US20050273919A1 - Adjustable tank lever - Google Patents

Adjustable tank lever Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050273919A1
US20050273919A1 US11/133,577 US13357705A US2005273919A1 US 20050273919 A1 US20050273919 A1 US 20050273919A1 US 13357705 A US13357705 A US 13357705A US 2005273919 A1 US2005273919 A1 US 2005273919A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
toilet
joint
lever
lever arm
hinge
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Abandoned
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US11/133,577
Inventor
Viorel Berlovan
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Moen Inc
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Moen Inc
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Priority to US11/133,577 priority patent/US20050273919A1/en
Assigned to MOEN INCORPORATED reassignment MOEN INCORPORATED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: BERLOVAN, VIOREL
Publication of US20050273919A1 publication Critical patent/US20050273919A1/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

Abstract

An adjustable toilet lever mechanism that can be easily configured so that it can be mounted to various locations on a toilet for use with toilets of varying design. The toilet lever mechanism is capable of being positioned on various locations on the toilet tank and still being properly positioned to interact with the flush valve of the toilet and provide adequate stroke for the operation of the flush valve. Multiple embodiments of the adjustable toilet lever mechanism are contemplated that can be can be adjusted in the horizontal plane, the vertical plane, or both and may be adjustable at one or more points along the toilet lever mechanism.

Description

    RELATED APPLICATION
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/521,550 for ADJUSTABLE TANK LEVER filed May 20, 2004, the entire disclosure of which is fully incorporated herein by reference.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The present invention relates generally to a toilet lever mechanism. More particularly, the present invention relates to an adjustable toilet lever mechanism that can be configured so that it can be mounted to various locations on a toilet in order to be used with toilets of varying design.
  • Toilet lever mechanisms are used to open the flush valve of toilets, thus allowing the water stored in the toilet tank to enter the bowl of the toilet and cause the toilet to flush. Typically, toilet lever mechanisms are mounted to either the front or one of the sides of the toilet tank and include a rod that extends into the toilet tank and is connected to the flush valve of the toilet by a chain or other connector. When the handle of the toilet tank lever mechanism is turned by a user, the rod extending within the toilet tank rises and pulls the flush valve of the toilet upward, thereby flushing the toilet. Due to the configuration and location of the components of toilet flushing mechanisms, separate, differently configured toilet tank lever mechanisms are used when the toilet lever mechanism is mounted to the front of the tank as opposed to one of the sides of the tank.
  • It is desirable to develop a single toilet lever mechanism that is capable of being adjusted so that it can be mounted on various locations of a toilet. It is also desirable to develop a toilet lever mechanism that is quickly and easily adjustable in such a manner to allow for the quick mechanism of various toilet designs.
  • SUMMARY
  • Accordingly, the present invention provides an adjustable toilet lever mechanism that can be easily configured so that it can be mounted to various locations on a toilet for use with toilets of varying design. In one embodiment, the toilet lever includes a lever arm with one or more joints.
  • Numerous other advantages and features of the present invention will become readily apparent from the following detailed description of the invention and the embodiments thereof, from the claims and from the accompanying drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The toilet lever mechanism of the present invention may be more readily understood by reference to the following drawings. While certain embodiments are shown as illustrative examples of the toilet lever mechanism, the scope of this application should not be construed as limited to these illustrative examples.
  • FIG. 1 is another perspective view of one embodiment of the toilet lever mechanism of the present invention mounted to the side wall of a toilet tank;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the toilet lever mechanism of the present invention mounted to the side wall of a toilet tank shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3A is a top plan view of the arm mechanism of the toilet lever mechanism shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3B is a front elevation view of the arm mechanism of the toilet lever mechanism shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3C is a perspective view of the arm mechanism of the toilet lever mechanism shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 4A is a top plan view of the toilet lever mechanism of FIG. 1 mounted to the front of the toilet tank;
  • FIG. 4B is a top plan view of the toilet lever mechanism of FIG. 1 mounted to the corner of the toilet tank; and
  • FIG. 4C is a top plan view of the toilet lever mechanism of FIG. 1 mounted to the side of the toilet tank.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • While this invention is susceptible of embodiment in many different forms, there are shown in the drawings and will be described herein in detail specific embodiments thereof with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the specific embodiments illustrated.
  • The present invention relates to a toilet lever mechanism, in particular, to an adjustable toilet lever mechanism that can be configured so that it can be mounted to various locations on a toilet for use with toilets of varying design. The invention is applicable to toilet lever mechanisms of varying construction. FIG. 1 illustrates a toilet lever mechanism 100 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. As shown in FIG. 1, the toilet lever assembly 100 generally includes a handle 102, a mounting portion 104, and a lever arm assembly 106.
  • The toilet lever assembly 100 includes a handle 102. The handle 102 is typically formed out of a metal although other suitable materials, such as plastic may also be used. As shown in FIG. 1, the handle 102 of the illustrated embodiment has an arm portion 108 that protrudes from a central hub 110. In the illustrated embodiment, the central hub 110 includes a flange 112 that abuts against the surface of the toilet tank. However, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the handle 102 could be shaped in many different ways, and the present invention is not limited to the shape or configuration of the handle 102 as shown in FIG. 1.
  • The toilet lever mechanism 100 also includes a mounting portion 104. The mounting portion 104 extends from the handle 102 and protrudes through a portion of the toilet tank. The mounting portion 104 includes a shaft 114 and a fastener 116. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the mounting portion 104 of the illustrated embodiment includes a shaft 114 that has a threaded portion 118 and an escutcheon 120. The fastener 116 of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 is a nut 116. The shaft 114 and nut 116 are typically formed out of a metal, such as brass, although other suitable materials, such as other metals or plastic may also be used. The shaft 114 and its threaded portion 118 extend from the handle 102 and protrude through the wall of the toilet tank.
  • The escutcheon 120 of the mounting portion 104 of the illustrated embodiment abuts against the outer wall of the toilet tank and obscures the hole in the toilet tank wall from view. The escutcheon 120 is an optional component and may be either a unitary piece with the handle or it may be a separate component. The nut 116 is threaded onto the threaded portion 118 of the shaft 114 that protrudes through the wall of the toilet tank. Thus, the wall of the toilet tank is located between the handle 102 and the fastener 116. In this manner, the handle 102 is mounted to the wall of the toilet tank and is able to rotate the shaft 114 of the mounting portion 104.
  • It should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the mounting portion 104 could have many different configurations. The handle 102 and the mounting portion 104 could be of unitary construction, or the mounting portion 104 could be formed separately from the handle 102 and subsequently attached to the handle 102. In one possible embodiment, the handle 102 could include a rod that extends through the wall of the toilet tank and the mounting portion 104 could be a threaded sleeve with an escutcheon 120, which the rod of the handle passes through. In addition, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the components of the mounting portion 104 could also vary greatly. For example, the shaft 114 of the mounting portion 104 need not be threaded. Also, the fastener 116 could simply be a cotter pin or clamp that is affixed to the mounting portion 104 and secures the handle 102 to the wall of the toilet tank.
  • The toilet lever mechanism 100 also includes a lever arm assembly 106. As shown in FIG. 1, the lever arm assembly 106 includes a first lever arm portion 122 and a second lever arm portion 124. The lever arm portions 122, 124 are formed out of a metal, such as brass or stainless steel, although other suitable materials, such as other metals or plastic may also be used. Additionally, the lever arm assembly 106 may include more than two portions. For example, the lever arm assembly 106 may include a third lever arm portion that is connected at a joint to the second lever arm portion 124 and is movable relative to the second lever arm portion 124.
  • The first lever arm portion 122 includes an attachment portion 126 that is used to attach the first arm to the mounting portion 104 or a portion of the handle 102 that protrudes through the toilet tank wall. In the illustrated embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the attachment portion 126 is a cylindrical sleeve that slides onto the shaft 114 of the mounting portion 104 and is secured onto the shaft by a screw 128. Optionally, a receiving hole could be defined in the shaft 114 of the mounting portion 104 to accept the screw 128 and further secure the first lever arm portion 122 to the mounting portion 104.
  • As mentioned previously, the handle 102 could include a rod that passes through the wall of the toilet tank with a mounting portion 104 that is subsequently secured to the rod. In this embodiment, the first lever arm portion 122 could be attached directly to the rod of the handle 102. In the illustrated embodiment, the first lever arm portion 122 projects outward from the mounting portion 104 at an orientation that is generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis “X” of the mounting portion 104. However, the orientation of the first lever arm portion 122 with respect to the mounting portion 104 could vary greatly.
  • A hinge receiving opening is defined within one end of each of the first and second lever arm portions 122, 124. A plurality of flush valve chain openings 132 are defined within the second lever arm portion 124. One end of a chain, string, or other similar connector is attached to the flush valve chain openings 132. The other end of the chain, string, or other similar connector is then attached to the flush valve of the toilet. In this manner the movement of the second lever arm portion 124 urges the flush valve to open or allows it to close. The second lever arm portion 124 of the illustrated embodiment shown in FIG. 1 includes three flush valve chain openings 132 spaced axially along the length of the second lever arm portion 124, however, different numbers and configurations of flush valve chain openings could be used.
  • The lever arm assembly includes a joint 134 that passes through the hinge receiving openings of the first and second lever arm portions 122, 124. In the illustrated embodiment, the joint 134 is a hinge. The joint 134 may be any mechanism which allows the first and second lever arm portions 122, 124 to move, in any direction, relative to one another. The second lever arm portion 124 is thereby hingeably linked to the first lever arm portion 122 and is capable of rotating about the hinge 134 while the first lever arm portion 122 remains stationary. In the illustrated embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the hinge 134 is a screw that passes through the hinge receiving openings of the first and second lever arm portions 122, 124.
  • The joint 134 can be adjustable, lockable, or both. The hinge 134 of FIG. 1 is capable of being loosened, or otherwise disengaged, so that the second lever arm portion 124 can be freely rotated about the hinge 134. The hinge 134 can also be locked, however, to prevent the second lever arm portion 124 from rotating about the hinge 134 relative to the first lever arm portion 122. In this manner the orientation of the second lever arm portion 124 can be adjusted and locked once it is in its desired position so it will remain in that position.
  • It should be apparent to one skilled in the art, that the hinge 134 could be configured differently than the hinge 134 shown in the illustrated embodiment and many other fasteners could be used as the hinge 134, such as a cotter pin or nut and bolt. In addition, the hinge 134 could also include a locking washer, nut, or other component that ensures that the hinge 134 locks securely when desired. While the illustrated embodiment only includes first and second lever arm portions 122, 124, alternative embodiments could include additional lever arms that are linked together in a similar manner as the illustrated embodiment. This would allow for additional adjustability of the present invention.
  • The toilet lever mechanism 100 is mounted to a toilet tank wall by inserting the mounting portion 104 through an opening defined within the toilet tank wall. The fastener 116 of the mounting portion 104 is then tightened down onto the shaft 114 of the mounting portion. This mounting method allows the handle 102 to rotate the shaft 114 of the mounting portion 104 relative to the wall of the toilet tank. The lever arm assembly 106 is then attached to the mounting portion 104 or other portion of the handle 102 that protrudes into the toilet tank. As the handle 102 is moved outside of the tank, the first lever arm portion 122 located inside of the tank moves accordingly. The first lever arm portion 122 then, in turn, drives the second lever arm portion 124 to move. As the second lever arm portion 124 moves upward it pulls on the chain or other connector that it is attached to and thereby lifts the flush valve of the toilet causing the toilet to flush.
  • Due to the hinge 134 between the first and second lever arm portions 122, 124, the second lever arm portion 124 can be adapted to activate the flush valve regardless of whether the toilet lever mechanism 100 is mounted to the front wall or a side wall of a generally rectangular toilet tank or if it is mounted to a non-rectangular toilet tank. Generally, if the toilet lever mechanism 100 is mounted to the front wall of a toilet tank, the second lever arm portion 124 will need to extend into the toilet tank with an orientation that is generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis X of the mounting portion to properly activate the flush valve.
  • Conversely, if the toilet lever mechanism is mounted to the side wall of the toilet tank, the second lever arm portion 124 will need to extend into the toilet tank with an orientation that is generally parallel to the longitudinal axis X of the mounting portion. In addition the second lever arm portion 124 is capable of being adjusted within a generally 180° range of motion within the toilet tank. This allows for the toilet lever mechanism 100 to be mounted nearly anywhere on the toilet tank, whether it be a rectangular or non-rectangular toilet tank, and still properly activate the flush valve. In general, the only requirement on the size and orientation of the lever arms is that they provide adequate clearance from the tank to allow for flushing.
  • While the second lever arm portion 124 of the lever arm assembly 106 of the illustrated embodiment is only capable of moving within a horizontal plane, the hinge 134 could be adapted to also allow the second lever arm portion 124 to move within a vertical plane as well. The hinge 134 of a vertically adjustable lever can be the same configuration as the horizontally adjustable lever or it could be designed differently. Optionally, the vertical hinge can include a locking mechanism, similar to the optional locking mechanism of the horizontal hinge. As such, the tank lever of the present invention can be adjusted in the horizontal plane, the vertical plane, or both and may be adjustable at one or more points along the lever arm. This allows the tank lever to be mounted in various locations along the tank, to be manipulated around interfering objects, to be positioned such as to allow for appropriate interaction with the flush valve, and to be positioned such as to provide the adequate stroke to operate the flush valve.
  • Since the toilet lever mechanism of the present invention can be adapted to be mounted on toilets of varying designs as shown in FIGS. 4A, 4B and 4C, it saves both time and money in the initial assembly of toilets. In addition, the adjustability of the toilet lever permits it to be used effectively as a replacement part for toilets of varying design and structure. Further, it allows for the lever to be positioned on various locations on the toilet tank and still be properly positioned to interact with the flush valve and provide adequate stroke for the operation of the flush valve.
  • The above description of some of the embodiments of the present invention has been given by way of example. From the disclosure given, those skilled in the art will not only understand the present invention and its attendant advantages, but will also find apparent various changes and modifications to the structures and methods disclosed. It is sought, therefore, to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims, and equivalents thereof.

Claims (27)

1. A toilet lever arm comprising:
a first portion; and
a second portion connected to said first portion at a joint;
wherein said joint allows said second portion to move relative to said first portion.
2. The toilet lever arm of claim 1, wherein the joint comprises a hinge joint and a hinge pin.
3. The toilet lever arm of claim 1, wherein the joint is a lockable joint.
4. The toilet lever arm of claim 3, wherein the lockable joint is a lockable hinge comprising a hinge joint, a threaded hinge pin and a locking washer.
5. The toilet lever arm of claim 1, wherein said second portion is operable to rotate about the joint within a plane horizontal to said first portion.
6. The toilet lever arm of claim 1, wherein said second portion is operable to rotate about the joint within a plane vertical to said first portion.
7. The toilet lever arm of claim 1, further comprising a third portion connected to said second portion by a second joint, wherein said second joint allows said third portion to move relative to said second portion.
8. The toilet lever arm of claim 1, further comprising at least one flush valve chain opening disposed in said second portion.
9. The toilet lever arm of claim 7, further comprising at least one flush valve chain opening disposed in said third portion.
10. A toilet lever comprising:
a handle;
a mounting portion;
a lever arm having a first portion and a second portion, said second portion being connected to said first portion at a joint;
wherein said joint allows said second portion to move relative to said first portion.
11. The toilet lever of claim 10, wherein the mounting portion comprises a shaft and a fastener.
12. The toilet lever of claim 10, further comprising an escutcheon.
13. The toilet lever of claim 10, wherein the joint comprises a hinge joint and a hinge pin.
14. The toilet lever of claim 10, wherein the joint is a lockable joint that can be locked to prevent said second portion from moving relative to said first portion.
15. The toilet lever of claim 14, wherein the lockable joint is a lockable hinge comprising a hinge joint, a threaded hinge pin and a locking washer.
16. The toilet lever of claim 10, wherein at least one flush valve chain opening is defined within said second portion.
17. The toilet lever of claim 10, wherein said first portion is defined by a central axis and said second portion rotates about the joint within a horizontal plane relative to the central axis.
18. The toilet lever of claim 10, wherein said first portion is defined by a central axis and said second portion rotates about the joint within a vertical plane relative to the central axis.
19. A toilet comprising:
a toilet lever comprising a handle, a mounting portion, and a lever arm; said lever arm having a first portion and a second portion, said second portion being connected to said first portion at a joint;
wherein said joint allows said second portion to move relative to said first portion.
20. The toilet of claim 19, wherein the joint comprises a hinge joint and a hinge pin.
21. The toilet of claim 19, wherein the joint is a lockable joint.
22. The toilet of claim 21, wherein the lockable joint is a lockable hinge comprising a hinge joint, a threaded hinge pin and a locking washer.
23. The toilet of claim 19, wherein said second portion is operable to rotate about the joint within a plane horizontal to said first portion.
24. The toilet of claim 19, wherein said second portion is operable to rotate about the joint within a plane vertical to said first portion.
25. The toilet of claim 19, further comprising a third portion connected to said second portion by a second joint, wherein said second joint allows said third portion to move relative to said second portion.
26. The toilet of claim 19, further comprising at least one flush valve chain opening disposed in said second portion.
27. The toilet of claim 25, further comprising at least one flush valve chain opening disposed in said third portion.
US11/133,577 2004-05-20 2005-05-20 Adjustable tank lever Abandoned US20050273919A1 (en)

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Cited By (7)

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US20060225196A1 (en) * 2005-04-12 2006-10-12 Li-Fen Yang Adjustable link mechanism for tank of toilets
US20070240256A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2007-10-18 Brasstech, Inc. Universal toilet tank lever
US9169627B2 (en) 2010-08-16 2015-10-27 Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp. Decorative flush lever
US9469980B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-10-18 Fluidmaster, Inc. Click fit toilet flush handle lever assembly
US9932729B1 (en) * 2017-02-02 2018-04-03 Alexander Yeh Industry Co., Ltd. Control handle module available for toilets of different specifications
US10077548B2 (en) * 2016-12-27 2018-09-18 Alexander Yeh Industry Co. Ltd. Toilet tank lever for different toilets
US10233624B1 (en) * 2018-03-13 2019-03-19 So-Mei Huang Toilet tank handle assembly

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US20060225196A1 (en) * 2005-04-12 2006-10-12 Li-Fen Yang Adjustable link mechanism for tank of toilets
US20070240256A1 (en) * 2006-04-17 2007-10-18 Brasstech, Inc. Universal toilet tank lever
US7861330B2 (en) 2006-04-17 2011-01-04 Brasstech, Inc. Universal toilet tank lever
US9169627B2 (en) 2010-08-16 2015-10-27 Liberty Hardware Mfg. Corp. Decorative flush lever
US9469980B2 (en) 2013-03-15 2016-10-18 Fluidmaster, Inc. Click fit toilet flush handle lever assembly
US10077548B2 (en) * 2016-12-27 2018-09-18 Alexander Yeh Industry Co. Ltd. Toilet tank lever for different toilets
US9932729B1 (en) * 2017-02-02 2018-04-03 Alexander Yeh Industry Co., Ltd. Control handle module available for toilets of different specifications
US10233624B1 (en) * 2018-03-13 2019-03-19 So-Mei Huang Toilet tank handle assembly

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