube fitting 33 is also attached and fluidly connected to an odor exhaust pipe 35, which lead to the exhaust fan system 50 (FIG. 4). A water seal grommet 36 seals the overflow tube fitting 33 outer perimeter to the toilet tank 30 as it penetrates through the side wall hole 46 of toilet tank 30.

[0039] Normally the toilet tank 30 is filled to an adjusted water level. When the flush lever 37 is depressed after generating waste W, it lifts a trip lever 38 up, which lifts a flapper 39 up and opens a passage for water to flow into the flush tube 34. Water passes through the flush tube 34, through the flush passage 28, into the toilet rim 22 and finally fills the toilet bowl 20 with water through the plurality of rim holes 26. When water builds up in the toilet bowl 20, a siphoning action takes place and the water and all of the waste W is discharged into the sewer line (not shown) through the waste outlet 29.

[0040] When the water level falls to a certain level, the float 44 that falls with the water level opens up the water fill valve 40 through the float arm 41 and water fills the toilet tank 30 through a first refill tube 42 and a second refill tube 43. The float 44 rises with the water and at the adjusted height, the float arm 41 shuts the water fill valve 40 and water stops filling the toilet tank 30.

[0041] In case of failure of the fill valve 40, water would fill the toilet tank 30 and could cause the toilet tank 30 to overflow. The overflow float valve 31 is to prevent this from happening. When water reaches the top of the overflow tube 32, it would lift up the overflow float valve 31 and water would flow down through the overflow tube 32. Since the overflow tube 32 is connected to the flush tube 34, water is drained into the toilet bowl 30.

[0042] The overflow float valve 31 is weighted down with a small weight 45 that acts as a guide to keep the overflow float valve 31 from drifting away when the overflow float valve 31 is lifted up by the water level, and brings it down to be seated back on the overflow tube 32. The overflow tube fitting 33 is connected to the odor exhaust pipe 35, which passes out through a hole 46 on the side of the wall of the toilet tank 30. The odor exhaust pipe 35 outer perimeter is sealed water tight with a water seal grommet 36.

[0043] FIG. 4 depicts the next part of the ventilated toilet system 10, which is an exhaust fan system 50 to expel odors from the ventilated toilet system 10. The exhaust fan system 50 is equipped with an electrical exhaust fan motor 51, a fan housing 52, an exhaust fan/impeller 53, a pressure relief valve 54, an outlet vent 55 and electrical components (not shown) from the electrical fan motor 51. The odor exhaust pipe 35 is attached to a vertical exhaust tube 57 that connects to an odor filter 58, which is then led to the fan housing 52. The outlet vent 55 is penetrated through the wall or ceiling of the bathroom and the electrical components 56 are tied into the fan housing 52 and an activation switch (not shown).

[0044] When the activation switch is activated, the exhaust fan motor 51 is activated and the exhaust fan 53 sucks in air from the toilet bowl 20. As odor is generated in the toilet bowl 20, it is sucked in through the plurality of rim holes 26 into the toilet rim 22 and then through the flush passage 28. The air is then sucked in through the flush tube 34, through the overflow tube 32 and then passes on into the overflow tube fitting 33. The air is then sucked through the odor exhaust pipe 35, passes through the odor filter 58 and into the fan housing 52 and finally through the outlet vent 55. When the exhaust fan motor 51 is activated, the overflow float valve 31 is also sucked in, therefore sealing the flared portion of the overflow tube 32. This prevents good air from the toilet tank 30 to be sucked into the odor exhaust pipe 35 together with the waste odor.

[0045] During normal operation, the pressure relief valve 54, as depicted in FIG. 5, is so adjusted that it is closed and no air passes through the pressure relief valve 54. Since the overflow float valve 31 has closed the top portion of the overflow tube 32, air from the toilet bowl 20 only is sucked in and passes through the outlet vent 55. When the flush lever 37 is depressed and water flushes the toilet bowl 20, the flush tube 34 and the toilet rim 22 becomes filled with water. This causes the exhaust fan 53 normal air passage to be blocked with water and so a vacuum is created which causes the exhaust fan 53 to be overloaded and exert more power. When more suction power is exerted, the pressure relief valve 54 will be opened and air is sucked in through the pressure relief valve 54 into the exhaust fan housing 52 and outlet vent 55, thus relieving pressure on the electric fan motor 51. This keeps the electric fan motor 51 from sucking water into the odor exhaust pipe 35.

[0046] Components of the ventilated toilet system 10 can also be retrofit for an existing toilet bowl 20 and toilet tank 30 with a cut-to-length existing overflow tube 32, and an overflow tube fitting 33 (FIG. 3B). These components comprise an overflow tube fitting 33 fitted onto the existing cut-to-length overflow tube 32, which is fluidly connected to the flush tube 34. The overflow tube fitting 33 is fluidly connected to an odor exhaust pipe 35. A water seal grommet 36 is to seal the odor exhaust pipe 35 outer perimeter to the toilet tank 30 at hole 46. The retrofit further comprises an exhaust fan system 50 to expel odors from the ventilated toilet system 10, with an electrical fan motor 51, a fan housing 52, an exhaust fan/impeller 53, a pressure relief valve 54, an outlet vent 55 and electrical components (not shown) from the electric fan motor 51. The retrofit of the ventilated toilet system 10 has an odor filter 58 provided on the odor exhaust pipe 35. There is also a pressure relief valve 54 provided to relieve pressure on the electric fan motor 51, which will keep the electric fan motor 51 from sucking water into the odor exhaust pipe 35.

[0047] It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.