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Publication numberUS20090126094 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/291,643
Publication dateMay 21, 2009
Filing dateNov 12, 2008
Priority dateNov 19, 2007
Publication number12291643, 291643, US 2009/0126094 A1, US 2009/126094 A1, US 20090126094 A1, US 20090126094A1, US 2009126094 A1, US 2009126094A1, US-A1-20090126094, US-A1-2009126094, US2009/0126094A1, US2009/126094A1, US20090126094 A1, US20090126094A1, US2009126094 A1, US2009126094A1
InventorsStephen G. Laube
Original AssigneeLaube Stephen G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
User-controlled water saving toilet
US 20090126094 A1
Abstract
Methods and various devices for conserving water during the process of toilet flushing are disclosed. The method herein emphasizes retrofitting a toilet of the type typically having a reservoir, tank float, overflow tube, flush handle, lever arm, and a means of linkage to a flapper valve. Rigid internal components of the means of linkage are the primary improvements presented herein. The disclosed rigid devices replace the chain as the means of linkage in the toilet reservoir and thereby function, throughout the entire flush cycle, as a direct operator of the flapper valve, giving the user proactive control over the amount of water used in flushing. Devices, or kits, utilized in carrying out the water conserving method are disclosed which are easily installable into existing toilets of older design. The inventive concept empowers the user of a toilet to control the sufficiency of the total flush and consequently, the corresponding volume of water used, while operating the toilet with current flush controls.
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Claims(15)
1. An improved flush valve mechanism for a toilet of the type typically having a water reservoir, an orifice for water outflow from the reservoir, a drain valve communicating between said orifice and a passageway to a toilet bowl, an overflow tube, a tank float, a pivotally-operated flapper valve, an external flush handle, a lever arm connected at its proximal end to said flush handle and connected at its distal end to a means of linkage, and said means of linkage further connected to said flapper valve, the improvement residing in the means of linkage, which comprises
a vertically-oriented, rigid member having an upper end and a bottom end, and having a length approximately equal to the distance between the distal end of said lever arm and the top surface of said flapper valve when said flapper valve is in the closed position;
a means of connecting the upper end of said rigid member to the distal end of said lever arm; and
a means of connecting the bottom end of said rigid member to said flapper valve.
2. The apparatus as in claim 1 wherein the means of connecting the upper end of said rigid member to the distal end of said lever arm comprises any of a type of mechanism selected from the group consisting of a short length of chain, a spring, a hook, an elastomeric connector, or a corresponding opening in said rigid member.
3. The apparatus as in claim 1 wherein the means of connecting the bottom end of said rigid member to said flapper valve comprises any of a type of mechanism selected from the group consisting of a short length of chain, a spring, a hook, or an elastomeric connector.
4. The apparatus as in claim 1, wherein the means of connecting the upper end of said rigid member to the distal end of said lever arm further comprises
at least one opening in the upper end of said rigid member, said opening of sufficient structure and dimensions as to allow
a) insertion of the distal end of said lever arm; and
b) accommodation of a retaining mechanism for securing the distal end of said lever arm within the confines of said opening.
5. The apparatus as in claim 3, wherein the means of connecting the upper end of said rigid member to the distal end of said lever arm further comprises
at least one opening in the upper end of said rigid member, said opening of sufficient structure and dimensions as to allow
a) insertion of the distal end of said lever arm; and
b) accommodation of a retaining mechanism for securing the distal end of said lever arm within the confines of said opening.
6. The apparatus as in claim 2 or claim 4, wherein the means of connecting the bottom end of said rigid member to said flapper valve comprises any of a type of mechanism selected from the group consisting of a short length of chain, a spring, a hook, or an elastomeric connector.
7. An improved flush valve mechanism for a toilet of the type typically having a water reservoir, an orifice for water outflow from the reservoir, a drain valve communicating between said orifice and a passageway to a toilet bowl, an overflow tube, a tank float, a pivotally-operated flapper valve, an external flush handle, a lever arm connected at its proximal end to said flush handle and connected at its distal end to a means of linkage, and said means of linkage further connected to said flapper valve, the improvement residing in the means of linkage, which comprises
a rigid tube encompassing a chain, further comprising
a) said rigid tube having (i) a length slightly less than the distance between the distal end of said lever arm and the top surface of said flapper valve when said flapper valve is in the closed position and (ii) an inner diameter sufficient to slidingly accommodate the outside diameter of each link of said chain;
a means of connecting one end of said chain to the distal end of said lever arm; and
a means of connecting the opposite end of said chain to said flapper valve.
8. The apparatus as in claim 7, further comprising
a suitable means of attachment whereby said rigid tube is affixed to said chain.
9. An apparatus as in claim 1 wherein the means of linkage further comprises
said rigid member having a transverse cross-sectional area of such dimension as to allow said rigid member to be inserted through sequentially alternating links of a chain;
a link chain having a length slightly greater than said rigid member and further, each link of an inner diameter capable of acceptance of the longitudinal cross-sectional area of said rigid member;
said chain having at its upper end, a means of attachment suitable for fastening to the distal end of said lever arm; and
said chain having at its lower end, a means of attachment suitable for fastening to said flapper valve.
10. An apparatus as in claim 1 wherein the means of linkage further comprises
said rigid member having regularly-spaced holes along its length;
a chain having a length slightly greater than said rigid member and further, said chain being inserted, in a lengthwise fashion, through said holes in said rigid member;
said chain having at its upper end, a means of attachment suitable for fastening to the distal end of said lever arm; and
said chain having at its lower end, a means of attachment suitable for fastening to said flapper valve.
11. An improved flush valve mechanism for a toilet of the type typically having a water reservoir, an orifice for water outflow from the reservoir, a drain valve communicating between said orifice and a passageway to a toilet bowl, an overflow tube, a tank float, a pivotally-operated flapper valve, an external flush handle, a lever arm connected at its proximal end to said flush handle and connected at its distal end to a means of linkage, and said means of linkage further connected to said flapper valve, the improvement residing in said flapper valve, which comprises
materials and structure such that said flapper valve manifests a specific gravity greater than one (1.0).
12. An apparatus as in any one of claims I through 4, wherein said rigid member further comprises
a means of structurally adjusting, in suitable increments, the length of said rigid member.
13. An improved flush valve mechanism for a toilet of the type typically having a water reservoir, an orifice for water outflow from the reservoir, a drain valve communicating between said orifice and a passageway to a toilet bowl, an overflow tube, a tank float, a pivotally-operated flapper valve, an external flush handle, a lever arm connected at its proximal end to said flush handle and connected at its distal end to a means of linkage, and said means of linkage further connected to said flapper valve, the improvement residing in the means of linkage, which comprises
a chain constructed of a length slightly greater than the vertical dimension between the distal end of said lever arm and the top surface of said flapper valve when said valve is in the closed position, such that when said lever moves downward, the excess length of chain rests upon the top surface of said flapper valve, causing said flapper valve to close; and
any of a variety of fastening mechanisms by means of which said chain may be attached at its upper end to the distal end of said lever arm and, at its lower end, to said flapper valve.
14. An apparatus as in any of claims 1 through 4, or any of claims 7 through 9, further comprising
a flapper valve comprised of materials and structure such that said flapper valve manifests a specific gravity greater than one (1.0).
installing a means of linkage comprising a vertically-oriented rigid member, said rigid member having an upper end and a bottom end, with said upper end having an opening;
inserting the distal end of said lever arm into said opening in the upper end of said rigid member;
attaching a lever arm retention mechanism proximate the distal end of said lever arm; and
connecting the bottom end of said rigid member to said flapper valve by any of the means selected from the group consisting of a short length of chain, a spring, a hook, a pin, or an elastomeric connector.
20. A method for conserving the use of water during the flush cycle of a toilet, said toilet typically having a water reservoir, an overflow tube, an orifice for water outflow from the reservoir, a drain valve communicating between said orifice and a passageway to a toilet bowl, an overflow tube, a tank float, a pivotally-operated flapper valve, an exterior flush handle, a lever arm connected at its proximal end to the flush handle and connected at its distal end to a means of linkage, said means of linkage further connected to the flapper valve, the method comprising the steps of
removing the existing means of linkage; and
installing a means of linkage comprising a chain having a length in excess of the vertical dimension between the distal end of said lever arm and the top surface of said flapper valve when said valve is in the closed position and further, having the weight of said excess chain length greater than the weight of said flapper valve, so as to impart the quality of negative buoyancy to said flapper valve.
Description
RELATED U.S. APPLICATION DATA

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Application No. 60/989,003 filed Nov 19, 2007.

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS U.S. Patent Documents

U.S. Pat. # Date Classification Inventor
3,885,253 May 27, 1975 4/67  Overbey, C.
4,467,482 Aug. 28, 1984 4/393 Dyer, A.
4,485,501 Dec. 4, 1984 4/324 Kloner, I.
4,928,327 May 29, 1990 4/395 Kuhn, D.
5,185,891 Feb. 16, 1993 4/324 Rise, L.
5,289,594 Mar. 01, 1994 4/415 Wiewiorowski, T., et al
5,341,522 Aug. 30, 1994 4/415 Munro, J.
5,836,021 Nov. 17, 1998 4/411 Davidson,
G., et al.
5,996,135 Dec. 07, 1999 4/324 Hsleh, E.
6,151,724 Nov. 28, 2000 4/323 Klingenstein, R.
7,200,877 Apr. 10, 2007 4/325 Peng, K.

U.S. Patent Application Publications

Publication # Pub. Date Calssification Inventor
2007/0101486 May 10, 2007 4/392 Torres, A.
2007/0261158 Nov 15, 2007 4/326 Kimura, M, et al.

Foreign Patent Documents

Not applicable.

STATEMENT OF FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT

There is no federally sponsored research or development in conjunction with this inventive concept.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

(1) Field of the Invention

The fundamental disclosures of this inventive concept involve several methods of giving the user of a conventional toilet control of the flushing process while utilizing the flush handle currently installed on the vast majority of flush toilets. Simple, inexpensive modifications to the existing chain/flapper-based toilets of any reservoir capacity are demonstrated, which modifications provide a unique and effective means of conserving water.

Water is one of the world's most precious resources. At the time of this writing, the entire southeast part of the United States is in an extreme drought, as defined by the United States Weather Bureau. It has been said that water is the next oil. Conservation measures are moving to the forefront, including water saving shower heads, toilets with reservoir capacities reduced to 1.6 gallons, faucet aerators, and similar devices and methods.

(2) Description of the Related Art, Including Information Disclosed Under 37 C.F.R. §1.97 and §1.98

Prior art can be traced back to 3000 B.C., when the Indus Valley civilization, near the present Pakistan, used flush toilets in most homes. A relatively sophisticated sewage system accepted the water laden waste from the villages so equipped. Various designs of toilets for the handling of human waste evolved over hundreds of years. In 1775, a British inventor, A. Cummings, invented the S-trap to seal the outlet of the toilet bowl from the fumes of the sewers into which the toilets emptied.

Thomas Crapper, an industrial plumber, made numerous improvements to the flushing toilet, or water closet, including roof vent systems for sewer gasses and pull-chain flushing mechanisms. Flush toilets did not catch on in America until U.S. troops returning from World War I began espousing the advantages of water closets they had observed being used in Europe.

For the past fifty years, the main focus of manufacturers of toilets in the United States has been to ensure that a sufficient quantity of water was available in the reservoir and that the flapper stayed open long enough to give a “complete” flush. At this date, the overwhelming majority of flappers are made of buoyant materials to allow an extended period of time for water to flow through the drain orifice. Many flappers are also constructed with an air pocket, all to ensure buoyancy after the lever arm and chain lift the flapper off the drain orifice.

However, with the ever increasing consumption of water worldwide, considerable attention has been given to conservation, particularly efficient flush toilets. Thus, the toilet manufacturing industry has put some effort into developing so called “early-closer” flappers.

In U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,090,066 and 5,173,971 (Schoepe, et al, 1992), a complicated flapper design is disclosed which uses a combination of a leaf spring and a closing delay cup to vary the amount of water used in the flushing process. The closing delay cup is manufactured with a plurality of holes which can be plugged or left unplugged to set the amount of delay prior to closing of the flush valve. Increasing amounts of water weight entering the delay cup causes a delay in the closing of the flush valve, releasing a proportionately greater quantity of water from the reservoir.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,073,995 (Jennison, 1991) discloses a toilet with a water-fillable device slidingly attached to the overflow tube and positioned directly over the flapper valve. As the toilet is flushed and the water level decreases, the device slides down the overflow tube and nudges the valve closed. A similar operating principle is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,524 (C. Stevens, 1992) differing in that two sliding devices are utilized, the lower one with an actuating flange to close the flapper valve.

A method of retrofitting flush toilets to give partial control of the volume of water used during flushing is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,289,594 (Wiewiorowski, T., et al, 1994). The retrofitted apparatus comprises a mechanically positionable tab on the exterior of the toilet which determines the tension on a flexible interior line directly connected to a buoyant member. The buoyant member lifts the non-buoyant flapper valve in accordance with the line tension, thus controlling the volume of water used.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The inventive concept presented herein discloses novel methods of preventing unnecessary use of substantial quantities of water in a flush toilet. The thrust of the inventive concept is to give control of the flushing mechanism to a user, particularly under circumstances where there is minimal waste or essentially liquid waste to be flushed. The toilet user is given the option to close the flapper valve early, effectively turning the flush handle into a water valve controlled by the user. The efficacy of the present invention disclosures is such that the control given to the user makes the flush handle more of an instant “on-off” switch for controlling flush water.

The primary device, which is an improvement upon the “standard” flush toilets in use today, is an implementation of a vertically-oriented rigid member as replacement of the means of linkage (predominantly, a chain) between the lever arm of the toilet and the flapper valve. Various embodiments of the rigid member are disclosed herein, all of which adequately function to give the user control of the flushing process. Several methods or processes of retrofitting existing flush toilets with the mechanisms and devices herein disclosed are also presented.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1. is an illustration of the components of the typical, or standard flush toilet which has been in use in the United States for decades;

FIG. 2 presents a view of an embodiment of the instant invention, featuring a vertically-oriented rigid member linking the lever arm and the flapper valve;

FIG. 3 shows a variation in the design of the rigid member, comprising an opening in the upper section of the rigid member, said opening sufficient to accommodate the lever arm.

FIG. 3( a) is an enlarged view of the manner in which the lever arm inserts into a slotted rigid member embodiment;

FIG. 3( b) demonstrates cotter pins employed to assist in retention of the lever arm in the opening of the rigid member;

FIG. 3( c) illustrates two rubber rings performing the same function.

FIG. 4 depicts an embodiment of the rigid member comprising a tube which envelopes a chain, the combination of which perform the intended functions of the inventive concept;

FIG. 5 is a representation of the rigid member with a short segment of a spring at both the upper and lower extremities of the rigid member;

FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of the rigid member with adjustment holes at each end of the member and further, a short segment of a link chain at both the upper and lower extremities of the rigid member;

FIG. 7 depicts a heavily-weighted chain, a portion of the lower segment of the chain resting on the top surface of the flapper valve.

FIG. 8 presents a combination of a rigid member inter-laced within the links of a chain, as the device lifts the flapper valve from its seated position.

FIG. 9 shows another embodiment of the rigid member concept in the form of a perforated rigid member interwoven with a length of beaded chain. FIGS. 9( a) and 9(b) illustrate enlarged head-on and cross-sectional views of the device.

NUMERICAL REFERENCES TO COMPONENTS

  • 1. Reservoir
  • 2. Water
  • 3. Surface of water
  • 4. Flapper valve
  • 5. Drain orifice
  • 6. Flush handle
  • 7. Lever arm
  • 8. Chain
  • 9. Overflow tube
  • 10. Tank ball float
  • 11. Tank ball float arm
  • 12. Fill valve
  • 13. Bowl rinse line
  • 14. “Y”-Yoke
  • 15. Rigid member
  • 16. Attachment mechanism
  • 17. Elastomeric connector
  • 18. Toilet bowl (not shown)
  • 19. Slotted rigid member
  • 20. Opening
  • 21. Rigid tube assembly
  • 22. Rigid tube
  • 23. Enclosed chain
  • 24. Fastener
  • 25. Spring
  • 26. Adjustment hole
  • 27. Short chain length
  • 28. Weighted chain
  • 29. Cotter pin
  • 30. Rubber ring
  • 31. Hook
  • 32. Beaded chain
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTIVE CONCEPT

The discussion of the present inventive concept can best be initiated with a reference to FIG. 1 which presents a basic illustration of a typical flush toilet commonly used in the United States. The reservoir 1 contains an available volume of water 2 for flushing. The water 2 is prevented from exiting the reservoir 1 by the flapper valve 4 which is firmly maintained in its seated position atop the drain orifice 5 by hydrostatic pressure. Upon a user's downward push of the flush handle 6, the lever arm 7 rotates upward, imparting a vertical pull on the chain 8. The chain 8, being connected to the flapper valve 4, consequently lifts the flapper valve 4, which, being pivotally attached to the overflow tube 9, “pops up” from its seated position. The flapper valve 4, being buoyant, becomes suspended by flotation on the surface of the water 3 while the weight of the water 2 provides a head of pressure to initiate the flow of water 2 through the drain orifice 5.

During the flush process, a tank float, shown in FIG. 1 as a tank ball float 10, descends on the water surface 3 in the reservoir 1 as the volume of water 2 recedes. The tank ball float 10, being connected to a tank ball float arm 11, also causes a fill valve 12 to open, allowing a resupply of water 2 to begin entering the reservoir 1. In many types of toilets, a disc-shaped float slidingly operates up and down a cylindrical tower structure within the reservoir, performing the same function as a tank ball float 10. For illustrative purposes of this disclosure, and not by means of limitation, a tank ball float will be the reference term used when discussion involves a tank float.

At a certain level of the lowering water surface 3, the flapper valve 4, while floating on the water surface 3, rotates about the axis of its “y”-yoke 14 downward, becomes proximate to the drain orifice 5, and again becomes seated over the drain orifice 5. The inflow of water 2 continues until the reservoir 1 is returned to the pre-set level for the next flush, as governed by the upward flotation of the tank ball float 10, which closes the fill valve 12.

In viewing FIG. 2, it is observed that the means of linkage has been substantially replaced with a rigid member 15 which is connected, at its upper end, to the lever arm 7 by a suitable attachment means 16. In referring to a “suitable” attachment means, such device may be, by way of illustration and not limitation, a chain, a spring, a hook, a pin, or an elastomeric connector. A flexible type attachment means will allow for better alignment between the lever arm 7, the rigid member 15, and the flapper valve 4, thus insuring a precise closure of the flapper valve 4 on the drain orifice 5. With regard to the term “rigid member,” the material used to fabricate any rigid member 15 set forth in these disclosures envisions a material that may have some degree of flexibility, but nevertheless with sufficient stiffness as to allow the lever arm 7 to act on the rigid member 15 and transmit a relatively undiminished force to the flapper valve 4.

Further, the rigid member 15 may be connected, at its lower end, to the flapper valve 4 by a flexible means, such as a short length of chain, a spring, or an elastomeric device, so as to allow a “pop up” action of the usually buoyant flapper valve 4 to occur unimpeded. Said flexible means also may aid in the alignment between the rigid member 15 and the flapper valve 4, insuring a precise closure of the flapper valve 4 onto the drain orifice 5.

As depicted in FIG. 2, when the flush handle 6 is pushed, the lever arm 7, through its attachment to the rigid member 15, lifts the flapper valve 4 off the drain orifice 5. The flexible chain 27 allows sufficient freedom of movement for the flapper valve 4 to rotate upward, thereby allowing reservoir water 2 to rush down the drain orifice 5.

In the frequent case where the toilet bowl 18 contains minimal waste, or liquid waste, the toilet bowl will be quickly purged upon the first influx of rushing reservoir water 2, which creates a significant siphon action in the toilet bowl 18. At that point, should the rigid member 15 be buoyant, the inventive concept requires the user to push the flush handle 6 upward, causing the lever arm 7 to impart a downward force upon the rigid member 15. The rigid member 15 then nudges the flapper valve 4 into the downward stream of exiting reservoir water, which pulls the flapper valve 4 back onto the drain orifice 5.

On the other hand, should the rigid member 15 be of a non-buoyant composition, the user may simply release the flush handle 6, thereby allowing gravity to impel the rigid member 15, lever arm 7, and flapper valve 4 downward, closing the drain orifice 5. It is to be pointed out that this inventive concept functions effectively on the flapper valve 4 regardless of whether the rigid member 15 is of buoyant or non-buoyant composition. Depending on the buoyancy of any of the described embodiments of the rigid member 15, the act of releasing the flush handle 6, or pushing up on the flush handle 6, as the case may be, will initiate the same sequence of events, giving the user control over the flush cycle and thereby saving substantial amounts of water.

FIG. 3 presents a separate embodiment of a rigid member in the form of a slotted rigid member 19, being the best mode of operation for this inventive concept. The slotted rigid member 19 is integrated into the flush mechanism by the insertion of the distal end of the lever arm 7 into an opening 20 constructed within the upper section of the slotted rigid member 19. When the flush handle 6 is pushed downward, the lever arm 7 lifts the slotted rigid member 19, in turn lifting the flapper valve 4, thus initiating the flush cycle. A short length of chain 27, or other flexible device, forms a loose junction between the lower end of the slotted rigid member 19 and the flapper valve 4, thus allowing sufficient rotational clearance of the flapper valve 4 for water outflow. As soon as the waste matter is cleared from the toilet bowl 18, the user may release, or push upward on the flush handle 6, allowing the slotted rigid member 19 to press the flapper valve 4 back onto its seat over the drain orifice 5.

FIG. 3( a) is an enlarged view of the lever arm 7 in position to lift or lower the slotted rigid member 19 to effectuate opening or closing of the flapper valve 4. To ensure the retention of the lever arm 7 within the opening 20, a suitable retaining mechanism may easily engage both the distal end of the lever arm 7 and the interior of the opening 20. FIG. 3( b), illustrating a pair of cotter pins 29, and FIG. 3( c) showing two rubber rings 30, are typical retaining mechanisms which may be used to hold the lever arm 7 within the opening 20.

As we view FIG. 4, another embodiment of the rigid member 15 is shown, in the form of a rigid tube assembly 21. The rigid tube assembly 21 comprises (1) a rigid tube 22 having a length measuring slightly less than the distance between the distal end of the lever arm 7 and the top surface of the flapper valve 4 and (2) an enclosed chain 23, the chain 23 being attached to the rigid tube 22 by means of a fastener 24, which may be a cotter pin 24, passing through both a cross-sectional segment of the rigid tube 22 and a suitable link of the chain 23.

In an operating installation, the enclosed chain 23 of the rigid tube 22 is attached at one end to the distal end of the lever arm 7 and at its opposite end, to the top surface of the flapper valve 4. During the flushing process, the chain 23 translates the upward action of the lever arm 7 into an upward force, pulling the flapper valve 4 off its seat. To effectuate the early closing of the flapper valve 4, the user may either release, or exert a slight upward force on, the flush handle 6, (depending on the buoyancy of the rigid tube assembly 21), thereby causing the flapper valve 4 to close the drain orifice 5.

FIG. 5 depicts an embodiment of the inventive concept wherein the means of linkage is a rigid member 15 attached at its upper end to the lever arm 7 by means of a spring 25 and attached at its lower end to the flapper valve 4, also by means of a spring 25. Effective functioning of this embodiment may also be accomplished by utilizing singularly, or in any combination, a hook, a short length of chain, or an elastomeric connector in place of the spring 25 depicted in FIG. 5.

In viewing FIG. 6, there is presented a rigid member 15 having adjustment holes 26 placed at both the upper and lower ends of the rigid member 15. The rigid member 15 is attached, at its upper end, to the lever arm 7 by means of a short length of chain 27. The adjustment holes 26 provide means by which the effective length of the rigid member 15 may be adjusted as necessary by attaching either or both short lengths of chain 27 in an appropriate adjustment hole 26, thus rendering the rigid member 15 compatible, in length, with varying types or sizes of toilet reservoirs 1.

FIG. 7 presents a view of a weighted chain 28 having a length slightly in excess of the distance between the lever arm 7 and the top of a buoyant flapper valve 4. As shown, the flushing mechanism is in repose with the flapper valve 4 seated atop the drain orifice 5. A portion of the excess length of the weighted chain 28 rests atop the flapper valve 4. As the flush cycle is initiated by the flush handle 6 and the upward rotation of the lever arm 7, the excess length of weighted chain 28 is lifted from the flapper valve 4, allowing the flapper valve 4 to pivot upward, permitting water to exit through the drain orifice 5 for flushing. Should the user terminate the flush cycle early, a releasing of the flush handle 6 causes the weighted chain 28 to place a load on the flapper valve 4, thereby closing the drain orifice 5 and terminating the flush.

In a different embodiment of the rigid member 15, a chain 8 is intertwined with the rigid member 15, as depicted in FIG. 8. The cross-sectional area of the rigid member 15 is of a size, and the links of the chain 8 are of adequate inner diameter, to permit insertion of the length of the rigid member 15 into sequential links of the chain 8. The chain 8 may be attached at its upper end to the lever arm 7 by means of a hook 31, or other suitable means, including a spring, a hook, or an elastomeric connector.

In like manner, the chain 8 in FIG. 8 is attached at its lower end to the flapper valve 4 by any of several suitable means. The length of the rigid member 15 is constructed so as to allow some slack in the chain 8 at the chain's point of attachment to the flapper valve 4. This allows freedom of movement for the “pop-up” action of the flapper valve 4 about its pivotal axis at the y-yoke 14 when a flush cycle is initiated. At the conclusion of the desired time of flushing, the user (dependent upon the buoyancy of the rigid member 15) either releases or pushes upward on the flush handle 6 causing the rigid member 15 to force the flapper valve 4 to return to its seated position atop the drain orifice 5.

FIG. 9, FIG. 9( a), and FIG. 9( b) display an additional embodiment of the inventive concept wherein the means of linkage comprises a rigid member 15 having perforations, said perforations of sufficient size as to allow the insertion of a beaded chain 32 (or a link chain) through each perforation along the length of the rigid member 15. The rigid member 15 is of a length which provides a short exposed length of the beaded chain 32 proximate the flapper valve 4. This feature allows the flapper valve 4 the freedom of movement to “pop up” at the initiation of the flush cycle.

It is anticipated that various embodiments, enhancements, and combinations may be derived from the disclosures presented herein, particularly by those persons skilled in the art. Nevertheless, such derivative embodiments and devices do not constitute a departure from the overall scope, spirit, and intent of the inventive concepts as set forth herein.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4388736 *Jun 4, 1981Jun 21, 1983Roosa Peter VTank flushing means
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8387172Nov 6, 2009Mar 5, 2013Prodius LlcWater flow controlling system and method
US8397319Aug 10, 2011Mar 19, 2013Michael Peter SenderakAdd-on flush control mechanism to provide water conservation
US20110094022 *Oct 25, 2010Apr 28, 2011Li Chung HsienDual flush device for toilet water tank
WO2011056179A1 *Nov 6, 2009May 12, 2011Prodius LlcWater flow controlling system and method
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/324
International ClassificationE03D1/14
Cooperative ClassificationE03D1/142, E03D5/092, E03D2001/147
European ClassificationE03D1/14D, E03D5/092