US 3835479 A
A valve assembly for a flush-type toilet for recreational vehicles or the like. The valve assembly includes a flat gate valve blade which is mounted to open and close the discharge outlet of the toilet bowl. A rotary water valve is also mounted on the valve housing. The valve blade and water valve embody actuating arms which are rotated by a pivoted lever through suitable linkage. The lever and linkage cooperate to provide an overcenter toggle action to actuate the gate valve blade more rapidly and with higher closing force than the water valve. The linkage is pivotally connected to the lever and to the actuating arms for the valves, and the lever is pivotally mounted on the housing, without separable fasteners.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Milette et al.
[451 Sept. 17, 1974 TOILET VALVE ASSEMBLY Inventors: Kenneth Arthur Milette, Laguna Beach; Tim Minoru Uyeda, South San Gabriel, both of Calif.
International Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, New York, N.Y.
Filed: Apr. 4, 1973 Appl. No.: 347,858
US. Cl 4/79, 4/84, 4/249,
251/279, 251/298 Int. Cl E03d 11/10, E03d 5/08 Field of Search 4/76-79, 8,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,320,912 6/1943 Crampton 4/67 R Robertson 4/17 .ZALQQ 8/1881 3,214,772 1l/l965 Roberts et al. 4/84 3,308,481 3/1967 OBrien et a1. 4/79 3,369,260 2/1968 Sargcant et al. 4/85 3,485,112 12/1969 Goosmann 403/353 Primary Examiner-John W. l-luckert Assistant ExaminerJon W. Henry Attorney, Agent, or FirmThomas L. Petterson 5 7] ABSTRACT A valve assembly for a flush-type toilet for recreational vehicles or the like. The valve assembly includes a flat gate valve blade which is mounted to open and close the discharge outlet of the toilet bowl. A rotary water valve is also mounted on the valve housing. The valve blade and water valve embody actuating arms which are rotated by a pivoted lever through suitable linkage. The lever and linkage coop erate to provide an overcenter toggle action to actuate the gate valve blade more rapidly and with higher closing force than the water valve. The linkage is pivotally connected to the lever and to the actuating arms for the valves, and the lever is pivotally mounted on the housing, without separable fasteners.
6 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to flush-type toilets of the type commonly utilized in recreational vehicles, such as mobile homes, and more particularly, to an improved valve assembly for such a toilet.
While the present invention will be described in connection with recreational vehicle toilets, it will be appreciated that the invention may be used with any flush-type toilet, including permanently installed toilets.
The increased demand in recent years for recreational vehicles, such as house trailers, campers, and thelike, has raised the need for flush-type toilets which utilize a minimum of water, are simple in construction and relatively inexpensive. One form of a flush-type toilet which is suitable for recreational vehicles is disclosed in US Pat. No. 3,369,260 to Sargent et al. The toilet disclosed in this patent utilizes a gate valve for controlling the flow of water from the discharge outlet of the bowl of the toilet and a rotary valve for controlling the flow of water into the toilet bowl. A foot pedal and linkage are provided for opening and closing the gate valve and the water valve simultaneously. A plenum is provided about the rim of the bowl which collects water when the gate valve is open. After the gate valve is closed, water from the plenum drains into the bowl to provide a suitable body of water in the bowl for a water seal and additional flushing operations.
Another form of recreational vehicle toilet is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,308,481 to OBrien et al. The control mechanism in the OBrien et al. toilet that is operated by a foot pedal is movable from a normal position through first and second ranges in sequence. In the first range, the water valve is open and the toilet bowl outlet remains substantially closed. In the second range, the toilet bowl outlet is open and the water valve remains open. With this cycle of operation, the release of the foot pedal permits the control mechanism to return through its two ranges resulting in trapping of water in the bowl to form a water seal because when the control mechanism returns through the first range, the water valve remains open and the bowl outlet closes to retain water in the valve. Thus, in this toilet, no plenum is required as in the Sargent et al. toilet. A spring-loaded poppet valve is utilized to close the discharge outlet of the toilet bowl. The control mechanism includes cams and followers between the poppet and water valves and the foot pedal. Because of this arrangement, a relatively high strength spring is required to maintain the poppet valve in position to close the discharge outlet of the toilet bowl. As a consequence, relatively heavy pedal pressure is required to operate the flushing mechanism.
While the foregoing prior art toilets are generally satisifactory, they are characterized by complexity of construction, multiplicity of parts, and relatively high cost of manufacture and assembly. Also, the flush valves for such prior toilets do not operate as rapidly as is sometimes desired for most effective flushing action. The purpose of the present invention is to provide an improved-operating valve assembly for a flush-type toilet which is simple in construction and easy to assemble and, therefore, relatively low in cost.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the principal aspect of the present invention, there is provided a valve assembly for a flushtype toilet comprising a valve housing having a port therein adapted to communicate with the discharge outlet of the toilet bowl. A substantially flat gate valve blade is pivotally mounted in the housing to open and close the discharge outlet. A water valve, preferably a rotary valve, is mounted on the housing for controlling the flow of water from a supply to the toilet bowl. Both the gate valve blade and the rotary valve embody an actuating arm which is connected by a pivoted lever through suitable linkage which is simple in construction and easy to assemble. No separate fastening elements are required to maintain the linkage connected to the lever and the actuating arms of the valve blade and the water valve. The lever and linkage cooperate to provide an overcenter toggle action upon movement of the lever to actuate the gate valve blade more rapidly and with higher closing force than the water valve. By this arrangement, the use of a relatively weak spring is permissible to return the gate valve blade to its closed position. This in turn provides a lighter pedal action on the lever mechanism in comparison to prior art toilets. In addition, the overcenter toggle action allows the water valve to open prior to the valve blade so that a body of water will be trapped in the toilet when the foot pedal is released to provide a water seal at the discharge outlet of the bowl. Other aspects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side view of the valve assembly of the present invention connected to a toilet bowl, with the linkage and pedal of the assembly shown in their normal position wherein the gate valve and water valve are closed;
FIG. 2 is a side view similar to FIG. 1 showing the linkage in its position after the foot pedal has been depressed and the water valve and the gate valve are completely open;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the valve assembly of the present invention with the gate valve blade shown in phantom in its open position;
FIG. 4 is a partial vertical sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3 showing how the valve blade of the gate valve is pivotally mounted within the valve housing; and
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken through the water valve employed in the assembly of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings in detail, there is illustrated the valve assembly of the present invention, generally designated 10, which is affixed to the bottom of a toilet bowl 12. The valve assembly is basically a gate valve and includes a housing 14 having a lower section 16 and upper section 18 which are secured to one another by suitable fastening means, not shown. A circular port 20 is formed in the upper section 18 of the housing. A lip 22 extends downwardly and radially inwardly from the surface of the port 20, providing a downwardly facing annular valve seat 24. A resilient sealing ring 26, formed of rubber or the like, is positioned in the valve port 20. The lower portion 28 of the ring 26 flares radially inwardly to seat upon the lip 22. The bottom edge 30 of the ring 26 extends below the valve seat 24 to sealingly engage a horizontally movable gate valve blade 32. An upstanding short cylindrical wall 34 surrounds and is spaced outwardly from the port 20. A short upwardly facing annular ledge 36 joins the surface of the port 20 to the wall 34.
The toilet bowl 12 is provided with a generally cylindrical discharge outlet 38. An annular groove 40 opening at the bottom of the discharge outlet receives the upper portion of the sealing ring 26. A downwardly facing annular shoulder 42 near the bottom of the discharge outlet rests upon the annular ledge 36 of the valve housing. Thus, the seal 26 serves the double function of both a valve seal and a toilet bowl gasket. The seal 26 may be readily replaced by simply removing the bowl 12 from the valve assembly 10. It is not necessary that the valve assembly be disassembled to replace the valve seal, thus avoiding the necessity of the user contacting waste materials which might reside within the interior of the valve housing.
A cylindrical wall 44 depends downwardly from the lower section 16 of the valve housing concentric with the valve port 20, thereby providing an outlet port for the housing.
The gate valve blade 32 is mounted for pivotal movement in a generally horizontal plane about a vertically extending axis by means of a shaft 46 which is rotatably mounted in an upstanding boss 48 on the housing 14. The lower end 50 of the shaft has a generally rectangle cross section which fits within a mating hole 52 formed in plate 53 fixed to the bottom of valve blade 32 so that there is a nonrotatable connection between the shaft 46 and the valve blade. An O-ring 54 is positioned in an annular recess 56 surrounding the shaft 46 above the valve blade. The upper end 58 of the shaft 46 also has a rectangular cross section. This end passes through a mating hole 60 formed in a horizontally extending actuating arm 62. The portion of the shaft 46 above the rectangular end section 58 is threaded so that a nut 64 may be engaged on the shaft to retain the actuating arm 62 thereon. Thus, it will be appreciated that the arm 62 is nonrotatably fixed to the shaft 46 so that upon rotation of the arm, the valve blade 32 will be moved from the normal position shown in FIG. 4 wherein the blade closes the valve port 20 to an open position as shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3.
Preferably a plurality of inclined ramps (not shown) are provided on the bottom wall of valve housing 14 surrounding the outlet port 44 which cooperate with corresponding inclined ramps on the bottom of valve blade 32 to cause the blade to rise and firmly engage valve seat 24 and seal 26 when the blade is shifted to its closed position.
A rotary valve 66 is mounted on the rear of the valve housing 14 for controlling the flow of water from a supply, not shown, to the toilet bowl 12. The valve 66 (shown inverted in FIG. comprises a housing 68 having an externally threaded inlet port 70 adapted to be connected to the water supply. A hose fitting 72 is threadably mounted to the housing 68 to opposite the port 70. The port 70 and fitting 72 are formed with aligned passages 74 and 78, respectively, which open into a central chamber 80. The external surface of the fitting 72 adjacent its upper end 82 is formed with a series of ribs which serve to frictionally retain a plastic hose to the fitting. Such hose, not shown, is adapted to be connected to the outlet port at the rim of the toilet bowl 12 for supplying water thereto. An externally threaded boss 84 extends from one side of the valve housing 68. A cap 86 threaded onto the boss 84 retains a valve stem 88 in the housing. The stem 88 is rotatably mounted in a bore 90 in the boss 84. The inner end 92 of the stem is fixedly connected to a ball valve element 94 which has a passage 96 extending therethrough. Two O-ririgs 98 and 100 are positioned on opposite sides of the chamber 80 adjacent the passages 74 and 78, respectively. In the position of the ball valve element 94 seen in H6. 5, the passage 96 is transverse to the passages 74 and 78 so that no water will flow through the valve. However, upon rotation of the valve stem 88 to align the passage 96 with the passages 74 and 78, water will be allowed to pass through the valve. The outer end 102 of the valve stem 88 has a square cross section. This end passes through a mating hole 104 formed in a second actuating arm 106 so that the arm 106 is nonrotatably connected to the valve stem. A nut 107 retains the arm 106 on the valve stem. As best seen in FIG. 1, the rotary valve 66 is mounted on the housing so that both the valve stem 88 and actuating arm 106 are disposed in a horizontally extending plane. Wlth the actuating arm so disposed, the rotary valve 66 will be held in a normally closed position. It will be apparent that by rotating the arm 106 about the longitudinal axis of the valve stem 88, the rotary valve 66 will open to allow the flow of water therethrough.
An inlet port 109 is formed on the upper section 18 of housing 14 for introducing water through a conduit from an overflow outlet (not shown) at the rim of the bowl 12 into the interior of the housing to help keep it rinsed out and to allow overflow water from the bowl to exit from the outlet port 44, bypassing the valve blade.
An actuating lever 110 is provided for operating the actuating arms 62 and 106 of the gate valve and rotary valve, respectively. The actuating lever comprises a one-piece metal rod which has a horizontally extending intermediate section 112 and two end sections 114 and 116 which are bent at right angles with respect to the intermediate section. The end 118 of section 116 is bent back parallel with the intermediate section 112 and is adapted to have a pedal, not shown, frictionally affixed thereto. The lever 110 is mounted on the housing 14 for pivotal movement about the longitudinally extending axis of the intermediate section 112. Upwardly opening guide grooves 120, 122, 124, and 126 are provided in upwardly extending wall portions of the housing 14 for properly positioning the lever 110 with respect to the housing so that the end section 114 lies along the side wall 128 of the housing where the actuating arms 62 and 106 are located. The bottoms of these grooves are shaped to provide circular bearing surfaces for the actuating lever. A curved section 130 of the housing between the grooves 122 and 124 extends over the intermediate section 112 of the actuating lever to retain the lever on the housing. The lever is mounted on the housing by initially feeding the end 118 of the lever through the retaining section 130 on the housing from above, as viewed in FIG. 3, and by proper manipulation, the lever can be positioned so that it lies in the guide grooves 120l27 as seen in FIG. 3.
The end section 114 of the lever comprises a first portion 132 which extends generally horizontally when the lever is in its normal position, as seen in FIG. 1, and a terminal portion 134 which is bent downwardly at an angle with respect to the first portion. A passage 136 extends laterally through the lever at the junction of the first portion 132 and terminal portion 134, and a second passage 138 extends laterally through the end of the terminal portion. A third passage 140 is provided in the lever at a position between the passages 136 and 138. A coil spring 142 has a first hooked end 144 which passes through the passage 140 and a second hooked end 146 which passes through an opening 148 in the housing 14. As will be appreciated, the coil spring 142 urges the end section 114 on the lever downwardly to its normal position wherein the pedal end 118 of the lever is at its uppermost position.
The actuating arm 62 for the valve blade 32 is bent downwardly at its outer end 150. In the normal position of the lever 110, as seen in FIG. 1, the outer end 150 of the actuating arm 62 lies approximately below the outer end of the actuating arm 106 for the rotary valve 66. An elongated horizontally extending slot 152 is formed in the outer end 150 of the actuating arm 62. A passage 154 is formed in the outer end of the actuating arm 106.
A pair of links 156 and 160 are provided for connecting the lever 110 to the actuating arms 62 and 106, respectively. Each link is formed of a cylindrical metal rod. Each rod is bent at its opposite ends at a generally right angle to the intermediate portion of the rod to define a generally U-shaped link. The legs 162 and 164 of the link 156 extend horizontally through the passage 136 in the lever 110 and the slot 152 in the actuating arm 62, respectively. The legs 166 and 168 of the link 160 extend horizontally through the passage 154 in the actuating arm 106 and the passage 138 in the terminal portion 134 of the lever, respectively. Thus, the link 156 is pivotally mounted at its opposite ends to the lever and the actuating arm 62, respectively, while the link 160 is pivotally mounted at its opposite ends to the lever and the actuating arm 106, respectively. As seen in FIG. 3, the legs 166 and 168 of the link 160 are shorter than the legs of the link 156 so that the link 160 is disposed within the link 156 whereby the links may be moved simultaneously in vertically extending parallel planes.
The links 156 and 160 are retained on the lever and actuating arms without the use of separable fasteners. To this end, each leg of the links 156 and 160 is formed with upstanding integral ears 170 formed on opposite sides of the lever and actuating arms. The ears provide an enlarged diameter on the legs of the links which is greater than the diameter of the passages through which the legs extend in the lever and actuating arms. Radially extending slots 172 are formed adjacent the passages 136 and 138 of the lever 110. A similar slot 174 is formed adjacent the passage 154 in the actuating arm 106. These slots are sufficiently large to allow the ears 170 to pass therethrough when the legs on the links are properly oriented during the assembly of the linkage mechanism. It is noted that the slot 152 in the actuating arm 162 is elongated and thus provides sufficient clearance to allow the ear 170 to pass therethrough during assembly. The respective positions of the slots and the ears on the links are such that the ears will not come into registry with the slots when the lever and links 156 and are in their normal operating positions, the extremes of which are illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. Thus, the links may be easily and rapidly assembled to the lever and actuating arms of the valves and retained thereon without the use of any separable fasteners, thus minimizing the number of parts required to form the linkage for the valve assembly, and minimizing assembly time and manufacturing costs. Likewise, the actuating lever 110 is mounted on the housing, as stated previously, without the use of any separable fastening elements. Therefore, it can be appreciated that the overall structure of the valve assembly linkage of the present invention will be less expensive than the corresponding linkages or cam actuating mechanisms of prior art toilet valve assemblies.
An important feature of the invention is the design of the linkage mechanism which provides an overcenter toggle action. It will be noted that when the lever 110 is at its normal position as seen in FIG. 1, the leg 162 of the link 156, which constitutes the pivot point between such link and the lever 110, lies below an imaginary line extending through the longitudinal axis of the intermediate section 112 of the lever and the leg 164 on the opposite end of the link 156. The leg 164 constitutes the pivot point between the link 156 and the actuating arm 62. When the pedal end 118 of the lever is depressed to raise the end section 114 of the lever, the pivot point 162 will rise above such imaginary line. Passing of the pivot 162 over such imaginary line produces an overcenter toggle action which develops a high mechanical advantage that produces a high closing force on the gate valve blade with the use of a relatively weak spring 142. The use of the relatively weak spring 142 permits a relatively light force to be used to depress the pedal end 118 of the lever 110 to operate the valve assembly.
The overcenter toggle action also permits the water valve 66 to be opened prior to the valve blade 2 and allows the valve blade to open and close very rapidly which produces an effective flushing action.
The operation of the valve assembly 110 is as follows: When the pedal end 118 of the lever 110 is initially depressed, the lever will shift through a first range to the position shown in phantom in FIG. 1, wherein the pivot point 162 reaches the point above the aforementioned imaginary line indicated by reference numeral 178. During such initial movement of the lever, the link 160 will pivot the actuating arm 106 to open the rotary water valve 66. As the pivot point 162 rises to the point 178 the link 156, being slightly resilient, will flex so that there will be essentially no motion imparted to the actuating arm 62 by such initial movement of the lever. Preferably, the water valve 66 will be open about 60% when the pivot 162 is located at the point 178. During further depression of the pedal end 118, the lever 110 will move through a second range until the end section 114 of the lever reaches the position illustrated in FIG. 2 wherein the water valve 66 will be completely open as will be the valve blade 32. The valve blade opens very rapidly during the movement of the pivot 162 from the point 178 in FIG. 1 to its final position shown in FIG. 2. Thus, during the first range of movement of the lever 110, water will be introduced into the toilet bowl 12, and the discharge outlet 38 of the bowl will be closed. During the second range of movement of the lever, the discharge outlet will rapidly open, and the water valve will fully open so that the contents of the bowl 12 will be flushed out through the outlet port 44 in the valve housing 14. Upon release of the lever l 10, the coil spring 142 will lower the end section 1 14 of the lever, first rapidly shifting the valve blade 132 to close the discharge outlet 38 of the bowl with a high closing force and thereafter slowly closing the water valve 66. Since the water valve closes after the gate valve, a small body of water will be retained in the bowl to produce a water seal and permit further flushing operations.
Since the lower end 28 of the ring seal 36 of the valve assembly extends below the valve seat 24, the valve blade 32 will wipe against such lower end when the blade is shifted between its open and closed positions. The rapid movement of the valve blade 32 afforded by the over-center toggle action of the linkage arrangement of the present invention insures a good wiping action between the seal 26 and the valve blade which enhances the cleaning of the upper surface of the valve blade during each flushing operation.
What is claimed is: l. A valve assembly for a toilet bowl having a discharge outlet comprising:
a valve housing having a port therein adapted to communicate with said discharge outlet; substantially flat gate valve blade means pivotally mounted in said housing to open and close said outlet; water valve means mounted on said housing for controlling the flow of water to said toilet bowl; each said gate valve blade means and water valve means embodying an actuating arm; lever means pivotally mounted on said housing for up and down movement about a pivot axis, said'lever means having first and second sections on opposite sides of said pivot axis; linkage means connecting said first section of said lever means to said actuating arms; said gate valve blade means and water valve means opening upon depressing of said second section of said lever means, and closing upon raising of said second section of said lever means, means biasing said second section to its raised position normally holding said gate valve blade means and water valve means closed; said linkage means comprising separate first and second links; said first link being pivotally connected at one end to said first section of said lever means at a first point thereon and pivotally connected at its other end to said water valve means actuating arm; said second link being pivotally connected at one end to said first section of said lever means at a second point between said pivot axis and said first point, the other end of said second link being pivotally connected to said gate valve blade means actuating arm; said one end of said second link lying below an imaginary straight line extending between said pivot axis and said other end of said second link when said second section of said lever means is in its normal raised position, said one end of said second link rising to a position above said imaginary line when said second section of said lever means is depressed;
said one end of said first link lying below said second point and said other end of said first link being above said other end of said second link whereby said links cross each other to provide an overcenter toggle arrangement;
said overcenter toggle arrangement causing said gate valve blade means to be actuated more rapidly and with higher closing force than said water valve means; and
said overcenter toggle arrangement causing said water valve means to open prior to said gate valve blade means upon depressing of said second section of said lever means, and causing said gate valve blade means to close prior to closing of said water valve means after releasing said lever means.
2. A valve assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said lever means comprises a rod having an intermediate horizontally extending section and two integral end parts bent at approximately right angles to said intermediate section in opposite directions providing said first and second sections of said lever means;
integral means on said housing mounting said intermediate section of said lever means on said housing for pivotal movement about the longitudinal axis of said intermediate section.
3. A valve assembly as set forth in vlaim 1 wherein:
said first section of said lever means embodies a first portion adjacent said pivot axis and a second terminal portion, said second portion being bent at an angle downwardly relative to said first portion;
said one end of said second link is connected to said first portion adjacent to said second portion; and
said one end of said first link is connected to said second portion.
4. A valve assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said biasing means comprises a spring connected at one end to said first section of said lever means and at its other end to said housing below said pivot axis.
5. A valve assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein:
said actuating arm for said gate valve blade means is pivotable about a vertically extending axis;
said actuating arm for said water valve means is pivotable about a horizontally extending axis; and
said first and second links are movable vertically in response to the up and down movement of said lever means, and said links effecting pivotal movement of said actuating arms in response to movement of said lever means.
6. A valve assembly as set forth in claim 1 including:
means integrally formed on said first and second links for retaining said links pivotally connected to said lever means and said actuating arms.