Interchangeable toilet tank with urinal

A special toilet tank equipped with a pivoting urinal, to facilitate the collection of urine from a standing male person. This will protect surrounding floors, walls and structure, from urine spray. The folding urinal is moveable from a stored position in the special tank enclosure to a position above the toilet bowl. The urine drops directly into the toilet bowl eliminating the need for a separate drain line. A water line passes through a position valve, to provide rinse water inside the urinal to flush the urine from the inside surfaces. The rinse water also drops into the bowl during flushing. When the urinal is in the stored position, the position valve prevents flow of water to the urinal during normal flushing.

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Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

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STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

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REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE, OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISC APPENDIX

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BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The use of a water closet by a standing urinating male has long been recognized as a source of hygienic problems. These problems range from the requirement to raise the seat to avoid contaminating the seating surface for the next user to the destruction of surrounding walls and floors from the attack of the urine. In addition, offensive odor is left by urine on extraneous surfaces.

The need to control the spray of urine on the surrounding surfaces to the toilet has long been recognized in the both the home setting and in public restrooms. Different attempts have been made over time to address these problems. Some of the ideas can be seen in U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,137,579; 4,180,875; 4,282,611; 4,549,321; 4,750,219; 5,153,947 and 5,299,875. Most of these require special water line connections and some require difficult connections to the sewer line. This invention addresses all these problems in a manner that is effective and can be added to existing toilets with no plumbing changes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The objective of this invention is to provide a urinal function in combination with a toilet that can easily be installed in an existing home or public facility.

There have been many attempts to provide a urinal type function as part of a water closet (toilet). These inventions have mounted to the floor, the toilet bowl, the toilet bowl seat and cover to name a few. These have major draw backs of how to handle the waste drain line, the odor problem when the toilet is used in a normal seated manner, the physical obstruction of the mechanism when a person is seated and, the difficulty of connecting water and waste drain lines in an existing installation.

This invention can be retro installed on an existing toilet by simply removing the tank and installing a new tank on the same mounting locations with same water connection and no added drain line. When installed as part of a new toilet, the tank connects to the water line like any normal toilet and there is no need to adapt additional drain connections.

In one configuration, the urinal receptor is mounted to the water closet tank such that it can move over the bowl of the water closet for use. The waste collected in the urinal drops directly into the bowl of the water closet, thus eliminating the requirement for new or additional drain connections. When the toilet is flushed a small amount of water is routed thru a rinse water valve into the urinal to rinse the interior surfaces. This rinse water also drops into the bowl for flushing. When the toilet is to be used for a seated application, the urinal is moved back to a parked position in the tank. The rinse water valve is automatically deactivated to prevent rinse water from entering the urinal when parked. A plug at the discharge of the urinal, automatically engages so that no dripping of residual rinse water can occur when the urinal is not over the bowl.

The preferred embodiment includes a special tank that has a pivot on one side that is located at the forward corner of the tank. This tank is taller than normal to provide standard flush water volume and at the same time a section on the side to enclose the urinal when not in use.

The pivot assembly will include a valve that blocks water flow from the toilet flush valve to the urinal when the urinal is not in its full operational position. Thus the urinal when operational, will receive rinse water during the full time the toilet is flushing and refilling the tank. This will insure an effective rinse of the urinal interior surfaces. The valve will close automatically when the urinal is moved to a position where the drain opening is outside the toilet bowl. Thus the possibility of the rinse water flowing when the urinal is not over the bowl is eliminated.

A significant element of this invention is the elimination of the special drain connections. This invention utilizes the existing toilet bowl system for handling the waste water. Other approaches require that a special second connection be made that may additionally require another water trap to control odor from the septic system.

This invention is different in that the rinse function occurs automatically without separate action by the user. By connecting the water rinse line to the normal flush valve the rinse happens whenever the urinal is located over the toilet bowl.

These two design elements in combination provide the unique feature of this invention that no special water or drain connections are required beyond a normal toilet installation.

The urinal receptor can be made is various models to provide a different height of opening. This will accommodate the difference in the height of the person using the urinal.

The urinal receptor can also be made with an adjustable feature that will allow the receptor to be moved vertically when it is in the operational position. This again would accommodate persons of different heights using the same urinal.

The pivot mechanism can be made in such a manner that the rotation of the arm is powered rather than manual. One such method would be to use the water line pressure in the tank to drive the arm in both directions. Other motive options could also be used such as electric motors.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a view of the Interchangeable water closet tank with Urinal, in the use position. The urinal, item 2 has been pivoted out to a stop position over the bowl of the toilet. The door, item 6 is open to allow movement of the urinal back into a storage position.

FIG. 2 is a view of the Interchangeable water closet tank with the urinal in the storage position. This view is shown with hidden lines so the components inside can be identified.

FIG. 3 is a view of the Interchangeable water closet tank with the urinal in the storage position. This view is shown without hidden lines so the toilet is seen when ready for normal seated use.

FIG. 4 is a view of the Urinal only. This is shown in side view to illustrate the flow path of the waste water into the toilet bowl.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIGS. 1 thru 4, a Toilet Bowl 1 is fitted with standard Seat 3 and Lid 4. The standard Tank is replaced with a special Interchangeable Tank 21 which mounts at the same location on the Toilet Bowl 1 and connects normally to the water supply. The special Tank 21 can be retrofitted to many existing installations without any changes to water supply lines or sewer lines. Alternatively, the special tank features can be an integrated part of a new water closet. Another alternate would be to include the features of this special tank into a water closet of one piece construction.

The special Tank 21 is taller than standard to accommodate the urinal height required for a standing male. The tank has a Door 6 which swings out with minimum width increase. The Door 6 can be manually moved by the user to allow the Urinal 2 to be moved into the user position over the forward portion of the Toilet Bowl 1. The Door 6 and Urinal 2 can be arranged on either side in alternate embodiments. Another embodiment would have the Door 6 and Urinal 2 linked so that moving one caused the other to move simultaneously. A further embodiment would make the movement of Urinal 2 and/or Door 6 powered by means such as water pressure or electrical power. This movement could be activated by the user selecting a button or lever on the tank.

The Urinal 2 can be of various materials such as ceramic, porcelain, stainless steel, PVC or ABS. The shape of the Urinal 2 can be any that accommodates a male during standing urination. The Arm 5 supporting the Urinal 2 is inclined so that as it swings over the toilet bowl it is lowering the urinal. This action places the bottom of the urinal below the top surface of the toilet bowl to minimize the free drop of liquid into the water, and thus reduce the amount of splatter that results. The lower portion of the Urinal 2, see FIG. 4, should have a passage that gradually reduces in cross section, includes a dogleg path and travels back toward the center of the toilet bowl. This slows the flow of the liquid by causing the liquid to run on the side of the passage. The dogleg path also slows the flow of liquid so that when it drops in the water in the toilet bowl the splashing is minimized. The angle back toward the center of the bowl controls the exiting liquid direction to make sure the path of the liquid is toward the center of the bowl. The combination of low exit position, reduced speed, smaller opening and angle of flow into the bowl all work together to reduce the amount of splatter at the exit of the urinal and in the water in the bowl

The Urinal 2 has internally, a series of water outlets to provide rinsing of the interior surface with water at the time of flushing. This water is supplied to the Urinal 2 by a Tubing 20 that connects to the rotary Valve 16. The Valve 16 is linked to the Arm 5 that supports the Urinal 2. When the Arm 5 swings out, the Valve 16 rotates and opens an internal port when the Urinal 2 is over the Toilet Bowl 1. The Valve 16 is fed by Tubing 18 from the Tee 13 which is inserted into the Rinse Line 14 to the Overflow Tube 7. When the toilet is flushed, water will flow to the outlets in the Urinal 2 and that water will rinse the interior surfaces and drain into the toilet bowl which is in the process of flushing. When the Urinal 2 is in the stored position inside the Tank 21, the rotary Valve 16 is closed so that when flushing the toilet, it will not allow water to flow to the Urinal 2.

A further embodiment would add a stopper to the bottom of the Urinal 2 that would automatically close when placed in the store position in the tank. This would hold any residual liquid in the lower portion and only open when over the Toilet Bowl 1.

No new sewer drain lines are required since the waste liquid from the Urinal 2 simply drops into the Toilet Bowl 1. In the past, patents such as U.S. Pat. No. 4,549,321 or 5,153,947 or 5,299,328 all require that new connections be made into the sewer lines. This design solves the problems of not only making the new connection but also providing a means to clear the path when it becomes obstructed. In this design, when the toilet is flushed the Urinal 2 is simultaneously rinsed and the rinse water is carried out as part of the normal flush action of the toilet. This significant feature assures that no sanitary problems result from adding new connections to the sewer line.

The fact that the rinse water Tubing 18 connects into the toilet Rinse Line 14 inside the tank, simplifies the retro installation in an existing toilet since no new water line connections are required. In past patents, there is a requirement to run new water lines from the wall such as in U.S. Pat. No. 4,137,579 or 4,180,875 or 4,282,611 or 5,153,947. This creates another potential leak point and has the problem of running the line in a neat and cleanable manner.

Operation

During normal use of the toilet, the Urinal 2 is stored in the special Tank 21 with the Door 6 closed. Thus the water closet has a normal appearance except for the height of the tank. When used by someone while in the seated position, there are no extra elements to move around or worry about a sanitary problem of touching an unclean surface. At the time someone is going to use the Urinal 2, the toilet Seat 3 and Lid 4 should be raised and then they simply open the Door 6 and swing the Arm 5 with the Urinal 2 over the toilet Bowl 1, to the stop position. The Urinal 2 is now very close to the male using it and therefore the amount of overspray that escapes outside the Urinal 2 is minimized. The Arm 5 pivots on an axis that is inclined so that as the Urinal 2 swings out toward the Bowl 1 it is also moving downward toward the water in the bowl. During urination, the urine drops directly into the water in the toilet Bowl 1. Since the bottom of the Urinal 2 is below the top of the toilet Bowl 1, the splatter of the urine into the water is minimized. Upon completion, the user simply flushes the toilet using the standard flush Handle 9. While flushing, the water flowing to the overflow Tube 7 is tapped at Tee 13 and pressured water is sent to the Urinal 2 via Tubes 18 and 20. The water in Tube 18 passes to Valve 16 before flowing into Tube 20. The Valve 16 is operated by Link 19 between the Valve 16 and the Arm 5. The Link 19 opens the Valve 16 when the Arm 5 is moved to place the Urinal 2 in position over the toilet Bowl 1. This allows passage of rinse water thru the Valve 16 into Tube 20 and Urinal 2 so that rinsing of the interior surfaces can occur. The rinse water from the Urinal 2 drops into the toilet Bowl 1 during flushing and is carried out as part of the normal waste water flush.

Upon completion of use the user may leave the Urinal 2 in position for later use. Alternatively, they can return the Arm 5 with Urinal 2 to the special Tank 21 and close the Door 6.

While this describes the basic functions during operation, there many alternate enhancements which can improve the usability of the device. One such enhancement would be the addition of linkage between Door 6 and Arm 5 so that a person could pull a handle on Arm 5 and the linkage would simultaneously open Door 6. This same linkage would also cause the Door 6 to close when moving the Arm 5 back into the stored position. A further enhancement to this linkage arrangement would be to add power to cause the movement of Arm 5 and Door 6. For example, this could be accomplished with a hydraulic cylinder powered by the constant water pressure available in the tank water supply line. A valve operated by the user from the front or side would apply water pressure to the cylinder causing the movement of the Arm 5 and Door 6. This valve could be a lever or button located in the vicinity of the standard Lever 9. Another example would be utilizing electrical power to move the Arm 5 and Door 6. In the same manner a button or lever located in the vicinity of the standard Lever 9 could be utilized.

An additional enhancement would be the addition of a stopper valve to the bottom of Urinal 2. This could be a valve that is operated by the rinse water pressure that would cause the valve to open during rinsing and close slowly afterward to allow time for the drainage of the surfaces. This would control possible dripping of water from the Urinal 2 into the bottom of the Tank 21 when in the stored position. Other methods of operation could also be employed to operate the valve.

Another enhancement would be to add a disinfectant/deodorizer dispenser in the top of Urinal 2. This would add a small amount of disinfectant/deodorizer to the rinse water every time the Urinal 2 is flushed.

An additional enhancement would be to add seals at the joints between the Tank 21 and Arm 5 and between the Tank 21, Arm 5 and the Door 6. These could be soft rubber or plastic such as polyurethane. These would provide a visual seal of the joints.

Claims

1. An interchangeable water closet tank that includes a pivoting urinal that collects urine and directs the waste water into the water closet bowl, and further uses the internal water supply to provide rinse water for the urinal during normal flush of the toilet.

2. The water closet tank of claim 1 wherein the pivot axis is inclined to cause the urinal to travel downward when moved into the use position.

3. The inclined pivot axis of claim 2 wherein it is at such an angle as to cause the bottom of the urinal to travel below the top surface of the water closet bowl.

4. The urinal of claim 1 when in the use position drains directly into the water closet bowl.

5. The water closet tank of claim 1 wherein the rinse water is controlled by a valve such that rinse water flows to the urinal only when the urinal is over the water closet bowl.

6. The water closet tank of claim 1 wherein the appearance of the water closet when not in a use position has no extra outside appendages or connections.

7. The water closet tank of claim 1 wherein the mounting detail allows interchangeable replacement of an existing standard tank without modification.

8. The water closet tank of claim 1 wherein the rinse water is supplied inside the tank allowing interchangeable replacement of an existing standard tank without requiring additional external water line connections.

9. An integrated single piece water closet that includes a pivoting urinal that collects urine and directs the waste water into the water closet bowl, and further uses the internal water supply to provide rinse water for the urinal during a normal flush of the toilet.

10. The water closet tank of claim 8 wherein the pivot axis is inclined to cause the urinal to travel downward when moved into the use position.

11. The inclined pivot axis of claim 9 wherein it is at such an angle as to cause the bottom of the urinal to travel below the top surface of the water closet bowl.

12. The water closet tank of claim 8 wherein the rinse water is controlled by a valve such that rinse water flows to the urinal only when the urinal is over the water closet bowl.

13. The urinal of claim 8 when in the use position drains directly into the water closet bowl.

14. The water closet tank of claim 8 wherein the appearance of the water closet when not in a use position has no extra outside appendages or connections.

Patent History

Publication number: 20100037379
Type: Application
Filed: Aug 14, 2008
Publication Date: Feb 18, 2010
Inventors: Richard Brian Hanson (Sherwood, OR), Richard Wayne Hanson (Sherwood, OR)
Application Number: 12/191,967

Classifications

Current U.S. Class: Diverse (4/341)
International Classification: E03D 9/06 (20060101);