Title:
Air water closet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An air water closet includes a suction channel to remove air having a foul odor from a bowl of the water closet, with the air being removed through a first compartment, extending around the rim at the top of the bowl, through holes in the bottom surface of this compartment. A rinsing channel is also provided for rinsing the bowl. Air is removed through the operation of an exhaust fan, which may be turned on and off using an electric switch, or which may be turned on whenever the proximity of a person near the water closet is detected.



Inventors:
Sustar, Rozana (Portoroz, SI)
Application Number:
11/076121
Publication Date:
09/29/2005
Filing Date:
03/09/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/04; E03D9/05; (IPC1-7): E03D9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NORMAN FRIEDLAND (PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL, US)
Claims:
1. Apparatus for sucking air from a bowl of a water closet and for rinsing the bowl, wherein the apparatus comprises: a suction channel including a first compartment extending around a rim above the bowl, a plurality of holes extending through a lower surface of the first compartment, an exhaust opening within the first compartment, and an exhaust tube for connecting the exhaust opening within the first compartment with an exhaust fan; and a rinsing channel extending within the water closet directing water for rinsing to the bowl.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rinsing channel includes: the first compartment; the plurality of holes extending through the lower surface of the first compartment; and an aperture within the first compartment for admitting water to the first compartment.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, additionally including a tee connector, wherein the rinsing channel includes the first compartment, the plurality of holes extending through the lower surface of the first compartment; a tube extending to the tee connector, and a first side of the tee connector, and the suction channel additionally includes the tube extending to the tee connector and a second side of the tee connector.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rinsing channel includes a tube extending through the first compartment.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, wherein the tube extending through the first compartment is inclined to extend from an aperture at an upper surface of the first compartment to an opening at a rear surface of the bowl.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the rinsing channel includes: a second compartment extending around the rim above the bowl, adjacent the first compartment; a plurality of holes extending through a lower surface of the second compartment; and an inlet opening within the second compartment.

7. The apparatus of claim 6, wherein the second compartment extends within the first component.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, additionally comprising: an exhaust fan; and a tube extending within a wall to connect the exhaust tube with the exhaust fan.

9. The apparatus of claim 8, additionally comprising: a light fixture, and an electrical switch simultaneously turning the light fixture and the exhaust fan on and off.

10. The apparatus of claim 8, additionally comprising: a proximity detector producing a proximity signal in response to the presence of a person near the water closet; and a fan actuation circuit causing operation of the exhaust fan in response to the proximity signal.

11. The apparatus of claim 10 wherein the proximity detector includes; a source in infrared energy, and a photoelectric sensor generating a signal in response to receiving a reflection of the infrared energy.

12. Apparatus for sucking air from a bowl of a water closet and for rinsing the bowl, wherein the apparatus comprises: a rinsing channel extending within the water closet directing water for rinsing the bowl; an exhaust fan; a suction channel connected to the exhaust fan and extending within the water closet for sucking air from the bowl; a proximity detector producing a proximity signal in response to the presence of a person near the water closet; and a fan actuation circuit causing operation of the exhaust fan in response to the proximity signal.

13. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the proximity detector includes; a source in infrared energy, and a photoelectric sensor generating a signal in response to receiving a reflection of the infrared energy.

14. The apparatus of claim 12, wherein the suction channel includes: a first compartment extending around a rim above the bowl; and a plurality of holes extending through a lower surface of the first compartment.

15. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the rinsing channel includes: the first compartment; the plurality of holes extending through the lower surface of the first compartment; and an aperture within the first compartment for admitting water to the first compartment.

16. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the rinsing channel includes the first compartment, the plurality of holes extending through the lower surface of the first compartment; a tube extending to a tee connector, and a first side of the tee connector, and the suction channel additionally includes the tube extending to the tee connector and a second side of the tee connector, connected to the exhaust fan.

17. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the rinsing channel includes a tube extending through the first compartment.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein the tube extending through the first compartment is inclined to extend from an aperture at an upper surface of the first compartment to an opening at a rear surface of the bowl.

19. The apparatus of claim 14, wherein the rinsing channel includes: a second compartment extending around the rim above the bowl, adjacent the first compartment; a plurality of holes extending through a lower surface of the second compartment; and an inlet opening within the second compartment.

20. The apparatus of claim 19, wherein the second compartment extends within the first component.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to apparatus for preventing the spread of foul odors and various germs causing illness when a toilet or water closet is used to satisfy a basic physical need of a person for elimination of waste, and, more particularly, to such apparatus eliminating foul odors by sucking air from a bowl of a water closet.

2. Summary of the Background Art

Known solutions related to the elimination of foul odors and germs causing illness when a person satisfies a basic physical need for elimination of waste mostly rely on the ventilation of an entire toilet room, or on the rinsing, filtration, cleaning, and disinfecting of the water closet, etc. The ventilation of an entire room using a ventilator in the ceiling or in on a toilet wall to exhaust air is often ineffective due to the considerable volume of the space being exhausted without an inward flow of fresh air. Rinsing, cleaning and disinfecting ecologically burden the environment with chemicals and eliminate the problems of the foul odors and micro-organisms too late, since these problems remain in the air and spread within the room even while the person satisfies his basic physical need for elimination. When these known solutions are combined with ventilation and filtration of the air in the water closet, the process becomes technically too complex, with ventilation machines requiring space in or on the water closet for fitting up and operation.

Slovenian Patent No. SI 21277 describes a solution for the direct elimination of the foul odor by sucking air from the seat or cover of the water closet with the removal of a minimal volume of air effectively eliminating the spread of the foul odor and of micro-organisms within the room while saving energy. One problem remaining unsolved is related to the sucking of air through two tubes from the seat of the water closet, where the volume of air to be removed is relatively high, but where the effectiveness of sucking the air away is relatively low, because of the disproportional and unsymmetrical disposal of both tubes in water closet vertex. Other problems remaining unsolved by sucking air from the seat of water closet arise from the facts that the seat must be too thick and that it becomes impossible to use a protective cover on the seat for hygienic reasons without reducing the effectiveness of the system of sucking air to remove the foul odor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with a first aspect of the invention, apparatus is provided for sucking air from a bowl of a water closet and for rinsing the bowl. The apparatus includes a suction channel and a rinsing channel extending within the water closet to direct water for rinsing to the bowl. The suction channel includes a first compartment extending around a rim above the bowl, a number of holes extending through a lower surface of the first compartment, an exhaust opening within the first compartment, and an exhaust tube for connecting the exhaust opening within the first compartment with an exhaust fan.

In a first embodiment of the invention, the rinsing channel includes elements of the suction channel, specifically the first compartment and the number of holes extending through the lower surface of the first compartment, together with an aperture within the first compartment for admitting water to the first compartment. In an alternative version of the first embodiment, the apparatus additionally includes a tee connector, and both the rinsing channel and the suction channel additionally include a tube extending between the first compartment and the tee connector, with the rinsing channel additionally including a first side of the tee connector, while the suction channel additionally includes the other side of the tee connector.

In a second embodiment of the invention, the air and rinsing channels are separate, with the rinsing channel including a tube extending through the first compartment, being inclined to extend from an aperture at an upper surface of the first compartment to an opening at a rear surface of the bowl.

In a third embodiment of the invention, the rinsing channel includes a second compartment extending around the rim above the bowl, adjacent the first compartment. The second compartment extends within the first compartment.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the apparatus for sucking air from a bowl of the water closet and for rinsing the b owl includes air and rinsing channels, an exhaust fan, a proximity detector, and a fan actuation circuit. The rinsing channel extends within the water closet 5 to direct water for rinsing the bowl. The suction channel, which is connected to the exhaust fan, extends within the water closet for sucking water from the bowl. The proximity detector produces a proximity signal in response to the presence of a person near the water closet. The fan actuation circuit causes operation of the exhaust fan in response to the proximity signal. For example, the proximity detector includes a source of infrared energy and a photoelectric sensor generating a signal in response to receiving a reflection of the infrared energy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a water closet built in accordance with a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 1B is a plan view of the water closet of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 1C is a rear elevation of the water closet of FIG. 1A;

FIG. 2A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a water closet built in accordance with a second embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2B is a plan view of the water closet of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2C is a rear elevation of the water closet of FIG. 2A;

FIG. 3A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a water closet built in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3B is a plan view of the water closet of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3C is a rear elevation of the water closet of FIG. 3A;

FIG. 4 is a partly sectional and partly schematic side elevation of a water closet built in accordance with the first, second, or third embodiment of the invention installed against a wall;

FIG. 5 is a partly sectional and partly schematic side elevation of a water closet built in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention installed against a wall with a tank separately mounted on the wall;

FIG. 6 is a partly sectional side and partly schematic side elevation of a water closet built in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention installed against a wall with a tank separately mounted within the wall;

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional side elevation of a proximity detector within the water closet installation of FIG. 6; and

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary front elevation showing a water tank separately mounted within a wall showing an alternative exhaust tube arrangement.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The three embodiments of the figures have a number of common elements, which are therefore accorded like reference numbers. Furthermore, each of the three embodiments includes a suction channel for sucking air from a bowl of the water closet to eliminate a foul odor and a rinsing channel providing water to rinse the bowl.

A water closet 1, built in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention will now be discussed, with reference being made to FIGS. 1A, 1B, and 1C, of which FIG. 1A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, FIG. 1B is a plan view, and FIG. 1C is a rear elevation. According to the first embodiment, the suction and rinsing channels have common portions. The suction channel includes an exhaust tube 2 extending from the back portion 3 of the water closet opening into a first compartment 3a, which is shared with the rinsing channel to be used for rinsing the water closet 1, with water entering the compartment 3a through an aperture 3b from a tank 4. The compartment 3a extends around a rim 4a above the bowl 4b of the water closet 1. Water rinses the bowl 4b of the water closet 1 through an aperture 5 extending through a lower surface 5a of the compartment 3a, and through a number of rim holes 6 also extending through the lower surface 5a of the compartment 3a. Preferably, the exhaust tube 2, which may be a part of the water closet 1, can be composed of a number of different materials, being at least 40 mm in diameter. The other end of the exhaust tube 2 is provided for connection to an exhaust fan in the wall or ceiling, to be exhausted outside. The exhaust fan, which can be switched on with a switch or photoelectric cell, is to be installed at a level within a wall than it is higher than the level of water in the tank 4.

Foul smelling air is removed by sucking air through the aperture 5 and additionally through the rim holes 6, which are otherwise used for rinsing. Air is then sucked through the back part 3 of the water closet 1 and the exhaust tube 2 to the exhaust fan in the wall or ceiling, which operates when it is switched on. Advantages of this apparatus arise from its simplicity, with the existing system for rinsing being additionally used for sucking air, and from the symmetrical structure for effectively sucking air having a foul odor from the water closet 1 through the aperture 5 and rim holes 6 of the water closet 1.

A water closet 10, built in accordance with the second embodiment of the invention will now be discussed, with reference being made to FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 2C, of which FIG. 2A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, FIG. 2B is a plan view, and FIG. 2C is a rear elevation. According to the second embodiment, a suction channel is provided for sucking air from the rim of water closet, with the suction channel comprising a first compartment 12, including rim holes 6 and extending around the rim 4a at the top of the within the water closet bowl 4b, and an exhaust tube 2, which is connected at the back portion 3 of the water closet 10 to the first compartment 12. The exhaust tube 2 may be part of the water closet 10. The other end of the exhaust tube 2 is connected with an exhaust fan in the wall or ceiling to be exhausted outside. The exhaust fan is switched on with a switch or photoelectric cell. A rinsing channel, including a tube 13, extending from the aperture 3b, for rinsing the bowl 4b of the water closet 10 with water from the tank 4, is separate from the suction channel used for sucking air from the bowl 4b.

The apparatus for sucking air from the rim of water closet 10 removes foul smelling air by sucking air through the rim holes 6, through the cavity 12 extending around the rim of the water closet 10, and through the back part 3 of the water closet 10 into the exhaust tube 2 to an exhaust fan in the wall or ceiling, which runs when it is switched on. The advantage of this apparatus lies in the fact that a symmetrical system for sucking air from the water closet 10 is separated from the system for rinsing the bowl 4b through the aperture 5.

A water closet 16, built in accordance with a third embodiment of the invention, will now be discussed, with reference being made to FIGS. 3A, 3B, and 3C, of which FIG. 3A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view, FIG. 3B is a plan view, and FIG. 3C is a rear elevation. According to the third embodiment, apparatus is provided within the water closet 16 for sucking air from the bowl 4b through a first compartment 18 extending around the rim 14 of the water closet 16 and through an exhaust tube 2, which is connected to the outer compartment 18 at the back part 3 of the water closet. The first compartment 18 includes a number of rim holes 6, through which air is sucked. A part of the exhaust tube 2 may be part of the water closet 16. The other end of the exhaust tube 2 is connected with an exhaust fan within the wall or ceiling. The exhaust fan switches on with a switch or photoelectric cell, depending on conditions. The rinsing channel for rinsing the water closet 16 with water flowing through the aperture 3b from the tank 4, into a second compartment 19, and with water then flowing from the second compartment 19 through a aperture 5 and through rinsing holes 8 of the water closet 16, is separated from the system for sucking out the air.

The suction channel for sucking air from the bowl 4b removes foul smelling air by sucking air through the rim holes 6, through the first compartment 18, and through the exhaust tube 2 in the back part 3 of water closet 16 to an exhaust fan in the wall or ceiling that runs when it is switched on. The advantage of this apparatus arises from the fact that the symmetrical system for sucking out air from the bowl 4b in the water closet 16 is separated from the system for rinsing through the aperture 5 and rim holes 8 of the rinsing compartment 3a of water closet.

FIG. 4 is a partly sectional and partly schematic side elevation of a water closet 20 installed against a wall 22 within a building. The water closet 20 may be the water closet 1, described above in reference to FIGS. 1A-1C as being built in accordance with the first embodiment of the invention, the water closet 10, described above in reference to FIGS. 2A-2C as being built in accordance with the second embodiment of the invention, or the water closet 16, described above as being built in accordance with the third embodiment of the invention. Each of these water closets 1, 10, 16 includes a tank 4 from which water is supplied for rinsing the water closet and an exhaust tube 2 extending from a back portion 3 of the water closet. As shown in FIG. 4, the exhaust tube 2 is connected through a tube 24 to an exhaust fan 26 mounted in a chamber 28 within the wall 22. The chamber 28 may additionally include provision for an optional inlet duct 29, so that the exhaust fan 26 additionally draws air from within the room 30 adjacent the wall 22. The water closet 20 additionally includes a waste disposal tube 32, which is connected to sewer piping under the floor 34 by means of a curved drainpipe 35.

A switch 36 is additionally provided for allowing a user to turn the exhaust fan 28 on and off. For example, the switch 36 may additionally be wired to a light fixture 36, so that the exhaust fan 28 is turned on whenever the light in room 30 is turned on.

FIG. 5 is a partly sectional and partly schematic side elevation of a water closet 40 installed against a wall 42 with the tank 44 providing water for rinsing the water closet 40 mounted separately from the water closet 40 on the wall 42. The water closet 40 is similar to the water closet 1, which has been described in detail in reference to FIGS. 1A-1C, except that the suction pipe 2 of the water closet 1 has been eliminated, with both the suction channel and the rising channel including the aperture 3b of the water closed 1 and a tube 45 extending upward from this aperture 3b to a tee connector 46. The rinsing channel additionally includes one side of the tee connector 46 and a tube 48, extending between the tee connector 46 and the tank 44. The suction channel includes the other side of the tee connector 46 and an exhaust tube 49, extending upward for connection to the exhaust fan 26. Other elements shown in FIG. 5, associated with the exhaust fan 26, such as the electrical switch 36, are as described above in reference to FIG. 4. Additionally, in the example of FIG. 5, the waste disposal tube 32, extending rearward from the water closet 20 of FIG. 4, has been replaced by a curved waste disposal tube 50, extending downward for connection to sewer piping under the floor 52.

FIG. 6 is a partly sectional and partly schematic side elevation of a water closet 56 installed against a wall 58 with the tank 59 providing water for rinsing the water closet 56 mounted separately from the water closet 56 within the wall 58. The water closet 40 is similar to the water closet 1, which has been described in detail in reference to FIGS. 1A-1C, except that the aperture 3b of the water closet 1 has been eliminated, with both the suction channel and the rising channel including a tube 50 extending from the rear part 3 of the water closet 56 to a tee connector 62. The rinsing channel additionally includes one side of the tee connector 62 and a tube 64, extending between the tee connector 62 and the tank 59. The suction channel includes the other side of the tee connector 62 and an exhaust tube 64, extending upward for connection to the exhaust fan 26.

FIG. 6 additionally shows alternate apparatus for turning the exhaust fan 26 on and off, with a proximity detector 66 producing a proximity signal in response to determining that a person has moved close to the water closet 56. A fan actuation circuit 68 then turns the exhaust fan 26 on in response to receiving the proximity signal from the proximity detector 66 and off when the proximity signal is terminated.

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional elevation of the proximity detector 66, which is seen to include an infrared energy source 70 and a photoelectric sensor 72 producing the proximity signal in response to receiving infrared energy, within a transparent cover 74, which may be red in color. This detector 66 is configured so that when a person moves close enough to the water closet 56 to use it, the proximity signal is produced by infrared light reflected from his body or clothing, causing the exhaust fan to be turned on. When he then moves away, the proximity signal is terminated, so that the exhaust fan is turned off. This detector 66 is exemplary of a number of different types of proximity detectors than may be used in this application within the scope of the invention, with other detectors using, for example, visible light or ultrasonic energy to produce a signal indicating the proximity of a person.

FIG. 8 is a front elevation of the tank 59 from FIG. 6, shown with an alternate tubing configuration, in which an exhaust tube 76 extending upward to the exhaust fan 26 from a tee connector 78 is directed beside instead of behind the tank 59. This configuration has the advantage of requiring less width of the wall.

It is understood that the features may be combined in various ways without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the switch 36, described above in reference to FIG. 4, can readily be used instead of the proximity detector 66 operate the exhaust fan in the configuration otherwise described in reference to FIG. 5, or the proximity detector 66 can readily be used in the configurations otherwise described in reference to FIGS. 4 and 5.

The use of a tee connector, as described above in reference to FIGS. 5, 6, and 7 is limited to versions of the first embodiment of the invention, with the rinsing and suction channels extending though common parts within the water closet. Alternately, the second and third embodiments of the invention, as otherwise described in reference to FIGS. 2A-2C and 3A-3C, may be used in configurations including a tank mounted on or within a wall, with the tank being connected to the aperture 4b by a tube to admit water for rinsing.

While the invention has been described in its preferred versions or embodiments with some degree of particularity, it is understood that this description is given only by way of example, and that many variations can be achieved without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as described in the appended claims.