BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to an apparatus for removing odors from toilet bowls and, more particularly, to an apparatus for diverting gases attendant a toilet bowl to a filtration system mounted downstream from the toilet bowl.
A problem with the common toilet is that odors accumulate before the toilet can be flushed. Additionally, conventional flushing toilet bowls used throughout the world release malodorous gases into the room upon use, such that a fine mist or aerosol is often created. Such a mist or aerosol contains objectionable odor, as well as potentially harmful bacteria and viruses that will migrate throughout the adjacent area.
Some bathrooms and toilets have an exhaust action fan installed into a ceiling or a wall for the purpose of ventilation, removal of damp air and unpleasant smells from a room. This method of removing unpleasant air, however, is most inefficient due to the fact that the air in the room becomes contaminated first and then it is expelled by the exhaust fan. This means that the malodorous air can linger on for a considerable amount of time after the person has used the toilet, flowing around and about an occupant and his/her clothing. Some of the gases may permeate such clothing and hair of the user with socially unacceptable results. Moreover, the malodorous gases are almost never exhausted completely by the time a user opens the door and some of the gases migrate into an adjoining area.
The present invention contemplates provision of an odor eliminating system for removing the objectionable odors from the commode before the gas is released into the surrounding area.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is, therefore, an object of the invention to provide an odor eliminating system for a toilet.
It is another object of the invention to provide an odor eliminating system that is configured to suck malodorous air from a conventional flushing commode.
It is a further object of the invention to provide an odor eliminating system that can be easily installed and dismounted upon demand.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved through a provision of an odor evacuation apparatus for use in connection with a toilet having a toilet bowl with a rim and a toilet seat secured to the rim of the toilet bowl. Conventionally, a gap is created between the bottom of the toilet seat and the top of the toilet bowl rim. The odor eliminating system has an inlet assembly configured for detachable mounting on the rim of the toilet bowl. A nozzle of the inlet assembly has an opening for admitting air from the toilet bowl, while the nozzle is configured to fit into the gap between the rim of the toilet bowl and the toilet seat.
An outlet assembly is fluidly connected to the inlet assembly, the outlet assembly comprising an outlet opening, a switch-activated suction fan positioned upstream from the outlet opening and a filter member mounted upstream of the suction fan. The outlet assembly is fluidly connected to the inlet assembly by a flexible conduit which directs foul air from the inlet assembly to the outlet assembly for scrubbing by the filter member.
The suction fan can be powered by a battery, a solar panel, or by a municipal power supply. The suction fan is activated by either a pressure switch mounted in the inlet assembly below the toilet seat or by a three-way switch mounted in the outlet assembly. The three-way fan activating switch is movable between "On/off" positions and an "Auto" position.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Reference will now be made to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals, and wherein
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the apparatus of the present invention installed on a toilet.
FIG. 2 is a detail view illustrating position of the intake nozzle under a toilet seat.
FIG. 3 is a detail top view illustrating the intake nozzle.
FIG. 4 is detail view of an outlet assembly.
FIG. 5 is a schematic view illustrating an embodiment of the present invention powered by a municipal power source.
FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a second embodiment of the present invention powered by a solar panel.
FIG. 7 is an electrical schematic of different power sources that can be used to power the suction fan of the system of the present invention.
FIG. 8 is an electrical schematic of the system of the present invention.
DETAIL DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Turning now to the drawings in more detail, numeral 10 designates the odor eliminating apparatus of the present invention. The apparatus 10 comprises an intake assembly 12, an outlet assembly 14, and a connecting conduit 16. Most contemporary toilets share common features. A commode 20, as shown in FIG. 1, is an integrated body (i.e., a cast single piece) with a bowl 22 and a rim 25. Water, either from a tank 24 or a pipe (not shown) is piped through the tank 24 to outlets 26 beneath the rim when the toilet is flushed. A drain pipe 28 is formed in the body 20 and leads from the bowl 22 to a sewer line. A seat 30 is hingedly secured to the bowl 22 such that a gap 32 is formed between the rim 25 and a bottom surface 34 of the toilet seat 30.
The intake assembly 12 comprises an intake nozzle 40 configured to fit in the gap 32 and have an inlet open above the rim 25 of the bowl 22. A suction fan 42 is positioned in the outlet assembly 14 and is configured for fluid communication with the intake nozzle 40. The suction fan is powered by an electrical power supply from a battery 46, or a solar panel 47 in parallel with a battery, or a municipal power source 48, as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The 110-volt source of power can be also an air core transformer. An power transformer 49 can be used when powering the apparatus 10 by a municipal power source.
A normally open toilet seat switch 50 is operationally connected to the suction fan 42. When a user is seated on the toilet seat 30, the pressure switch 50 is depressed causing an electrical circuit to close and thereby activate the suction fan 42. The switch 50 can be a spring-mounted pressure switch (with a spring 51) that resiliently returns to an open position when the user gets up from the seat 30. When the switch is open and the outlet assembly exhaust fan is in an auto position, the suction fan 42 can be manually activated, as will be described in more detail hereinafter.
The nozzle assembly 12 is fluidly connected to the conduit 16 for transferring gas removed by the suction fan 42 to the outlet assembly 14. The conduit 16 is formed from a flexible deformable material, which allows the conduit 16 to be bent in a desired shape adjacent the toilet bowl 22.
The outlet assembly 14 also comprises a filter member 60, which can be a charcoal filter, mounted upstream from the suction fan 42. The filter member 60 extends transversely to a gas flow traveling through the conduit 16. In one of the preferred embodiments, the filter member 60 has substantially the same contact area as the inner opening of the outlet assembly downstream from the conduit 16. As a result, the majority of malodorous air comes into contact with the filter medium in the filter member 60 before it is pulled out of the outlet assembly by the suction fan 42.
A three-way switch 64 is mounted on a side or top of the outlet assembly 14. The three-way switch has an "On" position, allowing the fan 42 to run continuously, an "Off" position, shutting down the fan 42, and an "Auto" position, which allows the fan 42 to run as long as the electrical circuit is closed and the user presses on the pressure switch 50.
The air flow stripped of foul gases exits the outlet assembly 14 through the outlet opening 68. The outlet opening 68 may be directed to forcibly expel the air scrubbed of the odor-producing gases directly into the room.
If desired, a timer may be incorporated with the electrical circuit of the present invention, so that the suction fan operates for a predetermined period of time and then automatically switches off to conserve the battery power. The filter member 60 may be detachably positioned in the outlet assembly 14 allowing the user to change the filters once the filter member becomes ineffective. Similarly, the battery 46 can be easily exchanged for a new conventional battery.
The inlet assembly 12 may be secured by clips or brackets to the rim 25 of the toilet bowl 22. Alternatively, one or more suction cups may be provided on a bottom surface of the nozzle 40 to help retain the inlet assembly 12 in a desired position relative to the rim of the toilet bowl. The inlet assembly is configured for detachable mounting on the rim of the toilet bowl.
Many other changes and modifications can be made in the design of the present invention without departing from the spirit thereof. I, therefore, pray that my rights to the present invention be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.