US 3060456 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 30, 1962 E. c. JACOBS 3,050,456
DETERGENT DISPENSER FoR FLUSH VALVE FIXTURES Filed June 9, 1959 man lul-DRIE EDWARD C; JACOBS 9 v BY E EE/74.
ilnited States Patent 0r 3,060,456 DETERGENT DISPENSER FOR FLUSH VALVE FIXTURES Edward C. Jacobs, San Carlos, Calif., assignor to Donald Colvin, Oakland, Calif. Filed June 9, 1959, Ser. No. 822,711 3 Claims. (Cl. 4--225) This invention relates to improvements in a Detergent Dispenser for Flush Valve Fixtures, and more particularly to dispensers of the type designed to inject a liquid having cleaning, sanitizing and deodorizing components into the flush water before it reaches the bowl of the fixture.
A dispenser for introducing such materials to the ush water of the tank or reservoir type fixture is disclosed in my co-pending application, Serial Number 791,088, filed February 4, 1959, and entitled Detergent Dispenser for Toilets.
As pointed out in that application, certain advantages may be obtained by providing a solid mass of soluble detergent material mounted in such a manner that a portion of the flush water will dissolve a portio-n of the material and mix it into the iiush water prior to its entry into the bowl. This is contrasted with previous methods of placing a cake in the bowl or injecting a liquid into either the bowl or the llush water.
The dispenser of the present invention is intended for use in fixtures which have a iiush Valve, that is, a valve which meters through a desired number of gallons of liush water and then turns itself olf. Such valves eliminate the need for flush tanks or reservoirs.
One of the main diiiiculties encountered in connection with flush valve fixtures lies in providing enough of the ldetergent material to last a significant period of time without having an excessively bulky reservoir. Frequent refilling is inconvenient, time-wasting and requires storage of large amounts of the detergent material.
The present invention contemplates the use of a solid mass of concentrated detergent material in a small and inconspicuous assembly which blends in with, and looks like a part of, the usual plumbing. Because of the concentrated amounts of detergent, olfactory agent, sanitizing agent and coloring agent possible in a solidified mass, a single filling will last for several weeks, depending, of course, upon how often the iixture'is flushed.
l-t is, therefore, a principal object of the present invention to provide a device for automatically dispensing a measured quantity of detergent material into the flush water of a iiush valve toilet fixture.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a detergent dispenser for flush valve toilets employing a replaceable cartridge of solid detergent material which is constructed to dissolve a desired amount of the material and inject it into the fiush water during each flushing so that the water remaining in the toilet bowl will contain an effective `amount of the material at all times.
A further object of the present invention is the provision, in a detergent dispenser of the -character described of a detergent cartridge incorporating a solid mass of soluble material in a novel manner insuring that only the required quantity of detergent will be injected at each flushing, this feature further providing ya long cartridge life effective over hundreds of iiushings.
A still further object of my invention is to provide a detergent dispenser of the character described which ernp-loys the dynamic forces of the surging stream of flush water to inject a portion' of the water into the dispenser, and thereafter to eject a concentrated solution of the material into the iinal portion of the iush water.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a 3,050,456 Patented Oct. 30, 1962 icc dispenser of the type set forth in which a forcible stream of water is employed to eat away the solid mass of material in an even manner, and to achieve thorough mixing of the newly entering flush water with the concentrated solution remaining in the dispenser from the previous flushing.
The preferred forms of my invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, forming part of this application, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a longitudinal cross-sectional View of a detergent dispenser constructed in accordance with the present invention, and mounted in operating position between a flush Valve and a toilet fixture;
FIGURE 2, a longitudinal cross-sectional view of a modified form of detergent dispenser; and
FiGURE 3, a cross-sectional `View taken substantially on the plane of line 3 3 of FIGURE 2.
While l have shown only the preferred forms of my invention, it should be understood that various changes or modifications may be made within the scope of the claims hereto attached, without `departing from the spirit of the invention.
Referring to the drawings in detail, it will be seen that the detergent dispenser for flush valve fixtures of the present invention consists essentially of `a container 11 partially filled with a soluble detergent material and means 12 connecting the container to the conduit 13, between the flush valve 14 and the toilet fixture 16, the means 12 being responsive to variations in uid flow through the conduit yfor alternately injecting a portion of the ilush water into the container and then draining such water, and the detergent dissolved therein from the container and into the flush water passing through the conduit.
The means 12 is here sho-wn as including a fitting 1'7 which is mounted between the iiush Valve 14 and fixture 16 in place of the usual adapter, the fitting being held in place by the conventional slip-nuts 18 and 19. The fitting 17 is of T-shaped type with a leg 21 extending horizontally and terminating in an enlarged, externally threaded section upon which the container 11 may be attached.
in accordance with the present invention, the soluble detergent material 22 is provided in the container in the form of a solid mass. The slow melting and eating away of the mass affords a long life between refills.
A suitable material for use in the present dispenser is disclosed in my previously mentioned co-pending application, Serial Number 791,088, as recited herein. The correct characteristics may be obtained by combining the desired detergents and/ or sanitizing, deodorizing and coloring agents with a soluble base material of polyethylene glycol polymers, heating 4the material to fuse it, and pouring the molten material into the container 11 so as to achieve intimate contact with the container walls and expose only a limited area of the material `to the flush water a-t one time.
The soluble material 22 may be solidified within the container 11 and good results will be achieved. As the flush valve 14 is operated, the flush Water under full line presssure, shoots through the tting 17. Due to back pressure, a portion of this water is forced through the leg 21 and into container 11, compressing the air trapped therein.
As the flush valve starts to close, the flow through, and consequently the pressure in, fitting 17 drops. The energy stored in the compressed air in the container 11 will then force a portion of the Water, now containing dissolved detergent, back out of the container 'and into the last of the iiush tank water as it proceeds through fitting 17 toward the future 16.
It will be noted that a considerable amount of water will remain in the container 11 between flushings. This water will continue to dissolve the material until it reaches a saturation point. Then, when the fixture is again flushed, the inrushing water will quickly mix with the saturated solution to form a concentrated solution which is ejected into the fiush water.
Improved results may be obtained by constructing the dispenser in the manner shown in FIGURE l wherein the detergent material 22 is contained within a cartridge 23 replaceably carried within the container 11.
This construction provides several advantages. The detergent material is more easily replaceable since the empty cartridge may be removed and a full one substituted. The mouth 24 of the cartridge is designed to seal against leg 21 and prevents flush water from entering the space between the cartridge and the container wall. Thus, when the container is unscrewed, the retained flush water will not spill out.
As an important feature of the present invention, means is provided for controlling the amount of water taken into and ejected from the cartridge 23 so as to control the concentration of the detergent material in the flush water. This means consists basically of an orifice 26 formed in a diaphragm 27 across the opening to the cartridge, the size of the orifice being effective to determine the quantity of water which will enter the cartridge during the initial portion of the iushing cycle.
Conveniently, the cartridge 23 may be in the form of a conventional flexible plastic bottle, known generally as squeeze bottles, and the diaphragm 27 may be provided by a soft plastic cork 28 pressed into the botttle opening. Preferably, the cork 28 has a flange 29 encircling the lip of the bottle and designed to seat against the fitting leg 21 to provide a hermetic seal.
The bottle 23 and'container 11 are proportioned to press the flange 29 tightly against the fitting when the container is screwed onto leg 21.
A modified form of dispenser used in the present invention is illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3 of the drawings. This modification provides selective adjustment of how much fiush water is injected during each flushing, and means is provided for insuring effective utilization of all of the solid mass of detergent material.
The selective adjustment of the amount of water admitted is effected by varying the size of the orifice 26A. This is here accomplished by providing the diaphragm 27A in the form of a cup-shaped metal member 31 which fits within the fitting leg 21, and by mounting a gate 32 on a screw 33, so as to adjustably yblock off par-t of the orifice area. Thus, the effective opening of the orifice 26A may be obtained by simply loosening the screw and moving the gate to the desired position.
It will be understood that while I have shown only the preferred forms of my invention, various changes or modications may be made within the scope of the claims hereto added, without departing from the spirit of the invention. Thus, for instance other, equivalent methods for varying the orifice may be employed.
The form of FIGURES 2 and 3 also functions to cause the infiowing stream of water to impinge upon and eat away the upper portion of the detergent material 22. This is desirable because this upper portion is out of the retained water between liushings and naturally would vtend to be dissolved away more slowly than the lower portion which is always immersed.
The equalized dissolving action is accomplished by positioning the orifice above the centerline of the unit as far as possible. The water enters so forcibly, upon flushing, that it is squirted in a stream, indicated by arrow 30, which actually tends to eat away the upper portion first.
As shown in FIGURE 2, a second diaphragm 34 may be mounted in the leg 21, in parallel and spaced relation to diaphragm 27A, and a second orifice 36 may be formed therein as high as possible. The diaphragm 34 may rest against the rim of the cup-shaped member 31, with the assembly being held in place by the cartridge 23 which is pressed into sealing engagement with diaphragm 34.
In operation, the cartridge 23 is placed in the container 11 which is screwed onto fitting leg 21 until the cartridge seat on eitherthe-leg 21 (FIGURE 1) or diaphragm 34 (FIGURE 2) to form a hermetic seal therewith. Upon flushing orf the'xture, a lsharp pressure rise occurs in the fitting 17 forcing water throughthe orifices and into the cartridge.
The air in the cartridge is compressed, and the water rises to the position indicated by line 35 of FIGURE 2. As the flush valve shuts off, the pressure in fitting 17 drops and air pressure forces the quantity of water injected back out and into the last portions of the flush water for passage therewith to the toilet fixture. This action insures that the detergent enters with the portion of the fiush water normally retained in the fixture bowl, and hence reduces waste and permits the use of less detergent for each flushing.
It should be noted that, while the present dispenser is particularly suited for injecting detergent materials into flush valve toilet fixtures, it may be used for similarly injecting any soluble chemical into a fluid passing through a conduit where there are sufficient variations in fluid flow to cause a surging action.
l. In combination with a toilet fiushing apparatus comprising a flush valve, a toilet fixture and a vertical conduit connecting the same and operative to deliver successive streams of water to the fixture in a substantially free flow, a T-shaped fitting forming part of the conduit between the flush valve and the toilet fixture and having a horizontally extending tubular leg, a cylindrical container detachably mounted on said horizontal leg of said fitting and extending horizontally therefrom with the diameter of the container greatly in excess of the diameter of the leg and the axis of the container in alinement with the axis of the tubular leg, a solid body of water-soluble chemical material accommodated in the container and having substantially the same cross-sectional area as the container and providing a close fit therein, the T-shaped fitting being reduced in diameter below the tubular leg whereby a stream of water rushing downward through the vertical conduit is partly yby-passed into the container to contact the exposed face of the material for dissolving part of the chemical and is withdrawn at the end of the water feeding period when the pressure changes into suction, the enlarged diameter of the container as compared with that of the leg structure causing a portion of the water to remain in the container to absorb chemical in preparation for the next operation.
`2. A combination as defined in claim l, in which the solid body of Water-soluble material is enclosed in a removable and replaceable cartridge having a close fit in the cylindrical container and having an aperture communicating with the tubular leg of the fitting.
3. A combination as defined in claim 2, in which the aperture has means for controlling the effective size thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 690,337 Willits Dec. 31, 1901 1,220,730 Costner Mar. 27, 1917 2,067,328 Lux Jan. 12, 1937 FOREIGN PATENTS 523,526 France Apr. 23, 1921