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Title:
SPLASH SHIELD FOR TOILET PLUNGER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/013149
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A splash shield for a toilet plunger includes a plastic membrane that fits tightly over the top of a toilet bowl rim and which has an elastic hole in the center so the user can slide a plunger handle up through the center. Once the plunger handle is slid up through the elastic hole in the center of the membrane the user can fit the outer elastic perimeter of the membrane around the toilet rim, and can then plunge and clear the clog in the toilet without sewage waste splashing outside of the toilet bowl. After the user has successfully unclogged the toilet, they can remove the membrane from the toilet bowl and wrap the contaminated head of the plunger within the membrane and safely take it away to be cleaned without dripping sewage waste on the floor in route.

Inventors:
PACE, John (846 Euclid Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, US)
Application Number:
US2016/045275
Publication Date:
January 18, 2018
Filing Date:
August 03, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PACE, John (846 Euclid Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA, 30307, US)
International Classes:
E03D9/00; A47K11/00; A47K13/04; A47K13/14; E03C1/308
Foreign References:
US6487730B22002-12-03
US20120255109A12012-10-11
US7797768B22010-09-21
US5099527A1992-03-31
US20090293185A12009-12-03
US20100170030A12010-07-08
US20120318688A12012-12-20
US20150040302A12015-02-12
US5860170A1999-01-19
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHNSON, Larry D. (PO. Box 470277, Celebration, FL, 34747, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed as invention is:

1. A splash shield for a toilet plunger comprising:

a plastic membrane having an outer edge with an elastic band and a central aperture with an elastic band, wherein when a toilet plunger handle is inserted through said central aperture and said plastic membrane is placed over the top of a toilet bowl rim, said plastic membrane prevents waste water from splashing outside of the toilet bowl when the toilet plunger is manipulated to clear a clog in the toilet, and when said plastic membrane is removed from the toilet bowl said plastic membrane can be closed around the head of the plunger to prevent leakage during transport of the plunger. 2. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said plastic membrane is generally circular in shape when expanded.

3. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said plastic membrane has a circumference when expanded to fit a standard toilet bowl.

4. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said plastic membrane has a circumference when expanded of approximately 182 cm.

5. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said plastic membrane has a circumference when contracted of < 125 cm.

6. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said central aperture has a circumference when expanded to fit a standard plunger handle.

7. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said central aperture has a circumference when expanded of approximately 38 cm.

8. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said central aperture has a circumference when contracted of < 5 cm.

9. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said central aperture is located off of the center of said plastic membrane towards a back edge thereof.

10. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said central aperture is located at a position approximately 40% of a diameter of said plastic membrane when expanded.

11. The splash shield of claim 9 wherein said plastic membrane includes indicia proximate said back edge to guide a user during placement of said splash shield over a toilet.

12. The splash shield of claim 1 wherein said outer edge includes a draw string to facilitate closure around the head of a plunger.

13. A method for preventing splash from a toilet plunger, the method comprising: providing a plastic membrane having an outer edge with an elastic band and a central aperture with an elastic band;

inserting a toilet plunger handle through the central aperture and placing the plastic membrane over the top of a toilet bowl rim; and

manipulating the toilet plunger to clear a clog in the toilet.

14. The method for preventing splash from a toilet plunger of claim 13 further including removing the plastic membrane from the toilet bowl and closing the plastic membrane around the head of the plunger to prevent leakage during transport of the plunger.

Description:
SPLASH SHIELD FOR TOILET PLUNGER

Inventor:

John Pace

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 62/360,493, filed July 11, 2016. The foregoing application is incorporated by reference in its entirety as if fully set forth herein.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] Not applicable.

REFERENCE TO A MICROFICHE APPENDIX [0003] Not applicable.

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0004] The present invention relates generally to plumbing supplies and tools, and more particularly to an improved splash shield for use with a toilet plunger. BAC GROUND INFORMATION AND DISCUSSION OF RELATED ART

[0005] United States Patent Application 2010/0000010 by Martinisko discloses a disposable splash shield sized to fit on a toilet bowl rim to prevent splashing of water from the bowl when a plunger is used to free an obstruction in the toilet. The shield is foldable in half and a gasket seal is affixed to a bottom marginal edge portion to effect a seal between the shield and the toilet bowl rim. Adhesive material on the underside of the gasket seal, or strips of adhesive tape on the marginal edge of the shield, releasably secures the shield in position. In a preferred embodiment the shield is made of cardboard. A toilet kit includes the splash shield, gloves, at least one paper towel, and a flattened box, all packaged in an envelope-like bag that can be used to contain and dispose of these items following use.

[0006] United States Patent Application 2010/0170030 by Haji-Karami-Mahabadi describes a splash cover for a plunger, the plunger having an elongate handle and a plunger head located at a bottom end of the elongate handle for engaging of a drainage site. The splash cover includes a collar member having a circumferential edge and having a central aperture for engaging the elongate handle, and a plurality of separate flaps connected by way of hinge connections at one end around the circumferential edge and extending lengthwise from the collar member. Each flap is pivotable at its hinge connection to a radially-outward position for providing coverage to the drainage site. The collar member has a sleeve section forming the aperture and an outwardly extending flange section forming the edge to which the flaps are connected. A handle member is also provided having a recess for engaging a top end of the elongate handle.

[0007] United States Patent Application 2015/0040302 by Cameron teaches a sanitary plunger comprising an economically designed handle with an encompassing splash guard for use in plunging a toilet or sink.

[0008] The foregoing references reflect the current state of the art of which the present inventor is aware. Reference to, and discussion of, these references is intended to aid in discharging Applicant's acknowledged duty of candor in disclosing information that may be relevant to the examination of claims to the present invention. However, it is respectfully submitted that none of the above-indicated references disclose, teach, suggest, show, or otherwise render obvious, either singly or when considered in combination, the invention described and claimed herein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The present invention provides a splash shield for a toilet plunger, comprising a protective membrane that fits over the top of any shape toilet bowl (e.g., round or oval) and that will accommodate any plunger. The plastic membrane fits tightly over the top of the toilet bowl rim and has an elastic hole in the center so the user can slide the plunger handle up through the center. Once the plunger handle is slid up through the elastic hole in the center of the membrane the user can fit the outer elastic perimeter of the membrane around the toilet rim, and can then safely and securely plunge and clear the clog in the toilet without a drop of sewage waste splashing outside of the toilet bowl. After the user has successfully unclogged the toilet, they can remove the membrane from the toilet bowl and wrap the contaminated head of the plunger within the membrane and safely take it away to be cleaned without dripping sewage waste on the floor in route. A new plastic membrane may be placed on the cleaned plunger to act as a sanitary cover for the plunger until its next use.

[0010] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved splash shield for a toilet plunger.

[0011] It is another object of the present invention to provide a new and improved splash shield that fits over the top of any shape toilet bowl and that will accommodate any plunger.

[0012] A further object or feature of the present invention is a new and improved splash shield so that a user can safely and securely plunge and clear a clog in a toilet without sewage waste splashing outside of the toilet bowl.

[0013] An even further object of the present invention is to provide a novel splash shield that enables a user to take a plunger away after use to be cleaned without dripping sewage waste on the floor in route.

[0014] A still further object of the present invention is to provide a sanitary cover for a plunger until its next use.

[0015] Other novel features which are characteristic of the invention, as to organization and method of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for illustration and description only and are not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention. The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming part of this disclosure. The invention resides not in any one of these features taken alone, but rather in the particular combination of all of its structures for the functions specified.

[0016] There has thus been broadly outlined the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood, and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form additional subject matter of the claims appended hereto. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception upon which this disclosure is based readily may be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0017] Further, the purpose of the Abstract is to enable the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally, and especially the scientists, engineers and practitioners in the art who are not familiar with patent or legal terms or phraseology, to determine quickly from a cursory inspection the nature and essence of the technical disclosure of the application. The Abstract is neither intended to define the invention of this application, which is measured by the claims, nor is it intended to be limiting as to the scope of the invention in any way.

[0018] Certain terminology and derivations thereof may be used in the following description for convenience in reference only, and will not be limiting. For example, words such as

"upward," "downward," "left," and "right" would refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made unless otherwise stated. Similarly, words such as "inward" and "outward" would refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of a device or area and designated parts thereof. References in the singular tense include the plural, and vice versa, unless otherwise noted.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] The invention will be better understood and objects other than those set forth above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein:

[0020] FIG. 1 is a top view of a splash shield for toilet plunger of this invention in an expanded configuration, illustrating a plastic membrane having an outer edge with an elastic band, and a central aperture with an elastic band;

[0021] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of a splash shield being readied for placement over a toilet bowl rim and the handle of a plunger that has been placed in the toilet bowl;

[0022] FIG. 3 is a side view of a splash shield placed over a toilet bowl rim, with the outer edge wrapped around the toilet bowl, and the handle of the plunger extending through the central aperture of the splash shield; and

[0023] FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of a plunger having been removed from the toilet bowl, with the splash shield still in place on the handle of the plunger, and the outer edge of the splash shield being closed by a drawstring over the plunger head. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0024] Referring to FIGS. 1 through 4, wherein like reference numerals refer to like components in the various views, there is illustrated therein a new and improved splash shield for a toilet plunger, generally denominated 10 herein.

[0025] FIG. 1 is a top view of a splash shield 10 in an expanded configuration, illustrating a preferably generally circular or ovoid plastic membrane 12 having an outer edge 14 with an elastic band 16, and a central aperture 20 with an elastic band 22. The circumference of the outer edge when expanded (stretched) may be approximately 182 cm (< 125 cm when contracted) to fit most standard toilets, while the circumference of the central aperture when expanded may be approximately 38 cm (<5 cm when contracted) to fit most standard plunger handles. Because the drain of a standard toilet bowl is located proximate the rear of the bowl, and the plunger head must be placed accordingly to form a seal, the central aperture 20 is preferably located somewhat off of the center of the membrane (e.g., approx. 40% of a diameter D), closer to the back edge 24. Label 26 or other indicia may be placed near this back edge to guide the user during placement of the splash shield over the toilet.

[0026] FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the splash shield 10 being readied for placement over the rim 30 of a toilet bowl 32 and the handle 34 of a toilet plunger 36 that has been placed in the toilet bowl.

[0027] FIG. 3 is a side view of the splash shield 10 placed over the toilet bowl rim 30, with the outer edge 14 wrapped around the toilet bowl 32, and the handle 34 of the plunger 36 extending through the central aperture 30 of the splash shield.

[0028] FIG. 4 is a front elevation view of the plunger 36 having been removed from the toilet bowl, with the splash shield 10 still in place on the handle 34 of the plunger, and the outer edge 14 of the splash shield being closed over the plunger head 40. There may be a small area of exposed elastic band 16 along the outer edge 14 of the see-through plastic membrane which the user can actually use as a draw string in order to pull the elastic band and neatly fit the plastic membrane around the plunger head. Alternatively, a standard non-elastic drawstring or other closure could be used. After cleaning, a new plastic membrane may be placed on the cleaned plunger to act as a sanitary cover for the plunger until its next use.

[0029] The inventive apparatus thus provides a new and improved splash shield for a toilet plunger, comprising a protective shield that a user can fit over the top of any shape toilet and that will accommodate any plunger. The see-through plastic membrane fits tightly over the top of the toilet rim and has an elastic hole in the center so the user can slide the plunger handle up through the center (in the manner of a large see-through shower cap with an elastic hole in the center for the plunger handle). Once the plunger handle is slid up through the elastic hole in the center of the see-through membrane the user then proceeds to neatly fit the outer elastic perimeter of the membrane around the toilet rim. The user can then begin to safely and securely plunge and clear the clog in the toilet without a drop of sewage waste splashing anywhere. After the user has successfully unclogged the toilet they can wrap the contaminated head of the plunger within the disposable membrane and safely take it outside to a hose without dripping one drop of sewage waste on the floor in route.

[0030] Features of the inventive splash shield may include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

[0031] The plastic membrane is preferably somewhat oversized and has enough depth to encase the actual toilet bowl so that it seals towards the bottom of the toilet bowl, and also be deep enough so that as the user engages in the forward and backward plunge motion to unclog the blockage it will remain secure around the plunger handle as well as the toilet bowl itself.

[0032] The inventive product is disposable and may be offered in a multipack with disposable one-size-fits-all gloves.

[0033] The plastic membrane may include an all natural citrus scent to help deal with the odor from stopped up toilet sewage.

[0034] The plastic membrane may include a natural disinfectant to reduce the hazards of the harmful bacteria from sewage water.

[0035] The plastic membrane is disposable and may be made of biodegradable material that will decompose in landfills.

[0036] The see-through plastic membrane (e.g., constructed of PE plastic) inherently has "cling-like" properties similar to plastic wrap material that along with the outer perimeter elastic band ensures a tight seal around every toilet rim.

[0037] The splash shield eliminates all sewage splash from the plunging process.

[0038] After plunging the user can wrap the contaminated plunger head inside the plastic membrane for safe and sanitary removal from the toilet in order to travel safely across floors to take the plunger outside for cleaning and disinfecting, with no sewage drips on clean floors.

[0039] After cleaning and disinfecting the used plunger the user can fit a new splash shield overtop and around the plunger handle and slide it down towards the plunger head, and wrap the new splash shield around the head of the plunger so it can be used as an actual sanitary cover to safely store the plunger until its next use.

[0040] An alternate embodiment of the splash shield may be used for unclogging sinks/select toilets, by replacing the perimeter elastic band with a perimeter adhesive strip so that a user can peel away a covering strip and have the underlying adhesive strip around the outside perimeter of the splash shield so as to secure it to the inside of any size sink or toilet.

[0041] Accordingly, the splash shield of this invention may be characterized as a splash shield for a toilet plunger including a plastic membrane having an outer edge with an elastic band and a central aperture with an elastic band, wherein when a toilet plunger handle is inserted through the central aperture and the plastic membrane is placed over the top of a toilet bowl rim, the plastic membrane prevents waste water from splashing outside of the toilet bowl when the toilet plunger is manipulated to clear a clog in the toilet, and when the plastic membrane is removed from the toilet bowl the plastic membrane can be closed around the head of the plunger to prevent leakage during transport of the plunger.

[0042] Alternatively, the invention may be characterized as a method for preventing splash from a toilet plunger, the method including providing a plastic membrane having an outer edge with an elastic band and a central aperture with an elastic band; inserting a toilet plunger handle through the central aperture and placing the plastic membrane over the top of a toilet bowl rim; and manipulating the toilet plunger to clear a clog in the toilet.

[0043] The above disclosure is sufficient to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to practice the invention, and provides the best mode of practicing the invention presently contemplated by the inventor. While there is provided herein a full and complete disclosure of the preferred embodiments of this invention, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction, dimensional relationships, and operation shown and described. Various modifications, alternative constructions, changes and equivalents will readily occur to those skilled in the art and may be employed, as suitable, without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention. Such changes might involve alternative materials, components, structural arrangements, sizes, shapes, forms, functions, operational features or the like.

[0044] Therefore, the above description and illustrations should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention, which is defined by the appended claims.