Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
TOILET SEAT ASSEMBLY INCORPORATING A SEAT WASHER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1994/016609
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A toilet seat assembly comprises a seat (52) and a hinged lid (56) which has at the centre of its underside a spray head (62) for directing washing liquid on to the seat and around its periphery apertures (64) for directing drying air on to the seat after washing. Flexible tubing (70) for supply of water and air connects to the back of the seat to communicate with ducting in the lid leading to the spray head and air apertures, whilst an electrical control box (66) at the back of the unit supervises the washing and drying facilities.

More Like This:
Inventors:
Dudley, Christopher
Application Number:
PCT/GB1994/000153
Publication Date:
August 04, 1994
Filing Date:
January 26, 1994
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Dudley, Christopher
International Classes:
A47K13/30; (IPC1-7): A47K13/30
Foreign References:
US5022098A
US4924532A
GB1537249A
FR1100889A
DE2621802A1
DE2233957A1
DE2519337A1
US1706409A
DE8520602U1
Download PDF:
Claims:
C la ims
1. A toilet seat assembly comprising a seat member and lid member which is in use hinged relative to the toilet pan, the lid member incorporating a duct means through which, when the lid is in the lowered position, washing liquid can be directed on to the upper surface of the sea member to wash it and air can be directed on to said seat surface to dry it after washing.
2. An assembly according to claim 1, wherein the seat member is in use also mounted to hinge relative to the toilet pan.
3. A toilet pan unit fitted with the seat assembly of claim 1 or claim 2.
4. A unit according to claim 3, wherein the hinged lid incorporating the seat washing and drying facilities seals to the pan, or to an annular member fixed to the pan, around the outside of the periphery of the seat.
5. A unit according to claim 4, wherein the seal is a soft seal which is able to deform and/or yield under a differential pressure across it so that air pressure does not build up inside the pan during air drying.
6. A unit according to claim 4 when appendant to claim 1 , wherein the hinged lid in its lowered position seals to an annular member in the form of an upstand which fixedly carries the seat.
7. A unit according to claim 4 when appendant to claim 2, wherein the lid in its lowered position seals directly to the pan.
8. A unit according to any of claims 3 to 7, wherein the washing liquid is directed on to the seat from a spray head located generally at the centre of the underside of the lid, whilst the drying air is directed on to the seat from a series of apertures positioned around at least a part of a peripheral region of the lid.
9. A unit according to claim 8, wherein separate ducts in the lid provide for supply of washing liquid to the spray head and air to the peripheral apertures, respectively.
10. A unit according to claim 8 or claim 9, wherein the air apertures are disposed in and around the front and back of the peripheral region of the lid.
11. A unit according to any of claims 8 to 10, wherein the washing liquid is delivered from the spray head under relatively high pressure, whilst the drying air is fan blown.
12. A unit according to claim 11, wherein the fan and other controls for the system are incorporated in a control box mounted behind the toilet pan.
13. A unit according to . claim 12, wherein the operation of the washing and drying facilities in sequence is controlled by solenoid valves, associated with microswitches and a timer, all housed in the control box,.
14. A unit according to claim 13, wherein initiation of the sequence is by means of a microswitch operated on closure of the lid.
15. A unit according to any of claims 3 to 14, wherein water and air supplies are connected at the back o f the lid to a duct system in the lid, through flexible tubing.
16. A unit according to any of claims 3 to 15, wherein , the toilet pan lid is provided at the front with a liftin handle .
Description:
Title Toilet Seat Assembly incorporating a Seat tvasher

Field of the invention

This invention relates to a toilet seat assembly incorporating a seat washer.

Prior art

U.K. Specification No. 1523158 discloses a toilet seat incorporating a duct system for washing water and subsequent air drying of the upper surface of the seat. The openings from the duct system are thus required to be incorporated in the surface of the seat, which is clearly disadvantageous.

U.K. Specification No. 2204611A discloses a toilet seat assembly in which the seat is mounted for movement between raised and lowered positions by means of an annular collar, in which collar a water duct for spraying the seat is incorporated. An air drying facility is incorporated in a hinged lid. This arrangement is disadvantageous owing to its mechanical complexity.

It is an object of the present invention to provide an improved toilet seat assembly incorporating washing and drying facilities.

The invention

According to the invention, there is provided a toilet

seat assembly comprising a seat member and a lid member which is in use hinged relative to the toilet pan, the lid member incorporating a duct means through which, when the lid is in the lowered position, washing liquid can be directed on to the upper surface of the seat member to wash it and air can be directed on to said seat surface to dry it after washing.

The seat member can be fixedly mountable to the toilet pan but preferably it is also in use mounted to hinge relative thereto.

The invention also relates to a toilet pan unit fitted with the above-defined seat assembly.

The hinged lid incorporating the seat washing and drying facilities preferably seals to the pan, or to an annular member fixed to the pan, around the outside of the periphery of the seat. This seal prevents escape of washing liquid during washing. However, the seal is preferably a soft seal, and in particular is a seal which is able to deform and/or yield under a differential pressure across it so that air pressure does not build up inside the pan during air drying. Alternatively, for release of interior air pressure, a pressure relief valve may be incorporated in the lid.

In one embodiment, the hinged lid in its lowered position seals to an annular member in the form of an upstand which fixedly carries the seat. In the preferred embodiment having a hinged seat, the lid in its lowered position seals directly to the pan.

The washing liquid is preferably directed on to the seat

from a spray head located generally at the centre of the underside of the lid, whilst the drying air is directed on to the seat from a series of apertures positioned around at least a part of a peripheral region of the lid. Separate ducts in the lid preferably provide for supply of washing liquid to the spray head and air to the peripheral apertures, respectively. However, it is alternatively possible to employ a duct system which is at least in part common to the supply of washing liquid and of air. The air apertures are preferably disposed in and around the front and the back of the peripheral region of the lid.

The washing liquid may be water or a water-diluted disinfectant. In either case, the water may be drawn either from the mains supply to the cistern associated with the toilet, or from the cistern. A measured quantity of water used for washing may entrain a measured quantity of disinfectant on route to the spray head, if required.

The washing liquid is preferably delivered from the spray head under relatively high pressure, whilst the drying air, which may be pre-warmed, is preferably fan blown. The fan and other controls for the system are preferably incorporated in a control box, for example mounted on the base of the toilet pan or the wall behind it. The operation of the washing and drying facilities in sequence is preferably controlled by solenoid valves, associated with microswitches and a timer, all housed in the control box. Initiation of the sequence is preferably by means of a microswitch operated on closure of the lid. This has the advantageous possibility of stopping operation of the facilities if the lid is lifted while washing or drying is taking place.

Water and air supplies may be connected to the duct system in the lid, preferably at the back of the lid, through flexible tubing which does not substantially impair the hinging action of the lid.

As the lid may be heavier than a conventional toilet pan lid, a lifting handle may be provided at the front, and gas struts incorporated if necessary or desirable.

The invention may be applied to a standard toilet pan or to a pan specially designed to suit the facilities incorporated in the seat assembly.

Description of embodiments

Two embodiments of the invention will now be described by way of example, making reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:-

Figures 1 to 4 diagrammatically illustrate a first embodiment in plan view without the cover, in plan view with lowered cover, in front elevation with cover lowered, and in side elevation with cover lowered, respectively;

Figures 5 and 6 diagrammatically illustrate a second embodiment in plan view without the cover, in front and rear elevations with lowered cover, and in side elevation with cover lowered, respectively; and

Figures 7 to 9 show a modification.

Referring first to Figures 1 to 4 , a toilet pan 10 has mounted to the rim of the bowl an annular member 12 which carries an upstanding mount 13 for a fixed seat 14. The member 12 is suitably sealed to the rim of the bowl. Hinged at 16 to a fitting 18 on the annular member 12 is a lid 20. In its lowered position illustrated in Figures 2 to 4, the lid 20 seals to a raised lip on the annular member 12 by means of a soft seal 22. The lid 20 has a handle 24 by which it may more readily be lifted and lowered.

Incorporated in the lid 20 is a duct system (see Figure 2) comprising a duct 26 for washing liquid (water or dilute disinfectant) and a pair of ducts 28 for drying air. The duct 26 leads to a high pressure spray head 30 located generally at the centre of the underside of the lid. Ducts 28 lead to a series of apertures 32 positioned at a peripheral region of the lid.

In operation, the spray head 30 directs washing liquid under pressure in an outwards cone on to the upper surface of the seat, as indicated at 34 in Figures 3 and 4. Subsequently, air is fan blown out the apertures 32 to dry the seat surface. Soft seal 22 prevents escape of liquid during washing, but is able to deform to enable leakage of air during drying.

Operation of the washing and drying facilities, including normal flushing at 36, is supervised at a control box 38, which in addition to a fan for blowing the drying air, houses solenoid valves, microswitches and a timer. Flexible tubing 40 extends from the control box 38 to communicate with the ducts 26, 28 at the back of the lid 20. A microswitch on the lid, actuated when the lid is

lowered, may initiate the washing and drying cycle, or prepare for introduction of this cycle when flushing is carried out in the usual way. Part of the flushing water may be used for seat washing, and may entrain a quantity of disinfectant before delivery out of the control box.

The illustrated pan 10 is a standard pan unit, annular member 12 carrying the seat 14 being mounted by use of the standard fitting 42 for a conventional seat and lid. However, the invention is also applicable to a custom-made pan unit which incorporates the fixed seat 14.

Figures 5 and 6 illustrate a preferred embodiment. In this embodiment, a toilet pan 50 of porcelain or coated- metal or plastics material has a seat 52 hinged to the rim at the back of the bowl, as indicated at 54. Lid 56 incorporating seat washing and drying faciities is also hinged to the pan at the back, as indicated at 58, and in the lowered position seals directly to the rim of the bowl by means of a soft seal 60. A harder non-yielding seal can be employed if a pressure relief valve is incorporated in the lid, as indicated at 61.

Within the lid, a duct for washing liquid leads to a high pressure spray head 62 generally at the centre of the underside of the lid, and ducts for drying air lead to a series of apertures 64 in the region of the lid periphery. In this embodiment, the air apertures 64 are arranged as two larger series of smaller apertures, one series extending in an arc around the front of the lid and the other extending in an arc around the back of the lid.

A control box 66 for supervising the seat washing and drying facilities, in the manner hitherto described, is

accommodated in -a compartment 68 integrally formed with- the pan 50, water and air supplies 70 for washing and drying extending through this control box to connect to the ducts at the back of the lid 56 through flexible tubing which does not impair the hinging action of the lid.

Initiation of the washing and drying cycle is by means of a microswitch (not shown) actuated when the lid is lowered.

At the front of the lid 56 is provided a handle and a see- through panel 72 through which the seat cleaning action can be inspected.

Normal flushing takes place through the ductwork 74 in the pan 50.

In both embodiments, the seat and lid are preferably made of suitable plastics material. Several existing plastics forming techniques can readily make possible the formation of the ducting in the lid. It is also to be observed that, in both embodiments, the upper surface of the seat (when lowered in the second embodiment) slopes slightly downwards towards the interior of the pan bowl, ' so as to assist water drainage from and drying of this surface.

Attention is also drawn to the interior, inwardly directed ledge 73 of the lid 56. In operattion, this shaping 73 causes washing liquid to be directed upwardly and inwardly to wash the underside of the seat, whilst at the same time deflecting water away from the seal 60.

In the embodiment of Figures 5 and 6, the pan unit is

specially manufactured to suit the preferred seat and lid assembly of the invention. However, this is not essential. Thus, as indicated in Figures 7 to 9 wherein the same reference numerals as in Figures 5 and 6 are employed for corresponding parts, a standard pan 80 can readily be adapted to receive the seat and lid assembly of the invention by means of a metal seating plate 82, mounted to the pan with the aid of spacers 84 using the. seat fixing holes conventionally provided on a standard pan unit.