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Patexia Research
Issue Date Apr 8, 2021
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Patent Application - System and Method for Controlling an Operational Status of a Waste Disposer > Claims

  • 1. A waste disposer assembly comprising: a waste disposer configured to be supported in relation to a sink;a sprayer mechanism configured to be supportable in relation to the sink, and coupled at least indirectly to the sink by way of an extendable and retractable linkage,wherein the sprayer mechanism includes an actuator mechanism that, upon being actuated, causes generation of a control signal; anda switching system supported in relation to the sink and coupled at least indirectly to each of the sprayer mechanism and the waste disposer,wherein the switching system is configured to operate so that, upon receiving the control signal from the actuator mechanism, a related signal is provided to the waste disposer causing the waste disposer to change or take on an operational status.
    • 2. The waste disposer assembly of claim 1, wherein the waste disposer is a food waste disposer.
      • 3. The waste disposer assembly of claim 2, wherein the sprayer mechanism includes a wand portion and a base portion, wherein the wand portion includes a housing having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the wand is configured to fit into or in relation to the base portion when the sprayer mechanism is in a resting state, and wherein the actuator mechanism is positioned at or proximate the second end of the wand.
        • 4. The waste disposer assembly of claim 3, wherein the actuator mechanism includes a disposer activation button, and wherein the operational status of the waste disposer is changed to an on status or an off status in response to a pressing of the disposer activation button.
        • 5. The waste disposer assembly of claim 3, wherein the sprayer mechanism includes a water control actuator that, upon being actuated, causes water to be dispensed from a water port of the sprayer mechanism.
          • 6. The waste disposer assembly of claim 5, wherein the water control actuator includes a water activation button formed from rubber or from another flexible material and is deformable in response to an application of pressure upon the water activation button.
          • 7. The waste disposer assembly of claim 5, wherein the wand portion includes a hose connection at the first end,wherein the wand portion includes a conduit that extends substantially from the hose connection to a first location proximate to the water control actuator, andwherein the wand portion additionally includes a channel that extends substantially from the first location to the water port.
            • 8. The waste disposer assembly of claim 7, wherein the wand portion additionally includes a valve mechanism including a plunger and plunger cap at or proximate to the first location that can be actuated by the water control actuator and, wherein, when the valve mechanism is actuated by the water control actuator, water is able to proceed from the hose connection, through the conduit, past the plunger, through the channel, and out of the water port.
        • 9. The waste disposer assembly of claim 3, wherein the extendable and retractable linkage includes a water hose and the wand portion is coupled to the water hose by way of a hose connection at the first end.
      • 17. The waste disposer assembly of claim 2, wherein the sprayer mechanism includes a faucet portion and a sprayer head, wherein the actuator mechanism is positioned on the sprayer head.
    • 10. The waste disposer assembly of claim 1, wherein the switching system includes control circuitry provided on a printed circuit board (PCB) that is configured to receive alternating current (AC) power from an AC power source and that is coupled at least indirectly to a waste disposer electrical component of the waste disposer.
      • 11. The waste disposer of claim 10, wherein the switching system is coupled at least indirectly to an actuator circuit of the actuator mechanism by way of a wired connection and the control signal includes an electrical signal.
      • 12. The waste disposer of claim 10, wherein the switching system is coupled at least indirectly to an actuator circuit of the actuator mechanism at least in part by way of a wireless connection and the control signal includes a wireless or electromagnetic signal.
      • 13. The waste disposer assembly of claim 10, wherein the PCB includes at least one relay that determines, based upon at least one relay status, whether the AC power can be provided from the AC power source to the waste disposer electrical component.
        • 14. The waste disposer assembly of claim 13, wherein the at least one relay of the PCB determines, based upon the at least one relay status, whether the AC power can also or instead be provided to a hot water tank electrical component.
        • 15. The waste disposer assembly of claim 13, wherein the PCB further includes a driver circuit and a control circuit,wherein the driver circuit is coupled at least indirectly to the actuator mechanism by way of the control circuit, andwherein, at least indirectly in response to the control signal generated by the actuator mechanism, the control circuit toggles from a first state to a second state and consequently modifies a control signal provided to the driver circuit, which in turn sends at least one further signal to the at least one relay so as to change the at least one relay status and thereby determine whether the AC power is provided to the waste disposer electrical component, wherein a providing of the AC power to the waste disposer electrical component constitutes the related signal.
          • 16. The waste disposer assembly of claim 15, wherein the switching system is coupled at least indirectly to an actuator circuit and a lighting device of the actuator mechanism, wherein the PCB is configured to send one or more signals to the actuator mechanism that cause the lighting device to emit light at times when the at least one relay status is such that the AC power can be provided from the AC power source to the waste disposer electrical component.
  • 18. A sprayer apparatus configured to allow for controlling an operational status of a waste disposer, the sprayer mechanism comprising: a wand portion including a housing having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the wand is configured to fit into or in relation to a support element when the sprayer mechanism is in a resting state;a water port provided along the housing;a water hose connection at either the first end or the second end,at least one passage that extends substantially from the water hose connection to the water port;a water control actuator configured to govern whether water received via the hose connection can proceed fully from the hose connection via the at least one passage to and out the water port; andan actuator mechanism configured to generate and send a control signal for receipt by at least one receiving device, wherein the control signal is configured to cause the at least one receiving device to operate to cause the operational status of the waste disposer to change.
    • 19. The sprayer apparatus of claim 18, wherein the actuator mechanism includes at least one lighting device and is configured to cause the at least one lighting device to emit light in response to the actuator mechanism receiving an indicator signal indicative of the operational status of the waste disposer,wherein the actuator mechanism also includes a disposer activation button that is positioned at or proximate to the second end of the housing, andwherein the actuator is configured to send the control signal and receive the indicator signal by way of at least one wired or wireless communications link.wherein the switching system is configured to operate so that, upon receiving the control signal from the actuator mechanism, a related signal is provided to the waste disposer causing the waste disposer to change or take on an operational status.
  • 20. A method of controlling an operational status of a waste disposer supported in relation to a sink, the method comprising: providing a sprayer mechanism configured to be supportable in relation to the sink, and coupled at least indirectly to the sink by way of an extendable and retractable linkage;moving the sprayer mechanism in relation to the sink, as permitted by the extendable and retractable linkage, so that a water port of the sprayer mechanism is directed in a desired manner;causing water to be dispensed from the water port of the sprayer mechanism in response to a first actuation of a water control actuator;generating a control signal in response to a second actuation of an actuation mechanism;sending either the control signal or an additional signal based at least indirectly upon the control signal for receipt by at least one receiving device, wherein the control signal or additional signal that is sent is configured to cause the at least one receiving device to operate to cause the operational status of the waste disposer to change;receiving, at the sprayer mechanism, a feedback signal concerning the operational status of the waste disposer; andoutputting a light signal from a lighting device on the sprayer mechanism at least indirectly in response to the feedback signal, the light signal being indicative of the operational status of the waste disposer.
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