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Title:
FLUSHING SYSTEM FOR A PRESSURIZED TOILET
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/020928
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A toilet system including a bowl and a tank configured to hold water and air and deliver water to the bowl. The tank includes a water inlet and outlet. A valve moves between an open position and a closed position, and the valve closes the outlet when the valve is in the closed position. The system includes a lever positioned to engage the valve and a plunger that is configured to engage the lever. The tank includes a container that holds water and pressurized air above the water. The container is positioned such that the water and pressurized air in the container apply a force to the lever through the plunger which causes the lever to move the valve from the closed position toward the open position in order that water can flush and refill the toilet bowl and air can flow into the tank and container.

Inventors:
ROESER JACK O
Application Number:
US2014/049532
Publication Date:
February 12, 2015
Filing Date:
August 04, 2014
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FIRST AMERICAN BANK (218 W. Main Street, West Dundee, Illinois, 60118, US)
International Classes:
E03D3/10; E03D5/092
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HIMELHOCH, Richard C. (Ungaretti & Harris LLP, 70 West Madison Street Suite 350, Chicago Illinois, 60602-4224, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A pressurized flush toilet system, comprising: a bowl; a tank configured to hold water and to deliver water to said bowl, said tank including an inlet that delivers water into said tank and an outlet that allows water to exit said tank; a valve being configured to move between an open position and a closed position, wherein said valve closes said outlet of said tank when said valve is in said closed position; a lever positioned to engage said valve; a plunger that extends out of said tank and that is configured to engage said lever, said plunger being movable with respect to said tank; and a container configured to hold water and compressed air and being positioned in said tank such that water and compressed air held in said container apply a force to said plunger such that said plunger applies a force to said lever which causes said lever to move said valve from said closed position toward said open position.

2. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 1, further comprising a handle external to said tank, said handle being connected to said lever such that force applied to said handle is applied to said lever to cause said lever to apply force to said valve and push said valve out of said closed position.

3. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 1, wherein said inlet delivers water into said tank until the pressure of air and water in said tank prevents any more water from entering said tank.

4. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 1, further comprising a spring configured to resistably engage said lever and push said lever away from said valve.

5. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 1, wherein said container includes a hole on a side wall thereof that allows water and air to drain out of said container to reduce the amount of water and air in said container.

6. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 5, wherein as water drains out of said hole, the force applied by the water and the compressed air that remain in said container to said plunger causes said plunger to engage said lever such that said lever engages said valve to maintain said valve out of said closed position.

7. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 6, wherein after a certain amount of water drains out of said container, the force applied to said plunger by the water and compressed air in said container reduces to a point wherein said plunger no longer applies enough force to said lever to prevent said valve from moving to said closed position.

8. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 1, further including a base having a cavity that extends from said outlet to said bowl, said lever being positioned within said cavity and said plunger partially extending into said cavity.

9. A pressurized flush toilet system, comprising: a bowl; a tank configured to hold water and to deliver water to said bowl, said tank including an inlet that delivers water into said tank and an outlet that allows water to exit said tank; a valve being configured to move between an open position and a closed position, wherein said valve closes said outlet of said tank when said valve is in said closed position; a lever positioned to engage said valve; and a container configured to hold water and compressed air and being positioned in said tank such that water and compressed air held in said container apply a force and at least a portion of that force is applied to said lever which causes said lever to move said valve from said closed position toward said open position.

10. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 9, further comprising a plunger that is movable with respect to said tank and that is positioned proximate said container such that water and compressed air in said container applies a force to said plunger such that said plunger applies a force to said lever.

11. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 9, further comprising a spring configured to resistably engage said lever and push said lever away from said valve.

12. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 9, wherein said container includes a hole on a sidewall thereof that allows water and air to drain out of said container to reduce the amount of water and air in said container.

13. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 12, wherein as water drains out of said hole, the force applied by the water and compressed air that remain in said container is applied to said lever such that said lever engages said valve to maintain said valve out of said closed position.

14. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 13, wherein after a certain amount of water drains out of said container, the force applied by the water and compressed air in said container reduces to a point wherein said lever no longer applies enough force to said valve to prevent said valve from moving to said closed position.

15. A pressurized flush toilet system, comprising: a bowl; a tank configured to hold water and to deliver water to said bowl, said tank including an inlet that delivers water into said tank and an outlet that allows water to exit said tank; a valve being configured to move between an open position and a closed position, wherein said valve closes said outlet of said tank when said valve is in said closed position; a container configured to hold water and compressed air and being positioned in the tank; and a plunger that is moveable with respect to said tank and that is positioned proximate said container such that water and compressed air in said container apply a force to said plunger and at least a portion of that force is applied from said plunger to said valve to move said valve from said closed position toward said open position.

16. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 15, further comprising a lever that is positioned to engage said valve and said plunger, wherein said lever applies a force from said plunger to said valve to move said valve from said closed position toward said open position.

17. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 16, further comprising a spring configured to resistably engage said lever and push said lever away from said valve.

18. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 15, wherein said container includes a hole on a sidewall thereof that allows water and air to drain out of said container to reduce the amount of water and air in said container.

19. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 18, wherein as water drains out of said hole, the force applied by the water and compressed air that remain in said container to said plunger is applied to said valve to maintain said valve out of said closed position.

20. The pressurized flush toilet system of claim 19, wherein after a certain amount of water drains out of said container, the force applied by the water and compressed air in said container reduces to a point wherein the force applies from said plunger to said valve is no longer great enough to prevent said valve from moving to said closed position.

Description:
FLUSHING SYSTEM FOR A PRESSURIZED TOILET BACKGROUND

[01] In recent times, government regulations and environmental concerns have led to requirements that toilets minimize the amount of water used per flush. As a result, there are now pressurized toilets that use water pressure to limit the amount of water used in a flush. The tank of a pressurized toilet is typically situated above the bowl and is filled from below with water that enters the tank through an inlet connected to a large, pressurized water pipe. Air is compressed within the tank as the tank is filled with water, and the water stops entering the tank once the air pressure and water pressure in the tank meet a desired balance. The tank also includes a large outlet pipe that leads to a release valve that is positioned to release water into the bowl of the toilet. When the tank is filled with water, the release valve blocks the flow of water from the tank into the toilet bowl. The release valve is connected to a handle or button that is typically mounted on the outside of the tank. Activating the handle or button causes the release valve to open. When the valve opens, the high pressure in the tank forces the water through the large outlet pipe and out the valve, allowing for highly pressurized water to flow from the tank and into the toilet bowl. The pressurized flow of water into the bowl cleans the bowl and drains out of the bowl through an outlet pipe at the bottom of the bowl. When the flushing action is complete, the release valve closes and water flows back into the tank through the inlet, and the cycle of pressurizing the water in the tank begins again.

[02] The tremendous force of the pressurized water entering and exiting the tank and the sudden closing of the valves can cause "water hammer," or a pressure surge or wave, within the plumbing system that results in a loud noise and possible damage to the pipes to which the toilet is connected. Also, the valves are complicated devices, involve many parts, and are typically not easy to access for repair. Also, the handle on an existing pressurized toilet is connected to the release valve by a complex mechanism that extends into the tank through a seal and uses the force applied to the handle to pull the release valve or seal open from within the tank, and against the forces of gravity and the water pressure in the tank. Thus, an operator needs to apply as much as 60 pounds of force to open the release valve unless the toilet includes a complicated pilot valve that uses a large piston to provide the force to open the release valve.

SUMMARY

[03] Certain embodiments of the present invention provide a pressurized flush toilet system that includes a bowl and a tank configured to hold water and to deliver water to the bowl. The tank includes an inlet that delivers water into the tank and an outlet that allows water to exit the tank. The system also includes a valve that is configured to move between an open position and a closed position, wherein the valve closes the outlet of the tank when the valve is in the closed position. The system includes a lever positioned to engage the valve and a plunger that extends out of the tank and that is configured to engage the lever. The plunger is movable with respect to the tank. The system includes a container configured to hold water and compressed air above the water. The air is compressed by being trapped between the water that enters the container and the container walls. The container is positioned in the tank such that the water and compressed air held in the container apply a force to the plunger such that the plunger applies a force to the lever which causes the lever to move the valve from the closed position toward the open position in order that water can refill the bowl and air can flow into the tank and container.

[04] Certain embodiments of the present invention also provide a pressurized flush toilet system including a bowl and a tank configured to hold water and to deliver water to the bowl. The tank includes an inlet that delivers water into the tank and an outlet that allows water to exit the tank. The system includes a valve that is configured to move between an open position and a closed position, wherein the valve closes the outlet of the tank when the valve is in the closed position. The system includes a lever positioned to engage the valve and a container configured to hold water and compressed air above the water. The container is positioned in the tank such that the water and compressed air held in the container apply a force, and at least a portion of the force is applied to the lever, which causes the lever to move the valve from the closed position toward the open position. [05] Certain embodiments of the present invention also provide a pressurized flush toilet system including a bowl and a tank configured to hold water and to deliver water to the bowl. The tank includes an inlet that delivers water into the tank and an outlet that allows water to exit the tank. The system includes a valve that is configured to move between an open position and a closed position, wherein the valve closes the outlet of the tank when the valve is in the closed position. The system includes a container configured to hold water and pressurized air above the water. The container is positioned in the tank. The system includes a plunger that is moveable with respect to the tank and that is positioned proximate the container such that the water and pressurized air in the container apply a force to the plunger, and at least a portion of that force is applied from the plunger to the valve to move the valve from the closed position toward the open position.

[06] These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with reference to the following description and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[07] Figure 1 illustrates a top isometric view of a toilet, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[08] Figure 2 illustrates a cutaway front view of the tank of Figure 1, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[09] Figure 3 illustrates a cutaway front view of the tank of Figure 1, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[10] Figure 4 illustrates a cutaway front view of the tank of Figure 1, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[11] Because the embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of "including" and "comprising" and variations thereof is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items and equivalents thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[12] Figure 1 illustrates an isometric view of a toilet. The toilet 10 includes a bowl section 14 with a tank or dome 18 mounted thereto. The tank 18 includes a handle 22 positioned along a side thereof that is used to flush the toilet 10. The handle 22 can be positioned at other places on the tank 18 or toilet 10.

[13] Figure 2 illustrates a cutaway front view of the tank 18 of Figure 1. The tank 18 is mounted on a base 26 to define a reservoir 34. The reservoir 34 holds water 38 and air 42. The tank 18 can have different shapes and sizes. By way of example only, the tank 18 can be generally cylindrical. By way of example only, the tank 18 is made of ceramic material. The air 42 is compressed by the water 38 such that the water 38 is pressurized within the tank 18. The base 26 includes a water inlet 46 that has a first opening 50 that leads to an external water pipe (not shown) and a second opening 54 that leads into the reservoir 34 of the tank 18. The external pipe feeds water from the plumbing system of the building in which the toilet 10 is located into the water inlet 46. The inlet 46 does not include a valve and allows water to flow freely into the reservoir 34. The compressed air 42 within the reservoir 34 prevents any more water from entering the reservoir by way of the inlet 46 after a certain point. At this point, the reservoir 34 is at a pressurized equilibrium. By way of example only, the water 38 is pressurized at 30 to 50 pounds per square inch within the tank 18.

[14] The base 26 also includes an interior cavity 58 that is connected to the reservoir 34 of the tank 18 by a first outlet 62 and that is connected to the bowl 14 (Fig. 1) of the toilet 10 by a second outlet 66. The outlet 66 may be connected to the bowl 14 by an outlet pipe. The base 26 includes an opening 78 positioned between the reservoir 34 of the tank 18 and the cavity 58 of the base 26. A cylindrical rolling boot 82 is positioned within the opening 78 and receives a plunger 86. The plunger 86 is generally cylindrical and has a head 90 at one end and a tip 94 at another end. The rolling boot 82 has a concentric U- shape with an outer wall 98 having a seal 102 positioned about the opening 78 and an inner wall 106 configured to resistably engage the head 90 of the plunger 86. Alternatively, a metal bellows could be used instead of the boot 82.

[15] A hollow column or container 130 is positioned in the tank 18 above the plunger 86 on a top surface 132 of the base 26. The column 130 has a cylindrical wall 134 integrally formed with or connected to a top wall 128 to define a cylindrical cavity 136. Alternatively, the column 130 and cavity 136 can have other shapes. The wall 134 of the column 130 forms a seal with the top surface 132 of the base 26. The wall 134 can formed integrally with the top surface 132 or connected to the top surface 132. An opening or drainage hole 140 extends through the wall 134 of the column 130. The opening 140 can have different sizes and be positioned on the wall 134 at various heights above the bottom surface 132 of the base 26 depending on the desired flow and pressure characteristics for water passing through the opening 140.

[16] The opening 140 allows air to enter into the cavity 136 from the reservoir 34 when the level of water in the tank 18 is less than the height of the opening 140 above the top surface 132 and the level of water in the cavity 136 is below the height of the opening 140. The opening 140 allows water to enter the cavity 136 from the reservoir 34 when the tank 18 is filled with water to reach a level that is equal to or greater than the height of the opening 140 above the top surface 132 of the base 26 and the level of water in the cavity 136 is below the height of the opening 140. The opening 140 also allows water to drain out of the cavity 136 of the column 130 when there is water in the cavity 136 at a level that is above the height of the opening 140 and there is water in the tank 18 at a level that is below the height of the opening 140. The opening 140 also allows air to escape or drain out of the cavity 136 of the column 130 when the level of water in the cavity 136 is below the height of the opening 140 and the level of water in the tank 18 is below the height of the opening 140.

[17] The column 130 holds air 120 and water 124. The air and water enter the column 130 through the opening 140 as discussed above. As water enters the cavity 136, the air in the column 130 becomes compressed, and, after a certain point, the compressed air 120 within the column 130 prevents any more water from entering the column 130 through the opening 140. At this point, the column 130 reaches a pressurized equilibrium. The column 130 is positioned such that the cavity 136 is located above the plunger 86. When the water in the cavity 136 is at a pressurized equilibrium, the air pressure and weight of the water in the cavity 136 push downward on the head 90 of the plunger 86.

[18] A valve 142 is mounted in the reservoir 34 proximate the first outlet 62. The valve 142 is configured to rotate about a pivot 144. The valve 142 can also be configured to move in other ways, such as axially. The valve 142 includes a circular sealing flap or seal 148 sized and shaped to cover and seal the first outlet 62. The seal 148 can be made of rubber or any other flexible, sealing material. When the seal 148 is positioned to close and seal the first opening 62, the valve 142 is in a closed position. The pressure and weight of the water 38 in the reservoir 34, and the weight of the seal 148, hold the seal 148 in the closed position.

[19] A lever 70 is mounted within the cavity 58 of the base 26 and rotates about a pivot 74. The lever 70 has a generally flat base section 110 formed with an arm 114 that is generally perpendicular to the base section 110. By way of example only, the lever 70 is made of steel or aluminum. The arm 114 extends into the first outlet 62. A spring 118 is mounted along, and extends upwardly from, a floor 122 of the cavity 58 and is positioned in a generally vertical alignment with the plunger 86. An engagement point 126 along the base section 110 of the lever 70 is positioned between the tip 94 of the plunger 86 and the spring 118. The engagement point 126 and the arm 114 of the lever 70 are on opposite sides of the pivot 74. The spring 118 resistably pushes upward against the engagement point 126 toward the tank 18, and the tip 94 of the plunger 86 resistably pushes downward against the engagement point 126 toward the floor 122 of the cavity 58 due to the force of the compressed air and water 124 in the cavity 136 of the column 130 that pushes downward against the plunger head 90. The downward force applied by the plunger 86 is greater than the upward force applied by the spring 118, and this difference in force causes the arm 114 to push up against the seal 148 of the valve 142. The amount of force applied by the arm 114 to the seal 148 is not enough to push the seal 148 out of its closed position about the first outlet 62. By way of example only, when the seal 148 is in the closed position, a force of 60 pounds can be required to push the seal 148 upward and out of the closed position, but the force of the arm 114 applied upward against the seal 148 is 50 pounds. [20] The external handle 22 is connected to the lever 70 by a handle lever 150 (Fig. 3) that extends through a passage (not shown) in the base 26. When a user rotates the handle 22, the handle lever 150 engages the lever 70 in order to apply force to rotate the lever 70 in the direction of Arrow A. The base 26 may be configured to allow for easy access to the cavity and mechanisms in the cavity.

[21] Figure 3 illustrates a cutaway front view of the tank 18 of Figure 1 that shows the water 38 being drained from the reservoir 34 into the bowl 14 (Fig. 1). Because a large portion of the force that is necessary to push the seal 148 upward and out of the first outlet 62 is already being supplied to the lever 70 by the plunger 86, a user operating the handle 22 needs to only apply the remainder of the force necessary to cause the lever 70 to rotate in the direction of Arrow A and push the seal 148 out of the closed position. By way of example only, the user may need to apply ten pounds of force by rotating the handle 22 to cause the lever 70 to push the seal 148 upward and out of the first outlet 62. As the lever 70 is rotated in the direction of Arrow A to overcome the resistance of the closed valve 142 due to the force applied by a user turning the handle 22, the spring 118 is compressed, and the plunger 86, which is pushed downward by the pressurized air and water 124 that is in the cavity 136 of the column 130 after the valve 142 is opened, pushes further downward into the cavity 58 of the base 26. Once the seal 148 is partially moved out of the closed position, the clamping force of the seal 148 is greatly reduced such that the user can stop applying force by way of the handle 22 and the force applied to the lever 70 by the plunger 86 completes the process of moving the valve 142 to the open position. The plunger 86 continues to apply force to the lever 70 such that the arm 114 of the lever 70 keeps pushing the seal 148 upward even after the user has stopped applying force to the lever 70 by way of the handle 22. In this way, the force applied by the pressurized plunger 86 to the lever 70 reduces and limits the amount of force that needs to be applied by a user turning the handle 22 and the amount of time that such force needs to be applied.

[22] As the valve 142 is moved to the open position, the pressurized water 38 in the reservoir 34 flows out of the first outlet 62 and into the cavity 58 of the base 26 and then out of the second outlet 66 and into the bowl 14 (Fig. 1) of the toilet 10. By way of example only, the water 38 can be pressurized at 30 psi upon being released from the tank 18. Because of the pressure on the water 38 in the reservoir 34 due to the compressed air 42, the water 38 empties out of the reservoir 34 and into the bowl 14 in a matter of seconds. The highly pressurized flow of water 38 from the tank 18 to the bowl 14 cleans the bowl 14 and then drains from the bowl 14 through a siphon pipe (not shown) in a few seconds while reducing the amount of water needed per flush. In an alternative embodiment, the tank 18 can be used to flush the bowl of a urinal. After the pressurized water has exited the bowl 14, water that has flowed into the emptied tank 18 from the inlet 46 flows from the tank 18 through the outlets 62 and 66 into the bowl 14 to refill the bowl 14. Also, air is replenished in the reservoir 34 by flowing into the reservoir through the outlet 62.

[23] Figure 4 illustrates a cutaway front view of the tank 18 of Figure 1 that shows most of the water drained from the reservoir 34. Even after most of the water located in the reservoir 34 outside of the cavity 136 has exited the tank 18 via the outlet 62 due to the pressure on the water in the tank 18, water remains in the column 130. This is because the opening 140 in the column 130 is sized and positioned so that water drains out of the column 130 through the opening 140 at such a rate that the level of the water in the cavity 136 of the column 130 remains higher than the level of water in the reservoir 34 outside of the column 130 as water exits the tank 18 through the outlet 62. In this way, even after most of the pressurized water has exited the reservoir 34, the pressurized water in the cavity 136 of the column 130 continues to apply weight and pressure on the lever 70 such that the arm 114 maintains the valve 142 in the open position. With the valve 142 maintained in the open position, water continues to flow into the reservoir 34 by way of the inlet 46, and because the outlet 62 is still open, air can flow up into the reservoir 34 so that the cycle of pressurizing the tank 18 can begin again once the valve 142 is closed. In this way, the air and water in the column 130 operate as a timing device that delays closure of the valve 142 so that water flowing into the reservoir 34 through the inlet 46 can drain out of the reservoir 34 to refill the bowl 14 after the pressurized water in the tank 18 that had been used to flush the bowl 14 has exited the bowl 14 through the siphon pipe.

[24] As the water drains out of the cavity 136 of the column 130 through the opening 140, the weight of the water in the cavity 136 and the pressure of the compressed air in the cavity 136 that are applied to the arm 114 via the plunger 86 are reduced. Eventually, enough water drains out of the cavity 136 that the force applied by the water and air pressure in the cavity 136 to the plunger 86 is not enough to overcome the upward force applied to the lever 70 at the engagement point 126 by the spring 118 and the downward force applied to the arm 114 of the lever 70 by the weight of the valve 142. At this point, the forces applied by the spring 118 and the valve 142 to the lever 70 cause the lever 70 to rotate in the direction of Arrow B. At the same time, the weight of the seal 148 pushes downward against the arm 114 of the lever 70. The weight of the seal 148 pushing against the arm 114 of the lever 70, combined with the force of the spring 118 pushing the engagement point 126 upward, allows for the seal 148 to move once again to the closed position over the first outlet 62. In this way, the column 130 operates to control the closing of the valve 142.

[25] As new water continues to be delivered into the reservoir 34 by way of the inlet 46 after the valve 142 is closed, the water fills the tank 18 and air that has entered the reservoir 34 via outlet 62 enters the cavity 136 of the container 130 through the opening 140. Moreover, when the water level in the tank 18 reaches the height of the opening 140 of the column 130 above the top surface 132, water also fills the cavity 136 through the opening 140. At a certain point, the air in the cavity 136 becomes compressed such that no more water can enter the cavity 136. Similarly, at a certain point, the air in the reservoir 34 becomes compressed such that no more water can enter the reservoir 34. Thus, a point of water pressure equilibrium is again achieved in the reservoir 34 and the cavity 136. In this way, the reservoir 34 maintains generally the same amount of pressure for each flush without having to include a system to deliver air into the reservoir 34. Additionally, because there is air in the reservoir 34, a valve is not needed at the inlet 46 to dose water into the reservoir 34. Rather, the inlet 46 simply delivers water to the reservoir 34 until the compressed air 42 will not allow any more water to enter the reservoir 34. Alternatively, a pressure regulator may be provided at the water inlet 46 to limit pressure or backflow. The compressed air 42 serves as the mechanism to limit the amount of water that is delivered into the reservoir 34. Therefore, the inlet 46 can simply provide a constant flow of water without use of a valve, and as the reservoir 34 is emptied by flushing, the water can flow right back into the reservoir 34 by way of the inlet 46. The speed of water leaving the reservoir 34 due to the air pressure prevents the reservoir 34 from refilling so quickly that the water in the column 130 does not have time to drain into a generally empty reservoir 34.

[26] Moreover, as the column 130 refills with water and again reaches a pressurized equilibrium during the refilling process, the plunger 86 is again pushed downward by the force of the pressurized water in the column 130 pushing against the plunger head 90. The lever 70, valve 142, and plunger 86 thus return to their positions shown in Figure 2.

[27] Thus, embodiments of the present invention help control the flush of water, save water, reduce water hammer, and reduce the number of moving part in a toilet. By reducing the number of moving parts, the embodiments of the present invention make repair and replacement of parts easier. More specifically, the embodiments of the present invention provide a high pressure toilet tank and flushing system that does not require the use of an inlet valve to the tank. In this way, the system limits the number of complicated parts needed to fill the tank, reduces the need for a large pipe to deliver water to the tank, and reduces the effect of water hammer from an inlet valve suddenly closing. Also, the tank outlet valve is kept in the sealed position by the weight and pressure of the water in the tank, and the column controls the closing of the valve to allow time for the bowl to be refilled. Furthermore, the flushing system uses a plunger and lever to assist in pushing the outlet valve open from below and outside of the tank, and, as such, reduces the amount of force needed to open the outlet valve of the pressurized tank and allows for easy access to repair or replace the activating lever. In addition, by trapping air that flows upwards through the outlet into the tank after each flush, the tank does not require a separate inlet to deliver a controlled amount of air into the tank to pressurize the water. Also, as the water level in the container falls below the height of the exit hole, the air in the container (which becomes pressurized and applies force to the lever and valve) can be replenished with each flush without the need for any complex moving parts.

[28] While various spatial and directional terms, such as top, bottom, lower, mid, lateral, horizontal, vertical, front and the like may be used to describe embodiments of the present invention, it is understood that such terms are merely used with respect to the orientations shown in the drawings. The orientations may be inverted, rotated, or otherwise changed, such that an upper portion is a lower portion, and vice versa, horizontal becomes vertical, and the like.

[29] Variations and modifications of the foregoing are within the scope of the present invention. It is understood that the invention disclosed and defined herein extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text and/or drawings. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the present invention. The embodiments described herein explain the best modes known for practicing the invention and will enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention. The claims are to be construed to include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted by the prior art.

[30] Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.