Title:
Toilet ventilation system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A toilet ventilation system that includes a ventilation collar mountable between a toilet tank and a toilet base. The ventilation collar cooperates with the toilet base for removal of odoriferous air from the toilet bowl via ports in the toilet rim through the ventilation collar. A fan extracts the air from the ventilation collar. A baffle disposed within the ventilation collar prevents water from being extracted from the vent collar.



Inventors:
Smith, Lyle (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Application Number:
12/290504
Publication Date:
05/21/2009
Filing Date:
10/31/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D9/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LOEPPKE, JANIE MEREDITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
INDIANO LAW GROUP, LLC (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A ventilation system for a toilet comprising: a tank and a base portion, the tank including a bottom wall having a flush valve aperture in said bottom wall the base portion including a toilet bowl having a bowl portion and a rim that encircles the bowl portion, the base portion defining a rim chamber extending generally along the rim of the toilet bowl, the base portion also including a plurality of ports in fluid communication with the rim chamber for conveying water from the rim chamber to the bowl of the base portion, wherein the ventilation system comprises a vent collar mountable between said tank and said base portion, said comprising a housing and a baffle, said housing including a generally cylindrical housing wall with an outer surface and an inner surface defining a passageway, a reduced diameter first aperture, an enlarged diameter intermediate passageway, a reduced diameter second aperture, and a ventilation port extending between said outer surface and inner surface of housing cylindrical wall, a baffle comprising a generally cylindrical baffle wall with an outer surface and inner surface of the baffle wall including a plurality of ports extending between said inner surface and said outer surface of the cylindrical baffle wall, wherein the outer surface of the baffle and inner surface of the housing define an annular air chamber when the baffle is disposed within the housing a ventilation fan in communication with the baffle, and wherein the vent collar is mounted between said toilet tank and said toilet-base with the housing first aperture in communication with the tank flush valve aperture and with having second aperture in communication with the toilet base portion aperture

2. The ventilation system of claim 1 wherein the annular air chamber is disposed the enlarged diameter intermediate passageway

3. The ventilation system of claim 1 further comprising a pipe member extending between the ventilator fan and the vent collar for placing the ventilation fan in communication with the baffle

4. The ventilation system of claim 1 further comprising a seal ring mounted between the housing first aperture and tank flush valve aperture

5. The ventilation system of claim 1 further comprising a seal ring mounted between the housing second aperture and the toilet base portion aperture

Description:

I. CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to provisional application No. 60/983,951 filed Oct. 31, 2007 entitled Toilet Ventilation System and incorporates by reference the provisional application in its entirety.

II. TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a ventilation system for toilets. More particularly, the present invention relates to toilet systems having a ventilation system designed for venting odoriferous air from a toilet.

II. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Many ventilation systems have been employed to minimize and dissipate foul bathroom odors within lavatory facilities. Fans such as ceilings are commonly used. However, ceiling fans only ventilate unpleasant odors after they have already diffused throughout the lavatory facility. Consequently, even with operable ceiling fans, objectionable odors are still present in lavatories. Furthermore, ceiling fans are relatively inefficient because they continuously ventilate large volumes of air from the entire lavatory.

Ventilation systems that are built into the toilet itself have been invented. Some of these systems can perform their function in a workmanlike manner. However, ventilation systems that are built into the toilet can be difficult to assemble and expensive to install. Some such systems are not made to be removable, and generally cannot be easily retrofitted to existing toilets.

The present invention provides a simple, removable ventilation system designed for use in new or existing toilets. The ventilation system of the present invention is inexpensive and can be installed by a person of minimal mechanical aptitude.

V. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a ventilation system for use with a typical household or commercial toilet. The typical toilet includes a tank for holding water, and passageways for transporting the water from the tank to the bowl in the base portion of the toilet. The base portion of the toilet defines a plurality of ports for directing water into an interior of the toilet bowl, and an interior passageway for conveying water from the tank to the ports of the toilet bowl.

Water flowing from the tank into the bowl causes a surge in the bowl. The surge causes water in the bowl to push into a U-shaped pipe, upwards around the apex of the ā€œUā€ in the pipe, pushing the air pocket down into the sewer. This creates a siphon which draws a continuous flow of water from the bowl and through the pipe. When the tank empties so that there is no more water in the bowl, air fills the ā€œUā€ in the pipe, stopping the siphon. Once the siphon is interrupted, water fills the tank and re-fills the bowl. The water stops flowing into the bowl when a float in the tank raises with the water level in the tank to a high enough level which allows a tank valve to close.

The present invention comprises a vent collar mountable between the tank portion and the base portion of the typical toilet. A vent collar is placed between the tank and bowl portions of a toilet and secured by conventional means, such as by replacing the original equipment bolts that attach the toilet tank to the toilet base with elongated bolts. The ventilation collar includes a ventilation port that can be connected to a ventilation line or pipe. The line or pipe can then be connected to a ventilation fan to pull odoriferous air from toilet. The ventilation line and pipe can be placed in any suitable location to directs odoriferous air outside of the restroom or lavatory facility, such as into an attic or to the exterior of the building in which the restroom or lavatory is situated

The vent collar includes a passageway that is in the water flow path between the tank and base portion of a conventional toilet. When water is not in the water flow path, the ventilation fan can draw air from the toilet bowl through the ports of the bowl and through the vent collar. Air drawn through the vent collar exits the toilet structure through a ventilation port. If water is in the passageway, the vent collar baffle and an annular air space defined by the vent collar baffle and the vent collar housing prevents water from being extracted by the ventilation fan into the ventilation line. During testing, it was found that the ventilation system of the present invention was successful in removing essentially all of the foul odor present in the normal use of bathroom facilities. The ventilation system provides inexpensive, easy to install ventilation in a manner unforeseen in the prior art.

A variety of advantages of the invention will be set forth in part in the description that follows, and in part will be apparent from the description, or may be learned by practicing the invention. It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the invention as claimed.

V. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 are a schematic cross-sectional view of an entire toilet featuring the ventilation system of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view of the ventilation system of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the vent collar housing of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is an exploded cross-sectional side view of the vent collar housing and vent collar baffle with vent collar seals and ventilation pipe that can be used with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional top view of the vent collar of the present invention.

I. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a toilet ventilation system 20 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The toilet ventilation system 20 includes a toilet 10 having a base portion 12 (i.e., a stool) and a tank 16. Toilet base portion 12 typically includes a toilet bowl 14. The base portion 12 includes a circumferencial rim portion 74 defining a circumferencial rim chamber 76.

The tank 16 supplies water to the toilet 10 through a water input system 18. The water input system 18 is located within tank 16, and includes an inlet end 19 and an outlet end 22. Inlet end 19 is attached to a source of water, such as a city water pipe or a well system that is pressurized. The tank includes a bottom wall 71 which includes a flush valve aperture 72. Flush valve controls 32 water flow through flush valve aperture 72.

A conventional float arrangement 21 is used to control the water level in tank 16. For example, when the toilet 10 is flushed, the water level in the tank 16 drops causing the float arrangement 21 to also drop. When the float arrangement 21 drops, a valve (not shown) is caused to open flow between the inlet line 19 and the tank 16. As the water level in the tank 16 rises, the float 21 also rises. When the float 21 reaches a predetermined level (shown in FIG. 1), the valve (not shown) closes and flow is stopped between the inlet line 19 and the tank 14.

Referring to FIG. 1, the flush valve aperture 72 is used to discharge water through the bottom of the tank 16 when the toilet 10 is flushed. The flush valve aperture 72 is opened and closed by a conventional flush valve 32 such as a flapper or plunger valve. A conventional flush control such as a handle 33 and chain arrangement 35 is used to open and close the flush valve 32. To flush the toilet 10, the handle 33 is pressed downward causing lever 34 and chain 35 to lift the flush valve 32 to an open position.

With the flush valve 32 in the open position, the water in the tank 16 is discharged through the flush valve aperture 72. After the water has been discharged through the flush valve aperture 72, the flush valve 32 moves to a closed position (shown in FIG. 1) such that the tank can be refilled with water.

The bowl 14 of the toilet 10 includes a siphon system 64. The siphon system 64 controls and maintains the level of water in the bowl. The siphon system 64 of the toilet begins with the drain portion of the toilet 66 of the toilet 16. Gravity will force water through the drain portion 66, through a u-shaped drain pipe 68. There is a peak portion 70, where the force of gravity is not great enough to force water to leave the system absent the flush. When a flush occurs, a large volume of water enters the bowl 14, forcing the contents of the tank over the peak portion 70 and into a sewer or septic system (not shown).

Toilet base portion 12 includes a circumferential rim portion 74 encircling bowl 14. Rim portion 74 includes a rim chamber 76. The toilet rim portion 74 defines a plurality of ports 78 in fluid communication with the rim chamber 76. The toilet base portion 12 includes a base aperture 73 that is in communication with intermediate chamber 79. Intermediate chamber 79 and the rim chamber 76 cooperate to form an interior passageway that provides fluid communication between base aperture 73 and ports 78. When the toilet is flushed, water flows from tank 10, through flush valve aperture 73 through vent collar 36, into intermediate chamber 79 and rim chamber 76 before exiting through port 78 into bowl 14.

The ventilation system 20 of the present invention comprises a vent collar 36 connected to a fan 60 and is designed to be installed into a standard household toilet 10, shown in FIG. 1. The toilet 10 includes all of the features of any commercial toilet, including a base portion 12, which includes the bowl 14, and a tank portion 16.

The vent collar 36 comprises a housing 80 and a baffle 46. As shown in FIG. 3, the housing 80 is generally cylindrical and made of a water resistant material, such as PVC. The housing 80 includes a top end 38, a bottom end 40, and wall 81 with outer surface 42 and an inner surface 44 defining passageway 45.

FIGS. 3-5 illustrate the vent collar housing 80. The housing 80 is generally cylindrical in shape with a wall 81 having a reduced diameter first aperture 82, an enlarged intermediate diameter passageway 84, and a reduced second aperture 86. The housing wall 81 has an inner surface 44 and an outer surface 42. The housing 80 also includes a ventilation port 88. As shown in the embodiment depicted, the ventilation port 88 has female threads 54 for receiving male threads 56 of adapter 58 which can be connected to ventilation line 23.

The reduced first diameter 82 of the housing can include a lip 50 for receiving a flange 51 on the baffle 46. The baffle 46 is generally cylindrical with a wall 90 having an inner surface 94 and an outer surface 92. The baffle wall includes a plurality of generally radically extending ports 49 that allow air to push through the baffle wall. Baffle fitted portion 53 is accepted into housing second aperture 86.

Referring to FIG. 4, disposed within housing 80 is baffle 46. Baffle 46 is a generally cylindrical with a plurality of openings 49 which allow fan 60 to draw fouled air through passageway 45, while at the same time minimizing the extrusion of water from ventilation port 88 during the flush cycle. The baffle 46 is one of the most important features of the present invention. Because the toilet vent collar 36 is designed to allow installation in an ordinary toilet without any major structural changes to the toilet, the system is at risk of water entering the fan. Baffle 46 discourages water from exiting through ventilation port 88.

Vent collar 36 is designed to be retrofitted into the tank of any existing toilet. Another embodiment would include a version of the vent collar 36 pre-manufactured into a toilet.

Baffle 46 is disposed within the vent collar housing 80; thereby forming an annular air chamber 96 defined by the baffle outer surface 92 and the housing inner surface 44, which is best seen in FIG. 5. The baffle ports 49 are angled in the embodiment shown. The angling of the baffle ports 49 aids in resisting the flow of water out of the ventilation port 88. An important feature of the vent collar 36 is the annular air chamber 96 defined by the baffle outer surface 52 and the housing inner surface 44. Water that escapes from the baffle 46 will be trapped by the housing wall inner surface 44 and flow back into the inner diameter of baffle 46 through baffle ports 48.

Returning to FIG. 1, first seal ring 52 assists in making water-tight the union between the tank 16 and the vent collar 36. Second seal ring 48 assists in making it water tight the union between the baffle 46 and toilet base 12.

As those skilled in the art appreciate the vent collar housing 80 and baffle 46 combination as can be configured as a single component instead the two-piece configuration shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. arrangements 52 and 48.

In the preferred embodiment, the ventilation port 88 is connected to ventilation line 23 which is in then connected to a fan 60 that can be motor operated and powered by batteries or by building electricity. The fan 60 exhaust can be located to direct air to an area where the effect of odoriferous air and inconsequential, such as into an attic, and or outside of the building.

In use of the toilet ventilation system 20, the ventilation line 23 functions to evacuate or withdraw air from the interior of the bowl 14 through the ports 78 as shown in FIG. 1. For example, when the flush valve 32 is closed and no water is in the rim chamber 76, the fan 60 can be used to draw air from the toilet bowl 14 through the ventilation line 23. Specifically, air is drawn from the bowl into the rim chamber 76 through the ports 78 from bowl 12. From the rim chamber 76, the air is drawn into the intermediate chamber 79 and exits the base portion 12 through the ventilation port 88. From the ventilation port 88, the air is drawn through the ventilation line 23 by fan 60. Ventilation line 23 and fan 60 can be advantageously routed to direct odoriferous air out of the restroom or lavatory facility.