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Número de publicaciónUS20080028504 A1
Tipo de publicaciónSolicitud
Número de solicitudUS 11/812,242
Fecha de publicación7 Feb 2008
Fecha de presentación15 Jun 2007
Fecha de prioridad16 Jun 2006
También publicado comoWO2007149379A2, WO2007149379A3
Número de publicación11812242, 812242, US 2008/0028504 A1, US 2008/028504 A1, US 20080028504 A1, US 20080028504A1, US 2008028504 A1, US 2008028504A1, US-A1-20080028504, US-A1-2008028504, US2008/0028504A1, US2008/028504A1, US20080028504 A1, US20080028504A1, US2008028504 A1, US2008028504A1
InventoresMichael Higgins, Robert Avetisian, Erik Brown, Thomas Helbig
Cesionario originalHiggins Michael L, Robert Avetisian, Brown Erik B, Thomas Helbig
Exportar citaBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
Enlaces externos: USPTO, Cesión de USPTO, Espacenet
Urinal cartridge with improved performance
US 20080028504 A1
Resumen
A cartridge for placement in a urinal includes a chamber having an entry for receiving wastewater (e.g., urine), a quantity of sealant floatable on the wastewater in the chamber for functioning as a barrier to odors that may otherwise emanate from the wastewater in the chamber, a sealant reservoir coupled to the chamber for containing a supply of the sealant, and a closed path sealant dispenser for dispensing the sealant from the sealant reservoir to the chamber for maintaining the sealant modicum atop the wastewater. The sealant dispenser includes a cap having a U-shaped channel, and opening, and an orifice entering into a throat in which the sealant floats. An air vent avoids the buildup of suction in the primary reservoir. A secondary reservoir may be coupled to the sealant reservoir primarily for retaining additional sealant, in addition to any wastewater that might accompany the sealant for conserving sealant, and is particularly useful to avoid the deleterious effects of water being dumped into cartridge, particularly, sealant that is flushed out and into drain through the outlet-to-drain compartment, which flushing has a minimal effect on the sealant in the secondary reservoir. If desired, a water reservoir may be housed within the cartridge.
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Reclamaciones(32)
1. A cartridge for placement in a urinal comprising:
a chamber having an opening for receiving wastewater;
a quantity of sealant floatable on the wastewater in said chamber functioning as a barrier to odors from the wastewater in said chamber;
a reservoir coupled to said chamber containing a supply of the sealant; and
a dispenser for dispensing the sealant from said reservoir to said chamber for maintaining the quantity of the sealant floating on the wastewater.
2. The cartridge according to claim 1, further comprising a wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment coupled to said opening, wherein said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment is sufficiently large as to prevent siphoning of liquid within the cartridge should a negative pressure differential exist across a cartridge trap or should there be any excessive amount of fluid dumped into the cartridge.
3. The cartridge according to claim 1, further comprising:
a secondary chamber coupled to said sealant reservoir;
an entry having an access to said chamber, having an opening for receiving wastewater, for insertion of fluids therein and at least one vent adjacent to said opening;
a sealant protection recovery channel having openings coupled between said entry and said secondary chamber; and
an antisiphoning aid positioned adjacent to the at least one vent at one of the openings of said sealant protection recovery channel, said aid minimizing the loss of sealant that may occur when excessive fluid is dumped into said chamber.
4. The cartridge according to claim 1, further comprising an intermediate portion, top and bottom portions fittable respectively on opposed ends of said intermediate portion, and a divider positioned adjacent to and secured to said top portion for defining said reservoir.
5. The cartridge according to claim 4, wherein:
said top portion includes an opening for receiving and directing the wastewater into said chamber; and
said sealant dispenser includes a passageway for conducting the sealant from said reservoir into said chamber, and a flow-limiting orifice positioned between said passageway and said reservoir for metering the amount of sealant to be supplied from said reservoir to said chamber and for supplying additional sealant for any sealant lost from said chamber.
6. The cartridge according to claim 5, further comprising a sealant reservoir release seal for sealing said sealant passageway from said chamber, and a sealant reservoir release seal removal device secured to said sealant reservoir seal for enabling removal of said sealant reservoir seal.
7. The cartridge according to claim 6, wherein said seal removal device extends through said opening for enabling said device to be grasped by an operator for removal of said sealant reservoir seal.
8. The cartridge according to claim 5, wherein an entry opening opens into said chamber and further comprising a secondary chamber, an orifice between said entry having an access to said chamber and said secondary chamber whereby said secondary chamber collects excess of the sealant and supplies additional sealant atop the wastewater in said entry for maintaining a desired amount of sealant.
9. The cartridge according to claim 1, wherein:
said chamber includes an inlet through which said wastewater passes into said chamber, said inlet establishes a fluid level defining a position of where said wastewater with sealant floating thereon exists; and
said dispenser comprises an orifice, a filter and a flow path exiting above said wastewater and said fluid level for providing a source of the sealant.
10. The cartridge according to claim 9, wherein said inlet has a diameter which is small with respect to said chamber as to enable said chamber to limit the escape of wastewater vapor.
11. The cartridge according to claim 1, further comprising:
an intermediate portion and top and bottom portions fittable respectively on opposed ends of said intermediate portion, wherein said intermediate and bottom portions form said wastewater-receiving chamber and said bottom portion forms an undersurface for said wastewater-receiving chamber;
a wastewater outlet chamber coupled to said wastewater-receiving chamber;
a first baffle disposed in said wastewater-receiving chamber for separation thereof into a primary section coupled to said chamber opening and an exit section coupled to said wastewater outlet chamber, wherein said first baffle is sloped away from said wastewater outlet chamber for directing the wastewater and any sealant therein in a direction away from said exit section and said outlet chamber for enabling the conservation of the sealant; and
a second baffle disposed between said exit section and said wastewater outlet chamber for conveyance of the wastewater to an external drain.
12. The cartridge according to claim 11, wherein said second baffle has a rounded end to militate against hair and other debris from sticking thereto.
13. The cartridge according to claim 1, further comprising:
an intermediate portion and top and bottom portions fittable respectively on opposed ends of said intermediate portion, wherein said intermediate and bottom portions form said wastewater-receiving chamber and said bottom portion forms an undersurface for said wastewater-receiving chamber;
a wastewater outlet chamber coupled to said wastewater-receiving chamber; and
a baffle disposed between said exit section and said wastewater outlet chamber for conveyance of the wastewater to an external drain.
14. The cartridge according to claim 13, wherein said baffle has a rounded end to militate against hair and other debris from sticking thereto.
15. The cartridge according to claim 14, wherein:
said wastewater outlet chamber comprises an enclosure enclosed by walls; and
said baffle is secured to said walls and is provided with a terminal overhang that extends into said wastewater outlet chamber to provide a waterfall effect that directs the wastewater generally away from said walls.
16. The cartridge according to claim 15, wherein said terminal overhang slopes downwardly from said walls to direct the wastewater away from said walls.
17. The cartridge according to claim 16, wherein said terminal overhang slopes inwardly from said walls further to direct the wastewater away from said walls.
18. The cartridge according to claim 13, further comprising a compartment containing post-treatment chemicals for treating wastewater exiting from said wastewater outlet chamber.
19. A cartridge (50) for placement in a urinal comprising:
(A-1) top (52), intermediate (54) and bottom (56) portions;
(B-1) a compartment (58) containing wastewater treatment tablets (60), and having an opening (62) for receipt of wastewater (64) and an outlet (66) couplable to an external drain;
(C-1) said intermediate portion (54) comprising a platform (68) having upper (70) and lower (72) surfaces with openings (76, 74) therethrough, and upper (78) and lower (80) parts joined respectively to said upper (70) and lower (72) surfaces,
(C-1a) said upper part (78) including an upstanding enclosure (82),
(C-1b) said intermediate portion lower part (80) including a compartmentalizing wall structure, in which
(C-1b-I) a plurality of wall segments (84, 85, 86, 88) divide said compartmentalizing wall structure into a wastewater-receiving compartment (96), and a wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98),
(C-1b-II) a first weir (90) divides said wastewater-receiving compartment (96) into a (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) and a wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and forms a separation therebetween, wherein said first weir (90) slopes downwardly to a terminal end (110) in said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) and away from said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) for directing the wastewater (64) away from said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber,
(C-1b-III) a second weir (92) is secured to and between a parallel pair (86 a, 88 a) of said wall segments (86, 88) and forms another one of said wall segments between said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98),
(C-1b-IIIa) wherein said second weir (92) has an inwardly sloped ridged and hook-shaped rounded end (112) which is sloped downwardly from said parallel pair (86 a, 86 b) of said wall segments (86, 88) and which extends into said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) for providing a terminal overhang (90) that effects a waterfall-like effect whereby the wastewater is directed generally away from said parallel pair (86 a, 86 b) of said wall segments (86, 88) and said second weir (92) (as defining said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98)), thus further militating against the adherence of hair and other debris to said hook-shaped rounded end (112),
(C-1c) wherein said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) communicates with a first (74) of said upper and lower surface openings, and both said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) communicates with a second (76) of said upper and lower surface openings,
(C-1c-I) a seat (114) positioned on said intermediate portion platform lower surface (72) adjacent said compartmentalizing wall structure for enabling the seating and attachment of said treatment tablet compartment (58) to said intermediate portion platform (68), and
(C-1c-II) a passageway (116) positioned in said intermediate portion platform (68) at a height above said second weir hook-shaped rounded end (112) for coupling said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) to said seat (114) and to said treatment tablet compartment (58) for supply of some of the wastewater (64) to said treatment tablets (60);
(D-1) said top portion (52) secured to said intermediate portion (54) and having upper (118) and lower (120) surfaces with openings (122, 124) therethrough, in which
(D-1a) a first (122) of said openings comprises a wastewater opening for passage of the wastewater into said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) of said intermediate portion wastewater-receiving compartment (96),
(D-1b) a second (124) of said openings comprises a plurality of air vent openings and passageways (130) extending downwardly from said top portion lower surface and being spaced from said wastewater opening (122), and
(D-1c) an air vent-assisting guiding structure (132) and a tubular extension (916) positioned adjacent to said wastewater entry opening and extending downwardly from said top portion lower surface (120);
(E-1) a chamber divider (140) including a platform (142) having upper (144) and lower (146) surfaces, and upper and lower parts joined respectively to said upper and lower surfaces, and further including
(E-1a) a wastewater entry passageway (152) which comprises (1) a first part (154) extending upwardly from said upper surface (144) of said chamber divider into sealing securement to said lower surface (120) of said top portion, (2) a second part extending downwardly and flaring out from said lower surface (146) of said chamber divider into said intermediate portion (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106), and (3) a narrowed throat (158) whose location is defined substantially at where it is attached to said chamber divider platform (142), which narrowed throat normally functions as the wastewater surface site,
(E-1b) said wastewater entry passageway (152) further including first (160) and second (162) normally placed orifices adjacent said chamber divider platform (142) surfaces and in said narrowed throat (158),
(E-1c) a first cover portion (164) which is configured as a dome which covers both said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) and which is sealed to said second (76) of said upper and lower surface openings, and
(E-1d) a second cover portion (166) which covers said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) and has openings. (168, 170) therein, wherein (1) a first (168) of said second cover portion openings communicates with said first (74) of said intermediate portion upper and lower surface openings, and (2) a second (170) of said second cover portion openings forms a sealant flow limiting orifice (172) and a seat (174) for a sealant filter pad (176), and said second cover portion includes a vent tube (178) extending upwardly therefrom and from said first (168) of said second cover portion openings, said vent tube (178) and said second (170) of said second cover portion openings sealingly interfit with said air vent-assisting guiding structure (132) and said tubular extension (916) of said top portion to form a vent tube-opening path,
(E-1e) whereby, a generally donut-shaped sealant reservoir (190) sealable by a seal (232) is formed when said chamber divider (140) is secured to said top portion (52) and to said intermediate portion (54), said platform upper surface (70) thereof, said circumscribing intermediate portion upper part upstanding enclosure (82), and said wastewater entry passageway first part (154) of said chamber divider (140),
(E-1f) a cap (180) on said lower surface (146) of said chamber divider (140) covering said first openings (168, 170) in said second cover portion (166) for forming a conduit from said divider first openings (168, 170) to said first wastewater entry passageway orifice (160) whereby, because of said vent tube-opening path, pressure is equalized between said throat (158) and said air vent-assisting guiding structure (132) to permit air to pass from said throat through said air vent-assisting guiding structure so as not to unduly impede flow of the sealant from said sealant reservoir (190) into said throat,
(F-1) said bottom portion (56) comprising
(F-1a) a cap part (196) secured to and forming a fluid-tight closure both with said intermediate portion (54) at an end (83 b) thereof opposite to where (83 a) said top portion is secured thereto and to said second weir (92), and
(F-1b) an extension part (198) secured to said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) for coupling to the external drain;
(G-1) a secondary chamber (220) which is positioned adjacent to said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) and communicates therewith through said wastewater entry passageway (152) whereby, when sealant (238) is supplied from said sealant reservoir (190) through said first wastewater entry passageway (160) into said narrowed throat (158) of said wastewater entry passageway, both a modicum (242) of the sealant is caused to float on the surface of any fluid (such as water and wastewater) in said primary chamber (106) for functioning as a barrier to odors that may otherwise emanate from the wastewater in said chamber and a further provision of the sealant is caused to flow into said secondary chamber (220) through said second wastewater entry passageway (162), whereupon, should said modicum of the sealant be lost by passage into said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98), the further sealant in said secondary chamber refurnishes the lost sealant modicum, thereby limiting excessive loss of the sealant;
(H-1) a plurality of air vent passageways (192), equal in number to said top portion air vent openings and passageways (130), extending upwardly from said chamber divider platform (142) and coupled to said top portion passageways (130) for providing air vents from said secondary chamber (220) to said top portion air vent openings (124) and the exterior thereof; and
(I-1) a pull tape (234) secured to said sealant reservoir seal (232) and extending out of said top portion entry (122) for manipulation by an operator for removal of said seal when said cartridge is readied for use in the urinal.
20. The cartridge according to claim 19, wherein said outlet-to-drain compartment is sufficiently large so as to militate against any siphoning of the wastewater and the sealant from said primary chamber.
21. A cartridge (50) for placement in a urinal comprising:
(A-1) top (52), intermediate (54) and bottom (56) portions;
(B-1) a compartment (58) containing wastewater treatment tablets (60), and having an entry (62) for receipt of wastewater (64) and an outlet (66) couplable to an external drain;
(C-1) said intermediate portion (54) comprising a platform (68) having upper (70) and lower (72) surfaces with openings (76, 74) therethrough, and upper (78) and lower (80) parts joined respectively to said upper (70) and lower (72) surfaces,
(C-1a) said upper part (78) including an upstanding enclosure (82),
(C-1b) said intermediate portion lower part (80) including a compartmentalizing wall structure, in which
(C-1b-I) a plurality of wall segments (84, 85, 86, 88) divide said compartmentalizing wall structure into a wastewater-receiving compartment (96), and a wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98),
(C-1b-II) a first weir (90) divides said wastewater-receiving compartment (96) into a (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) and a wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and forms a separation therebetween, wherein said first weir (90) slopes downwardly to a terminal end (110) in said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) and away from said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) for directing the wastewater (64) away from said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber,
(C-1b-III) a second weir (92) is secured to and between a parallel pair (86 a, 88 a) of said wall segments (86, 88) and forms another one of said wall segments between said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98),
(C-1b-IIIa) wherein said second weir (92) has an inwardly sloped ridged and hook-shaped rounded end (112) which is sloped downwardly from said parallel pair (86 a, 86 b) of said wall segments (86, 88) and which extends into said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) for providing a terminal overhang (90) that effects a waterfall-like effect whereby the wastewater is directed generally away from said parallel pair (86 a, 86 b) of said wall segments (86, 88) and said second weir (92) (as defining said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98)), thus further militating against the adherence of hair and other debris to said hook-shaped rounded end (112),
(C-1c) wherein said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) communicates with a first (74) of said upper and lower surface openings, and both said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) communicates with a second (76) of said upper and lower surface openings,
(C-1c-I) a seat (114) positioned on said intermediate portion platform lower surface (72) adjacent said compartmentalizing wall structure for enabling the seating and attachment of said treatment tablet compartment (58) to said intermediate portion platform (68), and
(C-1c-II) a passageway (116) positioned in said intermediate portion platform (68) at a height above said second weir hook-shaped rounded end (112) for coupling said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) to said seat (114) and to said treatment tablet compartment (58) for supply of some of the wastewater (64) to said treatment tablets (60);
(D-1) said top portion (52) secured to said intermediate portion (54) and having upper (118) and lower (120) surfaces with openings (122, 124) therethrough, in which
(D-1a) a first (122) of said openings comprises a wastewater entry for passage of the wastewater into said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) of said intermediate portion wastewater-receiving compartment (96),
(D-1b) a second (124) of said openings comprises a plurality of air vent openings and passageways (130) extending downwardly from said top portion lower surface and being spaced from said wastewater entry opening (122), and
(D-1c) an air vent-assisting guiding structure (132) and a tubular extension (916) positioned adjacent to said wastewater entry opening and extending downwardly from said top portion lower surface (120);
(E-1) a chamber divider (140) including a platform (142) having upper (144) and lower (146) surfaces, and upper and lower parts joined respectively to said upper and lower surfaces, and further including
(E-1a) a wastewater entry passageway (152) which comprises (1) a first part (154) extending upwardly from said upper surface (144) of said chamber divider into sealing securement to said lower surface (120) of said top portion, (2) a second part extending downwardly and flaring out from said lower surface (146) of said chamber divider into said intermediate portion (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106), and (3) a narrowed throat (158) whose location is defined substantially at where it is attached to said chamber divider platform (142), which narrowed throat normally functions as the wastewater surface site,
(E-1b) said wastewater entry passageway (152) further including an orifice (160) adjacent said chamber divider platform (142) surfaces and in said narrowed throat (158),
(E-1c) a first cover portion (164) which is configured as a dome which covers both said wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber (108) and said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) and which is sealed to said second (76) of said upper and lower surface openings, and
(E-1d) a second cover portion (166) which covers said (primary) wastewater inlet chamber (106) and has openings (168, 170) therein, wherein (1) a first (168) of said second cover portion openings communicates with said first (74) of said intermediate portion upper and lower surface openings, and (2) a second (170) of said second cover portion openings forms a sealant flow limiting orifice (172) and a seat (174) for a sealant filter pad (176), and said second cover portion includes a vent tube (178) extending upwardly therefrom and from said first (168) of said second cover portion openings, said vent tube (178) and said second (170) of said second cover portion openings interfit with said air vent-assisting guiding structure (132) and said tubular extension (916) of said top portion to form a vent tube-opening path,
(E-1e) whereby, a generally donut-shaped sealant reservoir (190) sealable by a seal (232) is formed when said chamber divider (140) is secured to said top portion (52) and to said intermediate portion (54), said platform upper surface (70) thereof, said circumscribing intermediate portion upper part upstanding enclosure (82), and said wastewater entry passageway first part (154) of said chamber divider (140),
(E-1f) a cap (180) on said lower surface (146) of said chamber divider (140) covering said first openings (168, 170) in said second cover portion (166) for forming a conduit from said divider first openings (168, 170) to said first wastewater entry passageway orifice (160) whereby, because of said vent tube-opening path, pressure is equalized between said throat (158) and said air vent-assisting guiding structure (132) to permit air to pass from said throat through said air vent-assisting guiding structure so as not to unduly impede flow of the sealant from said sealant reservoir (190) into said throat,
(F-1) said bottom portion (56) comprising
(F-1a) a cap part (196) secured to and forming a fluid-tight closure both with said intermediate portion (54) at an end (83 b) thereof opposite to where (83 a) said top portion is secured thereto and to said second weir (92), and
(F-1b) an extension part (198) secured to said wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment (98) for coupling to the external drain;
(G-1) a pull tape (234) secured to said sealant reservoir seal (232) and extending out of said top portion entry (122) for manipulation by an operator for removal of said seal when said cartridge is readied for use in the urinal.
22. A cartridge for placement in a urinal comprising:
a chamber having an opening for receiving wastewater;
sealant operable to float on the wastewater in said chamber for functioning as a barrier to odors from the wastewater in said chamber; and
a reservoir having a coupling to said chamber for establishing a sealant communication path therebetween.
23. The cartridge according to claim 22, wherein said chamber includes a throat at its ingress, the breadth of the throat is narrower than that of said chamber to provide a minimum area for the sealant residing therein.
24. The cartridge according to claim 23, wherein said coupling has an orifice in said throat for defining an end to said communication path.
25. The cartridge according to claim 24, wherein said reservoir, further comprising a source for supplying the sealant within said throat when the sealant therein is diminished.
26. The cartridge according to claim 22, wherein said reservoir is capable of receiving sealant obtained from said chamber, and of redispensing and resupplying the sealant into said chamber.
27. The cartridge according to claim 22, wherein said reservoir further comprises a supply of the sealant for operating as a primary sealant dispensing source, and a secondary reservoir for receiving the sealant as overflow from said primary reservoir.
28. The cartridge according to claim 27, further comprising a water reservoir for dispensing water into said cartridge.
29. The cartridge according to claim 22, further comprising a water reservoir for dispensing water into said cartridge.
30. A cartridge for placement in a urinal including:
a chamber having an entry for receiving wastewater;
a quantity of sealant floatable on the wastewater in said chamber, for containing a supply of water for supply thereof to said chamber; and
a closure, having a blocked position for preventing the supply of the water to said chamber and an open position for permitting the supply of water.
31. The cartridge according to claim 3, wherein said antisiphoning aid comprises at least one fin.
32. The cartridge according to claim 1, wherein
said dispenser includes a passageway for conducting the sealant from said reservoir into said chamber, and a flow-limiting orifice positioned between said passageway and said reservoir to said chamber and for supplying additional sealant for any sealant lost from said chamber.
Descripción
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Applications No. 60/814,279, filed 16 Jun. 2006, entitled “Urinal Cartridge with Increased Sediment Collection” and No. 60/878,635, filed 3 Jan. 2007, entitled “Urinal Cartridge with Improved Performance.”

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an essentially water free urinal cartridge and, in particular, to a cartridge having a reservoir for retaining sealant, a minimal area for sealant floating on wastewater and, if desired, a secondary sealant-retaining reservoir, and a water reservoir.

Prior water free cartridges required the external supply of a sealant, used to float on wastewater, when such cartridges were placed into operation in a urinal. Thus, a maintenance worker needed to travel with containers of sealant replacement containers in addition to the cartridges. Moreover, problems arose relating to the loss of sealant such as occasioned by the dumping of water into the cartridge which would flush the sealant into the drain. Repeated loss of the sealant would significantly reduce the life usage of the cartridge.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

These and other problems are successfully addressed and overcome by the present invention by including at least one reservoir, a primary reservoir, within the cartridge; if desired, a secondary sealant reservoir may be used. The primary reservoir provides an immediate supply of sealant to the wastewater-inlet or receiving chamber. The secondary reservoir forms an overflow source which is minimally affected by pressure differentials and turbulence exerted on the wastewater-receiving chamber due to excessive fluid flow, such as through the dumping of water into the cartridge. As an added potential guard against loss of sealant, the wastewater-receiving chamber is configured with a minimum area, a throat, where the sealant is floated on the wastewater. Further, the wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment is sufficiently large as to prevent siphoning of liquid within the cartridge should a negative pressure differential exist across the cartridge trap or should their be any excessive amount of fluid dumped into the cartridge. The cartridge acts as a trap for blocking sewer gases and/or wastewater odors from fouling the restroom.

Several advantages are derived from this arrangement. Sealant loss is minimized; conversely, sealant use is maximized. Siphoning of liquid from the cartridge, such as resulting from excessive fluid flow into the cartridge is guarded against. Cartridge useful life is extended.

Other aims and advantages, as well as a more complete understanding of the present invention, will appear from the following explanation of exemplary embodiments and the accompanying drawings thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of the cartridge illustrated in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional perspective view of the cartridge shown in FIG. 1, without any water or sealant contained therein. The cartridge includes an interior, generally bicameral construction separated by a divider into an upper reservoir for housing an oily liquid odor sealant and a lower wastewater receptacle for receiving a modicum or larger quantity (if desired) of the oily liquid odor sealant floating on the wastewater;

FIG. 3A is a cross-sectional view of the cartridge depicted in FIG. 1 taken along line 3A-3A thereof;

FIG. 3B is a cross-sectional view of a first embodiment of the cartridge depicted in FIG. 1 taken along line 3B-3B thereof;

FIG. 3C is a is a cross-sectional view of a detail of the cartridge taken generally along cutaway line 3C of FIG. 3A, albeit rotated 180° therefrom;

FIG. 3D is a top view of the chamber divider (see also FIGS. 10-14) and the sealing plug assembly (see FIGS. 39-48) as partially unwrapped from its storage within the throat in the chamber divider;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a first embodiment of the cartridge shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4A is a is a cross-sectional view of a detail of the cartridge taken along cutaway line 4A of FIG. 4;

FIG. 4M is a cross-sectional view of the second embodiment of the cartridge, similar to that shown in FIG. 4 but modified in omitting upper and lower openings to a sealant reservoir or chamber which is secondary to the primary sealant reservoir or chamber;

FIG. 5 is a view in perspective of the top or top portion as seen from its upper side;

FIG. 6 is a perspective side view of the top or top portion illustrated in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the top or top portion as seen from its under side;

FIG. 8 is a top view of the top or top portion;

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the top or top portion depicted in FIG. 8 taken along line 9-9 thereof;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the chamber divider as seen from its upper side, and including an exploded view of a filter disc and sealant dispensing orifice;

FIG. 11 is a side view of the chamber divider, as used in the first embodiment of the cartridge;

FIG. 11M is a side view of the chamber divider, as used in the second embodiment of the cartridge which is similar to but modified from that shown in FIG. 11 wherein the opening is omitted;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the chamber divider, as used in the first embodiment of the cartridge, as seen from its under side;

FIG. 12M is a perspective view of the chamber divider, as seen from its under side, similar to but modified from that shown in FIG. 12 for use in the second embodiment of the cartridge wherein two openings (of which one is depicted) adjacent to its periphery are omitted;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the chamber divider, as seen from its under side, rotated 1800 from that depicted in FIG. 12, and likewise used in the first embodiment of the cartridge;

FIG. 13M is a perspective view of the chamber divider, as seen from its under side, similar to but modified from that shown in FIG. 13 for use in the second embodiment of the cartridge wherein the openings adjacent to its periphery are omitted;

FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view of the chamber divider taken along line 14-14 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 14M is a cross-sectional view of the chamber divider similar to but modified from that shown in FIG. 14 for use in the second embodiment of the cartridge wherein an interior opening;

FIG. 15 is a cross-sectional view of the of the chamber divider taken along line 15-15 of FIG. 10, and including an exploded view of the filter disc and sealant dispensing orifice;

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of the intermediate portion, as seen from its upper side;

FIG. 16A is a cutaway view of the intermediate portion, in perspective;

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of the intermediate portion, as seen from its upper side, but rotated 90° from that viewed in FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a perspective view of the intermediate portion, as used in the first embodiment of the cartridge, and seen from its under side;

FIG. 18M is a perspective view of the intermediate portion, similar to but modified from that shown in FIG. 18 for use in the second embodiment of the cartridge wherein the lower opening (cf. FIGS. 4 and 4M) is omitted;

FIG. 19 is side view of the intermediate portion;

FIG. 20 is a cross-sectional view of the intermediate portion shown in FIG. 17 taken along line 17-17 thereof;

FIG. 21 is a cross-sectional partial view of the intermediate portion of FIG. 20 taken along line 21-21 thereof;

FIG. 22 is a top view of the coupled-together chamber divider and the intermediate portion, as used in the first embodiment of the cartridge;

FIG. 22M is a top view of the chamber divider, as positioned above the intermediate portion, similar to but modified from that shown in FIG. 22 for use in the second embodiment of the cartridge in which the two openings in the chamber divider (cf. FIGS. 12, 12M, 13 and 13M) are omitted;

FIG. 23 is a perspective view, as taken from the upper side of the coupled-together chamber divider and intermediate potion as illustrated in FIG. 22, taken along line 23-23 thereof;

FIG. 23A is a cross-sectional view of the coupled-together chamber divider, intermediate potion, bottom portion, and tablet container taken along line 23A-23A of FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a top view of the intermediate portion;

FIG. 25 is a cross-sectional of the coupled-together intermediate portion and tablet container as shown in FIG. 24 taken along line 25-25 thereof;

FIG. 26 is a view, in perspective, of the tablet container taken from its upper side;

FIG. 27 is a view, in perspective and rotated 180° with respect to that shown in FIG. 26, of the tablet container taken from its lower side;

FIG. 28 is a side view of the tablet container;

FIG. 29 is cross-sectional view of the tablet container taken along line 29-29 of FIG. 26 and rotated 180° therefrom;

FIG. 30 is a view, in perspective, of the bottom portion taken from its upper side;

FIG. 31 is a view, in perspective, of the bottom portion taken from its under side;

FIG. 32 is a side elevational view of the bottom portion;

FIG. 33 is a cross-sectional view of the bottom portion taken along line 33-33 of FIG. 30 and rotated 180° therefrom;

FIG. 34 is a perspective view of the chamber cap;

FIG. 35 is a cross-sectional view of the chamber cap illustrated in FIG. 34;

FIG. 36 is a view of a sealant fill inlet, in cross section, taken along line 36-36 of FIG. 22 and plug therefor;

FIGS. 37 and 38 respectively are top and bottom views of the plug depicted in FIG. 36;

FIGS. 39 and 40 are views, in perspective, of a sealant pull tape and plug used to seal the sealant reservoir and, when removed, for enabling sealant to flow from the sealant reservoir to the wastewater inlet chamber of the cartridge;

FIGS. 41 and 42 are side views, respectively rotated 90° with respect to one another, of the sealant pull tape and plug of the sealant pull tape and plug shown in FIGS. 39 and 40;

FIGS. 43 and 44 are end views of the sealant pull tape and plug of the sealant pull tape and plug shown in FIGS. 39 and 40;

FIGS. 45-48 are cross-sectional views of the sealant pull tape and plug taken along lines 45-45, 46-46, 47-47 and 48-48 of relevant FIGS. 41 and 42;

FIGS. 49 and 50 are perspective views of the orifice limiter taken respectively from its under and upper sides;

FIGS. 51-53 respectively are bottom, top and side views of the orifice limiter illustrated in FIGS. 49 and 50;

FIG. 54 is a cross-sectional view of the orifice limiter taken along line 54-54 of FIG. 51;

FIG. 55 is a cross-sectional view of a detail of the orifice limiter taken along cutaway line 55 of FIG. 54;

FIGS. 56 and 57 are perspective views of the pre-filter felt-like disc taken respectively from its upper and under sides;

FIGS. 58 and 59 respectively are top and bottom views of the pre-filter felt-like disc illustrated in FIGS. 56 and 57;

FIG. 60 is a cross-sectional view of the pre-filter felt-like disc taken along line 60-60 of FIG. 58;

FIGS. 61 and 62 are cross-sectional perspective views, with one rotated with respect to the other, of another embodiment of the present invention to illustrate the interior features thereof, particularly with respect to the water and sealant seals that close their respective reservoirs, and the tapes secured thereto for enabling the respective removal of the seals from the reservoirs;

FIG. 63 is a perspective view of the under side of the cartridge depicted in FIGS. 61 and 62;

FIG. 64 is view of the under side of the cartridge as illustrated in FIG. 63, but rotated 180° therefrom, with the bottom cap removed therefrom for furnishing a view of the interior of the cartridge adjacent to the bottom cap, and further showing a seat for attachment thereto of a tablet dispenser tank;

FIG. 65 is a perspective view of upper side of the bottom portion of the cartridge, as previously illustrated in FIGS. 61-64; and

FIG. 66 is a perspective view of the bottom portion and a part of the water reservoir coupled thereto used in conjunction with the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 61-65.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following exposition, a first embodiment has openings to a secondary reservoir or chamber for holding sealant and any wastewater that may accompany it. The second embodiment has a modification of the first embodiment in which such openings are not employed and, therefore, do not utilize the secondary reservoir or chamber. The third embodiment utilizes a water reservoir. Consistent therewith, the figure numbering and indicia attendant to the components depicted in the figures relevant to the second embodiment modification use numerals and the letter “M” and, for the third embodiment, indicia using the letter “x”; otherwise, there are no other distinguishing features made among the three embodiments. The three preferred embodiments can be used individually or in combination

Accordingly, as shown in FIGS. 1-4, 4A and 4M, a cartridge 50 for placement in a urinal includes a top portion 52, an intermediate portion 54/54M and a bottom portion 56. A compartment 58, containing wastewater treatment tablets 60, has an entry 62 for receipt of wastewater 64 and an outlet 66 couplable to an external drain (not shown).

Intermediate portion 54/54M (see also FIGS. 16-22M) comprises (as best seen in FIGS. 16, 16A and 17) a two-level platform 68 having upper and lower surfaces 70 and 72. Upper and lower surfaces 70 and 72 are bifurcated into two sections (70 a, 70 b and 72 a, 72 b) on opposed sides of the intermediate portion. With specific reference to FIG. 16, the intersections of lower sections 72 a and 72 b with wall segments 84 and 85, with the upper part of baffle weir 90 and the opposite wall of intermediate portion 54 adjacent a passage 924, form the upper side boundaries of an opening 74. Upper sections 70 a and 70 b, with wall segment 94 and the upper part of baffle weir 90, form the upper side boundaries of an opening 76. Intermediate portion 54 also includes upper and lower parts 78 and 80 (see also FIG. 19) which are joined respectively to upper and lower surfaces 70 and 72 and extend upwardly and downwardly therefrom. Upper part 78 includes an upstanding enclosure 82 of cylindrical shape, which terminates in an upper open end 83 a. Lower part 80 is terminated in a lower open end 83 b which constitutes a portion of the bottom terminus of intermediate portion 54; other portions will be presently described. Intermediate portion lower part 80 includes a compartmentalizing wall structure comprising a plurality of wall segments 84, 85, 86, 88, 90, 92 and 94 which divide the compartmentalizing wall structure into a wastewater-receiving compartment 96, and a wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98. Two of the segments form weirs 90 and 92.

As depicted in FIGS. 4 and 16, for example, first weir or segment 90 is secured to and between a parallel pair of wall segments 85 and 84 and acts as a baffle which divides wastewater-receiving compartment 96 into a primary or wastewater inlet chamber 106 and a wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 (e.g., also see FIGS. 3, 3A, and 16A) and forms a separation therebetween. First weir or baffle 90 slopes downwardly to a terminal end 110 in (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 and away from wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 for directing the wastewater away from the wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber. Because first weir 90 is sloped (see, for example, FIGS. 3 and 16A), the views of chambers 106 and 108 (and segment halves 86 b and 88 b) have different appearances as depicted in FIGS. 16 and 18; that is, their entries and exits in these two figures are respectively larger or smaller, depending upon whether the view is from the top or the bottom of the intermediate portion. Terminal end 110 is rounded to militate against debris, especially hair, from adhering thereto.

As exemplarily illustrated primarily in FIG. 16, and also in FIGS. 3, 16A and 20, second weir or segment 92 is secured to and between a parallel pair of wall segments 86 and 88, which segments are divided respectively into half segments 86 a, 86 b and 88 a, 88 b. Second weir 92 forms another one of the wall segments and acts as a baffle between the wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 and wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98. Second weir or baffle 92 has an inwardly sloped, ridged and hook-shaped rounded end 112 (see FIGS. 3, 3A, 4, 4M, 16, 16A, 20 and 21) which is sloped downwardly from wall half segment pair 86 a and 88 a towards its bottom 113 (see FIG. 21) to form a ridge. Rounded end 112 is further draped downwardly to its tip 920. Thus, the second weir extends into wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98 to provide a terminal overhang at tip 920 that produces a waterfall-like effect, that is, the wastewater is directed generally away from wall half segments 86 a, 88 a by the ridge configuration and from segment 94 and second weir/segment 92 by its hook-shaped configuration. Accordingly, the object is to direct the flow from contact, to the extent possible, with the segments and half segments that define the walls of wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98. This waterfall-like effect also militates against the adherence of hair and other debris to the hook-shaped rounded end.

From the above description, it is apparent (e.g., see FIG. 16 and, in part, FIGS. 3, 3A, 4 and 4M) that (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 communicates with the first of upper surface opening 74, and both wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 and wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98 communicate with the second of said upper surface opening 76.

Cartridge 50 opens to its exterior through an entry 122 (e.g., FIG. 3) that communicates with (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 through a throat 158. It is an important feature of the present invention that the breadth of throat 158 be considerably smaller that the breadth of chamber 106.

A pair of fins 926 and 928 (FIGS. 16, 16A and 24) (see FIG. 61) and an opening 930 (FIGS. 16 and 24, but not in FIG. 61) are formed on and in intermediate portion 54 within a secondary reservoir 220 (e.g., as shown in FIGS. 3B and 61). Fins 926 and 928 are positioned adjacent to the opening (see FIG. 61) of adjacent sealant protection recovery channel 222 of a chamber divider 140. The purpose of these fins is to minimize the effect of any pressure differentials that may occur when water is dumped into the cartridge through entry 122 in cartridge top portion 52 and to help sealant from being sucked into throat 158. Specifically, as water rushes through throat 158, such rapid flow of fluid creates a suction that is sensed in passageway 222 (FIG. 3B) which is connected to the secondary reservoir. Such suction would otherwise draw in the sealant fluid from secondary reservoir 220 into narrowed throat 158 through sealant protection recovery channel 222 and cause a loss of sealant. Fins 926 and 928, facing narrowed throat 158, however, permit the wastewater rather than the sealant, to be sucked out. Therefore, the fins reduce the siphoning of sealant that may otherwise occur.

Some of the suction exerted on the contents of the secondary reservoir via sealant protection recovery channel 222 is directed on the lower depth fluids therein as directed thereto by a pair of fins 948 that extend downwardly from channel 222 into the lower depths of reservoir 220 (see FIGS. 3B, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 23A). Because opening 194 is aligned with the end of channel 222 (see FIG. 3B), the flow of water pushes any sealant by the channel away. Therefore, the suction draws wastewater from the lower depths and from the dumped water, rather than the sealant floating on the surface of the wastewater. Thus, the sealant in the secondary reservoir is substantially preserved, and is available to flow back into throat 158 after the dumping results have subsided. Lower opening 936 (FIGS. 3, 4, 16, 16A, and 18) and opening 936 x (FIG. 61), as also communicating with the secondary reservoir, acts as a sealant and wastewater outlet into wastewater-receiving compartment 96 and its (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106. Opening 936/936 x permits an easier transfer of urine back into the primary flow path by reducing fluid pressure, a vacuum, when dumping occurs and also provides a further flow path than provided by fins 948. Essentially, lower opening 936/936 x encourages water from bucket dumps that enter into secondary reservoir 220 to flow through the secondary reservoir and exit through opening 936/936 x, rather than flowing out of this reservoir through sealant protection recovery channel 222 and orifice 162, thereby avoiding the drawing in of sealant with it into the primary flow path extending through throat 158.

In addition, opening 936/936 x is made sufficiently large as not to restrict fluid flow, and thus to encourage all fluid entering through vent openings 124 to drain through opening 936/936 x. Further, the positioning of opening 936/936 x is sufficiently low so that the water dumping, which would agitate the sealant bubbles, would not be sufficient as to cause the bubbles to float down to the level of opening 936 and, therefore, otherwise pass therethrough.

With reference to FIGS. 3B, 18, 18M, 23, 23A, 25, 61, 63 and 64, a seat 114 is positioned on the underside of intermediate portion platform lower surface 72 adjacent compartmentalizing wall structure segment 88 for enabling the seating and attachment of treatment tablet compartment 58 to intermediate portion platform 68 (see FIG. 16). As best seen in FIG. 20, but also see FIGS. 16, 17, 18, 18M, 24 and 25, a passageway 116 is positioned in the intermediate portion platform at a height above hook-shaped rounded end 112 of second weir 92 for coupling wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 to treatment tablet compartment 58 for supply of some of the wastewater to treatment tablets 60. Passageway 116 is covered by a cover 150, adjacent to dome 164, which extends from one side of chamber divider 140.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1-3C and 4-9, top portion 52, having upper and lower surfaces 118 and 120 and with wastewater and vent openings 122 and 124 therethrough, is secured to intermediate portion 54/54M at its upper end terminus 83 a (e.g., FIGS. 3 and 3B, 16 and 16A). The top portion is provided with an annular slot 126 in its circumference and an O-ring 128 (FIGS. 2 and 61) is positionable therein so that cartridge 50/50M/50 x may be inserted within a urinal and held in a fluid-tight engagement therewith. Openings 122 comprise a wastewater entry for passage of the wastewater into (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 of the intermediate portion wastewater-receiving compartment. Openings 124, which are spaced outwardly from wastewater entry opening 122 and are positioned closer to annular O-ring slot 126, comprise a plurality of air vent openings, with passageways 130 and vent holes 131 (see FIGS. 3B, 9 7-9, 61 and 62) extending downwardly therefrom, from top portion lower surface 120. Openings 124 also provide a means by which a tool may be inserted therein for the purpose of placing and removing the cartridge into and from a urinal as, for example, described in PCT International Publication Number WO 2005/071171 A1, published 4 Aug. 2005.

As best shown in FIGS. 7-9 (see also FIGS. 4 and 4A), top portion 52 is completed with an air vent-assisting guiding structure 132, which includes a pair of tubular extensions 914 and 916. Tubular extension 914 is provided with filter retainer fins 918.

Referring now primarily to FIGS. 10-15, but also see FIGS. 1-4M, 22-23A, 61 and 62, a chamber divider 140/140M/140 x comprises a platform 142 having upper and lower surfaces 144 and 146. Chamber divider 140 includes a wastewater entry passageway 152 having upper and lower extending parts 154 and 156. Upper extending part 154 extends upwardly from upper surface 144 of the chamber divider into sealing securement to lower surface 120 of top portion 52 at a centrally located junction 155, as best seen in FIG. 3B. Downwardly extending part 156 extends downwardly and flairs out from lower surface 146 into intermediate portion (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106, as best seen in FIGS. 3B, 23 and 23A, and its bottom rim 156 a is sealingly joined to intermediate portion 54 and interior surfaces of at a junction 157 and other interior surfaces thereof. The periphery of chamber divider platform 142 is also sealed to several interior wall surfaces of intermediate portion 54 at junction 159.

These sealings at junctions 157 and 159 produce a closed chamber (secondary reservoir 220) defined by the exterior surface (indicium 156 b) of lower extending part 156, lower surface 146 of chamber divider 140, and several of the interior surfaces of intermediate portion 54 (e.g., see FIGS. 3-4, 23 and 23 a). While the FIG. 4M embodiment includes chamber 220, it is not otherwise used, as will be later discussed.

The juncture between upper and lower extending parts 154 and 156 defines a narrowed throat 158 (e.g., see FIGS. 3-3B, 4 and 23A), and is located generally where it is attached to chamber divider platform 142. Narrowed throat 158 normally functions as the site for the wastewater and sealant surface.

As best seen in FIGS. 3-3D, 4, 13 and 14, wastewater entry passageway 152 further includes first and second normally placed orifices 160 and 162 in narrowed throat 158, adjacent chamber divider platform surfaces 144 and 146. Orifices 162 and 194 are not shown in FIGS. 4M and 14M. In a like manner, opening 194 is illustrated in FIGS. 3B and 12, but is not seen in FIG. 12M.

As shown in FIGS. 3, 3A, 4, 4M, 16 and 23, first cover portion 164, which is configured as a dome, covers both wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 and wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98 and is sealed to opening 76 in platform 68 of intermediate portion 54.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 3, 3A, 4, 4A, 4M, 10-16 and 22-23A. Here, a second cover portion 166 covers (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106. Second cover portion 166 is provided with a first opening 168 (e.g., FIGS. 10, 13 and 14) which a sealant flow limiting orifice 172 (see also FIGS. 49-55) may be inserted, if opening 170 is insufficiently small. Surrounding opening 170 on upper surface 144 is a holder 174 (shown as three arced segments) (e.g., FIG. 10) that defines a seat for a filter or sealant filter pad 176 (see also FIGS. 56-60). As best shown in FIGS. 14, 14M and 4A, a recess 912 is formed in upper surface 144 and surrounded by arced segment holder 174 for receipt of sealant dispensing orifice 172 and pre-filter felt disk 176. Filter retainer fins 918 (e.g., FIG. 7) of tubular extension 914 are adapted to press against felt disk 176 and sealant dispensing orifice to form a firm holding contact therewith.

As illustrated in FIGS. 49-55, sealant flow limiting orifice 172 comprises a generally circular top portion 900 having a flat 902 on its perimeter and a smaller diameter hub 904 depending from portion 900. An opening 906 in the upper surface (identified by indicium 907) of circular top portion 900 expands therefrom and extends generally as a cone 908 through hub 904. While this configuration of opening 906 and 908 is generally for manufacturing purposes in that their dimensions are very small and it is believed that the conical configuration may result in the aiding of the flow of sealant 238 (e.g., see FIG. 4) from sealant reservoir 190 to narrowed throat 158. As depicted in FIGS. 56-60, pre-filter felt disk 176 includes an annular adhesive area 910 on its undersurface surrounding a center 911 for enabling the felt disk to be secured to upper surface 907 of sealant dispensing orifice 172.

Referring back to chamber divider 140 and FIGS. 10-15, second cover portion 166 includes a vent tube 178 extending upwardly from platform upper surface 144 and from cover portion opening 168. Vent tube 178 and cover portion opening 170 sealingly interfit with air vent-assisting guiding structure 132 of top portion 52 (as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 4A) to form a vent tube-opening path or air path from throat 158 through opening 168 into the space defined by air vent-assisting guiding structure 132 and tubular extensions 914 and 916 to keep atmospheric pressure above orifice 170. Thus, structure 132 comprises a mating part with vent tube 178 to form a passageway, and is utilized as a pressure/flow regulator with a sealant reservoir 190 as described below, and which is positioned adjacent to wastewater entry openings 122 and extends downwardly from top portion lower surface 120.

A cap 180 (FIGS. 3, 3A, 4, 4A, 4M, 15, 34 and 35) having a U-shaped channel 182, when secured to lower surface 146 of chamber divider 140 and covering openings 168 and 170, forms a closure for the sealant path to opening 160 in throat 158.

Cap 180 is provided with flair tips 946 at one end thereof for key positioning it in place in chamber divider 140, to ensure that the slope of U-shaped channel 182 is properly oriented towards orifice 160 in narrowed throat 158 and thus to ensure proper flow of the sealant into the throat.

Sealant reservoir 190 (FIGS. 3, 3A, 3B, 4, 4A, 4M and 23), which has an inexactly-shaped donut configuration, is formed when chamber divider 140 is secured to top portion 52 and to upper surface 70 (FIG. 16) of platform 68 of intermediate portion 54. Reservoir 190 is disposed to hold a supply of a sealant 238. The outer circumference of the sealant reservoir is circumscribed by cylindrical enclosure 82 of intermediate portion 54 and its inner donut-shaped hole is formed by throat 158 of wastewater entry passageway 152 of the chamber divider. A sealant reservoir fill hole 191 (see FIGS. 16, 16A, 22, 22M, 23 and 24) in upper level 70 a of platform 68 provides access to the sealant reservoir for filling it with sealant 238.

Sealant reservoir fill hole 191 (see FIGS. 22, 22M, 23, 24 and 36-38) includes a tubular lip 938 so that it can be plugged up by a plug 940. Once sealant reservoir 190 is filled with sealant, plug 940 remains in place, but is removable in the event that the reservoir needs to be replenished.

As illustrated in FIG. 3B, for example, a plurality of air vent passageways 192 with openings 194 therethrough, equal in number to top portion air vent openings 124 and passageways 130, extend upwardly from chamber divider platform 142, and are coupled to top portion passageways 130. Passageways 130 and 192 effect air vents comprising openings 124, 131 and 194 from secondary reservoir 220 to top portion air vent openings 124 and to the exterior of cartridge 50. These passageways also can form alternate paths for urine or other fluids should the necessity for such paths arise.

As depicted in FIGS. 1-3B, 4, 30-33, 61-63, 65 and 66, bottom portion 56 comprises a cap part 196 and extension parts 198 and 199. The cap part is secured to and forms a fluid-tight closure with intermediate portion 54 at its lower terminal end 83 b. Extension part 198 is secured to wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98, and includes a flow director 200 for aiding in the flow of wastewater to the external drain. Extension part 199 forms a base for the bottom of secondary reservoir 220 as best shown in FIG. 66.

For use in the first embodiment and as depicted in FIGS. 3-4, 11-13, 23 and 23A, secondary chamber 220 is positioned adjacent to (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 and below sealant reservoir 190, and communicates therewith through a sealant protection recovery channel 222 (second wastewater entry passageway) (see FIG. 3B) and thence to orifice 162 in throat 158. Secondary reservoir 220 is normally disposed to receive sealant after water has been inserted into the cartridge and, thereafter, sealant from sealant reservoir 190 has been supplied to wastewater-receiving compartment 96.

In preparation for use of cartridge 50, fluid passage opening 160 communicating between sealant reservoir 190 with throat 158 in wastewater-receiving compartment 96 is sealed. Specifically, as depicted in FIGS. 39-48, a sealing plug assembly 230 comprising a plug 232 secured to an end of a pull tape 234 is employed. Plug 232 is shaped so as to enable it to fit within orifice 160, as illustrated in FIGS. 3, 3A, 3C, 3D, 10, 13 and 13M. Pull tape 234 is threaded through and extended out of top portion entry 122 for grasping by an operator and consequent removal of plug 232 when cartridge 50 is readied for use in the urinal. Alternatively, a seal may be pasted or otherwise adhered onto the wall of throat 158 over orifice 160 in place of plug 232; however, the adhesive or other affixing means must be capable of resisting its possibility of being loosened, such as by the sealant, and in keeping the orifice closed off until such time as the seal is to be removed.

Sealant reservoir 190 is then filled with sealant through its fill hole 191 which, thereafter, is sealed by sealing plug 940.

In operation, a maintenance person, or the like, then prepares the cartridges for use. Water is poured through entry 122 and into bottom portion 56, as shown in FIG. 4. The level of dispersed water 236 first contacts the bottom of first weir 90, effectively separating wastewater-receiving compartment 96 into (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 and wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 and continues to fill the cartridge until the water level approximately reaches throat 158.

The maintenance person then grasps sealant seal tape 234 and pulls it and plug 232 from sealant reservoir opening or orifice 160. This procedure enables sealant 238 to be released from sealant reservoir 190 and to flow through filter 176 and orifice limiter 172, along downwardly sloping cap 180 and its U-shaped channel 182 into throat 158, as depicted by arrow-headed lines 244 in FIGS. 4 and 4A. An open air path from the throat, including opening 168, avoids any creation of negative pressure from being built up in the sealant reservoir resulting from the flow of the sealant into the throat, which would otherwise cause at least a slowing of sealant flow. The air flow is depicted by arrow-headed lines 246 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 4A.

Entry of urine into cartridge 50 passes through sealant 238 and mixes with the dispersed water. Thus, only a modicum 242 of the sealant remaining floating on the surface of the mixture of water and wastewater in primary chamber 106. If desired, a larger quantity than a modicum may be used. This modicum 242 of the sealant functions as a barrier to odors that may otherwise emanate from the wastewater in chamber 106. Any surplus of the wastewater mixture which is greater than can be accommodated in (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106, passes into wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 and over second weir 92 into wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98 and thence to the external drain. Some of this wastewater which is at a level that is higher than that of hook-shaped rounded end 112 of second weir 92 flows through passageway 116 and into wastewater treatment tablet compartment 58 and into contact with tablets 60. The thus treated wastewater is also directed into the eternal drain for cleansing and other sanitary purposes.

Rounded terminal end 110 of first weir 90 and hook-shaped rounded end 112 of second weir 92 are positioned so as to provide a complimentary matching therebetween to enable the volume of (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 to be substantially the same as wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 and, thus, to ameliorate the problems of negative pressure differential across the cartridge trap.

It is also an important feature of the present invention that the volume of wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98 and that in (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 and wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 are such as to avoid siphoning; that is, the wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98 is sufficiently large to prevent siphoning of liquid within the cartridge if a negative pressure differential exists across the cartridge trap or if any bucket of water is dumped into the cartridge.

As a further important feature of the present invention, in its first embodiment, the amount of sealant, as released from the sealant reservoir and floating on the dispersed water prior to urination is beyond what is needed for modicum 242 to exist in throat 158. This excess of sealant flows into secondary chamber 220 through second wastewater entry passageway 162. Therefore, should the modicum of the sealant be lost (e.g., by excessive flow of fluid into primary chamber 106) by its passage into wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108 and thence into wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98, the reserved sealant in the secondary chamber is available for refurnishing the lost sealant modicum. The result is to limit excessive loss of sealant.

As stated above, the reason for orifice 162 and opening 936 is to use secondary reservoir 220 as a backup tank into which sealant and wastewater can be flowed. Orifice 162 allows a slow flow between the liquids in throat 158 and the secondary reservoir, as aided by sealant protection recovery channel 222. Although orifice 162 can be used alone without opening 936, it is preferred to use both orifices together. The main purpose of the secondary reservoir is to avoid the deleterious effects of when a bucket of water is dumped into cartridge 50. When dumping occurs, sealant in the first wastewater inlet chamber 106 can be flushed out of that chamber and into the drain through outlet-to-drain compartment 98, but this flushing has a minimal effect on the sealant in the secondary reservoir.

If the above features afforded by orifice 162, along with fins 948, and opening 936 in the first embodiment are not required or desired, these elements can be dispensed with, as illustrated in the figures identified by the figure numbering and indicia attendant to the components depicted therein relevant to the second embodiment modification using the numerals and the letter “M”.

Reference is now made to FIGS. 61-66 and to a further embodiment of the present invention. Where components in this embodiment are the same as in prior embodiments, the same numerals are used. Where the components are modified, but similar, the suffix letter “x” is employed, e.g., cartridge 50, as modified, is cartridge 50 x. As in the prior embodiments, cartridge 50 x includes wastewater-receiving compartment 96 and wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98, and further utilizes a water reservoir 100. The water reservoir has an opening 102 communicating with wastewater-receiving compartment 94 and is sealable by a seal 104, which becomes a normally sealed water fill hole 105, after the water reservoir has been filled.

As depicted in FIGS. 61-63, 65 and 66, bottom portion 56 comprises a cap part 196 and extension parts 198 and 199. The cap part is secured to and forms a fluid-tight closure with intermediate portion 54 x at its lower terminal end 83 b. Extension part 198 is secured to wastewater outlet-to-drain compartment 98, and includes a flow director 200 for aiding in the flow of wastewater to the external drain. Extension part 199 forms a base for support of a water reservoir 100, and includes a water fill hole 206.

As depicted, for example, in FIG. 61, secondary chamber 220 is positioned adjacent to (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 and below sealant reservoir 190, and communicates therewith through a sealant protection recovery channel 222 (second wastewater entry passageway) (see also, e.g., FIG. 3B) to orifice 162 in throat 158, and is disposed to receive sealant after both water from water reservoir 100 and sealant from sealant reservoir 190 have been supplied to wastewater-receiving compartment 96.

Operation of this embodiment is the same as that as that previously described, except for the additional use of the water reservoir. Here, both the water and sealant reservoirs 100 and 190 are filled with their respective fluids, and sealed by their respective fill hole seals 104 and 232. These preliminary operations are performed, such as in the cartridge manufacturing plant, and these ready-for-shipping cartridges are distributed to their locations for placement in urinals.

A maintenance person, or the like, then prepares the cartridges for use, first by grasping water seal tape 232 and pulling it and its seal 104 from water reservoir opening 102. This procedure releases water into bottom portion 56. The level of dispersed water 236 contacts the bottom of first weir 90, effectively separating wastewater-receiving compartment 96 into (primary) wastewater inlet chamber 106 and wastewater inlet-to-outlet chamber 108. The maintenance person then proceeds with the unsealing of the sealant reservoir, as previously delimited with respect to the prior embodiments.

Although the invention has been described with respect to particular embodiments thereof, it should be realized that various changes and modifications may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Citada por
Patente citante Fecha de presentación Fecha de publicación Solicitante Título
US792147924 Nov 200812 Abr 2011Hunter Jay DWater-conserving urinal block and holder
US8646117 *9 Mar 201011 Feb 2014Falcon Waterfree Technologies, LlcAnti-siphon trap with snorkel
US20100230333 *9 Mar 201016 Sep 2010Falcon Waterfree TechnologiesAnti-siphon trap with snorkel
WO2011062913A116 Nov 201026 May 2011Liquidbreaker, LlcLighted drain cartridge with color or text changes
Clasificaciones
Clasificación de EE.UU.4/144.1
Clasificación internacionalA47K11/12
Clasificación cooperativaE03C1/284, E03C1/281
Clasificación europeaE03C1/28B, E03C1/284
Eventos legales
FechaCódigoEventoDescripción
20 Nov 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: FALCON WATERFREE TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:HIGGINS, MICHAEL L.;AVETISIAN, ROBERT;BROWN, ERIK B.;ANDOTHERS;REEL/FRAME:020148/0017;SIGNING DATES FROM 20070824 TO 20070915