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Title:
TOILET FLUSH BUTTON COVER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/203078
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A toilet flush button cover for covering at least one toilet flush button. The toilet flush button cover comprises at least one actuation input mechanism, at least one flush activation mechanism and at least one part of a fixing arrangement. Activation of the input mechanism provides subsequent activation of the flush activation mechanism.

Inventors:
DELANEY, Paul (Cassellie Ltd, Unit 1-6 Howden WayMorley, Leeds West Yorkshire LS27 OTF, LS27 OTF, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/051201
Publication Date:
November 08, 2018
Filing Date:
May 04, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
CASSELLIE LTD (Unit 1-6 Howden Way, Morley, Leeds West Yorkshire LS27 OTF, LS27 OTF, GB)
International Classes:
E03D5/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017032824A12017-03-02
WO2011031243A12011-03-17
Foreign References:
GB2496694A2013-05-22
US20090113614A12009-05-07
US2257135A1941-09-30
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALDRIDGE, Christopher (Mohun Intellectual Property Limited, 13/14 Park Place, Leeds West Yorkshire LS1 2SJ, LS1 2SJ, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A toilet flush button cover for covering at least one toilet flush button, the toilet flush button cover comprising:

at least one actuation input mechanism;

at least one flush activation mechanism; and

at least one part of a fixing arrangement;

wherein activation of the input mechanism provides subsequent activation of the flush activation mechanism.

2. A toilet flush button cover according to claim 1, wherein two flush activation mechanisms are provided.

3. A toilet flush button cover according to claim 2, wherein a first activation of the actuation input mechanism results in a first of the two flush activation mechanisms being activated and a second activation of the actuation input mechanism results in a second of the two flush activation mechanisms being activated.

4. A toilet flush button cover according to claim 3, wherein the actuation input mechanism is a lever and movement of the lever in a first manner activates the first flush activation mechanism and activation of the lever in a second manner activates the second flush activation mechanism.

5. A toilet flush button cover according to claim 3, wherein the actuation input mechanism comprises a button arrangement comprising at least one button and depressing the button arrangement in a first manner activates the first flush activation mechanism and depressing the button arrangement in a second manner activates the second flush activation mechanism.

6. A toilet flush button cover according to claim 5, wherein the button arrangement comprises two buttons and depressing the first button activates the first flush activation mechanism and depressing the second button activates the second flush activation mechanism.

7. A toilet flush button cover according to claim 3, wherein the actuation input mechanism comprises a light sensor or a motion sensor and wherein activating the light sensor or motion sensor in a first manner activates the first flush activation mechanism and activating the light or motion sensor in a second manner activates the second flush activation mechanism.

8. A toilet system comprising a toilet flush button cover according to any preceding claim, wherein the toilet flush button cover is arranged over at least one flush button of a toilet cistern and wherein activation of the toilet flush button cover results in activation of the toilet flush of the toilet cistern. 9. A toilet system according to claim 8 as appended to claim 1, wherein the flush button of the toilet cistern has a first flush member for dispensing a first flush volume and the flush button of the toilet cistern a second flush member for dispensing a second flush volume, wherein the toilet flush button cover is arranged over the top of the flush button of the toilet cistern and wherein activation of the flush activation mechanism of the flush button cover in a first manner activates a first flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern and activation of the flush activation mechanism of the flush button cover in a second manner activates a second flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern. 10. A toilet system according to claim 8 as appended to claim 2, wherein the flush button of the toilet cistern has a first flush member for dispensing a first flush volume and the flush button of the toilet cistern a second flush member for dispensing a second flush volume, wherein the toilet flush button cover comprises two flush activation mechanisms and is arranged over the top of the flush button of the toilet cistern and wherein activation of the first flush activation mechanism of the flush button cover activates a first flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern and activation of the second flush activation mechanism activates a second flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern. 1 1. A toilet system according to claim 8 as appended to claim 2, wherein the flush button of the toilet cistern has a first flush member for dispensing a first flush volume and the flush button of the toilet cistern a second flush member for dispensing a second flush volume, wherein the toilet flush button cover comprises two actuation input mechanisms and two flush activation mechanisms and the flush button cover is arranged over the top of the flush button of the toilet cistern and wherein activation of the first actuation input mechanism triggers the first flush activation mechanism of the flush button cover to activate the first flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern and activation of the second actuation input mechanism triggers the second flush activation mechanism to activate the second flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern.

Description:
TOILET FLUSH BUTTON COVER

Field of Invention

The present invention relates to a toilet flush button cover and to a method of use thereof. Background

Although the following description refers almost exclusively to a toilet flush button cover for use in covering an existing dual flush toilet button mechanism, it will be appreciated by persons skilled in the art that the present invention could be used to cover an existing single flush toilet button mechanism if required.

The large number of toilets use a "dual flush" toilet system wherein the toilet can be flushed using one of two different water volumes. Two buttons are typically provided on the toilet cistern to allow a user to selectively choose one of two different water volumes to be dispensed into the toilet bowl. Actuation of one of the two buttons releases a relatively small amount of water from the toilet cistern, such as, for example 3 litres, and is typically for use in flushing away liquid waste from the toilet bowl. This flush is often referred to as a "half flush". Actuation of the other of the two buttons releases a relatively large amount of water from the toilet cistern, such as, for example 6 litres, and is typically for use in flushing away solid waste from the toilet bowl. This flush is often referred to as a "full flush". The advantage of dual flush toilets is that by providing a half flush option, they can save water and are therefore more environmentally friendly than single flush button toilets that only dispense a large volume of water suitable for use as a "full flush".

The two flush buttons are often set within the same button holder or body portion, and are, usually, of a push button type and are typically of a standard appearance. Problems associated with this are that the dual flush buttons have only limited aesthetic appeal and there are very few alternative designs in the marketplace for the same. In addition, people who have a lack of dexterity in their hands, such as disabled people, the elderly, young children, frail people and/or the like, often find it difficult to actuate the conventional push button arrangement, particularly if the button mechanism is recessed within a toilet cistern or bathroom furniture unit. It is therefore an aim of the present invention to provide a toilet flush button cover that overcomes the abovementioned problems, along with a a method of using the same. It is a yet further aim of the present invention to provide a toilet, toilet an-angement, toilet cistern or a furniture unit for a toilet or toilet cistern including a toilet flush button cover that overcomes the abovementioned problems, along with a method of using the same.

Statements of Invention

Accordingly, the present invention is directed to a toilet flush button cover for covering at least one toilet flush button, the toilet flush button cover comprising:

at least one actuation input mechanism;

at least one flush activation mechanism; and

at least one part of a fixing arrangement;

wherein activation of the input mechanism provides subsequent activation of the flush activation mechanism.

In this regard, the toilet flush button cover can be placed over an existing toilet flush button, or buttons, and can be employed to change the method of activation, for example, from a button to a lever or sensor arrangement.

Preferably, two flush activation mechanisms are provided, which allows the toilet flush button cover to be placed over a dual flush flushing mechanism, thereby enabling the toilet flush button cover to readily activate either one of the two flushes of the dual flush mechanism. Whilst a single flush activation mechanism can, in some arrangements, activate either flush of a dual flush system, it is more readily achieved using two flush activation mechanisms.

Advantageously, a first activation of the actuation input mechanism results in a first of the two flush activation mechanisms being activated and a second activation of the actuation input mechanism results in a second of the two flush activation mechanisms being activated. The actuation input mechanisms may be activated in a First way to trigger the flush activation mechanism and activated in a second way for triggering the second flush activation mechanism. In one arrangement the actuation input mechanism may be a lever and movement of the lever in a first manner activates the first flush activation mechanism and activation of the lever in a second manner activates the second flush activation mechanism. In such an arrangement, movement of the lever in a first manner may be movement of the lever in a first direction and movement of the lever in a second manner is movement of the lever is a different direction to the first direction. In this sense, as an example, movement to the right might activate a half-flush and movement to the left might activate a full-flush. It will be appreciated that other movements, such as forward and/or backward might be employed in such an arrangement.

Alternatively, it may be that movement of the lever in a first manner is movement of the lever in a first direction and movement of the lever in a second manner is further movement of the lever in the same direction as the first direction for example, a half-flush is movement of the lever half way through its range of motion and a full-flush may be substantially full movement of the lever through its range of motion. A resistance mechanism may be provided through the range of motion of the lever to induce an increased resistance to movement in order to give feedback to the user when the half-flush is reached and to indicate that further movement will activate a full-flush, Similarly, depressing a button a first distance may induce a first type of flush and depressing the button a further distance may induce a second type of flush.

In an alternative arrangement the actuation input mechanism comprises a button arrangement comprising at least one button and depressing the button arrangement in a first manner activates the first flush activation mechanism and depressing the button arrangement in a second manner activates the second flush activation mechanism. Furthermore, it may be that the button arrangement comprises two buttons and depressing the first button activates the first flush activation mechanism and depressing the second button activates the second flush activation mechanism. The use of two buttons that correspond to the two type of flush - half-flush and full-flush - provides a simple mechanism. The buttons may different from the buttons over which they are to be placed, for example, having a first of the buttons protruding more than the other button, or having the buttons co-axial with the internal or external button protruding above the other, when installed. It is envisaged that one button may be enclaved within the other without them being coaxial, but one may still protrude from the other, This allows a more tactile flush mechanism to be installed over an existing flush mechanism, thereby allowing those with impairments, for example, visual impairment or impaired dexterity, such as false nails, to more readily distinguish between the two flush options. Protruding flush buttons includes a situation wherein the relative heights of the respective flush buttons differ, when the toilet flush button cover is installed. In a preferred embodiment, the actuation input mechanism comprises a light sensor or a motion sensor and wherein activating the light sensor or motion sensor in a first manner activates the first flush activation mechanism and activating the light or motion sensor in a second manner activates the second flush activation mechanism. The use of a sensor allows for touch-free operation of the toilet and incorporating this into a toilet flush button cover provides an effective and relatively easy to install option for converting a flush mechanism into a hands-free operating flush, The first manner of operating the sensor might be a swipe of a user's hand over the sensor in one direction with the second manner being a swipe over the sensor in a different direction. Alternatively, the first manner might be a user holding their hand over the sensor for a first period of time and the second manner being holding their hand over the sensor for a longer period of time. Other sensors might be employed, for example, a short-range wireless receiver to allow the flush control to be positioned elsewhere and activated remotely.

The invention extends to a toilet system comprising a toilet flush button cover according to any preceding claim, wherein the toilet flush button cover is arranged over at least one flush button associated with a toilet cistern and wherein activation of the toilet flush button cover results in activation of the toilet flush of the toilet cistern. In such an arrangement, the button cover may be installed over a flush button of a toilet system, for example, attaching the toilet flush button cover to a cistern such that it covers a flush button thereon, so that use of the toilet flush button cover flushes the toilet.

Preferably, the flush button of the toilet cistern has a first flush member for dispensing a first flush volume and the flush button of the toilet cistern a second flush member for dispensing a second flush volume, wherein the toilet flush button cover is arranged over the top of the flush button of the toilet cistern and wherein activation of the flush activation mechanism of the flush button cover in a first manner activates a first flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern and activation of the flush activation mechanism of the flush button cover in a second manner activates a second flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern. One flush activation mechanism might have a first position in which it operates a half flush and a second position in which it operates a full flush, thereby having a single actuation input mechanism to operate both of the flushing options of a dual flush system.

In an advantageous arrangement wherein two flush activation mechanisms are provided, the flush button of the toilet cistern has a first flush member for dispensing a first flush volume and the flush button of the toilet cistern a second flush member for dispensing a second flush volume and the toilet flush button cover comprises two flush activation mechanisms and is arranged over the top of, or associated with, the flush button of the toilet cistern, and activation of the first flush activation mechanism of the toilet flush button cover activates a first flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern and activation of the second flush activation mechanism activates a second flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern. In such a system, each flush actuation mechanism triggers a respective flush of the toilet. In a further arrangement wherein two flush activation mechanisms are provided, the flush button of the toilet cistern has a first flush member for dispensing a first flush volume and the flush button of the toilet cistern a second flush member for dispensing a second flush volume, wherein the toilet flush button cover comprises two actuation input mechanisms and two flush activation mechanisms and the flush button cover is arranged over the top of the flush button of the toilet cistern and wherein activation of the first actuation input mechanism triggers the first flush activation mechanism of the flush button cover to activate the first flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern and activation of the second actuation input mechanism triggers the second flush activation mechanism to activate the second flush member of the flush button of the toilet cistern. Two actuation input mechanisms may be provided along with two, respective flush activation mechanisms, so that, for example, pressing a button on the toilet flush button cover operates the first flush activation mechanism to cause first flush type and pressing another button operates the second flush activation mechanism to cause a second flush type. Thus, within the scope of the present invention there is provided a toilet flush button cover for covering an existing toilet flush button, said toilet flush button cover including at least one actuation mechanism, or means, for actuating a toilet flush mechanism, movement means provided on or associated with the at least one actuation means for allowing a force applied to the at least one actuation mechanism to be transmitted to at least part of the existing toilet flush button to actuate a toilet flush, and attachment means for allowing the toilet flush button cover to be arranged over to the existing toilet flush button.

Advantage of the present invention are that by providing a cover for an existing toilet flush button, it allows the aesthetic appearance of the existing toilet flush button to be changed, thereby providing a user with a greater range and selection of designs for their toilet flush button without requiring a new toilet flush mechanism to be fitted to the cistern, that is to say, the present invention can be fitted or retrofitted onto/into existing flush systems. In addition, the cover can allow adaption of an existing toilet flush button into a more easily actuated mechanism, such as for people with dexterity problems, including long finger nails that might make operating the flush more difficult, limited hand and/or finger movement, or visual impairment. A particular advantage of the present invention is that the fitting of the toilet flush button cover does not necessarily require removal of the existing toilet flush button and therefore the cover is arranged to allow actuation of the existing toilet flush button. Thus, there is no need to remove or replace existing arrangements and the cover can be fitted quickly and easily without significant expense. In one embodiment the toilet flush button cover is provided with a single actuation mechanism, or means, and, in an alternative embodiment, a single actuation means is arranged so as to actuate an existing single flush toilet button to provide a single toilet flush. In one embodiment the single actuation mechanism, or means, is arranged so as to actuate an existing dual flush toilet button to provide the option of two different toilet flushes, Preferably, the single actuation means is moved through different angles, in different directions, through distances and/or the like in providing the option of the two different toilet flushes.

In one embodiment the toilet flush button cover has two or more actuation means and, preferably each of the two or more actuation means is used to actuate corresponding button parts of an existing dual flush toilet arrangement,

Preferably, the at least one actuation means includes any or any combination of one or more levers, buttons, push buttons, dials, pivotable members, rotatable members and/or the like.

In one embodiment the at least one actuation means is a different shape, design, aesthetic appearance and/or size compared to the existing toilet flush button or button part with which it is associated with or which it actuates when installed.

In one embodiment, the position of the at least one actuation means on the cover corresponds exactly or is substantially the same as the position of the existing toilet flush button or button part with which it is associated when installed. For example, the existing toilet flush button can comprise a dual flush button having two actuation button portions, one actuation button portion for each flush type, The cover could also have two actuation means and the position of the two cover actuation means could correspond exactly or almost exactly to the two actuation button portions on the existing dual flush button. In one embodiment, the position of the at least one actuation means on the cover does not correspond or is substantially different to the position of the existing toilet flush button or button parts with which it is associated. For example, the existing toilet flush button can comprise a dual flush button having two actuation button portions, one actuation button portion for each flush type. The cover could also have two actuation means and the position of at least one of the two cover actuation means could be different to the two actuation button portions on the existing toilet dual flush button. For example, the existing toilet flush button could comprise a circular button holder having two semi-circular button portions provided therein. The cover could be circular in shape having an outer annular actuation means and a central circular actuation means, In one embodiment, the movement means are arranged so as to transmit any force applied to the at least one actuation means of the cover to the existing toilet flush burton or button portion associated with the same. In one embodiment, the movement means are arranged such that pivotal and/or rotatable movement of the at least one cover actuation means results in linear or substantially linear movement of the existing toilet flush button or button portion. Thus, in this embodiment in one example, movement of the actuation means in a first direction, causes movement of the existing toilet flush button in a second and different direction.

In one embodiment, the movement means are arranged such that slidable and/or linear movement of the at least one cover actuation means results in corresponding slidable and/or linear movement of the existing toilet flush button or button portion.

In one embodiment, resilient biasing means are included or associated with the at least one actuation means and/or movement means such that following actuation of the same, the at least one actuation means and/or movement means returns from an actuated position to a start or resting position.

In one embodiment, resilient biasing means provided on or associated with the existing toilet flush button causes, wholly or at least in part, the at least one actuation means and/or the movement means to return from an actuated position to a start or resting position. Preferably, the resilient biasing means provided with or associated with the cover and/or the existing toilet flush button includes one or more springs, sprung material and/or the like.

In one embodiment, the at least one cover actuation means is movable by a user from a start or resting position to at least a first actuated position. This typically results in corresponding movement or actuation of an existing toilet flush button or button portion from a start or resting position to at least a first actuated position in use.

In one embodiment, the at least one cover actuation means is movable by a user from a start or resting position to one of a first actuated position or a second actuated position. This typically results in corresponding movement or actuation of an existing toilet flush button or button portion from a start of resting position to one of a first actuated position or a second actuated position.

Preferably, the first actuated position corresponds to a half flush position and the second actuated position corresponds to a full flush position.

In one embodiment, the fixing arrangement, or attachment means, includes any or any combination of one or more screws, nuts and bolts, clips, adhesive, welding, inter-engaging members, screw threads, complementaiy screw threads, a suction cup, bayonet fitting, push fit connection, friction fit, flange elements, inwardly pnrtruding flange elements, outwardly protruding flange elements and/or the like.

In one embodiment the cover comprises a body portion. Preferably, the dimensions of at least part of the cover body portion are larger or sufficiently large enough to be located over or around an existing toilet flush button in use.

Preferably, the at least one actuation means is defined in, located in or on, or associated with the body portion.

Preferably, the body portion includes a fixing arrangement in the form of an outer flange portion or an outwardly protruding flange portion. The second part of the fixing arrangement, such as adhesive or screws may be employed to fix the toilet flush button cover in place. In one embodiment, the outer flange portion surrounds the whole or substantially the whole of a main part and/or the at least one actuation means of the body portion. In one embodiment, the outer flange portion partially surrounds a section of a main part and/or the at least one actuation means of the body portion. In one embodiment, the attachment means are provided on or are associated with the outer flange portion.

Preferably, at least part of the body portion is arranged to sit flush or substantially flush on a surface on which the existing toilet flush button is located in use, on a surface adjacent the surface on which the existing toilet flush button is located in use, or on at least part of the existing toilet flush button. Preferably, a rear surface of at least part of the body portion, and, further preferably, a rear surface of the outer flange portion of the body portion, is arranged to sit flush or substantially flush on a surface on which the existing toilet flush button is located in use, on a surface adjacent the surface on which the existing toilet flush button is located in use, or on at least part of the existing toilet flush button. In one example, the rear surface of at least part of the body portion, or the outer flange portion of the body portion is planar, flat or substantially planar or substantially flat.

In one embodiment, the main part of the body portion protrudes outwardly from the outer flange portion, and further preferably at least side walls of the main part of the body portion protrudes outwardly at 90 degrees or substantially 90 degrees to the outer flange portion.

In one embodiment the main part of the body portion is in the form of a sleeve, In one embodiment the body portion includes a first part for attachment to or relative to an existing toilet flush button, and a second part that is detachabiy attached to the first part. Preferably, the at least one actuation means are provided on or associated with the second part of the body portion.

In one example, the first part has an inwardly protruding flange that engages with or under at least part of an existing toilet flush button.

Preferably, the first part and/or second parts of the body portion are provided with engagement means for allowing engagement or detachable engagement of the first part and the second parts together in use.

Preferably, the engagement means includes any or any combination of one or more screws, nuts and bolts, clips, adhesive, welding, inter-engaging members, screw threads, complementaty screw threads, bayonet fitting, push fit connection, friction fit, flange elements, inwardly protruding flange elements, outwardly protruding flange elements, screw thread arrangements and/or the like.

In one embodiment, the cover or the body portion includes an inner flange portion or an inwardly protruding flange portion, The inner or inwardly protruding flange portion can be used to attach the cover to an existing toilet flush button. For example, where the existing toilet flush button is provided on a ceramic toilet or toilet cistern, the inner or inwardly protruding flange portion can be used to locate under at least part of the existing toilet flush button in order to attach the same together. This prevents any damage being caused to the toilet or toilet cistern. In one example, the cover includes an annular member with an inwardly protruding flange portion. The existing flush button can be temporarily removed from the cistern, toilet and/or furniture unit to allow the annular member to be located around the aperture in which the existing flush button is located. The existing flush button is then located through the annular member such that at least part of the existing flush button engages with the inwardly protruding flange portion of the annular member. The body portion of the cover is then moved into engagement with the annular member.

In one embodiment, one or more symbols, text, numbers and /or the like are provided on or associated with the cover and/or at least one actuation means to allow a user to determine the result of actuating each part, that is to say, the type of flush.

In one embodiment, guide means are provided on or associated with the at least one actuation means and/or movement means to allow control of the actuation movement in use. In one embodiment, the movement means can be independent of the actuation means, integrally formed with the actuation means, detachably attached to the actuation means, joined to or in abutting relationship with the actuation means and/or the like.

In one embodiment, the movement means include one or more protruding elements that allows actuation force to be transmitted from the at least one cover actuation means to one or more existing toilet flush buttons or button portions, In one embodiment, the movement means includes a pivotal mechanism that allows actuation force to be transmitted from the at least one cover actuation means to one or more existing toilet flush buttons or button portions.

Preferably, the toilet flush button cover can be retrofitted to an existing toilet flush button.

According to a further aspect of the present invention there is provided a method of using a toilet flush button cover for covering an existing toilet flush button, as described herein.

The present invention extends to a toilet, a toilet arrangement, a toilet cistern or a furniture unit for a toilet or toilet cistern having a toilet flush button cover, and a method of use thereof.

Brief Description of the Figures

Embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the following figures, wherein:

Figures la- If show a front view, side view, perspective front view, end view, exploded view and rear view respectively of a dual flush toilet button cover according to an embodiment of the present invention;

Figures 2a-2c show a top plan view, a front view and a front perspective view of conventional dual toilet flush buttons respectively;

Figures 3a-3c show a top plan view, a front view and a front perspective view of the dual flush toilet button cover in figures la- If fitted to the conventional dual toilet flush buttons in figures 2a-2c;

Figures 4a-4c show a perspective exploded view, an end view and a side view respectively of a dual flush toilet button cover with an existing dual flush toilet button according to a further embodiment of the present invention; Figures 5a-5c show a side view, an end view and a cross sectional view taken along line A-A in figure 5b respectively of the assembled cover and button shown in figures 4a-4c in a rested or non-actuated state;

Figures 6a-6c show a side view, an end view and a crass sectional view taken along line B-B in figure 6b respectively of the assembled cover and button shown in figures 4a-4c in an actuated first position state;

Figures 7a-7c show a side view, an end view and a cross sectional view taken along line C-C in figure 7b respectively of the assembled cover and button shown in figures 4a-4c in an actuated second position state;

Figures 8a-8f show the steps for fitting the cover shown in figures 4a-4c to an existing toilet flush button in one example;

Figures 9a-9e show a perspective view, a top plan view, a cross sectional view taken along line A-A in figure 9b, a side view and a base plan view respectively of a further embodiment of a toilet button cover in a resting or non-actuated position;

Figures 1 Oa-I Oe show a perspective view, a top plan view, a cross sectional view taken along line B-B in figure 10b, a side view and a base plan view respectively of the toilet button cover in figures 9a-9e in an actuated position; and

Figure 11 shows a sectional view of a device in accordance with the present invention, Description of Embodiments

Referring firstly to figures 1 a- 1 e, there is illustrated a dual toilet flush cover 2 for covering and allowing actuation of an existing dual toilet flush button in use. The cover 2 comprises a body portion 4 having a central annular part 8 and an outer flange part 10.

The outer flange part 10 has a front surface 12 and a rear surface 14. The rear surface 14 is planar and is arranged to sit flush on a surface associated with the toilet cistern on which an existing dual toilet flush button is provided in use. Attachment means in the form of screw holes 16 are provided at spaced apart intervals on outer flange part 8. The screw holes 16 pass between the front surface 12 and the rear surface 14 of flange part 8 to allow a screw to be located therethrough in use for attaching the cover 2 to a surface.

The central annular part 8 protrudes outwardly from outer flange part 10 and is provided perpendicular to the same. Actuation means in the form of two actuation buttons 18, 20 are located within the central annular part 8. Button 18 has an annular front face 22 with a central aperture 24 defined in the same. Button 20 has a circular front face 26 and is located through the central aperture 24 of the outer button 18. Test is provided on the front faces 22, 26 of buttons 18, 20 to inform a user that the outer button 18 is for providing a "full flush" 28 and that the inner button 20 is for providing a "half flush 30,

Guide means, which in this example are in the form of a plurality of outwai'dly protruding tab members 32, are provided at spaced apart intervals around a peripheral edge 34 of front face 22 of button 18. The tab members 32 locate in cotrespondingly spaced channels 36 defined on an interior surface 38 of central annular part 8 to maintain the position of the button 18 with respect of the central annular part 8 during actuation of the same in use.

Movement means in the form of an arc shaped element 40 is provided on a rear surface 42 of button 18 and protrudes outwardly therefrom. The length of protrusion of element 40 from rear surface 42 of button 18 is such that it contacts and actuates the front surface of a full flush button portion of an existing toilet flush button when pushed inwardly of central annular part 8.

Movement means in the form of a sleeve or cylindrical element 44 protrudes outwai'dly from a rear face of button 20. An arc shaped element 46 is provided at the end 48 of sleeve element 44 opposite to the end associated with the front face 26 and rear face of button 20. The length or protrusion of sleeve element 44 is such that the arc shaped element 46 contacts and actuates the front surface of a half flush button portion of an existing toilet flush button when pushed inwardly of outer button 18 in use.

An arc shaped element 48 is provided with cover 2 and is located between the rear face 42 of outer button 18 and the arc shaped element 46.

Referring to figures 2a-2c, there is illustrated two types of existing dual toilet flush buttons 100, 102 fitted through an aperture defined in a furniture unit 104 (only part of which is shown in figures 2a-2c) associated with a toilet cistern. The front surface of buttons 100, 102 look the same and includes an annular outer body portion 106, the rear surface of which sits flush on the front surface 108 of the furniture unit 104. Two semi-circular button portions 1 10 and 1 12 are provided within the central aperture defined by annular outer body portion 106. Button portion 1 10 is used to actuate a full flush and button portion 112 is used to actuate a half flush. Each of the button portions 1 10, 1 12 is independently actuated in conventional use by a user pushing each button portion inwardly of the outer body portion 106. The rear of dual toilet flush button 100 is connected to a pneumatic toilet flush mechanism, part 1 14 of which is shown in figures 2a and 2c. The rear of dual toilet flush button 102 is connected to a cable toilet flush mechanism, part 1 16 of which is shown in figure 2a. If a user wishes to change the appearance of the conventional flush button 100, the user can fit toilet flush button cover 2 shown in figures la-lf over the front of button 100 in such a manner that actuation of the buttons 18, 20 on the cover will still actuate the existing button portions 110, 112 under the cover. In particular, the diameter of central annular part 8 is slightly larger than the outer diameter of the annular outer body portion of the flush button 100. As such, cover 2 can be located over button 100, such that existing button portions 110, 112 sit within the peripheral edges of the central annular part. The rear surface 14 of the outer flange portion 10 can be located flush with the front surface 108 of the furniture unit 104. Screws 118 can be located through the holes 16 in the outer flange portion 10, thereby securing the cover 2 over button 100. Actuation of the button portions 110, 1 12 can still be achieved in a conventional manner by a user pushing in button 18 on cover 2 or button 20 on cover 2 respectively. The linear pushing or actuation force applied by a user to the cover button is transmitted to produce a corresponding linear pushing or actuation force on the corresponding button portion beneath the cover. The resilient biasing means already present with the buttons portions 1 10, 112 to allow the portions to return from an actuated position to a resting or starting position in use once a user releases their application of force therewith, helps to return the button portions 18, 20 on the cover 2 from their actuated position to the resting or starting position once a user releases their application of force therewith.

A further embodiment of the present invention is described in relation to figures 4a-7c where a cover 200 is arranged such that pivotal movement of an actuation lever 202 provided on the cover allows a linear force to be applied to the conventional flush button 102 to allow a full flush or a half flush to be actuated.

The cover 200 includes a circular body portion 204, the actuation lever 202, a locking sleeve 206 and movement means in the form of a pivotal mechanism 208.

The locking sleeve 206 is cylindrical in form and has a channel 207 defined through the same. The sleeve 206 has a first lower end 211 that has a flange 210 associated with the same that protrudes inwardly of the channel 207. An outer surface of the locking sleeve 206 is provided with a screw thread arrangement 209. In use, the locking sleeve 206 is attached to the existing flush button 102 by inserting the flange 210 of the cover 200 underneath the annular outer body portion 106 of the flush button 102. Thus, when assembled, flange 210 is located between a front surface 108 of a furniture unit and the rear surface of annular outer body portion 102. It is noted that the outer diameter of the locking sleeve 206 is larger than the diameter of button 102, such that the cover 200 can be located over the button 102 in use. The inner diameter of the channel defined between the inwardly protruding flange 210 is smaller than the diameter of button 102, such that it can be located under the outer body portion 106 of the button 102 and held in place in use.

The circular body portion 204 has a front surface 212 and side walls 214 protruding outwardly from the same. An internal surface of the side walls 214 is provided with a screw thread arrangement 216 which is complementary to the screw thread arrangement of the locking sleeve 206, As such, once the locking sleeve 206 is located in position with the existing flush button 102, the circular body portion 204 can be located over the second end 218 of the sleeve 206 and the screw threaded arrangements 209, 216 can be rotatably engaged together.

The pivotal mechanism 208 comprises a pivot body portion 222, a pivot pin 220 passing through body portion 222 about which the pivot body portion pivots around in use, an actuation arm 224 protruding outwardly from body portion 222, and an attachment neck 226 to which actuation lever 202 is attached to in use.

The inside of body portion 204 is provided with channel portions for allowing pivotal mounting of pivot pin 220 therein in use.

The outer surface of attachment neck 226 is provided with a screw threaded arrangement which engages with a complementary screw threaded arrangement provided in an internal surface of actuation lever 202 at the mounting end 228 thereof. With the pivot body portion 222 engaged to the cover body portion 204, the attachment neck 226 at least partially protrudes outwardly of an aperture 230 defined in front surface 212. The actuation lever 202 can be attached to the attachment neck 226 externally of the cover body portion 204, such that the actuation lever 202 protrudes outwardly of the cover body portion 204.

In use, with the actuation lever 202 at rest, as shown in figures 5a-5c, the lever 202 is in an upright and substantially perpendicular position with respect to front surface 212 of cover body portion 204. The actuation arm 224 of the pivotal mechanism 208 is a spaced distance apart from the front surface of existing flush button portions 110, 112. In particular, in the illustrated example, the actuation arm 224 is parallel to the front surface of the button portions 1 10, 1 12 and the button portions 110, 1 12 are therefore also at rest.

When a user wishes to actuate a half flush with actuation lever 202, the user pivotally moves a free end 232 of lever 202 a short distance towards the front surface 212 of cover body portion 204, as shown in figures 6a-6c. The angle of the lever 202 to the front surface 212 is at an approximate 45 degree angle. This causes the free end 234 of actuation arm 224 to contact the half flush button portion 112 of the existing button 102 and initiate a half flush. When a user wishes to actuate a full flush with actuation lever 202, the user pivotally moves free end 232 of lever 202 a greater distance towards the front surface 212 of cover body portion 204, as shown in figures 7a-7c, relative to the half flush position shown in figures 6a-6c. The angle of the lever 202 to the front surface 212 is at an angle of less than 45 degrees. This causes the free end 234 of actuation arm 224 to contact the full flush button portion 1 10 of the existing button 102 and initiate a full flush.

The cover 200 is advantageous for people with poor dexterity and who have difficulties to actuate the conventional flush button 102 as it provides a lever 202 which provides a greater surface area over which a user can grip to actuate the flush mechanism. The user is also able to actuate the lever 202 with a part of their body other than their fingers, such as for example a palm of their hand, an arm, an object and/or the like.

Figures 8a-8f show the steps involved in fitting the cover 200 to a conventional flush button 102 in one example. The existing flush button 102 is typically located in an aperture 236 on a top surface 238 of a toilet cistern 240. The existing flush button 102 is first removed from aperture 236, as shown in figures 8b. The locking sleeve 206 is then located around aperture 236, as shown in figure 8c, such that channel 207 is aligned with aperture 236. The existing flush button 102 is then located through channel 207 and aperture 236, such that the annular outer body portion 106 of button 102 engages on top of the inwardly protruding flange 210 of locking sleeve 206. The existing flush button 102 is secured to cistern 240 in the conventional manner, thereby securing locking sleeve 206 in place on cistern 240, such that sleeve 206 protrudes outwardly of the top surface 238 of cistern 240, as shown in figure 8d. The body portion 204 of the cover 200 is then engaged with the locking sleeve 206, as shown in figures 8e-8f, via the complementary screw threads as previously described.

Figures 9a-10e show a further embodiment of a cover 300 having a slidably mounted actuation switch 302 provided thereon. Sliding motion of switch 302 in use along a slot 304 defined in a body portion 306 of cover 300 moves an actuation member 308 from a resting or non-actuated position shown in figures 9a-9e, to an actuated position shown in figure l Oa-l Oe.

An end 3 10 of switch 302 located internally of cover 300 is attached to a resiliently biased arm member 312. A free end 314 of arm member 3 12 is provided with an actuating plate 316. A stop surface or slot 318 is defined on an internal surface of cover 300 a spaced distance apart from slot 304. A section 320 of arm member 312 contacts stop surface 3 18 in use.

As switch 302 is moved from a first end 322 of slot 304 corresponding to a non-actuated flush position, towards an opposite send end 324 of slot 304 corresponding to an actuated flush position, arm member 312 tries to move in the same direction as switch 302. However, the section 320 of arm member 312 in contact with stop surface 318 forces the free end 314 of arm member 312 in a downwardly direction towards an existing flush button surface. Thus, sliding motion of switch 302 in a first direction, causes the actuating plate 316 of arm member 312 to move in a direction transverse, perpendicular or substantially perpendicular to the first direction.

The arm member 312 and switch 302 is resiliency biased to the non-actuated position, such that when a user removes their grip off switch 302, the switch and arm member 312 slide back to the start or resting position.

Figure 11 shows a toilet flush button cover 400 having a housing 402 in which embedded a light sensor 404, The light sensor 404 is connected to a processing unit 406 that is contained within the housing 402 and the processing unit 406 is connected to, and controls, flush activation elements in the form of extendable members 408 and 410. The toilet flush button cover 400 is powered by cells 412.

When flushing the toilet to which the toilet flush button cover 400 is attached, the user's hand is held above the light sensor 404 and the time for which the light levels are significantly reduced is detected by the processing unit 406. If the period for which the user holds their hand over the sensor is less than three seconds, the first extendable member 408 is activated, thereby enacting a half-flush of the toilet, Where the period for which the user holds their hand over the sensor is greater than three seconds, but less than ten seconds, the second extendable member 410 is activated, tliereby enacting a full-flush of the toilet. Where the period for which the light is reduced exceeds ten seconds, no flush occurs, which prevents the toilet flush button cover 400 from activating when the lights to the room have been switched off.

The housing 402 is provided with a immoveable section for replacement of the cells 412.

The light sensor 404 may be changed for a motion sensor or a plurality of sensors such that a user moving their hand in one direction activates the half-flush and moving their hand in another direction activates a full-flush. Additionally, or alternatively, other input devices may be used in place of the light or motion sensor, for example, switches, levers, buttons, touch sensors, voice control devices, biometric sensors and/or infrared sensors. The powered flush activation mechanism allows the device to be easier to operate and may require very little user input to activate. It will also be apparent that there may be a single flush activation mechanism, particularly where only a single flush option is available, for example a full-flush only system.