US 3090967 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 1963 E. T. ERHARDT EIAL 3,090,967
SOLENOID OPERATOR FOR TOILET FLUSH VALVES Filed May 16, 1962 FIG] FIG.2
INVENTORS EDWARD T ERHARDT ED IN I. i} W OAKES ATTORNEY 3,990,967 Patented May 28, 1963 3,099,967 SOLENOID ()PERATOR FOR TOILET FLUSH VALVES Edward T. Erhardt and Edwin I. Oakes, both of 116 Chapel Ave, East Patchogue, N.Y. Filed May 16, 1962, Ser. No. 195,134 1 Claim. (or. 4-57 This invention relates to flush toilets, and an object of the invention is to provide certain new and useful improvements in remote control means for opening the flush valve, whereby a toilet may be flushed from a room or other location remote from the flush tank.
Another object of the invention is the provision of an improved construction for remote operation of a tank valve to flush a toilet, which includes a solenoid adapted to lift the ball valve upon momentary depression of a push button switch as well as mounting means for the solenoid including adjustable means for properly positioning the solenoid with respect to the ball valve.
A further object is the provision of the instant improvement in a form for ready conversion of a mechanically operated tank to an electrically operated one.
The above as well as additional objects will be clarified in the following description wherein reference numerals refer to like-numbered parts on the accompanying drawing. It is to be noted that the drawing is intended primarily for the purpose of illustration and that it is therefore neither desired nor intended to limit the invention necessarily to any or all of the exact details shown or described except insofar as they may be deemed essential to the invention.
Referring briefly to the drawing,
FIG. 1 is front elevational view of a toilet flush tank, with parts broken away and partly in section, illustrating an embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of FIG. 1 with the cover of the tank removed.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary view taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a wiring diagram, illustrating one way in which the device may be wired for operation.
Referring in detail to the drawing, the numeral designates a toilet flush tank provided with the usual cover 11. The inlet pipe of the tank is shown at 12 and the outlet pipe at 13, the latter having, within the tank, the usual valve seat 14 in which the ball valve 15 normally registers to maintain the valve closed. The usual overflow pipe is indicated at 15, to which the usual valve guide 17 is clamped, with the stem 18 passing through the ring 1 on the end of the guide. The water level control float is shown at 29, the stem 21 extending from which is pivoted in the usual manner to a valve structure 22 at the top of the inlet pipe 12 for the usual purpose.
All of the foregoing structure is standard and is found in the usual toilet flush tank. The present invention, however, provides novel means for momentarily lifting the ball valve 15 to flush the toilet in the usual manner, instead of the mechanical lifting lever, not shown, found in the usual structure.
The said novel means consists primarily of a solenoid 23 which is shown attached to a base 24, the plunger 25 having a hook or eyelet 26 at its lower extremity. The usual L-shaped rod for lifting the valve stem 18 is shown at 27; the upper end of this rod is deformed to engage the eyelet 26. The lower end of the rod has the usual ring 28 thereon through which the upper portion of the stem 18 passes.
The base 24 is shown adjustably secured to the overflow pipe 16 by means of threaded yokes 29, the threaded legs 39 of which extend through slots 31 in the base 24. The
yokes lie in parallel horizontal planes, and for the legs 30 of each yoke there are two slots 31 in the base 24. It is apparent that, with the yokes engaged about the pipe 16 in the manner shown in FIG. 1, the base is horizontally slidable in either direction, and when the correct position of the base has been determined nuts 32 on the yoke legs are tightened to secure the base rigidly in place.
From the above it is now obvious that the solenoid 24 may readily be positioned with its plunger 25 in proper alignment with the rod 27 to lift the ball valve 15 to open the outlet from the tank and at the same time to enable the ball valve to become reseated after the tank has been nearly emptied.
For the purpose of clarity the nuts 32 have been shown only in phantom in FIG. 3 so that the slots 31 may be fully visible.
An electric circuit for actuation of the solenoid 24 is illustrated in FIG. 4. Herein power supply lines at the usual house voltage of about volts, are shown at 33, connected to a reducing transformer 34 to supply a lower voltage, say about 24 volts, at its output side. The output leads 35 of the transformer are connected in series with the solenoid 24 and a push button switch 36 which may, of course, be positioned wherever desired. The solenoid and push button circuit may of course also be directly connected to the house voltage without a transformer, if desired. Moreover, instead of having but a single push button circuit leading into the solenoid, any number of such circuits in parallel may be used so that the solenoid may be actuated from a number of different locations.
In use, the push button is depressed for a brief moment and then immediately released, just as in the usual mechanical operation of lifting the ball valve the lever is released immediately after the valve has been lifted.
While the invention has been described with particular reference to the disclosure in the drawing, such is not to be construed as a limitation upon the invention which is best defined in the appended claim.
It is to be noted that by means of the present invention mechanically operated flush tanks in common use may be readily converted to electrical operation. This is done merely by removing the usual lifting arm, not shown, from which a 'bent wire or other element equivalent to the rod 27 is suspended to engage the stem 18 to lift the valve 15 from its seat, and then installing the base 24 with its associated elements in the manner set forth above.
Moreover, instead of having a push button switch 36 located remote from the tank it might be positioned close to or handy for a user who is close to the tank, thus eliminating the mechanical efiort needed to work the common mechanical tank. For many women as well as for children, eliminating the need to forcibly actuate the flushing mechanism in the usual tank, which is frequently diflicult, may be regarded as a boon.
The invention having thus been described, what is claimed and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows:
A toilet flush tank assembly comprising a tank having an outlet opening in the bottom thereof provided with a valve seat, a vertical overflow pipe near but spaced from the valve seat, a ball valve normally seating on the valve seat, a stem extending axially upward from the ball valve and having an enlarged upper extremity, a substantially vertical lifting rod having a substantially horizontal ring on the lower end thereof of smaller diameter than said enlarged extremity of the stem slidably mounted on the stem, a support having a solenoid including a plunger mounted therein with the axis of the plunger substantially vertical, the plunger having an eyelet in the lower extremity thereof, the upper end of the lifting rod being pivotally suspended from said eyelet, and adjustable means for securing said support to the overflow pipe at varying radial distances therefrom, said adjustable means comprising vertically spaced rows of horizontally spaced slots in said support, vertically spaced yokes having threaded parallel legs, the legs of each of the yokes being spaced apart at a distance greater than the distance between the inner juxtaposed ends of the slots in the rows of slots and smaller than the distance between the router extremities of the slots, the yokes partially encircling the overflow pipe with the legs of each yoke extending through one of the slots in each of said rows, and nuts screwed on the extremities of the legs to clamp the support to the overflow pipe.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Roth Apr. 26, 1927 Andrews Sept. 29, 1936 FOREIGN PATENTS 'Italy June 11, 1958