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1. IL201925 - TOILET FLUSHING METHOD AND SYSTEM

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

A toilet flushing

method and system

A TOILET FLUSHING METHOD AND SYSTEM

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to the field of toilet flushing. More particularly, the invention relates to a toilet flushing system and method.

Background of the Invention

A flush toilet is a toilet that disposes of human waste by using water to flush it through a drainpipe to another location. Modern toilets incorporate a bend (trap) that causes the water in a toilet bowl to be collected, and act as a seal against sewer gases.

One of the well-known technologies for saving water is using smaller water quantities when flushing liquid waste, in comparison to the quantity used when flushing solid waste.

It would be highly advantageous to provide a flushing technology requiring less water than in the prior art.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

Summary of the Invention

In one aspect, the present invention is directed to a toilet flushing system, comprising:

a first pump (38) and piping, for emptying the bend (56) of the flush toilet from fluids (water and urine) into a drainpipe (42);

- a water provider, for providing water for flushing the emptied toilet bowl; and

a sensor (such as foot pedal 24), for triggering the operation of emptying the bend and flushing the emptied toilet bowl thereafter,'

- a control unit (60), for controlling the operation of emptying the bend (56) and flushing the emptied toilet bowl thereafter by a water quantity of at least the quantity required for sealing the bend;

thereby flushing the toilet bowl using less water than in toilet flushing systems of the prior art.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the water provider is a secondary flush tank (16).

According to another embodiment of the invention, the secondary flush tank further comprises an inlet for inserting therein disinfectant and/or aromatic odor mask.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the system further comprises a second pump (44), for pumping

water out of the secondary flush tank (16), into the toilet bowl (14).

According to yet another embodiment of the invention, the system further comprises an arrangement (not illustrated) for connecting therein a container of disinfectant and/or odor mask.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the water provider is the flush tank (12) of the toilet.

The system may further comprise sprayer(s) (26) for increasing the cleansing effect of flushing the emptied toilet bowl, thereby allowing using less water.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the water provider is a domestic water source (18).

The system may further comprise a facility (such as element 32) for preventing blocking the piping by solids.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the sensor is embodied as a foot pedal (24).

According to another embodiment of the invention, the sensor is embodied as a foot switch (not illustrated).

The control unit may employ a timer for determining the time for emptying the bend, and/or for determining the time for refilling the bend.

The control unit may employ a second sensor (not illustrated) for determining that the bend is empty.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the control unit employs a third sensor (not illustrated) for detecting that the bend is sealed.

In another aspect, the present invention is directed to a toilet flushing method after urinating in a flush toilet, the method comprising the steps of

a. emptying the bend of the flush toilet; and

b. flushing the bowl of the flush toilet until the bend is sealed.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the operation of flushing the bowl is carried out using spraying, thereby flushing the emptied toilet bowl more efficiently, thereby enabling obtaining the same cleansing effect with less water.

The foregoing embodiments of the invention are described and illustrated in conjunction with systems and methods thereof, which are meant to be merely illustrative, and not limiting.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Embodiments and features of the present invention are described herein in conjunction with the following drawings:

Fig. 1 schematically illustrates a flush toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 2 schematically illustrates the flush toilet of Fig. 1, while spraying.

Fig. 3 schematically illustrates the flush toilet in a situation wherein bend (trap) 56 is filled with water.

Each of Figs. 3 to 5 is a sectional view of a flush toilet, which schematically illustrate a stage in flushing the toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 3 schematically illustrates the flush toilet in a situation where bend (trap) 56 is filled with water.

Fig. 4 schematically illustrates the flush toilet in a situation wherein it is emptied.

Fig. 5 schematically illustrates the flush toilet in a situation wherein second pump 44 flushes water into bowl 14 using sprayers 26. For this operation, the pump uses the water of secondary flush tank 16.

Fig. 6 is a block diagram schematically illustrating the components and process flow of a flush toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 7 is a block diagram schematically illustrating the components and process flow of a simplified flush toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 8 schematically illustrates a gear pump that can be used as pumps 38 and 44.

It should be understood that the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale.

Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments

The present invention will be understood from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments, which are meant to be descriptive and not limiting. For the sake of brevity, some well-known features, methods, systems, procedures, components, circuits, and so on, are not described in detail.

Fig. 1 schematically illustrates a flush toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

The flush toilet is marked herein by reference numeral 10. Reference numeral 14 denotes the bowl of the flush toilet, and reference numeral 12 denotes the flush tank thereof. Reference numeral 18 denotes a domestic water source, from which water is supplied to flush tank 12 via pipe 20.

The additional visible parts, which characterize embodiments of the present invention, are secondary flush tank 16, which is provided with water supply from domestic water source 18, via pipe 22. A foot pedal 24 is used to trigger flushing of water from secondary flush tank 16, as will be further detailed hereinafter.

Fig. 2 schematically illustrates the flush toilet of Fig. 1, while spraying.

According to embodiments of the present invention, the operation of the flush toilet comprises two stages: at the first stage, bend (trap) 56 of the toilet is emptied, and at the second stage, sprayers 26 spray water 54, refilling the trap. The illustration refers to the second stage. Pipe 28 provides the required water from second pump 44 to sprayers 26.

Each of Figs. 3 to 5 is a sectional view of a flush toilet, which schematically illustrate a stage in flushing the toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

Fig. 3 schematically illustrates the flush toilet in a situation wherein bend (trap) 56 is filled with water.

At this stage, standing water 30 in trap 56 is used to seal outlet 62 of bowl 14, thereby preventing the release of foul air from the sewer.

At this stage, the user urinates, and then presses foot pedal 24 (not seen in this illustration). As a result, first pump 38 is activated. First pump 38 pumps (draws) the content of bend (trap) 56, until emptied. The content is pushed by the pump into drainpipe 42.

Fig. 4 schematically illustrates the emptied flush toilet.

Fig. 5 schematically illustrates the flush toilet in a situation wherein second pump 44 flushes 64 water from secondary flush tank 16, into bowl 14, via sprayers 26.

The water quantity used for spraying should be at least the quantity required for refilling bend 56. This can be adjusted by setting a control unit 60 that controls the operation of second pump 44. The control unit may be a circuit, integrated circuit, chip, and so on. It may also comprise a timer. For example, the timer may be used for counting N seconds for activating the first pump to empty the bend, and for M seconds for flushing the toilet.

Thus, the timer is used as an alternative to a sensor for sensing that the toilet bend is emptied, and that the quantity of water flushed into the bowl is adequate to seal the bend.

The water quantity in secondary flush tank 16 is retained at a certain level by a faucet 50 connected to a water source, and a float 48 that controls the tap to get closed when the water in the flush tank passes beyond a certain level. This mechanism is common in retaining the water level in flush tanks.

Fig. 6 is a block diagram schematically illustrating the components and process flow of a flush toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

From the process aspect, the following steps are carried out:

Step (A): After urinating, the user presses foot pedal 24. Control unit 60 senses the event of pressing foot pedal 24, and operates as follows ·'

Step (B): The content of bend (trap) 56 is pumped by first pump 38 into drainpipe 42.

Step (C): The second pump 44 is activated to flush toilet bowl 14. The flushed water refills bend (trap) 56.

The point that characterizes the operation of this embodiment of the invention in comparison to the prior art is the quantity of the flushed water in step (C). This quantity is at least the quantity required for sealing bend (trap) 56. This quantity is less than the quantity of water used for "full" flushing or "half flushing of a common toilet bowl (i.e., flushing after urinating in common flush toilets). The lesser quantity is adequate since the bend (trap) of the toilet bowl is emptied before flushing, and therefore the flushing only washes up the bowl, and seals the bend (trap).

As such, using the present invention results in less water for flushing a flush toilet in comparison to any flushing mechanism of the prior art.

An additional advantage of the present invention is the fact that the user does not have to touch the flushing handle, as in a common flush toilet.

Since foot pedal 24 is used only as a sensor for indicating that the user has activated the flushing process, the pedal can be replaced by a switch attached to the floor. The mechanism of a switch is much simpler and more reliable than the mechanism of the pedal.

The secondary flush tank 16 is only an example. Actually, the water of the "main" flush tank 12 may be used as well.

Fig. 7 is a block diagram schematically illustrating the components and process flow of a simpli ied flush toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention.

According to this embodiment of the invention, only one pump is used: first pump 38. Second pump 44 is replaced by a solenoid 58, which is a simpler component. Furthermore, there is no use of a secondary flush tank.

Using this system, the following steps are carried out:

Step (A): After urinating, the user presses foot pedal 24. Control unit 60 senses the event of pressing foot pedal 24, and operates as follows^

Step (B): The content of bend (trap) 56 is pumped by first pump 38 into drainpipe 42.

Step (C): Control unit 60 activates solenoid 58 that enables / disables water from a domestic water source 18 (illustrated in Fig. l) to flush toilet bowl 14. The flushed water refills bend (trap) 56.

The absence of a second pump 44 may reflect the way the flushing is carried out, since water pressure from the water source may not be adequate to generate the necessary spray for flushing the toilet bowl. On the other hand, this way the mechanism is simpler, as neither secondary flush tank or second pump are required.

Sprayers 26 enable utilizing the flushed water more efficiently, thereby enabling obtaining the same cleaning effect by lesser quantity of water.

According to one embodiment of the invention, the secondary tank comprises an inlet (not illustrated) for inserting therein a disinfectant, odor mask, and so on. Alternatively, the system may comprise means for connecting therein a container of disinfectant, odor mask, and so on.

Fig. 8 schematically illustrates a gear pump that can be used as pumps 38 and 44.

The pump, which is marked herein by reference numeral 60, comprises housing 76 having a fluid inlet 72, and fluid outlet 74. Two interlaced gears 78 and 78' are disposed in

casing 76. The gaps between the gears and hosing 76 are sealed. An electrical motor rotates the pump.

As the gears rotate, they separate on the intake side of the pump, creating a void and suction that is filled by fluid. The fluid is carried by the gears to the discharge side of the pump, where the meshing of the gears displaces the fluid. The mechanical clearances are "small". The tight clearances, along with the speed of rotation, effectively prevent the fluid from leaking backwards.

The ears may be rotated in the opposite direction, thereby allowing opening jams in pipe 36, which sucks standing fluid 30 from trap 56.

The pumps, solenoid, and control unit use electric power for their operation. The electric power may be provided by batteries or by the domestic electric power supply.

The invention may be implemented on an existing toilet bowl, and as well can be implemented in a flush toilet designed to include the invention.

In the figures and/or description herein, the following reference numerals have been mentioned^

- numeral 10 denotes a flush toilet, according to one embodiment of the invention;

numeral 12 denotes a flush tank;

- numeral 14 denotes a bowl of a flush toilet;

- numeral 16 denotes a secondary flush tank;

- numeral 18 denotes a domestic water source;

numeral 20 denotes a pipe through which water is provided from domestic water source 18 to flush tank 12;

- numeral 22 denotes a pipe through which water is provided from water source 18 to secondary flush tank 16;

- numeral 24 denotes a foot pedal for activating flushing the toilet from water of the secondary flush tank 16;

numeral 26 denotes a sprayer;

- numeral 28 denotes a pipe through which water is provided to sprayers 26;

numeral 30 denotes standing water in bend (trap) 56;

- numeral 32 denotes a bend in pipe 36, for preventing blockage of the pipe;

- numeral 34 denotes a sticking facility, for sticking the end of pipe 36 to the bottom of bend (trap) 56;

- numeral 36 denotes a pipe that pumps the fluids from bend (trap) 56 into drainpipe 42, and therefrom to drainpipe 42; numeral 38 denotes a first pump for pumping fluids from bend 56;

- numeral 40 denotes a pipe that pours fluids from bend 56 into drainpipe 42;

- numeral 42 denotes a drainpipe!

numeral 44 denotes a second pump, for pumping water from secondary flush tank 16, through sprayers 26, into bowl 14;

numeral 46 denotes the outlet pipe of second pipe 44;

- numeral 48 denotes a float, for controlling the water level in the secondary flush tank 16;

- numeral 50 denotes a faucet operated by the arm of float 48;

numeral 52 denotes a pipe trough which water is poured from flush tank 12 into toilet bowl 14;

- numeral 54 denotes sprayed water;

numeral 56 denotes the bend (trap) of toilet 10;

- numeral 58 denotes a solenoid;

numeral 60 denotes a control unit;

- numeral 62 denotes the outlet of flush toilet 10 into drainpipe 42;

- numeral 64 denotes the water of secondary flush tank 16;

- numeral 70 denotes a gear pump, that can be used as each of pumps 38 and 44,"

- numeral 72 denotes the inlet of pump 70;

numeral 74 denotes the outlet of pump 70;

- numeral 76 denotes the housing of pump 70; and

- each of numerals 78 and 78' denotes a gear of pump 70.

The foregoing description and illustrations of the embodiments of the invention has been presented for the purposes of illustration. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the above description in any form.

Any term that has been defined above and used in the claims, should to be interpreted according to this definition. - 19 -

ABSTRACT

In one aspect, the present invention is directed to a toilet flushing system, comprising: a first pump (38) and piping, for emptying the bend (56) of the flush toilet from fluids (water and urine) into a drainpipe (42); a water provider, for providing water for flushing the emptied toilet bowl," and a sensor (such as a foot pedal 24), for triggering the operation of emptying the bend and flushing the emptied toilet bowl thereafter," a control unit, for controlling the operation of emptying the bend (56) and flushing the emptied toilet bowl thereafter by a water quantity of at least the quantity required for sealing the bend; thereby flushing the toilet bowl using less water than in toilet flushing systems of the prior art.

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What is claimed is: