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Publication numberUS3713176 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 30, 1973
Filing dateDec 27, 1971
Priority dateDec 27, 1971
Publication numberUS 3713176 A, US 3713176A, US-A-3713176, US3713176 A, US3713176A
InventorsStock R
Original AssigneeStock R
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Self-cleaning restroom
US 3713176 A
Abstract
A self-cleaning restroom including a panel swingably mounted therein between a normally vertical position and a cleaning or horizontal position. The front side of the panel has mounted thereto dispensers for dispensing the usual expendables commonly found in a restroom. The reverse side of the panel includes a group of nozzles suitably arranged thereon and communicated with a variety of fluids each of which is suitably programmed to emanate from the nozzle in a predetermined sequence for spray cleaning and disinfecting the entire restroom. Moving the panel to the cleaning position places the dispenser in a remote location where they remain dry during the entire sequence and suitably places the nozzles in an optimum location. Air is forced through suitable venting structure to expedite the drying process of the restroom subsequent to the fluids being sprayed therein.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1 Stock 1 Jan. 30, 1973 1 SELF-CLEANING RESTROOM Primary Examiner-Henry Artis I [76] inventor: Richard R. Stock, 4005 Roxbury mmmey-John walker In Road, Jackson, Miss. 39211 [57] ABSTRACT [22] Filed: Dec. 27, 1971 A self-cleaning restroom including a panel swingably PP N03 211,959 mounted therein between a normally vertical position and a cleaning or horizontal position. The front side of the panel has mounted thereto dispensers for fi 3g dispensing the usual expendables commonly found in I I a restroom The reverse Side of the pane includes a [58] Field of Search ..4/l, 145-158, 2-5,

52/69 134/167 168 group of nozzles suitably arranged thereon and communicated with a variety of fluids each of which is suitably programmed to emanate from the nozzle in a References cued predetermined sequence for spray cleaning and disin- UNITED STATES PATENTS fectmg the entire restroom. Nloving the panel to the cleaning position places the dispenser in a remote lo- 2,7I2,863 7/1955 Busch ..52/79 cation where they remain dry during the entire 3,005,205 l0/l96l BT83 ..4/l equence and suitably places the nozzles in an o 3,212,105 0/1965 timum location. Air is forced through suitable venting structure to expedite the drying process of the 2:870:45? 1959 Knight..::::.............,...........:::::: tl l73 Subsequem fluids being Sprayed 12 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures r f \r\ 25 \X I 65 57 j 53 53 I 7 E E i 1 w A 23/5 58 29 j 33 23 69 55/; Er 2? i *1 211 m 59 0 0 b I 1 l7 49 ii 15 65 Q zl SELF-CLEANING RESTROOM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to self-cleaning restrooms.

2. Description of the Prior Art Heretofore, the task of cleaning a restroom has been accomplished by manual labor. The ever-increasing high cost of labor results in many public restroom facilities being cleaned too infrequently. Additionally, the lack of dignity involved in a task of this nature makes recruiting of workers more difficult. A preliminary patentability search revealed the following U. S. Pats: Sparling, No. 2,259,783; Anderson, No. 3,107,400; and Hatcher, No. 3,434,253. None of the above references show or suggest a self-cleaning restroom or structure resembling applicants device.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed towards overcoming the problem of recruiting competent workers to manually clean a restroom, i.e., by eliminating the need for a workman. Additionally, the concept of the present invention is to provide the proprietor of a business or the like having a public restroom therein with a means for simply throwing a switch which activates certain structure in a logical sequence, and in a few moments the entire restroom is clean and substantially germ-free.

The self-cleaning restroom of the present invention includes a panel swingably mounted within the restroom between a normally vertical position and a horizontally disposed or cleaning position. The front side of the panel has mounted thereto a mirror and various dispensers for dispensing the usual expendables commonly found in a public restroom. The reverse side of the panel includes a group of nozzles suitably arranged thereon and communicated with a variety of fluids each of which is programmed to emanate from the nozzles in a predetermined sequence for spraycleaning and disinfecting the entire restroom. Moving the panel to the cleaning position places the dispensers and mirror in a remote location where they remain dry during the cleaning sequence and properly places the nozzles in an optimum location for the cleaning process. Air is forced through suitable venting structure to expedite the drying process of the restroom subsequent to the various fluids being sprayed therein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partially sectionalized elevational view of the restroom of the present invention showing the front side of the swingable panel which has the various dispensers and the mirror attached thereto.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken as on the line IIII of FIG. 1 and additionally showing diagrammatically certain electrical and plumbing structure suitably incorporated therewith.

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken as on the line III-III of FIG. 1 showing certain plumbing structure suitably arranged on the reverse side of the swingable mounted panel.

FIG. 4 is a planar view of the reverse side of the swingably mounted panel showing the preferred arrangement of the nozzle structure attached thereto.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The self-cleaning restroom ll of the present invention is intended to include various different types of construction. In other words, the inventive concepts as hereinafter disclosed may be incorporated into a presently existing restroom; however, it is preferred that the restroom 11 of the present invention be constructed simultaneously with the initial construction of the building or the like. In this regard, the restroom ll of the present invention may be prefabricated in a factory environment as a module unit for subsequent installation. Additionally, the inventive concept of the restroom ll ,of the present invention may be incorporated in the construction of a mobile home or the like. It is anticipated that the most prevalent demand for the self-cleaning restroom 11 of the present invention probably would be in gasoline service stations, motels, hotels, or other such structures where restrooms are provided. I

The self-cleaning restroom 1 1 has a plurality of walls as shown by the numerals 13, 15, and 17, a ceiling l9 and a floor 21. A ledge 23 resembling a drop ceiling is attached to the walls 13, 15, 17 a distance below the ceiling l9 and defining an opening 25 having a predetermined size thereto.

The restroom 1 1 includes a panel structure 27 having dimensions substantially equal to the size of the opening 25. The panel 27 is hingedly attached to the ledge 23 for swinging movement between a vertical in-use position substantially perpendicular to the floor 21 and a horizontal cleaning position spaced a considerable distance above the floor 21, i.e., subjacent the ceiling 19. The panel 27, preferably formed from sheet metal or the like, includes a plurality of rib members 28 which are suitably joined one with the other as by welding or the like, to establish suitable frame structure.

The panel 27 has mounted thereon a mirror 29, a soap dispenser 31, a hand towel dispenser 33 and a toilet tissue dispenser 35. The mirror 29 and the dispensers 31, 33, 35 are exposed to the interior of the restroom 11 when the panel 27 is in the just-described vertical position and are moved to a remote location, i.e., adjacent the ceiling 19, where they remain dry during the cleaning sequence yet to be described.

The panel 27 has a planar obverse side 37 (FIG. 1) suitably attached to the rib members 28 as by welding or the like and a reverse side 39 (FIG. 4) thereto. The reverse side 39 contiguously engages one of the walls, e.g., the wall 15, when the panel 27 is in the vertical position. Additionally, the panel 27 is aligned with the ledge 23, i.e., being flush therewith, and sealably closing the opening 25, i.e., the reverse side 39 thereof being directed downwardly, when the panel 27 is in the horizontal position.

The restroom 11 includes at least one source of fluid under pressure, e.g., a municipal water supply depicted in FIG. 2 of the drawings by a reservoir character referenced by the numeral 41. A system of spray nozzles 43 are included which communicate with the reservoir 41. The nozzles 43 are directed into the interior of the restroom 11 when the panel 27 is in the horizontal cleaning position. In other words, from FIG. 4 of the drawings it may be seen that the reverse side 39 of the panel 27 has attached thereto the spray nozzles 43. The

nozzles 43 are interconnected one with the other by typical plumbing apparatus 45, e.g., conduits and conduit fittings, in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art. A drain system 47 is also included and is preferably positioned in the floor 21 in a typical manner.

For explanatory purposes ,a washbasin 49 and a commode 51 are depicted in the drawings. However, it should be understood that the restroom 11 may optionally be configured to various specifications, e.g., having several washbasins and/or commodes, one or more urinals, and various compartments or stalls usually found in restrooms. Additionally, the proportionate size of the panel 27 is for illustrative purposes only as it is anticipated that different size restrooms will require different size panels. Accordingly, the reverse side 39 of the panel 27 as depicted in FIG. 4 is for illustrative purposes only, i.e., a total of nine spray nozzles 43 are conveniently depicted when actually there is no limit to the number of spray nozzles 43 which may be attached to the reverse side 39 of the panel 27. In other words, a large panel 27 would have more spray nozzles attached thereto than a small panel 27. Further, the panel 27 may have notches therein (not shown) when the wall has a partition or the like defining a stall about a commode, i.e., so that the spray nozzles are directed over the entire area of the floor 21 or both sides of any such partitions. The notches would be provided to allow the panel 27 to extend downwardly on either side of a partition when in the vertical position.

The panel 27 is hingedly attached to the wall 15 by a pair of hinges 53. Movement of the panel 27 between the above-described vertical and horizontal positions is shown in the drawings as being accomplished by an elongated flexible member 55 suitably guided about a sheave 57. The sheave 57 is attached to the ceiling 19 and the flexible member 55 extends through the ledge 23 through a suitable aperture 58 provided therein. A lug 59 is fixedly attached to the panel 27 for suitably receiving one end of the flexible member 55. A cleat 61 is fixedly attached to the wall 15 for adjustably receiving the other end of the flexible member 55 in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art. However, it should be understood that the panel 27 may optionally be power driven between the above-described vertical and horizontal positions. In this regard, it is anticipated that a cylinder-piston assembly (not shown) preferably actuated by water or other fluid pressure may be suitably arranged to move the panel 27 between the vertical and horizontal positions in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art.

A pump 63 is included for forcing the fluid, e.g., water from the reservoir 41, to emanate outwardly from the spray nozzles 43 with great force. In other words, high pressure is preferred in order to assure adequate cleaning of the restroom l l.

A plurality of vents 65 is included for allowing movement of air into and out of the restroom 11. Certain of the vents 65 preferably are suitably arranged so that one side is adjacent an exterior portion of the building.

In the event this is not feasible, it is recommended that suitable duct (not shown) be included to communicate In other words, the vents open automatically by forced air movement.

From FIG. 1 of the drawings, it may be seen that the restroom 11 includes a blower 67 for forcing movement of air through the vents 65. It should be observed that the blower 67 is positioned between the ceiling l9 and the ledge 23. Accordingly, an opening 69 in the ledge 23 enables the blower 67 to pull air through the vent 65' positioned between the ceiling l9 and the ledge 23 and force the air through the opening 69, thence through the lower vents 65 positioned adjacent the floor 21 in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art.

From FIG. 2 of the drawings, it may be seen that the restroom 11 includes a heater 71 for heating the air being forced by the blower 67, i.e., the blower 67 and the heater 71 facilitating drying of the restroom l 1 subsequent to the fluid, e.g., the water from the reservoir 41 and other fluids yet to be disclosed, being sprayed therein. If desired, heater 71 may be omitted without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

In addition to the water reservoir 41, at least two reservoirs 73, are included. The reservoirs 73, 75 are preferably formed from fiberglass or the like and are conveniently located for frequent servicing thereof. In other words, the reservoir 73 is intended to hold a convenient quantity of a typical detergent solution and the reservoir 75 is intended to hold a convenient quantity of a disinfectant solution.

Also included is a plurality of solenoid-actuated valves 77, 79, 81 respectively communicating with the reservoirs 41, 73, 75 for selectively controlling the flow of the above-mentioned types of fluids to the nozzles 43 in a manner yet to be described.

From FIG. 2 of the drawings, it may also be seen that the pump 63 is power-driven by a motor 83. Accordingly, energizing the motor 83 and the valve 77 forces water to flow from the reservoir 41 and to emanate from the spray nozzles 43. Additionally, energizing the motor 83 and the valve 79 forces the detergent solution to flow from the reservoir 73 and to emanate from the spray nozzles 43. Further, energizing the motor 83 and the valve 81 forces the disinfectant solution to flow from the reservoir 75 and to emanate from the spray nozzles 43.

From the above disclosure, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that a logical sequence of events may easily be controlled by a simple programmer of a construction obvious to those skilled in the art, e.g., very similar to the timer or programmer which controls the cycles of the typical well known automatic washing machine. Accordingly, the restroom 11 includes a programmer 85 for initiating certain actions, e.g., causing the motor 83, the blower 67, the heater 71, and the valves 77, 79, 81 to be energized in a logical sequence. It should be pointed out that the programmer 85 also may optionally cause the mechanism alluded to above, i.e., for driving the panel 27 between the vertical and horizontal positions, to be energized in conjunction with the logical sequence.

It should be understood that the blower 67 and/or the heater 7] may optionally be omitted from the restroom 11 without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

A luminaire 87 is included and is preferably positioned between the ceiling l9 and the ledge 23. The luminaire 87 is suitably arranged to adequately light the interior of the restroom 11 in a manner obvious to those skilled in the art. In other words, the luminaire 87 may be indirect lighting arranged about the upper surface of the ledge 23 or it may be centrally located as depicted in FIG. 1 of the drawings so that the light rays therefrom are directed into the restroom 11 through the opening 25 when the panel 27 is in the vertical position.

A power cable 89 is included and has a typical male plug 91 attached to one end thereof. A single pole single throw switch 93 is included, for causing the pro grammer 85 to be activated. I

Prior to activating the automatic features of the restroom 11, it is desirable that the proprietor or a workman enter the restroom and pick up any loose paper and other objects which may ultimately block the drain 47. At this time, it is also desirable that upon leaving he lock the door 95 thus denying access to the restroom l 1 during the cleaning process. The switch 93 is then closed which starts a motor in the programmer 85 to drive certain structure thereof for accomplishing the logical sequence of events that follows. The first event would be the movement of the panel 27 from the vertical position to the horizontal position. In this regard, if the automatic features alluded to were not incorporated, the proprietor or workman would have accomplished this task manually prior to leaving the restroom by simply pulling the flexible member 55 and tying the end thereof to the lug 59in a typical manner.

Assuming that the automatic drive structure for moving the panel 27 is included, the motor 83 is first energized to drive the pump 63 which causes the panel 27 to move from the vertical position to the horizontal position. Secondly, the valve 79 is energized, which delivers detergent solution from the reservoir 73 to the spray nozzles 43 for a specified period of time. This is followed by energizing the valve 77 which allows water to flow from the reservoir 41 and emanate from the nozzles 43 for rinsing the restroom 11. The next action is the valve 81 is energized which allows the disinfectant solution to flow from the reservoir 75 and emanate from the nozzles 43 for disinfecting the entire area of the restroom 11. Subsequently thereto, it may be desirable that the valve 77 again be energized to allow water to flow from the reservoir 41 and to emanate from the spray nozzles 43 for a second time.

The blower 67 is then energized (by the programmer 85) for a predetermined period of time, e.g., 5 to minutes or the like, to dry the restroom. In the event the heater 71 is included, it would be energized simultaneously with the blower 67. Finally, it is desirable that when the sequence of events is completed, an audio or visual signal (not shown) is activated by the programmer 85 to alert the proprietor or workman that the restroom is clean so that he may open the door 95.

It should be obvious to those skilled in the art that it may be desirable to include relays between high current consumption components, e.g., the heater 71 or the motor 83, and the programmer 85 to obviate heavy current structure in the programmer 85.

Although the invention has been described and illustrated with respect to a preferred embodiment thereof,

it is not to be so limited since changes and modifications may be made therein which are within the full intended scope of the invention.

I claim:

1. A self-cleaning restroom comprising enclosure means including a floor, panel means hingedly mounted in said enclosure means for movement between a vertical in use position substantially perpendicular to said floor and a horizontal cleaning position substantially spaced above said floor, dispenser means mounted on said panel means being exposed to the interior of said enclosure means when said panel means is in said vertical position and being remote from said floor when said panel means is in said horizontal position, a source of fluid under pressure, and spray nozzle means communicated with said source of fluid directed into the interior of said enclosure means for cleaning said enclosure means when said panel means is in said horizontal cleaning position.

2. A self-cleaning restroom having a plurality of walls, a ceiling, and a floor, said restroom comprising ledge means attached to the walls subjacent to the ceiling and defining a predetermined sized opening, panel means having dimensions substantially equal to the size of said opening and being hingedly attached to one of the walls for swinging movement between a normally vertical position and a horizontal cleaning position, said panel means contiguously engaging one of said walls when in said vertical position, said panel means being aligned with said ledge means and closing said opening when in said horizontal position, said panel means having obverse and reverse sides thereto, said reverse side being directed downwardly when said panel means is in said horizontal position, at least one source of fluid under pressure, spray nozzle means communicating with said fluid source and being attached to said reverse side of said panel means for controllably emanating said fluid downwardly therefrom to spray clean said restroom with said fluid, and drain means positioned within the floor for carrying away said fluid subsequent to said restroom being cleaned therewith.

3. The restroom of claim 2 in which is included means for moving said panel means between said vertical and horizontal positions.

4. The restroom of claim 2 in which is included a mirror attached to said obverse side of said panel means for viewing utilization thereof when said panel means is in said first position.

5. The restroom of claim 2 in which said source of fluid under pressure includes pump means for controllably forcing said fluid to emanate outward from said spray nozzle means.

6. The restroom of claim 5 in which is included vent means for allowing movement of air into and out ofsaid restroom.

7. The restroom of claim 6 in which is included blower means for forcing movement of air through said vent means to facilitate drying of saidrestroom subsequent to said fluid being sprayed therein.

8. The restroom of claim 7 in which is included means for heating the air being forced by said blower means to further facilitate drying of said restroom subsequent to said fluid being sprayed therein.

blower means, said heating means, and said plurality of valve means to be energized in a logical sequence.

12. The restroom of claim 2 in which is' included luminaire means positioned between said ceiling and said ledge means and being arranged to direct light rays therefrom into said restroom through said opening defined by said ledge means when said panel means is in said vertical position.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2712863 *Apr 16, 1949Jul 12, 1955Busch Frank WPrefabricated bathroom unit
US2870457 *Jun 20, 1958Jan 27, 1959Robert L KnightBathtub cleaning apparatus
US3005205 *Dec 22, 1959Oct 24, 1961Breen Maurice JUnitary washroom
US3212105 *Feb 12, 1964Oct 19, 1965Baker Meredith HSubmergible swimming pool change room
US3381312 *Nov 29, 1965May 7, 1968Dean K. WhitlaCleaning system
US3447166 *May 18, 1966Jun 3, 1969Gordon Lesley KCombined bathing apparatus,commode,etc.,for convalescent patients and the like
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3869732 *Mar 6, 1974Mar 11, 1975Self Cleaning EnvironmentsSelf-cleaning restroom
US4233692 *Oct 9, 1979Nov 18, 1980Sinsley John DRest rooms
US4369532 *Nov 26, 1980Jan 25, 1983Houchins Stanley LSink assembly
US4383341 *Apr 2, 1981May 17, 1983Murray AltmanBathtub self-cleaning system
US4872225 *Sep 6, 1988Oct 10, 1989Wagner John CCleaning apparatus and method for bath enclosures
US4881284 *Oct 21, 1988Nov 21, 1989Self-Cleaning Environments, Inc.Self-cleaning restroom
US4944052 *Jul 28, 1989Jul 31, 1990Hans WallPublic sanitary cubicle
US5099587 *May 23, 1990Mar 31, 1992Jarosch Robert MBathroom dryer assembly
US6463600 *May 4, 2001Oct 15, 2002Daniel P. ConwayAutomatic shower and bathtub cleaner
US7673422Nov 23, 2005Mar 9, 2010Peter William De La MarcheModular buildings
EP0456944A1 *May 17, 1990Nov 21, 1991Roland JacqueminAutomatic shower stall
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/662, 134/168.00R
International ClassificationA47K3/28, E03D9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47K3/281, E03D9/002
European ClassificationA47K3/28B, E03D9/00D