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Title:
AIR EXTRACTION SYSTEMS FOR TOILETS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2000/042262
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention relates to an accessory for a toilet and to a toilet installation whereby foul smelling air can be extracted from a toilet bowl. The installation includes a toilet seat support (18) mounted on the toilet bowl (12). It further includes a toilet seat (20) pivotally mounted on the support (18). Foul smelling air is drawn from the toilet bowl (12) through a flow path part of which extends through the support (18). A non-return valve is mounted in the flow path. Air flow is induced by an extractor fan (42) the operation of which can be regulated by a seat activated switch (44). The accessory includes some of all of the components necessary to modify an existing toilet to operate in accordance with the invention.

Inventors:
Van Wyk, Jacobus Hendrikus (Plot 234 Vyfhoek 2531 Potchefstroom, ZA)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2000/000017
Publication Date:
July 20, 2000
Filing Date:
January 07, 2000
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Van Wyk, Jacobus Hendrikus (Plot 234 Vyfhoek 2531 Potchefstroom, ZA)
International Classes:
A47K13/30; E03D9/05; (IPC1-7): E03D9/052
Foreign References:
US1887498A
GB2126263A
US1831257A
GB2266901A
EP0475571A1
US1630524A
DE29714137U1
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mackenzie, Colin (Adams & Adams 1014 Prospect Street Adams & Adams Place, P.O. Box 1014 Hatfield 0083 Pretoria, ZA)
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Claims:
CLAIMS:
1. A toilet installation which includes a toilet bowl; a toilet seat support; a toilet seat mounted on the seat support for displacement relative to the toilet bowl between a lowered position and a raised position; and flow path defining means defining a flow path through which foul smelling air can be drawn from the toilet bowl, at least part of the flow path extending through the seat support.
2. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 1, in which the seat support includes a hottdw body having an inlet opening and an outlet opening spaced from and connected in flow communication with the inlet opening.
3. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 2, in which the seat support includes a pair of seat mounting formations which protrude from the body at spaced apart positions, the inlet being positioned between the seat mounting formations.
4. A toilet installation as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, inclusive, which includes flow inducing means for inducing air flow along the flow path.
5. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 4, in which the air flow inducing means includes an electrically operable extractor fan.
6. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 5, which includes switch means configured to control the operation of the extractor fan.
7. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 6, in which the switch means is configured such that the extractor fan is activated when the toilet seat is in its lowered position and a person is seated thereon and deactivated when a person is not sitting on the toilet seat.
8. A toilet installation as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 7, inclusive, which includes a nonreturn valve mounted in the flow path.
9. A toilet installation which includes a toilet bowl; a toilet seat mounted for displacement relative to the toilet bowl for displacement between a lowered position and a raised position; an extractor arrangement for extracting foul smelling air from the toilet bowl; and control means for controlling the operation of the extractor arrangement, the control means being configured to activate the extractor arrangement when the toilet is in use and deactivate the extractor arrangement when the toilet is not in use.
10. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 9, in which the extractor arrangement includes flow path defining means defining a flow path having an inlet through which foul smelling air can be drawn from the toilet bowl into the flow path and an outlet spaced from the inlet and an electrically operable extractor fan for inducing air flow along the flow path from the inlet to the outlet, the control means including a switch means connected to the extractor fan and operable by the toilet seat.
11. A toilet installation which includes a toilet bowl; an extractor arrangement for extracting foul smelling air from the toilet bowl, the extractor arrangement including flow path defining means defining a flow path having an inlet through which foul smelling air can be drawn from the toilet bowl into the flow path and an outlet spaced from the inlet, and a non return valve mounted in the flow path and configured to permit flow from the inlet to the outlet.
12. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 11, which includes an extractor fan for inducing air flow along the flow path from the inlet to the outlet and switch me. ans connected to the extractor fan to control the operation thereof.
13. A toilet seat support which includes a hollow body which is mountable on a toilet bowl; toilet seat support means connected to the body for supporting a toilet seat; and an inlet opening leading into the body and an outlet opening opening out of the body, the outlet opening being spaced from and connected in flow communication with the inlet opening.
14. A toilet seat support as claimed in Claim 13, in which the toilet seat support means includes a pair of spaced apart seat mounting formations which protrude from the body at spaced apart positions, the inlet opening being positioned between the seat mounting formations.
15. A toilet seat support as claimed in Claim 13 or Claim 14 which includes a nonreturn valve positioned between the inlet and outlet openings.
16. A toilet accessory which includes a toilet seat support mountable on a toilet bowl for supporting a toilet seat; flow path defining means defining a flow path, at least part of which extends through the toilet seat support, the flow path having an inlet and spaced apart outlet; and flow inducing means for inducing air flow along the flow path from the inlet to the outlet.
17. A toilet accessory as claimed in Claim 16, in which the flow inducing means is in the form of an electrically operable extractor fan.
18. A toilet accessory as claimed in Claim 17, which includes switch means for controlling the operation of the extractor fan.
19. A toilet accessory as claimed in any one of claims 16 to 18, inclusive, which includes a nonreturn valve positioned in the flow path.
20. A toilet installation as claimed in Claim 1, Claim 9 or Claim 11, substantially as described and illustrated herein.
21. A toilet seat support as claimed in Claim 13 substantially as described and illustrated herein.
22. A toilet accessory as claimed in Claim 16 substantially as described and illustrated herein.
23. A new installation, support or accessory substantially as herein described.
Description:
AIR EXTRACTION SYSTEMS FOR TOILETS THIS INVENTION relates to toiles. More particularly it relates to a toilet installation. It also relates to a toilet seat support and to a toilet accessory.

According to one aspect of the invention there if provided a toilet installation which includes a toilet bowl; a toilet seat support; a toilet seat mounted on the seat support for displacement relative to the toilet bowl between a lowered position and a raised position; and flow path defining means defining a flow path through which foul smelling air can be drawn from the toilet bowl, at least part of the flow path extending through the seat support.

The seat support may include a hollow body having an inlet opening and an outlet opening spaced from and connected in flow communication with the inlet opening.

The seat support may include a pair of seat mounting formations which protrude from the body at spaced apart positions, the inlet being positioned between the seat mounting formations.

The toilet installation may include flow inducing means for inducing air flow along the flow path from the inlet to the outlet.

The air flow inducing means may include an electrically operable extractor fan.

The toilet installation may include switch means configured to control the operation of the extractor fan. In one embodiment of the invention the switch means may be configured such that the extractor fan is activated when the seat is in its lowered position and a person is seated thereon and deactivated when a person is not sitting on the seat. Instead, or in addition the switch means may include a manually operable switch.

The toilet installation may include a non-return valve mounted in the flow path.

According to another aspect of the invention there is provided a toilet installation which includes a toilet bowl; a toilet seat mounted for displacement relative to the toilet bowl for displacement between a lowered position and a raised position; an extractor arrangement for extracting foul smelling air from the toilet bowl; and control means for controlling the operation of the extractor arrangement, the control means being configured to activate the extractor arrangement when the toilet is in use and deactivate the extractor arrangement when the toilet is not in use.

The extractor arrangement may include flow path defining means defining a flow path having an inlet through which foul smelling air can be drawn from the toilet bowl into the flow path and an outlet spaced from the inlet and an electrically operable extractor fan for inducing air flow along the flow path from the inlet to the outlet, the control means including a switch means connected to the extractor fan and operable by the toilet seat.

More particularly, the switch means may be operable by a person sitting on the toilet seat when the toilet seat is in its lowered position.

According to still another aspect of the invention there is provided a toilet installation which includes a toilet bowl; an extractor arrangement for extracting foul smelling air from the toilet bowl, the extractor arrangement including flow path defining means defining a flow path having an inlet through which foul smelling air can be drawn from the toilet bowl into the flow path and an outlet spaced from the inlet, and a non- return valve mounted in the flow path and configured to permit flow from the inlet to the outlet.

The toilet installation may include an extractor fan for inducing air flow along the flow path from the inlet to the outlet and switch means connected to the extractor fan to control the operation thereof.

According to a further aspect of the invention there is provided a toilet seat support which includes a hollow body which is mountable on a toilet bowl; toilet seat support means connected to the body for supporting a toilet seat; and an inlet opening leading into the body and an outlet opening opening out of the body, the outlet opening being spaced from and connected in flow communication with the inlet opening.

The toilet seat support means may include a pair of spaced apart seat mounting formations e. g. apertured lugs, which protrude from the body at spaced apart positions, the inlet opening being positioned between the seat mounting formations.

The body may be in the form of a unitary moulding of synthetic plastics material.

The toilet seat support may include a non-return valve positioned between the inlet and outlet openings.

The non-return valve may be in the form of a flap valve.

According to yet another aspect of the invention there is provided a toilet accessary which includes a toilet seat support mountable on a toilet bowl for supporting a toilet seat; flow path defining means defining a flow path, at least part of which extends through the toilet seat support, the flow path having an inlet and spaced apart outlet; and flow inducing means for inducing air flow along the flow path from the inlet to the outlet.

The flow inducing means may be in the form of an electrically operable extractor fan.

The toilet accessory may include switch means for controlling the operation of the extractor fan.

The toilet accessory may include a non-return valve positioned in the flow path.

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying diagrammatic drawings.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 shows a side view of a toilet installation in accordance with the invention; Figure 2 shows a three-dimensional view of a toilet seat support forming part of the installation of Figure 1; Figure 3 shows, on an enlarged scale, a sectional view of part of a toilet seat which forms part of the installation of Figure 1; and Figure 4 shows a sectional view through part of a flow path of another toilet installation in accordance with the invention.

In the drawings reference numeral 10 refers generally to a toilet installation in accordance with the invention.

The toilet installation 10 includes a toilet bowl 12 to which a cistern 14 is connected in flow communication. The toilet bowl 12 is connected to a sewerage line 13 and breather 15 by means of a discharge pipe 16 in a conventional manner. The toilet installation 10 further includes a toilet seat support, generally indicated by reference numeral 18 and a toilet seat 20 mounted on the seat support 18 for displacement relative to the toilet bowl 12 between a lowered position and a raised position. Further, the toilet installation 10 includes flow path defining means, generally indicated by reference numeral 22 through which foul smelling air can be drawn from the toilet bowl 12 as described in more detail herebelow.

As can best be seen in Figure 2 of the drawings, the toilet seat support 18 includes a hollow body 24 which is generally circular cylindrical in shape. A pair of longitudinally spaced seat mounting formations in the form of apertured lugs 26 protrude from the body 24. Each lug 26 has an aperture 28 (only one of which is visible) therein, the apertures 28 being in register. A generally T-shaped slot 30 is provided in each of the lugs 26 such that it opens out of an operatively lower surface thereof. The toilet seat support 18 is mounted on the toilet bowl 12 by means of screws 32, the heads of which are positioned in the slots 30 such that shanks of the screws 32 protrude

downwardly from the toilet seat support 18. The protruding shanks of the screws 32 extend through registering holes (not shown) in the toilet bowl 12 and are secured in position by wing nuts 34.

An elongate inlet opening 36 extends into the body 28 between the lugs 26. An outlet opening 38 leads from an end of the body 24 at a position spaced from the inlet opening 36, the inlet and outlet openings 36,38 being connected in flow communication.

The flow path defining means 22 in addition to the body 24 includes ducting in the form of lengths of pipe 40 which connect the outlet opening 38 in flow communication with the discharge pipe 16.

An electrically operable extractor fan 42 is mounted in the pipes 40 to induce air flow from the toilet bowl 12 into the inlet opening 16 and through the pipes 40 into the discharge pipe 16 as indicated by arrows 41. If desired, as illustrated in Figure 4, the extractor fan 42 can be mounted against a wall.

The toilet installation 10 includes control means for controlling the operation of the extractor fan 42. The control means includes a normally open switch 44 which is positioned on the underside of the toilet seat 20. A stop 46 is mounted on and protrudes from the undersurface of the toilet seat 20 the stop being displaceable relative to the toilet seat between a fully extended position and a retracted position. A coil spring 48 is mounted in compression between the stop 46 and the toilet seat 20 to urge the stop 46 resiliently towards a fully extended position. The switch 44 is connected to the extractor fan 42 via wires 45 which extend through the toilet seat 20 such that when the switch 44 is closed the extractor fan 42 is energised. The toilet seat 20 is pivotally mounted on the toilet seat support 18 by means of a pivot pin 50 which is supported in the apertured lugs 26 and extends therebetween. Hence the toilet seat 20 is pivotally displaceable between a raised position and a lowered position.

In use, when the toilet seat 20 is in its raised position, the switch 44 is in its open position and the extractor fan 42 is inoperative. When the seat 20 is displaced to its lowered position, the stop 46 abuts against an upper surface of the toilet bowl 12 and supports the switch 44 clear of the toilet bowl 12 such that it remains in its open position and the extractor fan 44 remains inactivated. If, however, a person sits on the toilet seat 20, then the addition weight of the person is sufficient to compress the spring 48 thereby causing the stop 46 to be displaced to its retracted position which in turn brings the switch 44 into contact with the upper surface of the toilet bowl 12 thereby closing the switch 44 and activating the extractor fan 42. This causes foul smelling air to be sucked from the toilet bowl 12 into the flow path through the inlet opening 36. The foul smelling air is discharged into the discharge pipe 16 from where it flows into and is discharged from the breather 15 as illustrated by arrows 41.

A non-return valve, e. g. in the form of a flap valve 52 is mounted in the flow path defining means 22, typically adjacent to the inlet opening 36, to prevent the escape of foul smelling air from the flow path defining means 22 when the extractor fan 42 is deactivated.

Hence, when a person is using the toilet, the extractor fan 42 is activated to extract foul smelling air. When a person stands up, the stop 46 extends under the influence of the spring 48 thereby to open the switch 44 and deactivate the extractor fan 42. Hence in this embodiment, the extractor fan 42 is caused to operate only when a person is using the toilet.

In another embodiment of the invention, the extractor fan 42 can operate continuously. In this regard, the extractor fan 42 will typically be in the form of a cooling fan of a personal computer which is capable of continuous operation over extended periods of time. The Inventor believes that an embodiment where the extractor fan operates continuously will have the added advantage that the sound of the extractor fan 42 may serve to drown out or at

least reduce the relative volume of any potentially embarrassing sounds which the user of the toilet may make.

In yet another embodiment the extractor fan is manually operated by means of a switch 60.

It will be appreciated that in new installations, the various components of the invention can be installed at the time of installing the toilet. Further, existing toilets may be modified to incorporate the flow path defining means and extractor fan to permit the toilet to function as described above. To this end some or all of the components required to modify a toilet may be available in a kit as an accessory for an existing toilet.

The Inventor believes that further advantages of the invention include that unpleasant odours emanating from the toilet will at least be reduced and that it will not be necessary to flush a toilet before use thereby saving water.