Title:
Toilet seat lifting apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toilet seat lifter comprising brackets which are bolted to the base of the toilet and connected to a foot pedal lever system. The foot pedal is connected to one end of a lever, while the other end of the lever is connected to a lift bar member. When pressure is applied to the foot pedal, the lever pivots on a fulcrum to move the lift bar member upward. This movement elevates the lift bar member which is connected to a bar that is placed under the toilet seat to raise the seat as the lift bar member is elevated.



Inventors:
Bruner, David (Stuart, FL, US)
Application Number:
10/901530
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
07/29/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/10
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20120023651Seat for a toilet including a target illuminating featureFebruary, 2012Taylor et al.
20060096018Low profile bathtub assemblyMay, 2006Ball
20100003655Male toddler toilet training aidJanuary, 2010Stephenson Jr.
20070151008Toilet bowl flushing systemJuly, 2007Hayashi et al.
20150107010Toilet Bowl Having An Inclined SurfaceApril, 2015Mogan
20060096017Flush toilet unitMay, 2006Yamasaki et al.
20060010596MULTI-INPUT FAUCETJanuary, 2006Hsieh
20120227172WATER SAVER TOILET CONTROL VALVES AND METHODSSeptember, 2012Hadd
20060288474Rigid and submersible floating cover for pools used for recreational, sports or industrial purposesDecember, 2006Jara V
20100023492INVENTIONSJanuary, 2010Lucas
20100199417REEL FOR AN AUTOMATIC POOL COVER ASSEMBLYAugust, 2010Shebek



Primary Examiner:
PHILLIPS, CHARLES E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kevin Redmond (Palm City, FL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. Apparatus for lifting the seat of a toilet, said toilet having a bowl and said bowl having a top, a bottom, a left side, a right side and a back with the top of the bowl having an opening and the bottom of the bowl resting on and being mounted to a floor, said bowl further having a ledge located along the sides of the bowl adjacent to, but above the floor, said seat having a top, a bottom, a left side, a right side, a front and a back, the bottom of said seat resting on the top of the bowl about the edge of said opening, the back of said seat being hingedly attached to the top of said bowl adjacent its back to allow the front of said seat to be raised, said apparatus comprising: (a) a pedal located in the front of the bowl, (b) a pedal bar extending across the front of the bowl and along the right side and left sides of the bowl, the portions of said pedal bar which extend along the sides of the bowl being referred to, respectively, as the right and left side bars, said side bars having ends proximate the back of the bowl and said ends being referred to respectively as the right and left back ends of said pedal side bars, said right and left pedal side bars each having a hole through a point proximate its midpoint and said pedal being attached to the pedal bar in the front of the bowl, (c) a first pivot means being attached to and supported by said bowl and positioned above said floor by said ledge on one selected side of the bowl, the pedal side bar on the selected side of the bowl being attached to said first pivot means at said hole along said pedal side bar on said selected side of the bowl to permit said back end of said pedal bar on the selected side of the bowl to rise when said pedal is depressed, (d) a seat bar having a first and a second end located on top of said bowl beneath said seat on the selected side of the bowl with said first end facing the opening in said bowl and the second end extending over the outside of the bowl on the selected side, and (e) a lift bar located on the selected side of said bowl, positioned generally vertically and having an upper and a lower end, the lower end of said lift bar being attached to the said pedal side bar on the selected side at said back end of said side bar and the upper end of said lift bar being attached to said second end of said seat bar, said seat bar and said seat being raised when said pedal is depressed.

2. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 ftuther comprising: (a) a second pivot means being attached to and supported by said bowl and positioned above said floor by said ledge on the side of the bowl opposite the selected side, the pedal side bar on the side opposite the selected side of the bowl being attached to said second pivot means at said hole along said pedal side bar on the side opposite the selected side of the bowl to permit said back end of said pedal side bar on the side opposite the selected side of the bowl to rise when said pedal is depressed, (b) a second seat bar having a first and a second end and being located on top of said bowl beneath the seat on the side of the bowl opposite the selected side with the first end facing the opening in said bowl and the second end extending over the outside of the bowl on the side opposite the selected side, and (c) a second lift bar located on the side of the bowl opposite the selected side, positioned generally vertically and having an upper and lower end, the lower end of said lift bar being attached to the pedal side bar on the side of the bowl opposite the selected side at the said hole in said side bar, and the upper end of said lift bar being attached to said second end of said second seat bar and said seat being raised by both said first and second seat bars when said pedal is depressed.

3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said bowl is bolted to said floor by a right bolt and a left bolt which extend upwardly from said floor through said ledge on the right side and left side, respectively, of said bowl, said right bolt and said left bolt being secured with a right nut and a left nut, respectively, said apparatus further comprising a left and a right bracket, each of said brackets having a first and a second end and said brackets each having a hole near its first end and a pivot pin extending axially outward from its second end, said right and left brackets being bolted to the bowl by passing the right and left bolts through the hole in the right and left bracket, respectively, and said brackets being secured in place on said ledge with the right and left nuts when placed and tightened on said right and left bolts, respectively, said first pivot means being used on the left and right sides and being formed by said pivot pin on the right bracket which is passed through the hole in the right pedal bar, and the pivot pin on the left bracket which is passed through the hole in the left pedal bar.

4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said seat bar is rigidly attached to said lift bar.

5. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said seat bar is rotatably attached to said lift bar to enable said seat bar to rotate when being raised and in contact with said seat.

6. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a roller placed about said seat bar to roll against the seat when said seat is raised.

7. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 further comprising a seat bracket attached to the bottom of said seat which covers said seat bar with sufficient clearance only to allow said seat bar to travel along said seat when raising said seat, said seat bar contacting said seat bracket when said pedal is raised to close said seat.

8. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 further comprising a spring having a first and a second end, said spring having its first end attached to said “L” bracket and said spring's second end attached to said pedal bar, said spring being biased to lower the seat on to the bowl and said bias being overcome when said pedal is depressed to raise said seat.

9. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein the linkage comprises of the pedal bar, the lift bar and the seat bar, further including constraint means which prevents the seat form being raised to a fully vertical position to allow the seat weight to lower the seat when the pedal is not depressed.

10. Apparatus as claimed in claim 2 wherein said first and second seat bars are rotatably attached to the right and left seat bar.

11. Apparatus as claimed in claim 10 wherein said first and second seat bars are connected together to add strength to the structure.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field

The present invention relates to apparatus for raising toilet seats and more particularly to such apparatus that is actuated by means of a foot pedal.

2. Prior Art

The following are patent summaries of prior art patents relating to apparatus for raising toilet seats.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,103,506 illustrates a foot-actuated lifting mechanism for a toilet seat that requires no modification of the toilet or surrounding structure. This invention uses a free standing pedal which pivots on a fulcrum. When pressure is applied to the pedal, it forces the lifting mechanism up, lifting the toilet seat. The segment which does the actual lifting of the seat is connected to only one side of the toilet seat.

U.S. Pat. No. D389,231 illustrates a design patent for a foot operated toilet seat lifter. This invention uses a foot pedal which is connected to, and pulls a first link downward. The first link is connected to an arm which rotates clockwise when the first link goes down to lift the toilet seat. It does not lift the toilet seat on both sides.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,068 illustrates a toilet seat raising and lowering device. This invention uses rollers and a cable contained in an L-shaped member. When the pressure is administered to the foot pedal, the cable moves, lifting the toilet seat. The member that lifts the seat is attached on only one side of the toilet.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,151,723 illustrates a toilet seat elevating system comprising a base, a horizontal pedal member hinged to the base and a vertical arm hinged between the end of the pedal member and the seat. The vertical arm can be adjusted to a number of lengths. As the pedal is pressed down, the arm is pressed upward to elevate the seat. This invention uses a single lift bar.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,487,193 illustrates an apparatus for the raising and self-lowering of a toilet seat. The invention comprises a foot lever that is connected midway along its length to a pivoting member, and at its opposite end to a lift member. As the foot lever is lowered, the lift member rises to lift the toilet seat. This invention is connected to only one side of the seat.

The above prior art inventions have short comings that include lifts which are on only one side of the toilet seat, pedal mechanisms which rest of the floor, and pedals which are easily removed from the mechanism. These designs place stress in the seat and hinges, make it difficult to clean about the toilet and make it possible to misplace the foot pedal. These short comings are overcome by the present invention which is described below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a prospective view of the present invention showing the right side of a toilet and a system for raising the toilet seat that includes a pedal, a pedal bar, lift rods and seat bars which are arranged to raise the toilet seat by depressing the pedal.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the invention showing its left side.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial side view of the left lift bar at its junction with the left seat bar.

FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the lift bar and a seat bar shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a side view of the left lift bar in an embodiment where its junction with the left seat bar is continuous.

FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of the components shown in FIG. 5, showing the toilet seat bar to carry a roller used to protect the finish on the seat.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the invention showing an embodiment in which the left and right toilet seat bars are connected to add strength to the seat bar structure.

FIG. 8 is a front elevation of the invention showing the seat bars in their elevated position in an embodiment where the seat bars are captured by seat brackets which are attached to the underside of the seat to permit these bars to close as well as open the toilet seat.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the seat bars when captured by the seat brackets.

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of the right pedal bar in an embodiment which includes a spring to close the seat when no pressure is applied to the pedal.

SUMMARY

An object of the present invention is to provide a means to lift a toilet seat and provide a structure that delivers the lifting force to both sides of the seat simultaneously, thereby reducing stress on the seat during the lifting operation.

An object of the present invention is to provide a lifting apparatus for a toilet seat that keeps all the components of the lift mechanism above the floor level.

An object of the present invention is to provide a toilet seat lifting apparatus with a pedal that is firmly attached to the lift mechanism to prevent the pedal's being removed from the toilet.

The present invention is a toilet seat lift apparatus which includes brackets that are secured to the base of the toilet and support to a foot pedal lever system. The foot pedal is attached to a pedal bar that is connected to a lift bar. When downward pressure is applied to the foot pedal, the pedal bar pivots about the brackets, causing the lift bar to move upward. The lift bar, which is connected to a seat bar located under the toilet seat, causes the seat to be raised as the lift bar is elevated.

The brackets attached to the base of the toilet also support the pedal bar in a position that is off the floor so that the floor about the toilet can be easily cleaned without dismantling the lift mechanism. The pedal is securely attached to the mechanism, preventing it from being moved away from the toilet and possibly lost. In another embodiment, the toilet seat is lifted on both sides causing the seat and the seat hinges to receive less strain than systems which provide lift to only one side of the seat. The result is smoother operation with longer life for the seat, the hinges and the lift mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 is a right side perspective view of the present invention while FIG. 2 is a left side perspective view. These Figures show a toilet 1 with ledges 1A and 1B, a toilet seat 2, a foot pedal 6, a pedal bar 5 and lift bars 4A and 4B, all arranged to raise the toilet seat when the foot pedal 6 is depressed. The pedal bar 5 is comprised of bars 5A, 5B and 5C and is in the shape of a “U” with bars 5A and 5B forming the right and left sides of the “U” and bar 5C closing the “U” by way of connecting the bars 5A and 5B together in the front of the bowl. At the center of bar 5C, foot pedal 6 is permanently connected close to the center of bar 5C. Near the center of bars 5A and 5B respectively, at points 10A and 10B are holes which go through these bars. At the sides of the toilet are hold down bolts such as bolts 13A and 13B which pass through ledges 1A and 1B and are secured by nuts 14A and 14B, respectively, to mount the bowl to the floor.

To provide a pivotal support for the pedal bar, the nut 14A is removed from the bolt 13A and a bracket 7A which has a first and a second end with a hole placed through the bracket near its first end, is installed by letting bolt 13A, for example, pass through the hole in the bracket. The bracket is secured in place by tightening the nut 14A on bolt 13A over the bracket. The bracket 7A extends out from the side of the toilet and has a pivot pin 10A which is located at its second end of the bracket away from the toilet. The pin extends axially out from the end of the bracket. This pin is attached to bar 5A at a point which is approximately midway along this bar, by placing the pin through the hole at this point in the bar. A similar bracket 7B is attached to the left side of the bowl by pin 10B. This provides support for the second bar 5B on the left side of the bowl in a similar manner to that provided by the attachment of bracket 7A to bar 5A on the right side of the bowl. These pins, placed through these holes, form pivots at points 10A and 10B which are used to allow the bar 5 to rock about these pivot points. When the pedal is depressed, the ends of the bars 5A and 5B near the back of the bowl are raised upward.

The whole assembly is intentionally kept above the floor lever. The bolts 13A and 13B are placed through the ledges 1A and 1B on the bowl. The bracket attached to these bolts extends out over the floor because they are raised above floor level by the ledges. The ledge also indirectly holds the bars 5B and 5C above the floor, making it easy to clean under the mechanism even though it is attached to the bowl. This is not possible in some prior art devices where the foot pedal is laid on the floor and must be removed before cleaning can take place. In addition, in some prior art devices, the pedal is detachable from the mechanism, allowing it to be dislodged, removed and lost. In the present invention, the pedal 6 is permanently affixed to the bar 5 and cannot be removed.

Bar 5A extends beyond the pivot point 10A to the end of this bar at point 9A where it is connected to the bottom end of the right lift bar 4A. The upper end of bar 4A is connected to a right toilet seat bar 3A which extends from the bar 4A at the right side of the bowl to under the seat 2. The toilet seat 2 in FIGS. 1 and 2 has been broken away to show the positions of the first and second seat bars 3A and 3B, respectively. The system may be made more economically by operating with only one lift bar and one seat bar and by applying a lifting force to only one side of the seat.

In the operation of a preferred embodiment of this system, both sides are lifted and this occurs when pedal 6 is depressed causing the bars 5A and 5B to pivot about points 10A and 10B which cause the lift bar 4A and 4B to be raise upwards, forcing the right and left seat bars 3A and 3B to lift the toilet seat by applying a lifting force to the seat from opposite sides of the bowl. This lifting action on both sides eliminates the stress that is placed on the hinges of prior art devices where only one side is lifted. Also, less pressure is placed against each side of the seat, thereby reducing the stress on the seating and aiding in the preservation of the finish on the seat.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged partial side view of the left lift bar 4B in an embodiment which includes a pivoting junction at point 8B where the lift bar 4B joins the seat bar 3B. A pivot pin 15 passes through a hole at the end of the lift rod 4B and is attached to seat bar 3B, as can be seen in FIG. 4. This permits the seat bar to roll on the bottom of the seat as it lifts the seat to reduce damage to the finish of the seat. The right side lift bar 4A and the right side seat bar 3A have an identical arrangement. It is possible in a simplified alternate configuration to have a non-rolling seat bar, but some wear can be expected on the underside of the seat with this arrangement.

FIG. 5 is a side view of a second embodiment of the junction between left lift bar 4B and seat bar 3B in which bar 3B is merely a continuation of bar 4B. To reduce the rubbing of the seat bar 3B against the seat, a roller 17 is installed to roll about seat bar 17. A second roller is installed on the right side on bar 3A to accomplish the same task as roller 17 does on the left side. FIG. 6 is a front elevation view of the embodiments shown in FIG. 5, illustrating the continuous nature of bars 4B and 3B and the location of roller 17.

FIG. 7 is a top view of the present invention showing an embodiment in which the left and right seat bars are connected together by bar 19 which rolls downward with respect to the seat as the seat is lifted because of the pivots at 8A and 8B, shown in FIG. 3. The action prevents interference between the seat and the seat bars at the connection 19 between these bars during the lifting of the seat.

FIG. 8 is a front elevation of the invention showing the seat bars 3A and 3B in their elevated position in a third embodiment where the seat bars are captured by seat brackets 21 and 22 which are attached to the underside of the toilet seat on the left and right sides, respectively, to cause the seat 20 to be closed when the pedal is released.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the seat bars when captured by the seat brackets 21 and 22 which extend over the seat bars and are open at their bottom end. These seat brackets are attached to the seat at their upper ends by screws or other suitable fasteners. This facilitates capturing the seat bars. However, in an alternate configuration, the seat bars may be captured by brackets that are closed by merely unscrewing the brackets from the seat. The seat brackets are spaced away from the seat bar sufficiently to permit the bars to move up and down against the seat. However, when the pedal is released and moved upward, the seat bars roll down and apply sufficient pressure against the seat bracket to cause the seat to close. Usually there will be enough contact and friction between the seat bars and the seat brackets to cause closure of the seat, but if there is not, the lower end of the brackets may be closed to cause seat closure as the seat bars are dropped

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of the right pedal bar 5A in a forth embodiment which includes a spring 3B to close the toilet seat when no pressure is applied to the pedal. The spring is connected between the bracket 7A and the right pedal bar. The spring is biased to force the pedal upwards which tends to close the seat. When pressure is applied to the pedal, it overcomes the spring pressure and the pedal may be fully depressed to cause the seat to be raised. When pressure is removed, the spring returns the pedal to its original upward position, lowering the seat to its closed position on the bowl.

In an alternate configuration to that described immediately above, the seat may be closed by not raising it to a fully vertical position at any time. This can be done in a several ways including the placement of the seat brackets or the shortening of the length of the lift bars. When pressure on the pedal is release, the weight of the seat causes it to be lowered onto the bowl automatically.