United States Patent [191 Caron et a1.
[ 5 1 June 28, 1974 HYDRAULIC FLUSH TANK WITH IMPROVED SEATING AND RESEALING MEANS ' Inventors: Roger P. Caron, North Andover;
Thomas P. Howard, Ashland, both of Mass.
 Assignee: Water Control Products, Inc.,
[221 Filed: I Aug. 17, 1972  Appl. N0.: 281,348
 U.S Cl 251/38, 4/29, 4/30  Int. Cl..... Fl6k 31/38, E03d 3/02, F16k21/18  Field of Search 4/26, 29, 30, 31; 251/38;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 566,770 9/1896 Kenney 251/38 566,771 9/1896 Kenney 137/630.14 X
1,248,777 12/1917 Ahlheim. 251/38 2,170,321 8/1939 Charroin..... 4/26 3,555,571 1/1971 Gibbs et a1 4/31 3,605,125 9/1971 Gibbs et a1 4/26 3,677,294 7/1972 Gibbs et a1 4/26 X Rl6.785 11/1927 Keating 251/38 Primary ExaminerWilliam R. Cline Assistant Examiner-Gerald A. Michalsky Attorney, Agent, or Firm --Kenway & Jenney 57 ABSTRACT A valve, plug and pressure responsive diaphragm combination for use in a flushing device of the type which includes a closed container for receiving and retaining a quantity of pressurized water. The plug is capable of being seated within the outlet of the tank and has an aperture therein into which the valve is slidably received. The valve is attached to a stem which is constantly urged upwardly by the action of a spring. The valve is pushed downward from a seated position in the plug against the action of the spring when the tank is flushed. This downward movement of the valve opens the aperture in the plug in which the valve was seated which decreases the pressure within the cylinder above the plug and causes the plug to move upwardly from its seated position in the tank outlet thus opening the outlet for the passage of water from the tank during the flushing cycle. As the tank empties, the plug drops. To reseal the bowl after the tank has been flushed, the spring action of the valve tends to prevent the plug from seating thus allowing some liquid to flow through the outlet as the tank is being filled. After the tank has been flushed and while the bowl is being rescaled, the plug responds to pressure created by liquid coming into the tank by moving slowly in opposition to the force of the spring and valve until the plug is seated and the tank is resealed.
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HYDRAULIC FLUSH TANK WITH IMPROVED SEATING AND RESEALING MEANS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The field of the present invention is liquid flushing assemblies. The present invention, more particularly, relates to a small compact water flushing assembly for rapidly discharging a quantity of water as a slug of water under pressure.
Because of the relatively large volume of water necessary to flush conventional gravity type toilets, a significant effort has been made in recent years to develop devices which would enable gravity type toilets to operate effectively with reduced amounts of water.
One type of device which enables efficient flushing with a fraction of the amount of water utilized by conventional gravity type toilets is a hydraulic toilet flushing device;
Hydraulic toilet flushing devices are very effective in that they can be flushed with a relatively small volume of water and have performance characteristics which are competitive with conventional gravity type toilets. Indeed, such devices are a significant breakthrough in the water closet art.
The present invention is directed to a new and improved seating and resealing means for use in hydraulic toilet flushing devices.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is a new hydraulic flush tank with an improved seating and resealing device. The flush tank operates by pushing a button in a downward direction. The device includes the combination of a sealing plug and a spring loaded valve slidably received within an aperture in the plug. The valve is connected to a button outside of the tank. When the button is pushed downwardly, the valve leaves its seated position in the plug thus opening the plug. When the plug is open, the pressure above the plug decreases which causes the plug to rise and expose the outlet in the tank. The spring tends to prevent the plug from seating after the tank has been flushed thus allowing some liquid to flow through the outlet as the tank is being filled. This flow of liquid is used to reseal the bowl. The plug, however, is also designed to respond to the increasing pressure created by incoming liquid after the tank is flushed, Thus, as the tank is filling, the plug opposes the action of the spring loaded valve. Such opposition continues until the plug is seated.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved hydraulic toilet.
Another object of the invention is the provision of a cylinder associated with a hermetically sealed tank for holding an amount of liquid and compressed air, an outlet from the tank through the cylinder and a normally closed plug in the outlet which can be lifted by the action of a button.
A further object of the invention is to provide a hydraulic toilet which can be flushed by pressing a button.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING of the improved seating and resealing means as they would be positioned at the beginning of the flush cycle;
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the orientation of the various components of the seating and resealing means at a different time during the flush cycle;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the orientation of the various components of the seating and resealing means at a point in time during the reseal cycle; and
FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing the tank in a sealed and seated position ready for the commencement of the flush cycle.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The present invention relates in general to liquid flushing devices and more particularly to hydraulic toi lets.
Referring to FIG. 1, a hermetically sealed container or tank 10 is shown secured on a bowl 12 with a filler tube 14 connected through the bottom portion of the tank 10. It is to be noted that the tank 10 of the present invention is mounted in association with a toilet bowl 12. The tank 10 of the present invention, however, may be adapted to be mounted within a conventional toilet tank as a replacement for conventional flushing equipment.
In FIG. 2, a check valve assembly 16 is connected between the filler tube 14 and a conduit 18. Conduit 18 is connected to a source of pressurized water, such as a typical source of city water with an average pressure which, in most cases, is in the order of thirty pounds per square inch or higher. Tank 10 may be equipped with an air vent tube with a seat in the bottom thereof with a check ball loosely retained in the lower end portion of the tube by a pin. Since the details of such an air vent tube are well known in this art, they are not shown in the drawing. Furthermore, as is explained below, the components within a cylinder 38 may function as a vacuum breaker in which case an air 'vent tube is unnecessary.
As is also shown in FIG. 2, the upper end of a cylinder 38 is vertically secured and sealed through tank 10 by means of threads 40. The lower end portion or output end portion of the cylinder 38 is also sealed into tank 10.
The improved seating and resealing means of the present invention is contained within cylinder 38 and includes a plug 42 which is slidable within said cylinder. A seat 45 is formed on the bottom portion of cylinder 38. Plug 42 forms a hermetical seal with seat 45 when plug 42 is in the seated position. The plug 42 has a central axial bore 44 at its upper end for slidably receiving a valve stem 46. Also formed in plug 42 are bores 47 which communicate with a chamber 49 in plug 42. Formed in the lower section of cylinder 38 are ports 50 which allow liquid contained in tank 10 to flow into cylinder 38 and through opening 51 in the bottom thereof when plug 42 is in an upper position. It should be noted that prior to commencement of the flushing cycle, plug 42 rests on a tapered shoulder or stop which forms the seat 45 on cylinder 38 (see FIG. 5).
On the bottom end of valve stem 46 is a fill valve 56 which is seatable in a fill valve seat 58 formed in plug 42. An O-ring 60, fitted on fill valve 56, provides a seal to prevent the passage of fluid through plug 42 when fill valve 56 is in the seated position.
Fill valve stem 46 projects through a pressure responsive diaphragm 61. Diaphragm 61 is rigidly secured to valve stem 46 so that vertical movement of valve stem 46 causes vertical movement of diaphragm 61 and vice versa. Diaphragm 61 is slidably sealed to the cylinder 38 by a flexible rubber gasket 64.
Diaphragm 61 is hermetically sealed to gasket 64 which is hermetically sealed to cylinder 38 to form a hermetically sealed chamber 66. As is shown in the drawing, diaphragm 61 may have the configuration of a cap or plate The function of diaphragm 61, however, may be accomplished by a piston. In this regard, it should be noted that the function of diaphragm 61 is to form a fluid-tight movable ceiling on chamber 66.
A coil compression spring 48 is positioned within cylinder 38 so as to normally urge fill valve 56 in an upward direction. Coil compression spring 48 is positioned in the upper end of cylinder 38 about the valve stem 46 and is coaxial with it. The function of spring 48 is to prevent plug 42 from seating after the tank has been flushed. Spring 48, by preventing plug 42 from seating immediately after the tank has been flushed, allows water to pass through the tank outlet to reseal the bowl. A more detailed explanation of this function of spring 48 appears below. To adjust the amount of water that will pass into the bowl, to reseal the bowl after the tank has been flushed, the force exerted by coil spring 48 is adjustable. The adjusting means includes a member 65 having screwed threads 67 which are engaged with the screw threads 69 on stem 46. Screw threads 67 and 69 enable member 65 to be turned and thus raise or lower member 65 to adjust the upward force exerted by spring member 48 with respect to stem 46. It should be noted that member 65 is inclusive of a stop or shoulder 73 for engaging and translating the upward force exerted by the upper end of spring 48.
Formed within cylinder 38 is a cylinder 71 for housing spring 48 and providing a fixed stop to enable spring 48 to urge upwardly against shoulder 73.
The uppermost end of valve stem 46 which protrudes through tank l has a push button 70 affixed thereto.
As set forth above, tank may also include an air vent tube. The purpose of the air vent tube is to allow air into the tank, when required, and shut off the supply of air, at the appropriate time during the filling cycle, to permit liquid entering the tank to compress against air within the tank. The air vent tube also serves as a vacuum breaker to prevent liquid in bowl 12 from backing up into the tank when the tank is opened during the flush cycle.
In one embodiment of the invention, however, the function of an air vent tube is advantageously accomplished by a fluid passageway within valve stem 46. One or more apertures 90, formed in push button 70, communicate with the hollow interior of fill valve stem 46. Located on the bottom of fill valve 56 are other apertures (not shown) which also communicate with the hollow interior of fill valve stem 46. As is apparent, when the level of liquid in tank 10 is higher than ports 50, ambient air will be unable to enter tank 10. However, when the liquid level in tank 10 drops below the and thus break the vacuum therein and supply the air that is necessary for incoming liquid to compress against.
OPERATION Referring to FIG. 2, in order to flush tank 110, push button is pushed downwardly in the direction of arrow 72. The downward movement of push button 70 is directly translated to fill valve 56 and causes fill valve 56 to move downwardly within chamber 49 of plug 42 as is shown by arrow 93. With valve 56 lowered from its normal seated position in plug 42 as is shown in FIG. 5, water 74 in chamber 66 flows through the plug as is shown by arrows 95. The release of liquid within chamber 66 causes the pressure within chamber 66 to decrease. The decrease in pressure within chamber 66 results in a pressure difference between chamber 66 and the remainder of tank 10. To equalize the pressure, fluid within tank it) enters cylinder 38 through ports 50 and exerts an upward pressure as shown by arrow 97 against rims 96 on plug 42, which causes plug 42 to rise up in cylinder 38 to the position shown in FIG. 3.
With the plug in the position shown in FIG. 3, water in the tank exits therefrom through the tank outlet 51 as is shown by arrows 100 with a great surge due to the pressure within the tank which is represented by double-headed arrows 110. As the level of liquid within the tank drops, so does the pressure. Of course, once plug 42 is raised and the pressure within tank 10 is reduced, water enters tank 10 through filler tube 14. Like other prior art hydraulic tanks, tank 10 is designed so that when the tank is flushed, water leaves the tank through outlet 51 much more rapidly than water enters the tank through filler tube 14. Eventually, due to the reduction of pressure within the tank and the force of gravity, plug 42 will drop until it comes to rest against the upper surface of fill valve 56 as is shown in FIG. 4. As is also shown in FIG. 4, fill valve 56 tends tocarry plug 42 upwardly due to the upward biasing action of spring 48. The action of spring 48 prevents plug 42 from fully seating on valve seat 45. Because plug 42 is not fully seated on seat 45, some of the liquid entering the tank, after the tank has been flushed, passes through ports 50 and out of the tank through outlet 51 on the bottom of cylinder 38. This passage of water through outlet 51 is desirable since it refills and reseals the bowl 12 after the bowl has been flushed. Some of the liquid entering the tank, however, will pass between rims 96 and the inner walls of cylinder 38 and enter chamber 66. This action will cause pressure to build up within chamber 66. As is shown by double-headed arrow 130, the pressure within chamber 66 forces diaphragm 61 away from plug 42. When the pressure within chamber 66 is equal to, or greater than, the upward pressure exerted by spring 48, plug 42 will seat and the tank will be resealed and ready to be flushed as is shown in FIG. 5.
As is also shown in the drawing, an optional spring 112 may be included within chamber 66 toassist in seating plug 42. When included in cylinder 38, spring 112 exerts a downward force on plug 42 which is less than the upward force exerted by spring 48 against fill valve 46.
The principles upon which the toilet tank of the present invention depend for its operation are controlled by the fact that water 74 is under pressure, as is indicated by double-headed arrow 110. Since the water in the tank is under pressure, it is actually forced through ports 50 and outlet 51 as a surge of water. The force of the surge of pressurized water flowing from tank into bowl 12 during the flushing cycle is dependent on the pressure within the tank, which in turn is dependent upon the pressure of the source of pressurized water, which in most cases is in the order of thirty pounds per square inch or higher.
As has been explained above, as the level of water in tank 10 drops during the flushing cycle, so does the pressure within tank 10. The initial drop of pressure within cylinder 38 causes plug 42 to rise therein. Thereafter, as the pressure and water level drop within tank 10, plug 42 drops.
Of course, while the tank is emptying in the manner described above, water is entering the tank because filler tube 14 is connected to a source of water. With filler tube 14 connected to a source of pressurized water and with check valve assembly 16 open to permit the water to flow through tube 14 into tank 10, water rising in the tank will hermetically seal the tank which will continue to fill with water against the compression of air above the water and thus establish the equilibrium condition as represented by FIG. 5 of the drawing.
After the tank has been flushed and before plug 42 is fully seated, some water entering tank 10 via filler tube 14 enters chamber 66 and causes a downward pressure to be exerted onplug 42. The assembly within cylinder 38 is designed so that liquid flows into tank 10 via filler tube 14 faster than it can exit through the unseated plug 42. This arrangement causes pressure to build up within chamber 66 to seat plug 42 and thereby seal the tank.
Thus, by following the teachings of the present invention, improved seating and rescaling of hydraulic liquid discharging devices results.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
1. An assembly for filling and discharging a liquid from a hermetically sealed tank of the type which includes a liquid inlet in fluid communication with the tank for introducing a liquid under pressure into the tank comprising a. a cylinder in fluid communication with the tank having an outlet in the lower portion thereof with an aperture in said cylinder to provide a passagesaid plug to stop fluid flow through the plug, said valve permitting the pressure within said cylinder to be decreased when said plug is seated in said seat in said cylinder and said valve is moved to a position where said upper opening is open by allowing fluid within the cylinder to flow through the plug and out the outlet,
e. force means tending to seat said valve in said upper opening in said plug to allow pressure to increase within the tank when the tank is being filled with a liquid and to prevent liquid :in the tank from passing through said plug when said plug is seated in said seat in said cylinder,
f. a pressure responsive diaphragm secured to said valve and movably sealed to said cylinder to form a fluid tight ceiling over that portion of liquid in the tank that is in said cylinder, said pressure responsive diaphragm enabling pressure to be exerted on said plug as liquid enters the: tank which pressure enables said plug to seat in said outlet against the force exerted by said force means as the tank is being filled witha liquid, and
g. means for moving said valve away from said upper opening in said plug when said plug is seated in said seat in said cylinder to open said upper opening to decrease the pressure within said cylinder and allow the plug to move from its seated position and permit the liquid in the tank. to be discharged by passing through said aperture and out said outlet.
2. The assembly as set forth in claim 1 wherein said cylinder extends through the tank.
3. The assembly as set forth in claim 2 wherein said force means is a spring which constantly urges said valve upward into a valve seat formed in said plug.
4. The assembly as set forth in claim 3 wherein said spring tends to prevent said plug from seating in said seat in said cylinder.
5. The assembly as set forth in claim 4 wherein said pressure responsive diaphragm is movably sealed to said cylinder by a flexible gasket.
6. The assembly as set forth in claim 5 wherein said aperture in said cylinder is positioned so that liquid passing through said cylinder exerts an upward pressure on said plug after said valve is moved away from said upper opening.
7. The assembly as set forth in claim 6 wherein said plug has rims designed to respond to the force exerted by liquid in the tank.
8. The assembly as set forth in claim 7 wherein the force exerted by said spring is adjustable to control the amount of liquid that will flow through the outlet before said plug is reseated in said seat after liquid in the tank is discharged.
9. The assembly as set forth in claim 8 wherein said spring exerts a force that is not greater than the force exerted by the liquid under pressure in the tank.
10. The assembly as set forth in claim 9 including a stem, one end of which is connected to said valve, the
other end of which extends through said cylinder.