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Publication numberUS2813274 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 19, 1957
Filing dateNov 13, 1956
Priority dateNov 13, 1956
Publication numberUS 2813274 A, US 2813274A, US-A-2813274, US2813274 A, US2813274A
InventorsJohn R Lewis, Philemon R Dickinson
Original AssigneeJohn R Lewis, Philemon R Dickinson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic waste bowl flusher
US 2813274 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 19,1957 l J. R. I Ewls ETAL 2,813,274

AUTOMATIC WASTE BOWL FLUSHER Filed NOV. 13, 1955 2 Shee's-Sheeen.v 1

5.a l l 2.

INVENToRs JaH/v R ew/.s mvp irrdemer Nov. 19,' 1957 y J. R. I Ewls E'rAL 2,813,274

AUTOMATIC WASTE BOWL FLUSHER y Filed Nov. 13, 1956 k2 Sheets-Sheet 2 nited States 2,813,274 AUTOMATHC WASTE BOWL FLUSHER .lohn R. Lewis, White Plains, N. Y., and Philemon R. Dickinson, Cincinnati, Ohio This invention relates to an automatic electricallyoperated waste bowl flusher which is especially useful as applied to a urinal or toilet.

The manual operation of toilet ilushers is often neglected by forgetful or hurried people, both children and adults, in both public places and private homes. Some people neglect to flush a toilet out of concern regarding the cleanliness of the operating handle. Yet the prompt flushing of toilets is important to all for sanitary and aesthetic reasons. It is therefore a general object of this invention to provide an improved and fully automatic means for flushing waste bowls.

i t is another object to provide an automatic electricallyoperated toilet flusher which is relatively simple and economical to manufacture and which readily may be applied to existing water closets.

lt is a further object to provide an improved automatic electrically-operated toilet flusher which is readily adjustable in sensitivity and which is not subject to premature operation.

l t is a still further object to provide an automatic waste bowl flasher including means to prevent premature operation.`

In one aspect, the invention comprises a gearmotordriven cam mounted for cooperation with a pivoted lever and forv cooperation with a single-pole double-throw switch. This assemblage is adapted to be mounted inside the top of the reservoir chamber of a conventional toilet. A mechanical connection is made from the lever to the float valve. Two electrical terminals are provided below the water level in the toilet bowl. A series circuit including the bowl terminals, a seat-operated switch, the operating coil of a relay, and one position of the singlepole double-throw switch is connected across a source of electrical energy. When the conductivity of the solution in the bowl and the position of the seat-operated switch permits current to flow in this series circuit, the relay contacts connect the source to the gearmotor which drives the cam, which in turn lifts the lever connected to the ball valve and causes the toilet to flush. In the process of turning, the cam moves the single-pole double-throw switch to its other position in which the relay coil is deenergized and the gearmotor is energized thru the switch. The cam nally `returns to its initial position where it moves the single-pole double-throw switch to its original position wherein the gearmotor is deenergized and the system is in readiness for the next following cycle of operation. i

These and other` objects and aspects of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following more detailed description of the invention taken in conjunction withthe appended drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is an elevation, partly insection, of a water closet provided with an automatic' electrically-operated flusher constructed according to the teachings of this invention; i

Figure 2 is a section taken onthe line Z-IfZ of Fig. 'l and` fice showing the electrical terminals below the water level in the bowl of the water closet;

Figure 3 is a detail view showing a form of seat-operated switch which may be incorporated in the system of Fig. l;

Figure 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4 4 of Fig. 1 and showing the interior of the reservoir of the water closet;

Figure 5 is a schematic electrical circuit diagram of an embodiment of the invention; and

Figure 6 is a simplified circuit diagram which will be referred to in describing the operation of the invention.

Referring now in greater detail to the drawings, Fig. l shows a water closet including a water reservoir 10 and a ceramic waste bowl 11. The reservoir is in communication with the bowl by means of a pipe 12 which i-s normally closed by a ball valve 13 having a lift rod 14. The ball valve 13 may be manually lifted by a handle 15 connected thru a crank 16 and a rod 17 to the lift rod 14.

The iloat valve 13 can also be lifted by a lever 20 pivoted at one end 21 on a vertical plate 22 and connected at the otherend to the lift rod 14 by means of a chain 23. The lever Zit is lifted or pivoted about the end 21 by means of a cam 2S mounted on the vertical plate 22 and driven by a gearmotor'26 which is also mounted on the vertical plate 22. A single-pole double-throw switch 28 is mounted on the vertical plate 22 on the opposite side of the cam 25 with relation to the lever Z0. The drawings show the normal or initial position of the cam 25 wherein the cam holds the switch in its normal or initial position.

The vertical plate 22 is fastened to a horizontal plate 3i) having downwardly extending ears 31. The edges of the horizontal plate rest on the top of the reservoir 1) with the ears 31 extending down into the reservoir in such a way as to prevent lateral displacement of the horizontal plate. The horizontal plate 30 is of metal and is thin enough so that it does not interfere with the seating of the ceramic cover 33 of the reservoir 10.

A four-conductor electrical cable 35 is connected from the gearmotor 26 and switch 28 in the reservoir 10 to an electrical control box 36 which may lbe positioned on the top of the cover 33. The control box may be located within the reservoir 10 if desired. In this case, the components in the box should be constructed in such a way as to be unaffected by moisture. A lead 37 extends from the control box 36 to a terminal 38 positioned in the ceramic bowl 11 below the water line 39, as shown to advantage in Fig. 2. A second bowl terminal 40 is spaced from terminal 33 by a suitable distance such as six inches. The terminals 38 and 40 are preferably constructed of stainless steel. The terminals may be aiiixed by drilling holes in a standard bowl, or the terminals may be molded in place at the time of manufacture of the bowl.

A conductor 42 is connected from the bowll terminal 4t) to one contact of a normally-closed seat-operated switch `43. The other contact of the seat-operated switch 43 is connected by lead 47 back to the control box 36. The switch 43 is opened by the action of a protrusion 48 extending from the hinged seat 49. The switch elements are stiff enough so that the weight of the seat alone is not suflicient to open the contacts. However, the contacts are opened by the weight of a user. Fig. 3 shows a switch construction differing from that in Fig. l but having corresponding reference numerals.

An electric cord 5i) extends from the control box 36 for connection to an outlet providing the usual l1() volt alternating current supply. The other end of cord 50 is connected, as shown in Fig. 5, to the primary coii of a step-down transformer 51 located in the control box.

`The secondary coil, which may provide 25 volt alternat- Ymay be considered the terminals of a source of electrical energy.

The source terminal A is connected over lead 55 to the common contact 56 of the single-pole double-throw switch 2, from which connection is made in one position of the switch to the contact 57. The contact 57 is connected by lead 5S to one side of the operating coil 59 of a relay including normally open contacts 6%. The coil 59 is shunted by a capacitor 61 which may have a value of 5G() microfarads and which acts to prevent chatter of the contacts 6i) when fluctuating direct current is applied to the operating coil 59. The other side of the operating coil 59 is connected thru a rectifier 62, a variable resistor 63, the lead 47, the seat-operated switch 43, the lead 42, the bowl terminals 4@ and 38, and the lead 37 back to the source terminal B. The rectifier 62 may be a selenium rectifier for converting the alternating current of the source to a unidirectional current for operating the relay 59, 6). The variable resistor 63 is controlled by means of a knob 65 mounted on the outside of the control box 36 and connected to the movable shorting Contact of the variable resistor by means of a shaft 66.

The terminal A of the source is also connected over lead 68, through the normally-open relay contacts 60, and thc leads 69 and 70 to one terminal a of the gearmotor 26. The terminal a of the gearmotor is also connected to the contact 71 of the single-pole double-throw switch 2S. The other terminal b of the gearmotor is connected by lead 72 to the source terminal B.

The operation of the invention will now be described starting from the initial or normal condition wherein the mechanical and electrical elements are in the positions shown in the drawing. The Weight of a user opens the seat-operated switch 43. This prevents the annoyance that would otherwise be occasional by the premature operation of the automatic system. Waste deposited in the bowl ll increases the conductivity of the water therein to the point where a current can ow in the water between the bowl terminals 38 and 40. Current ow is possible thru the water because of the lowered resistance and also because of ionization of the solution and polarization of thc electrodes in the electrolyte formed. The ease with which current can oW through the solution results from applicants arrangement including the rectiiier which translates the alternating current of the source to a direct current for application across the bowl terminals 33 and dit.

After the user leaves the seat 49, the seat-operated switch 43 returns to its normal closed position. It is then possible for pulsating direct current to flow from the source terminal A thru the single-pole double-throw switch contacts 56, 57, the relay operating coil 59, the rectifier 62, the scat-operated switch 43, the conductive liquid between the bowl terminals 38, 4t?, and lead 37 to the source terminal B. This current, in lowing through the relay coil 59, causes the normally-open relay contacts titl to close. Alternating current is thus connected from source terminal A thru lead 68, relay contacts 60, and leads 69 and 70 to terminal a of the gearmotor 26. The terminal b of the gearmotor' is permanently connected to the source terminal B.

The gearmotor 26, being energized, begins to run and turn the cam 25. As the cam leaves the single-pole double-throw switch 2.8, the common spring contact 56 breaks connection with contact 57 and makes connection with Contact 71. it will be understood that the action tie cam 25 is purely mechanical and not electrical. cam 25 may be of insulating material, or the switch may be provided with an operating button of insulatng material which is engaged by the cam 25. When Ahe common Contact 56 moves to connect with contact l, the relay coil 59 is deenergized and the relay contacts return to their normal open-circuit position. However, alternating current continues to be supplied from the source terminal A to the gearmotor terminal a thru lead 55, switch contacts 56, 71 and leads 72 and 70.

The gearmotor 26 continues turning the cam 25 until the cam engages and raises the lever 2t). When the lever is raised, the motion is transmitted through the chain 23 and lift rod 14 to the ball valve 13. The ball valve is lifted, resulting in the flushing of the waste bowl 11. The gearmotor continues to turn the cam 25 until it engages the single-pole double-throw switch 28 and causes contacts 56 and 71 to break and contacts 56 and 57 to make. This interrupts the flow of alternating current from source terminal A thru contacts 56, 71 to the motor, and stops the gearmotor 26 and cam 25. The system is then in its initial or normal condition and is ready to repeat its cycle of operation when bowl terminals 38 and 4i) are again bridged by a conductive solution in bowl 11.

The variable resistor 63 is a sensitivity control which is operated by the knob 65. By turning knob 65 any desired degree of sensitivity may be obtained. For example, the knob may be set to automatically cause flushing when there is the slightest amount of waste in the bowl 11, or it may be set to limit operation to conditions when a greater amount of waste is present. lf the water supply contains minerals making it slightly conductive, `the sensitivity control may be set to the proper threshold so that ushing does not result in the absence of waste in the bowl. lf desired, it may be convenient to employ a toilet paper which is treated to increase the conductivity of the Water in the bowl when deposited therein.

The invention may be applied to a Water closet of the type employing a ush valve in a water line under pressure, instead of a ball valve in a reservoir. In this case, the lever 20 is connected to the flush valve rather than to the ball valve 13.

It is apparent that according to this invention there is provided an improved means for automatically flushing a water closet whenever there is waste present in the bowl.

What is claimed is:

l. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a water supply connected thru a valve to a waste bowl, comprising, motor means to operate said valve, a source of electrical energy, first and second current paths including said motor for connection across said source, a third current path for connection across said source, a relay having an actuating coil in said third path and normally open contacts connected for completing said first path, spaced electrical terminals positioned below the water level of said bowl and connected in said third path, and switch means mechanically operated by said motor and connected for successively completing said second and third paths.

2. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a Water supply connected thru a valve to a Waste bowl, comprising, motor means to operate said valve, a source of electrical energy, rst and second current paths including said motor for connection across said source, a third current path for connection across said source, a relay having an actuating coil in said third path and normally open contacts connected for completing said tirst path, spaced electrical terminals positioned below the water level of said bowl and connected 'in said third path, a variable resistor sensitivity control in said third path, and switch means mechanically operated by said motor and connected for successively completing said second and l third paths.

`third current path for connection across said source, a relay having an actuating coil in said `third path and normally open contacts connected for completing said rst path, spaced electrical terminals positioned below the water level of said bowl and connected in said third path, a normally closed seat-operated switch in said third path, and switch means mechanically operated by said motor and connected for successively completing said second and third paths.

4. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a water supply connected thru a valve to a waste bowl, comprising, motor means to operate said valve, a source of electrical energy, first and second current paths including said motor for connection across said source, a third current path for connection across said source, a relay having an actuating coil in said third path and normally open contacts connected for completing said first path, spaced electrical terminals positioned below the water level of said bowl and connected in said third path, a rectifier in said third path, and switch means mechanically operated by said motor and connected for successively completing said second and third paths.

5. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a water supply connected thru a valve to a waste bowl, comprising, motor means to operate said valve, a source of electrical energy, first and second current paths including said motor for connection across said source, a third current path for connection across said source, a relay having an actuating coil in said third path and normally open contacts connected for completing said first path, spaced electrical terminals positioned below the water level of said bowl and connected in said third path, a variable resistor and a seat-operated switch connected in series in said third path, and switch means mechanically operated by said motor and connected for successively completing said second and third paths.

6.`Means for automatically operating a water closet having a waste bowl and a water reservoir in communication thru a valve with said bowl, comprising, a mechanical operator connected to said valve, an electric motor having a shaft provided with a cam mounted to actuate said operator, two electrical terminals below the water level in said bowl, a source of electric energy, a relay having an,

`operating coil and contacts, a single-pole double-throw switch mounted to be actuated by said cam, said switch having a first position connecting said operating coil and said bowl terminals across said source, and having a second position connecting said motorL across said source, and means including said relay contacts to connect said motor across said source when the relay coil is energized.

7. Means for automatically operatinga water closet having a waste bowl and a water reservoir in communication thru a valve with said bowl, comprising, a pivoted lever arm mechanically connected with said valve, an electric motor having a shaft provided with a cam mounted to actuate said operator, two electrical terminals below the water level in said bowl, a source of electric energy, a relay having an operating coil and contacts, a singlepole double-throw switch mounted to be actuated by said cam, said switch having a first position connecting said operating coil and said bowl terminals across said source, and having a second position connecting said motor across said source, and means including said relay contacts to connect said motor across said source when the relay coil is energized.

8. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a waste bowl and a water reservoir in communication thru a valve with said bowl, comprising, a mechanical operator connected to said valve, an electric motor having a shaft provided with a cam mounted to actuate said operator, two electrical terminals below the water level in said bowl, a source of electric energy, a relay having an operating coil and contacts, a normallyclosed seat-operated switch, a single-pole double-throw switch mounted to be actuated by said cam, said switch having a first position connecting said operating coil and said bowl terminals and said seat-operated switch in series across said source, and having a second position connecting said motor across said source, and means including said relay contacts to connect said motor across said source when the relay coil is energized.

9. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a waste bowl and a water reservoir in communication thru a valve with said bowl, comprising, a mechanical operator connected to said valve, an electric motor having a shaft provided with a cam mounted to actuate said operator, two electrical terminals below the water level in said bowl, a source of electric energy, a relay having an operating coil and contacts, a normallyclosed seat-operated switch, a variable resistor, a singlepole double-throw switch mounted to be actuated by said cam, said switch having a first position connecting said operating coil and said bowl terminals and said seatoperated switch and said variable resistor in series across said source, and having a second position connecting said motor across said source, and means including said relay contacts to connect said motor across said source when the relay coil is energized.

l0. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a waste bowl and a water reservoir in communication thru a valve with said bowl, comprising, a mechanical operator connected to said valve, an electric motor having a shaft provided with a cam mounted to actuate said operator, two electrical terminals below the water level in said bowl, a source of electric energy, a relay having an operating coil and contacts, a normallyclosed seat-operated switch, a variable resistor, a rectifier, a single-pole double-throw switch mounted to be actuated by said cam, said switch having a first position connecting said operating coil and said bowl terminals and said seat-operated switch and said variable resistor and said rectifier in series across said source, and having a second position connecting said motor across said source, and means including said relay contacts to connect said motor across said source when the relay coil is energized.

1l. Means for automatically operating a water closet having a waste bowl and a water reservoir in communication thru a valve with said bowl, comprising, a mechanical operator connected to said valve, switch means, an electric motor position to successively engage said operator and said switch means when said motor is energized, a source of electric energy, two electrical terminals below the water level in said bowl, a relay coil, a rectifier, a variable resistor, and a seat-operated switch connected in series with said bowl terminals and connected thru said switch means across said source, and contacts associated with said relay coil to connect said source to said motor when said relay coil is energized, said switch means being operative to connect said source to said motor after said relay is energized.

No references cited.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3019453 *Jan 6, 1960Feb 6, 1962Radcliffe Floyd HPower lavatory flushing apparatus
US3034151 *Apr 22, 1959May 15, 1962Sloan Valve CoAutomatic flushing systems
US3121880 *Feb 24, 1959Feb 25, 1964Leonard LeclairDual control toilet flusher
US3304559 *May 21, 1964Feb 21, 1967Mere Ind IncTimer assembly for dry latrine or the like
US3334359 *Aug 30, 1965Aug 8, 1967Weingartner AdamVariable time delay valve for flush tanks
US3462768 *Aug 9, 1967Aug 26, 1969Palleon Electronics LtdFlush valve actuating device
US3590397 *Jun 20, 1969Jul 6, 1971Omron Tateisi Electronics CoAutomatic flushing device for toilet facilities
US3602922 *Dec 22, 1969Sep 7, 1971Broughton CorpAutomatic lavatory system for sewage disposal pumping unit
US4042984 *Dec 31, 1975Aug 23, 1977American Bath And Shower CorporationAutomatic bathtub water level control system
US4380835 *Apr 7, 1981Apr 26, 1983Yao Li HoElectric flush tank
US4392260 *Jul 6, 1982Jul 12, 1983Bensen Court MFlushing apparatus with selective quantity control
US4831670 *Mar 23, 1987May 23, 1989Guadalupe VelasquezAutomatic flushing apparatus for toilets
US5003643 *Nov 14, 1989Apr 2, 1991Wilson ChungFlush controller for a toilet bowl
US5228146 *Dec 26, 1991Jul 20, 1993Steve MartellFlushing device for toilet
US5313674 *Jan 6, 1993May 24, 1994Sing ChiangFor a toilet
US5400446 *Sep 27, 1993Mar 28, 1995Kohler Co.Seat cover actuated flushing mechanism for toilet
US7140050Oct 3, 2003Nov 28, 2006Technical Concepts, LlcAutomatic flushing actuator for tank style toilet
WO1993013275A1 *Dec 23, 1992Jun 27, 1993Steve MartellImproved flushing device for toilet
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/313, 4/DIG.300
International ClassificationE03D5/10
Cooperative ClassificationY10S4/03, E03D5/10
European ClassificationE03D5/10