US20190368184A1 - Drain filter apparatus to capture hair and debris - Google Patents

Drain filter apparatus to capture hair and debris Download PDF

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Publication number
US20190368184A1
US20190368184A1 US15/996,731 US201815996731A US2019368184A1 US 20190368184 A1 US20190368184 A1 US 20190368184A1 US 201815996731 A US201815996731 A US 201815996731A US 2019368184 A1 US2019368184 A1 US 2019368184A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
filter
drain
grate
rod
hair
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Abandoned
Application number
US15/996,731
Inventor
Melody Andi Lo
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Melody Andi Lo
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Publication date
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Priority to US15/996,731 priority Critical patent/US20190368184A1/en
Publication of US20190368184A1 publication Critical patent/US20190368184A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03CDOMESTIC PLUMBING INSTALLATIONS FOR FRESH WATER OR WASTE WATER; SINKS
    • E03C1/00Domestic plumbing installations for fresh water or waste water; Sinks
    • E03C1/12Plumbing installations for waste water; Basins or fountains connected thereto; Sinks
    • E03C1/26Object-catching inserts or similar devices for waste pipes or outlets
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03CDOMESTIC PLUMBING INSTALLATIONS FOR FRESH WATER OR WASTE WATER; SINKS
    • E03C1/00Domestic plumbing installations for fresh water or waste water; Sinks
    • E03C1/12Plumbing installations for waste water; Basins or fountains connected thereto; Sinks
    • E03C1/26Object-catching inserts or similar devices for waste pipes or outlets
    • E03C1/264Separate sieves or similar object-catching inserts
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03FSEWERS; CESSPOOLS
    • E03F5/00Sewerage structures
    • E03F5/04Gullies inlets, road sinks, floor drains with or without odour seals or sediment traps
    • E03F5/0407Floor drains for indoor use
    • E03F5/0408Floor drains for indoor use specially adapted for showers
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03FSEWERS; CESSPOOLS
    • E03F5/00Sewerage structures
    • E03F5/04Gullies inlets, road sinks, floor drains with or without odour seals or sediment traps
    • E03F5/041Accessories therefor
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03FSEWERS; CESSPOOLS
    • E03F5/00Sewerage structures
    • E03F5/04Gullies inlets, road sinks, floor drains with or without odour seals or sediment traps
    • E03F2005/0412Gullies inlets, road sinks, floor drains with or without odour seals or sediment traps with means for adjusting their position with respect to the surrounding surface
    • E03F2005/0413Gullies inlets, road sinks, floor drains with or without odour seals or sediment traps with means for adjusting their position with respect to the surrounding surface for height adjustment

Abstract

A filter apparatus mounted to a drain is provided. The drain includes an upper opening extending to an inlet of a pipe. The filter apparatus collects hair and permits water to flow through into the drain. The apparatus includes a grate coupled to the drain's upper opening and has a central opening and a plurality of openings, and a trap assembly with an upper plug coupled to the grate's central opening and a rod with a first end continuously connected to the upper plug and a second end extending into the drain. The trap assembly includes a filter member disposed around the rod and positioned above the inlet of the pipe. The apparatus permits water to pass through the grate's openings and filter member for entry into the pipe's inlet for an evacuation. The apparatus permits hair to pass through the grate's openings and collect on the filter member.

Description

    BACKGROUND
  • The embodiments herein relate generally to drains in showers or sinks. More specifically, embodiments of the invention are directed to a drain filter apparatus that captures hair and debris, and prevents these items from clogging the drain pipe.
  • Hair clogs in shower drains frustrate many home owners. Shed hair flows through the holes of commonly used shower grid covers, which are disposed on the openings of sewage pipe entrances. Once assembled, the shower grid cover is positioned flush with the shower stall floor. Hair slowly accumulates in the P-trap, which is the U-shaped dip in the drainage pipe that holds water and prevents sewage gas from entering the shower room. Over time, the hair accumulated in the drain creates a clog. The location of the P-trap deep within the drainage pipe is hard to reach, thereby making it difficult for homeowners to remove the clog.
  • Several solutions for clearing clogs within the drainage pipe exist, but have several disadvantages. Many homeowners pour chemicals such as Drano or Liquid-Plumr down the drain. These corrosive gels or thick liquids reach the clog and dissolve the hair clog, making this solution simple and convenient. However, these chemical solutions contain ingredients such as sodium hydroxide and sulfuric acid, which can be extremely corrosive to pipes when used frequently.
  • As such, individuals often resort to more environmentally friendly solutions that are gentle on drainage pipes to capture hair and/or debris. For example, a shower strainer comprising a metal mesh basket can be disposed on top of a shower grid. However, these shower strainers are ineffective because the holes in the mesh basket are large enough to permit hair to pass through. Although shower strainers do block some hair, these devices only slow down the process until the shower drain eventually clogs.
  • The Drain Wig by Allstar Innovations is a hair trapping device comprising a chain disposed within the drainage pipe. The chain comprises a plurality of hooks that catch hair passing within the drainage pipe, which forms a ball of hair. Pulling the chain out of the drain removes the hair accumulated on the hooks out of the drainage pipe. However, the Drain Wig trapping device permits some hair to pass by and travel deep into the drainage pipe before the ball of hair forms on the chain's hooks. As a result, hair can still collect deep within the drainage pipe and cause a clog with use of the Drain Wig device.
  • The Danco Hair Catcher is a debris catching apparatus comprising a basket and grid assembly disposed within the drain and positioned flush with the shower stall floor. However, this apparatus is limited because hair can still pass through openings in the basket assembly and travel into the drainage pipe. Further, the user is required to scoop out the hair captured within the basket, which is burdensome and unhygienic.
  • The drain strainer, disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,263,518, comprises a hair catcher with a plurality of protuberances on an outside cylindrical surface that is attached to a shower grid. Fundamentally, this design is an improvement of the earlier mentioned prior art, in which the metal mesh basket is used to catch hair. In contrast, this device is positioned below the shower floor to avoid obstruction. However, the single-walled catcher of this device still allows hair to pass through. In addition, this drain strainer does not have a convenient means of removal and the stiff, cylindrical material of the device does not retrofit to most shower drains. Furthermore, removing the hair and/or debris from the drain strainer is difficult and unpleasant.
  • As such, there is a need in the industry for a filter apparatus for use in a drain that addresses the limitations of the prior art, which more effectively captures hair and/or debris to prevent clogs in the drainage pipe while permitting water to pass through the apparatus unobstructed. In addition, millions of homes come with ineffective shower grids; hence, the market has a demand for a filter apparatus that is retrofittable to an existing shower floor, such that no modifications to the existing shower floor are necessary. In addition, there is a need for the filter apparatus to be a permanent solution that seamlessly integrates into the existing shower floor.
  • SUMMARY
  • A filter apparatus with enhanced strength mounted to a drain is provided. The drain comprises an upper opening extending to an inlet of a pipe, the filter apparatus configured to collect hair and permit water to flow therethrough for an entry into the drain. The filter apparatus comprises a grate coupled to the upper opening of the drain and comprises a central opening and a plurality of openings, and a trap assembly comprising an upper plug coupled to the central opening of the grate and a rod comprising a first end continuously connected to the upper plug and a second end extending into the upper opening of the drain, the trap assembly comprising a filter member disposed around the rod and positioned above or into the inlet of the pipe, wherein the filter apparatus is configured to permit water to pass through the plurality of openings in the grate and filter member of the trap assembly, thereby permitting entry of the water into the inlet of the pipe for an evacuation, wherein the filter apparatus is configured to permit hair to pass through the plurality of openings in the grate and collect on the filter member, thereby preventing entry of the hair into the inlet of the pipe.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • The detailed description of some embodiments of the invention will be made below with reference to the accompanying figures, wherein the figures disclose one or more embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 1 depicts a top plan view of certain embodiments of the filter apparatus shown in use;
  • FIG. 2 depicts a sectional view of certain embodiments of the filter apparatus taken along line 2-2 in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 3 depicts an exploded view of certain embodiments of the filter apparatus; and
  • FIG. 4 depicts a section view of certain embodiments of the filter apparatus taken along line 4-4 in FIG. 2.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF CERTAIN EMBODIMENTS
  • As depicted in FIGS. 1-3, filter apparatus 10 is configured for use with a drain in a location such as a shower stall to collect hair and/or debris and prevent their entry into the drain. In one embodiment, the drain comprises an upper opening in shower floor 12 that connects to drainage pipe 34. The interior of the drain comprises seat 32, which supports filter apparatus 10 above or into the inlet of pipe 34. In certain embodiments, filter apparatus 10 generally comprises grate 14 and trap assembly 18.
  • Grate 14 is a generally rigid cover member with central opening 29 and a plurality of openings 16 disposed throughout the grate. As depicted in FIGS. 2-4, grate 14 is coupled to the upper opening of the drain by mechanical fasteners such as screws 24. Openings 16 in grate 14 permit water, hair and other debris to pass through. Grate 14 may be made from various materials known in the field including, but not limited to, metal, plastic, rubber or other materials.
  • Trap assembly 18 is coupled to central opening 29 in grate 14 and generally comprises upper plug 20, rod 26, ball nose 28 and filter member 30. Rod 26 comprises a first end continuously connected to upper plug 20 and a second end continuously connected to ball nose 28. Upper plug 20, rod 26 and ball nose 28 may be made from materials including, but not limited to, stainless steel, other metals, plastic, rubber or other materials.
  • Filter member 30 is a generally cylindrical member disposed around rod 26 and comprises a mesh network of a plurality of wires intertwined with each other, which are configured to catch hair and/or debris. In one embodiment, each wire of the plurality of wires comprises an approximate diameter within the range of 1-5 millimeters. In one embodiment, filter member 30 comprises a sponge pad such as a Scotch-Brite Plastic Scrubbing Pad, Scotch-Brite Copper Coated Scrubbing Pad, or similar-type pad. In an alternative embodiment, filter member 30 is a sponge member.
  • Ball nose 28 is a spherical member at the end of rod 26 that helps to retain filter member 30 thereon. Ball nose 28 prevents filter member 30 from inadvertent detachment from rod 26 of trap assembly 18. In one embodiment, flexible inner liner 36 is disposed around rod 26 and positioned between rod 26 and filter member 30. Flexible inner liner 36 is a sleeve made from a material such as fabric or other material, which permits a user to more easily slip filter member 30 on and off rod 26 of trap assembly 18 as desired. This is beneficial for when filter member 30 needs to be removed and replaced.
  • In operation, filter apparatus 10 is coupled to the upper opening of the drain as depicted in FIGS. 1-2 and 4. Specifically, grate 14 is fastened to the upper opening of the drain by screws 24 so that grate 14 remains flush with shower floor 12. Trap assembly 18 is coupled to grate 14 by inserting ball nose 28, rod 26 and filter member 30 inside the upper opening of the drain so that upper plug 20 engages with central opening 29 of grate 14.
  • Upper plug 20 may be secured to central opening 29 of grate 14 by a variety of connections. In a preferred embodiment, upper plug 20 comprises a series of threads that engages with a corresponding series of threads along the side wall of central opening 29 in grate 14. Upper plug 20 can be rotated in opposite directions to tighten or loosen trap assembly 18 from central opening 29 of grate 14. In one embodiment, the top surface of upper plug 20 comprises notch 22. A tool such as a screwdriver, coin or other coin-shaped device can be disposed within notch 22 to help a user to rotatably adjust upper plug 20 of trap assembly 18 relative to grate 14.
  • In an alternative embodiment, a low-profile handle or knob is coupled to the top surface of upper plug 20. This replaces the need for notch 22 on upper plug 20. In this embodiment, the user grabs the handle or knob to twist trap assembly 18 as needed. In an alternative embodiment, upper plug 20 of trap assembly 18 can be secured to central opening 29 of grate 14 by a snap-fit frictional connection or a magnetic connection. In this embodiment, trap assembly 18 is pushed or pulled from central opening 29 of grate 14 as needed.
  • In the assembled configuration, filter member 30 is disposed on seat 32 and fills up the entire upper opening of the drain. As a result, all water, hair and/or debris that passes through openings 16 in grate 14 reach filter member 30 prior to reaching the inlet of pipe 34 in the drain. Any water present continues to flow through filter member 30 and into the inlet of pipe 34. Hair and/or debris present weave through the plurality of wires of filter member 30 and become entangled thereon. As a result, filter member 30 of trap assembly 18 collects the hair and/or debris and prevents their entrance into the inlet of pipe 34. This prevents clogs within pipe 34 caused by the accumulation of hair and/or debris. Over time, a user can detach trap assembly 18 from grate 14 when the accumulation of hair and/or debris thereon requires filter member 30 to be replaced.
  • Filter apparatus 10 is advantageous because the device more effectively captures hair and/or debris compared to prior art devices. As a result, filter apparatus 10 effectively prevents clogs in the drainage pipe while permitting water to pass through the apparatus unobstructed. Filter apparatus 10 can be easily installed in drains commonly found in shower stalls. The components of filter apparatus 10 can be easily removed from the drain and replaced as needed. The design is adaptable to any existing shower grid by changing the grid shape and bolting pattern, and filter apparatus 10 is a flexible material that conforms to the shape of the pipe.
  • It shall be appreciated that the components of filter apparatus 10 described in several embodiments herein may comprise any alternative known materials in the field and be of any color, size and/or dimensions. It shall be appreciated that the components of filter apparatus 10 described herein may be manufactured and assembled using any known techniques in the field.
  • Persons of ordinary skill in the art may appreciate that numerous design configurations may be possible to enjoy the functional benefits of the inventive systems. Thus, given the wide variety of configurations and arrangements of embodiments of the present invention, the scope of the invention is reflected by the breadth of the claims below rather than narrowed by the embodiments described above.

Claims (10)

What is claimed is:
1. A filter apparatus with enhanced strength mounted to a drain, the drain comprising an upper opening extending to an inlet of a pipe, the filter apparatus configured to collect hair and permit water to flow therethrough for an entry into the drain, the filter apparatus comprising:
a grate coupled to the upper opening of the drain and comprising a central opening and a plurality of openings; and
a trap assembly comprising an upper plug coupled to the central opening of the grate and a rod comprising a first end continuously connected to the upper plug and a second end extending into the upper opening of the drain, the trap assembly comprising a filter member disposed around the rod and positioned above the inlet of the pipe;
wherein the filter apparatus is configured to permit water to pass through the plurality of openings in the grate and filter member of the trap assembly, thereby permitting entry of the water into the inlet of the pipe for an evacuation, wherein the filter apparatus is configured to permit hair to pass through the plurality of openings in the grate and collect on the filter member, thereby preventing entry of the hair into the inlet of the pipe.
2. The filter apparatus of claim 1, wherein the trap assembly further comprises a spherical member continuously connected to the second end of the rod, the spherical member configured to contact the filter member to prevent detachment of the filter member from the rod.
3. The filter apparatus of claim 2, further comprising an inner sleeve disposed around the rod and positioned between the rod and filter member.
4. The filter apparatus of claim 3, wherein the filter member comprises a plurality of wires intertwined together.
5. The filter apparatus of claim 4, further comprising a notch disposed in a top surface of the upper plug.
6. The filter apparatus of claim 5, wherein the upper plug of the trap assembly is detachably coupled to the central opening of the grate by a threaded connection.
7. The filter apparatus of claim 5, wherein the upper plug of the trap assembly is detachably coupled to the central opening of the grate by a magnetic connection.
8. A filter apparatus with enhanced strength mounted to a drain, the filter apparatus configured to collect hair and permit water to flow therethrough for an entry into the drain, the drain comprising an upper opening extending to an inlet of a pipe and a grate with a plurality of openings coupled to the upper opening of the drain, the filter apparatus comprising:
a trap assembly comprising an upper plug coupled to the grate and a rod comprising a first end continuously connected to the upper plug and a second end extending into the upper opening of the drain, the trap assembly comprising a filter member disposed around the rod and positioned above the inlet of the pipe;
wherein the filter apparatus is configured to permit water to pass through the plurality of openings in the grate and filter member of the trap assembly, thereby permitting entry of the water into the inlet of the pipe for an evacuation, wherein the filter apparatus is configured to permit hair to pass through the plurality of openings in the grate and collect on the filter member, thereby preventing entry of the hair into the inlet of the pipe.
9. The filter apparatus of claim 8, wherein the trap assembly further comprises a spherical member continuously connected to the second end of the rod, the spherical member configured to contact the filter member to prevent detachment of the filter member from the rod.
10. The filter apparatus of claim 9, further comprising an inner sleeve disposed around the rod and positioned between the rod and filter member.
US15/996,731 2018-06-04 2018-06-04 Drain filter apparatus to capture hair and debris Abandoned US20190368184A1 (en)

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US15/996,731 US20190368184A1 (en) 2018-06-04 2018-06-04 Drain filter apparatus to capture hair and debris

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US15/996,731 US20190368184A1 (en) 2018-06-04 2018-06-04 Drain filter apparatus to capture hair and debris

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
CN111236395A (en) * 2020-01-14 2020-06-05 冯小峰 Floor drain for preventing bathroom from blocking drain hole by hair
CN111364590A (en) * 2020-03-09 2020-07-03 黄亦堃 Interception floor drain for bathroom
US10982425B1 (en) * 2019-10-01 2021-04-20 NeverClog LLC Apparatus for capturing and destroying hair within a shower drain

Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US10982425B1 (en) * 2019-10-01 2021-04-20 NeverClog LLC Apparatus for capturing and destroying hair within a shower drain
CN111236395A (en) * 2020-01-14 2020-06-05 冯小峰 Floor drain for preventing bathroom from blocking drain hole by hair
CN111364590A (en) * 2020-03-09 2020-07-03 黄亦堃 Interception floor drain for bathroom

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