US 3076974 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 12, 1963 E. SORENSEN TOILET FLUSHING MECHANISM 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed 09%. 9. 1961 w. a w; W N v Q/ Feb. 12, 1963 E. SORENSEN 3, 7 TOILET FLUSHING MECHANISM Filed Oct- 9, 1961 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I NVEN TOR. E/NAR 50REN5EN BY/W 5m 3,676,974 TQXLE'H FLUl-lfNG Mlifil-IANESM Einar orenscn, Hornet, flalif. (911 2nd St, Santa Monica, Calif.) Filed 9st. 9, 1951, Ser. No. 143,676 6 (Ilairns. (Cl. i-57) The present invention relates to flushing mechanisms for toilets, and its primary object is to provide a new and improved mechanism of this class which can be manufactored at low cost, is easily installed in virtually any toiled tank, and which is so constructed and arranged that the ball valve is accurately and precisely guided down onto its seat every time that the valve is actuated.
In conventional toi et flushing mechanisms, the discharge valve is usually in the form of a buoyant rubber ball attached to the bottom end of a wire rod which is slidably engaged about midway of its length by a short bearing which is attached to the adjacent overflow pipe. The intended purpose of this hearing is to guide the rod so that the valve ball will descend onto its seat as the water in the tank empties through the discharge pipe. The rod is necessarily a loose fit within the short guide bearing so that it will slide freely therein without binding. Inasmuch as the guide bearing engages the rod about halfway up the length of the latter, this looseness of fit results in the valve ball having a considerable amount of freedom for lateral movement in all directions. Consequently, it frequently happens that the valve ball is deflected slightly to one side or the other as it drops toward its seat, and is caused to hang up on one edge of the valve seat instead of closing properly. This necessitates jiggling the flushing handle to lift the ball slightly and allow it to drop back onto its seat in the normal manner. Such malfunctioning of the flushing mechanism is usually not too serious when the mechanism is brand new, but becomes increasingly more of a problem as the guide bearing and rod wear, and as the parts become corroded or encrusted with lime deposits from hard water.
The primary object of the present invention is to provide a toilet flushing mechanism in which the rod projecting upwardly from the ball valve is slidably supported over the greater part of its length by a guide tube extending down to within a short distance from the ball valve. The advantages of this arrangement is that it provides far more accurate and precise guidance of the valve ball down onto its seat, so that it is impossible for the valve ball to fail to seat properly. Another advantageous feature of this arrangement is that wear of the guide and rod is greatly reduced, due to the large bearing surface and short travel of the rod, and any wear that does occur after many years of use has almost no appreciable affect on the functioning of the mechanism. A further advantage of the invention is that by eliminating malfunction of the ball valve, it prevents waste of water, which is becoming a critical problem in many parts of the country.
Another object of the invention is to provide a toilet flushing mechanism which is extremely compact and easy to install or work on, and which is adapted to be installed in virtually any Water tank in use at the present time.
A further object of the invention is to provide a toilet flushing mechanism which is particularly designed to be manufactured largely of plastic, the only parts not made of plastic being the refill valve and associated pipes and fittings connected to the water supply pipe, the rubber valve ball, the guide rod attached to the valve ball and extending upwardly therefrom, and an extension arm on the flushing handle which engages the guide rod to lift the ball valve off its seat. The advantages of manufacturing Fatented Feta. E2, 1963 the mechanism largely of plastic are low cost of manufacture, reduced shipping costs due to light weight, and a long, trouble-free life, owing to freedom from corrosion.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a toilet flushing mechanism in which the ball valve is turned slightly each time that it is lowered onto its seat, thereby dislodging any particles of dirt or other foreign material that might interfere with the complete, leak-tight seating of the ball valve.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment thereof, reference being had to the accompanying drawings, wherein;
FTGURE 1 is a sectional view through a toilet tank, as seen from the rear, and showing, in elevation, a flushing mechanism embodying the principles of the invention;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the invention;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view through the mechanism, taken at 3-3 in FIGURE 4;
FIGURE 4 is a transverse sectional view, taken at 4--4 in FIGURE 3;
IGURES 5 and 6 are enlarged fragmentary views of a detail of the valve-lifting mechanism, showing the same in two positions; and
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary elevational view of another embodiment of the invention, having a slightly different arrangement for lifting the ball valve from its seat.
in FIGURE 1 of the drawings, the reference numeral 19 indicates a toilet water tank having the usual lid ll. Projecting through holes in the bottom of the tank are a discharge pipe 12 leading to a toilet (not shown) and a water supply pipe 13. A flushing handle 14 on the front of the tank it? is mounted on one end of a square rod 15 which extends through and is rotatable in a suitable bushing (not shown) in the front Wall of the tank.
The flushing mechanism of the invention is designated in its entirety by the reference numeral 16, and comprises a base member 17 integral with the discharge pipe 12, a supporting structure 18, a refill valve 1% controlled by a float 20, and a buoyant ball valve 21.
The discharge pipe 12, base 17 and supporting structure if) are preferably made of plastic, and for ease of manufacture, the several parts are made up as a plurality of molded sections which are joined and either cemented or fused together to form an integral structure.
The base 17 consists of upper and lower sections 25 and 26 which are joined together at 27. The lower sec tion includes a downwardly projecting, externally threaded tubular portion 3%, which constitutes the discharge pipe l2 of the tank. The upper section 25 has a large circular aperture 31 formed therein, and the top marginal edge of this aperture is beveled slightly at 32 to form a seat for the ball valve 21. The upper and lower sections 25 and 26 are. formed with facing cavities which cooperate to define a hollow interior space 33 which opens into the discharge pipe. Projecting upwardly from the upper section 25 are two tubular nipples 34, which are spaced apart approximately degrees from one another about the center of the aperture 31. The nipples 34 are preferably tapered slightly on the outside, and their interior bores open into the space 33, as shown in FIGURE 3.
The supporting structure f8 includes a lower section 35 and an upper section 36 which, together, define a pair of parallel upright members 49 and ll, interconnected by a pair of vertically spaced horizontal members 42 and 43. The lower section 35 includes vertically disposed tubular portions 44 which are formed at their bottom ends to receive the tapered nipples 34 of the base member 17. Molded integrally with the tubular portions 44- at the top ends thereof is the horizontal cross piece 43, which is generally triangular inconfiguration, as best shown in FIGURE 4. The two tubular portions 44 are joined to the cross piece 43 at two of the apices thereof, and the third apex is formed with an outwardly facing, semicircular seat 45 which receives the bottom end of a tubular discharge pipe 46 extending downwardly from the refill valve 19.
The triangular cross piece 43 is provided at its center with an elongated, non-round aperture 59, and the bottom end of a guide tube 51 is snugly received within this aperture, where it is cemented or otherwise secured in place. The cross-sectional configuration of the guide tube 51 is shown in FIGURE 4, and it will be understood that the aperture 56 is of the same configuration. At their top ends, the tubular portions 44 are shaped internally to receive the tapered bottom ends 52 of two tubular portions 53.
The upper section 36 of the supporting structure 18 comprises a plastic molding consisting of the two tubular portions 53 which are joined at their top ends to the horizontal member 42. As in the case of the lower section 35, the horizontal member 42 is generally triangular in configuration (see FIGURE 2) and the tubular portions 53 are joined to two of the corners thereof. The third corner of the triangular member 42 is provided with a circular aperture 54 through which the tubular discharge pipe 46 of the refill valve 19 is inserted. Thus, the refill valve 19 rests upon the top member 42 and is constrained against lateral movement by the confinement of the pipe 46 in the aperture 54, while the engagement of the bottom end of the pipe 46 in the seat 45 has the effect of stabilizing the pipe in the vertical position.
The top member 42 also has an elongated, non-round aperture 55 provided therein of the same size and shape as the aperture 50, and the top end of the guide tube 51 is snugly received within this aperture, where it is cemented or otherwise secured in place. The guide tube 51 is likewise of plastic, and thus the entire supporting structure 18 is made up of a plurality of plastic moldings joined together to form a composite whole.
The guide tube 51 has a central cylindrical bore 56 provided therein, and slidably disposed within this bore is a rod 69 of brass or stainless steel, which is secured at its bottom end to the rubber ball valve 21. The rod 69 projects from the top end of the guide tube 51 for a short distance, and is threaded at its end to receive a knob 61, Which is engaged and lifted by an extension of the flushing handle 14 when the latter is actuated, to raise the discharge valve 21 from its seat, as will be described in more detail presently.
The refill valve 19 is of a more or less conventional type, and comprises a valve housing 65 mounted on the top end of the pipe 46. The pipe 46 is actually an outer discharge pipe that is open at the bottom end, and extending centrally through this outer pipe is an inner pipe 66, which is connected by slip joints 67 and 68 and a short elbow pipe 69, to the water supply pipe 13. Thus, water from the supply pipe 13 is carried to the refill valve 19 by pipes 69 and 66, and is discharged from the valve 19 into the tank through the annular space between the inner pipe 66 and the outer pipe 46. Radially inwardly projecting ribs 70 on the inside of the pipe 46 center the inner pipe 66 therein, as shown in FIGURE 4. The valve 19 has the usual overflow pipe or tube 71, which extends down into the top end of the tubular upright member 49, so that any overflow water is emptied through the discharge pipe 12.
A pivoted actuating lever 72 projects from the upper portion of the refill valve 19, and the outer end of this lever is connected by a rod 73 to the float 29. The float 29 is an annular body, preferably of foamed plastic for buoyancy, which surrounds the guide tube'51 between the horizontal members 42, 43, and is supported thereon for relative sliding movement between a raised position adjacent top member 42, as shown in FIGURES l and 3, and a lowered position adjacent the bottom member 43, as shown in phantom lines in FIGURE 1. Extending down through the center of the float 29 is a non-round aperture '74 of suitable configuration to receive the non round guide tube 5-1, and the float is freely slidable along the length of the guide tube but is prevented from turning with respect thereto.
Wrapped around the outside of the float 29 at about the midpoint thereof, is a band 75, the ends of which terminate in outwardly bent cars 76 that are apertured to receive a screw-threaded bolt 80 which is secured by a nut 81. The bottom end of the rod '73 lies between the ears 76, and is either apertured or provided with an eye through which the bolt 89 passes, so that the rod is connected to the band by the same bolt 30 that is used to tighten the band 75 about the float. Since the band 75 can be turned freely on the float 29 when the bolt 80 and nut 81 have been loosened, it will be seen that this arrangement enables the float 20 to be connected to the rod 73 without applying any torsional force on the float that would tend to turn the float and therefore cause it to bind on the guide tube 51. Another advantageous feature of this arrangement is that it permits adjustment of the band 75 up or down on the float to vary the water level in the tank.
The discharge valve 21 is lifted off its seat 32 when the free end of the flushing handle 14 is pushed downwardly, and this is accomplished by linkage means consisting of an arm 85 attached to the inner end of the shaft 15, and a second pivoted arm 86. The outer end of the arm 85 is received between the sides of a forked member 87 (see FIGURE 2), and a transverse pin 88 on the forked member 87 passes through a longitudinally extending slot 89 (FIGURE 1) in the arm 85. The arm 86 is pivoted intermediate its ends on a pin 90 which is attached to a supporting bracket 91 projecting laterally form the top end of upright member 40. Thus, when the righthand end of arm 86 is swung downwardly by the downward motion of arm 85, the left-hand end of arm 86 is raised.
The arm 86 is preferably formed of wire, and its lefthand end, as viewed in FIGURES l and 2, is bent into the form of a loop 92 which encircles the rod 60 just below the knob 61. The loop 92 is bent at a slight angle to the arm 86, so that the loop is horizontal when resting on the top member 42, and the knob 61 is adjusted so that there is about /8 inch clearance between the top of the loop and the bottom surface of the knob. The arm 86 is also bent slightly, as shown in FIGURE 6, so that when it is raised, the loop 92 engages the bottom of the knob 61 at a point P (FIGURE 1), which is displaced to one side of the centerline of the knob. Then, as the arm 86 is raised higher, loop 92 moves toward the rod 60, causing the point P to move up to the position P of FIG- URE 5. In so doing, the knob 61, rod60 and discharge valve 21 are all rotated through the angular distance from P to P', and the discharge valve 21 is thus revolved slightly each time that the tank is emptied, thereby dislodging any foreign material that might get into the valve seat 32 to prevent the valve from seating fully.
FIGURE 7 shows a slightly modified form of operating linkage between the flushing handle and the rod 60 In this case, the handle 14 is turned outwardly on the shaft 15, so that arm 93 on the inside end of the shaft is raised when the handle is presed downwardly. An extension member 94 is telescoped onto the end of the arm 93, and the extension 94 terminates in a wire member 95 having a loop 92', as in the first embodiment. Thus, the loop 92' is mounted directly on an extension of the arm 93, thereby eliminating the pin 88, slot 89, forked member 87, and pivoted arm 86' of the first embodiment.
The advantageous features of the invention are believed to be immediately apparent to those skilled in the art. The construction as shown and described herein is inex pensive to manufacture, compact, easy to install, and the seating of the ball valve is accurate and precise every time that the mechanism is operated. The long bearing length of the guide tube 51 on the rod 61 insures accuracy of guidance of the ball valve, and long life for the mechanism. By way of example, a typical length for the rod 6% wound be 8 inches, with the guide tube 51 being 6 inches long. The discharge valve 21 is engaged by the bottom of the guide rod 51, which functions as a limit stop for the upward movement of the valve. Preferably, the valve 21 is limited to a rise of about 1 /2 inches from the valve seat 32, which is about the minimal clearance that will allow the water in the tank to be discharged without sucking the valve down onto the seat. The short travel of the valve, together with the long length of guiding contact, insures unfailing accuracy in guiding the discharge valve down onto its seat.
While I have shown and describe-d in considerable detail what I believe to be the preferred form of my invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made in the shape and arrangement of the several parts without departing from the broad scope of the invention as defined in the following claims.
1. A flushing mechanism for a toilet tank having a water supply pipe, a discharge pipe, and a flushing handle, said mechanism comprising a supporting structure having a base member attached to and communication with said discharge pipe, said base member being provided with a valve seat, a buoyant discharge valve seated on said valve seat, a rod attached to said discharge valve and projecting upwardly therefrom, said supporting structure including at least one upright member rising vertically from said base member alongside said valve seat, a pair of vertically spaced horizontal members attached to said upright member and projecting laterally therefrom so as to overhang said valve seat, an elongated vertical guide tube attached to and extending between said horizontal members, said guide tube surrounding said rod and slidably engaging the same for the greater part of its length, an annular float surrounding said guide tube between said vertically spaced horizontal members, said float being slidable vertically along said guide tube between a raised position closely adjacent the upper horizontal member and a lowered position adjacent the lower horizontal member, a refill valve mounted on said supporting structure and connected to said water supply pipe, linkage means connecting said float to said refill valve to open the latter when said float is below said raised position, and means connecting the top end of said rod to said flushing handle, whereby actuation of the latter causes said rod to be lifted and thereby raised said buoyant discharge valve from its seat, said discharge valve being accurately guided back onto its seat by the extended bearing contact of said guide tube on said rod along the greater part of the length thereof.
2. A toilet flushing valve as defined in claim 1, wherein said guide tube has a non-round outside configuration in cross-section, and said annular float has a correspondingly shaped central aperture through which said guide tube passes and is freely slidable but non-rotatable therein.
3. A toilet flushing valve as defined in claim 1, wherein said linkage means includes a band loosely encircling said annular float, means for adjustably clamping said band about said float whereby said band can be adjusted up or down on said float or turned with respect thereto, and then secured in adjusted position, and a connecting rod operatively connected at one end to said refill valve and attached at the other end to said band.
4. A toilet flushing mechanism as defined in claim 1, wherein said means connecting the top end of said rod to said flushing handle includes a knob attached to the top end of said rod and having a substantially flat underneath side, and an arm connected to said flushing handle and terminating in a loop surrounding said rod below said knob, said loop engaging the underside of said knob at a point to one side of said rod when said flushing: handle is first pressed, and said point of contact being moved through an angular distance around said rod as said knob is lifted upwardly owing to the arcuate travel of said loop, said rod being thereby turned slightly each time said knob is lifted by said loop.
5. A flushing mechanism for a toilet tank having a water supply pipe, a discharge pipe, and a flushing handle, said mechanism comprising a supporting structure having a base member attached to and communicating with said discharge pipe, said base member being provided with a valve seat, a buoyant discharge valve seated on said valve seat, a rod attached to said discharge valve and projecting upwardly therefrom, said supporting structure including a pair of parallel upright members attached to said base member and extending upwardly therefrom, a pair of vertically spaced horizontal members attached to and extending between said upright members, an elongated vertical guide tube attached to and extending between said horizontal members, said guide tube having a non-round outside configuration in cross-se:ction, said rod on said discharge valve extending up through said guide tube and slidably engaged thereby over the greater part of its length, the bottom end of said guide tube serving as a limit stop engageable by said discharge valve to limit the upward travel thereof to a minimal distance above the valve seat at which the water in said tank can be discharged without sucking the valve down onto its seat, an annular fioat surrounding said guide tube between said horizontal members, said annular float having a central aperture of the same non-round configuration as said guide tube whereby said float is freely slidable along the length of the guide tube but is non-rotatable with respect thereto, a refill valve mounted on said supporting structure and connected to said water supply pipe, linkage means connecting said float to said refill valve to open the latter when the float is displaced below a predetermined level, and means connecting the top end of said rod to said flushing handle whereby actuation of the latter causes said rod to be lifted and thereby raise said buoyant discharge valve from its seat, said discharge valve being accurately guided back down onto its seat by the extended bearing engagement of said guide tube along the greater part of the length of said rod.
6. In a toilet flushing mechanism for a tank having a pivoted flushing handle and a discharge valve having an upwardly projecting rod passing through and slidable within guiding means, a knob attached to the top end of said rod and having a substantially flat underneath side, and an arm connected to said flushing handle and termi mating in a loop surrounding said rod directly beneath said knob, said loop being normally disposed in a horizontal plane, and a point on said loop remote from said flushing handle engaging said underneath side of said knob at a point to one side of said rod when said flushing handle is first pressed, said point of contact being moved outwardly from said flushing handle to a point directly behind said rod as said knob is lifted upwardly, thereby turning said discharge valve through a small angular distance each time said knob is lifted by said loop.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,444,958 Smith July 13, 1948 2,729,826 Dowin Ian. 10, 1956 2,795,237 Corbin lune 11, 1957 2,802,218 Wanger Aug. 13, 1957 2,825,908 Tucker Mar. 11, 1958 2,905,949 Dowin Sept. 29, 1959 2,948,901 Bernier Aug. 16, 1960 2,971,202 Brewington Feb. 14, 1961 2,986,744 Schmitt et al June 9, 1961