Title:
TOILET TANK VALVE STRUCTURE WITH PRIMARY AND SECONDARY ACTUATORS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The disclosure is related to toilet tank valve structures and methods of waste treatment. The toilet tank valve structures contain a primary and a secondary valve actuation to support a full discharge for solid waste and a partial discharge for liquid waste. The disclosure is also related to a toilet tank valve structure for providing a limiting device for partial discharge. Further, the disclosure of the toilet tank valve structure is related to limit the physical size of the dual flush actuator by fitting the actuator with a remote, secondary, actuation module, thereby reducing the physical size of the primary actuator for easy retrofit in existing toilet tanks.



Inventors:
Csiki, Andras (Pompano Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
12/698946
Publication Date:
06/03/2010
Filing Date:
02/02/2010
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D1/14
View Patent Images:
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Foreign References:
WO2007059398A22007-05-24
Primary Examiner:
NGUYEN, TUAN N
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Haverstock & Owens, A Law Corporation (SUNNYVALE, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A device for toilet valve trigger comprising: a) a user input receiving member; b) an input converter coupled with the user input receiving member, wherein the input converter is for amplifying an input of a user; and c) an output member coupled with the input converter for providing an output to control a water valve of a toilet.

2. The device of claim 1, wherein the input converter is isolated and separated from a user input device, wherein the user input device is physically controlled by a user.

3. The device of claim 2, wherein the input converter is coupled to the user input device by at least two elongated members.

4. The device of claim 3, wherein each of the two elongated members comprises at least one wire.

5. The device of claim 2, wherein the user input device comprises a first and a second user sub-input devices, wherein the first user sub-input device is for generating a different water valve movement control from the second user sub-input device.

6. The device of claim 2, wherein the user input device comprises a rotating axis non-coaxially from a rotating axis of the input converter.

7. The device of claim 1, wherein the input converter comprises a lever.

8. The device of claim 7, wherein the lever is substantially L shape.

9. The device of claim 7, wherein the lever contains an input receiving end and an output generating end pivot rotatable along a curve.

10. The device of claim 9, wherein the input receiving end comprises an elongated receiving member and the output generating end comprises an elongated output generating member.

11. The device of claim 7, wherein the input receiving end is closer in distance to a center of the curve than the output generating end to the center of the curve.

12. The device of claim 1, wherein the input converter comprises a first lever and a second lever, wherein each of the first and the second lever comprises an input receiving end and an output generating end.

13. The device of claim 12, wherein the first lever and the second lever are coaxially rotatable.

14. The device of claim 13, wherein a rotational movement of the first lever is independent from a rotational movement of the second lever.

15. The device of claim 12, wherein a distance from the output generating end of the first lever to a rotational center of the first lever is longer than a distance from the output generating end of the second lever to a rotational center of the second lever.

16. A method of waste treatment comprising: a) amplifying a first distance moved by a motion of a user resulting in a second distance; and b) using the motion of the user to move a fluid valve in a distance greater than the first distance.

17. The method of claim 16 comprising moving the fluid valve in a distance equal to the second distance.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the first and second distance comprises circular distances.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein the motion of the user comprising a rotational motion.

20. The method of claim 19 further comprising transforming the rotational motion of the user into a linear motion, wherein the linear motion cause an elongated member to move in a linear manner, wherein the elongated member cause a lever to move the first distance resulting the second distance.

21. The method of claim 16, wherein the fluid valve comprises a toilet water tank valve.

22. The method of claim 16, wherein the amplifying comprises means for leverage.

23. A toilet water tank controlling device comprising: a) a handle component, wherein the handle component comprises a first switch and a second switch; b) a user motion transforming component, wherein the user motion transforming component comprises a first and a second coaxially rotating levers coupled to the first and the second switches by a first wire and a second wire, wherein the user motion transforming component contains the first and second coaxially rotating levers in separate chambers; and c) a water valve component coupled to the first wire and the second wire, wherein the water valve component contains a first water release mechanism and a second water release mechanism, wherein the first wire is coupled to the first water release mechanism and the second wire is coupled to the second water release mechanism.

24. The device of claim 23, wherein the first water release mechanism releases a greater amount of water than the second water release mechanism.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of and claims priority from U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/139,279 filed Jun. 13, 2008, and entitled “TOILET TANK VALVE STRUCTURE,” which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

Further, this application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/159,731, filed Mar. 12, 2009 and entitled TOILET TANK VALVE STRUCTURE WITH PRIMARY AND SECONDARY ACTUATORS, which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a toilet tank valve structure, and more particularly to a structure to control a knob and having a limiting device for partial discharge.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As shown in FIG. 1, a conventional dual flush toilet tank valve comprises a knob 10, a rotatable shaft 20, a pole 30, first and second pull wires 40, a whole discharge assembly 50, a partial discharge assembly 60, and a water seal 70. When the knob 10 is turned clockwise or counter clockwise, the rotatable shaft 20 will link the pole 30 to turn clockwise or counter clockwise so as to pull the first or second pull wire 40 to lift the water seal 70 at different levels, releasing a whole discharge or a partial discharge.

The prior art has the following disadvantages.

  • 1. The knob 10 is operated in two different directions to release a whole discharge or a partial discharge. A person may be easily confused as to which is the desired operational direction, and thus the undesired direction may be chosen in error.
  • 2. It is necessary to provide enough space within the toilet tank for clockwise and counterclockwise rotation of the knob 10. Therefore, the installation location for the conventional dual flush actuator is limited and cannot easily be retrofitted to existing toilet tanks.
  • 3. The front of the toilet tank is provided with a toilet cover. Due to the toilet cover, the knob 10 is not suitable for installing at the front of the toilet tank. Usually, the knob 10 is installed at one side of the toilet. The knob 10 tends to hit the wall when the knob 10 is turned toward the wall, obstructing the actuation of the knob 10.
  • 4. When the knob 10 is installed at one side of the toilet tank, people are accustomed to turning the knob outward, not inward, and thus two-stage operation may, unintentionally, not be used.
  • 5. Whole discharge or partial discharge depends on the whole discharge assembly 50 or the partial discharge assembly 60. The knob 10 doesn't have a partial discharge limit mechanism itself, thus it is not easy for a user to identify the whole or partial discharge by manual operation of the knob.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The disclosure of the toilet tank valve structure is to provide a toilet tank with primary and secondary valve actuation to support a full discharge for solid waste and a partial discharge for liquid waste. Further, the disclosure of the toilet tank valve structure is to provide a toilet tank valve structure which provides a limiting device for partial discharge. Moreover, the disclosure of the toilet tank valve structure is to limit the physical size of the dual flush actuator by fitting the actuator with a remote, secondary, actuation module, thereby reducing the physical size of the primary actuator for easy retrofit in existing toilet tanks.

To achieve the above-mentioned purposes, a toilet tank valve structure is provided comprising a knob unit, a rotatable shaft unit, a pole unit, a first whole discharge pull wire, a first partial discharge pull wire, a secondary actuator assembly, a second whole discharge pull wire, a second partial discharge pull wire, a whole discharge assembly, a partial discharge assembly, and a water seal. The knob unit comprises a partial discharge knob and a whole discharge knob. The rotatable shaft unit comprises a shaft core and a shaft sleeve. The pole unit comprises a partial discharge pole and a whole discharge pole, the whole discharge knob being secured to an outer end of the shaft sleeve, an inner end of the shaft sleeve being secured to a first end of the whole discharge pole, a second end of the whole discharge pole being connected to the first whole discharge pull wire, the first whole discharge pull wire being connected to the input connection on the whole discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly, the output of the whole discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly connected to a second whole discharge pull wire, the second whole discharge pull wire connected to the whole discharge assembly and the water seal. The partial discharge knob is secured to an outer end of the shaft core, the shaft core being inserted into the shaft sleeve, an inner end of the shaft core being secured to a first end of the partial discharge pole, a second end of the partial discharge pole being connected to the first partial discharge pull wire, the first partial discharge pull wire being connected to the input connection on the partial discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly, the output of the partial discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly connected to a second partial discharge pull wire, the second partial discharge pull wire to link the partial discharge assembly and the water seal.

In some embodiments, the partial discharge assembly comprises a body, an inner tube, a swing hook, a floating rod, and a partial discharge float, the partial discharge float being disposed on the floating rod, the floating rod being inserted in the body in an up and down movable way, a first end of the swing hook being pivotally connected to the floating rod, a second end of the swing hook being pivotally connected to an inner wall of the body, the swing hook and the inner tube being provided with corresponding limiting steps; a limiting device being provided between the second partial discharge pull wire and the partial discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly, the limiting device comprising a brake rod and a limiting hook, one side of the brake rod being pivotally connected on the inner tube, another side of the brake rod being connected to the second partial discharge pull wire and the limiting hook, an upper end of the limiting hook being pivotally connected to the inner tube, a lower end of the limiting hook being formed with a hooking part, the inner wall of the body being provided with a protruding step for engagement of the hooking part.

In some embodiments, an engaging base is provided on the top of the brake rod and an engaging claw is provided on the engaging base, an engaging hole being formed between the engaging claw and the engaging base for insertion of a lower end of the second partial discharge pull wire.

In some embodiments, the whole discharge knob is integrally formed with the shaft sleeve.

In some embodiments, the partial discharge knob is outward stacked on the whole discharge knob, and the whole discharge knob has an arm longer than an arm of the partial discharge knob.

In some embodiments, the rotatable shaft unit is inserted into a control box, a pair of torque springs being provided between the shaft core and an inner wall of the control box and between the shaft sleeve and the inner wall of the control box, respectively, the torque springs being adapted to link the shaft core and the shaft sleeve to return their original positions.

In some embodiments, the whole discharge assembly comprises a body, an inner tube, and a whole discharge float, the inner tube and the whole discharge float being assembled in the body, the whole discharge float fitting onto the inner tube, the whole discharge float having one side pivotally connected to an inner wall of the body, the whole discharge float and the inner tube being provided with corresponding limiting steps, the second whole discharge pull wire from the output connection on the whole discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly being connected to an upper end of the inner tube, the bottom of the inner tube being mounted onto the water seal.

In some embodiments, the top of the inner tube is provided with an engaging base and an engaging claw is provided on the engaging base, an engaging hole being formed between the engaging base and the engaging claw for insertion of a lower end of the second whole discharge pull wire.

Accordingly, when a whole discharge is desired, the whole discharge knob is rotated to link the first whole discharge pull wire, the whole discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly, the second whole discharge pull wire, the whole discharge assembly, and the water seal is lifted to a higher position to achieve the whole discharge. When a partial discharge is desired, the partial discharge knob is rotated to link the first partial discharge pull wire, the partial discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly, the second partial discharge pull wire, the partial discharge assembly, and the water seal is lifted to a lower position to achieve the partial discharge.

In some embodiments, whole discharge and partial discharge components may be distinguished with colors to facilitate manufacturing, assembly and installation, and for user convenience. For example, a green insert may be provided for the whole discharge flush handle and a red insert provided for the partial discharge flush handle to facilitate user identification of the functionality of the handles. The color inserts for the flush handle identification may additionally be interchangeable. In addition, primary and secondary actuator components may be similarly colored to facilitate manufacturing and assembly. For example, components related to the whole discharge side of the primary actuator, secondary actuator and their interconnecting components may be colored green, whereas the partial discharge counterparts may be colored red. Although the colors for various components have been described with respect to several specific embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that any number of colors, combinations of colors or patterns, or other ways of identifying the whole discharge components from the partial discharge components is within the scope and spirit of the invention.

In some aspects, the present application is directed to a device for toilet valve trigger. The toilet valve trigger comprises a user input receiving member, an input converter coupled with the user input receiving member, wherein the input converter provides means for amplifying an input of a user, and an output member coupled with the input converter for providing an output controllable a water valve of a toilet.

In some embodiments, the input converter is isolated and separated from a user input device, wherein the use input device is for directly physically controlled by a user. In alternative embodiments, the input converter is connected to the user input device by at least two elongated members. In other embodiments, each of the two elongated members comprises at least one wire.

In some embodiments, the user input device comprises a first and a second user sub-input devices, wherein the first user sub-input device is for generating a different water valve movement control from the second user sub-input device. In alternative embodiments, the user input device comprises a rotating axis non-coaxially from a rotating axis of the input converter. In other embodiments, the input converter comprises a lever. In some embodiments, the lever is substantially L shape. In alternative embodiments, the lever contains an input receiving end and an output generating end pivot rotatable along a curve. In some embodiments, the input receiving end comprises an elongated receiving member and the output generating end comprises an elongated output generating member. In alternative embodiments, the input receiving end is closer in distance to a center of the curve than the output generating end. In other embodiments, the input converter comprises a first lever and a second lever, wherein each of the first and the second lever comprises an input receiving end and an output generating end. In some embodiments, the first lever and the second lever are coaxially rotatable. In alternative embodiments, the rotational movement of the first lever is independent from a rotational movement of the second lever. In other embodiments, the distance from the output generating end of the first lever to a rotational center of the first lever is longer than a distance from the output generating end of the second lever to a rotational center of the second lever.

In another aspect, the present application is directed to a method of waste treatment. The method of waste treatment comprises amplifying a first distance moved by a motion of a user resulting in a second distance and using the motion of the user to move a fluid valve in a distance greater than the first distance.

In some embodiments, the method comprises moving the fluid valve in a distance equal to the second distance. In some embodiments, the first and second distance comprises circular distances. In alternative embodiments, the motion of the user comprises a rotational motion. In other embodiments, the method further comprises transforming the rotational motion of the user into a linear motion, wherein the linear motion causes an elongated member to move in a linear manner, wherein the elongated member causes a lever to move the first distance resulting in the second distance. In other embodiments, the fluid valve comprises a toilet water tank valve. In alternative embodiments, the amplifying comprises means for leverage.

In an alternative aspect, the present application is directed to a toilet water tank controlling device. The toilet water tank controlling device comprises a handle component, wherein the handle component comprises a first switch and a second switch, a user motion transforming component, wherein the user motion transforming component comprises a first and a second coaxially rotating levers connected with the first and the second switches by a first wire and a second wire, wherein the user motion transforming component contains the first and second coaxially rotating levers in separate chambers, and a water valve component connected with the first wire and the second wire, wherein the water valve component contains a greater amount water release mechanism and a less amount water release mechanism, wherein the first wire connects with the greater amount water release mechanism and the second wire connects with the less amount water release mechanism.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of a conventional toilet tank valve; partially in cutaway cross-section;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the toilet tank valve structure showing the primary and secondary actuator assemblies;

FIG. 3 is an exploded and enlarged view of the primary actuator assembly;

FIG. 4 is an assembled view of the primary actuator assembly, partially sectioned;

FIG. 5 is an assembled view of the primary actuator assembly in an operating state for a whole discharge, partially sectioned;

FIG. 6 is an assembled view of the primary actuator assembly in an operating state for a partial discharge, partially sectioned;

FIG. 7 is an exploded and enlarged view of a limiting device of the toilet tank valve structure;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the limiting device of the toilet tank valve structure;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the limiting device of the toilet tank valve structure in an operating state for a partial discharge;

FIG. 10 is a partial side view of the toilet tank valve structure when there is no water in the toilet tank;

FIG. 11 is a partial side view of the toilet tank valve structure when the toilet tank is filled with water;

FIG. 12 is a partial side view of the toilet tank valve structure in an operating state for the whole discharge;

FIG. 13 is a partial view of the toilet tank valve structure in an operating state for a partial discharge;

FIG. 14A is a perspective view of the secondary actuator assembly;

FIG. 14B is a perspective view of the top cover of the secondary actuator assembly;

FIG. 14C is a perspective view of the secondary actuator base plate;

FIG. 14D is a perspective view of the bottom cover of the secondary actuator assembly;

FIG. 14E is a perspective view of the partial discharge actuator arm of the secondary actuator assembly;

FIG. 14F is a perspective view of the whole discharge actuator arm of the secondary actuator assembly;

FIG. 15 is a side view of a toilet tank valve structure with primary and secondary actuators in accordance with the toilet tank valve structure;

FIG. 16A is a perspective view of a rectangular toilet tank with the flush handle mount opening located on the front-left side of the toilet tank, wherein the handle pair is mounted substantially horizontally, with the handles pointing toward the left;

FIG. 16B is a perspective view of a rectangular toilet tank with the flush handle mount opening located on the front-right side of the toilet tank, wherein the handle pair is mounted substantially horizontally, with the handles pointing toward the right;

FIG. 16C is a perspective view of a rectangular toilet tank with the flush handle mount opening located on the left side of the toilet tank, wherein the handle pair is mounted substantially horizontally, with the handles pointing toward the front of the toilet tank;

FIG. 16D is a perspective view of a rectangular toilet tank with the flush handle mount opening located on the right side of the toilet tank, wherein the handle pair is mounted substantially horizontally, with the handles pointing toward the front of the toilet tank;

FIG. 16E is a perspective view of a rectangular toilet tank, with chamfers at each front corner of the toilet tank, wherein the flush handle mount opening is located on the left-front chamfer of the toilet tank and the handle pair is mounted substantially horizontally, with the handles pointing toward the front of the toilet tank;

FIG. 16F is a perspective view of a rectangular toilet tank, with chamfers at each front corner of the toilet tank, wherein the flush handle mount opening is located on the right-front chamfer of the toilet tank; and the handle pair is mounted substantially horizontally, with the handles pointing toward the front of the toilet tank;

FIG. 16G is a front view of a flush handle pair, alternatively mounted in the vertical direction on any of the above views; and

FIG. 17 shows a flow chart illustrating a waste treatment method in accordance with some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As shown in FIGS. 2 through 4, 14A-14F and 15, a toilet tank valve structure according to some embodiments of the toilet tank valve structure comprises a primary actuator assembly, a first whole discharge pull wire 14, a first partial discharge pull wire 15, a secondary actuator assembly, a second whole discharge pull wire 4, a second partial discharge pull wire 5, a whole discharge assembly 6, a partial discharge assembly 7, and a water seal 8. The primary actuator assembly comprises a knob unit 1, a rotatable shaft unit 2 and a pole unit 3, a first whole discharge pull wire 14, and a first partial discharge pull wire 15.

The knob unit 1 comprises a partial discharge knob 11 and a whole discharge knob 12. The rotatable shaft unit 2 comprises a shaft core 21 and a shaft sleeve 22. The pole unit 3 comprises a partial discharge pole 31 and a whole discharge pole 32. The whole discharge knob 12 is secured to an outer end of the shaft sleeve 22. In this embodiment, the whole discharge knob 12 is integrally formed with the shaft sleeve 22. An inner end of the shaft sleeve 22 is glued fixedly or connected to a first end of the whole discharge pole 32 by means of a non-circular (such as rectangular) locating insertion, as shown in this embodiment. A second end of the whole discharge pole 32 is connected to an upper end of the first whole discharge pull wire 14. The first whole discharge pull wire 14 connects to the secondary actuator whole discharge actuator arm inside the secondary actuator via the input connection on the secondary actuator assembly. The output end of the secondary actuator whole discharge actuator arm is connected to a second whole discharge output pull wire 4 via the secondary actuator output connection. The secondary actuator whole discharge output pull wire 4 is adapted to link to the whole discharge assembly 6 and the water seal 8 to achieve a whole discharge.

The partial discharge knob 11 is glued fixedly or connected to an outer end of the shaft core 21 by means of screws and a non-circular (such as rectangular) locating insertion. The shaft core 21 is inserted into the shaft sleeve 22. An inner end of the shaft core 21 is glued fixedly or connected to a first end of the partial discharge pole 31 by means of non-circular (such as rectangular) locating insertion, as shown in this embodiment. A second end of the partial discharge pole 31 is connected to an upper end of a first partial discharge pull wire 15. The first partial discharge pull wire 15 connects to the secondary actuator partial discharge actuator arm inside the secondary actuator via the input connection on the secondary actuator assembly. The output end of the secondary actuator partial discharge actuator arm is connected to a second partial discharge pull wire 5 via the secondary actuator output connection. The secondary actuator partial discharge pull wire 5 is adapted to link to the partial discharge assembly 7 and the water seal 8 to achieve a partial discharge assembly and the water seal 8 to achieve a partial discharge, as shown in FIGS. 6 and 13.

As shown in FIG. 4, the partial discharge knob 11 is outward stacked on the whole discharge knob 12. The whole discharge knob 12 has an arm longer than that of the partial discharge knob 11. An inner end of the rotatable shaft unit 2 is inserted into a control box 201. A torque spring 23 is provided between the shaft core 21 and an inner wall of the control box 201. The torque spring 23 is adapted to link the shaft core 21 and the partial discharge knob 11 to return to their original positions after the partial discharge. A torque spring 24 is provided between the shaft sleeve 22 and the inner wall of the control box 201. The torque spring 24 is adapted to link the shaft sleeve 22 and the whole discharge knob 12 to return to their original positions after the whole discharge.

FIGS. 5, 12, 14A-14F and 15 show the whole discharge of the toilet tank valve structure. The whole discharge knob 12 is rotated to link the shaft sleeve 22, the whole discharge pole 32, the first whole discharge pull wire 14, the whole discharge side of the secondary actuator, the second whole discharge pull wire 4 and the whole discharge assembly 6, and the water seal 8 is lifted to a higher lever to achieve the whole discharge. FIGS. 6 and 13 show a partial discharge of the toilet tank valve structure. The partial discharge knob 11 is rotated to link the shaft core 21, the partial discharge pole 31, the first partial discharge pull wire 15, the partial discharge side of the secondary actuator, the second partial discharge pull wire 5 and the partial discharge assembly 7, and the water seal 8 is lifted to a lower lever to achieve the partial discharge. The whole discharge and the partial discharge are separately controlled by the whole discharge knob 12 and the partial discharge knob 11, which is not easily confused in use to avoid any wrong operation. The whole discharge knob 12 and the partial discharge knob 11 are rotated outward at the same direction, which is convenient for installation and operation. This design conforms to a usual practice to rotate the knob outward. This embodiment of the toilet tank valve structure relates to the improvements in the knob unit 1, the rotatable shaft unit 2, and the pole unit 3, without consideration to the first whole discharge pull wire 14, the first partial discharge pull wire 15, the secondary actuator 1400, the second whole discharge pull wire 4, the second partial discharge pull wire 5, the whole discharge assembly 6, the partial discharge assembly 7, and the water seal 8 which are not limited as shown in this embodiment. This design is adapted to all kinds of toilet tank valves for whole and partial discharges.

As shown in FIGS. 7, 8, 11 and 12, the whole discharge assembly 6 in this embodiment comprises a body 61, an inner tube 62, and a whole discharge float 63. The inner tube 62 and the whole discharge float 63 are assembled in the body 61. The whole discharge float 63 fits onto the inner tube 62. The whole discharge float 63 has one side pivotally connected to an inner wall of the body 61 through a pivot 631. As shown in FIG. 10, the whole discharge float 63 and the inner tube 62 are provided with corresponding limiting steps 623 and 621. A lower end of the whole discharge pull wire 4 is connected to an upper end of the inner tube 62. The bottom of the inner tube 62 is mounted onto the water seal 8. The top of the inner tube 62 is provided with an engaging base 622. An engaging claw 626 is provided on the engaging base 622. An engaging hole is formed between the engaging base 622 and the engaging claw 626 for insertion of the lower end of the whole discharge pull wire 4 from the whole discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly.

As shown in FIGS. 7, 8 and 10, the partial discharge assembly 7 in this embodiment comprises the body 61, the inner tube 62, a swing hook 71, a floating rod 72, and a partial discharge float 73. The floating rod 72 is inserted in the body 61 in an up and down movable way. The partial discharge float 73 is disposed on the floating rod 72 to change the level of the partial discharge float 73 with respect to the floating rod 72 so as to adjust the amount of discharge water. A first end of the swing hook 71 is pivotally connected to the floating rod 72 through a pivot 713, while a second end of the swing hook 71 is pivotally connected to a hole of the body 61. The second end of the swing hook 71 and the inner tube 62 are provided with corresponding limiting steps 711 and 623. As shown in FIG. 13, the second partial discharge pull wire 5 from the partial discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly is connected to the inner tube 62 to achieve the partial discharge.

The second improvement of the toilet tank valve structure is that a limiting device 9 is provided between the second partial discharge pull wire 5 and the partial discharge assembly 7. The limiting device 9 comprises a brake rod 91 and a limiting hook 92. As shown in FIG. 9, one side of the brake rod 91 is pivotally connected on the inner tube 62 by mean of a pivot 624 and a pivot hole 93. The other side of the brake rod 91 is connected to the second partial discharge pull wire and the limiting hook 92. An engaging base 913 is provided on the top of the brake rod 91, and an engaging claw 912 is provided on the engaging base 913. An engaging hole is formed between the engaging claw 912 and the engaging base 913 for insertion of the lower end of the second partial discharge pull wire to complete the connection of the brake rod 91 and the second partial discharge pull wire. The other side of the brake rod 91 is provided with a pivot rod 911 while the limiting hook 92 is formed with a notch 921 to engage with the pivot rod 911 to complete the connection of the brake rod 91 and the limiting hook 92. An upper end of the limiting hook 92 is pivotally connected to the inner tube 62 by means of a pivot 922 and a pivot hole 625. A lower end of the limiting hook 92 is formed with a hooking part 923, and the inner wall of the body 61 is provided with a protruding step 611 for engagement of the hooking part 923.

As shown in FIG. 10, another embodiment of the toilet tank valve structure is installed in the toilet tank. When there is no water in the toilet tank, the partial discharge float 73 and the floating rod 72 are fallen down because of gravity to link the swing hook 71 to rotate around the pivot 71 in a tilted state. As shown in FIG. 11, when the toilet tank is filled with water, the partial discharge float 73 and the floating rod 72 are risen because of buoyancy to link the swing hook 71 to rotate around the pivot 712 in a level state. The whole discharge float 631 is deflected and rotated around the pivot 631 in a level state.

FIGS. 5 and 12 show the whole discharge of the toilet tank valve structure. The whole discharge knob 12 links the first whole discharge pull wire 4, the whole discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly, the second whole discharge pull wire and the inner tube 62 to move upward, and then the water seal 8 is lifted to open the outlet of the toilet tank and to drain the water in the tank. When the inner tube 62 is pulled to a highest position and the whole discharge knob 12 is released, the inner tube will slide downward until the limiting step 621 engages with the limiting step 632. As the inner tube 62 stops sliding, the water seal 8 is located at a higher position and continues to drain water until the level of the water in the tank is at the position that the gravity of the whole discharge float 63 is larger than buoyancy. The whole discharge float 63 is deflected around the pivot 631 to lean the limiting step 632. The limiting step 621 slides down from the limiting step 632, and the inner tube 62 continues to slide down until the water seal 8 covers the outlet again to achieve the whole discharge.

FIGS. 9 and 13 show the partial discharge of the toilet tank valve structure. The partial discharge knob 11 links the first partial discharge pull wire 5, the partial discharge side of the secondary actuator assembly, the second partial discharge pull wire and the brake rod 91 to move upward. The brake rod 91 is rotated around the pivot 624. The inner tube 62 is lifted up through the brake rod 91 to link the water seal 8 to open the outlet of the toilet tank and to drain the water in the tank. The limiting hook 92 is rotated around the pivot 922, and the lower end of the limiting hook 92 is deflected to engage with the protruding step 611 in the body 61, which confines the limiting hook 92 to move upward continuously. The partial discharge knob 11 is confined to continuous rotation by means of the limiting device 9. When the partial discharge knob 11 is released, the inner tube 62 will slide down until the limiting step 623 engages with the limiting step 711. As the inner tube 62 stops continuing sliding down, the water seal 8 is located at a lower position and continues to drain water until the level of the water in the tank is at the position that the gravity of the partial discharge float 73 and the floating rod 72 is larger than buoyancy. The partial discharge float 73 and the floating rod 72 slide down because of gravity. The swing hook 71 is deflected and rotated around the pivot 631 to lean the limiting step 711. The limiting step 623 slides down from the limiting step 711, and the inner tube 62 continues to slide down until the water seal 8 covers the outlet again to achieve the partial discharge.

Accordingly, by the limiting device 9, the user is able to exactly operate the knob unit 1 for a whole discharge or a partial discharge.

FIGS. 14A through 14F show the details of the secondary actuator assembly. The secondary actuator assembly translates the input mechanical movement of each of the first partial discharge pull wire and the first whole discharge pull wire into an increased output movement for each corresponding output second discharge pull wire from the secondary actuator assembly. The secondary actuator assembly permits the primary actuator assembly to operate with reduced size, thereby enabling installation of the primary actuator assembly in a space substantially the same as the prior art actuator assemblies which the toilet tank valve structure is intended to replace.

FIG. 14A shows the secondary actuator assembly 1400. Pull wires from the primary actuator assembly are coupled to the secondary actuator assembly input connection 1410. The output pull wires from the secondary actuator assembly are coupled to the flush valve by the secondary actuator assembly output connection 1420. FIG. 14C shows the secondary actuator mounting plate 1440. FIG. 14E shows the secondary actuator partial discharge actuator arm 1460 which is rotatably coupled to the pivot point 1443 on one side of the secondary actuator mounting plate 1440 through the partial discharge actuator arm pivot receptacle 1463. The first partial discharge pull wire 15 from the primary actuator box couples, via the secondary actuator housing input connection 1410 and the secondary actuator input channel 1445, to the partial discharge actuator arm input connection 1461 on partial discharge actuator arm 1460. The partial discharge actuator arm output connection 1462 couples the second partial discharge output pull wire 5, via the secondary actuator output channel 1446 and secondary actuator output connection 1420, to the flush valve. When the secondary actuator top cover 1430 is installed, it retains the secondary actuator partial discharge actuator arm 1460 in place and rotatably coupled to the secondary actuator mounting plate 1440.

FIG. 14F shows the secondary actuator whole discharge actuator arm 1470 which is rotatably coupled to the pivot point 1444 on one side of the secondary actuator mounting plate 1440 through the whole discharge actuator arm pivot receptacle 1473. The first whole discharge input pull wire 14 from the primary actuator box couples, via the secondary actuator housing input connection 1440 and the secondary actuator input channel 1445, to the whole discharge actuator arm input connection 1471 on whole discharge actuator arm 1470. The whole discharge arm output connection 1472 couples the second whole discharge output pull wire 4, via the secondary actuator output channel 1446 and secondary actuator output connection 1420 to the flush valve. When the secondary actuator bottom cover 1450 is installed, it retains the secondary actuator whole discharge actuator arm 1470 in place and rotatably coupled to whole discharge pivot point 1441 on the secondary actuator mounting plate 1440.

FIG. 15 shows an assembled toilet tank valve structure with primary and secondary actuators in accordance with the toilet tank valve structure.

FIGS. 16A through 16F show various locations where the flush handle mounting opening may be placed on the toilet tank. These few examples are illustrative of the type of flush handle mounting locations which may commonly be found on existing toilet tanks, as well as those in new manufactures. For convenient access, the flush handle pair is generally mounted substantially horizontally and with the handle pair facing toward the front of the toilet tank. As shown in FIG. 16G, the handle pair orientation may alternatively be vertical or any other orientation between.

FIG. 17 shows a flow chart illustrating a waste treatment method in accordance with some embodiments.

The method begins from the Step 1702. At the Step 1704, a user's flush motion is received. If the user is performing a full flush, the method goes to the Step 1706. At the Step 1706, the full flush bar is turned by a user. At the Step 1708, the user's turning motion is transformed into a linear horizontal pulling motion at the first actuator by a rotational member. At the Step 1710, the horizontal pulling motion is amplified to a larger vertical pulling motion by a rotational lever at the secondary actuator device. At the Step 1712, a full flushing member is triggered to remove a solid waste. The method of performing a full flush is ended at the Step 1714. If the user is performing a partial flush, the method goes to the Step 1716 after the Step 1704. At the Step 1716, the partial flush bar is turned by a user. At the Step 1718, the user's turning motion is transformed into a linear horizontal pulling motion at the first actuator by a rotational member. At the Step 1720, the horizontal pulling motion is amplified to a larger vertical pulling motion by a rotational lever at the secondary actuator device. At the Step 1722, a partial flushing member is triggered to remove a liquid waste. The method of performing a partial flush is ended at the Step 1724.

In some embodiments, the longest side of the secondary actuator partial discharge actuator arm 1460 and whole discharge actuator arm 1470 are able to be 2¾ inch long. In alternative embodiments, the longest side of the secondary actuator partial discharge actuator arm 1460 and whole discharge actuator arm 1470 are able to be between 1.0 inch to 5.0 inch long. In some embodiments, the primary actuator assembly is able to be enclosed in a case having a size in 1.75 inch long×1.63 inch wide. Any sizes of the case are also applicable as long as the case is able to be fitted into the water tank. Further, the discharge handle or the user input device is able to be fitted in the center of the primary actuator assembly case. Moreover, the connection wire between the primary and the second actuator assembly is able to be located 0.38 inch from the center of the discharge handle.

Some embodiments of the present application provide means for enlarging or leveraging user's input on the primary actuator assembly, such as turning the flush handle, through the functions and the mechanical components of the secondary actuator assembly. For example, in some embodiments, user's motion for flushing a toilet that is performed on the rotational diameter of the 0.88 inch actuating arm in the primary actuator assembly is able to be amplified or enlarged by the secondary actuator arm, lever arm, 1460 and 1470 having a length 2¾ inch.

In some embodiments, whole discharge and partial discharge components may be distinguished with colors to facilitate manufacturing, assembly and installation, and for user convenience. For example, a green insert may be provided for the whole discharge flush handle and a red insert provided for the partial discharge flush handle to facilitate user identification of the functionality of the handles. The color inserts for the flush handle identification may additionally be interchangeable. In addition, primary and secondary actuator components may be similarly colored to facilitate manufacturing and assembly. For example, components related to the whole discharge side of the primary actuator, secondary actuator and their interconnecting components may be colored green, whereas the partial discharge counterparts may be colored red. Although the colors for various components have been described with respect to several specific embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that any number of colors, combinations of colors or patterns, or other ways of identifying the whole discharge components from the partial discharge components is within the scope and spirit of the invention.

Although the toilet tank valve structure has been shown and described with respect to several embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.