Title:
Flushable toilet bowl liner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A flushable bowl protecting liner which reduces the need for manual cleaning by providing a barrier between the bowl of the toilet and solid waste. The flushable bowl protecting liner would be used in those toilets that use a limited water supply and do not have a large water reservoir held in the bowl during each use. The application is directed to toilets in recreational motor vehicles, aircraft and boats.



Inventors:
Doctors, Ronald (Santa Barbara, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/670912
Publication Date:
06/25/2009
Filing Date:
12/19/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
4/661
International Classes:
A47K13/00; A47K13/24
View Patent Images:
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20060218711Disposable toilet seat lifting strapOctober, 2006Seely
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20080172780Quick Release Toilet MechanismJuly, 2008Shiau
20080156903Hand Shower with An Extendable HandleJuly, 2008Leber
20080040851Portable showerFebruary, 2008Jackson



Primary Examiner:
CRANE, LAUREN ASHLEY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RONALD DOCTORS (SANTA BARBARA, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A liner for preventing waste from contacting the surface of a toilet bowl, the liner comprising: a formed sheet of paper such that it retains its integrity and strength when in use, but degrades after contact with water. The form being such that it comprises a continuous surface shaped to match the form of the bowl wherein it is placed by the user.

2. The liner of claim 1 wherein the material forming the liner includes a fragrances dispersing substance.

3. The liner of claim 1 wherein the material forming the liner includes an antiseptic substance.

4. The liner of claim 1 wherein the material forming the liner includes an antibiotic substance.

5. The liner of claim 1 wherein the material forming the liner includes a friction reducing coating.

6. The liner of claim 1 wherein the material forming the liner includes a decompositional enzyme.

7. The liner of claim 1 wherein the material forming the liner includes a decompositional bacterium.

8. A system for preventing waste from contacting the surface of a toilet bowl by encompassing the waste, the system comprising: a liner that captures the waste and deforms during the flushing process to encompass the waste, and a liner dispenser for storing and making available liners to the user, the liner dispenser comprising: a pocket having a plurality of the liners positioned therein; a wall mount for mounting the liner dispenser to a wall; and a back joining the pocket and wall mount together.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the material forming the liner includes a fragrances dispersing substance.

10. The system of claim 8 herein the material forming the liner includes an antiseptic substance.

11. The system of claim 8 wherein the material forming the liner includes an antibiotic substance.

12. The system of claim 8 wherein the material forming the liner includes a friction reducing coating.

13. The system of claim 8 wherein the material forming the liner includes a decompositional enzyme.

14. The system of claim 8 wherein the material forming the liner includes a decompositional bacterium.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to disposable toilet bowl liner and more particularly pertains to a new flushable bowl protecting liner for reducing the need for manual cleaning by providing a barrier between the bowl of the toilet and solid waste, in particular applications wherein the bowl is not filled with water between uses as with a standard flush toilet, but specifically for those toilets in which there is little or no water in the bowl between uses as with a recreational vehicle toilet.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The use of disposable toilet bowl liner is known in the prior art. More specifically, disposable toilet bowl liners heretofore devised and utilized are known to consist basically of familiar, expected and obvious structural configurations, notwithstanding the myriad of designs encompassed by the prior art which have been developed for the fulfillment of countless objectives and requirements.

Known prior art includes U.S. Pat. No. 3,071,289, that teaches a variety of designs for dispenser for paper products, which includes toilet seat covers. The patent does not teach the use of bowl liners to enclose solid waste.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,979,237 teaches a disposable toilet seat cover. The patent does not teach the use of bowl liners to enclose solid waste.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,611,092 teaches a child's training toilet with a disposable liner. The liner is designed to be used with a dry or non-flushing toilet. The patent does not teach the use of a liner designed for use in conjunction with a standard flush toilet nor with a toilet with limited water in the bowl during use.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,330,811 teaches a drain liner for improving the visual appearance of a drain. The patent does not teach a disposable or flushable liner that would be replaced with every use.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,745,929 teaches a covering for a toilet seat and external portion of the toilet bowl. The patent does not teach the use of bowl liners to enclose solid waste.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,985,396 teaches a material film that maintains its' strength and integrity when in use but disperses when placed in contact with water. Although the material could be used in conjunction with the invention the patent does not teach a physical design for a toilet bowl barrier that deforms into a shape for enclosing solid waste to prevent contact with the toilet bowl.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,564,399 teaches that a water activated liner with a special shape can eliminate the deposition of solid waste on the bowl surfaces. This patent also teaches that using a special material that can breakdown easily upon contact with water the liner and solid waste contents are flushable in a standard flush toilet. The patent teaches that by incorporating slots in the liner the liner may conform to the bowl. The patent does not teach the particular physical configuration that allows for use with a toilet that has limited water in the bowl during use such as those fitted in RV=s, boats and aircraft. The patent does not teach that by providing the liner in a special shape that already conforms to the bowl, there is no need for water activated paper.

While these devices fulfill their respective, particular objectives and requirements, the aforementioned patents do not disclose a new flushable bowl protecting liner made of conventional paper products for use with toilets in which there is limited water in the bowl prior to use. Although one of the patents does attempt to recognize the particular problem of keeping the solid waste from attaching itself to the bowl surface, it does not address the problem when the bowl is not partially filled with water. The flushable bowl protecting liner according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in so doing provides an apparatus primarily developed for the purpose of reducing the need for manual cleaning by providing a barrier between the solid waste and bowl of the toilet and also keeping the waste from contacting and thus interfering with the operation of the waste valve.

SUMMARY OF THE FLUSHABLE BOWL PROTECTING LINER

In view of the foregoing disadvantages inherent in the known types of disposable toilet bowl liners now present in the prior art, the present invention provides a new flushable bowl protecting liner construction wherein the same can be utilized for reducing the need for manual cleaning by providing a barrier between the bowl of the toilet and solid waste.

To attain these benefits, the present invention generally comprises a material shield designed to be placed into the toilet bowl that would enclose solid waste to prevent contact between the solid waste and the bowl.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto.

In this respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

The objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be made to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood and objects other than those set forth above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a new flushable, bowl protecting liner system according to the present invention, in one embodiment.

FIG. 2 shows three views of the design pattern of the present invention and one form of folding for packaging purposes. View 1 shows the liner in position to be used. View 2 shows the liner when viewed from above. View 3 shows one way that the liner may be folded as when placed in the dispensing pocket.

FIG. 3 shows two cross-sectional views indicating how the invention is placed and used. View 1 shows the liner in place before use. View 2 shows the liner after use and while flushing operation is proceeding.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference now to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1 through 3 thereof, a new flushable bowl protecting liner embodying the principles and concepts of the present invention and generally designated by the reference numeral 5 will be described.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 3, the flushable bowl protecting liner 5, FIG. 1, FIG. 2, view 1, FIG. 3, view 1 generally comprises a liner as shown constructed from tissue paper similar to that used for toilet paper as supplied in rolls for cleaning the body after using the toilet. The general shape and construction may be similar to a disposable coffee filter and is of such a construction well known to those familiar in the art. A flat sheet of paper may be folded and bonded along a seam 6, FIG. 2, view 1. Alternately two sheets may be bonded to form the same shape but having two seams. The shape of the sheet is such that, when it is opened out, it conforms to the interior shape of the toilet bowl, 7, FIG. 2, view 2. Different shapes may be required for different shaped bowls. The size of the liner may be determined by, the circumference of the toilet bowl interior at a point below the upper edge of the bowl 17, FIG. 3, view 1 and by the shape of the bowl 14, FIG. 3, view 1. The liner when folded as in 5, FIG. 2, view 1 and for packaging 8, FIG. 2, view 3 comprise a substantially flat topography prior to use.

The material of the liner may also include other substances incorporated into or coated onto the liner. Such substances may include a fragrance dispersing substance, which may disperse a chemical scent. The scent may be emitted continuously or may be released upon contacting water. The fragrance may be beneficial in making the odors associated with the waste less noticeable. Another substance may include antiseptic or antibiotic substances to reduce the spread of germs associated with the waste. Yet another substance that might be included may be a friction reducing coating that may make the exterior of the liner slippery. The increased ease that such a coating would convey to the package of waste while passing through plumbing would diminish the possibility of causing blockages and obstructions. Still another substance may be enzymes and/or bacteria that may assist in decomposing the liner and/or the waste. These biological decomposing substances, as is used in septic systems, may help in biodegrading the liner and waste as well as keeping plumbing free from blockages and build-up.

To understand the application of the invention better the functioning of a typical recreational vehicle toilet will be described. The toilet has a bowl that is closed at the lowest area by a flat plate, a valve, 11 FIG. 3 that is slid aside, by manually activating a lever 24. This valve allows the waste to pass through to a holding tank below, as in FIG. 3 view 2. Water may be applied to the bowl by activating lever 23, FIG. 1 at any time.

The shape of the liner may provide the function of encompassing or wrapping waste deposited onto the liner. During use only a small amount of water 10, FIG. 3, view 1 is present in the bowl 14, FIG. 3, view 1. The valve 11, FIG. 3, view 1 is closed. After use additional water is added by activating the lever 23 FIG. 1. After the additional water 16 FIG. 3 view 2 has been added the valve 11 FIG. 3 view 2 activated by the lever 24 FIG. 1 is opened. The shape of the liner is such that after the waste has been deposited into the liner, the waste will then be enclosed by the liner, now deformed 15 FIG. 3 view 2 and the liner plus the waste passes through the now open valve 11 FIG. 3, view 2 via the drain tube 12 FIG. 3 view 1 to the holding tank 13, FIG. 3, view 1.

Multiple liners may be stored ready for use in a liner dispenser 1, FIG. 1. The liner dispenser may include a pocket 2, FIG. 1 for containing a number of liners 4, FIG. 1. The pocket may support a number of liners and may include retaining surfaces 3, FIG. 1 to hold a portion of the liner's mass. The liner dispenser may comprise a back 19, FIG. 1 to which the pocket 2 FIG. 1 may be a part. The back 19, FIG. 1 may also include a wall mount 20 FIG. 1 for attaching the liner dispenser to a wall. The mounting mechanism may take various forms, such as, for example, wall screws, two way tape, adhesives, a mounting bracket, wall hooks, hook and loop fastener pads, magnets, suction cups, etc. The liner dispenser may be mounted near a toilet 18, FIG. 1 so that a potential user may have ready access to a single liner from the liners contained therein.

In use, the flushable bowl protecting liner may be made available from a liner dispenser 1, FIG. 1 located near a toilet. The user may take a liner out of the wall mounted pocket and place it in the toilet bowl 14, FIG. 3 view 1. The shape of the outer circumference 21 FIG. 2, view 2 may be cut to correspond to the shape of the toilet bowl when the liner is unfolded and opened out. The size of the liner may conform to the size of the toilet bowl 14 FIG. 3, view 1 at a height above the water level 10, FIG. 3, view 1 and the height at the rim 17, FIG. 3, view 1. The user places the liner into the toilet bowl parallel to the surface of the water. The liner would set into the toilet bowl resting the outer circumference 21 FIG. 2, view 2 of the liner on the inside surface of the toilet bowl. The seam 6, FIG. 2, view 1 placed at the rear of the bowl and the remainder of the liner placed in contact with the bowl as in 5, FIG. 2, view 1 and a shown in 5, FIG. 1. When waste is being deposited onto the liner the liner will not change in position or configuration. When the flushing process occurs the user will first fill the bowl partially with water 16, FIG. 3, view 2 and then release the valve 11, FIG. 3, view 2 that opens the toilet to the drain. The flow of water, 16 and 22 FIG. 3 view 2, and the weight of the liner and waste contents then will cause the package to descend into the drain as a complete entity thus keeping the waste from contacting the bowl, the waste valve 11, FIG. 3 view 2, or the drain tube 12, FIG. 3, view 2.

As the package of waste and the wrap formed by the liner drops into the waste tank 13, FIG. 3 view 2 it will maintain contact with water and the liner and waste will start to disperse. This is in accordance with the design of the liner material to assure that the system remain clear and that the waste is recoverable without undue process.

With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.