Title:
Drain plunger with a see through plunger element
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toilet or drain plunger comprises an elongated handle connected to a plunger head. The plunger head comprises generally clear deformable rubberized material to facilitate a user to obtain visual indications through the plunger head that a clog has been eliminated from the pipes in the toilet or drain.



Inventors:
Kinkopf, Edward John (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Armitage, Nellie (Phoenix, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/158979
Publication Date:
12/28/2006
Filing Date:
06/22/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/00; E03D11/00
View Patent Images:
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20070118980Pole plungerMay, 2007Johnson et al.



Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Raymond M. Galasso (Austin, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for eliminating clogs from the pipes of a drain, comprising: a generally elongated handle, said handle having a first end; and a plunger element connected to said first end of said handle, said plunger element being generally transparent for facilitating a user of the device to observe visual indications that a clog has been removed from pipes of the drain.

2. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said plunger element comprises a clear deformable rubberized material.

3. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said plunger element is generally cup shaped.

4. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said plunger element has a thickness between approximately ¼ inch to approximately ½ inch, inclusive.

5. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said handle comprises a rot-resistant material.

6. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said handle comprises wood.

7. The device as recited in claim 1, wherein said handle comprises plastic.

8. A plunger for eliminating clogs from the pipes of a drain, comprising: a generally elongated handle, said handle having a first end; and a plunger head connected to said first end of said handle, said plunger head being generally transparent for facilitating a user of the plunger to observe visual indications that a clog has been removed from pipes of the drain.

9. The plunger as recited 8, wherein said plunger head comprises a clear deformable rubberized material.

10. The plunger as recited in claim 9, wherein said plunger head is generally cup shaped.

11. The plunger as recited in claim 10, wherein said plunger head has a thickness between approximately ¼ inch to approximately ½ inch, inclusive.

12. The plunger as recited in claim 11, wherein said handle comprises a rot-resistant material.

13. The plunger as recited in claim 12 wherein said handle comprises wood.

14. The plunger as recited in claim 12, wherein said handle comprises plastic.

15. A toilet plunger, comprising: a generally elongated handle, said handle having a first end; and a plunger head connected to said first end of said handle, said plunger head being generally transparent for facilitating a user of the toilet plunger to observe visual indications that a clog has been removed from pipes of a drain.

16. The toilet plunger as recited 15, wherein said plunger head comprises a clear deformable rubberized material.

17. The toilet plunger as recited in claim 16, wherein said plunger head is generally cup shaped.

18. The toilet plunger as recited in claim 17, wherein said plunger head has a thickness between approximately ¼ inch to approximately ½ inch, inclusive.

19. The toilet plunger as recited in claim 17, wherein said handle comprises a rot-resistant material.

20. The toilet plunger as recited in claim 20, wherein said handle comprises at least one of wood and plastic.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to plungers, and more particularly, but not by way of limitation to a device used to eradicate or eliminate clogs in drain lines, such as toilets and sinks.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As one can appreciate, drains and pipes become slowed or clogged for a number of reasons. Many become clogged over time as a buildup of material accumulates in the drain or pipes during regular use, such as an accumulation of soap residue, hair and other dirt and grime. Others become clogged as a result of items being dropped or thrown into the drain, such as toys, cigarettes, dental flow, facial tissues, and even excessive toilet tissues. As a result it is often necessary to utilize a plunger to eradicate or eliminate the clog.

Conventional toilet plungers typically include a plunger element and a handle and are commonly used for attempting to unplug blockages in drain lines. Typically, the plunger element is made of an opaque deformable material. The plunger element engages the perimeter of the drain and is plunged up and down to apply pressure and suction to the clog, in an attempt to remove the clog from the drain.

One of the biggest problems with using existing plungers is the ability to detect when the clog has been eliminated. In order to determine if the clog has been eliminated the plunger has to be taken off of the drain. The problem arises if the clog has not been eliminated and the plunger has to be reapplied to the perimeter of the drain. The removal and reapplication of the plunger often creates undesirable splashing of the backed up liquid. For instance, the application, removal, and reapplication of the plunger often causes the dirty water to splash upwards, landing on the clothing and body of the user.

Therefore it is desirable to have a plunger that would remove clogs from drains and facilitate the user's the ability to determine when the clog has been eliminated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

A more complete understanding of the present invention may be had by reference to the following Detailed Description and appended claims when taken in conjunction with the accompanying Drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a top perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 illustrates a side sectional view of the present invention taken along line A-A of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings wherein like or similar elements are designated with identical reference numerals throughout the views and figures, and wherein the various elements depicted are not necessarily drawn to scale, and in particular, to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a plunger 100 that is typically used to unclog a drain/drain pipe, such as a toilet or sink. As illustrated plunger 100 includes a handle 110 connected to a plunger element or plunger head 120. The plunger 100 is operable as a conventional plunger for dislodging clogged drains and drain pipes, such as in a toilet or sink.

In a preferred embodiment of the present plunger element 120 is made of clear deformable rubberized material, and includes a body portion 122 and a seal portion 124. Good results have been achieved with the thickness of plunger element 120 measuring between ¼ inches to ½ inches. The body portion 122 is formed in a substantially circular, rounded open, cup-shaped configuration forming an enlarged open end 126. An enlarged open interior area or cavity 128 is formed in the body portion 122. The seal portion 124 is formed in a generally circular configuration around the perimeter of the open end 126 of body portion 122. Although good results have been achieved utilizing clear deformable rubberized material for plunger element 120, it is contemplated that various colors and designs, such as pastels could be used, so long as a user can obtain a visual indication through plunger element 120 that a clog has been removed.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the handle 110 comprises an elongated, rigid generally cylindrical member that could be either tubular or solid. It is contemplated that handle 110 be made of durable, rot-resistant material, such as, but not limited to plastic and wood. Handle 110 is dimensioned to be secured to plunger element 120 with a threaded end 130 received into a mated threaded portion 132 of plunger element 120 so that handle 110 is readily secured to plunger element 120.

Although handle 110 is shown to be generally cylindrical in shape, it is contemplated to be within the scope of this invention that various shapes could be utilized, such as to facilitate a users ergonomic preference. In a preferred embodiment, good results have been achieved having plunger 100 measure approximately 12 to 24 inches in height, and having plunger element 120 having a diameter from six to 10 inches.

In the operation of plunger 100 on a typical toilet, a user would fit plunger element 120 over the opening at the bottom of the toiled with the seal portion 124 engaging the bottom of the toiled and sealed around the opening. The handle 110 would be grasped and subsequently apply a downward compression force. The downward force would collapse or compress plunger element 120. The compression of plunger element 120 would apply pressure through the opening of the toilet onto the clog. The handle 110 would then be pulled upward causing the plunger element 120 to extend creating a suction force onto the clog. This cycle is repeated a number of times until the user has a visual observation through the clear plunger element 120 that the clog has been removed.

Plunger 100 and also be utilized on a typical drain, such a in a sink in a similar fashion described above, with the plunger element 120 placed over the drain such that seal portion 124 would engage the bottom of the sink and be sealed around the drain. Similarly, plunger 100 would be compressed and pulled upward until the user obtains a visual observation through the clear plunger element 120 that the clog has been removed.

Although good results have been achieved utilizing the shape of plunger element 120 as illustrated, it is contemplated to be within the scope of this invention that virtually any shape of plunger element 120 could be utilized so long as the plunger element is manufactured to permit a user visual observation there through.

In the preceding detailed description, reference has been made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments, and certain variants thereof, have been described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention. It is to be understood that other suitable embodiments may be utilized and that logical changes may be made without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. The description may omit certain information known to those skilled in the art. The preceding detailed description is, therefore, not intended to be limited to the specific forms set forth herein, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents, as can be resonably included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.