US 3056143 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
B. FOSTER APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY FLUSHING A TOILET BOWL OR THE LIKE Filed Sept. 4, 1959 illlll? fill/A INVENTOR .5692 3092 fa @Zew BY 02 a.% ATTORNEY llnited States Patent Ofifice 3,056,143 Patented Oct. 2, 1962 3,056,143 APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATICALLY FLUSHING A TOILET BOWL OR THE LIKE Benton Foster, Rte. 1, Box 116, Ceresco, Mich. Filed Sept. 4, 1959, Ser. No. 838,313 1 Claim. (Cl. 4--249) The present invention relates broadly to automatically operated equipment, and in its specific phase to an automatically operated flushing means for toilets in public buildings and the like.
Many people, after using the facilities of toilets in municipal rest rooms, hotels, motels, ofiice buildings, stores and the like, and even those in the home, do not like to handle the toilet flushing lever and hence leave without flushing the hopper which thus creates unsanitary and otherwise undesirable conditions with resultant spread of communicable diseases such as venereal, hepatitis, et cetera. It was a recognition of this problem, and the complete lack of any commercially in use apparatus for taking care of same which led to the conception and develcpment of the present invention.
Accordingly among the objects of the present invention is the overcoming of this condition by providing, in a simple and novel manner, for automatic flushing upon entering and/ or leaving the enclosure in which the stool or hopper is situated.
In carrying out the above end, another object is to provide an electrical actuating device for opening the flush valve, whether in a water line or in a flush tank, and a switch for completing an actuating circuit for said valve actuating device, said switch being automatically operated when a person enters and/ or leaves the enclosure in which the stool or hopper is installed.
A further object is to control the switch by means of the door of the enclosure, to thereby cause closing of said switch and flushing of the stool or hopper when said door is opened in entering and/ or leaving said enclosure.
Yet another object is to provide a simple flush-valveactuating device for stools or hoppers which may be readily installed to actuate a conventional flush-valve handle, as if the handle were operated by hand.
With the above and still other objects in view, and which will be apparent when the nature of the invention is better understood, the same consists of the novel construction, combination and arrangement of parts to be hereinafter more fully described.
To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, consists of the automatic flushing means hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claim, the annexed drawing and the following description setting forth in detail certain means for carrying out the invention, such disclosed means illustrating, however, but several of various ways in which the principle of the invention may be used.
In the annexed drawing:
FIGURE 1 is a front elevation, partly broken away, showing the invention associated with the handle of the flush valve of a hopper situated within an enclosure or stall of a public rest room or the like, the flush valve being within the water line, and the seat being omitted for clarity of illustration.
FIGURE 2 is a detail vertical sectional view as taken on line 22 of FIGURE 1, looking in the direction of the arrows, and diagrammatically showing an illustrative type of door-controlled switch.
FIGURE 3 is a diagrammatic vertical sectional view of an illustrative form of flush valve actuator, wherein the actuator is of solenoid type with the actuating coil being shown in elevation.
FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary elevation diagrammatically showing the fiush valve actuator associated with the flushvalve-operating handle of a flush tank.
FIGURE 5 is a detail view showing a saddle with which the actuator may be provided, to straddle the flushvalve-operating handle.
The illustrative constructions and arrangements shown in the drawing will be rather specifically described in the positions shown, but attention is invited to the possibility of making variations, even to the extent of using a treadle or an electronic eye to close the electric circuit and cause operation of the flush-valve-actuator, all of which it is intended that the drawing be considered to diagrammatically illustrate.
In FIGURE 1, a toilet stool or hopper 10 is shown within a stall 11 having an inwardly closable door 12. Spring hinges 13 are shown to close the door 12 against a stop 14, and a knob 15 is shown for pulling said door open.
The flush valve 16 for the stool or hopper 10 is conventional, being connected in the water line 17, and is provided with an operating handle 18. Depression of this handle opens the valve 16 to flush the hopper 10, and at the expiration of a predetermined flushing period, the valve recloses as usual.
An electrically operated actuating device 19 is provided for opening the flush valve 16 when an operating circuit is completed for said actuating device, and a switch 20 is controlled by the door 12 for completing said circuit each time said door is opened. The actuating device 19, in the present disclosure, depresses the valve handle 18 and thus causes operation of the flush valve 16 as if it had been operated manually.
For mounting the actuating device 19, I have shown a bracket 21 to one end of which the body 22 of said device is conventionally secured at 23. The other end of the bracket 21 is shown as conventionally mounted at 24 upon the flush valve 16.
The switch 20, FIGURE 2, includes a fixedly mounted casing 25 carrying two binding posts 26 and 27, both of which are preferably insulated from casing 25. The post 27 carries a fixed contact 28 which is coo perable with a movable contact 29 on an arm 30. This arm 30 is pivotally mounted at 31 on casing 25 and is connected by a flexible conductor 32 with the binding post 26 for a positive circuit connection. A spring 33 biases the arm 30 toward switch-closed position but the lower end of this arm is in the inward path of the door 12 and this door holds said arm in switch-open position whenever said door occupies closed position. However, each time the door 12 is opened, the switch closes and. causes flush valve operation.
The switch 20, FIGURE 1, is installed in one of the electric current conducting lines 34 extending to one of the binding posts 35 of the valve actuator 19. The other electric current conducting line 36 extends to the other binding post 37 of the actuator 19.
The body 22, FIGURE 3, of the actuator 19 has a vertical bore 38 from end to end, and the lower end of this bore is closed by a plug 39 having an axial plungerguiding passageway 40. An encased solenoid coil 41 is conventionally mounted and secured upon the upper end of the body 22, co-axially therewith, and contains a core 42. To this core, a plunger rod 43 is secured. The lower end portion of the rod 43 extends slidably through the passageway 40, and the intermediate portion of said rod has a collar or other enlargement 44 slidable in the bore 38. A coiled spring 45 acts upwardly on the enlargement 44 and reacts on the plug 39 to normally hold the rod 43 and core 42 in retracted position. However, each time the switch '20 closes, it completes the circuit through the coil 41, and the core 42 and rod 43 are forced downwardly, when in the upright position illusjl trated. This rod then thrusts against the handle 18, FIG- URE 1, and causes operation of the flush valve 16.
The lower end of the rod 43 may be provided with an arched saddle 46, as shown in FIGURE 5, to straddle the handle 18 and prevent said handle from moving from engagement with the rod 43, should said handle be permitted to have horizontal movements as well as vertical, as in some known flush valves.
In FIGURE 4, it is shown that the invention is not restricted to the actuation of a flush valve in a water line as illustrated in FIGURE 1. In this FIGURE 4. view, the flush tank 47 contains the flush valve (not shown) as usual, and depression of the handle 48 conventionally causes opening of the valve. The actuator 19 is suitably mounted on a bracket 49 in position to operate the handle 48.
It will be seen from the above that simple and inexpensive yet practical and durable means have been dis closed for attaining the desired ends. Attention is again invited, however, to the possibility of making variations within the spirit and scope of the invention set forth. Also directional terms such as inwardly, lower, vertica upwardly, and downwardly have been used to facilitate explaining the invention in the position shown in the drawing and are not to be considered as limiting the invention.
Other modes of applying the principle of my invention may be employed instead of those explained, change being made as regards the automatic flushing apparatus herein disclosed, provided the means stated by the following claim or the equivalent of such stated means be employed.
I therefore particularly point out and distinctly claim as my invention:
In combination with a flush valve of a toilet hopper, wherein said toilet hopper is located within an individual compartment having a frame and an access door normally biased into closed position, said flush valve having an externally projecting operating handle which is manually operable by rocking said handle about a pivot, an electrical operator for said handle, said operator comprising a body, an electromagnetic device mounted on said body, a rod mounted in said body for projection by said electromagnetic device upon energization thereof, a return spring biasing said rod into retracted position, and means including a mounting bracket secured to said body and mounting said body with said rod adjacent to and extending transversely of said operating handle but in alignment therewith, whereby when said electromagnetic device is energized, said rod will move into projected position and into direct pressure engagement with said operating handle to rock said handle about its pivot, said handle being free and unimpeded at all times for a manual operation thereof, an electrical circuit connected to said electromagnetic device including a power source having a control switch, said control switch including a housing, means for attaching said housing to said frame, a control arm extending from said housing and projecting into the path of said door, said control arm normally being engaged by said door when said door is closed to displace said switch into open position, and means for biasing said switch into closed position each time said door is opened whereby said toilet bowl will be automatically flushed.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,875,983 Bourdet Sept. 6, 1932 1,985,314 Coleman Dec. 25, 1934 2,388,990 Nelson et al. Nov. 13, 1945 2,597,560 Beyrodt May 20, 1952 2,649,591 McRae Aug. 25, 1953 2,688,141 Filliung Sept. 7, 1954 2,786,210 Fraser Mar. 26, 1957 2,858,546 Tekenos et al. Nov. 4, 1958 2,999,191 Muradian et a1. Sept. 5, 1961