Title:
Odorless commode
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A plumbing fixture, representatively a commode, is provided with a bowl odor-eliminating ventilation system having an exhaust fan portion which draws odor-causing fumes from the commode bowl through a closed inlet path and then discharges the fumes via a closed discharge path into the water side of the main trap structure of the commode beneath the surface of trap water therein. Fumes discharged into the trap water bubble upwardly therethrough into the air side of the trap for flow to the sanitary sewer line to which it is connected. Representatively, the exhaust fan is disposed in a water-tight chamber in the commode tank.



Inventors:
Dang, Tien Phuoc (Sunnyvale, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/986053
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
11/10/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47K13/00; E03D9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FETSUGA, ROBERT M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SMITH IP SERVICES, P.C. (Rockwall, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A plumbing fixture comprising: a bowl adapted to hold a quantity of water and having an outlet passage through which the water may outwardly pass for entry into a sewer line to which the plumbing fixture is operatively connected; a trap structure having a water portion interposed in said outlet passage; and a ventilation system operative to exhaust odor-causing fumes from said bowl and discharge the fumes into said water portion of said trap structure beneath the normal upper water surface level therein.

2. The plumbing fixture of claim 1 wherein: said plumbing fixture is a commode.

3. The plumbing fixture of claim 1 wherein: said trap structure is a main trap structure.

4. The plumbing fixture of claim 1 wherein said ventilation system includes: an exhaust fan operative to exhaust odor-causing fumes from said bowl through a closed inlet path and discharge he fumes through a closed discharge path into said water portion of said trap structure beneath said normal upper water surface level therein.

5. The plumbing fixture of claim 4 wherein: said closed inlet and discharge paths are disposed externally of said bowl.

6. The plumbing fixture of claim 4 wherein: said plumbing fixture further comprises a tank adapted to hold a quantity of water selectively flowable into said bowl, and said exhaust fan is disposed within said tank.

7. The plumbing fixture of claim 6 wherein: said tank has a waterproof chamber therein, and said exhaust fan is disposed within said water proof chamber.

8. the plumbing fixture of claim 7 wherein: said waterproof chamber is submerged within water disposed within said tank.

9. The plumbing fixture of claim 4 wherein: said exhaust fan has an inlet and an outlet, said bowl has an open top side, said closed inlet path includes an air inlet plenum structure disposed adjacent said open top side for receiving fumes from said bowl, and a conduit connected between said air inlet plenum structure and said inlet of said exhaust fan.

10. The plumbing fixture of claim 9 wherein: said conduit is a length of flexible hose.

11. The plumbing fixture of claim 4 wherein: said exhaust fan has an inlet and an outlet, and said closed discharge path includes at least one discharge fitting externally secured to said trap structure water portion, each of said at least one discharge fitting being coupled by a conduit to said outlet of said exhaust fan, each conduit being disposed externally of said bowl.

12. The plumbing fixture of claim 11 wherein: each of said at least one discharge fitting has a generally L-shaped configuration defined by a horizontal leg coupled to said water portion of said trap structure below said normal upper water surface level therein, and a vertical let portion having a top end extending above said normal upper water surface level and connected to its associated conduit.

13. The plumbing fixture of claim 11 wherein: said closed discharge path includes two of said discharge fittings operatively connected to opposite sides of said water portion of said trap structure.

14. A ventilated commode comprising: a bowl adapted to hold a quantity of water and having an outlet passage through which the water may outwardly pass for entry into a sewer line to which said ventilated commode is operatively connected; a trap structure having a water portion interposed in said outlet passage; a tank adapted to hold a quantity of water selectively flowable into said bowl; an exhaust fan having an inlet and an air outlet; an intake structure for receiving odor-causing fumes from said bowl; an intake conduit coupled between said intake structure and said inlet of said exhaust fan; and a discharge conduit coupled between said outlet of said exhaust fan and said water portion of said trap below the normal upper water surface level therein.

15. The ventilated commode of claim 14 wherein: said exhaust fan is disposed within said tank.

16. The ventilated commode of claim 15 wherein: said exhaust fan is disposed within a submerged, waterproof chamber within said tank.

17. The ventilated commode of claim 14 wherein: said intake and discharge conduits are disposed externally of said bowl.

18. The ventilated commode of claim 14 wherein: said ventilated commode has a seat pivotable between horizontal and vertical orientations, and said air intake structure extends beneath a portion of said seat in said horizontal orientation thereof.

19. The ventilated commode of claim 14 wherein: said discharge conduit is coupled to said water portion of said trap structure by a hollow discharge fitting externally connected to said water portion of said trap structure.

20. The ventilated commode of claim 19 wherein: said discharge fitting has a horizontal leg externally connected to said water portion of said trap structure, and a vertical leg connected to said discharge conduit and extending upwardly beyond said normal upper water surface level of said water portion of said trap structure.

21. The ventilated commode of claim 14 wherein: said air intake structure is a hollow plenum structure with an inlet opening forwardly facing an upper side portion of said bowl and having top and bottom side edges, said bottom side edge being rearwardly offset from said top side edge.

Description:

The present invention generally relates to plumbing fixtures and, in a representatively illustrated embodiment thereof, more particularly provides a commode having incorporated therein a specially designed odor eliminating ventilation system.

The desire to eliminate bathroom odors created by the use of a commode (toilet) therein has resulted in a variety of ventilation systems proposed for use in conjunction with the commode. One commonly utilized ventilation technique is to simply install a ceiling exhaust fan in the bathroom and exhaust the commode bowl fumes upwardly through the bathroom. Of necessity, this method undesirably spreads the bowl fumes through the room before removing them from the room.

One previously proposed commode ventilation technique is to utilize a fan to draw the bowl fumes directly into an adjacent duct structure and exhaust the fumes to a location exterior to the bathroom via the duct. However, like the ceiling exhaust technique, this method undesirably requires that various wall and/or roof openings be formed.

Another previously proposed commode ventilation technique is to utilize a fan to draw the bowl fumes directly into an adjacent duct and couple the duct to the sanitary sewer line downstream from the commode's main trap structure. A primary disadvantage to this ventilation method is that sewer gas can back up through the ventilation system into the bathroom if some type of check valve structure is not appropriately installed in the exhaust duct system.

As can be seen from the foregoing, a need exists for an improved commode ventilation system which eliminates or at least substantially reduces the above-mentioned problems, limitations and disadvantages typically associated with conventional commode ventilation systems of the types generally described above. It is to this need that the present invention is primarily directed.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In carrying out principles of the present invention, in accordance with a representatively illustrated embodiment thereof, a plumbing fixture, representatively a commode, is provided with a specially designed odor-eliminating ventilation system.

In the illustrated embodiment thereof, the ventilated commode has a bowl adapted to hold a quantity of water and having an outlet passage through which the water may outwardly pass for entry into a sewer line to which the commode is operatively connected, a trap structure having a water portion interposed in the outlet passage, and a ventilation system operative to exhaust odor-causing fumes from the bowl and discharge the fumes into the water portion of the trap structure beneath the normal upper water surface level therein.

The ventilation system representatively includes an exhaust fan preferable disposed within a submerged waterproof chamber disposed in a tank portion of the commode adapted to hold a quantity of water selectively flowable into the bowl. The exhaust fan has an inlet coupled by an inlet conduit, preferably disposed externally of the bowl, to an air inlet plenum box structure preferably disposed under a seat portion of the commode and adapted to receive odor-causing fumes from the bowl. The outlet of the exhaust fan is coupled by a discharge conduit structure, preferably disposed externally of the bowl, to the water portion of the trap structure.

Illustratively, the discharge conduit structure includes a pair of discharge conduits connected to opposite sides of the water portion of the trap structure using hollow L-shaped discharge fittings each having a horizontal leg connected to the trap structure and a vertical leg having an upper end connected to one of the discharge conduits and positioned above the normal upper water surface level within the water portion of the trap structure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partially sectioned top plan view of a representative commode (toilet) having incorporated therein a specially designed bowl-odor eliminating ventilation system embodying principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partially sectioned right side elevational view of the commode; and

FIG. 3 is an enlarged scale, partially cut away perspective view of an air intake box structure portion of the ventilation system removed from the commode.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As illustrated in the accompanying drawing FIGS. 1-3, this invention provides an odorless commode (toilet) 10 having the usual bowl 12, main trap structure 14, tank 16, and seat 18 and lid 20 which are pivotally mounted on the top side of the bowl 12 rearwardly of its top side opening 22. The normal bowl water level (prior to flushing) is indicated at 24 in FIG. 2. The main trap 14 is interposed in the flow area in the commode 10 through which human waste in the bowl is discharged into the sanitary sewer line (not shown) to which the commode 10 is operatively connected. In a conventional manner water in the trap 14 functions to maintain the water level 24 at a pre-flushing height and operates, in conjunction with the bowl water, to prevent sewer gas within the sanitary sewer line from backflowing through the bowl 12 and entering the room in which the commode 10 is located.

The primary purpose of this invention is to dispose of commode fumes 26, emanating from within the bowl 12, before they spread into the room in which the commode 10 is located. To this end, a specially designed bowl odor-eliminating ventilation system 28 is incorporated into the commode 10.

In the embodiment thereof representatively illustrated herein, ventilation system 28 includes a hollow fume-receiving plenum box 30 having opposite side attachment plates 31 projecting outwardly therefrom, an exhaust fan 32 disposed within a waterproof chamber 34 within the interior of the tank 16 beneath the top surface of water (not shown) disposed therein and selectively flowable into the bowl 12, three conduits 36,38a,38b, representatively flexible hoses, and a pair of L-shaped hollow connection fittings 40a,40b which can be attached to the bowl or, if desired, be made integral portions thereof.

Using its outwardly projecting attachment plates 31, fume-receiving plenum box 30 is mounted on the top side of the bowl 12, rearwardly Of its top side opening 22, the plenum box 30 having a forwardly facing inlet opening 42 and a rearwardly disposed upstanding tubular outlet portion 44. Alternatively, the plenum box 30 could be made an integral portion of the commode. As best illustrated in FIG. 3, the bottom edge 42a of the inlet opening 42 is horizontally inwardly offset from its top edge 42 to facilitate the entry of bowl fumes 26 into the inlet opening 42 as later described herein.

Hose section 36 is interconnected between outlet portion 44 and the inlet of the tank-disposed exhaust fan 32, and hose sections 38a,38b are respectively interconnected between the outlet of the exhaust fan 32 and vertically oriented leg portions of the L-shaped fittings 40a and 40b. Horizontally oriented legs of the fittings 40a and 40b, as best illustrated in FIG. 1, extend through opposite sidewall portions of the bowl 12 into the front water side portion 14a of the trap 14 below its normal water line (which is at the same elevation as the bowl water line 24). The upper ends of the vertical legs of the L-shaped fittings 40a,40b are positioned above the water line 24. Exhaust fan 32 may be selectively energized using a suitable manual switch (not shown), or via a weight sensitive switch (not shown) operatively associated with the seat 18.

During operation of the exhaust fan 32, odor-causing bowl fumes 26 are sequentially drawn into the inlet 42 of the fume-receiving box 30, discharged through the outlet portion 44 of the box 30, flowed through the hose section 36 into the inlet of the fan 32, and discharged from the fan 32 to the trap fittings 40a,40b respectively via the two discharge hoses 38a,38b. Fumes 26 entering the trap fittings 40a,40b are discharged into the water within the trap portion 14a. Fumes 26 entering the water side trap portion 14a bubble upwardly therethrough, as at 26a, into the rearwardly disposed air side portion 14b of the trap 14 which leads to the sanitary sewer line (not shown) to which the air side 14b of the trap 14 is connected. Fumes 26 entering the air side trap portion 14b are prevented by the water in the bowl 12 and in the water side trap portion 14a from entering the room in which the commode 10 is disposed.

In this manner the commode fumes 26 which originate in the bowl 12 are essentially precluded from entering the room area, and do not need to be drawn through the room before entering, for example, a ceiling exhaust fan as is the customary practice. By discharging the bowl fumes 26 into the water side of the trap, beneath its water level, the discharged fumes 26 are routed into the air side 14b of the trap 14, for discharge therethrough to the underlying sanitary sewer line, and cannot enter the bowl 12 and exit therefrom into the room. Additionally, since the fumes 26 are discharged into the water side 14a of the main trap structure 14, the trap water prevents sewer gas backflow through the ventilation system into the room without the necessity of installing check valve apparatus in the discharge hoses 38a,38b.

The illustrated placement of the exhaust fan 32 within a waterproof compartment 34 in the tank 16 muffles the exhaust fan operational noise to thereby desirably provide for quieter operation of the ventilation system 28. However, if desired, the exhaust fan 32 could alternatively be disposed at a suitable location outside of the tank 12. Additionally, while two discharge hoses or conduits 38a,38b are illustrated, the benefits of the present invention could also be obtained by using only a single discharge hose if desired.

As will be readily appreciated by those of skill in the plumbing arts, the present invention is not limited to a commode, but could also be utilized in conjunction with other types of plumbing fixtures (such as, for example, urinals) having traps and potentially creating undesirable operational odors.

The foregoing detailed description is to be clearly understood as being given by way of illustration and example only, the spirit and scope of the present invention being limited solely by the appended claims.





 
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