US 2310617 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 9, 1943. C NNgR 2,310,617
WASH FOUNTAIN Filed De c. 22, 1941 INVENTOR MICHAEL CONNER ATTORNEY Patented Feb. 9, 1943 STATES NT GFFICE WASH FOUNTAIN Application December 22, 1941, Serial No. 423,941
This invention relates to lavatories for use by a number of persons simultaneously and has for its object the provision of a novel arrangement of individual outlets or spray nozzles which affords important advantages of convenience of use, simplicity, economy and easy maintenance. Foremost among these advantages, the invention substantially increases the capacity of a fountain of given diameter and peripheral extent, so that more persons can wash at one time than has been possible heretofore. For example, ten men can wash at the improved fountain, whereas only eight can use the same lavatory equipped with a water distributing system of conventional kind, having centrally located outlets.
The invention also provides a stream or spray directed inward away from each user, so that there is little or no tendency for Water to splash him or run down his forearms, as is the case with a lavatory delivering water downward or outward toward the users.
Another advantage of the invention is that the peripheral arrangement of the outlets permits a novel piping and valve system which is simpler, less expensive, more accessible, and more easily repaired than the piping and valve systems necessary with previous lavatories having centrally positioned outlets. The number of pipes, valves and connections housed within the base or central column of the fountain is reduced to a minimum, and individual valves and their actuating mechanism for the several outlets may be located outside of the pedestal beneath the basin where they are out of sight, yet can be readily inspected, repaired or replaced. A further economy effected by the arrangement is that standard valves and controls may be used which, being obtainable in the competitive market, are verymuch cheaper than the special valves and controls which were necessary in previous fountains having separately controlled individual streams.
A further feature of the invention is that a loop distributing header for the outlets is employed to equalize the water pressure at the individual outlets, substantially simplifying the connections within the pedestal and minimizing their number, as compared with the alternative system of connecting a pipe from each outlet to a central supp y P p Another important advantage is that, since the streams of water are directed inwardly, need for relatively expensive pressure regulating valves is virtually eliminated. In fountains of conventional design havingcentral outlets, reducing,
bly striking his hands.
valves, gravity-flow compensation chambers, or other pressure limiting means are necessary because a relatively small increase in the service pressure causes the streams of water to spray outside the basin or splash the user when forci- In my novel fountain streams capable of extending more than twice as far as in a conventional fountain of the same size can be employed without spurting or falling out of basin, and even an abnormal increase in the pressure of the streams is not objectionable to a user as the resulting splash from his hands is directed away from him into the basin.
The foregoing and other features and advantages of the invention are further explained and described in the course of the following specification.
In the drawing, Fig. 1 is a plan view of a circular wash fountain according to the invention.
Fig. 2 is a vertical section taken on line 2-2 of Fig. 2; and
Fig. 3 is a top plan view of a segmental fountain embodying the invention for corner installation.
Referring to the drawing, Figs. 1 and 2 show a circular, preferably disk-bottomed lavatory basin I mounted on a hollow pedestal 2. The rim 3 of the basin preferably extends slightly below the bottom of the basin to form a flange or skirt. The inner face of the rim is shown slanting outward toward its top, but may slant inward to hide and protect the spray nozzles and to intercept upwardly directed jets of water from partly clogged or misadjusted units. While the upright central column 4 is not a primary feature of the invention, it conveniently supports a soap dispenser 5 or may have receptacles for cake soap upon it. In casethe Water pressure temporarily increases, column 4 also intercepts streams from the nozzles which might fall or splash beyond the opposite side of the basin.
In contrast to earlier fountains of this general kind which had axially disposed single or multiple water outlets directing their flow downward or outward, a plurality of jet or spray nozzles 6 is spaced around the periphery of the basin I, either in the rim 3 or in the bottom close to it. Each nozzle 6 directs its stream or spray substantially radially inward and slightly upward to a height convenient for the user, as shown in Fig. 2. The peripheral location of the nozzles makes possible the novel, simple, and inexpensive piping and valve system of the invention.
Each nozzle 6 is connected to an individual.
supply pipe 1 extending inward beneath the disklike bottom of the basin I to an endless header 8. One Or more radially arranged pipes 9 leading into the pedestal 2 connect the header 8 to a central source of supply, which may conveniently be an automatic thermostatic mixing valve I served by hot and cold water lines ll, l2 to deliver warm water at a predetermined temperature. Every part of the water system is readily accessible on the under side of the bowl, as shown in Fig. 2.
As opposed to earlier-style fountains in which the pipes and valves are either concealed within the central column where they are crowded and difficult to service, or are exposed to splashing and soiling, all pipes and control parts in my fountain are readily assessible for inspection and repair, although hidden beneath the basin.
Individual control of the water spray at each washing position with its attendant economy of water is readily and cheaply provided. In the fountain shown an inexpensive standard spring valve I3 is installed in each supply pipe I. With the valves in the open near the rim of the fountain, various kinds of valve-operating mechanisms may be used which are simple, reliable and inexpensive. The spray length may be regulated so it preferably hits the column 4 at or slightly above the point where the column meets the basin.
The fountain is well adapted to the novel kneeactuated valve-control means shown. An actuating arm M on the valve is pivotally connected to a push rod l5, here shown slidable through a bore in the depending flange of the rim 3. A pressure plate or pad I6 mounted on the outer end of each push rod is located for engagement by the knee, leg or thigh of a person using the associated spray outlet. Instead of the spring valve l3 described, an ordinarycock valve may be used, held normally closed by an external spring such as spring I1, shown at the left in Figs. 1 and 2, bearing against a collar on rod Hi to urge it inward.
This knee-actuated control affords exceptional economy of water, as compared with controls which have been operated by pressing a lever laterally with the knee. To open the valve requires the slightly unnatural effort of leaning forward to maintain inward pressure on the plate [5. As a consequence a user steps forward against the plate just long enough to wet his hands initially or to rinse them. His natural tendency is to assume a relaxed posture while he scrubs his hands, standing away from the plate l6. When the pressure on the plate is released the water automatically shuts off during the longest, soaping and scrubbing, part of the washing process.
Instead of the knee-actuated mechanism described, a foot-operated valve control may be employed. As shown at the top of Fig. l the valve is installed so that its lever l4 moves vertically. An upright push rod I8 is pivotally connected to lever M at its upper end and to a pivotally mounted lever l9 at its lower end. Stepping on pedal 20 at the outer end of lever l9 opens the valve.
For manual control, a combined valve and spray head of known kind may be used, as shown at the two oclock position in Fig. 1. Turning a hand wheel 2| concentric with the spray nozzle opens the valve. This valve near the rim of the basin is more easily reached than the centrally located valves of the earlier style fountains.
The fountain shown in Fig. 3 is similar in its essentials to the lavatory just described. It differs in that it is polygonal in outline, and segmental in shape to fit the corner of a room. It is smaller, accommodating three people at a time. The header 8a is adapted to the particular design, being connected at its ends to the axially located water supply pipe 9.
As a result of the peripheral location of the outlets 6 users need not lean so far over the basin so that more persons can use a lavatory of given size at one time, as stated above. Thus the invention effects a substantial saving in the number of units required to accommodate a given number of men, and a still greater saving in terms of the floor space heretofore required for additional units. This reduction in investment for equipment and wash room space is especially important in industry, where the washing facilities are used fully only at lunch periods and at changes of shifts. What is perhaps more important, the improved fountain makes it possible to increase facilities in many instances where space limitations would not otherwise permit. Given ample wash room facilities workers will wash before eating, which has been established to be an important factor in reducting lost time due to illness, but men will not stand in line to wash during a short lunch period.
To effect individual control of axially located spray nozzles or outlets 3 by foot pedal or other non-manual means in the earlier wash fountains, the valves have had to be grouped centrally within the pedestal so that they had to be of special design and were difiicult to inspect and service. The control linkages from foot pedals accessible to the users were necessarily relatively long and complicated. Thus such a system of individual control was expensive both to build and to maintain in contrast to the obvious simplicity of applying non-manual control to my fountain.
Furthermore, in wash fountains having central water outlets the spray was directed outwardly, so that unless relatively expensive pressure control means of one kind or another was provided, a normal sudden increase in service main pressure was likely to cause water to fall beyond the rim of the basin, since the maximum range of the water had to be held within a distance less than the radius of the basin. In my improved fountain such normal variations of water pressure, which will be encountered in most municipal or industrial water systems, will not drive the spray outside of the limits of the basin, since the inwardly directed jets from the spray nozzle 6 can span the entire basin before exceeding its limits.
A, further advantage of the location of my spray head is that temporary successive water pressures do not splash the clothing of a user since the water is directed away from him upon his hands and spray tends to rebound in the same direction. Also, since the outlets can be low, as. shown, one can conveniently wash his hands with no tendency for water to run down his. forearms to his elbows.
It is believed apparent that a fountain embodying the invention can be built and its plumbmg and valve equipment installed easily and economically; that inspection, maintenance and repair are facilitated; and that the availability and maximum washing capacity of a fountain of given size is substantially greater than that of conventional fountains of like dimensions.
The fountain shown and described is to be taken as illustrative of the invention only. Various modifications of its details may be made without departing from the scope of the appended claims. For instance, it is applicable to lavatories either circular or polygonal in form, and may be incorporated in lavatories made semicircular or semi-polygonal for installations against a wall, or segmental as shown in Fig. 3. The terms arcuate or circular as used herein include these modifications.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim and desire to secure by Letters Patent is:
1. A lavatory fountain for multiple use comprising a basin having an outer rim of substantially circular contour, an upstanding column located in the central portion of the bottom of the basin and projecting above the level of said rim; a support for said basin and column; a plurality of spray nozzles located at stations spaced around the inner periphery of the rim so as to direct streams of water toward the column slightly upwardly and higher than the rim; said column being adapted to prevent water from spurting beyond the opposite rim of the basin; a source of water under pressure, a distributing header communicating with said source and partly surrounding the support beneath the bottom of the basin and a plurality of conduits each connecting the header with a nozzle; valve means at each station adapted to be operated by a user independently of valves at other nozzle stations, said means comprising a push rod projecting radially outward adjacent each nozzle; and a pressure pad on said rod adapted to be pushed inwardly by the leg of the user when leaning forward, as in using the fountain.
'2. A lavatory fountain for multiple use comprising a basin having a rim of substantially circular contour, an upstanding column located in the central portion of the bottom of the basin and projecting above the level of the rim, a support for said basin and column, a plurality of spray nozzles located at stations spaced around the inner periphery of the rim to direct streams of water toward the column higher than the rim; said column being situated to intercept the stream from each nozzle, preventing it from spurting beyond the opposite side of the basin; a source of water under pressure, a distributing header, a plurality of conduits each connecting the header with a nozzle, valve means at each nozzle station adapted to be operated by the leg of the user when leaning forward as in using the fountain, independently of the valves associated with other stations.
3. A lavatory fountain for multiple use comprising a basin having an outer rim of substantially circular contour, a support for said basin, an upstanding column in the central portion of the bottom of the basin and projecting above the level of the rim, a plurality of nozzles located at stations spaced around the inner periphery of the rim, each nozzle adapted to direct water inwardly against the said column for preventing spurting beyond the opposite rim of the basin; a water distributing header beneath the basin and conduits each connecting the header with one of said nozzles.