US20090307831A1 - Odor-free toilet - Google Patents

Odor-free toilet Download PDF

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US20090307831A1
US20090307831A1 US12/157,648 US15764808A US2009307831A1 US 20090307831 A1 US20090307831 A1 US 20090307831A1 US 15764808 A US15764808 A US 15764808A US 2009307831 A1 US2009307831 A1 US 2009307831A1
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air
toilet
valve
bypass
bowl
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US12/157,648
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Yehezkel Shahar
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Yehezkel Shahar
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    • 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
    • YGENERAL TAGGING OF NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS; GENERAL TAGGING OF CROSS-SECTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES SPANNING OVER SEVERAL SECTIONS OF THE IPC; TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC CROSS-REFERENCE ART COLLECTIONS [XRACs] AND DIGESTS
    • Y10TECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER USPC
    • Y10TTECHNICAL SUBJECTS COVERED BY FORMER US CLASSIFICATION
    • Y10T29/00Metal working
    • Y10T29/49Method of mechanical manufacture
    • Y10T29/49716Converting

Abstract

An odor extracting system for a toilet bowl of a toilet pedestal, coupleable to a water supply via a flush conduit leading to flush outlets under a rim of the bowl; the bowl being coupleable to a sewage pipe via a U shaped trap; the odor extracting system comprising: an air bypass extending substantially through the pedestal, the air bypass for bypassing the U shaped trap, that is coupled to air intake ports around the toilet bowl, and to the sewage pipe downstream of the U shaped trap; an air pump for pumping air and vapors out of toilet bowl to sewage pipe via the air bypass, and a light weight air valve upstream of the air pump, the air valve to seal the air bypass when said pump is not in use to prevent escape of smells from the sewage pipe to the toilet bowl; said system further comprising a sealing lid coupled to the toilet pedestal, allowing access to the air valve and air pump, whilst preventing escape of odors from the bypass.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to providing a toilet including an odor extracting system for removing odors.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Human excrement smells unpleasant and, unless carefully disposed of, transmits diseases. A major development in the disposal of human excrement was Sir Thomas Crapper's water closet, which has hardly changed unto this day.
  • Essentially, excrement is deposited into a bowl of water coupled to a sewage pipe by a U shaped tube. The sudden emptying of a large quantity of water into the bowl causes the contents thereof to be flushed through the U tube into the sewage pipe. The U tube remains full of water and prevents noxious smells from the sewage pipe from permeating back into the water closet.
  • Unfortunately, users of water closets or toilets, themselves, may release quantities of gases together with waste products. Additionally, if the toilet is not flushed frequently, as may be the case during water shortages, and the like, or until flushed, the contents thereof may release foul smells into the air within the generally small confines of the toilet.
  • Preferably, toilet rooms should be well ventilated with a window to the outside. In practice, this is not always possible, and often, to save space, toilets are positioned under staircases and in other places, where windows are not possible. An alternative solution is to provide a duct to the outside, and to use an extractor fan to pump air into such a duct. Such a duct is usually positioned in or near the ceiling. For privacy, toilet windows are usually small and positioned high up as well. The problem with both windows and such extractor fans is that the gases have to diffuse, typically by Brownian motion, throughout the small confines of the toilet. In consequence thereof, such gases may be inhaled by users. Particularly in public places where the number of users of toilets is large, windows or extractor fans of the types discussed hereabove are not ideal solutions.
  • It will be noted that pot-pourri, sprays and other, so called, air fresheners, merely disguise the smells and do not prevent inhalation of gases, odors and possibly air-borne germs.
  • The above problem has been recognized in the past, and many solutions have been proposed.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,361,422 to Vincent titled “Toilet ventilating system” describes a toilet ventilating system for use with a bowl incorporating a sewer line connection and including an upstanding vent conduit leading from the bowl rim outlets to an elevated cross over in the water storage tank and then dropping downwardly to form an exhaust conduit connected with the sewer connection. A centrifugal fan having a flow rate of 60 cubic feet per minute is incorporated in the vent conduit and a trap valve is incorporated in the cross over for selectively opening and closing communication between the vent conduit and the exhaust conduit. The trap valve incorporates a floating cylinder, the positioning of which is controlled by water pumped from an elevated reservoir through a positive displacement pump. A controller is provided for controlling the positive displacement pump to open the trap valve, actuation of the centrifugal fan and closure of the trap valve, deactivation of the fan and actuation of the flush valve.
  • The system is designed for use with monoblock type toilets, and has a relatively complicated mechanism for venting odors to the sewage line after the u shaped trap.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,715,543 to Sim, titled “Toilet assembly having an automatic ventilation system”, describes a toilet assembly having an automatic ventilation system which includes a high-powered suction member, an innovative motion sensor, a siphonic action member, and discharging member for objectionable odor. While the user sits on the toilet seat ring, the objectionable odor is effectively ventilated. When the user stands up and pushes a flush push button, the toilet assembly is effectively flushed.
  • The mechanism described includes sensors and electromagnets and is complicated and not too reliable.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,179,738 to Sowards, titled “R. V. toilet venting system”, relates to a remotely operable exhaust blower that is operatively associated with the upper discharge end of the vent pipe of a recreational vehicle holding tank. A vent line including an inlet end and an outlet end is provided with its outlet end opening downwardly into a closed passage which couples the waste outlet of the toilet with the inlet of the holding tank. The inlet end of the vent line is communicated with the flushing water supply passage for the toilet bowl through the utilization of a float-type liquid flow preventing valve which allows downstream flow of odors and gases therethrough, prevents downstream flow of liquid under pressure therethrough and prevents upstream flow of gases therethrough in the absence of water pressure in the flushing water supply pipe upstream from the valve.
  • The system described by Sowards is complicated and ugly. It requires an under-floor tank and has external piping that is difficult to keep clean, particularly when used by younger males with poor aim.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,345,617 to Jahner, titled “Toilet seat air freshener”, describes a toilet seat assembly for drawing in noxious toilet air, filtering and refreshing the air, and returning the treated air to the toilet area. The toilet seat includes internally formed intake and exhaust ports which are each provided with respective intake and exhaust apertures. The intake apertures are arranged around the inner periphery of the seat to point towards the center of the toilet and the exhaust apertures are arranged around the outer periphery of the seat. An air treatment assembly is connected to the ports and is operable to draw air in through the intake apertures, pass the air through both a charcoal filter and a deodorant filter, and exhaust the air through the exhaust apertures in the toilet seat. An alternate embodiment of the present invention includes a heater assembly to warm the air prior to its exhaust.
  • The solution described is advantageous in that everything is coupled to the toilet seat and can be retrofitted onto a wide range of standard toilets. However, the solution is complicated and inherently unreliable. An air treatment assembly box is provided to the side and below the position where the bowl and tank are joined. Conduit pipes run along the seam coupling the bowl and tank. Urine from males with poor aim will tend to run along the outside of the conduits to the box.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,369,813 to Goddard, titled “Self-contained toilet venting system”, describes a self-contained toilet ventilation system for retrofitting to an existing toilet installation of the type comprising a bowl, a water tank attached to the bowl, a tank interior air volume disposed within the tank, a bowl interior volume disposed within the bowl, and an overflow pipe connecting the tank interior air volume to the bowl interior volume. The system comprises an odor removing filter for reducing airborne odors, a motive fan for forcing air from the bowl interior air volume, through the overflow pipe, through the tank interior air volume, through the odor removing filter, and out of the system, and a mounting structure for housing the odor removing filter and the motive fan, the mounting structure being disposed on an upper edge of the water tank.
  • The solution described includes a complicated mechanism within the water tank and a motion sensor for detecting someone sitting on the toilet seat.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,928,666 to Schaffer, titled “Toilet with self-contained ventilation system”, describes a ventilation system that is self contained on a toilet. The ventilation system has an enlarged vent pipe located in the water tank that communicates with the upper rim ducts of the toilet bowl. The vent pipe extends out of the water tank and reenters the toilet via the drain channel at a location downstream of the water trap. The vent pipe has a float valve in the water tank to prevent the tank from overflowing. A fan in the vent pipe exhausts the air from the toilet bowl; a flapper valve on the vent pipe end acts as a one-way valve preventing the flush from entering the exhaust duct.
  • The system has many advantages. It has several disadvantages however. It requires extensive alternation to the conventional flushing mechanism, and is inherently unreliable. Although providing a solution for monoblock toilets with the bowl and tank in a single unit, the system is inappropriate for toilets with concealed tanks hidden within the wall, such as are particularly popular in public conveniences.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,173,453 to Shahar (the inventor of the present invention), titled “Toilet venting system”, describes a system for venting a toilet comprising a toilet bowl fitted with a discharge outlet at a lower portion of the toilet bowl connected to a sewer line, and an inlet for flushing water that is connected to a water cistern via a flushing tube and an exhaust line connected at a first end to the sewer line, and its second end being in a flow communication with the toilet bowl via the flushing tube. The exhaust line is fitted with an electrically operated exhaust fan adapted to generate flow in direction towards the sewer line, and a valve member located intermediate the exhaust fan and the flushing tube. The valve member prevents flow in direction from the sewer line and further preventing water flow in direction from the flushing tube towards the exhaust fan. Switching apparatus is provided for activating the exhaust fan to excite gas flow from the toilet bowl towards the sewer line.
  • The system described provides a box like unit that is connected to the down pipe coupling a raised tank to the toilet bowl. The system though reliable, is unaesthetic since it modifies the external appearance of the toilet.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,584,620 to Reutov, titled “Detachable toilet ventilation system”, describes an exhaust head mounted detachably to a toilet side that includes a collection portion that extends inward toward the toilet bowl between the toilet base and toilet seat to collect toilet gases. The head conforms to the shape of the toilet base with a thin profile as it proceeds rearward along the toilet base from the collection portion. An inconspicuous lavatory outlet duct runs along the lavatory wall and ceiling to provide fluid communication between the flexible tube and the lavatory vent. A flexible tube that bends to allow the head to be removed from the toilet for cleaning connects the head to the outlet duct. Typically, the head is attached by means of a mild magnet attached with adhesive to the toilet base side and a matching ferromagnetic material on the head aligned with the magnet. A vent insert, to which the lavatory vents are connected, is provided for installation between a preexisting room vent cover and a building duct for closing the vent upon command. To close the insert slots, a battery-operated solenoid shifts a slotted cover plate between an open position and a closed position in which the insert covers the plate slots.
  • The system described requires provision of an external vent and coupling thereto. This makes the system not applicable to every location.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,804,837 to Guess, Sr., titled “Odor transporter system for a toilet bowl” describes an odor transporter system for a toilet bowl, which comprises a box container hung on the rear wall of and inside the flush tank having an air/water valve hole in its front wall, and containing a tee connector. One horizontal tube exits from the tee connector to accept water from the conventional water feed valve. The second horizontal tube feeds into a reservoir mounted on a valve which is open on top and attached to an arm of a ball float. The third vertical tube passes down into the water overflow pipe inside the box container. A nylon cord attached to the side of the valve body passes through a ring located at the bottom of the box container to the flushing lever. The high vacuum for exhausting the foul air is created by a powerful air handler apparatus connected externally outside the toilet room, and controlled by the conventional wall mounted light/fan switch or a remote RF switch.
  • The solution described is a fairly complicated system situated inside the water tank of a toilet. This requires the tank to be larger than would otherwise be the case, or to have a reduced capacity, reducing the effectiveness of the flushing thereof.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,928,666 to Hipponsteel, titled “Apparatuses for ventilating and deodorizing air” describes a system for accomplishing the task of removing foul air, in which the malodor ventilation apparatus has attachment members such as suction cups or a hook for easy installation in different locations. The apparatus has an inlet port for the intake of objectionable air and an outlet port to expel scented refreshed- air. Air is drawn into the inlet port by a motorized fan that creates a pressure differential. The objectionable air is drawn through a porous filter. The porous filter is scented by several drops of a liquid scent. This scent is volatized into the malodorous air, changing the air into a pleasing aroma. The scented air is expelled and dissipated through an outlet port of the apparatus. Alternately, the apparatus can comprise a vent duct coupled to exhaust air from the outlet port.
  • The product described is multipurpose, for use with cat litters, toilets or rubbish bins, for example. When the external unsightly unit is coupled to a toilet bowl, the result is inelegant. It will also be appreciated that all systems using filters require purchasing and replenishing the filters. Such systems with active charcoal filters also require frequent maintenance.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 5,257,421 to Rose titled “Air fresh toilet” describes how odors associated with the use of toilets are reduced by providing a water driven positive ventilation fan which pumps undesirable odor bearing gases from the toilet bowl and discharges them into the sewer through an auxiliary passage built into the toilet base. Operation of the ventilated toilet is automatic. Water valves coupled to the toilet seat and lid hinges turn on the fan's water turbine when the lid is raised and weight placed on the seat. The fan turbine shuts off automatically when this condition is no longer satisfied. An automatic blocking valve is provided in the auxiliary passage to prevent back-streaming of sewer gas. This gas blocking valve opens automatically when the fan is in operation and closes when the fan shuts off. No electrical connections are required.
  • A water-driven motor is described. The actuation is provided by someone sitting on the toilet seat. The effectiveness of the system is dependent on the user actually sitting on the seat and not merely squatting thereabove as is common for women to do to avoid germs, thrush infection and the like. The mechanism is fairly complicated and thus inherently unreliable.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,370,703 to Kim et al. titled “Odorless toilet” describes a toilet that includes a fan configured to draw gases from the toilet bowl into the sewer line. The toilet also includes a tank assembly configured so that the tank contains a low water volume prior to the user sitting on the toilet seat, and a high water volume when and after the user sits on the toilet seat. The tank assembly includes a pivoting trap cover comprising a container with an open lower end. The trap cover has an interior separator, comprising a wall. In a lowered position of the trap cover, the separator establishes a water trap or seal between an interior chamber of the trap cover and an exhaust conduit from the tank to the sewer line. In a raised position of the trap cover, the separator permits air flow from the interior chamber of the trap cover into the exhaust conduit and down to the sewer. The tank assembly also includes a float valve configured to permit water to flow into the tank from a water supply. When a person is not sitting on the toilet seat, the float valve permits a low water volume in the tank. When a person sits on the seat, a fan is activated to increase air pressure in the trap cover, and/or to decrease air pressure inside a float of the float valve, via a Venturi tube. The adjusted air pressure causes the float valve to open to permit a high water volume in the tank. The increased air pressure in the trap cover also causes the trap cover to rise, thereby drawing toilet bowl gases into the exhaust conduit.
  • The time period during which the extraction fan operates is thus fixed by the time taken to fill the tank. This situation has a number of drawbacks. It has no value where someone enters the toilet cubicle merely for the purpose of breaking wind. If a man urinates into the bowl or someone vomits thereinto, they will be unable to flush and the tank only fills up in response to someone sitting thereupon. Many women do not actually sit on the seat of public lavatories for fear of infection, and instead, squat over the bowl. Such a usage will not enable flushing at all. Finally, if someone suffers from a stomach upset and sits for a longer time period than that required to fill the tank, passing wind in the meantime, the fan will cease operating once the tank is full. For the above reasons and others that will occur to the reader, the above system has limited effectiveness.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,273 to Tillen, titled “Venting apparatus for flush toilets” describes a toilet venting apparatus that includes an upper insert mountable between a toilet tank and a toilet bowl, and a lower insert mountable between the bowl and a floor sewer pipe. The upper insert has a first aperture therethrough that cooperates between a flush valve aperture in a lower wall of the tank and a water-entry aperture in an upper surface of the bowl. The water-entry aperture cooperates, via a manifold in the bowl, in fluid communication with water dispensing apertures around an upper rim of the bowl.
  • A floor sewage pipe is required. The system described is complicated and prone to failure, and may require extensive maintenance.
  • U.S. Pat. No. 7,103,925 to Toth titled “Odor eliminating system for a toilet, toilet including the odor eliminating system, and toilet seat assembly” relates to an odor eliminating system utilizes an air pump to remove odors from a bowl of a toilet to a trap of the toilet. By moving the odors to the trap, the odors cannot escape back to the bowl and can only proceed out of the toilet to the sewer. The system can be adapted to existing toilets by drilling a channel to the trap or the system can be incorporated into new toilets.
  • It is noted that the location of the extraction vent is in the toilet seat, not in the toilet itself. Even conventional single piece solid toilet seats are breakable and tend to last less time than the toilet bowl above which they are fitted. It will be noted that toilet seats are raised and lowered, both for cleaning and by male users in order to urinate. Having movable components in the seat fixed to immovable components in the bowl does not provide a reliable long term solution. The solution to Toth described hereinabove is not a reliable, low maintenance solution such as would be desirable for public conveniences.
  • Despite the numerous attempts to provide odor removing systems for toilets, none of them is truly satisfactory and there is room for improvement in this crowded art.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • It is an aim of the invention to provide a bowl ventilation system for incorporating within a toilet or for retrofitting thereto, wherein the mechanism is inherently reliable due to its simplicity and ruggedness, comprising simple valves and a simple electrical air fan.
  • It is a further aim, that the invention may be applied to flushable toilets of all types, including monoblock toilets, toilets with raised tanks and toilets with tanks concealed in the wall.
  • It is a yet further aim, that apart from coupling the tank to a water supply and the bowl of the toilet to a sewage main, no further plumbing connections are required.
  • It is a yet further aim, that the air pump is coupled to an electrical power supply and may be actuated by a sensor, by a light switch or operated continuously.
  • It is a yet further aim of preferred embodiments, that the pump and valves are independent of the flushing tank.
  • It is a yet further aim of preferred embodiments, that the pump and valves are easily accessed for maintenance, cleaning or replacement.
  • In accordance with one embodiment, there is provided An odor extracting system for a toilet bowl of a toilet pedestal, coupleable to a water supply via a flush conduit leading to flush outlets under a rim of the bowl; the bowl being coupleable to a sewage pipe via a U shaped trap; the odor extracting system comprising: an air bypass extending substantially through the pedestal, the air bypass for bypassing the U shaped trap, that is coupled to air intake ports around the toilet bowl, and to the sewage pipe downstream of the U shaped trap; an air pump for pumping air and vapors out of toilet bowl to sewage pipe via the air bypass, and a light weight air valve upstream of the air pump, the air valve to seal the air bypass when said pump is not in use to prevent escape of smells from the sewage pipe to the toilet bowl; said system further comprising a sealing lid coupled to the toilet pedestal, allowing access to the air valve and air pump, whilst preventing escape of odors from the bypass. In one embodiment, the air intake ports is incorporated into a seat of the toilet for sucking air and odors from vicinity of said seat to said sewage main.
  • In another embodiment, the air intake ports comprise additional apertures around the rim of the toilet bowl, separate and distinct from the flush outlets.
  • In yet another embodiment, the air intake ports are the flush outlets under the rim of the toilet bowl.
  • Optionally the system further comprises a water valve in air bypass, the water valve upstream of air valve, the water valve to prevent water from flush conduit from flowing throughout the air bypass on flushing the toilet;
  • Typically, the water valve comprises a flap within the flush conduit.
  • However, the water valve may comprise a ball valve.
  • Typically, the air pump comprises a rotary fan.
  • Optionally, the air valve comprises a leaf flap that is displaceable by suction of the air pump when said air pump is operated, and which sealingly closes said air bypass when air pump is not operating.
  • In a preferred embodiment, the toilet comprises a rear extension extending behind the bowl and housing the flush conduit, and the air bypass comprises: the flush conduit; a first duct with apertures in the roof of the flush conduit and in a block; the block situated in the rear extension; a water valve above said first duct for sealing the first duct when flushing the toilet; a second duct with apertures in the sewage pipe downstream of the U shaped trap, and in the block; the air pump downstream of the water valve, and the light air valve, situated between the water valve and the air pump.
  • Optionally, the odor extracting system further comprises ports provided through the rear extension, and a cover plate being provided with a gasket and being bolted to the rear extension to provide a water and air-tight seal.
  • In another preferred embodiment, the odor extracting system comprises a rear extension of the toilet, extending behind the bowl, and the air bypass comprises: a first duct with apertures in the toilet rim and in a block; the block in the rear extension; a second duct with apertures in the sewage pipe downstream of the U shaped trap, and in the block; the air pump downstream of the water valve, and the light air valve, situated between the water valve and the air pump.
  • In yet another preferred embodiment, the air bypass comprises: vents around a hollow toilet seat, the seat coupled to the toilet pedestal via a hinge; a vent in the hinge; the light air valve comprising a normally closed air valve, coupled to the vent in the hinge, for preventing sewage vapors from sewage main flowing out of toilet seat, and the air pump downstream of said normally closed air valve.
  • In some embodiments, the water valve and air valve are comprised as a single unit.
  • The air pump may be coupled to a light switch so that switching on a light in the vicinity of toilet activates the air pump.
  • Alternatively, the odor extracting system may be coupled to a sensor and activated by use of the toilet.
  • Alternatively again, the odor extracting system may be coupled to an extractor fan for extracting fumes from the toilet cubicle.
  • A second aspect of the invention is directed to a toilet pedestal comprising a toilet bowl with a rim having flush outlets thereunder that are coupled to a flush conduit extending through a rear extension of the pedestal; the toilet bowl having an exit thereout, coupled to a first section of a sewage pipe via a U shaped trap; and further comprising an air bypass coupling the flush conduit to the first section of a sewage pipe, the air bypass comprising an electrically powered air pump for pumping air, gases, odors and airborne species from the flush conduit to the sewage pipe a valve for sealing the air bypass when the air pump is not in use and a water tight valve for preventing water from flushing from flowing throughout the bypass.
  • Optionally, the air pump is an electrically powered rotating air fan; the air valve comprises a lightweight flap that is raised by suction from the rotating air fan when in use, and the water valve comprises a flap that is pressed over outlet from the flush conduit into the air bypass by water flowing through the flush conduit.
  • Optionally, the air bypass comprises a first duct extending from top surface of rear extension down to the flush conduit, a second duct extending from top surface of rear extension down to the sewage pipe and a lid thereover, the lid being sealed to the rear extension via a water and airtight gasket.
  • Typically, the gasket comprises rubber or an artificial substitute thereof.
  • A further aspect of the invention is directed to a method of retrofitting a toilet to extract odors from toilet bowl, comprising providing a bypass coupling flush outlets under rim of the bowl with sewage pipe downstream of U shaped trap, the bypass having a leaf valve therein and an electric air pump, such that operation of said air pump raises the leaf valve and allows extraction of air and vapors from the bowl to the sewage pipe via the bypass, and cessation of said air pump causes the leaf valve to block the air bypass.
  • Yet a further aspect of the invention is directed to an insert for inserting into a first duct between the top of a rear extension of a toilet pedestal and a flush duct therebeneath, the insert having an air valve comprising a leaf flap configured to be closed by gravity and opened by suction of the air pump at its top end and a water valve comprising a normally open flap that is closeable by pressure of water flushing through the flush duct at its lower end.
  • It will be noted that embodiments of the invention may be used with monoblock type toilets, toilets with concealed cisterns, toilets with raised cisterns, or to toilets that are directly connected to a mains flushing system. Indeed, since the air extraction system is independent of the cistern, embodiments of the invention may be used with non-flushing toilets as well.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES
  • For a better understanding of the invention and to show how it may be carried into effect, reference will now be made, purely by way of example, to the accompanying drawings.
  • With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention; the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice. In the accompanying drawings:
  • FIG. 1 is a cross section through a prior art water closet;
  • FIG. 2A is a schematic, cut away isometric, exploded section through an odor extracting toilet system with a bypass in the toilet pedestal including the toilet's flush conduit, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 2B is a schematic isometric view of a preferred embodiment of a unitary flap valve unit for use in some embodiments of the invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a schematic, cut away isometric, exploded section through an odor extracting toilet system with a bypass separate from the toilet's flush conduit in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention;
  • FIG. 4 shows a cut away isometric view of a toilet seat having air conduits therein for extracting air therethrough, in an odor extracting toilet system according to yet another embodiment of the invention;
  • FIG. 5A shows a schematic, cut away isometric, exploded section through an odor extracting toilet system with the toilet seat shown in FIG. 4;
  • FIG. 5B is an enlarged isometric projection of the pump and valve unit of the air extraction system of FIG. 5A and
  • FIG. 5C is a section through the pump and valve unit of FIG. 5B.
  • DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • With reference to FIG. 1 a cross-section through a standard, prior art water closet or toilet 10 is shown. The toilet 10 consists of a pedestal unit 12 and a cistern 14. The pedestal unit 12 has a bowl 16 above which a seat 18 may be positioned. The bowl 16 is connected to a sewage pipe 20 via a U shaped trap 22. The cistern 14 or tank, has a water inlet 24 thereinto, that is connected to a water main, a water outlet 26 coupled to the toilet bowl 16 via a flush conduit 28 which typically splits into a plurality of nozzles 30 under an internal rim 32 around the mouth of the toilet bowl 16. A flapper valve 34 coupled to an actuator handle 36 covers the outlet 26 of the cistern 14.
  • The toilet bowl 16 is used as a receptacle for defecation and urination thereinto. After use, depression of the actuator handle 36 raises the flapper valve 34 and empties water from the cistern 14 down the flush conduit 28 into the toilet bowl 16. The incoming rush of water swishes the contents of the bowl 16 down the U shaped trap 22 into the sewage main 20. A float 38, traditionally a ball cock, but often a block of polystyrene foam in modern systems, is coupled to a valve 40. After flushing, the flapper valve 34 closes the outlet 26 of the cistern 14, and water enters the water inlet 24 into the cistern 14 refilling same. As the water level in the cistern 14 rises, the float 38 rises with it and causes the valve 40 to block the water inlet 24 when the cistern 14 is full.
  • Such toilets 10 have changed little since the original design by Sir Thomas Crapper in Tudor England, and are in very widespread use, worldwide.
  • The cistern 14 may be raised above the toilet bowl 16, and connected therewith via a vertical pipe 28, to provide a more powerful flush. It may be mounted directly above and behind the toilet bowl 16 as a so-called monoblock toilet, or may be concealed within a wall. Indeed, where a suitable water pressure is available, a toilet bowl may be connected via a faucet to a water main supply, dispensing with the cistern altogether.
  • The toilet 10 described above effectively removes solid and liquid human waste products to a sewage pipe 20 connected to a sewage line, either a mains sewage system or to a cesspit. The U shaped trap 22 prevents the unpleasant smells from the sewage pipe 20 from entering the toilet 10.
  • Toilets are generally installed in relatively small, confined spaces, such as small rooms or cubicles, and the standard prior art toilet 10 does not provide a solution for gaseous excretions of users, which may be expelled whilst defecating. Such gaseous excretions generally require venting via a window or an air vent from the room.
  • It has been recognized that most gases are released whilst defecating and it has been proposed in the past, to pump gases from the toilet bowl 16 to the sewage pipe 20, bypassing the U shaped trap 22. Many prior art systems of this type are complicated, unreliable and require considerable maintenance. Others are unaesthetic.
  • With reference to FIG. 2A, the toilet 110 of an embodiment of the invention again consists of a pedestal unit 112 and a cistern 14 mutatis mutandis. The pedestal unit 112 has a bowl 116 above which a seat 18 (FIG. 1) may be positioned. The bowl 116 is connected to a sewage pipe 120 via a U shaped trap 122. The cistern 14 is again coupled to the toilet bowl 116 via a flush conduit 128 which typically splits into a plurality of nozzles 130 under an internal rim 132 around the mouth of the toilet bowl 116.
  • An air bypass is provided for coupling the nozzles or air intake ports 130 around the toilet bowl 116 to the first section of the sewage pipe 120 after the U shaped trap 122. An air pump 162 is provided within the bypass, which sucks air, gases, odors and airborne pollutants through the nozzles 130, down the bypass extending substantially throughout the pedestal 112 and into the first section of the sewage pipe 120. Such solutions are known, but unlike in the prior art, the present invention is simpler, more reliable and more easily maintained.
  • A duct 144 connecting to the sewage-pipe 120 downstream of the U bend 122 is provided, that has an aperture in the extension 117 of the pedestal 112 behind the bowl 116. A block 150 is provided, connecting to the duct 144 and to another duct 140. Block 150 has gasketed outlets 151, 153 extending throughout its underside, for sealingly engaging the mouths of the ducts 144 and 140 to the block 150. Most designs of toilet pedestals 112 can be retrofitted or adapted to extract gases via the flush conduit 128 in the manner described hereinabove. Since generally flushing is via a plurality of nozzles 130 around and under the rim 132, directed onto the surface of the bowl 116, sucking air there out does not unduly discomfort the user. A rotary air pump 162 and a flap valve 180 are fitted into the block 150 attached to the rear part of the pedestal 112, extending behind the bowl 116.
  • A lid 154 may be bolted to the block 150 via a gasket 152 therebetween to allow access, whilst preventing escape of odors. A cover-plate 170 may be provided that is coupleable to the toilet pedestal 112. The cover may be fabricated from a glazed toilet ceramic, such as used for the toilet pedestal 112, or may be a fabricated from a hard plastic, typically a thermo set. To provide a water-tight and air-tight coupling to the toilet pedestal 112, a rubber gasket 172 may be sandwiched between the cover 170 and the rearward extension 117 of the pedestal 112 and bolted in place by bolts protruding from the cover 170, through the top surface of the rearward extension 117 and fastened in place with wing nuts or the like. Other types of clips may be substituted. Such a cover 170 provides an easy to keep clean solution, preventing urine from accumulating.
  • A first circular duct 140 is thus provided with a lower opening in the roof of the flush conduit 128. The duct's upper opening connects to the circular bottom of the gasketed outlet 153. A valve 180 with rectangular flap 142 is provided in the rectangular top (not shown) of the gasketed outlet 153 such that water pressure from flushing of the toilet 110 causes the simple hinged flap 142 to easily seal the block 150 and prevents water from flowing throughout the bypass. Such flap seals have been has been found to perform admirably. Alternatively, the interior of the duct 140 is substantially rectangular or square in shape at its top, and the gasketed outlet 153 is rectangular throughout. Other types of valves, such as a ball and ring valve or other simple sealing means may be substituted. The ball and ring valve consists of a floating ball which is sealingly jammed against a ring. Such a configuration may be placed over the entrance from the flush conduit 128 into the first duct 140, and is best suited to round ducts, such as fabricated by drilling, for example.
  • The air pump 162 is provided within block 150, preferably fitting onto the gasketed outlet 151, and coupling between first duct 140 and second duct 144 to pump air gases, odors and airborne pollutants from the toilet bowl 116 to the sewage pipe 120.
  • To prevent sewage smells from permeating back through the bypass when the pump 162 is not operated, a one-way valve is required. There are a number of suitable valves available. Indeed the ball valve used for preventing flush water from the flush duct from flooding the bypass 150 may be configured to be not only light enough to float, but also light enough to be sufficiently displaced from a lower ring thereunder, to allow air to flow therebetween. In a preferred embodiment, a leaf valve 180 is provided within the gasketed outlet 153, the leaf valve 180 including a framework 184 sealingly fitting into the gasketed outlet 153, such that the air sub-pressure caused by the pump 162 sufficiently displaces the hinged leaf 182 or air valve sealingly fitted into framework 184, to allow gases to flow therepast. However, when pump 162 is switched off, the leaf 182 drops under gravity and sealingly engages the framework 184 therearound, providing an air tight seal. Apart from the configuration shown, such a leaf valve 180 may be configured anywhere in the bypass upstream of the pump 162. In configurations including a water valve, the air valve is situated downstream of the water valve 142 and upstream of the air pump.
  • It will be noted that the present invention is reliable, simple and economical to implement. The cistern 14 is not tampered with or modified in any way, and the system can be implemented with any type of cistern or flushing mechanism, including a cistern less mechanism flushed directly by a pressurized water supply.
  • Thus a simple and rugged odor extraction system comprising simple valves and a simple electrical air fan of the type typically used for cooling computer cases may be applied to flushable toilets of all types, including monoblock toilets, toilets with raised tanks and toilets with tanks concealed in the wall.
  • The solution is simple. Apart from coupling the cistern to a water supply and the bowl 116 of the toilet 110 to a sewage main as is generally required with all flushable toilets, no further plumbing connections are required. The air pump 162 requires coupling to an electrical power supply, which may be a 12 V DC supply. The air pump 162 may be actuated by a pressure sensor in the toilet seat or a light sensor indicating the presence of someone. For simplicity and reliability, it may be actuated by switching on the light switch, or even operated continuously.
  • It will be noted that the air pump and valves are very simple and reliable and are easily accessed for maintenance, cleaning or replacement.
  • With reference to FIG. 3, a toilet pedestal 410 in accordance to a further embodiment is shown, wherein the extraction system is again coupled to the rim 432 of the toilet bowl 416 but is independent of the flush conduit 428. A second channel or conduit 433 is provided that connects to the rim 432 of the bowl 416, but not to the flush outlets 430. The second conduit 433 only serves as a first duct for extracting air and gases from the bowl 416, and is again coupled to the sewage pipe 420 via an air fan 462 in block 450. Since the air extraction is not via the flush conduit 428, no water valve is required, and only an air valve, typically a flap 454 is required. The flap is fitted to the block 450 that may be inserted into a corresponding air duct 456 in the rear extending portion of the toilet pedestal 412, behind the bowl 416. Air duct 456 is formed by a rubber gasket frame 472 and lid 473 mutatis mutandis, the whole being disguised by cover 470 mutatis mutandis.
  • With reference to FIG. 4, the air extraction may be via vents 630 around a hollow toilet seat 618 having one or more air conduits 652 therein for extracting air therethrough. Such a toilet seat 618 may couple to the toilet pedestal via a hinge 654 to allow it to be raised to prevent wetting by males urinating. The conduits 652 may be coupled to an extraction system incorporated in the toilet bowl via a vent 655 in the hinge 654.
  • With reference to FIG. 5A, an exploded view of a toilet pedestal 712 fitted with an air extraction unit 750 and the seat 618 of FIG. 4 is shown.
  • Referring to FIGS. 5B and 5C, an enlarged isometric projection and cross section of the extraction unit 750 is shown. Extraction unit 750 includes a rotary air pump 762 and a normally closed air valve 782, typically a flap, and is coupled to conduits 652 (FIG. 4) in toilet seat 618 (FIGS. 4, 5 a) via coupling vent 755. Air valve 782 prevents sewage vapors from sewage main to flow out of toilet seat 618.
  • It will be noted that the present invention provides a discrete, aesthetic solution for extracting odors from toilet bowls, and may be used with various toilets and does not require any specific type of cistern or flush mechanism.
  • The scope of the present invention is defined by the appended claims and includes both combinations and sub combinations of the various features described hereinabove as well as variations and modifications thereof, which would occur to persons skilled in the art upon reading the foregoing description.
  • In the claims, the word “comprise”, and variations thereof such as “comprises”, “comprising” and the like indicate that the components listed are included, but not generally to the exclusion of other components.

Claims (19)

1. An odor extracting system for a toilet bowl of a toilet pedestal, coupleable to a water supply via a flush conduit leading to flush outlets under a rim of the bowl; the bowl being coupleable to a sewage pipe via a U shaped trap; the odor extracting system comprising: an air bypass extending substantially through the pedestal, the air bypass for bypassing the U shaped trap, that is coupled to air intake ports around the toilet bowl, and to the sewage pipe downstream of the U shaped trap; an air pump for pumping air and vapors out of toilet bowl to sewage pipe via the air bypass, and a light weight air valve upstream of the air pump, the air valve to seal the air bypass when said pump is not in use to prevent escape of smells from the sewage pipe to the toilet bowl; said system further comprising a sealing lid coupled to the toilet pedestal, allowing access to the air valve and air pump, whilst preventing escape of odors from the bypass.
2. The odor extracting system of claim 1, the air intake ports being either:
a. incorporated into a seat of the toilet for sucking air and odors from vicinity of said seat to said sewage main;
b. additional apertures around the rim of the toilet bowl, separate and distinct from the flush outlets, and
c. the flush outlets under the rim of the toilet bowl.
3. The odor extracting system of claim 1, further comprising:
a. a water valve in air bypass, the water valve upstream of air valve, the water valve to prevent water from flush conduit from flowing throughout the air bypass on flushing the toilet;
b. the water valve within the air bypass comprising either:
(i) a flap, or
(ii) a ball valve.
4. The odor extracting system of claim 1, the air pump comprising a rotary fan.
5. The odor extracting system of claim 1, the air valve comprising a leaf flap that is displaceable by suction of the air pump when said air pump is operated, and which sealingly closes said air bypass when air pump is not operating.
6. The odor extracting system of claim 1, the toilet comprising a rear extension extending behind the bowl and housing the flush conduit, and the air bypass comprising:
a. the flush conduit;
b. a first duct with apertures in the roof of the flush conduit and in a block;
c. the block situated in the rear extension;
d. a water valve above said first duct for sealing the first duct when flushing the toilet;
e. a second duct with apertures in the sewage pipe downstream of the U shaped trap, and in the block;
f. the air pump downstream of the water valve, and
g. the light air valve, situated between the water valve and the air pump.
7. The odor extracting system of claim 1, further comprising ports provided through the rear extension, and a cover plate being provided with a gasket and being bolted to the rear extension to provide water and air-tight seal.
8. The odor extracting system of claim 1, the toilet comprising a rear extension extending behind the bowl, and the air bypass comprising:
a. a first duct with apertures in the toilet rim and in a block;
b. the block in the rear extension;
c. A second duct with apertures in the sewage pipe downstream of the U shaped trap, and in the block;
d. the air pump downstream of the water valve, and
e. the light air valve, situated between the water valve and the air pump.
9. The odor extracting system of claim 1, the air bypass comprising:
a. vents around a hollow toilet seat, the seat coupled to the toilet pedestal via a hinge;
b. a vent in the hinge;
c. the light air valve comprising a normally closed air valve, coupled to the vent in the hinge, for preventing sewage vapors from sewage main flowing out of toilet seat, and
d. the air pump downstream of said normally closed air valve.
10. The odor extracting system of claim 3, the water valve and air valve being comprised as a single unit.
11. The odor extracting system of claim 1, the air pump being coupled to a light switch so that switching on a light in the vicinity of toilet activates the air pump.
12. The odor extracting system of claim 1 being coupled to a sensor and activated by use of the toilet.
13. The odor extracting system of claim 1 being coupled to an extractor fan for extracting fumes from the toilet cubicle.
14. A toilet pedestal comprising a toilet bowl with a rim having flush outlets thereunder that are coupled to a flush conduit extending through a rear extension of the pedestal; the toilet bowl having an exit thereout, coupled to a first section of a sewage pipe via a U shaped trap; and further comprising an air bypass coupling the flush conduit to the first section of a sewage pipe, the air bypass comprising an electrically powered air pump for pumping air, gases, odors and airborne species from the flush conduit to the sewage pipe, a valve for sealing the air bypass when the air pump is not in use and a water tight valve for preventing water from flushing from flowing throughout the bypass.
15. The toilet pedestal of claim 14, wherein the air pump is an electrically powered rotating air fan, the air valve comprises a lightweight flap that is raised by suction from the rotating air fan when in use, and the water valve comprises a flap that is pressed over outlet from the flush conduit into the air bypass by water flowing through the flush conduit.
16. The toilet pedestal of claim 14, wherein the air bypass comprises a first duct extending from top surface of rear extension down to the flush conduit, a second duct extending from top surface of rear extension down to the sewage pipe and a lid thereover, the lid being sealed to the rear extension via a water and airtight gasket.
17. The toilet pedestal of claim 14, wherein the gasket comprises rubber or an artificial substitute thereof.
18. A method of retrofitting a toilet to extract odors from toilet bowl, comprising providing a bypass coupling flush outlets under rim of the bowl with sewage pipe downstream of U shaped trap, the bypass having a leaf valve therein and an electric air pump, such that operation of said air pump raises the leaf valve and allows extraction of air and vapors from the bowl to the sewage pipe via the bypass, and cessation of said air pump causes the leaf valve to block the air bypass.
19. An insert for inserting into a first duct between the top of a rear extension of a toilet pedestal and a flush duct therebeneath, the insert having an air valve comprising a leaf flap configured to be closed by gravity and opened by suction of the air pump at its top end and a water valve comprising a normally open flap that is closeable by pressure of water flushing through the flush duct at its lower end.
US12/157,648 2008-06-11 2008-06-11 Odor-free toilet Abandoned US20090307831A1 (en)

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Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120255110A1 (en) * 2011-04-05 2012-10-11 Chi Kao Ventilation system for toilet bowl
US20130312613A1 (en) * 2010-10-07 2013-11-28 Scentec Inc. Bad odor removal system for sewage pipe
US20140215703A1 (en) * 2013-02-04 2014-08-07 Globe Union Industrial Corp. Routing Structure of an Intelligent Toilet
US9392915B1 (en) * 2014-01-24 2016-07-19 Emmanuel Jones Air freshening toilet seat device
US20180073232A1 (en) * 2016-09-12 2018-03-15 Wendell Burns Method and system for deodorizing a room containing a toilet
WO2019145582A1 (en) 2018-01-24 2019-08-01 Perez Alfranca Jose Maria Two-channel toilet for the removal of sewer gases
CN111902590A (en) * 2018-03-30 2020-11-06 骊住株式会社 Toilet seat device and toilet device
EP3770349A1 (en) * 2019-07-23 2021-01-27 Michail Foinikianakis Toilet bowl
WO2021045694A1 (en) * 2019-09-03 2021-03-11 Gramc Vladimir Local waste air suction device

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20130312613A1 (en) * 2010-10-07 2013-11-28 Scentec Inc. Bad odor removal system for sewage pipe
US8834613B2 (en) * 2010-10-07 2014-09-16 Scentec Inc. Bad odor removal system for sewage pipe
US20120255110A1 (en) * 2011-04-05 2012-10-11 Chi Kao Ventilation system for toilet bowl
US20140215703A1 (en) * 2013-02-04 2014-08-07 Globe Union Industrial Corp. Routing Structure of an Intelligent Toilet
US9392915B1 (en) * 2014-01-24 2016-07-19 Emmanuel Jones Air freshening toilet seat device
US20180073232A1 (en) * 2016-09-12 2018-03-15 Wendell Burns Method and system for deodorizing a room containing a toilet
WO2019145582A1 (en) 2018-01-24 2019-08-01 Perez Alfranca Jose Maria Two-channel toilet for the removal of sewer gases
CN111902590A (en) * 2018-03-30 2020-11-06 骊住株式会社 Toilet seat device and toilet device
EP3770349A1 (en) * 2019-07-23 2021-01-27 Michail Foinikianakis Toilet bowl
WO2021045694A1 (en) * 2019-09-03 2021-03-11 Gramc Vladimir Local waste air suction device

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