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Publication numberUS20050268390 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/205,666
Publication dateDec 8, 2005
Filing dateAug 17, 2005
Priority dateNov 5, 2003
Also published asCA2586878A1, CA2586878C, US7089604, US7461412, US20050091733, US20060230508, WO2005046413A2, WO2005046413A3, WO2005046413B1
Publication number11205666, 205666, US 2005/0268390 A1, US 2005/268390 A1, US 20050268390 A1, US 20050268390A1, US 2005268390 A1, US 2005268390A1, US-A1-20050268390, US-A1-2005268390, US2005/0268390A1, US2005/268390A1, US20050268390 A1, US20050268390A1, US2005268390 A1, US2005268390A1
InventorsGlenn Wright
Original AssigneeWright Glenn H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bariatric toilet support apparatus and method
US 20050268390 A1
Abstract
A device and method for providing support to a toilet bowl suitable to sustain the weight of an obese or otherwise large individual. The device comprises a support bar and a leg between the toilet bowl and the floor, wherein the device is placed underneath the toilet and affixed to a toilet wall support. The leg is hinged to allow folding thereof to facilitate cleaning under the toilet bowl.
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Claims(22)
1. A device for supporting a toilet bowl, said device comprising:
an ‘S’-shaped member.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein said ‘S’-shaped member is elongated.
3. The device of claim 1, wherein said ‘S’-shaped member comprises a first angled member, a plate and a second angled member.
4. The device of claim 3, wherein said first angled member, said second angled member and said plate comprise openings selected from the group consisting of apertures, slots, and combinations thereof.
5. The device of claim 4, wherein said openings comprise slots, and wherein said slots are adapted to permit selective adjustment of said first angled member and said second angled member relative to said plate.
6. The device of claim 5, wherein said selective adjustment comprises length adjustment of said device.
7. The device of claim 5, wherein said selective adjustment comprises height adjustment of said device.
8. The device of claim 1, wherein said ‘S’-shaped member is carried substantially beneath the toilet bowl.
9. The device of claim 8, wherein said ‘S’-shaped member comprises a leg connected to said ‘S’-shaped member.
10. The device of claim 9, wherein said leg comprises height adjustment means.
11. The device of claim 10, wherein said height adjustment means is telescopic.
12. The device of claim 1, further comprising a mounting flange.
13. The device of claim 1, wherein said ‘S’-shaped member further comprises a resilient bumper.
14. A toilet support device comprising:
a first angled member, a plate and a second angled member.
15. The toilet support device of claim 14, further comprising slotted openings.
16. The toilet support device of claim 15, wherein said slotted openings permit height adjustment of said device.
17. The toilet support device of claim 15, wherein said slotted openings permit length adjustment of said device.
18. A method of supporting a toilet bowl, said method comprising the steps of:
selecting a support from the group consisting of ‘S’-shaped members and ‘M’-shaped members; and
utilizing said selected support to support a toilet bowl.
19. The device of claim 18, wherein said selected support comprises an ‘M’-shaped member, and wherein said ‘M’-shaped member comprises a ‘V’-shaped support.
20. The device of claim 18, wherein said selected support comprises a telescopically-adjusting leg.
21. A device for supporting a toilet bowl, said device comprising:
an ‘M’-shaped member.
22. The device for supporting a toilet bowl of claim 21, wherein said ‘M’-shaped member comprises a ‘V’-shaped support.
Description
PRIORITY CLAIM

The present application is a continuation-in-part application to non-provisional patent application Ser. No. 10/701,812, entitled “Toilet Support Device and Method”, filed on Nov. 5, 2003, and claims priority thereto and the full benefit thereof.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to toilet support apparatuses, and more specifically to an improved apparatus and method for providing support to a toilet bowl, wherein the toilet support device and method of the present invention is particularly suited for, although not limited to, use on a toilet bowl having a high mass load, such as is applied by bariatric patients.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention began out of a need for a device to support toilets for bariatric patients; that is, patients of weight in excess of the weights of typical patients. A person having a body mass index of forty or greater (often more than one hundred pounds over their ideal body weight) may be considered morbidly obese and a suitable candidate for bariatric surgery. Such a person would be considered a bariatric patient. Standard toilets are designed to sustain high loadings, but under extreme weight may be subject to fracture.

There are various devices and methods available for providing support to toilet appliances or to the person utilizing them, but all are disadvantageous when compared to the present invention. Some devices are designed to provide strengthening of the attachment point of the toilet to the wall in order to assist in providing a toilet device that can withstand high weights; however, because such devices provide no support to the bowl itself, and due to the lever moment of the toilet bowl about the attachment point, excess weight applied to the bowl area can easily lead to failure of the wall mount. Other devices provide supports above the toilet bowl to facilitate grasping by the user, to assist the user in supporting himself without bringing full weight on to the toilet bowl. Clearly, such devices do not provide support to the toilet bowl, and in the event of failure, bring full weight of the user on to the toilet bowl, as these devices are mostly utilized to assist the user in positioning himself upon the bowl.

While some or all of the devices of the above-referenced patents may be utilized for supporting a patient above a toilet bowl, or for supporting a patient of average weight upon a toilet bowl, each fails to adequately provide reliable support to a heavily loaded toilet bowl.

Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a novel bariatric toilet support apparatus and method, wherein the maximum weight load capability of a toilet is increased, thus enabling secure support of obese individuals thereon and avoiding the above-discussed disadvantages.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such an invention by providing a bariatric toilet support apparatus and method for supporting a toilet bowl under stress of heavy loads, wherein the apparatus is located under a toilet bowl to prevent flexure thereof.

According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention in its preferred embodiment is a support plate and leg unit for utilization between the base of a toilet bowl and the floor therebelow, thereby buttressing the toilet bowl. The bariatric toilet support apparatus of the present invention is suited for selective adjustment of height and/or length to permit use with a variety of differently-sized toilets. Additionally, the present apparatus provides a means for attachment to a supporting wall and/or existing toilet mounting supports. The support leg of the present apparatus can be folded away from the toilet to permit cleaning under the toilet.

More specifically, the bariatric toilet support apparatus of the present invention comprises an ‘S’-shaped member hingably secured to a leg member, wherein the leg member may be fixed or comprise a telescoping section for height adjustment under the selected toilet. The leg member may also include a foot portion, wherein the foot portion may also permit height adjustment of the leg member.

The ‘S’-shaped member comprises first and second angled members and a plate member to provide for length adjustment, wherein the first angled member and the plate member comprise adjustment slots formed therethrough, and wherein the adjustment slots cooperatively align with apertures in the second angled member. Fasteners secure the first angled member and the plate member to the second angled member in a selected aperture for gross adjustment, while permitting fine adjustment via sliding the fastener within the adjustment slots.

The bariatric toilet support apparatus of the present invention is secured to the existing toilet support hardware, or alternately, can be secured to mounting locations on the wall adjacent to the toilet.

A feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide support to a toilet bowl.

A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to assist a toilet appliance in supporting heavy weight loads.

A feature and advantage of the present invention is that it can be retracted for cleaning of the floor area under the toilet bowl.

A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its ease of manufacture and low cost of production.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Having thus described the invention in general terms, the present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Selected Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, which are not necessarily drawn to scale, and in which like reference numerals denote similar structures and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 depicts a perspective view of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 depicts a perspective view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 with a wall attachment component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 depicts a perspective view of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 depicts a side sectional view of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 depicts a front view of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6A is a top plan view of a mounting plate component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 6B is a side view of a mounting plate component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7A is a top plan view of a mounting plate component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7B is a side view of a mounting plate component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8A is a top plan view of a hinge component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 8B is a side view of a hinge component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and,

FIG. 9 is a side view of a hinge component of a bariatric toilet support apparatus according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, shown installed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND SELECTED ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

In describing the preferred and selected alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-9, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

Referring now to FIGS. 1A-1B, the present invention in a preferred embodiment is bariatric toilet support apparatus 200, wherein bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 is made from a suitably strong, rigid and formable material, such as, for exemplary purposes only, steel, and is preferably generally an elongated ‘S’-shape. While steel is preferred, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that other appropriately strong materials may be utilized, such as, for exemplary purposes only, wood, coated metal, cut stone, or reinforced man-made materials. Also, although a generally elongated ‘S’-shape is preferred for bariatric toilet support apparatus 200, other shapes could be utilized to conform and/or generally mate with the exterior contours of any toilet bowl shape and/or surrounding facilities.

Bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 comprises first angled member 210, second angled member 220, plate 230, bumper 60, hinge 240, leg 250 and leg extension 260. First angled member 210 comprises first extension 212, bend 214, angle 218 and second extension 216, wherein angle 218 formed between first extension 212 and second extension 216 comprises approximately one hundred and thirty-five degrees. First extension 212 comprises apertures 280 formed therethrough, and plate 230 comprises apertures 280 formed therethrough. Second angled member 220 comprises first section 222, bend 224, angle 228 and second section 226, wherein angle 228 is approximately one hundred and thirty-five degrees. Second angled member 220 and first angled member 210 comprise slots 290, wherein slots 290 are adapted to permit selective positioning of first angled member 210 and second angled member 220 when secured via fasteners 330 to plate 230.

Fasteners 330 comprise bolt 332 and nut 320, wherein bolt 332 is preferably a carriage bolt. Fasteners 330 are inserted through slots 290 in second angled member 220 and thereafter pass through apertures 280 in first angled member 210 and in plate 230, thereby endowing bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 with an ‘S’-shape, whilst removably securing first angled member 210, second angled member 220 and plate 230 together. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that first angled member 201 and second angled member 220 could comprise slots 290 or apertures 280, and that plate 230 could comprise slots 290 or apertures 280. In such a fashion, plate 230 can be selectively raised or lowered, and bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 can be selectively lengthened, to accommodate a variety of means for securing bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 to toilet, wall or floor mounts. For instance, first end 232 of plate 230 comprises apertures 300, wherein apertures 300 receive floor mounts or alternately, can include support plate 500 (best shown in FIG. 2), wherein support plate 500 facilitates attachment to wall mounts.

Bumper 60 is fixably secured to second extension 216. Second extension 216 is flexibly secured to leg 250 via hinge 240, wherein leg 250 comprises leg extension 260, bottom 262 and fastener 270, and wherein leg extension 260 slidably engages with bottom 262 of leg 250 in a telescopic fashion, facilitating height adjustment of bumper 60 for engagement with toilet bowl TB (best shown in FIG. 4). Fastener 270 secures leg extension 260 at a selected position within leg 250. Base 254 of leg extension 260 rests on the floor G beneath toilet bowl TB (best shown in FIG. 3).

In an alternate embodiment shown in detail in FIG. 1B, second angled member 220 comprises angle 228, wherein first section 222 lies at angle 228 at approximately forty-five degrees to second section 226, wherein bend 224 is in the opposite direction from the apparatus of FIG. 1A. In such an embodiment, plate 230 is secured at a position above that shown in FIG. 1B to facilitate utilization of bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 for attachment to higher securing points than shown in FIG. 1A.

Bumper 60 is made of a firm, yet resilient material, such as, for exemplary purposes only, rubber. While rubber is preferred, it will be evident to those in the art that other resilient or cushioning-type materials may be utilized within the present invention for construction of bumper 60. Bumper 60 provides a resilient surface for contact of bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 with toilet bowl TB to prevent damage of toilet bowl TB under load deflection.

In use, bariatric toilet support apparatus 200 is positioned beneath toilet bowl TB (best shown in FIGS. 1A through 4), wherein bumper 60 contacts underside U of toilet bowl TB with leg 250 extended and in contact with floor G. Fasteners 330 are loosened to permit movement of first angled member 210 components relative to one another. First end 232 of plate 230 is subsequently secured to existing supports for toilet T or to a suitable adapter plate, such as flange 500 (best shown in FIG. 2). Once first end 232 is secured to existing supports for toilet T, fasteners 330 are tightened, fixing bariatric support 400 in place. For cleaning, leg 250 can be folded at hinge 240 to permit access beneath bariatric support 400.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 2, illustrated therein is an alternate embodiment of bariatric toilet support apparatus 200, wherein the alternate embodiment of FIG. 2 is substantially equivalent in form and function to that of the preferred embodiment detailed and illustrated in FIG. 1A, except as hereinafter specifically referenced. Specifically, the embodiment of FIG. 2 comprises solid bariatric support 400 comprising ‘S’-shaped member 410, wherein ‘S’-shaped member 410 comprises first section 412, bend 414, second section 415, bend 416 and third section 418. Bumper 430 is fixably attached to top 417 of third section 418, and leg 445 is hingably attached to bottom 419 of third section 418 via hinge 440. First section 412 comprises mounting apertures 460, wherein mounting apertures 460 facilitate the removable attachment of flange 500 via fastening means such as bolt 520 and nut 530.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 3, illustrated therein is an alternate embodiment of bariatric toilet support apparatus 200, wherein the alternate embodiment of FIG. 3 is substantially equivalent in form and function to that of the preferred embodiment detailed and illustrated in FIG. 1A, except as hereinafter specifically referenced. Specifically, the embodiment of FIG. 3 comprises bariatric support 500, wherein bariatric support 500 comprises ‘M’-shaped member 510, wherein ‘M’-shaped member 510 comprises first section 512 with apertures 460, first bend 513, second section 514, second bend 515, third section 516, third bend 517, fourth section 518 and bumper 530, wherein second bend 515 comprises ‘V’-shaped support section 519, wherein ‘V’-shaped support section 519 provides a secondary support in conjunction with leg 545 by abutting against floor G, and wherein leg 545 is hingably attached to fourth section 518 via hinge 540.

Leg 545 further comprises adjustable foot 450, wherein foot 450 comprises threaded rod 452, nut 454, jam nut 456, base 458 and non-skid pad 459. Threaded receptacle 442 of leg 545 is dimensioned to receive threaded rod 452 of foot 450 therein, thereby securing foot 450 to leg 545 and permitting screw adjustment of the height of foot 450. Nut 454 and jam nut 456 are positioned on threaded rod 452, wherein nut 454 is adjusted on threaded rod 452 such that when threaded rod 452 is inserted and screwed into threaded receptacle 442 of leg 545, nut 454 will function as a stop to prevent further insertion of threaded rod 452, thereby setting the height of foot 450. Thus, upon adjusting the height of foot 450, leg 545 exerts a compressive force delivered against underside U of toilet bowl TB by bumper 530, thereby preventing downward deflection of toilet bowl TB when toilet bowl TB is under load. Jam nut 456 is used to jam against nut 454 in order to prevent threaded rod 452 from rotating, thereby securing nut 454 and firmly fixing the height of foot 450.

Referring now more specifically to FIGS. 4-9, illustrated therein is an alternate embodiment of bariatric toilet support apparatus 200, wherein the alternate embodiment of FIGS. 4-9 is substantially equivalent in form and function to that of the preferred embodiment detailed and illustrated in FIG. 1A, except as hereinafter specifically referenced. Specifically, the embodiment of FIGS. 4-9 comprises support bar 20 made from a suitably strong, rigid and formable material, such as, for exemplary purposes only, steel, and is preferably generally an elongated ‘S’-shape. While steel is preferred, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that other appropriately strong materials may be utilized, such as, for exemplary purposes only, wood, coated metal, cut stone, or reinforced man-made materials. Also, although a generally elongated ‘S’-shape is preferred for support bar 20, other shapes could be utilized to conform and/or generally mate with the exterior contours of any toilet bowl shape and/or surrounding facilities.

Referring now more particularly to FIG. 4, support bar 20 comprises first end 22, second end 24, body 26 and hanger 30, wherein hanger 30 is located proximate first end 22 of ‘S’-bar 20. Referring now more particularly to FIG. 5, hanger 30 has a generally ‘U’-shaped configuration defined by top ends 32 a and 32 b, side flanges 34 a and 34 b, and base 36. Hanger 30 is an integral unit, wherein side flanges 34 a and 34 b extend upward relative to base 36, with top ends 32 a and 32 b, respectively, defined at an angle relative thereto, in order to enable substantially flush placement when attached to toilet bowl TB. Referring again to FIG. 4, base 36 of hanger 30 is fixably attached to first end 22 of support bar 20 via bolts 31, wherein bolts 31 extend through co-located holes 37 in hanger 30 and support bar 20 and are secured via nuts 33. Hanger 30 further has holes 35 a and 35 b, defined proximate top ends 32 a and 32 b, as seen in FIG. 5.

Body 26 of support bar 20 is suitably formed to follow the contour of the base B of toilet T, including toilet bowl TB, wherein the preferred ‘S’-shaped section 28 follows the contour of a commonly-shaped base B. Bumper 60 is affixed proximate top 25 of second end 24 of support bar 20. Bumper 60 is made of a firm, yet resilient material, such as, for exemplary purposes only, rubber. While rubber is preferred, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that other resilient or cushioning-type materials may be utilized within the present invention for construction of bumper 60.

Film 66 substantially covers surface 62 of bumper 60. Film 66 is thin, with first surface 67 that adheres to bumper 60, and second surface 65 that is not adherent, particularly non-adherent to porcelain, but which has a generally frictional surface 62. A preferred material for forming film 66 is, for exemplary purposes only, INSUL-GRIPฎ, as manufactured by INSULTAB, Inc. of Woburn, Mass.

Bumper 60 is positioned to enable bottom footprint 27 of bumper 60 to contact top 25 of second end 24 of support bar 20. In operation, leg 40 is raised to position bumper 60 such that film 66 is in contact against underside U of toilet bowl TB. Bumper 60 is generally wedge-shaped to most suitably conform to underside U of typical toilet bowl TB; although, it is contemplated herein that other toilet apparatuses may require bumper 60 to be in a different shape, and any such shape could be utilized without departing from the intended scope of the present invention.

Leg 40 supports first end 24 of support bar 20, wherein top end 46 of leg 40 is located below support bar 20, proximate bottom 29 of first end 24 thereof, and wherein surface footprint 49 at first end 46 of leg 40 is in contact with bottom 29 of first end 24 of support bar 20. In addition to top end 46, leg 40 is defined by body 48 and base end 44. Leg 40 is solid stainless steel, and has threaded receptacle 42 drilled and tapped therein at second end 44. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that leg 40 may be made from other strong materials, and that other means of length adjustment could be utilized.

Foot 50 is attached to base end 44 of leg 40. Foot 50 is a swivel leveling mount, such as, for exemplary purposes only, as is available from McMaster-Carr of Atlanta, Ga., having threaded rod 52, nut 54, jam nut 56, base 58 and non-skid pad 59. Threaded receptacle 42 of leg 40 is dimensioned to receive threaded rod 52 of foot 50 therein, thereby securing foot 50 to leg 40 and permitting screw adjustment of height of foot 50. Nut 54 and jam nut 56 are positioned on threaded rod 52, wherein nut 54 is adjusted on threaded rod 52 such that when threaded rod 52 is inserted and screwed into threaded receptacle 42 of leg 40, nut 54 will function as a stop to prevent further insertion of threaded rod 52, thereby setting the height of foot 50. Thus, upon adjusting the height of foot 50, leg 40, support bar 20, bumper 60 and film 66, according to the preferred configuration, a compressive force is delivered against underneath U of toilet bowl TB, thereby preventing downward deflection of toilet bowl TB when toilet bowl TB is under load. Jam nut 56 is used to jam against nut 54 in order to prevent threaded rod 52 from rotating, thereby securing nut 54 and firmly fixing the height of foot 50.

Attached to support bar 20 is top hinge plate 92 (best shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B), wherein top hinge plate 92 is a ‘T’-shaped rigid mounting plate, comprised of sheet stainless steel. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that other materials and other shapes could be utilized to form top hinge plate 92, such as for exemplary purposes only, iron, steel, plastic, rubber, wood and or similar materials, with or without protective coatings thereon. Hinge mounting holes 94 and support bar mounting holes 96 a and 96 b are defined in top hinge plate 92, wherein top hinge plate 92 is secured to support bar 20 via insertion of fasteners 100 through support bar mounting holes 96 a and 96 b. Hinge 70 is secured to top hinge plate 92 through holes 72 via fasteners 102, wherein fasteners 102 attach top hinge flange 90 to top hinge plate 92 via hinge mounting holes 94 in top hinge plate 92. Support bar mounting hole 96 b could be utilized in an alternative embodiment to permit utilization of a single fastener to secure top hinge plate 92 and support bar 20 together via a common fastener.

Top hinge plate 92 has angle or bend 98 defined therein to facilitate attachment to ‘S’-shaped section 28 of support bar 20.

Referring now to FIG. 9, top hinge plate 92 serves to provide a wider mounting area for attachment of hinge 70, wherein top hinge flange 90 is attached to top hinge plate 92 via suitable fasteners 100, thus allowing the use of a large hinge of suitable strength. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that a smaller hinge of suitable strength could be directly mounted to support bar 20 (i.e., directly without using top hinge plate 92).

Side hinge plate 82 (best shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B) is attached to leg 40, wherein side hinge plate 82 is an irregular shaped mounting plate, formed from sheet stainless steel. It will be recognized by those in the art that other materials and/or shapes could be utilized to form side hinge plate 82, such as for exemplary purposes only, iron, steel, plastic, rubber, wood and/or similar materials, with or without protective coatings thereon. Hinge mounting holes 84 and leg mounting holes 86 a and 86 b are defined in side hinge plate 82, wherein side hinge plate 82 is secured to leg 40 via insertion of fasteners 110 through leg mounting holes 86 a, 86 b of side hinge plate 82. Hinge 70 is secured to side hinge plate 82 through holes 74 via fasteners 112, wherein fasteners 112 attach side hinge flange 80 to side hinge plate 82 via hinge mounting holes 84. Leg mounting hole 86 b could be utilized in an alternative embodiment to permit utilization of a single fastener to secure side hinge flange 80, side hinge plate 82 and leg 40 together via a common fastener.

Referring now to FIG. 9, side hinge plate 82 serves to provide a wider mounting area for attachment of hinge 70, wherein side hinge flange 80 is attached to side hinge plate 82 via suitable fasteners 112, thus allowing the use of a large hinge of suitable strength. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that a smaller hinge of suitable strength could be mounted to leg 40 directly without resort to using side hinge plate 82.

Thus, leg 40 is hingably attached to support bar 20 via top hinge plate 92, side hinge plate 82 and hinge 70, wherein hinge 70 (as best shown in FIGS. 8A and 8B) comprises bottom hinge flange 80 and top hinge flange 90. Bottom hinge flange 80 is fixably attached to side hinge plate 82 and leg 40 via suitable fastening means 110, such as for exemplary purposes only, machine screws and nuts, although it will be recognized by those in the art that other fastening means may also be utilized.

Top hinge flange 90 is located proximate narrow end 68 of bumper 60 and is fixably attached to top hinge plate 92 via fasteners 102, and wherein top hinge plate 92 is attached to support bar 20 via suitable fastening means 100, such as, for exemplary purposes only, machine screws and nuts, although it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that other suitable fastening means may be utilized.

Hinge 70 comprises hinge body 78, with top hinge flange 90 and bottom hinge flange 80 hingably attached thereto. Hinge mounting holes 72 are defined in top hinge flange 90. Hinge mounting holes 74 are defined in bottom hinge flange 80. Additionally, mounting hole 76 a is defined in top hinge flange 90, wherein mounting hole 76 a facilitates attachment of hinge 70 to top hinge plate 92 and support bar 20 via a common fastener. Likewise, mounting hole 76 b, is defined in bottom hinge flange 80, wherein mounting hole 76 b facilitates attachment of hinge 70 to side hinge plate 82 and support bar 20 via a common fastener.

Returning to FIGS. 4 and 5, in use, toilet T is secured to wall W via known fastening means F, wherein fastening means F comprises, for exemplary purposes only, studs S with nut N, wherein studs S extend through mounting holes MH in toilet T. Upon removal of nuts N, studs S protrude from toilet T. While keeping toilet T in place, holes 35 a and 35 b of hanger 30 are placed over studs S, and previously-removed nuts N are replaced, thereby securing apparatus 10 to wall mount WM. Once apparatus 10 is secured to wall W, bumper 60 is positioned below and proximate underside U of toilet bowl TB. Leg 40 is then extended downward from support bar 20 into position opening hinge 70 and positioning leg 40 substantially vertical, wherein surface footprint 49 of top end 46 of leg 40 contacts bottom 27 of first end 24 of support bar 20. Foot 50 is adjusted by screwing threaded rod 52 into or out of threaded receptacle 42 to provide a selected compressive force by bumper 60 against underside U of toilet bowl TB, whereupon nuts 54 and 56 are secured to fix the selected height of leg 40, and the compressive force delivered thereby. When desirable to have clear passage under apparatus 10, such as for cleaning of floor G under toilet bowl TB, leg 40 is returned to its original, hingedly-folded position by reversing the steps described hereinabove.

It is envisioned in an alternate embodiment that leg 40 could be any shape, such as, for exemplary purposes only, cylindrical or rectangular/prismatic.

It is envisioned in an alternate embodiment that leg 40 could be hollow and could support a threaded insert suitable for inserting and securing foot 50.

It is envisioned in an alternate embodiment that leg 40 could be a single resilient member forced into position below toilet bowl TB.

It is also envisioned in an alterate embodiment that leg 40 could be permanently installed.

It is further envisioned in an alternate embodiment that leg 40 could be integrally formed into the porcelain shell of toilet bowl TB, whereby it could be rendered virtually invisible.

It is envisioned in a further alternate embodiment that leg 40 could be hydraulicly operated.

It is contemplated in an alternative embodiment that ‘S’-bar 20 could define any shape suitable to facilitate installation beneath the bowl of toilet T.

It is contemplated in another alternate embodiment that support bar 20 could be formed of a leg portion only.

It is contemplated in yet another alternate embodiment that hinges and plates could be any shape, size, or configuration capable of performing essentially the same function.

It is contemplated in still another alternate embodiment that apparatus 10 could attach to toilet or wall via any necessary configuration depending upon toilet type and/or design.

The foregoing description and drawings comprise illustrative embodiments of the present invention. Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Merely listing the steps of the method in a certain order does not constitute any limitation on the order of the steps of the method. Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this invention pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Therefore, it is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific embodiments disclosed and that modifications and other embodiments are intended to be included within the scope of the appended claims. Although specific terms are employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7255316 *Nov 18, 2004Aug 14, 2007Popadics Timothy JSupport device for cantilever toilet bowl
US7421745 *Oct 31, 2006Sep 9, 2008Aitan LevyToilet support apparatus
US7461412Jun 21, 2006Dec 9, 2008Wright Glenn HToilet support device and method
US7945972Jun 9, 2006May 24, 2011Onofrio BresciaSupport for wall mounted toilets
US8122524Apr 15, 2011Feb 28, 2012Rush University Medical CenterSupport for wall mounted toilets
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/252.1
International ClassificationE03D11/13
Cooperative ClassificationE03D11/135
European ClassificationE03D11/13B