US 3777316 A
The invention relates to cisterns in which partial and full flushes may be obtained with simple operations of the cistern handle. The handle is normally only able to pivot through a small angle to provide a partial flush but on moving the handle in the direction of the handle shaft axis, the handle may pivot through a larger angle to initiate the full flush.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
tinited States Patent 1191 Qoetzee Dec. 11, 1973 1 WATER CISTERNS 3,365,730 l/1968 Chiappatta 4/67 A x 2,237,294 4/1941 Easley.; 4/37  inventor 1122"; gi'z sg 3332 17 1,556,100 10/1925 Gondolf.... 4/44 g F 1,934,394 12/1934 Condee 4 44 Trapsvaal, Republic Of South 2,073,835 3/1937 Finley et a1... 4/44 Afrloa 3,546,715 12/1970 Wustner 4/67 A 22 i July 1971 3,561,015 2/1971 Moore 4/67 ] Appl 160814 Primary Examiner-Henry K. Artis 130] Foreign Application Priority Data ley-Y0ung & Thompson Aug. 12. 1970 Republic 01' South A1rica...70/5578 Sept. 30, I971) Republic 01' South A1rica...70/6665 52 us. (:1 4/34, 4/57, 4/58, I 1 1 ABSTRACT 4/67 A, 4/67 R The invention relates to cisterns in which partial and  int. Cl E03d l/22, E03d l/30 full flushes may be obtained with simple operations of  Field of Search 4/67 R, 67 A, 34, the cistern handle. The handle is normally only able to 4/37, 57, 57 P, 58 pivot through a small angle to provide a partial flush but on moving the handle in the direction of the han-  References Cited dle shaft axis, the handle may pivot through a larger UNITED STATES PATENTS angle to initiate the full flush.
3,331,084 7/1967 Wustner 4/67 A X 14 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures WATER CISTERNS This invention relates to lavatory cisterns. The invention is concerned with lavatory cisterns of the kind which are able to provide a partial or a full flush on manipulation of the flushing handle.
Lavatory cisterns of this kind are known. However in such known cisterns the mechanism for obtaining the two different flushes is such that the user must either hold the operating handle for a greater length of time than is usual or must carry out operation with the handle which, while usually at first sight not appearing very complex, proves to be irritating to the user because of its departure from the normal operating movements.
An object of this invention is to provide a lavatory cistern which allows for both partial and full flushes and which can be simply operated by the user.
According to the invention there is provided a lavatory cistern comprising flushing means, a manually operable handle to actuate the flushing means, which handle is pivotable about its axis to be operated and is axially movable from a first axially located position to a second axially located-position, prior to pivotting in which positions different flushes result consequent on pivotting the handle.
Embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings.
In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partially broken away, of the interior of a siphonically operable cistern,
FIG. 2 is a similar view of the interior of a float valve cistern,
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 1 of a further siphonically operated cistern, I
FIG. 4 is a section through a handle mounting of the invention,
FIG. 5 is a similar section through another handle mounting of the invention, and
FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail of the interior of a another cistern of the invention.
Referring now to FIG. 1, a cistern 10 of the invention has'a downpipe l2 covered by a siphon cap 14 which is located below a lever arm 16 that is caused to pivot by a manually operable handle 18 located outside the cistern 10. The downpipe 12 opens above the water level 20 in normal manner. When it is desired to flush the cistern the handle 18 is turned and the end of the lever arm 16 lifts the cap 14 and on release allows the cap to fall. The water within the cap 14 is splashed upwardly establishing the siphonic action so that water flushes down the downpipe 12 until the water. level falls to the mouth of the cap so that air enters the cap 14 breaking the siphonic vacuum. As thus far described the cistern is quite conventional.
In order to provide for a partial flush, a J-shaped tube 22 is provided with the shorter arm 24 opening under the cap 14. Thus when the water level falls to the level of the longer arm 26 of J-tube 22, air will pass through the tube 22, breaking the siphonic vacuum so that further water will not escape through the down pipe 12. In this way a partial flush is obtained.
A stopper 28 is carried by an arm 30 which depends from. the lever arm 16. When the handle 18 is in the partial flush position, to be described below, the stopper 28 will be clear of the arm 26 so that the latter will be open and the cistern will operate as has been described in the preceding paragraph.
When the handle 18 is in the full flush position, the stopper 28 obturates the open end of the arm 26 so that the cistern is unaffected by the existence of the J- shaped tube 22 and operates in the same manner as a conventional siphonically operable cistern as mentioned above.
The handle 18 is carried on a spindle 32 to which the lever arm 16 is secured. The spindle 32 is movable axially against the influence of a spring 34 which biasses it towards an outer or partial flush position in which the stopper will be out of line with the upper arm 26 of the tube 22 as mentioned above. When it is desired to produce a full flush, the handle 18 is moved inwardly into a full flush position against the influence of the spring 34 so that on depression of the handle, the open end of the tube 22 will be obturated.
In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the cistern comprises a chamber 36 containing a valve 38 having a stem 40 which is engagable by a lever arm 42 to lift the valve 38 off its seating to allow the cistern to flush. When the level of water falls below the valve 38, it, the valve, will be no longer supported and will fall on to the seating. Thus far the cistern is the same as a conventional cistern and provides for a full flush.
Also provided in the cistern is a second smaller chamber 46 located above a tube 48 that leads to the flushing down-pipe. A valve 50 is contained within the chamber 46 and operates in the same manner as the larger valve 38 mentioned above.
The stem 52 of the smaller valve 50 is pivotally connected to the lever arm 42. The free end of the lever arm 42 is slidable on the stem 40 between two abutment's so that there is lost motion between the lever arm 42 and the stem 40.
Instead of rod-like stems 40 and 52, wire lifters may be used.
The handle 54 is carried on a spindle 56 to which'the lever arm 42 is secured within the cistern. The spindle 56 is movable axially against the influence of aspring 58 which biasses it towards the outer or partial flush position. The lever arm42 is formed from two parts 421: and 42bpivoted together'at 43 so that axial movement of the spindle 56 does not cause the valves 38 and 50 to be moved out of position. A stop 60 stands proud of a washer 62 carried by the spindle journal 64. The stop 60 lies in the path of movement of the lever arm 42 when the handle 54, in the partial flush position is caused to rotate. This limits the angle through which the handle 54 can rotate and the degree of movement of the end of the lever arm 42 so that the main or larger valve 38 is not lifted. The smaller valve 50 is, however, lifted and a partial flush results.
When a full flush is required, the handle 54 is pushed inwardly into a full flush position and when it, the handle, is rotated the lever arm 42 will be clear of the stop 60 so that the lever arm 42 will rotate fully and will lift the large valve 38, so that the full flush results.
In a modified siphonic cistern, the siphon cap 60 is pushed downwardly by the handle 62 against the action of a float 64 held by the cap 60 in an enlarged portion 66 which constitutes a float holder. A sleeve or guide 68 having guide fins 70 fits tightly in the siphon cap 60 and guides it on the down-pipe 72 for movement in the vertical direction. This guide 68 slides over the downpipe 72. A disc like member 74 surround the downpipe 72 and also serves as a lower stop for the siphon cap 60 by abutting castellations 75 on its lower edges. The shorter arm 76 of a J-tube 78, which is similar to the J-tube 22 mentioned above, passes through this member 74 and opens under the siphon cap 60.
When the handle (not shown) is depressed, the cap 60 is forced downwards causing the water to splash up into the down pipe 72 starting the siphonic action.
This embodiment operates in the same manner as the first described siphonic cistern arrangement.
The modified siphonic system does however incorporate some further modifications as shown in FIG. 3 which can be equally be incorporated in the first described embodiment. Thus a pair of arm guides 77 may be provided on either side of the longer arm of the J- tube 78 so that the plunger 28 can be correctly guided to obturate the upper end of this arm of the J-tube. Also instead of a plunger 28, a washer holder 80 may be provided pivotally carried on the tubular shaft 88. The washer 82 carried by the holder 80 serves to obturate the upper end 84 of the longer arm 86 of the J-tube 78. The tubular member 88 telesopically receives a rod 92 which is bifurcated at its upper end at 94 to be pivotally connected to the handle lever 96. A pin 98 passes through the rod 92 and projects through an elongated slot 100 in the tubular member 88 to limit the lost motion between the rod 92 and the tubular member 88. Thus there can be a longer stroke to move the siphonic cap 60 than is necessary 'to move the washer 82 into position on the longer arm 86 of the J-tube 78.
As an alternative to the castellations 75, the member 74 may be hollow with windows 88 to allow entry of water to break the siphonic action. In this arrangement the lower end of the siphon cap 60 will seat on the member 74.
In the fourth embodiment of the invention which is illustrated in FIG. 6, the cistern has a valve 112 carried by a stem 114 which is connected to the handle lever (not shown) in known manner. The lower end 118 of the stem 114 is of enlarged diameter as compared to the upper portion 119. Secured to the overflow pipe 120 at different heights are two stirrup holders 112a and 122b. Each holder 122 carries a stirrup 124 that passes around the stem 114 and'has pivotted thereto a floater arm 126 carrying afloat 128. Each floater arm 126 has a short upstanding arm 130 that carries a rubber friction knob 132.
The upper stirrup 124a is so located that the knob 132a on the associated arm 126a is always adjacent the narrower portion 119 of the stem 114. The lower stirrup 124b is arranged so that the knob 132b on the associated arm 12612 is adjacent the narrower portion of the stem 114 when the latter has been lifted for partial flush an is opposite the larger diameter portion 118 of the stern 114 when the latter has been lifted for full flush. A stop 134 is secured to the stirrup l24b in the path of the arm 130 to prevent the knob thereon engaging the narrow diameter portion of the stem 114.
Stop means in the form of a stop 136 in the path of the float arm 126a is provided to prevent the upper float 128 fouling the lower float when the lower is floating on water. Alternatively the stop means may comprise a buffer on either float preferably the lower float. In use, when a full flush is required, the handle lever will lift the stem 114 fully. The knob 132b of the lower float arm 126b will frictionally engage the stem 114 to hold the valve 112 off its seating until the water level in the cistern has fallen below the level of the float 128b. The arm 126b will then fall so that the knob 132b moves away from the stem 114 allowing the latter and with it the valve 112 to fall thereby shutting off further water supply to the lavatory bowl.
When a partial flush is required, the stem 114 will be only partially lifted.l The knob 132a of the upper arm 126a will engage the stem, but the knob l32b of the lower arm 126b will be held away from the stem 114 for the reason described above. Flushing continues only until the water level falls below the upper float 128 and thereafter the stem 114 is released allowing the valve 112 to close and to prevent further water supply to the toilet bowl. By suitably locating the upper stirrup holder 1220 the volume of the partial flush can be adjusted.
The operating system for a modified cistern (see FIG. 4) comprises a handle 210 carried on a handle shaft 212. This shaft 212 passes through the bore of a flanged nipple 214 which passes through an opening 216 in the cistern wall 218. A nut 220 secures the nipple 214 firmly in position. On the underside of the flange 222 of the nipple 214 there is provided a low stud 224 which is received in a corresponding recess 226 in the cistern wall 218.
The inner end of the shaft 112 has secured to it one end of the valve operating link 228. The link 228 is spaced from the end of the nipple 214 so as to enable the shaft 212 to be able to slide axially within the nipple bore. A spring 230 extends between the end of the nipple 214 and the link 228 urging the latter away from the nipple 214 and thus the handle towards the cistern wall 218.
An L-shaped slot 232 is formed in the part of the nipple which projects into the cistern. This slot can be formed by drilling two holes of different diameter in the nipple. A stud 234, which forms a stop, is formed on the handle shaft 212 and is received within the slot 232. The dimensions of the stud 234 are such that when it is received within the narrower portion 236 of the slot 232, which portion is herein called the upright, the handle canrotate through a limited angle.
When the stud 234 is in the wider portion 238 of the slot 232, which is herein called the base portion, the handle can rotate through a larger angle.
The spring 230 biasses the handle shaft 212 so that the stud 234 is in the upright portion 236 of the slot 232. When the handle 210 is now depressed a partial flush of the cistern takes place. If the user wants to effect a full flush, he pulls the handle 210 so that the handle shaft 212 moves axially and the stud 234 is in the base portion 238 of the slot 232. On depressing the handle 210 the shaft 212 can now rotate through a large angle and the full flush results.
A modified handle arrangement is shown in FIG. 5. Here the nipple 240 has a square portion 242 which passes through a correspondingly shaped aperture 244 in the cistern wall 245. The portion 242 then merges into a cylindrical portion 246 which is screw threaded to receive a locking nut 248. The outside face end of the nipple 240 has a flange 250 and in the front face 252 of this flange 250 there is provided an annular groove 254. The handle shaft 256 passes through the nipple 240 and carries an abutment (not shown) for a spring 258 that pulls the handle 260 towards the nipple flange 250.
The base ofthe handle 260 is provided with-a low pin or detent 262 which is received in the annular groove 254. The annular groove 254 has an arcuate surround 264 for the purpose to be described. When the handle 260 is pulled to move' the handle shaft 256 axially outwardly of the cistern, the detent 262 is moved so as to be able to traverse the entire distance of the surround 264.
When in the groove 254 the handle 260 is capable of rotation through an angle defined by the portion 264.
Thus when the user wishes to cause a partial flush of the cistern, he merely rotates the handle 260. Because the rotation of the handle is limited as mentioned above, only a partial flush results. Should a full flush be required, the handle 260 is pulled outwardly so that the detent is free of the groove 254 and the handle is capable of being rotated sufficiently to cause the full flush.
Instead of the groove 254 having the surround 264, the detent may be pulled clear of the groove for the full rotation of the handle. I
It will be appreciated that only a partial flush need be used when one urinates in the lavatory bowl, as the cleaning action ofa full flush is not required. Thus a considerable amount of water may be saved in the normal operation of a domestic lavatory.
Theinvention is not limited to the precise construction details herein described and illustrated in the drawings. Thus the sop may be secured to a wall of the cistern, it may have a nylon wheel or similar head to minimise wear on the lever arm. The location of the various parts and in particular the spring may be varied. For example the spring may be internally located as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.
Further, it will be understood that the handle operating arrangements of FIGS. 4 and 5 may be substituted for those described with reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 and conversely the operating system of those Figures may be embodied in the cistern of FIG. 6.
It will be understood that instead of a positive stop for the handle, a resilient stop requiring great pressure to overcome may be provided for the full flush. Thus with light pressurev on the handle there will be a partial flush but heavier pressure will be required for the full flush. In this case the handle will not have to be moved axially. The resilient stop may be a spring or the like which engages a member carried by the handle shaft.
l. A lavatory cistern comprising a manually operable handle which is pivotable about'itsaxis to be operated and is axially movable from a first axially located position to a second axially located position prior to pivoting, a valve carried on a stem which has a thickened lower portion, a lever connected to the handle to lift the .valve and stem, a float-operated knob to engage the stem to hold the lifted stem up until the level of the water in the cistern reaches the level of the float, a second float-operated knob below the first float-operated knob to hold the thickened portion of the stem when the handle is pivoted in its first axial position to provide a full flush and to be opposite the unthickened portion when the handle is pivoted in its second axial position to provide a partial flush, and a stop toprevent the lower knob engaging the stem except at the thickened portion.
2. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 1 further comprising additional means connected to the upper the lower float-operatedknob.
3. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 2 wherein the upper float-operated knob includes a lever and wherein the said additional means comprises a stop in the path of the lever to limit its movement.
4. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 1 wherein each float-operated knob comprises a pivoted lever having two arms and carrying a float at the end of one arm and a knob member at the end of the other arm.
5. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 3 wherein the stop comprises a member in the path of movement of the said other arm.
6. A lavatory cistern comprising a manually operable handle which is pivotable about its axis to be operated and is axially movable from a first axially located posi-. tion to a second axially located position prior to pivoting, a down pipe projecting upwardly into the cistern, a cistern-flushing means comprising a member which forms a siphon path with the down pipe to transfer water from the cistern to the interior of the down pipe for flushing the lavatory, a J-tube having a shorter arm .and a longer arm, the shorter arm opening into said member so that when the handle is pivoted in its second position to provide a partial flush and the level of water in the cistern falls below the height of the longer arm the siphon is broken, and a valve operatively connected to the handle for movement therewith, the valve being located so as to close off the upper end of the longer arm of the J-tube when the handle is in its first axially located position and the handle is pivoted to provide a full flush.
7. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 6 further comprising guide means for guiding the valve into position above the open end of the longer arm of the J-tube.
8. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 6 wherein the handle is connected to said member by a lever, and wherein the valve is carried by a link pivoted to the lever.
9. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 8 wherein the link includes a lost-motion device.
' 10.A lavatory cistern comprising a manually operable handle which is pivotable about its axis to be operated and is axially movable from a first axially located position to a second axially located position prior to pivoting, an opening near the upper end of the cistern, a nipple passing through the opening, a handle shaft which is axially movable in the nipple and which carries the handle passing throughthe nipple, the nipple having an-L-shaped slot therein and the handle shaft carrying a stop which is received in theslot and is of such dimensions that it limits rotational movement of the shaft to a small amount when the handle is in its second position andthe stop is in the upright portion of the L and allows slightly greater rotational movement when the handle is in its first position and the stop is in the base portion of the L, and spring means biasing the handle shaft to its second position so that the stop is normally contained within the upright of the L-shaped slot.
11. A lavatory cistern comprising a manually operable handle which is pivotable about its axis to be operated and is axially movable from a first axially located position to a second axially located position prior to pivoting, an opening near the upper end of the cistern, a nipple passing through the opening, and a handle shaft which carries the handle passing through the nipple, the nipple having a flange adjacent the handle, and
a cooperating groove and detent, one in the flange and the other in the handle, the detent normally engaging in the groove to limit rotation of the handle when the latter is in the second axially located position and being free from the groove when the handle is in the first axially located position.
12. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 11 wherein the groove has a surround in which the detent is received when free of the groove.
13. A lavatory cistern as claimed in claim 11 wherein the groove is in the flange and the detent is carried by the handle.
14. A lavatory cistern comprising flushing means, a handle connected to the flushing means, the handle being pivotable through an angle to operate the flushing means to effect a partial flush and being pivotable through a larger angle to effect a full flush, the handle being movable from a first axially located position to a second axially located position, the cistern having stop means to inhibit the handle from being pivoted through the larger angle, the handle carrying a member which, when the handle is in the first axially located position, engages the stop means on pivoting of the handle and which, when the handle is in the second axially located position, is clear of the stop means when the handle is pivoted.