Improvements in Water Waste Preventors (1884/7601)

It was not until 12th May, 1884 that he submitted his third water-closet related patent application, which was successful and sealed on 10th February 1885.

The invention comprised of a series of improvements mainly to his 1881/5023 patent, which had a system to control the amount of water discharged. The new invention remedied this by allowing a specific amount of water to be discharged, as explained in this extract:

My invention relates to certain improvements in the class of flushing cisterns worked on the syphon principle and particularly the one set forth in my specification N° 5023—1881 The operator hitherto having no power to limit the discharge of water to a less quantity than the contents of the cistern in which the syphon is fixed. To obviate this, I propose to substitute for the solid plunger or float Fig 3 working in cylinder or receiver, a flat loosely fitting plate. or plunger of metal or other material fitted with an air valve of the spindle or other type; or construct a valve or its equivalent to admit air into syphon at any other point at pleasure; or otherwise to stop the flow of water from cistern into syphon and consequently to closet or other requirement. To effect this I prefer to enlarge the lower end of short leg of syphon, and divide the enlarged portion, so as to give two distinct water ducts, one communicating with water contained in cistern, and the other With water contained in vertical cylinder or receiver (the top of which I prefer to keep under water line) the two duets communicating in one cylindrical bent pipe forming the syphon. Supposing the cistern to contain the proper measured quantity of Water as regulated by ball valve, when the lever or handle is pulled down the valve in plunger becomes closed, and forces the water out of cylinder through water duct as above described, and syphonic action is set up, thawing the water from cistern through other duct, and continuing to flow 80 long as the lever is held down until the cistern is nearly empty, when the syphon becomes charged with air instead of water, and the action must, be repeated to cause the water to flow from the cistern again. Should it be desired to use only a portion of the water contained in the cistern, if, after pulling down the lever the handle or lever be released a self-acting motion opens the valve in plunger allowing the atmospheric air to pass rapidly through it into syphon which causes the flow of water to at once cease. The plunger being carried back into position by a balance weights and the quantity of water required to fill cistern to water line, supplied by ball valve in the usual way, everything remains until the operation is repeated.

Instead of fixing the syphon in bottom of cistern by means of connecting the lead discharge pipe thereto by means of a brass coupling and soldered joint in the usual way, I prefer to secure the syphon by a coupling formed of two parts one part of which is cast with two projecting pieces to clutch two corresponding pieces cast on syphon, so that when two pins are screwed through half coupling to cistern bottom, the joint of syphon is tightly made. The second part of coupling is cast to receive the lead or other metal discharge pipe slightly “bell mouthed” and screwed by the two before named pins and nuts, the joints being made sound by india rubber or other suitable packing. But should it be desired to carry the discharge pipe which is the long leg of syphon, over the top of cistern, the before named coupling may be dispensed with.

He obviously had a successfully working version as early as the previous January as he offered the Local Board the opportunity to inspect his “new flushing apparatus”; an opportunity the Board declined[1]. Presumably, he was hoping that he could persuade the Council to purchase a number of his water closets for use in Council properties.


Figure 1
Figure 2



  1. The Loughborough Echo & North Leicestershire Gazette, 10th January 1884.