US 2597560 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Ma 20, 1952 K. BEYRODT 2,597,560
FLUSHING DEVICE FOR TOILETS Filed May 19, 1948 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR ivrf ,Zeyraef ATTORNEYS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 19, 1948 FIG. 2
n MS m Mm m m w mn I'M W K m B May 20, 1952 K. BEYRODT FLUSHING DEVICE FOR TOILETS 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 Filed May 19, 1948 FIG.3
HI I -H R s W 5 M 2 m M May 20, 1952 K. BEYRODT FLUSHING DEVICE FOR TOILETS FIG. 8 M ',42
4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed May 19, 1948 I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I l I I I I l I 591 I L 1 I J ll.lulnlllllll. 0 v 5 M n n ll J 5: m. H a 8 7 6 0 I 4 I Iii-82 IIIi'i ATTORNEYS Patented May 20, 1952 UNITED 2 Claims.
This invention relates to power operated toilet seats and especially to automatic sterilized toilet seats of the type wherein the seat when not in use is disposed in recessed position within a cabinet, where it is subjected to ultraviolet germicidal radiation by a suitable germicidal lamp. More particularly, the present invention relates to automatic flushing of the toilet when the seat returns to the cabinet after use.
in an application Serial No. 14,003 filed March 10, 194 8, now matured into Patent Number 2,563,095 dated August 7, 1951, I have described apparatus for moving a seat automatically to and from its position in the cabinet. The present application presents a further improvement whereby the flush valve is actuated automatically by mechanism provided for that purpose. The flush valve is also manually operable without interference with the mechanism.
Since the device is operated and controlled solely through electrical circuits and spring tension, it is free from defects and disadvantages of hydraulically actuated devices which have been suggested heretofore. It is much less cumbersome and is free from leakage and other defects which are inherent in hydraulic apparatus My improved solenoid-operated toilet seat can be installed by anyone because it is only necessary to mount the cabinet and the seat on the ordinary support provided on all toilet bowls, and the solenoid control circuit can be connected to a standard electric service outlet. The seat mechanism can be operated by merely touching a push-button to initiate the lowering of the seat and thereafter the mechanism operates automatically, the seat being ultimately returned to its raised position in the cabinet where it is subjected to the ultraviolet radiation of the germicidal lamp mounted in the cabinet.
I prefer to employ a retarding device such as a dashpot mechanism for controlling the rate of movement of the toilet seat from one position to another so that there are no noisy or sharp impacts as the seat is moved from one position to another.
My improved toilet seat embodies safety features such that a person cannot possibly be hurt by the movement of the seat or the mechanism, regardless of any careless or accidental manipulation of the mechanism or of the movable toilet seat. The movement is produced by spring pressure only, and the seat can be forced up or down manually without any danger of injuring the mechanism in any way. It is not necessary to provide any hydraulic connections for operating the mechanism as is the case with hydraulically operated toilet seats, and these expensive complications are thus avoided, and longlife is assured because the corroding efiect of leaky water lines frequently encountered with hydraulic devices is avoided.
In general, my improved toilet seat mechanism comprises a push-button-controlled solenoid for moving the toilet seat in one direction and simultaneously pressing the spring which provides the necessary power for returning the toilet seat to its initial position. Thus, in the preierred embodiment of my invention I employ a solenoid connected to a pivoted seat support through a resilient spring connection or the like, whereby operation of a push-button to energize the sole noid lowers the seat automatically to a'convenient intermediate position about two inches above the toilet bowl. The seat is automatically latched in this position, and the push-button circuit automatically disconnected while the seat is in this latched position. The solenoid is also deenergized when the seat is in the lowered position. When the seat is pressed down to a position 7 substantially horizontal, the latch mechanism is released so as to permit free movement of the seat to its extreme raised position when the seat is released. The seat is held in its latched in;- termediate position by a spring bar oarried by the pivoted u o r t e t ilet seat s h t if the seat is forced upwardly from this position, the spring a is de cted t el ase. the eat without any possible injury to the mechanism It i h Object of the inven ion o Provide a compact, sightly and relatively ine rpensi s ape paratus adapted to accomplish the purpose, and particularly he u omati flushin 9f the tqils after use.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent as it is better understood by reference to the following specification and the accompanying drawing, in which Fig. 1 is an elevation illustrating a toilet bowl with the mechanism secured thereto;
Fi 2 is n elevation of. th at-o rat n mechanism, sterilizing cabinet andthe toilet seat in raised position, parts being broken away to show details of construction;
3 is a e o n h l he 3-3 a 13 8- .2; h 4 is a ca sti n h th line 5- of. Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is a vertical section on the line 5 of Fig. 2;
Fig. 6 is a sectional view illustrating the meeh: anism for actuating the flush valve;
Fig. 7 is a section on the line of Fig. 6; and
Fig. 8 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the electrical circuits.
Referring to the drawing, 5 indicates a toilet bowl of ordinary construction having the usual bolt holes at the rear thereof to receive clamping bolts 6. The heads of the bolts 6 are carried in bayonet slots formed in bearing brackets l, on the bottom 8 of the toilet seat cabinet 9. Thus the cabinet 9 can be secured readily to the toilet seat 5, precisely as toilet seats are normally secured to the toilet bowl.
A shaft I is mounted in bearings II carried by the brackets I to form a pivoted support for the toilet seat. The brackets I may be welded or otherwise permanently afllxed to the bottom 8 of the cabinet 9. The shaft I 6 carries a bell crank I2 which is connected to a push rod I3 which extends through the cabinet 9. The push rod I3 is telescoped within a tube I4 which extends upwardly and is connected to the armature I of a solenoid 16 mounted within the upper end of the cabinet 9. The push rod carries a pair of metal discs I1 and I8. A coil spring I9 engages the discs I1 and I8. The latter are loosely mounted on the push rod I3, and pins 20 and 2 I, mounted in the push rod I3, limit the movement of these discs toward the extremities of the push rod. The tube I4 enclosing the larger portion of the push rod I3 is provided with inwardly bent projections 22 and 23, engaging the discs I1 and I8. The shaft I0 carries a second bell crank 24 connected to a piston rod 25 of a dashpot 26 pivoted to the cabinet 9 at 21. The dashpot retards the movement of the seat 28, which is secured to the shaft I I] as the seat moves in either direction. A seat-raising spring 29 is connected at one end to a bracket 30 secured to the cabinet 9 and, at its other end, to'a bell crank 3| on the shaft III. The spring 29 is tensioned as the seat 28 moves downwardly for co-operation with the bowl 5.
The arrangement of the parts described is such that when the solenoid I6 is energized, the armature I5 thereof is drawn upwardly immediately to raise the tube I4 containing the spring I9. The push rod I3 is not moved as rapidly as the tube I4, because its movement is restrained by the dashpot 26. The relative displacement of the tube I4 and the push rod I3, which thus occurs when the solenoid is energized, serves to compress the spring IS, and this spring then raises the push rod I3 slowly under the control of the dashpot 26 to lower the toilet seat 28 and to apply tension to the spring 29. This slow movement of the toilet seat, caused by the action of the coil spring I9, continues until the seat reaches the intermediate lowered position in which it is latched by mechanism provided for that purpose.
The details of the latch mechanism form no part of the present invention but comprise a pair of complementary latch plates 32 and 33, each pivoted on a bracket 34 secured to the cabinet 9. A spring 35 tends to move the plate 32 forward and downward. A spring bar 36 is carried by the shaft I0. When the solenoid I5 is energized, to lower the seat 28, the spring bar 36 is raised as the seat is lowered and the rounded end thereof engages the lower surface of the latch plate 33. The movement of the spring bar 36 continues, and it engages a notch in the lower edge of the latch plate 32. In this manner, the seat 28 is held in the intermediate position, slightly raised above the bowl 5. With the parts in the position indicated, the seat cannot return to its vertical position automatically, even though the solenoid is then de-energized, because the seat is latched in its position by the spring bar 36.
When the seat is pressed down from this intermediate position, however, the spring bar 36 releases the latch plate and the seat is free to be raised to its original position by the action of the spring 29 when the seat is released. It is sufiicient for the purpose of the present invention to understand that when the seat 28 is moved by the action of the solenoid I6 to the intermediate position, it remains there until it is further depressed and then released, whereupon the seat returns to its position in the cabinet.
The bar 36 is made in the form of a flexible spring member so as to make it possible to force the seat 28 upward from the intermediate position without injury to the mechanism, it being understood that when the seat is thus forced upward from its position the spring bar 36 snaps out of engagement with the retaining notch and returns to its initial position as shown in Fig. 2.
The cabinet 9 contains a sterilizing lamp 31 which is mounted in brackets 38. The electric circuit for supplying current to the sterilizing lamp and to the solenoid I6 is illustrated in Fig. 8. An ordinary plug connector 39 is employed for connecting the electric circuit to an ordinary service outlet. A push-button 46 is mounted at some convenient location on the cabinet 9 and, by pressing this push-button, the coil 4| of the solenoid I6 is energized. The circuit is as follows: push-button 46, wires 42 and 43, solenoid coil 4|, and wires 44 and 45 leading to the supply plug 39. The other side of the supply line is connected to the push-button 46 through wires 46, terminal block 41, wire 48. switch contacts 49, wire 50, switch contacts 5| and wire 52.
When the seat 28 is in its vertical position as illustrated in Fig. 2, for example, the contacts 5| are held closed by a bar 53 secured to the shaft I D. The contacts 49 are normally closed contacts and accordingly when the seat is in vertical or raised position the closing of the circuit at the push-button 46 serves to energize the solenoid coil 4| and to initiate the movement of the seat downward from its raised position. As soon as the solenoid coil 4| is energized and raises the armature I5, a projection 54 at the top thereof closes switch contacts connected in series with a resistance element 56 to form a holding circuit in parallel with the push-button 49 and in series with the contacts 49, which open when the seat reaches the intermediate position because the contact bar 53 does not engage the contacts. The circuit will then remain closed through contacts 55 when the push-button is released, and the solenoid coil 4| will remain energized until the seat is lowered to the intermediate position, at which time the switch-actuating bar 53, carried by the pivoted seat support, engages the switch-actuating member 51 to open the switch contacts 49, thus deenergizing the solenoid coil 4| and openin the contacts 55. When the seat is released from its horizontal position and returns toward its vertical position, the contacts 49 close to prepare the holding circuit, and the contacts 5| are closed by the action of the bar 53 when the seat approaches its vertical postiion.
The switch block 58 for holding the circuit contacts 55 and the series resistor 56 which reduces the supply of current to the solenoid coil 4| after the push-button circuit is opened, may also include a thermal overload cutout to prevent any damage from over-heating in the control circuit.
Thus the support for one of the contacts 55 may be in the form of a bimetallic strip heated by the resistance element 56 so that if the solenoid coil 5| accidentally remains energized for any considerable period of time, this contact support will be deflected to open the contacts 55.
The sterilizing lamp 37 is connected to the supply of current through wires 45 and 59, a lamp ballast 60, wire 6|, terminal block 41, wire 82 to lamp terminals 63 and 64 and then wire 65, lamp starter 66, wire 67, lamp terminals 69 and 68, wire 70, switch contacts 7|, wire 72, terminal block 47 and wire 46. The contacts H open when the seat starts to move downward, at which time the switch-actuating arm 53 swings upward. The contacts 7| separate, breaking the lamp circuit so that the lamp is energized only when the seat is in the raised position in the cabinet.
Behind the cabinet 8, a housing 75 is supported adjacent the flush valve, which may be of ordinary construction and forms no part of the present invention. Any flush valve of the type ordinarily used in the water line to flush the bowl 5 may be utilized.
The stem 76 of the flush valve extends into the casing and is connected to a rod 77. Surrounding the rod is a coil spring 78 which is sufilciently still to impart movement to the rod 77 when operated manually through the projecting portion 79 of the spring to which a knob 80 may be secured. Thus the flush valve may be operated manually by depressing a portion 79 which projects through an opening in the casing 75. Within the casing 75, a solenoid BI is supported. The armature 82 of the solenoid is connected by a spring 83 to a washer 84. The washer 84 has an internal diameter equal to the outside diameter of the spring I8. In applying the washer, it is slipped over the spring, the convolutions of which are separated at a point near the end of the rod 17. The washer passes between the convolutions of the spring 78, engages the rod 77, and a keeper 85 is slipped into place to hold the washer firmly against the rod 77 so that it cannot slip from the rod and ride onto the spring 78. When the solenoid 8! is energized, the armature 82 is drawn downwardly and, through the spring 83 and the washer 84, the rod 77 is actuated and in turn operates the flush valve.
In order to energize the solenoid 81, a spring bar 86 is secured to the shaft l8. When the seat moves downwardly, the spring bar 86 is brought to the position indicated in full lines in Fig. 4, against an adjustable stop 87. When the seat moves upwardly, the spring bar 86 moves to the position indicated in dotted lines in Fig. 4, and, in doing so, it trips a cam member 88 pivoted at 89 and moves the contacts 90 into en agement. This closes the circuit to the solenoid 8| to effect actuation of the valve.
While momentary closure of the circuit is ordinarily suflicient, I may provide for a holding of the circuit in closed position by means of a latch 9| which catches and holds the member 92, thus keeping the contacts 90 closed. A heating element 83 is included in parallel to the circuit, and the latch 91 is made of bimetal so that the heating efiect will, after an interval, cause the latch 9| to move away from the member 82, thus releasing the contacts 90 and opening the circuit to the solenoid 8|.
Referring to Fig. 8, the solenoid 8| is connected through wire 94 to block 95 and thence by a wire 96 to contacts 90. From contacts 90, a wire 97 is connected to block 4! and thence to the source 6 of current. The other side of the circuit consists of Wire 98 to the block 95, thence through wire 99, wire I02, block 47, wire 45 to the source of supply. The heater 93 is connected on the far side of contacts through wires 10! and 103.
It will be understood from the foregoing that the flush valve is not affected by the downward movement of the seat 28 because the bar 88 passes the cam member 88 without closing the contacts 90. Upon the reverse movement of the seat, the bar 86 actuates the cam member 88 to move the contacts 30 into engagement. Thus, whenever the seat rises and returns to the cabinet 9, the flush valve is actuated positively and automatically.
Various changes may be made in the details of construction as described without departing from the invention or sacrificing the advantages thereof.
1. In an automatic flush device for toilet bowls, a seat adapted to co-operate with the bowl, a shaft supporting the seat, a spring for moving the seat upwardly from substantially horizontal position, a contact device, a bar carried by the shaft for actuating the contact device upon such movement to close an electric circuit, a solenoid energized by the current in the circuit, a flush valve, and a connection between the flush valve and the solenoid whereby the valve is actuated, including a rod connected to the flush valve, a coiled spring surrounding and extending beyond the rod and forming a manually operable handle, a washer disposed between the coils of the spring and engaging the rod and a spring connected to the washer and to the solenoid.
2. In an automatically operable toilet seat of the type in which the seat is moved to and from co-operating position with a toilet bowl by power means and exposed to ultraviolet germicidal radiation in its raised position, the improvement consisting of a flush valve and means controlled by the upward, movement of the seat to actuate the flush valve, including contact means adapted to close an electric circuit, a bar, moving with the seat to actuate the contact means when the seat is raised, a solenoid energized by electric current when the contact means is actuated, and a connection between the solenoid and the flush valve, including a rod connected to the flush valve, a coiled spring surrounding and extending beyond the rod and forming a manually operable handle, a washer disposed between the coils of the spring, a keeper engaging the washer and holding it in position, and a spring connected to the washer and to the solenoid.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,337,730 Sloan Apr. 20, 1920 1,435,067 Hurst Nov. 7, 1922 1,875,983 Bourdet Sept. 6, 1932 1,975,214 Schwibinger Oct. 2, 1934 2,157,664 Hansen May 9, 1939 2,283,678 Landis May 19, 1942 2,300,904 Beyrodt Nov. 3, 1942 2,300,936 Krenzer Nov. 3, 1942 2,320,065 Briscoe et a1 May 25, 1943 2,440,231 Davidson Apr. 20, 1948