Title:
Plumbing device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A conduit block for replacing conventional piping under a sink, comprising at least a first liquid inlet conduit and a drainage conduit encased in a block; the first liquid conduit for connection to a faucet for pouring the liquid into the sink and the drainage conduit for connecting the drainage hole of the sink to a drainage pipe.



Inventors:
Ohana, Arik (Herzliya, IL)
Application Number:
11/886935
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
03/20/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/042
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HUYNH, KHOA D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT G. LEV (YOUNGSTOWN, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A conduit block for replacing conventional piping under a sink, comprising at least a first liquid inlet conduit and a drainage conduit encased in a box that is substantially rectangular in shape; said first liquid inlet conduit for connection to a faucet for pouring said liquid into said sink, and said drainage conduit connecting drainage hole in said sink to a drainage pipe, wherein all conduits entering and exiting said conduit block do so from above and below and front facing panel of said conduit block is without conduits protruding therefrom.

2. (canceled)

3. The conduit block of claim 1 wherein said drainage conduit includes a U shaped trap.

4. The conduit block of claim 1, further comprising a second liquid inlet conduit.

5. The conduit block of claim 1 wherein first inlet conduit is for supplying water at a first temperature.

6. The conduit block of claim 5 wherein said second conduit is for supplying water at a second temperature.

7. The conduit block of claim 1 being fabricated from a solid block having conduits therethrough.

8. The conduit block of claim 1 being fabricated by casting into a closed mold.

9. The conduit block of claim 1 wherein said sink is selected from the group of kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, washbasins, emergency eye rinsing stations, washing machines, dish washers and laboratory sinks.

10. The conduit block of claim 1 being concealed within a wall onto which said sink is mounted or in front of which said sink is positioned.

11. The conduit block of claim 10 having ceramic tiles affixed to front face thereof.

12. The conduit block of claim 10 including a means for supporting said sink thereby.

13. The conduit block of claim 12 wherein said means includes a bracket.

14. The conduit block of claim 1, further including a decorative front face.

15. The conduit block of claim 14, wherein said decorative front face is fabricated from a material selected from stainless steel, Formica, wood and ceramic.

16. The conduit block of claim 1, further including a shutoff valve to said first supply conduit within the conduit box.

17. The conduit block of claim 4 further including a shutoff valve at inlet to said second supply conduit within the conduit box.

18. The conduit block of claim including an access port to said U shaped trap.

19. The conduit block of claim 18, the access port to said U shaped trap being an aperture having a stopper therein.

20. The conduit block of claim 19 wherein said aperture and said stopper being threaded with interlocking screw threads.

21. The conduit block of claim 1 having an overall thickness of no more than 15 cm.

22. The conduit block of claim 1 having an overall thickness of no more than 10 cm.

23. The conduit block of claim 1 having an overall thickness of no more than 7.5 cm.

24. The conduit block of claim 1 having an overall thickness of no more than 6 cm.

25. The conduit block of claim 1 further including additional elements selected from the group of: soap dispensers, drinking water conduits, soda-water conduits, filters, waste shredders and water softeners.

26. The conduit block of claim 8, having at least one of the following limitations: (a) at least one of said conduits is integrally molded into said block; (b) at least one of said conduits is tooled out of said block after casting thereof; (c) at least one of said conduits is a conventional pipe encapsulated into said conduit block by casting said conduit block therearound; (d) at least one of said conduits is lined with a different material from material from which said conduit block is cast.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to providing a plumbing device for facilitating neat and compact plumbing of sinks and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Sinks and washbasins typically have one or two water inlets, such as a hot water inlet and a cold-water inlet, and a drainage outlet (plug hole) that connects to a drain. To these inlets and outlet are connected conduits, typically copper of plastic piping. To prevent smells from the drain coming back through the outlet, a U bend is formed in the conduit connected to the drainage outlet, which acts as a trap. Solid matter washed down the drainage outlet will get trapped in the U bend, occasionally blocking it. An aperture to the U bend is typically provided, or the whole U bend may be unscrewed, and in this manner, such blockages may be cleared.

The various conduits or pipe-work are unsightly, and both kitchen and bathroom sinks are sometimes fitted into cupboard units that screen the conduits from view. Typically a cupboard is situated under the sink, but because of the protruding pipe-work, its usage is limited, and such a cupboard is often only suitable for storing bottles of cleaning materials and the like, which are typically positioned around the pipe-work.

The pipe-work of conventional ceramic bathroom washbasins is sometimes hidden by a ‘pedestal’, i.e. a ceramic leg. Such pedestals add additional cost, and are somewhat prone to breakage. Furthermore, such pedestal washbasins are somewhat old-fashioned.

Increasingly, glass, stainless steel and other “modern” looking materials are used in designer sinks, which are usually fitted to the wall by some type of bracket. Here again, pipe-work thereunder is somewhat unsightly. Furthermore, such sinks are inherently unsuitable for fixing to plasterboard walls and the like, since the weight thereof tends to pull out the fixing screws.

There is thus a need for an attractive replacement for under sink pipe-work, and the present invention addresses this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to providing a conduit block for replacing conventional piping under or behind a washing utensil, comprising at least a first liquid inlet conduit and a drainage conduit encased in a block; said first liquid supply conduit for connection to a faucet for pouring said liquid into said sink, and said drainage conduit connecting a drainage hole in said sink to a drainage pipe.

The conduit block is typically substantially rectangular.

Typically and preferably, the conduit block drainage conduit includes a U shaped trap.

The conduit block will typically further comprise a second liquid supply conduit.

In conventional domestic uses, the first liquid supply conduit is for supplying water at a first temperature, and where provided, the second liquid supply conduit is for supplying water at a second temperature.

The conduit block may be fabricated from a solid block having conduits therethrough, typically by casting into a closed mold. The conduits may be integrally molded into the block, or may be tooled out of said block after casting thereof, or, at least one of said conduits may be a conventional pipe encapsulated into said block by casting the block therearound.

At least one of said conduits is lined with a different material from the material from which said conduit block is cast.

The conduit block of the invention may be utilized with any of a wide range of washing utensils including inter alia, kitchen sinks, bathroom sinks, washbasins, emergency eye rinsing stations, laboratory sinks, washing machines and dishwashers.

One advantage that the conduit block of the invention has over prior art pipe-work is that all the conduits may be concealed within the wall on which the washing utensil is mounted. Indeed, the conduit block may have ceramic tiles affixed to the front face thereof.

Optionally and preferably, the conduit block includes a means, such as a bracket, for supporting the sink thereby, allowing wall mounting thereof.

The conduit block may include a decorative front face, optionally fabricated from a material selected from stainless steel, Formica, wood or ceramic, for example.

Typically, the conduit block further includes stopcocks at inlets to the liquid supply conduit(s).

In preferred embodiments, the conduit block includes an access port to the U shaped trap. This may be an aperture having a stopper therein, where preferably; both aperture and stopper are threaded with interlocking screw threads.

The conduit block will typically have an overall thickness of no more than 15 cm, and preferably no more than 10 cm, with slim-line conduit blocks of 7.5 cm or even 6 cm being possible.

Furthermore, specific embodiments of the invention may include additional elements such as soap dispensers, drinking water conduits, soda-water conduits, filters, waste shredders, water softeners, main stopcocks and manifolds.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a better understanding of the invention and to show how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, purely by way of example, to the accompanying drawings.

With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention; the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice. In the accompanying drawings:

FIG. 1 is an isometric projection of a prior art sink, showing the mess of pipes thereunder.

FIG. 2 is a schematic isometric projection of a conduit block of the present invention, situated under a sink.

FIG. 3 is a cross section through the conduit block of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a preferred embodiment of a conduit block designed for installing under a kitchen sink for example, and including various additional features, specifically a soap dispenser, a drinking water conduit with a filter and a waste shredder in the drainage channel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is particularly directed to replacing or concealing the pipe-work under sinks.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a prior art washbasin 2 is shown having unsightly pipe work therebeneath, including a hot water supply pipe 4 connecting to the hot water tap or faucet 6, a cold water conduit 8 connecting to the cold water tap or faucet 10 and a drainage pipe 12 connected to the plug hole 14 of the sink 2. The drainage pipe is typically connected to a sewage main 18, and will preferably include a U shaped bend or trap 16 that remains filled with water and prevents unpleasant odors from the sewage main 20 from being emitted through plughole 14. Stopcocks or shutoff valves 20, 22 are usually provided in the water supply pipes 4, 8, under the sink 2, enabling the water supply to the taps 6, 10 to be cut off, so that the faucets (taps) 6, 10 can be serviced or replaced. Some sinks have only one tap 10 and provide water at one temperature only, usually cold water. Also known, are mixer taps that provide hot or cold water, or water at any intermediate temperature. The pipes 4, 8, 12 in general and the U shaped waste pipe 12 in particular are unsightly, though may be hidden by a pedestal or within an under-sink cupboard. For maintenance purposes, particularly to access the trap 16, which is usually detachable, the pipe work is usually relatively exposed, and cannot be built into the wall 24 behind the sink 2.

With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, in the present invention a block, known henceforth hereinbelow as a conduit block 100 is provided, that serves as a replacement for the conventional piping under the sink 2 is shown. The conduit block 100 includes built in liquid conduits, at least a first liquid inlet conduit 104 for providing a first liquid, usually water, and a drainage conduit 112. Usually a second liquid inlet conduit 108 is provided, so that both hot and cold water may be supplied via the conduit block 100 to the sink 2. For convenience, neatness and practicality, the conduit box 100 is typically substantially rectangular in shape. The first liquid inlet conduit 104 may be connected to a first tap or faucet 6, say a hot water tap, and the second liquid inlet conduit 108 may be connected to a second tap or faucet, say a cold water tap 10 for pouring cold water into the sink 2. Alternatively, and preferably, where both hot and cold water are supplied, mixer taps may be provided. The drainage conduit 112 of the conduit block 100 typically includes a U shaped trap 116 and is connectable to the drainage hole 14 of the sink 2. An aperture 130 is provided that goes through the front face 128 of the U shaped trap 116. Into the aperture 130 a stopper 132 is fitted, sealing same. By means of the aperture 130 or access port, the trap can be opened and cleaned of the sediment that typically gets washed down drainage hole 14 causing blockages. The aperture 130 and stopper 132 may usefully be threaded with interlocking screw threads, perhaps including a rubber gasket, thereby providing a watertight but easily opened seal.

All connections to and from the conduit block 100 may be achieved using standard plumbing fittings and techniques. In preferred embodiments, shutoff valves 120, 122 are included in the conduit block at inlets into the conduits therethrough.

Apart from providing water and different temperatures, it will be appreciated that where sink 2 is a kitchen sink, drinking water may be provided via a drinking water conduit. Indeed, in restaurants or communal dining halls, for example, soda water may be provided, via a soda water supply pipe or conduit, feeding to a soda water tap.

Indeed, apart from under kitchen sinks, washbasins and the like, conduit blocks of the invention may be provided beneath any type of sinks, including bathroom sinks, emergency eye rinsing stations and laboratory sinks, for example. The sinks to which the conduit block is connected may be fabricated from any material, including ceramic, glass, composite or stainless steel, for example. The conduit block itself is typically fabricated from a solid block perhaps, by being cast in a closed mold (investment casting). The conduits therethrough 104, 108, 112 may be integrally molded therewith or tooled out therefrom. One or more of the conduits may be a conventional pipe encapsulated into the block by casting the block therearound. Such a conventional pipe may be a copper or PVC pipe for example. Particularly in special application embodiments, such as conduit blocks used beneath laboratory sinks, the conduits may be fabricated or lined from different materials as necessary.

Apart from hiding the typically unsightly mess of piping, the conduit block will generally have an overall thickness of no more than 15 cm, and can be as little as 6 cm thick for standard domestic applications such as kitchen or bathroom sinks. Consequently, the conduit block may be concealed within a wall on which the sink is mounted. Indeed, preferably the conduit block includes some mounting means for direct fixing of the sink thereupon, such as a bracket for example. Thus sinks may be conveniently and securely mounted on plasterboard walls and the like, hidden behind the ceramic tiles thereon. This is an especially attractive option for glass washbasins such as sometimes provided in classy establishments.

Even where not built into a wall, the front face 128 of the conduit block 100 of the invention may have a decorative front face, fabricated from a material such as stainless steel, Formica, wood or a ceramic, or it may have real or artificial ceramic tiles affixed thereto, making it even less intrusive.

Furthermore, various modifications are possible. Thus for attachment of a dishwasher thereto, a branch pipe may be provided therein, connected to an incoming water pipe, typically the cold water pipe. Similarly a tributary drainage pipe for connecting a dishwasher thereto, feeding into the drainage conduit 112 might be provided.

It will be appreciated that specific conduit blocks may include a plethora of additional features. By way of example, with reference to FIG. 4, a specific conduit block 100′ designed for fitting beneath a kitchen sink is shown. In addition to hot and cold inlet pipes 104, 108 and U shaped waste outlet pipes 112, the specific conduit block 100′ further includes a soap reservoir 200 for affixing to a soap dispenser in sink surround, a drinking water conduit 210 with a filter 215 thereupon, and a domestic waste shredder 220 at the outlet into the drainage channel 116, for grinding domestic organic waste. A further additional feature optionally provided (and not shown) that is particularly useful for conduit blocks designed for use with domestic utilities such as washing machines and dishwashers, is a water softener.

Furthermore, it will be appreciated that the conduit block of the present invention may include a wide variety of standard plumbing components that are often provided with regular piping, such as mains stopcocks and manifolds for distributing liquid entering block in a single inlet pipe to a plurality of outlet pipes, for connecting to a plurality of sinks and/or utilities, for example.

Thus persons skilled in the art will appreciate that the present invention is not limited to what has been particularly shown and described hereinabove. Rather the scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims and includes both combinations and sub combinations of the various features described hereinabove as well as variations and modifications thereof, which would occur to persons skilled in the art upon reading the foregoing description.

In the claims, the word “comprise”, and variations thereof such as “comprises”, “comprising” and the like indicate that the components listed are included, but not generally to the exclusion of other components.