US 3905050 A
A pressurizable flush tank in which the discharge of water is controlled by a valve arrangement comprising a buoyant spherical ball and a ring seat. The pressurizable flush tank has a purging assembly which controls the water level within the tank and insures efficient discharge of water from the tank.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Goza et al. 1 Sept. 16, 1975  PRESSURIZED FLUSH TANK 1,538,656 5/1925 Richardson 4/57 R 1,586,079 5/1926 Formancck 4/28  Inventors. Alva L. Goza, Rt. 1, Box 215, Gulf 2170321 8/1939 Charmin 4 4/26 Breeze- 32561; Fay Smlth, 2,828,488 4/1958 Hone 4 57 R 0 Magnolia Cantonment, 3,553,741 1 1971 Owens 4/28 32533; L. E. Bentkowski, 21 10 E 3,790,967 2/1974 Pignato .4 4/28 Lakeview, Pensacola, Fla. 32505; Eg 'g ggg FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS OX Walton Beach, Fla. 32548; Ronald 107,801 7/1917 United Kmgdom 4/26 P. Blake, 505 Mooney Rd., Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. 32548; JImmIe Primary Examiner Henry K. Artis Thompson BOX 3186 Attorne A em or Firm.lones Thomas & Askew Walton Beach, Fla. 3254:; g
22 Filed: Dec. 5, 1973  Appl. No.: 421,954 57 ABSTRACT  US. Cl. 4/28; 4/41; 4/56; A pressurizable flush tank in which the discharge of 4/65; 4/67 R water is controlled by a valve arrangement comprising  Int. Cl E03d 3/00 a buoyant spherical ball and a ring seat. The pressur-  Field of Search 4/28, 26, 27, 29, 33, 20, izable flush tank has a purging assembly which con- 4/21, 56, 57 R, 59, 65, 67 R, DIG. l trols the water level within the tank and insures efficient discharge of water from the' tank.  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 375,353 12/1887 Harvey 4/28 ASSOEROS PATENTEU SEP 1 5 i975 SHEET 1 UP 2 PATEN I'HJ 1 51975 3, 9 O5 O50 SHEET 2 OF 2 FIG 3 PRESSURIZED FLUSH TANK BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Conventional flush tanks used in most homes and public'facilities rely solely on gravity to displace the water within the tank from the tank and into the toilet bowl. These tanks must hold approximately six gallons of water in order to obtain sufficient flushing action from the slow discharge of water into the toilet bowl. The use of these tanks has resulted in very large quanti ties of water which must be processed by sewage treatment plants. Hence, a need exists for a flush tank that can operate efficiently with less water than used by conventional flush tanks.
Conventional flush tanks also have numerous interconnecting movable mechanical parts, especially in the valve mechanism controlling the flow of'water to the toilet bowl. During the flushing cycle, these mechanical parts produce substantial noise. Although the noise produced by these tanks is not detrimental to the actual mechanical operation of the toilet, the noise is somewhat annoying to the user.
Several attempts have been made to use pressurizable flush tanks for supplying water to the toilet bowl, but these attempts have not been successful for a number of reasons. One is the fact that noise is still a problem in those tanks containing many interconnecting movable mechanical parts. Another is that the proper amount of sealing water, the water added to the toilet bowl after the flushing cycle to seal the line between the toilet bowl and the sewage line, is not supplied by these pressurizable flush tanks.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described, the present invention is directed to a pressurizable flush tank which operates by means of line pressure in addition to gravity to provide efficient flushing action with minimum water. The flush tank includes a valve assembly comprising a buoyant spherical ball and a ring seat for controlling the discharge of water. A ball lifting assembly including an actuating member is used in initiating the operation of the valve assembly. The water level within the tank and the efficient discharge of water from the tank is controlled by a purging assembly comprising an interconnected float and valve arrangement.
Thus, it is an object of the present invention to provide a pressurizable flush tank which uses less water than conventional flush tanks.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a pressurizable flush tank that provides the toilet bowl with sufficient sealing water after the flushing cycle.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a pressurizable flush tank which operates relatively quietly.
These and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from reading the following specification, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing depicting an illustrative embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pressurizable flush tank according to the disclosed illustrative embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a section side view of the pressurizable flush tank taken along the lines 2-2 of FIG. 1 with the valve assembly and the purging assembly shown.
FIG. 3 is a section front view of the pressurizable flush tank taken along the lines 33 of FIG. 1 with the valve assembly and the purging assembly shown.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in more detail to the drawings, in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a pressurizable flush tank 10 with sides 13, top 11, and bottom 12. Preferably, the main portion of flush tank 10, defined by sides 13, is extruded from a thermoplastic material such as polyvinyl chloride, and the top 11 and bottom 12 are both constructed from a similar thermoplastic material such as polyvinyl chloride. Of course, other conventional materials can be used in the construction of the flush tank of the present invention. The boundaries between sides 13 and both top 11 and bottom 12 are sealed, preferably by heat, to provide an air tight fit between these pieces.
Inserted through a hole 11a in top 11 is a plug 14 which is removable for easy access to the interior of flush tank 10 if repairs or adjustments need to be made to any of the components within the flush tank. Plug 14 preferably has threads which allow it to be threaded into corresponding threads in the opening in top 11 in order to obtain an air tight seal. The use of a threaded arrangement between plug 14 and the opening in top 11 also prevents plug 14 from being blown out of the opening by the air pressure in flush tank 10. Of course, other types of air tight arrangements can be used to provide access to the interior of flush tank 10. For example, the entire top 11 can be removable and held in place by any suitable securing devices such as clamps, bolts, and the like, with a peripheral gasket located between the top 11 and the top end of sides 13 to provide the air tight seal.
Within the interior of the tank is a buoyant spherical ball 16 which is positioned within a cage 42 defined by the two sides 13 of the tank and two ribs 44, each rib extending from one side 13 across the width of tank 10 to an opposite side 13. Ball 16 is retainedwithin the upper portion of cage 42 by pin 21 which is just above and centered between ribs 44 and in the lower portion of cage 42 by ring seat 40 which is located below and centered between ribs 44. Ribs 44 can be attached to the sides of the tank in any conventional manner, but preferably, ribs 44 are formed as an integral part of the main portion of tank 10, defined by sides 13, during the extrusion process. Ball 16 preferably has a resilient smooth polyurethane surface with a foam filled core in order to produce good floatation, acceptable resistivity to repeated contact with the other components in tank 10, and a water tight seal with ring seat 40. Most preferably, ball 16 has a small weight at some point near its surface in order to improve the seating of ball 16 on ring seat 40 under turbulent conditions within cage 42.
Ring seat 40 is held in place by seat support 41 which is attached over the end of discharge line 17 projecting through an opening in the bottom 12 of tank 10. Ring seat 40 has a smooth surface to insure a water tight seal with ball 16 and is constructed of a soft material such as neoprene.
Water inlet line 15 extends into tank through one of the sides 13 very near the bottom 12, and preferably inlet line 15 is directed towards the bottom 12. By having inlet line 15 directed towards the bottom 12, the turbulence produced by the entering water is minimized and the ball 16 can seat on ring seat 40 with less effort and greater accuracy.
At the lower portion of the tank 10 is ball lifting assembly 30 which comprises rod 31 to which is attached handle 37 at an end external of the tank. Actuating member 32 is attached to the rod a short distance from the other end which is internal of discharge line 17. Rod 31 extends through and is journalled for rotation in one side of discharge line 17 and extends across the diameter of discharge line 17 where it is rotatably connected to the other side fo that line. Actuating member 32 includes stem 33, one end of which is attached to rod 31 directly below the center of ring seat 40 and the other end of which is attached to housing 36. Held within housing 36 in a rotatable manner by axle 35 is wheel 34. Rod 31 and actuating member 32 are spaced in relation to ring seat 40 such that, when actuating member 32 is in a vertical position, the edge of wheel 34 extends through the opening in ring seat 40 andjust above the top of ring seat 40 to displace ball 16 from ring seat 40. Adjustment of the spaced relationship between actuating member 32 and ring seat 40 is provided by having the end of stem 33 which is attached to rod 31 threaded through rod 31.
At the upper portion of tank 10 is purging assembly 20 which comprises arm 22 having a pivotal mounting on pin 21 and a float 23 attached at one end and a port valve 24 attached at the other end. Float 23 is preferably a spherically-shaped buoyant ball which is adjustably connected to arm 22 through float pin 25. Port valve 24 is attached to arm 22 such that port valve 24 seats on port ring seat 27 located on the end of a purge line 18 when the purging assembly is pivoted to lower the port valve. Purge line 18 extends from just inside tank 10 to discharge line 17.
Purging assembly 20 and the end of purge line 18 supporting port ring seat 27 are spaced relative to each other such that port valve 24 does not seat on port ring seat 27 until the water level is a predetermined distance above port ring seat 27. This predetermined distance depends on the distance below arm 22 at which float 23 is held by float pin and can be changed by adjusting float 23.
Ribs 43 extend from one side 13 across the width of tank 10 to the opposite side 13 and give tank 10 added structural strength. Preferably, ribs 43 are extruded as an integral part of the sides 13, but ribs 43 can be attached to the sides 13 of tank 10 in other conventional ways.
OPERATION In operation, the flushing cycle is initiated by moving handle 37 to rotate rod 31 and force wheel 34 of actuating member 32 into contact with the lower portion of ball 16 seated on ring seat 40. The force of wheel 34 against ball 16 dislodges ball 16 from ring seat 40. When handle 37 is released, a conventional spring means (not shown) returns handle 37 and actuating member 32 to their initial positions. Ball 16 is buoyant and rises through the water within cage 42 until being stopped from further ascent by pin 21.
As soon as ball 16 is dislodged from ring seat 40, the water within tank 10 is forced by gravity and compressed air above the surface of the water within tank 10 (explained in further detail in a later portion of this specification) through ring seat 40 into discharge line 17. From discharge line 17 the water flows directly into the toilet bowl in conventional fashion.
The water level within tank 10 continues to descend to the point that float 23 begins to move downward wherein arm 22 pivots about pin 21 and port valve 24 rises away from port ring seat 27. At this instant, the interior of tank 10 above the water surface is in direct communication with atmospheric pressure through purge line 18 extending into discharge line 17. By connecting the interior of tank 10 to atmospheric pressure in this way, no partial vacuum forms above the water surface to slow the discharge of water from tank 10. After port valve 24 opens and the surface above the water level is exposed to atmospheric pressure, the water drains from tank 10 by gravity.
As the water level continues to fall, ball 16 descends within cage 42 until the Water level is below ring seat 40, at which time ball 16 seats on ring seat 40.
Once the tank 10 has emptied and ball 16 is seated on ring seat 40, tank 10 begins filling with water entering through inlet line 15 which is constantly open to the main water line and under normal line pressure which is conventionally between 40 and pounds per square inch. Because the downward forces exerted against ball 16 by the water and atmospheric pressure are greater than the upward forces by atmospheric pressure through the opening in ring seat 40 during filling of tank 10, ball 16 remains seated on ring seat 40.
As the water level rises, float 23 eventually comes into contact with the water surface and begins to move upward, causing arm 22 to rotate about pin 21. Before arm 22 rotates sufficiently to seat port valve 24 on port ring seat 27, however, the water level rises above port ring seat 27 and a predetermined quantity of water flows downward through purge line 18 to discharge line 17 and subsequently to the toilet bowl. This predetermined quantity of water acts to seal the toilet bowl from the main sewage line into which the toilet bowl empties. The amount of water discharged through purge line 18 can be easily adjusted by adjusting the spaced relationship between port ring seat -27 and purging assembly 20 in the manner previously discussed.
When port valve 24 finally seats on port ring seat 27, the pressure above the water surface builds up until the pressure above the water surface is sufficient to prevent any more water from entering inlet line 15. At this time, no more water enters tank 10 and tank 10 is pressurized and ready for flushing again.
It has been found that the pressurizable flush tank of the present invention uses between 30 and 35% less water for a conventional toilet bowl than presently used conventional flush tanks. it is understood that the sizes of components and distances between components of the pressurized flush tank can be varied in accordance with the results desired.
While this invention has been described in detail, with particular reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described hereinbefore and as defined in the appended claims.
l. A pressurizable flush tank comprising a water inlet for introducing water into said tank, means for producing a selected water level within said tank, a discharge line for discharging water from said tank, a purge line having a first end disposed within said tank below said selected water level and a second end in communication with said discharge line, a first valve means for selectively closing said discharge line, and a second valve means for selectively closing said first end of said purge line, said second valve means including a float raisable by water within said tank, an arm carrying said float and pivotal by motion of said float, and a valve member carried by said arm and engageable with said one end of said purge line, said purge line having associated therewith a seating means attached to said first end disposed within said tank below said selected water level in spaced relation with said arm, said float means and said second value means such that water within said tank will flow into said purge line before said arm pivots to cause said valve member to close said first end of said purge line during filling of the tank and whereby a predetermined amount of water flows into said purge line before said second valve means seats on said seating means.
2. A flush tank according to claim 1, and including means for varying said selected water level comprising first adjusting means to adjust said float relative to said arm.
3. A flush tank according to claim 2, said means for varying said selected water level further including second adjusting means to adjust said valve member relative to said arm.