Title:
Mechanically sealable rapid opening stagger-flush residential toilet
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A frustum-shaped toilet bowl (26) includes a reversibly rotable saucer-shaped seal (46), or saucer. The saucer can automatically be rotated upward hermetically to compress closed against a sealing ring (48) that surrounds the outside of the bowl near its bottom outlet (32). The saucer is normally closed to prevent sewer gases from entering a bathroom from an adjoining drain line (36). The closed saucer can retain human waste or test balls in the bowl or, when opened, permits them to free-fall of their own weight into the drain line. The bowl has opposing water outlets (42) which are connected to flushometer valve (34), which is connected to a source of pressurized water. Depressing a button (74) automatically provides a wet spot in the bowl to prevent falling feces from sticking to the bowl. Depressing the button a second time opens the saucer and causes additional water to stagger flush solids while they are moving in the pipe. A two-stage staggered flush propels solids further than releasing the wet spot water and the additional water into the pipe together. A urine flush uses about 250 ml (0.25) gallons and a feces flush about 4.0 liters (1.0 gallon) of water. A 2.00 to 3.00-liter (0.50- to 0.75-gallon) flush carries 100 test balls about 18.2 meters (60 feet) in the drain line.



Inventors:
O'malley, Conor (San Jose, CA, US)
Zappel, Joseph (Salinas, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/151015
Publication Date:
11/13/2008
Filing Date:
05/02/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D11/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CRANE, LAUREN ASHLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Conor O'Malley (San Jose, CA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A method for employing a two-stage staggered flush to improve overall performance of a toilet and to enhance the ability of the toilet to propel solids in an adjoining drain line with less water, comprising: (a) providing a toilet with a bowl, (b) connecting said toilet to a source of pressurized water, (c) providing said toilet with a bottom outlet that is roughly centered above an adjoining drain line, (d) connecting said source of pressurized water to an input of an automated flushometer valve, (e) providing said bowl with a plurality of water outlets for rinsing said bowl, (f) connecting an output of said automated flushometer valve to said water outlets, (g) providing a pivotable saucer-shaped seal adjacent to a bottom part of said bowl, (h) providing a compressible sealing ring on the outside of said bowl above said bottom outlet, (i) rotating said saucer upward to a fully closed position to compress against said sealing ring so that said bowl is hermetically sealed, (j) opening said flushometer valve for a predetermined time so that said pressurized water accumulates as a first quantity of water, or wet spot, in said bowl, (k) introducing solids into said first quantity of water in said bowl, (l) rotating said saucer downward from said sealing ring to an open position so that said solids free fall from said bowl into and move in said adjoining drain line, and (m) opening said flushometer valve for a second predetermined time, while said saucer is rotated downward to said open position, so an additional quantity of said pressurized water flows from said bowl into said adjoining drain line while said solids are still moving in the drain line, whereby permitting said additional quantity of water to fall into said drain while said solids are still moving in said drain will propel said solids further in said drain, with the same amount of water, or the same distance with less water, than occurs when said first and said additional quantities of water free fall into the drain line together, thereby saving water.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein said saucer, said sealing ring, and said flushometer valve are arranged to cause said toilet to use a total of between about 2.0 and 3.0 liters (0.53 and 0.78 gallon), as said two-stage staggered full-flush, whereby said toilet will be able to expel 100 test balls from said toilet bowl and carry them at least about 12.2 meters (40 feet) in said adjoining drain line.

3. The method of claim 1, further including flushing a pool of urine from a toilet bowl without using water, comprising: (a) providing rotational means for rotating said saucer against said sealing ring to seal off said bowl, (b) accumulating a pool of urine in said sealed bowl, and (c) actuating said automated rotational means for rotating said saucer open so that said pool of urine free falls into said adjoining sewer pipe, whereby said pool of urine falls from said bowl without using water, thereby saving water.

4. The method of claim 3, further including actuating said flushometer valve to open for a predetermined time, about 0.1 seconds, to cause said pressurized water turbulently to rinse, said coat of urine from said inside of said bowl so that said coat of urine and said water fall into said adjoining pipe, whereby said rinse needs less water, thereby saving water.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein said saucer, said sealing ring, and said flushometer valve are arranged to cause said toilet to use a total of from 200 to 300 ml (0.05 to 0.08 gallon) of water for said reduced flush.

6. The method of claim 1, further including providing rotational means arranged to snap said saucer open in less than half a second so that said water, urine, solids, or 100 test balls will free fall of their own weight from said bowl into said adjoining drain line, thereby saving water.

7. The method of claim 1, further including orienting at least a pair of said water outlets so that said water outlets jet rinse said bowl below and between said outlets from opposite directions with said pressurized water, whereby said water outlets can rinse said bowl with less water, thereby saving water.

8. The method of claim 1, further including inclining a front part of said bowl forward 30 to 50 degrees from the vertical, and inclining a rear part of said bowl rearward 5 to 50 degrees, so that said tissue and feces are less prone to adhere to said bowl, whereby said tissue and said feces are more readily rinsed from said bowl, and thereby saving water.

9. The method of claim 1, further including forming said sealing ring, which surrounds an outside part of said bowl, of at least one corrosion-resistant material, whereby said sealing ring is more likely to resist corrosion by said urine and said feces, and thereby more likely to protect the health and welfare of those in the vicinity of said toilet from potentially toxic and or explosive sewer gases.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein said corrosion-resistant material of said sealing ring is a fluoro-elastomer which is less likely to corrode, and thereby is more likely to prevent leakage from said bowl or upward passage of sewer gases into said bowl, thereby protecting said sealing ring and nearby people.

11. The method of claim 1, further including, forming at least a part of said saucer of poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene, whereby said poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene protects said saucer from corrosion and permits said saucer to compress hermetically against said sealing ring to prevent water, urine or feces from prematurely leaving said bowl, and prevents sewer gases from entering a bathroom, thereby protecting said toilet and people near it.

12. A toilet bowl that helps prevent feces from adhering to said bowl comprising: (a) a bowl having a front and a rear part, (b) an inside of said front part inclining 30 to 50 degrees forward from the vertical, and (c) an inside of said rear part inclining 5 to 15 degrees rearward from the vertical, whereby said inclining of said front and rear parts is prone to prevent said feces from adhering to said bowl, and thereby said feces is easier to dislodge from said bowl with less water, and thereby saving water.

13. The bowl of claim 12, further including, (a) at least one pair of adjacent or overlapping water outlets that open on to an upper part of said bowl, (b) said water outlets being connected to a source of pressurized water, (c) means for causing said pressurized water to jet from said water outlets, and (d) said water outlets being located and oriented to permit said pressurized water to rinse said bowl between and below said water outlets and with particular turbulence toward said front and said rear of the bowl, where said feces are more prone to adhere, whereby said toilet can dislodge said feces from said bowl with less water, and thereby save water.

14. The bowl of claim 12, further including providing an aperture in an upper part of said bowl to prevent bowl contents from rising above the level of said aperture, plus a sufficient unobstructed vertical distance between said aperture and said water outlets so that, in the event of a drop in pressure in said water outlets said unobstructed vertical distance can prevent said feces from being sucked from said bowl into said water outlets, whereby said aperture and said unobstructed distance prevents contamination of upstream water, and thereby protect people who drink said water.

15. The bowl of claim 14, further including providing an anti-splash ledge for preventing said pressurized rinse water, which rinses said bowl with particular turbulence towards said front of said bowl, from splashing out of the bowl through said aperture.

16. A method for expelling human waste, water, urine, and or test balls from a toilet bowl with less water, comprising: (a) providing said toilet bowl with a bottom outlet, (c) connecting said toilet bowl to a waste passageway (d) connecting said waste passageway to an adjoining drain line, (e) connecting a sealing ring to an outside of said bowl above said bottom outlet, (e) connecting a reversibly rotable saucer-shaped seal beneath said bottom outlet, (f) rotating said saucer-shaped seal upward hermetically to compress against said sealing ring, (g) introducing water, human waste, and or a quantity of 100 test balls into said bowl so that said water, human waste, or test balls remain in said bowl above said saucer-shaped seal, and (h) rotating said saucer downward from said sealing ring, whereby said human waste, said water, or said test balls in said bowl free fall from said bowl via said bottom outlet and said waste passageway into said adjoining drain line without using additional water, thereby saving water.

17. The method of claim 16, further including inclining the inside of said front part of said bowl forward 30 to 50 degrees from the vertical and inclining the inside of said rear part of said bowl rearward from 5 to 15 degrees from the vertical, whereby said human waste is less prone to adhere to said bowl, thereby saving rinse water.

18. The method of claim 16, further including, (a) providing said bowl with at least one pair of adjacent or over-lapping opposing water outlets, (b) connecting said water outlets to an output of a flushometer valve, (c) connecting an input of said flushometer valve to a source of pressurized water, (d) rotating said saucer-shaped seal upward hermetically to compress against said sealing ring, (e) opening said flushometer valve to create a wet spot in said bowl above said saucer, (f) permitting feces to fall into said wet spot, and (g) opening said saucer so that said wet spot and said feces free fall from said bowl, under no force other that of gravity, whereby said feces and said wet spot can exit said bowl without using additional water, thereby saving water.

19. The method of claim 18, further including expelling a pool of urine from said bowl without any water, comprising: (a) closing said bottom outlet with said saucer-shaped seal, (b) accumulating a pool of urine in said bowl above said closed bottom outlet, and (c) opening said saucer, whereby said toilet permits said pool of urine to free fall from said bowl, without using water, thereby saving water.

20. The method of claim 19, further including rinsing and flushing a layer of urine, which remains stuck to said bowl after said pool of urine leaves said bowl, from said bowl with less water, comprising: opening said flushometer valve to cause said pressurized water to issue from said opposing water outlets turbulently to jet rinse said layer of urine stuck to said inclined inside of said bowl and to permit said jet-rinsed urine to exit said bowl through said bottom outlet, whereby said toilet uses less water, thereby saving water.

21. A toilet that provides a two-stage staggered flush that expels solids from a bowl into an adjoining drain line and propels said solids further in said drain line, or the same distance with less water, comprising (a) a toilet having a bowl (b) said bowl having a bottom outlet, (c) a waste passageway connecting said bottom outlet to an adjoining drain line that can contain dangerous gases, (d) said bowl having a plurality of water outlets that are connected to a source of pressurized water, (e) a circular sealing ring being connected to an outside surface of said bowl above said bottom outlet, (f) a saucer-shaped seal being pivotable to a closed position to seal or to an open position to open said bottom outlet of said bowl, (g) means for rotating said saucer-shaped seal upward to compress hermetically against said circular sealing ring so that water, pooled urine, and solids in said bowl remain in said bowl and said gases remain in said adjoining drain line, (h) means for introducing a first quantity of said pressurized water into said bowl to cushion solids falling into the bowl, (i) means for rotating said valve downward from said sealing ring with sufficient rapidity that said solids and said first quantity of water free fall from said bowl via said waste passageway into said adjoining drain line, as a first stage of a two-stage staggered flush, so that said first quantity of water and said solids continue to move in said adjoining drain line, and (j) means for introducing an additional quantity of said water into said adjoining drain line while said solids are still moving in said drain line, as the second stage of said two-stage staggered flush, so that said additional quantity of water additionally propels said solids, whereby permitting said additional quantity of water to fall into said drain while said solids are still moving in said drain propels said solids further in said drain, with the same amount of water, or the same distance with less water, than occurs when said first and said additional quantities of water free fall into the drain line together, thereby saving water.

22. The toilet of claim 1, further including a coil spring arranged to snap said saucer-shaped seal open with sufficient rapidity that said solids and said first quantity of water in said bowl free fall into said adjoining drain line, thereby actuating said first stage of said two-stage staggered flush for better expelling said solids from the bowl and better propelling them in the drain line.

23. The toilet of claim 21, further including providing means for hermetically closing said valve against said sealing ring so that urine can pool in said bowl above said closed valve, and means for opening said valve within about one tenth of a second so that said pool of urine free falls of its own weight from the bowl into said adjoining drain line where it can gravitationally flow downhill towards a far end of said drain line, whereby said toilet is arranged so that said pool of urine gravitationally leaves said bowl and gravitationally flows in said drain line without using any water, thereby saving water.

24. The toilet of claim 23, further including automated means for rinsing and flushing a layer of said urine, which remains stuck to said bowl after said pool of urine has left said bowl, with less water, comprising: automated means for turbulently jet-rinsing said inside of said bowl free of said layer of urine which remains stuck to said bowl with a predetermined quantity of water while said valve is open, whereby said predetermined quantity of water rinses said bowl free of said layer of urine with less water, and thereby saving water.

25. The bowl of claim 21, wherein said bowl has a frustum-like shape so that said bowl has front and rear parts, said front part inclining forward 30 to 50 degrees from the vertical, and said rear part inclining rearward 5 to 15 degrees from the vertical, whereby feces are less prone to adhere to an inside of said bowl or are more readily rinsed when adherent, thereby saving water.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/928,702, filed May, 10, 2007, and Ser. No. 60/936,808, filed Jun. 21, 2006,

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

NONE

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

NONE

BACKGROUND

Field

The field relates to mechanical-trap toilets, toilet bowl configurations, rinsing outlets, and drain line carry, specifically to seals suitable for indoor use.

DEFINITIONS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The following definitions and background information will help make this description clearer and easier to understand so that a reader can appreciate why a toilet having a hermetically sealable mechanical trap can meet the numerous technical criteria, or their functional intent, which the Uniform Plumbing Code currently requires for all indoor toilets before they can legally be offered for sale in the United States.

Air Gap

ASME A 112.1.2.-1991 defines air-gap as an unobstructed vertical distance through open atmosphere between the lowest opening from a pipe supplying water to a plumbing fixture such a toilet and a flood-level rim of a receptor. The minimum ASME requirement is 50 mm (2 inches). The European Union minimum is 20 mm (0.8 inch).

Adjoining Drain Line

A sewer pipe which inclines downward from a toilet to a sewer main.

Artificial Test Media

(aka “sausages”), Condoms that are stuffed with soy paste as recommended by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). They are used by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Operators (IAPMO), toilet-rating laboratories, manufacturers, and inventors to determine the ability of a toilet to expel solids from a bowl into an adjoining drain line.

American Society Of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)

A professional organization which defines the physical and functional requirements of the Uniform Plumbing Code.

Balls, Test Balls, and Polypropylene Balls

Polypropylene spheres which toilet manufacturers and toilet rating agencies uses to determine the carrying power of a given toilet. For example, the ASME and the International Society of Mechanical and Plumbing Operators use the balls to determine if the toilet can legally be offered for sale in many US states or Canada.

Bowl Contents

Water, urine, feces, and/or toilet tissue, cigarettes, pills, etc, that can be present in a toilet bowl, singly or combination.

Conflicts Caused By Water Shortages

Political disputes and warfare that occur due to water shortages. They are exemplified by the following broadcast on Public Service Television (PBS), “Your Majesty, Jordan has had great relations with Israel? Can you imagine going to war with Israel for any reason”? The late King Hussein replied, “Yes, water.”

Conventional Indoor Toilet

Either a siphon toilet—the common toilet used in the United States and Japan—or a wash-down toilet, the common toilet used in Europe and Australia.

Corrosion

Erosion, pits, crevasses, etc., caused by numerous corrosive acids and alkalis to most metals, plastics, and elastomers.

Corrosive Acids

Acids which cause corrosion. They including chromic, hydrochloric, hydrofluoric, nitric, phosphoric, oxalic, and sulphuric acids. People sometimes flush them into adjoining drain lines and sewer mains.

Corrosive Alkalis

Alkalis which cause corrosion, including ammonium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide, and sodium hydroxide, plus other strong alkalis. People sometimes flush them into adjoining drain lines and sewer mains.

Corrosive Gases

Gases which cause corrosion, including ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, oxygen, nitrogen, and nitrogen oxide gases formed by fecal, coliform, micro-organisms within the human colon. Such gases can corrode many man-made materials.

Drain Line

A pipe that slopes from a conventional indoor toilet to a communal sewer main, or to a receptacle in a laboratory. Such a pipe in the U.S. is about 100 mm (4 inches) in diameter and usually slopes downward at a 2% gradient. Some drain lines can be 18.3 meters (60 feet) long, some more, some less. A toilet flush, plus gravity, can propel human waste through the drain line to a sewer main. Gravity alone, or augmented by automated pumps in the main sewer, propels the human waste to a waste treatment plant. Sewer mains and their adjoining drain lines can contain numerous potentially corrosive, toxic chemicals, chemicals, such as methane, with are potentially flammable and potentially explosive in the presence of certain concentrations of oxygen. Toilet manufacturers use drain lines, from which about a third of the uppermost structure has been removed, to permit laboratory personnel scientifically to monitor the movement of liquids and polypropylene balls in the drain lines, so that they, engineers, and inventors can try to design toilets so that they carry the same distance with less than a conventional quantity of water or farther with a conventional quantity. Rating agencies rely on them laboratory drain lines too. The lumen of an underground drain line is completely surrounded by piping. The lumen of a laboratory one is exposed to air at atmospheric pressure. Otherwise there is no significant difference between them.

Drain Line Carry

Defined by section 8.8 of ASME A112.19.2-2003 as the ability of a toilet to propel 100 standard polypropylene test balls in a laboratory an average distance of 12.2 meters (40 feet), or more, in an seamless pipe, i.e., a drain line which has an inside diameter of 100 mm (4 inches) and a straight run that inclines downward at a 2% angle from the toilet. Drain line carry varies with the volume, weigh, density, and shape of solids to be carried. It also varies with the slope, the inside diameter, “dips and sags”, and the integrity and smoothness of the pipe. Obviously, drain line carry can also be enhanced by water from non-toilet sources, such as showers, baths, etc flowing in a drain line. Furthermore, physics teaches that it takes less energy to keep a solid moving than to restart it once it has come to rest. As will be discussed below, a two-stage staggered flush can enhance the carrying power of a toilet by preventing balls, for example, from coming to a premature stop in a drain line.

Dual-Flush Toilet

A toilet that provides a user with reduced- and full-flush options. Currently by far the most water-efficient commercially available toilet models are some dual-flush models. They represent a very small fraction of the toilets sold in the United States.

Flush

An attempt to evacuate bowl contents via a waste passageway into an adjoining drain line, usually with the aid of copious amounts of water.

Flushometer Valve

An electronic and manual valve connected to a pressurized water supply pipe. It can be opened electronically or manually (1) to create a wet-spot above a closed saucer-shaped seal, (2) to rinse the bowl, whither the saucer is open or not, and (3) as part of a two-stage staggered flush to cause an additional water to enter an adjoining drain line, while a first quantity of water and solids, such as balls, are still moving in the drain line.

Full Flush

According to the toilet industry, a flush which can expel, or can attempt to expel, 100 standard polypropylene test balls from a toilet bowl with sufficient momentum to carry the balls an average of at least 12.2 meters (40 feet) in an adjoining drain line that slopes downward from the toilet at an angle of 2%.

Free Fall

Downward movement of bowl contents from a bowl via a waste passageway into an adjoining drain line under no force other that of gravity, there being no thrust or drag other than that of the bowl. As can be readily appreciated, free-falling waste is much less likely to adhere to the bowl.

Frustum-Shaped Bowl

A bowl having a bottom outlet and an inner surface that is shaped like an inverted frustum. Thus, the bowl is free of ledges, convexities, or concavities to which human waste is more prone to adhere.

Gallon

One U.S. Gallon—Equivalent to 3.78 liters.

HET

High Efficiency Toilet. To earn a HET rating, a toilet model must use on average 4.5 liters (1.28 gallons) or less water per flush. Some current HET-rated toilets average less; i.e., between 4.2 and 4.5 liters (1.1 and 1.2 gallons) of water per flush, or between 21 and 22.5 liters (5.5 and 6 gallons) per person per day.

International Association Of Plumbing And Mechanical Operators—IAPMO

A for-profit corporation, headquartered in Ontario, Calif., which rates whether a given new toilet brand, or type of toilet, conforms to the Uniform Plumbing Code so as to determine whether it can be legally offered for sale in many U.S. states and Canada

Maintenance Costs of-Wasting Water

On-going costs for maintenance, labor, and replacement of upstream and downstream infrastructures due to inefficiencies in water usage. These costs for one large city can exceed hundreds of millions of dollars. The cumulative costs of oil, gas, coal, and energy substitutes needed to pump water to toilets sometimes hundreds of miles away, and from toilets, are vast. Such costs and health and welfare losses to air, water, and row crop pollution by electric pumps, leaks, and effluents are all growing.

Mechanical-Trap Toilet

A toilet having a mechanical trap that can be closed and opened with respect to a bottom outlet of the bowl of the toilet. When closed, a mechanical trap can retain water, human waste, and other solids in the bowl. When open it permits the water, human waste, and other solids to fall downward from the bowl.

Opposing Water Outlets

At least two water outlets located in upper parts of a bowl that are oriented in opposite directions to rinse inside parts of the bowl in opposite directions.

Psychological Costs of Wasting Water

The mental harm caused by wasting water. Such psychological detriments can include losing one's neighborhood to a water reservoir or waste water treatment plant or losing opportunities to enjoy pristine terrain, such as valleys, streams, rivers, and countryside. These losses can deprive current and unborn generations.

PTFE

Poly-tetra-fluoro-ethylene, a plastic sold under the trademark Teflon by du Pont. It is extremely resistant to the above mentioned chemicals and gases. PTFE bonds readily to anodized aluminum and is extremely slippery, properties widely used by makers of no-stick frying pans.

Rebates

Money paid by water districts in the United States to encourage those who own toilets to replace them with ones that use less water. In addition, as mentioned below, some water districts and cities, such as the City of London, England, exchange tens of thousands of more water-saving toilets to avoid having to borrow and spend billions to build new water reservoirs or waste treatment plants or to enlarge old ones.

Reduced Flush

A flush which can expel urine with/or without toilet tissue from a toilet bowl but not feces.

Rinse

To use flowing water to attempt to detach human waste from a toilet bowl and a waste passageway into an adjoining drain line. As discussed below, a supplemental rinse can also be used to cause solid waste moving in the adjoining drain line to move further down the drain line than they would have without the rinse.

Roof Vent

A pipe that vents a drain line located downstream of a water seal in a siphon or wash-down toilet. When open it equalizes pressure upstream and downstream of the water seal and thereby prevents excessively low or high downstream pressure from disrupting the water seal. This in turn prevents potentially toxic or explosive sewer gases from entering a building. However, birds, animals, wind-blown debris, etc., can clog roof vents.

Single-Flush Toilet

A toilet which is capable of one kind of flush, i.e., a full flush.

Siphon Toilet

A toilet which flushes by filling a waste passageway, upstream of a weir, with water that contains no air so that gravity acting on water on the downstream side of the weir can suck bowl contents into an adjoining drain line. Siphon toilets are the most commonly used indoor toilets in the United States, Canada, and Japan.

Spillway

An opening in an upper part of a toilet bowl that permits an over-flowing toilet bowl to discharge into a bathroom so that human waste does not come in contact with water outlets. In the event of a reversal of pressure in a pressurized source of water, the spillway prevents the human waste from being sucked into water that people drink.

Toilet Advocates

Politically Powerful Interest Groups—Organized groups of people who seek to influence the federal government to enact laws that encourage ever-more water saving toilet technology. Toilet advocates are potentially very powerful. In 1992 they persuaded Congress, despite prolonged intense lobbying by makers, plumbers, etc, to mandate a full flush may not use more than 6.0 liters (1.6 gallons). Other politically powerful toilet advocates include departments of city, state, and federal governments plus local and regional water districts responsible for financing the construction and maintenance of numerous new water reservoirs and waste treatment plants needed by burgeoning urban populations. Toilet advocates also include influential public-interest organizations, such as the California Urban Water Council (www.cuwcc.org), the Sierra Club, a variety of green organizations, and the water-conservation arms of U.S. cities, states, and federal governments. The also include the federal government itself and numerous city and state governments which must pay for toilet water used by numerous millions of civil servants, students, citizens, and armed personnel.

Two-Stage Staggered Flush

Release of an initial volume of water from a toilet bowl into a drain-line, followed, after a predetermined interval, by release of a second volume of water.

Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC)

A code that defines minimum functional and material attributes of toilets which can legally be offered for sale in the United States. IAPMO, a for-profit company, headquartered in Ontario, Calif., enforces the UPC for numerous plumbing jurisdictions in Canada and many U.S. states. A committee composed of IAPMO officials, ASME engineers, representatives of toilet companies, toilet jurisdictions, etc., updates the UPC bi-yearly to reflect new plumbing inventions and use of materials. As shown above, historically the materials, structures, and functions of prior art mechanical trap toilets performed so disastrously indoors that the current UPC prohibits a maker to offer one for sale. However, a maker who wishes to market an innovative mechanical trap toilet may submit Interim Guide Criteria to the committee charged with updating the UPC. The maker's criteria should include enough detailed instructions to the UPC Interim Guide Committee how an IAPMO laboratory can test and prove to the satisfaction of the committee that the maker's proposed toilet and its innovation toilet are worthy of further consideration. If the Interim Guide Criteria committee is satisfied, the maker must submit a model of his or her mechanical trap toilet for rigorous laboratory testing by IAPMO, or an affiliated laboratory. When the toilet passes all of the newly required tests, the committee instructs IAPMO to permit the maker to offer it for sale in any state, province, or water district that agrees its use. Thus, an innovative mechanical trap toilet can become a feature of a subsequent Uniform Plumbing Code.

Urine

A highly complex aqueous solution of organic chemicals, including urea, uric acid, and creatinine, and inorganic chemicals, such as chlorides, phosphates, sulfates and ammonia. We must excrete them as the human body cannot store them. Urine can corrode many man-made materials. On average people urinate four times a day.

Vitreous China Waste Passageway

A vitreous china conduit which is integral with a vitreous china toilet bowl in a siphon or wash-down toilet and which discharges into an adjoining drain line. Vitreous china readily resists corrosion by urine, feces, and sewer gases. It is cheap to make and mold.

Volume Of Water Per Person Per Day

The volume of indoor toilet water used by a toilet to satisfy the needs of an average person. Medical science and the toilet industry assume the average person defecates once and urinates four times a day. The average indoor siphon and wash-down toilet in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Europe consumes at least 6 liters (1.6 gallons) per flush. Consequently, they use at least 30 liters (8 gallons) per person per day. Some dual-flush toilets, as will be discussed, use 18 liters (4 gallons) of water per person per day.

Wash-Down Toilet

A toilet which floats bowl contents over a relatively low weir into an adjoining drain line. Wash-down toilets are the most commonly used indoor toilets in Europe, Mexico, and New Zealand.

Water-Seal

A quantity of water lodged in a depression between a bowl and a weir in a siphon and wash-down toilet which is sufficient to prevent volatile sewer gases, at atmospheric pressure, from rising into a bathroom from an adjoining drain line. Construction codes require roof vents that can protect the integrity of water seals.

Weir

A ridge which may have various heights and which is located in a waste passageway close to the outlet of a toilet bowl. The bowl contents must pass over the weir before falling through the remaining waste passageway into an adjoining drain line. Siphon and wash-down toilets have weirs; mechanical-trap toilets do not.

Wet Spot

A quantity of water in a toilet bowl wide or deep enough to interrupt the momentum of falling feces. The wet spot may prevent feces from sticking to the bowl at all. It may permit them to stick less firmly so that they can be more readily detached by rinse water. The Uniform Plumbing Code stipulates that a wet spot should have a surface area equal to, or more, than 123×100 mm (5×4 inches) and be 50 mm (2 inches) or more deep. The toilet industry uses the terms wet spot and water seal interchangeably. We also use the terms wet spot and first quantity of water interchangeably.

BACKGROUND

Prior Art Water Seals

As mentioned above, a water seal is a quantity of water which fills a depression between a bowl and a weir in a siphon and wash-down toilet. Its mere presence is sufficient to prevent volatile sewer gases, at atmospheric pressure, from rising into a bathroom from an adjoining drain line. However, water evaporates. A water seal can completely evaporate. Furthermore, significant pressure or suction in an adjoining drain line can undo a water seal, so that those nearby are no longer protected from sewer gases.

Experiences Of An Engineer With Indoor Mechanical Trap Toilets

William Paul Gerhard, in a book, “Hints on the Drainage and Sewage of Dwellings”, published by W. T. Comstock, 6 Astor Place, New York, N.Y., in 1884 (and digitized by Google from a copy # 14311, SXM, owned by the University of Wisconsin Library), in FIG. 2, page 11 of chapter 2, shows a sectional view of a mechanical trap toilet in a residence. A cup-shaped trap, or seal, is upwardly pivotable by hand press against a bottom outlet of a bowl and downwardly pivotable to permit bowl contents to fall into a waste passageway and, thence, into adjoining drain line. Parts of the inside of a bowl, the cup, and the waste passageway have been severely corroded by urine, feces, and sewer gases. Prominent layers of feces are stuck to most of the corroded parts. Axial seals that surround a shaft that pivots the cup have been severely damaged by corrosion Thus, potentially toxic and or explosive volatile sewer gases can jeopardize the health and welfare of those nearby. On page 86, Gerhard's summarizes his experience with mechanical trap toilets in residential bathrooms, “No mechanical trap has as yet been devised which answers for the use of under water-closets. Water-seal traps are the only ones to be relied upon. Flap-valves or ball valves, in connection with water-closet traps, are sure to get out of order after some use.” Today's toilet industry agrees with Gerhard, the only substance that can reliably prevent sewer gases from entering a bathroom is water. Water is less than optimal.

Mechanical Trap Toilets—Seals

Microphor Inc., of California, makes a very water-saving mechanical-trap toilet that pivots a flap-shaped valve upward to compress against a conventional rubbery gasket which is attached to a bottom outlet of a bowl. Sargent et al, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,185,340, Jan. 29, 1980, and in U.S. Pat. No. 4,032,996, Jul. 5, 1997, show a flap-shaped valve. A broad circular band of elastomer is connected to the outside of the bowl. It projects downward as a curtain below the bottom outlet of the bowl. Sliding the flap across and forcefully compressing it upward against the curtain seals off the bottom outlet of the bowl. The elastomer also scrapes adherent feces, etc, from the valve. Millions of current RV toilets use mechanical valves that are opened by levers that are powered by hand or foot. However, the only water available in an RV, when it is not hooked up to an external source of water, is that which it carries. In addition, until an RV is hooked up to a black water receiving tank at a public RV station, it must store and carry around discarded feces, urine, flush water, etc as black water. To limited the amount of fresh water and black water an RV must carry, the levers that open numerous RV mechanical and rinsing valves are spring-loaded to make it unlikely a person will unintentionally or prematurely rinse or flush. Many children and invalids cannot rinse and flush them. They need a second party to do so. Consequently, most people cannot open the valves fast enough to permit human waste and water in the bowls to free fall. They are less than optimal. Grech et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 6,397,871,361, Mar. 29, 2005, show a motor-driven sealing blade which movable between a closed and an open position with respect to the bottom outlet of a toilet bowl. The motor drives a plate, which meshes with a driven plate which, in turn, drives a screw which is engaged and operable to move the sealing blade between open and closed positions. The mechanism that opens the sealing blade cannot open it fast enough to permit bowl contents to free fall. It is less than optimal.

Water Outlets

Prior-art toilets almost exclusively have a plurality of water outlets, each of which is oriented to rinse toilet bowls with pressurized water in roughly the same direction, usually clockwise. For example, the present inventors, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,332,229, Dec. 25, 2001, show a toilet bowl which has at least two water outlets which rinse in the same direction. However, Huffman et al., in U.S. Pat. No. 5,715,544, Feb. 10, 1995, show water outlets that rinse in the same and opposite directions. Heinze, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,404,696, Sep. 20, 1983, show one or more multi-channel water outlets that rinse a bowl in three directions, forward, rearward, and downward. Ament, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,930,167, Jun. 5, 1990, show pressurized water flowing in opposite directions within the rim of a toilet. Brower, in U.S. Pat. No. 5,123,124, Jun. 23, 1992, shows a toilet bowl rinsed by rotating water outlets. Nakamura et al, in U.S. Pat. No. 6,145,138, Nov. 14, 2000, show an upper part of a toilet bowl shaped so that pressurized water rinses the bowl in opposite directions. Hargraves, in U.S. Pat. No. 4,075,718, Feb. 28, 1978, shows complex multi-channel high pressure nozzles. The above-mentioned Grech '361 patent shows two widely separated water outlets. One water outlet automatically jets pressurized water along a ledge on one side of an upper part of a bowl in one direction. Then, the water flows over the edge of the ledge to rinse a remainder of the bowl. Then, the other water outlet automatically rinses a second ledge and the other side of the bowl in a similar manner. The water outlets fail to create rinse most vigorously where feces are more apt to adhere, toward the front and rear of the bowls.

Toilet Bowls

Prior-art indoor toilets are characterized by one or more concavities, convexities, or angles to which human waste is prone to adhere and, thus, more prone to require further attempts to remove by rinsing or with a brush. For example, our above-mentioned '229 patent shows a toilet bowl where the front of the rim is horizontal. The rear of the rim slopes upward and rearward. Water outlets enter a top part of the bowl. Below the water outlets, the bowl has a conventional shape that abruptly turns into a steep-sided cylinder that has a bottom outlet. The bottom outlet is biased at an angle to the cylinder. Lim, in international patent application # PCT/KR 2005/000785, shows a hemispherical-shaped toilet bowl. Feces are prone to adhere to the concavities, convexities, or angles that characterize such bowls. Thus, such bowls are more prone to require multiple rinses. Furthermore, the shape of many prior-art bowls have shapes that direct falling bowl against waste passageways. Such bowls are less than optimal.

Spillways

Schnitzler, in Swiss patent # CH10222, Mar. 13, 1898, and Kimble, in U.S. Pat. No. 988,787, Apr. 4, 1911, show siphon toilets having spillways in upper parts of bowls. The spillways can help prevent human waste from overflowing onto bathroom floors. However, the spillways are too close to water outlets. ASME A 112.1.2-1991 requires a sufficiently wide unobstructed air gap between water in a toilet and water entering it to prevent contamination of upstream water used for drinking, in the event of a negative pressure in a conduit that normally delivers water to the toilet.

Using Water As A Seal

Siphon and wash-down toilet depend upon water, in the form of water seals, to prevent potentially toxic, corrosive, or explosive volatile sewer gases from entering bathrooms from adjoining drain lines and sewer mains. However, since water evaporates water seals can completely evaporate. Furthermore, they can be displaced by solid waste backing up in, or by negative, or positive pressure in adjoining drain lines.

MaP-Rated Toilets—Ability to Empty Bowls

The Canadian Water and Wastewater Association, the California Urban Water Conservation Council, and the Veritec Consulting Agency Inc originated the concept of Maximum Performance (MaP) ratings. A MaP rating specifies the greatest load of sausages that a giving toilet can discharge into an adjoining drain line. Since toilet users dislike having to try to empty a bowl more than once, MaP ratings are highly prized and touted by toilet makers; see www.cuwcc.org/MaPTesting.lasso and http://veritec.ca. MaP-rated toilets are less than optimal because they are not a true measure of a toilet's ability to flush feces without clogging a convoluted waste passageway. For example, individual human feces vary enormously in density, diameter, length, deformability, etc as compared to sausages. Unlike sausages which are all very much alike, fecal morphology can be plotted on a Bell Curve. Some fecal forms can readily clog the waste passageway of a siphon toilet that sausages readily transit.

One-Stage Flushing—Water-Saving

Current mechanical trap, siphon, and wash-down toilets use one-stage flushes. As shown below, a one-stage flush is less than optimally water-saving.

Economic and Ecologic Costs of Toilet Water

Prior-art flush toilets currently use 28% of water used indoors in the U.S. Water reservoirs are required to store water so that there is enough on hand for towns and cities when needed. Waste treatment plants are required for sterilizing sewage and used indoor water. Reservoirs and waste treatment plants can be vast and costly, according to Residential End Use of Water: Indoor Water Use, www.waterwiser.org. Many citizens do not want them in their neighborhood. Toilets in U.S. commercial buildings use about 1.2 billion gallons (4.6 billion liters) of water a day, the equivalent of the capacity of 48 full-sized water reservoirs a year, see “EcoVangage, Water Conservation Fixture Systems, Zurn Engineering Water Solutions” at www.zurn.com. It can cost as much to enlarge a water storage reservoir as to build one. “At a cost of US $2 billion, the Eastside Reservoir will almost double the storage capacity for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California”.City and regional water agencies normally borrow the money from state governments to build or enlarge water reservoirs and waste treatment plants to accommodate burgeoning urban populations. The state governments in turn borrow from the Federal government. Eventually, taxpayers must repay not only the borrowed billions but interest that can bring their total debt to three times the money borrowed. Current toilets are not optimal for reducing such financial burdens.

Water-Saving Toilets—Reduction of True Costs of Toilet Water—Toilet Exchange And Rebate Programs

Some of the potential benefits of enticing large numbers of people to use more water-efficient toilets are exemplified by the “The Reservoir that Toilets Built; Water Efficiency Case Studies from California” by Mary Ann Dickinson, Director of the California Urban Water Conservation Council, USA, published 1999, www.dams.org/docs/kbase/contrib/opt162.pdf. To quote Ms. Dickinson; “As of 1999, a total of 1.3 million “ultra low-flush” toilets had been installed in Southern California, saving a phenomenal amount of water. Each toilet saves 24 gallons [91 liters] per day in single-family households, and 42 gallons [150 liters] per day in multiple-family households. In total, the 1.3 million toilets installed by water conservation programs will save over 850,000 acre-feet [105,000 hectare meters] of water over the 20-year life span of the toilets. Annually, these savings amount to nearly 48,000 acre-feet [6,000 hectare meters], easily the size of a fully constructed water supply reservoir, all for less than $200 per acre-foot [0.123 hectare meter].” The substituted toilets were single-flush siphon toilets. They use about 30.0 liters (8.0 gallons) per-person-per-day. Bourgeoning urban populations in the U.S., Canada, etc., are projected to require more reservoirs and waste treatment plants. The toilets substituted in Los Angeles in 1999, as well as today's more water-saving ones, are less than optimal for reducing the numerous new, or enlarged, water reservoirs and waste treatment plants which the U.S. needs today, and is projected to need for the foreseeable future, or for saving taxpayers billions of dollars.

ADVANTAGES

Accordingly, several advantages of one or more aspects of our toilet are the saving of water (a) by permitting bowl contents to free fall into an adjoining drain line, (b) by employing a two-stage staggered flush to propel solids a mandated distance in an adjoining drain line with less water (c) by flushing urine with less water, (d) by having a frustum shaped bowl, (e) by rinsing the bowl with opposing water outlets, and or (f) by hermetically compressing a saucer-shaped and a sealing ring together to seal the bottom outlet of the bowl, thus obviating a need for water, that evaporates and can be displaced by pressure and suction, to act as a seal. Further advantages of various aspects will become apparent from a consideration of the ensuing description and accompanying drawings.

SUMMARY

In accordance with one aspect, a toilet bowl has a bottom outlet. A sealing ring surrounds the bowl near the bottom outlet. A movable saucer-shaped seal is positioned adjacent to the outlet at the entrance to a waste passageway. The saucer can be pivoted upward against the sealing ring so as hermetically to seal the bottom outlet of the bowl better than a water seal. The saucer can be pivoted downward to permit bowl contents to free fall via the waste passageway into an adjoining drain line. The bowl has a frustum shape so that pressurized water passing via opposing water outlets can more efficiently used to rinse the bowl. A two-stage staggered flush, i.e., a two-part flush, can be used to flush waste into and carry the waste in the sewer pipe more efficiently. All parts exposed to urine, feces, or sewer gases are made of or coated by materials resistant to corrosion by urine, feces, or sewer gases to make the toilet safe for use indoors, as in residences, etc. Moving parts which are not exposed to urine, feces, or sewer gases can advantageously be mounted with loose tolerances and thereby better function for prolonged periods.

DRAWINGS

Figures

FIG. 1 shows an exploded perspective view from in front and to the right of one embodiment of a frustum-shaped toilet bowl, a sealing ring surrounding a lower outside part of the bowl, and a rotable saucer-shaped seal in an up position.

FIG. 2 shows a general view of our assembled toilet in cross section through a center plane from font to rear as viewed from right with the saucer-shaped mechanical valve pivoted down to a fully open position.

FIG. 3 shows a perspective view from above and behind of electrical and mechanical controls, water connections, and spatial relationship of a pair of water conduits and opposing water outlets.

FIG. 4 shows a perspective view from above and to the rear of the toilet showing a turbulent rinsing patterns created by two pairs of opposing water outlets, with the rinsing patterns converging towards the front and rear of the toilet.

FIG. 5A shows a saucer-shaped seal, a saucer supporting arm, and saucer-pivoting shaft in cross section with the saucer hermetically compressed against a sealing ring that surrounds the outside of a bottom part of the bowl. FIG. 5B shows detail of the saucer and sealing ring shown in FIG. 5A, in cross section.

FIG. 6 shows a side view from the right of a saucer-shaped seal locked closed, and an external multi-part mechanism for opening and closing the saucer.

FIG. 7 shows a view similar to FIG. 6, without the timing wheel or timing belt. FIG. 8 is similar to FIG. 7. It shows a key, a catch, and a more detailed view of a trigger-centering spring.

FIG. 9 shows a side view from the right of an external mechanism for opening and closing the saucer, with the saucer open.

FIG. 10 shows a side view from the right of an arm on the timing wheel engaging the saucer-locking mechanism.

FIG. 11 shows a side view from the right of the multi-part external mechanism for opening and closing the saucer with the saucer locked closed.

FIG. 12 is a flow chart of the operating steps which lead to a supplemental flush, whenever button 72 has been depressed four times, without actuation of button 74, to help carry toilet tissue which may have been discarded after urination.

FIG. 13 is a flow chart of the operating steps which occur when button 74 is depressed to actuate a staggered full flush.

REFERENCE NUMERALS

  • 22 lower support structure
  • 23 bathroom floor
  • 24 upper support structure
  • 26 frustum-shaped bowl
  • 28 front of bowl
  • 30 rear of bowl
  • 32 bottom outlet of bowl
  • 34 waste passageway
  • 36 inlet to adjoining drain line
  • 38 reinforcing rib
  • 44 flange of passageway
  • 45 gasket
  • 46 saucer-shaped seal
  • 47 periphery of saucer 46
  • 48 sealing ring
  • 49 plate
  • 50 main spring
  • 51 apex of sealing ring 48
  • 52 pressurized water feed
  • 53 base of sealing ring 48
  • 54 flushometer valve
  • 56 accessory compartment
  • 60 water conduits
  • 62 opposing water outlets
  • 64 spill-way
  • 66 anti-splash ledge
  • 68 rim
  • 70 seat
  • 72 button
  • 74 button
  • 76 electric controls
  • 78 push button
  • 79 motor
  • 80 push-rod
  • 81 timing belt
  • 82 timing wheel rotates freely on 90
  • 84 cam
  • 86 arm on timing wheel 82
  • 87 catch on arm 86
  • 90 saucer-pivoting shaft
  • 91 key
  • 94 gasket
  • 96 hermetic radial seal
  • 100 support bushing
  • 102 trigger
  • 108 second arm connected to hub
  • 109 roller on 108
  • 111 trigger-centering spring
  • 112 catch on trigger 102
  • 114 arm
  • 115 roller on 114
  • 116 catch on arm 114
  • 120 adjusting screw
  • 122 bracket spring
  • 124 bracket
  • 126 electric switch
  • 130 arm connected to spring 50
  • 132 hub on shaft 90
  • 134 plate molded into saucer 46
  • 136 washer and wave washer
  • 138 nut and jam nut
  • 140 stud welded to plate 134

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Structures And Connections—FIG. 1

As shown in FIG. 1, a mechanical-trap toilet according to a first embodiment comprises a lower structure 22 that supports the toilet. The lower support structure sits on a bathroom floor 23 and is connected to a conventional adjoining drain line 36.

A gasket 45 is sandwiched between an upper support structure 24 and a flange 44 of a waste passageway 34. The waste passageway is an integral part of the lower structure

A bowl 26 is an integral part of the upper support structure. The bowl has a frustum shape. It resembles an inverted cone that lacks an apex.

The bowl has a bottom outlet 32. A sealing ring 48 is press fitted into a groove that surrounds an outside part of the bowl above the bottom outlet. Reinforcing ribs 38 help support the waste passageway, the bowl, and lower support structure 22.

A saucer-pivoting shaft 90 extends from the right and left sides of upper support structure 24. The saucer-pivoting shaft is connected to a plate 49. The plate passes from sight, in this view, under a saucer-shaped seal 46. Plate 49 and saucer 46 are shown in a fully up, closed, positions.

The saucer-pivoting shaft emerges (not shown) from the right and left sides of the upper support structure. It is surrounded from inside out, in order, by a hermetic radial seal 96, a support bushing 100, and a gasket 94. Shaft 90 is connected to hub 132. An arm 130 extends from the hub. The distal or free end of arm 130 is connected to one end of a coil spring 50. The other end of the coil spring is connected to a wall of the toilet as also shown in FIGS. 6, 7, and 9. An arm 108 also extends from hub 132 at an angle of about 130 degrees. Arm 108 is connected to a trigger 102. One end of the trigger is formed as a catch 112. The other end of trigger 102 is connected to trigger-centering spring 111. The trigger-centering spring is also connected to arm 108.

A timing wheel 82 is connected a timing belt (not shown). The timing belt is connected to a sprocket (not shown) of a rotary motor (not show. The timing wheel rotates freely on saucer-pivoting shaft 90 and is connected to cam 84.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 2

Bowl 26 is an integral part of upper support structure 14. The bottom of the bowl 26 protrudes downward through the upper support structure.

The upper support structure sits on and is connected to a lower support structure 22. The lower support structure sits on the ground 23 and is connected to an adjoining drain line 36. A waste passageway 34 is an integral part of the lower support structure. The waste passageway has a bottom outlet that is roughly centered over an inlet to the adjoining drain line.

The bowl has a bottom outlet 32 that is aligned roughly vertically above an inlet to an adjoining drain line 36. A sealing ring 48 surrounds and is connected to the outside of the bowl near the bottom outlet of the bowl. The sealing ring may be made of variety of compressible materials. However, we currently favor making it of a fluoro-elastomer, sold under the du Pont trademark Viton.

The frustum-shaped bowl has a front part 28 and a rear part 30. The front part inclines 30 to 50 degrees forward and the rear part 5 to 15 degrees rearward from the vertical. We currently favor inclining the front part 40 degrees forward and the rear part 10 degrees rearward. The frustum shape helps prevent feces and toilet tissue from sticking to the inside of the bowl and makes it easier to rinse them from the bowl.

A saucer-pivoting shaft 90 is connected to a plate 49. The plate is connected to a stud 140. The stud is welded to a stiff plate 134 which is molded into a horizontal bottom part of a saucer-shaped seal 46.

Plate 49, stud 140, and the saucer-shaped seal are shown in their fully open, vertically down positions.

A push button 78 is located in the center of the top of an accessory compartment 56. Electric controls 76 and a flushometer valve 54 are located within the accessory compartment. The flushometer valve is connected to a pressurized water feed 52. The pressurized water feed has an inside diameter of about 12.50 mm (0.50-inch). The water feed can have a conventional anti-siphon valve, pressure regulator, and or anti-water hammer valve.

Spillway 64 is an aperture in an upper front part of the toilet bowl. Anti-splash ledge 66 is connected to the bottom of the spillway. As discussed below, there is sufficient distance between the aperture and the water outlets to permit bowl contents, when large enough to overflow, to overflow without coming in contact with the water outlets. Thus, in the event of a drop in pressure in the normally pressurized water source, the separation between the aperture and the water outlets prevents bowl contents from being sucked into water hitherto thought to be suitable for drinking.

A front part of a seat 70 and a front part of a rim 68 are horizontal. A rear part of the seat and rim are inclined upward and rearward and are connected to an immobile part of the upper toilet. An aperture in the seat and rim is roughly located above bottom outlet 32 of the bowl and an inlet to adjoining drain line 36.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 3

As shown in FIG. 3, rim 68 is formed at the upper part of the bowl. A seat 70 sits on the rim.

A button 72 and a button 74 are located on top of the rear of the toilet. The buttons are connected to an electric control 76. The electric control is connected to a rotary motor 79 and to a flushometer valve 54.

The flushometer valve is connected to a water feed 52 which is connected to a source of pressurized water, which is suitable for drinking. The flushometer valve contains a diaphragm (not shown). The diaphragm is connected to a push-rod 80. The push-rod is connected to a push button 78 which is located on top of the toilet adjacent to buttons 72 and 74. Manual pressure on the push button depresses the push-rod and opens the flushometer valve.

The flushometer valve is connected to water conduits 60. The water conduits run forward on the outside of both sides of the toilet bowl. At least two of the water conduits enter the bowl from opposite directions adjacent to each other. The water conduits end inside of the bowl as water outlets 62. Thus, the water outlets point in opposite directions from the inside of the bowl.

A spillway aperture 64 is provided in an upper front part of the toilet bowl. As mentioned below, there sufficient distance between the spillway aperture and the water outlets to permit bowl contents to flow out of the bowl without coming into contact with the water outlets or, in the event of a drop in pressure in the pressurized water source, being sucked into water that is suitable for drinking. An anti-splash ledge 66 is connected to the bottom of the spillway to prevent turbulent rinse water from leaving the bowl.

Connections And Structures

FIG. 4

As shown in FIG. 4, the bowl has a front 28 and a rear part 30 and a bottom outlet 32.

There is a spillway aperture 64 in the top of the front part of the bowl. The bowl below the spillway is indented to form an anti-splash ledge 66. The anti-splash ledge confines rinse water to the bowl. Thus, it prevents rinse water from splashing out the front of the bowl where rinsing is particularly and desirably strong.

At least two water conduits 60 enter the bowl from opposite directions. The water conduits end as adjacent water outlets 62 that point in opposite directions so that they can rinse-areas of the bowl below, between, and beyond the outlets, and with particular turbulence towards the front and rear mid-lines of the bowl where feces are more prone to adhere.

Structures And Connections

FIGS. 5A and B

As shown in FIG. 5A, a sealing ring 48 is press fitted into a groove that surrounds the outside of a lower part of a toilet bowl 26.

A saucer-pivoting shaft 90 is connected to a plate 49. A plate 49 is connected to stud 140. The stud is welded to a rigid plate 134 which is molded within a flat part of a saucer-shaped seal, a saucer. The rigid plate stiffens the saucer. The periphery of the saucer inclines upward and outward from the flat part of the saucer. A washer and wave washer 138 and a nut and jam nut 136 secure plate 47 to the stud.

The plate 49 and the saucer are shown pivoted clockwise, fully closed, upward, so that the peripheral part of the saucer is hermetically compressed against the sealing ring.

The sealing ring is made of a resilient material. As shown in FIG. 5B, the sealing ring has a wedge-shaped apex 51 and a roughly flat base 53. The base of the sealing ring is press fitted into a groove. The groove surrounds the outside surface of the toilet bowl above a bottom outlet 32 of the bowl. The apex faces outward from the bowl. Closure of the saucer forces a small area of a periphery 47 of the saucer against a small area of the apex.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 6

FIG. 6 shows a side-view from the right of a multi-part external mechanism for opening-and-closing the saucer shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5. This mechanism is located outside of upper support structure 24 (not shown) and waste passageway 34 (not shown). Parts of the mechanism are shown in positions that hold the saucer hermetically compressed against a sealing ring, as shown in FIGS. 5A and B.

A sprocket on a drive motor (not shown) is connected to a notched timing belt 81. The belt is connected to a notched timing wheel 82. The timing wheel is connected to arm 86 and cam 84. One end of main spring 50 is fastened to a wall of the toilet; the other end (not shown) is behind the timing wheel.

Arm 108 protrudes below the timing wheel. The other end of 108 is rotably connected to trigger 102. One end of the trigger is formed as catch 112. The other end of the trigger is connected to the bottom of trigger-centering spring 111. The top of the trigger-centering spring is connected to arm 108. An inside surface of arm 108 is connected to roller 109.

The right end of an arm 114 is rotably attached to a wall of the toilet. The other end of arm 114 is free. Roller 115 is connected the outside of arm 114. An adjusting screw 120 is screwed into a block welded to arm 114. The adjusting screw is connected to bracket spring 124. The spring is connected to bracket 124. The bracket is fastened to a wall of the toilet.

Note spring 122 urges arm 114 upwards against roller 109 on 108. Spring 122 also urges a rear end of trigger 102 upward and the multi-part mechanism for opening and closing the saucer-shaped seal locks the saucer-shaped seal in a fully up position. Thus the upwardly and outwardly inclined peripheral part of the saucer is hermetically compressed against the sealing ring, as shown in FIG. 5.

An electric switch 126 is connected to a wall of the toilet. The switch is connected to electric control, shown in FIG. 3.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 7

FIG. 7 shows a similar view to FIG. 6 but without the timing wheel or the timing belt in order to expose parts of the multi-part mechanism for opening and closing the saucer-shaped seal. This mechanism is hidden by or partly covered by the timing wheel in FIG. 6.

Hub 132 is connected to arm 108. Arm 108 is connected to roller 109. The hub is also connected to arm 130. Arm 130 is connected to the rear end of extended main spring 50. The extended main spring urges 130 and hub 132 counter-clockwise. A bracket spring 122 urges arm 114 upward against roller 109 on 108. Consequently, the two springs 50 and 122 lock arm 108 and 114 together.

As shown in FIG. 7, spring 50 and spring 122 exert tension on the external and internal mechanisms for rotating the saucer open and closed. The tension has the effect of locking the saucer in its fully closed up position so that the saucer is hermetically compressed against the sealing ring that surrounds the outside of the bowl, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, and discussed below.

The main spring can be any mechanical, pneumatic, or magnet springs, that opens the saucer fast enough to permit bowl contents to free fall into an adjoining drain line. We currently favor making the main spring a coil spring. The speed with which the spring snaps open depends on the inertia of the above mentioned multi-part mechanism for opening the saucer and on the strength of the spring. We currently favor having the saucer snap open within half of a second.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 8

FIG. 8 shows a view similar to FIG. 7 but with additional details.

The rear end of main spring 50 is connected to an arm 130. Arm 130 is connected to a hub 132. Hub 132 surrounds a saucer-pivoting shaft 90. The hub is connected to a key 91. The key is keyed to shaft 90 so that, when arm 108 rotates clockwise, the hub and the saucer-pivoting shaft rotate clockwise and thereby hermetically compress the saucer-shaped seal against the sealing ring, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. Conversely, when the main spring rotates hub 132 counter-clockwise, the hub rotates shaft 90 counter-clockwise and thereby rotates the saucer-shaped seal open, as shown in FIG. 2.

Roller 109 is connected to an inside lower part of arm 108. The free end of arm 114 is formed as catch 116. Roller 109 is engaged in catch 116 of arm 114.

Trigger-centering spring 110 is connected to trigger 102 and to arm 108. The spring urges trigger 102 to rotate to a position that is roughly at a 90° angle to arm 108.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 9

FIG. 9 shows a side-view from the right, minus the timing wheel and timing belt, in order to show parts of the multi-part external mechanism for opening and closing the saucer-shaped seal when the saucer has been rotated counter-clockwise to the fully open position shown in FIG. 2.

Main spring 50 is fully contracted. Contraction of main spring 50 has urged arm 130, hub 132, and arm 108 to rotate counter-clockwise so that roller 109 on arm 108 has been drawn away from and no longer engages catch 112 on arm 114 as it did in FIG. 8. Arm 108 and trigger 102 are roughly located at about three o'clock with respect to the viewer.

Trigger-centering spring 110 urges trigger 102 to incline at roughly a right angle from arm 108 so that the trigger will be in position to be engaged to close the saucer-shaped seal as show in FIG. 10 and shown below.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 10

FIG. 10 shows parts of the multi-part external mechanism for opening and closing the saucer as it begins to rotate the saucer closed.

Arm 86 is connected to timing wheel 82. Clockwise rotation of the timing wheel engages catch 87 on arm 86 against catch 112 on trigger arm 102 and thereby rotates the trigger arm clockwise, as shown by an arrow.

Structures And Connections

FIG. 11

FIG. 11 shows the positions of parts of the external multi-part mechanism for opening and closing the saucer-shaped seal when the periphery of the saucer, hermetically compressed against the sealing ring, is closed in its fully up normal position, as shown in FIG. 5.

Prior downward rotation of trigger 102 by cam 84 has disengaged catch 112 on 102 from catch 87 on arm 86.

Trigger-centering spring 111 is connected to arm 108 and trigger arm 102 Bracket spring 122 urges adjusting screw 120 upward against the rear end of the trigger arm. Upward pressure by spring 122 on screw 120 rotates the rear end of arm 102 upward and the front end of 102 downward. The bracket spring urges the free end of arm 114 upward to lock the arm roller 109, which is connected to the inside of arm 108, as shown in FIGS. 7-9.

Note locking catch 116 and roller 109 together lock the remainder of the external and the internal mechanisms for rotating the saucer open and closed in their normally fully closed positions. These are positions that compress and lock the saucer hermetically sealed against the sealing ring 48 that surrounds the outside of the toilet bowl, as shown in FIG. 5 and mentioned below.

OPERATION

Reduced Flush—Opening The Saucer To Permit Urine To Free-Fall—FIGS. 1, 2, 5A, 5B, 6, 8, 9, and 12

Normally the toilet bowl is empty and the saucer-shaped seal is hermetically locked against sealing ring 48, as shown in FIG. 5. There is no water in the bowl. The hermetically locked saucer prevents potentially dangerous volatile sewer gases from invading a building and becoming a potential health and welfare problem. We are not aware of any prior art indoor toilet which does not rely on water to prevent such problems. Furthermore, when the saucer and the sealing ring are hermetically locked, they can help prevent suction or pressure in an adjoining drain line from adversely affecting people in a building.

The structures of the multi-part external mechanism for opening and closing the saucer are oriented to close the saucer, as shown in FIG. 6.

The sealing ring is made of a resilient material. It has a wedge-shaped apex 51 and a base 53, as shown in FIG. 5B. The base is press fitted into a groove that surrounds the outside surface of the toilet bowl above a bottom outlet 32 of the bowl. The apex faces outward from the bowl. Closure of the saucer forces a small area of a peripheral part 47 of the saucer against a small area of resilient apex, as shown in FIG. 5B. When released, the apex of the seal rebounds to a fully functional position within less than one second. When released, the resilient material rebounds to a fully functional position within less than one second. We have opened and hermetically closed the saucer about 75,000 times.

Assume a user urinates into the empty bowl. To empty the bowl of urine, the user presses button 72. This starts a series of steps as indicated in FIG. 12, as follows:

Drive motor 79, shown in FIG. 3, rotates timing belt 81 and timing wheel 82 clockwise, as shown in FIG. 10. The wheel rotates cam 84 and arm 86 clockwise.

Cam 84 depresses roller 115 on arm 114 and thereby depresses the free, left, end of arm 114.

Depression of the free, left, end of arm 114 disengages catch 116 on arm 114 from roller 109 on arm 108. Disengaging catch 116 and roller 109 disengages arm 108 from arm 114. Disengagement of arm 108 suddenly releases main spring 50.

Sudden release of the main spring rapidly rotates arm 130, hub 132, and arm 108 counter-clockwise to their positions shown in FIG. 9. Counter-clockwise rotation of hub 132 rotates key 91 of the hub counter-clockwise. The key is shown in FIG. 8. Since the key is keyed to saucer opening and closing shaft 90, rapid counter-clockwise rotation of the key rapidly rotates the shaft counter-clockwise.

Rapid counter-clockwise rotation of shaft 90 rapidly rotates plate 49 counter-clockwise. Rapid counter-clockwise rotation of plate 49 snaps the saucer-shaped seal counter-clockwise to its fully open position, as shown in FIG. 2.

Opening the saucer very rapidly (preferably under 0.10 second) permits all of the urine in the bowl, with the exception of a layer of urine that coats or sticks to the bowl, to free-fall of its own weight from the bowl. By free-fall we mean no force other than gravity is involved. There is no thrust or drag other than that of the bowl. The frustum shaped bowl becomes progressively narrower from top to bottom outlet. Thus, the shape of the bowl has the effect of causing the urine, after it has left the bowl, to converge on itself so that the diameter of the urine is considerably less than the diameter of the waste passageway it transits on its way to an adjoining drain line. Consequently, the urine is unlikely to become layered on the inside of the waste passageway. As discussed below, the frustum-shaped bowl causes feces and toilet tissue to converge in a similar manner as they transiting the waste passageway. Since urine readily flows, once in an adjoining pipe that inclines downhill from the bowl, it flows of its own. Thus, no water is required to propel a pool of urine from our bowl into an adjoining drain line. Siphon and wash-down toilets require from 3,000 to 6,000 ml (0.80 to 1.6 gallons) of water to expel urine from bowls into drain lines. The ability of our toilet to permit a pool of urine to fall from the bowl into the drain line without using water is one of its key water-saving features.

Reduced Flush To Rinse Adherent Urine

FIGS. 3, 4, And 12

As mentioned, while almost all of the urine to enter the bowl free falls from the bowl when the saucer-shaped seal snaps open, however, a layer of urine coats the inside of the bowl and must be rinsed into the adjoining drain line. The flow chart of FIG. 12 indicates the operating steps which activate such a rinse.

While the saucer is open, flushometer valve 54 automatically opens for a predetermined time (preferably about 0.1 second) as shown in the flow chart of FIG. 12, to permit pressurized water to emerges from opposing water outlets 62 to create an extensive and turbulent rinse pattern to detach urine adherent to the inside of the bowl, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. The water and rinsed urine fall through the bottom outlet and flow of themselves the length of a normal adjoining drain line.

A reduced flush of about 200 to 300 ml (0.05 to 0.08 gallon) expels urine that is adherent to the bowl. We currently favor using a reduced flush of 250 ml (0.06 gallon). Reduced flushes in siphon and wash-down toilets use 3,000 to 6,000 ml, (0.80 to 1.60 gallons) of water.

The flushometer valve automatically closes. The saucer remains open for about 6.0 seconds to permit water that coats the inside of the bowl to drip into the adjoining drain line.

Reduced Flush

Closing The Saucer—FIGS. 1, 2, 5-7, 9, 10 And 12

After the above rinse, the saucer automatically closes as follows, as indicated in the flow chart of FIG. 12.

Clockwise rotation of the timing wheel also rotates key 91, shown in FIG. 8, shaft 90 which is keyed to the key, plate 49, shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 5, thus, the saucer-shaped seal clockwise until the peripheral lip of the saucer presses hermetically closed against the sealing ring 48, as shown in FIG. 5

Clockwise rotation of the timing wheel also rotates arm 86 clockwise so that catch 87 on the arm engages catch 112 on arm 102, and thereby rotates arm 108 and connected 102 clockwise, as shown in FIG. 10

Further clockwise rotation of the timing wheel rotates arm 108 until roller 109 on arm 108 depresses arm 114 and compresses bracket spring 122, shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, so that the bracket spring urges catch 112, shown in FIG. 9, upward to lock against the roller on arm 108, as shown in FIG. 8.

Locking the roller or arm 108 against catch 112 hermetically locks the saucer-shaped seal hermetically against the sealing ring 48 on the outside of the toilet bowl, the normal position of the saucer-shaped seal.

The saucer can be made of a rigid material, e.g. stainless steel. However, we currently favor making at least the angled periphery of the saucer, shown in FIG. 5, of PTFE because human waste is less prone to corrode or stick to it.

Hermetically sealing the bowl with the sealing ring and the saucer, when the toilet is not in use, makes it unnecessary to use water to prevent sewer gases from entering the bowl from an adjoining sewer. Water seals are liable to evaporate and can be undone by back pressure in the sewer. Furthermore, hermetically sealing the bowl with the sealing ring and the saucer prevents human waste in the bowl from seeping into the waste passageway. It is important to prevent such seepage, because, over time, despite being made of steep and super-slippery materials, such as PTFE, particles of feces and or toilet tissue could adhere to the undersurface of the saucer. Subsequent rapid downward and outward opening of the saucer could scatter freshly adherent feces and or tissue to coat the waste passageway, as shown above by William Paul Graham.

Further clockwise rotation of the timing wheel causes arm 86 on the wheel to actuate electric switch 106, shown in FIG. 11, and thereby terminate operations, as indicated in the flow chart of FIG. 12. The toilet is immediately available for the next user.

Clearing A Drain Line

Mobilizing Immobile Tissue—FIG. 12

A reduced flush of 200 to 300 ml (0.05 to 0.07 gallon) of water can readily expel about 400 mm (12 inches) of common commercial toilet tissues from the bowl. However, the tissue comes to rest within about 4 meters (12 feet) in an adjoining laboratory drain line. Assume that a sequence of four females urinate and each flushs about 400 mm (12 inches) of tissue into an underground drain line. An immobile mass of about 1,600 mm (48 inches) of tissue comes to rest in the drain line. To prevent the mass from impeding the subsequent flow of feces etc., in the drain line, a sequence of four activations of button 72 automatically actuates a two-stage supplemental staggered flush, as shown in the flow chart of FIG. 12. The supplemental flush can mobilize about 1,700 mm (52 inches) of tissue that is immobile in a drain line and carry the tissue to a sewer main. This flush is described below.

Two-Stage Staggered Flush Operation

Importance Of Wet spots

As stated, urine can free fall gravitationally of its own weight into the adjoining drain line and residual urine adherent to the bowl after the saucer opens can be rinsed from the bowl with about 250 ml (0.07 gallon) of water. Thus, there is no need for water to be present in the bowl before urination. However, if there is no wet spot in a toilet bowl prior to defecation to cushion falling feces and provide a film between them and the bowl, the feces are likely to adhere to the bowl in an unsightly manner; and to resist rinsing. In addition, as discussed below, a wet spot is used to mobilize toilet tissue that is immobile in an adjoining drain line as part of a supplemental two-stage staggered flush. Thus, a wet spot is required for (a) cosmetic, (b) sanitary, and (c) carrying purposes. We currently favor using 1.00 liter (0.25 gallon) of water as a wet spot to cushion falling feces. This amount of water provides a wet spot in the frustum-shaped bowl that is about 85 mm (3.45 inches) deep and measures about 140 mm by 165 mm (5.75 by 6.75 inches) at its surface. It exceeds minimum UPC measurements for wet spots. Wet spots in siphon toilets are often twice as large.

Staggered Full-Flush

Automatic Creation Of Wet Spots—FIGS. 2, 3, and 12

To create a suitable wet spot, a user presses button 74 a first time, prior to defecation.

Flushometer valve 54 automatically opens for a predetermined time (preferably about 0.75 second), as shown by the flow chart shown in FIG. 13. That is about enough time for the release of enough water to form a 1.00-liter (0.25 gallon) wet spot in the bowl above saucer 46, which normally is hermitically compressed against the sealing ring 48, as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B. Note no part of the sealing ring protrudes below the bottom outlet of the bowl nor is it used to scrape solid human waste from the saucer.

How to Enlarge Wet Spots On Demand

If the above 1.00 liter (0.25 gallon) wet spot proves inadequate for a customer's customary needs, the user can create a larger wet spot as follows; The user momentarily depresses push button 78, shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. The button depresses push-rod 80, shown in FIG. 3. The push-rod in turn disengages the diaphragm in flushometer valve 54. This in turn opens the valve and permits a quantity of pressurized water to jet into the toilet bowl and thereby enlarge the wet spot. Momentarily depressing the push button by hand three or four times approximately doubles the volume of our standard, automatically determined wet spot, which is as large as many conventional wet spots. Later, the user can experiment with progressively smaller wet spots. They may find one rinse is enough for feces when they use the above-recommended 1-0 (0.25 gallon) wet spot.

Staggered Full-Flush

For Feces and Toilet—Opening The Saucer—FIGS. 1, 2, 8, and 13

Assuming a user has defecated and has discarded toilet tissue into the bowl, the user activates button 74 a second time to actuate the following automated sequence to empty the bowl and to carry feces and the tissue in an adjoining drain line, as shown in the flow chart of FIG. 13:

Motor 79 rotates the timing belt and the timing wheel clockwise until the saucer has opened to its fully down position, as described above under the heading, Reduced Flush—Opening the Saucer—FIGS. 1, 2, 8, and 12.

As soon as the saucer is open, bowl contents (feces, toilet tissue plus the wet spot plus urine), free-fall of their own weight into an adjoining drain line. Note, as mentioned above, the frustum shaped bowl becomes progressively narrower from top to bottom outlet. Thus, the shape of the bowl has the effect of causing the feces, toilet tissue, urine, and wet spot, after they have left the bowl, to converge on themselves so that their resulting diameter is considerably less than that of the waste passageway they transit on their way to an adjoining drain line. Consequently, the feces, toilet tissue, urine, and wet spot are unlikely to layer upon the inside of the waste passageway. We are not aware of any prior art bowl or mechanism for unsealing a bowl that causes bowl contents to free fall or to converge after they leave the bowl.

Staggered Full-Flush

Rinsing—FIGS. 3, 4, and 13

A predetermined time after the saucer has opened (preferably within 1.0 second) and while solid waste is still moving in the sewer pipe, flushometer valve 54 automatically opens for a predetermined time (preferably for about 1.50 seconds) and releases an additional discrete quantity of pressurized water from opposing water outlets 62, into the bowl, as controlled by the flow chart in FIG. 13. Thus, the additional water rinses the bowl and flows into the drain line while the solid waste is still moving in the drain line. Releasing the additional water after the wet spot propels the solids further in the sewer pipe than if wet spot, the solids, and the additional water were all to enter the drain line together as a single flush. Furthermore, releasing the additional pressurized water into the frustum-shaped bowl rinses the bowl forcefully and turbulently at and near the front and rear midline, where human feces are more prone to adhere, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. Prior-art toilets do not release an additional discrete quantity of water into a drain line after a first quantity of water and solids are still moving in the drain line.

Furthermore, we are not aware of any prior-art toilet which rinse with greatest force at or near the front and rear midlines of a toilet bowl. The saucer remains open for about 6.0 seconds to permit water that coats the inside of the bowl to drip into the adjoining drain line.

Staggered Full-Flush

Automatic Closure Of Saucer—FIGS. 6, 7, and 12

After a predetermined time (preferably about six seconds) the saucer automatically begins to close to its normal position, hermetically compressed and locked against the sealing ring that surrounds the outside of the bowl above the bottom outlet, as described above under the heading, “Reduced Flush—Closing the Saucer—FIGS. 6, 7, and 12.” Note leaving the saucer open after a flush permits rinse water that coats the bowl to drip into an adjoining sewer so that the bowl is quite dry by the time the saucer closes.

The toilet is ready for the next user.

Laboratory Test Media

Sausages

The toilet industry uses sausages to rate and report how well a given toilet might flush human feces from its bowl with a given amount of water. The following is abstracted from Maximum Performance (MaP) Testing of Popular Toilet Models: a Cooperative Canadian and American Project, 8th Edition, November, 2006, by Veritec Consulting Inc., and Koeller and Company: “The ability of a toilet to completely remove 100 percent of waste in a single flush without plugging or clogging is considered by most consumers and users to be one of the most important test criteria. A toilet incapable of flushing sausages weighing more than 130 g., plus a specified amount of toilet tissue, from its bowl at a first attempt can be expected to plug, clog or otherwise fail about 50% of the time. The majority of water utilities in the U.S. and Canada require that toilets be able to expel at least 350 g. of sausages plus a specified amount of toilet tissue into an adjoining drain line with 6.0 liters (1.6 gallons) of water, or less. Some utilities mandate at least 500 g. of sausages.” Our bottom outlet and vertical waste passageway are large enough to permit at least 1,000 g. of sausages to free fall into an adjoining pipe with 1.00 liter (0.07 gallon) of water, or less. The bottom outlet and the waste passageway are unusually wide, wider than some soft drink and beer cans and bottles so that human waste is very unlikely to clog them. A can or bottle that falls through them fortunately will cause little damage to the toilet. They come to rest at the first elbow of the drain line where they can be seen and readily removed with a tong-like device.

Laboratory Test Media

Polypropylene Balls

ASME and the toilet industry use polypropylene balls to rate and report the ability of a given toilet to carry human feces in a drain line. As mentioned, paragraph 8.8 of ASME A112. 19.2-2003 requires all toilets offered for sale for indoor use in the US and Canada to be able to propel 100 balls or average 12.2 meters (40 feet), or more, with 6.0 liters (1.6 gallons) or less. Our toilet can carry 100 balls in excess of 18.3 meters (60 feet) with a two-stage staggered flush of about 1.00 to 2.00 liters (0.07 to 0.14 gallon) of water. We are not aware of any prior-art toilet that can carry them that far with less than 6.0 liters (1.6 gallons).

Two-Stage Staggered Flush For Carrying Human Feces and Toilet Tissue

Volume of Flush

A two-stage staggered full-flush can carry feces plus about 600 mm (24 inches) of a common toilet tissue brand at least 12.3 meters (40 feet) from the bowl with about a total of 4.0 liters (1.0 gallon) of water.

Supplemental Two-Stage Staggered Flush

For Mobilizing Toilet Tissue that is not Moving in a Drain Line

As mentioned above, some people use tissue when urinating and discard the tissue into the bowl. The amount of water used for the wall of the bow free of a coat of urine, about 250 ml (0.07 gallon), can not carry the tissue a desired distance in an adjoining drain line. Consequently, activating button 72 four times, without pressing button 74, automatically triggers a supplemental flush of about 4.0 liters (1.0 gallon), as indicated in the flow chart of FIG. 12. The supplemental flush can mobilize about 1,600 mm (52 inches) of a common tissue brand that is not moving in a drain line and carry it about 18.3 meters (60 feet). We are not aware of any prior art toilet that automatically employs such a flush for that purpose.

Summary Of Rinses and Flushes

The following table summarizes the above modes of operation and use of the toilet.

Approximate
OperationVolume
Material To BeSteps to beand Drainof Water
FlushedTakenLine CarryUsed
UrineUser urinates,Saucer opens250 mm (0.07
ActuatesUrine free fallsgallon)
button 72Urine carries
about 18.3
meters (60
feet)
Feces with aboutUser actuatesWet spot4.0 liters (1.0
400 mm (16button 74 onceDefecationgallon)
inches) of toiletDefecationSaucer opens
tissueUser actuatesFeces free falls
button 74Rinse
againSaucer closes
Feces carry
12.3 meters
(40 feet)
Up to about 1,200 mmAutomaticSaucer opensAbout 4.0 liters
(48 inches) ofwheneverFlush(1.0 gallon)
toilet tissuebutton 72Tissue carries
immobile in aactuated fourabout 18.2
drain linetimes withoutmeters
actuation ofSaucer closes
button 74

Two-Stage Staggered Flushes

Further Examples of Their Carrying Power

A two-stage staggered flush can carry 100 polypropylene balls about 12.3 meters (40 feet) with about 2.0 liters (0.5 gallon) or about 18.2 meters (60 feet) with about 2.0 to 3.0 liters (0.5 to 0.75 gallon).

Further, assume that the bowl contains a 1-liter (0.25-gallon) wet spot plus 100 balls and that the wet spot and the balls fall into an adjoining drain line. While the balls are still moving in the drain-line, assume that about an additional 1.00 liter (0.25 gallon) of water are added to the bowl and permitted to fall into the drain-line. The wet spot plus the additional water can carry the balls on average at least 12.2 meters (40 feet), for a total two-stage staggered flush of about 2.00 liters (0.50 gallon) of water. We are not aware of any prior-art toilet than can 100 balls on average at least 12.2 meters (40 feet) with a total of about 2.00 liters (0.50 gallon).

Next assume that the bowl contains a 1-liter (0.25-gallon) wet spot plus 100 balls, plus about 0.30 meter (12 inches) of a common brand of toilet tissue. Further, assume the wet spot and the balls and the toilet tissue free-fall into an adjoining drain-line in which about 0.60 meter (24 inches) of a common band of tissue is immobile. Further, assume while the balls and the 0.30 meter (12 inches) of tissue are still moving in the drain-line, about 2.00 liters (0.5 gallon) of additional water are added to the bowl and permitted to fall into the drain-line. The wet spot, plus the additional water can carry the 100 balls plus the 0.30 meters (12 inches) of toilet tissue that has fallen from the bowl, plus the 0.60 meters (24 inches) of tissue that is already in and immobile in the drain line, more than 18.3 meters (60 feet) for a total two-stage staggered flush of about 3.0 liters (0.75 gallon) of water. We are not aware of any prior art toilet that can carry the above-mentioned quantity of balls and toilet tissue, in the above-mentioned circumstances, a comparable distance in a drain line with about 3.0 liters (0.75 gallon) of water.

Per-Person-Per-Day Water Consumption

The toilet industry assumes people urinate four times and defecate once a day. Assume many people were to use the toilet for all of their flushing needs. In that case the toilet would experience three reduced flushes of about 250 ml (0.07 gallon) for urine, plus one supplemental flush of about 4.0 liters (1.0 gallon) to mobilize tissue that is not moving in a drain line, plus one staggered full-flush of about 5.0 liters (1.32-gallons) for feces, for a total of about 9.75 liters (2.57 gallons) per-person-per-day. Most single-flush toilets use about 30.0 liters (8.0 gallons) per person per day. Some dual-flush toilets use about 18 liters (4.76 gallons) per-person-per-day.

CONCLUSIONS, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE

Accordingly, the reader will appreciate various aspects of our toilet have several advantages such as water efficiency and cleanliness. For example, the steep-sided frustum-shaped bowl helps prevent feces from adhering to the bowl. Opposing water outlets rinse the bowl most turbulently where feces are more prone to adhere. Thus, the bowl and outlets are more water efficient, more water saving, and more likely to provide a user with a clean bowl.

The saucer-shaped seal is normally hermetically compressed against the sealing ring which is connected to the outside of the bowl, so that bowl contents remain in the bowl and sewer gases remain in the sewer. The saucer can be opened and then hermetically closed about 75,000 times.

The saucer-shaped seal opens with sufficient rapidity that urine, feces, and or toilet tissue in the bowl can free fall into an adjoining drain line. Thus, unlike current indoor toilets, a wet spot is not necessary when a user merely urinates.

Furthermore, urine that remains stuck to the bowl can be rinsed into the drain line with about 250 ml (0.07 gallon) of water, whereas siphon and wash-down toilets need from 3.000 to 6,000 ml (0.8 to 1.6 gallons) to rinse and flush urine.

Releasing an additional quantity of water into the drain line, in the course of a two-stage staggered flush, while solids and a first quantity of water are still moving in the drain line, propels the solids further in the drain line than releasing the additional and first quantities of water and the solids into the drain line at the same time, and with significantly less water than siphon and wash-down toilets need to propel the solids.

Although the above description contains many specificities these should not be construed as limiting the scope of our toilet but as illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments. Many additional ramifications are possible. For example, the drive motor can be directly connected to the timing-wheel assembly, thus eliminating the need for and expense of a timing belt. The toilet can have (use) a battery capable of powering several thousand automated flushes during a power outage or in buildings not provided with electric power. The battery can automatically be recharged from the same power source that powers electric controls 76 so that the battery remains charged.

For buyers whose wet spot needs are accommodated by 1 liter (0.25-gallon) of water, a maker can dispense with the manual push button, the manual push rod, and the diaphragm in the flushometer valve, and thereby reduces its manufacturing costs.

The waste passageway and lower support structure can be up to about 300 mm (12 inches) taller. A manufacture can sell such tall toilets to burgeoning populations for whom today's toilets are uncomfortably low and to myriads of people afflicted with a wide variety of painful disabilities that hamper them when they sit on conventional toilets.

The main spring can be a variety of mechanical, pneumatic, or magnetic springs. We currently favor a coil spring.

A variety of shock absorbers can be used to dampen an upward thrust of arm 108 and thereby prevent the main spring from shocking and damaging moving parts which open and close the saucer. This will extend the useful life of these parts.

In lieu of a fluoro-elastomer, the sealing ring can be made of a variety other resilient materials, such as varieties of rubber that can be compressed many times and promptly rebound to their pre-compression state. Instead of the saucer compressing the point of an apex, it can compress a resilient fold.

A maker can incorporate an automated elevating mechanism that capable of raising and lowering a telescoping waste passageway and lower support structure so that people, who find current toilets uncomfortably or painfully low, can elevate the toilet so they can comfortably sit on the front edge of the seat, and then lower the toilet and seat until they can sit comfortably on as the rest of the seat.

The seat, rim, and cover can be conventionally sloped for initial buyer acceptance.

The seat, bowl, and waste passageway can be made of a variety of corrosion resistant materials which include, but are not limited, to vitreous china, plastics, metals, or anodized aluminum coated with PTFE.

The weight of a toilet is important to makers, distributors, plumbers, and handy owners. The bowl, upper support, waste passageway, and lower support structure can be made of light corrosive-resistant plastics, or anodized aluminum coated with PTFE. This will reduce the weight of our toilet to about half that of current indoor toilets.

If the toilet is destined for use by males only, a maker can delete the supplemental flush, and thereby save about 4.00 liters (1.0 gallon) of water per-person-per-day.

The bowl and waste passageway can be made of vitreous china, the surface of which has a finish which spontaneously repels urine, so that no rinsing of urine is required. Such a finish permits saving of about 250 ml (0.07 gallon) of water each time a male uses the toilet for urination alone.

Thus, the scope be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.