Title:
Toilet Assemblies Having a Moveable Trapway and Methods of Installing Same
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Toilets, kits and methods for installing toilets using a moveable trapway are described in the disclosure. The moveable trapway comprises a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage. The conduit body has an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from a bowl outlet, such as the end of a partial trapway of the toilet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe. The passage extends from the inlet opening in the upper inlet portion to the outlet opening in the outlet portion. The trapway also includes a connector configured to attach the inlet portion of the conduit body so as to be in fluid communication to the bowl outlet, for example to a partial trapway of the toilet. The conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet.



Inventors:
Mchale, James (Hillsborough, NJ, US)
Bucher, Christophe (Hillsborough, NJ, US)
Grover, David (Hamilton, NJ, US)
Application Number:
13/923333
Publication Date:
12/26/2013
Filing Date:
06/20/2013
Assignee:
AS Holdco, LLC (Piscataway, NJ, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/428
International Classes:
E03D11/17
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LE, HUYEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FLASTER/GREENBERG P.C. (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A moveable trapway for use with a toilet, comprising: a conduit body comprising an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage, the conduit body having an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from a bowl outlet of a toilet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening of the upper inlet portion to the outlet opening of the outlet portion; and a connector configured to join the inlet portion of the conduit body to the bowl outlet of the toilet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of a toilet such that the outlet portion of the moveable trapway is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of a toilet being installed.

2. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the moveable trapway is for use with a toilet having a bowl outlet located on an end of a partial trapway and the inlet portion of the conduit body is configured to receive fluid from a bowl outlet on an end of a partial trapway.

3. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the exterior surface of the outlet portion of the conduit body is configured to fit inside of the central opening of a closet flange in facing engagement.

4. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the conduit body is a unitary structure.

5. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the conduit body is formed from two halves that extend lengthwise along the conduit body.

6. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the outlet portion of the conduit body further comprises a flange cover, wherein the flange cover comprises an upper surface, a lower surface, at least one central opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface, and at least one peripheral opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface.

7. The moveable trapway according to claim 6, wherein the upper surface of the flange cover comprises an indicator for correlating a trapway displacement angle with a distance the outlet of the conduit body may be moved laterally from the longitudinal midline along an installation surface.

8. The moveable trapway according to claim 6, wherein the conduit body and the flange cover are formed as a unitary structure.

9. The moveable trapway according to claim 6, wherein the flange cover is configured to be secured over the flange by at least one fastener extending through the at least one peripheral opening.

10. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the conduit body comprises a material selected from a group containing a molded polymeric material, an elastomeric material, a composite material, a metal, a metal alloy, and/or a ceramic material.

11. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the moveable trapway is for use with a toilet having a bowl outlet at an end of a partial trapway, and the interior surface of the upper inlet portion of the conduit body is configured to fit around an exterior surface of a partial trapway of a toilet in facing engagement.

12. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the exterior surface of the outlet portion of the conduit body is configured to fit inside of an inlet opening of a sewage drain pipe of the toilet in facing engagement.

13. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the conduit body is configured so that a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being positioned over a sewage drain pipe at a first distance of about 50 mm to about 400 mm, wherein the first distance is measured in a transverse plane of an installation surface from a point located perpendicularly below a center point of the inlet opening of the inlet portion of the conduit body and on the longitudinal midline of a toilet being installed on an installation surface to the center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body.

14. The moveable trapway according to claim 13, wherein the first distance from the center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body to the point perpendicularly below the center point of the inlet opening is about 100 mm to about 300 mm.

15. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the conduit body is configured so that a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being positioned over the sewage drain pipe at a second distance of about 5 mm to about 160 mm, the second distance being measured in a transverse plane of an installation surface along a line extending perpendicularly from a point located on the longitudinal midline to the center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body.

16. The moveable trapway according to claim 15, wherein the second distance from the center point of the outlet opening of outlet portion of the conduit body to the longitudinal midline measured perpendicularly along the transverse plane of an installation surface is about 25 mm to about 115 mm.

17. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the conduit body is configured so that a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being positioned at an angle of about ±1 degree to about ±90 degrees, the angle being measured in a transverse plane of an installation surface between the longitudinal midline and a line extending from the center point of the outlet opening to a point located on the longitudinal midline, in a transverse plane on an installation surface and perpendicularly below a center point of the inlet opening of the inlet portion of the conduit body.

18. The moveable trapway according to claim 17, wherein the angle is about ±5 degrees to about ±55 degrees.

19. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the moveable trapway is for use with a toilet having a bowl outlet at an end of a partial trapway and the connector is configured to be secured to an outlet of a partial trapway.

20. The moveable trapway according to claim 1, wherein the connector is selected from an elastomeric ring, an interlocking ring, a wax ring, and an elastomeric band that is connectable by hose clamps.

21. A toilet, comprising: a toilet bowl having an inner surface defining an inner space for receiving fluids and solid waste, an exterior surface, a sump and a bowl outlet for releasing fluid and/or waste; a moveable trapway, comprising a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage, the conduit body comprising an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from the bowl outlet of the toilet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening of the upper inlet portion to the outlet opening of the outlet portion; and a connector configured to attach the inlet portion of the conduit body to the toilet bowl so that the inlet portion is in fluid communication with the bowl outlet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet.

22. The toilet according to claim 21, wherein the toilet further comprises a flange cover, wherein the flange cover comprises an upper surface, a lower surface, at least one central opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface, and at least one peripheral opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface.

23. The toilet according to claim 22, wherein the upper surface of the flange cover comprises an indicator for correlating a trapway displacement angle with a distance the outlet of the conduit body may be moved laterally from the longitudinal midline along an installation surface.

24. The toilet according to claim 21, wherein the toilet further comprises a skirt extending around the exterior surface of the toilet bowl, wherein the skirt comprises an opening at a rear of the toilet and the skirt has at least one side opening configured to allow for moveable placement of the outlet portion of the conduit body that extends outwardly from the skirt.

25. The toilet according to claim 24, wherein the toilet further comprises a flange housing configured to cover at least a portion of the flange cover extending out of the at least one side opening.

26. The toilet according to claim 25, wherein the flange housing comprises a stain-resistant material selected from a group containing a molded polymeric material, an elastomeric of maintaining a pre-molded, partially circular shape.

27. The toilet according to claim 21, wherein the toilet further comprises a skirt extending around the exterior surface of the toilet bowl and around the rear portion of the toilet, wherein a portion of the skirt in the rear portion of the toilet is configured to cover at least the conduit body of the moveable trapway and/or a portion of the toilet skirt extends outwardly on a side portion of the skirt on at least one side of the toilet to cover the outlet portion and/or a flange cover of the moveable trapway when the moveable trapway is displaced from the longitudinal midline of the toilet.

28. A method of installing a toilet, comprising: a) providing a toilet comprising: a bowl having an inner surface defining an inner space for receiving fluids and solid waste, an exterior surface, a sump and a bowl outlet for releasing fluid and/or waste from the bowl, a moveable trapway, comprising a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage, the conduit body comprising an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from the bowl outlet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening in the upper inlet portion of the conduit body to the outlet opening in the outlet portion of the conduit body; and a connector configured to attach the inlet portion of the conduit body in fluid communication with the bowl outlet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet; b) positioning the conduit body of the moveable trapway such that the inlet opening is in fluid communication with the bowl outlet and the outlet opening is aligned to be in fluid communication with a sewage drain pipe when the toilet is installed on an installation surface; and c) positioning the connector such that it joins the upper inlet portion of the conduit body to the toilet in fluid communication with the bowl outlet.

29. The method of installing a toilet according to claim 28, wherein the toilet further comprises a flange cover located on the outlet portion of the conduit body, and the method further comprises positioning the flange cover over a flange installed on an installation surface over the sewage drain pipe; and securing the flange cover to an installation surface by at least one fastener extending through at least one peripheral opening in the flange cover.

30. The method of installing a toilet according to claim 29, wherein the upper surface of the flange cover comprises an indicator for correlating a trapway displacement angle with a distance the outlet of the conduit body may be moved laterally from the longitudinal midline along an installation surface and the method further comprises using the indicator for positioning the moveable trapway.

31. The method of installing a toilet according to claim 28, wherein the toilet comprises a flange housing and a skirt positioned around at least the bowl and sides of the toilet, wherein the skirt has at least one opening in a side thereof, and the method further comprises positioning the flange housing adjacent to one of the at least one side opening in the skirt so as to cover any outwardly extending portion of a flange and/or a flange cover extending outwardly through the at least one side opening.

32. The method of installing a toilet according to claim 31, further comprising compressing the flange housing inside of the at least one side opening in the skirt.

33. The method of installing a toilet according to claim 28, further comprising forming an angle of about ±1 degree to about ±90 degrees when a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is over the sewage drain pipe, wherein the angle formed is measured in a transverse plane along the installation surface between the longitudinal midline of the toilet and a line extending from the center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body to a point along the longitudinal midline of the toilet that is perpendicularly below a center point of the inlet opening of the inlet portion of the conduit body.

34. The method of installing a toilet according to claim 33, wherein the angle formed is about ±5 degree to about ±55 degrees.

35. The method of installing a toilet according to claim 28, wherein the toilet comprises a skirt extending around the exterior surface of the toilet bowl, wherein the skirt comprises an opening at a rear portion of the toilet, at least one mount opening, and at least one side opening in the skirt, and the method further comprises securing the skirt using the at least one mount opening and at least one fastener.

36. A kit for installing a moveable trapway, comprising a) a moveable trapway, comprising: a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage and having an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from a bowl outlet of a toilet, an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the upper inlet portion opening to the outlet portion opening, and a connector configured to join the inlet portion of the conduit body to the bowl outlet of the toilet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet; and b) instructions for installing a moveable trapway.

37. A kit for installing a toilet, comprising a) a toilet, comprising a toilet bowl having an inner surface defining an inner space for receiving fluids and solid waste, an exterior surface, a sump and a bowl outlet for releasing fluid and/or waste, a moveable trapway, comprising a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage having an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from the bowl outlet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening in the upper inlet portion to the outlet opening in the outlet portion, and a connector configured to attach the inlet portion of the conduit body so as to be in fluid communication with the bowl outlet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet; and b) instructions for installing the toilet.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This U.S. Non-Provisional Patent Application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119 (e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/662,170, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention is related to the field of toilet assemblies for installation and mounting in connection with an area in existing construction having a sewage drain. More particularly the invention relates to toilet assemblies that incorporate a moveable trapway to allow adjustment of the location of the toilet in a manner in which the trapway outlet is not aligned along the mid-line of the toilet assembly with the sewage drain. Such toilets can be installed in pre-existing construction on a sewage drain line but be positioned so that the installed toilet leaves sufficient space to meet the guidelines for disabled persons who utilize wheelchairs or other mobility aids under the Fair Housing Act.

2. Description of Related Art

Toilet assemblies for removing waste products, such as human waste, are well known. Toilet assemblies generally have two main parts: a tank and a bowl. The tank and bowl can be separate pieces which are coupled together to form the toilet assembly (commonly referred to as a two-piece toilet) or can be combined into one integral unit (typically referred to as a one-piece toilet). Toilets also exist without tanks and can be wall-mounted with an in-line flush valve.

If a tank is used, the tank, which is usually positioned over the back of the bowl, contains water that is used for initiating flushing of waste from the bowl to the sewage line, as well as refilling the bowl with fresh water.

The bowl is typically pre-molded so as to be round or elongated for receiving liquid and solid waste. A trapway is usually incorporated into a toilet assembly for leading flush water which may include liquid and/or solid waste from the sump of the bowl, at the bowl outlet to the drain opening and into the sewage line.

A typical trapway has three main parts: a first leg portion leading generally transversely from the sump and exit port of the toilet bowl towards the back end of the toilet and which typically curves slightly upwardly; a trapway down leg leading flow downwardly from the first leg portion toward the drain along the back of the toilet and curving back towards the front of the toilet; and a second generally transversely extending leg of the trapway that may include a curve for providing a weir, and which leg runs from the down leg of the trapway towards the drain pipe and is connected so as to be in communication with the drain pipe for transmitting all liquid and/or solid waste to a drain of a sewage line. The trapway is connected to the drain line by mounting the trapway to the floor using a wax ring and a flange over the drain pipe. The drain pipe can have a horizontal, vertical or diagonal flow path for the liquid and/or solid waste to the sewage line.

When a flush cycle is initiated, water flows from the tank and into the bowl through various pathways depending on the bowl design. This causes a rapid rise in water level and the excess water enters the trapway and passes over the weir and into the longitudinal (down leg) portion of the trapway, carrying liquid and/or solid waste along with it. Once the excess water, liquid and/or solid waste enter the trapway, they are carried through the drain pipe to the sewage line for removal. At the conclusion of the flush cycle, the water level in the bowl is returned to an equilibrium pre-flush level as determined by the weir of the trapway and other design features.

Installation of a toilet typically requires measuring the distance between the floor drain (or the middle of the bolts on the base of an already-installed toilet assembly being replaced) and the wall behind the toilet. This distance is called the “rough-in distance.” Most toilets are designed for rough-in distances of 10″, 12″ or 14″. Toilet drain holes, which are located at the end of a toilet trapway within the bowl assembly, are manufactured into the bottom of the bowl to fit a specific rough-in distance and are centrally aligned along a mid-line taken through a longitudinal plane through the center of the toilet.

Once a homeowner or builder/developer has purchased his new or replacement toilet assembly, a typical prior art method for installation includes positioning the toilet over an installed closet flange that is designed to be aligned and spaced with respect to the wall behind the toilet to be installed based on the appropriate rough-in distance.

However, many standard toilet assembly locations for toilet installations are not designed to accommodate installation in smaller bathrooms having limited lateral space if also accommodating other fixtures and are limited by walls within a home or business. As a result, it is difficult to adapt an existing toilet installation area so that there is sufficient space to allow for access for persons with a disability, e.g., someone requiring a wheelchair or other physical mobility aid.

One known way in the art to create more space in a small bathroom area is to use a round bowl base versus an elongated toilet bowl assembly. While this choice may give more space accommodation in the front of the toilet, it does not alleviate the issues resulting from closeness of adjacent fixtures or walls within a home or business having limited access area for a toilet measured in the transverse direction or behind the bowl.

Additionally, to accommodate the disabled, the U.S. Fair Housing Act requires multifamily dwellings with a building entrance on an accessible route to contain usable bathrooms with grab bars attached such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space. The dimensions describing the distance from the center (along the longitudinal mid-line) of a toilet assembly to a side wall and/or to the nearest fixture or obstruction on the opposite side have been adapted from the ANSI standard. Thus, eighteen (18) inches from the centerline of the toilet to the wall is the standard for accommodating a grab bar and the shoulders of a person seated on the toilet. The Accessibility Guidelines of the Fair Housing Act provide for a fifteen (15)-inch minimum dimension on the non-grab bar side.

Attempts in the art have been made to improve spacing in bathrooms by changing the rough-in distance without further construction or renovation. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,819,326 A1 teaches a connecting apparatus that addresses differences in the specifications of a new toilet versus the position of the pre-established, building-mounted drainpipe. The three-piece connecting part of U.S. Pat. No. 5,819,326 has a flushing-side connecting pipe, a drain-side connecting pipe, and an adjustable length linking pipe which makes a connection between the flushing-side and the drain-side connecting pipes to enable changes in the rough-in distance between the toilet stool and the wall.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,108,826 A1 discloses an adjustable trap for a toilet stool to address the differences between the rough-in distance and vertical height of alternative toilet bowl assemblies.

Rubber hoses and flexible trapways are known in the art for sink drains and the like. However, while some improvements have been attempted, there is a need in the art for the ability to adjust the location of a toilet in a manner in which the trapway outlet may be aligned so as to be moveable from the mid-line of the toilet assembly with the pre-existing building-mounted sewage drain to enable installation of toilets that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Such a design is further needed to enable installation of a toilet assembly in a small area with adjustability not only along the longitudinal mid-line of a toilet (i.e., front to back movement), but also movement in other directions including transverse displacement (left to right) so that existing installation areas which may have limited space can be re-designed both in businesses and homes to accommodate users with disabilities to meet the minimum spacing requirements of the Fair Housing Act for wheelchair-bound disabled persons without requiring substantial remodeling or reconstruction of the space at great cost to the property owner.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In one embodiment hereof, the disclosure includes a moveable trapway for use with a toilet, comprising a conduit body comprising an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage, the conduit body having an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from a bowl outlet of a toilet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening of the upper inlet portion to the outlet opening of the outlet portion; and a connector configured to join the inlet portion of the conduit body to the bowl outlet of the toilet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of a toilet such that the outlet portion of the moveable trapway is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of a toilet being installed.

The moveable trapway may be for use with a toilet having a bowl outlet that is preferably at the end of a partial trapway extending from the sump to the bowl outlet. In such an embodiment, the connector is configured to join the inlet portion of the conduit body to the end of the partial trapway. If the moveable trapway is for use with toilets having a bowl outlet located on an end of a partial trapway, the inlet portion of the conduit body may be configured to receive fluid from a bowl outlet on an end of a partial trapway.

The exterior surface of the outlet portion of the conduit body may, in one embodiment, be configured to fit inside of the central opening of a closet flange in facing engagement.

The conduit body may be a unitary structure or may be formed of more than one piece. In one preferred embodiment, the conduit body is formed from two halves that extend lengthwise along the conduit body. The halves may be permanently affixed or snap-fit pieces that are sealingly engaged.

The outlet portion of the conduit body may also comprise an optional flange cover, wherein the flange cover comprises an upper surface, a lower surface, at least one central opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface, and at least one peripheral opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface. The conduit body and the flange cover may be formed as a unitary structure or separate pieces configured to work together. The optional flange cover is preferably configured to be secured over a standard closet flange by at least one fastener extending through the at least one peripheral opening. In one embodiment, the upper surface of the flange cover may comprise an optional indicator for correlating a trapway displacement angle with a distance the outlet of the conduit body may be moved laterally from the longitudinal midline along an installation surface.

The conduit body may comprise various materials such as a molded polymeric material, an elastomeric material, a composite material, a metal, a metal alloy, and/or a ceramic material.

In an embodiment where the moveable trapway is for use with a toilet having a bowl outlet at the end of a partial trapway, the interior surface of the upper inlet portion of the conduit body may be configured to fit around an exterior surface of the partial trapway of the toilet in facing engagement.

The exterior surface of the outlet portion of the conduit body is preferably configured to fit inside of an inlet opening of a sewage drain pipe of the toilet in facing engagement.

The conduit body may also be configured so that a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being positioned over a sewage drain pipe at a first distance of about 50 mm to about 400 mm, preferably about 100 mm to about 300 mm, wherein the first distance is measured in a transverse plane of an installation surface from a point located perpendicularly below a center point of the inlet opening of the inlet portion of the conduit body and on the longitudinal midline of a toilet being installed on an installation surface to the center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body.

The conduit body may further be configured so that a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being positioned over the sewage drain pipe at a second distance of about 5 mm to about 160 mm, preferably about 25 mm to about 115 mm, the second distance being measured in a transverse plane of an installation surface along a line extending perpendicularly from a point located on the longitudinal midline to the center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body.

The conduit body may also be configured so that a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being positioned at an angle of about ±1 degree to about ±90 degrees, preferably about ±5 degrees to about ±55 degrees, the angle being measured in a transverse plane of an installation surface between the longitudinal midline and a line extending from the center point of the outlet opening to a point located on the longitudinal midline, in a transverse plane on an installation surface and perpendicularly below a center point of the inlet opening of the inlet portion of the conduit body.

When the moveable trapway is for use with a toilet having a bowl outlet at an end of a partial trapway, the connector may be configured to be secured such as by connecting or otherwise attaching the connector to an outlet of a partial trapway. The connector may be varied and can be, for example, one of an interlocking ring, a wax ring, and an elastomeric band that is connectable by hose clamps.

The invention disclosure herein also includes toilet. The toilet comprises a toilet bowl having an inner surface defining an inner space for receiving fluids and solid waste, an exterior surface, a sump and a bowl outlet for releasing fluid and/or waste; a moveable trapway, comprising a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage, the conduit body comprising an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from the bowl outlet of the toilet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening of the upper inlet portion to the outlet opening of the outlet portion; and a connector configured to attach the inlet portion of the conduit body to the toilet bowl so that the inlet portion is in fluid communication with the bowl outlet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion of the conduit body is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet. As noted above, the bowl may have a bowl outlet that is the end of a partial trapway.

The toilet may optionally include a flange cover that comprises an upper surface, a lower surface, at least one central opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface, and at least one peripheral opening extending therethrough from the upper surface to the lower surface. The toilet may also further comprises a skirt extending around the exterior surface of the toilet bowl. The skirt may optionally comprise an opening at a rear of the toilet and the skirt may also optionally have at least one side opening configured to allow for moveable placement of the outlet portion of the conduit body that extends outwardly from the skirt. In one embodiment, the upper surface of the flange cover may comprise an optional indicator for correlating a trapway displacement angle with a distance the outlet of the conduit body may be moved laterally from the longitudinal midline along an installation surface.

The toilet can optionally also comprise a flange housing configured to cover at least a portion of any optional flange cover used and/or a closet flange extending out of the at least one side opening. The closet flange, may be already installed on the floor from a prior installation or can be newly installed using any method known in the art. The optional flange housing may comprise a stain-resistant material selected from a group containing a molded polymeric material, an elastomeric of maintaining a pre-molded, partially circular shape.

The toilet may also, in an alternative embodiment, comprise a skirt extending around the exterior surface of the toilet bowl and around the rear portion of the toilet, wherein a portion of the skirt in the rear portion of the toilet may be configured to optionally cover at least the conduit body of the moveable trapway and/or a portion of the toilet skirt may extend outwardly on a side portion of the skirt on at least one side of the toilet to cover the outlet portion and/or a flange cover and/or a closet flange of the moveable trapway when the moveable trapway is displaced from the longitudinal midline of the toilet.

The invention also includes a method of installing a toilet, comprising: a) providing a toilet comprising: a bowl having an inner surface defining an inner space for receiving fluids and solid waste, an exterior surface, a sump and a bowl outlet for releasing fluid and/or waste from the bowl, a moveable trapway, comprising a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage, the conduit body comprising an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from the bowl outlet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening in the upper inlet portion of the conduit body to the outlet opening in the outlet portion of the conduit body; and a connector configured to attach the inlet portion of the conduit body in fluid communication with the bowl outlet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet; b) positioning the conduit body of the moveable trapway such that the inlet opening is in fluid communication with the bowl outlet and the outlet opening is aligned to be in fluid communication with a sewage drain pipe when the toilet is installed on an installation surface; and c) positioning the connector such that it joins the upper inlet portion of the conduit body to the toilet in fluid communication with the bowl outlet.

The toilet in the method may further comprise an optional flange cover located on the outlet portion of the conduit body, in which case the method may further comprise positioning the flange cover over a flange installed on an installation surface over the sewage drain pipe; and securing the flange cover to an installation surface by at least one fastener extending through at least one peripheral opening in the flange cover. The toilet may also further comprise an indicator on the upper surface of the flange cover for correlating a trapway displacement angle with a distance the outlet of the conduit body may be moved laterally from the longitudinal midline along an installation surface, in which case the method would include using the indicator in positioning the trapway or toilet.

In a further embodiment, the toilet used in the method may comprise an optional flange housing and a skirt positioned around at least the bowl and sides of the toilet, wherein the skirt has at least one opening in a side thereof. If so, the method may further comprise positioning the flange housing adjacent to one of the at least one side opening in the skirt so as to cover any outwardly extending portion of a flange and/or a flange cover extending outwardly through the at least one side opening. The method may also comprise compressing an optional flange housing inside of the at least one side opening in the skirt.

The method may also further comprise forming an angle of about ±1 degree to about ±90 degrees, preferably about ±5 degree to about ±55 degrees, when a center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body is over the sewage drain pipe, wherein the angle formed is measured in a transverse plane along the installation surface between the longitudinal midline of the toilet and a line extending from the center point of the outlet opening of the outlet portion of the conduit body to a point along the longitudinal midline of the toilet that is perpendicularly below a center point of the inlet opening of the inlet portion of the conduit body.

The toilet in the method may optionally comprise a skirt extending around the exterior surface of the toilet bowl, wherein the skirt may comprise an opening at a rear portion of the toilet, at least one mount opening for receiving a fastener(s), such as a mount opening in the foot of the skirt, and at least one side opening in the skirt. In such a configuration, the method may further comprise securing the skirt using the at least one mount opening and at least one fastener.

The invention disclosure also includes a kit for installing a moveable trapway. The kit comprises a) a moveable trapway, comprising a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage and having an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from a bowl outlet of a toilet, an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the upper inlet portion opening to the outlet portion opening, and a connector configured to join the inlet portion of the conduit body to the bowl outlet of the toilet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet; and b) instructions for installing a moveable trapway.

Also included is a kit for installing a toilet, comprising a) a toilet, comprising a toilet bowl having an inner surface defining an inner space for receiving fluids and solid waste, an exterior surface, a sump and a bowl outlet for releasing fluid and/or waste, a moveable trapway, comprising a conduit body having an exterior surface and an interior surface defining a passage having an upper inlet portion defining an inlet opening configured to receive fluid from the bowl outlet, and an outlet portion defining an outlet opening for fluid to exit to a sewage drain pipe, wherein the passage extends from the inlet opening in the upper inlet portion to the outlet opening in the outlet portion, and a connector configured to attach the inlet portion of the conduit body so as to be in fluid communication with the bowl outlet, wherein the conduit body of the moveable trapway is configured to be rotatably positioned during installation of the toilet such that the outlet portion is capable of being displaced along or away from a longitudinal midline of the toilet; and b) instructions for installing the toilet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of preferred embodiments of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there is shown in the drawings embodiments which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a toilet having a moveable trapway;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a rear longitudinal cross-sectional view of the toilet of FIG. 1 taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6A is a right-side elevational view of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6B is a left-side elevational view of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a moveable trapway according to the invention as used in the embodiment of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the trapway of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a bottom plan view of the trapway of FIG. 7;

FIG. 10 is a rear elevational view of the trapway of FIG. 7;

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the trapway of FIG. 7;

FIG. 12 is a perspective representation of components of a kit for installing a moveable trapway according to the embodiment shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a connector for use with the moveable trapway shown in FIG. 7;

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the connector of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a bottom plan view of the connector of FIG. 13;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of an optional flange housing for use with the embodiment of the toilet of FIG. 1;

FIG. 17 is a side elevational view of the flange housing of FIG. 16;

FIG. 17A is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the flange housing of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is an exploded rear partial perspective representation of components of a kit for installing a toilet with a moveable trapway according to the embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 19 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the toilet of FIG. 1 installed on a mounting surface S over a sewer drain pipe;

FIG. 20 is an enlarged perspective view of an optional closet flange for use in the invention according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a left-handed toilet according to a further embodiment herein having a moveable trapway according to an embodiment herein;

FIG. 22 is a front elevational view of the toilet of FIG. 21;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of an alternative right-handed toilet otherwise made according to the embodiment of FIG. 21;

FIG. 24 is a front elevational view of the toilet of FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 is a rear perspective view of the toilet of FIG. 21;

FIG. 26 is a top elevational view of the toilet of FIG. 21;

FIG. 27 is a right side, cross-sectional elevational view of the bowl portion of the toilet of FIG. 21 taken along line 27-27 of FIG. 26;

FIG. 28 is a bottom elevational view of the toilet according to FIG. 21 with the moveable trapway aligned with the longitudinal midline of the toilet;

FIG. 29 is a bottom elevational view of the toilet according to FIG. 21 with the moveable trapway displaced from the midline into the outwardly extending portion of the side of the toilet skirt;

FIG. 30 is a right side, cross-sectional elevational view of the toilet of FIG. 21 with the moveable trapway portion of the toilet shown in exploded view;

FIG. 31 is a top elevational view of a moveable trapway according to a further embodiment herein which is shown for use with the embodiment of FIG. 21;

FIG. 32 is a perspective view of the moveable trapway of FIG. 31;

FIG. 33 is a bottom elevational view of the moveable trapway of FIG. 31 when aligned as in FIG. 28;

FIG. 34 is a bottom elevational view of the moveable trapway of FIG. 31 in displaced alignment;

FIG. 35 is a side-elevational view of the trapway of FIG. 31;

FIG. 36 is a cross-sectional, side elevational view of the trapway of FIG. 31 taken along line 36-36;

FIG. 37 is a perspective view of the connector of FIG. 31;

FIG. 38 is a cross-sectional view of the connector of FIG. 40 taken along line 38-38;

FIG. 39 is a bottom elevational view of the connector of FIG. 31;

FIG. 40 is a top elevational view of the connector of FIG. 31; and

FIG. 41 is a cross-sectional view of the bowl portion of the toilet of FIG. 21 having the moveable trapway of FIG. 31 installed thereon in connection with a sewer drain pipe.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The disclosure herein of the invention includes moveable trapways and toilets having moveable trapways. It also includes methods of installing toilets with such trapways or for installing moveable trapways and kits which may be used for installing moveable trapways and toilets with moveable trapways.

A moveable trapway, unless indicated otherwise herein, is intended to encompass a trapways that are manufactured to have a conduit body, whether a unitary piece or a multi-part conduit body that is assembled from two or more pieces. A multi-part conduit body may be made to function as a unitary trapway conduit if the pieces are permanently attached either by heat molding or a permanent adhesive. However, multi-part conduits may also be configured so as to be releasably detachable and when assembled, be connected in a sealingly engaged manner. The trapway is moveable as that term is used herein if the trapway is configured to be displaceable along the longitudinal midline of the toilet with which it is used or by a transverse distance rotably to the left or right of the longitudinal midline of the toilet.

A toilet, as that term is used herein, can refer to a two-piece toilet assembly in which the toilet bowl and a toilet tank are separately made and installed by attaching the tank and bowl together as an assembly, a unitary toilet wherein the bowl and tank are manufactured as one piece or a toilet that is mounted by only the bowl portion without use of a tank and having an in-line flush valve.

Certain terminology may be used in the following description for convenience only when referring to objects in the drawings to assist in locating features in the drawings, and should not be considered to be limiting. For example, words such as “left” and “right,” “upper” and “lower,” “top” and “bottom,” “front” and “rear” and “forward” and “backward,” designate directions in the drawings to which reference is made. Likewise, the words “inwardly” and “outwardly” are directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center or a referenced point of the referenced object in the drawings. The terminology includes the words above specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import.

Kits herein include kits for installing a moveable trapway and kits for installing toilets having a moveable trapway. Such toilets or trapways within the kits may be any of the embodiments described herein and/or within the scope of the invention. The kits are described in detail herein with respect to the first embodiment described, but it should be understood that any of the toilets and/or trapways may be included with instructions in a kit for sale to a purchaser and/or the parts of the kits may be sold separately as well either as direct devices or replacement parts.

When installing either a moveable trapway or a toilet having a moveable trapway, the kit may include required as well as optional components for installing the trapway or toilet on an installation surface, that is, a mounting surface. The method herein includes steps for installing a toilet on an installation surface that can be used for just installing a bowl portion or for installing assemblies that are unitary or multi-part assemblies. The method may include optional steps for also installing a tank over a toilet bowl in the case of a two-piece assembly.

With reference to FIGS. 1-6B, 18-20, a first embodiment of a toilet, generally referred to herein as toilet 10, and its component parts is shown including optional tank 11 and a toilet bowl 20. The toilet 10 also includes one embodiment of a moveable trapway 30 as described herein. The moveable trapway 30 is shown in further detail along with its component parts in FIGS. 3-19. The toilet 10 as shown includes the following optional features as well: a skirt 23, a flange cover 40 and a flange housing 50. Each one of the above items for use in a toilet is described in further detail herein below.

The optional tank 11 may be any suitable toilet tank and is configured to generally store a supply of flush water for use in a flush cycle. Typically when full, such a tank 11 collects between about 6 and about 17 liters of water over a period of time. The tank 11 is kept full by a tank fill-valve, which may be any suitable fill-valve and as such details are omitted herein. The tank 11 is usually mounted directly upon the bowl using tank bolts and a sealing ring around any flush valve(s) within the tank that empty into the toilet bowl inlet. Some tanks may be mounted on the wall a few feet above the bowl in an attempt to increase the flush water pressure as it enters the bowl. Typical tanks mounted directly upon the bowl are generally flushed using a flushing mechanism such as a flush handle or a push button mechanism. Tanks near the ceiling can be flushed, for example, by a dangling pull chain. The flush water is introduced when the flushing mechanism is activated to lift a flapper (central hat or flapper top) to allow water introduced in the tank by the fill valve to flow out of the tank and into the toilet bowl inlet. If a tank is not used, flush water may be introduced using an inline commercial flush valve to introduce flush water into an inlet placed on an upper or rear location of the toilet bowl.

The toilet bowl 20 may have varied configurations, but most bowls are pre-molded to be generally round or an elongated oval or elliptical shape when viewed from the top of the bowl. In the preferred embodiment described and shown herein, the toilet bowl has a generally elliptical shape. The toilet bowl 20 has an inlet opening 19 and interior or inner surface 21 that defines an inner space 210 or area for receiving fluids and solid waste in flush water. The bowl further includes an exterior surface 22, and a sump 211 having an exit port 212 for introducing fluid and/or solid waste into a toilet bowl outlet 214. As shown the toilet bowl outlet 214 is at the end of a partial trapway 28. In the embodiment shown herein, the partial trapway 28 has as part of its design a trapway leg portion 27. In the preferred embodiment described and shown herein, toilet 10 contains the trapway leg portion 27 leading generally transversely from the sump 211 and exit port 212 of the toilet bowl 20 towards the rear of the toilet 10 and which curves slightly upwardly and then downwardly leading flow toward the sewage drain pipe 25 along the back of the toilet 10 culminating in the end 215 of the trapway where the toilet bowl outlet 214 is located in this embodiment.

Toilet tanks, bowls, and partial trapways according to the invention may be made of various materials known or to be developed in the art, including ceramic, porcelain, plastic, composite, and stainless and galvanized steel.

Overall, the basic curvature, shape and dimensions of a trapway from the sump exit port 212 along the partial trapway 28 and then along the moveable trapway 30 to the sewage drain pipe 25 can vary between many different three-dimensional forms, such as a sideways or upside-down U-shaped pattern. A molded trapway may be manufactured to have bends and kinks to retard the flow of water and facilitate the formation of a powerful siphon. As shown herein, the partial trapway 28 and the moveable trapway 30, when joined together, preferably have a sideways U-shaped pattern and trapway dimensions as are known and acceptable in the art or to be developed. For example, the design may be varied for different flush or siphon effects. An example of a trapway shape and associated dimensions known in the art may be found in U.S. Pat. No. 8,438,670 B2 incorporated herein in relevant part by reference. Two different moveable trapway shapes are shown in the embodiment 30 of FIGS. 3-12 and 18-19 and the trapway 330 of embodiment 300 shown in FIGS. 27-36 and 41, each having a slightly different pathway shape, but both examples of moveable trapways acceptable within the scope of the invention herein.

FIGS. 7-12 more specifically show the moveable trapway 30. The moveable trapway 30 is intended to replace at least a portion of and may replace substantially all of a typical toilet trapway. If only a portion of a typical trapway is replaced, the toilet bowl outlet becomes the end of a partial trapway 28 that extends from the sump exit outwardly. As shown herein, the moveable trapway 30 includes two primary components as an assembly, a connector 31 and a conduit body 32.

The conduit body 32 serves as part of or substantially all of a trapway to transport fluid and/or solid waste released from the toilet bowl upon flushing as well as discarded flush water which passes through the moveable trapway 30 to the sewage drain pipe 25. The conduit body 32 may be manufactured from at least one or a combination of materials selected from a group including but not limited to molded polymeric materials, elastomeric materials, composite materials, metals, metal alloys, glass, porcelain and/or ceramic materials. In the embodiment shown herein, the conduit body 32 may be heat molded from a polymeric material. In one preferred embodiment, the conduit body 32 is molded from a polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

The conduit body 32 can be manufactured as a unitary, single piece pipe structure as shown herein in embodiment 10, or can be provided in two or more parts split transversely, which can be shortened or lengthened, to provide or maintain a desired distance between the toilet 10 and the back facing wall or split length-wise along the moveable trapway for ease of assembly as shown in the embodiment 300 in FIGS. 27-36 and 41 as moveable trapway 330.

In one preferred embodiment, the conduit body 32 is manufactured of PVC and provided with sections of varying length that can be solvent welded at the installation site to achieve the desired rough-in distance. Alternatively, sections of the conduit body 32 can be cut and solvent welded to the required dimensions. In another preferred embodiment, the conduit body is a unitary, pre-sized piece.

The conduit body 32 is preferably a generally curved cylinder and has a length l measured, if straightened, from the inlet opening 37 at the inlet end 36 of the moveable trapway to the outlet opening 39 on the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of about 100 mm to about 700 mm. In a preferred embodiment, the conduit body 32 has a length l of about 200 mm to about 400 mm and, more preferably, of about 250 mm to about 350 mm.

The conduit body 32 includes an exterior surface 33 and an interior surface 34 defining a passage 35. The upper inlet portion 36 defines an inlet opening 37 configured to receive fluid and/or solid waste flowing in fluid communication from the sump exit port 212 to the toilet bowl outlet, and in this case, through the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10. The inlet opening 37 may be of a larger transverse diameter D1 than the transverse diameter D2 of the conduit body 32 to accommodate for different partial trapway 28 sizes of the toilet 10 and/or to house or seat the connector of the moveable trapway, such as the connector shown as connector 31. A preferred embodiment has an upper inlet opening 37 with a transverse diameter D1 of about 50 mm to 120 mm. Preferably, the upper inlet portion 36 has a transverse diameter D2 of about 80 mm to 90 mm.

The conduit body 32 also has an outlet portion 38 defining an outlet opening 39 for fluid and/or solid waste that has passed through the moveable trapway to exit to a sewage drain pipe 25. The outlet opening 39 may be of a larger or smaller transverse diameter D3 than the transverse diameter D2 of the conduit body 32 to take account of different sized standard closet flanges, such as flange 90 associated with varying sizes in toilets.

The passage 35 extends through the conduit body from the inlet opening 37 of the upper inlet portion 36 to the outlet opening 39 of the outlet portion 38. In the embodiment shown herein, the passage 35 has a length of about 100 mm to about 700 mm, preferably, of about 200 mm to about 400 mm, and, more preferably, of about 250 mm to about 350 mm.

The exterior surface 33 and interior surface 34 of the conduit body 32 may be configured to connect to the sump exit port 212 or to the bowl outlet 214 on the end 215 of the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10. This connection may be accomplished by providing to either the exterior surface or interior surface threads on the upper inlet portion configured to mate with corresponding threads on either the exterior surface or interior surface of the exit port or on either an exterior surface or interior surface of the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10. Threads can be machined, soldered, molded or manufactured into the exterior and interior surfaces of the fixtures by methods known or to be developed in the art. For example, the exterior surface 33 of the upper inlet portion 36 is threaded and is configured to mate with corresponding threads on the interior surface 52 of the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10.

Another more preferred option to connect the partial trapway 28 and the moveable trapway 30 is by configuring the exterior surface 33 of the upper inlet portion 36 of the conduit body 32 to fit around the end 215 of the partial trapway at outlet opening 99 of the partial trapway 28 of the toilet in facing engagement, for example, by a compression sealing, locking in place and/or friction fit. It may also mate directly in some manner to a bowl outlet which is at the sump exit. Other mechanisms for connecting the partial trapway and the moveable trapway include by locking tabs, teeth, or other connections known or to be developed in the art.

The exterior surface 33 of the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 may also be configured to form a connection to the flange 90 or to the sewage drain pipe 25. In an embodiment described herein and as seen in FIG. 19, the exterior surface 33 of the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 is configured to fit inside of the central opening 43 of the flange 90 or an optional flange cover 40 in facing engagement by compression fit. In a preferred embodiment, the end 215 of the partial trapway 28 fits inside of the inlet opening 37 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 and the exterior surface 33 of the outlet portion 38 fits within the central opening 43 of the closet flange 90, and if an optional flange cover is provided, it also fits within the central opening of the flange cover 40, and an inlet opening 95 of the sewage drain 25.

The connector 31 of the moveable trapway 30 helps to join and seal the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 to the toilet bowl outlet 214, which as shown is at the end 215 of the partial trapway 28 as shown in FIGS. 13-15. The connector 31 may be one of a variety of connectors, including but not limited to an elastomeric ring, interlocking ring, wax ring, and an elastomeric band that is connectable by hose clamps. The size and shape of the connector is determined by the size and shape of the bowl outlet 215, in this case the end of the partial trapway 28 and the upper inlet portion 36 of the moveable trapway 30. As shown herein in FIGS. 3-6B and 18, the connector 31 is configured to join the upper inlet portion 36 to the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10. The connector 31 can be joined to an outlet opening 99 of the partial trapway 28 by any conventional manner, including compression sealing, friction fit, or by natural or synthetic adhesives such as glue, putty, polyvinyl acetate, polychloroprene, epoxy, polyurethane, cyanoacrylate and acrylic polymers, or rubber cement.

In FIG. 5, the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 30 having an outlet opening 39 is configured such that it may be manually moved and rotatably positioned to enable displacement of the toilet 10. The moveable trapway can be displaced along or away from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet when viewed along a transverse plane defined by transverse axis P-P on an installation surface S during installation. The length l of the conduit body 32 and its configuration as well as the toilet configuration can determine the extent of displacement for toilet 10 either moving along or away from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet. Each configuration when rotatably moved can travel along a circular path. The size and configuration can thus give a varied displacement. The distance that the conduit body 32 is rotatably moved can be measured by reference to a lateral measurement of displacement from the longitudinal midline (distance d1) on the installation surface plane and by an angular measurement (angle α) defined between the longitudinal midline where it intersects the plane of the installation surface and a line along the installation surface at a fixed measurement distance between the centerpoint of the inlet opening 37 and centerpoint of the outlet opening 39 of the conduit body 32 (distance d2).

The lateral displacement distance is measured in a transverse plane on an installation surface S along a perpendicular line d1 from a point P1 located on the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10 to a center point P2 at the center of an outlet opening 39 of a conduit body 30 over a sewage drain pipe 25. The longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10 runs along the bottom of a plane taken longitudinally through the apsis or diameter of the toilet bowl 20 so as to dissect the tank 11 and base of toilet 10. Distance d1 can vary in length. Preferably d1 is about 5 mm to about 160 mm, and more preferably about 25 mm to about 115 mm. In one example as described and shown herein, the lateral displacement of the center of the outlet opening 39 of the conduit body 32 is measured as the distance d1 is about 4 inches (101.6 mm) to the left or right of point P1 from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10 perpendicularly towards the center point of the outlet opening of the conduit body.

The outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 30 having outlet opening 39 is also capable of being laterally or rotatably moved along a circular curvature and positioned so as to displace the toilet 10 from a longitudinal midline L-L defined in the transverse plane identified by P-P on an installation surface S during installation. The distance d2 for a given conduit body 32 is measured in the transverse plane on the installation surface from a point P3 located on the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10 directly and perpendicularly below the center point P4 of the inlet opening 37 of the conduit body 32 to the center point P2 of an outlet opening 39 of a conduit body 32 over a sewage drain pipe 25. As the toilet 10 is being installed and relocated, the conduit body 32 rotatably moves, causing angular and lateral displacement of the conduit body 32 such that the angle α changes to illustrate angular displacement. The distance d2 noted above remains fixed for a given conduit design and size, but the conduit body 32 is displaced so that the center of the outlet opening 39 moves a changeable distance d1 laterally/transversely also from the longitudinal midline L-L (closer or farther away) and the angle α also changes (larger for a larger d1 and smaller for a smaller d1).

In an embodiment as described and shown herein for exemplary purposes, the center point of the outlet opening 39 of the conduit body 32 is measured at a distance d2 of about 50 mm to about 400 mm, preferably about 100 mm to about 300 mm from the point directly and perpendicularly below the center point of the inlet opening 37 to the center of the outlet opening 39.

The measurement of the lateral displacement and rotatable positioning of the outlet opening 39 of the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 during installation of the toilet 10 may be measured with respect to an angle α to the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10. The angle α is measured in the transverse plane P-P of the installation surface S taken through a base of the toilet 10. The outlet portion 38 can actually be rotatably positioned around in the transverse plane P-P 360° when the upper inlet portion 36 is attached to the partial trapway 28. In a preferred embodiment described herein, the angle α is measured between the longitudinal midline L-L and line d2 which extends from the center point P2 of the outlet opening 39 to a point P3 perpendicularly and directly below the center point P4 of the inlet opening 37 of the conduit body 32 on the longitudinal midline L-L. The angle α is preferably about ±1 degree to about ±90 degrees off the mid-line, and more preferably about ±5 degrees to about ±55 degrees.

After the lateral displacement, rotatable positioning of the outlet opening 39 of the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 during installation of the toilet 10 on or away from a longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet is complete. The toilet 10, once moved, will typically be partially displaced from the wall so as to change the rough-in distance. If a conduit body 32 has a d2 of 190 mm, it is preferably displaced from the longitudinal midline L-L at distance d1 of 90 mm, and the toilet 10 will be displaced from the wall an additional rough-in distance of 23 mm. The conduit body 32 may be manufactured in several pieces and lengthened if desired to correct for this change in the rough-in distance as the toilet 10 is displaced from the wall.

The skirt 23, if used, serves a dual purpose in adding additional structural support to the toilet 10 and in the embodiment shown, also providing aesthetic concealment of the partial trapway 28 or moveable trapway 30 and other toilet bowl base plumbing fixtures. The skirt 23 is preferably integral to the toilet bowl 20 but can also be fabricated as a separate part. The skirt 23 may extend at least partially around the exterior surface 22 of the toilet bowl 20 and in the embodiment shown has an opening 80 at the rear portion of the toilet 10 for access to the toilet plumbing fixtures. In the embodiment shown, the skirt extends completely around the bowl 20 front and sides and has an opening 80 at a rear of the toilet 10 near the wall.

If the skirt 23 is configured as a separate part (i.e., not integral to the toilet), the skirt 23 optimally also contains at least one mount opening 26 for securing the skirt to foot of the toilet 10 and for securing the foot of the toilet 10 to an installation surface S. In a preferred embodiment shown herein, the toilet 10 and skirt are integral and the toilet 10 has two mount openings 26 in the foot of the toilet to secure the toilet 10 in a desired position on the installation surface S.

The skirt 23 shown also includes at least one side opening 24 configured to allow for moveable placement of the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 when a flange cover 40 is part of the moveable trapway 30. In a preferred embodiment describe and shown herein, the skirt 23 of the toilet 10 has a side opening 24.

Whether mounted on an installation surface S from a previous toilet installation or as a part of a kit such as kits 1000 or 2000, a closet flange 90 is preferably, optionally provided. The flange 90 may be any known toilet flange. Such flanges are generally round or circular in an outer peripheral configuration and are sized as are general prior art closet flanges to fit around the inlet opening 95 of a sewage drain pipe 25. A wide variety of such flanges exist, and may be used with the moveable trapway 30 and kits described herein. A typical such flange is shown in FIG. 20. The outer peripheral shape may be varied depending on the design of the toilet, the shape of a sewage drain pipe 25, or for manufacturing convenience without departing from the spirit of the invention. A circular shape is preferred in view of the most common design of the underside of most toilets having a drain opening and configuration that best accommodates a circular flange. The flange 90 used herein includes an upper surface 96, a lower surface 97, at least one central opening 91 extending therethrough from the upper surface 96 to the lower surface 97, and at least one peripheral opening 98 extending therethrough from the upper surface 96 to the lower surface 97. In a preferred embodiment as described and shown herein, the flange 90 has two peripheral openings 98 for mounting on an installation surface S.

An optional flange cover 40 is preferably also generally round or generally circular in an outer peripheral configuration and sized to fit over a flange 90 attached to the sewage drain pipe 25. A wide variety of such covers exist, and may be used with the moveable trapway 30 and kits described herein to cover the flange 90. The outer peripheral shape of the flange cover 40 may be varied depending on the design of the flange 90, the toilet 10, the shape of a sewage drain pipe 25, or for manufacturing convenience without departing from the spirit of the invention. A flange cover 40 having a circular shape is preferred in view of the most common design of the underside of most toilets having a drain opening and configuration that best accommodates a circular flange. The flange cover used herein comprises an upper surface 44, a lower surface 45, at least one central opening 41 extending therethrough from the upper surface 44 to the lower surface 45, and at least one peripheral opening 42 extending therethrough from the upper surface 44 to the lower surface 45.

In one embodiment, the flange cover 40 is integral to the moveable trapway 30 and contains at least one mounting slot 42 to allow the moveable trapway 30 to be fastened and secured over and/or to the floor flange 90 and/or the mounting surface. Slots or series of closely spaced holes are preferable to single circular holes to allow the moveable trapway 30 to be installed at varying angles α with respect to the longitudinal midline plane L-L of the toilet 10. A sealing device or material can also be deposited between the floor flange 90 and the mounting surface and/or the flange cover 40, such as wax rings that are widely used in prior art toilet installations. More preferably, the flange cover 40 used herein comprises two peripheral openings 42 for mounting on an installation surface S. To facilitate proper lateral displacement of the toilet 10, the upper surface 44 of the flange cover 40 may include a optional indicator 51, such as a scale, metric markings, an analog dial or similar or suitable measurement indicator for correlating the trapway displacement angle, i.e., the increasing angle α to an increasing distance that outlet opening 39 may be displaced laterally (i.e., transversely or extending perpendicularly in the plane of the installation surface S) from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10.

The flange cover 40, if present, is secured over the flange 90 by at least one fastener 29 extending through the at least one peripheral opening 42. Typical hardware for fasteners 29 as known in the art includes bolts, nuts, screws, and caps.

An optional flange housing 50 can be utilized when a flange 90 or flange cover 40 is not completely contained within the underside of the toilet 10 when using a skirt 23 after the moveable trapway 30 is positioned away from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10. The flange housing 50 may be configured in a shape consistent with the size and shape of a flange 90 and/or flange cover 40 to cover at least a portion of a flange 90 and/or flange cover 40. The flange housing 50 may be secured to the flange cover 40 or manufactured as a unitary structure. In an embodiment described herein, the flange housing 50 can also cover at least a portion of a flange 90 or flange cover 40 that extends outwardly from the at least one side opening 24 of the skirt 23 of the toilet 10.

The flange housing 50 may be attached to the side skirt 23 to cover the side opening 24 or sit adjacent to the skirt 23. The flange housing 50 can also be configured for decorative purposes. The flange housing 50 may be affixed to the installation surface S with any of the same types of fasteners 29 listed to attach the flange 90 or flange cover 40. The flange housing 50 may be manufactured from a stain-resistant material selected from a group including but not limited to molded polymeric materials, elastomeric materials, composite materials, metals, metal alloys, porcelain, and/or ceramic materials that are capable of maintaining a pre-molded shape. In FIGS. 16 and 17 and preferred embodiments herein, the flange housing 50 has a generally partially circular shape.

In an embodiment of the method of the invention, after measurement of the rough-in distance from the wall to the sewage drain pipe 25 and providing a toilet 10 having a bowl 20 and a moveable trapway 30, such as the one described herein, the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 is positioned such that the inlet opening 37 is in fluid communication with the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10 and the outlet opening 39 is aligned to be in fluid communication with a sewage drain pipe 25.

The toilet 10 is positioned by temporarily placing the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 10 in its desired location, which will generally be located to either the left or right of the sewage drain pipe 25. The outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 is then manually and rotatably displaced at an angle α so as to be aligned over a floor flange and sewage drain pipe 25. The amount of the rotation is measured in the transverse plane P-P of the installation surface S, which is in the x-y direction and taken through or below the base of the toilet 10. The outlet portion 38, once aligned, is then connected to the exterior surface 93 or preferably to the interior surface 94 of the sewage drain pipe 25 in any manner known or being developed in the art and described herein, or connected to a closet flange and/or the mounting surface via an integral flange cover 40 and/or wax ring (or other sealing material). A wax ring is used between the floor flange 90 and the optional flange cover 40 and/or between the floor or closet flange 90 and the mounting surface to provide an airtight and water tight seal. Fasteners 29, such as those well known in the art are used to secure the flange cover 40 over the closet flange 90.

In a preferred embodiment, the moveable trapway 30 with an integral flange cover 40 is mounted to a floor flange 90 at an angle α that places the center point of the inlet opening 37 of the conduit body 32 at a desired lateral displacement from the center of the floor flange 90. The center point of the outlet portion 38 is laterally displaced from the toilet longitudinal midline as well.

After connecting the outlet portion 38 and either the exterior surface 93 or the interior surface 94 of the sewage drain pipe 25, the connector 31 is positioned such that it joins the upper inlet portion 36 of the conduit body 32 to the bowl outlet, in this embodiment, the end of the partial trapway 28. The exterior surface 33 in the area of the upper inlet portion 36 of the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10 is then fitted with a compression sealing device, such as an elastomeric o-ring, and the toilet 10 is positioned so that the partial trapway 28 aligns with the inlet opening 37 of the moveable trapway 30 and lowered into position to mate the parts and form an airtight and water tight connection. Preferably, the outlet opening 99 of the partial trapway 28 sits inside of the upper inlet portion 36 of the conduit body 32. Upon connecting the upper inlet portion 36 of the conduit body 32 to the partial trapway 28, the toilet may be manually rotated further towards or away from the longitudinal midline L-L based upon the angle α of rotation that the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body was moved. Movement of the toilet can be done by any methods known or to be developed in the art, including by lifts, casters, rollers, or manual adjustment.

Once the toilet is in its final position, it may be mounted upon the installation surface S by any conventional techniques known or to developed in the art. Alternatively, the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 may be provided in two or more parts which are shortened or lengthened to provide or maintain a desired distance between the toilet 10 and the back facing wall (i.e., the rough-in distance), regardless of the required angle of rotation and lateral displacement. After determining the required distance d2 that delivers the desired rough-in distance for a lateral displacement distance d1, the conduit body 32 is sectioned and reassembled to the required length l and configured to create the required distance d2.

When a skirt is used, such as an integral skirt 23 as described herein, the toilet may be manually rotated further towards or away from the longitudinal midline L-L based upon the angle α of rotation that the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body was moved. If the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 contains a flange cover 40, the toilet may be rotated over the mounted flange cover 40 by sliding it through the side opening 24 in the skirt 23. Once the toilet is in its final position, the toilet 10 may be mounted upon the installation surface S through the foot of the toilet 10 by fasteners 29 listed herein and those typically known or to be developed in the art. In a preferred embodiment, the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 contains a flange cover 40, and the toilet is rotated over the flange cover 40 so that it slides through the side opening 24 in the skirt 23. If a separate (non-integral) skirt 23 is used, the skirt 23 is mounted to a foot of the toilet 10 and the toilet 10 is mounted upon the installation surface S by at least one mount opening 26.

In another embodiment of the method of the invention described herein, after measurement of the rough-in distance from the wall to the sewage drain pipe 25 and providing a toilet 10 having a bowl 20 and a moveable trapway 30, such as the one described herein, the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 is positioned such that the inlet opening 37 is in fluid communication with bowl outlet, in this case the partial trapway 28 of the toilet 10 and the outlet opening 39 is aligned to be in fluid communication with a sewage drain pipe 25.

The toilet 10 is positioned by placing both the toilet 10 and the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 in alignment directly over the sewage drain pipe 25 and a floor flange 90. The outlet portion 38 is then connected to the exterior surface 93 or interior surface 94 of the sewage drain pipe 25 in any manner known or being developed in the art and described herein. A wax ring is preferably used between the floor flange 90 and the optional flange cover 40 (and/or between the flange and the mounting surface) to provide an airtight and water tight seal. Fasteners 29, such as those well known in the art are used to secure the flange cover 40 over and/or below the closet flange 90.

In one embodiment, the moveable trapway 30 with an integral flange cover 40 is mounted to a floor flange 90 at an angle α that places the center of the inlet opening 37 of the conduit body 32 at a desired lateral displacement from the center of the floor flange 90. After connecting the outlet portion 38 and either the exterior surface 93 or the interior surface 94 of the sewage drain pipe 25, the connector 31 is positioned such that it joins the upper inlet portion 36 of the conduit body 32 to the partial trapway 28. Upon connecting the upper inlet portion 36 of the conduit body 32 to the partial trapway 28, the toilet may be manually rotated from the sewage drain pipe 25 to its final position. The amount of the rotation is measured in a transverse plane P-P of the installation surface S, which is in the x-y directions, and taken through or below the base of the toilet 10. Movement of the toilet can be done by any methods known or being developed in the art, including by lifts, casters, rollers, or manual adjustment. Once the toilet is in its final position, it may be mounted upon the installation surface by any conventional manner known or being developed in the art. A wax ring may be used as noted above to provide an airtight and water tight seal. Fasteners 29, such as those well known in the art are used to secure the flange cover 40 over the closet flange 90.

In one embodiment, the moveable trapway 30 with an integral flange cover 40 is mounted to a floor flange 90 at an angle α that places the center of the inlet opening 37 of the conduit body 32 at a desired lateral displacement from the center of the floor flange 90. Alternatively, the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 is provided in two or more parts which are shortened or lengthened to provide or maintain a desired distance between the toilet 10 and the back facing wall (i.e., the rough-in distance), regardless of the required angle of rotation and lateral displacement. After determining the required distance d2 that delivers the desired rough-in distance for a lateral displacement distance d1, the conduit body 32 can be sectioned and reassembled to the required length/to create the needed variable distance d2.

When a skirt is used, such as an integral skirt 23 as described herein, the toilet may be manually rotated away from the sewage drain line 25 based upon the angle α of rotation that the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body was moved. The foot of the toilet 10 can then be mounted to the installation surface S. If a separate (non-integral) skirt 23 is used, the skirt 23 will be mounted to a foot of the toilet 10 and the toilet 10 is mounted upon the installation surface S by at least one mount opening 26.

If the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 contains a flange cover 40 and a skirt 23, the toilet may be rotated over the mounted flange cover 40 by sliding it over the mounted flange cover 40 out of the side opening 24 in the skirt 23. Once the toilet 10 is in its final position, the toilet 10 may be mounted upon the installation surface S by fasteners 29 listed herein and those typically known or being developed in the art. In a preferred embodiment, the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 contains an integral flange cover 40, and the toilet is rotated over the flange cover 40 by sliding it through the side opening 24 in an integral skirt 23.

With reference to FIG. 12, a kit for installing a moveable trapway, generally referred to herein as kit 1000, is shown including a moveable trapway 30, a connector 31, and instructions for installation 1010 consistent with the method as described above. Optionally, the kit 1000 includes one or more of the following: a flange 90, a flange cover 40, a flange housing 50 and fasteners 29 to mount the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 to the sewage drain pipe 25 or flange 90 as known in the art, which may include bolts, nuts, screws, and caps.

Instructions 1010 for installing the moveable trapway are also provided. Such instructions 1010 should preferably be written so as to provide user instructions for attaching the upper inlet portion 37 of the conduit body 32 and connector 31 of the moveable trapway 30 to a partial trapway 28 of a toilet 10 and for attaching the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 to an exterior surface 93 or interior surface 94 of the sewage drain pipe 25, and positioning of the outlet opening 39 of the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 over the sewage drain pipe 25 as described above. Such instructions can further include mounting of the flange 90 to an installation surface S as described above, attachment of flange cover 40 to the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32, placement or attachment of any optional flange housing 50 to the toilet 10, optional skirt 23 and/or an installation surface S, and other standard information known in the art for toilet bowl installation, such as connection of a water or liquid supply line, sealing the lines and sewage drain outlet opening, attachment of fasteners, adjustment or leveling if needed, and if connected to a flush valve without a tank or if the toilet bowl is part of a unitary toilet assembly, installation and initiation of operation of a flush valve in a manner known in the art may also be provided.

With reference to FIG. 18, a kit for installing a toilet, generally referred to herein as kit 2000, is shown including a toilet 10, shown in partial view but which would encompass preferably a tank 11 and bowl 20 as shown in FIGS. 1-3, a moveable trapway 30, a connector 31, and instructions for installation 2010. Optionally, the kit 2000 includes one or more of the following: a toilet seat, flange 90, flange cover 40, flange housing 50 and fasteners 29 to mount the toilet 10 to an installation surface S or to mount the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 of the moveable trapway 30 to the sewage drain pipe 25 or flange 90 as known in the art, which may include bolts, nuts, screws, and caps. Kit 2000 may include all of kit 1000 with additional elements as described herein.

Instructions 2010 for installing the moveable trapway are also provided. Such instructions 1010 should preferably be written so as to provide user instructions for attaching the upper inlet portion 37 of the conduit body 32 and connector 31 of the moveable trapway 30 to a partial trapway 28 of a toilet 10 and for attaching the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 to an exterior surface 93 or interior surface 94 of the sewage drain pipe 25, and positioning of the outlet opening 39 of the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32 over the sewage drain pipe 25, and mounting the toilet 10 to an installation surface S as described above. Such instructions can further include mounting of the flange 90 to an installation surface S, attachment of flange cover 40 to the outlet portion 38 of the conduit body 32, placement or attachment of the flange housing 50 to the toilet 10, optional non-integral skirt 23 installation around the bowl 20 and mounting on the installation surface S, and other standard information known in the art for toilet bowl installation, such as connection of a water or liquid supply line, sealing the lines and sewage drain outlet opening, adjustment or leveling if needed, and if connected to a flush valve without a tank or if the toilet bowl is part of a unitary toilet assembly, installation and initiation of operation of a flush valve in a manner known in the art may also be provided. Instructions for the optional installation of a toilet seat in any manner known in the art may also be optionally provided.

With reference to FIGS. 21-41, a further embodiment 300 of a toilet and trapway are shown. The toilet in this embodiment, generally referred to herein as toilet 310, and its component parts are shown including optional tank 311 and a toilet bowl 320. The toilet 310 also includes another embodiment of a moveable trapway 330 as described herein. The moveable trapway 330 is shown in further detail along with its component parts in FIGS. 27-36 and 41. The toilet 310 as shown includes the following optional features as well: a skirt 323 having an outwardly extending side portion 370, and a flange cover 340. Each one of the above items for use in a toilet is described in further detail herein below. Further, all of the features herein having parallel numbering to the features described in embodiment of the toilet 10 and trapway 30 are the same. Different features have numbers unique to embodiment 300 and are not parallel to those in the embodiment 10.

The optional tank 311 may be any suitable toilet tank and is configured to generally store a supply of flush water for use in a flush cycle. Typically when full, such a tank 311 collects between about 6 and about 17 liters of water over a period of time. The tank 311 is kept full by a tank fill-valve, which may be any suitable fill-valve and as such details are omitted herein. The tank 311 is usually mounted directly upon the bowl using tank bolts and a sealing ring around any flush valve(s) within the tank that empty into the toilet bowl inlet. Some tanks may be mounted on the wall a few feet above the bowl in an attempt to increase the flush water pressure as it enters the bowl. Typical tanks mounted directly upon the bowl are generally flushed using a flushing mechanism such as a flush handle or a push button mechanism. Tanks near the ceiling can be flushed, for example, by a dangling pull chain. The flush water is introduced when the flushing mechanism is activated to lift a flapper (central hat or flapper top) to allow water introduced in the tank by the fill valve to flow out of the tank and into the toilet bowl inlet. If a tank is not used, flush water may be introduced using an inline commercial flush valve to introduce flush water into an inlet placed on an upper or rear location of the toilet bowl.

The toilet bowl 320 may have varied configurations, but most bowls are pre-molded to be generally round or an elongated oval or elliptical shape when viewed from the top of the bowl. In the preferred embodiment described and shown herein, the toilet bowl has a generally elliptical shape. The toilet bowl 320 has an inlet opening 319 and interior or inner surface 321 that defines an inner space 3210 or area for receiving fluids and solid waste in flush water. The bowl further includes an exterior surface 322, and a sump 3211 having an exit port 3212 for introducing fluid and/or solid waste into a toilet bowl outlet 3214. As shown the toilet bowl outlet 3214 is at the end of a partial trapway 328. In the embodiment shown herein, the partial trapway 328 has as part of its design a trapway leg portion 327. In the preferred embodiment described and shown herein, toilet 310 contains the trapway leg portion 327 leading generally transversely from the sump 3211 and exit port 3212 of the toilet bowl 320 towards the rear of the toilet 310 and which curves upwardly as a weir and then downwardly leading flow toward the sewage drain pipe 325 along the back of the toilet 310 culminating in the end 3215 of the trapway where the toilet bowl outlet 3214 is located in this embodiment.

Toilet tanks, bowls, and partial trapways according to the invention may be made of various materials known or to be developed in the art, including ceramic, porcelain, plastic, composite, and stainless and galvanized steel.

Overall, the basic curvature, shape and dimensions of a trapway from the sump exit port 3212 along the partial trapway 328 and then along the moveable trapway 330 to the sewage drain pipe 325 can vary between many different three-dimensional forms, such as a sideways or upside-down U-shaped pattern. As shown in this embodiment, the moveable trapway sits somewhat lower than in the embodiment 30 and has a conduit body 332 having an inlet portion that is shorter and dips lower and then curves upward toward the front of the bowl and back down again on the outlet portion for a different and preferred flushing effect. The inlet portion dips down to provide a more pronounced standing water lock, that is, a portion at the bottom of the moveable trapway where water stands to help initiate the siphon by reducing a section of the trapway while not restricting it mechanically. In addition, if desired an alignment indicator extension may extend directly from the back of the trapway if desired for installation purposes.

A molded trapway may be manufactured to have bends and kinks to retard the flow of water and facilitate the formation of a powerful siphon. As shown herein, the partial trapway 328 and the moveable trapway 330, when joined together, also preferably have a sideways roughly U-shaped pattern and trapway dimensions as are known and acceptable in the art or to be developed as noted above.

FIGS. 27-36 more specifically show the moveable trapway 330. The moveable trapway 330 is intended to replace at least a portion of the overall trapway, but may be extended upwardly to replace substantially all of the toilet trapway. If only a portion of the trapway is replaced, the toilet bowl outlet becomes the end of a partial trapway 328 that extends from the sump exit outwardly. As shown herein, the moveable trapway 330 includes two primary components as an assembly, a connector 331 and a conduit body 332.

The conduit body 332 serves as part of or substantially all of a trapway to transport fluid and/or solid waste released from the toilet bowl upon flushing as well as discarded flush water which passes through the moveable trapway 330 to the sewage drain pipe 325. The conduit body 332 may be manufactured from at least one or a combination of materials selected from a group including but not limited to molded polymeric materials, elastomeric materials, composite materials, metals, metal alloys, glass, porcelain and/or ceramic materials. In the embodiment shown herein, the conduit body 332 may be heat molded from a polymeric material. In one preferred embodiment, the conduit body 332 is molded from a polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

The conduit body 332 is shown here as a two-part construction that is split along the conduit body lengthwise. Although it should be understood that the two halves could also be cut transversely, to be shortened or lengthened, to provide or maintain a desired distance between the toilet 310 and the back facing wall W. The conduit body is split lengthwise for ease of manufacture and assembly.

In one preferred embodiment, the conduit body 332 is manufactured of two portions formed using PVC and provided with sections of varying length that can be solvent welded at the installation site to achieve the desired rough-in distance. The half-sections of the conduit body 332 can be cut and solvent welded to the required dimensions. They may also snap fit together preferably with a seal or adhesive therebetween.

The conduit body 332 is preferably a generally curved cylinder when assembled and has a length l measured, if straightened, from the inlet opening 337 at the inlet end 336 of the moveable trapway to the outlet opening 339 on the outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 332 of about 100 mm to about 700 mm. In a preferred embodiment, the conduit body 332 has a length l of about 200 mm to about 400 mm and, more preferably, of about 250 mm to about 350 mm.

The conduit body 332 includes an exterior surface 333 and an interior surface 334 defining a passage 335. The upper inlet portion 336 defines an inlet opening 337 configured to receive fluid and/or solid waste flowing in fluid communication from the sump exit port 3212 to the toilet bowl outlet, and in this case, through the partial trapway 328 of the toilet 310. The inlet opening 337 may be of a larger transverse diameter D1 than the transverse diameter D2 of the conduit body 332 to accommodate for different partial trapway 328 sizes of the toilet 310 and/or to house or seat the connector of the moveable trapway, such as the connector shown as connector 331. A preferred embodiment has an upper inlet opening 337 with a transverse diameter D1 of about 50 mm to 120 mm. Preferably, the upper inlet portion 336 has a transverse diameter D2 of about 80 mm to 90 mm.

The conduit body 332 also has an outlet portion 338 defining an outlet opening 339 for fluid and/or solid waste that has passed through the moveable trapway to exit to a sewage drain pipe 325. The outlet opening 339 may be of a larger or smaller transverse diameter D3 than the transverse diameter D2 of the conduit body 332 to take account of different sized standard closet flanges if used. Such flanges would be as described above with respect to embodiment 10, 30 and so are not described further herein.

The passage 335 extends through the conduit body from the inlet opening 337 of the upper inlet portion 336 to the outlet opening 339 of the outlet portion 338. In the embodiment shown herein, the passage 335 has a length of about 100 mm to about 700 mm, preferably, of about 200 mm to about 400 mm, and, more preferably, of about 250 mm to about 350 mm.

The exterior surface 333 and interior surface 334 of the conduit body 332 may be configured to connect to the sump exit port 3212 or to the bowl outlet 3214 on the end 3215 of the partial trapway 328 of the toilet 310. This connection may be accomplished in the same manner as described above with respect to embodiment 10,30 above.

The exterior surface 333 of the outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 332 may also be configured to form a connection to a flange or to the sewage drain pipe 325. Preferably, the exterior surface 333 of the outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 332 is configured to fit inside of the central opening 343 of the optional flange cover 340 in facing engagement by compression fit. In a preferred embodiment, the end 3215 of the partial trapway 328 fits inside of the inlet opening 337 of the conduit body 332 of the moveable trapway 330 and the exterior surface 333 of the outlet portion 338 fits within the central opening central opening of any optional flange cover 340, and an inlet opening 395 of the sewage drain 325.

The connector 331 of the moveable trapway 330 helps to join and seal the outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 332 to the toilet bowl outlet 3214, which as shown is at the end 3215 of the partial trapway 328 as shown in FIGS. 27, 30 and 41. The connector 331 may be one of a variety of connectors such as those listed above with respect to the embodiment 10, 30 above. The connector 331 can be joined to an outlet opening 399 of the partial trapway 328 by any conventional manner, including compression sealing, friction fit, or by natural or synthetic adhesives such as glue, putty, polyvinyl acetate, polychloroprene, epoxy, polyurethane, cyanoacrylate and acrylic polymers, or rubber cement.

The outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 330 having an outlet opening 339 is configured such that it may be manually moved and rotatably positioned to enable displacement of the toilet 310. The moveable trapway can be displaced along or away from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet when viewed along a transverse plane defined by transverse axis P-P on an installation surface S during installation. The length l of the conduit body 332 and its configuration as well as the toilet configuration can determine the extent of displacement for toilet 310 either moving along or away from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet. Each configuration when rotatably moved can travel along a circular path. The size and configuration can thus give a varied displacement. The distance that the conduit body 332 is rotatably moved can be measured by reference to a lateral measurement of displacement from the longitudinal midline (distance d1) on the installation surface plane and by an angular measurement (angle α) defined between the longitudinal midline where it intersects the plane of the installation surface and a line along the installation surface at a fixed measurement distance between the centerpoint of the inlet opening 337 and centerpoint of the outlet opening 339 of the conduit body 332 (distance d2) in the same manner noted above.

The lateral displacement distance is measured in a transverse plane on an installation surface S along a perpendicular line d1 from a point P1 located on the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 310 to a center point P2 at the center of an outlet opening 339 of a conduit body 330 over a sewage drain pipe 325. The longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 310 runs along the bottom of a plane taken longitudinally through the apsis or diameter of the toilet bowl 320 so as to dissect the tank 311 and base of toilet 310. Distance d1 can vary in length. Preferably d1 is about 5 mm to about 160 mm, and more preferably about 25 mm to about 115 mm. In one example as described and shown herein, the lateral displacement of the center of the outlet opening 339 of the conduit body 332 is measured as the distance d1 is about 4 inches (101.6 mm) to the left or right of point P1 from the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 310 perpendicularly towards the center point of the outlet opening of the conduit body.

The outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 330 having outlet opening 339 is also capable of being laterally or rotatably moved along a circular curvature and positioned so as to displace the toilet 310 from a longitudinal midline L-L defined in the transverse plane identified by P-P on an installation surface S during installation. The distance d2 for a given conduit body 332 is measured in the transverse plane on the installation surface from a point P3 located on the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 310 directly and perpendicularly below the center point P4 of the inlet opening 337 of the conduit body 332 to the center point P2 of an outlet opening 339 of a conduit body 332 over a sewage drain pipe 325. As the toilet 310 is being installed and relocated, the conduit body 332 rotatably moves, causing angular and lateral displacement of the conduit body 332 such that the angle α changes to illustrate angular displacement. The distance d2 noted above remains fixed for a given conduit design and size, but the conduit body 332 is displaced so that the center of the outlet opening 339 moves a changeable distance d1 laterally/transversely also from the longitudinal midline L-L (closer or farther away) and the angle α also changes (larger for a larger d1 and smaller for a smaller d1).

In an embodiment as described and shown herein for exemplary purposes, the center point of the outlet opening 339 of the conduit body 332 is measured at a distance d2 of about 50 mm to about 400 mm, preferably about 100 mm to about 300 mm from the point directly and perpendicularly below the center point of the inlet opening 337 to the center of the outlet opening 339.

The measurement of the lateral displacement and rotatable positioning of the outlet opening 339 of the outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 332 during installation of the toilet 310 may be measured with respect to an angle α to the longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet 310. The angle α is measured in the transverse plane P-P of the installation surface S taken through a base of the toilet 310. The outlet portion 338 can actually be rotatably positioned around in the transverse plane P-P 360° when the upper inlet portion 336 is attached to the partial trapway 328. In a preferred embodiment described herein, the angle α is measured between the longitudinal midline L-L and line d2 which extends from the center point P2 of the outlet opening 339 to a point P3 perpendicularly and directly below the center point P4 of the inlet opening 337 of the conduit body 332 on the longitudinal midline L-L. The angle α is preferably about ±1 degree to about ±90 degrees off the mid-line, and more preferably about ±5 degrees to about ±55 degrees.

After the lateral displacement, rotatable positioning of the outlet opening 339 of the outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 332 during installation of the toilet 310 on or away from a longitudinal midline L-L of the toilet is complete. The toilet 310, once moved, will typically be partially displaced from the wall so as to change the rough-in distance. If a conduit body 332 has a d2 of 190 mm, it is preferably displaced from the longitudinal midline L-L at distance d1 of 90 mm, and the toilet 310 will be displaced from the wall an additional rough-in distance of 23 mm. The conduit body 332 may be manufactured in several pieces and lengthened if desired to correct for this change in the rough-in distance as the toilet 310 is displaced from the wall.

The skirt 323, if used, serves a dual purpose in adding additional structural support to the toilet 310 and in the embodiment shown, also providing aesthetic concealment of the partial trapway 328 or moveable trapway 330 and other toilet bowl base plumbing fixtures. The skirt 323 is preferably integral to the toilet bowl 320 but can also be fabricated as a separate part. The skirt 323 may extend at least partially around the exterior surface 322 of the toilet bowl 320 and in the embodiment shown extends around the entire toilet bowl, including the rear portion of the toilet 310. The rear portion 371 of the toilet skirt 323 conforms to the trapway and other features for a smooth aesthetic appearance. In the embodiment shown also, the skirt extends completely around the bowl 320 front and sides as well as the rear portion 371 near the wall W.

If the skirt 323 is configured as a separate part (i.e., not integral to the toilet), the skirt 323 optimally also contains at least one mount opening for securing the skirt to foot of the toilet 310 and for securing the foot of the toilet 310 to an installation surface S.

The skirt 323 shown also includes an integral outwardly extending portion 370 molded into the skirt and configured to allow for moveable placement of the outlet portion 338 of the conduit body 332 including any optional flange cover 340.

As shown the outwardly extending portions can be placed on either side of the toilet This can be see with reference to the left-handed toilet extending portion 370 on toilet 310 in FIGS. 21-22 and right-hand extension portion 370′ on toilet 310′ in FIGS. 23-24. In all other respects the toilets are the same. A left-handed toilet design is indicated when displacing a toilet in the right-hand direction, and vice versa. Thus, a consumer may buy a toilet having a cohesive and smooth outer aesthetic appearance on the skirt 323 and select a toilet having a left-hand or right-hand (or both sides) depending on the desired displacement direction for installation.

Also distinct in this design of the movable trapway is an optional box 372 for inserting a mounting fastener through the box 372 to ensure the moveable trapway is set in place once positioned as desired. This feature also serves to hold the trapway 330 down if the toilet bowl 320 is being removed, thus preventing potential damage to the floor flange.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.

Each of the kit 1000, 2000 and instructions 1010, 2010 may also include various items, such as optional information on maintenance, cleaning and replacement of parts used or installation herein, ordering information and warranty information and the like normally found in instructions for installation of toilet bowls and toilet assemblies.

Unlike the methods and kits hereinabove, the moveable trapway may be used with prior art toilets and other existing methods, kits, or assemblies that incorporate a partial trapway. However, the method as described herein is the preferred method and in not intended to be limiting.

The moveable trapway also may reduce installation time significantly and virtually eliminates the need for costly renovation of existing spaces or new construction. The moveable trapway allows for those with impairments requiring the use of a wheelchair or mobility ids or small spaces to modify their toileting facilities with ease.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof. It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.