Title:
Toilet odor removal system, assembly containing the same, and methods for odor removal
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toilet odor removal system mountable on and detachable from a toilet is provided. The system features a collection mouthpiece having an air intake port, a vent duct in communication with the collection mouthpiece, an aspiration unit operatively connected to the vent duct for drawing malodorous air from the toilet bowl through the air intake port and along the vent duct, and a support structure mountable on the toilet. The support structure detachably secures the mouthpiece over the rear apron of the toilet and offset rearwardly from the inner edge of the toilet rim while positioning the air intake port in facing relationship with a space between the toilet seat and the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position.



Inventors:
Foerster, Lee (Medford, OR, US)
Taylor, David S. (Silver Spring, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/405581
Publication Date:
10/18/2007
Filing Date:
04/18/2006
Assignee:
Lee Foerster
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
YOUNKINS, KAREN L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BERENATO & WHITE, LLC (BETHESDA, MD, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A toilet odor removal system mountable on and detachable from a toilet having a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, hinges connecting the toilet seat to the toilet bowl to permit movement of the toilet seat from a lowered position in which the seat rests over the rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of the rim is exposed, and a rear apron extending rearwardly behind the rim, the system comprising: a collection mouthpiece having an air intake port; a vent duct in communication with said collection mouthpiece; an aspiration unit operatively connected to said vent duct for drawing malodorous air from the toilet bowl through said air intake port and along said vent duct; and a support structure mountable on the toilet for detachably securing said mouthpiece over the rear apron and offset rearwardly from the inner edge of the rim while positioning said air intake port to face or extend into a space between the toilet seat and the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position, wherein said mouthpiece is constructed and arranged to permit manual and tool-less detachment from said support structure.

2. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, further comprising: a cleaning implement detachably connected to said support structure, said cleaning implement sized to permit insertion into said air intake port and a passage of said vent duct.

3. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, wherein said support structure positions said air intake port between the hinges of the toilet.

4. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, wherein said support structure is connected to said aspiration unit, and wherein mounting of said support structure on the toilet suspends said aspiration unit above the floor on which the toilet rests.

5. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, wherein said mouthpiece has an open bottom surface, and wherein mounting of said support structure on the toilet positions said open bottom surface of said mouthpiece e in contacting relationship with the rear apron.

6. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, wherein said support structure detachably connects directly to said vent duct, and wherein said vent duct supports said mouthpiece over the rear apron.

7. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, wherein said support structure mounts on the toilet to secure said mouthpiece outside of the exposed portion of the rim.

8. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, wherein said support structure mounts on the toilet to secure said mouthpiece spaced at least one inch from the inner edge of the rim.

9. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, wherein said mouthpiece has a front edge extending less than one-half of the way across the width of the toilet rim.

10. The toilet ventilation system of claim 1, further comprising a filter in communication with said aspiration unit.

11. A toilet assembly comprising: a toilet comprising a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, a rear apron extending rearwardly behind said rim, and hinges connecting said toilet seat to said toilet bowl to permit movement of said toilet seat from a lowered position in which said seat rests over said rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of said rim is exposed; and the toilet odor removal system of claim 1 mountable on and detachable from said toilet.

12. A toilet odor removal system mountable on and detachable from a toilet having a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, hinges connecting the toilet seat to the toilet bowl to permit movement of the toilet seat from a lowered position in which the seat rests over the rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of the rim is exposed, and a rear apron extending rearwardly behind the rim, the system comprising: a collection mouthpiece having an air intake port; a vent duct in communication with said collection mouthpiece; an aspiration unit operatively connected to said vent duct for drawing malodorous air from the toilet bowl through said air intake port and along said vent duct; a support structure mountable on the toilet and operatively connected to said mouthpiece for positioning said mouthpiece to face or extend into a space between the toilet seat and the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position; and a displacement member operatively connected to said mouthpiece to automatically shift said mouthpiece away from the rim when the toilet seat is moved from the lowered position to the raised position.

13. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said displacement member comprises a biasing means for raising said mouthpiece upward away from the rim when the toilet seat is moved from the lowered position to the raised position.

14. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said mouthpiece is constructed and arranged to permit manual and tool-less detachment from said support structure.

15. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, further comprising: a cleaning implement detachably connected to said support structure, said cleaning implement sized to permit insertion into said air intake port and a passage of said vent duct.

16. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said support structure positions said air intake port between the hinges of the toilet.

17. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said support structure is connected to said aspiration unit, and wherein mounting of said support structure on the toilet suspends said aspiration unit above the floor on which the toilet rests.

18. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said mouthpiece has an open bottom surface, and wherein mounting of said support structure on the toilet positions said open bottom surface of said mouthpiece in contacting relationship with the rear apron.

19. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said support structure detachably connects directly to said vent duct, and wherein said vent duct supports said mouthpiece over the rear apron.

20. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said support structure mounts on the toilet to secure said mouthpiece outside of the exposed portion of the rim.

21. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said support structure mounts on the toilet to secure said mouthpiece spaced at least one inch from the inner edge of the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position.

22. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, wherein said mouthpiece has a front edge extending less than one-half of the way across the width of the toilet rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position.

23. The toilet ventilation system of claim 12, further comprising a filter in communication with said aspiration unit.

24. A toilet assembly comprising: a toilet comprising a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, a rear apron extending rearwardly behind said rim, and hinges connecting said toilet seat to said toilet bowl to permit movement of said toilet seat from a lowered position in which said seat rests over said rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of said rim is exposed; and the toilet odor removal system of claim 12 mountable on and detachable from said toilet.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to a system for the removal of unpleasant odors from toilets, and more preferably a toilet odor removal system designed to facilitate simplified maintenance and cleaning of a toilet bowl.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Numerous devices have been proposed for the removal or neutralization of objectionable and obnoxious odors generated in the normal use of a toilet. While such devices are generally intended for improving sanitation and air quality by permitting the withdrawal of malodorous fumes for treatment or expulsion, the devices are characterized by inattentiveness for fundamental sanitary concerns raised by male urination. Males commonly urinate from a standing position with the toilet seat in a raised position. Urination from the standing position can result in splattering of urine around the rim of the toilet bowl, creating an unsanitary and objectionable environment for subsequent users of the toilet. The unpleasant and frequent task of cleaning the toilet bowl and its surrounding rim is required to maintain sanitary, healthy living conditions.

Known ventilation devices located in close proximity to the toilet bowl rim, such as resting on the bowl rim, are susceptible to urine splatter. Urine, bacteria, and germs accumulate around the device, especially in nooks defined by the outer surface of the device and present between the device and the toilet bowl rim, thereby complicating and making more arduous already laborious cleaning efforts. Even if the device can be detached from the toilet to facilitate cleaning of the toilet rim, many people are repulsed by the idea of touching a urine-splattered device to manually detach it from the toilet so that the toilet bowl and device may be cleaned effectively. As a consequence, many people choose either to clean around the device, allowing urine, bacteria and germs to remain and build in non-exposed areas, or to permanently detach and cease use of the device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a toilet odor removal system that is positioned to reduce or eliminate its exposure to urine, and is adapted for easy removal from a toilet so as to facilitate cleaning of the toilet and odor removal system.

To achieve the foregoing object, and in accordance with the purposes of the invention as embodied and broadly described herein, according to a first aspect of this invention there is provided a toilet odor removal system mountable on and detachable from a toilet. The system is operable with toilets having, for example, a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, hinges connecting the toilet seat to the toilet bowl to permit movement of the toilet seat from a lowered position in which the seat rests over the rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of the rim is exposed, and a rear apron extending rearwardly behind the rim. The system features a collection mouthpiece having an air intake port, a vent duct in communication with the collection mouthpiece, and an aspiration unit operatively connected to the vent duct for drawing malodorous air from the toilet bowl through the air intake port and along the vent duct. A support structure is mountable on the toilet for detachably securing the mouthpiece over the rear apron and offset rearwardly from the inner edge of the rim while positioning the air intake port to face or extend into a space between the toilet seat and the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position. The mouthpiece is constructed and arranged to permit manual and tool-less detachment from the support structure.

A second aspect of the invention provides a toilet assembly comprising a toilet and a toilet odor removal system. The toilet comprises a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, hinges connecting the toilet seat to the toilet bowl to permit movement of the toilet seat from a lowered position in which the seat rests over the rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of the rim is exposed, and a rear apron extending rearwardly behind the rim. The toilet odor removal system features a collection mouthpiece having an air intake port, a vent duct in communication with the collection mouthpiece, and an aspiration unit operatively connected to the vent duct for drawing malodorous air from the toilet bowl through the air intake port and along the vent duct. A support structure is mountable on the toilet for detachably securing the mouthpiece over the rear apron and offset rearwardly from the inner edge of the rim while positioning the air intake port to face or extend into a space between the toilet seat and the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position. The mouthpiece is constructed and arranged to permit manual and tool-less detachment from the support structure.

According to a third aspect of the invention, a toilet odor removal system mountable on and detachable from a toilet is provided. The toilet may have, for example, a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, hinges connecting the toilet seat to the toilet bowl to permit movement of the toilet seat from a lowered position in which the seat rests over the rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of the rim is exposed, and a rear apron extending rearwardly behind the rim. The system features a collection mouthpiece having an air intake port, a vent duct in communication with the collection mouthpiece, an aspiration unit operatively connected to the vent duct for drawing malodorous air from the toilet bowl through the air intake port and along the vent duct, a support structure, and a displacement member. The support structure is mountable on the toilet and operatively connected to the mouthpiece for positioning the mouthpiece to face or extend into a space between the toilet seat and the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position. The displacement member is operatively connected to the mouthpiece to automatically shift the mouthpiece away from the rim when the toilet seat is moved from the lowered position to the raised position.

A fourth aspect of the invention provides a toilet assembly comprising a toilet and a toilet odor removal system. The toilet comprises a toilet bowl with a rim possessing an inner edge, a toilet seat, hinges connecting the toilet seat to the toilet bowl to permit movement of the toilet seat from a lowered position in which the seat rests over the rim to a raised position in which at least a portion of the rim is exposed, and a rear apron extending rearwardly behind the rim. The toilet odor removal system features a collection mouthpiece having an air intake port, a vent duct in communication with the collection mouthpiece, an aspiration unit operatively connected to the vent duct for drawing malodorous air from the toilet bowl through the air intake port and along the vent duct, a support structure, and a displacement member. The support structure is mountable on the toilet and operatively connected to the mouthpiece for positioning the mouthpiece to face or extend into a space between the toilet seat and the rim when the toilet seat is in the lowered position. The displacement member is operatively connected to the mouthpiece to automatically shift the mouthpiece away from the rim when the toilet seat is moved from the lowered position to the raised position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification. The drawings, together with the general description given above and the detailed description of the preferred embodiments and methods given below, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In such drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a toilet odor removal system according to an embodiment of the invention mounted on a standard toilet;

FIG. 2 is top plan view of the toilet odor removal system of FIG. 1 mounted on the standard toilet, wherein the seat, lid, and hinges of the toilet have been removed for explanatory purposes;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the toilet odor removal system of FIG. 1 in a disassembled state;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a mouthpiece according to another embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 5 is a partially sectioned, partially phantom side view of a toilet odor removal system according to another embodiment of the invention mounted on a standard toilet, wherein the system includes a mouthpiece depicted in a readied state with respect to a lowered toilet seat; and

FIG. 6 is a partially sectioned, partially phantom side view of the toilet odor removal system of embodiment of FIG. 5, depicting the mouthpiece in an inactive state with respect to a raised toilet seat.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS AND PREFERRED METHODS OF THE INVENTION

Reference will now be made in detail to preferred embodiments and methods of the invention as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate like or corresponding parts throughout the drawings. It should be noted, however, that the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details, representative devices and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described in this section in connection with the preferred embodiments and methods.

Referring more particularly to the illustrated embodiments, FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a toilet odor removal system, generally designated by reference numeral 10, designed for operation with a standard toilet 12. System 10 is mountable on toilet 12 without requiring any removal, replacement, or modification of toilet 12 or its components or existing plumbing.

Toilet 12 includes a toilet bowl 14 bolted to the floor. Toilet bowl 14 has a discharge passage connected to piping for communication with a sewage line. Toilet bowl 14 has upwardly extending walls terminating at an upward facing rim or ledge 16 that surrounds and contains a body of water. The rear region of rim 16 is integral with an apron 20 which extends rearward towards flush tank or basin 22. Hinges 24 resting on rear apron 20 pivotally connect toilet bowl 14 to an annular toilet seat 26 and a toilet lid or cover 28. Toilet seat 26 and lid 28 are pivotal about hinges 24 independently of one another between a raised orientation and a lowered orientation. Spacers (not shown) known in the art typically protrude from or attached to the bottom surface of seat 26 to space the seat bottom surface from rim 16 when toilet seat 26 is oriented into its lowered position.

It should be understood that system 10 may be employed with toilets having various other configurations, as well as toilets having additional or fewer components than those described above. For example, system 10 may be used with a toilet lacking a flush tank or toilet lid. Further, while the accompanying drawings depict system 10 mounted on the left side of toilet 12, system 10 may be designed to permit mounting and operation from the opposite, right side of toilet 12 or immediately behind toilet 12.

System 10 includes a collection mouthpiece 30 having a forward-facing air intake port 32. When system 10 is mounted for operation on toilet 12, collection mouthpiece 30 is situated over rear apron 20, i.e., mouthpiece 30 either rests on or is suspended above apron 20. Air intake port 32 faces a spatial area defined between hinges 24, the bottom of lowered toilet seat 26, and rim 16. Optionally, mouthpiece 30 is sufficiently short in height to allow its penetration into the spatial area between the bottom surface of toilet seat 26 and the upper surface of rim 16 without interfering with pivotal movement of seat 26 from its raised position to its lowered position. Collection mouthpiece 30 optionally is positioned to extend forward of the rear edge of toilet seat 26 and optionally partially overlaps with rim 16. However, mouthpiece 30 preferably is spaced apart rearward from the inner edge of rim 16 so as to lessen the likelihood that and degree to which mouthpiece 30 may be splattered with urine. Preferably, the front edge of mouthpiece 30 is at least one inch behind the inner edge of rim 16, preferably as measured perpendicularly from a rearmost point of the inner edge of rim 16. More preferably, the front edge of mouthpiece 30 extends less than one-half (½) way across the width of rim 16, and optionally mouthpiece 30 is disposed completely behind and outside outer edge of rim 16 to further reduce the exposure of mouthpiece 30 to urine splatter.

In the illustrated embodiment, mouthpiece 30 is relatively large in width, especially compared to its height, so as to increase the volume of air intake and allow system 10 to perform its intended function of withdrawing malodorous air and fumes from toilet bowl 14. Mouthpiece 30 is illustrated as having a tapering shape with a generally concave free end which matches the curvature of the outer edge of rim 16. It should be understood, however, that mouthpiece 30 may possess other configurations and front edge profiles. Mouthpiece may be made of a plastic, such as PVC, or any other material compatible with the invention.

A mouthpiece 30a according to an alternative embodiment is depicted in FIG. 4, where mouthpiece 30a has a bottomless structure with an open bottom in facing relationship with toilet apron 20. A benefit to bottomless mouthpiece 30a is that lesser surface contact area between mouthpiece 30a and toilet rear apron 20, making bottomless mouthpiece 30a easier to clean than mouthpiece 30, which has a bottom wall contacting or closely spaced from apron 20 and/or rim 16. When bottomless mouthpiece 30a is properly adjusted under lowered toilet seat 26, seat 26 provides a small amount of downward pressure to bottomless mouthpiece 30a, establishing a sufficient seal against apron 20 and/or rim 16 to permit bottomless mouthpiece 30a to collect obnoxious fumes and air from toilet bowl 14.

Mouthpiece 30 is connected to a vent duct 34, which in the drawings is embodied as featuring a PVC straight pipe segment 34c with PVC elbows 34b, 34d slip fitted over the opposite ends of the pipe segment 34c. Elbow 34b includes a fitting 34a for mating with mouthpiece 30. Elbow 34d includes a fitting 34e for mating with entry port 38 of an aspiration unit or pump 36, which also contains an exhaust port 40. Preferably, fittings 34a, 34e and pipe segment 34c are telescopic or otherwise adjustable in length (e.g., slip fittings) to facilitate alignment of mouthpiece 30 with the opening between rim 16 and toilet seat 26 for different size toilets 12 and aprons 20.

Aspiration unit 36 may comprise, for example, a fan and a motor for driving the fan at a sufficient speed to create a vacuum force for drawing air within and around toilet bowl 14 through mouthpiece 30. The motor may be battery operated or electric, e.g., plugged into a common wall socket or hard-wired into a building electrical grid. It should be understood that various types of fans may be used, as may other blowing and aspirating devices.

Aspiration unit 36 includes a manual on/off switch 37 which, when activated, starts aspiration unit 36 to generate a vacuum for drawing air in the toilet bowl 14 through mouthpiece 30. Switch 37 preferably is reversible to permit easy access to switch 37 irrespective of the side of toilet 12 on which system 10 is mounted.

It should be understood that switch 37 may be replaced or supplemented with an automatic switch, such as a pressure-actuated switch or a sensor. Pressure-actuated switches may be designed to activate when either the seat is pivoted into its lowered position or the user sits on toilet seat 26, e.g., depending upon the amount of weight that must be applied to the automatic switch to overcome the spring force biasing automatic switch into its off position. The pressure-actuated switch may be mounted to the bottom surface of toilet seat 26, thereby placing the switch reasonably far above and away from toilet rim 16 and distanced from a urine stream when seat 26 is raised. Manual on/off switch 37 can be used in combination with an automatic switch to turn system 10 on or off irrespective of whether the automatic switch is pressure activated. Alternatively, switch 37 may function as an override for an automatic switch. Examples of automatic switches are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,253,371.

Exhaust port 40 is joined to and communicates with an exhaust duct 42, which in the drawings is embodied as a PVC pipe with a PVC elbow at its upstream end and an adapter connector at its downstream end. It should be understood that materials other than PVC and conduits other than piping may be selected for establishing vent duct 34 and exhaust duct 42. Although in the illustrated embodiment rigid piping is employed for suspending collection mouthpiece 30 above rear apron 20, it should be understood that flexible and extensible conduits may be used, optionally with additional rigid support brackets for holding mouthpiece 30 and vent duct 34 in place.

The downstream end of exhaust duct 42 mates with a filter assembly 44 having an odor removing filter. Filter assembly 44 can contain activated carbon or charcoal, as is known in the art, for reducing or eliminating odor. Filter assembly 44 can include additional or alternative agents, such as zeolites. It should be understood that filter assembly 44 may be replaceable, and/or substituted or supplemented with other ventilation and/or air purifications devices and systems. For example, system 10 may incorporate a flagrance application device in addition to or in place of filter assembly 44 for masking odors. As another option, system 10 may include a ventilation system, such as ducts or piping in communication with an exterior vent, e.g., in the ceiling or wall of the bathroom, for expelling malodorous air from the room. Filter assembly 44 and the ventilation system may be used in combination with one another to filter the air before it is expelled from the room.

System 10 further features a support structure 46 featuring a C-clamp for mounting to rear apron 20 of toilet 12, although it should be understood that system 10 may be mounted to other regions of rear apron 20 than shown and/or to other parts of toilet 12. Support structure 46 is preferably at least partially hidden from view behind toilet seat 26 and lid 28. A slotted bracket arm 48 extends generally horizontally to establish a support base on which aspiration unit 36 is seated. A thumbscrew 47 disposed at the bottom of aspiration unit 36 may be loosened to adjust the position of aspiration unit 36 along the length of slotted bracket arm 48, and tightened for securing aspiration unit 36 to slotted bracket arm 48. Another thumbscrew 49 may be loosened to permit pivotal movement of slotted bracket arm 48 relative to support structure 46. Preferably, when thumbscrew 49 is loosened, slotted bracket arm 48 is pivotable by at least approximately 180 degrees, more preferably 360 degrees, to permit repositioning of aspiration unit 36 if support structure 46 is mounted on the opposite side of toilet 12. Tightening thumbscrew 49 sets the pivotal position of slotted bracket arm 48 relative to support structure 46.

Preferably, support structure 46 suspends aspiration unit 36 and the remainder of system 10 above the floor so as to permit cleaning, mopping or polishing of the floor without requiring removal or relocation of system 10, although it should be understood that one or more parts of system 10 may be mounted on the floor.

In operation, activation of manual on/off switch 37 or an automatic switch, if present, connects an electric circuit and causes power to be supplied to and drive the motor of aspiration unit 36. The motor rotates the fan of aspiration unit 36 at a sufficient speed to create a vacuum within vent duct 34 and mouthpiece 30. The vacuum draws air proximal to air intake port 32, e.g., air from within and proximal to toilet bowl 14, through mouthpiece 30 and vent duct 34, and into aspiration unit 36. The air exits exhaust port 40 and passes through exhaust vent 42 to filter assembly 44, where the air is filtered to remove obnoxious smells and then discharged back into the bathroom environment. In the event that system 10 includes a ventilation exhaust system, the air is expelled outside through a vent, optionally but not necessarily after being subjected to filtering treatment. System 10 is deactivated by either turning manual on/off switch 37 to the off position or, in the event an automatic switch is present, by pivoting the seat to the up position or removing the user's weight from the seat.

Cleaning of system 10 and toilet 12, including the area about rear apron 20, is facilitated according to the above embodiment because mouthpiece 30 and vent duct 34 may be detached from aspiration unit 36 manually and without the need for tools. Support structure 46 likewise may be adjusted, mounted, and removed from toilet 12 manually and without the need for tools.

A cleaning implement 50 is optionally removably mounted on support structure 46 or another part of system 10. For example, a magnet 52 is adhesively attached to support structure 46 to provide a magnetic base for magnetic coupling with a ferromagnetic part of cleaning implement 50. The magnetic coupling allows for easy mounting and dismounting of cleaning implement 50.

One of the main advantages of odor removal system 10 is the simple detachability of system 10 components, such as collection mouthpiece 30 and vent duct 34, from toilet 12 and the separability of the components from one another for facilitating cleaning of system 10 and toilet 12, e.g., with cleaning implement 50. Another advantage of odor removal system 10 is the ability to retrofit system 10 inconspicuously on an existing toilet 12 without requiring the removal, replacement, or modification of existing toilet hardware or modification to existing plumbing. Other advantages of odor removal system 10 include its portability, low cost of manufacture, and simplicity of assembly and attachment to an existing toilet 12.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a modification to the embodiment described above with regard to FIGS. 1-4. Various redundant features, operation, and advantages described above with regard to FIGS. 1-4 will not be repeated below in the interest of brevity, but should be considered as incorporated by reference. Like reference numerals are used to designate like parts.

The modified embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 5 and 6 includes a displacement member in the form of a wire spring 60 operatively connected to mouthpiece 30. Any suitable mechanical fastener, bond, or other device or technique may be selected for connecting the upper portion of wire spring 60 to mouthpiece 30. A lower surface of wire spring 60 rests on rear apron 20, and is preferably generally centered behind hinges 24. The front end of mouthpiece 30 protrudes under the rear edge of toilet seat 28, preferably about 0.25 inch under the rear edge of seat 28. As mentioned above, telescopic connections, slidable fittings, etc. may be used to situate mouthpiece 30 in proper position for various sized toilets.

When toilet seat 28 is in a lowered position shown in FIG. 5, the weight of seat 28 compresses wire spring 60 and urges mouthpiece 30 downward against rear apron 20. In the event that bottomless mouthpiece 30a is selected, seat 26 preferably provides sufficient downward pressure to establish a seal against rear apron 20, as described above. Mouthpiece 30/30a is thereby placed in its readied state for odor withdrawal.

When toilet seat 28 is raised into the position shown in FIG. 6, the spatial area between the rear edge of toilet seat 28 and rim 16 is increased for most standard toilets. The generation of this increased spatial area permits biasing force of wire spring 60 to automatically urge mouthpiece 30 upward into spaced relationship with rear apron 20. The upward pivotal path followed by mouthpiece 30 is accomplished, for example, by creating a rotational joint at the interface of elbow 34b and straight pipe segment 34c. Advantageously, the shifting of mouthpiece 30 upward away from rear apron 20 reduces the exposure of mouthpiece 30 to urine splatter, and preferably creates sufficient space between mouthpiece 30 and apron 20 to permit insertion of cleaning implement 50 or another cleaning tool. Lowering of toilet seat 28 automatically pivots mouthpiece 30 downward, returning mouthpiece 30 to its readied state and compressing spring 60.

It should be understood that various modifications may be implemented to the embodiment of FIGS. 5 and 6. For example, the displacement member, e.g., 60, may be connected directly to a part of the system other than mouthpiece 30, such as duct 34. It is also within the scope of the invention to replace wire spring 60 with an alternative spring, such as a compression spring, flat spring, or other spring or alternative device capable of performing the intended mouthpiece-shifting result of the displacement member. The displacement member may be situated in a position other than shown in the drawings. By way of example, the displacement member may comprise a torsion spring placed at the mating interface of elbow 34b and straight pipe segment 34c. It is also within the scope of the present invention construct and arrange the displacement member to cause mouthpiece 30 to move rearward upon raising of seat 28, and forward upon lowering of seat 28. These are just a few examples of possible displacement members, arrangements, and operations that may be employed by the present invention.

The foregoing detailed description of the certain preferred embodiments of the invention has been provided for the purpose of explaining the principles of the invention and its practical application, thereby enabling others skilled in the art to understand the invention for various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. This description is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise embodiments disclosed. Modifications and equivalents will be apparent to practitioners skilled in this art and are encompassed within the spirit and scope of the appended claims and their appropriate equivalents.