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no-overflow toilet

A gadget detects the bowl water level and shuts off the water
  [vote for,

It ought to be simple engineering to add a gizmo to the flushing mechanism to detect that the water level in the bowl has risen too high, and immediately shut the incoming water off, and perhaps prevent further flushing until the water level is much lower.

Mostly the problem on the first flush is not the actual tank full of water (or the timed burst from a flushometer), but the after-flush trickle that's supposed to re-establish the water seal.

I imagine this could be done in a couple of ways. One might be as simple as a little open tube that goes into the back of the bowl. When water in the bowl rises and covers the open end of the tube a vacuum or pressure change in the tube shuts things off.

It might also be done with electrical sensors, but adding electricity to a toilet may be just too much for most people.

Might also want an alarm to go off so that someone notices the clog before committing the second flush, which is usually the one that does the real damage. Although if the second flush is prevented, that might not be necessary.

lee, Jan 24 2001

Patent: toilet overflow control http://www.delphion...at.cmd/US06058519__
From [nanomid]. [jutta, Jan 24 2001]

Patent: system for preventing toilet overflows http://www.delphion...at.cmd/US05940899__
From [hpeter]. Use [link] to create links. [jutta, Jan 24 2001]


       I'd suggest an overflow drain, like sinks and bathtubs have, except that it would probably just get clogged.
egnor, Jan 25 2001

       or just go water-free. Go ahead, give something back to mother earth. </sarcasm>
absterge, Jan 29 2001

       they should invent a garbage disposal thing for toilets. So when you flush, and all the material goes to a chamber and then you hit a switch and all that stuff is grinded up. Then it goes down a pipe. That way you would not have to walk to the park to get a stick so you can break it in half. Also maybe if no garbage disposal, then maybe a basket of sticks and some place to put the sticks besides your neighbor's yard when you are done with the stick.
fiasco, Jan 29 2001

       Parts: a) ~1mm spacing between over-the-door hanger b) Wall-wart DC source or sensor with very low operating current and 9v battery c) op-amp to DC relay switch circuit d) DC operated normally-OPEN solenoid valve e) valve connector hardware   

       Patent: [see link. --jutta] there are 6 others.
nanomid, Jan 29 2001, last modified Feb 01 2001

       [nanomid] If you use the "link" option for URLs, then everyone can just click on them...
mwburden, Jan 30 2001

       Well... I think I came up with a better solution to preventing toilets from overflowing. I invented the flush guard and it works by using a non-invasive sensor versus the one above, which is in plain site and will get dirty. Furthermore, it is fail-safe, since not all near over-flows will actually overflow; the rise-effect. Check out my link to the patent. The pic shows the sensor on the side and at the top of the bowl. The correct positioning is on the outside back of the bowl about half way up. Any interest in bringing this to market? If so please email me at hmankin@aarons.com. The plans are done an its ready to be manufactured.   

       [see link --jutta]
hpeter, Mar 17 2001

       jpeter, could you wire up a two-position switch so that in position one, the overflow would be controlled, and in position two an ear-piercing alarm would sound?
gnormal, Mar 17 2001


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