US 2438207 A
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March 23,, 1948. J, H. DERBY MEANS FOR CONTROLLING THE FLUSHING OF URINALS Filed March 16, 1944 2 Sheet-Sheet 1 UN NN m xtkkrwi I-I-I-TJF- |-I-I-|.
INVENTOR 766ml REX j kv A TORNEY 2Sheets-Sheet 2 M I I c I I I 0 I \I I I F 2 wI L I I I II I JZw/v M N I J INVENTOR I ATTORNEY March 23, 1948. J. H. DERBY MEANS FOR CONTR OLLING THE FLUSHIIIG 01f" URINALS Filed March 16, 1944 I I wh Patented Mar. 23, 1948 MEANS FOR CONTROLLING THE FLUSHING OF URINALS John H. Derby, Scarsdale, N.
' third to Y., asslgnor of one- C. Milton Wilson and one-third to H.
Dorsey Spencer, both of New York, N. Y. Application March 16, 1944, Serial No. 526,679 2 Claims. (Cl. 4-99) This invention relates to means for controlling the flushing of urinals, and particularly to means for insuring effective flushing of urinals in the toilet rooms of public buildings, schools, business buildings, athletic clubs, etc.
Many different types of means for controlling the flushing of urinals have been designed and are in use but for the most part these various flush-controlling means do not accomplish the desired ends of maintaining the urinals clean and free from offensive odors. Possibly the most common type in use today, particularly in business buildings and official buildings, is the hand-operated valve intended to be operated by the user of the urinal after using it. This type of control, which is the one most commonly installed, is probably the least effective since most people object to bringing their hands into contact with either the hand-operated lever or the push button usually provided for actuating controlling means of this type after others have had their hands on it. The result is that the urinal is only infrequently flushed. Moreover, such flush controls are expensive to instal and to maintain in operative condition since they require a complete operating unit, including a complicated valve, for each individual urinal.
Foot operated flush controlling means have also proved to be unsatisfactory, although less objectionable to most people to use. One reason for the failure of the foot-operated control is that it must necessarily be placed where it is liable to be rendered inoperative by accumulations of floor dirt mixed with moisture from the urinals. These foot operated controls are-therefore, now rarely seen. This is equally true of those which were intended to be operated by the weight of the urinal user.
In some public buildings attempts have been made to overcome the disinclination of urinal users to use manually operated controls for flushing the individual urinals by providing means for periodic automatic flushing of all urinals in a bank of urinals. These systems have two faults, in that they cause a needless waste of flushing water and in that the flushing does not necessarily occur at the time when it is most needed, this being particularly true in warm weather when decomposition quickly sets in.
' A general object of the present invention is to provide semiautomatic means, which are relatively inexpensive to instal and economical in use, for controlling the flushin of urinals, particularly where a plurality of urinals are arranged side by side, and which will operate when ever any urinal is used, without any volition on the part of the user, to effect the flushing of the urinal and which will start this flushing as soon as the user comes into position in front of the urinal and before he starts actual use thereof and Will cause the flushing to continue until the user moves away from the urinal. Where the urinal is one of a plurality of urinals, as just suggested, the invention contemplates not only flushing the one that is in use but flushing all of the others at the same time to insure that occasional flushing of each urinal so necessary to prevent odor producing decomposition from continuing, if it has started for any reason in any of those that are not then in use.
An important feature of the invention is that, without volition on the part of the user of the urinal, the semiautomatic means starts the flushing thereof before the user can begin to use the urinal and thus prevents any accumulation on the urinal surfaces of any decomposable excretions.
Another important feature of the invention is the arrangement whereby the presence of a user before any one of a plurality of urinals arranged side by side will not only cause the flushing of all of the urinals but cause flushing to continue so long as any one of a plurality of users remains in position to use any one of the urinals. This insures eifective flushing, without undue use of flushing water, a result rarely, if ever, accomplished when reliance is had upon manual flushing and also not accomplished even by the water wasting periodic automatic flushing, as above pointed out.
Other advantages, important features and objects of the invention to which reference has not hereinabove specifically been made will appear hereinafter when the following description and claims are considered in connection with the accompanying drawings in which Figure 1 is a front elevation of a bank of urinals having the semiautomatic flush controlling means of the present invention associated there with;
Figure, 2 is a plan view of the structure shown in Figure 1;
Figure 3 is a wiring diagram showing the arrangement of the various elements of the semi automatic flush controlling means and the elecrical connections therebetween, and
Figure 4 is a view showing a modification of the arrangement shown in Figure 1 to permit the photoelectric cell and the source of illumination 3 for energizing said cell to be located on the same side of the bank of urinals.
4 being preferably provided with a fiow-controlling valve 8 to permit adjustment of the flow to each urinal so that uniform :distribution Dixrthe water flowing through the'manifold fi toeach urinal 2 of the bank may be obtaine'd;-" The manifold 6 is in turn connected by a pipe l!) to the water main or building supply, the flow of the water from the water ing in turn controlled by an electrically operated valve l2. I
The. valve i2'may beef any suitable commercial type of remote-controlled.valveand in its simplest: embodiment may comprise a valve stem Hi enclosed; within and constituting the movable core of a solenoid .0011 I5, thevalve beingimpelled toward-its .seat or closed ,position-v either by a spring [8 or merely by-gravityand being moved to its c penrposition by energization of the solenoid'coil |.6,, the .solenoid coilbeing so positioned in respectctovthe valve stem,.which is of ma netic material, that the action of the energized solenoid in movlng thevalvestem to itscentralized position in, theenerglzedsolenoid will effect the opening of the valve.
In the form of the inventionshown in Figures 1, 2 andr3, there is located at the right hand side of the bank of urinals,.as shown in Figures l and 2,v a photoelectric cellZll .enclosedwithin a suitable protective casing or. housing 22 having an opening on its left hand, side to admit ener izing V to the. urinal, each intake .onthe stem do willdrop and G8 to wires to and 52 from the main source of current supply and is thus constantly illuminated. One terminalor switch contact 44 of the normally open circuit through the valve con trolling solenoid I6 is connected by a wire 54 to the main wire 52 at 68 and the other terminal or switch contact 42 is connected throug h:wire 56, solenoid l6 and-wire 58 tothe other main wire 59 at 46. It will thus be seen that if the solenoid 3i;v becomes deenergized the switch 38 carried down into bridging relation to the'terminalsor contacts 42 and 44' and close the circuit through the solenoid l thus energizing saidsolenoid and opening the valve I2.
main or building supply belight to the cell 20 and, at the left hand side of the, bank of urinals, there islocated a suitable source of light for energizing the photoelectric cell such, for example, as an incandescent electric lamp 24 havingassociated therewith the usual optical accessories, such as a reflector .26 and a lens 28,. for directing a beam of light. across the space 'in-rront of the urinals uponthe photoelectric cell 20. The lamp 24. is preferably located in.a housing 30 which has the beam directing lens 28 in. the right hand side thereof and which also encloses .therelaythrough which flow of operating current'to. the valve-operating solenoid I6 is controlled.
As shown in the wiring photoelectric .cell 20. has tothetwo sides J and whichincludes a solenoid .coil ,36 for maintaining the switch member 38 of the relay switch in its open condition as shown. This relay switch may be of .any suitable commercial type and is shown in its simplest form in Figure 3 as comprising a stem 40 serving as the movable solenoid core and so related to the solenoid that when the solenoid is energized .and the. core centered therein the switch member. 38 will be held out of circuit closing relation tothecontacts or terminals 42 and. 44 of the valve. operating circuit and thus the'solenoid coil 3 of the valve l2 will remain unenergized and the valve will remain in its closed condition.
As shown in Figure 3 of the drawings, the lampid, which jurnishes the energizing light for the photoelectric cell 20, is connected at 46 its terminals connected diagram in Figure 3., the
34 of an. electric circuit 7 So long as -the beam of light of the lamp 24 impingesuponthephotoelectric cell 20 an energizing current,.-produced by the action of the light on the elements of the photoelectric cell 26, will flow through the circuit comprising the solenoid coil 36, thevvires 32, 34 and the elements of the photoelectric cell 28 andrthe. switch member 38 will be held in its circuit breaking position in the valve operating circuit. silhi's beam of light; indicated at St], is so located in front pi the bank of urinals 2 and at. suchaheight above the floor that it will be intercepted by-;any.-,-person who comes into'position. to-use any.one-oi the urinals 2. When this occurs the energizationof the photoelectric cell 28 ceases, the:current flows. ing through the circuit including thegsolenoid tfi ceases and'the switch 38 comes into-brid n relation to the terminal contacts and 44 and closes the circuit through the: solenoid lbmthus opening 'thevalve l2 andcausingflushingwater to flow through the-pipe l0, maniioldfi andeach of the intakes 4 to each ofthe urinals 2 ofithe entire bank of eight urinals Itwillbe seenthat so long as he or the user of any other-t-urinal' stands in beam-intercepting-.- position in iront of aurinal the flushing water will continue tdfiow but that as soon as the last usenmovesrback so that he no longer intercepts the, beam the tDlRDtO- electric cell '20 will'again be energized'andithe solenoid 36*wil1 lift the switch stem 4E1 andimove the switch ,38 into its open circuit relation =to--the terminals or'contacts 42 and M, thusnopening the circuit through the solenoid i 6 and permitting the valve l2 again to close, and thusshut Ofiathe flushing water. 7
In the modifiedarrangement of the, relay-else ments shown in Figure 4 of the drawingsdlooth the light source 2% and the photoelectric cell 20;,
are-located upon the sameside or the banker urinals,xthat is, upon the "left hand side as shown in Figure 4,-and the light is refiectedbackzfrom the light source to the photoelectric cell by :means of a mirror 62 located on the righthand sidevof the bank of urinals. It will beobvious thatl ani" hatlelfl'ihfi interruptions of the reflected-beam will same effect as interruption of the direct beam. What is claimed as new is 1. In semi-automatic means for controlling the flushing of urinals, the COmbiHatlOHWfi'IhlZQiiplll rality of individual urinals arranged-side by side; and means associated with eachiiefidireeting flushing water thereover and, therethroughzi of manifold connections from said: flllSllidileClliIlmeans to any suitable supply of sflushinguwater; an electrically operable valve between-saidimani fold and said flushing water supply roricontrollin the simultaneous .ilow ofwater to all oifsaid flush-directing means, a relay-controlled.ielectric circuit for opening said valve andre'lay g'overning means arranged to be actuated by -the" presence of aus-er of any one of said urinals in position to make use thereof, said relay governing means being arranged to maintain said valve in open condition to effect flushing of all of said urinals so long as the user remains in the aforementioned position and being so located as to insure such flushing flow before use of any urinal can take place.
2. Semi-automatic means for controlling the flushing of urinals according to claim 1 in which the relay governing means comprise a photoelectrio cell, an electric circuit in which said cell and relay are included and light means for energizing said cell, said cell and said light means being so arranged in relation to the row of urinals that the user of any one of said urinals must intercept the energizing light beam whenever he moves into and so long as he remains in a position where use of the urinal can be made.
i JOHN H. DERBY.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 456,073 White July 14, 1881 653,437 Burger et a1. July 10, 1900 775,719 Davidson Nov. 22, 1904 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 504,185 Great Britain Apr. 17, 1939