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Publication numberUS3585652 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 22, 1971
Filing dateSep 10, 1969
Priority dateSep 10, 1969
Publication numberUS 3585652 A, US 3585652A, US-A-3585652, US3585652 A, US3585652A
InventorsForbes Norman Arthur, Griffin James Richard
Original AssigneeAmerican Standard Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Proximity antenna structure for a lavatory or plumbing fixture
US 3585652 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 22, 1971 FORBES ETAL 3,585,652

PROXIMITY ANTENNA STRUCTURE FOR A LAVATORY OR PLUMBING FIXTURE 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 10, 1969 FIG.

6m F 8 RF 0R G A R m 5 mm 0 NM Y. B

1 J I I\ I ATTORNEY June 22, 1971 FQRBES ET AL 3,585,652

PROXIMI'IY ANTENNA STRUCTURE FOR A LAVATORY OR PLUMBING FIXIURI-l Filed Sept. 10, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVliN'I ()kh,

NORMAN A. FORBES BY JAMES R. GRIFFIN PROXIMITY ANTENNA STRUCTURE FOR A LAVATORY OR PLUMBING FIXTURE Filed Sept. 10, 1969 June 22, 1971 FORBES ET AL 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 INV/iN'IU/(S. NORMAN A. FORBES BY JAMES R. GRIFFIN '1 /("ATTORNEY June 22, 1971 FORBES ET AL 3,585,652

PROXIMITY ANTENNA STRUCTURE FOR A LAVATORY OR PLUMBING FIXTURE 7 Filed Sept. 10, 1969 4 Sheets-Sheet L FIGLG 2o FIG. 9

T i I I 1 I III/J L I 1 I, IIQQ'IZI NORMAN A. FORBES BY JAMES R. GRIFFIN "ATTORNEY Unitcd States Patent 3,585,652 PROXIMITY ANTENNA STRUCTURE FOR A LAVATORY 0R PLUMBING FETURE Norman Arthur Forbes and James Richard Grilfiu, Louisville, Ky., assignors to American Standard Inc., New

York, N.Y.

Filed Sept. 10, 1969, Ser. No. 856,667 Int. Cl. A47k N04 US. Cl. 4-166 21 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A sensing device, often called an antenna, employed with a capacitance-operated proximity control circuit for a lavatory or other plumbing fixture to detect and respond to the presence or absence of a user in front of the lavatory. The antenna develops an increase in capacitance upon the arrival of the user at the front of the lavatory. The increase of capacitance activates the control circuit which turns on the faucet of the lavatory and keeps it turned on while the user washes his hands and incidentally sways his body. When the user departs from the lavatory, the faucet will be turned off upon the resulting decrease in the capacitance of the antenna.

This invention relates to sensing devices and apparatus suitable for detecting the presence or absence of a person or an object at a particularly location, such as a plumbing fixture. More particularly, this invention relates to sensing devices, often called antennas, for sensing or detecting the presence of a user in front of a plumbing fixture, such at a lavatory, and, in response to the arrival of the user, to operate the plumbing fixture by turning on the water if the plumbing fixture is a lavatory and maintaining a continuous flow of water even if the users body sways while washing his hands, and later, in response to the departure of the user, to de-activate that plumbing fixture.

Stated differently, this invention relates to antenna structures for fixtures, such as lavatories, in which the antennas will undergo desired or predetermined electrical changes in response to the arrival of the user to initiate the operation of the fixture and will continue to maintain the desired or predetermined changes even when the user sways or bends his body away from the fixture while washing his hands. In response to the departure of the user, the structure will respond to corresponding desired or predetermined changes to de-activate the fixture.

Stated in still another way, this invention relates to an antenna structure for a lavatory or other fixture which will undergo a substantial positive change in capacitance or reactance upon the approach of the user, and maintain substantially the same reactance change as the body of the user sways or moves while his hands are moved in the region of the bowl of the lavatory, and which will undergo another substantially equal change-say a negative change in capacitance or reactanceupon the departure of the user. The positive change in capacitance or reactance will activate a solenoid valve or, if it has already been operated and the antenna has undergone a negative change, the negative change will interrupt its operation.

The antenna structure of the present invention is espe cially suitable for an applicable to a lavatory which may be used at airports, public restrooms, kitchens, etc., or in any places where it is desired to have the lavatory controlled by the approach and departure of the user. The antenna structure embodies, in its basic form, a simple, inexpensive metallic structure in the form of two metallic plate members interconnected by a wire of any cross-sectional shape. The metallic structure constitutes the essential capacity changing component for the proximity ice control circuit of the lavatory. The structure may include a casing or casings which may be of a material such as plastic. The metallic structure is small in size whether or not it is supported within a casing or casings and hence is readily concealed beneath the plumbing fixture to protect it against vandalism and theft. The specially contoured metallic element, as will be subsequently described, will present operating characteristics which depend upon its shape and upon the adjacent ceramic, plastic or wood-top material of which the lavatory or its deck is made, and those characteristics will be sufficient and efiective in the proximity control circuit for actuating the solenoid valve.

The antenna or sensing device of a so-called proximity control system for a plumbing system, such as a lavatory, is of importance because it serves to trigger the operation of the proximity equipment and initiate the flow or stoppage of water. The antenna must be arranged to promptly bring on the flow of water upon the approach of the user and to maintain it operated even while the body of the user sways away from the lavatory while his hands remain within the lavatory basin. Thus, the antenna must be effective to maintain control of the solenoid valve even while the user is washing his hand or hands. Furthermore, the antenna structure is equally important in deactivating the flow of water into the bowl of the lavatory just as soon as the user has fully departed from the lavatory. Thus, the antenna must undergo a predetermined electrical reactive change upon the arrival of the user so that the control circuits connected to the antenna structure will be operated properly and promptly. Furthermore, it must supply the electrical property required to overcome those changes brought about by the shifting body movements while the hands of the user are positioned adjacent to or within the bowl of the lavatory and thereby maintain the continuity of the water flow. Also, the antenna structure must undergo a substantially equal but opposite change in its reactive property upon the departure of the user from the lavatory so that the spigot of the lavatory will be turned off promptly when this occurs. The prompt and correct starting and stopping of the water control mechanism not only will satisfy the user, but also it will limit the wastage of water.

The most common variety of antenna structure suggested for proximity controlled plumbing fixtures consists of a simple vertical metallic plate which is connected to appropriate control circuity and to a controlled solenoid valve of the fixture. Such a simple vertical metallic plate member is sensitive only in a direction normal to the plane of the metallic plate member. Such a vertical plate member, however, suffers from the difficulty that, as the user advances far enough toward the antenna to turn the water on, the water will be turned oif just as soon as the user leans forward to wash his hands. The stoppage of the water at this time not only is undesirable but it is bafiling to the user. The stoppage is due to the fact that the mid-section of the user naturally sways away from the plate antenna while the users hands are being positioned within the bowl of the lavatory, thereby necessarily reducing the capacitance of the antenna structure and deactivating the mechanism. The mechanism turns the water off just when it may be needed most, sometimes startling the user. Such erratic and defective action, introduced by the limitations of a vertical plate member serving as an antenna arrangement, has constituted an operating defect and has retarded the use and growth of proximity structures for lavatories.

One of the principal objects of the present invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive antenna structure which will be substantially free of the difficulties above mentioned. According to this invention, the antenna structure will be shaped not alone to trigger the operation of the solenoid mechanism. upon the adequate approach of the user, but also to maintain it in full and continuous operation even as the body of the user sways or bends during intervals when he is washing his hands. The antenna structure will, therefore, embody a particularized shape, including a segment or member which will be effective essentially to respond to the approach of the body of the user and, moreover, other segments or members to respond to the washing position of the hands, and the incidental movement of the mid-section of the user with respect to the lavatory, to maintain the solenoid valve continuously operated while the hands of the user are in motion and remain in the locality of the bowl of the lavatory.

Another antenna structure suggested for proximitycontrolled plumbing fixtures consists of a simple vertical metallic plate which is located near the spout or spigot. Such an antenna is sensitive to the position of hands under the spout, in the normal washing position. However, such an antenna suffers from the difficulty that the water itself is grounded via the supply and drain pipes, and therefore the presence of water tends to create a positive change in capacitance that is sufficiently large to maintain the flow of water. In other words, the antenna turns the water on readily, but cannot turn it off nearly as readily.

The multi-segment antenna structure of this invention will be a relatively small substantially fiat metallic structure shaped so that it may be easily concealed from the view of vandals and thieves and yet its shape will provide the necessary plural sensitivities to respond fully and properly to the varying physical conditions that occur in the normal and expected use of lavatories. By embodying the multi-segment antenna structure as a component of the lavatory either by mounting it so that its physical location will be on the underside of the lavatory or by imbedding it in the ceramic material of the lavatory, the ceramic or other material of the lavatory proper will form a part of the capacitive or reactive component which is so significant in the control of electronic circuits. The antenna structure of this invention will be shaped and oriented so that it effectively and continuously looks at the body of the user as he approaches or arrives at the lavatory, and it also continuously looks up to his arm position or positions as the users body sways or bends away from the lavatory during the hand washing period and maintains a desired continuity of the service.

This invention will be better understood from the more detailed description and explanation hereinafter following, when read in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a proximity lavatory made of ceramic material to which the invention is applied; FIG. 2 represents a front elevational view of the same general proximity lavatory; FIG. 3 illustrates a view of the underside of the lavatory per se to show the antenna housing as a part of the combination; FIG. 4 shows a portion of the lavatory and a partial cross-sectional view of one form of mechanism for mounting the antenna structure and affixing it to the lavatory; FIG. 5 shows the metallic antenna element of this invention; FIG. 5A illustrates a cross-sectional view of the antenna of FIG. 5 taken along lines 5A-5A of FIG. 5; FIG. 6 shows a plan view of an assembled antenna structure according to this invention; FIG. 7 shows a partial front elevational view of a modified assembled antenna structure of this invention; FIG. 8 is a partial front elevational view of a different assembled antenna structure, partially in section; FIG. 9 illustrates a modified form of antenna structure, partially in section, according to this invention; FIG. 10 is a partial front elevational view of a different embodiment of the invention having the antenna imbedded in the proximity lavatory; and FIG. 11 illustrates a partial cross-sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 10.

Throughout the drawing, the same reference characters 4 will be employed to designate the same or similar parts.

The antenna construction embodied in this invention may be arranged for physical connection to the underside of a lavatory 20, as already suggested and as shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 of the drawing. The lavatory 20 is preferably made of vitreous china and is preferably of the wall-hung type or of the countertop or drop-in type. That is, the lavatory 20 preferably may be mounted on the wall, as shown, in embodying this invention. The antenna structure 42 includes a specially shaped, elongated substantially flat metallic member, as shown in FIG. 5.

The fiat metallic antenna structure 42 is essentially made of a fiat elongated piece of metal, such as steel, copper or aluminum, a clear perspective view of 'which is shown in FIG. 5. As will be apparent from FIG. 5, the metallic structure 42 includes two winged segments and 52 which are on the two opposite, or left and right, sides of the central or intermediate or interconnecting segment 44. The segment 44 is intended to b positioned substantially horizontally adjacent to the front central portion of the lavatory 20 so that, in the normal use of the lavatory 20 by the user who is standing in front of the lavatory 20, the body of the user normally will be adjacent to the wings 50 and 52 of the structure. As shown in FIG 5, for example, the wings 50 and 52 will be fairly close to the body of the user as he approaches adjacent to the lavatory 20. Such a narrow strip of material 44 in conjunction with wings 50 and 52 which are capacitively coupled closely to the front china or other material of the lavatory, will be sufficient to develop the required increase in capacitance when the body of the user is closely adjacent to the lavatory 20 and thereby develop the necessary reactance to initiate the operation of the mechanism. The winged segments 50 and 52, through the front material of the lavatory 20, look out at the body of the user, and develop a positive change in capacitance as the user approaches the lavatory 20.

The winged segments 50 and 52 comprise two flat horizontal metallic portions which are interconnected by the central horizontal metallic portion 44. The horizontal portions 50 and 52 are located parallel to the normal positions of the arms of the user when he is washing his hands in the bowl of lavatory 20. Thus, the two horizontal portions 50 and 52 continuously look up at the arms of the user and introduce an increased capacitance as the arms of the user are positioned within or adjacent to the bowl of the lavatory 20. This capacitance is sufficient, as will be outlined hereintfter, to maintain the faucet mechanism in full and proper operation even while the body of the user sways or bends away from the central horizontal segment 44 of the metallic antenna 42 during the hand-washing interval.

The casing or housing for the antenna 42 may consist of two box-like cases and 62 which are shaped to receive and hold the winged segments 50 and 52 of the elongated metallic member 42 as shown in FIGS. 1 to 3 and 6. The cases 60 and 62 are curved or shaped, not only to conform to the contour of the front of the lavatory 20 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, but also to conform to the similarly curve metallic segments 50 and 52 of antenna 42. Both cases 60 and 62 are preferably made of any suitable plastic material, either transparent or non-transparent plastic material, and the thickness of walls of both cases may be, for example, about 4;" thick. The plastic cases 60 and 62 may also include a plurality of studs (not shown) to hold the segments 50 and 52 of the metallic antenna member 42 permanently positioned and affixed against the top horizontal side of the respective cases 60 and 62. As will be further noted later, a minimum spacing is therefore provided between the upper horizontal surfaces of the segments 50 and 52 of antenna member 42 and the upper horizontal segments of the cases 60 and 62. This minimal spacing may be accomplished, for example, by hammering or flattening the heads of the several studs so as to depress or flatten them out and thereby insure a permanent grip between the segments 50 and 52 and the respective cases 60 and 62.

It will also be observed from FIG. 4 that each case, such as 60, may include a slot, such as 76, which is intended to receive a conventional toggle or expansion bolt such as 80, to be inserted into the openings in the case 60. One such bolt 80 is shown in FIG. 4 in its mounted position. The toggle bolt 80 is inserted into the usual opening 81 on the underside of the conventional la'vatory 20, which opening 81 would otherwise normally receive one of the legs of a lavatory if it were not wall-mounted. Such a toggle bolt 80 may be manually adjusted by the installer so as to hold the assembled antenna case 60 permanently affixed against the underside of the lavatory 20 as shown in FIG. 4.

The plastic case 60 also embodies an additional opening or slot 96, which may be located, for example, on one side of the case 60, for receiving appropriate tubing 90 bearing and enclosing the usual wiring extending between the metallic antenna member 42 and the electrical control equipment within a housing 100 for automatically controlling the flow and stoppage of water, as may be desired, via the faucet 120 on the lavatory 20. The electrical equipment of housing 100 may be connected through other electrical circuitry, such as a transformer within a housing 102, to a conventional power outlet 104. The electrical equipment within housing 100 is wired to a solenoid (not shown but preferably positioned on the underside of lavatory 20) which controls the faucet 120. Moreover, the tubing 90 preferably embodies a tapered or enlarged head 92 which would be retained within the slot 96 and would bar the removal of the tubing 90.

The case 60 preferably will also include a small variable or adjustable capacitor 94 which, as shown in FIG. 6, serves to connect one end of the metallic antenna member 42 to the ground conductor of the cable extending through the tubing 90. This capacitor 94 introduces a desired or predetermined capacitance into the control circuitry. For example, capacitor 94 may have a capacitance which would bring the total capacitance between the antenna structure 42 and ground (including the applicable adjacent ceramic or other material) to a value which may be adjusted to about 60 pf.:1.5 pf.

As already noted, the metallic antenna element 42 preferably includes a narrow horizontal segment 44 in the central region thereof as shown in FIG. 5. This narrow segment 44 may extend horizontally over a distance of, say, six inches. This narrow segment 44 need not be a flat plate member or segment; alternatively it may be any piece of conductive wire of any cross-sectional shape, whether round or square or whatever. The purpose of central segment 44 is to minimize the sensitivity of the antenna to water in the lavatory.

The insensitivity to the presence of water in the lavatory occurs because the antenna is not closely coupled to the overflow 110. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the china surrounding the overflow 110 represents a relatively short path of relatively large cross-sectional area between the antenna and the water near the drain. To prevent coupling via this path, the central segment 44 of the antenna is deliberately made with a small projected area. By comparison, the winged segments 46 and 48 are coupled to the water through the china via relatively long paths of relatively small cross-sectional area. Therefore the capacitive effect of water on the antenna is kept to an acceptably low value.

The extended or widened winged segments 50 and 52 of the antenna structure 42 provide a special and unique purpose in supplying necessary capacitance for initiating the operation of the solenoid and its controlled faucet 120, or for maintaining the solenoid and the faucet 120 in operation if they had previously been initiated, when either or both of the hands of the user are in their usual or appropriate positions within or near the bowl of the lavatory 20. The substantally horizontal segments and 52 of the antenna structure 42, though positioned on the underside of the lavatory 20, provide added capacitance as the arms of the user reach toward or into the bowl of the lavatory 20. Thus, the winged segments 50 and 52 insure the operation of the faucet mechanism when either or both of the arms of the user are within the bowl area even though the body of the user may have swayed considerably away from the front of the lavatory 20. This compensating factor is an important feature of the present invention.

The unitary metallic antenna member 42 may be regarded as composed of three individual components, a central horizontally oriented component 44 which serves merely to connect the winged segments 50 and 5 2, and two separated components 50 and 52, which are also horizontally oriented and each responding, in a large degree, both to the body of the user 'as he approaches and also to the movements of the respective arms of the user as the arms are lowered into the lavatory bowl.

The metallic antenna structure 42 and the cases and 62 are shown as arcuate and similarly shaped longitudinal components, but obviously they may be linear or of any other shape to conform to the shape of the understructure of the lavatory 20. The smallness of the principal components, i.e., the metallic structure 42 and the cases 60 and 62, render them especially suitable for easy installation on the underside of any lavatory, the installation to be made either at the factory Where the lavatory is manufactured or at the location where he lavatory is insalled. The absence of large metallic structures, especially desirable for the avoidance of vandalism and thievery.

FIG. 6 shows a plan view of an assembled antenna structure wherein case 60 (illustrated partially in section) includes on form of connection between the metallic antenna 42, the adjustable capacitor 94 and tubing 90.

FIG. 7 illustrates, in place of cases 60 and 62, two pairs of dielectric plates 200 and 202 for the winged segment 50 of antenna structure 42 and 204 and 206 for the other winged segment 52. Segment 50 is affixed between dielectric plates 200 and 202 and segment 52 is likewise afiixed between dielectric plates 204 and 206 The segment 50 and its plates 200 and 202 and segment 52 and its plates 204 and 206 are also permanently aflixed to the underside of the lavatory 20. Any suitable binding substance or attachment mechanism may be employed for establishing the desired physical connections.

FIG. 8 shows a partial front elevational view of a conventional lavatory 20, wherein the antenna structure 42 is sandwiched between a common plastic dielectric plate 210 and the underside of lavatory 20. The single plate 210 preferably covers the entire horizontal surface of antenna 42. Only one dielectric plate is employed in this arrangement.

FIG. 9 illustrates the metallic plate antenna 42 affixed between two elongated dielectric plates 214 and 216 and the composite elongated structure is affixed also to the underside of lavatory 20. As already suggested, any suitable means for establishing the physical connections may be employed to maintain the structure in its horizontal orientation.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate the metallic antenna structure 42 of FIG. 5 imbedded within the vitreous china or other ceramic material of which lavatory 20 may be manufactured. The antenna structure 42 would be inserted into the cavity of the mold at the factory and the slip poured into the cavity and appropriately treated. The antenna structure 42 would be maintained in its horizontal position adjacent to, and concealed from, the front of the lavatory 20. An electrical connection of any type may be employed to join the antenna structure 42 to the control circuitry.

While this invention has been shown and described in certain particular arrangements merely for illustration and explanation, it will be clearly understood that this invention may be applied to many other and widely varied organizations all designed for carrying out the features and objects of the present invention.

A modified form of unitary antenna structure is disclosed in our copending application, filed of even date and assigned to the assignee of the present application.

What is claimed is:

1. An antenna structure for an electronically controlled lavatory or other plumjbing fixture, consisting of an elongated metallic element including a narrow central segment and two winged substantially fiat horizontal segments electrically connected to, and positioned on opposite sides of, the central segment, the three segments changing in capacitance in a substantial amount in response to the approach to, or departure from, the plumbing fixture of different sections with respects to a persons body, not withstanding the swaying of said body.

2. An antenna structure according to claim 1, including an elongated plate member of dielectric material affixed to the central segment and the two winged segments of the antenna structure for holding and protecting the antenna structure.

3. An antenna structure according to claim 2, which includes means for affixing the horizontal segments to the dielectric plate member and to the plumbing fixture.

4. An elongated antenna structure for an electronically controlled lavatory or other plumbing fixture, comprising a unitary structure having two substantially equal substantially flat metallic segments and a wire interconnecting said segments, the two fiat metallic segments being horizontally disposed adjacent to the plumbing fixture, whereby the three segments will undergo capacitive changes in a substantial amount in response to the approach of a persons body or his arms, not withstanding small changes in the position of said body or arms to said plumbing fixture.

5. An elongated antenna structure according to claim 4, including also an elongated plastic housing which is substantially rectangular in cross section and encasing the unitary structure, and means for fastening said housing on the underside of a lavatory adjacent to the front of the lavatory.

6. An antenna structure for an electronic equipment controlled plumbing fixture which is to be operated and released when a user approaches or departs therefrom, consisting of an elongated rectangular metallic plate member which is cut away in the central region of said plate member so that the metallic plate member includes a central segment and two other segments substantially equal in size and substantially fiat and connected to said central segment, said metallic plate member being oriented in a horizontal position.

7. An antenna structure according to claim 6, including an elongated housing having a rectangular cross section and made of non-conductive material, in which the elongated metallic member is tightly enclosed, and means for aflixing said metallic member to a wall of said housing, said housing being afiixed to the underside of said plumbing fixture.

8. An antenna structure according to claim 6, including means for afiixing said metallic plate member to the underside of said plumbing fixture and adjacent to the front thereof.

9. An antenna structure according to claim 6, including an elongated rectangular dielectric plate member and means for affixing said dielectric plate member to the underside of said plumbing fixture adjacent to the front thereof so as to hold said metallic plate member in horizontal position.

:10. An antenna structure for a lavatory comprising a unitary longitudinal metallic plate member which is substantially flat throughout and shaped so that it includes two substantially horizontal winged segments and an intermediate segment interconnecting the two winged segments, a longitudinal plate member of non-metallic ma- 8 terial, and means for affixing said non-metallic plate member to the underside of the lavatory, so that the intermediate segment of the metallic member will be adjacent to the front mid-position of the lavatory and the two Winged sections of said metallic member will be adjacent to the ends of the front of said lavatory.

11. An antenna structure according to claim 10, including also an adjustable capacitor which is located adjacent to said non-metallic plate member and is connected to an end of one of the winged sections of the unitary member.

12. An antenna structure for electrical equipment controlling the flow of water in a lavatory by responding capacitively to the mid-position of a user approaching the lavatory and by responding also to the arms of the user as they are moved adjacent to the bowl of the lavatory, said antenna structure comprising two substantially equal metallic plates interconnected by a conductor and arranged so that the two metallic plates are positioned horizontally and are symmetrical with respect to said conductor but adjacent to the outer sections of the front of the lavatory, whereby said two metallic segments will respond capacitively to the proximity of the mid-section of the user and the two horizontal segments will also respond capacitively to the proximity of the arms of the user within the bowl of the lavatory.

13. An antenna structure according to claim 12, including also a dielectric plate member which is elongated so as to extend over and against said antenna structure for affixing the antenna structure to the underside of the lavatory.

14. An antenna structure according to claim 13, including two elongated dielectric plates between which the two horizontal metallic plates are clamped.

15. An antenna structure according to claim 14 including also a capacitor connected to one of said horizontal metallic plates.

.16. An automatically operated plumbing apparatus comprising a ceramic lavatory which has a spout, a solenoid valve mechanism to control the operation of said spout, said lavatory having a bowl for receiving water emitted by said spout; an antenna structure for controlling the operation of said solenoid valve mechanism, said antenna structure having two substantially equal metallic plate segments and an interconnecting conductor therebetween; an elongated dielectric member; and means for aflixing said dielectric member to the underside of said lavatory so that the two metallic segments of the antenna structure are positioned horizontally near the respective ends of the front of the lavatory and are symmetrically arranged with respect to the interconnecting conductor.

17. An automatically operated plumbing apparatus according to claim 16, in which the solenoid valve mechanism. includes a solenoid valve and electrical circuitry connected between the antenna structure and the solenoid valve so that the solenoid valve will respond to the approach or departure of a user of the lavatory.

18. An automatically operated plumbing apparatus according to claim 17, including also an adjustable capacitor interconnecting the antenna structure to the electrical circu1try.

19. An automatically operated plumbing apparatus according to claim 18, including a casing comprising two dielectric plates and means for afiixing said antenna structure between said dielectric plates on the underside of the lavatory to maintain the plate segments horizontal.

20. An automatically operated plumbing apparatus according to claim 19' in which the interconnecting conductor is a wire.

21. A plumbing fixture consisting of a lavatory made of ceramic material, and an elongated metallic element embedded in the ceramic material at the front of the lavatory, said metallic element consisting of a horizontal structure having two substantially equal substantially flat metallic segments, and a wire interconnecting said metallic seg- 9 10 ments, and the said wire being horizontally disposed so 3,415,278 12/ 1968 Yamamoto et a1 4166X that the wire is in the center of the front of the lavatory, 3,434,164 3/1969 Forbes 4100 and the two segments are symmetrically disposed adjacent 3,462,769 8/ 1969 Ichimoni et al. 4100 t0 the said wire. 3,482,268 12/ 1969' Tashima 4-1 00 References Cited 3,505,692 4/1970 Forbes 4-166 UNITED STATES PATENTS HENRY K. ARTIS, Primary Examiner 2,858,546 11/1958 TakenOs et a1 467 3,151,340 10/1964 Tashima 4166 US, Cl. X.R. 3,314,081 4/1967 Atkins et al. 4100 4100 3,333,150 7/1957 Gorski 317146 10

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3724001 *Feb 16, 1970Apr 3, 1973Omron Tateisi Electronics CoAutomatic water-supply apparatus
US4309781 *May 9, 1980Jan 12, 1982Sloan Valve CompanyAutomatic flushing system
US4604764 *Oct 18, 1984Aug 12, 1986Fava EnzoTap for the delivery of liquids for the conversion from automatic to manual
US4682628 *Apr 11, 1984Jul 28, 1987Hill Stephen AFaucet system
US4692951 *Oct 24, 1985Sep 15, 1987Toto Ltd.Sanitary facility room for clean room
US5412816 *Jan 7, 1994May 9, 1995Speakman CompanySurgical scrub sink
US6202980Jan 15, 1999Mar 20, 2001Masco Corporation Of IndianaElectronic faucet
US8950019Oct 12, 2012Feb 10, 2015Bradley Fixtures CorporationLavatory system
US8997271Oct 6, 2010Apr 7, 2015Bradley CorporationLavatory system with hand dryer
US9170148Apr 18, 2011Oct 27, 2015Bradley Fixtures CorporationSoap dispenser having fluid level sensor
US9194110Mar 7, 2013Nov 24, 2015Moen IncorporatedElectronic plumbing fixture fitting
US9267736Oct 6, 2011Feb 23, 2016Bradley Fixtures CorporationHand dryer with point of ingress dependent air delay and filter sensor
US9441885Oct 4, 2012Sep 13, 2016Bradley Fixtures CorporationLavatory with dual plenum hand dryer
US20090241248 *Mar 28, 2008Oct 1, 2009Donald Albert VollmarAutomatic shutoff assembly for a water closet
WO2010068079A1 *Sep 11, 2009Jun 17, 2010YЕSSIМВЕКОV, Таlgаt NurlуbеkоviсhWash-basin
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/623, 4/313, 4/304
International ClassificationA47K1/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47K1/00
European ClassificationA47K1/00
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Nov 14, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN STANDARD, INC., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:CHASE MANHATTAN BANK, THE (FORMERLY KNOWN AS CHEMICAL BANK);REEL/FRAME:008869/0001
Effective date: 19970801
Nov 13, 1997ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN STANDARD, INC., NEW JERSEY
Free format text: RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST (RE-RECORD TO CORRECT DUPLICATES SUBMITTED BY CUSTOMER. THE NEW SCHEDULE CHANGES THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PROPERTY NUMBERS INVOLVED FROM 1133 TO 794. THIS RELEASE OF SECURITY INTEREST WAS PREVIOUSLY RECORDED AT REEL 8869, FRAME 0001.);ASSIGNOR:CHASE MANHATTAN BANK, THE (FORMERLY KNOWN AS CHEMICAL BANK);REEL/FRAME:009123/0300
Effective date: 19970801
Jun 2, 1993ASAssignment
Owner name: CHEMICAL BANK, AS COLLATERAL AGENT, NEW YORK
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, AS COLLATERAL TRUSTEE;REEL/FRAME:006565/0753
Effective date: 19930601
Jun 28, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN STANDARD INC., A DE. CORP.,;REEL/FRAME:004905/0035
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, 4 ALBANY STREET 9TH FLOOR,
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:U.S. PLUMBING, INC., A CORPORATION OF DELAWARE;REEL/FRAME:004905/0159
Effective date: 19880624
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, NEW YORK