WO2006042053A2 - Intelligent flow control unit and water management system - Google Patents

Intelligent flow control unit and water management system Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2006042053A2
WO2006042053A2 PCT/US2005/036057 US2005036057W WO2006042053A2 WO 2006042053 A2 WO2006042053 A2 WO 2006042053A2 US 2005036057 W US2005036057 W US 2005036057W WO 2006042053 A2 WO2006042053 A2 WO 2006042053A2
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
water
flow
control unit
adapted
valve
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Application number
PCT/US2005/036057
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French (fr)
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WO2006042053A3 (en
Inventor
Richard Quintana
Original Assignee
Richard Quintana
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Publication date
Priority to US61724304P priority Critical
Priority to US60/617,243 priority
Priority to US17073105A priority
Priority to US11/170,731 priority
Application filed by Richard Quintana filed Critical Richard Quintana
Publication of WO2006042053A2 publication Critical patent/WO2006042053A2/en
Publication of WO2006042053A3 publication Critical patent/WO2006042053A3/en

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Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03BINSTALLATIONS OR METHODS FOR OBTAINING, COLLECTING, OR DISTRIBUTING WATER
    • E03B7/00Water main or service pipe systems
    • E03B7/07Arrangement of devices, e.g. filters, flow controls, measuring devices, siphons, valves, in the pipe systems
    • E03B7/071Arrangement of safety devices in domestic pipe systems, e.g. devices for automatic shut-off
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03BINSTALLATIONS OR METHODS FOR OBTAINING, COLLECTING, OR DISTRIBUTING WATER
    • E03B7/00Water main or service pipe systems
    • E03B7/07Arrangement of devices, e.g. filters, flow controls, measuring devices, siphons, valves, in the pipe systems
    • E03B7/072Arrangement of flowmeters
    • 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
    • E03C1/24Overflow devices for basins or baths
    • E03C1/242Overflow devices for basins or baths automatically actuating supply or draining valves
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E03WATER SUPPLY; SEWERAGE
    • E03DWATER-CLOSETS OR URINALS WITH FLUSHING DEVICES; FLUSHING VALVES THEREFOR
    • E03D1/00Water flushing devices with cisterns ; Setting up a range of flushing devices or water-closets; Combinations of several flushing devices
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01FMEASURING VOLUME, VOLUME FLOW, MASS FLOW OR LIQUID LEVEL; METERING BY VOLUME
    • G01F1/00Measuring the volume flow or mass flow of fluid or fluent solid material wherein the fluid passes through the meter in a continuous flow
    • G01F1/05Measuring the volume flow or mass flow of fluid or fluent solid material wherein the fluid passes through the meter in a continuous flow by using mechanical effects
    • G01F1/34Measuring the volume flow or mass flow of fluid or fluent solid material wherein the fluid passes through the meter in a continuous flow by using mechanical effects by measuring pressure or differential pressure
    • G01F1/36Measuring the volume flow or mass flow of fluid or fluent solid material wherein the fluid passes through the meter in a continuous flow by using mechanical effects by measuring pressure or differential pressure the pressure or differential pressure being created by the use of flow constriction
    • G01F1/40Details or construction of the flow constriction devices
    • G01F1/44Venturi tubes
    • 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
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A20/00Water conservation; Efficient water supply; Efficient water use
    • Y02A20/10Relating to general water supply, e.g. municipal or domestic water supply
    • Y02A20/15Leakage reduction or detection in water storage or distribution
    • 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
    • Y02TECHNOLOGIES OR APPLICATIONS FOR MITIGATION OR ADAPTATION AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02ATECHNOLOGIES FOR ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE
    • Y02A20/00Water conservation; Efficient water supply; Efficient water use
    • Y02A20/10Relating to general water supply, e.g. municipal or domestic water supply
    • Y02A20/218Water metering with adaptation potential, e.g. aiming at water saving, leakage detection or avoidance, fraud or theft detection

Abstract

An intelligent flow control unit that connects along a water supply conduit to a water-using fixture such as a flush toilet, urinal, bathtub, shower or hot water heater to measure and control the flow of water thereto. The flow control unit has a body with a water passage therethrough with a venturi formed therealong and a transducer assembly that produces pressure signals indicative of the flow of water therethrough. A valve unit selectively starts and stops the flow of water. A programmable electronics unit powered by batteries receives various input signals including the pressure signals from the flow sensor and performs water management functions based on pre-programmed flow parameters. The electronics unit also monitors operating conditions of the flow control unit and communicates with one or more remote water control or sensor devices using hard wiring, radio frequency, infrared, microwave, or the internet technology to communicate status information, water condition information, and control water flow. The flow control unit stops the flow of water threrethrough upon detecting abnormal water conditions and alerts service personnel by sounding alerts. Various operating profiles selectable by the user determine for which fault conditions the valve unit closes and alerts are made to users, and the manner of alerting for each. The flow control unit may replace a conventional angle stop valve for toilets by including a manual shut-off valve.

Description

INTELLIGENT FLOW CONTROL UNIT AND WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM

Related Application

This application claims priority of my copending United States Provisional Patent Application No. 60/617,243 filed October 7, 2004, and my copending United States Patent Application No. 11/170,731 filed June 29, 2005.

SPECIFICATION Background of the Invention

Field: The invention relates generally to water control devices which monitor and control water flow to prevent water damage to property such as building premises, and more particularly to such devices which include a valve unit mountable along a water supply line and electronic sensors mountable to water-using fixtures such as flush toilets and urinals to detect abnormal water conditions including leakage and to prevent the overflowing thereof.

State of the Art: Water damage to buildings and personal property is a common problem which costs the owners millions of dollars in damage each year. The cause of such water damage typically results from one of two causes: 1) malfunctions of common household water-using fixtures such as the overflowing of flush toilets, urinals, dedicated showers, bathtubs, water heaters, and the like; and 2) broken building water pipes often the result of freezing during the winter months. Additionally, water conservation is increasingly important as the Earth's supply of clean drinking water dwindles. Therefore, detecting and preventing water leaks in such household fixtures is important.

The overflowing of toilets takes two forms: 1) overflowing of flush water from the toilet bowl; and 2) overflowing of the flush water from the reservoir tank. Overflowing of the reservoir tank is typically caused upon flushing due to clogging of the drain pipe leading from the toilet bowl to the building sewer system with excessive amounts of feces and toilet paper, and with foreign matter not intended to be flushed such as paper hand towels, women's sanitary maxi-pads, and the like. Overflowing of the reservoir tank is typically caused by a conventional fill valve mounted inside the reservoir tank which controls filling of the reservoir tank from a water supply tube connected to a water supply pipe with flush water sticking in an open position supplying too much flush water to the toilet bowl. A conventional overflow tube is mounted in an upright position in the reservoir tank which is connected to the drain pipe. The overflow tube has an open upper end disposed at a predetermined upper water level such that excess flush water spills into the upper end and into drain pipe to prevent overflow of the reservoir tank. However, if the inflow of flush water from the stuck-open fill valve exceeds the excess drained away through the overflow tube, an overflow occurs. This normally does not happen, but is possible where an incorrect fill valve is used which allows too high a flow rate of flush water into the reservoir tank or the fill valve is adjusted to allow too high a flow rate. The overflow tube itself or the drain pipe can also become partially or completely clogged to cause or further compound the problem.

The overflowing of urinals takes the form of overflowing of flush water from the urinal bowl, which is typically caused upon flushing due to a water outlet thereof comprised of a plurality of drain holes leading to a drain pipe connected to the building sewer system becoming partially or completely clogged with foreign matter not intended to be flushed such as toilet paper, gum, and the like, or an incorrect or incorrectly installed conventional deodorizer with screen holder. The problem can also be caused or further compounded by sticking open of a conventional flush valve mounted along a water supply pipe to control metering of flush water into the urinal bowl to flush urine therefrom. If the inflow of flush water from the stuck-open fill valve exceeds that drained away through the drain holes leading to a drain pipe, an overflow occurs. An incorrect fill valve might also be used which allows too high a flow rate of flush water into the urinal bowl or the fill valve is adjusted to allow too high a flow rate or to stay open for too long supplying too much flush water to the urinal bowl.

The overflowing of water from dedicated showers is typically caused during showering by a water outlet thereof covered by a plate with a plurality of drain holes therethrough leading to a drain pipe connected to the building sewer system becoming partially or completely clogged with hair from users showering over a period of months. The overflowing of water from bathtubs is typically caused by inattentiveness during filling of the bathtub using a conventional fill valve operated by respective hot and cold water hand-knobs. An overflow water outlet is disposed at a predetermined upper water level such that excess flush water flows thereinto and into a drain pipe connected to the building sewer system to prevent overflow of the bathtub. However, the fill valve is typically capable of supplying a higher volume of bath water into the bathtub than the overflow water outlet is capable of draining out of the bathtub. Therefore, if the bathtub is left unattended for a lengthy period of time such as to draw bath water prior to bathing and if the fill valve is opened up sufficiently that the inflow of bath water from the fill valve exceeds that drained away through the overflow water outlet, an overflow occurs. The problem can also be caused or further compounded by the overflow water outlet becoming partially or completely clogged with hair from users bathing over a period of months. The overflowing of water from water heaters and other household fixtures which are not listed herein are typically caused by malfunctions such as broken tanks, valves, and the like. Broken water pipes in buildings other as the result of freezing during the winter months may occur because of corrosion, improperly installed pipes, and the like. Various devices have been patented over the years in an effort to detect and stop damage to building premises, particularly as relates to toilets. They include the following United States Patents and pending U.S. Patent Applications of the present inventor, Richard Quintana, the complete disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference thereto: 1 ) U.S. Patent No. 6,671,893 issued to Quintana et al. on January 6, 2004; 2) U.S. Patent No. 6,367,096 issued to Quintana on April 9, 2002; 3) U.S. Patent No. 6,178,569 issued to Quintana on January 30, 2001 ; 4) U.S. Patent No. 6,058,519 issued to Quintana on May 9,

2000; 5) pending U.S. Patent Application No.60/ , for a Toilet Leak Detection and

Overflow Prevention System (Devon D. Niccole co-inventor); and 6) pending U.S. Patent Application No.60/ , for a Toilet Control System (Devon D. Niccole co-inventor) . In U.S. Patent No.6,671,893 issued to Quintana et al. on January 6, 2004 is disclosed an overflow and stuck valve (OSV) prevention system for tankless flush toilets and urinals. The OSV prevention system includes a flow control unit which connects along a water supply pipe between a hand-operable flush valve and a water containing bowl of a toilet or urinal. The flow control unit includes a normally open water valve operated through a gear train by an electric motor controlled by a microprocessor all powered by an internal battery. A flow meter in the form of an infrared sensor, paddle wheel, or turbine is provided to measure the flow of flush water through the valve unit. An alarm speaker may be provided to sound audible alerts. A pair of bowl overflow sensors are affixed to opposite sides of a rim of a toilet or urinal bowl disposed within the toilet or urinal bowl. The bowl overflow sensors are connected to the flow control unit to form an electrical circuit using wires or using infrared or microwave transmitter/receivers. The bowl overflow sensors together form a normally open switch which closes by flush water bridging the bowl overflow sensors during overflow conditions in the toilet bowl such as caused by an obstruction in a drain outlet thereof. The flow control unit includes the audible or a light emitting diode (LED) valve closed alarm for alerting users of the overflow condition, a control display for showing the status of the system, a test button, a reset button, an alarm silence button, and a code button for an authorized user to reactivate the OSV prevention system. A control display is provided for showing the status of the system including "Normal" if the water valve is open, the power to the flow control unit is adequate, and the OSV prevention system is operating normally, "Low Battery" if the internal battery needs replacement, "Flow Alert" if a leak or water flow problem is detected, "Reset Enable" to indicate that the reset button is functional , and "Shut Down" to indicate shut down of the OSV prevention system has occurred, requiring fixing of the flush valve problem and resetting of the flow control unit.

The flow control valve operates in two modes as follows. Firstly, during overflow conditions of the toilet or urinal bowl, the circuit between the bowl overflow sensors is closed causing the microprocessor in the flow control unit to activate the motor to close the water valve shutting off flushing water to the reservoir tank to prevent flooding. Secondly, if the flow meter detects the flow of flush water exceeds a predetermined time period required for a normal flush such as where a flush valve of the toilet or urinal is stuck open, the microprocessor causes the water valve to shut off the flush water in an attempt to jog the flush valve closed. Following expiration of a second predetermined time period after shut- off of the flush water, the microprocessor causes the water valve to re-open allowing flush water to flow through the flow control unit in an assumption that the flush valve has been jogged closed. The microprocessor records this as a first count. If the flow meter continues to detect flow of the flush water indicating that the flush valve did not close, the process repeats further attempting to jog the flush valve closed. The microprocessor records these as additional counts. If the count reaches three, system shut down occurs wherein the audible or light emitting diode (LED) valve closed alarm activates, an alarm signal is sent by the transmitter to a remote location or a pager, and an alarm indication may be shown on the display. An authorization code is required to reset the water control unit. The (OSV) prevention system may also include a cartridge holder which connects along the water supply pipe between the flow control unit and the toilet or urinal bowl. The cartridge holder has a sliding drawer to allow a water cleaning/disinfectant tablet to be inserted to clean and disinfect the flush water.

In U.S. Patent No. 6,367,096 issued to Quintana on April 9, 2002 is disclosed a leak detector and overflow (LDO) control system(device) for toilets. The LDO control system includes a flow control unit which connects along a water supply tube between a wall- mounted water angle stop or shut-off valve and a reservoir tank of the toilet. The flow control unit includes a normally open water valve operated through a gear train by an electric motor controlled by a microprocessor, all powered by an internal battery. An alarm speaker is provided to sound audible alerts. A bowl overflow sensor clips over a rim of a toilet bowl, being disposed within the toilet bowl. The bowl overflow sensor comprises a normally open switch which closes by flush water bridging the bowl overflow sensor during overflow conditions in the toilet bowl such as caused by an obstruction in a drain outlet thereof. A reservoir tank leak sensor in the form of a microphone is held within a reservoir tank of the toilet for detecting any water leaks in the reservoir tank. The bowl and reservoir tank sensors are connected to the flow control unit to form an electrical circuit using wires or radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receivers. The bowl overflow sensor closes by flush water bridging it during overflow conditions in the toilet bowl such as caused by an obstruction in a drain outlet thereof. The microphone likewise closes when it picks up sounds indicative of a leak.

The flow control unit includes the audible valve closed alarm for alerting users of the overflow condition, an alarm silence button, an open valve button to reopen the water valve, and a plurality of alarm indicating light emitting diodes (LED's) for showing the status of the system including an alarm (LED) which illuminates if the water valve closes, a leak alarm LED which illuminates if a leak is detected, and a low battery LED if the internal battery needs replacement. The flow control valve operates in a single modes as follows. During overflow conditions of the toilet bowl, the circuit of the bowl overflow sensor is closed causing the microprocessor in the flow control unit to activate the motor to close the water valve shutting off flushing water to the reservoir tank to prevent flooding. Likewise, if the microphone within the reservoir tank picks up sounds indicative of a leak, the circuit of the microphone is closed causing the microprocessor to similarly close the water valve to prevent flooding.

In U.S. Patent No. 6,178,569 issued to Quintana on January 30, 2001 is disclosed a flow an overflow control system for toilets and urinals. The overflow control system includes a valve unit which connects along a water supply pipe within a reservoir tank of the toilet or between a flushing valve and a water containing bowl of the toilet or urinal. The valve unit includes a normally open water valve operated by an electric solenoid. A control unit is mounted in the reservoir tank or to the water supply pipe which includes an alarm speaker to sound audible alerts, and an internal battery to power the electric solenoid and control unit. A pair of bowl overflow sensors are affixed to opposite sides of a rim of a toilet bowl, being disposed within the toilet bowl. The bowl overflow sensors and the valve unit are connected to the control unit to form respective electrical circuit using wires. The bowl overflow sensors together form a normally open switch which closes by flush water bridging the bowl overflow sensors during overflow conditions in the toilet bowl such as caused by an obstruction in a drain outlet thereof.

The control unit includes the audible valve closed alarm for alerting users of the overflow condition, an alarm indicating light emitting diode (LED' s) for showing the status of the system comprising an alarm (LED) which illuminates if the water valve closes, and a test button.

The flow control valve operates in a single modes as follows. During overflow conditions of the toilet bowl, the circuit of the bowl overflow sensors is closed causing the control unit to activate the solenoid to close the water valve shutting off flushing water to the reservoir tank or urinal bowl to prevent flooding. In U.S. Patent No. 6,058,519 issued to Quintana on May 9, 2000 is disclosed an overflow control system for toilets. The overflow control system includes a flow control unit which connects along a water supply tube between an wall-mounted water angle stop or shut-off valve and a reservoir tank of the toilet. The flow control unit includes a normally open water valve operated by an electric solenoid powered by an internal battery. An alarm speaker is provided to sound audible alerts. A bowl overflow sensor clips over a rim of a toilet bowl, being disposed within the toilet bowl. The bowl overflow sensor is of adjustable height to fit the size and type of toilet to which it is clipped. The bowl overflow sensor is electrically connected to the flow control unit to form an electrical circuit using wires. The bowl overflow sensor closes by flush water bridging it during overflow conditions in the toilet bowl such as caused by an obstruction in a drain outlet thereof.

The flow control unit includes the audible valve closed alarm for alerting users of the overflow condition and an alarm indicating light emitting diode (LED's) for showing the status of the system comprising an alarm (LED) which illuminates if the water valve closes. The flow control valve operates in a single modes as follows. During overflow conditions of the toilet bowl, the circuit of the bowl overflow sensor is closed causing the control unit to activate the solenoid to close the water valve shutting off flushing water to the reservoir tank to prevent flooding.

In my pending U.S. Patent Application Serial No. / , for a Toilet Leak Detection and Overflow Prevention System is disclosed a leak detection and overflow (LDO) prevention system for flush toilets. The (LDO) prevention system includes a flow control unit which connects along a water supply tube between a wall-mounted water shut-off valve or angle stop and a reservoir tank of the toilet. The flow control unit includes a normally open water valve operated by an electric solenoid or through a gear train by an electric motor controlled by a microprocessor, all powered by an internal battery. An alarm speaker is provided to sound audible alerts. One or more reservoir tank leak sensors of a capacitance, infrared, laser, magnetic, micro-switch, or sound type are held within the reservoir tank of the toilet for detecting any water leakage from the reservoir tank. The reservoir tank leak sensors are normally open. The tank overflow sensors are connected to the flow control unit to form respective electrical circuits using wires, or using infrared, microwave, or radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receivers. The tank overflow sensors individually close during leak and overflow conditions in the reservoir tank such as caused by a flapper valve stuck open or a fill valve stuck open.

The flow control unit includes the audible valve closed alarm for alerting users of the overflow condition, an alarm indicating light emitting diode (LED's) for showing the status of the system comprising an alarm (LED) which illuminates if the water valve closes, and a dip switch having a plurality of switching elements to manually set time limits of the flow control unit. The flow control unit may also include a relay connected to an auto dialer to call a pager or telephone to alert a person at a remote location of a leak or flood condition detected by the (LDO) prevention system.

The reservoir tank leak sensors preferably are preferably part of a reservoir tank leak sensor assembly which clips over a rim of the reservoir tank, being disposed within the reservoir tank. The sensor assembly includes respective top and bottom leak sensors adjustably slidably mounted to a pair of slide rods vertically disposed within the reservoir tank. The leak sensors have respective top and bottom floats which rise and fall with the level of flush water in the reservoir tank within a limited range of motion set by respective bodies adjustably slidably mounted to the slide rods. The floats have respective magnets affixed thereto and the bodies have respective magnetic reed switches mounted thereto. The reed switches change from normally opened to a closed position when the magnet is sensed thereby or closely proximate the particular reed switch. The bodies are adjustably slidably mounted to the slide rods adjusted so when the reservoir tank is full of flush water, the magnets are slightly spaced from the respective magnetic reed switch.

The flow control valve operates in a single modes as follows. When the toilet is flushed, the top and bottom floats are lowered so the magnet is sensed by respective of the

1 magnetic reed switches which change from the normally opened position to a closed position.

If the flush water continues to flow into the reservoir tank longer than a preset time limit wherein either or both of the top and bottom floats do not return to their original positions and the reed switches remain opened following flushing within a preset time limit, this signals the microprocessor in the flow control unit of a possible leak condition or overflow condition. This causes the electric motor or actuator to close the water valve to shut off flushing water to the reservoir tank to prevent wasting water and to prevent flooding. If the level of flush water rises and falls a predetermined number of times between flushes as indicated by the top and/or bottom leak sensors, this signals the microprocessor to close the water valve to shut off flushing water to the reservoir tank of the toilet to prevent wasting water and to prevent flooding.

Other accessory devices may be included in the LDO prevention system such as a cartridge holder which connects along the water supply tube before or after the flow control unit. The cartridge holder has a sliding drawer to allow a water cleaning/disinfectant tablet to be inserted to clean and disinfect the flush water. A dye dispenser may also be included which is held in the reservoir tank connected to one or both tank leak sensors to release colored dye if a leak occurs to give a visual indication of the leak. In my pending U.S. Patent Application Serial No. _/__, for a Toilet Control

(TC) System is disclosed a flow control system for flush toilets. The TC system includes a microprocessor operated flow control unit which replaces a conventional fill valve that includes a housing with a normally closed water valve operated by an electric solenoid controlled by a microprocessor and a flow sensor of a paddle wheel type to measure the flow of water through the housing, all powered by internal batteries. A flush valve unit replaces a conventional flapper flush valve which includes a housing with a channel therethrough, a rotary butterfly valve, and a flow sensor of the paddle wheel type to measure the flow of water through the housing and charge batteries, all powered by internal batteries. A flush valve pushbutton mounted to the reservoir tank replaces a conventional flush lever. One or more water level sensors are held within the reservoir tank and toilet bowl of the toilet. The water level sensors, the flush valve push button, the display device, and the alarm box are connected to the flow control unit to form respective electrical circuits using wires, or infrared, microwave, or radio frequency (RF) wireless communocations. The reservoir tank water level sensors detect leak and overflow conditions in the reservoir tank such as caused by a flapper valve or fill valve stuck open.

The flow control unit includes a display device is mounted to a front of the reservoir tank to for alerting users of overflow condition and leak conditions. Alternatively, an alarm box having a plurality alarm lights may be mounted to a front or side of the reservoir tank to display the alerts. The alarm box may include a reset button, a code button for entering an authorization code to reset the flow control unit, and test buttons. The flow control unit may call a pager or telephone to alert a person at a remote location of a leak or flood condition detected by the control system.

The flow control unit operates in a single mode as follows. When the toilet is flushed using the flush valve pushbutton, the flush valve unit opens and the reservoir tank is drained to a normal tank drain level at an upper drain opening of the flush valve at which point no more flush water can flow therethrough. The flush valve unit closes after passage of a predetermined time period timed by the flow control unit. Alternatively, the flow sensor of the flush valve unit may meter a predetermined amount of water therethrough and close the flush valve unit The flow control unit opens to refill the reservoir tank upon receiving a signal from one of the water level sensors mounted within the reservoir tank at the normal tank drain level of the flush water indicating the reservoir tank has drained or upon closing of the flush valve unit. The flow of flush water through the flow control unit is measured by the flow sensor which shuts off the flow of flush water upon receiving a signal from another of the water level sensors mounted at a normal tank fill level of the flush water within the reservoir tank indicating the reservoir tank is full or upon passing of a predetermined time period. If during a flush cycle the level of the flush water takes longer than a predetermined time period (e.g. about 2.5 seconds to 6 seconds) to drop from the normal tank fill level to the normal tank drain level, as indicated by the two water level sensors within the reservoir tank, Hie flow control unit shuts off the flow of flush water to the reservoir tank determining that water is leaking into the reservoir tank.

While this inventor's prior U.S. Patents and pending patent applications provide many advantages over the prior art devices, they have a number of significant shortcomings including that they: 1 ) are not readily usable with water-using fixtures other than flush toilets and urinals; 2) utilize internal flow sensors such that have moving parts such as paddle wheels that can become gummed-up with waterborne minerals; 3) are not mountable in place a conventional angle stop; 4) are not programmable by users to change water management functions and flow parameters as needed to fit the particular water-using fixture; 5) detects and alert users to water fault conditions of the water-using fixture as detected by the water sensors but not operating fault conditions of the flow control unit; 6) do not have a plurality of pairs of good/bad machine statuses to define normal conditions and fault conditions; 7) do not communicate additional information such as device identification and device location in addition to warning of fault conditions; 8) only communicates with remote devices including cellular telephones, pagers, and similar telecommunications devices; 9) the flow of water is shut off and alerts to fault conditions are always made in the same manner without flexibility; 10) do not have a low electrical power consumption sleep mode for long battery life; 11) do not wirelessly communicate with remote control units including the flush control unit and the flush valve; 12) do not check statuses of the remote water sensors in multiple user-determinable manners; 13) do not store and output archived operation information; and 14) the remote water sensors do not notify the flow control unit to shut off the flow of water if removed from the water-using fixture.

Therefore, there is a continuing need for a flow control unit to measure and control the flow of water to a water-using fixture and a water management system that uses the flow control unit along with a plurality of remote water sensors connected to the water-using fixture which: 1) is usable with water-using fixtures additional to flush toilets and urinals such as on water heaters, showers, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, and laundry washing machines; 2) utilizes an internal water sensor that has no moving parts in the form of a venturi through which water flows to the water-using fixture across which pressure differentials are measured and converted into flow rates of the water; 3) is mountable in place a conventional angle stop and includes an integral quarter turn shut-off valve to allow quick stopping of the water in emergency situations; 4) is programmable by users to change various water management functions and flow parameters thereof as needed to fit the particular water-using fixture; 5) detects and alerts users both to operating fault conditions of the flow control unit and water fault conditions of the water-using fixture as detected by the water sensors; 6) has a plurality of pairs of good/bad machine statuses to define normal conditions and fault conditions; 7) communicates additional information including device identification and device location in addition to status information warning of fault conditions; 8) communicates with additional types of remote devices including telecommunications devices such as facsimile machines and to computer devices including personal computers via e-mails over the internet and personal data and scheduling assistants; 9) has a plurality of operating profiles selectable by the user which determine for which fault conditions the flow of water through the valve unit is shut off and alerts are made to users including the manner of alerting for each; 10) has low electrical power consumption sleep mode with periodic sleep states for long battery life; 11) wirelessly communicates with the remote water sensors and various remote control units including a flush control unit and a flush valve; 12) checks statuses of the remote water sensors and remote control units in multiple user-determinable manners including soliciting status information by periodic "polling" thereof and by receiving periodic status signals automatically sent thereby; 13) includes a memory device to store and output archived operation1 information including time of water shut-offs; and 14) one or more of the remote water sensors notify the flow control unit to shut off the flow of water if removed from the water-using fixture.

Summary of the Invention

The present invention is an intelligent flow control unit for connection along a water supply conduit to a water-using fixture to measure and control a flow of water therethrough and an intelligent water management system for the water-using fixtures which utilizes the flow control unit. The intelligent flow control unit includes a body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through the body, the inlet and outlet ends being adapted to connect along the water supply conduit. A flow sensor is adapted to produce flow signals indicative of the flow of water through the passageway. A valve unit is adapted to selectively start and stop the flow of water through the passageway. An electronics unit is powered by an electrical power source and is adapted to receive various input signals including the flow signals from the flow sensor. The electronics unit is also adapted to perform water management functions including calculating flow rates of the water through the body and controlling the flow of water by opening and closing the valve based on pre-determined flow parameters. hi a preferred intelligent flow control unit, the flow sensor includes a convergent veήturi formed in the body along the passageway which includes an inlet section, a convergent middle section, and an outlet section of smaller cross-sectional water flow area than the inlet section. A transducer assembly is disposed along the venturi comprised of respective upstream and downstream pressure transducers operatively associated respectively with the inlet section and the outlet section of the venturi. The flow sensor is adapted to produce the flow signals in the form of pressure signals indicative of pressure differentials across the venturi produced by the flow of water therethrough. The pressure signals include static pressure differentials, dynamic pressure differentials, or combinations thereof. The electronics unit is adapted to monitor and convert the pressure differentials into the flow rates of the water and control the flow of water based on the pre-determined flow parameters in the form of pressure differential versus time period flow parameters. The electronics unit is programmable by users to change the water management functions and the flow parameters. The flow parameters include one or more of volume of water, static water pressure differential versus time period, dynamic water pressure differential versus time period, and flow rate of water versus time period. The electronics unit is adapted to communicate with one or more remote devices using a transmitting/receiving technology such as hard wiring, radio frequency, infrared, microwave, or the internet to communicate status information to the remote device. The communications includes status information such as fault conditions, device identification, and device location. The preferred intelligent flow control unit may replace a conventional angle stop valve by including an integral normally open, one-quarter turn rotary quick shut-off valve is disposed in the inlet end of the body upstream of the valve unit to stop the flow of water through the body. The inlet end has an internally threaded screw cap rotatably connected thereto adapted to connect to mating externally threaded wall fittings of a conventional wall fitting along the water supply conduit. The outlet end of the body is externally threaded to connect to a mating internally threaded conventional fitting of a water supply tube of the water supply conduit connected to the water-using fixture.

The electronics unit of the preferred intelligent flow control unit may be adapted to: 1) utilize the radio frequency technology and/or the internet technology to communicate the status information to the remote device such as pagers, cellular telephones, facsimile machines, or computers; 2) include memory devices adapted to store and output operation information of the flow control unit such as operating parameters including time of opening and closing of the valve unit, time versus water pressure, time versus water flow rates, and time of fault conditions; 3) perform additional water management functions of monitoring operating conditions as input signals and water conditions of the water-using fixture as input signals from at least one water sensor unit mounted thereto, determine if any of the conditions are abnormal fault conditions, and close the valve unit upon detection of the fault condition; 4) alert users to fault conditions by displaying alphanumeric characters, displaying various combinations of lights, sounding audible alarms, sounding visual alarms, sending internet alerts, and calling remote telecommunications devices; 5) have a plurality of operating profiles selectable by a user which determine for which fault conditions the valve unit closes and alerts are made to users, and the manner of alerting for each; 6) communicate with at least one remote device to check its status in a manner chosen from the group consisting of periodic polling by sending a status request signal and receiving in response a status signal from the remote device and receiving of status signals automatically sent periodically by the remote device, the electronics unit interpreting non-response to the status request signal by any of the remote devices by closing the valve unit; 7) include a microprocessor managed using software code which is programmable to set the flow parameters and the water management functions with a flash memory to store operating information for recall in case of loss of electrical power and a low-power operating mode to minimize power consumption; and 8) provide external data exchange including one or more connectors in the form of a universal serial bus connector, a phone jack connector , and an ethernet connector to connect to an external device for the external data exchange.

The preferred intelligent flow control unit may include an electrical generator assembly which includes an electrical generator having a housing from which a rotatable shaft extends adapted to produce electrical power from the flow of water through the passageway. A turbine includes a tubular hub coaxially mounted to the shaft. A plurality of vanes are radially dependent from the tubular hub in a radially-spaced orientation. The vanes are adapted to engage and rotate with the flow of water through the passageway to rotationally drive the shaft to charge the power source of the flow control unit. The body has a turbine bore which connects to the passageway with the turbine being disposed within the turbine bore to rotate with the flow of water through the passageway. The electronics unit is adapted to receive and utilize the electrical power to charge the electrical power source.

In the preferred intelligent flow control unit, the body comprises a main body. A quick shut-off valve assembly is provided which includes a secondary body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through the secondary body. The outlet end is adapted to connect to the inlet end of the main body.

The inlet end is adapted to connect along the water supply conduit. An integral shut-off valve is disposed in the secondary body between the inlet and outlet ends to selectively start and stop flow of water through the secondary body. The inlet end of the main body is internally or externally threaded. The inlet and outlet ends of the secondary body have respective screw caps rotatably connected thereto each internally or externally threaded to respectively connect to matingly threaded wall fittings and the inlet end of the main body. The intelligent water management system includes the flow control unit and at least one water control unit of the type described above operatively electrically connected to the flow control unit adapted to communicate input signals to the flow control unit. In a preferred intelligent water management system, there are three or more water control units including a flush valve unit, a flush control unit, and one or more water sensor units. The flush valve unit is mountable to an inside bottom of a reservoir tank over an outlet opening thereof replacing a conventional flapper valve. The flush valve unit is adapted to control outflow of the water from the reservoir tank into a water containing bowl of the water using fixture. The flush control unit is adapted to mount to the water using fixture to signal the flow control unit to conduct a flush of the water using fixture. The flush control unit uses a flush triggering technology such as manually operable switches, and automatically operable electric eyes and motion detectors. The flush control unit is adapted to signal the flow control unit to conduct the flush. The flush control unit is adapted to be mountable to the reservoir tank in place of a conventional flush lever. The flush control unit includes a liquids flush switch and a solids flush switch respectively adapted to signal the flow control unit to trigger a liquids flush of and a solids flush of the water using fixture respectively of smaller urine flushing and larger feces flushing volumes of water. The water sensor units are adapted to mount to the water using fixture to detect and communicate to the flow control unit at least one water condition as one of the input signals. The water sensor unit includes a normally open switch as part of an open electrical circuit when the water condition detected is normal and a closed circuit when the water condition detected is abnormal. The water sensor units include a bowl sensor unit adapted to be mounted inside the water containing bowl of the water using fixture to detect bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions and a reservoir tank sensor unit adapted to be mounted inside a reservoir tank of the water using device to detect reservoir tank full and empty water conditions, the bowl sensor unit including a single magnetic reed switch of a single-switch type comprising a bowl overflow switch to detect the bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions, the reservoir tank sensor unit includes a magnetic reed switch of a multi-switch type comprising a tank top switch adapted to communicate reservoir tank full and empty input signals to the flow control unit and a tank bottom switch adapted to communicate reservoir tank empty and not empty input signals to the flow control unit, the magnetic reed switch of the reservoir tank sensor unit including an additional switch comprising a tank overflow switch adapted to communicate tank overflow and not overflow input signals to the flow control unit of a configuration chosen from the group consisting of integral with the reservoir tank sensor unit and part of a separate reservoir tank overflow sensor unit each adapted to detect reservoir tank overflow and not overflow water conditions, the reservoir tank overflow sensor unit being adapted to be mount to a top end of an upstanding overflow tube inside the reservoir tank with a mounting bracket integral with a sensor body. The flow control unit may include the electrical generator assembly and the quick shut-off valve assembly.

The Drawings

The best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which: FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an intelligent water management system of the present invention as attached to a conventional flush toilet with a lid thereof partially raised, showing a first embodiment flow control unit thereof connected between a wall flange and a water supply tube of a water supply conduit to measure and control the flow of flush water to a reservoir tank of the toilet, a flush control unit mounted to a front of the reservoir tank to allow users to flush the toilet, and a bowl sensor unit mounted inside the toilet bowl to monitor the level of flush water therein;

FIG. 2, a fragmentary front elevational view of the reservoir tank in partial lateral vertical cross-section and pedestal to an enlarged scale showing a conventional fill valve to maintain a desired level of flush water and overflow tube to drain excess water to prevent overflows each mounted to ah inside bottom of the reservoir tank, the flush control unit shown as mounted to the front of the reservoir tank, a tank sensor unit of the water management system clipped onto a lip of the reservoir tank to monitor the level of flush water therein, and a flush valve unit of the water management system mounted to the bottom inside of the reservoir tank to meter the flush water therefrom for flushes into a toilet bowel; FIG. 3, a longitudinal vertical sectional view of the reservoir tank taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 as supported on the pedestal to the enlarged scale showing the flush control unit, the fill valve, the overflow tube, the flush valve unit, and the tank sensor unit;

FIG. 4, a perspective view of the flow control unit to a further enlarged scale shown as connected to the wall flange with a protective cap thereof lifted from an orb-shaped housing thereof to expose a flat control panel, a body for passing flush water therethrough connected to the wall flange and to the water supply tube, and a quick shut-off valve as a manual override to stop flow of flush water through the flow control unit;

FIG.5, a perspective view of the flow control unit in partial longitudinal cross-section to a yet further enlarged scale with the protective cap removed showing a water passageway which extends through the body including a water inlet end with an internally threaded screw cap for connection to the wall flange and a water outlet end which is externally threaded for connection to the water supply tube, an electronics unit which provides the intelligence for flow control unit and to monitor and control the flow of flush water, a valve unit for starting and stopping the flow of flush water as instructed by the electronics unit, and a flow sensor which includes a venturi formed along the water passageway and a transducer assembly to measure pressure differences across the venturi;

FIG. 6, a front elevational view of the flow control unit with the protective cap removed showing a liquid crystal display for showing alphanumeric characters such as status information, an alarm silence switch to stop sounding of alarms due to water fault conditions, and an open valve switch to reopen the valve unit following sounding of alarms; FIG. 7, a longitudinal vertical sectional view of the flow control unit as attached to the wall flange taken on the line 7-7 of FIG.6 showing the housing which includes respective upper and lower halves, the body with the water passageway, the quick shut-off valve, the electronics unit with the liquid crystal display and switches, the valve unit, and the flow sensor including the venturi and the transducer assembly;

FIG. 8, a diagrammatic view of the venturi of the water passageway showing how the flow rate is calculated using the pressure transducers;

FIG. 9, an exploded perspective view of the valve unit showing a valve housing which contains a pulse valve comprised of an electric solenoid, a flow control piston, a resilient seal, and a middle disk;

FIG. 10, a diagrammatic representation of electrical connections of the water management system including the electronics unit and valve unit of the flow control unit, the bowl sensor unit, the tank sensor unit, a tank overflow sensor unit, the flush control unit, and the flush valve unit, with solid lines showing hard wired electrical connections and arrows showing radio frequency or other non-hard wired electrical connections;

' FIG. 11 , a perspective view of the bowl sensor unit showing a sensor body removably connectable to an adjustable mounting bracket with an electrical connector to allow the flow control unit to detect separation thereof;

FIG. 12, a fragmentary perspective view of the tank sensor unit including a sensor body slidably affixed to an adjustable mounting bracket, the sensor body including a frame which encloses a magnetic float switch with a tank float slidably mounted thereto;

FIG. 13 , a longitudinal vertical sectional view of the reservoir tank sensor unit taken on the line 13-13 ofFIG. 12 showing a non-float portion ofthe magnetic float switch, a radio frequency transmitter/ receiver, a microchip on a circuit board, and a battery of the sensor body enclosed within a watertight portion of the frame;

FIG. 14, a perspective view of a second embodiment flow control unit to the further enlarged scale shown as connected to the wall flange with a protective cap thereof lifted from an orb-shaped housing thereof to expose a flat control panel, a body for passing flush water therethrough connected to the wall flange and connectable to the water supply tube, and a quick shut-off valve assembly connected to the wall flange as a manual override to stop flow of flush water through the flow control unit;

FIG. 15, a perspective view from the top ofthe body ofthe flow control unit to the yet further enlarged scale having a water passageway which extends through the body including a water inlet end which is internally threaded for connection to the quick shut-off valve assembly and a water outlet end which is externally threaded for connection to the water supply tube, a venturi formed along the water passageway as part of a flow sensor which further includes a transducer assembly to measure pressure differences across the venturi, and showing a generator bore which connects to the water passageway for receiving an electrical generator assembly to charge batteries of the flow control unit;

FIG. 16, a perspective view from the bottom of the body of the flow control unit to the yet further enlarged scale showing the water passageway including the water inlet and outlet ends, and a valve unit recess to receive a valve unit; and

FIG. 17, an exploded perspective view of the flow control unit to the further enlarged scale showing the protective cap, the housing which includes respective upper and lower housing halves, the body, an electronics unit which provides the intelligence for flow control unit and to monitor and control the flow of flush water, the valve unit for starting and stopping the flow of flush water as instructed by the electronics unit, the flow sensor, and the generator assembly.

Detailed Description of the Illustrated Embodiments

Referring to FIG. 1 , therein is shown an intelligent water management system of the present invention, designated generally at 20, for water-using fixtures such as a conventional flush toilet 22 in a bathroom 23 that receive water through a water supply conduit 24. The toilet 22 may be of a standard or low water use type, each having a pedestal 25 mounted on a floor surface 26 of bathroom 23 and a water containing toilet bowl 27 supported on the pedestal 25 with a drain pipe 28 therethrough to pass urine, feces, and other waste to a conventional sewer system (not shown). A bowl lid 29 is pivotally connected to the pedestal

25 using a pair of hinges 30 to allow selective uncovering of the toilet bowl 27 for use and subsequent covering thereof during non-use. A water containing reservoir tank 32 is supported on the pedestal 25 covered by a removable tank Hd 34.

The reservoir tank 32 is supplied with flush water 35 in conventional manner through the water supply conduit 24 comprised of a flexible water supply tube 36 attached to a conventional externally threaded wall fitting or flange 38 connected to a water supply pipe

39 of a household plumbing system (not shown) internal of a wall 41 and affixed to an inside bottom 42 of the reservoir tank 32. The flow of flush water 35 into the reservoir tank 32 is controlled by a conventional float controlled fill valve 44 of the toilet 22 having an upright tube 45 mounted to the inside bottom 42 of the reservoir tank 32 therewithin and a water fill float 47 vertically movably disposed about the upright tube 45 for movement with the level of flush water 35. A water inlet valve 48 of the fill valve 44 is mounted atop the upright tube 45 having a vertically movable actuator arm 49 connected io the water fill float 47 using a connector rod 50. A conventional overflow tube 51 extends upwardly from the inside bottom 42 of the reservoir tank 32 to drain flush water 35 therefrom if the level thereof rises too high preventing tank overflows. 1. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - FLOW CONTROL UNIT

As best shown in FIGS . 1 -3 , the water management system 20 measures and controls the flow of flush water 35 to the toilet 22 for leak detection and overflow prevention using a first embodiment intelligent flow control unit 52 which replaces a conventional angle stop valve (not shown) along the water supply conduit 24 to the toilet 22 to measure and control a flow of flush water 35 therethrough. The flow control unit 52 connects between the wall flange 38 and an internally threaded fitting 53 of the water supply tube 36. The flow control unit 52 is an intelligent water management device meaning that in addition to preventing of overflows, it meters and monitors the flow of flush water 35 and detects water leaks. The flow control unit 52 alone can detect various water conditions including abnormal fault conditions such as wherein the flush water 35 flows continuously, commonly known as "fill valve leaks" and "flapper valve leaks". The flow control unit 52 is preferably primarily made of molded plastic materials such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like with metals and other materials used as required.

2. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - WATER SENSOR UNITS

The water management system 20 preferably includes a plurality of water sensor units 54 that mount to the toilet 22 or other water-using fixture to supplement the water condition detecting capabilities of the flow control unit 52 including directly detecting fault conditions and communicating them to the flow control unit 52. These include a bowl sensor unit 55 mounted inside toilet bowl 27 of the toilet 22 to monitor the flush water 35 therein and detect bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions and a tank sensor unit 56 mounted inside the reservoir tank 32 of the toilet 22 to monitor the flush water 35 therein and detect tank full and empty water conditions and tank overflow and not overflow water conditions. Such fault conditions include "bowl overflow" and "reservoir tank overflow" which the flow control unit 52 alone can indirectly monitor by the flow of flush water 35, but is better to directly monitor using the water sensor units 54 as one of the input signals thereto. The water sensor units 54 also provide increased sensitivity to water leaks. The water sensor units 54 are operatively electrically connected to the flow control unit 52 to communicate therewith using a transmitting/receiving technology such as hard wiring, radio frequency, infrared, microwave, internet, and the like. The water sensor units 54 are preferably primarily made of molded plastic materials such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like with metals and other materials used as required.

3. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - WATER CONTROL UNITS

The water management system 20 preferably includes a plurality of water control units 57 that mount to the toilet 22 or other water-using fixture to complement the flow measuring and controlling capabilities of the flow control unit 52 including a flush control unit 58 mounted to the reservoir tank 32 in place of a conventional flush lever (not shown) to flush the toilet 22 and a flush valve unit 59 affixed to the inside bottom 42 of the reservoir tank 32 to control outflow of the flush water 35 from the reservoir tank 32 into the toilet bowl 27. The water control units 57 are preferably primarily made of molded plastic materials such as polyvinyl chloride, polyethylene, polypropylene, and the like with metals and other materials used as required.

4. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - COMPONENT PARTS

Referring to FIGS. 4-8, the flow control unit 52 includes a plurality of component parts including a body 60 adapted for passing the flush water 35 therethrough and a valve unit 62 to selectively start and stop the flow of flush water 35 through the body 60. A flow measuring device preferably in the form of a pressure transducer type flow sensor 64 produces flow signals indicative of the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52. This is done by continuously or periodically (e.g. every half-second) measuring pressure differences in the flush water 35 within the body 60 used to calculate the flow of flush water 35 through the body 60. The flow sensor 64 has no moving parts so as to be very reliable. An electronics unit 66 of the flow control unit 52 provides the intelligence for the flow control unit 52 and allows user input. The electronics unit 66 receives various input signals from the bowl sensor unit 55, the reservoir tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59, and performs water management functions including calculating flow rates of the flush water 35 through the body 60 and controlling the flow of flush water 35 based on pre-determined flow parameters such as pressure versus time period and also conduct flushes of the toilet 22. The flow control unit 52 further includes a housing 68 of egg or orb shape contains the component parts of the flow control unit 52 in a visually attractive manner and permits user input and viewing of status information of the flow control unit 52 and of the water management system 20. A removable protective cap 70 is provided to selectively cover a portion of the housing 68 used for user input to control the flow control unit 52 when not being viewed or by the user. An integral quick shut-off valve

72 is provided as a manual override to stop flow of flush water 35 through the body 60 of flow control unit 52.

5. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - BODY As best shown in FIGS. 5 and 7, the body 60 has a circular flat center area 74 to which the valve unit 62 and the electronics unit 66 are attached. The body 60 has respective inlet and outlet ends 76 and 77 interconnected by a water passageway 78 that extends horizontally through the body 60 for passing the flush water 35 through the body 60. The inlet end 76 of the body 60 is of circular cross-section with an internally threaded screw cap 79 rotatably connected thereto adapted to connect to the mating externally threaded wall flange 38 along the water supply conduit 24 to feed the flush water 35 thereinto. The outlet 5 end 77 of the body 60 is also of circular cross-section and is externally threaded to connect to the mating internally threaded fitting 53 of the water supply tube 36 connected along the water supply conduit 24 to the toilet 22 to feed the flush water 35 into the reservoir tank 32. The center area 74 has an annular circuit board recess 86.

The water passageway 78 is of circular cross-section including a convergent inlet

10 portion 96, a central portion 98, and a divergent outlet portion 100. The inlet portion 96 includes respective upstream and downstream pressure sensing bores 104 and 110 which extend upwardly therefrom. The central portion 98 of the water passageway 78 is adapted for interfacing with the valve unit 62. An inlet actuator water passageway 116 extends upwardly from an inlet groove 117 to the inlet portion 96 of water passageway 78. An outlet

15 actuator water passageway 118 extends upwardly from a lower surface 119 to the outlet portion 100 of water passageway 78 centrally of an actuator mounting flange 120. An outlet pressure equalization passageway 122 extends upwardly through the lower surface 119 to the outlet portion 100 of water passageway 78 downstream of the outlet actuator water passageway 118.

' 20

6. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - FLOW SENSOR

Referring to FIGS. 5, 7,-and 8, the flow sensor 64 preferably comprises a convergent venturi 128 and a transducer assembly 129. This flow sensor 64 operates more efficiently and quietly to more accurately measure and control the amount of flush water 35 that flows

25 through the flow control unit 52 to the toilet 22 or other water-using fixture to detects and prevent leakage and overflows thereby conserving more flush water 35. The flow sensor 64 alternatively may be of another type such as an optical, infrared, paddle wheel, or turbine sensor. The venturi 128 is of circular cross-sectional water flow area formed in the body 60 along the inlet portion 96 ofwater passageway 78. Venturi 128 includes an inlet section 130, 30 a convergent middle section 131, and an outlet section 132 of smaller cross-sectional water flow area than the inlet section 130. The upstream and downstream pressure sensing bores 104 and 110 respectively extend upwardly from the inlet section 130 and the outlet section 132. The pressure sensing bores 104 and 110 are disposed at a right angle to the water passageway 78 such that the transducer assembly 129 measures static water pressures, though

35 alternatively they may be disposed at other angles to measure combined static and dynamic water pressures or even dynamic water pressure alone. The transducer assembly 129 includes respective upstream and downstream pressure i transducers 133 and 134 operatively associated respectively with the inlet section 130 and the outlet section 132 of the venturi 128 and connected to the electronics unit 66. The upstream pressure transducer 133 is mounted within the upstream pressure sensing bore 104 and the downstream pressure transducer 134 is mounted within the downstream pressure sensing bore 110. The flow sensor 64 produces the flow signals in the form of pressure signals indicative of pressure differentials across the venturi 128 produced by the flow of flush water 35 therethrough. As the flush water 35 passes through the water passageway 78, respective static water pressures are measured by the upstream pressure transducer 133 at the inlet section 130 and by the downstream pressure transducer 134 at the outlet section 132. The electronics unit 66 monitors and converts the pressure differentials between the upstream and downstream pressure transducers 133 and 134 into the flow rates of the flush water 35 using Bernoulli's Principal by software code of the electronics unit 66 and controls the flow of flush water 35 based on the pre-determined flow parameters such as pressure differential versus time period flow parameters. Any leaks are detected downstream of the venturi 128. The volume of the flush water 35 is measured based on the amount and duration of flow. Alternatively, the dynamic pressure differentials, combinations of static pressure differentials, or dynamic pressure differentials may be used.

As best shown in FIG. 8, a differential pressure "DP" across the venturi 128 is used to calculate the flow of flush water 35 flow through the flow control unit 52 by applying Bernoulli's Principal. An upstream pressure "Pl " is measured at the inlet section 130 of the venturi 128 using the upstream pressure transducer 133 through the upstream pressure sensing bore 104. A downstream pressure "P2" is measured at the outlet section 132 of the venturi 128 using the downstream pressure transducer 134 through the downstream pressure sensing bore 110. The flow of flush water 35 through the venturi 128 is calculated using Bernoulli's principal which can be written as follows: P1 + \l2p V1 2 = p2 + 1/2 p V2 2 or V1 A1 = v2 A2 where: p = pressure, p = density, v= flow velocity, A = flow area.

The flow measuring capability of flush water 35 through the venturi 128 enables the flow control unit 52 to calculate and control proper amounts of flush water 35 for each flush, determine if water leaks exist, and prevent overflows as determined by pre-programmed input thereto. The flow rate can be use to calculate and control leaks to the toilet 22, or in a bathtub, a shower, a sink, or other water-using fixture. The flow rate is used to control the volume of flushes to the toilet 22, such as a 1.6 gallons per flush (gpf) liquids flush and the 3 gpf solids flush. The flow control unit 52 is able to control the volume of flush water 35 to any desired gpf volume programmed thereinto. The flow measuring capability also permits setting of other flow parameters regarding flow rate versus time period to detect fill valve leaks, flapper valve leaks, water supply line breaks, and the like. The flow control unit 52 automatically shuts off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32 under such conditions to avoid damage to property in the bathroom 23 and surrounding area.

7. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - VALVE UNIT As best shown in FIGS. 5, 7, 8, and 9 the valve unit 62 includes a water valve 138, preferably a conventional solenoid actuated pulse valve of a normally open type, though other types of valves may be used including motor driven types as described in my U.S.

Patent Nos. 6,671,893 and 6,367,096. The valve unit 62 further includes a stepped valve housing 140 mounted to the body 60 to contain the water valve 138. The water valve 138 includes an electrical device comprising a electric solenoid or linear actuator 142 to effectuate opening and closing of the water valve 138, a flow control piston 144 to effectuate starting and stopping the flow of flush water 35, a resilient seal 146, and a middle disk 148. The valve housing 140 is of annular cross-section, including a larger piston enclosing portion 150, a smaller actuator enclosing portion 152, and an externally threaded attachment portion 154. A stepped bore 156 extends inwardly from an annular flange 158 at the piston enclosingportion 150 to the attachment portion 154. The actuator 142 includes a cylindrical casing 170 affixed within the stepped bore 156 of valve housing 140, and a linearly movable core 172 and a compression spring 173 disposed in a longitudinal bore 174 thereof. The actuator 142 is electrically connected to the electronics unit 66. The flow control piston 144 includes an outer piston 176, a lower inner piston 178, and an upper inner piston 180. The outer piston 176 is comprised of a circular end wall (not shown) with a stem-receiving hole and a dependent annular side wall 184 which define an outer bore 186. A disk receiving flange 190 extends from the end wall of outer piston 176 which defines a disk-receiving recess (not shown). A groove 196 extends longitudinally along a semi-circular extension 198 of side wall 184 from the end wall along the side wall

184 within the outer bore 186.

The lower inner piston 178 closely fits within the outer bore 186 and is comprised of a circular end wall 200 with a dependent annular flange 202 which define an inner bore 204. A center post 210 extends longitudinally from the end wall 200 within the inner bore 204.

The upper inner piston 180 closely fits within the outer bore 186 and is comprised of a circular center wall (not shown) within an annular side wall 214 which define an upper inner bore 216 and a lower inner bore 218.

The resilient seal 146 has an outer ring 230 of semi-circular cross-section and an inner disk 232 interconnected by a thin annular connecting ring 233 of U-shaped cross- section. The seal 146 provides a watertight interface between the outer piston 176 and the body 60. The middle disk 148 includes a circular disk 234 and a center post 236 dependent therefrom. The disk 234 fits into the disk receiving recess of the outer piston 176 between the actuator 142 and the flow control piston 144 for movement with the core 172 of actuator

142. The center post 236 fits within the stem receiving hole of the outer piston 176 to keep middle disk 148 centered.

8. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - ELECTRONICS UNIT

As best shown in FIGS. 5, 7, and 10, the electronics unit 66 includes a display device in the form of a liquid crystal display 239 which shows status information and alerts to fault conditions of the water management system 20 by displaying alphanumeric characters.

Alternatively, a plurality of status indicator light emitting diodes (LED ' s) are used including a leak indicator LED 240, an overflow indicator LED 242, and a low battery indicator LED 244 as shown in FIG. 10 which illuminate in various combinations to indicate fault conditions and programmed profiles (see below). The electronics unit 66 further includes a pair of control switches including an alarm silence switch 246 and an open valve switch 248, both preferably in the form of flush-mount pushbuttons or membrane switches. Alerts to fault conditions may also include sounding audible alarms using an alarm buzzer 250 that provides audible alarm warnings of fault conditions. The alarm buzzer 250 comprises a small speaker or other alarm device with sufficiently loud sound output to be clearly heard' in the vicinity of the flow control unit 52. The alarm silence switch 246 is used to turn off the alarm buzzer 250 following closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62. Pressing and holding the alarm silence switch 246 in the closed position until three beeps sound silences the alarm buzzer 250. The alarm buzzer 250 is re-enabled by pressing and holding the alarm silence switch 246 until one beep sounds. Alerts to fault conditions may also include sounding visual alarms of other alarm devices to indicate closing of the valve unit 52 to users of types including audible alarm devices such speakers separate from the flow control unit 52 for sounding louder audio alerts, visual alarm devices such as blinking lights separate from the flow control unit 52 for hearing impaired users, internet alarm devices such as remote computers which receive internet alerts such as e-mails, and remote telecommunications alert devices such as pagers, cellular telephones, facsimile machines, and the like which receive telecommunications alerts.

The open valve switch 248 is used to open the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 following closing thereof due to a fault condition. Pressing the open valve switch 248 opens the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to restore the supply of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32 of the toilet 22 after a leak or overflow fault condition has closed the water valve 138 of unit 62. A chirping device 251 provides audible sounds verifying user inputs to the flow control unit 52. The flow control unit 52 is internally electrically powered by an electrical power source in the form of a pair of batteries 252 retained by a pair of clips 253 of body 60. An external power source is also provided in the form of a battery pack 254 or a direct current (DC) power supply 255 should external electrical power be desired. As best shown in FIGS . 5, 7, and 10, the electronics unit 66 includes a printed circuit board 256 of mating circular shape to fit within the circuit board recess 86 of the body 60. A plurality of electrical component parts are mounted to the circuit board 256 including a microprocessor 257 managed using software code which is programmable to set the flow, parameters and the water management functions, together which provide intelligence to the flow control unit 52 to analyze the flow of flush water 35. Microprocessor 257 commands opening and closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 in accordance with pre¬ programmed instructions to prevent overflows of the toilet 22 and monitors the flow of flush water 35 to detect water- wasting fill valve, flapper valve, and flush valve leaks.

The microprocessor 257 is managed using the software code programmed thereinto. The printed circuit board 256 may include a non-volatile programmable memory chip 258 to supplement non-volatile memory capabilities of the microprocessor 257 to store the software code and one or more memory devices such as memory chips 259 to store operating data of the flow control unit 52 for later download to a computer or other device (not shown). The operating data may include operating parameters such as time of opening and closing of the water valve 138, time versus water pressure, time versus water flow rates, time of fault conditions, and the like for future failure analysis and archiving purposes.

The microprocessor 257 has a flash memory (not shown) a sector of which can be used to store operating information such as the last operating profile (see below) selected by a user for recall in case of loss of electrical power in case of power loss from the batteries 252, the battery pack 254, or the power supply 255. The microprocessor 257 includes an internal 32 kHz clock crystal or oscillator (not shown) that provides real time clock functionality for timing of flow measuring and other processes conducted thereby. The microprocessor 257 includes an internal flow meter (not shown) to perform the water management function of calculating flow rates of the water. A radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 260 is mounted to circuit board 256 to allow single or two-way communications with the remote devices, depending on the particular set-up, such as with the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59. The transmitter/receiver 260 may also be used to communicate with other water sensor units 54 including in non-toilet or urinal installations such as showers, bathtubs, sinks, water heaters, and the like.

The microprocessor 257 monitors different states or fault conditions (see below) that occur at the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59 from signals coming in therefrom through the transmitter/receiver 260 and sends signals to operate the valve unit 62. Alternatively, one or more of the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59 may be hard wired to the flow control unit 52 in conventional manner to provide communications therebetween.

9. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - LOW POWER OPERATING MODE

The microprocessor 257 has a low-power operating or sleep mode which may be used with a low-power brownout function in which the microprocessor 257 awakens from periods of sleep at pre-programmed wake-up intervals to minimize power consumption with time tracked by the oscillator. This minimizes power consumption for the flow control unit 52 with the microprocessor 257 running at very low power consumption. In the low-power operating mode, the microprocessor 257 may operate at up to about eight million instructions

' per second based on the clock speed of the oscillator and completes the status checking and machine tasks quickly, consuming only a very small amount of electrical power to maximize the life of the batteries 252. For example, the microprocessor 257 may wake up every 250 or 500 milliseconds (ms), depending on the software code programmed thereinto, to power up and check the status of the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59 including switch open or closed positions, and to run through machine statuses.

10. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - PROGRAMMABILITY

The flow control unit 52 is programmable by users to change the water management functions and the flow parameters, including volume of water, static water pressure, differential versus time period, dynamic water pressure differential versus time period, and flow rate of water versus time period. The microprocessor 257 is initially programmed at time the of manufacture of the flow control unit 52 using a Joint Test Action Group (JTAG) interface device 261 of circuit board 256 which includes a plurality of test pads 262. The initial programming of microprocessor 257 may be subsequently upgraded using a bootstrap- loader (BSL) interface device in the form of a BSL connector 263 that allows updating of the software code by service personnel on-site by plugging-in a conventional BSL programmer (not shown) into the BSL connector 263.

11. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - CONNECTORS FOR EXTERNAL DEVICES The electronics unit 66 provides for interaction with external devices, including storage of operating data and download thereof, through a plurality of access ports of various types including a universal serial bus (USB) connector 264 and an ethernet connector 265 to connect external devices or accessories. The operating data may be downloaded from the memory chips 259 including the times and dates of valve closings, water pressures, and the like such as to a laptop computer (not shown). A phone jack connector 266 is provided for plugging in accessories such as a plug-in phone receiver 267. An auxiliary power connector 268 is provided to receive power from the battery pack 254 or power supply 255. Various other conventional electronic components are also mounted to the circuit board 256.

12. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - PLUG-IN PHONE RECEIVER

The plug-in phone receiver 267 includes a wall mountable base 270 which can be mounted to the wall 41 next to the toilet 22 or at another convenient location and a handset

271 electrically connected thereto. The base 270 has a phone answering button 272 and a phone hanging up button 274 each connected to a two-way speaker 275 respectively for answering and hanging up a phone call. The phone receiver 267 is connectable to the flow control unit 52 using a conventional connector 276 and phone cord 277 or may use wireless RF communications to work as a portable hand set such as for use in a restroom or kitchen.

13. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS

The transmitter/receiver 260 includes a transmitter 280, a receiver 282, and an antenna 284 to facilitate the communication with the remote devices. The transmitter 280 sends RF signals "RFl " from the microprocessor 257 to the flush valve unit 59 to control movement thereof between a normally closed and an open position to cause the 1.6 gpf liquids flush or the 3 gpf solids flush. The receiver 282 receives RF signals "RF2" from the flush control unit 58 upon manual flush actuation by a user for the microprocessor 257 to cause the liquid or solids flush of the flush valve unit 59. The receiver 282 receives RF signals "RF3 " from the bowl sensor unit 55 of whether the level of flush water 35 in the toilet bowl 27 is too high. The receiver 282 receives RF signals "RF4" from the tank sensor unit 56 of whether the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 is too high, there is a fill valve leak, or there is a flapper valve leak.

The electronics unit 66 of flow control unit 52 utilizes Blue Chip™ radio frequency technology in which the transmitter/receiver 260 communicates status information and alerts to the remote devices of the telecommunications type such as pagers, cellular telephones, facsimile machines, and the like. The electronics unit 66 may also utilize the internet technology to communicate the status information to a remote computer via e-mail. The status information may include fault conditions, device identification, device location, and the like. The location of the water management system 20 may be sent as part of the software code pre-programmed into the flow control unit 52 or as determined by a global positioning device 285 installed therein to provide automatic location information for transmittal to the remote devices.

14. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - EXTERNAL POWER SOURCES The external power sources of the battery pack 254 and the power supply 255 are used to supply electrical power to the flow control unit 52 when use of the internal batteries 252 is not desired. The battery pack 254 includes a battery case 286 which contains a plurality of the batteries 252. A power cord 288 extends from the battery case 286 and terminates at a connector 289 which plugs into the auxiliary power connector 268 to supply the flow control unit 52 with nine volts direct current (DC). Alternatively, the power supply 255 may be used if a conventional wall socket 291 such as mounted to the wall 41 of bathroom 23 is available near the toilet 22. Power supply 255 includes a transformer case 292 from which a pair of prongs 293 extend to engage the wall socket 291. The transformer case 292 contains a rectifier 294 and a transformer 295 to convert the 110 volts alternating current (AC) of the wall socket 291 to nine volts DC for use by the flow control unit 52. The power supply 255 uses the same power cord 288 which extends from the transformer case 292 and terminates at the connector 289 which plugs into the auxiliary power connector 268 to supply the flow control unit 52 with nine volts DC. The valve unit 62 may also be adapted to operate using 110 volts AC electrical power.

15. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - HOUSING AND PROTECTIVE CAP

As best shown in FIGS. 4, 6, and 7, the housing 68 contains a portion of the body 60, the valve unit 62, the flow sensor 64, and the electronics unit 66. The housing 68 includes respective upper and lower housing halves 296 and298, each preferably of generally half-egg or half-orb shape. The upper housing half 296 includes a flat control panel 300 with a transparent viewing window 302 of rectangular shape. The liquid crystal display 239 is mounted to an inner surface 304 of the upper housing half 296 so as to be visible through the viewing window 302. The alarm silence switch 246 and the open valve switch 248 are also mounted to the inner surface 304 of the upper housing half 296. The lower housing half 298 includes an internally threaded attachment flange 306 which extends upwardly from an inner surface 308 thereof to threadably connect to the externally threaded attachment portion 154 of the valve housing 140.

The protective cap 70 is of mating generally half-egg or orb shape to closely fit over the upper housing half 296 to selectively cover the control panel 300. The protective cap 70 has a flat area 310 of mating configuration to protect the control panel 300 of upper housing half 296 from damage and from accidently pressing the alarm silence switch 246 or the open valve switch 248. The protective cap 70 may snap-fit to the body 60 or the housing 68 such as by using a plurality of tabs or nubs and mating grooves (not shown) to prevent accidental removal thereof but is easily removable to permit viewing and operation at the control panel 300 of the flow control unit 52. A design or logo 312 may be printed, molded, or otherwise disposed on the flat area 310.

16. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - QUICK SHUT-OFF VALVE

As best shown in FIGS.4, 5, and 7, the quick shut-off valve 72 is of a normally open, one-quarter turn rotary type disposed in the inlet end 76 of the body 60 upstream of the valve unit 62. The shut-off valve 72 is used to stop flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52, replacing a conventional angle stop valve (not shown) which typically requires about five rotations to close and reopen which is very slow to operate in emergency flood situations which may result in increased property damage. The shut-off valve 72 includes a handle 314 connected to a pivot rod 316 that extends through the inlet end 76 of the body 60. The pivot rod 316 has a ball 318 disposed in a mating spherical ball seat 320 of the water passageway 78. A water passage hole 322 through ball 318 allows selective passage and stoppage of the flush water 35 through the body 60 by rotating the handle 314. In case of an emergency, the shut-off valve 72 may be quickly closed by pivoting the handle 314 thereof one-quarter rotation. The shut-off valve 72 may easily be reopened by rotating the handle 314 one- quarter rotation in the opposite rotational direction. Other types of valves, preferably also of the one-quarter rotation quick shut-off type, may also be used for shutting off the supply of flush water 35.

17. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - FLUSH CONTROL UNIT

As best shown in FIGS. 1 -3, the flush control unit 58 is mounted to the reservoir tank 32 in place of the conventional flush lever to signal the flow control unit 52 to conduct a flush of the toilet 22. The flush control unit 58 includes a liquids flush switch 324 and a solids flush switch325, both preferably in the form of pushbuttons which extend from a switch housing 326 mounted to a front 328 of the reservoir tank 32. Other types of switches such as membrane switches may also be used. The flush control unit 58 signals the flow control unit 52 to respectively conduct the liquids flush and solids flush of the toilet 22 when the liquids and solids switches 324 and 325 are actuated. The liquids flush is of the smaller volume of the flush water 35 washes away urine and the solids flush of the larger volume of the flush water 35 washes away feces and toilet paper. The flush control unit 58 uses a flush triggering technology of manually operable switches though other technologies such as automatically operable electric eyes and motion detectors may be used. The flush control unit 58 includes communications components comprising a radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 329, a microchip 330 on a circuit board 331, and a battery 332. The transmitter/receiver 329 comprises a transmitter 333, a receiver 334, and an antenna 335 to facilitate communications by transmitting flush signals "RF2" to the flow control unit 52 for the microprocessor 257 to respectively trigger the 1.6 gpf liquids or the 3 gpf solids flush of the flush valve unit 59. The amount of flush water 35 per liquids and solids flush is programmable by the user.

18. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - BOWL SENSOR UNIT

Referring to FIGS. 1-3 and 11, the bowl sensor unit 55 includes a sensor body 337 and an adjustable mounting bracket 338 connected thereto which mounts to the toilet 22. The sensor body 337 removably connects to part of the mounting bracket 338 and communicates separation thereof to the flow control unit 52 using an electrical connector 339 which detects separation thereof. The bowl sensor unit 55 is for mounting inside the toilet bowl 27 at a normal bowl fill level "BFL" of the flush water 35 as during normal operation of the toilet 22. The sensor body 337 includes a frame 340 and a magnetic float switch 341 of a single switch type affixed to the frame 340. The frame 340 has a watertight, enclosed

, upper portion 342 to enclose part of the magnetic float switch 341 and communications components comprising a radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 343, a microchip 344 on a circuit board 345, and a battery 346 to facilitate the communication. The frame 340 has a lower portion 348 open to the flush water 35 through respective front openings 349 and side openings 350.

The magnetic float switch 341 includes a bowl float 351 vertically slidably disposed in the lower portion 348 to move with the level of the flush water 35 within the toilet bowl 27 within the confines of the frame 340. A magnet 352 of the magnetic float switch 341 is affixed to the bowl float 351. A magnetic reed switch of the magnetic float switch 341 comprising a bowl overflow switch 354 is mounted within the upper portion 342 of frame 340 to detect the bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions. The bowl overflow switch 354 is of a normally open type that changes to a closed position when the magnet 352 is closely disposed thereto depending on the vertical position of the bowl float 351 during operation of the toilet 22. The bowl overflow switch 354 is part of a bowl overflow electrical circuit 355 of the electronics unit 66 which is normally open when the water condition detected in the toilet bowl 27 is normal . The bowl overflow switch 354 changes to a closed position along with the bowl overflow electrical circuit 355 when the vertical position of the bowl float 351 is high during an abnormal, potential overflow condition within toilet bowl 27. This change of the bowl overflow electric circuit 355 to a closed electric circuit alerts the flow control unit 52 of the potential overflow condition of the toilet bowl 27. The radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 343 is of conventional design for transmitting the RF signal "RF3" the short distance to the flow control unit 52 and includes communications components comprising a transmitter 357, a receiver 358, and an antenna 360. The microchip 344 monitors the open and closed states of the bowl overflow switch 354 and commands the transmitter 357 to transmit the "RF3 " signal to the flow control unit 52 which indicate conditions in the toilet bowl 27. The conditions include "Bowl Not Overflow" ("Bowl Normal") condition when the bowl overflow switch 354 is in the normally open condition or "Bowl Overflow" condition when the bowl overflow switch 354 is closed. The battery 346 provides electrical power for the connector 339, the transmitter/receiver 343 , the microchip 344, and the bowl overflow switch 354.

The mounting bracket 338 includes a main bracket 362 of L-shaped configuration and an elongate adjustment tab 364 which snap-fits thereto. The main bracket 362 is of thin rectangular cross-section with a short horizontal leg 366 and a dependent long vertical leg 368. The horizontal leg 366 has a pair of outer flanges 370 with respective inwardly facing retaining nubs 372 and a pair of inner flanges 374 with respective outwardly facing V-shaped grooves 376. The vertical leg 368 has a pair of retaining flaps 378 which grip the frame 340 of sensor body 337. The adjustment tab 364 has a pair of retaining tabs 380 adapted to be closely received between respective of the outer and inner flanges 370 and 374. An outer surface 382 of each retaining tab 380 has an indent 384 adapted to engage respective of the retaining nubs 372 to removably retain the retaining tab 380 to the main bracket 362. An inner surface 386 of each retaining tab 380 is of mating V-shape to slidably engage respective of the grooves 376 of the inner flanges 374. The adjustment tab 364 has an elongate slot 388 to receive a bolt 390 of the toilet 22 which connects the hinges 30 with the bowl lid 29 to the pedestal 25. The adjustment tab 364 slidably snap-fits to the horizontal leg 366 with the connector 339 engaged.

The bowl sensor, unit 55 mounts to the toilet 22 using the bolt 390 such that the magnet 352 is not sensed by the bowl overflow switch 354 as the bowl float 351 rises with the level of flush water 35 in the toilet bowl 27 and reaches the normal bowl fill level "BFL" thus remaining in the normally open position. The bowl sensor unit 55 may alternatively be mounted within the toilet bowl 27 in other desired manner such as by clipping to an upper rim 391 of the toilet bowl 27 and the like. When the toilet 22 is flushed, the bowl float 351 drops with the level of flush water 35 in the toilet bowl 27 to further lower the magnet 352 below the bowl overflow switch 354 which remains in the normally open position. If there is a clog in the toilet bowl 27 or the drain pipe 28 during flushing of toilet 22, the level of flush water 35 in the toilet bowl 27 rises above the normal bowl fill level "BFL" moving the bowl float 351 upwardly therewith to raise the magnet 352 to a position closely adjacent the bowl overflow switch 354 such that the magnet 352 is sensed thereby which changes the bowl overflow switch 354 to a closed position. This causes a closed electrical circuit wherein the microchip 344 causes the transmitter 357 to send the RF signal "RF3" to the flow control unit 52 to close the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. This protects adjacent property from damage due to overflowing flush water 35. When the level of flush water 35 drops to or below the normal bowl fill level "BFL" such as by clearing away the clog from in the toilet bowl 27 or the drain pipe 28, the magnet 352 is no longer sensed by the bowl overflow switch 354 which changes back to the normally open position. This causes an open electrical circuit wherein the microchip 344 causes the transmitter 357 to send the RF signal "RF3" to the flow control unit 52 to communicate bowl water level normal condition wherein pressing the open valve switch 248 reopens the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to allow flow of the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32.

19. BOWL SENSOR UNIT - REMOVAL DETECTION The electrical connector 339 allows the flow control unit 52 to detect removal of the main bracket 362 with sensor body 337 from the adjustment tab 364, and thus from the toilet bowl 27, to close the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to prevent bowl overflows of the toilet 22 while removed therefrom. This detachment is desirable to facilitate periodic cleaning of the toilet bowl 27 and of the bowl sensor unit 55 without necessitating removal of the bolt 390 and adjustment tab 364. The connector 339 is comprised of interconnectable halves or contacts comprising respective first and second electrical contacts 392 and 394 each of slightly curved configuration affixed to the horizontal leg 366 of main bracket 362 respectively between the outer and inner flanges 370 and 374 thereof. The first and second electrical contacts 392 and 394 include respective connector wires 396 and 398 which connect to the microchip 344.. The contacts 392 and 394 contact a U-shaped electrical contact 400 affixed to the adjustment tab 364 to form a closed electrical circuit between the connector wires 396 and 398 when the main bracket 362 With the sensor body 337 and the adjustment tab 364 are connected together, and an open electrical circuit when not connected together. When the main bracket 362 with the sensor body 337 is removed from the adjustment tab 364 causing an open electrical circuit, the microchip 344 senses this open condition and causes the transmitter 357 to send the RF signal "RF3" to the flow control unit 52 to close the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. This protects adjacent property from damage due to overflowing flush water 35. When the main bracket 362 with sensor body 337 is reattached to the adjustment tab 364 causing a closed electrical circuit, the microchip 344 causes the transmitter 357 to send the RF signal "RF3" to the flow control unit 52 to open the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to resume the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. 20. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - TANK SENSOR UNIT

Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, the tank sensor unit 56 includes a sensor body 402 and an adjustable mounting bracket 404 connected thereto which mounts to the toilet 22. The mounting bracket 404 is slidably attached to the sensor body 402 in a ratcheting manner to 5 provide incremental vertical adjustment thereof. The tank sensor unit 56 is for mounting inside the reservoir tank 32 at a normal tank fill level "TFL" of the flush water 35 during normal operation of the toilet 22. The sensor body 402 includes a frame 406 and a magnetic float switch 407 of a multi-switch type affixed to the frame 406. The frame 406 has a watertight, enclosed rear portion 408 which encloses part of the magnetic float switch 407

10 and communications components comprising a radio frequency transmitter/receiver 409, a microchip 410 on a circuit board 411, and a battery 412. The frame 406 has a front portion 413 open to the flush water 35 comprised of a front channel 414 formed by a pair of L- shaped float retaining legs 415 extending forwardly from the rear portion 408. A pair of upper retaining brackets 422 of L-shaped cross-section extend rearwardly from the rear

15 portion 408. A pair of lower retaining brackets 424 include respective bases 426 of L-shaped cross-section which extend rearwardly from the rear portion 408 and resilient retaining tabs 428 longitudinally dependent therefrom having respective V-shaped nubs 432 which face inwardly therefrom. A waterline mark 433 on the frame 406 is positionable at the normal tank fill level "TFL" of the flush water 35 during normal operation of the toilet 22 to

, 20 facilitate installation of the tank sensor unit 56 to the toilet 22.

The magnetic float switch 407 includes a tank float 434 vertically slidably disposed in the front channel 414 to move with the level of the flush water 35 within the reservoir tank 32 within the confines of the frame 406. A magnet 435 of the magnetic float switch 407 is affixed to the tank float 434.

25 A plurality of magnetic reed switches of the magnetic float switch 407 comprise a tank overflow switch 436, a tank top switch 438, and a tank bottom switch 440 mounted within the rear portion 408 of frame 406 to detect the tank water conditions. The tank overflow switch 436, tank top switch 438, and tank bottom switch 440 are all of a normally open type that change to a closed position when the magnet 435 is closely disposed thereto

30 depending on the vertical position of the tank float 434 during operation of the toilet 22. The tank overflow switch 436, tank top switch 438, and tank bottom switch 440 are parts of respective electrical circuits of the electronics unit 66 which are normally open or closed when the water condition detected in the reservoir tank 32 is normal. The tank overflow ' switch 436, tank top switch 438, and tank bottom switch 440 respectively change to the

35 opposite closed or open position along with the corresponding electrical circuit depending on the vertical position of the tank float 434. These changes of the electric circuits alert the flow control unit 52 of the conditions in the reservoir tank 32. The tank overflow switch 436 is positioned such that as the tank float 434 rises with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 and reaches the normal tank fill level "TFL" the magnet 435 is not sensed thereby and remains in the normally open position. The tank overflow switch 436 is part of a corresponding tank overflow electrical circuit 441 of the electronics unit 66 which remains in the normally open position. When the toilet 22 is flushed, the tank float 434 drops with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 to further lower the magnet 435 below the tank overflow switch 436 which remains in the normally open position along with the tank overflow electric circuit 441. If the fill valve 44 in the reservoir tank 32 sticks in the open position following flushing of toilet 22, the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 rises above the normal tank fill level "TFL" moving the tank float 434 upwardly therewith to a tank overflow level "TOL" set by the frame 406 to raise the magnet 435 to the tank overflow switch 436 such that the magnet 435 is sensed thereby which changes to a closed position. This change of the tank overflow electric circuit 441 to a closed electric circuit alerts the flow control unit 52 of the potential overflow condition of the reservoir tank 32.

The tank top switch 438 is positioned such that as the tank float 434 rises with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 and reaches the normal tank full level "TFL" the magnet 435 is sensed thereby and changes to a closed position. The tank top switch 438 is part of a corresponding tank top electrical circuit 442 of the electronics unit 66 which changes from a normally open electrical circuit to a closed electrical circuit. When the toilet

22 is flushed, the tank float 434 drops with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 to lower the magnet 435 below the tank top switch 438 such that the magnet 435 is not sensed by the tank top switch 438 which returns to the normally open position which also returns the tank top electrical circuit 442 to a normally open electrical circuit. The reservoir tank 32 should refill following flushing within about six minutes such that the tank top switch 438 changes back to the closed position and the tank top electrical circuit 442 changes back to a closed electrical circuit within six minutes as the tank float 434 rises with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32. If the flush valve unit 59 in the reservoir tank 32 sticks in the open position following flushing of toilet 22, the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 drops and remains below the normal tank full level "TFL" for more than six minutes. This change of the tank top electric circuit 442 to an open electric circuit following flushing and remaining so for more than six minutes alerts the flow control unit 52 of the potential flush valve stuck open condition of the reservoir tank 32.

The tank bottom switch 440 is positioned such that as the tank float 434 drops with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 when the toilet 22 is flushed and reaches a normal tank drain level "TDL" the magnet 435 is sensed thereby which changes to a closed position. The tank bottom switch 440 is part of a corresponding tank bottom electrical circuit 443 of the electronics unit 66 which changes from a normally open electrical circuit to a closed electrical circuit. When the toilet 22 is flushed, the tank float 434 drops with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 to lower the magnet 435 to the tank bottom switch 440 such that the magnet 435 is sensed by the tank bottom switch 440 which changes to a closed position which also changes the tank bottom electrical circuit 443 to a closed electrical circuit. The flush should occur such that the reservoir tank 32 drains in about eight seconds. As the reservoir tank 32 refills, the tank float 434 rises almost immediately with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 to raise the magnet 435 above the tank bottom switch 440 such that the magnet 435 is not sensed thereby which changes to the normally open position and the tank bottom electrical circuit 443 changes back to the open electrical circuit. If the flush valve unit 59 in the reservoir tank 32 sticks open following flushing of toilet 22, the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 drops below the normal tank drain level "TDL" keeping the tank float 434 down and the magnet 435 at the tank bottom switch 440 such that the magnet 435 continues to be sensed thereby which remains in the closed position. This change of the tank bottom electric circuit 443 to the closed electric circuit following flushing and remaining so for more than a period of time such as 1 to 60 seconds alerts the flow control unit 52 of the potential flush valve stuck open condition of the reservoir tank 32.

The radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 409 is of conventional design for transmitting the RF signal "RF4" the short distance to the flow control unit 52 and includes communications components comprising a transmitter 444, a receiver 446, and an antenna 448. The microchip 410 monitors the open and closed states of the tank overflow switch 436, tank top switch 438, and tank bottom switch 440 and commands the transmitter 444 to transmit the "RF4" signal to the flow control unit 52 which indicate conditions in the reservoir tank 32. The conditions include: 1) "Tank Full" condition when the reservoir tank

32 is full as indicated by the tank top switch 438 being in the closed position, the tank bottom switch 440 being in the normally open position, and the tank overflow switch 436 being in the normally open position; 2) "Tank Empty" condition when the reservoir tank 32 is empty as indicated by the tank top switch 438 being in the normally open position, the tank bottom switch 440 being in the closed position, and the tank overflow switch 436 being in the normally open position; 3) "Tank Normal" ("Fill Valve Normal") condition when the reservoir tank 32 refills upon flushing within six minutes as indicated by the sequence of opening and closing of the tank top switch 438 and tank bottom switch 440 explained above and the tank overflow switch 236 is in the normally open position; 4) "Tank Overflow" ("Fill Valve Stuck Open") condition when the tank overflow switch 436 is closed as when the fill valve 44 sticks in an open position; "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" fault condition; "Small Flapper Valve Leak" condition; and "Fill Valve Leak" fault conditions as explained below. The battery 412 provides electrical power for the transmitter/receiver 409, the microchip 410, the tank overflow switch 436, the tank top switch 438, and the tank bottom switch 440.

The mounting bracket 404 includes a main bracket 450 of L-shaped configuration and a resilient retaining tab 452 dependent therefrom which connects to an upper rim 453 of the reservoir tank 32 to secure the mounting bracket 404 thereto, both being of thin rectangular cross-section. The main bracket 450 has a short horizontal, leg 454 and a dependent long vertical leg 456. The vertical leg 456 has a pair of outer edges 458 having respective pluralities of teeth 460 of mating V-shape to engage respective of the nubs 432 of the retaining tabs 428. The vertical leg 456 slidably fits between respective of the upper retaining brackets 422 and the lower retaining brackets 424 of the frame 406 with the nubs 432 of the retaining tabs 428 engaging respective of the pluralities of teeth 460 in ratcheting manner to allow adjustment of vertical positioning of the frame 406 relative to the main bracket 450 to place the waterline mark 433 at the normal tank full level "TFL" of the flush water 35.

21. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - TANK OVERFLOW SENSOR UNIT

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, as an alternative to being part of the tank sensor unit 56, the tank overflow switch 436 may be part of a separate tank overflow sensor unit 462 which mounts to a top end 464 of the overflow tube 51 inside the reservoir tank 32. The tank overflow sensor unit 462 includes a sensor body 466 and a mounting bracket 467 integral therewith which mounts to the top end 464 of the overflow tube 51. The mounting bracket 467 is frictionally attached to the overflow tube 51 to provide vertical adjustment therealong. The tank overflow sensor unit 462 is for mounting inside the reservoir tank 32 at the tank overflow level "TOL" of the flush water 35. The sensor body 466 includes a frame 468 and a magnetic float switch 470 of a single-switch type affixed to the frame 468. The frame 468 has a watertight, enclosed tube side portion 471 to enclose part of the magnetic float switch 470 and communications components comprising a radio frequency transmitter/receiver 472, a microchip 474 on a circuit board 476, and a battery 478 to facilitate communications. The frame 468 has a distal portion 479 open to the flush water 35 through respective front openings 480 and side openings 481.

The magnetic float switch 470 includes a tank float 482 vertically slidably disposed in the distal portion 479 to move with the level of the flush water 35 within the reservoir tank 32 within the confines of the frame 468. A magnet 483 of the magnetic float switch 470 is affixed to the tank float 482. The magnetic reed switch comprising the tank overflow switch 436 is mounted within the tube side portion 471 of frame 468 to detect the tank water conditions. The tank overflow switch 436 is of the normally open type that changes to a closed position when the magnet 483 is closely disposed thereto depending on the vertical position of the tank float

482 during operation of the toilet 22. The tank overflow switch 436 is positioned such that as the tank float 482 rises with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 and reaches the normal tank fill level "TFL" the magnet 483 is not sensed thereby and remains in the normally open position. The tank overflow switch 436 is part of a corresponding tank overflow electrical circuit 484 of the electronics unit 66 which remains in the normally open position. When the toilet 22 is flushed, the tank float 482 drops with the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 to further lower the magnet 483 below the tank overflow switch

436 which remains in the normally open position along with the tank overflow electric circuit 484. If the fill valve 44 in the reservoir tank 32 sticks in the open position following flushing of toilet 22, the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 rises above the normal tank fill level "TFL" moving the tank float 482 upwardly therewith to the tank overflow level "TOL" set by the frame 468 to raise the magnet 483 to the tank overflow switch 436 such that the magnet 483 is sensed thereby which changes to a closed position. This change of the tank overflow electric circuit 484 to a closed electric circuit alerts the flow control unit 52 of the potential overflow condition of the reservoir tank 32.

The radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 472 is of conventional design for transmitting an RF signal "RF5" the short distance to the flow control unit 52 and includes communications components comprising a transmitter 485, a receiver 486, and an antenna 488. The microchip 474 monitors the open and closed states of the tank overflow switch 436 and commands the transmitter 485 to transmit the signal "RF5" to the flow control unit 52 which indicate conditions in the reservoir tank 32. The conditions include: 1) "Tank Normal" ("Fill Valve Normal") condition when the reservoir tank 32 refills upon flushing within six minutes as indicated by the sequence of opening and closing of the tank top switch 438 and tank bottom switch 440 explained above and the tank overflow switch 236 is in the closed position; and 2) "Tank Overflow" ("Fill Valve Stuck Open") condition when the tank overflow switch 436 is closed as when the fill valve 44 sticks in an open position. The battery 478 provides electrical power for the transmitter/receiver 472, the microchip 474, and the tank overflow switch 436. The mounting bracket 467 includes a pair of arcuate arms 490 with atightening screw

491 that extends through one of arms 490 and threads into the other of arms, 490. The tightening screw 491 allows the arms 490 to be flexed slightly inwardly upon tightening thereof to grip overflow tubes 51 of differing diameters and allow adjustment of vertical positioning thereon. 22. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - FLUSH VALVE UNIT

Again referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the flush valve unit 59 is mountable to the inside bottom 42 of the reservoir tank 32 over an outlet opening 492 thereof replacing a conventional flapper valve (not shown) used in toilets 22 to control the flow of flush water 35 from the reservoir tank 32 to the toilet bowl 27 upon flushing of the toilet 22. The flush valve unit 59 includes a housing 493 affixed to the inside bottom 42 of a reservoir tank 32 having a water flow channel 494 therethrough of circular cross-section leading to the outlet opening 492 such as by using a plurality of screws 496. A resilient gasket 497 is disposed therebetween to prevent leaks. A normally closed flush valve 498 is disposed within the water flow channel 494 that is operated by a rotary actuator 500 which controls opening and closing thereof to control the flow of flush water 35 therethrough upon flushing of the toilet 22. The flush valve 498 is preferably of the butterfly valve type which includes a flow restrictor disk 502 rotatably disposed within the water flow channel 494 on a shaft 504. The flow restrictor disk 502 is movable from an open position (dotted lines) to a closed position abutting a seat 506 of housing 493. Alternatively, other types of flush valves 498 other than the butterfly valve type may be used. The rotary actuator 500 is mounted to housing 493 to control opening and closing of the flush valve 498. The rotary actuator 500 is connected to the shaft 504 to control rotational positioning of the flow restrictor disk 502 within the water flow channel 494 to start and stop the flow of flush water 35 therethrough. The flush valve 498 is normally closed with the flow restrictor disk 502 blocking the flow of flush water 35 through the outlet opening 492. The rotary actuator 500 moves the restrictor disk 502 to an open position responsive to the RF signal "RFl" from the microprocessor 257 in response to actuating of either the liquids flush switch 324 or the solids flush switch 325 of the flush control unit 58. The flush valve unit 59 further includes a flow measuring device in communication with the water flow channel 494 which produces the flow signals as the flush water 35 flows through the water flow channel 494 in the form of a paddle wheel flow sensor 510 and communications components comprising a transmitter/receiver 512, a microchip 514, a circuit board 516, and a battery 518 to facilitate communications. The flow sensor 510 is mounted to housing 493 along the water flow channel 494 to measure the flow of flush water

35 exiting the reservoir tank 32 through the flush valve unit 59 into the toilet bowl 27. The flow sensor 510 includes a housing 520 with a water-tight, closed end portion 522 which encloses the communications components including the transmitter/receiver 512, the microchip 514, the circuit board 516, and the battery 518. An open end portion 524 of housing 493 disposed within the water flow channel 494 has a turbine or paddle wheel 526 rotatably mounted therein to spin with the flow of flush water 35 at a rotational speed which varies with a flow rate of the flush water 35 therethrough. A rotational sensor 528 is connected to the paddle wheel 526 which produces output signals to microchip 514 indicative of the rotational speed of the paddle wheel 526 to allow calculation of the flow rate of flush water 35 upon transmittal to the microprocessor 257 of the flow control unit 52. The flow measuring device may be of another type such as an optical sensor or a pressure transducer. The flow sensor 510 may be connected to a generator (not shown) to recharge the battery 518 if desired by the rotation of the paddle wheel 526.

The flush valve unit 59 is controlled by the flow control unit 52 using the radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 512, the microchip 514 on the circuit board 516, and the battery 518. The radio frequency (RF) transmitter/receiver 512 is of conventional design for transmitting the RF signal "RFl" the short distance to the flow control unit 52 and includes communications components including a transmitter 530, a receiver 532, and an antenna 534 to facilitate communications. The transmitter 530 sends the RF signal "RFl" to the flow control unit 52 upon command by the microchip 514. The microchip 514 monitors the output signals of the rotational sensor 528 and commands the transmitter 530 to transmit the RF signal "RFl" to the flow control unit 52 which indicates the flow rate of the flush water 35 passing from the reservoir tank 32 through the flush valve 498 into the toilet bowl 27 which indicates flow volume of the flush water 35 from the reservoir tank 32 into the toilet bowl 27. The battery 518 provides electrical power for the rotary actuator 500, the transmitter/receiver 512, and the microchip 514. The amount of flush water 35 exiting the reservoir tank 32 through the water flow , channel 494 of housing 493 is accurately measured by the flow sensor 510 by monitoring rotation of the paddle wheel 526. Following metering of the predetermined amount of flush water 35, the rotary actuator 500 moves the restrictor disk 502 to the closed position responsive to a signal from the microprocessor 257 in response to water flow signals from the flow sensor 510. The flow sensor 510 may be eliminated such that the rotary actuator 500 moves the restrictor disk 502 to the closed position after a pre-determined amount of time tracked by the microprocessor 257 to meter the flow of flush water 35. The flow sensor 510 can also detect leaking of the flush valve unit 59 when in the closed position, which is included in RF signals "RFl" to the flow control unit 52. While the flow sensor 510 is preferably of the turbine or paddle wheel type shown rotated by the flow of flush water 35 through the flush valve unit 59 upon actuation of the flush control unit 58, it may be of any desired type such as electrically, mechanically, or sound operated.

23. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - MACHINE STATUSES There are pairs of machine statuses associated the operating conditions of the flow control unit 52 and the water conditions of the toilet 22 as indicated by status signals from the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59 and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used). These include: 1) water valve open/closed; 2) electric actuator on/off; 3) bowl no overflow/overflow; 4) reservoir tank no overflow/overflow; 5) reservoir tank full/empty; 6) water sensors connected/not connected; 7) battery charged/drained; 8) calibration correct/incorrect; 9) no malfunction/malfunction; 10) no small leak/small leak; and 11) no large leak/large leak. Less critical functions such as low-battery detection and cable-connection detection that uses an Analog to Digital Converter (ADC) (not shown) in the microprocessor 257 which consumes a little more current but runs only about every five to ten seconds or less often.

24. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - COMMUNICATION OF MACHINE STATUSES

As best shown in FIG. 10, the software code may set up the microprocessor 257 to communicate with remote devices including the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59 and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used) to check their status in several different manners. A first way the software code may set up the microprocessor 257 to communicate is periodic "polling" wherein each time the microprocessor 257 periodically wakes up it sends status request signals via the RF signals "RFl " to the flush valve unit 59, "RF2" to the flush control unit 58, "RF3" to the bowl sensor unit 55, "RF4" to the tank sensor unit 56, "RF5 " to the tank overflow sensor unit 462, which respond to the status request signals with a status signal via respective of RF signals "RF 1 ", "RF2", "RF3", "RF4" and "RF5". The microprocessor 257 evaluates the status signals "RFl", "RF2", "RF3", "RF4" and "RF5" and responds appropriately thereto by closing the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 when required. If any of the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59 and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used) do not respond upon "polling" thereof, the microprocessor

257 interprets this as a error and responds appropriately thereto such as by closing the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 and sounding the appropriate alerts.

The receiver 532 of the flush valve unit 59 receives the RF signal "RFl"with the status request signal, forwards it to the microchip 514 which responds by causing the transmitter 530 to respond with a status signal via the RF signal "RF 1 " indicating either the flush valve 498 is in a "normally closed" position and no flush cycle is in progress or in an "open" position and a flush cycle is in progress.

The receiver 334 of the flush control unit 58 receives the RF signal "RF2" with the status request signal, forwards it to the microchip 330 which responds by causing the transmitter 333 to respond with a status signal via the RF signal "RF2" indicating if either of the liquids and solids flush switches 324 and 325 are closed and respectively a liquids or a solids flush of the toilet 22 should be conducted. The receiver 358 of the bowl sensor unit 55 receives the RF signal "RF3" with the status1 request signal, forwards it to the microchip 344 which responds by causing the transmitter 357 to respond with a status signal via the RF signal "RF3" indicating either the bowl overflow switch 354 is in a "normally open" position and no bowl overflow condition exists or in a "closed" position and a bowl overflow condition exists. The bowl sensor unit 55 also responds in the RF signal "RF3" whether the main bracket 362 with sensor body 337 is attached to the adjustment tab 364 or is detached therefrom.

The receiver 446 of the tank sensor unit 56 receives the RF signal "RF4"with the status request signal, forwards it to the microchip 410 which responds by causing the transmitter 444 to respond with a status signal via the RF signal "RF4" indicating either: 1 ) the tank overflow switch 436 is in the "normally open" position and no tank overflow condition exists, or is in the "closed" position and a tank overflow condition exists; 2) the tank top switch 438 is in the closed position and the tank bottom switch 440 is in the normally open position indicating that the toilet 22 is full and the tank float 434 is in a top position; 3) the tank top switch 438 is in the normally open position and the tank bottom switch 440 is in the normally open position indicating that the toilet 22 has just been flushed and the tank float 434 has left the top position but has not reached the bottom position (i.e. within eight seconds of flushing); 4) and the tank top switch 438 is in the normally open position and the tank bottom switch 440 is in the closed position indicating that the toilet 22 has been flushed and the tank float 434 has left the top position and just reached the bottom position (i.e. about eight seconds after flushing).

The receiver 486 of the tank overflow sensor unit 462 receives the RF signal "RF5"with the status request signal, forwards it to the microchip 474 which responds by causing the transmitter 485 to respond with a status signal via the RF signal "RF5" indicating either the tank overflow switch 436 is in the "normally open" position and no tank overflow condition exists, or is in the "closed" position and a tank overflow condition exists.

A second way the software code may set up the microprocessor 257 to communicate does not require "polling" thereof. Each time the microprocessor 257 periodically wakes up it "listens" for status signals in the RF signals "RFl", "RF2", "RF3 ", "RF4" and "RF5" which are automatically sent periodically (e.g. every 1 to 1 ,000,000 microseconds) respectively by the flush valve unit 59, the flush control unit 58, the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, and the tank overflow sensor unit 462. The microprocessor 257 evaluates the status signals "RFl", "RF2", "RF3", "RF4" and "RF5" and responds appropriately thereto by closing the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 when required. If any of the flush valve unit 59, the flush control unit 58, the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, or the tank overflow sensor unit 462 do not automatically send respective of the RF signal "RFl", "RF2", "RF3", "RF4" and "RF5" after the microprocessor 257 "listening" for a predeterniined period of time (e.g. 1 to 1,000,000 microseconds), the microprocessor 257 interprets this as a error and responds thereto by closing the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 and sounding the appropriate alerts.

25. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - POWER-UP

Again referring to FIGS. 5 and 7, power-up of the water management system 20 and the flow control unit 52 is done by placing the batteries 252 in the clips 253 of body 60 within the upper housing half 296. The flow control unit 52 automatically turns on and runs through a series of tests to initialize for operation. Alternatively, the flow control unit 52 may include a power on/off switch (not shown) to permit manually turning on and off thereof. The tests include: 1) a key scan to verify the normally open position or the closed position of the alarm silence switch 246 and the open valve switch 248; 2) a machine status check; 3) a battery check wherein the batteries 252 are of at least a minimum voltage; 4) a connection check to determine whether the flush valve unit 59, the flush control unit 58, the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used) are electrically connected thereto by receiving the radio frequency signals "RFl", "RF2", "RF3", "RF4" and "RF5" therefrom or cables if used; and 5) an actuator and water valve check of the status of the water valve 138 and the actuator 142 of the valve unit 62.

The flow control unit 52 also conducts float checks to detect tank fill and overflow conditions including: 1) bowl overflow with the bowl overflow switch 354 of the bowl sensor unit 55 being in the closed position indicates a possible overflow of the toilet bowl 27; 2) tank full with the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 56 being in the closed position and the tank bottom switch 440 being in the normally open position indicates the reservoir tank 32 is full; 3) tank empty with the tank top switch 438 being in the normally open position and the tank bottom sensor 440 being in the closed position indicates the reservoir tank 32 is empty; and 4) tank overflow with the tank overflow switch 436 of the tank sensor unit 56 or the tank overflow sensor unit 462 being in the closed position indicates a possible overflow of the reservoir tank 32.

If all of the initialization tests and float checks are completed successfully with no errors, with no possible overflows of the toilet bowl 27 and the reservoir tank 32, and the reservoir tank 32 is full, the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 opens to permit the flush water 35 to flow through the flow control unit 52 and the alarm buzzer beep twice indicating a normal calibrated or "Ready" state of the flow control unit 52 and the water management system 20. In the "Ready" state of the flow control unit 52 the toilet bowl 27 is filled to the normal bowl fill level "BFL", the bowl overflow switch 354 of the bowl sensor unit 55 is in the normally open position, the reservoir tank 32 is filled to the normal tank fill level "TFL", the tank overflow switch 436 of the tank sensor unit 56 or the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used) is in the normally open position, the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 56 is in the closed position, and the tank bottom switch 440 of the tank sensor unit 56 is in the normally open position, hi the "Ready" state the flow control unit 52 no flush cycle or other water activity is occurring in the toilet 22 and the flow control unit 52 does nothing but wait for flush initiation or fault conditions received as input from the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, the flush valve unit 59, and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used).

26. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - NORMAL FLUSH CYCLE AND "STATES" A normal flush cycle of the toilet 22 is initiated from the "Ready" state of the flow control unit 52 by the user pushing to close either of the flush switches 324 or 325 and the flush control unit 58 sending the RF signal "RF2" to microprocessor 257 to respectively initiate a 1.6 gpf or a 3 gpf flush. Alternatively, the normal flush cycle of the toilet 22 may be initiated from the "Ready" state of the flow control unit 52 by the user operating a conventional flush lever if used rather than the flush control unit 58 and a conventional flapper flush valve is used rather than the flush valve unit 59.

Assuming the flush control unit 58 and the flush valve unit 59 are used, the microprocessor 257 sends the RF signal "RFl" to the flush Valve unit 59 to open the flush valve 498 to let flush water 35 flow from the reservoir tank 32 into the toilet bowel 27. Likewise, the microprocessor 257 sends a signal for valve unit 62 to open the water valve 138 to let flush water 35 flow into the reservoir tank 32. When the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 drains to the normal tank drain level "TDL" and the tank bottom switch 440 changes from the normally open position to the closed position, the tank sensor unit 56 sends the RF signal "RF4" to the flow control unit 52 which in turn sends the RF signal "RF 1 " to close the flush valve 498 of flush valve unit 59. If the conventional flush lever and flapper flush valve are used, the RF signal "RFl " is not sent and the flapper flush valve automatically closes when the level of flush water 35 drops to the normal tank drain level "TDL". The level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 normally takes less than eight seconds to drain and the tank float 434 drop therewith to the normal tank drain level "TDL" and the tank bottom switch 440 normally is closed for less than three seconds. If the time period for the reservoir tank 32 to drain is more than the eight seconds or if the tank bottom switch remains closed for more than three seconds, there is a problem or water fault condition with the toilet 22.

Alternatively, the normal flush cycle of the toilet 22 may be detected by the flow control unit 52 if the flush lever and the flapper flush valve are used by measuring the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 from the opening of the tank top switch 438 responsive the normal flush triggered by the user operating the flush lever which opens the flapper flush valve. During the normal flush cycle of the toilet 22 as well as the other states, the flow control unit 52 monitors the flow of flush water 35 therethrough. As flush water 35 passes through the venturi 128, the static water pressure differentials thereacross are continuously or intermittently (e.g. every 1 to 1 ,000,000 microseconds) measured through the upstream pressure sensing bore 104 using the upstream pressure transducer 133 and through the downstream pressure sensing bore 110 at the inner using the downstream pressure transducer 134. The microprocessor 257 calculates the flow rate of flush water 35 using the flow meter thereof along with the software code. This flow measuring capability of the microprocessor 257 enables the flow control unit 52 to calculate and control proper amounts of flush water 35 programmed thereinto. The flow control unit 52 automatically compensates for varying water pressures of the flush water 35 flowing therethrough by measuring the differential pressure across the venturi 128 with any needed corrections in computing flow rates such as due to turbulence and other water friction built into the software code. For example, the input water pressure in typical installations often varies for example between about forty and seventy pounds per square inch (PSI) which is automatically accounted for by the flow control unit 52.

The flush valve unit 59 is also able to measure the flow of flush water 35 therethrough and send the RF signal "RFl" to the flush valve unit 59 in a complementary manner to the flow control unit 52 flow measurements. In either case of using the flush control unit 58 and the flush valve unit 59 or the flush lever and the flapper flush valve, the flow control unit 52 goes from the "Ready" state into a "Between" state.

In the "Between" state, the tank top switch 438 changes from the closed position to the normally open position by the tank float 434 dropping with the level of the flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 due to initiation of the flush or by the leak fault condition. The microprocessor 257 determines whether the normal flush of the toilet 22 is being conducted or whether the leak fault condition is causing the tank float 434 to drop by timing the descent of the tank float 434 with the level of the flush water 35 the bottom position at the tank drain level "TDL" where the tank bottom switch 440 changes from the normally open position to the closed position. If the tank float 434 descends in less than the eight seconds as determined by the tank top switch 438 changing from the closed position to the normally open position, then either the tank bottom switch 440 changing from the normally open position to the closed position or measuring the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 if the flush lever and the flapper flush valve are used, the microprocessor 257 determines that a normal flush of the toilet 22 is being conducted and goes into a "Flush" state. In the "Flush" state, the flush water 35 keeps filling the reservoir tank 32 until the level of flush water 35 reaches the normal tank fill level "TFL" with the tank float 434 rising therewith as indicated by the tank top switch 438 returning to the closed position. The flow control unit 52 then returns to the "Ready" state. Alternatively; the flush control unit 58 uses flow measurements to detect the normal flush in a similar manner.

If the tank float 434 takes longer than the eight seconds to reach the bottom position or rises back to the top position without reaching the bottom position as indicated by the tank top switch 438 changing back to the closed position without the tank bottom switch 440 first changing to the closed then back to the normally open position indicating that the tank float 434 did not reach the bottom position or by flow measurements of the flow control unit 52, the cause is determined to be a leak condition and the flow control unit 52 goes to a "Leak" state. A leak counter of the microprocessor 257 and the software code is incremented by one. If the leak count reaches three, a "Fill Valve Leak" water condition is detected and the leak alarm is indicated as described below. Alternatively, the flush valve unit 59 uses flow measurements to detect the normal flush or the fill valve leak to go to the "Leak" state in a similar manner.

27. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - OPERATING CONDITIONS AND WATER CONDITIONS

The electronics unit 66 performs the water management functions including monitoring operating conditions of the flow control unit 52 and water conditions of the toilet 22 or other water-using fixture, determining if any of the conditions are abnormal fault conditions, and closing the water valve 138 upon detection of a fault condition. The operating conditions of the flow control unit 52 include a connection condition, a calibration condition, a malfunction condition, and a battery condition. The water conditions of the toilet 22 include a non-flush water condition, a flush water condition, a bowl condition, a reservoir tank condition, and a leak condition. '

28. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - OPERATING FAULT CONDITIONS

The flow control unit 52 detects various fault conditions associated with the operating and the water conditions and alerts users in various ways. The fault conditions associated with the operating conditions of the flow control system 20 include: 1) a "Connection Missing" fault condition wherein the flow control unit

52 detects a connection of the water management system 20 is missing either by a missing cable connection or RF signal that needs to be reconnected or repaired; 2) a "Calibration" fault condition wherein the flow1 control unit 52 detects that the water management system 20 has an incorrect setting or it otherwise not set up properly such as the vertical positioning

, of the bowl sensor unit 55 in the toilet bowl 27, the tank sensor unit 56 in the reservoir tank

32, or the tank overflow sensor unit 462 in the reservoir tank 32 being incorrect and which needs to be repaired. 3) a "Malfunction" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects a malfunction of the water management system 20 that needs to be repaired such as the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 taking longer than thirty seconds to open or close; and 4) a "Low Battery" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects the output voltage of the batteries 252 is low and need to be replaced.

29. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "CONNECTION MISSING" OPERATING FAULT CONDITION

The "Connection Missing" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 does not receive the status signals from one or more of the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, the flush valve unit 59, and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used) either by the RF signals "RF 1 ", "RF2", "RF3 ", "RF4" and "RF5" or by the hard wired connection, whichever is used. In this condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Connection Missing" or the overflow indicator LED 242 and the low battery indicator LED 244 illuminate, whichever are provided, and chirping of the chirping device 251 is initiated. The alarm buzzer 250 remains off. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the connection problem is resolved and attempted operation thereof causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. After correcting the connection problem, pressing the open valve switch 248 restores normal flow of flush water 35 to the toilet 22. The flow control unit 52 returns to the previous state.

30. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "CALIBRATION" OPERATING FAULT CONDITION

The "Calibration" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the reservoir tank 32 takes longer than thirty minutes to refill following flushing. If the calibration fault occurs, it implies a sensor unit problem of the bowl sensor unit 55 or the tank sensor unit 56. In this condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Calibration" or the overflow indicator

LED 242 and the low battery indicator LED 244 illuminate, whichever are provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 and chirping of the chirping device 251 are initiated. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the overflow problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. The "Calibration" fault condition may be fixed by the user pressing either of the liquids or solids flush pushbuttons 324 and 325 to initiating a flush of the toilet 22. In this case, if the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 opens and the alarm buzzer 250 beeps twice. Alternatively, if this does not fix the "Calibration" fault condition, it may be fixed by pressing the open valve switch 248 restores normal flow of flush water 35 to the toilet 22. In this case, if the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 opens and the alarm buzzer 250 beeps twice. In the "Calibration" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. The flow control unit , 52 returns to the previous state after the calibration problem is resolved.

31. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "MALFUNCTION" OPERATING FAULT CONDITION

The "Malfunction" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects that the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 takes longer than thirty seconds to open or close. In this condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 23'9 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Malfunction" or the leak indicator LED 240, the overflow indicator LED 242, and the low battery indicator LED 244 illuminate, whichever are provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 is initiated. The chirping of the chirping device 251 remains off. The flow control unit 52 causes the valve unit 62 to be disabled and the water valve 138 remains in the opened position with the flow of flush water 35 open to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the malfunction problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. In the "Malfunction" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. After correcting the malfunction problem, pressing the open valve switch 248 restores normal flow of flush water 35 to the toilet 22. The flow control unit 52 returns to the previous state.

32. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "LOW BATTERY" OPERATING FAULT CONDITION

The "Low Battery" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the batteries 252 drop below a predetermined voltage. In this condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Low Battery" or the low battery indicator LED 244 illuminates, whichever is provided, and chirping of the chirping device 251 is initiated, both for the rest of the battery life. The alarm buzzer 250 remains off. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the low battery problem is resolved by replacing the batteries 252 with fresh ones, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. The flow control unit 52 cannot be further operated until the batteries 252 are replaced. In the "Low Battery" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. After correcting the battery problem, pressing the open valve switch 248 restores normal flow of flush water 35 to the toilet 22. The flow control unit 52 returns to the previous state. ' . '

33. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - WATER FAULT CONDITIONS

The fault conditions associated with the water conditions of the include: 1) a "Bowl

Overflow" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects an abnormally high level of the flush water 35 in the toilet bowl 27 due to a clog therein or in the drain pipe 28 that needs to be removed; 2) a "Tank Overflow" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects an abnormally high level of the flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 such as a misadjusted or broken water inlet valve 48 that needs to be repaired; 3) a "Flapper Valve

Stuck Open" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects the flapper valve or i flush valve 498 is stuck open which needs to be corrected; 4) a "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects a leak in the toilet 22 such as a small flapper leak by the flapper (not shown) or flush valve 498 of flush valve unit 59 not reseating

1 properly, a cracked pedestal 25, loose tank bolts (not shown) connecting the reservoir tank

32 to the pedestal 25, or a cracked reservoir tank 32 which needs to be repaired; 5) a "Fill

Valve Leak" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects the fill valve 44 is defective so as to allow additional flush water 35 to leak into the reservoir tank 32 near the inside bottom 42 of the reservoir tank 32 when the fill valve 44 of toilet 22 is in the closed position which needs to be repaired; and 6) a "Large Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition wherein the flow control unit 52 detects a large sudden leak from the reservoir tank 32 such as by the flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve not reseating properly following flushing which causes the fill valve 44 to suddenly change from the normally closed position to the open position in short amount of time and needs to be repaired.

34. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "BOWL OVERFLOW" WATER FAULT CONDITION ; The "Bowl Overflow" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the bowl overflow switch 354 of the bowl sensor unit 55 changes from the normally open position to the closed position indicating that the bowl float 351 is raised with the level of flush water 35 exceeding the normal bowl fill level "BFL" in the toilet bowl 27 and a bowl overflow is possible. This typically occurs when the toilet bowl 27 or the drain pipe 28 leading therefrom is clogged. The microprocessor 257 starts timing when the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 58 changes from the closed position to the normally open position when the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 drops and the tank float 434 is lowered with the level of flush water 35 due to flushing of toilet 22. If the bowl overflow switch 354 changes from the normally open position to the closed position by the level of flush water 35 rising in the toilet bowl 27 and the bowl float 351 rising therewith, the microprocessor 257 interprets this as a possible "Bowl Overflow" water condition and causes the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to close to stop the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. Alternatively, the flush control unit 52 uses flow measurements to detect the normal flush or the "Bowl Overflow" water condition. hi this "Bowl Overflow" fault condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Bowl Overflow" or the overflow indicator LED 242 illuminates, whichever is provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 to alert personnel of the possible overflow of the flush water 35 in the toilet bowl 27 is initiated. The chirping of the chirping device 251 remains off. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the bowl overflow problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep, hi the "Bowl Overflow" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. The "Bowl Overflow" water condition is corrected by clearing the clog from the toilet bowl 27 or drain pipe 28 such that the level of flush water 35 drops to the normal bowl fill level "BFL". After correcting the bowl overflow problem, pressing the open valve switch 248 causes the microprocessor 257 to reset back to the "Normal" state and the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to move from the closed position to the normally open position to restart the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. The overflow indicator LED 242 and the alarm buzzer 250 then shut off. The water valve 138 of valve unit 62 will not reopen if the bowl overflow condition still exists in the toilet bowl 27. The bowl sensor unit 55 needs to be cleaned of any feces, toilet paper, or other debris to operate freely.

35. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "TANK1 OVERFLOW" WATER FAULT CONDITION The "Tank Overflow" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the tank overflow switch 436 of either the tank sensor unit 56 or the tank overflow sensor unit 462 changes from the normally open position to the closed position indicating that the tank float 434 or 482 respectively thereof is raised with the level of flush water 35 exceeding the normal tank fill level "TFL" and a tank overflow is possible. This typically occurs when the water inlet valve 48 of fill valve 44 sticks in the open position and an excessive amount of flush water 35 enters the reservoir tank 32. The microprocessor 257 interprets this as a "Fill Valve Stuck Open" water condition and closes the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to stop the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. Alternatively, the flush control unit 52 uses flow measurements to deteqt the normal flush or the "Fill Valve Stuck Open" water condition. hi this "Tank Overflow" fault condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Tank Overflow" or the leak indicator LED 240 and the overflow indicator LED 242 illuminate, whichever are provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 is initiated to alert personnel that the water inlet valve 48 of fill valve 44 is stuck open. The chirping of the chirping device 251 remains off. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the overflow problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. In the "Tank Overflow" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. The "Fill Valve Stuck Open" water condition is corrected such as by jogging the fill valve 44. The level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 needs to be lowered to about one inch from overflowing into the overflow tube 51. After correcting the tank overflow problem,

, pressing the open valve switch 248 causes the microprocessor 257 to reset back to the

"Nqrmal" state and the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to move from the closed position to the normally open position to restart the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. The leak indicator LED 240 and the overflow indicator

LED 242, and the alarm buzzer 250 then shut off. The water valve 138 of valve unit 62 will not reopen if an overflow condition still exists either in the reservoir tank 32. The flow control unit 52 returns to the previous state after the tank overflow problem is resolved.

36. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "FLAPPER VALVE STUCK OPEN" WATER FAULT CONDITION

The "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 56 changing from the closed to normally open position and the tank bottom switch 440 changing from the normally open position to the closed position and staying that way for more than six minutes without changing back indicating that the tank float 434 is lowered with the level of flush water 35 to the normal tank drain level "TDL" and is staying there. This typically occurs when the flush valve 498 of flush valve unit 59 br the flapper valve sticks in the open position and an excessive amount of flush water 35 drains from the reservoir tank 32 into the toilet bowl 27 lowering the level of the flush water 35 therein continuously below the normal tank drain level "TDL". The microprocessor 257 starts timing when the tank top switch 438 changes from the closed position to the normally open position when the level of flush water 35 and the tank float 434 in the reservoir tank 32 drop due to flushing of toilet 22. If the tank bottom switch 440 remains in the normally open position rather than changing to the closed position as in a normal flush for a predetermined time such as five minutes, the microprocessor 257 interprets this as a "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" water condition. Alternatively, the flush control unit 52 uses flow measurements to detect the normal flush or the "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" water condition.

In this "Flapper Valve Stuck Open", alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Stuck Flapper Valve" or the leak indicator LED 240 and the low battery indicator LED 244 illuminate, whichever are provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 is initiated to alert personnel of the flapper valve or the "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" water condition. The chirping of the chirping device 251 remains off. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the overflow problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. In the "Stuck Flapper Valve" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. The "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" water condition is corrected such as by jogging the flapper valve or the flush valve 498 of flush valve unit 59. After correcting the stuck flapper valve problem, pressing the open valve switch 248 causes the microprocessor 257 to reset back to the "Normal" state and the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to move from the closed position to the normally open position to restart the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. The leak indicator LED 240 and the low battery indicator LED 244, and the alarm buzzer 250 then shut off.

37. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "SMALL FLAPPER VALVE LEAK" WATER FAULT CONDITION

The "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 56 changing from the closed to normally open position and the tank bottom switch 440 remaining in the normally open position indicating that the tank float 434 is lowered with the level of flush water 35 but has not reach the tank drain level "TDL". This typically occurs when the flush valve 498 of flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve is in the closed position but does not completely seal causing the flush water 35 slowly drain from the reservoir tank 32 into the toilet bowl 27 and slowly lowers the level of the flush water 35 therein below the normal tank drain level "TDL". The microprocessor 257 starts timing when the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 56 changes from the closed position to the normally open position when the level of flush water 35 and the tank float 434 in the reservoir tank 32 drop due to the small leak. If the tank bottom switch 440 remains in the normally open position for a predetermined time such as thirty minutes following the tank top switch 438 changing to the open position, the microprocessor 257 interprets this as the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" water condition and causes the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to close to stop the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. Alternatively, the flush control unit 52 uses flow measurements to detect the normal flush or the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition.

In this "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Small Flapper Valve Leak" or the leak indicator LED 240 illuminates, whichever is provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 and chirping of the chirping device 251 are initiated to alert personnel of the flapper valve or the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the overflow problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. In the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. The "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition is corrected such as by reseating the restrictor disk 502 of the flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve. After correcting the flapper valve leak problem, pressing the open valve switch 248 causes the microprocessor 257 to reset back to the "Normal" state and the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to move from the closed position to the normally open position to restart the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. The leak indicator LED 240 and the alarm buzzer 250 then shut off. Water leaks such as the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition are also detected by the flow control unit 52 similarly to the "Fill Valve Leak" by counting, as stated above and below. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to open to adjust the level of flush water 35 in the reservoir tank 32 until the tank float 434 is raised with the level of flush water 35 to the normal tank fill level "TFL" in which the tank top switch 438 returns to the closed position. Should the flapper valve leak repeatedly occur (without having initiating a flush cycle) as indicated by the tank top switch 438 changing from the closed to the normally open position , the fill valve 44 opening, the flow control unit 52 adding flush water 35 into the reservoir tank 32, and the tank top switch 438 changing back to the closed position all the time while the tank bottom switch 440 remains in the normally open position, each cycle is a leak count condition. When the flush control unit 52 reaches a leak count 3 condition, the microprocessor 257 interprets this as the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" water condition and causes the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to close and alarms to sound as stated above. '

38. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "FILL VALVE LEAK" WATER FAULT CONDITION

The "Fill Valve Leak" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the tank top switch 438 changing from the closed to normally open position and the tank bottom switch 440 changing from the normally open position to the, closed position in a time period of between eight seconds and thirty minutes later. This indicates the tank float 434 is lowered with the level of flush water 35 and reaches the tank drain level "TDL" but in too long a time period. This typically occurs when the fill valve 44 has a leak upstream of the water inlet valve 48 such where the upright tube 45 is attached to the inside bottom 42 of reservoir tank 32, excess flush water 35 continuously enters the reservoir tank 32 as an inlet leak rather than only when the water inlet valve 48 is open. During a flush cycle, the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 56 changes from the closed position to the normally open position as the level of flush water 35 and the tank float 434 drop and the tank bottom switch 440 changes from the normally open position to the closed position more than the normal eight seconds later, the microprocessor 257 records this as a leak count one. Should this inlet leak continue to occur with subsequent flush cycles in the same manner such that the leak count reaches three, the microprocessor 257 interprets this as a "Fill Valve Leak" fault condition and causes the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to close to stop the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. Alternatively, the flush control unit 52 uses flow measurements to detect the normal flush or the "Fill Valve Leak" fault condition. In this "Fill Valve Leak" fault condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Fill Valve Leak" or the leak indicator LED 240 illuminates, whichever is provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 and chirping of the chirping device 251 are initiated to alert personnel of the fill valve 44 leaking. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the overflow problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. In the "Fill Valve Leak" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. The "Fill Valve Leak" fault condition is corrected such as by reseating the restrictor disk 502 of the flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve. Once the "Fill Valve Leak" water condition is corrected by repairing the fill valve 44 or other water inlet leak, pressing the open valve switch 248 causes the microprocessor 257 to reset back to the "Normal" state and the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to move from the closed position to the normally open position to restart the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. The leak indicator LED 240 and the alarm buzzer 250 are then shut off.

39. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - "LARGE FLAPPER VALVE LEAK" WATER FAULT CONDITION

The "Large Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition occurs when the flow control unit 52 detects the tank top switch 438 of the tank sensor unit 56 changing from the closed to normally open position and returning to the closed position in a time period of between about three to eight seconds with the tank bottom switch 440 remaining in the normally open position indicating that the tank float 434 is lowered with the level of flush water 35 and quickly returned thereto without reaching the tank drain level "TDL" by the fill valve 44 opening to add flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. This typically occurs when the flush valve 498 of flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve are leaking by not reseating properly following flushing. An excessive amount of flush water 35 quickly drains from the reservoir tank 32 into the toilet bowl 27 lowering the level of the flush water 35 therein below the normal tank drain level "TDL". The microprocessor 257 starts timing when the tank top switch 438 changes from the closed position to the normally open position when the level of flush water 35 and the tank float 434 in the reservoir tank 32 drop due to flushing of toilet 22 and stops when the tank bottom switch 440 changes from the normally open position to the closed position. If the time period is less than eight seconds for the tank bottom switch 440 to close and it remains closed for more than three seconds before returning to the normally open position, and the tank top switch 438 returns to the closed position. Should this water leak continue to occur in the same manner such that the leak count reaches three, the microprocessor 257 interprets this as a "Large Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition and causes the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to close to stop the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. Alternatively, the flush control unit 52 uses flow measurements to detect the normal flush or the "Large Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition. In this "Large Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition, alarms are activated including the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 which displays "Large Flapper Valve Leak" or the leak indicator LED 240 illuminates, whichever is provided, and beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 and chirping of the chirping device 251 are initiated to alert personnel of the flush valve 498 of flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve leaking. The flow control unit 52 causes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to close to shut off the flow of flush water 35 to the reservoir tank 32. The open valve switch 248 is disabled until the overflow problem is resolved, attempted operation of which causes the alarm buzzer 250 to produce a single beep. In the "Large Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition, no other alarms may be activated except for the "Low Battery" and the "Connection Missing" fault conditions. The "Large Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition is corrected such as by reseating the restrictor disk 502 of the flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve. Once the "Large Flapper Valve Leak" water condition is corrected by such as by reseating the restrictor disk 502 of the flush valve unit 59 or the flapper valve, pressing the open valve switch 248 causes the microprocessor 257 to reset back to the "Normal" state and the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 to move from the closed position to the normally open position to restart the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 52 into the reservoir tank 32. The leak indicator LED 240 and the alarm buzzer 250 are then shut off.

The electronics unit 66 has a plurality of operating profiles selectable by the user which determine for which fault conditions the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 is closed and alerts are made to users and the manner of alerting for each. By default, the flow control unit 52 is set to an operating "Profile #1" which provides maximum protection alerting users including full visual and audible alerts for overflow, leak, and stuck open flush valve wherein the "Bowl Overflow", the "Tank Overflow", the "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" and the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault conditions are fully enabled. In this profile, as well as the profiles which follow, the "Connection Missing", the "Calibration", the "Low Battery", and the "Malfunction" fault conditions are all enabled. "Profile #1" is initially indicated at the time of set-up by the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 displaying "Profile #1 " or the overflow indicator LED 242 being illuminated with the leak indicator LED 240 and the low battery indicator LED 244 not being illuminated.

The flow control unit 52 set to an operating "Profile #2" provides lesser protection alerting users including full visual and audible alerts and closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 for overflow and stuck open flush valve wherein the "Bowl Overflow", the

"Tank Overflow", and the "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" fault conditions are fully enabled. The "Small Flapper Valve Leak" fault condition is only partially enabled providing only visual and audible alerts but no closing of the water valve 138. "Profile #2" is initially indicated at the time of set-up by the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 displaying "Profile #2" or the leak indicator LED 240 being illuminated with the overflow indicator LED 242 and the low battery indicator LED 244 not being illuminated.

The flow control unit 52 set to an operating "Profile #3" provides alerting users including full visual and audible alerts and closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 for overflow wherein the "Bowl Overflow" and the "Tank Overflow" are fully enabled. The "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" and the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" are only partially enabled providing only visual and audible alerts but no closing of the water valve 138. "Profile #3" is initially indicated at the time of set-up by the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 displaying "Profile #3" or the leak indicator LED 240 being illuminated and the overflow indicator LED 242 being illuminated with the low battery indicator LED 244 not being illuminated.

The flow control unit 52 set to an operating "Profile #4" provides alerting users including foil visual and audible alerts and closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 for overflow wherein the "Bowl Overflow" and the "Tank Overflow" are fully enabled. The "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" is only partially enabled providing only visual and audible alerts but no closing of the water valve 138. The "Small Flapper Valve Leak" is completely disabled providing no visual or audible alerts and no closing of the water valve 138. "Profile #4" is initially indicated at the time of set-up by the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 displaying "Profile #4" or the low battery indicator LED 244 being illuminated and the leak indicator LED 240 and the overflow indicator LED 242 not being illuminated.

The flow control unit 52 set to an operating "Profile #5" provides alerting users including foil visual and audible alerts and closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 for overflow wherein the "Bowl Overflow" and the "Tank Overflow" are folly enabled. The "Flapper Valve Stuck Open" and the "Small Flapper Valve Leak" are completely disabled providing no visual or audible alerts and no closing of the water valve 138. "Profile #5" is initially indicated at the time of set-up by the liquid crystal display 239 of the flow control unit 52 displaying "Profile #5" or the overflow indicator LED 242 and the low battery indicator LED 244 being illuminated and the leak indicator LED 240 not being illuminated. If the water management system 20 is used only with the bowl sensor unit 55 and not the tank sensor unit 56, the flow control unit 52 is set to Profile #5.

The operating profile of the flow control unit 52 may be changed during power-up or after power-up. The operating profile of the flow control unit 52 is changed during power- up of the flow control unit 52 by pressing and holding in the closed position the open valve switch 248 for eight seconds, the flow control unit 52 enters a "Profile Selecting" mode to switch between various operating profiles. The current operating profile of the flow control unit 52 is changed after power-ύp by pressing and holding the open valve switch 248 for about eight seconds which causes the microprocessor 257 to enter the "Profile Selection" mode with the liquid crystal display 239 showing "Profile Selection" mode or the leak indicator LED 240, the overflow indicator LED 242, and the low battery LED 244 all illuminating. The liquid crystal display 239 shows which profile is to be selected or the leak indicator LED 240, the overflow indicator LED 242, and the low battery LED 244 indicate which profile is to be selected as described above. The current profile is displayed first and the other profiles may be scrolled through by pressing the alarm silence switch 246 to display the next profile. The desired profile is selected by pressing the open valve switch 248 to lock , the selected profile and exit the "Profile Selection" mode. Alternatively, the flow control unit 52 automatically exits the "Profile Selection" mode without making any changes after twenty seconds of inactivity or'if a problem is detected.

5 40. WATER MANAGEMENT, SYSTEM - ADDITIONAL OPERATING FEATURES

Operating various combinations of the alarm silence switch 246 and the open valve switch 248 produce additional functions of the flow control unit 52. For example, if the alarm silence switch 246 and the open valve switch 248 are simultaneously pressed and held in the closed position for eight seconds, the alarm buzzer 250 is disabled as indicated by

10 three beeps thereof. If the alarm silence switch 246 is again pressed and held in the closed position for eight seconds, the alarm buzzer 250 is re-enabled as indicated by one beep thereof. A profile selecting mode of the flow control unit 52 is entered by pressing and holding the open valve switch 248 in the closed position for eight seconds. Pressing and holding the alarm silence switch 246 in the closed position for eight seconds disables beeping

15 of the alarm buzzer 250 and chirping of the chirping device 251 as indicated by three beeps of the alarm buzzer 250. Pressing and holding the alarm silence switch 246 in the closed position for eight seconds reenables beeping of the alarm buzzer 250 and chirping of the chirping device 251 as indicated by one beeps of the alarm buzzer 250. The flow control unit 52 may be put into a "Test" state by simultaneously pressing and holding the alarm silence

20 switch 246 and the open valve switch 248 in the closed position for eight seconds. The flow

' control unit 52 then initiates tests including sequentially illuminating the leak indicator LED

240, the overflow indicator LED 242, and the low battery LED 244, sounding two beeps of the alarm buzzer 250, and operating the water valve 138 to check operation thereof and the actuator 142 of the valve unit 62. Chirping of the chirping device 251 remains off. If the

25 tests are completed successfully wherein the LEDs 240, 242, and 244 are not burned-out, the alarm buzzer 250 correctly sounds, and the actuator 142 successfully operates the water valve 62, then the flow control unit 52 returns to the "Ready" state.

41. WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEM - ALTERNATIVE FLOW CONTROL UNIT

30 As shown in FIGS . 14- 17, a second embodiment intelligent flow control unit 536 for use with the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, the flush valve unit 59, and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used) which replaces the conventional angle stop valve (not shown) as explained above for flow control unit 52. The flow control unit 536 connects between the wall flange 38 and the internally threaded fitting

35 53 ofthe water supply tube 36. The flowcontrol unit 536 is an intelligent water management device to prevent overflows, meter and monitor the flow of flush water 35, and detects water leaks. The flow control unit 536 alone can detect various water conditions including the abnormal fault conditions explained above. The flow control unit 536 is made of the same1 materials as the flow control unit 52.

42.FLOWCONTROLUNIT-COMPONENTPARTS As best shown in FIGS. 14 and 17, the flow control unit 536 includes a plurality of component parts including a main body 538 adapted for passing the flush water 35 therethrough and the valve unit 62 to selectively start and stop the flow of flush water 35 through the main body 538. A flow measuring device preferably in the form of a pressure transducer type flow sensor 540 produces flow signals indicative of the flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 536 usedto calculate the flow of flush water 35 through the main body 538 as explained above. An electrical generator assembly 542 charges batteries 252 of the flow control unit 536 and may be used as the flow measuring device. An electronics unit 543 is provided which allows user input, receives the various input signals from the flush control unit 536, the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, the flush valve unit 59, and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used), and i performs the water management functions described above. The flow control unit 536 further includes the housing 68 which includes the upper and lower housing halves 296 and

298 each of half-orb shape which contains the component parts of the flow control unit 536 in a visually attractive manner and permits user input and viewing of status information of the flow control unit 536. The protective cap 70 is provided to selectively cover the portion of the housing 68 used for user input to control the flow control unit 536 when not being viewed or by the user. A quick shut-off valve assembly 544 is provided as a manual override to stop the flow of flush water 35 through the main body 538 of flow control unit 536.

43. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - BODY

As best shown in FIGS . 15 and 16, the main body 538 has a center area 546 to which the valve unit 62, the electronics unit 66, and the generator assembly 542 are attached. The main body 538 has respective inlet and outlet ends 548 and 550 interconnected by a water passageway 552 of L-shape which extends horizontally through the main body 538 for passing the flush water 35 therethrough. The inlet end 548 of the main body 538 is of circular cross-section which is internally threaded to connect to the quick shut-off valve assembly 544 along the water supply conduit 24 to feed the flush water 35 thereinto. The outlet end 550 of the main body 538 is also of circular cross-section and is externally threaded to connect to the mating internally threaded fitting 53 of the water supply tube 36. A turbine bore 554 connects to the water passageway 552 which terminates at a bearing bore 556 both for receiving the generator assembly 542 to charge batteries 252 of the flow control unit 536. The center area 546 has an annular circuit board surface 558 and a valve mounting flange 560 with a recess 562 to respectively receive a circuit board (see below) of the electronics unit 543 and the valve unit 62.

' The water passageway 552 is of circular cross-section including a convergent inlet portion 564, a central portion 566, and a divergent outlet portion 568. The inlet portion 564 includes respective upstream and downstream pressure sensing bores 570 and 572 which extend upwardly therefrom. The central portion 566 of the water passageway 552 is adapted for interfacing with the valve unit 62. An inlet actuator water passageway 574 extends upwardly from an inlet groove 576 to the inlet portion 564 of water passageway 552. An outlet actuator water passageway 578 extends upwardly through a lower surface 580 to the outlet portion 568 of water passageway 552 centrally of the valve mounting flange 560. An outlet pressure equalization passageway 582 extends upwardly through the lower surface 580 to the outlet portion 568 of water passageway 552 downstream of the outlet actuator water ' passageway 578.

, 44. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - FLOW SENSOR

As best shown in FIG. 17, the flow sensor 540 preferably comprises a convergent venturi 584 and the transducer assembly 129. The flow sensor 540 alternatively may be of another type such as the optical, infrared, paddle wheel, or turbine sensor. The venturi 584 is of circular cross-sectional water flow area formed in the main body 538 along the inlet portion 564 of water passageway 552. Venturi 584 includes an inlet section 586, a convergent middle section 588, and an outlet section 590 of smaller cross-sectional water flow area than the inlet section ,586. The upstream and downstream pressure sensing bores 570 and 572 respectively extend upwardly from the inlet section 586 and the outlet section 590. The pressure sensing bores 570 and 572 are disposed at a right angle to the water passageway 552 such that the transducer assembly 129 measures static water pressures, though alternatively they may be disposed at other angles to measure other pressures as described above.

The transducer assembly 129 includes the upstream and downstream pressure transducers 133 and 134 operatively associated respectively with the inlet section 586 and the outlet section 590 of the venturi 584 and connected to the electronics unit 543. The upstream pressure transducer 133 is mounted within the upstream pressure sensing bore 570 and the downstream pressure transducer 134 is mounted within the downstream pressure sensing bore 572. The flow sensor 540 produces the flow signals in the form of pressure signals indicative of pressure differentials across the venturi 584 produced by the flow of flush water 35 therethrough. As the flush water 35 passes through the water passageway 552, respective static water pressures are measured by the upstream pressure transducer 133 at the inlet section 586 and by the downstream pressure transducer 134 at the outlet section 590. The electronics unit 543 monitors and converts the pressure differentials between the upstream and downstream pressure transducers 133 and 134 into the flow rates of the flush water 35 using Bernoulli's Principal by software code of the electronics unit 543 and controls the flow of flush water 35 based on the pre-determined flow parameters, leaks can be detected, and other pressure differentials may be used as described above. The flow measuring capability of flush water 35 through the venturi 584 enables the flow control unit 536 to calculate and control proper amounts of flush water 35 for each flush, determine if water leaks exist, and prevent overflows as described above.

45. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - ELECTRICAL GENERATOR ASSEMBLY

The electrical generator assembly 542 includes a generator 592 having a cylindrical housing 594 from which a rotatable shaft 596 extends and a pair of electrical contacts 598 and 600 extend. A paddle wheel or turbine 602 includes a tubular body 604 that press-fits onto the shaft 596 and a plurality of longitudinal vanes 606 radially dependent therefrom. A mounting housing 608 includes a cylindrical body 610 with a pair of mounting tabs 612 radially dependent therefrom. A support bearing 614 press-fits into the bearing bore 556 to rotatably support the shaft 596, The generator 592 mounts to the main body 538 disposed within the mounting housing 608 with the shaft 596 engaging the support bearing 614 and the turbine 602 disposed within the turbine bore 554 using a pair of screws 616 which extend through respective clearance holes 618 of the mounting tabs 612 into respective threaded holes 620 of main body 538. The generator 592 is of a sealed type and the mounting housing 608 is sealed to the main body 538 using a resilient gasket 621 disposed therebetween. The turbine 602 disposed within the turbine bore 554 rotates with the flow of flush water 35 through the water passageway 552 to charge the batteries 252 of the flow control unit 536. A pair of insulated lead wires 622 and 623 extend respectively from the electrical contacts 598 and 600 to the batteries 252.

46. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - QUICK SHUT-OFF VALVE ASSEMBLY

As best shown in FIG. 14, the quick, shut-off valve assembly 544 includes a secondary body 624 adapted for passing the flush water 35 therethrough and the valve unit 62 to selectively start and stop the flow of flush water 35 through the secondary body 624. The secondary body 624 has respective inlet and outlet ends 626 and 628 interconnected by a water passageway 630 which extends horizontally through the secondary body 624 for passing the flush water 35 through the secondary body 624. The inlet end 626 of the secondary body 624 is of circular cross-section with the internally threaded screw cap 79 rotatably connected thereto adapted to connect to the mating externally threaded wall flange 38 along the water supply conduit 24 to feed the flush water 35 thereinto . The outlet end 628 of the secondary body 624 is also of circular cross-section with an externally threaded screw cap 632 rotatably connected thereto adapted to connect to the mating internally threaded inlet end 548 of the main body 538 to feed the flush water 35 thereinto and to the toilet 22 to feed the flush water 35 into the reservoir tank 32. The quick shut-off valve 72 is disposed in the secondary body 624 between the inlet and outlet ends 626 and 628 to stop flow of flush water 35 through the flow control unit 536. The shut-off valve 72 includes the handle 314 connected to the pivot rod 316 that extends through the secondary body 624. The pivot rod 316 has the ball 318 disposed in a mating spherical ball seat (not shown) of the water passageway 630. The water passage hole 322 through ball 318 allows selective passage and stoppage of the flush water 35 through the secondary body 624 by rotating the handle 314. Other types of valves may also be used for shutting off the supply of flush water 35 as described above. The quick shut-off valve assembly 544 provides a manual override to stop flow of flush water 35 through the body 538 of flow control unit 536.

47. FLOW CONTROL UNIT - ELECTRONICS UNIT

As best shown in FIG. 17, the electronics unit 543 is the same as the electronics unit 66 except for having a modified printed circuit board 634. The printed circuit board 634 is of the same circular shape and size as circuit board 256 except for having a circular generator cut-out 636 to provide clearance for the mounting housing 608 of the generator assembly

542. The electronics unit 543 includes the liquid crystal display 239 or the status indicator

, LED' s 240, 242, and 244 which show the status information, the alerts to fault conditions, and the programmed profiles described above. The control switches 246 and 248, the alarm buzzer 250 that provides audible alarm warnings of fault conditions, the chirping device 251 that provides audible sounds verifying user inputs to the flow control unit 536, and the batteries 252 retained by the clips 253 of main body 538 provide electrical power are all provided. The battery pack 254 or the DC power supply 255 may be used should external electrical power be desired. The plurality of electrical component parts are mounted to the circuit board 634 including the microprocessor 257 managed using the software code which is programmable to set the flow parameters and the water management functions, to analyze the flow of flush water 35, command opening and closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62 in accordance with the pre-programmed instructions, and monitor the flow of flush water 35 to leaks as described above. The non-volatile programmable memory chip 258 supplements non- volatile memory capabilities of the microprocessor 257, and the memory chips 259 store operating data of the flow control unit 536 for later download as explained above. The RF transmitter/ receiver 260 is mounted to circuit board 634 to allow communications with the remote devices such as with the bowl sensor unit 55, the tank sensor unit 56, the flush control unit 58, and the flush valve unit 59 and the tank overflow sensor unit 462 (if used), and the other water sensor units 54. Alternatively, hard- wiring may be used in conventional manner to provide communications therebetween as described above. The microprocessor 257 is initially programmed at time the of manufacture of the flow control unit 52 using the JTAG interface device 261 which includes the plurality of test pads 262. The initial programming of microprocessor 257 may be subsequently upgraded through the BSL connector 263. The electronics unit 543 includes the USB connector 264 and the ethernet connector 265 to connect external devices or accessories for storage of operating data and download thereof. The phone jack connector 266 is provided for plugging in accessories such as the plug-in phone receiver 267. The auxiliary power connector 268 is provided to receive power from the battery pack 254 or power supply 255. Various other conventional electronic components are also mounted to the circuit board 634. The global positioning device 285 provides automatic location information for transmittal to remote devices. Therefore, the intelligent flow control units and water management system solves the problems with the prior art water control devices and systems, including: 1) is readily usable with water-using fixtures other than flush toilets and urinals by having programmability to change the water management functions and the flow parameters to suit the particular water- using fixture including flush toilets, urinals, water heaters, showers, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, and laundry washing machines; 2) utilizes internal flow sensors that have no moving parts that can become gummed-up with waterborne minerals in the form of the venturi and pressure transducers; 3) is mountable in place a conventional angle stop and includes an integral quarter turn shut-off valve to allow quick stopping of the water in emergency situations; 4) is programmable by users to change water management functions and flow parameters as needed to fit the particular water-using fixture; 5) detects and alert users to both water fault conditions of the water-using fixture and operating fault conditions of the flow control unit; 6) has a plurality of pairs of good/bad machine statuses to define normal conditions and fault conditions; 7) communicates additional information such as device identification and device location in addition to warning of fault conditions; 8) communicates with additional types of remote devices including telecommunications devices such as facsimile machines and to computer devices including personal computers via e-mails over the internet and personal data and scheduling assistants; 9) the flow of water is shut off and alerts to fault conditions are made in a flexible manner by having a plurality of operating profiles selectable by the user which determine for which fault conditions the flow of water through the valve unit is shut off and alerts are made to users including the manner of alerting for each; 10) has a low electrical power consumption sleep mode with periodic sleep states and a brownout function for long battery life; 11) wirelessly communicates with the remote water sensors and various remote control units including the flush control unit and the flush valve; 12) checks statuses of the remote water sensors and remote control units in multiple user-determinable manners including soliciting status information by periodic "polling" thereof and by receiving periodic status signals automatically sent thereby; 13) stores and outputs archived operation information including time of water shut-offs using a memory device; and 14) the remote water sensors notify the flow control unit to shut off the flow of water if removed from the water-using fixture.

Many modifications to the flow control units 52 and 536, and the water management system 20 of the present invention are possible while staying within the same inventive concept. For example, the flow control units 52 and 536 may include a reset switch which closes the water valve 138 of the valve unit 62 to shut off the flow of flush water 35 additional to or replacing the quick shut-off valve 72. Other types of flow sensors 64 and 540 may be used such as an infrared sensor, paddle wheel, turbine, or the like to measure the flow of flush water through the valve units 52 and 536. Other types of water sensor units 54 may be used designed for the particular water-using fixture including using other types than normally open switches such, as capacitance, infrared, laser, magnetic, micro-switch, microphone, or other types. The water sensors 54 may attach to the water-using fixture using clips, adhesives, double-sided adhesive tape, hook and loop fasteners, suction cups, and the like, and even integrally being formed with the water-using fixture. A larger touch screen display may replace the liquid crystal display 239, the alarm silence switch 246, and the open valve switch 248 to permit touch screen operation of the flow control units 52 and 536. A plurality of code switches may be included to enable only authorized users to enter an authorization code to reactivate the system following closing of the water valve 138 of valve unit 62. The flush valve unit 59 may be replaced by a conventional flapper or other type of flush valve. The flush control unit 58 may be replaced by a conventional flush lever, a non¬ electric manual pushbutton, an electric eye, a motion detector, or the like. The water management system 20 may be built into newly manufactured toilets 22, urinals, and other water-using fixtures. Other sources of electrical power other than the replaceable batteries 252 may be used in the flow control units 52 and 536, the battery 332 in flush control unit 58, the battery 518 in flush valve unit 59, the battery 346 in bowl sensor unit 55 , the battery 412 in tank sensor unit 56, and the battery 478 in tank overflow sensor unit 462 such as rechargeable batteries with a plug-in battery charger to recharge the rechargeable batteries while still in the various units. Alternatively, a separate battery charger may be used in which the rechargeable batteries are placed for recharging. A wall mounted remote light or sound device may be provided that is in wired or wireless communication with the flow control unit 52 to respectively convey alerts to hearing and visually impaired and users. The water valve 138 of the flow control unit 52 may be non-pulse type valves such as a rotary valve operated by an electric motor to effectuate opening and closing. The switches 341, 436, 438, and 440 may be normally closed as part of normally closed electric circuits. The flow control unit 52 may' be connected to an existing angle stop using adapter fittings.

Whereas this invention is here illustrated and described with reference to embodiments thereof presently contemplated as the best mode of carrying out such invention in actual practice, it is to be understood that various changes may be made in adapting the invention to different embodiments without departing from the broader inventive concepts disclosed herein and comprehended by the claims that follow.

Claims

Claims I claim:
1. An intelligent flow control unit for connection along a water supply conduit to a water-using fixture to measure and control a flow of water therethrough, comprising: a body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through said body, said inlet and outlet ends being adapted to connect along the water supply conduit; a flow sensor adapted to produce flow signals indicative of the flow of water through said passageway; a valve unit adapted to selectively start and stop the flow of water through said passageway; and an electronics unit powered by an electrical power source adapted to receive various input signals including said flow signals from said flow sensor and perform water management functions including calculating flow rates of the water through said body and controlling the flow of water by opening and closing said valve based on pre-determined i flow parameters.
2. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the flow sensor comprises a venturi formed in the body along the passageway and a transducer assembly disposed therealong adapted to produce the flow signals in the form of pressure signals indicative of pressure differentials across said venturi produced by the flow of water therethrough of a type chosen from the group consisting of static pressure differentials, dynamic pressure differentials, and combinations thereof, said electronics unit being adapted to monitor and convert said pressure differentials into the flow rates of the water and control the flow of water based on the pre-determined flow parameters in the form of pressure differential versus time period flow parameters.
3. The flow control unit according to Claim 2, wherein the venturi comprises a convergent venturi which includes an inlet section, a convergent middle section, and an outlet section of smaller cross-sectional water flow area than said inlet section.
4. The flow control unit according to Claim 3, wherein the transducer assembly comprises respective upstream and downstream pressure transducers operatively associated respectively with the inlet section and the outlet section of the venturi.
5. The flow control unit according to Claim 2, wherein the venturi is of circular cross-sectional water flow area.
6. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, further comprising an integral shut-off valve, to selectively start and stop the flow of water through the body.
7. The flow control unit according to Claim 6, wherein the shut-off valve is disposed in the inlet end of the body upstream of the valve unit.
8. The flow control unit according to Claim 6, wherein the shut-off valve comprises a normally open, one-quarter turn rotary quick shut-off valve.
9. The flow control unit according to Claim 6, wherein the inlet end of the body is adapted to connect to a conventional wall fitting along the water supply conduit and the outlet end is adapted to connect to a conventional fitting of a water supply tube of the water supply conduit connected to the water-using fixture to replace a conventional angle stop valve.
10. The flow control unit according to Claim 9, wherein the inlet end of the body has an internally threaded screw cap rotatably connected thereto adapted to connect to mating , externally threaded wall fittings.
11. The flow control unit according to Claim 9, wherein the outlet end of the body is externally threaded to connect to mating internally threaded fittings of the water supply tube.
12. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit is programmable by users to change the water management functions and the flow parameters.
13. The flow control unit according to Claim 12, wherein the flow parameters include at least one chosen from the group consisting of volume of water, static water pressure differential versus time period, dynamic water pressure differential versus time period, and flow rate of water versus time period.
14. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit is adapted to perform additional water management functions of monitoring operating conditions thereof as input signals, monitor water conditions of the water-using fixture as input signals from at least one water sensor unit mounted thereto, determining if any of said conditions are abnormal fault conditions, and closing the valve unit upon detection of said fault condition.
15. The flow control unit according to Claim 14, wherein the operating conditions include at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of a connection condition, a calibration condition, a malfunction condition, and a battery condition and wherein the water conditions include at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of a non- flush water, condition, a flush water condition, a bowl condition, a reservoir tank condition, and a leak condition, of a water-using fixture chosen from the group consisting of flush toilets and urinals.
16. The flow control unit according to Claim 15, wherein the fault conditions include at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of connection missing, calibration, malfunction, low battery, bowl overflow, tank overflow, flapper valve stuck open, small flapper valve leak, fill valve leak, and large flapper valve leak.
17. The flow control unit according to Claim 15 , wherein the electronics unit has pairs of machine statuses associated the operating conditions of the flow control unit and the water conditions of the downstream water-using fixture including at least one pair chosen from the group consisting of water valve open/closed, electric actuator on/off, bowl no overflow/overflow, reservoir tank no overflow/overflow, reservoir tank full/empty, water sensors connected/not connected, battery charged/drained, calibration correct/incorrect, no malfunction/malfunction, no small leak/small leak, and no large leak/large leak.
18. The flow control unit according to Claim 14, wherein the electronics unit is adapted to alert users to fault conditions in a manner chosen from the group consisting of displaying alphanumeric characters, displaying various combinations of lights, sounding audible alarms, sounding visual alarms, sending internet alerts, and calling remote telecommunications devices.
19. The flow control unit according to Claim 14, wherein the electronics unit has a plurality of operating profiles selectable by a user which determine for which fault conditions the valve unit closes and alerts are made to users, and the manner of alerting for each.
20. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit is adapted to communicate with at least one remote device to check its status in a manner chosen from the group consisting of periodic polling by sending a status request signal and receiving in response a status signal from said remote device and receiving of status signals automatically sent periodically by said remote device.
21. The flow control unit according to Claim 20, wherein the electronics unit interprets non-response to the status request signal by any of the remote devices by closing the valve unit.
22. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit is adapted to communicate with at least one remote device using a transmitting/receiving technology chosen from the group consisting of hard wiring, radio frequency, infrared, microwave, and internet.
23. The flow control unit according to Claim 22, wherein the electronics unit includes at least one communications component chosen from the group consisting of a transmitter, a receiver, a microchip, an antenna, and a battery to facilitate the communication with the remote devices.
24. The flow control unit according to Claim 22, wherein electronics unit is adapted to communicate status information to the remote device which includes at least one item of status information chosen from the group consisting of fault conditions, device identification, and device location.
25. The flow control unit according to Claim 24, wherein the electronics unit utilizes the radio frequency technology to communicate the status information to the remote device of a telecommunications type chosen from the group consisting of pagers, cellular telephones, and facsimile machines.
26. The flow control unit according to Claim 24, wherein the electronics unit utilizes the internet technology to communicate the status information thereof to a remote computer via e-mail.
27. The flow control unit according to Claim 1 , wherein the valve unit comprises a water valve which includes an electrical device chosen from the group consisting of an electric solenoid and an electric motor to effectuate opening and closing.
28. The flow control unit according to Claim 27, wherein the valve unit further comprises a valve housing mounted to the body adapted to contain the water valve.
29. The flow control unit according to Claim 27, wherein the water valve comprises a pulse valve.
30. The flow control unit according to Claim 27, wherein the water valve is of a normally open type.
31. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit includes a microprocessor managed using software code which is programmable to set the flow parameters and the water management functions.
32. The flow control unit according to Claim 31, wherein the microprocessor includes an internal oscillator that provides real time clock functionality for timing of the water management functions and a flash memory at least one sector of which is used to store operating information for recall in case of loss of electrical power.
33. The flow control unit according to Claim 31 , wherein the microprocessor has a low-power operating mode with a brownout function in which said microprocessor awakens from periods of sleep at pre-programmed wake-up intervals to minimize power consumption.
34. The flow control unit according to Claim 31, wherein the microprocessor includes an internal flow meter adapted to perform the water management function of calculating flow rates of the water.
35. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit includes a global positioning device adapted to provide location information for transmittal to a remote receiving device.
36. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit includes at least one memory device adapted to store and output operation information of the flow control unit.
37. The flow control unit according to Claim 36, wherein the operation information stored includes at least one operating parameter chosen from the group consisting of time of opening and closing of the valve unit, time versus water pressure, time versus water flow rates, and time of fault conditions.
38. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit is adapted for external data exchange and includes at least one connector of a type chosen from the group consisting of a universal serial bus connector, a phone jack connector , and an ethernet connector to connect to an external device for said external data exchange.
39. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, further comprising a phone receiver electrically connected to the electronics unit Which includes a wall mountable base and a handset electrically connected thereto, said base having respective phone answering and hanging up buttons respectively adapted for answering and hanging up a phone call, each being connected to a two-way speaker.
40. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit includes at least one additional device chosen from the group consisting of: 1) a display device; 2) a plurality of control switches; 3) an alarm device adapted to indicate closing of the valve unit to users of a type chosen from the group consisting of an audible alarm device, a visual alarm device, a cellular telephone alarm device, and an internet alarm device; 4) a JTAG interface device; 5) a bootstrap-loader device; and 6) a radio frequency transmitter/receiver.
41. The flow control unit according to Claim 40, wherein the display device is chosen from the group consisting of a liquid crystal display adapted to show alphanumerical characters and a plurality of light emitting diode adapted to illuminate in various combinations.
42. The water management device according to Claim 40, wherein the display device is adapted to show at least one fault condition chosen from the group consisting of connection missing, calibration, malfunction, low battery, bowl overflow, tank overflow, flapper valve stuck open, small flapper valve leak, fill valve leak, and large flapper valve leak.
43. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the electronics unit is adapted to receive the input signals from at least one sensor unit mountable to the water using fixture, detect separation of a sensor body thereof from a mounting bracket thereof mounted to the water using fixture, and respond to said separation by closing the valve unit to stop the flow of the water.
44. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, further comprising a housing adapted to contain at least a portion of the body, flow measuring device, valve unit, and electronics unit, said housing having a flat control panel with a transparent viewing window.
45. The flow control unit according to Claim 44, further comprising a removable protective cap adapted to selectively cover the control panel of the housing.
46. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, further comprising: ' an electrical generator adapted to produce electrical power from the flow of water through the passageway; and wherein the electronics unit is adapted to receive and utilize said electrical power to charge the electrical power source.
47. The flow control unit according to Claim 46, wherein the generator includes a housing from which a rotatable shaft extends, said generator being part of an electrical generator assembly which further includes a turbine comprised of a tubular hub coaxially mounted to said shaft having a plurality of vanes radially dependent therefrom in a radially- spaced orientation adapted to engage and rotate with the flow of water through the passageway to rotationally drive said shaft to charge the power source of the flow control unit.
48. The flow control unit according to Claim 47, wherein the hub press-fits onto the shaft and the vanes comprise planar longitudinal vanes.
49. The flow control unit according to Claim 47, wherein the body has a turbine bore which connects to the passageway, the turbine being disposed within said turbine bore to rotate with the flow of water through said passageway.
50. The flow control unit according to Claim 49, wherein the turbine bore terminates at a bearing bore of the body coaxially disposed therewith and the generator assembly includes a support bearing that press-fits into the bearing bore adapted to rotatably support the shaft.
51. The flow control unit according to Claim 49, wherein the generator assembly further includes a mounting housing adapted to closely receive the generator therein with a plurality of outwardly dependent mounting tabs with clearance holes therethrough which mounts to the body using respective screws which extend through said clearance holes into respective threaded holes of said body.
52. The flow control unit according to Claim 51 , wherein the generator is of a sealed type and the mounting housing is sealed to the body using a resilient gasket disposed therebetween to prevent the water from leaking out of said body. '
53. The flow control unit according to Claim 46, wherein the passageway is of
L-shape extending horizontally through the body with the inlet and outlet ends disposed at a right angle.
'
54. The flow control unit according to Claim 1, wherein the body comprises a main body and further comprising a quick shut-off valve assembly which includes a secondary body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through said secondary body, said outlet end being adapted to connect to the inlet end of said main body and said inlet end being adapted to connect along the water supply conduit, and an integral shut-off valve disposed in said secondary body between said inlet and outlet ends to selectively start and stop flow of water through said secondary body.
55. The flow control unit according to Claim 54, wherein the inlet end of the main body is threaded in a manner chosen from the group consisting of internally and externally, and the inlet and outlet ends of the secondary body have respective screw caps rotatably connected thereto each threaded in a manner chosen from the group consisting of internally and externally to respectively connect to matingly threaded wall fittings and the inlet end of said main body.
56. An intelligent water management system for water-using fixtures that receive water through a water supply conduit, comprising: a flow control unit adapted for connection along the water supply conduit to measure and control a flow of water therethrough which includes a body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through said body, said inlet and outlet ends being adapted to connect along the water supply conduit, a flow sensor adapted to produce flow signals indicative of the flow of water through said passageway, a valve unit adapted to selectively start and stop the flow of water through said passageway, and an electronics unit powered by an electrical power source adapted to receive various input signals including said flow signals from said flow sensor and perform water management functions including calculating flow rates of the water through said body and controlling the flow of water by opening and closing said valve based on pre-determined flow parameters; and at least one water control unit operatively electrically connected to said flow control unit adapted to communicate input signals to said flow control unit.
57. The water management system according to Claim 56, wherein the flow control unit and the water control unit are adapted to communicate together using a technology chosen from the group consisting of hard wiring, radio frequency, infrared, microwave, and internet.
58. The water management system accordingto Claim 57, wherein the electronics unit of the flow control unit and the water control unit each include at least one communications component chosen from the group consisting of a transmitter, a receiver, a microchip, an antenna, and a battery to facilitate the communication therebetween.
59. The water management system according to Claim 56, wherein the water control unit comprises a flush control unit mountable to the water using fixture adapted to signal the flow control unit to conduct a flush of the water using fixture, said flush control unit using a flush triggering technology chosen from the group consisting of manually operable switches, and automatically operable electric eyes and motion detectors, and said water control unit is adapted to signal said flow control unit to conduct said flush.
60. The water management system according to Claim 59, wherein the flush control unit is adapted to be mountable to the reservoir tank in place of a conventional flush lever.
61. The water management system according to Claim 59, wherein the flush control unit includes a liquids flush switch and a solids flush switch respectively adapted to signal the flow control unit to trigger a liquids flush of and a solids flush of the water using fixture respectively of smaller urine flushing and larger feces flushing volumes of water.
62. The water management system according to Claim 56, wherein the water control unit comprises at least one water sensor unit mountable to the water using fixture adapted to detect and communicate to the flow control unit at least one water condition as one of the input signals.
63. The water management system according to Claim 62, wherein the water sensor unit includes a normally open switch as part of an open electrical circuit when the water condition detected is normal and a closed circuit when the water condition detected is abnormal.
64. The water management system according to Claim 62, wherein the water sensor unit includes a sensor body and a mounting bracket adapted to mount to the water using device, said sensor body being adapted to removably connect to said mounting bracket and communicate separation thereof to the flow control unit.
65. The water management system according to Claim 64, wherein the water sensor unit includes an electrical connector comprised of interconnectable halves respectively affixed to the sensor body and to the mounting bracket to form a closed electrical circuit when said sensor body and said mounting bracket are connected together and an open circuit when not connected together.
66. The water management system according to Claim 62, wherein the water sensor unit includes a sensor body and a mounting bracket connected thereto adapted to mount to the water using fixture, said sensor body including a frame with a float vertically slidably disposed therein adapted to move with a level of the water within the water using fixture, a magnet affixed to said float, and at least one magnetic reed switch affixed to said frame as part of an electric circuit, each magnetic reed switch being of a type chosen from the group consisting of normally open and normally closed which respectively change to closed and open positions when 'said magnet is closely disposed thereto to respectively change said electric circuit to a closed and an open electrical circuit.
67. The water management system according to Claim 66, wherein the frame includes a watertight, enclosed portion adapted to enclose electrical components and an open portion to the water in which the float is slidably disposed.
68. The water management system according to Claim 66, wherein the water sensor unit is chosen from the group consisting of a bowl sensor unit adapted to be mounted inside a water containing bowl of the water using fixture to detect bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions and a reservoir tank sensor unit adapted to be mounted inside a reservoir tank of the water using device to detect reservoir tank full and empty water conditions.
69. The water management system according to Claim 68, wherein the bowl sensor unit includes a single magnetic reed switch of a single-switch type comprising a bowl overflow switch to detect the bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions and the reservoir tank sensor unit includes a magnetic reed switch of a multi-switch type cpmprising a tank top switch adapted to communicate reservoir tank full and empty input signals to said flow control unit and a tank bottom switch adapted to communicate reservoir tank empty and ' not empty input signals to said flow control unit.
70. The water management system according to Claim 69, wherein the magnetic reed switch of the reservoir tank sensor unit includes an additional switch comprising a tank overflow switch adapted to Communicate tank overflow and not overflow input signals to the flow control unit.
71. The water management system according to Claim 66, wherein the mounting bracket of the water sensor unit includes a main bracket of elongate L-shaped configuration and thin rectangular cross-section with a short horizontal leg and a dependent long vertical leg, and a tab of a type chosen from the group consisting of an elongate adjustment tab which slidably snap-fits to said horizontal leg having an elongate slot adapted to receive a bolt of the water using fixture and a resilient retaining tab dependent from said vertical leg adapted to connect to an upper rim of the water using fixture to secure said mounting bracket thereto.
72. The water management system according to Claim 66, wherein the mounting bracket of the water sensor unit is slidably attached to the sensor body in a ratcheting manner to provide incremental vertical adjustment thereof. i
73. The water management system according to Claim 66, wherein the water sensor unit comprises a reservoir tank overflow sensor unit adapted to be mounted inside a
, reservoir tank of the water using device to detect reservoir tank overflow and not overflow water conditions.
74. The water management system according to Claim 73 , wherein the reservoir tank overflow sensor unit is adapted to mount to1 a top end of an upstanding overflow tube inside the reservoir tank with the mounting bracket integral with the sensor body.
75. The water management system according to Claim 56, wherein the water control unit comprises a flush valve unit mountable to an inside bottom of a reservoir tank over an outlet opening thereof replacing a conventional flapper yalve and adapted to control outflow of the water from the reservoir tank into a water containing bowl of the water using fixture.
76. The water management system according to Claim 75, wherein the flush valve unit comprises a housing affixed to the inside bottom of the reservoir tank having a water flow channel therethrough leading to the outlet opening, a normally closed flush valve disposed within said water flow channel operated by a rotary actuator adapted to control
5 opening and closing thereof, and a flow measuring device in communication with said water flow channel adapted to produce the flow signals as the water flows through said water flow channel, and the electronics unit is adapted to open said flush valve upon receipt of a flush signal, calculate the flow of water through said water channel to pass a predetermined volume of water therethrough, and close said flush valve upon passing said predetermined 0 volume of water.
,
77. The water management system according to Claim 76, wherein the flow measuring device of the flush valve unit is of a type chosen from the group consisting of a i paddle wheel, an optical sensor, and a pressure transducer. 5
78. An intelligent flow control unit for connection along a water supply conduit to a water-using fixture to measure and control a flow of water therethrough, comprising: a body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through said body, said inlet and outlet ends being adapted to 0 connect along the water supply conduit; a flow sensor adapted to produce flow signals indicative of the flow of water through said passageway comprised of a convergent venturi formed in said body along said passageway which includes an inlet section, a convergent middle section, and an outlet section of smaller cross-sectional water flow area than said inlet section, and a transduςer 5 assembly disposed therealong comprised of respective upstream and downstream pressure transducers operatively associated respectively with said inlet section and said outlet section of said venturi, said flow sensor being adapted to produce said flow signals in the form of pressure signals indicative of pressure differentials across said venturi produced by the flow of water therethrough of a type chosen from the group consisting of static pressure 0 differentials, dynamic pressure differentials, and combinations thereof; a valve unit adapted to selectively start and stop the flow of water through said passageway; and an electronics unit powered by an electrical power source adapted to receive various input signals including said flow signals from said flow sensor and perform water 5 management functions including calculating flow rates of the water through said body and controlling the flow of water by opening and closing said valve based on pre-determined flow parameters, said electronics unit being adapted to monitor and convert said pressure differentials into the flow rates of the water and control the flow of water based on the pre¬ determined flow parameters in the form of pressure differential versus time period flow parameters, said electronics unit being programmable by users to change said water management functions and said flow parameters, wherein said flow parameters include at least one chosen from the group consisting of volume of water, static water pressure differential versus time period, dynamic water pressure differential versus time period, and flow rate of water versus time period, said electronics unit being adapted to communicate with at least one remote device using a transmitting/receiving technology chosen from the group consisting of hard wiring, radio frequency, infrared, microwave, and internet to communicate status information to the remote device which communications which includes ' at least one item of status information chosen from the group consisting of fault conditions, ' device identification, and device location.
79. The flow control unit according to Claim 78, wherein the electronics unit utilizes at least one of the radio frequency technology and the internet technology to communicate the status information to the remote device of a type chosen from the group consisting of pagers, cellular telephones, facsimile machines, and computers.
80. The flow control unit according to Claim 79, wherein the electronics unit includes at least one memory device adapted to store and output operation information of the flow control unit, said operation information stored including at least one operating parameter chosen from the group consisting of time of opening and closing of the valve unit, time versus water pressure, time versus water flow rates, and time of fault conditions.
81. The flow control unit according to Claim 79, further comprising an integral normally open, one-quarter turn rotary quick shut-off valve disposed in the inlet end of the body upstream of the valve unit to stop the flow of water through said body, said inlet end having an internally threaded screw cap rotatably connected thereto adapted to connect to mating externally threaded wall fittings of a conventional wall fitting along the water supply conduit, and the outlet end of said body is being externally threaded to connect to a mating internally threaded conventional fitting of a water supply tube of the water supply conduit connected to the water-using fixture to replace a conventional angle stop valve.
82. The flow control unit according to Claim 79, wherein the electronics unit is adapted to perform additional water management functions of monitoring operating conditions as input signals and water conditions of the water-using fixture as input signals from at least one water sensor unit mounted thereto, determining if any of said conditions are ' abnormal fault conditions, and closing the valve unit upon detection of said fault condition, said operating conditions including at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of a connection condition, a calibration condition, a malfunction condition, and a battery condition and said water conditions including at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of a non-flush water condition, a flush water condition, a bowl condition, a reservoir tank condition, and a leak condition, of a water-using fixture chosen from the group consisting of flush toilets and urinals, wherein said fault conditions include at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of a connection missing fault condition, a bowl overflow fault condition, a tank overflow fault condition, a stuck flapper valve fault condition, a leak fault condition, a calibration fault condition, a malfunction fault condition, and a low battery fault condition, said electronics unit being adapted to alert users to fault conditions in a manner chosen from the group consisting of displaying alphanumeric characters, displaying various combinations of lights, sounding audible alarms, sounding visual alarms, sending internet alerts, and calling remote telecommunications devices, and said electronics unit having a plurality of operating profiles selectable by a user which determine for which fault conditions said valve unit closes and alerts are made to users, and the manner of alerting for each.
83. The flow control unit according to Claim 79, wherein the electronics unit is adapted to communicate with at least one remote device to check its status in a manner chosen from the group consisting of periodic polling by sending a status request signal and receiving in response a status signal from said remote device and receiving of status signals automatically sent periodically by said remote device, said electronics unit interpreting non- response to said status request signal by any of the remote devices by closing the valve unit.
84. The flow control unit according to Claim 79, wherein the electronics unit includes a microprocessor managed using software code which is programmable to set the flow parameters and the water management functions, said microprocessor including an internal oscillator that provides real time clock functionality for timing of the water management functions, a flash memory at least one sector of which is used to store operating information for recall in case of loss of electrical power, a low-power operating mode with a brownout function in which said microprocessor awakens from periods of sleep at pre¬ programmed wake-up intervals to minimize power consumption, and an internal flow meter adapted to perform the water management function of calculating flow rates of the water.
85. The flow control unit according to Claim 79, wherein the electronics unit includes a global positioning device adapted to provide location information for transmittal to a remote receiving device.
86. The flow control unit according to' Claim 79, wherein the electronics unit is adapted for external data exchange and includes at least one connector of a type chosen from the group consisting of a universal serial bus connector, a phone jack connector , and an ethernet connector to connect to an external device for said external data exchange, said electronics unit including at least one additional device chosen from the group consisting of: 1 ) a display device; 2) a plurality of control switches; 3) an alarm device adapted to indicate closing of the valve unit to users of a type chosen from the group consisting of an audible alarm device, a visual alarm device, a cellular telephone alarm device, and an internet alarm device; 4) a JTAG interface device; 5) a bootstrap-loader device; and 6) a radio frequency transmitter/receiver, said display device being chosen from the group consisting of a liquid crystal display adapted to show alphanumerical characters and a plurality of light emitting diode adapted to illuminate in various combinations and being adapted to show at least one fault condition chosen from the group consisting of connection' missing, calibration, malfunction, low battery, bowl overflow, tank overflow, flapper valve stuck open, small flapper valve leak, fill valve leak, and large flapper valve leak.
,
87. The flow control unit according to Claim 86, wherein the display device is adapted to show at least one fault condition chosen from the group consisting of connection missing, calibration, malfunction, low battery, bowl overflow, tank overflow, flapper valve stuck open, small flapper valve leak, fill valve leak, and large flapper valve leak.
88. The flow control unit according to Claim 79, further comprising a phone receiver electrically connected to the electronics unit which includes a wall mountable base and a phone receiver electrically connected thereto, said phone receiver having respective phone answering and hanging up buttons for answering and hanging up a phone call, each being connected to a two-way speaker.
89. The flow control unit according to Claim 78, further comprising: an electrical generator assembly which includes an electrical generator haying a housing from which a rotatable shaft extends adapted to produce electrical power from the flow of water through the passageway, a turbine comprised of a tubular hub coaxially mounted to said shaft having a plurality of vanes radially dependent therefrom in a radially- spaced orientation adapted to engage and rotate with the flow of water through the passageway to rotationally drive said shaft to charge the power source of the flow control unit, said body having a turbine bore which connects to said passageway, said turbine being disposed within said turbine bore to rotate with the flow of water through said passageway; and wherein the electronics unit is adapted to receive and utilize said electrical power to charge said electrical power source.
90. The flow control unit according to Claim 89, wherein the generator assembly further includes a mounting housing adapted to closely receive the generator therein with a plurality of outwardly dependent mounting tabs with clearance holes therethrough which mounts to the body using respective screws which extend through said clearance holes into respective threaded holes of said body, said generator is of a sealed type and said mounting housing is sealed to the body using a resilient gasket disposed therebetween to prevent the water from leaking out of said body, the passageway is of L-shape extending horizontally through said body with the inlet and outlet ends disposed at a right angle, the turbine bore terminates at a bearing bore of said body coaxially disposed therewith and said generator assembly includes a support bearing that press-fits into said bearing bore adapted to rotatably support the shaft, the hub press-fits onto said shaft, and the vanes comprise planar longitudinal vanes.
91. The flow control unit according to Claim 78,> wherein the body comprises a main body and further comprising a quick shut-off valve assembly which includes a secondary body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through said secondary body, said outlet end being adapted to connect to the inlet end of said main body and said inlet end being adapted to connect along the water supply conduit, and an integral shut-off valve disposed in said secondary body between said inlet and outlet ends to selectively start and stop flow of water through said secondary body, said inlet end of said main body is threaded in a manner chosen from the group consisting of internally and externally, and said inlet and outlet ends of said secondary body have respective screw caps rotatably connected thereto each threaded in a manner chosen from the group consisting of internally and externally to respectively connect to matingly threaded wall fittings and the inlet end of said main body.
92. An intelligent water management system for water-using fixtures that receive water through a water supply conduit, comprising: a flow control unit adapted for connection along the water supply conduit to measure and control a flow of water therethrough which includes a body having respective I inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through said body, said inlet and outlet ends being adapted to connect along the water supply conduit, a flow sensor adapted to produce flow signals indicative of the flow of water through said passageway comprised of a convergent venturi formed in said body along said passageway which includes an inlet section, a convergent middle section, and an outlet section of smaller cross-sectional water flow area than said inlet section, and a transducer assembly disposed therealong compised of respective upstream and downstream pressure transducers operatively associated respectively with said inlet section and said outlet section of said venturi, said flow sensor being adapted to produce said flow signals in the form of pressure signals indicative of pressure differentials across said venturi produced by the flow of water therethrough of a type chosen from the group consisting of static pressure differentials, dynamic pressure differentials, and combinations thereof, a valve unit adapted to selectively start and stop the flow of water through said passageway, and an electronics unit powered by an electrical power source adapted to receive various input signals including said flow signals from said flow sensor and perform water management functions including calculating flow rates of the water through said body and controlling the flow of water by opening and closing said valve based on pre-determined flow parameters, said electronics unit being adapted to monitor and convert said pressure differentials into the flow rates of the water and control the flow of water based on the pre-determined flow parameters in the form of pressure differential versus time period flow parameters, said electronics unit being programmable by users to change said water management functions and said flow parameters, wherein said flow parameters include at least one chosen from the group consisting of volume of water, static water pressure differential versus time period, dynamic water pressure differential versus time period, and flow rate of water versus time period, said electronics unit being adapted to communicate with at least one remote device using a transmitting/receiving technology chosen from the group consisting of hard wiring, radio frequency, infrared, microwave, and internet to communicate status information to the remote device which communications which includes at least one item of status information chosen from the group consisting of fault conditions, device identification,' and device location; and at least one water control unit operatively electrically connected to said flow control unit adapted to communicate input signals to said flow control unit.
93. The water management system according to Claim 92, wherein the water control unit comprises at least one water sensor unit mountable to the water using fixture adapted to detect and communicate to the flow control unit at least one water condition as one of the input signals, and said water sensor unit includes a normally open switch as part of an open electrical circuit when the water condition detected is normal and a closed circuit when the water condition detected is abnormal.
94. The water management system according to Claim 92, wherein the water control unit respectively comprises a flush valve unit and flush control unit, said flush valve unit being mountable to an inside bottom of a reservoir tank over an outlet opening thereof replacing a conventional flapper valve and adapted to control outflow of the water from the reservoir tank into a water containing bowl of the water using fixture, and said water control unit comprising a flush control unit adapted to mount to the water using fixture to signal the flow control unit to conduct a flush of the water using fixture, said flush control unit using a flush triggering technology chosen from the group consisting of manually operable switches, and automatically operable electric eyes and motion detectors, and said water control unit is adapted to signal said flow control unit to conduct said flush, said flush control unit being adapted to be mountable to the reservoir tank in place of a conventional flush lever having a liquids flush switch and a solids flush switch respectively adapted to signal said flow control unit to trigger a liquids flush of and a solids flush of the water using fixture respectively of smaller urine flushing and larger feces flushing volumes of water.
95. The water management system according to Claim 92, wherein the water sensor unit is chosen from the group consisting of a bowl sensor unit adapted to be mounted inside a water containing bowl of the water using fixture to detect bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions and a reservoir tank sensor unit adapted to be mounted inside a reservoir tank of the water using device to detect reservoir tank full and empty water conditions, said bowl sensor unit including a single magnetic reed switch of a single-switch type comprising a bowl overflow switch to detect said bowl overflow and not overflow water conditions, said reservoir tank sensor unit includes a magnetic reed switch of a multi-switch type comprising a tank top switch adapted to communicate reservoir tank full and empty input signals to said flow control unit and a tank bottom switch adapted to communicate reservoir tank empty and not empty input signals to said flow control unit, said magnetic reed switch of said reservoir tank sensor unit including an additional switch comprising a tank overflow switch adapted to communicate tank overflow and not overflow input signals to the flow control unit of a configuration chosen from the group consisting of integral with said reservoir tank sensor unit and part of a separate reservoir tank overflow sensor unit each adapted to detect reservoir tank overflow and not overflow water conditions, said reservoir tank overflow sensor unit being adapted to be mount to a top end of an upstanding overflow tube inside the reservoir tank with a mounting bracket integral with a sensor body.
96. The water management system according to Claim 92, wherein the electronics unit utilizes at least one of the radio frequency technology and the internet technology to communicate the status information to the remote device of a type chosen from the group consisting of pagers, cellular telephones, facsimile machines, and computers.
97. The water management system according to Claim 92, wherein the electronics unit includes at least one memory device adapted to store and output operation information of the flow control unit, said operation information stored including at least one operating parameter chosen from the group consisting of time of opening and closing of the valve unit, time versus water pressure, time versus water flow rates, and time of fault conditions.
98. The water management system according to Claim 92, further comprising: an integral normally open, one-quarter turn rotary quick shut-off valve disposed in the inlet end of the body upstream of the valve unit to stop the flow of water through said body, said inlet end having an internally threaded screw cap rotatably connected thereto adapted to connect to mating externally threaded wall fittings of a conventional wall
' fitting along the water supply conduit, and the outlet end of said body is being externally threaded to connect to a mating internally threaded conventional fitting of a water supply tube of the water supply conduit connected to the water-using fixture to replace a conventional angle stop valve; and wherein the electronics unit includes at least one memory device adapted to store and output operation information of the flow control unit, said operation information stored including at least one operating parameter chosen from the group consisting of time of opening and closing of the valve unit, time versus water pressure, time versus water flow rates, and time of fault conditions, said electronics unit being adapted to perform additional water management functions of monitoring operating conditions as input signals and water conditions of the water-using fixture as input signals from at least one water sensor unit mounted thereto, determining if any of said conditions are abnormal fault conditions, and closing the valve unit upon detection of said fault condition, said operating conditions including at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of a connection condition, a calibration condition, a malfunction condition, and a battery condition and said water conditions including at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of a non-flush water condition, a flush water condition, a bowl condition, a reservoir tank condition, and a leak condition of a water-using fixture chosen from the group consisting of flush toilets and urinals, said fault conditions including at least one condition chosen from the group consisting of connection missing, calibration, malfunction, low battery, bowl overflow, tank overflow, flapper valve stuck open, small flapper valve leak, fill valve leak, and large flapper, valve leak, said electronics unit being adapted to alert users to fault conditions in a manner chosen from the group consisting of displaying alphanumeric characters, displaying various combinations of lights, sounding audible alarms, sounding visual alarms, sending internet
' , alerts, and calling remote telecommunications devices, and said electronics unit having a plurality of operating profiles selectable by a user which determine for which fault conditions said valve unit closes and alerts are made to users, and the manner of alerting for each, wherein said electronics unit is adapted to communicate with at least one remote device to check its status in a manner chosen from the group consisting of periodic polling by sending a status request signal and receiving in response a status signal from said remote device and receiving1 of status signals automatically sent periodically by said remote device, said electronics unit interpreting non-response to said status request signal by any of the remote devices by closing said valve unit, wherein said electronics unit includes a microprocessor managed using software code which is programmable to set the flow parameters and the water management functions, said microprocessor including an internal oscillator that provides real time clock functionality for timing of the water management functions, a flash memory at least one sector of which is used to store operating information for recall in case of loss of electrical power, a low-power operating mode with a brownout function in which
1 said microprocessor awakens from periods of sleep at pre-programmed wake-up intervals to minimize power consumption, and an internal flow meter adapted to perform the water management function of calculating flow rates of the water, wherein said electronics unit is adapted for external data exchange and includes at least one connector of a type chosen from
; the group consisting of a universal serial bus connector, a phone jack connector, and an ethernet connector to connect to an external device for said external data exchange, said electronics unit including at least one additional device chosen from the group consisting of: ' 1 ) a display device; 2) a plurality of control switches; 3) an alarm device adapted to indicate closing of the valve unit to users of a type chosen from the group consisting of an audible alarm device, a visual alarm device, a cellular telephone alarm device, and an internet alarm device; 4) a JTAG interface device; 5) a bootstrap-loader device; and 6) a radio frequency transmitter/receiver, said display device being chosen from the group consisting of a liquid crystal display adapted to show alphanumerical characters and a plurality of light emitting diode adapted to illuminate in various combinations each being adapted to show at least one fault condition chosen from the group consisting of connection missing, calibration, malfunction, low battery, bowl overflow, tank overflow, flapper valve stuck open, small flapper valve leak, fill valve leak, and large flapper valve leak.
99. The water management system according to Claim 92, wherein the flow control unit further comprises an electrical generator assembly which includes an electrical generator having a housing from which a rotatable shaft extends adapted to produce electrical power from the flow of water through the passageway, a turbine comprised of a tubular hub coaxially mounted to said shaft having a plurality of vanes radially dependent therefrom in a radially-spaced orientation adapted to engage and rotate with the flow of water through the passageway to rotationally drive said shaft to charge the power source of the flow control unit, said body having a turbine bore which connects to said passageway, said turbine being disposed within said turbine bore to rotate with the flow of water through said passageway, and wherein the electronics unit is adapted to receive and utilize said electrical power to charge said electrical power source.
100. The water management system accordingto Claim 99, wherein the generator assembly of the flow control unit further includes a mounting housing adapted to closely ' receive the generator therein with a plurality of outwardly dependent mounting tabs with clearance holes therethrough which mounts to the body using respective screws which extend through said clearance holes into respective threaded holes of said body, said generator is of a sealed type and said mounting housing is sealed to the body using a resilient gasket disposed therebetween to prevent the water from leaking out of said body, the passageway is of L-shape extending horizontally through said body with the inlet and outlet ends disposed at a right angle, the turbine bore terminates at a bearing bore of said body coaxially disposed therewith and said generator assembly includes a support bearing that press-fits into said bearing bore adapted to rotatably support the shaft, the hub press-fits onto said shaft, and the vanes comprise planar longitudinal vanes. '
101. The water management system according to Claim 92, wherein the body of the flow control unit comprises a main body and further comprising a quick shut-off valve assembly which includes a secondary body having respective inlet and outlet ends interconnected by a passageway adapted for passing the water through said secondary body, said outlet end being adapted to connect to the inlet end of said main body and said inlet end being adapted to connect along the water supply conduit, and an integral shut-off valve disposed in said secondary body between said inlet and outlet ends to selectively start and stop flow of water through said secondary body, said inlet end of said main body is threaded in a manner chosen from the group consisting of internally and externally, and said inlet and outlet ends of said secondary body have respective screw caps rotatably connected thereto each threaded in a manner chosen from the group consisting of internally and externally to respectively connect to matingly threaded wall fittings and the inlet end of said main body.
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