US 3781926 A
In a cylindrical type dispenser of a sanitizer material in the form of a solid cake disposed in the lower portion of the dispenser cylinder for use in a toilet flush tank, where water from a toilet tank is admitted through one or more openings in a cap placed on top of the cylinder to reach the top of the cake and dispensation of the sanitizing solution takes place with each flushing of the toilet as the water level in the tank drops below the openings in the cap, a double-walled cap is provided. One of the two walls of the cap is rotatable relative to the other, and each of the walls is provided with tiers of one or more openings which upon rotation of the rotatable wall to predetermined points are placed in register with one or more openings in the other wall. Means are provided to enable the rotatable wall to be manually rotated from above the cap to any predetermined position. Thereby, the user may determine the volume of water which will be admitted to the top of the cake to become saturated with sanitizer material and which, upon flushing of the toilet, will pass out from the cap into the toilet tank and bowl.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 1, 1974 ADJUSTABLE SANITIZER DISPENSER FOR TOILET TANK  Inventor: John Levey, Westlake Village, Calif.
 Assignees: Sandra Levey, Los Angeles; Robert Levey, Encino, Calif. part interest to each  Filed: Mar. 27, 1972  Appl. N0.: 238,111
 US. Cl. 4/228  E03d 9/02  Field of Search 4/227, 228; 239/59, 239/515  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,549,161 4/1951 Bishop 239/5l.5 685.020 10/1901 Venners 4/228 1,803,860 5/1931 Marks..... 4/228 X 2,098,294 11/1937 Keillor 4/228 2,481,296 9/1949 Dupuy 239/515 2,738,225 3/1956 Meek 239/59 3,338,473 8/1967 Cross 4/227 3,423,182 1/1969 Klasky 4/228 3,545,014 12/1970 Davis 4/228 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 18,400 10/1892 Great Britain 4/228 321,496 11/1929 Great Britain. 4/228 1,256,631 2/1961 France 4/228 Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby Assistant Examiner-Donald B. Massenberg Attorney-William H. Pavitt, Jr. et a1.
[ 5 7] ABSTRACT In a cylindrical type dispenser of a sanitizer material in the form of a solid cake disposed in the lower portion of the dispenser cylinder for use in a toilet flush tank, where water from a toilet tank is admitted through one or more openings in a cap placed on top of the cylinder to reach the top of the cake and dispensation of the sanitizing solution takes place with each flushing of the toilet as the water level in the tank drops below the openings in the cap, a double-walled cap is provided. One of the two walls of the cap is rotatable relative to the other, and each of the walls is provided with tiers of one or more openings which upon rotation of the rotatable wall to predetermined points are placed in register with one or more openings in the other wall. Means are provided to enable the rotatable wall to be manually rotated from above the cap to any predetermined position. Thereby, the user may determine the volume of water which will be admitted to the top of the cake to become saturated with sanitizer material and which, upon flushing of the toilet, will pass out from the cap into the toilet tank and bowl.
6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTED JAN 1 I974 SHtH 2 BF 2 SANITIZER DISPENSER FOR TOILET TANK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to devices for sanitizing toilet tanks and bowls and particularly for controlling the rate of flow and the volume of the sanitizer which is discharged into the tank and from there to the toilet bowl itself.
2. Description of the Prior Art Efforts to effect a sanitization of toilet bowls extend back almost to the time that toilets first became popularly accepted as a part of American life. Thus, in U. S. Pat. No. 685,020 issued'to J, H. Venner on Oct. 22, 1901, a boxlike container was provided, in the bottom of which was placed a disinfectant. Holes were provided both in the side of the container and in the top. As the water in the tank rose, some was admitted into the container to produce a saturated solution of the disinfectant. When the tank was flushed and the water level of the tank dropped below the holes in the side of the container, the solution ran out and into the toilet bowl for sanitization purposes.
This principle of operation has been utilized for numerous devices which have been patented since that of Venners, as for example; those formed of plastic bags or pouches and disclosed in the following patents:
ADJ STABLE No. 1,803,860 May 5, l93l D. G. Marks No. 3,423,182 .Ian. 2l, i969 M. B. Klasky No. 3,545,014 Dec. 8, 1970 E. Davis French N0. 1,256,63l Feb. 13, 1961 M. D. Sellier The problem with all of these devices, however, has been that they orificed for only one volume of saturated solution and one rate of flow thereof into the tank and thence to the toilet bowl; this despite the fact that there are often considerable variations in conditions of the toilet and its use which make it desirable for the person who maintains the cleanliness of the toilet to be able to vary the amount of sanitizer which is discharged into the tank and thus reaches the bowl. For example, when first used, or if the bowl is subjected to frequent use, it may be desirable to provide for maximum volume and flow of the sanitizer solution from its container. On the other hand, after a toilet has once been well sanitized, and particularly where it is not subjected to heavy use, it may be possible to get by with a minimum sanitizer discharge. In addition, since the hardness of water varies in different locations, it may be desirable to vary the discharge of the sanitizer in accordance with the water hardness condition to prolong the life span of the sanitizer cake.
Prior art devices, however, have offered no such control of the solution discharge. Therefore, in order to insure that sufficient solution is provided for all conditions, commercial devices are orificed to provide maximum discharge at all times. This results in more rapid depletion ofthe chemical sanitizer material than is necessary to the users loss.
Effecting control, however, is not a simple matter of providing orifices which can be adjusted for greater opening or closing as in the case of aerating type dispensers (See, for example, US. Pat. Nos. 2,412,326; 2,765,194; 2,783,084; 2,794,676; and 2,961,167. Such method of control would only affect the rate of flow of the sanitizer solution, and not its volume, unless the rate was so slow that the tank level rose before the contained saturated solution was fully discharged, and covered the discharge port.
Thus, the prior art devices have been inadequate to provide for easy control of both the volume and rate of flow of the contained sanitizer solution.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is particularly employable with a cylindrical container, such as ajar, which is filled with a cake of a water soluble sanitizer compound, and involves providing a special cap for such a container. In the preferred embodiment of the invention the cap may comprise a pair of coaxial plastic shells closed at the top which shells include a plurality of cylindrical segments of decreasing radii to present a stepped appearance. One of the two shells is dimensioned to fit closely but rotatably on the other shell. The lower edge of inner shell includes means whereby it may be screwed or otherwise secured to the top of the container, and is orificed at preselected locations about each of its cylindrical segments. The outer shell is also orificed at certain locations on each of its cylindrical segments so that when it is rotated to a plurality of different positions, one or more of its orifices in one or more of its segments fall into registry with orifices in the inner shell, thereby affording passageways from the inside area defined by the inner shell to the outside of the outer shell. Marked means are provided above the transverse wall of the outer shell and extending downwardly therethrough to the inner shell and connected to the latter whereby when the outer shell is rotated one may determine to which of its several possible orifice registry positions it is being disposed. The top transverse wall of the outer shell may also be provided with indices to indicate to the user directly or indirectly the number of orifices of both shells which are in register when the inner shell is thus rotated to its various positions.
The cap may be constructed to operate in either one of two modes: (a) in one mode, the top of the cap itself may be orificed to permit air to pass therethrough and the orifices are set so that for minimum discharge, only the upper level orifices fall into registry, and upon lowering of the water level in the tank, only the solution contained in the upper cylinder segment of the cap is effectively discharged; for greater discharge, the second level of orifices fall into registry; and for maximum discharge, the bottom level of orifices register with each other; (b) in the second mode, the top of the cap is sealed to prevent air from passing therethrough and the volume of discharge is progressively increased by first registering the orifices at the lowest level and then adding registration of orifices at the second and finally the upper level. In this mode, air entrapped in the top -of the cap prevents water from rising to fill the cap,
thereby regulating the volume of saturated solution which is produced and then discharged through the registering orifices.
When a container of sanitizer compound, which container is provided with a cap constructed to operate in accordance with the second mode of the present invention, is disposed on the floor of a toilet tank, it will be appreciated that, when the water level of the tank is above the registering orifices of two coaxial shells, water will be admitted into that area defined by the inner shell which is just above the registering orifices. The air entrapped in the cap above such orifices after compression by the head of water in the tank will prevent water from completely filling the cap. The water thus admitted will become saturated with the compound of the sanitizer cake. When the toilet is flushed so that the water level of the tank drops below the registering orifices, the saturated solution will run out into the bottom of the tank and down to the toilet bowl. With the tiered arrangement of a cap of the second mode of the present invention, the higher the orifices register, the greater the volume of water which will be admitted over the sanitizer cake, thereby to become a saturated solution; and upon flushing, such greater volume of saturated solution is discharged into the tank and toilet bowl.
When the cap is constructed to operate in the first mode, water will be admitted for sanitizer saturation at all times to fill the entire space defined by the inner shell, but discharge will only be permitted of that portion of the saturated solution which is at and above the level of the lowest registering orifices. By setting the cap in accordance with the indicia on the dial means, orifices at progressively lower levels are placed in registry, thereby increasing the volume of saturated sanitizer solution which is discharged with each lowering of the water level in the toilet tank.
Thus, by the simple act of turning the outer cap to an indicated solution volume setting, the user can increase or decrease the volume of saturated sanitizer solution which will be discharged with the flushing of the toilet. When a sanitizer is first used in the tank, desirably one may wish to set the cap for its greatest volume of saturated solution. After the bowl has been well sanitized, the householder may then wish to decrease the amount of solution which is thereafter added, thereby prolonging the useful life of the sanitizer cake. Such adjustability has not been possible with devices of the prior art.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of the orifices in the outer cylinder of the cap,
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the orifices in the inner cylinder of the cap,
FIG. 3 is an exploded view in perspective of the elements of the invention as applied to a jar of sanitizer,
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the outer cylinder,
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the inner cylinder,
FIG. 6 is an exploded view of an alternative embodiment of the invention,
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a toilet tank in which a dispenser constructed in accordance with the present invention has been disposed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present invention may best be understood by viewing the embodiment thereof which is illustrated in FIG. 3 of the drawings.
A cylindrical glass jar 10 with threading 12 at its open top 14 contains a cake 16 of a water soluble sanitizer compound. A cap 18, preferably molded of a plastic material such as polystyrene, is provided to be screwed onto the threading 12. The cap 18 may be comprised of an outer shell 20, and an inner shell 21 having a lower rim 22 inside which is provided threading (not shown) which matingly engages threading 12 on the top of the jar l0.
The outer shell 20 preferably may be stepped as shown in FIG. 3 to provide a plurality of cylindrical side walls 24, 24a, 24b, 24c which are interrupted and joined by circular shelves 26, 26a, 26b. The top of this stepped cylindrical outer shell 20 comprises a transverse wall 28 which is circularly orificed in its axis at 30 and may be provided with a plurality of indicia 32. A plurality of orifices 33 may be provided through the wall 28, the function of which orifices will later be explained.
Each of the vertical cylindrical walls 24a, 24b, and 24c is provided with orifices 34 at a plurality of predetermined locations as best seen in FIG. 1.
Shell 20 fits closely but rotatably over the inner shell 21. Shell 21 includes four vertical cylindrical walls 38, 38a, 38b, and 380 over which fit closely but rotatably walls 24a, 24b, 24c, and 24, respectively, of shell 20. Shelves 26, 26a, and 26b 6f shell 20 wit rotatably over circular shelves 36, 40, 40a which connect walls 36c, 38, 38a, and 38b respectively. The top cylindrical wall 38b is closed by a transverse wall 42 into which is integrally molded an upwardly projecting axle 44 and a plurality of orifices 46. The latter are disposed radially about the axis 48 of the cylinder the same distance as the orifices 33 in the wall 28 of the shell 20 so as to register therewith in any discharge setting. Axle 44 is dimensioned to fit rotatably within orifice 30 in wall 28. The upper end 48 of axle 44 is polygonally configured to be insertable in a similarly shaped orifice 50 in a circular disc or indicator 52. This indicator is intended to be placed upon the axle 44 after the latter has been passed through orifice 30 in wall 28. Indicator 52 is marked at its edge with an arrow 54.
The cylindrical walls 38, 38a, and 38b are also orificed at predetermined angular locations 56 about the axis 48, as shown in FIG. 2.
In use, the cap 18 is assembled by putting together the components 20, 36, and 52 in reverse of the explosion illustrated in FIG. 3. End'48 of axle 44 may be adhered to indicator 52 in orifice 50. Shell 21 is then screwed onto the threading of jar l0 and the jar is placed on the floor of the toilet tank 59 below the level 58 of the water 59 in the conventional manner illustrated in FIG. 7. Water will immediately enter the space 60 defined by the inner shell 36 through the registering orifices 33, 46 in the transverse walls 28, 43, respectively, and upon contacting the top of the soluble sanitizer cake 16 will quickly become a saturated solution 62 of the sanitizer largely confined within the inner shell 21.
Should the user desire to impart the lightest concen' tration of sanitizer into the tank, he or she turns the outer shell 21 so that the arrow 54 on indicator 50 is opposite the Light marker 32', as shown in FIG. 4. This will result in placing only the uppermost orifices 34a and 56a of shells 20 and 21 respectively in register.
When the toilet is flushed so that the water level in the tank 61, he or she turns the outer shell 21 to one of the other settings, e.g. light, medium or dark, thereby bringing the second and third levels of orifices (i.e, 34b, 56b, or 34c, 56c) into registry. Each lower level of registering orifices obviously increases the volume of saturated solution 62 which is discharged therethrough into the tank 61. Thus, the user is provided with an effective means of controlling the amount of sanitizer solution which enters the tank 61 and toilet bowl 65.
H6. 6 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the invention. This embodiment differs from that of FIGS. 1-5 in that the transverse walls 28, 42 of the shells and 21, respectively, are not orificed to permit any air to pass through them and the orifice 30 fits tightly about the axle 44. In this way, air may be trapped in the upper portion of the space defined by the shell 21' above registering orifices 34, 56 to prevent complete filling of such space with water and saturation thereof upon contact with the sanitizer cake 16'. Consequently, in this embodiment, the leastamount of discharge is occasioned by placing in registry only the lower orifices 34c, 56c, and increases in the volume of saturated solution created and discharged are effected by adding additional registering orifices at first the level of 34b, 56b, and then 34a, 56a. Because of the air lock which is utilized in this alternative embodiment, the rate of discharge may be considerably attenuated over that which occurs in the first-described embodiment, particularly when only the lowermost orifices 34c, 56c are in registry.
Both embodiments of the invention, however, may successfully be employed to effect desired control of the amount of sanitizer solution which is to be imparted to the toilet tank, and ultimately, the toilet bowl itself.
I claim: 1. An adjustable sanitizer dispenser for a toilet tank, said dispenser comprising:
a container having bottom and side walls defining a space, said space being at least partly filled with a water soluble sanitizer compound; a cap, said cap including:
an inner shell having a plurality of different levels, said shell having a cylindrical side wall and at the top thereof a transverse wall, and having means at its lower end to secure it in a substantially water-tight manner to the top of said container, said inner shell being provided with orifices at each of said plurality of different levels at preselected circumferential locations in its cylindrical side wall, said transverse wall having an axle extending vertically therefrom in the axis of the cylinder, and an indicator radiating from said axle above the transverse wall;
an outer shell having cylindrical side and transverse walls and having a plurality of different levels similar to those of the inner shell, but dimensioned to fit closely but rotably over the inner shell, said outer shell also being provided with orifices at each of said plurality of different levels at other preselected locations in its cylindrical side wall, whereby upon rotation of the outer shell relative to the inner shell to different angular dispositions, different combinations of orifices in the outer shell may be brought into register with predetermined combinations of orifices in the inner shell, the transverse wall of said outer shell further being orificed in its axis to permit said axle to be passed therethrough, and being marked in reference to said radiating indicator, whereby by manually turning said outer shell to any particular marking, there is placedin register with preselected orifices in the inner shell, preselected orifices in the outer shell, thereby to control the volume of saturated solution contained in the space defined by the inner shell when the container is disposed in the bottom of a toilet tank, and which solution is to be discharged upon flushing of the toilet and lowering of the water level in the tank below the level of the registering orifices.
2. The dispenser as described in claim 1 wherein the cylindrical side walls of the inner and outer shells are stepped upwardly to smaller radii, and the orifices are disposed in the vertical walls of the steps.
3. The dispenser as described in claim 1 wherein the radiating indicator is a disc which is disposed in substantial abutment above the transverse wall of the outer shell.
4. The dispenser as described in claim 1 wherein the orifice registering combinations are so arranged that for the minimum dispensation of the saturated solution of sanitizer compounds, only orifices at the lowest level fall in register; and, as progressively greater volumes of solution are to be dispensed, more orifices at higher levels in addition to those at the lower levels, fall into register.
5. The dispenser as described in claim 1 wherein the transverse walls of the inner and outer shells are orificed in registry in all discharge positions, and the volume of discharge of sanitizer is increased by lowering the level of the registry orifices in the side walls of the cylindrical shells, starting from the top.
6. The dispenser as described in claim 1 wherein the transverse walls of the inner and outer shells are closed in a substantially airtight manner and the volume of discharge of sanitizer is increased by raising the level of the registry orifices in the side walls of the cylindrical shells, starting from the bottom.