The following photos show an early stage prototype. A finished product would be made from aesthetically pleasing materials with both hygiene and ease of production in mind using purpose designed plastic mouldings with the sealing ball being constructed in impervious rubber which will deform to close off the toilet outlet. The ball will thereafter reform when removed making it suitable for future use. The unit should be stored close to the protected ground floor or basement toilet, ready for instant deployment when a flood situation is threatened or is actually happening.
The ball end as can be seen below may optionally be encased in a single use cover, which when once having been soiled within a toilet, may be discarded and replaced. This demonstration photo shows a simple draw-string bag whose upper end is retained higher up the stopper so that its open end will always be kept above the water level within the toilet bowl. The drawstring when tightened is then hooked high up towards the top of the stopper. In production a moulded rubber cover should be provided thereby creating a consumable purchasing cycle to provide a further additional income stream.
This next photograph shows the stopper’s ball end pressed into the toilet outlet with the upper end located beneath the toilet rim. The central white section is then rotated clockwise in the + arrow direction to tighten the stopper in place with the bung firmly sealing the toilet outlet against backflow of sewage filling the toilet and overflowing into the bathroom and other living areas. To remove the stopper length is shortened by turning the middle of the turnbuckle anti-clockwise.
Once the initial positioning of the bracket that engages with the toilet rim is set permanently to length using the 2 screws to suit a particular toilet being protected, the stopper may then be fitted without a person having to insert a hand into the toilet water. This unhygienic need occurs with toilet bungs currently on the market.
Other drain outlets from kitchens and bathroom sanitary ware such as baths, basins, shower-trays should also be protected. This can easily be achieved by inserting a non-return valve in the final small bore (1 ¼” or 1 ½”) pipes just prior to their connection into the main sewer downpipe. The photo below shows a NRV which costs about £10 and may easily be installed for permanent automatic protection.
With the toilet stopper and NRV’s fitted, one may then happily proceed with the day’s activities and go to work, on holiday or even leave a building vacant for a considerable time knowing your home or workplace is safe from the intrusion of human waste entering your property due to back-pressure forcing effluent through the sewerage system and over-flowing from your toilet and other sanitary ware.
The next 2 photographs show our test arrangement with a sewer pipe turned vertically so that when filled with water the back pressure of a flooded sewer system may be simulated. Our prototype toilet stopper repeatedly completely stops the flow of water which may be equivalent to a flood situation of raised water levels up to the properties’ window. We had similar success with depths up to about 90″. Legislation only requires flood protection items to withstand a 1 metre flood depth, (i.e.) 39.375″.
The photo above shows a typical soil/ waste pipe connected to a test toilet. The tennis ball is shown floating on the top of the stack of water to visually indicate that the fitted toilet stopper is doing its job by blocking off the column of water inside the pipe.
The Ball is floating because the pipe is full of water, the tape measure is shown registering at around 56 inches high on this particular test.
The Toilet Stopper prototype easily protects from this type of sewage backflow flooding which everybody would surely wish to prevent from entering and spoiling their homes or business premises as the cost will be so minor compared with the huge expenses that a flooded building would incur due to clean=up, temporary accommodation and future insurance and excesses costs.