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Publication numberUS3611447 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1971
Filing dateMay 28, 1970
Priority dateMay 28, 1970
Also published asDE2111032A1
Publication numberUS 3611447 A, US 3611447A, US-A-3611447, US3611447 A, US3611447A
InventorsHoward Durrell U
Original AssigneeHoward D U
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sanitary closet
US 3611447 A
Images(2)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 12, 1971 Filed May 28, 1970 D. u. HOWARD 3,611,447

I SANITARY CLOSET 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 F/GI INVENTOB DURRELL U HOWARD av //Mb, 7 1

ATTORNEYS Oct. 12, 1971 D. u. HOWARD 3,611,447

SANITARY CLOSET Filed May 28, 1970 I 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2

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nwnmon DURRELL U. HOWARD BY W6 ATTUR N EYS United States Patent Olfice 3,611,447 Patented Oct. 12, 1971 US. Cl. 4-10 8 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A sanitary system for vehicles or the like includes a sanitary closet having a bowl and a temporary storage receptacle for waste which is positioned below the bowl. Both bowl and receptacle are provided with a respective bottom shutter element which is selectively operable between opened and closed positions. An operating means for the shutters ensures that only one of the two shutters can be open at any one time, with the shutter at the bottom of the bowl being open during use of the closet and closed during the flushing cycle. The bowl is flushed from a reservoir of flushing fluid, and the flushing fluid follows a path which returns the fluid from the bowl, whose shutter is now closed, to the reservoir, bypassing the lower temporary storage receptacle. The receptacle may be concurrently flushed by flushing water obtained from a storage container which collects waste water from sinks, showers, etc., and this water flows with the waste from the temporary storage receptacle through the associated,'now-open shutter at the bottom of the temporary storage receptacle to a waste storage container where it is held until its removal.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a sanitary closet and plumbing system that is particularly adapted for use in boats, trailers, and other vehicles or portable units. The closet of this invention is of the type having a waste storage compartment which is periodically emptied, as for example, at the end of a trip. With the increasing emphasis on avoidance of pollution of streams and lakes, it is becoming mandatory in many localities to provide a closet for use on boats, camping trailers, and the like, which are so constructed as to prohibit absolutely the discharge of all waste material, and particularly human waste material, from such vehicles.

Although vehicle closets of the flush type have been developed and are in use, and although some provide for the storage of waste material that can be removed from the closet, such closets of the prior art have numerous disadvantages. For example, in the closets in common use in vehicles, no means is provided for separating the waste material from the flushing fluid with the result that the flushing fluid becomes contaminated after only a single use of the vehicle. Even though such closets ordinarily supply some means for filtering the flush water, it is common for the filter to become at least partially clogged and for the flush water to become very quickly contaminated with the result that a very unsanitary'and odorous condition soon occurs.

The increasingly more stringent anti-pollution measures now being adapted in most jurisdictions not only prohibits the discharge of waste from sanitary closets but also from sinks, lavatories, showers, etc. with which many recreational vehicles are now provided. Therefore, it becomes necessary to store on the vehicle the waste water collected from such devices as Well as the sanitary waste collected from the closets.

In U.S. Pat. 3,418,664, issused on Dec. 31, 1968, to

Thomas Carmichael and Durrell U. Howard, there is disclosed an improved water closet for vehicles which overcomes most of the problems associated with prior art closets. Described briefly, the water closet of that patent comprises a flushing fluid reservoir which flushes the bowl after each use. A shutter at the bottom of the bowl blocks communication between the bowl and the waste storage receptacle during the flushing cycle but permits the flushing fluid to return to the reservoir; consequently the flushing fluid does not mingle with the contents of the waste receptacle and remains substantially uncontaminated even after numerous flushing cycles.

The sanitary closet of the aforementioned patent has proved to be highly advantageous in actual commercial operation. It does, however, have one drawback in common with other known vehicular water closets which is that, during actual use, with the bottom shutter open to permit the passage of waste material into the waste receptacle, noisome odors can readily travel from the waste spectacle and penerate the space about the water closet to the general discomfort of the user. As will be seen, the improved system of this invention eliminates this problem While still retaining the advantage of the apparatus disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. 3,418,664.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In the preferred embodiment of the invention, a closet is provided with a first or bowl portion and a second portion, with the bowl portion being arranged above the second portion and a first closure means mounted therebetween to selectively permit solid and liquid waste material to pass from the first portion to the second portion when the closure member is in its open position. A second closure means selectively blocks communication between the second portion and a conduit leading to the waste storage receptacle. A reservoir is provided for a flushing fluid which is used to flush the bowl when the first closure means is closed so that the flushing fluid returns to the reservoir, bypassing the waste storage receptacle. A second flushing means is provided to draw waste water collected in a separate waste storage reservoir and use the collected waste water as a flushing fluid for the second and lower portion of the closet. The latter flushing step may occur concurrently with the first flushing step at a time when the first closure means is closed and the second is open. The waste material and the flushing fluid pass through an opening defined in the lower part of the second portion of the closet bowl and pass therethrough to a separate Waste storage receptacle.

The sinks, lavatories, and showers in the vehicle may be connected through a common waste conduit to the waste storage reservoir, and means are provided in said reservoir for separating the sanitary waste from the waste water. The waste water may then be used as a source of flushing for the second or lower portion of the closet after the closet has been used. A

The collected sanitary waste, and the separately collected waste water may also be exhausted through a single outlet to the exterior of the vehicle. Thus all of the waste generated within the vehicle, that is sanitary waste, the waste water resulting from the shower or the lavatory, and the waste garbage and water consumed in food preparation may be disposed of from a single collection point even though the various plumbing fixtures are scattered throughout the vehicle.

The first and second closure means each have associated operating means which so control the two closure means that only one such closure means can be open at any time. As a result, there is at no time direct communication from the waste storage receptacle to the first or bowl portion; as a result, the passage of noisome odors to the environs of the closet is eliminated. 1 a

It is, therefore an object of the present invention to provide a sanitary closet for use in vehicles or the like, which is particularly adapted for use in boats, trailers, land yachts, and other moving vehicles. The closet of the invention provides for a separate waste storage compartment which is periodically emptied, as, for example, -at the end of a trip, and will absolutely prohibit the discharge of any waste material, and particularly human waste material, from the vehicle. This waste storage compartment is provided with means for separating waste water collected from various plumbing fixtures located throughout the vehicle from the sanitary waste collected from the sanitary closets.

Another object of this invention is to provide a sanitary vehicle closet of the flush type which recycles a relatively small quantity of treated flushing fluid and recycles the flushing fluid for many flushes without appreciably contaminating the fluid. The bulk of the waste material is conveyed away by a second flushing operation which uses waste water that has been separately collected in the separate storage Waste compartment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic side view and partial crosssection of the closet and plumbing system used in the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a schematic circuit diagram for the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 discloses the closet and plumbing system of the preferred embodiment. The closet is contained within an enclosure and includes a first or bowl portion 11 and a second and lower temporary storage portion 12. These two portions are separated by shutter 13 which is operable between open and closed positions to allow solid and liquid waste to pass from the upper portion 11 to the lower portion 12 when shutter 13 is in its open position. Seat member 14 is mounted above the container 10 and coaxially aligned with the upper portion of the closet member 11. A lid 15 is pivotally mounted above'seat 14 at the rearward edge of enclosure 10. The rotation of the lid 15 may be coupled directly to the shutter operating mechanism 16 by means of shaft 17 or other appropriate operating mechanisms. The details of this mechanism are not relevant to the invention disclosed herein, but may take the form illustrated in my U.S. application S.N. 848,- 221 filed on Aug. 7, 1969, or may take the form illustrated in the aforesaid U.S. Pat. 3,418,664. The lid 15 may be linked to shutter operating mechanism 16 by an electrical coupling or electro-mechanical mechanism.

When the lid 15 is raised to its upper position, shutter member 13 is retracted to its open position to allow direct communication between the bowl 11 and lower portion 12. When the upper shutter 13 is open, the lower shutter 18 is closed; similarly, when the upper shutter 13 is closed, the lower shutter 18 is open. This second shutter 18 is located below the waste outlet defined in the lower part of the second and lower portion 12. Shutter 18 is also operated by the shutter control mechanism 16 by means of shaft 19 which extends through the shaft housing 20 and is anchored to the shutterat 21.

Waste water 37 is collected from various plumbing fixtures located throughout the vehicle such as shower 38, lavatory 39, and a sink 40. The waste Water from the fixtures' 38, 39, and 40 is conveyed through conduits 41, 42, and 43, respectively, to the water storage compartment 44 defined within receptacle 29. Solid and liquid waste from sanitary closet 11 pass through conduit 33 to waste storage compartment 34. The waste storage reservoir 29 waste-36 from the waste water 3'7. Pump-28 is=located is provided with means for separating the sanitary within a filter means to separate the waste water collected within compartment 44from any solid waste which may have collected therein such as garbage from the food preparation area served by sink 40, or bits ofsoap and human hair from shower 38 and lavatory 39. Receptacle 29 may be emptied bymeans of drain 46 which communicates with the exterior of the vehicle. Drain conduit 46 is connected to waste storage compartment 34 of receptacle 29 by means of conduit 47 and waste storage'compartment 44 by means of conduit 48. Each of these conduits is connected with its own shut-off valve 49 and 50, respectively, to prevent the contamination or" the water storage compartment 44 with sanitary waste from cornpartment 34. 1

Normally valves 49 and 50 are closed throughout the time the vehicle is in use. If the water storage compartment 44 becomes filled before the sanitary compartment 34 is filled, the excess waste water may be discharged by opening drain 51 which is normally closed by means of stop valve 52. It should be pointed out that under normal circumstances it would be desirable to leave a small portion of waste water 37 present within the water storage compartment 44 for use in the second stage of the flushing cycle as described below.

Under conditions where the discharge of any waste material is prohibited whatsoever, if compartment 44 fills before the compartment 34 the one-way valve 53 will allow the excess waste water compartment 44 to flow into the sanitary reservoir 34 without allowing any sanitary waste to flow back into the compartment 44.

OPERATION During use of the closet, the lid 15 is in its raised position so that waste material can pass directly through bowl 11 and nowopen shutter 13 into lower portion 12. The second, lower shutter 18 is now closed.

After the closet has been used, the first shutter'13 is closed, and the lower shutter 18 is opened as a result of the lowering of lid 15. Next, the flushing circuitry is energized, and this may be accomplished by actuation of push-button 30 which is mounted on the upper portion of enclosure 10. Suitable interlocks can be provided, as disclosed in the aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 3,418,664 to guard against energization of this circuitry and operation of pump 22 when shutter 13 is open. When the circuitry is energized, pump 22 withdraws the flushing fluid 23 from the lower portion of the enclosure 10 and pumps it upwardly through conduit 24 to the discharge opening 25 located in the upper periphery of the upper portion 11. The opening 25 may be mounted tangentially to force the water to swirl circumferentially around the interior of the bowl 11 during the flushing cycle.

An annular and apertured ring 26 is mounted between the first and second portions of the closet bowl, directly above shutter 13, and has defined therein a plurality of openings 27 to divert the flushing fluid back into the fiushing fluid reservoir in the lower portion of container 10 when shutter 13 is closed. Since that the major portion of the waste collected during use is deposited in the lower portion 12, the flushing solution which cleanses the upper bowl 11 does not come into contact with any substantial amount of solid or liquid waste. Simultaneously with the first flushing operation, pump 28 located in receptacle 29 is activated and this pump forces the strained and filtered waste water collected from the plumbing systemupwardly from conduit 31 to the outlet 32 defined in the upper portion of lower bowl 12. The water again enters this bowl in a tangential manner to swirl circumferentially about the inner surface of bowl 12. This second flushing action may consume a much greater amount of fluid than does the first flushing operation energized by pump 22; however, a greater quantity of flushing fluid may actually be employed .in the first flushing action byreason of the capability of recirculating several times the quite small amount of flushing fluid provided in the flushing fluid reservoir. The waste water is then used to carry the accumulated solids downwardly through the outlet defined in the lower portion of lower closet bowl 12 through the waste conduit 33 into the sanitary storage compartment 34 of receptacle 29.

It is intended that the first flushing fluid 23 will normally involve water which has been treated with a germicidal or antiseptic solution to cleanse the upper portion of the closet and maintain it in a sanitary condition.

FIG. 3 illustrates another embodiment of the invention which is particularly adapted for boats or mobile homes. This embodiment can be used whenever a supply of fresh water is plentiful. The fresh water supply is connected to conduit 60 and passes through the T 61 to solenoid valves 62 and 63 whose operation will be hereinafter described.

Referring to FIG. 2, a suitable source of power is applied to the circuitry at terminal 80. A fuse or circuit breaker 81 prevents any of the operating pumps or valves from becoming overloaded due to a short circuit or other malfunction. The current then passes to timer 82 which times the duration of the flushing cycle. Initiation of a flushing cycle may occur in response to actuation of a weight-responsive switch (not shown) as previously described, or by means of an external push button 30 as shown if FIG. 1. In any event, upon the initiation of the flushing cycle interval, as schematically illustrated in FIG. 2, pump 22 may be operated to provide for flushing the bowl 11 while shutter 13 is closed.

For this embodiment of the invention, the circuit means of FIG. 2 is illustrated as being provided with a two position switch 84 which may be selectively operated between a so-called Travel position and a Fresh Water position. Assuming that the vehicle is in use, perhaps being driven over a highway as in the case of a mobile home, switch 84 is then operated to its upper, or Travel position, to thereby provide energization of pump 28 during the timing interval demarcated by timer 82. Pump 28, as shown in FIG. 1, provides for the circulation of flushing water from water storage compartment 44, over conduit 31, to the lower portion 12. Thus, it can be seen that whenever switch 84 is in the Travel position, the operation of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 3 operates in exactly the same manner as does the embodiment of FIG. 1.

If the system is to be used under conditions where fresh water is readily available, switch 84 is operated to the lower or Fresh Water position, thereby rendering pump 28 inoperative and instead conditioning valve 62 for operation. Valve 62 will then be operated to the open position throughout the time interval demarcated by timer 82. In other words, under these conditions, the flushing of the lower portion 12 of the sanitary closet is by fresh water from pipe 60 (FIG. 3) instead of using the water stored in water storage compartment 44. Although this mode of operation may result in usage of greater quantities of water, with the further result that the waste storage compartment 34 will then more quickly be filled, it must be noted that under the conditions where fresh water is readily available, it then also ordinarily becomes possible to connect the drain 46 (FIG. 1) to a sewer as well so that there is then no need to store waste in compartment 34 and instead the waste can then be permitted to flow directly into such sewer connection.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate another feature which may be incorporated in the sanitary closet of the present invention. Thus, the fresh water available in conduit 60' may be selectively permitted to flow, when valve 63 is open, through conduit 60 and into opening 64 in the upper portion of bowl 11. It will be noted that there is connected in series with valve 63, as shown in FIG. 2, a push-button 71 which permits energy to be applied to open valve 63 whenever the push-button is closed. Such actuation of the valve 63 may, according to instructions for the user, be

efiected whenever the sanitary closet has been used and it is desired to flush the bowl 11 with a small quantity of fresh Water prior to initiation of the regular flushing cycle. Thus, it must be remembered that, according to the present invention, the shutter 13 is closed during the regular flushing cycle. Consequently, any waste which may have been retained on the inner surface of bowl 11 cannot pass into the lower portion 12 during the regular flushing cycle. However, actuation of valve 63 for a brief interval prior to the regular flushing cycle will permit such waste material to be flushed from bowl 11 and into the lower portion 12 before shutter 13 is closed and the regular flushing cycle initiated. If desired, switch 71 may be of the type which maintains the circuit closed for only a predetermined time interval of a few seconds when once actuated, thereby limiting the amount of water which will be used during this pre-flush.

What is claimed is:

1. A sanitary closet comprising,

first and second bowl portions,

said first bowl portion arranged above said second bowl portion,

said second bowl portion defining a waste outlet therein,

first shutter means for selectively blocking communication between said first and second bowl portions,

second shutter means for selectively blocking communication between said second bowl portion and said waste outlet,

shutter control means controlling said first and second shutter means so that normally only one such shutter means is open at any time,

a flushing fluid reservoir,

first flushing means for directing a flushing fluid from said reservoir into said first bowl portion when said first shutter means is closed,

said first flushing means providing a return flow for said flushing fluid to said reservoir which bypasses said second bowl portion,

a second flushing means for directing a flushing fluid into said second bowl portion when said second shutter means is open for removing waste deposited therein.

2. A sanitary closet as claimed in claim 1 which further comprises a hinged lid operable between raised and lowered positions for selectively covering the upper end of said first bowl portion, and

means responsive to the position of said lid for operating said first and second shutter means.

3. The sanitary closet as claimed in claim 1 which includes means formed integrally with the bottom part of said first bowl portion and defining therein at least one aperture through which said flushing fluid flows from said first bowl portion when said first shutter means is closed.

4. A plumbing system for use in vehicles comprising,

at least one receptacle for collecting waste water from sinks, lavatories or showers,

at least one sanitary closet having first and second bowl portions,

said first bowl portion being mounted above said second bowl portion,

said second bowl portion defining a waste outlet therein,

first shutter means for selectively blocking communication between said first and second bowl portions,

second shutter means for selectively blocking communication between said second bowl portion and said waste outlet,

shutter control means controlling said first and second shutter means so that normally only one said shutter means is open at any time, and

a waste water flushing means for directing said waste water from said waste'storage receptacle into said second bowl portion when said secondshutter means permits communication between said second bowl portion and said waste outlet for removing waste in said second bowl portion.

7 5. A plumbing system as claimed in claim 4 which further includes a first flushing means for directing a flushing fluid from a storage reservoir into said first bowl portion when said first shutter means blocks communication with said second bowl portion,

said first flushing means providing a return flow path for said flushing fluid to said storage reservoir which bypasses said second bowl portion and said receptacle. 6. The plumbing system of claim 5 Which further includes a sanitary waste receptacle, said waste outlet communicating with said sanitary waste receptacle.

7. A plumbing system for use in vehicles comprising, at least one receptacle for collecting and storing separately sanitary waste from sanitary closets and also Waste water from sinks, lavatories or showers, at least one sanitary closet having first and second bowl portions, said first bowl portion being mounted above said second bowl portion, said second bowl portion defining a waste outlet therein which selectively communicates with said receptacle, first shutter means for selectively blocking communication between said first and second bowl portions, second shutter means for selectively blocking communication between said second bowl portion and said waste outlet, shutter control means controlling said first and second shutter means so that normally only one said shutter means is open at any time, a reservoir for flushing fluid, flow control means for forcing said flushing fluid from 8 said reservoir to said first portion to flush said first portion only when said first shutter means is closed, and means for providing a return flow path for said flushing fluid from said first bowl portion to said reservoir bypassing said second bowl portion when said first shutter means is in its closed position. 8. A plumbing system as claimed in claim 7 which comprises a waste water flushing means for directing waste water from said receptacle into said second bowl portion for removing Waste deposited therein only when said second shutter means is open.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,303,358 5/1919 Montgomery 4115 2,724,837 11/1955 McPherson 4-10 3,005,993 10/1961 Corliss 4115 3,042,933 7/ 1962 Garver 477 3,079,612 5/1963 Corliss 4--10 3,418,664 12/1968 Carmichael et al. 4-1 15 3,289,214 12/1966 Corliss 4 3,487,475 1/1970 Minniear 4--10 3,520,003 7/1970 Shaw 477 3,538,517 11/1970 Cornish et al. 4-10 HENRY K. ARTIS, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 476, 78, 80, 115

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3748663 *Mar 8, 1971Jul 31, 1973Hiller MChemical closets
US3787901 *Jul 20, 1971Jan 29, 1974Gen Am TransportToilet and waste storage system
US3829909 *Mar 5, 1973Aug 20, 1974Monogram Ind IncRecirculating toilet
US3858249 *Oct 10, 1973Jan 7, 1975Howard Durrell UngerSelf-contained sanitary closet for vehicles or the like
US3927425 *Apr 22, 1974Dec 23, 1975Koehler DaytonSewerage treatment system
US4069521 *Dec 29, 1975Jan 24, 1978Augusto Cuevas AlemanSystem and means for using white waters in buildings
US4310934 *Nov 1, 1979Jan 19, 1982Arnold HennessyWater-conserving toilet
US4359789 *Aug 12, 1974Nov 23, 1982Monogram Industries, Inc.Sewerless disposal system
US4407025 *Jan 4, 1982Oct 4, 1983Arnold HennessyWater-conserving toilet
US4546502 *Oct 9, 1984Oct 15, 1985Lew Hyok SEvaporative waste disposal system
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US5947146 *Jan 30, 1995Sep 7, 1999Sealand Technology, Inc.Low volume vacuum toilet assembly
US6317898Feb 25, 2000Nov 20, 2001Raritan Engineering Company, Inc.Apparatus for selecting marine toilet flush water
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WO1991018789A1 *May 31, 1991Dec 12, 1991Mag Aerospace Ind IncDrain valve
WO1995000720A1 *Jun 22, 1994Jan 5, 1995Per BornhoeftA water closet device
WO2000020697A1 *Sep 23, 1999Apr 13, 2000Dunbriar Investments LimitedSewage system and method of handling wastewater
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/317, 4/323
International ClassificationE03D5/00
Cooperative ClassificationE03D5/00
European ClassificationE03D5/00