US 3034151 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 15, 1962 J. J. FILLIUNG 3,034,151
AUTOMATIC FLUSHING SYSTEMS Filed April 22. 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 3 INVENTOR.
JAaouEs J. FILL/0N6 PARKER 8 CARTER A TTOR/VEYS.
rates Uite The present invention is concerned with plumbing systems, but more particularly to a system for automatically controlling the operation of flush valves for plumbing fixtures, and the principal object of the invention is to provide a new and novel system and arrangement for electrically operating urinal flush valves in a toilet room.
Another object is to provide an electrical system for automatically operating flush valves for urinals in which the user initiates the operation of the flushing equipment.
A further object is to design a new and improved system for operating flush valves on urinal fixtures in which the flush valves are automatically operated a predetermined time interval after a user has finished using the fixture.
Another object is to provide a novel flushing arrangement in which the user of the equipment starts the operation of the flushing equipment by momentarily stepping on a floor switch and flushing occurs only after he has used the fixture.
Another object is to provide a new and improved flushing arrangement in which the flushing equipment is started by the user standing on a floor switch and flushing occurs only after he steps oil the floor switch after using the fixture.
A further object is to provide a new and improved flushing arrangement for a battery of urinals in which the flushing equipment is started by the user momentarily stepping on a floor switch at one of the fixtures and the remaining fixtures are all flushed in sequence a predetermined time afterwards.
A still further object is to provide a new and improved electrical selective flushing system and circuit arrangement for a battery of urinal fixtures in which only the fixture being used in the battery is flushed.
Another object is to provide a novel flushing arrangement for a battery of fixtures in which the equipment is started by a user of one of the fixtures standing on a fioor switch at any of the fixtures and only the fixture being used will be flushed a predetermined time after use".
In many plumbing installations, it is customary to provide flush valves on urinal fixtures with operating handles which a person must manually operate to flush the fixture. Many persons, however, for hygienic reasons, are reluctant to touch the flush valve handle, or neglect to' do so, and as a result the urinal becomes fouled and obnoxious, thereby creating a health hazard. It is therefore desirable that some means be provided for actuating the flush valves either automatically or by some other means such as the users foot. In automatic flushing, water is wasted because the fixtures are flushed periodically even though they are not used for long periods or are only used inter mittently. Manually operated floor flushing valves have also been used but these are expensive and difi'icult to service, as well as subject to vandalism.
The foregoing and other advantages have all been overcome with the present invention by an electricalflushing arrangement in which the manually operated handle on the flush valve is replaced by an electrically operated device which is operated by a foot operated electric switch located on the floor adjacent the urinalfixture and actuated by the user. 7
Sinceit is not desirable or practical to actuate the flush valve immediately upon a user approaching the urinal fixture or during its use, but only after he has finished atent 3,034,151 Patented May 1 5, 1962 2 using the same, the invention contemplates the use of a timing device interconnected between the foot switch and the electrical device to cause the flush Valve operation to be delayed for a predetermined time.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, the in* vention consists in certain novel features of construction and arrangement of parts and circuit connections which will be hereinafter more fully described, claimed and illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which:
PEG. 1 is a diagrammatic view showing a urinal fixture and flush valve together with a foot switch for directly actuating the fiushvalve.
FIG. 2 is a further diagrammatic View showing details of the floor switch, electrical device and flush valve, as well as circuit connections;
FIG. 3 is a schematic circuit arrangement for operating a urinal fixture, the equipment being operated by a momentary actuation of the foot switch and having a timing device to delay operation until the user is finished using the fixture; 7
PEG. 4 is another schematic circuit arrangement in which similar equipment causes a flushing action to take place after the user steps off of the foot switch.
FIG. 5 shows a schematic circuit arrangement for a battery of urinals wherein the equipment causes a sequential delayed flushing action of all urinals Whenever a user of one of them momentarily steps on the foot switch; while FIG. 6 is another schematic cir'cuit arrangement for a battery of urinal fixtures wherein only the urinal being used will be flushed while the user stands on the floor switch. I I
Referring more specifically to FIG 1 of the drawings,- there is illustrated a common plumbing fixture 5 shown as a stall urinal. This urinal is provided with a flush valve 6 of any well known type such as Sloan Crown Flush Valve for flushing the urinal. The flush valve 6 has the usual throttle valve 7 for throttling the inlet supply of water to the flush valve, while the outlet 8 leads directly into the urinal 5 for flushing. the same whenever the flush valve is operated. For the purpose of actuating the flush valve 6, there is provided an electrical device 9, preferably in the form of a small fractional horse power motor, such as is disclosed in Patent 2,552",- 625, issued May 15 1951, to applicant.
For actuating the electrical device 9 there isprovided a floor button assembly indicated generally at 10, which may be positioned in the floor in close proximity to the front of urinal 5 where it would be readily accessible to the foot of a person using the urinal The floor button assembly 10 is electrically connected by an imbedded conduit 11 to a suitable junction box 12,. where a similar conduit connects it with. the electrical device 9 and the conduit carrying the electrical power supply 20" for the equipment. H
The foregoing, illustrates an example of an electrically operated plumbing. fixtureaccording to the inventionand by referring. to FIG. 2, it is seen that additional details of the equipment and its operation are illustrated. The motor operator 9 is suitably supported directly upon the flush valve 6,. and the alternating current from the electric supply lines 13 and 14 passes through the coil windings 15 so that upon energizing the motor 9', gear train 16 is rotated, as well as the cam element 17 mounted on the final shaft of the gear train. Rotation of the cam 17 results in the forward movement of the actuating plunger 18, which in turn causes tilting of the stem 19 of the pilot operated relief valve provided in the flush valve 6. This results in the hydraulic actuation of the hush valve to provide a metered quantity of water to the urinal in the well-known manner.
For actuating theelectric device or motor 9, there is at 10. In one of its forms, this foot button assembly is provided with a button 21 adapted to be stepped on by the user of the urinal and which is mounted within a suitable waterproof casing 22 imbedded in the floor. The button 21 has a plunger 23 on its bottom end and a spring 24 for button 21 for'r'estoring the same after it has been actuated. The plunger 23 when actuated, is adapted to close a pair of leaf spring contacts 25 suitably mounted the casing 22, which contacts 25- upon closure, are adapted to connect the AC. supply lines 13 and 14 in series with the winding 15 of the motor operator 9 to operate the same. As longas button 21 is depressed and contacts 25 are closed, the motor operator 9 will rotate its gear train 16 to cause cam 17 to trip the flush valve intermittently. In the ordinary operation, as described in the aforesaid Patent 2,552,625, this occurs within five seconds after the button 21 has been stepped persons left foot, between his two feet as indicated at,
26, or to the right of the right foot as indicated at 27. The position should be chosen, so that the person upon approaching and using the urinal will not ordinarily first steplupon the button 21 because it is desirable that the flush valve should not be actuated and the urinal not be flushed during thetime that the urinal is being used, but only after the person is through using the same.
The floor button assembly 10 is also preferably located in a position where it is readily accessible and will be noticed by the user, so that flushing cannot be inadvertently overlook, unless done so deliberately. It is a simple matter to step on the floor'button for just a few seconds to cause actuation of the flush valve and this insures that. the plumbing fixture will always be flushed properly and maintained in a sanitary condition. 7 A
amount of equipment is also employed to provide this desirable operation.
The button 21 is stepped on by the user and held down until he actually hears or sees the flush valve 6, flush the fixture 5'; A momentary depression of the button 21 will not be suflicient to actuate the motor operator 9,
but the button must be stepped on for at least five seconds to cause actuation of the flush valve. Users will quickly become accustomed to this time delay.
Referring now particularly to the circuit arrangement shown in FIG. 3, this illustrates the foot button assembly :10 diagrammatically, and in addition, an electrical timing V a'suitable gear train controlled by the motor 31. Cam
33 is adapted, when rotated, to close a pair of contacts 34, which are closed 'for approximately five seconds by leaf windingt31 is thereby energized and causes rotation of the earns 32' and 3-3. The lobe 45 of cam' 32 as a result, disengages from leaf spring 46, causing the closure of contacts 35. This establishes a circuit independent of the foot switch contacts 25 from line 36, contacts 35, motor winding 31 to the other side of the line 37. The motor 31 will continue to rotate cams 32 and 33 as long as contacts 35 are closed. The gear train of the timer is preferably arranged so that the cams 32 and 33 will rotate for a period of five minutes, when the lobe again causes leaf spring 46 to open the contacts 35, thereby stopping the operation of the motor and the timer.
The cam 33 is adjustably arranged on a shaft 45 and in a position so that its lobe 48 will encounter spring 47 and close contacts 34 approximately one-half minute prior to the time cam 32 opens contacts 35, that is, at a time period close to the end of the five minute operation of the timer. When contacts 34-are closed, a circuit is established over line conductor 36, contacts 34, conductor 38, winding 15 of motor operator 9, back over conductor 37 to the other side of the supply line. The lobe 48 of cam 33 maintains the contacts 34 closed for approximately five seconds, enabling the motor opspring 47 when the lobe 48 on cam 33 engages spring 47.
Cam 32 is adapted 'to close contacts 35 whenever the lobe 45 on cam 32 drops oif of leaf spring 46, the tension stored in leaf spring 46 enabling contacts 35 to close. Alternating current supply lines 36 and 37 connect with the timer in thecircuit arrangement.
' In the operation of this circuit arrangement, the user of the urinal 5 momentarily steps on the foot'switch button 21' to close contacts 25 for a short interval. This action closes an initial starting circuit for the timer 30 over Ia circuit connection including line conductor 36, contacts 25, connection 39, winding of timer motor 31 and back to the otherside of the line 37. The motor erator 9 to rotate the cam 17 for one complete revolution to cause a tripping of the relief valve 19 of the flush valve 6. As a result, the flush valve 6 is operated to the urinal 5.
From the foregoing, it will be apparent that the user of the urinal 5 should step on the floor button 21 only after he has used the urinal. The timer is then actuated by this momentary closure of contacts 25 to complete a full five minute. timing cycle and then cut itself 01f. Prior to the stoppage of the timer by itself, the motor operator 9 is actuated to trip the flush valve 6. This delayed flushing action is preferable because the flushing action is not desirable before or during the use of the urinal but step upon it immediately or during the use of the urinal.
. Referring now specifically to FIG. 4, this shows a circuit arrangement which is somewhat similar to that of FIG. 1, in that it uses the same timer 30, but in addition, is provided with a foot button assembly 101 having an additional pair of contacts 41 which are normally closed. In this example of the'invention, the user approaches the urinal 5 and deliberately stands upon the button 21 because it is located in such a position in front of the urinal that he can hardly fail to do so. This action opens the contacts 41 and closes contacts 25 to start the timer motor 31.. Again, as in FIG. 3, the cam 32 establishes a homingcircuit for the motor 31 over a connection including contacts 25 and 35. Near the end of the five minute period of the timer operation, contacts 34 are actuated without effect, however, unless contacts 41 of the switch 10 are closed.
In the ordinary course of the use of the urinal, it has been observed that the users very seldom occupy the urinal 5 for periods longer than approximately four minutes. However, if the user continues to stand on the floor buttonrzl longer than five minutes, no flushing action can occur because the energizing circuit for the motor 9 is open at contacts 41. Should the person occupy the space longer than five'rninutes the timer 30 will again its five minute operating cycle, and it is assumed that during this second five minute period, the person using the urinal will have stepped away from it and the floor button 21, so that the contacts 41 are now closed. This enables the timer contacts 34 to establish a circuit connection over line 36, contacts 34, connection 40, contacts 41, connection 4 2, motor operator 9 and back to the other side of the line 37, causing operation of motor 9 and the tripping of flush valve *6 to flush the It will be seen, therefore, that the flushing action is delayed in this particular modification until such time as the user has finished using the urinal and has also stepped off of the floor button assembly 101.-
Referriug now to the modification of the invention illustrated in FIG. 5, this is an arrangement in which a battery or row of urinals 5, and 5 are all located in a toilet room and the object is to provide the sequential flushing of each one of the urinals after any one of them has been used. The timing device 369 is similar to that illustrated in FIG. 3, but in addition is provided with extra cams 513, 51 and 52 arranged on the cam shaft 49. Cam 50 has a pair of contacts 53 adapted to be closed to complete a circuit over conductor 56 to operate the motor operator 9 of the first urinal 5. Cam 51 has a pair of contacts 54-, which upon closure establish a circuit over conductor 57 to the second motor operator 9 to flush the urinal 5. Cam 52 has a pair of contacts 55 adapted to close a circuit over connection 58 to motor operator 9 The return circuit for the motor operators takes place over common conductor 37 to the other side of the alternating supply line.
Assume that in this operation after the user has used the first urinal 5, he then momentarily steps on the floor "button assembly .19 and closes contacts 25. As before, this establishes a starting circuit over lines 36 and 3h for the timer motor 31, which rotates its cam 32 to close the homing contacts 35, so the timer motor 31 operates independent of the closure of contacts 25. Near the end of the five minute period of the timer operation, and when it is assumed the user is through using the urinal, the cams 5t), 51 and 52 close the contacts 53, 54 and 55 in timed sequence. The lobes of the cams are arranged on the timer cam shaft 49 so that they are staggered, and contacts 53 therefore close first, contacts 54 second and contacts 55 third. As a result, the urinals 5, '5 and 5 are flushed in sequenm, whenever any one of their associated foot button assemblies 10 is momentarily stepped on by a user. The purpose of providing sequential flushing is so that ina battery of urinals, the size of the water supply piping furnished need only be suflicient to satisfactorily flush one of the urinals at a time, as it would not'be practical to flush the whole battery simultaneously,
It is also desirable in this instance to flush the other urinals in the battery although only one of them has been used, because during long periods of disuse, the urinals may become dry and therefore odorous. It is to be noted that it requires only a momentary stepping errand closure of any one of the foot switches of assemblies 10, 10' or 10 to actuate all. of the flushing equipment.
Referring now particularly to the modification of the invention shown in FIG. 6, this illustrates a large battery of urinals 5 to 5 inclusive, in which only the urinal used will be flushed, while the others remain dormant The timer 3t) provided in this modification is essentially the same as that illustrated and described in. connection with PEG. 3. The foot button assembly 110, however, has. an additional set of contacts 60. In the operation of this selective flushing arrangement, the user of the urinal will stand on the fioor button 21 as long as he is using the urinal and cause the closure of both sets of contacts 25 and 50.
As before, any one of the contacts 25 initiates the operation of the timer motor 31 whose cam 32 closes the homing contacts. 35 to continue the operation of the timer for a period of live minutes. Some time prior to the end of the five minute period, the contacts 34 are closed by cam 33 establishing an operating circuit for the motor operator 9 over line conductor 36, contacts 34, conductor 61, contacts 60, conductor 62, through the winding of the motor operator 9, and back over the line conductor 37 to the source of supply current. The motor operator 9 is caused to operate and actuate the flush valve 6 to flush the fixture provided the user is still standing on the floor button 21 to hold contacts 60 closed. None of the other urinals in the battery are flushed because their associated contacts 60 are each open at this time to prevent the operation of the associated motor operators 9. In this particular instance, also the lobe 48 on cam 33 is adjusted to operate the contacts 34 closer to the calculated time when it is assumed that the user of the urinal has finished using the same. This will preferably be some time prior to when he will have stepped ofi of the button 21. The cams 33 on all of the timers 30 are readily adjusted on the driving shaft 49, so that they can have their lobes 48 positioned to close the contacts 34 at any particular time desired, consistent with the type of operation of the equipment desired.
In the modification of the invention of FIG. 6, it will be observed that only the urinal being used is flushed and none of the others. In a large battery of urinals, it will be apparent that anumber of persons could simultaneously use individual urinals, and in this instance, as long as a person is standing on the associated floor button, the urinal being used will automatically flush some time prior to his stepping away from. the urinal. The timing of the timing device, as well as the anticipated use of the urinals, are so correlated and chosen that a flushing action occurs approximately at the correct interval after the anticipatedlength of use of the urinal by the individual using the same.
Reviewing the various modifications, it will be seen that in FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 when the user of the urinal is finished, he steps on the floor button until he sees the urinal being flushed. In FIG. 3 the floor button is stepped on momentarily after the urinal is used and a flushing action takes place a timed interval afterwards. In- FIG. 4 the user stands on the floor button during. use of the urinal and when he steps off, the flushing. action occurs a timed interval. afterward. FIG. 5 is similar to FIG. 3 in that the floor button is momentarily stepped on, but the battery of urinals are flushed in sequence a timed interval afterwards. in FIG. 6 the user stands on the floor button until he is finished when only the particular urinal he has used in the battery, is flushed a timed interval afterward.
While a number of modifications of the invention are illustrated and described, it will be appreciated that other variations of the same may be made by those skilledin the art, and it is therefore desired that the invention be not limited to the precise disclosure, but only by the" scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In an automatic flushing system for flushing a plumbing fixture, a flush valve on said fixture adapted to-contr'ol the flow of water into said fixture, an electrical device on, said flush valve for initiating the operation of said flush valve, an electric foot switch accessible operation by the user stepping upon the same as long as he is using the plumbing fixture, and a timing device adapted tobe starfed into operation by closure of said electric foot switch, said timing device arranged to continue' to operate after being started, for a predetermined time interval and then to stop itself, switch means in said timing device cooperating with said electric foot switch when stepped upon for causing operation of said electrical device to operate said flush valve to flush sa'id plumbing fixture, said timing device switch means being so timed for operation after said timing device is started, that said flush valve flushes said plumbing fixture after the user has stepped upon said electric foot switch and after he has used the fixture.-
2. In an automatic flushing system for a plumbing iixture, a flushvalve for flushing said fixture, an electrical said flush valve, a timing device for causing the operation of said electrical device, an electrical foot switch adjacent the fixture adapted to be closed by a user of the fixture stepping upon the same for the duration of the use of the fixture by the user, electrical circuit connections'between said electrical foot switch and said timing device whereby the operation of said timing device is initiated by the closure of said electrical foot switch, means in said timing device for continuing the operation of the same independent of the operation of said electrical foot switch, circuit connections between said electrical device, said foot switch and said timing device, means in said timing device for operating said electrical device over said circuit connections including said 'foot switch after a time interval coinciding with the average user having finished using the fixture, and means in said timing device for stopping the operation of the same after a predetermined time interval, said timing device being arranged to stop itself only after said flush valve has been operated and said user has stepped oti of said electrical foot switch, and means in said timing device for variably adjusting the'time of operation of said electrical device to coincide with any approximate time required for an average user to finish using the fixture.
. 3. In an automatic flushing system forfiushing a battery of plumbing fixtures, a flush valve on each fixture for flushing the same, an electrical operator on each flush valve for causing the operation of the same, a common timing device for controlling the operation of all said electrical operators, means in said timing device for stopping the operation of said timing device, a foot switch located adjacent each of said fixtures and adapted to be stepped upon by the user of the fixture, means in any one of said foot switches for starting the operation of said timing device when the user'of any fixture steps upon the associated foot switch, additional means in said foot switches when stepped upon for connecting only the associated electrical operator with said timing device to the exclusion of all other electrical operators, and means in said timing device for delaying the operation of the associated electrical operator until a time interval after said timing device has been started.
4. In an automatic flushing system for flushing a bat- ,tery of plumbing fixtures, a flush valve on each fixture for flushing the same,'an electric operator on each flush valve for operating the same, a timing device common to all of said electric operators for controlling the same, a foot switch located adjacent each of said plumbing fixtures and adapted to be actuated by a user stepping 8 V in said timing device for preparing an operating circuit for all of said motor operators, and a second set of electrical contacts in each foot switch for closing an operating circuit only-for the associated electric operator through said prepared timing device circuit, to the exclusion of all the remaining electric operators, whereby only the fixture being used will be. flushed.
6. In an automatic flushing'system for selectively flushing any one of a battery of plumbing fixtures, an individual electrical device on each plumbing fixture for causing flushing of the same, an electrical timing device common to all of said electrical devices, an individual foot operated switch adjacent each plumbing fixture having a first and a second set of electrical contacts both of which are closed by a person stepping upon said foot switch, electrical circuit connections including a power source interconnecting all of said electrical devices and all of said toot operated switches with said common timing device, said first set of contacts in each foot-switch being effective to close a common circuit for starting the operation of said timing device, means in said timing device for continuing the operation of said timing device for a' predetermined periodof time and then stopping itself independent of said first set of electrical contacts,
upon'the same, electrical circuit connections including 7 a power source interconnecting all of said electric operators, said foot switches and said timingdevice, means in each foot switch when actuated for closing a starting '65 circuit for said timing device, means in said timing device for continuing its operation for a predetermined time interval independent'of said foot switch, means insaid timing device for preparing an operating circuit for all ofthe electric operators in the battery, andtother means a in each foot switch when actuated for closing the operating circuit for the associated electric operator through said preparedcircuit'in said timing device to the exclusion of all other electric operators.
5. In an automaticflushing system for selectively flushing any one of a battery of plumbing fixtures, a flush valve on each fixture for -flushing the, same, an electric operator for each flush valve for operating the same, a
timing device common to all of said electric operators for controlling the same, a foot switch adjacent each of said plumbing fixtures adapted to be actuated by a user stepping upon the same, electrical circuit connections including va power source interconnecting all of said electric operators, said foot switches and said timing device, a first set of electrical contacts in each foot switch for closing a starting circuit for said timing device, means said second set of electrical contacts being effective to prepare an operating circuit for only the individual electrical'device associated withthe foot switch which is stepped upon, and means in said timing device prior to reaching its stopping position for completing the operating circuit through said second set of electrical contacts to said electrical device to cause the selected plumbing fixture to be flushed to the exclusion of all others in the battery.
7. In an automatic flushing system for a battery of plumbingtfixtures, electrical controlled means on each plumbing fixture for flushing the same, a foot switch at each plumbing fixture for controlling the associated electrical flushing means, timing means common to all of said plumbing fixtures for also controlling the operation of all of said flushing means, means in all of said foot switches for simultaneously initiating the operation of said timing means and preparing the operating circuit of only the associated electrical flushing means, and means in each of said foot switches for causing only the associated electrical flushing means to be operated over said prepared operating circuit by said timing means to the exclusion of all others after said timing means hasoperated for a predetermined time. 8. In ,an automatic fiushingsystem for a battery'o plumbing fixtures, electrical operated means on each plumbing fixture for flushing the same, a foot switch at each plumbing fixture connected to the electrical operated flushing means, timing means common to all of said plumbing fixtures and connected to said foot switch,
means in any of said foot switches when stepped upon for simultaneously initiating the operation of said timing means and preparing the operating circuit of only the associatedelectrical operating means, and means in each of said foot switches when stepped upon for connectingsaid timing means to said electrical operated means through said prepared operating circuit of the associated toot switch whereby, said timing means is efiective to cause the flushing of only the plumbing fixture associated with the foot switch which is stepped upon and none other.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,238,461 Carman 4...-.. Apr. 15, 1941 2,507,966 Filliung May 16, 1950 2,552,625 Filliung May 15, 1951 2,590,147 Bellamy M31. 25, 1952 2,635,691 Filliung Apr. 21, 1953 2,786,210 'f Fraser Mar, 26, 1957 2,813,274 Lewis et a1. NOV. 19, 1957