Title:
TOILET FLUSH SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toilet flush system for use in a toilet tank. In one embodiment, the toilet flush system includes: a handle system, and a dual flush adapter having a hollow interior. The dual flush adapter defines first and second apertures and an adapter outlet, the dual flush adapter further comprises first and second flush valves. The first and second flush valves reversibly seal the first and second apertures. The first aperture is located proximal to the adapter outlet and below the second aperture. The first and second flush valves are in fluid communication with the adapter outlet. The handle system comprises a first handle and a second handle. The first and second handles are arranged such that they rotate independently of each other about a common axis of rotation. Rotating the first and second handles respectively open the first and second flush valves to provide a short and long flush.



Inventors:
Jones, Ernest W. (Longview, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/461342
Publication Date:
01/31/2008
Filing Date:
07/31/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D1/14; E03D3/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
IP Law Leaders PLLC (PLG) (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A toilet flush system (100) for use in a toilet tank (TT), comprising: a handle system (110); and a dual flush adapter (120) having a hollow interior (122), the dual flush adapter (120) defines first (124) and second (126) apertures and an adapter outlet (180), the dual flush adapter (120) further comprises first (140) and second (160) flush valves, wherein the first (140) and second (160) flush valves reversibly seal the first (124) and second (126) apertures, wherein the first aperture (124) is located proximal to the adapter outlet (180) and below the second aperture (126), wherein the first and second flush valves (140 and 160) are in fluid communication with the adapter outlet (180), wherein the first flush valve (140) and second flush valve (160) are arranged such that when the toilet flush system (100) is in use, the first (140) and second (160) flush valves respectively provide a long flush and a short flush, wherein the first (140) and second (160) flush valves are independently movable between an open position and a closed position, wherein the handle system (110) comprises a first handle (240) and a second handle (260), wherein the first (240) and second (260) handles are arranged such that they rotate independently of each other about a common axis of rotation (280), and wherein the first (240) and second (260) handles are respectively operably connected to the first (140) and second (160) flush valves, whereby rotating the first handle (240) opens the first flush valve (140) to provide a long flush, and rotating the second handle (260) opens the second flush valve (260) to provide a short flush.

2. The toilet flush system (100) according to claim 1, wherein the first (240) and second (260) handles each have first and second opposite ends, wherein the first and second handles rotate independently of each other through an arc about a common axis of rotation located at the second end of each of the first and second handles, wherein the second end of the second handle includes a hollow bore that encompasses the common axis of rotation, wherein the second end of the first handle is connected to a shaft that fits inside the hollow bore such that the first handle rotates through an arc independently of the second handle, wherein the first and second handles are operably connected to the first and second flush valves such that rotating the first handle opens the first flush valve and rotating the second handle opens the second flush valve, wherein opening the first flush valve allows a long flush and opening the second flush valve allows a short flush.

3. The toilet flush system according to claim 1, wherein rotating the first and second handles simultaneously also simultaneously opens the first and second flaps.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is directed to a toilet flush system having two flush valves, wherein they are arranged for selectively releasing either all or a preselected portion of water in a toilet tank for providing a short or long flush.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Toilet flush systems use water to clear away human waste from toilet bowls. Without such systems civilization would rapidly succumb to diseases such as dysentery. The health of the very young, old and those with compromised immune systems would be deleteriously harmed absent access to efficient flush toilet systems.

Regardless of their undisputed value in maintaining a civilized and healthy society, toilet flush systems impose a burden on communities, particularly in geographical areas where water resources are stretched or dwindling. There is a continuing need for flush toilet systems that use less water while still meeting their intended purpose of providing an efficient means of handling human waste.

U.S. Publication No. 20030014810, published Jan. 23, 2003 to Jarosinski et al., describes an adapter for attachment to an existing single flush valve system to convert the single valve system to a dual flush valve system. The Jarosinski device comprises a pair of tubular sections vertically offset from one another and connected by a hollow, enclosed channel. The upper section is adapted to engage a discharge pipe of an existing single flush valve system in order to select a discharge level for a lower volume flush and direct water flowing through the discharge pipe through the adapter. The bottom section of the adapter includes a pivotable flapper valve that can be operated independently of the flapper valve disposed on the single flush system in order to provide a greater volume of water for flushing of the toilet. A mounting arrangement is also provided for attachment to the toilet tank which enables the existing and additional flapper valves to be selectively activated using a pair of handles connected to the arrangement.

U.S. Publication No. 20020148037, published Oct. 17, 2002 to Bellmore, describes a flush valve system constructed of a single housing having at least two inlets fluidly connecting a single outlet. Preferably, the system includes a flush handle assembly having at least two handles mechanically connected to and at least two linkages. Both linkages pass through a sleeve assembly, which mounts in the standard mount hole provided on conventional gravity flush toilet tanks to provide effective control for the dual inlet flush valve. The inlets are sealed with a primary and a secondary flapper valve that are preferably connected by a chain or other link to the at least two linkages. This system permits the user to conserve water by selective flushing of a large or small volume of water.

U.S. Publication No. 20050283894, published Dec. 29, 2005 to Oliver, describes a two stage toilet tank bowl control system includes a tank ball selectively positioned on the valve seat in the water tank. The tank ball is linked to a lifting lever so as to raise the tank ball from the seat when the lifting lever is rotated in its flushing direction. An air outlet tube communicates with the interior of the tank ball to permit air to be exhausted from the interior of the tank ball. The air tube communicates with a passageway in a air flow block mounted to the wall of the water tank. The passageway has a full flush branch and a partial flush branch. A partial flush valve maintains the partial flush branch closed during conditions of full flush. A full flush handle moves the lifting lever in its flushing direction with the partial flush valve maintained in a closing condition against the outlet of the partial flush branch. A partial flush handle moves the lifting lever in its flushing direction in such a manner as to remove the partial flush valve from the partial flush branch outlet so that air is purged at a greater flow rate from the tank ball under partial flush conditions than under full flush conditions to return the tank ball to its closing position on the valve seat in a shorter period of time than under full flush conditions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A toilet flush system for use in a toilet tank. In one embodiment, the toilet flush system includes: a handle system, and a dual flush adapter having a hollow interior. The dual flush adapter defines first and second apertures and an adapter outlet, the dual flush adapter further comprises first and second flush valves. The first and second flush valves reversibly seal the first and second apertures. The first aperture is located proximal to the adapter outlet and below the second aperture. The first and second flush valves are in fluid communication with the adapter outlet. The first flush valve and second flush valve are arranged such that when the toilet flush system is in use, the first and second flush valves respectively provide a long flush and a short flush. The first and second flush valves are independently movable between an open position and a closed position. The handle system comprises a first handle and a second handle, wherein the first and second handles are arranged such that they rotate independently of each other about a common axis of rotation. The first and second handles are respectively operably connected to the first and second flush valves. Rotating the first handle opens the first flush valve to provide a long flush, and rotating the second handle opens the second flush valve to provide a short flush.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an environmental, perspective view of a toilet flush system according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the toilet flush system shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 shows a front partial cut-away view of the toilet flush system shown in FIG. 1, but with a first flush valve in an open configuration.

FIG. 4 shows a front partial cut-away view of the toilet flush system shown in FIG. 1, but with a second flush valve in an open configuration.

FIG. 5 is a front partial cut-away view of a toilet flush system showing an optional flap device.

FIG. 6 shows a dual flush adapter having a different shape from the dual flush adapter shown in FIGS. 1 through 5.

FIG. 7A shows a partial cutaway top view of first and second handles according to the invention.

FIG. 7B shows a top sectional view of the first and second handles of FIG. 7A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a toilet flush system having two flush valves (first and second flush valves), wherein the flush valves are arranged to provide a short or long flush. The toilet flush system of the invention is denoted generally by the numeral “100” and derivatives thereof are denoted with alpha-numeric labels such as 100a and 100b.

Referring to the FIGURES in general, the toilet flush system 100 comprises a handle system 110, and a dual flush adapter 120. The dual flush adapter 120 includes first 140 and second 160 flush valves, and adapter outlet 180. In normal use, the adapter outlet 180 communicates with a toilet tank outlet TTO. The flush valves 140 and 160 are arranged to provide a short or long flush. The first and second flush valves 140 and 160 are independently movable between an open position and a closed position. The first and second flush valves 140 and 160 are operably coupled to a first handle 240 and a second handle 260, respectively. First 240 and second 260 handles form part of a handle system 110.

The handle system 110 comprises first and second handles 240 and 260. The first and second handles 240 and 260 rotate independently of each other about a common axis of rotation 280. The first and second handles 240 and 260 are operably connected to the first and second flush valves 140 and 160, respectively. Rotating the first handle 240 opens the first flush valve 140 to provide a long flush. Rotating the second handle 260 about opens the second flush valve 160 to provide a short flush. It is expected that the human user will use the short flush for the purpose of flushing-away liquid waste (urine) and the long flush for dealing with solid waste (fecal matter) or a mixture of liquid/solid waste.

FIG. 1 shows an environmental, perspective view of one embodiment of the flush system 100 installed inside a toilet tank TT.

Referring to FIGS. 1 through 5, which show a first embodiment of the present invention, of which FIG. 1 shows an environmental, perspective view of one embodiment of the flush system 100 installed inside a toilet tank TT; the toilet tank TT is a typical toilet tank having side walls, an overflow pipe OP, and a toilet tank outlet TTO. FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the flush system 100 according to the invention.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 through 5 of which FIG. 3 shows the toilet flush system 100 fitted inside a toilet tank TT. The toilet flush system includes a handle system 110, and a dual flush adapter 120. The dual flush adapter 120 has a hollow interior 122 (shown in FIG. 5). The dual flush adapter 120 defines first 124 and second 126 apertures and an adapter outlet 180. The dual flush adapter 120 further comprises first 140 and second 160 flush valves. The first 140 and second 160 flush valves reversibly seal the first 124 and second 126 apertures, respectively.

Still referring to FIG. 2, the first aperture 124 is located proximal to the adapter outlet 180 and below the second aperture 126. Any suitable means can be used to mate the adapter outlet 180 to the inside of the toilet tank outlet TTO. For example, any suitable water resistant seal or adhesive can be used to provide a watertight joint.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 through 5, the first and second flush valves 140 and 160 are in fluid communication with the adapter outlet (180). Thus, if either (or both) of the flush valves 140 and 160 are opened, water in the toilet tank TT would, under the influence of gravity, flow through the dual flush adapter 120 and exit through the adapter outlet 180.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 through 5, the first flush valve 140 and second flush valve 160 are arranged such that when the toilet flush system 100 is in use, the first 140 and second 160 flush valves provide a long flush and a short flush, respectively. The first 140 and second 160 flush valves are independently movable between an open position and a closed position and are in fluid communication with the adapter outlet 180.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 through 5, the handle system 110 comprises a first handle 240 and a second handle 260. The first 240 and second 260 handles are arranged such that they rotate independently of each other about a common axis of rotation 280. The first 240 and second 260 handles are respectively operably connected to the first 140 and second 160 flush valves. Rotating the first handle 240 opens the first flush valve 140 to provide a long flush, and rotating the second handle 260 opens the second flush valve 260 to provide a short flush.

Any suitable means can be used to operably connect the first 240 and second 260 handles to the first 140 and second 160 flush valves. For example, first and second chains can operably connect the first and second handles 240 and 260 to the first and second flush valves 140 and 160, respectively. Alternatively, a combination of chains and elongated members, as shown in FIG. 3, can be used to operably connect the first and second handles 240 and 260 to the first and second flush valves 140 and 160.

Still referring to FIGS. 1 through 5 and FIG. 3 in particular, the first handle 240 is connected to the first flush valve 140 by means of elongated member 142 coupled to a chain 144, and the second handle 260 is connected to the second flush valve 160 by means of elongated member 146 coupled to a chain 148.

An optional flap 300 can be located inside the dual flush adapter 120 as shown in FIG. 5. The optional flap 300 is designed to resistantly direct water from whichever flush valve 140 or 160 is open to the adapter outlet 180 and thence to the toilet tank outlet TTO. The flap 300 may incorporate a biased spring hinge 320, which ensures the flap 300 can resist water flow in an undesired direction; for example, when the lower flush valve 140 is open water, the flap 300 helps prevent water backing up towards the upper flush valve 160 thereby directing tank water W to the adapter outlet 180 and thence into the toilet tank outlet TTO.

The exact shape of the dual flush adapter 120 can vary without detracting from the spirit of the invention as exemplified in FIG. 6 where the adapter 120 adopts a general L shaped configuration.

Referring to FIGS. 7A and 7B, the first handle 240 handle defines first 400 and second 420 opposite ends, and the second handle 260 handle defines first 440 and second 460 opposite ends. The second end 460 of the second handle includes a hollow bore 480 that encompasses the common axis of rotation 280. The second end 420 of the first handle 240 is connected to a shaft 500 that fits inside bore 480 such that the first handle 240 rotates through an arc independently of the second handle 260. The shaft 500 (and hence first handle 240) is shown operably connected to the elongated member 142. The second handle 260 is operably connected to elongated member 146.

The first and second handles 240 and 260 are operably connected to the first 140 and second 160 flush valves such that rotating the first handle 240 opens the first flush valve 140 and rotating the second handle 260 opens the second flush valve 160. Opening the first flush valve 140 allows a long flush and opening the second flush valve 160 allows a short flush.

It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above or as shown in the attached figures, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the attached claims.