US 3823879 A
This apparatus is connected with a kitchen disposer-grinder for de-watering and collecting ground food scraps that are suitable for garden compost. A de-watering spin chamber containing a rotary spin basket is mounted on the inside of the door on an under-sink closet. A flexible drain tube from the spin chamber discharges into the sink drainpipe. A flexible inlet tube for the spin chamber is connected to one outlet of a bypass valve. A second outlet of the bypass valve is connected to the sink drainpipe. The bypass valve receives the discharge from the disposer-grinder mounted in the sink drain whereby material that is suitable for compost use may be bypassed to the spin chamber where it is de-watered and collected while liquids and other ground material not desired for compost may be discharged directly into the drainpipe.
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United States Patent [191 Johnson n] 3,823,879 [451 July 16, 1974 KITCHEN COMPOSTER  Inventor: Harold R. Johnson, 1664 Sunrise Cir., N.N., Salem, Oreg. 97304 22 Filed: Mar. 23, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 344,131
 U.S.Cl. ..241/101.2-
[5 1] Int. Cl. B026 21/00  Field of Search 241/46 R, 79, 79.3, 100.5, 241/101 R, 101.2
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,054,342 9/1936 Schwarz 241/101 X 2,109,048 2/1938 Lorenzen 241/101 X 2,928,615 3/1960 Strehlow et 24l/l00.5 2,970,776 2/1961 Buckman 24l/10l.2 X
.Primary Examiner-Granville Y. Custer, Jr.
Attorney, Agnflor Fir m Lee R. Sc hermerhorn 5 7] ABSTRACT discharges into the sink drainpipe. A flexible inlet tube for the spin chamber is connected to one outlet of a bypass valve. A second outlet of the bypass valve is connected to the sink drainpipe. The bypass valve receives the discharge from the disposer-grinder mounted in the sink drain whereby material that is suitable for compost use may be bypassed to the spin chamber where it is de-watered and collected while liquids and other ground material not desired for com post may be discharged directly into the drainpipe.
9 Claims, S Drawing Eig eS KITCHEN COMPOSTER 7 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus for utilizing kitchen food wastes as compost material.
Although kitchen sink disposer-grinders have been in widespread use for many years, the waste food materials treated by them are discharged into the sewer without accomplishing any useful purpose. At the same time, in many of the same households there is need for compost material in the garden while the very good compost material already at hand is being wasted.
Another problem of long standing is that households using'septic tanks could not enjoy the convenience of the conventional sink-mounted disposer-grinder because a septic tank cannot properly decompose such material. It would be desirable to make such an appliance available to the users of septic tanks.
Objects of the present invention are, therefore, to provide apparatus for saving kitchen wastes that are suitable for compost material, to provide apparatus for de-watering and collecting material discharged from a disposer-grinder, to provide an improved bypass valve for directing the discharged material into a de-watering and collecting device or into the drainpipe as desired, and to provide apparatus of the typedescribed which is adapted for mounting conveniently in an under-sink closet adjacent to a sink-mounted disposer-grinder.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present apparatus is arranged for mounting in an under-sink closet for connection with a sink-mounted disposer-grinder and the sink drainpipe. A spin chamber is mounted on the inside of the closet door with a flexible drain tube connecting with the drainpipe-A flexible inlet tube for the spin chamber is connected to a bypass valve arranged to divert the discharge from the disposer-grinder into the spin chamber. A spin basket in the spin chamber de-waters the material and collects it for compost use. Material not suitable for this purpose is directed by the bypass valve into the drainpipe in the usual manner. When the closet door is opened, the spin chamber is freely accessible for removal of the spin basket containing the de-watered material. I
The invention will be better understood and additional advantages and objects will become apparent from the following description of the preferred embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawing. Various changes may be made, however, in the details of construction and arrangement of parts and certain features may be used without others. All such modifications within the scope of the appended claims are included in the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an elevationview showing apparatus embodying the invention mounted in an under-sink closet;
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the spin chamber;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view of the bypass valve;
FIG. 4 is a view on the line 4-4 in FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is a top plan view of a hub fitting for mounting the spin basket on the shaft of the spin motor.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. I shows the usual arrangement of kitchen sink mounted in a drainboard or counter 11. Underneath the sink and drainboard is a closet 12 having an outward opening door 13 mounted on hinges 14. For the present purpose, the door is preferably equipped with a conventional type of brace 15 to hold the door open when desired. This brace may be of any type commonly used to prop up covers on various cabinets and appliances.
Mounted in the sink drain opening and suspended under the sink is a conventional disposer-grinder having an outlet connection 21 which is ordinarily conps tqd with .2 9 .usual drainpipe The. isn fi grinder 20 in conventional use receives all the waste water and solid material from the sink and discharges it into the drainpipe 22. When solid material is to be ground for disposal. it is washed through the disposer grinderfgtl with a stream of w ater' while wastewater alone normally flows free ly through the dispo a r grinder to the drainpipe without operation of the disposer-grinder. V
In the present arrangement a spin chamber 25 is mounted on a suitable bracket 26 on the inside of the closet door 13. The spin chamber is drained by a flexible outlet hose 27 which slopes downward to drainpipe 22. A detachable cover 28 on spin chamber 25 has a central inlet connection 29 to receive the lower end of a flexible hose 30 which Slopes upward to a bypass valve 35.
Door 13 exemplifies one form of extendible support for spin chamber 25. Alternatively, a pantograph linkage or other such device may be used to store the spin chamber under the sink and extend it to an operating position out from under the sink.
Mounted on the bottom of spin chamber'25 is an electric motor 36 having a vertical shaft 37 extending upward through suitable seals in the bottom of the spin chamber. Mounted on shaft 37 within the spin chamber is a hub fitting 38 having radial grooves 39 to engage interfitting bottom ridges in a spin basket 40. Spin basket 40 is removablylclamped on'hub member 38 by a nut 41 on the end of shaft 37. Spin basket 40 has a perforated circular side wall 42 which is flanged inward at its upper edge to provide a large top opening at 43. An annular spatter guard on cover 28 extends down into opening 43.
When liquid and solid material flow into spin basket 40 through the cover inlet connection 29, most of .the 4 water immediately drains through perforated side wall 42 into drain tube 27 and drainpipe 22. Rotation of spin basket 40 by motor 36' throws the solid material against side wall 42 as indicated at 44 and removes the rest of the free water by centrifugal force, leaving the material 44 de-watered and partly dried. With the closet door 13 in open position as shown, cover 28 is conveniently detachable and spin basket 40 is removable with its-contents 44 by uncoveringthe nut 41. The contents 44' may be deposited on the compost heap in the garden or in a suitable receptacle and the basket 40 washed and returned to the spin chamber for further I in FIG. 1 so that they will not sag and retain liquid or 3 solid material. Door brace holds the hoses taut'in their inclined position so that they will drain freely. When cover 28 is detached for removal of spin basket 40, the cover is supported temporarily on an upper door bracket 50 which elevates the hose 30 causing it then to drain back toward bypass valve 35. A cup receptacle 51 on the door under bracket 50 catches any residual drip from cover 28. When door 13 is closed, the hoses 27 and 30 flex and spin chamber 25 in closet 12.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, bypass valve 35 is in the form of a T-fitting having a round horizontal inlet end connection 55 and an aligned round horizontal outlet connection 56. Between these round ends is a square or rectangular valve chamber 57 communicating with a square vertical outlet conduit portion 58. The lower end of portion 58 terminates in a vertical round main outlet connection 59. Y
A valve member 60 is mounted on a pivot pin 6l-and equipped with a handle 62 to swing the valve member between a horizontal bypass position shown in solid lines and a vertical position shown in broken lines at 60a. In horizontal bypass position, the swinging end of valve member 60 is engaged and sealed by a flexible wiper blade 65 mounted in the valve chamber as shown. The swinging end of the valve member is preferably curved as indicated at 66 to deflect the horizontal inlet flow downwardin position 60a. The face of valve member 60 is preferably covered with a layer of plastic 67 which is bonded to the metal part 60.
Inlet end 55 of the valve housing is connected to outlet fitting 21 of the disposer-grinder and bypass outlet end 56 is connected to the upper end of hose 30. The vertical main outlet 59 is connected to a drainpipe T-fitting 70 which receives the lower end of drain hose 27 from the spin chamber.
A switch 75 is mounted on the valve housing for actuation by valve lever 62 to close a circuit through wires 76 to the spin motor 36. This energizing circuit for the spin motor may also include a wall switch (not shown) adjacent the switch which energizes the disposergrinder 20. Thus, the valve member 60 may be turned down to bypass position closing the switch 75 in readiness for preparing compost material. Then when the operator is ready to flush the waste material through the sink drain into disposer-grinder 20, he can conveniently energize the disposer-grinder 20 and spin motor 36 at the same time.
Alternatively, the valve 60 may be operated by a solenoid which is energized by the wall switch at the same time spin motor 36 is energized. In such case there is no need for switch 75.
On the other hand, when it is not desired to prepare compost material or when liquid material without solids is to be drained from the sink, valve handle 62 is manipulated to turn valve 60 to its upper position at 6011 to direct such material into main discharge connection 59 and drainpipe 22, which valve movement at the sametime opens switch 75 to prevent energization of spin motor 36. This assumes that drainpipe 22 is connected to a sewer.
When drainpipe 22 is connected to a septic tank, it has not been possible heretofore to use a disposergrinder'20. The present system overcomes this limitation by making compost material of food scraps that cannot be decomposed satisfactorily in a septic tank.
- Having now described my invention and in what manner the same may be used, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
-1. Apparatus for preparing compost material comprising a disposer-grinder adapted to receive and grind waste food material in a stream of water, a drainpipe, a spin chamber containing a rotary dewatering spin basket, an inlet tube for said spin chamber arranged to discharge into said basket, a bypass valve arranged to discharge said water and material from said disposergrinder selectively through said drainpipe or through said inlet tube to said spin basket, and a drain tube for said spin chamber connected with said drainpipe.
2. Apparatus for use with a disposer-grinder connected between a sink drain and a drainpipe, said apparatus comprising a spin chamber containing a rotary de-watering spin basket, an inlet tube for said spin chamber arranged to discharge into said spin basket, a bypass valve arranged to discharge water and material from said disposer-grinder selectively through said drainpipe or through said inlet tube, and a drain tube for said spin chamber connected with said drainpipe.
3. Apparatus as defined in claim 2including an electric motor for driving said spin basket, and a switch in circuit with said motor operable bysaid bypass valve.
-4. Apparatus as defined in claim 2, said bypass valve comprising a T-shaped valve housing having a vertical outlet end for connection with said drainpipe, a horizontal inlet'end for connection with the outlet of said disposer-grinder, and a horizontal bypass outlet end connected with said inlet tube, a valve chamber between said two horizontal ends, a valve member in said chamber mounted on a pivot to swing to a vertical position closing said horizontal bypass outlet end of said housing and to a horizontal position closing said vertical outlet end, and a flexible wiper gate mounted in said chamber to engage and seal against the swinging end of said valve member in said horizontal position.
5. Apparatus as defined in claim 2 including an extendible support for said spin chamber arranged to hold the spin chamber in an inoperative position under the sink and in an operative position out from under the sink, said inlet and drain tubes being flexible to accommodate movements of the spin chamber.
6. Apparatus as defined in claim 5, said extendible support comprising a door on a closet under said sink.
7. Apparatus as defined in claim 6 including a detachable cover on said spin chamber and a supporting bracket for said cover and inlet tube adapted for mounting on said door to receive said cover when the cover is detached from said spin chamber.
8. Apparatus for use with a disposer-grinder and sink drainpipe in an under-sink closet having an outward opening door, said apparatus comprising a spin chamber containing a rotary de-watering spin basket, a supporting bracket for said spin chamber adapted for mounting on said door, a flexible drain tube for said spin chamber adapted for connection with said drainpipe, a detachable cover on said spin basket connected with one end of a flexible inlet tube, and a bypass valve having a valve housing connected with the other end of said inlet tube, said valve housing having an inlet connection adapted for connection to the outlet of said disposer-grinder and an outlet connection adapted for connection to said drainpipe, said valve being arranged to pass the discharge from said disposer-grinder selectively directly into said drainpipe or into said inlet tube and said spin basket.
' 9. Apparatus as defined in claim 8 including a supporting bracket for said cover and inlet tube adapted for mounting on said door.
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