Title:
FLUSH VALVE MECHANISMS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flush valve is provided for flushing a toilet bowl. The flush valve includes a center tube, a flush activation device configured to initially raise the center tube, and at least one timing mechanism configured to control movement of the center tube. The timing mechanism controls volume of fluid used during a flush.



Inventors:
Le, Tuan (Diamond Bar, CA, US)
Janish, Bryan (Carlsbad, CA, US)
Collin, Robert (Lake Forest, CA, US)
Dekeyser, Bill (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/172741
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
07/14/2008
Assignee:
Fluidmaster, Inc. (San Juan Capistrano, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
137/1, 137/386
International Classes:
E03D5/00
View Patent Images:
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20090265843TOILET SEAT WITH ANOCOCCYGEAL SUPPORTOctober, 2009Chew
20060016001Ceramic diverter for tub spoutJanuary, 2006Zhao
20010013144Flush valve mounted beverage holder and associated methodAugust, 2001Augusto Jr.
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20080168599Spa system with flow control featureJuly, 2008Caudill et al.
20040111791Hygiene devices for use with water closetsJune, 2004Summers



Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TUAN LE (DIAMOND BAR, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A flush valve apparatus for flushing a toilet bowl, comprising: a center tube; a flush activation device configured to initially raise the center tube; and at least one timing mechanism configured to control movement of the center tube; wherein the at least one timing mechanism controls volume of fluid used during a flush.

2. The flush valve apparatus of claim 1, wherein the timing mechanism further comprising a first bump coupled to the center tube, the bump configured to position the center tube off its axis for a full flush.

3. The flush valve apparatus of claim 2, wherein the timing mechanism further comprising at least one float-weight coupled to an arm, the arm having a first lug.

4. The flush valve apparatus of claim 3, wherein the timing mechanism further comprising a second bump configured to position the center tube off its axis for a selective flush.

5. The flush valve apparatus of claim 4, further comprising a center tube housing including a slot configured to latch a lug on the center tube.

6. The flush valve apparatus of claim 4, wherein the lug on the arm impacts the lug on the center tube to release the center tube from the slot.

7. The flush valve apparatus of claim 1, wherein the toilet bowl is flushed upon the lug on the center tube latching the slot, and a toilet tank is filled upon the lug of the center tube being released from the slot.

8. The flush valve apparatus of claim 1, the timing mechanism further comprising a pivoted lever coupled to a first float-weight and a second float-weight.

9. The flush valve apparatus of claim 8, wherein the pivoted lever includes a first cam and a second cam, the first cam is configured to latch with a center tube lug for a full flush, and the second cam is configured to latch with the lug for a selectable flush.

10. The flush valve apparatus of claim 1, wherein the timing mechanism comprises a float-weight integrated with the center tube.

11. The flush valve apparatus of claim 10, the float-weight further comprising a tilting cup including a cam configured to latch a lug of the center tube.

12. The flush valve apparatus of claim 11, wherein the center tube is centrally positioned through the float-weight.

13. The flush valve apparatus of claim 10, wherein the center tube is coupled to a gear with a latching cam.

14. The flush valve apparatus of claim 13, wherein the center tube includes a gear rack configured to drive the gear to latch the latching cam with a height adjustment device coupled to a skirt of the float-weight.

15. The flush valve apparatus of claim 10, wherein the timing mechanism includes a first timing cup and a second timing cup.

16. The flush valve apparatus of claim 15, wherein the first timing cup includes a first tilting float cup and a first locking cam, and the second timing cup includes a second tilting float cup and a second locking cam.

17. The flush valve apparatus of claim 16, wherein the first locking cam is configured to latch with a first lug of the center tube, and the second locking cam is configured to latch with a second lug of the center tube.

18. A method of flushing fluid in a toilet, the method comprising: providing a tank coupled to a bowl; activating a flush cycle by initially raising a center tube in the tank; controlling movement of the center tube with at least one timing mechanism; and controlling volume of fluid used during flushing of the bowl with the timing mechanism.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the at least one timing mechanism comprises a latching lug of the center tube and float-weight slot, wherein another float-weight contacts a bump to release the lug from the slot.

20. The method of claim 18, wherein the timing mechanism comprises a pivoted lever coupled to a first and second float-weight, and the first and second float-weight raise the lever to engage a first cam with a first lug of the center tube for a fill flush, and a second cam with a second lug for a selectable flush.

21. The method of claim 18, wherein the timing mechanism comprises a timing reservoir including a tilt cup with a locking cam, and the locking cam latches with a lug of the center tube for a full flush.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein the timing mechanism uses an air vent to remove air from a float-weight to drop the center tube after a flush.

23. The method of claim 18, wherein the timing mechanism comprises driving a gear with a latching cam with a gear rack on the center tube to latch with a fluid level adjusting device for a full flush.

24. The method of claim 18, wherein the timing mechanism comprises a first float-weight having a first tilting cup and a second float-weight having a second tilting cup.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein the first tilting cup latching a first lug of the center tube for full flushing, and the second tilting cup latching a second lug of the center tube for selective flushing.

26. A toilet system, comprising: a tank coupled to a bowl, the tank including a flush valve device, the flush valve device including: a center tube; a flush activation device configured to initially raise the center tube; and at least one timing mechanism coupled to the center tube and configured to control movement of the center tube for controlling a volume of fluid used for a full flush and a selective flush.

27. The toilet system of claim 26, wherein the timing mechanism further comprising a first bump coupled to the center tube, the bump configured to position the center tube off its axis for a full flush.

28. The toilet system of claim 27, wherein the timing mechanism further comprising at least one float-weight coupled to an arm, the arm having a first lug.

29. The toilet system of claim 28, wherein the timing mechanism further comprising a second bump configured to position the center tube off its axis for a selective flush.

30. The toilet system of claim 29, further comprising a center tube housing including a slot configured to latch a lug on the center tube.

31. The toilet system of claim 29, wherein the lug on the arm impacts the lug on the center tube to release the center tube from the slot.

32. The toilet system of claim 29, wherein the toilet bowl is flushed upon the lug on the center tube latching the slot, and a toilet tank is filled upon the lug of the center tube being released from the slot.

33. The toilet system of claim 26, the timing mechanism further comprising a pivoted lever coupled to a first float-weight and a second float-weight.

34. The toilet system of claim 33, wherein the pivoted lever includes a first cam and a second cam, the first cam is configured to latch with a center tube lug for a full flush, and the second cam is configured to latch with the lug for a selectable flush.

35. The toilet system of claim 26, wherein the timing mechanism comprises a float-weight integrated with the center tube.

36. The toilet system of claim 35, the float-weight further comprising a tilting cup including a cam configured to latch a lug of the center tube.

37. The toilet system of claim 36, wherein the center tube is centrally positioned through the float-weight.

38. The toilet system of claim 35, wherein the center tube is coupled to a gear with a latching cam.

39. The toilet system of claim 38, wherein the center tube includes a gear rack configured to drive the gear to latch the latching cam with a height adjustment device coupled to a skirt of the float-weight.

40. The toilet system of claim 26, wherein the timing mechanism includes a first timing cup and a second timing cup.

41. The toilet system of claim 40, wherein the first timing cup includes a first tilting float cup and a first locking cam, and the second timing cup includes a second tilting float cup and a second locking cam.

42. The toilet system of claim 41, wherein the first locking cam is configured to latch with a first lug of the center tube, and the second locking cam is configured to latch with a second lug of the center tube.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application relates to, claims priority from, and incorporates herein by reference, as if fully set forth, U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/959,991, filed on Jul. 18, 2007 and entitled “FLUSH VALVE MECHANISMS.”

BACKGROUND

1. Field

The present embodiments relate generally to toilet flush valves and particularly to time controlling flush valves.

2. Description of Prior Art and Related Information

A toilet tank typically employs a flush valve that is forced open, which remains open until a predetermined amount of water flows from the tank into the toilet bowl through the flush valve. A fill valve provides water from a supply line to the toilet tank. The fill valve is open whenever the water level in the tank is below a predetermined level.

In a dual flush valve toilet assembly, a toilet bowl is normally refilled during the time the toilet tank is filled up by water from a fill valve. The amount of water used to refill a toilet bowl must be enough to seal off the trap way of the bowl. This amount usually is determined as a percentage of the total flow volume of a fill valve during a flush cycle. This water is tapped from a port of a fill valve and fed to the tank bowl through a flexible tube, running down an overflow tube of a flush valve.

Flush valves are specifically designed for the size of a tank. This makes a flush valve designed for a specific size tank to not be able to be used for a different size tank.

BRIEF SUMMARY

One aspect provides a flush valve for flushing a toilet bowl. The flush valve includes a center tube, a flush activation device configured to initially raise the center tube, at least one timing mechanism configured to control movement of the center tube, wherein the at least one timing mechanism controls volume of fluid used during a flush.

In one embodiment the timing mechanism further comprising a first bump coupled to the center tube, the bump is configured to position the center tube off its axis for a full flush. In another embodiment the timing mechanism further comprising at least one float-weight coupled to an arm, the arm having a first lug. In yet another embodiment the timing mechanism further includes a second bump that is configured to position the center tube off its axis for a selective flush. In still another embodiment the flush valve apparatus further comprising a center tube housing including a slot configured to latch a lug on the center tube. In one embodiment the lug on the arm impacts the lug on the center tube to release the center tube from the slot. In another embodiment the toilet bowl is flushed upon the lug on the center tube latching the slot, and a toilet tank is filled upon the lug of the center tube being released from the slot. In yet another embodiment the timing mechanism further comprising a pivoted lever coupled to a first float-weight and a second float-weight. In still another embodiment the pivoted lever includes a first cam and a second cam, the first cam is configured to latch with a center tube lug for a full flush, and the second cam is configured to latch with the lug for a selectable flush. In one embodiment the timing mechanism comprises a float-weight integrated with the center tube. In another embodiment the float-weight further comprising a tilting cup including a cam configured to latch a lug of the center tube. In yet another embodiment the center tube is centrally positioned through the float-weight. In still another embodiment the center tube is coupled to a gear with a latching cam. In one embodiment the center tube includes a gear rack configured to drive the gear to latch the latching cam with a height adjustment device coupled to a skirt of the float-weight. In another embodiment the timing mechanism includes a first timing cup and a second timing cup. In another embodiment the first timing cup includes a first tilting float cup and a first locking cam, and the second timing cup includes a second tilting float cup and a second locking cam. In yet another embodiment the first locking cam is configured to latch with a first lug of the center tube, and the second locking cam is configured to latch with a second lug of the center tube.

Another aspect provides a method of flushing fluid in a toilet. The method includes providing a tank coupled to a bowl, activating a flush cycle by initially raising a center tube in the tank, controlling movement of the center tube with at least one timing mechanism, and controlling volume of fluid used during flushing of the bowl with the timing mechanism.

In one embodiment the at least one timing mechanism comprises a latching lug of the center tube and float-weight slot, wherein another float-weight contacts a bump to release the lug from the slot. In another embodiment the timing mechanism comprises a pivoted lever coupled to a first and second float-weight, and the first and second float-weight raise the lever to engage a first cam with a first lug of the center tube for a full flush, and a second cam with a second lug for a selectable flush. In yet another embodiment the timing mechanism comprises a timing reservoir including a tilt cup with a locking cam, and the locking cam latches with a lug of the center tube for a full flush. In still another embodiment the timing mechanism uses an air vent to remove air from a float-weight to drop the center tube after a flush. In yet another embodiment the timing mechanism comprises driving a gear with a latching cam with a gear rack on the center tube to latch with a fluid level adjusting device for a full flush. In one embodiment the timing mechanism comprises a first float-weight having a first tilting cup and a second float-weight having a second tilting cup. In another embodiment the first tilting cup latching a first lug of the center tube for full flushing, and the second tilting cup latching a second lug of the center tube for selective flushing.

Still another aspect provides a toilet system. The system including a tank coupled to a bowl, the tank including a flush valve device, the flush valve device including a center tube, a flush activation device configured to initially raise the center tube, and at least one timing mechanism coupled to the center tube and configured to control movement of the center tube for controlling a volume of fluid used for a full flush and a selective flush.

In one embodiment the timing mechanism further comprising a first bump coupled to the center tube, the bump is configured to position the center tube off its axis for a full flush. In another embodiment the timing mechanism further comprising at least one float-weight coupled to an arm, the arm having a first lug. In yet another embodiment the timing mechanism further includes a second bump that is configured to position the center tube off its axis for a selective flush. In still another embodiment the flush valve apparatus further comprising a center tube housing including a slot configured to latch a lug on the center tube. In one embodiment the lug on the arm impacts the lug on the center tube to release the center tube from the slot. In another embodiment the toilet bowl is flushed upon the lug on the center tube latching the slot, and a toilet tank is filled upon the lug of the center tube being released from the slot. In yet another embodiment the timing mechanism further comprising a pivoted lever coupled to a first float-weight and a second float-weight. In still another embodiment the pivoted lever includes a first cam and a second cam, the first cam is configured to latch with a center tube lug for a full flush, and the second cam is configured to latch with the lug for a selectable flush. In one embodiment the timing mechanism comprises a float-weight integrated with the center tube. In another embodiment the float-weight further comprising a tilting cup including a cam configured to latch a lug of the center tube. In yet another embodiment the center tube is centrally positioned through the float-weight. In still another embodiment the float-weight further comprising a gear with a latching cam. In one embodiment the center tube includes a gear rack and an adjustment device. In another embodiment the timing mechanism includes a first timing cup and a second timing cup. In another embodiment the first timing cup includes a first tilting float cup and a first locking cam, and the second timing cup includes a second tilting float cup and a second locking cam. In yet another embodiment the first locking cam is configured to latch with a first lug of the center tube, and the second locking cam is configured to latch with a second lug of the center tube.

Other aspects and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed description, which, when taken in conjunction with the drawings, illustrate by way of example the principles of the embodiments.

The embodiments, now having been briefly summarized, may be better appreciated by the following detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature and advantages of the embodiments, as well as a preferred mode of use, reference should be made to the following detailed description read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1A is a perspective view of a flush valve device in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 1B is an internal view of the flush valve illustrated in FIG. 1A shown for a half flush position in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 1C is an internal view of the flush valve illustrated in FIG. 1A shown for a full flush position in accordance with an embodiment;

FIG. 2 is an illustration of an internal view of a flush valve according to another embodiment;

FIG. 3 is an illustration of an isolated view of a pivotal lever of the flush valve illustrated in FIG. 2 shown in a raised position according to one embodiment;

FIG. 4 is an illustration of an isolated view of the pivotal lever illustrated in FIG. 3 shown in a lowered position according to one embodiment;

according to one embodiment;

FIG. 5 is an illustration of a flush valve including an integrated float-weight according to still another embodiment;

FIG. 6 is an internal illustration of the flush valve shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an illustration of a flush valve according to yet another embodiment;

FIG. 8 is an internal illustration of the flush valve illustrated in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an illustration of a flush valve according to another embodiment; and

FIG. 10 illustrates a block diagram of a method for flushing fluid in a toilet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The various embodiments can now be better understood by turning to the following detailed description wherein illustrated embodiments are described. It is to be expressly understood that the illustrated embodiments are set forth as examples and not by way of limitations on the embodiments as ultimately defined in the claims.

The embodiments relate to toilet flush valves. The embodiments include a center tube, a flush activation device configured to initially raise the center tube, and at least one timing mechanism that is configured to control movement of the center tube. The timing mechanism controls volume of fluid used during a flush.

FIG. 1A illustrates a flush valve device 100. The flush valve device 100 includes a center tube 110 and a float-weight 125 (also shown in a raised position by reference 126). In one embodiment, the flush valve 100 includes an additional float-weight 135. FIG. 1B illustrates an internal view of the flush valve 100 shown positionally for a selected half flush. As illustrated, the flush valve 100 includes bumps 120 and 121 on the external surface of the center tube 110 and a lug 130. The housing 115 includes a slot 150 positioned on the same side as the lug 130 on the center tube 110. An arm 155 has a lug pivoted at a center on the housing 115 and a float-weight 125 is mounted on the arm 155.

In one embodiment, when the center tube 110 is pulled to the end of its stroke and until the bump 120 on its outside surface hits the bump on the housing, it is forced or bumped off its axis to the opposite side. At the time when the activation force is released, the center tube 110 will be dropped by gravitational force. The lug 130 latches or engages with the slot 150 on the housing 115, causing the center tube 110 to hang on the housing 115. At this position, the main seal is already away from the opening and allows water to drain from the tank through the opening until the fluid level drops below the bottom of the float-weight 125. In one embodiment including the additional float-weight 135, when the fluid level drops the float-weight 135 moves to the position shown as reference 145. The arm 155 and float-weight 125 under gravitational force swings down about the pivot center on the housing 115 and the lug on the arm 155 impacts the lug 130 on the center tube 110, which was latched with the slot 150 on the housing 115. This motion will kick the center tube 110 off the latching position causing it to drop down. The main seal will then seal the opening, stopping the fluid from being flushed from the tank. The tank is then refilled until the fluid level reaches the preset level. FIG. 1C illustrates the flush valve 100 shown in a full flush position.

In another embodiment, the flush valve 100 includes another set of elements including an additional float-weight 135 with a lug, arm 155, slot 150 and lug 130 to provide additional flush mechanism. This additional set allows for a precise timing and volume to be used for flushing a tank. The flush valve 100 provides a way to activate a flush valve without relying heavily on buoyancy to hold the main seal up during a flushing cycle, which results in a compact foot print for a flush valve. This allows flush valve 100 to be able to fit in various sized tanks.

FIG. 2 illustrates a flush valve 200 according to another preferred embodiment. The flush valve 200 includes a center tube 210, a pivoted lever 220, a first float-weight 230 and first rail 240 and a second float weight 250 and second rail 260. In one embodiment, the pivoted lever 220 includes two wings, or a butterfly device. In one embodiment, the first rail 240 and second rail 260 allow the fluid level in a tank to be adjusted by adjusting the position of the first float-weight 230 and the second float-weight 250 up or down.

In one embodiment, both the first float-weight 230 and the second float-weight 250 are positioned inside timing cups, which provide a delay to the fluid level to support the first float-weight 230 and the second float-weight 250 relative to the fluid level in the tank. The pivoted lever 220 has two wings pivoted about a living hinge joint, including two locking cams positioned at two different heights to lock the center tube 210 when it is raised to provide full or selective (e.g., a half flush) flushes. The two wings of the pivoted lever 220 are activated to rotate about an axis along the living hinge joint by the up and down motions of the first and second rail float-weight combinations.

When fluid is raised to a preset level in the tank, the first float-weight 230 and second float weight 250 will pull the rails due to buoyancy, which in turn will pull up the ends of the wings of the pivoted lever 220 so that the locking cams are ready to engage with a lug on the center tube 210.

For a full flush, the center tube 210 is pulled up all the way so that the lug on its outside diameter is latched and engaged with the higher positioned locking cam of the pivoted lever 220. When the fluid level in the tank is dropped below the full-flush level, the first float-weight 230 and first rail 240 will drop and no longer support one wing of the lever 220. The higher positioned cam of the pivoted lever 220 will then release the center tube 210 and allow it to drop down under gravity to seal off the drain opening of the tank. Fluid in the tank is then refilled.

For a selective partial flush, the second float-weight 250 is set lower than first float-weight 230. The center tube 210 is pulled up with a lesser stroke until the same lug on the outside of the center tube 210 will latch and engage with the lower locking cam of the pivoted lever 220. Fluid is drained from the tank until its level is below the selective flush second float-weight 250. The second float-weight and second rail 260 will then drop and release the wing from its side of the pivoted lever 220. The lower locking cam unlocks the center tube 210 to allow it to drop down to seal the drain opening.

FIG. 3 shows an isolated perspective view of the pivoted lever 220 with one wing pivoted up along the living hint joint 310. FIG. 4 shows an isolated top view of the pivoted lever 220 with one wing pivoted up along the living hint joint 310.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of a flush valve 500 according to an embodiment. FIG. 6 illustrates an exploded view of flush valve 500. In this embodiment the center tube 510 and the float-weight 520 are integrated. The float-weight 520 provides buoyancy and a housing for a seal, flexible tube 630 with one end connected to a poppet valve, which is mounted on an adjustable frame, a tilting cup 610 disposed in a timing reservoir 605 that provides a locking cam. The center tune 510 has a lug 620 on its outside diameter. When the center tube 510 is pulled up all the way to the end of its stroke, the lug 620 will latch and engage the locking cam on the tilting cup 610 to provide a full flush. When the fluid level in the timing reservoir 605 is dropped below the tilting cup 610, the locking cam is disengaged from the lug 620 of the center tube 510, allowing it to drop down to seal off the drain opening.

For a selective flush (e.g., a half flush), the center tube 510 is pulled up with a lesser stroke than a full flush so that the lug 620 does not engage the cam of the tilting up 605. The buoyancy of the center tube 510 allows it to float up until the fluid level in the tank is below the poppet valve. Air from the float-weight 520 of the center tube 510 will bleed out through the poppet valve and its buoyancy vanishes. The center tube 510 then drops down due to gravity and the fluid dynamic force from the flow in the tank, sealing off the drain opening of the tank. The water level for a selective flush is controlled by the position of the adjustable frame where the poppet valve is mounted.

FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of a flush valve 700 including an integrated float-weight 710 and FIG. 8 illustrates an internal exploded view of the float-weight 710. In one embodiment, flush valve 700 includes a center tube 705, a height adjustment device 716 coupled to a skirt 730, a gear with a latching cam 715, and a gear rack 720 mounted on the center tube 705.

Float weight 710 includes timing reservoir 721, float 722, and housing 711 with arm 735. Drain connector 740 provides a stop for weight-float 710. In one embodiment the center tube 705 has the gear rack 720 along its outside diameter to interface with the gear and latching cam 715. When the center tube 705 is pulled up all the way of its stroke, the gear rack 720 drives the gear with latching cam 715 counter clockwise until the latching cam on the gear 715 engages and locks the height adjustment device 716 from falling down until the fluid level in the timing reservoir 721 dropping below the bottom of the center tube 705. At that time, the center tube 705 will drop down and seal off the drain opening of the tank and concurrently allows the gear to rotate clockwise to release the latching. This motion provides for a full flush of the tank.

For a selective flush (e.g., a half flush), the center tube 705 is pulled up with less of a stroke so that the gear 715 will not latch on to the height adjustment device 716. When the fluid level is dropped below the float-weight 710, the buoyancy vanishes causing the whole assembly of the height adjustment device 716, the skirt 730 and float-weight 710 to drop down. The skirt 730 then blocks off the annular opening of the valve bottom and prevents fluid from draining out. Then the center tube 705 will drop down and seal off the opening.

FIG. 9 illustrates a flush valve 900 having a center tube 930 integrated with a full flush timing cup 920 and a selective flush timing cup 910. In one embodiment, the full flush timing cup 910 and the selective flush timing cup 920 each include a tilting cup 915 each having a latching cam. The center tube 930 includes a full flush lug and selective flush lugs positioned at different heights to latch with the latching cam of the tilting cups 915.

For a full flush, the center tube 930 is pulled up all the way of its stroke. Its higher lug will latch with the latching cam of the tilting cup 915 of the full flush timing cup 920 and lock it at this position until fluid level in the full flush timing cup 920 drops below the tilting cup 915. Buoyancy from this tilting cup 915 is then vanished, causing it to unlock the center tube 930. The center tube 930 then falls down and seals off the drain opening of a tank.

For a selective flush (e.g., a half flush), the center tube 930 is pulled up with less of a stroke to a position where its lower lug will latch with the latching cam of the second tilting cup 915 of the selective flush timing cup 910 until fluid level inside the selective flush timing cup 910 drops below the second tilting cup 915. The buoyancy from the second tilting cup 915 then vanishes, allowing the second tilting cup 915 to unlock the center tube 930. The center tube 930 then drops and seals the drain opening of the tank. In one embodiment, the fluid inside the timing full flush timing cup 920 and selective cup 910 can be drained at different speeds relative to the fluid in the tank by adjusting the size of the orifice 940.

FIG. 10 illustrates a block diagram of a method 1000 for flushing fluid in a toilet. Method 1000 begins with block 1010 with providing a tank coupled to a bowl. In block 1020, the method 1000 includes activating a flush cycle by initially raising a center tube in the tank. This is achieved, for example, by pressing a flush button, closing a flush switch, or pressing on a lever.

In block 1030, method 1000 continues by controlling movement of the center tube with at least one timing mechanism (such as the timing mechanisms of the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1-9) without relying heavily on buoyancy to hold the main seal up during a flushing cycle. In block 1040, method 1000 then provides for controlling volume of fluid used during flushing of the bowl with the timing mechanism.

Advantageously, the embodiments provide a device, system and method that provide a unique timing method to hold the center tube up with a relatively small amount of buoyant force required.

Many alterations and modifications may be made by those having ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the embodiments. Therefore, it must be understood that the illustrated embodiments have been set forth only for the purposes of examples and that they should not be taken as limiting the embodiments as defined by the following claims. For example, notwithstanding the fact that the elements of a claim are set forth below in a certain combination, it must be expressly understood that the embodiments include other combinations of fewer, more or different elements, which are disclosed above even when not initially claimed in such combinations.

The words used in this specification to describe the various embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification the generic structure, material or acts of which they represent a single species.

The definitions of the words or elements of the following claims are, therefore, defined in this specification to not only include the combination of elements which are literally set forth. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements in the claims below or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim. Although elements may be described above as acting in certain combinations and even initially claimed as such, it is to be expressly understood that one or more elements from a claimed combination can in some cases be excised from the combination and that the claimed combination may be directed to a subcombination or variation of a subcombination.

Insubstantial changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalently within the scope of the claims. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements.

The claims are thus to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptionally equivalent, what can be obviously substituted and also what incorporates the essential idea of the embodiments.