Title:
Odorless toilet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus for preventing objectionable odors from escaping from a toilet bowl consisting of an air-tight seal between the toilet seat and the bowl rim, an air-tight seal between the flush tank and its cover, and a blower that exhausts gases from the toilet bowl through the water apertures in the bowl rim into the flush tank and from there to a point outside the bathroom.



Inventors:
Ogren, Warren A. (Hayward, WI, US)
Application Number:
10/832595
Publication Date:
03/03/2005
Filing Date:
04/27/2004
Assignee:
OGREN WARREN A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/052; (IPC1-7): E03D9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP (MINNEAPOLIS, MN, US)
Claims:
1. 1-8. (canceled)

9. In a toilet including a bowl with a rim thereon and a seat engaging the rim, the rim having a plurality of apertures communicating with the bowl and a manifold communicating with the apertures, and also having a water tank with a cover and a flush tube communicating with the manifold, the toilet residing in a bathroom having a ceiling and a crawlspace above the ceiling and walls with joist spaces communicating with the crawlspace, and a sewer vent pipe in the walls, an improved apparatus for preventing objectionable odors from escaping from toilet bowl, the apparatus comprising: (a) an air-tight seal between the toilet seat and the bowl rim; (b) an air-tight seal between the water tank and the cover; and (c) a blower communicating with the flush tube and adapted to pull gases from the bowl through the apertures, the manifold, and the flush tube, wherein the tank is specially manufactured to hold the blower and to connect to the vent.

10. In a toilet including a bowl with a rim thereon and a seat engaging the rim, the rim having a plurality of apertures communicating with the bowl and a manifold communicating with the apertures, the toilet residing in a bathroom having walls and a sewer vent pipe in the walls, an improved apparatus for preventing objectionable odors from escaping from the toilet bowl, the apparatus comprising: (a) an air-tight seal between the toilet seat and the bowl rim; (b) an exhaust duct communicating with the manifold; and (c) a blower communicating with the exhaust duct and adapted to pull gases from the bowl through the apertures, the manifold, and the exhaust duct to the sewer vent pipe.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the exhaust duct further comprises a vent pipe attached to the water feed pipe of a commercial toilet.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an apparatus to eliminate undesirable odors from a toilet bowl, and in particular to such a device that requires only a slight modification to a standard toilet.

A number of devices have been used in the past to eliminate offensive odors from a toilet bowl before the odor gets into the surrounding atmosphere.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,495,282 (Taggart) discloses a toilet bowl and tank that is improved with a blower-equipped ventilating conduit connected at its discharge end to a venting stack and at its intake end to an exhaust pipe within the confines of a the tank rising to an inlet point over the normal water level in the tank. The lid of the tank is disclosed as having a sealing gasket which makes the upper part of the tank airtight.

However, Taggart requires extensive modification to the toilet tank. In addition to the standard overflow tube and ball valve, Taggart requires an exhaust pipe 38 to be fitted within the tank, an opening in the bottom wall of the tank to accommodate the exhaust pipe, an elbow 30 outside the tank connecting to the exhaust pipe, a resilient hose 48 connected to the elbow, and a blower 54 connected to the hose 48, the blower in turn being connected to the venting stack 58.

Further, Taggart does not efficiently exhaust odor from the toilet bowl because the toilet lid is not sealed in an air-tight manner to the toilet bowl.

Other existing odor-control devices include ceiling fans, which are noisy, waste electrical energy, and allow heat from the bathroom to escape into the attic. In addition, ceiling fans are inefficient in odor control because the odor from the toilet which is naturally heavier than air permeates the room before it is removed by the ceiling fan.

There is a need for an improved apparatus for eliminating odors from a standard toilet bowl that requires minimum changes to the toilet bowl and tank, while at the same time efficiently removing odors from the toilet bowl by providing an air-tight seal between the toilet seat and the rim of the bowl.

The invention should also provide greater energy savings than a ceiling fan because in a ceiling fan installation the fan is open at all times from the toilet room into the attic and allows heat to escape constantly from the room whether the fan is operating or not.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a toilet including a bowl with a rim thereon and a seat engaging the rim, the rim having a plurality of apertures communicating with the bowl and a manifold communicating with the apertures, an improved apparatus for preventing objectionable odors from escaping from the toilet bowl, the apparatus comprising:

    • (a) an air-tight seal between the toilet seat and the bowl rim;
    • (b) an exhaust duct communicating with the manifold; and
    • (c) a blower communicating with the exhaust duct and adapted to pull gases from the bowl through the apertures, the manifold, and the exhaust duct.

An object and advantage of the present invention is that it is simpler than existing odor control devices.

Another object and advantage of the present invention is that it can be installed in a standard toilet without any modifications to the bowl or tank.

Another object and advantage of the present invention is that it is more efficient than existing odor control devices. The invention does not allow odor to enter the bathroom but instead exhausts it directly from the toilet bowl.

Another object and advantage of the present invention is that it has a blower that is much smaller and uses less electrical energy than a ceiling fan.

Another object and advantage of the present invention is that it is more accessible to service than a ceiling fan.

Another object and advantage of the present invention is that it is much quieter than a ceiling fan.

Another object and advantage of the present invention is the elimination of any odor-covering perfume spray or other odor-covering device in either the toilet room or flush tank.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side elevation schematic of a first embodiment of the present invention as added to a standard toilet.

FIG. 2 is a front elevation schematic of a first embodiment of the present invention as added to a standard toilet.

FIG. 3 is a top plan schematic of a first embodiment of the present invention as added to a standard toilet.

FIG. 4 is similar to FIG. 1, showing a variation thereon.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevation schematic of a specially-manufactured toilet tank for containing the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a side elevation schematic of a second embodiment of the present invention as added to a standard commercial toilet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The apparatus of the present invention for preventing objectionable odors from escaping from the bowl of a standard toilet is generally shown in the Figures as reference numeral 110.

FIG. 1 shows a standard toilet 112, which consists of a bowl 114 having a rim 116, a seat 118 engaging the rim, the bowl having a plurality of apertures 120 and a manifold 122 communicating with the apertures, a water tank 124 with a cover 126 and a flush tube 128 communicating with the manifold 122.

The apertures 120 receive water from the tank 124 when the toilet is flushed, with the water flowing from the apertures 120 down the sides of the bowl 114. The flush tube 128 is open as an air passageway to a space above the water level in the tank 124. This open passageway is used in the standard toilet to refill the water in the bottom of the bowl 114 as a seal against sewer gases from the sewer system, and to form a liquid catch basin for waste products that are deposited.

Also as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4, in one embodiment the toilet 112 resides in a bathroom R having a ceiling C with a crawlspace S above the ceiling and walls W having joint spaces J communicating with the crawlspace S. The joint spaces J may also contain a sewer vent pipe P that communicates with air outside the house through a vent stack V.

In one aspect, the present invention is retrofit into the standard toilet shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 without any modification to the toilet bowl or tank.

In a first embodiment, the apparatus 110 comprises an air-tight seal 17 between the toilet seat 118 and the bowl rim 116. The seal 17 may be effected by removing the existing stand-off pegs 119 (FIG. 2) on the underside of the seat 118 and then attaching a semi-hard plastic ridge 17a to the underside of the seat 118. Alternatively, to retrofit to an existing toilet, the seat 118 may be modified by adding a foam seal 17b between the stand-off pegs 119.

In a first embodiment, the apparatus 110 further comprises an air-tight seal 4 between the tank cover 126 and the tank 124. In some embodiments, it is further desirable to add a rim 2 approximately two and one-half inches high between the cover 126 and the tank 124. The rim 2 may have a seal 5 between it and the tank cover in addition to the seal 4 between the rim 2 and the tank 124. The seals may be fiber or foam or other appropriate sealing materials that prevent air from entering the tank 124 except from the bowl 114.

In the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 4, the apparatus 110 further comprises a blower 130 that communicates with the flush tube 128 to pull gases from the bowl 114 through the apertures 120, the manifold 122, and the flush tube 128. As the bowl is sealed by the seal 17, all gases from the bowl will be efficiently drawn out into the tank 124 by the blower 124, either when a user is sitting on the seat thereby blocking the seat hole 129, or when the standard toilet lid (not shown) is closed over the seat hole 129. Further, because the tank 124 is sealed to the lid 126, no gases can escape the tank 124.

The blower 120 may be any electric fan but preferably is a simple low voltage (12 to 15 volt) squirrel cage blower and is attached to the tank cover 126 as by a plate 7. The rim 2 provides space between the cover 126 and the tank 124 to attach the blower 130. The voltage requirements of the blower 130 could be 110 volts, but in most states the blower would be 12 to 15 volts to pass building codes. The electrical power to the blower may originate at the same switch 14 that activates a ceiling light in the room, in which case the blower 130 is connected to the switch 14 by a transformer 14a.

A tank vent 132 may be attached to the outlet of the blower 130 and may penetrate the tank 124 on the back of the tank rim 2. It will be seen that this arrangement avoids the need to modify the standard tank 124.

The tank vent 132 may be connected through a hole 8 in the wall W behind the tank 124 to mate with a vent pipe 13 in the joist space J (FIG. 1). The vent pipe 13 then carries exhaust gases through the ceiling C to the crawlspace S. Alternatively, if the joist space J is not filled with insulation, the joist space J may be used as a conduit for the exhaust gases to a ceiling vent 10 inserted in the ceiling C. A colander-type screen 11 may cover the ceiling vent 10 to keep crawlspace insulation from entering the ceiling vent 10. Alternatively (FIG. 4), the tank vent 132 may be connected through the hole 8 to the sewer vent pipe 20 through a “T” 21 which then carries the exhaust gases out through the roof.

FIG. 3 shows a variation of the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 4 in which the toilet 112 is abutted to an outside wall W′. In this variation, the tank vent 132 may be connected to a through-wall vent pipe 15, which in turn may be connected to outside air by a clothes-dryer-type louvered vent 16.

FIG. 5 shows that a factory-built tank 124a may be pre-made with a two and one-half inch extension 20 to increase the depth of the tank. A pre-formed circular vent hole 21 in the back wall of the tank 124a may be used to connect the tank vent 132 or through-wall vent pipe 15 to the blower 130. The vent hole 21 is preferably two inches above the water level in the tank 124 and about one-half inch below the top of the tank 124a. Such a tank may be used as original equipment for new home or commercial installations, or toilet replacement in existing installations, or other construction. The factory-built extended tank 124a may have three bolt holes 22 for the attachment of the blower 130 and an exit hole 23 for the low voltage wiring that powers the blower 130.

A second embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 6. In this embodiment, the apparatus 110 is attached to the water feed pipe 224 of a toilet system with a flush valve instead of a flush tank as is often installed in public or commercial places. This system has a lever 222 that opens a valve 223 to allow water to enter the toilet bowl 114 and has a water pipe 224 attached to the water control valve that carries the flush water down into the bowl. The commercial type toilet bowl has the same apertures 120 under the bowl rim 116 as any flush tank bowl. The water feed pipe 224 is modified to the extent of adding a “T” to the straight down water feed pipe 224. The vent pipe 224a from the “T” on the down water feed pipe 224 is angled up to the blower box 225 to prevent flush water from entering the blower box 225. The vent pipe 224a is connected to the blower box 225 mounted on the wall adjacent the toilet in which a the blower 130, as previously described, is mounted. The blower may connect to other vents in any of the previously described manners. One example is shown in FIG. 6, in which the blower connects to a sewer vent pipe 221 in the wall behind the toilet. The blower 130 could also be installed in the wall behind the toilet.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof, and it is therefore desired that the present embodiment be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, reference being made to the appended claims rather than to the foregoing description to indicate the scope of the invention.