US 3857119 A
In order to provide very efficient and effective ventilation of a water closet, a collector having an exhaust coupled to suction means is disposed directly beneath the rear of the seat. The collector is held in place by and between the hinge bolts of the seat and has a downwardly directed inlet opening which extends over the center rear portion of the bowl. A passageway of greater height than the width of its narrowest portion, extends laterally between the seat and the water reservoir of the water closet to effect a conduit between the inlet and exhaust openings. The exhaust opening is coupled through a bayonet fitting to a motor driven centrifugal air pump. The air pump discharges into a discharge chamber and forces the air through the filtering means, such as activated charcoal.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Hunnicutt, Jr.
[ 1 Dec. 31, 1974 VENTILATING ATTACHMENT FOR WATER CLOSET  lnventor: Clyde J. Hunnicutt, Jr., 3026 E.
Garfield St., Phoeniz, Ariz. 85008  Filed: Nov. 15, 1973  Appl. No.: 415,964
Related U.S. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 301,581, Oct. 27,
1972, Pat. No. 3,824,637.
 U.S. Cl 4/213, 4/72, 4/217  Int. Cl A47k 3/22, E03d 9/04, E03d 13/00  Field of Search 4/213, 217, 72, 209
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,017,590 10/1935 Duffner 4/213 2,728,088 12/1955 Gudish 4/217 2,747,201 5/1956 Herriott 4/213 2,988,756 6/1961 4/213 3,230,551 l/1966 4/213 3,335,431 8/1967 4/213 3,366,979 2/1968 Johnston 4/213 6/1968 Christian et al. 4/217 l/1970 Poister 4/217 [5 7] ABSTRACT In order to provide very efficient and effective ventilation of a water closet, a collector having an exhaust coupled to suction means is disposed directly beneath the rear of the seat. The collector is held in place by and between the hinge bolts of the seat and has a downwardly directed inlet opening which extends over the center rear portion of the bowl. A passageway of greater height than the width of its narrowest portion, extends laterally between the seat and the water reservoir of the water closet to effect a conduit between the inlet and exhaust openings. The exhaust opening is coupled through a bayonet fitting to a motor driven centrifugal air pump. The air pump discharges into a discharge chamber and forces the air through the filtering means, such as activated charcoal.
9 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures FATENTEB UEC3 1 i974 SHEET 3 BF 5 FIE-7 PATENTED DECB] I974 SHEET 5 OF 5 VENTILATING ATTACHMENT FOR WATER CLOSET This application is a continuation-in-part patent application of an application entitled VENTILATING ATTACHMENT FOR WATER CLOSET" filed Oct. 27, 1972, and assigned Ser..No. 301,581, now US. Pat. No. 3,824,637, describing apparatus invented by the present inventor.
This invention relates to ventilated water closets and, more particularly, to an attachment system for forcibly ventilating water closets.
Various attachment and integral systems have been proposed in the past for ventilating water closets. The prior art in this field is characterized by impractical and incompletely thought-out systems. These systems require considerable alteration of an existing water closet and are still ineffective because the aerodynamics of the system were casually treated.
It is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide an improved self contained ventilating system for commodes.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an easily attachable ventilation system for a commode.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an odor purifying apparatus for commodes.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an odor purifying apparatus attachable to and supported by the base of a commode.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an unobtrusive ventilation system for commodes.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a hoseless ventilation system for commodes.
A yet further object of the present invention is to provide a low cost odor purifying apparatus for commodes.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description thereof proceeds.
The present invention may be described with more specificity and clarity with reference to the following figures, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates apparatus for purifying the air within a conventional water closet.
" FIG. 2 is a detailed view of a collector unit element of the system shown in FIG. 1, FIG. 2 being drawn as if the material used in the upper portion of the collector unit were transparent to better illustrate the internal construction thereof.
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 3-3, as shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 4-4, as shown in FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a partial cutaway and partial cross-sectional view of an air recirculating and treating unit.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the lower section of the unit illustrated in FIG. 5 showing the impeller means.
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the lower portion of the unit illustrated in FIG. 5 to particularly show the general shape of the chamber containing the impellers and the exhaust area.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the odor purifying apparatus constituting the present invention.
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the present invention, taken along lines 9-9, as shown in FIG. 8.
FIG. 10 is a plan view of the filter element, taken along lines l010, as shown in FIG. 9.
FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view of the collector unit shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, taken along lines 11-ll, as shown in FIG. 9.
As shown in FIG. 1, a conventional water closet I includes a base portion 2, reservoir portion 3, and seat means 4 secured to the base portion 2 by hinge means 5. The hinge means 5 includes downwardly directed bolts (not shown) for securing the seat means 4 to the base portion 2 in the usual manner. However, as will be more fully explained below, a collector unit 6 is interposed generally between the hinge means 5 and is held in position by the aforementioned bolts.
The collector unit 6 is provided with a laterally offset portion 7 having an exhaust aperture on the bottom thereof, which exhaust aperture couples to a flexible hose 8. Hose 8 leads to the inlet of an air recirculating and treating apparatus 9 or, alternatively, to power operated exhaust means 10. The power operated exhaust means 10 includes a wall plate 11 for receiving the remote end of flexible hose 8, a motor driven suction fan 12, and a conduit 13 coupling the exhaust outlet of the suction fan 12 to an exhaust area, such as the outside environment or an attic.
FIG. 2 illustrates the collector unit 6 drawn as if the upper portion thereof were fabricated from clear material to provide an understanding of the internal construction thereof. A central portion 14 is raised from wing portions 15 and 16 on either side thereof. The wing portions 15 and 16 are provided withapertures l7 and 18, respectively, which are spaced apart from one another a standard distance for receiving the downwardly directed hinge bolts (not shown) to secure the collector unit 6 in place. The underside of the central portion 14 is provided with an inlet opening which is directly centrally disposed between the hinges 5 (FIG. 1). The inlet area beneath the central portion 14 provides direct air communication between the bowl of a water closet and an elongated discharge aperture 19. The elongated aperture 19 disposed within chamber 20 includes an upwardly extending lip portion 21 about the entire periphery thereof for reasons which will be set forth below. The laterally extending chamber 20 provides a relatively tall and narrow conduit to an outlet 22 to which the flexible hose 8 is attached. The outlet 22 is also provided with a lip portion 23 about the complete periphery thereof.
With simultaneous reference to FIGS. 2, 3, and 4, it will be observed that air can flow from the bowl through the inlet 24 of the collector unit 6, through the elongated aperture 19, through the laterally extending chamber 20, and exhaust through the collector unit outlet 22. The lips 21 and 23 encompassing apertures 19 and the outlet 22, respectively, serve to trap any water which might escape from the bowl into the collector unit 6 (as in the case of inadvertent water overflow). Thereby, the water is prevented from entering the flexible hose 8, which water could conceivably reach the electrically driven suction fan 12.
For installations made in conjunction with fabrication or extensive remodeling of the environment, the wall mounted power operated exhaust means 10 (illustrated in FIG. 1) may be preferred, in which case activation of the motor driven suction fan 12 will draw air from the immediate environment, beneath the seat 4,
' into the collector unit 6, through the flexible hose 8 and through the exhaust means for discharge to a remote point. However, for installation within water closets in which no other alteration of the environment is comtemplated as well as for portable use, the utilization of the air recirculating and treating apparatus 9 (FIG. 1) is provided.
In both variants, the specific configuration of the collector unit 6 permits incoporation of the system into an existing water closet by virtue of the standardized spacing between the apertures 17 and 18 (FIG. 2) and the relatively narrow laterally extending chambers 20. The configuration of the chamber 20 provides adequate volumetric capacity without physical interference with the reservoir 3 of the water closet I.
The internal construction of the air recirculating and treating apparatus 9 is best understood by reference to FIGS. 5, 6, and 7. Referring specifically to FIG. 5, it will be observed that the recirculating and treating apparatus 9 includes an upper portion which fits over a lower portion 26. The upper portion 25 has an inlet aperture 27 centrally disposed at the top thereof and leading to an inner chamber 28. The bottom 29 of the inner chamber 28 is provided with a plurality of apertures 30 discharging into a space 31 intermediate the 'upper and lower portions 25 and 26 of the recirculating and treating apparatus 9. The inner chamber 28 is partially filled with activated charcoal 32. Screen means 33 prevents the activated charcoal from falling through apertures 30.
A deflector 34 extends upwardly from the bottom 29 of the inner chamber 28 directly below the inlet aperture 27. The function of the deflector 34 is quite important in that it prevents tunneling through the activated charcoal 32 as a result of air flow into the inner chamber 28. Such tunneling is undesirable because it establishes an air flow path that shunts the activated charcoal whereby the air passing through the apparatus 9 would be partially treated or not treated at all.
Still referring to FIGS. 5, 6, and 7, an impeller 35 centrally disposed in a chamber 40 and positioned in the upper section ofthe lower portion 26 ofthe apparatus 9 is driven by an electrical motor 36. The motor may be energized through conductor 39 from conven tional wall plug 37 in accordance with the position of switch 38. A base member 41 provides support for the entire recirculating and treating apparatus 9 such that it may be freestanding in any convenient position proximate the water closet to which it is coupled.
Upon energization of the motor 36, clockwise rotation (FIG.7) of the impeller 36 generates an air flow through inner chamber 28, the activated charcoal 32 and into exhaust chamber 42. The filtered air flow passes through an inlet 43 which is in direct communication with a lower chamber 44 in the lower portion 26 of the apparatus 9. The air is discharged from the lower chamber 44 through a series of circumferentially distributed slots 45 into the immediate environment.
With specific reference to FIG. 7, it will be noted that the exhaust chamber 42 extends only a relatively short angular distance about the circumference of the impeller 35. Quieter and more efficient operation results by keeping this angular distance on the order of 90 or less. Additionally, quiet operation and volumetric efficiency are further enhanced by the provision of a baffle 46 having a centrally disposed aperture 47 placed over impeller 35. Thereby, the air flowing through the activated charcoal 32 and apertures 30 is pulled inwardly to pass through aperture 47 into the impeller chamber 40.
Attention is redirected to the collector unit 6 which was depicted in FIG. 2. In practice, a plastic material is utilized which may be matched in color to the specific water closet to which it is affixed. It may further be noted that the forward end 48 of the central portion 14 has a waterfall shape for sanitary purposes. It will further be noted that the inlet 24 (FIG. 3) is symmetrically disposed about the fore and aft centerline of the water closet because of the position of the apertures 17 and 18 (FIG. 2). This specific position has been found critical in achieving flow characteristics whereby essentially all air from the bowl is drawn into the flexible hose 8 for exhaust or treatment. Therefore, it will be understood that the placement of the inlet to the collector unit 6 at the rear central area of the bowl results in greatly enhanced volumetric efficiency such that relatively low speed quiet motors can be utilized in the suction means and the necessity for very high flow rate across the bowl is obviated.
FIG. 8 illustrates an improvement to the above described air purifying apparatus for water closets, and in particular, commodes. A collector unit 6, similar to that described above is mounted intermediate hinge means 5 ofa commode. The bolts (not shown) securing hinge means 5 to base 2 of the commode are inserted through apertures 17 and 18 to rigidly retain collector unit 6 in place. As described above, the forward end 48 of the collector unit extends within the periphery of the bowl beneath seat means 4. The laterally extending neck 54 of collector unit 6 positions the offset portion 7 a predetermined lateral distance from base 2.
A canister 50, including a base 52, a body 49 and a neck 51, is removably attached to offset portion 7. By viewing FIG. 8, it becomes obvious that collector unit 6 supports canister 50 adjacent the commode and at a distance therefrom dependent upon the length of neck 54. In the preferred embodiment, it is anticipated that neck 54 will be of minimum length to maintain the canister 50 close to the base 2 to render it as unobtrusive as possible. From the practical standpoint, the length of neck 54 must be sufficient to provide a space between canister 50 and the exterior of base 2 to afford facile cleaning of both the commode surface and the canister without removal of the canister.
Canister 50 includes an internally mounted electric motor driving an impeller for withdrawing air from within the bowl of the commode, through collector unit 6 and into the canister. In addition, a filter is disposed within base 52 to purify the gases exhausted from canister 50. A knob 53 for a push pull or rotary switch extends external to canister 50 to permit selective actuation of the electric motor. Further, an electrical cord or conduit (see FIG. 9) extends from canister 50 to a conveniently located electrical wall socket.
The constructional details of the junction between collector unit 6 and canister 50 will be described with more specificity with regard to FIG. 9. The bottom 60 of offset portion 7 includes an aperture 59 (see also FIG. 11 An annular cavity 61 is formed interior to offset portion 7 about aperture 59 by means of an annular shield 62. The lower portion of shield 62 is configured as a female bayonet fitting 63. Shield 62 also includes an annular member 67 extending downwardly through aperture 59 and terminating below bottom 60. The neck 51 of canister 50 terminates in a male bayonet fitting 64, which male fitting engages and mates with female bayonet fitting 63.
In the configuration shown, the male bayonet fitting 64 extends interior to shield 62. To insure an air tight connection between offset portion 7 and neck 51, a collar formed by an inwardly extending radial flange 65 secured interior to neck 51 and including an upwardly extending sleeve or lip 66 is employed. A portion of lip 66 extends within cavity 61 and frictionally engages the surface of annular member 67. Thereby, annular member 67 downwardly overlaps lip 66 and forms an air tight and water tight seal therebetween. From the above description, it will become apparent that collector unit 6 may be permanently mounted upon a commode and that canister 50 may be readily and easily detachable from the collector unit. It may also be apparent that not only do the gas inlets within collector unit 6 restrict and impede water flow thereinto, but, shield 62 forms an annular barrier to further impede water flow into canister 50.
An electric motor 71 is secured to a mounting 70 extending across the interior of body 49 of canister 50. The configuration of mounting 70 may take any one of several shapes provided that it is sufficiently rigid to support electric motor 71 and further provided that it is sufficiently apertured to permit an essentially unrestricted axial flow of air through body 49. Electric motor 71 includes an upwardly extending output shaft 72 upon which impeller 73 is mounted. The power for electric motor 71 is provided by an electrical cord 74 extending through a grommet 76 mounted in body 49. The cord 74 may be terminated by an electric plug 75 for engagement with an electrical wall socket. Switch 77, actuated by knob 53 through shaft 78, selectively energizes or deenergizes electric motor 71. A grommet 79 encircling shaft 78 and attached to body 49 maintains an air tight seal intermediate body 49 and shaft 78.
The air drawn from within the bowl of the commode, through collector unit 6 and into body 49 of canister 40, is exhausted through a filter 80 disposed in base 52. Filter 80, as shown in FIG. 9 and 10, is formed as a disc shaped member mating with the circular skirt of base 52. The framework of filter 80 includes an annular band 86 connected by two sets of spokes 85 to a hub 84. Wire or plastic mesh 87 is disposed interior to and adjacent the sets of spokes 85 and extends from hub 84 to annular band 86. Activated charcoal 89 is deposited within the space defined by the mesh, the hub and the annular band.
A shaft 82, extending downwardly from mounting 70 is inserted through cavity 81 in hub 84 and serves as a mount for filter 80. Retainer means 83, which may be a simple nut or thumb screw engaging the threaded end of shaft 82, retains filter 80 within base 52. An O-ring or other annular seal 88, is disposed intermediate the upper peripheral surface of filter 80 and the interior peripheral surface of base 52 to prevent an air flow intermediate the filter and the base.
The type of filter described above and mounting therefore provide several advantages. By using a filter with a vertically oriented air flow therethrough rather than a horizontally oriented air flow, the probability of tunneling" will be less. It may be noted that the diameter of base 52 is substantially greater than that of neck 51 and somewhat greater than that of body 49. With such a configuration, the cross-sectional area of the air flow through filter will be substantially greater than that of either neck 51 or body 49. The greater crosssectional area will permit a lower rate of air flow without diminishing the volumetric flow rate. Thereby, the lower rate of air flow will also tend to reduce the probability of tunneling. primary purpose of filter 82 is that of deodorizing, or otherwise purifying the gases found within the commode. The deodorizing or purifying operation is, to some extent, dependent upon the quantity of activated charcoal through which the air must flow. With the filter configured as described above, the depth of the disc may be selected to provide optimum operation for given period of time without requiring any further modification of canister 50.
The filter is easily removable by simply loosening retainer means 83. A replacement is equally easily inserted and retained within the base 52. Thus, the self contained configuration of filter 80 permits rapid and facile replacement without the mess and bother of prior art purifying systems requiring the replacement of the charcoal granules themselves.
FIG. 11 illustrates a bottom view of collector unit 6. It may be appreciated that the substantial parts of the collector unit are essentially the same as the collector unit described above with respect to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, and 4. FIG. 11 has been included primarily to indicate the nature and form of the female bayonet fitting mounted within offset portion 7.
The operation of the improved embodiment of the present invention may be briefly described as follows. To remove nauseous gases from within the commode, knob 53 is either rotated or axially repositioned, depending upon whether switch 77 is a rotary switch or a push pull switch, to energize the electric motor 71 and cause impeller 73 to rotate. The rotation of impeller 73 will tend to draw the gases from within the commode through collector unit 6, offset portion 7, neck 51 and into body 49. The resulting increase in pressure within body 49 will force the nauseous gases through filter 80. As activated charcoal, or other deodorizing and purifying materials forming a part of filter 80, will cleanse and purify the nauseous gas, only purified gases will exhaust from canister 50. Thereby, the present invention obviates the need to channel the exhaust out of the bathroom containing the commode. By thorough testing over an extended period of time, it has been determined that the present invention will maintain a bathroom essentially odor free without the use of a bathroom exhaust fan or other air circulation mechanisms. It may be appreciated that canister 50 is essentially mounted adjacent a commode whereby it does not intrude upon otherwise useable space. Further, canister 50 is suspended from collector unit 6 whereby it does not occupy any bathroom floor space nor contribute to any problems in cleaning and maintaining the bathroom floor. Should canister 50 require periodic maintainance or repair, it can be easily and readily disengaged from collector unit 6 without the need for tools or disruption in the use of the commode. The filter 80 may be replaced with or without the removal of canister 50. Because of the construction of filter 80, no damage occurs if the canister 50, including the filter, is turned upside down or sideways.
While the principles of the invention have now been made clear in an illustrative embodiment, there will be immediately obvious to those skilled in the art many modifications of structure, arrangement, proportions, the elements, materials, and components, used in the practice of the invention which are particularly adapted for specific environments and operating requirements without departing from those principles.
1. An improved apparatus for ventilating the bowl of a commode within a water closet, said apparatus comprising in combination:
a. a collector unit mounted at the rear of the commode for receiving and channeling gas away from the bowl, said collector unit including:
1. an inlet aperture extending within the periphery of said bowl;
2. a hollow neck extending lateral to the commode and serving as a conduit; and
3. an offset portion disposed at the extremity of said neck, said offset portion including a downwardly directed outlet;
b. a canister depending from said offset portion for drawing gas from the bowl, through said collector unit and exhausting the gas to the environment, said canister including:
1. impeller means for generating a gas flow;
2. power means for driving said impeller means;
3. filter means for purifying the gas exhausted from said canister;
c. means for detachably connecting said canister to said offset portion, said connecting means being the sole support for said canister; whereby, said collector unit in combination with said canister are supported off the floor of the water closet and serve as a complete unit to withdraw and purify the gases within the bowl of the commode.
2. The apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said canister comprises:
a. a necked portion for engagement with said offset portion;
b. a body portion for housing said impeller means and said power means, said body portion being of a greater width than said necked portion; and
c. a base portion for supporting said filter means.
3. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said necked portion, said body and said base portion are circular in cross-section.
4. The apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said filter means comprises a disc shaped filter having an imperforate annular band and perforated sides 5. The apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said disc shaped filter is mounted in axial alignment with said base portion, said body portion and said necked portion.
6. The apparatus as set forth in claim 5 wherein said base portion includes means for removably attaching said disc shaped filter.
7. The apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said connecting means coomprises a bayonet fitting to facilitate attachment and detachment of said canister.
8. The apparatus as set forth in claim 7 including air tight sealing means disposed in proximity to the junction between said offset portion and said necked portion to preserve the integrity of the gas flow from said collector unit to said canister.
9.. The apparatus as set forth in claim 8 further including means disposed about said outlet within said offset portion to inhibit any overflow water from the bowl into said collector unit from flowing into said canister.