US20020194670A1 - Ventilation system for malodorous air removal - Google Patents

Ventilation system for malodorous air removal Download PDF

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Publication number
US20020194670A1
US20020194670A1 US10/164,907 US16490702A US2002194670A1 US 20020194670 A1 US20020194670 A1 US 20020194670A1 US 16490702 A US16490702 A US 16490702A US 2002194670 A1 US2002194670 A1 US 2002194670A1
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Prior art keywords
fan
air
toilet
hose
ventilation
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Abandoned
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US10/164,907
Inventor
Amin Hashemi
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Hashemi Amin H.
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Publication date
Priority to US09/742,771 priority Critical patent/US20020073482A1/en
Priority to PCT/US2001/050232 priority patent/WO2002061213A2/en
Priority to WO2CT/US01/50232 priority
Application filed by Hashemi Amin H. filed Critical Hashemi Amin H.
Priority to US10/164,907 priority patent/US20020194670A1/en
Publication of US20020194670A1 publication Critical patent/US20020194670A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03DWATER-CLOSETS OR URINALS WITH FLUSHING DEVICES; FLUSHING VALVES THEREFOR
    • E03D5/00Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system
    • E03D5/02Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system operated mechanically or hydraulically (or pneumatically) also details such as push buttons, levers and pull-card therefor
    • E03D5/09Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system operated mechanically or hydraulically (or pneumatically) also details such as push buttons, levers and pull-card therefor directly by the hand
    • E03D5/092Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system operated mechanically or hydraulically (or pneumatically) also details such as push buttons, levers and pull-card therefor directly by the hand the flushing element, e.g. siphon bell, being actuated through a lever
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03DWATER-CLOSETS OR URINALS WITH FLUSHING DEVICES; FLUSHING VALVES THEREFOR
    • E03D5/00Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system
    • E03D5/02Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system operated mechanically or hydraulically (or pneumatically) also details such as push buttons, levers and pull-card therefor
    • E03D5/09Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system operated mechanically or hydraulically (or pneumatically) also details such as push buttons, levers and pull-card therefor directly by the hand
    • E03D5/094Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system operated mechanically or hydraulically (or pneumatically) also details such as push buttons, levers and pull-card therefor directly by the hand the flushing element, e.g. siphon bell, being actuated through a cable, chain or the like
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03DWATER-CLOSETS OR URINALS WITH FLUSHING DEVICES; FLUSHING VALVES THEREFOR
    • E03D5/00Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system
    • E03D5/10Special constructions of flushing devices, e.g. closed flushing system operated electrically, e.g. by a photo-cell; also combined with devices for opening or closing shutters in the bowl outlet and/or with devices for raising/or lowering seat and cover and/or for swiveling the bowl
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03DWATER-CLOSETS OR URINALS WITH FLUSHING DEVICES; FLUSHING VALVES THEREFOR
    • E03D9/00Sanitary or other accessories for lavatories ; Devices for cleaning or disinfecting the toilet room or the toilet bowl; Devices for eliminating smells
    • E03D9/04Special arrangement or operation of ventilating devices
    • E03D9/05Special arrangement or operation of ventilating devices ventilating the bowl
    • E03D9/052Special arrangement or operation of ventilating devices ventilating the bowl using incorporated fans

Abstract

An odor evacuation and mitigation system for a bathroom space including a central evacuation fan system, an odor evacuation system for a toilet having a toilet bowl, an automatic flushing system, and a steam and moisture ventilation system. The fan system includes an enclosure having a motor and fan therein and connected to an exhaust hose for expelling odors. The odor evacuation system for a toilet includes a flush valve in communication with a pipe, connected to an external suction device for removal of odors, through an overflow pipe and an evacuation pipe. The automatic flushing system includes a sensor connected to a servomotor for rotation of an actuation lever connected to a flush valve. The steam ventilation system includes a manifold body disposed over a shower enclosure and having a grille through which air flows into the manifold body and outward through an externally extending hose.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED PCT AND U.S. APPLICATIONS
  • This is a continuation-in-part application of co-pending PCT Application Serial No. PCT/US01/50232, filed Dec. 20, 2001, and designating the United States, which is a continuation-in-part of co-pending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/742,771, filed Dec. 20, 2000.[0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention [0002]
  • The present invention relates generally to room ventilation systems. [0003]
  • 2. Background Art [0004]
  • Various types of toilet assemblies having an odor mitigation system are known in the art. An efficient way for odor removal from a water closet is by drawing odorous air from the toilet bowl through the flush rim. Ventilation systems utilizing this air passage have been disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,703,010, 4,165,544, 4,583,250, 4,989,276, 5,321,856, and 5,617,590. [0005]
  • The system described in the '010 patent includes a suction means in air communication with the airspace between the water within the water tank and the lid of the tank. The suction device is capable of withdrawing the odorous air that moves from the toilet rim through an overflow pipe into the airspace, and subsequently disposing it away from the water closet through an exhaust pipe. Withdrawing the air from the airspace in a tightly closed water tank may create suction pressure especially when the toilet is flushed. Thus, the '010 system requires a regulating valve to reduce suction in the water tank. [0006]
  • Similarly, the flush toilet exhaust systems disclosed in the '856 and '590 patents are also designed to withdraw the odorous air from the airspace above the water level inside the water tank. These systems include a sealing means ('856 patent) or a flexible strip ('590 patent) that can be installed at the upper edge of the water tank. The sealing means of the '856 patent is a hollow strip being in air communication with a hose connector and a blower. The sealing means defines holes facing the interior of the water tank for receiving the odorous air from the airspace. After the odorous air enters the sealing means, it is pulled into the hose connector for remote exhaust. The flexible strip of the '590 patent seals the lid of the tank to create an airtight space from which the odorous air is withdrawn. Both systems require a vent device to reduce the problem of undesirable suction when the toilet is flushed. [0007]
  • Unlike the patents described earlier, the '544 patent describes a system that is designed to withdraw the odorous air from the upper end of the overflow pipe. This system includes a hollow, open bottom, vertical sleeve that is positioned over the upper end of the overflow pipe. The lower end of the sleeve terminates below the water level in the water tank so that a water seal is achieved to provide closed communication between the overflow passageway and the sleeve. The system also includes a means for creating low air pressure connected to the sleeve so that odorous air is drawn from the sleeve for remote exhaust. The inefficiency in withdrawing the odorous air from the sleeve into the exhaust pipe can be a drawback with this system, because only low air pressure can be applied so that the water within the sleeve is not also withdrawn. [0008]
  • The '250 patent discloses a self-contained system for removal of foul air from above the overflow pipe. This system comprises a powered exhaust fan attached directly above the overflow pipe, twin charcoal filters for filtering the air, and a modified overflow pipe that retains the function of the conventional overflow pipe and also allows for the recycling of previously filtered air. A drawback in this system rests on the efficiency of the system, which in turn, is limited by the volume of odorous air that can be filtered through the system. In addition, like other charcoal filter, the filter of this invention will require replacement periodically. [0009]
  • Yet another system disclosed in the '276 patent shows a toilet system that includes vent channels formed along the base and the back inside of the water tank. The system also includes a vent adapter mounted inside of the passage that directs the flow of ventilating air along the vent channels to an exhaust fan to the outside atmosphere. One drawback of this system is the requirement of a specially designed toilet bowl and water tank. [0010]
  • Similar to the ventilated toilet systems, several patents have disclosed different types of toilet systems that include automatic flushing mechanisms. For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,831,670, and 5,369,816 disclose toilet systems having a weight activated flushing mechanism. This type of mechanism includes an electric motor that is activated by the weight of the user sitting on and then leaving the seat. When the motor is activated, the tripping mechanism trips the flush valve open to allow the water to flush. A major drawback for the weight activating flushing mechanism is that it does not operate when the user does not sit down on the seat. Therefore, when people who normally do not sit down on the seat for a urinal purpose use the toilet, the toilet will need to be flushed manually. [0011]
  • A different flushing mechanism is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,901,384. This mechanism comprises a motion-sensing device positioned in the water tank and aligned with a window in the toilet cover when the cover is in a raised position. The motion-sensing device is operatively connected to a motor that drives an L-shaped lever that is connected to a flapper valve. The flushing system operates when the motion-sensing device is activated when the user uses the toilet and then moves away from the toilet. The motion sensing device charges electric current to the motor which drives the lever upward such that the flapper is lifted to open the valve for the water to flush. [0012]
  • A similar flushing system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,141,091. This system comprises three functional blocks: an input sensor or switch, a logic control circuit and an Electro-mechanically operated liquid dispenser or flusher. The whole assembly, which is attached to the inner side of the water tank, is hermetically sealed in order to protect the actuator against moisture and possible corrosion. The movable end of the plunger is with a chain or wire connected to the flush handle and drain valve. In the flushing system of '384 and '091 patents, most of the components have to be fitted inside the water tank. Possible concerns of these systems are in the limitation of fitting all the parts into an existing toilet system and the need to modify the water tank and the toilet lid for positioning the motion-sensing device. [0013]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In order to address the unresolved detriments of prior ventilation systems, the present invention contemplates a ventilation apparatus for eliminating the odor from a room in a building by withdrawing air from a location removed from the ceiling. In a bathroom, the location may be a toilet bowl. In a kitchen, the location may be a cooking appliance. In a work space, the location may be a work bench. [0014]
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, a ventilation apparatus for eliminating the odor from a toilet bowl comprises a ventilation pipe having a lower end open into the discharge conduit and an upper end connectable to a flexible air conduit. The flexible air conduit is connectable to a first end of a suction hose providing passageway for air communication between the ventilation pipe and the suction hose. The second end of the suction hose is connected to a suction device, which may operate continuously or by a switch. [0015]
  • In one feature of the invention, the flexible air conduit defines a substantially flat rectangular accordion hose being expandable and contractible. The accordion hose defines a first end and a second end, with the first end having a first flat end being positioned between the tank and the lid. The first flat end has a head defining a round terminal end snugly connectable to the upper end of the ventilation pipe. The second end is connectable to the first end of the suction hose. [0016]
  • The accordion hose can be threaded through a hole in a bathroom wall into an inner space of the wall. The accordion hose may be bendable within the inner space to be flexibly connected to the suction hose. [0017]
  • The ventilation apparatus may include a wall bracket that can be affixed to the wall. The bracket defines a substantially rectangular plate having a recess end defining a space that is flanked by a first corner edge and a second corner edge. The space is aligned to the hole in the bathroom wall such that the accordion hose is threaded through the space between the first and the second corner edges of the bracket into the hole of the bathroom wall to be connected to the suction hose. [0018]
  • The ventilation apparatus may include an elbow adapter defining a vertical arm connectable to the upper end of the ventilation pipe, and a horizontal arm connectable to the round terminal end of the flexible air conduit. The elbow adapter further defines an air channel in air communication with the ventilation pipe and the passageway of the flexible air conduit. Further, the elbow adapter can be horizontally swiveling such that the horizontal arm can be variably oriented for connection to the round terminal end of the flexible air conduit. [0019]
  • Additionally, the ventilation apparatus further comprises a draining device having an inlet end for receiving overflow water and an outlet end open into the discharge conduit. [0020]
  • In one embodiment, the draining device includes a first tube and a second tube, one connected to each side of the ventilation pipe. Each tube has an inlet end disposed under the water level in the tank, and an outlet end connected to a tubular connector for connecting the tubes to the ventilation pipe. The tubular connector in one aspect has four connecting ends. First and second connecting ends are each attached to the outlet end of one of the two tubes. A third connecting end is attached to the upper end of the ventilation pipe and a fourth connecting end is attached to the first end of the hose. The connecting outlet ends and the tubular connector are positioned above the water level in the tank. The tubes are in communication with the tubular connector, the ventilation pipe, and the discharge conduit. [0021]
  • In a stationary mode, each tube of the draining device maintains the same water level as that outside the tube. In a draining mode, when excess water rises above the level of the tubular connector, there is an increased water pressure that pushes the excess water into the tube through the inlet end such that the water moves out at the outlet end, passing the tubular connector into the ventilation pipe and drains into the discharge conduit. [0022]
  • In another embodiment, the ventilation apparatus comprises a draining device having an upside-down U-shaped hollow tube. The tube has a first leg defining an inlet end disposed under the water in the tank for receiving the overflow water, and a second leg defining an outlet end being open directly to the conduit. The tube has a bend portion disposed above the water level in the tank. In a non-draining mode, the first leg of the hollow tube maintains the same water level as that in the tank. In a draining mode, when there is excess water above the level of the bend portion, the increased water pressure inside the tank pushes the excess water into the first leg, through the inlet end such that the water moves through the bend portion to the second leg and out the outlet end into the conduit. [0023]
  • Another embodiment of the ventilation apparatus is provided for eliminating odor from a toilet bowl of the type having a toilet bowl with a rim defining a plurality of holes, a water tank with a lid, an overflow pipe, a discharge conduit connecting the bowl and the tank, a passageway providing communication between the tank, the discharge conduit and the rim, and a flush valve disposed above the discharge conduit, the flush valve having a flapper for opening and closing the passageway to allow the movement of water from the tank to the discharge conduit. In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the passageway comprises a support member defining a hollow cylinder disposed around the overflow pipe. The hollow cylinder defines a bottom end and a top end. The top end defines a groove having a plurality of stop pins disposed spatially and perpendicularly across the groove creating a plurality of gaps for water and air communication. The support member defines at least one bore for receiving a securing means for tightening the support member to the overflow pipe. The securing means may include a plastic thumbscrew. [0024]
  • Further, in this embodiment, the ventilation apparatus may include a draining member including an elbow-shaped hollow tube having a first arm connected to a second arm. The first arm snugly fits in the groove of the support member such that the second arm is parallel to the support member. The first arm defines a side opening aligned to the plurality of gaps of the support member, a vent hole disposed oppositely to the side opening, and an outlet end. The second arm defines an inlet end having a plurality of apertures for receiving water from the tank. [0025]
  • In addition, the ventilation apparatus may further include a suction hose having a first end connectable to the outlet end of the first arm, and a suction device connectable to a second end of the suction hose. The suction device may operate continuously or by a switch control. [0026]
  • The ventilation apparatus may include a flexible air conduit, which defines a substantially flat rectangular accordion hose that is expandable and contractible. The accordion hose has a first flat end disposed at a first end of the accordion hose. The first flat end is positioned between the tank and the lid. The first flat end has a head defining a round terminal end connectable to the outlet end of the first arm. A second end of the accordion hose is connectable to the first end of the suction hose. The flexible air conduit defines a passageway in air communication with the suction hose, the first arm, and the overflow pipe. [0027]
  • Another embodiment of the ventilation apparatus for eliminating the odor from a standard flush toilet bowl comprises a suction hose having a first end and a second end, the second end connected to a suction device. The first end of the suction hose is connectable to a connecting end of an air conduit. The air conduit has an air inlet end open into an airspace above the water level in the tank. The air conduit may be substantially flat and elbow-shaped. The air conduit is disposed between the tank and the lid such that the lid can be tightly sealed above the air conduit and around the tank. [0028]
  • The ventilation apparatus may also include an elbow adapter defining a vertical arm and a horizontal arm. The vertical arm has an inlet opening for fitting over the upper end of the overflow pipe. The horizontal arm has an outlet end disposed within the airspace above the water level and pointing in the direction of the air inlet end of the air conduit. The elbow adapter further defines a channel in air communication with the overflow pipe and the airspace. [0029]
  • In yet another embodiment, the ventilation apparatus comprises a ventilation pipe, a hose, a suction device, a draining device, and a vacuum ring that is positioned around the discharge conduit and below the flush valve. The vacuum ring defines a plurality of openings for air communication with the discharge conduit. In this embodiment, the ventilation pipe has a lower end open into the vacuum ring, and an upper end connected to a first end of the hose. A second end of the hose is connected to the suction device. The suction device provides sufficient suction to pull air from the bowl, through the passageway, into the vacuum ring passing the ventilation pipe, and the hose to be discharged at a distant location. [0030]
  • In this embodiment, the draining device has an upside down U-shaped hollow tube. The tube has a first leg having an inlet end disposed under the water in the tank for receiving the overflow water, and a second leg having an outlet end being connected directly to the conduit. The tube has a bend portion disposed above the water in the tank. In a non-draining mode, the first leg of the hollow tube maintains the same water level as that in the tank. In a draining mode, there is an increased water pressure inside the tank that pushes the excess water into the first leg through the inlet end such that the water moves through the bend portion to the second leg and out the outlet end into the discharge conduit. [0031]
  • Alternatively, the draining device includes a U-shaped-hollow tube which defines a hook-shaped tube and an L-shaped tube. The hook-shaped tube defines a first leg having an inlet end facing the bottom of the sink, and a bend portion having a hook end. The L-shaped tube defines a second leg having a top end connected to the hook end of the bend portion, and a base having the outlet end open into the discharged conduit. The top end of the second leg can be connected to the hook end of the bend portion by a lock mechanism or a tight swivel. [0032]
  • In the embodiments described above, the upper end of the ventilation pipe may flexibly extend through an opening in the back, side, or lid of the tank to be connected to the first end of the hose. The hose may extend substantially behind the wall of the toilet room. In addition, the suction device may include any fan such as an exhaust fan or a vent fan. The suction device may also include any kind of vacuum system such as a vacuum pump. [0033]
  • In one embodiment of the present invention, the ventilation apparatus includes an air conduit connected to a ventilation pipe at one end and to a hose at the other end. The air conduit may include a male air conduit and a female air conduit. The male air conduit defines a ventilation pipe-connecting end that can be tightly connectable to a ventilation pipe by a locking mechanism or a tight swivel, and a first flat portion defining a first flat end that extends outside the water tank through a space between the tank and the lid. The space can be an existing space in certain type of tanks or can be created by the placement of the first flat portion between the tank and the lid. [0034]
  • Furthermore, the female air conduit defines a hose connecting end that can be tightly connected to the hose and a second flat portion defining a second flat end. The hose connecting end can be connected to the hose by a locking mechanism or by a tight swivel. The second flat end has an opening that is slightly larger than the outer perimeter of the first flat end of the male air conduit. The first flat end may be snugly inserted into the opening of the second flat end. [0035]
  • In one embodiment, the hose and a substantial portion of the female air conduit are positioned behind the wall of the water closet. The second flat end of the female air conduit may extend from behind the wall through a hole in the wall of the water closet to be connected to the first end of the male air conduit. The hole may be shaped and sized to allow the second flat end to be snugly inserted therethrough. [0036]
  • In this embodiment, the ventilation apparatus may further include a wall bracket affixed on the wall behind the tank. The wall bracket defines a slot, which is shaped and sized to allow the second flat end of the female air conduit to be snugly inserted therethrough. The slot is placed in alignment with the hole. The first flat end of the male air conduit is inserted into the opening of the second flat end, preferably passing the slot into the wall area. Additionally, the wall bracket may define a lower flange and an upper flange for pressing the flat ends tightly together and to minimize any air leakage. Alternatively, the perimeter of the slot can be sealed with any suitable caulking material. [0037]
  • Optionally, the air conduit may be a one-piece elbow shaped unit that defines a hose connecting end connectable to a hose, and a flat portion disposed between the tank and the lid. The flat portion defines an inlet end open into an airspace between the water level and the lid of the tank. The inlet end receives the odorous air that moves from the bowl into the airspace in the tank through an overflow pipe. The air moves passing the air conduit into the hose to be discharged. [0038]
  • In another embodiment, a toilet system comprises a toilet bowl with a rim, a water tank with a top, an overflow pipe having a lower end open in to a discharged conduit, and an upper end for receiving overflow water. The ventilation apparatus includes a cylinder disposed around the overflow pipe forming an annular space around the overflow pipe. The cylinder defines a top end and a bottom end. The bottom end of the cylinder is disposed under the water, but slightly above the bottom of the tank to allow the water to flow from the tank into the annular space. The ventilation apparatus further includes a plug and a hose. The plug defines a pipe-connecting end snugly fitted onto the upper end of the overflow pipe, and a hose-connecting end snugly fitted onto a first end of the hose. The plug further defines a plurality of holes for water communication between the annular space and the overflow pipe, and for air communication between the overflow pipe and the hose. The bottom end of the cylinder may be fastened on to the overflow pipe and the top end of the cylinder may be fastened and sealed onto the first end of the hose. A second end of the hose is connected to a suction device. [0039]
  • In another aspect, the present invention contemplates a hose box for shielding a ventilation hose. The box is used in a situation in which the hose has to be extended outside the wall into the bathroom and reenter the ceiling when the space inside the wall does not allow the ventilation hose to be threaded therethrough. The hose box comprises a back wall, a top wall, a first side wall, or second side wall, and a front cover. The back wall defines a top end, a bottom end, and a first hole sized to receive the ventilation hose therethrough. The back wall is attachable to the bathroom wall over an inlet opening, which is also sized to receive the hose. The first hole is in alignment with the inlet opening. The top wall defines a first end or bottom end, and a second hole sized to receive the hose. The top wall is attachable to the ceiling of the bathroom. The second hole is in alignment with an outlet opening in the ceiling. The first end of the back wall is attached to the first end of the top wall at a right angle. The second end of the back wall and the second end of the top wall each defines at least one supporting ledge. [0040]
  • Furthermore, the first side wall and the second side wall are right-angled triangular. Each side wall is attached to each side of the back wall and the top wall forming an open box. Moreover, the front cover is sized to fit between the ledge of the back wall and the ledge of the top wall. [0041]
  • Another aspect of the present invention includes a hose box kit for shielding a suction hose in a situation in which the suction hose cannot be threaded around the corner between the wall and the ceiling. The hose box kit has a template member including a back plate attached to a top plate at a right angle. The back plate defines a plurality of holes for receiving a plurality of fasteners for fastening the back plate to a bathroom wall close to the ceiling. Likewise, the top plate defines a plurality of holes for receiving a plurality of fasteners for fastening the top plate to the ceiling. The back plate further defines a first opening aligned to an inlet opening in the bathroom wall where the suction hose is threaded outside the wall into the hose box kit. The top plate defines a second opening for guiding the suction hose into an outlet opening in the ceiling. Both the back plate and the top plate have a plurality of latches. [0042]
  • The hose box kit may further comprise a corner cover member defining a front plate connected at a right angle to a first side plate and a second side plate. The front plate is substantially rectangular, whereas the first side plate and the second side plate are triangular. The first side plate and the second side plate defines a plurality of locking latches matable to the plurality of latches of the back plate and the top plate such that the corner cover member can be securely locked onto the template member, forming a triangular hose box. [0043]
  • In addition, the present invention further includes a toilet system comprising an automatic flushing mechanism. The toilet system includes a toilet bowl of the type having a toilet bowl and a water tank, a discharge conduit connecting the bowl and the tank, a passageway providing communication between the tank and the discharge conduit. The system also includes a flush valve disposed above the discharge conduit and a flapper for opening and closing the flush valve to allow the water to move from the tank to the passageway into the bowl. [0044]
  • Another embodiment of the flushing mechanism comprises a lever, a motion device, and a sensing device. The lever can include an L-shaped bar member, an attachment member, a cable member, and a flapper cord. The bar member preferably defines a long arm connected to a first end of the flapper cord, and a short arm pivotably connected to the attachment member. The short arm defines a first bore. The attachment member has a first end attachable to the water tank, and a second end defining a second bore being in alignment with the first bore. The cable member defines a first end portion and a second end, the first end portion being threaded through the second bore and the first bore, and slidingly secured to the short arm of the bar member. The second end of the cable member is connectable to the motion device. The flapper cord has the second end attached to the flapper. [0045]
  • The lever has a rest position and a flushing position. In the rest position, the long arm of the lever points downward to relax the flapper cord, and thus allows the flapper to close the flush valve. In the flushing position, the long arm moves upward such that the flapper cord pulls on the flapper causing the flapper to move upward and open the flush valve to allow the water to flush. After the water flushes, the long arm of the lever returns to the rest position. [0046]
  • In this embodiment, the sensing device which is operatively connected to the motion device, and is capable of detecting the presence or movement of a toilet user. The motion device can include a movable elongated shaft that has a cable end connected to the second end of the cable member. When the sensing device is activated, it can actuate the motion of the shaft such that it pulls on the cable member and thus lifts the long arm of the bar member upward in the flushing position. After the flush, the shaft of the motion device moves back to its original position and the cable member is relaxed. Consequently, the long arm of the bar member points downward so that the flapper cord is relaxed and the flapper sits back to close the valve. The sensing device can be a motion detector, which is activated by user movement in the target area. Alternatively, the sensing device can be a noise-activated device. The sensing device can generate an electrical signal that operates the motion device. Preferably, both the sensing device and the motion device are affixed to a wall of the toilet room such that the sensing device can detect the movement of the user. [0047]
  • In another embodiment of the present invention the automatic flushing mechanism comprises a sensing device capable of detecting the presence of a toilet user, a motion device being activatable by the sensing device and connected to a rotational lever for effectuating flushing. The rotational lever comprises a disk, a long bar, a short bar, and a cable member. The disk has a center, which is rotatably attached to a wall of the water tank. A proximal end of the long bar is attached at a first position on a first surface of the disk at a first position, and a distal end of the long bar is attached to a flapper cord connected to the flapper. The long bar is preferably weighted. A proximal end of the short bar is attached to a second position of a second surface of the disk, and a distal end of the short bar is attached to the cable member. The center is disposed linearly between the first position and the second position. Further, the cable member defines a first end and a second end, the first end is secured to the distal end of the short bar, and the second end being connectable to a motion device. [0048]
  • The sensing device can be affixed to a wall of the toilet room such that it can detect a user. The sensing device may be a motion detector that can be automatically activated by the movement of the user. The sensing device is connected to the motion device and activates the motion device electrically. Moreover, the motion device is affixed to a wall of the toilet room. Preferably, the motion device includes a solenoid for activating the flush mechanism. [0049]
  • When the motion device is activated, it causes the cable member to pull on the short arm such that the short arm moves downwardly. At the same time the disk is rotated in a first direction such that the first position on the disk where the long bar is attached rotates upwardly while pulling the flapper up to open the flush valve. As a result, the water moves from the water tank into the discharge conduit. When the motion device relaxes the cable member, the disk rotates in an opposite direction such that the first position with the long bar moves rotatably downward to relax the flapper cord such that the flapper sits back on the flush valve. [0050]
  • Another aspect of the present invention contemplates a fan system for ventilating bathroom air and steam. The fan system is capable of receiving odorous air or steam from two or more locations in a bathroom to be discharged at an outside location. The fan system may be retrofitted in an existing exhaust system of a building. [0051]
  • The fan system comprises a fan box having a cavity defining a first compartment and a second compartment. The first compartment defines a plurality of first inlet openings for receiving air or steam from a first location. The second compartment defines a plurality of second inlet openings for receiving air or steam from a different second location. The fan box includes an outlet opening in air communication with the first and the second compartments. The outlet opening is connected to an exhaust hose leading to an outside location. [0052]
  • The fan box has four side walls hingedly attached to a top wall such that one or more of the side walls are pivotable towards the cavity of the fan box. The fan box defines an open bottom side for receiving a first fan and a second fan. The first inlet openings and the second inlet openings are disposed on one or more side walls, whereas the outlet opening is disposed on one of the side walls. [0053]
  • The first fan is disposed within the first compartment, and the second fan is disposed within the second compartment. The first fan operates to pull air from the first location through one or more of the first inlet openings into the fan box, while the second fan operates to pull air from the second location through one or more of the second inlet openings into the fan box. Both the first fan and the second fan drive air out of the fan box through the outlet opening into the exhaust hose for discharging at an outside location. [0054]
  • In one embodiment, one of the first inlet openings is connected to a ventilation tubing for ventilating air from a bathing facility, and one of the second inlet openings is connected to a suction hose of a ventilation apparatus for ventilating odor from a toilet. The bathing facility can be a shower stall or an enclosed bathtub. [0055]
  • The fan system may further comprise a first inlet adapter attachable to one of the first inlet openings, a second inlet adapter attachable to one of the second inlet openings, and an outlet adapter attachable to the outlet opening. The first inlet adapter has a first circular lip connectable to the ventilation tubing. The second inlet adapter has a second circular lip connectable to a suction hose, and the outlet adapter has a third circular lip for connecting to the exhaust hose. [0056]
  • Moreover, the ventilation tubing has a connecting end and an intake end. The connecting end is connected to the first inlet adapter, and the intake end being in air communication with the bathing facility. The intake end includes an intake housing, which defines a base having an intake opening. The intake housing may be a dome. Furthermore, the intake housing has a removable intake grille that covers the intake opening. The intake grille receives air and steam from the bathing facility. [0057]
  • In an embodiment, the fan system for ventilating bathroom air includes a shroud unit defining a first shroud for retaining a first fan in a first compartment, and a second shroud for retaining a second fan in a second compartment. The first shroud has a first tract opening and the second shroud has a second tract opening. Both the first and the second tract openings are in air communication with the outlet opening and an exhaust hose. The fan box may include a first electrical outlet for supplying electricity to operate the first and the second fans. The electrical outlet may be connected to a switch that can be operated by a user. [0058]
  • Additionally, the fan system further comprises a cover plate for keeping the first fan and the second fan in place within the fan box, the cover plate being secured to the bottom side of the fan box. The fan system may include a grille plate attachable to the cover plate for a decorative purpose. Alternatively, the grille plate may define an insert slot for receiving a grille insert that can be replaced by an optional light unit for lighting the bathroom. The grille plate includes one or more grille plate fasteners for fastening the grille plate to the cover plate. [0059]
  • The optional light unit includes a reflector plate, a light bulb, a second electrical outlet for supplying electricity to the light bulb, and a shield for protecting the light bulb. The reflector plate can fit into the insert slot and can be secured to the grille plate. The light bulb includes a socket secured to the reflector plate. The socket has a connecting plug for inserting into the second electrical outlet. The second electrical outlet may be connected to a second switch that can be operated by a user. Optionally, the second electrical outlet may be electrically connected to the first electrical outlet, and both outlets are connected to a switch that a user can operate. In this way, the user can turn on the fans and the light at the same time. [0060]
  • In an embodiment, the fan box is a stacked fan box, which defines a first compartment stacking above a second compartment. The fan system further comprises a stacking shroud unit, which is insertable into the stacked fan box. The stacking shroud unit defines a first shroud and a second shroud. The first shroud includes a first platform having a first cavity for receiving and holding a first fan within the first compartment, and a first substantially circular wall having a first tract opening for directing the air movement towards the outlet opening. Likewise, the second shroud includes a second platform having a second cavity for receiving and holding a second fan within the second compartment, and a second substantially circular wall having a second tract opening for directing the air movement towards the outlet opening. Both the first and the second tract openings are in air communication with the outlet opening and the exhaust hose. [0061]
  • In another alternative embodiment, the fan box is a side-by-side fan box having a cavity defining a first compartment disposed on the same plane as a second compartment. In this embodiment, the fan system further includes a side-by-side shroud unit defining a left shroud and a right shroud. The left shroud includes a first platform having a first cavity for receiving and holding a first fan within the first compartment, and a first substantially circular wall having a first tract opening for directing the air movement towards the outlet opening. Likewise, the right shroud includes a second platform having a second cavity for receiving and holding a second fan within the second compartment, and a second substantially circular wall having a second tract opening for directing the air movement towards the outlet opening. Both the first and the second tract openings are in air communication with an outlet opening and an exhaust hose. The first platform and the second platform may be made from a single piece material. [0062]
  • In another embodiment, the fan system for ventilating air from a plurality of locations in a building comprises a fan box having a plurality of compartments. Each compartment defines an inlet opening for receiving air from one of the plurality of locations. The fan box further comprises an outlet opening in air communication with said plurality of compartments. The outlet opening is connected to and in air communication with an exhaust hose. [0063]
  • Additionally, the fan system in this embodiment further comprises a plurality of fans, each being disposed within each of the plurality of compartments, whereby the plurality of fans pulls air from the plurality of locations through each of the inlet openings into each of the plurality of compartments. The plurality of fans is capable of driving air out of the plurality of compartments through the outlet opening into the exhaust hose for releasing to an outside location. [0064]
  • Moreover, the fan system may further include a hanger unit attachable to the fan box for hanging the fan box to a beam or any suitable structure. The hanger unit includes a hanger plate fastened to the top wall of the fan box. The hanger unit further includes a plurality of hanger arms, each defining a top end connected to a side end in a substantially right angle. The top end is slidably attached to the hanger plate such that the top end adjustably extends out from each side walls of the fan box. The side end has an elongated slot for receiving a plurality of hanger fasteners for securing the fan system to a beam or any suitable structure. [0065]
  • In another embodiment, a fan system for ventilating air from at least one interior location is provided. The fan system includes a fan enclosure having a compartment and the fan enclosure including an inlet opening and an outlet connected to an exhaust hose with the inlet opening being disposed at a level lower than the ceiling in the interior location. A motor is disposed in the compartment and a fan is disposed within the compartment and in electrical communication with the motor, the fan has a vacuum side and a blower side. When the vacuum side of the fan operates to pull air from the location through the inlet opening into the fan enclosure, the blower side of the fan drives air out of the fan enclosure through the outlet into the exhaust hose for discharging at an exterior location. [0066]
  • The room associated with the ventilation system of this embodiment further includes a ventilation system for removing steam and moisture from a bathroom including an enclosure for one of a shower, a tub, and a shower and tub combination, the ventilation system characterized by a manifold body mounted above the enclosure, a diffuser grille detachably mounted to the manifold body and visible from within the enclosure, the diffuser grille having a plurality of inlet openings, and a conduit extending from the manifold body to the fan enclosure compartment. [0067]
  • In a further aspect, the present invention provides an odor evacuation system for a toilet having a toilet tank and a toilet bowl, the toilet bowl including a rim thereof, the rim having a plurality of holes therein for flow of water from the tank to the bowl. The odor evacuation system is characterized by a flush valve in communication with the rim, an overflow pipe in flow communication with the flush valve, an evacuation pipe attached to and in flow communication with the overflow pipe, a pipe in flow communication with the evacuation pipe and extending externally of the toilet tank, and a suction device disposed externally of the toilet and having an activated state and a non-activated state. When the suction device is in its activated state, air within the toilet bowl and rim is removed to the suction device through the flush valve, overflow pipe, evacuation pipe, and externally extending pipe, and odors are removed from the bowl and rim. When the suction device is in its non-activated state, no odors are removed. [0068]
  • A further embodiment of the present invention provides an automatic flushing system for a toilet having a toilet bowl and a toilet tank with a flush valve, the flush valve including a flapper, a flapper clip and a flapper chain connecting the flapper clip and the flapper, and an actuation lever attached to the flapper clip and having a flush position and a null position. The automatic flushing system is characterized by a sensing device located externally of the toilet and having a sensing range, a motor in electrical communication with the sensing device and operatively connected to the actuation lever. When the sensing device detects an object in its the sensing range, the actuation lever is in its the null position, whereas upon detection by the sensing device that an object has left the sensing device sensing range, the actuation lever is urged into its the flush position by the motor. [0069]
  • In another embodiment, an odor evacuation and mitigation system for a bathroom having at least one of a toilet and a shower enclosure is provided, including an odor evacuation system for a toilet having a toilet tank and a toilet bowl, the toilet bowl including a rim thereof, the rim having a plurality of holes therein for flow of water from the tank to the bowl. The odor evacuation system has a flush valve in communication with the rim, an overflow pipe in flow communication with the flush valve, an evacuation pipe attached to and in flow communication with the overflow pipe, a pipe in flow communication with the evacuation pipe and extending externally of the toilet tank, and a suction device disposed externally of the toilet and having an activated state and a non-activated state. When the suction device is in its activated state, air within the toilet bowl and rim is removed to the suction device through the flush valve, overflow pipe, evacuation pipe, and externally extending pipe, and odors are removed from the bowl and rim. The bathroom further includes a ventilation system for removing steam and moisture from a bathroom including an enclosure for one of a shower, a tub, and a shower and tub combination, the ventilation system characterized by a manifold body mounted above the enclosure, a diffuser grille detachably mounted to the manifold body and visible from within the enclosure, the diffuser grille having a plurality of inlet openings, and a conduit extending from the manifold body to the fan enclosure compartment. The odor evacuation and mitigation system is characterized by a central evacuation fan system, including a fan box having a compartment with the compartment with the fan box including an inlet opening, an outlet opening, and at least one auxiliary opening, an exhaust hose being connected to the outlet opening and at least one conduit being connected to the auxiliary opening. A fan is disposed within the compartment, wherein when the fan operates to pull air from the location through the inlet opening into the fan enclosure and through an auxiliary opening via a conduit, the fan drives air out of the fan enclosure through the outlet opening into the exhaust hose for discharging at an exterior location. [0070]
  • In another form of the present invention, a method of installation of an odor evacuation and mitigation system is characterized by inserting a fan box of a central evacuation fan into a ceiling one of prior to and after installation of drywall on the ceiling, threading a pipe into the fan box and connecting it thereto, connecting an external hose to an outside location and to the fan box, and placing a cover on the fan box. [0071]
  • It is one object of the present invention to provide a toilet system having a ventilation apparatus for removing odorous air from the toilet bowl without creating negative pressure in the water tank. Another objective is to provide an automatic flushing mechanism that can be retrofitted to a traditional flush toilet system. In addition, a further objective is to provide a fan system that can efficiently drive the odorous air or steam from the bathroom for discharging outside. [0072]
  • Significant benefits are achieved by features of the invention that permit removing of odorous air directly from the air passageway in the toilet bowl into the ventilation pipe, and fitting of the lever in the water tank while having the automatic motion device affixed on the wall. Further benefits are achieved by the fan system capable of receiving air or steam from a plurality of locations and discharging it outside through an exhaust hose. These and other objects and benefits of the invention will be made clear upon consideration of the following written description and accompanying figures. [0073]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • The above mentioned and other features and objects of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention itself will be better understood by reference to the following description of embodiments of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein: [0074]
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective partial sectional view of a toilet system having a water tank fitted with a ventilation apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention. [0075]
  • FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of a ventilation apparatus according to another embodiment of the invention. [0076]
  • FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the ventilation apparatus according to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1. [0077]
  • FIG. 4 is a top view of the ventilation apparatus according to further embodiment of the present invention. [0078]
  • FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of the ventilation apparatus according to the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4. [0079]
  • FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of the ventilation apparatus depicted in FIGS. 4 and 5. [0080]
  • FIG. 7 is a front partial sectional view of a toilet system with the water tank fitted with a flushing mechanism according to another embodiment of the present invention. [0081]
  • FIG. 8 is a front view of the lever of the flushing mechanism illustrated in FIG. 7, with the lever in the non-operative position. [0082]
  • FIG. 9 is a front view of the lever shown in FIG. 8, with the lever in the flushing position. [0083]
  • FIG. 10 is a side view of the lever of the embodiment shown in FIGS. [0084] 7-9.
  • FIG. 11 is a front partial sectional view of a toilet system with the water tank fitted with a ventilation apparatus of the embodiment of FIGS. [0085] 4-6, and the flushing mechanism of the embodiment of FIGS. 7-10.
  • FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of an aspect of the U-shaped hollow tube depicted in FIGS. [0086] 4-6.
  • FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of a male air conduit and a female air conduit in one embodiment of the ventilation apparatus. [0087]
  • FIG. 14 is a front view of a male air conduit as shown in FIG. 13. [0088]
  • FIG. 15 is a front view of a wall bracket. [0089]
  • FIG. 16 is a front partial sectional view of another embodiment of a ventilation apparatus. [0090]
  • FIG. 17 is a front elevational view of a plug. [0091]
  • FIG. 18 is a perspective view of a ventilation apparatus according to another embodiment of the present invention. [0092]
  • FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a hose box for shielding a suction hose according to one aspect of the invention. [0093]
  • FIG. 20 is a side view of a hose box according to the embodiment in FIG. 19. [0094]
  • FIG. 21 is a front view of a back wall of a hose box according to the embodiment in FIGS. [0095] 19-20.
  • FIG. 22 is a top view of a flexible air conduit according to an embodiment of the present invention. [0096]
  • FIG. 23 is a side view of the flexible air conduit as shown in FIG. 22. [0097]
  • FIG. 24 is a cross-sectional view of the flexible air conduit shown in FIG. 23, taken along line [0098] 24-24 as viewed in the direction of the arrows.
  • FIG. 25 is a front view of a head of a first flat end of the flexible air conduit of FIGS. [0099] 22-23.
  • FIG. 26 is a side view of the flexible air conduit according to the embodiment shown in FIGS. [0100] 22-25.
  • FIG. 27 is a front view of another wall bracket. [0101]
  • FIG. 28 is a side view of the wall bracket shown in FIG. 27. [0102]
  • FIG. 29 is a front view of yet another wall bracket for use with the present invention. [0103]
  • FIG. 30 is a side view of the wall bracket shown in FIG. 29. [0104]
  • FIG. 31 is a side view of an elbow adapter for use with one embodiment of the present invention. [0105]
  • FIG. 32 is a side elevational view of an alternative embodiment of a ventilation apparatus. [0106]
  • FIG. 33 is a rear view of the alternative embodiment of a ventilation apparatus as shown in FIG. 32. [0107]
  • FIG. 34 is a top elevational view of the alternative embodiment of a ventilation apparatus as shown in FIGS. [0108] 32-33.
  • FIG. 35 is a side view of the alternative embodiment of the ventilation apparatus as shown in FIGS. [0109] 32-34.
  • FIG. 36 is a top perspective view of a hose box kit. [0110]
  • FIG. 37 is a side view of a template member of the hose box kit shown in FIG. 36. [0111]
  • FIG. 38 is a top perspective view of the template member shown in FIG. 37. [0112]
  • FIG. 39 is a front view of the template member shown in FIGS. [0113] 37-38.
  • FIG. 40 is a side view of a corner cover member of the hose box kit shown in FIG. 36. [0114]
  • FIG. 41 is a side perspective view of corner cover member as shown in FIG. 40. [0115]
  • FIG. 42 is a side elevational view of a rotational lever of an automatic flushing system according to an embodiment of the present invention. [0116]
  • FIG. 43 is another side elevational view of the rotational lever shown in FIG. 42. [0117]
  • FIG. 44 is a side view of the rotational lever shown in FIGS. [0118] 42-43.
  • FIG. 45 is a side elevational view of a fan system according to one embodiment of the invention. [0119]
  • FIG. 46 is an exploded view of a fan system according to an embodiment of the present invention. [0120]
  • FIG. 47 is a side perspective view of a fan box according to another embodiment of the invention. [0121]
  • FIG. 47A is another side perspective view of the fan box shown in FIG. 47. [0122]
  • FIG. 48 is a side perspective view of a shroud unit. [0123]
  • FIG. 49 is a top perspective view of an intake housing. [0124]
  • FIG. 50 is a side view of the intake housing shown in FIG. 49. [0125]
  • FIG. 51 is a top elevational view of an intake grille of the intake housing shown in FIGS. [0126] 49-50.
  • FIG. 52 is a top elevational view of a grille plate according to one embodiment of the invention. [0127]
  • FIG. 52A is a top elevational view of a grille insert for use with the present invention. [0128]
  • FIG. 53 is a side view of a light bulb according to one embodiment of the invention. [0129]
  • FIG. 54 is a top perspective view of a fan according to another embodiment. [0130]
  • FIG. 55 is a side elevational view of a shroud unit according to another embodiment. [0131]
  • FIG. 56 is a perspective view of a commercial flush toilet with a ventilation apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention. [0132]
  • FIG. 57 is an exploded view of a fan system according to another embodiment. [0133]
  • FIG. 58 is an exploded view of a grille for the fan system of FIG. 57 in accordance with another embodiment. [0134]
  • FIG. 59 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a toilet tank having an automatic flushing system and ventilation system according to another embodiment. [0135]
  • FIG. 60 is a partial exploded view of the automatic flushing system of FIG. 59. [0136]
  • FIG. 61 is a perspective view of a shower enclosure including a ventilation system for removal of steam and moisture according to another embodiment. [0137]
  • FIG. 62 is an exploded view of the ventilation system of FIG. 61.[0138]
  • Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Although the drawings represent embodiments of the present invention, the drawings are not necessarily to scale and certain features may be exaggerated in order to better illustrate and explain the present invention. The exemplifications set out herein illustrate embodiments of the invention, in several forms, and such exemplifications are not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner. [0139]
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • For the purposes of promoting an understanding of the principles of the invention, reference will now be made to the embodiments illustrated in the drawings and specific language will be used to describe the same. [0140]
  • As shown in FIG. 1, the present invention contemplates ventilation apparatus [0141] 10 for eliminating odor from traditional flush toilet 11. Toilet 11 generally includes toilet bowl 12 with rim 13 defining a plurality of holes 13A, water tank 14 with lid 6, discharge conduit 15 connecting bowl 12 and tank 14, and passageway 16 providing communication between tank 14, discharge conduit 15, and rim 13. Toilet 11 includes flush valve 17 disposed above discharge conduit 15, flush valve 17 having flapper 18 for opening and closing passageway 16 to allow movement of water from tank 14 into discharge conduit 15, water in conduit 15 is distributed along passageway 16 within rim 13 and into bowl 12 through the plurality of holes 13A.
  • According to one aspect of the present invention, ventilation apparatus [0142] 20 has ventilation pipe 21, as shown in FIG. 2, having lower end 22 and upper end 23, lower end 22 being open into discharge conduit 24. Ventilation apparatus 20 includes suction hose 25 having first end 26 andsecond end 27, first end 26 being connected to upper end 23 of the ventilation pipe 21. The suction hose 25 is in fluid communication with the ventilation pipe 21. Second end 27 of suction hose 25 is connected to suction device 28. Suction device 28 is capable of pulling air from bowl 12 through passageway 16 into ventilation pipe 21 and subsequently into suction hose 25 to be discharged at a remote location, preferably outside the building. Upper end 23 of ventilation pipe 21 may extend through opening 149 in back 9 (see FIG. 1), or on side 8 of tank 14 or on top 7 of lid 6 (FIG. 7) for connecting to first end 26 of suction hose 25. Suction hose 25 may be substantially hidden in the wall of the toilet room. Suction device 28 may be an exhaust fan, a vent fan or any suitable vacuum system or system for drawing air.
  • Ventilation apparatus [0143] 20 further include draining device 31, which includes at least one conduit for receiving and draining overflow water. As illustrated in FIG. 3, another feature of ventilation apparatus 30 incorporates draining device 31 having first elongated hollow tube 32 and second elongated hollow tube 33. Each of tubes 32 and 33 has inlet end 34 and 35 below the normal water level in the tank for receiving overflow water. In addition, each of tubes 32 and 33 has outlet end 36 and 37 connected to tubular connector 38 for connecting tubes 32 and 33 to ventilation pipe 39. Outlet ends 36 and 37 and tubular connector 38 are positioned above the normal water level in tank 14.
  • In one embodiment, tubular connector [0144] 38 has four connecting ends. First connecting end 41 and second connecting end 42 are attached to one of outlet ends 36 and 37 of tubes 32 and 33. Third connecting end 43 is attached over upper end 44 of ventilation pipe 39. Fourth connecting end 45 of connector 38 is attached to first end 46 of suction hose 47. Thus, tubes 32 and 33 are in fluid communication with tubular connector 38, ventilation pipe 39, and discharge conduit 40. Suction hose 47 is in fluid communication with tubular connector 38, ventilation pipe 39, and discharge conduit 40. Air movement is in the direction indicated by the solid arrows A shown in FIG. 3.
  • In a non-draining mode, tubes [0145] 32 and 33 retain water at the same level as the water level in tank 14 outside tubes 32 and 33 due to the water pressure inside water tank 14. In a draining mode, when there is excess water that rises above the level of tubular connector 38, increased water pressure inside tank 14 pushes excess water into tubes 32 and 33 through inlet ends 34 and 35 such that water moves further out of tubes 32 and 33 at outlet ends 36 and 37. The overflow water then passes through tubular connector 38 into ventilation pipe 39 and drains through lower end 48 of ventilation pipe 39 that is open into discharge conduit 40 below flapper 49. Water movement is in the direction indicated by the broken arrows w in FIG. 3.
  • It is contemplated that ventilation apparatus [0146] 20 of the present invention is sized to fit in a water tank of a traditional flush toilet system without much modification. Ventilation apparatus 20 replaces the overflow pipe in the traditional system to facilitate both the ventilation of the odorous air and the draining of overflow water. As shown in FIG. 1, ventilation apparatus 20 of the present invention can be fitted sealingly onto discharge conduit 15. Also as shown in FIG. 1, opening 149 may be cut through a wall of tank 14 or lid 6 (FIG. 7) to allow ventilation pipe 151 to extend outside the tank and be connected to vacuum hose 150.
  • In yet another embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. [0147] 4-6, ventilation apparatus 50 includes draining device 51 that has upside-down U-shaped hollow tube 52. Tube 52 has first leg 53 having inlet end 54 for receiving overflow water disposed below the normal water level in tank 14, and second leg 55 having outlet end 56 being connected directly to discharge conduit 58. Tube 52 has bend portion 57 disposed above the normal water level in the tank.
  • Alternatively, draining device [0148] 31, as depicted in FIG. 12, comprises U-shaped-hollow tube 200, which includes hook-shaped tube 201 and L-shaped tube 206. Hook-shaped tube 201 defines first leg 202 having inlet end 210 facing bottom 5 of tank 14, and bend portion 203 having hook end 207. L-shaped tube 206 defines second leg 204 having top end 209 connected to hook end 207 of bend portion 203, and base 205 having outlet end 208 open into discharge conduit (not shown). Top end 209 of second leg 204 may be connected to hook end 207 of bend portion 203 by a lock mechanism or a tight swivel.
  • Turning again to FIGS. [0149] 4-6, in a non-draining mode, first leg 53 of hollow tube 52 maintains a comparable water level as the normal water level in tank 14. In a draining mode, when there is excess water above the level of bend portion 57, increased water pressure inside tank 14 pushes excess water into first leg 53, through inlet end 54 such that the water moves through bend portion 57 to second leg 55 and through outlet end 56 into discharge conduit 58.
  • Inlet end [0150] 54 is positioned close to bottom 5 of tank 14 in order to maximize water pressure at inlet end 54 to push water inside hollow tube 52. Inlet end 54 of first leg 53 may be between ½″ and ¾″ above bottom S of tank 14. Inlet 54 end may define a plurality of openings 59 to increase water movement from tank 14 into tube 52 for draining. Each opening 59 may be about ¼″ in diameter.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIGS. [0151] 4-6, ventilation apparatus 20 for eliminating the odor from toilet bowl 50 may include vacuum ring 60 disposed around discharge conduit 58 and below flush valve 61, vacuum ring 60 defines circular tube 60A having a plurality of openings for fluid communication with discharge conduit 58. Circular tube 60A may be of any suitable diameter, for example about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Ventilation apparatus 20 further comprises ventilation pipe 63 having lower end 64 and upper end 65. Lower end 64 is open into vacuum ring 60 while upper end 65 is connected to one end of suction hose 25. Second end of suction hose 25 is connected to suction device 28 as previously described, which is capable of pulling air from bowl 12 through passageway 16 into ventilation pipe 21 and subsequently into suction hose 25 to be discharged at a remote location.
  • In another embodiment, ventilation apparatus [0152] 230 depicted partially in FIG. 13 may include air conduit 230A connecting upper end 247 of ventilation pipe 231 and first end 248 of suction hose 242. Air conduit 230A may include male air conduit 232 and female air conduit 240. Male air conduit 232 defines ventilation pipe connecting end 233 and flat portion 234, which defines first flat end 238. Pipe-connecting end 233 can be tightly connectable to the upper end 247 of the ventilation pipe 231 by locking mechanism or a tight swivel. Male air conduit 232 defines a gradually increasing width from the pipe-connecting end 233 to first flat portion 234. (See FIG. 14). First flat portion 234 maintains a uniform width, for example about three inches. In addition, first flat portion 234 extends outside water tank 236 through space 235 between tank 236 and lid 237. The thickness of first flat portion 234 between tank 236 and lid 237 is about ¼ inch. Male air conduit 232 defines passageway 246 in fluid communication with ventilation pipe 231. Space 235 can be an existing space in certain type of tanks or can be created by the placement of first flat portion 234 between tank 236 and lid 237.
  • Furthermore, female air conduit [0153] 240 defines hose-connecting end 241 and second flat portion 243 defining second flat end 244. Hose-connecting end 241 may be connected to first end 248 of suction hose 242 by a locking mechanism or by a tight swivel. Female air conduit 240 defines a gradually increasing width from hose-connecting end 241 to second flat portion 243. Flat portion 243 defines a uniform width, for example about three inches. In addition, female air conduit 240 defines a passageway in fluid communication with suction hose 242. Second flat end 244 defines opening 245 that is slightly larger than outer perimeter of first flat end 238 of male air conduit 232. First flat end 238 may be snugly inserted into opening 245 of second flat end 244.
  • One arrangement of the invention involves suction hose [0154] 242 and female air conduit 240 being positioned behind wall W of water closet WC. It is also preferable that second flat end 244 of female air conduit 240 extends from behind wall W through hole H into water closet WC to be connected to first flat end 238 of male air conduit 232. Hole H is shaped and sized to allow second flat end 244 to be snugly inserted therethrough. Alternatively, hole H may be shaped and sized to allow first flat end 238 to be snugly inserted therethrough to be connected to second flat end 244 behind wall W. Male air conduit 232 may be made of substantially rigid material to support the weight of lid 237, whereas, female air conduit 240 may be made of a more flexible material.
  • As shown in FIG. 13, once male air conduit [0155] 232 is connected to ventilation pipe 231, female air conduit 240 is connected to suction hose 242, and male air conduit 232 is connected to female air conduit 240, so that odorous air may be drawn from ventilation pipe 231 into suction hose 242 to be discharged as described herein above.
  • Ventilation apparatus [0156] 230 may further include wall bracket 250 (shown in FIG. 15) affixed on wall W behind tank 236 as shown in FIG. 13. Wall bracket 250 defines slot 251, which is shaped and sized to allow second flat end 244 of female air conduit 240 to be snugly inserted therethrough. Second flat end 244 may slightly extend from slot 251 to receive first flat end 238 of male air conduit 232. First flat end is inserted into opening 245 of second flat end 244, which may extend further through slot 245 into wall W. Additionally, wall bracket 250 can define lower flange 252 and upper flange 253 for holding the flat ends tightly together and to minimize any air leakage. Preferably, flanges 252 and 253 are in the form of a rubber or flexible plastic strip. Alternatively, slot 250 may be sealed with any suitable caulking material.
  • Referring now to FIGS. [0157] 22-26, in an alternative embodiment, flexible air conduit 320 defines substantially flat rectangular accordion hose 321, which includes passageway 329, cross-section (24-24) of which has an elongated oval shape as shown in FIG. 24. Accordion hose 321 defines a series of alternating ridges 324 and valleys 325 that are horizontally contractible and expandable. Preferably, accordion hose 321 is made of a flexible and bendable material such as plastic or rubber.
  • Flexible air conduit [0158] 320 includes first flat end 322 disposed at a first end of accordion hose 321. First flat end 322 may be slightly flatter than the accordion hose 321 in order to fit in a space 335 between lid 330 and water tank 331 as shown in FIG. 26. First flat end 322 has head 328 (see FIG. 25) defining round terminal end 326 matable to upper end 332 of ventilation pipe 333 of toilet system as shown in FIG. 26. Flexible air conduit 320 further includes second end 327 disposed at second end 322 of accordion hose 321. Second end 327 is snugly connectable to suction hose 334 (as shown in FIG. 26), which is connected to a suction device (not shown).
  • Referring now to FIG. 26, flexible air conduit [0159] 320 is connected between upper end 332 of ventilation pipe 333 at the round terminal end. Flexible air conduit 320 extends horizontally within space 335 between lid 330 and tank 331 to bathroom wall W behind tank 331. Flexible air conduit 320 may be contracted or expanded such that it can be threaded through hole H in wall W and bent upwardly to be connected to suction hose 334.
  • Flexible air conduit [0160] 320, like air conduit 230A may be used in conjunction with wall bracket 250 shown in FIG. 15 in a similar way as what has been shown in FIG. 13 and as described herein above. In addition, alternative wall bracket 350 shown in FIGS. 27-28 may also be used with either air conduit 230, flexible air conduit 320, or elbow shaped air conduit 281 shown in FIG. 18. Alternative wall bracket 350 includes substantially rectangular plate 351 having one or more bores 352 for receiving fasteners 352A such as nails or screws for fastening plate 351 to wall W of the bathroom. Plate 351 has recess end 353 flanked by first corner edge 355 and second corner edge 356. The width of the recess end 353 between the first corner edge 355 and second corner edge 356 substantially matches the width of air conduit 358. As shown in FIG. 28, bracket 350 can be affixed to wall W with fastener 352A, such that recess end 353 is aligned to hole H in wall W sized to receive air conduit 358 therethrough. Air conduit 358 is positioned at recess end 353 between first corner edge 355 and second corner edge 356, through hole H into inner wall space I to be connected to suction hose (not shown).
  • Another wall bracket [0161] 360 as shown in FIGS. 29-30 may be included in the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-6, 11, and 16. Wall bracket 360 defines substantially rectangular plate 361 having one or more bores 363 for receiving fasteners 363A such as nails or screws for fastening plate 361 to wall W of the bathroom. Plate 361 has round slot 364 for receiving cylindrical suction hose 365. Round slot 364 is aligned to hole H in wall W sized to receive suction hose 365 therethrough. It is contemplated that suction hose 365 defines corrugated outer surface 367 consisting of a series of alternating ridges 368 and valleys 369. As illustrated in FIG. 30, when bracket 360 is affixed to wall W by fasteners 363A, suction hose 365 may be forced through round slot 364 and hole H into inner wall space I to be connected to suction device (not shown). In the exemplary embodiment, round slot 364 and hole H are positioned between two ridges 368 of corrugated surface 367 of suction hose 365, and hold suction hose 365 in place without sliding in or out of wall W.
  • In another alternative embodiment of the present invention, a toilet system comprises a ventilation apparatus [0162] 260 shown in FIGS. 16-17. Ventilation apparatus 260 fits in a toilet system that includes toilet bowl 12 with rim 13 defining a plurality of holes 13A, water tank 14 with a lid 6, overflow pipe 261 connecting to discharge conduit, which connects bowl 13 and tank 14. Ventilation apparatus 260 comprises cylinder 262, plug 263, suction hose 264, and suction device (not shown). Cylinder 262 is slightly larger and longer than overflow pipe 261. Cylinder 262 has top end 265 covering first end 266 of hose 264, and bottom end 267 disposed under the water in tank 14. The cylinder 262 is disposed over overflow pipe 261 such that annular space s is formed between outside wall 268 of overflow pipe 261 and inside wall 269 of cylinder 262. Plug 263 defines pipe-connecting end 270 snugly fitted onto upper end 261 A of overflow pipe 261, and hose-connecting end 271 snugly fitted onto first end 266 of hose 264. Plug 263 also defines a plurality of holes 272 for providing fluid communication between annular space s and the overflow pipe 261 (see arrow w), and fluid communication between the ventilation pipe 261 and hose 264 (see arrow A). Bottom end 267 of cylinder 262 is disposed slightly above the bottom of the tank (not shown) to allow water to flow into space s (see arrow w). Lower end 267 of cylinder 262 may be fastened onto overflow pipe 261 and top end 265 of cylinder 262 may be fastened to hose 264. Second end 274 of hose 264 is connected to suction device (not shown).
  • In one aspect of the above embodiment, plug [0163] 263 can be of any shape as long as it fits first end 266 of the hose 264 and top end 261 A of overflow pipe 261, and includes a plurality of holes 272. Plug 263 may be spherical, like a whiffle ball (as shown in FIG. 17), or cylindrical, like a hollow disk.
  • In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. [0164] 16, ventilation occurs when odorous air is drawn (see arrow A) from the toilet bowl (not shown) through the discharge conduit (not shown). The air then moves from the discharge conduit into overflow pipe 261, passing plug 263 into hose 264, to be discharged at a remote location. On the other hand, when there is excess water, the excess water flows into annular space s between overflow pipe 261 and cylinder 262 from the bottom of the tank. Water in annular space s is pushed towards the plurality of holes 272 on plug 263, and drained into overflow pipe 261, to be discharged into the discharge conduit (not shown).
  • It is contemplated that in the embodiments described above (FIGS. [0165] 1-6, 11, 13, 16, and 22-26), the ventilation apparatus may include elbow adapter 340 (shown in FIG. 31.). Elbow adapter 340 defines vertical arm 341 and horizontal arm 342. In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1-6, 11, and 16, one of vertical arm 341 and horizontal arm 342 may be connected to a ventilation pipe of the present invention (such as 21 of FIG. 1), and the other arm may be connectable to a suction hose (such as 25 of FIG. 1). In the embodiments shown in FIGS. 13 and 22-26, one of vertical arm 341 and horizontal arm 342 may be connected to a ventilation pipe of the present invention (such as 21 of FIG. 1), and the other arm may be connected to an air conduit (such as 230A of FIG. 13). Elbow adapter 340 further defines inlet opening 343 disposed at end 341A of vertical arm 341 and outlet opening 344 disposed at end 341B of horizontal arm 342. Air channel 345 is disposed between inlet opening and outlet opening 344.
  • Elbow adapter [0166] 340 may be snugly or swivelingly connected to ventilation pipe 21. Vertical arm 341 or horizontal arm 342 may be positioned such that inlet opening 343 of vertical arm 341 or outlet opening 344 of horizontal arm 342 points toward the back of the water tank. Further, the other arm may be connected to suction hose 25 or air conduit 230A such that suction hose, or air conduit, 25, 230A is extended outside the water tank, such as horizontally within a space between the lid and the tank.
  • Turning now to FIGS. [0167] 32-35, an alternative embodiment of the ventilation apparatus 370 also fits in a toilet system that includes a toilet bowl with a rim defining a plurality of holes, a water tank with a lid, an overflow pipe (not shown) connecting to a discharge conduit (not shown), which connects the bowl and the tank (not shown). Ventilation apparatus 370 comprises support member 371 and draining member 372. Support member 371 defines hollow cylinder 373 having an inner diameter slightly larger than the outer diameter of the overflow pipe so that hollow cylinder 373 may be placed substantially over the overflow pipe. Hollow cylinder 373 defines top end 374 and bottom end 375. Top end 374 defines groove 376 for receiving draining member 372. Groove 376 has a plurality of stop pins 377 disposed spatially and perpendicularly across groove 376 creating a plurality of gaps 378 for fluid communication. When support member 371 is placed over the overflow pipe, stop pins 377 rest on the top end of the overflow pipe (not shown), and in the exemplary embodiment, each stop pin 377 is a rod having a diameter of about ⅛ inch. Support member 371 further defines one or more bores 379 for receiving one or more securing means 380 for tightening support member 371 to the overflow pipe. In the exemplary embodiment, support member 371 defines two threaded bores 379, while securing means 380 are plastic thumbscrews.
  • Draining member [0168] 372 includes elbow-shaped hollow tube 381 defining first arm 382 and second arm 383 connected to each other at bend portion 390. First arm 382 snugly fits in groove 376 of support member 371 such that second arm 373 is parallel to hollow tube 373 of support member 371. First arm 382 includes outlet end 384 connectable to and being in fluid communication with suction hose (not shown), or an air conduit (shown as 230A in FIGS. 13 and 22-26). Outer perimeter 390 of outlet end 384 may be threaded for securing the suction hose or an air conduit thereon. First arm 382 defines side opening 389 aligning to the plurality of gaps 378 between stop pins 377 of support member 371. First arm 382 further defines vent hole 387 disposed on opposite side 387A of side opening 389. Vent hole 387 functions to relieve the vacuum pressure that may occur when water is flushed. Second arm 383 defines inlet end 385 having a plurality of apertures 386 in water communication with the tank. In the exemplary embodiment, the plurality of holes includes 16 holes, each having a diameter of ¼ inch.
  • Ventilation apparatus [0169] 370 with draining member 372 snugly placed in groove 376 of supporting member 371 may be fitted in a water tank by placing hollow cylinder 373 over the existing overflow pipe. Securing means 380 may be threaded through bores 379 and pressed against the overflow pipe to keep the support member 371 secured to the overflow pipe. In the final position, inlet end 385 of second arm 383 is disposed under the water, slightly above the bottom of the tank (not shown). When the water tank is being filled, water moves from the tank into second arm 383 through the plurality of apertures 386 of second arm 383. Once the water level in the tank reaches the standard level, the water level in second arm 383 stays below bend portion 390 of elbow-shaped hollow tube 381. In the draining mode, in which there is excess of water in the tank, water pressure increases such that water is pushed through the plurality of apertures 386 into second arm 383. Water subsequently moves passing bend portion 390 into first arm 382 and then through side opening 389 and the plurality of gaps 378 into the overflow pipe to be drained into the toilet bowl through the discharge conduit (not shown).
  • In addition, outlet end [0170] 384 is connected to the suction hose, which in turn is connected to a suction device such as an exhaust fan (not shown). When the suction device is operating, the odorous air from the toilet bowl is drawn into the overflow pipe, passing the plurality of gaps 378 and side opening 389 into first arm 382 of draining member 372. Subsequently, odorous air passes through outlet end 384 into the suction hose to be discharged in a remote location. The suction device may operate continuously or may be operable by means of a switch control (not shown) that can be turned on and off by a user.
  • In yet another embodiment of the present invention, as shown in FIG. 18, ventilation apparatus [0171] 280 is connected to airtight water tank 285 with lid 286. Ventilation apparatus 280 comprises elbow-shaped air conduit 281 that defines hose connecting end 282 and air inlet end 283. Air conduit 281 may extend substantially behind the wall to be connected to hose 288, and hose 288 is connected to a suction device (not shown). Air inlet end 283 is inserted through space sp between water tank 285 and lid 286. Lid 286 is tightly sealed to tank 285 to create an airtight tank.
  • Air conduit [0172] 281 is substantially flat, in the exemplary embodiment having a width of about three inches and a thickness of about ¼ inch. Air conduit 281 further defines passageway 287 providing fluid communication between airspace sp above the water level in the tank and hose 288.
  • In this embodiment, the odorous air (see arrow A) moves from the toilet bowl (not shown) into overflow pipe [0173] 289 and is released into airspace sp above the water. The odorous air within the airspace is simultaneously drawn into air inlet end 283 of air conduit 281, passing through passageway 287 and into hose 288 to be discharged elsewhere.
  • It is contemplated that in this embodiment, the ventilation apparatus may include elbow adapter [0174] 340 (as shown in FIG. 31). Elbow adapter 340 may be swiveling such that horizontal arm 341 is positioned to point toward air inlet end 283. In this way, odorous air from the toilet bowl may be specifically directed from overflow pipe to the air conduit 281.
  • Another aspect of the present invention contemplates hose box [0175] 300 as shown in FIGS. 19-21. Box 300 may be used to hide from view suction hose v that extends outside a bathroom wall to the ceiling in order to bypass any difficult corner between the wall and the ceiling. Box 300 comprises back wall 301 and top wall 302. Back wall 301 defines top end 303, bottom end 304, and first hole 305 suitable for receiving hose v. Top wall 302 defines first end 306, second end 307, second hole 308 suitable for receiving hose v. Top end 303 of back wall 301 is attached to first end 306 of top wall at a right angle r. Bottom end 304 of back wall 301 defines at least one supporting ledge 309, and second end 307 of top wall 302 defines at least one supporting ledge 310.
  • Hose box [0176] 300 further comprises first side wall 311, and second side wall 312, each being a right triangle. Each of first side wall 311 and second side wall 312 is attached to each side of back wall 301 and top wall 302 forming an open triangular box (see FIG. 19).
  • Additionally, hose box [0177] 300 comprises front cover 313 sized to fit on supporting ledge 310 of top wall 302 and ledge 309 of back wall 301. Box 300 is affixed to a bathroom wall such that back wall 301 is against the bathroom wall and top wall 302 is against the ceiling. The bathroom wall defines an inlet opening (not shown) in alignment with first hole 305 of back wall 301. In addition, the ceiling defines an outlet opening (not shown) in alignment with second hole 308.
  • Hose shielding box [0178] 300 may be used in a situation in which suction hose v has to be threaded outside the bathroom wall to avoid any sharp corner between the wall and the ceiling, or to traverse the wall framing. Hose v can be inserted through the inlet opening of the wall in to box 300 through first hole 305 and outside box 300 through second hole 308 and back up into the ceiling through the outlet opening.
  • Referring now to FIGS. [0179] 36-41, hose box kit 400 is provided as an alternative to hose box 300 shown in FIGS. 19-21. Hose box kit 400 comprises template member 401 and corner cover member 402. Template member 401 defines back plate 403 connected to top plate 404 at right angle r. Back plate 403 has first opening 405 sized to receive a suction hose (not shown). Top plate 404 has second opening 406 also sized to receive the suction hose. Template member 401 may be made of a one-piece material such as a plastic or aluminum sheet that is bent into a right angle. Back plate 403 and top plate 404 have a plurality of holes 407 for receiving fasteners such as nails, screws or bolts for attaching template member 401 to a corner between a wall and the ceiling. Back plate 403 is attachable to the wall and top plate 404 is attachable to the ceiling. Both back plate 403 and top plate 404 define a plurality of latches 408 capable of receiving and locking corner cover member 402 thereon.
  • Corner cover member [0180] 402 defines front plate 410 connected to first side plate 411 and second side plate 412. Front plate 410 is substantially rectangular, while first side plate 411 and second side plate 412 are triangular as shown in FIG. 40. First side plate 411 and second side plate 412 define a plurality of locking latches 413 that may be snapped against the plurality of latches 408 of template member 401 and thus can lock corner cover member 402 on template member 401.
  • Similar to hose box [0181] 300, hose box kit 400 may be used in a situation in which the suction hose has to be threaded outside the bathroom wall to negotiate a tight corner between the wall and the ceiling. Template member 401 may be affixed to the bathroom wall such that back plate 403 rests against the bathroom wall and top plate 404 rests against the ceiling. The bathroom wall defines an inlet opening (not shown) being in alignment with first opening 405 of template member 401. The ceiling defines an outlet opening (not shown) being in alignment to second opening 406 of template member 401. The suction hose can be inserted through the inlet opening of the wall, through first opening 405 of template member 401, through second opening 406 of template member 401, and through the outlet opening into the ceiling. Then corner cover member 402 is snapped onto template member 401 such that the protruding hose is hidden within hose box kit 400.
  • Although the snap locking mechanism works well for the attachment of corner cover member [0182] 402 to template member 401, other types of attachment may also be used. For example, the corner cover member 402 may be nailed or screwed onto template member 401.
  • Another aspect of the invention is shown in FIGS. [0183] 7-10. A toilet system comprises automatic flushing mechanism 69 for a toilet bowl of the type having a toilet bowl and a water tank, a discharge conduit connecting the bowl and the tank, a passageway providing communication between the tank, and the discharge conduit, a flush valve disposed above the discharge conduit, the flush valve having a flapper for opening and closing the passageway to allow the movement of water from the tank to the passageway. automatic flushing mechanism 69 comprises lever 70 which includes L-shaped bar member 71, attachment member 72, cable member 73, and flapper cord 74. Bar member defines long arm 75 connected to flapper cord 74 which is connected to flapper 76, and short arm 77 having first bore 78 (see FIG. 8). Attachment member 72 is pivotably connected to short arm 77. Attachment member 72 and short arm 77 of bar member 71 may be pivotably secured together by a two-headed pin 86. Attachment member 72 has first end 79 connectable to or supported on the water tank, and second end 80 defining second bore 81 in alignment with first bore 78.
  • Cable member defines first end [0184] 82 and second end 83, first end 82 is threaded through second bore 81 and first bore 78, and is slidingly secured to short arm 77 of bar member 71. Second end 83 is connectable to automatic motion device 84. Lever 70 may assume a rest position as shown in FIG. 8 and a flushing position as shown in FIG. 9. In the rest position FIG. 8, long arm 75 of bar member 71 points downward to relax flapper cord 74, and allow flapper 76 to close flush valve 85 (see FIG. 7). In the flushing position FIG. 9, long arm 75 of bar member 71 moves upward such that flapper cord 74 pulls on flapper 76 causing flapper 76 to move upward to open flush valve 85 (see FIG. 7) and allow water to flush. After the flushing is complete, long arm 75 of bar member 71 returns to the rest position. Flapper cord 74 is for connecting long arm 75 to flapper 76 and may be a metal chain, a rubber string, or other suitable material such as durable nylon cord. Bar member 71 and attachment member 72 may be made of any suitable material such as metal or durable plastic.
  • Returning to FIG. 7, the present invention further contemplates a toilet system having flushing mechanism [0185] 69 that includes lever 70 of the present invention connected to motion device 84 that is operatively connected to sensing device 88. As described above, second end 83 of cable member 73 is connected motion device 84. Motion device 84 may have a movable elongated shaft 86 that has cable end 87 connected to second end 83 of cable member 73.
  • Sensing device [0186] 88 is operatively connected to motion device 84. Sensing device 88 is capable of detecting the presence or movement of a toilet user. When sensing device 88 is activated, it can actuate motion device 84 to pull on cable member 73. In the illustrated embodiment, shaft 86 retracts to pull cable member 73. Cable member 73 subsequently slides backward so that first end 82 pulls on short arm 77 toward attachment member 72 and thus lifts long arm 75 of bar member 71 upward in the flushing position. Long arm 75 pulls on flapper cord 74 and thus lifts flapper 76 to open flush valve 85. Water then moves from tank 90 through flush valve 85 into discharge conduit 15 of toilet bowl 12. After the flushing is completed, the shaft of motion device 84 moves back to its original position and the cable member is relaxed. Consequently, long arm 75 of bar member points downward so that flapper cord 74 is relaxed and flapper 76 re-seats to close flush valve 85. Long arm 75 may have weight 75A in it to facilitate its downward movement.
  • As shown in FIG. 7, automatic flushing mechanism [0187] 69 may be installed onto a traditional flush toilet that has a manual flushing mechanism. The original flush lever can be retained or removed. As shown in FIG. 1, manual flushing mechanism 140 comprises manual lever 141 that has end 142 attached to stem 143 of flushing handle 144, and second end 145 having flapper line 146 attached to flapper 18. Flushing handle 144 is pivotably disposed on wall 147 of tank 14. Stem 143 of flushing handle 144 is inserted through wall bore 148 to be attached to manual lever 141. Manual mechanism 140 can be connected to flapper 76 by line 146 to serve as a “fail safe” mechanism should automatic system 69 fail to operate.
  • Return again to FIG. 7, to install automatic flushing mechanism [0188] 69, attachment member 72 is hung on a rim of the tank or secured to a side of the tank by a fastener such as a set screw or a bolt. Second end 83 of cable member 73 is threaded through bore 89 defined on a wall of tank 91 to be connected to elongated shaft 86 of motion device 84. Lastly, flapper cord 74 is connected to flapper 76. If the manual flushing mechanism is removed prior to the installation of automatic flushing mechanism 69, bore 89 can be the same bore that holds the flushing handle for the manual flushing mechanism. If the manual flushing mechanism is not removed, bore 89 is separate from the bore that holds the flushing handle for the manual flushing mechanism. Flapper 76 may be connected to both flapper cord 74 of the present invention and flapper line 46 of the manual flushing mechanism. In this way, the flapper can optionally be lifted open or closed by either automatic flushing mechanism 69 or the manual flushing mechanism.
  • Further, both sensing device [0189] 88 and motion device 84 in the exemplary embodiment are affixed to a wall of the toilet room such that sensing device 88 may detect the movement of the user. Sensing device 88 may be a motion detector, which is activated by the user present in the target area, or the user leaving the area. Alternatively, sensing device 88 can be a noise-activated device or a heat sensing apparatus. Sensing device may generate an electrical signal that activates motion device 84. Motion device 84 may be a solenoid, having shaft 86 suspended in a movable manner within a magnetic coil. If the coil is energized by the application of electrical current, shaft 86 will move according to the polarity and current through the coil, and will operate on lever for opening or closing the flush valve 17. Motion device 84 may include a time delay control that allows shaft 86 to move back to its original position only after flushing is complete. Device 84 may be spring biased to return shaft 88 to its neutral position.
  • Referring now to FIGS. [0190] 42-44, a lever 500 is an alternative configuration of the lever 70 shown in FIGS. 7-8. The lever 500 comprises a long bar 501, a disk 502, a short bar 503, a flapper cord 504, and a cable member 505. The long bar has a distal end 506 attached to a flapper cord 507 that is connected to a flapper 508. A proximal end 509 of the long bar 501 is attached to a first surface 510 of the disk 502 at a first position A having a distance D1 away from a center C. A proximal end 511 of the short bar 503 is attached to a second surface 512 of the disk 502 at a second position B that lies linearly to the first position A and the center C. The distance D2 between the first position A and the center C should be the same as the distance D1 between the second position B and the center C.
  • As shown in FIG. 44, lever [0191] 500 may be installed inside water tank 516 by fastening center C of disk 502 to tank 516 with fastener 517 such that disk 502 is rotatable around axis x. Fastener 517 may have a hook end (not shown) for fastening to rim 516A of tank 516. In addition, distal end 513 of short bar 503 extends outside tank 516 through slot opening 518 to be connected to cable member 505, which can be connected to a motion device (not shown), as described above. Slot opening 518 may be rectangular or curved to accommodate the rotational movement of short bar 503.
  • In a non-flushing position depicted in FIG. 42, disk [0192] 502 situates such that first position A lies below second position B and center C, resulting in long bar 501 being closer to the bottom of tank 516. In this position, flapper cord 504 relaxes, while flapper 508 sits on the flush valve (not shown). In a flushing position depicted in FIG. 43, when the motion device is activated, cable member 505 pulls on short bar 503 causing disk 502 to rotate in direction a. Consequently, long arm 501 is lifted in direction u such that flapper cord 504 pulls flapper 508 off the flush valve (not shown) so that water can flush into the toilet bowl (not shown).
  • In another feature of the invention shown in FIG. 11, toilet system [0193] 100 comprises a toilet bowl of the type having a toilet bowl (not shown) and water tank 101, discharge conduit 102 connecting the bowl and tank 101, a passageway 103A providing communication between tank 101, and discharge conduit 102, flush valve 103 disposed above discharge conduit 102, flush valve 103 has flapper 104 for opening and closing the passageway 103A to allow the movement of water from tank 101 to the passageway 103A. Toilet system 100 further comprises ventilation apparatus 105 which includes ventilation pipe 106 having lower end 110 open into discharge conduit 102 and upper end 111 connected to first end 112 of hose 107, vacuum ring 108 positioned around discharge conduit 102 below flush valve 103, and draining device 120. Opening 121 may be situated in the back on the side, or on the lid to receive upper end 111 of ventilation pipe 106 that extends outside the tank to be connected to first end 112 of hose 107, which may be disposed behind wall 122 of the room.
  • Ventilation apparatus includes suction device [0194] 109, which is connected to second end 113 of hose 107. Suction device 109 may be positioned at a distant location, providing that suction device 109 has sufficient suction force to pull the air from the toilet bowl into the passageway 103A and further into ventilation pipe 106 and hose 107 to be discharged at a distant location, such as outside the building. Draining device 120 includes an upside down U-shape hollow tube 123 having inlet end 124 and outlet end 125 as previously shown in FIGS. 4-6, and as described herein above. Alternatively, draining device 120 may include two elongated hollow tubes connected to the ventilation pipe by a tubular connector as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. Toilet system 100 as shown in FIG. 11 further comprises automatic flushing mechanism 130. Flushing mechanism 130 includes lever 131, sensing device 133, and motion device 132. Lever 131 includes a bar member, an attachment member, a cable member, and a flapper cord, as shown in FIGS. 710 and as described herein above.
  • Referring now to FIGS. [0195] 45-53, a further aspect of the present invention includes fan system 700 for ventilating bathroom air. Fan system 700 is capable of receiving odorous air or steam from two or more locations in a bathroom to be discharged at an outside location.
  • Fan system [0196] 700 shown in FIGS. 45-47 comprises fan box 701, which can be of any suitable size or shape. In the exemplary embodiment, fan box 701 is a hollow rectangular box defining top wall 741, and four side walls 740. As shown in FIG. 47A, one or more of four side walls 740 is attached to top wall 741 by hinge 741 A. Hinged side walls 740 may be pivoted towards the inside of fan box 701. This feature allows the fan box 701 to be connected to other components of the fan system 700 described herein below, after fan box 701 has been installed within the space above the ceiling through an opening in the ceiling (not shown). Fan box 701 defines bottom side 745 substantially aligned to the plane of the ceiling.
  • Fan box [0197] 701 further defines cavity 701 A forming first compartment 702 and second compartment 703, as depicted in FIGS. 46-47. First compartment 702 defines a plurality of first inlet openings 704 for receiving air from at least one location in the bathroom, and second compartment 703 defines a plurality of second inlet openings 705 for receiving air from at least one other location. Each of the plurality of first inlet openings 704 and second inlet openings 705 is disposed on each of side walls 740, while outlet opening is disposed on one of side walls 740.
  • Fan box [0198] 701 may include a plurality of caps 706 for closing each of the plurality of first inlet openings 704 and the plurality of second inlet openings 705 when not in use for receiving air or steam.
  • Side walls [0199] 740 and top wall 741 may have a plurality of retaining brackets 740A for attaching fan box 701 to beams or any suitable roof or ceiling structures. Retaining brackets 740A define bores for receiving any suitable fasteners such as threaded screws, bolts or nails for securing fan box 701 to the beams, or other roof or ceiling structures (not shown).
  • Referring back to FIGS. [0200] 45-47, fan system 700 may include hanger unit 790 attachable to fan box 701 for hanging fan box 701 to a beam. Hanger unit 790 includes of hanger plate 791 secured to top wall 741 of fan box 701, and a plurality of hanger arms 792, each defining top end 793 and side end 794. Top end 793 of each of the plurality of hanger arms 792 is slidably attached to hanger plate 791, such that top end 793 adjustably extends away from side walls 740 of fan box 701 to reach a beam or other suitable structure. Side end 794 of each of the plurality of hanger arms 792 defines elongated slot 795 for receiving a plurality of hanger fastener (not shown) for fastening fan system 700 to a beam or any suitable structure.
  • Fan system [0201] 700 further comprises first fan 710 disposed within first compartment 702, second fan 711 disposed within second compartment 703, and exhaust hose 712 connected to outlet opening 709. First fan 710 is capable of pulling air from the first location through one of the plurality of first inlet openings 704 into fan box 701. Similarly, second fan 711 operates to pull air from the second location through one of the plurality of second inlet openings 705 into fan box 701. Both first fan 710 and second fan 711 drive the air out of fan box 701 through outlet opening 709 into exhaust hose 712 for releasing at an outside location.
  • In another feature, also depicted in FIGS. [0202] 45-51, one of the plurality of second inlet openings 705 is connected to suction hose 713 of ventilation apparatus 714 for ventilating odorous air from a toilet (not shown). In addition, one of the plurality of first inlet openings 704 may be connected to ventilation tubing 715 for ventilating air from a bathing facility (not shown), such as a shower stall or an enclosed bathtub.
  • As shown in FIGS. [0203] 45-46, fan system 700 may further comprise first adapter 716 attachable to one of the plurality of first inlet openings 704, second adapter 717 attachable to one of the plurality of second inlet openings 705, and outlet adapter 718 attachable to outlet opening 709. First adapter 716 has first circular lip 716A for connecting to ventilation tubing 715. Similarly, second adapter 717 has second circular lip 717A for connecting to suction hose 713 of ventilation apparatus 714. Likewise, outlet adapter 718 has third circular lip 718A for connecting to exhaust hose 712. Fan system 700 may include a plurality of tubing clamps 726 for securing the tubing or hoses to respective adapters.
  • As demonstrated in FIG. 45, ventilation tubing [0204] 715 defines connecting end 719 and intake end 720. Connecting end 719 is snugly connected to second inlet adapter 716, and intake end 720 being in fluid communication with the bathing facility. Intake end 720 includes intake housing 721, which has base 724 defining intake opening 722 for receiving air from the bathing facility, and orifice 723 for connecting to intake end 720 of ventilation tubing 715. Intake housing 721 may have a domeshape (see FIGS. 45 and 49-50). Intake housing 721 includes a ceiling fastener (not shown) for fastening intake housing 721 to the inner side of the ceiling (not shown) above the bathing facility. Intake opening 722 is aligned to a hole (not shown) in the ceiling to allow air or steam within the bathing facility to move into intake housing 721.
  • Intake housing [0205] 721 is adapted to include intake grille 725 (shown in FIG. 51), which defines a plurality of gaps 725A for receiving the air or steam from the bathing facility (shown in FIG. 51). Intake grille 725 fits over intake opening 722 such that intake grille 725 is situated substantially on the same plane as the ceiling within the bathing facility. Intake grille 725 may include grille fastener 725B for fastening intake grille 725 to base 724 of intake housing 721, other known methods of attachment may be used for intake grille 725 to fit over intake opening 722.
  • In one embodiment of the invention, as further illustrated in FIGS. 46 and 48, fan box [0206] 701 is a stacked fan box defining first compartment 702 disposed above second compartment 703. Fan system further includes stacking shroud unit 729, which contains first shroud 730 stacking above second shroud 731. Stacking shroud unit 729 may include partition 738 between first shroud 730 and second shroud 731. First shroud 730 includes first platform 736 having first cavity 736A for receiving and supporting first fan 710. First shroud 730 further includes first substantially circular wall 737 having first tract opening 732 for directing the air movement towards outlet opening 709 of first compartment 702. Likewise, second shroud 731 includes second platform 742 having second cavity 742A for receiving second fan 711. Second shroud 731 further includes second substantially circular wall 739 having second tract opening 733 for directing the air movement towards outlet opening 709 of second compartment 703. Both first tract opening 732 and second tract opening 733 are in fluid communications with outlet opening 709 and exhaust hose 712.
  • Moreover, fan box [0207] 701 may include a first electrical outlet (not shown) for supplying electricity to operate first fan 710 and second fan 711 and electrical shield 727 for blocking the moisture from steam to reach the electrical outlet. The electrical outlet may be electrically connected to a switch (not shown) that a user can operate. Alternatively, first fan 710 and second fan 711 may be set to operate continuously or upon activation by a sensor.
  • Additionally, in the exemplary embodiment shown in FIG. 46, fan system [0208] 700 further comprises cover plate 755 attachable to bottom side 745 of fan box 701. Cover plate 755 may include a cover plate fastener (not shown) for fastening cover plate 755 to bottom side 745 of fan box 701.
  • Fan system [0209] 700 may include a grille plate 760 attachable to cover plate 755, and the opening in the ceiling (not shown), in which fan box 701 is installed therethrough. Grille plate 760 may include one or more grille plate fasteners 761 for fastening the grille plate 760 to cover plate 755. Grille plate 760 may have any decorative design.
  • Alternatively, grille plate [0210] 760 shown in FIGS. 52-52A may define removable grille insert 765 attached to insert slot 762 disposed in the middle of grille plate 760. Grille insert 765 may be replaceable by optional light unit 770 for lighting the bathroom.
  • Optional light unit [0211] 770 shown in FIGS. 46 and 52 includes aluminum light bulb reflector plate 771, which may fit into insert slot 762 and may be secured to grille plate 760. Light unit 770 further includes light bulb 772 and shield 780 for protecting light bulb 772. It is contemplated the light unit may include more than one light bulb 772.
  • As shown in FIGS. 46 and 52, light bulb [0212] 772 includes socket 773 secured to aluminum light bulb reflector plate 771. Socket 773 has connecting plug 774 for inserting into a second electrical outlet (not shown) for supplying electricity to light bulb 772. Shield 780 may be secured to aluminum light bulb reflector plate 771, or grille plate 760. It is contemplated that shield 780 may be of any suitable shape and any decorative design.
  • It is further contemplated that the second electrical outlet may be connected to a second switch (not shown) that a user can operate. Optionally, the second electrical outlet may be electrically connected to the first electrical outlet, and both outlets are connected to a switch that a user can operate. In such case, the user may operate the fans at the same time the user turns on light bulb [0213] 772.
  • In an alternative embodiment, fan system [0214] 799 for ventilating bathroom air comprises fan box 800 (see FIG. 54) being substantially flat and rectangular, having four side walls 801 attached to top wall 802. In this embodiment, at least one side wall 801 is attached to top wall 802 by a plurality of hinges 810 such that one or more side walls 801 may be pushed toward the inside of fan box 800 during the installation of the components described herein below. Fan box 800 includes a plurality of retaining brackets 803 for attaching fan box 800 to a beam or any other suitable structures in the space above the ceiling. Fan box 800 comprises first compartment 805 disposed on the same plane as second compartment 806. First compartment 805 defines a plurality of first intake openings 807 for receiving air from one or more locations. Similarly, second compartment 806 defines a plurality of second inlet openings 808 for receiving air from one or more locations. Fan box 800 further defines outlet opening 809 being in fluid communication with both first compartment 805 and second compartment 806. Outlet opening 809 is connectable to an exhaust hose (not shown). The operation and additional elements of fan system 799 are similar to that of fan system 700.
  • In this alternative embodiment fan system [0215] 799 further comprises a side-by-side shroud unit 820 as illustrated in FIG. 55. Side-by-side shroud unit 820 defines left shroud 821 for retaining a first fan (not shown), and right shroud 822 for retaining a second fan (not shown). Left shroud 821 includes first platform 823 defining first cavity 823A, and first substantially circular wall 824 defining first tract opening 824. Right shroud 822 includes second platform 830 defining first cavity 830A, and first substantially circular wall 831 defining first tract opening 832. First platform 823 and second platform 830 may be made from a single piece material into a single platform 834.
  • Side-by-side shroud unit [0216] 820 may be inserted and retained within fan box 800 such that left shroud 821 is disposed within first compartment 805, and right shroud 822 is disposed within second compartment 806. Furthermore, the plurality of first inlet openings 807 is in fluid communication with first cavity 823A, and plurality of second inlet openings 808 is in fluid communication with second cavity 830A. Fan system 799 may include a plurality of caps (not shown) for closing any of the plurality of first inlet openings 807 and second inlet openings 808 that are not in use.
  • The first fan (not shown) may be inserted through first cavity [0217] 823A and secured onto first platform 823 with a plurality of first fan fasteners (not shown). Likewise, the second fan may be inserted through second cavity 830A and secured onto second platform 830 with a plurality of first fan fasteners (not shown). It is contemplated that fan system 799 having side-by-side fan box 800 may be connected to the components of fan box 701 as described herein above.
  • In an operating mode, the first fan and the second fan pull air into fan box [0218] 800 through any of the plurality of first openings 807 and any of the plurality of second openings 808. Air moves through first cavity 823A and second cavity 830A along first substantially circular wall 821 towards first tract opening 824 to outlet opening 809, and along second substantially circular wall 831 towards second tract opening 832 to outlet opening 809. Air is then pushed through outlet opening 809 into the exhaust hose (not shown) to be discharged at an outside location.
  • In another embodiment, the fan system for ventilating air from a plurality of locations in a building (not shown) comprises a fan box having a plurality of compartments. Each compartment defines an inlet opening for receiving air from one of the plurality of locations. The fan box further comprises an outlet opening in air communication with said plurality of compartments. The outlet opening is connected to and is in air communication with an exhaust hose. [0219]
  • Furthermore, the fan system of this embodiment comprises a plurality of fans, each being disposed within each of the plurality of compartments, whereby the plurality of fans pulls air from the plurality of locations through each of the inlet openings into each of the plurality of compartments. The plurality of fans is capable of driving air out of the plurality of compartments through the outlet opening into the exhaust hose for releasing to an outside location. [0220]
  • In another embodiment, the present invention contemplates ventilation apparatus [0221] 900 for eliminating odor from a commercial flush toilet. As shown in FIG. 56, commercial toilet 911 generally includes toilet bowl 912 with rim 913 defining a plurality of holes 913A, and discharge conduit 915 connecting bowl 912 to water supply WS. This embodiment is suitable for locations that lack a tank for providing discharge water for the toilet system.
  • Ventilation apparatus [0222] 900 includes air conduit 930 having first end 930A and second end 930B, first and second ends 930A, 930B being in fluid communication. First end 930A of air conduit 930 is connected to discharge conduit 915 by vacuum connector 960 and fastener 950. Vacuum connector 960 has a plurality of air holes 960A, which communicate air between toilet bowl 912 and air conduit 930. Second end 930B of air conduit 930 is connected to and is in air communication with hose 925. Hose 925 is connected to a suction device (not shown in FIG. 56, but generally such as shown at 28 in FIG. 3) capable of pulling air through hose 925, air conduit 930, vacuum connector 960, discharge conduit 915, and ultimately, toilet bowl 912. Second end 930B of air conduit 930 can further include valve 970 regulating air pressure in the air conduit.
  • Another embodiment of the fan system, fan system [0223] 1000, similar to that shown in FIG. 46, is shown in FIG. 57 as having enclosure 1002, shown in a square configuration, with access openings 1004. One such access opening 1004 is reserved for connection to outlet 1016 and exhaust hose 1006 while the other access openings 1004 may be used for connection to other systems such as, for example, other ventilation systems or automatic flush systems via access plates 1005. Enclosure 1002 defines single compartment 1008 within which is disposed single electric motor 1010 and two impellers 1012 and 1014, one being blower side impeller 1012 and the other being vacuum side impeller 1014. Vacuum side impeller 1014 is used to pull the odorous air into enclosure 1002 while blower side impeller 1012 propels the odorous air through outlet 1016 into hose 1006 for removal to a remote location (typically outside of the room in which fan system is installed). Impellers 1012 and 1014 and motor 1010 are maintained within housing 1018 with impellers 1012 and 1014 are separated by panel 1020 inserted therebetween to ensure that there is no disruption of one operation by the other device. In addition to access openings 1004 in enclosure 1002, open bottom side 1022 thereof is structured for engagement with grille 1024 which may be visible to an observer from below fan system 1000.
  • Grille system [0224] 1024 for fan system 1000 is shown in FIG. 58 as having three portions: first access shield portion 1026, insert portion 1028, and circular cover 1030. Access shield portion 1026 includes a plurality of openings 1032 which provide inlets for air, typically room air, to be ventilated from the bathroom or other room location. Insert portion 1028, which locks into opening 1027 via tabs 1029, provides a cover plate for a lamp unit, such as lamp unit 770 of FIG. 46, which is disposed within enclosure 1002 of fan system 1000; insert portion 1028 further provides circular opening 1034 for mounting a bulb or a lamp unit (not shown). Circular insert or cover 1030 seals opening 1034 through locking engagement with the edges of opening 1034 when no light is installed, and a suitable bulb or lamp unit may have a similar engagement with opening 1034. Referring again to FIG. 57, the structure of fan system 1000 is in many ways similar to fan system 700, but notably different is the structure of enclosure 1002 defining single compartment 1008 having only single motor 1010 and only one blower side impeller 1012 and one vacuum side impeller 1014.
  • Ventilation system [0225] 1036 is configured for removal of odors and the like from within the wash down holes underneath the rim of a toilet bowl as shown in FIG. 59. Ventilation system 1036 may be fitted to an already existing toilet, such as toilet 911 of FIG. 56 or a toilet including toilet tank 1038 shown in dashed lines, or may be provided before the toilet is installed in its desired location. Ventilation system 1036 includes flexible hose 1040 connected to a externally located fan system, such as fan system 1000 shown in FIG. 57, which provides vacuum suction to remove odors and other bacteria from the wash down holes underneath the toilet rim. End 1042 of hose 1040 opposite the connection to the fan system is connected to first end 1044 of female adapter 1046 inserted into opening 1048 in bottom wall 1039 of toilet tank 1038. Even if the toilet is fully installed, a suitable hole may be cut in bottom wall 1039 such that that female adapter 1046 is inserted and ventilation system 1036 attached and installed. The other end, or second end 1050, of female adapter 1046 is connected to lower end 1053 of evacuation pipe 1052 disposed completely within toilet tank 1038. Upper end 1055 of evacuation pipe 1052 is connected to overflow pipe 1054 by a plurality of 90° elbows 1056 and 1058 and small adapter 1060 (shown as a length of pipe), between elbows 1056 and 1058. Overflow pipe 1054 is in fluid communication with flush valve 1062, disposed proximate bottom wall 1039 of toilet tank 1038, through flush pipe 1064. Overflow pipe 1054, flush pipe 1064, and flush valve 1062 may be already existing components in the toilet.
  • In operation, when vacuum suction is produced by externally located fan system [0226] 1000, for example, any odors and/or bacteria residing in the wash down holes of the toilet rim are sucked into ventilation system 1000 through flush valve 1062, overflow pipe 1054, elbows 1056 and 1058 and adapter 1060, evacuation pipe 1052, and then through hose 1040 located externally of toilet tank 1038. When fan system 1000, such as that shown in FIG. 57, is used then vacuum side impeller 1014 provides the necessary vacuum suction for actuation of the ventilation system.
  • In FIG. 60, automatic flush system [0227] 1066 is shown as being mounted to replacement overflow pipe 1068 having bracket 1070 thereon. Replacement overflow pipe 1068 may be placed over a portion of existing overflow pipe 1054, or may be structured such that entire overflow pipe 1054 is replaced. Automatic flush system 1066 includes small servo motor 1072 disposed within rectangular enclosure 1074, which is then mounted to servo bracket 1070 provided on replacement overflow pipe 1068. Pivotably mounted on the exterior of enclosure 1074 and in electrical operative engagement with servomotor 1072 is actuation lever 1076. The opposite end of actuation lever 1076 is connected to flapper clip 1078 and through flapper clip 1078 to flapper chain 1080, which is further connected to flapper 1082 of flush valve 1062, as in known toilet systems. Actuation lever 1076 is movable between a null, or rest, position in which flush valve 1062 is closed and no flushing occurs and a flush position, in which flush valve 1062 opens and the toilet is flushed. In electrical communication with the servomotor is sensing device 1084 disposed externally of the toilet and which is used to detect whether an object is within the sensing range for determination of actuation of automatic flush system 1066.
  • When sensing device [0228] 1084 detects that an object is within the sensing range, automatic flush system 1066 is not actuated, or actuation lever 1076 is in its null position. The sensing range of the sensing device 1084 will be determined by whether sensing device 1084 is an optical sensor which would have a sensing range of the area around the toilet, a weight sensor which would sense if a person was seated upon the toilet, a mechanical or magnetic sensor which would determine if the toilet lid has been lifted and/or replaced. In the embodiment described hereinbelow, sensing device 1084 is an optical sensor and thus senses whether an object, more specifically a person, is within the area of the toilet. Alternatively, sensing device 1084 may be positioned such that the object being sensed is the toilet lid and whether the toilet lid is in a raised or a lowered position. Once sensing device 1084 detects that the object has moved away from its sensing range, servo motor 1072 is actuated and causes actuation lever 1076 to rotate from the null position to a flush position, thereby moving flapper clip 1078 and flapper chain 1080 to raise flapper 1082 and allow the flush of the toilet to occur. Flapper 1082 will then remain open for a predetermined time period, such as, for example approximately ten seconds, to accommodate the flush, and once the predetermined time period has elapsed, servo motor 1072 will then reset actuation lever 1076 to its null position, thereby closing flush valve 1062. Automatic flush system 1066 may be used in conjunction with fan system 1000 of FIG. 57, in which case sensing device 1084 would also send a signal to fan system 1000 to cause the fan to run for another predetermined time period, such as, for example, approximately 90 seconds, after actuation of automatic flush system 1066 for removal of any odors within the system 1066.
  • Automatic flush system [0229] 1066 may also include a manual override device associated with sensing device 1084 such that the manual override may be flipped, or switched, so that the fan will continue to run for a time period longer than the predetermined time period described above, yet still allows toilet 1038 to be flushed automatically through the operation of system 1066. In order to prevent toilet 1038 from overflowing, an overflow sensor may be incorporated within sensing device 1084 such that if an overflow condition is sensed, actuation lever 1076 is moved to its null position and toilet 1038 is unable to be flushed until the overflow condition is corrected. In a similar manner, automatic flushing system 1066 may include an on-off capability wherein actuation lever 1076 is moved to its null position to prevent flushing of the toilet at certain times, such as, for example, when one is cleaning toilet 1038 or immediately after a power outage. Flapper chain 1080 may be equipped with an adjustable ball weight to ensure that flapper 1082 moves rapidly to its closed position and thereby conserve water during the toilet flushing, or the predetermined time period for flushing, as described above, may be adjusted to likewise reduce the amount of water utilized during flushing.
  • Ventilation system [0230] 1086 includes enclosure 1088 for a wash basin, such as a shower, a tub, or a shower and tub combination, as shown in FIG. 61, and includes system 1090 for removing steam or moisture from enclosure 1088; however, only grille 1092 (FIG. 62) of ventilation system 1086 would be visible to a person standing within enclosure 1088. Ventilation system 1086, as shown in FIG. 62, includes manifold body 1094 mounted above shower or tub enclosure 1088 in the ceiling and concealed from view with diffuser grille 1092 being detachably mounted thereto. Manifold body 1094 is substantially cylindrical in shape and includes at least one access plate 1096 for connection of hose or pipe 1098 thereto. When ventilation system 1086 is to be installed, access plate 1096 is removed and one end of hose or pipe 1098 attached to access plate 1096 while the other end of hose or pipe 1096 is connected to suction device 1100 (FIG. 61), or a remote location, for removal of the steam or moisture. Access plate 1096 is then inserted into opening 1095 in body 1094 and secured allowing pipe 1098 to be connected to body 1094. Diffuser grille includes a plurality of inlet openings 1104 and a set of spring or tension clips 1102 formed near the circumference thereof for mounting to manifold body 1094, the use of such clips 1102 enables quick installation of diffuser grille 1092 since one need only to place diffuser grille 1092 and insert clips 1102 and allow clips 1102 to “snap” into a locking position. Inlet openings 1104 are provided such that any steam or moisture produced will be evacuated through inlet openings 1104 and into manifold body 1094 from which the steam and moisture will pass through the hose to suction device 1100 or remote location. Ventilation system 1086 is particularly adapted to be used in conjunction with fan system 1000 of FIG. 57 to facilitate the suction of the steam or moisture through ventilation system 1086 for expulsion to another location.
  • Although systems [0231] 1000, 1036, 1066, and 1086 have been described individually, it is to be noted that the systems may be combined into one larger system for removal of odorous air and bacteria from an entire bathroom area. As stated previously, fan ventilation system 1000 shown in FIG. 57 includes access openings 1004 with removable panels which allow for connection to other systems. Fan ventilation system 1000 may be simultaneously connected to toilet ventilation system 1036 and flush system 1066 of FIGS. 59 and 60 and shower enclosure ventilation system 1086 of FIGS. 61 and 62. Thus, the separate systems may be integrated to support odor removal and mitigation from the toilet bowl, from the area above and surrounding the toilet and wash basin and from within the shower enclosure. Similarly, fan ventilation system 1000 may be connected to several air removal systems in kitchens, nurseries, work areas, or other locations requiring ventilation. Furthermore, single electric motor 1010 of system 1000, and impellers 1012 and 1014, are sized such that all odor removal functions, i.e. creation of vacuum suction to pull the odors from the different areas, may be performed by motor 1010 and impellers 1012 and 1014 to further support the integration of systems 1000, 1036, 1066, and 1086.
  • The systems described above are not only capable of being integrated, but provide easier installation methods. With ventilation system [0232] 1000 of FIG. 57, an installer would first fasten access plates 1005, without any openings, to access openings 1004 which will be facing the joists or equivalent structures, which depending upon the location within the home will be either ceiling or floor joists, place enclosure 1002 between the joists, and secure enclosure 1002 to the joists. Then an installer would attach the necessary conduits to access plates 1005 having the correctly sized apertures and secure the conduits and access plates 1005. Then electrical connections would be made and motor 1010 and impellers 1012 and 1014 would be inserted into enclosure 1002 and connected electrically. Lastly, grille 1024 would be placed over open bottom side 1022 of the enclosure 1002.
  • For shower enclosure ventilation system [0233] 1086 of FIG. 61, hose 1098 is connected to central fan ventilation system 1000 and inserted between joists to a location over shower enclosure 1088. Manifold body 1094 is placed and secured between two joists with the opening oriented toward central ventilation system 1000. Hose 1098 is then pulled through the opening and access plate 1096 is attached to hose 1098 and placed within the opening whereby hose 1098 is securely fixed to body 1094. Lastly, grille 1092 is placed over bottom 1097 (FIG. 62) of manifold body 1094.
  • With toilet odor evacuation and mitigation system [0234] 1036, the toilet tank is emptied and hole 1048 drilled in the bottom of the tank, then female adapter 1046 is inserted to hole 1048 and pipe 1052, and elbows 1056 and 1058, and adapter 1060 connected. Replacement overflow pipe 1068 with servo bracket 1070 placed over overflow pipe 1054 prior to the connection of elbows 1056 and 1058 and the existing small fill tube is then inserted into elbow 1058 connected to overflow pipe 1068. Next hose 1040 is connected to adapter 1046 disposed in hole 1048 in the bottom of the tank and fed into a hole drilled in the drywall and between studs and joists to central ventilation system 1000. Automatic flushing system 1066 may be installed simultaneously with toilet odor evacuation system 1036. A hole may be drilled in the drywall near the back of the tank and electrical gang box 1083 may be inserted in the wall above the tank. Alternatively, electrical gang box 1083 may be inserted in another suitable location wherein sensing device 1084 may sense whether a person is within the vicinity of the toilet. Sensing device 1084 having cable connection 1085 for servo motor 1072 may be inserted into gang box 1083 and cable 1085 threaded between the studs and through the hole that was drilled. Servo motor 1072 may be placed and secured to bracket 1070 on overflow pipe 1068, and actuator lever 1076 connected to flapper chain 1080. Cable 1085 may then be connected to servo motor 1072 by threading it into the toilet tank and servo cover 1074 placed over entire servo motor 1072 for protection. Once all steps have been completed, the entire bathroom odor evacuation system may be installed and operational. Thus, the installation may be done quickly and even in those cases where it is being used as a remodeling replacement being retrofit into a finished bathroom.
  • While this invention has been described as having exemplary structures, the present invention can be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains. [0235]

Claims (42)

What is claimed is:
1. A fan system for ventilating air from at least one interior location in a room characterized by: a fan enclosure having a compartment, said fan enclosure including an inlet opening and an outlet; said inlet opening being disposed at a level lower than a ceiling in the interior location; a motor disposed within said compartment; a fan disposed within said compartment and drivingly connected to said motor, said fan having a vacuum side and a blower side; and an exhaust conduit connected to said outlet, said vacuum side of said fan oriented to pull air from the location through said inlet opening into said fan enclosure, and said blower side of said fan oriented to drive air out of said fan enclosure through said outlet into said exhaust hose for discharge at an exterior location.
2. The fan system for ventilating air of claim 1 further characterized by a grille detachably fixed to said fan enclosure, said grille being disposed below said inlet opening and defining a plurality of openings for receiving air from the location.
3. The fan system for ventilating air of claim 2 characterized in that said grille defines at least one void, said grille further includes at least one detachable insert piece, said insert piece defining a cover for at least a portion of said void.
4. The fan system for ventilating air of claim 1 wherein the room includes a ventilation system for removing steam and moisture from a bathroom including an enclosure for one of a shower, a tub and a shower and tub combination, said ventilation system characterized by a manifold body mounted above the enclosure, a diffuser grille detachably mounted to said manifold body and visible from the enclosure, said diffuser grille having a plurality of inlet openings, and a conduit extending from said manifold body to said fan enclosure compartment.
5. The fan system for ventilating air of claim 4 further characterized in that said manifold body includes a removable access plate, said plate protecting said manifold body during installation thereof.
6. An odor evacuation system for a toilet having a toilet tank and a toilet bowl, the toilet bowl including a rim thereof, the rim having a plurality of holes therein for flow of water from the tank to the bowl, the odor evacuation system characterized by a flush valve in communication with the rim, an overflow pipe in fluid communication with said flush valve, an evacuation pipe attached to and in fluid communication with said overflow pipe, a pipe in flow communication with the evacuation pipe and extending externally of the toilet tank, and a suction device disposed externally of the toilet and having an activated state and a non-activated state, said suction device is disposed such that in said activated state, air within the toilet bowl and rim is removed to said suction device through said flush valve, overflow pipe, evacuation pipe, and externally extending pipe, to remove odors from the bowl and rim.
7. An automatic flushing system for a toilet having a toilet bowl and a toilet tank with a flush valve, the flush valve including a flapper, a flapper clip and a flapper chain connecting the flapper clip and the flapper, an actuation lever attached to said flapper clip, said actuation lever having a flush position and a null position, said automatic flushing system characterized by a sensing device located externally of the toilet and having a sensing range, a motor in electrical communication with said sensing device, and a motor operatively connected to said actuation lever, wherein when said sensing device detects an object in its said sensing range, said actuation lever is in its said null position and upon detection by said sensing device that an object has left said sensing device sensing range, said actuation lever is urged into its said flush position by said motor.
8. An odor evacuation and mitigation system for a bathroom having at least one of a toilet and a shower enclosure, including an odor evacuation system for a toilet having a toilet tank and a toilet bowl including a flush valve in communication with the rim, an overflow pipe in flow communication with said flush valve, an evacuation pipe attached to and in flow communication with said overflow pipe, a conduit in flow communication with the evacuation pipe and extending externally of the toilet tank; and a ventilation system for removing steam and moisture from a bathroom including an enclosure for one of a shower, a tub, and a shower and tub combination, said ventilation system including a manifold body mounted above the enclosure, a diffuser grille detachably mounted to said manifold body and visible from the enclosure, said diffuser grille having a plurality of inlet openings, and a hose extending from said manifold body to and external location, said system characterized by a central evacuation fan system including a fan box having a compartment, said fan box including an inlet opening, an outlet opening, and at least one auxiliary opening, an exhaust hose connected to said outlet opening, at least one conduit connected to said auxiliary opening and a fan disposed in said compartment, wherein when air is drawn into said compartment through said inlet opening and said auxiliary opening thorough said conduit, said fan blowing said air through said outlet opening into said exhaust hose and to an external location.
9. The odor evacuation and mitigation system of claim 8 further characterized by a sensing device located externally of the toilet and having a sensing range, a motor in electrical communication with said sensing device, and an actuation lever operatively connected to said motor and attached to the flapper clip, said actuation lever having a flush position and a null position, wherein when said sensing device detects an object in its said sensing range, said actuation lever is in its said null position and upon detection by said sensing device that an object has left said sensing device sensing range, said actuation lever is urged into its said flush position by said motor.
10. A method of installation of an odor evacuation and mitigation system characterized by inserting a fan box of a central evacuation fan into a ceiling one of prior to installation of drywall and after installation of drywall on the ceiling; threading a conduit into the fan box and connecting it thereto; connecting an external hose to an outside location and to the fan box; and placing a cover on the fan box.
11. The method of claim 10 further characterized by inserting an enclosure for a steam ventilation system into a ceiling over a shower enclosure; and threading a pipe from the enclosure into the fan box and connecting it thereto.
12. The method of claim 10 further characterized by installing an odor evacuation system in a toilet and an externally extending pipe from the toilet; and pulling the externally extending pipe and connecting it to the fan box.
13. A ventilation apparatus for eliminating the odor from a toilet bowl of the type having a toilet bowl with a rim defining a plurality of holes, a water tank with a lid, an overflow pipe having a lower end connected to a discharge conduit and an upper end for receiving the overflow water, the discharge conduit connecting the bowl and the tank, a passageway providing communication between the tank, the discharge conduit and the rim, a flush valve disposed above the discharge conduit, the flush valve having a flapper for opening and closing the passageway to allow the movement of water from the tank to the discharge conduit and the passageway; the ventilation system characterized by a suction device; said hose having a first end and a second end, said second end connected to said suction device; a cylinder sized to fit over the overflow pipe, said cylinder defining a top end and a bottom end, said cylinder being disposed over the overflow pipe with said bottom end slightly above the bottom of the tank creating an annular space between the overflow pipe and said cylinder for water communication from the tank, said cylinder defining a plurality of bores for receiving a plurality of fasteners for securing said cylinder to the overflow pipe.
14. The ventilation apparatus of claim 13 characterized by a plug snugly fitted between said first end of said hose and said upper end of the overflow pipe, said plug defining a plurality of holes for providing air communication between said overflow pipe and said hose, and providing water communication between said annular space s and said overflow pipe.
15. A ventilation apparatus for eliminating the odor from a toilet bowl of the type having a toilet bowl with a rim defining a plurality of holes, a water tank with a lid, an overflow pipe having a lower end open into a discharge conduit and an upper end for receiving overflow water, the discharge conduit connecting the bowl and the tank, a passageway providing communication between the tank, the discharge conduit and the rim, a flush valve disposed above the discharge conduit, the flush valve having a flapper for opening and closing the passageway to allow the movement of water from the tank to the discharge conduit and the passageway; the ventilation apparatus characterized by a suction hose and a suction device, said suction hose having a first end and a second end, said second end connected to said suction device; an air conduit having a hose connecting end connectable to said suction hose, and an air inlet end open into an airspace above the water level in the tank, said air conduit being substantially flat and elbow-shaped, said air conduit being disposed between the tank and the lid such that the lid can be tightly sealed above said air conduit and around the tank; and an elbow adapter having a vertical arm, and a horizontal arm, said vertical arm defining an inlet opening for fitting over the upper end of the overflow pipe, said horizontal arm defining an outlet end disposed above the water level and facing said air inlet end of said air conduit, said elbow adapter defining a channel in air communication with the overflow pipe and said airspace.
16. A fan system for ventilating bathroom air from two locations in a bathroom characterized by: a fan box having a cavity defining a first compartment and a second compartment, said first compartment defining a plurality of first inlet openings for receiving air from a first location, and a second compartment defining a plurality of second inlet openings for receiving air from a second location, said fan box including an outlet opening in air communication with said first and said second compartments; a first fan disposed within said first compartment; a second fan disposed within said second compartment; and an exhaust hose connected to said outlet opening, thus when said first fan operates to pull air from the first location through one of said first inlet openings into said fan box, and said second fan operates to pull air from the second location through one of said second inlet openings into said fan box, and when said first fan and said second fan drive air out of said fan box through said outlet opening into said exhaust hose for discharging at an outside location.
17. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 16 characterized in that said fan box includes at least one side wall hingedly attached to a top wall such that said side wall is pivotable towards said cavity of said fan box.
18. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 16 characterized in that one of said first inlet openings is connected to a ventilation tubing for ventilating air and steam from a bathing facility, and one of said second inlet openings is connected to a suction hose of a ventilation apparatus for ventilating odor from a toilet.
19. The fan system for ventilating bathroom of claim 16 characterized by a first inlet adapter attachable to one of said first inlet openings, said first inlet adapter having a first circular lip for connecting to said ventilation tubing; a second inlet adapter attachable to one of said second inlet openings, said second inlet adapter having a second circular lip for connecting to said suction hose; and an outlet adapter attachable to said outlet opening, said outlet adapter having a third circular lip for connecting to said exhaust hose.
20. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 19 characterized in that said ventilation tubing has a connecting end and an intake end, said connecting end being connected to said second inlet adapter, and said intake end being in air communication with said bathing facility.
21. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 20 characterized in that said intake end includes an intake housing defining a base having an intake opening for receiving air from said bathing facility.
22. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 21 characterized in that said intake housing is a dome.
23. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 22 characterized in that said intake end includes an intake grill for receiving air and steam from said bathing facility snugly fitted over said intake opening.
24. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 16 characterized in that a first shroud for retaining said first fan in said first compartment, and a second shroud for retaining said second fan in said second compartment, said first shroud having a first tract opening and said second shroud having a second tract opening, both said first and said second tract openings being in air communication with said outlet opening and said exhaust hose.
25. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 24 characterized in that said fan box further includes a first electrical outlet for supplying electricity to operate said first and said second fans.
26. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 25 characterized in that said fan box further includes an electrical shield for blocking the steam from interfering with the first electrical outlet, said electrical shield being disposed within said cavity of said fan box, and between said electrical outlet and said first fan and said second fan.
27. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 26 characterized in that said electrical outlet is connected to a switch.
28. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 26 characterized by a cover plate for keeping said first fan and said second fan in place within said fan box, said cover plate being secured to a bottom side of said fan box.
29. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 28 characterized in that said cover plate includes a cover plate fastener for securing said cover plate to the bottom side of said fan box.
30. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 28 further characterized by a grill plate attachable to said cover plate, said grill plate having grill plate at least one fastener for fastening said grill plate to said cover plate.
31. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 30 characterized in that wherein said grill plate defines an insert slot disposed in the middle of said grill plate, and a removable grill insert attachable within said insert slot.
32. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 31 characterized in that said grill plate includes a light unit attachable within said insert slot.
33. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 32 characterized in that said light unit includes an aluminum light bulb reflector plate fitted into said insert slot, a light bulb secured to said reflector plate, said light bulb having a socket connecting to a plug electrically connectable to a second electrical outlet, and a shield for protecting said light bulb secured to said grill plate.
34. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 33 characterized in that said second electrical outlet is connected to a second switch.
35. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 33 characterized in that said second electrical outlet is electrically connected to said first electrical outlet.
36. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 16 characterized in that said fan box is a stacked fan box having said first compartment disposed above said second compartment within said cavity of said stacked fan box.
37. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 36 characterized by a stacking shroud unit insertable through said bottom side and including, a first shroud having a first platform defining a first cavity for receiving and holding said first fan within said first compartment, and a first substantially circular wall having a first tract opening for directing air and steam movement towards said outlet opening; and a second shroud having a second platform defining a second cavity for receiving and holding said second fan within said second compartment, and a second substantially circular wall having a second tract opening for directing air movement towards said outlet opening.
38. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 16 characterized in that said fan box is a side-by-side fan box having said first compartment disposed on the same plane as said second compartment.
39. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 38 characterized in that said fan box further includes a side-by-side shroud unit having: a left shroud having a first platform defining a first cavity for receiving and holding said first fan within said first compartment, and a first substantially circular wall having a first tract opening for directing air and steam movement towards said outlet opening; and a right shroud having a second platform defining a second cavity for receiving and holding said second fan within said second compartment, and a second substantially circular wall having a second tract opening for directing air movement towards said outlet opening.
40. The fan system for ventilating bathroom air of claim 16 characterized in that the fan system includes: a hanger unit attachable to said fan box for hanging said fan box to a beam or any suitable structure, said hanger unit including a hanger plate fastened to said top wall of said fan box, and a plurality of hanger arms, each defining a top end connected to a side end in a substantially right angle, said top end being slidably attached to said hanger plate such that said top end adjustably extending out from each of said side walls of said fan box, each of said side end has an elongated slot for receiving a plurality of hanger fasteners for securing said fan box to a beam or any suitable structure.
41. A fan system for ventilating air from a plurality of locations in a building characterized by: a fan box having a cavity defining a plurality of compartments, each defining an inlet opening for receiving air from one of said plurality of locations, and an outlet opening connected to an exhaust hose; and a plurality of fans, each being disposed within each of said plurality of compartments, thus when said plurality of fans pulls air or steam from said plurality of locations through said inlet opening into each of said plurality of compartments, and when said plurality of fans drives air or steam out of said compartments through said outlet opening into said exhaust hose for releasing to an outside location.
42. A ventilation apparatus for eliminating the odor from a toilet of the type having a toilet bowl with a rim defining a plurality of holes, and a discharge conduit in air communication with and connecting the bowl and a water supply characterized by: an air conduit having a first end and a second end, said air conduit having an air channel connecting said first and second ends; a vacuum connector connecting said first end of said air conduit to the discharge conduit, said vacuum connector defining a plurality of air holes in air communication with said air conduit and the discharge conduit; a suction device; and a suction hose connected at one end to said second end of said air conduit, and connected at an opposite end to said suction device.
US10/164,907 2000-12-20 2002-06-07 Ventilation system for malodorous air removal Abandoned US20020194670A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US09/742,771 US20020073482A1 (en) 2000-12-20 2000-12-20 Toilet system with a ventilation apparatus and an automatic flushing mechanism
PCT/US2001/050232 WO2002061213A2 (en) 2000-12-20 2001-12-20 Toilet system with a ventilation apparatus and an automatic flushing mechanism
WO2CT/US01/50232 2001-12-20
US10/164,907 US20020194670A1 (en) 2000-12-20 2002-06-07 Ventilation system for malodorous air removal

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/164,907 US20020194670A1 (en) 2000-12-20 2002-06-07 Ventilation system for malodorous air removal

Related Parent Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/US2001/050232 Continuation-In-Part WO2002061213A2 (en) 2000-12-20 2001-12-20 Toilet system with a ventilation apparatus and an automatic flushing mechanism

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US20050081285A1 (en) * 2003-04-17 2005-04-21 Mundt Fred S. Ventilated toilet system
GB2418931A (en) * 2004-04-08 2006-04-12 Concept Toilet odour ventilation system
US20100077543A1 (en) * 2008-09-30 2010-04-01 Hofmann Scott E Exhaustible toilet and odor removal system
DE102008038120A1 (en) 2008-08-17 2010-04-08 Scholta, Winfried E. Smell adsorption module for use as container for axially sucked and blown air stream, has bars and grooves formed at inner and outer wall sides of container for switch, battery, sensors, operating elements and other functional elements
US20110155183A1 (en) * 2009-12-29 2011-06-30 Rob Parker Tile Cleanup Apparatus
US8156577B1 (en) * 2009-11-03 2012-04-17 Timothy Teague Aerated bathroom fixture
US20120255110A1 (en) * 2011-04-05 2012-10-11 Chi Kao Ventilation system for toilet bowl
US8795330B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-08-05 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Fistula flow disruptors
US8895891B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-11-25 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of cutting tubular devices
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US9034007B2 (en) 2007-09-21 2015-05-19 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Distal embolic protection devices with a variable thickness microguidewire and methods for their use
US9151023B2 (en) 2011-05-27 2015-10-06 Mueller International, Llc Systems and methods for controlling flushing apparatus and related interfaces
US9179931B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-11-10 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Shape-set textile structure based mechanical thrombectomy systems
US20150376885A1 (en) * 2013-02-07 2015-12-31 Ji Nyeong ROH Apparatus for handling air
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US9314324B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2016-04-19 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Vascular treatment devices and methods
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US20160121955A1 (en) * 2014-10-30 2016-05-05 Yang-Cheng SHIH Heat transfering device
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CN105604159A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-25 温玉友 Flush toilet bowl
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CN105604157A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-25 温玉友 Multifunctional water pumping closestool
EP3190239A1 (en) * 2016-01-05 2017-07-12 Gary Jon Crisp Toilet ventilation apparatus
US10390926B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2019-08-27 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Aspiration devices and methods
US10450733B2 (en) * 2015-08-24 2019-10-22 Kohler Co. Clean toilet and accessories
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US20050081285A1 (en) * 2003-04-17 2005-04-21 Mundt Fred S. Ventilated toilet system
US7162751B2 (en) 2003-04-17 2007-01-16 Mundt Fred S Ventilated toilet system
GB2418931A (en) * 2004-04-08 2006-04-12 Concept Toilet odour ventilation system
US9034007B2 (en) 2007-09-21 2015-05-19 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Distal embolic protection devices with a variable thickness microguidewire and methods for their use
DE102008038120A1 (en) 2008-08-17 2010-04-08 Scholta, Winfried E. Smell adsorption module for use as container for axially sucked and blown air stream, has bars and grooves formed at inner and outer wall sides of container for switch, battery, sensors, operating elements and other functional elements
US20100077543A1 (en) * 2008-09-30 2010-04-01 Hofmann Scott E Exhaustible toilet and odor removal system
US8156577B1 (en) * 2009-11-03 2012-04-17 Timothy Teague Aerated bathroom fixture
US20110155183A1 (en) * 2009-12-29 2011-06-30 Rob Parker Tile Cleanup Apparatus
US8522800B2 (en) * 2009-12-29 2013-09-03 Rob Parker Tile cleanup apparatus
US20120255110A1 (en) * 2011-04-05 2012-10-11 Chi Kao Ventilation system for toilet bowl
US9151023B2 (en) 2011-05-27 2015-10-06 Mueller International, Llc Systems and methods for controlling flushing apparatus and related interfaces
US9957697B2 (en) 2011-05-27 2018-05-01 Mueller International, Llc Systems and methods for controlling flushing apparatus and related interfaces
US10760256B2 (en) * 2013-02-07 2020-09-01 Tae Sik ROH Air treatment device
US20150376885A1 (en) * 2013-02-07 2015-12-31 Ji Nyeong ROH Apparatus for handling air
US8910555B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-12-16 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Non-cylindrical mandrels
US8852227B1 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-10-07 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Woven radiopaque patterns
US9179931B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-11-10 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Shape-set textile structure based mechanical thrombectomy systems
US9833251B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-12-05 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Variably bulbous vascular treatment devices
US9179995B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2015-11-10 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of manufacturing slotted vascular treatment devices
US9901435B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2018-02-27 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Longitudinally variable vascular treatment devices
US9592068B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-03-14 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Free end vascular treatment systems
US8895891B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-11-25 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of cutting tubular devices
US9750524B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2017-09-05 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Shape-set textile structure based mechanical thrombectomy systems
US8904914B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2014-12-09 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of using non-cylindrical mandrels
US8869670B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-10-28 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of manufacturing variable porosity devices
US8932321B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2015-01-13 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Aspiration systems
US8932320B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2015-01-13 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of aspirating thrombi
US20150028005A1 (en) * 2013-07-29 2015-01-29 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Laser cutting systems
US8870901B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-10-28 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Two-way shape memory vascular treatment systems
US8872068B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-10-28 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Devices for modifying hypotubes
US8870910B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-10-28 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of decoupling joints
US8866049B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-10-21 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of selectively heat treating tubular devices
US8863631B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-10-21 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of manufacturing flow diverting devices
US10751159B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2020-08-25 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Systems for aspirating thrombus during neurosurgical procedures
US9314324B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2016-04-19 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Vascular treatment devices and methods
US10463468B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2019-11-05 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Thrombus aspiration with different intensity levels
US10390926B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2019-08-27 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Aspiration devices and methods
US8859934B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-10-14 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods for slag removal
US8845678B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-09-30 Insera Therapeutics Inc. Two-way shape memory vascular treatment methods
US10251739B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2019-04-09 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Thrombus aspiration using an operator-selectable suction pattern
US8816247B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-08-26 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods for modifying hypotubes
US8803030B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-08-12 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Devices for slag removal
US8795330B1 (en) 2013-07-29 2014-08-05 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Fistula flow disruptors
US10335260B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2019-07-02 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of treating a thrombus in a vein using cyclical aspiration patterns
US10342655B2 (en) 2013-07-29 2019-07-09 Insera Therapeutics, Inc. Methods of treating a thrombus in an artery using cyclical aspiration patterns
CN104164910A (en) * 2014-07-22 2014-11-26 苏州边桐传感科技有限公司 Multifunction intelligent household toilet system
US20160121955A1 (en) * 2014-10-30 2016-05-05 Yang-Cheng SHIH Heat transfering device
US10544574B2 (en) 2015-08-24 2020-01-28 Kohler Co. Clean toilet and accessories
US10450733B2 (en) * 2015-08-24 2019-10-22 Kohler Co. Clean toilet and accessories
CN105604158A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-25 温玉友 Flush toilet bowl
CN105569154A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-11 温玉友 Novel water flushing closestool
CN105569153A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-11 温玉友 Multifunctional water closet pan
CN105604157A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-25 温玉友 Multifunctional water pumping closestool
CN105544677A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-04 温玉友 Novel toilet bowl
CN105604159A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-05-25 温玉友 Flush toilet bowl
CN105421556A (en) * 2015-12-17 2016-03-23 温玉友 Clean type flush toilet bowl
EP3190239A1 (en) * 2016-01-05 2017-07-12 Gary Jon Crisp Toilet ventilation apparatus
US10564653B2 (en) 2018-04-13 2020-02-18 Mueller International, Llc Flushing verification and management system

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