Title:
BLOCKAGE CLEARING DEVICE AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A blockage clearing device for unclogging a drain or toilet, the device includes an elongated cover, wherein the cover includes a first handle portion at one end, a base portion at the opposite end, and a mid portion therebetween. The device also includes a snake member, wherein the snake member includes an unclogging portion fixably attached to a cap portion that includes an adjustment handle for detachable attachment of the snake member to the cover; and, means for extending and retracting the snake member from the cover when the device is used to unclog a drain or toilet.



Inventors:
Williams, Judith Brown (Chatsworth, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/874200
Publication Date:
04/23/2009
Filing Date:
10/17/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN, RANDALL E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ITALIA IP (BURBANK, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A blockage clearing device for unclogging a drain or toilet, the device comprising: an elongated cover, wherein said cover includes a first handle portion at one end, a base portion at the opposite end, and a mid portion therebetween; a snake member, wherein said snake member includes an unclogging portion fixably attached to a cap portion that includes an adjustment handle for detachable attachment of said snake member to said cover; and, means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover includes a channel on the surface of the mid portion of the cover, and wherein said adjustment handle of said cap portion of said snake member is slideably received within said channel and detachably attachable in at least one turnout portion along said channel.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein the unclogging portion of said snake member is made of a semi-flexible material capable of snaking through a drain or toilet.

4. The device of claim 3 wherein said cover includes air freshener attachment means.

5. The device of claim 3 wherein said cover includes disposable tissue attachment means.

6. The devise of claim 3 wherein said cover includes wall attachment means.

7. The devise of claim 3 wherein the cover includes means to allow the device to stand upright on said base portion.

8. The device of claim 1 wherein the means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover includes a channel on the surface of the mid portion of the cover, and wherein said adjustment handle of said cap portion of said snake member is slideably received within said channel and detachably attachable in at least two turnout positions along said channel.

9. The device of claim 8 wherein a first turnout position is used to retain said adjustment handle and said snake member within said cover when in a stored position and a second turnout is used to retain said adjustment handle of said snake member in an extended position.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein the unclogging portion of said snake member is made of a semi-flexible material capable of snaking through a drain or toilet.

11. The device of claim 10 wherein said cover includes air freshener attachment means.

12. The device of claim 10 wherein said cover includes disposable tissue attachment means.

13. The devise of claim 10 wherein said cover includes wall attachment means.

14. The devise of claim 10 wherein the cover includes means to allow the device to stand upright on said base portion.

15. A blockage clearing device for unclogging a drain or toilet, the device comprising: an elongated cover, wherein said cover includes a handle portion at one end, a base portion at the opposite end, a mid portion therebetween, and means to allow the device to stand upright on said base portion; a snake member, wherein said snake member includes an unclogging portion made of a semi-flexible material capable of snaking through a drain or toilet fixably attached to a cap portion that includes an adjustment handle for detachable attachment of said snake member to said cover; and, means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover, wherein the means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover includes a channel on the surface of the mid portion of the cover, and wherein said adjustment handle of said cap portion of said snake member is slideably received within said channel and detachably attachable in at least two turnout positions along said channel, wherein a first turnout position is used to retain said adjustment handle and said snake member within said cover when in a stored position and a second turnout is used to retain said adjustment handle of said snake member in an extended position, and wherein when said snake member is in an extended position, said device can used to clear a drain or toilet by manipulating said first handle portion.

16. The device of claim 15 wherein said cover includes air freshener attachment means.

17. A method of unclogging a drain or toilet, the method comprising the steps of: utilizing a blockage clearing device comprising an elongated cover, wherein said cover includes a handle portion at one end, a base portion at the opposite end, and a mid portion therebetween; a snake member, wherein said snake member includes an unclogging portion fixably attached to a cap portion for detachable attachment of said snake member to said cover; and, means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover; extending said snake member from said cover such that said unclogging member is inserted into said clogged drain or toilet; manipulating said device until drain or toilet is clear; and, retracting said snake into said cover.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein the step of manipulating the device includes extending and retracting said snake member with said adjustment handle.

19. The method of claim 17 wherein the means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover includes a channel on the surface of the mid portion of the cover, and wherein said adjustment handle of said cap portion of said snake member is slideably received within said channel and detachably attachable in at least two turnout positions along said channel, wherein a first turnout position is used to retain said adjustment handle and said snake member within said cover when in a stored position and a second turnout is used to retain said adjustment handle of said snake member in an extended position.

20. The method of claim 19 wherein the step manipulating the device includes using the first handle when the adjustment handle of the snake member is in the extended position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

This application relates generally to tools used to displace materials that lead to or create a clogged drain or toilet. More specifically, this application relates to a blockage clearing device and a method of using such device to clear a clogged drain or toilet.

SUMMARY

Unclogging a drain or toilet is a tedious and time-consuming task for most people. Described herein is a blockage clearing device that makes unclogging drains and toilets much simpler and does so without the negative characteristics of conventional devices. This application discloses a blockage clearing device that utilizes a cover portion that acts both to conceal a snake member in the stored position and as an extension when the snake member is in an extended position during use. The device is of simple construction, inexpensive to produce, and can be used anywhere it is desirable to have a convenient unclogging device on hand.

In particular, this application discloses a blockage clearing device for unclogging a drain or toilet, the device comprising: an elongated cover, wherein said cover includes a first handle portion at one end, a base portion at the opposite end, and a mid portion therebetween; a snake member, wherein said snake member includes an unclogging portion fixably attached to a cap portion that includes an adjustment handle for detachable attachment of said snake member to said cover; and, means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover.

This application also discloses a blockage clearing device for unclogging a drain or toilet, the device comprising: an elongated cover, wherein said cover includes a handle portion at one end, a base portion at the opposite end, a mid portion therebetween, and means to allow the device to stand upright on said base portion; a snake member, wherein said snake member includes an unclogging portion made of a semi-flexible material capable of snaking through a drain or toilet fixably attached to a cap portion that includes an adjustment handle for detachable attachment of said snake member to said cover; and, means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover, wherein the means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover includes a channel on the surface of the mid portion of the cover, and wherein said adjustment handle of said cap portion of said snake member is slideably received within said channel and detachably attachable in at least two turnout positions along said channel, wherein a first turnout position is used to retain said adjustment handle and said snake member within said cover when in a stored position and a second turnout is used to retain said adjustment handle of said snake member in an extended position, and wherein when said snake member is in an extended position, said device can used to clear a drain or toilet by manipulating said first handle portion.

This application further discloses a method of unclogging a drain or toilet, the method comprising the steps of: utilizing a blockage clearing device comprising an elongated cover, wherein said cover includes a handle portion at one end, a base portion at the opposite end, and a mid portion therebetween; a snake member, wherein said snake member includes an unclogging portion fixably attached to a cap portion for detachable attachment of said snake member to said cover; and, means for extending and retracting said snake member from said cover; extending said snake member from said cover such that said unclogging member is inserted into said clogged drain or toilet; manipulating said device until drain or toilet is clear; and, retracting said snake into said cover.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings, when considered in connection with the following description, are presented for the purpose of facilitating an understanding of the subject matter sought to be protected.

FIG. 1 is a front plan view of a first embodiment of the blockage clearing device disclosed herein shown in the stored position;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken generally along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side plan view of the device shown in FIG. 1 shown in the extended position;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken generally along the line 4-4 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the device in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the device in FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the device in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a front plan view of the device in FIG. 1 showing the various positions of the snake member;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the blockage clearing device disclosed herein shown in the stored position;

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken generally along the line 10-10 in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is a perspective opposite view of the device in FIG. 9 shown in the extended position;

FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view of the device taken generally along the line 12-12 in FIG. 11; and,

FIG. 13 is a household toilet in section with the device disclosed herein with the snake member extended to clear a blockage.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1-8 show a first embodiment of the blockage clearing device 10 of the present invention. The device 10 includes an elongated cover 12, wherein said cover includes a first handle portion 14 at one end, a base portion 16 at the opposite end, and a mid portion 18 therebetween. The device 10 also includes a snake member 20 that includes an unclogging portion 22 fixably attached to a cap portion 24 using means known in the art. The cap portion 24 includes an adjustment handle 26 for detachable attachment of the snake member 20 to the cover 12. The device also includes means for extending and retracting the snake member 20 for the cover 12.

The means for extending and retracting the snake member 20 include a channel 28 through the surface of the mid portion 18 of the cover 12 and turnout portions 30. The channel 28 is used to guide the adjustment handle 26 up and down the cover 12 and the turnout portions 30 are used to attach and detachably retain the snake member at the desired position either during storage (uppermost turnout portion 30) or during unclogging a drain or toilet (lower turnout portions 30). See FIG. 8 showing the utilization of the turnout positions 30 to create the various locations of the snake member 20 in relation to the cover 12. The adjustment handle 26 is attached to the cap portion 24 using various means known in the art, and as shown, by screwing a threaded portion 32 into a threaded bore 34 on the cap portion 24. See FIG. 7, for an exploded view of the device 10 and a schematic of its assembly. As the adjustment handle 26 is manipulated up and down the channel 28, the snake member 20, and more specifically, the unclogging portion 22 extends and retracts from the cover 12. As shown, the lower portion 36 of the unclogging portion 22 may include a shape (such as a corkscrew, L-shape, J-shape) that allows the snake member 20 to more effectively clear a blockage. Further, the cap portion 24 is preferably shaped such that it fits the interior surface 38 of the cover to allow the snake member 20 borders to have support as it is manipulated up and down the channel 28 and when utilized at a given turnout position 30. See FIGS. 2 and 4.

The cover 12 may include means for attaching an air freshener such as a molded U-shaped portion 40 that would allow an air freshener sit in and be attached to the cover 12. See FIG. 6. Additional means may include a flat portion such that an air freshener may be attached with an adhesive to the cover 12. The cover may also include means for attaching disposable tissues. As shown, such means may include a tissue dispenser 42 integral with the cover 12 (See FIG. 5), or as with the air freshener, a molded U-shaped portion could be used to allow a box of tissues to be attached to the cover 12. The cover 12 may also include wall attachment means. As shown, a conventional eyelet 44 may be attachable or molded to the cover 12 of the device 10. See FIG. 6.

Referring now to FIG. 13, the device 10 may be used to clear a clogged drain or, as specifically shown, a toilet 46. In each method described more fully below, the snake member 20 is extended from the cover 20 by utilizing the adjustment handle 26, such that said unclogging portion 22 is inserted into the clogged drain or toilet. The device 10 is then manipulated until the drain or toilet is clear. Once the drain is clear the snake member 20 is retracted into the cover 12. With a first method, the adjustment handle 26 is manipulated up and down the channel 28 such that the snake member 20 is repeatedly extended out and retracted at least partially into the cover 12. This repetitive back and forth motion creates the necessary pressure on the blockage 48 to either break it up or dislodge it and thereby clear the drain or toilet. With a second method, the adjustment handle 26 is manipulated down the channel 28 and positioned in a turnout position 30 (other than the upper most turnout position) and this allows the snake member 20 to extend a given distance from the base portion 16 of the cover 12. When the adjustment handle 26 is attachably retained in the desired turnout position 30 the snake member 20 and the cover act as a single extended device such that the first handle portion 14 can be used to create a force on the blockage 48 and clear it. And additional method could be used as well and that method would include some combination of the two methods described above.

Finally, referring to FIGS. 9-12 a second embodiment of the device 10A of the present invention is shown. In this embodiment, the base portion 16 of the cover 12 includes means to allow the device 10A to stand upright on the base portion 16. In the embodiment shown the means includes a flared portion 17 that creates a wider stance and provides support when stood in an upright position. The second embodiment of the device 10A utilizes the structures, the means, and operates the same as described in the first embodiment above.

While the present disclosure has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is understood that this disclosure is not limited to the disclosed embodiments, but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.