Title:
DEVICES FOR USE IN THE TREATMENT OF FLUIDS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A urinal outlet device including a hollow perforated cage for retaining one or more effluent treatment blocks within the cage. The cage is provided with spacing means, in the form of spikes on the inside of the cage for holding the blocks at a spaced distance from an inside surface of the cage. The cage, spacing means, are dimensioned, shaped and positioned relative to the blocks and an outlet flow of effluent from the urinal so that, in use of the device, the blocks are spaced from a surface of the urinal whilst enabling the one or more blocks to be exposed to the flow of urine. Where the urinal is a water flushable urinal, the blocks are held substantially out of the main flow of flushing water flowing to the outlet of the urinal to prolong the life of the blocks without impairing their ability to disinfect and deodorise the urinal.



Inventors:
Lees, Richard (Kingsbridge, GB)
Application Number:
13/142052
Publication Date:
12/01/2011
Filing Date:
12/23/2009
Assignee:
ECOSAVE SYSTEMS LIMITED (Paignton, Devon, GB)
SELADIS BIO LIMITED (Basingstoke, Hampshire, GB)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E03D13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070143912Drain-Clearing Device and SystemJune, 2007Thorp et al.
20090276951BUBBLE GENERATION ASSEMBLYNovember, 2009Tran
20040068790Professional water bathApril, 2004Simpkins
20110225725Portable Eyewash AssemblySeptember, 2011Kersten
20110131722SPA SIDE WALL INSULATED JACKET AND METHOD OF USEJune, 2011Scott et al.
20040237182Flapper valve for a toilet tankDecember, 2004Shih
20160129216Circulatory Water Flow SystemMay, 2016Leazenbee et al.
20060064812Heat sealed webbing method and apparatus for pool coversMarch, 2006Smith
20080092286Bird Guard for a Swimming Pool SpaApril, 2008Christmann
20150067956COMPOSTING TOILET ASSEMBLYMarch, 2015Morin
20170058500CLEAN TOILET AND ACCESSORIESMarch, 2017Garrels et al.



Primary Examiner:
DEERY, ERIN LEAH
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OLIFF PLC (ALEXANDRIA, VA, US)
Claims:
1. A urinal outlet device comprising a hollow perforated cage for retaining one or more effluent treatment blocks within the cage, wherein the cage is provided with spacing means on the inside of the cage for holding the one or more blocks at a spaced distance from an inside surface of the cage, said cage and the spacing means being dimensioned, shaped and positioned relative to the one or more blocks and an outlet flow of effluent from the urinal so that in use of the device, the blocks are spaced from a surface of the urinal whilst enabling the one or more blocks to be exposed to the flow of urine.

2. A urinal according to claim 1 wherein the outer surface of the cage has recesses that provide facets on which the cage rests when placed in an outlet of a urinal.

3. A urinal according to claim 1 wherein the urinal is a water flushable urinal and the said cage, spacing means and recesses are dimensioned, shaped and positioned relative to the one or more blocks and an outlet flow of effluent from the urinal so that, in use of the device, the blocks are held substantially out of the main flow of flushing water flowing to the outlet of the urinal whilst enabling the one or more blocks to be exposed to the flow of urine.

4. A device according to claim 1 wherein the spacing means comprise spikes that project radially inwards from the inside surface of the cage on to which the blocks are impaled.

5. A device according to claim 1, wherein the cage comprises two interconnected parts.

6. A device according to claim 1 wherein the cage is of generally spherical shape.

7. A device according to claim 1 wherein the perforations of the cage comprise a plurality of first openings spaced around the perimeter of the cage.

8. A device according to claim 6 the perforations comprise a plurality of second openings that are smaller than the first openings spaced around the perimeter of the cage.

9. A device according to claim 1 wherein the cage is selected from a cube shape, a hemispherical shape with a flat base, an ellipsoidal shape, or a rhomboidal shape.

10. A device according to claim 1 wherein the cage is provided with a pedestal for insertion into an outlet of the urinal through which effluent flows.

11. A device according to claim 8 wherein the pedestal is tapered so as to fit in different sizes of outlet opening.

12. A device according to claim 10 wherein the pedestal comprises a plurality of spaced fingers.

13. A device according to claim 8 wherein the pedestal is a perforated tube.

14. A device according to claim 8 wherein the cage is provided with a plurality of spaced fingers.

Description:

This invention relates to devices for use in the treatment of fluids (which term includes liquids) and in particular to a device for use in the treatment (deodorising and/or disinfecting) of waste effluents of a urinal.

Many urinals have a either a water flushable bowl or a water flushable common trough that has an outlet opening or pipe that directs the effluent to a sewer. Many outlet pipes are connected directly to a water trap that prevents foul air from the sewer flowing back into the urinal. Others have the outlet pipe discharging to a waste water drain.

Conventionally, the bowl or trough is disinfected and deodorised by placing one or more dissolvable deodorising and/or disinfecting blocks in the base of the bowl of the urinal. Often these blocks dissolve rapidly or break up into small pieces because they are exposed to flow of urine and the water that is used to flush the urinal, and get washed down into the outlet opening. Often the broken fragments of the treatment blocks obstruct the outlet causing the urinal to overflow.

A partial solution to the problem of the outlet becoming blocked has been to place a perforated plate across the otherwise unobstructed outlet opening to stop the broken pieces of the blocks from falling into the outlet opening. Whilst this may stop large fragments of the blocks falling into the outlet, the small perforations of the plate often become clogged with other debris and the urinal still overflows when it is flushed with cleansing water.

There is a need to overcome the problem of the blocks breaking down and obstructing the outlet in this way.

Furthermore, with the present practice of simply placing the blocks directly on the base of the bowl or on the perforated plate, they dissolve more quickly because there is more surface area exposed to both the flow of urine and the water used to flush the bowl. Often the life span of a block can be measured in hours or perhaps a day or so. There is therefore also a need to prolong the life of the blocks of active ingredients if possible whilst still retaining effective treatment of the effluent.

Another problem with placing deodorising blocks loosely at the bottom of the bowl or trough of a urinal is that they are not very efficient deodorisers because relatively little of the surface area of the blocks are exposed to an airflow.

An object of one aspect of the present invention is to provide a device for use in the treatment of a fluid by contacting the fluid with treatment blocks of an active ingredient, that reduces the breakup of the blocks that could cause obstruction of an outlet for the flow of the fluid, and also prolongs the life of the blocks by retaining the blocks out of the main flow of the fluid.

In a further aspect of the invention a further object is to provide a device for use in the treatment of effluent from a urinal by contacting the effluent with treatment blocks of an active deodorising and disinfecting block that reduces the breakup of the blocks that could cause obstruction of an outlet for the effluent.

In a further aspect of the present invention a further object is to provide a device for use in the treatment of effluent from a water flushable urinal by contacting the effluent with treatment blocks of an active deodorising and disinfecting block, that reduces the breakup of the blocks that could cause obstruction of an outlet for the effluent, prolongs the life of the blocks by retaining the blocks out of the main flow of the flushing water, and allows air flow around the blocks.

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a urinal outlet device comprising a hollow perforated cage for retaining one or more effluent treatment blocks within the cage, characterised in that the cage is provided with spacing means on the inside of the cage for holding the one or more blocks at a spaced distance from an inside surface of the cage, said cage and the spacing means being dimensioned, shaped and positioned relative to the one or more blocks and an outlet flow of effluent from the urinal so that in use of the device, the blocks are spaced from a surface of the urinal whilst enabling the one or more blocks to be exposed to the flow of urine.

Where the urinal is a water flushable urinal the said cage, spacing means and recesses are dimensioned, shaped and positioned relative to the one or more blocks and an outlet flow of effluent from the urinal so that, in use of the device, the blocks are held substantially out of the main flow of flushing water flowing to the outlet of the urinal whilst enabling the one or more blocks to be exposed to the flow of urine.

Preferably the spacing means comprise spikes that project radially inwards from the inside surface of the cage on which the blocks are impaled.

Ideally the cage comprises two interconnected parts and preferably the cage is of generally spherical shape but it could be of rhomboidal, cubical, ellipsoidal, or hemispherical in shape.

Preferably perforations of the cage comprise a plurality of first openings spaced around the perimeter of the cage. The perforations may comprise a plurality of second openings that are smaller than the first openings spaced around the perimeter of the cage.

According to further aspects of the present invention the perforated cage may be selected from a cube shape, a hemispherical shape, an ellipsoidal shape, or a rhomboidal shape. In those shapes having fat surfaces such as a cube or hemisphere with a flat base the flat surfaces provide facets on which the cage sits when placed in a urinal.

According to another embodiment of the invention the cage may be provided with a pedestal for insertion into an outlet of the urinal through which effluent flows. Preferably the pedestal is tapered so as to fit in different sizes of outlets. Preferably the pedestal may comprise a plurality of spaced fingers. Alternatively the pedestal may be a perforated tube.

The invention will now be described by way of examples with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are side elevations of a first embodiment of a urinal outlet device constructed in accordance with the present invention looking in two different directions;

FIG. 1A shows in greater detail the spacing means for holding the blocks within the cage of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 3 is a top view of the cage of the device of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a larger view of one of the clips shown in the circle of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation of a second device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the pedestal of the device of FIG. 5:

FIGS. 7 and 8 are respectively a side view and a perspective view of a third device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 9 shows a side elevation of a fourth device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIGS. 10, 11 and 12 show respectively a first side view, underside view, and a second side view of a fifth device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 13 shows a sixth device constructed in accordance with the present invention:

FIGS. 14 to 17 show respectively a side view, end view, perspective view and top view of a seventh device constructed in accordance with the present invention: and.

FIG. 18 is a side view of an eighth device constructed in accordance with the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4 the urinal device 10 comprises a hollow perforated spherical shaped cage 11 for retaining within the cage one or more dissolvable cube shaped blocks 12 of an active ingredient for deodorising or disinfecting the effluent from a bowl or trough of a urinal.

The spherical cage 11 is approximately 50 mm in diameter and is made of two interconnected hemispherical parts 14 and 15. Each of the parts 14 and 15 is of a symmetrical design and the perforations 16 of the perforated cage comprise twelve large first openings 16 equally spaced around its periphery and eight smaller second openings 17 at its domed end. The two parts 14 and 15 of the cage age 11 are clipped together by means of three flexible clips 18 that are equally spaced around the circumference of the open end of part 14. Each of the clips 18 have a cylindrical protrusion 19 that projects into a respective one of the large first openings 16 in the upper part 15. The parts 14 and 15 can be separated by squeezing the clips 18 to disengage the cylindrical protrusion 19 from the respective opening 16.

The outer surface of the cage is provided with six recesses 20. Each recess 20 encompasses three large openings 16 leaving one large opening 16 between each recess 20. The recesses 20 are important because in use in a first embodiment of the invention when the cage 11 rests on the base of the bowl or trough of a urinal the recesses 20 stop the cage 11 rolling towards the outlet pipe of the urinal 15. The recesses 20 effectively define facets on the outside of the cage 11 to prevent the cage rolling.

Each part 14 and 15 has spacing means 21 show schematically in greater detail in FIG. 1A. The spacing means 21 comprises three conical spikes 22 that project radially inwards towards the centre of the cage 11. The spikes 22 are moulded on to the top and bottom of the cage 11 and are equi-spaced around a 6 mm common pitch circle diameter. Each spike 22 is about 15 mm long and is dimensioned so as to penetrate about 10 mm into the one or more dissolvable blocks 12 to hold the blocks 12 at a spaced distance from the inside surface of the cage 11 when the two parts 14 and 15 of the cage 11 are clipped together. The number of spikes 22 is not important; there could be more or less than three spikes 22 and, indeed, there may be different numbers of spikes 22 on one part 14 or 15 than on the other part 14 or 15.

In use of the device 10 of the one or more blocks 12 is placed inside the cage 11 and impaled on the spikes 22 when the two parts are clipped together. The block 12 is preferably of a complimentary shape to that of the cage (i.e. spherical) but need not be, and could, for example, be a cube as shown in FIGS. 1 to 4. The block or blocks 12 and are kept at a predetermined spaced distance away from the inside surface of the cage 11 by the spikes 22 so that the blocks 12 are held clear of the base of the urinal to minimise contact with the flushing water used to wash the urinal.

With urinals comprising a single bowl, one or more devices 10 are placed in the bowl so that the devices lies at the region of the outlet through which the effluent of the urinal flows. In the case of a urinal that comprises a common trough leading to a single outlet pipe it is preferred to use more than one device placed on the base at intervals along the length of the trough, and possibly one placed at the entrance of the outlet of the trough.

Urine directed at the cage 11 gradually dissolves the block (or blocks) 12 allowing the block 12 to disinfect the urinal and release a deodorant. When the bowl or trough of the urinal is flushed, rolling of the cage is resisted by the cage coming to rest on one of the recesses 20. This is particularly useful in trough types of urinal where the base slopes towards the outlet. The spikes 22 of the spacing means 21 together with the action of the recesses 20 holds the blocks 12 out of the main flow of flushing water, whilst ensuring that the blocks 12 are exposed to urine streams directed at the cage 11. In addition, air is allowed to flow freely over and around the blocks 12 in the spaces between the block or blocks 12 and the inside of the cage 11. This encourages the release of more deodorant than if the blocks lie on the base of the urinal without a cage 11, and ensures a longer life of the disinfecting and deodorising blocks 12 than if they were lying on the base of the urinal without a cage 11. This air flow over the blocks is particularly useful when the cage 11 is positioned at the entrance of the outlet opening of the urinal because the oscillating movement of the water in the water trap causes an oscillating movement of the air above the water trap and pumps deodorised air into the urinal.

In addition, the recesses 20 ensure that in the event that the cage 11 comes to rest across the outlet opening of the urinal, large articles such as chewing gum, paper, and cigarette ends thrown into the urinal are prevented from falling down the outlet and obstructing the outlet.

A second embodiment of the present invention is shown in FIG. 5. In this embodiment, the cage 11 of FIGS. 1 to 4 is detachably mounted on the larger end of an elongated tapered pedestal 23 (shown in more detail in FIG. 6). The pedestal 23 is shaped and dimensioned so that the smaller end can be inserted in to a range of different sizes of outlet pipes of urinals so as to hold the cage 11 adjacent the outlet opening of the urinal just clear of the entrance to the outlet. The part 15 that forms the bottom of the cage 11 has a 3 mm opening 24 (see FIG. 3), that receives a plug 25 that is formed on largest end of the pedestal 23. The pedestal 23 has longitudinal slits 25 that define a plurality of equally spaced fingers 26 that are connected together at the each end of the pedestal.

The pedestal 23 is shown with four fingers 26, but the number of fingers is not important and it could have more or less than four, for example, three fingers 26. In use, the slits 25 between the fingers 26 allow the flow of waste effluent (water and urine) out of the outlet of the urinal 15 whilst the fingers 26 stop items that fall or are thrown into the urinal falling down the outlet and obstructing the outlet. Furthermore the fingers need not be connected together at the end remote from the cage.

Different sizes and shapes of pedestal 23 can be constructed for use with each cage 11 so that the cage 11 is located at the entrance of the outlet pipe just above the base of the urinal bowl or trough so that when the urinal is flushed with cleansing water, the cage 11 holds the deodorising and disinfecting blocks 12 out of the main flow of water that is flushed down the outlet of the urinal. For different designs of outlets it may be necessary to modify the shape of the pedestal to enable the cage to be held adjacent the outlet with the blocks out of the flow of the main flushing water. For example if the outlet of the bowl is at the rear of the bowl, instead of the usual centre position at the base of the bowl, the pedestal 23 could be provided with one or more fingers that extend horizontally and plug into the outlet of the urinal. Also, clasping features like, for example, a hook or catch could be provided at the end of the fingers that engage in recesses or a catch in the outlet of the urinal. It is to be understood that the pedestal could be a perforated or foraminated tube.

In the second embodiment of the present invention, the pedestal 23 is inserted into the outlet opening pipe of a urinal bowl or trough of the urinal so that the bottom of the cage 11 is just clear of the entrance of the outlet and just clear of the base of the bowl or the base of the trough of the urinal.

Whilst the recesses 20 are not required to stop rolling of the cage 11 on the base of the urinal, the recesses 20 function very much as described above, in that they allow the flow of effluent to the outlet whilst the blocks 12 are held out of the main flow of flushing water by the spikes 22, and the recesses 20 allow air to flow around the blocks within the cage 11. Furthermore urine directed at the cage 11 contacts the deodorising and disinfecting block 12 even though they are held out of the main flow of water that is flushed down the urinal bowl. This ensures a much longer life of the block 12 than is the case where the block is simply thrown into the base of the urinal as was done in the past.

We have found that blocks placed in the device 10 of the present invention last for about four or five weeks in those situations where simply placing loose blocks on the base of the urinal last a few days or a few hours. Furthermore we have found that the cage 11 ensures that the blocks 12 are retained more or less as an integral block without it breaking down into smaller pieces and blocking the outlet of the urinal. We have also found that air flow over the blocks 12 improves the release of fragrant odours from the blocks 12.

The cages 11 and the pedestals 23 are made of a plastics material and preferably the plastics material is recyclable or a bio degradable plastics material that will degrade when the device 10 is discarded after its useful life. Alternatively the cage 11 could be made of another bio degradable material that will withstand normal use in a urinal and bio-degrade sometime after the device is discarded or is made of metal, or a metal coated plastics material.

In the embodiment of the invention described above, the cage 11 is a spherical shape. It is to be understood that whilst it is preferred that the cage is spherical, it need not be, and could be of another shape with or without recesses 20 formed in the outer surface. Other possible shapes of perforated cages 11 are hemispherical cages as shown in FIGS. 10 to 13, cubical cages as shown in FIGS. 7 to 9, ellipsoidal cages as shown in FIGS. 14 to 18 and rhomboidal cages (not shown). In all instances, the cages 11 have a spacing means 21 that may be spikes 22 similar to those shown in FIGS. 1 to 4 on which dissolvable blocks 12 (not shown in FIGS. 5 to 18), are impaled to hold the blocks 12 at a small distance away from the inside of the cage 11 as described above in connection with FIGS. 1 to 4.

The flat sides of the cube of the cages of FIGS. 7 to 9, and the flat base of the hemispherical cage 11 act as facets that stop the cage rolling in the bowl or trough of the urinal when placed in the bowl or trough of the urinal. With the ellipsoidal shaped cage of FIGS. 14 to 17 the large openings 16 perform in a similar way to the recesses 20 of the cage of FIGS. 1 to 4 and provide facets on which the cage rests when placed in a bowl or trough of a urinal. The cages 11 may or may not have pedestals 23 or similar fingers 26 of the type described above; cages 11 with cubical, hemispherical, and ellipsoidal cages with pedestals are shown respectively in FIGS. 5, 9, 13, and 18.

Whilst in the above examples the device 10 of a present invention is used in the outlet 11 of flushable urinal, the device 10 could be used in the treatment of other waste effluent outlets such as in drains, sinks, and sewers.

Devices 10 similar to those described above may be adapted for other applications where flows of fluids or liquids are treated by contacting the fluid with a treatment block 12 that comprises an active treatment ingredient. An example would be in water softening or decalcification of water.

Whilst the present invention offers important advantages to water flushable urinals, devices 10 of the present invention could also be used in the so called “waterless” urinals so that increased airflow around the blocks 12 would generate the release of fragrant deodorisers. In this case the spikes 22 perform the useful purpose of keeping a space around the blocks 12 so that air flows freely around the blocks 12 to increase deodorising.

Indeed, similar devices 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention could be used in fluid or liquid processing plants where a flow of a fluid or liquid is treated by exposing the fluid or liquid to blocks 12 of active treatment ingredients. In the latter case, the choice of block 12 for the treatment of the fluid or liquid would be selected to be compatible with the intended treatment of the fluid or liquid that is to be processed.