Title:
Compartment Drain Strainer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for allowing a user to adjust drainage properties of a sink drain is disclosed, comprising an inner tube inserted into a stopper ring. The stopper ring is inserted into the drain such that liquids cannot enter the sink drain except by traversing the inner tube. An outer tube is fitted substantially completely around the inner tube. A selector slot of the outer tube may be aligned with a selected drain slot of the inner tube to allow draining of the sink down to a lower height of an exposed drain slot of the inner tube. A straining tube is adapted to fit loosely around the outer tube and has a plurality of straining apertures each no larger than a predetermined size. The apertures are formed along the entire length of the straining tube. With the straining tube placed around the outer tube, debris having a size larger than the predetermined size is prevented from flowing through the slots of the outer and inner tubes and into the sink drain.



Inventors:
Hong, Eunha (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
11/971750
Publication Date:
07/09/2009
Filing Date:
01/09/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03C1/26
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LOEPPKE, JANIE MEREDITH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QUICKPATENTS (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for allowing a user to adjust drainage properties of a sink drain, comprising: a rigid inner tube having a tube wall, a lower end and an upper end, the tube wall having at least one longitudinal drain slot formed therein, each drain slot having a generally unique radial location in the inner tube wall, and each having a generally unique lower height along the inner tube; a water-impervious stopper ring having an inner diameter adapted to snugly fit around and fix the lower end of the inner tube, and an outer diameter adapted to snugly fit inside the sink drain; a rigid outer tube having a tube wall, a lower end, and an upper end, the outer tube adapted to fit rotatably yet snugly around the inner tube, the outer tube wall having a longitudinal selector slot formed therein able in size to substantially completely expose any of the drain slots of the inner tube; whereby with the inner tube inserted into the stopper ring, the stopper ring inserted into the drain such that liquids cannot enter the sink drain except by traversing the inner tube, and with the outer tube fitted substantially completely around the inner tube, the selector slot of the outer tube may be aligned with a selected drain slot of the inner tube to allow draining of the sink down to the lower height of the exposed drain slot of the inner tube.

2. The device of claim 1 further including a straining tube having a tube wall, a lower end, and an upper end, the straining tube adapted to fit loosely around the outer tube and having a plurality of straining apertures each no larger than a predetermined size, the apertures formed along the entire length of the straining tube, whereby with the straining tube placed around the outer tube, debris having a size larger than the predetermined size is prevented from flowing through the slots of the outer and inner tubes and into the sink drain.

3. The device of claim 1 wherein the drain slots are formed in the inner tube and the selector slot is formed in the outer tube.

4. The device of claim 1 wherein a lower drain slot of the inner tube has a lower height proximate the lower end of the inner tube.

5. The device of claim 1 wherein a middle drain slot of the inner tube has a lower height proximate half-way between the lower and upper ends of the inner tube.

6. The device of claim 1 where an upper drain slot of the inner tube has a lower height proximate the upper end of the inner tube.

7. The device of claim 1 wherein the number of drain slots of the inner tube is exactly three, the lower drain slot having a lower height proximate the lower end of the inner tube, the middle drain slot having a lower height proximate half-way between the lower and upper ends of the inner tube; and the upper drain slot having a lower height proximate the upper end of the inner tube.

8. The device of claim 1 wherein the selector slot in the outer tube is formed by a plurality of the straining apertures each no larger than the predetermined size.

9. The device of claim 1 wherein the outer tube further includes an alignment aperture proximate the upper end thereof, and wherein the inner tube further includes an alignment indicia for each drain slot therein proximate the upper end thereof and radially co-aligned with the associated drain slot, such that when the alignment indicia for the associated drain slot is aligned with the alignment aperture of the outer tube, the selector slot of the outer tube is aligned with the associated drain slot of the inner tube.

10. The device of claim 9 wherein at least one of the alignment indicia of the inner tube is an inner indicator slot.

11. The device of claim 1 wherein the upper end of the outer tube further includes a grip means to facilitate rotation of the outer tube around the inner tube.

12. The device of claim 1 wherein none of the drain slots of the inner tube overlap along the length of the inner tube.

13. The device of claim 1 wherein none of the drain slots of the inner tube overlap radially around the circumference of the inner tube.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to sink drains, and more particularly to a device for allowing easy adjustment of drainage properties of a sink drain.

DISCUSSION OF RELATED ART

Numerous innovations for sink drain devices have been provided in the prior art that will be described. Even though these innovations may be suitable for the specific individual purposes to which they address, however, they differ from the present invention.

A first example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,895,401, issued on Jul. 22, 1975, to Walraven teaches a drain structure connecting a sink with a waste line. The entire drain structure is outside the horizontally projected extent of the sink so as to optimize the capacity of the sink. A vertically extending screen extending upwardly from the bottom of the sink is substantially coplanar with one sidewall of the sink so as to enhance drainage. A vertically extending tubular valve member outside of the confines of the sink is used to open and close the drain line and is actuable from above the sink top. The valve member acts as an indicator of whether the drain is open or closed and also provides an overflow. The valve member may be readily removed for cleaning or replacement. One drawback with this type of sink drain device is that it cannot be easily retrofitted with existing sinks.

A second example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,272,775, issued on Dec. 28, 1993, to Walraven teaches a plumbing fixture integrated with the side of a sink and the like having an elongated compartment extending lengthwise along at least a portion of the height of the side wall or piece. The compartment has a bottom with a drain and an open side which allows liquid from a sink to flow into the compartment. A removable strainer is placed in position at the open side of the compartment, and a standpipe is placed in the drain. There is a catch connected to the strainer which is manually movable between a latched position to hold the strainer in position and an unlatched position which allows the strainer to be removed from the open side of the compartment. The standpipe may be removed when the catch is in the latched positioned, but may be locked so that it cannot be removed, yet may still be moved within limits to permit the drain to be opened. Such a device also suffers from the drawback that it cannot be easily integrated with existing sinks.

A third example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,295,665, issued on Oct. 2, 2001, to Domenig teaches a sink drain extension for allowing the use of the drain or for a connected disposal to dispense water or other liquids and solid waste material when the sink within which the disposal and drain are disposed is filled with a usable quantity of water or other liquid without commingling the waste material with the usable water or other liquid. The extension is formed from an upstanding hollow member having one end engaging the sink drain and a second free end. A stabilizing member connects with the drain engaging end of the hollow member to secure that end and the hollow member in a substantially fixed position with the drain and prevent relative movement between the hollow member and the sink drain. Appropriate supporting elements are used to seal the drain opening with respect to the extension and to further restrain the tubular member from movement. A strainer may be employed with the extension, and an alternative location for the extension may be utilized along the sink periphery. One drawback with this type of sink drain device is that it does not provide for easily-selectable and distinct water levels.

A fourth example, U.S. Patent Application 20010052149, Published on Dec. 20, 2001, to Domenig teaches a sink drain extension for allowing the use of the drain or for a connected disposal to disperse water or other liquids and solid waste material when the sink within which the disposal and drain are disposed is filled with a usable quantity of water or other liquid without commingling the waste material with the usable water or other liquid. The extension is formed from an upstanding hollow member having one end engaging the sink drain and a second free end. A stabilizing member connects with the drain engaging end of the hollow member to secure that end and the hollow member in a substantially fixed position with the drain and prevent relative movement between the hollow member and the sink drain. Appropriate supporting elements are used to seal the drain opening with respect to the extension and to further restrain the tubular member from movement. A strainer may be employed with the extension, and an alternative location for the extension may be utilized along the sink periphery. This type of device also does not provide for easily-selectable and distinct water levels.

A fifth example, U.S. Document 20040016052, Published on Jan. 29, 2004, to Domenig teaches a sink drain extension for allowing the use of the drain or for a connected disposal to disperse water or other liquid and solid waste material when the sink within which the disposal and drain are disposed is filled with a usable quantity of water or other liquid without commingling the waste material with the usable water or other liquid. The extension is formed from an upstanding hollow member having one end engaging the sink drain and a second free end. A stabilizing member connects with the drain engaging end of the hollow member to secure that end and the hollow member in a substantially fixed position with the drain and prevent relative movement between the hollow member and the sink drain. Appropriate supporting elements are used to seal the drain opening with respect to the extension and to further restrain the tubular member from movement. A strainer may be employed with the extension, and an alternative location for the extension may be utilized along the sink periphery. This type of device also does not provide for easily-selectable and distinct water levels.

A sixth example, U.S. Document 20040073992, Published on Apr. 22, 2004, to Saman et al. teaches a combined strainer and stopper device for basins and sinks that has a perforated cylindrical housing with an open lower end and a top wall at its upper end. A valve disc is carried by a lower end of an actuator stem reciprocal in the housing for movement into and out of sealing engagement with a seat in a drain opening independently of movement of the perforated housing. In a preferred form of the invention, the top wall is integral with the side wall and is perforate, and a spring is engaged between the top wall and the stem to urge the valve disc in a direction to seat it. The stem extends through the top wall and through a spaced handle on the upper end of the housing, and the spaced relationship of the handle and top wall guides the stem. Outwardly projecting retaining lugs on the stem cooperate with the handle to retain the valve disc in an open position, and an annular shoulder formed on the housing limits the extent of insertion of the housing into a drain opening. In an alternate form of the invention, the housing is open ended, and the top wall comprises a first plastic cap fitted to the open upper end. A second plastic cap or skirt fitted to the lower end is adapted to engage in the drain opening to support the device in an upright position, and a stop on the second plastic cap limits insertion. This type of device also does not provide for easily-selectable and distinct water levels.

It is apparent now that numerous innovations for sink drain devices have been provided in the prior art that are adequate for various purposes. Furthermore, even through these innovations may be suitable for the specific individual purposes to which they address, accordingly, they would not be suitable for the purposes of the present invention as heretofore described.

None of the aforementioned prior art sink drain devices teaches an adjustment device for a sink drain which includes a rotatable outer tube to help facilitate the drainage of water at different levels through the sink drain. The present invention accomplishes this objective.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An object of the present invention is to provide an adjustment device for a sink drain that avoids the disadvantages of the prior art.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an adjustment device for a sink drain that is simple and inexpensive to manufacture.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide an adjustment device for a sink drain that is simple to use.

Briefly stated, still yet another object of the present invention is to provide an adjustment device for a sink drain that comprises an inner tube inserted into a stopper ring. The stopper ring is inserted into the drain such that liquids cannot enter the sink drain except by traversing the inner tube. An outer tube is fitted substantially completely around the inner tube. A selector slot of the outer tube may be aligned with a selected drain slot of the inner tube to allow draining of the sink down to a lower height of an exposed drain slot of the inner tube. A straining tube is adapted to fit loosely around the outer tube, and has a plurality of straining apertures each no larger than a predetermined size. The apertures are formed along the entire length of the straining tube. With the straining tube placed around the outer tube, debris having a size larger than the predetermined size is prevented from flowing through the slots of the outer and inner tubes and into the sink drain.

The novel features which are considered characteristic of the present invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, both as to its construction and its method of operation, together with additional objects and advantages thereof, will be best understood from the following description of the specific embodiments when read and understood in connection with the accompanying drawing.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The Figures of the drawings are briefly described as follows:

FIG. 1 is a partially exploded perspective view with parts in section showing an embodiment of the present invention installed in a drain of a sink;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view showing the various components of the present invention separated from each other;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view showing the various components of the present invention as assembled;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged perspective view showing the inner tube and outer tube of the present invention as assembled;

FIG. 5 is a further enlarged cross sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 2, showing the lower drain slot as occluded by the outer tube, so that the sink will not drain through the lower drain slot;

FIG. 6 is a further enlarged cross sectional view taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 2, showing the middle drain slot as aligned with a longitudinal drain slot of the outer tube, such that the sink will drain through the middle drain slot; and

FIG. 7 is a further enlarged cross sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 2, showing the upper drain slot as occluded by the outer tube, so that the sink will not drain through the upper drain slot.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the figures, in which like numerals indicate like parts, and particularly to FIGS. 1 through 7, the present invention will be discussed with reference thereto. A device 10 for allowing a user to adjust drainage properties of a drain 30 in a sink 20 is provided. The device 10 comprises a rigid inner tube 40 having a tube wall 45, a lower end 44, and an upper end 46. The tube wall 45 has at least one longitudinal drain slot 50 formed therein. Each drain slot 50 has a generally unique radial location ri in the inner tube wall 45 (FIGS. 5-7), and each has a generally unique lower height H1 along the inner tube 40.

A water-impervious stopper ring 60 has an inner diameter 61 adapted to snugly fit around and fix the lower end 44 of the inner tube 40, and an outer diameter 62 adapted to snugly fit inside the drain 30 of the sink 20. A rigid outer tube 70 has a tube wall 75, a lower end 74, and an upper end 76. The outer tube 70 is adapted to fit rotatably yet snugly around the inner tube 40. The outer tube wall 75 has a longitudinal selector slot 80 formed therein that is able in size to substantially completely expose any of the drain slots 50 of the inner tube 40.

With the inner tube 40 inserted into the stopper ring 60, the stopper ring 60 is inserted into the drain 30, such that liquids cannot enter the drain 30 of the sink 20 except by traversing the inner tube 40. With the outer tube 70 fitted substantially completely around the inner tube 40, the selector slot 80 of the outer tube 70 may be aligned with a selected drain slot 50 of the inner tube 40 to allow draining of the sink 20 down to the lower height H1 of the exposed drain slot 50 of the inner tube 40.

The device 10 further preferably includes a straining tube 90 having a tube wall 95, a lower end 94, and an upper end 96. The straining tube 90 is adapted to fit loosely around the outer tube 70 and has a plurality of straining apertures 100, each no larger in at least one dimension than a predetermined size S, such as 1/16 to ¼ of an inch, for example. The apertures 100 are formed along the entire length of the straining tube 90, whereby with the straining tube 90 placed around the outer tube 70 debris having a size larger than the predetermined size S is prevented from flowing through the slots 80, 50 of the outer and inner tubes 70, 40 and into the drain 30 of the sink 20.

The drain slots 50 are formed in the inner tube 40 and the selector slot 80 is formed in the outer tube 70. A lower drain slot 54 of the inner tube 40 has a lower height H1 proximate the lower end 44 of the inner tube 40. A middle drain slot 55 of the inner tube 40 has a lower height H1 proximate half-way between the lower and upper ends 44, 46 of the inner tube 40. An upper drain slot 56 of the inner tube 40 has a lower height H1 proximate the upper end 46 of the inner tube 40. Clearly alternate drain slots 50 with differing lower heights H1 could be included without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

The number of drain slots 50 of the inner tube 40 is preferably three. The lower drain slot 54 has a lower height H1 proximate the lower end 44 of the inner tube 40. The middle drain slot 55 has a lower height H1 proximate half-way between the lower and upper ends 44, 46 of the inner tube 40. The upper drain slot 56 has a lower height H1 proximate the upper end 46 of the inner tube 40. The selector slot 80 in the outer tube 70 is formed by a plurality of the straining apertures 100 each no larger than the predetermined size S, such as 1/16 to ¼ of an inch, for example.

The outer tube 70 further includes an alignment aperture 110 proximate the upper end 76 thereof. The inner tube 40 further includes an alignment indicia 120 for each drain slot 50 therein proximate the upper end 46 thereof and radially co-aligned with the associated drain slot 50, such that when the alignment indicia 120 for the associated drain slot 50 is aligned with the alignment aperture 110 of the outer tube 70, the selector slot 80 of the outer tube 70 is aligned with the associated drain slot 50 of the inner tube 40. At least one of the alignment indicia 120 of the inner tube 40 is an inner indicator slot 125.

The upper end 76 of the outer tube 70 further may include a grip means 130 to facilitate rotation of the outer tube 70 around the inner tube 40. Preferably, none of the drain slots 50 of the inner tube 40 overlap along the length of the inner tube 40, nor do any of the drain slots 50 of the inner tube 40 overlap radially around the circumference of the inner tube 40 (FIGS. 5-7).

It will be understood that each of the elements described above, or two or more together, may also find a useful application in other types of construction differing from the type described above. While the invention has been illustrated and described as embodiments of an adjustment device for a sink drain, accordingly it is not limited to the details shown, since it will be understood that various omissions, modifications, substitutions and changes in the form and details of the device illustrated and its operation can be made by those skilled in the art without departing in any way from the spirit of the present invention.

Without further analysis, the foregoing will so fully reveal the gist of the present invention that others can, by applying current knowledge, readily adapt it for various applications without omitting features that, from the standpoint of prior art, fairly constitute characteristics of the generic or specific aspects of this invention.