The present invention relates to waste management systems.
More particularly, the present invention relates to macerator toilets.
Various types of toilets are known. In most known domestic
toilets, flush water is routed directly to a drain in the floor and then to a sewage
system or septic tank. Where the toilet is incorporated into a vehicle, such as
a recreational vehicle, airplane, boat, train or the like, most conventional toilets
route the flush water directly to an on-board holding tank.
To a more limited extent, known toilets may incorporate
a macerator. Such macerator toilets appear very much like conventional toilets and
operate in the same manner. Rather than routing the flush water directly to a sewage
system, septic tank or holding tank, however, flush water is routed to a macerator
pump. The macerator pump is typically located in a small box that may be located
on the floor between the toilet and a wall. Similar to a garbage disposal, the macerator
uses fast-rotating cutting blades to substantially liquefy human waste, toilet paper
and other similar materials in the flush water. The slurry produced by the macerator
may be discharged under pressure through a discharge line to the sewage system,
septic or holding tank.
Macerating toilets advantageously permit installation that
is completely above a floor. In this manner, costly excavation of the floor to install
a drain line may be avoided.
While known macerator toilets may have proven acceptable
for their intended applications, there remains a need for continuous improvement
in the pertinent art.
According to one aspect, the present teachings provide
a macerator toilet comprising a toilet body including a bowl portion and a base
portion, the base portion defining a chamber and a macerator unit in fluid communication
with the bowl portion, the macerator unit completely disposed in the chamber and
operative for macerating a waste received from the bowl unit and pump the waste
from the macerator toilet.
Further areas of applicability of the present invention
will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should
be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating
the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration
only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention will become more fully understood
from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:
Figure 1 is a front perspective view of a macerator toilet
constructed in accordance with the present teachings, the macerator toilet shown
operatively associated with a shroud for mounting of the macerator toilet proximate
Figure 2 is a rear view of the macerator toilet of Figure
Figure 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line
3-3 of Figure 2.
Figure 4 is a perspective view of the macerator assembly
of the toilet of Figure 1.
Figure 5 is a top view of the macerator assembly of Figure
Figure 6 is an exploded view of the macerator assembly
of Figure 4.
Figure 7 is a perspective view of a seal member of the
macerator assembly of Figure 4.
Figure 8 is a front view of the seal member of Figure 7.
Figures 9 through 11 illustrate another shroud for adapting
a toilet to a planar wall in accordance with the present teachings.
DESCRIPTION OF VARIOUS ASPECTS
The following description of the present teachings will
be considered to be merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit
the invention, its application, or uses.
With reference generally the drawings, a macerator toilet
constructed according to the teachings of the present disclosure is illustrated
and generally identified at reference character 10. In one particular application,
the macerator toilet 10 is intended for use within a motor vehicle such as a recreational
vehicle, boat or the like. After a reading of the remainder of this detailed description,
however, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that the present teachings
are so not limited. Rather, the various teachings herein will be understood to have
applicability to both vehicle and non-vehicle applications.
As will be more appreciated below, the macerator toilet
10 of the present teachings provides a reduced foot print and an overall appearance
substantially identical to a conventional flush toilet without a macerator. In this
regard, various teachings of the present invention allow the entire system to be
contained within a conventionally shaped base without the need for an independent
macerator box. Additionally, various teachings of the present invention cooperate
to provide an extremely low water usage unit.
The macerator toilet 10 of the present teachings is illustrated
as a high rise toilet. The macerator toilet 10 may be unitarily formed to include
a bowl portion 12 and a base portion 14. Alternatively, the macerator toilet 10
can be constructed as a low rise toilet that is mounted on a platform. The bowl
portion 12 may be constructed of a vitreous china. In certain applications, it may
be desirable to construct the bowl and the base portions 12 and 14 of distinct materials.
For example, the bowl portion 12 may be constructed of a vitreous china and the
base portion 14 may be constructed of a plastic.
As perhaps shown most clearly in the cross-sectional view
of Figure 3, the bowl portion 12 of the macerator toilet 10 may include an open
rim 16 and a flush nozzle 18 positioned proximate a rear portion of the open rim
16. The bowl portion 12 may additionally include a bottom discharge outflow 20.
The entry to the bottom discharge outflow 20 may be positioned centrally within
the bowl portion 12. The bottom discharge outflow 20 may include a rearwardly extending
portion 22. As will be appreciated further below, the rearwardly extending portion
22 may be substantially cylindrical in configuration and provide a mounting portion
for coupling to a macerator unit 24. The bottom discharge outflow 20 may be unitarily
formed with the remainder of the bowl portion 12 of vitreous china.
The base portion 14 may support the bowl portion 12 and
define a chamber 26 for housing the macerator unit 24. In the high rise version
of the macerator toilet 10 shown in the drawings, the base portion 14 may downwardly
extend beyond the bottom discharge outflow 20. In alternative applications, the
base portion 14 may terminate below the bottom discharge outflow 20.
With particular reference to Figures 4 through 8, the macerator
unit 24 is further illustrated. The macerator unit 24 may generally include a housing
28, an impeller pump 30 and a motor 32. The housing 28 may include a first housing
portion 28A and a second housing portion 28B. The first and second housing portions
28A and 28B may cooperate to define a chamber in which the impeller pump 30 is disposed.
A seal 34 may be captured between the first and second housing portions 28A and
28B so that the chamber is fluid tight.
The first and second housing portions 28A and 28B may be
secured to one another with a plurality of fasteners 36. In this regard, the first
housing portion 28A may define a plurality of boss portions with apertures for receiving
the fasteners 36. The second housing portion 28B may define aligning apertures for
receiving the fasteners 36. The fasteners 36 may be threadably received by the second
housing portion 28B or may alternatively pass through the second housing portion
28B and engage nuts.
The first housing portion 28A defines an input port 40
(see Figure 6, for example) and an output port 42. The input port 40 may extend
at an angle to a longitudinal axis X (see Figure 5) of the macerator unit 24. The
angle may be between approximately 10 and 30 degrees and may further assist In reducing
the footprint of the toilet 10. The input port 40 may be in fluid engagement with
the chamber defined by the first and second housing portions 28A and 28B and may
thereby function to deliver waste to the impeller pump 30 disposed in the chamber.
The output port 42 may similarly be in fluid communication
with the chamber defined between the first and second housing portions 28A and 28B.
As illustrated, the output port 42 may upwardly extend relative to the remainder
of the housing 28. The output port 42 may carry a one-way seal 44 which presents
minimal intrusion in the waste path while precluding waste from returning to the
macerator unit 24. A suitable one-way seal 44 is further described in commonly assigned
U.S. Serial No. 11/404,034
entitled "In-Line, One-Way Valve Assembly" filed contemporaneously herewith.
U.S. Serial No. 11/404,034
is hereby incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein. The
output port 42 may be coupled to a discharge hose 43 (see Figure 2) for delivering
the macerated waste to a holding tank, a sewage system or a septic tank.
The second housing portion 28B may include a plurality
of mounting portions 46 to facilitate secure attachment of the macerator unit 24
to the toilet 10. In this regard, the second housing portion 28B may include a plurality
of radially extending tabs 46. As illustrated, the plurality of radially extending
tabs 46 may include three radially extending tabs 46. The tabs 46 may define apertures
48 for receiving fasteners 50 (see Figure 3). The fasteners 50 may engage mounting
portions 52 (again, see Figure 3) formed with the toilet 10.
The impeller pump 30 may be rotatably coupled to an output
shaft 29 of the motor 30. The motor 30 may be secured to the first housing portion
28B with fasteners (not particularly shown). The impeller pump 30 may include plurality
of blades 38 for conventionally macerating the waste. The plurality of blades 38
may further function in a conventional manner to direct macerated waste out the
discharge port 42.
The macerator unit 24 may be secured to the bottom discharge
outflow 20 in a fluid tight manner with a seal member 54. The seal member 54 may
be constructed of rubber or other suitable materials having the requisite strength,
flexibility and durability. The seal member 54 may include a main body 55 (see Figure
6) that is generally cylindrical in shape and defines an inner circumferential surface
56 (see Figure 6) for receiving the input port 40 of the housing 28. The seal member
54 may additionally include an outer circumferential flange 58 interconnected to
the main body 55. As perhaps shown most clearly in the cross-sectional view of Figure
3, the rearwardly extending portion 22 of the bottom discharge outflow 20 may be
captured between the circumferential flange 58 and the main body 55. The flexible
nature of the seal member 54 may permit mounting to the toilet 10 and the macerator
unit 24 without discrete clamps and thereby reduce part count and associated labor.
The seal member 54 may additionally include a diaphragm
60. The diaphragm 60 may be unitarily constructed of rubber with the remainder of
the seal member 54 and may include a plurality of radially extending tabs 62. The
tabs 62 may be configured to extend toward the housing 28. The diaphragm 60 may
provide surge protection for the macerator unit 24. In this regard, the tabs 62
may easily flex outwardly to allow waste to pass from the bottom discharge outflow
20 to the macerator unit 24 through an enlarged opening. Conversely, the configuration
of the tabs 62 may prevent a surge of waste from returning from the macerator unit
24 to the bottom discharge outflow 20.
With reference to the environmental view of Figure 1, the
toilet 10 may be used with a shroud 70. The shroud 70 may function to aesthetically
interconnect the toilet 10 with one or more walls 72. As shown in Figure 1, the
shroud 70 may be particularly adapted to aesthetically interconnect the toilet 10
with a corner.
An alternate shroud 72 is shown in more detail in Figures
9 through 10. It will be understood that the shroud 72 may be identical to the shroud
70 with the exception that the shroud 72 defines a generally planar rear surface
74 for abutting a single wall. A front surface 76 of the shroud 72 can be configured
to matingly engage the toilet 10.
The description of the present disclosure is merely exemplary
in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention
are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to
be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention. Furthermore,
the present disclosure has been described with reference various features. One skilled
in the art will recognize that these features may be used singularly or in any combination
based on the requirements and specifications of a given application or design.