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Publication numberUS3008650 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 14, 1961
Filing dateMay 8, 1958
Priority dateMay 8, 1958
Publication numberUS 3008650 A, US 3008650A, US-A-3008650, US3008650 A, US3008650A
InventorsProkop Sr Stanley J
Original AssigneeWalter S Munson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shower head
US 3008650 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

1951' 5. J. PROKOP, sR 3,0 50

SHOWER HEAD Filed May 8, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 IN V EN TOR.

! A TTORNE) Nov. 14, 1961 J. PROKOP, SR

SHOWER HEAD 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed May 8, 1958 INVENTOR. STANLEY J. PROKOB 5R.

ATTORNEY a 3,008,650 Patented Nov. 14, 1961 United States Patent Office 3,008,650 SHOWER HEAD Stanley J. Prokop, Sr., Denver, Colo., assignor to Walter S. Munson, Aurora, Colo. Filed May 8, 1958, Ser. No. 733,854 6 Claims. (Cl. 239--315) This invention relates to spray-producing devices and, more particularly, to a shower head of the type adapted to receive a water-soluble pellet or the like.

In many areas, the water is quite hard and soap will not lather to the extent required for bathing. If this problem becomes extremely bothersome, any one of several different types of water-softening devices may be installed in the waterlines; however, most of these units operate on the ion-exchange principle and are, therefore, quite expensive as well as requiring frequent regeneration of the resins contained therein.

For tub-bathers, this problem is quite easily and inexpensively solved through the use of bath salts which, in effect, are a water-softening agent although their perfumed qualities are generally better emphasized. Many modern homemakers have largely forsaken the tub bath for a shower and this raises a number of problems insofar as the use of bath salts or other water-softening agents are concerned.

In the past there have been several attempts to provide means for introducing a water-softener into the water issuing from a shower; however, these devices have met with little commercial success or public acceptance because of certain disadvantages and problems associated with the use thereof. For example, many of these units require extensive modification of the conventional shower plumbing which is expensive and all too often results in an unsightly assembly that is offensive to discriminating tastes. Others are quite complicated and, therefore, difiicult to operate which militates against their wide-spread use in the home, especially when the bather must disassemble one or more parts in order to accomplish the introduction of the water-softening agent preparatory to taking each shower. Some devices are quite expensive and this places them beyond the reach of many homeowners. Still others possess certain inherent structural disadvantages among which are, a marked interference or interruption in the spray issuing from the head, annoying leakage problems, diificulties associated with removing or otherwise disposing of residual materials left in the head, and problems connected with controlling the quantity of the water-softening agent dissolved in the water in order to maintain a uniform concentration thereof during the period when the bather is under the shower.

It is, therefore, the principal object of the present invention to provide an improved shower head of the type adapted to receive a water-soluble perfumed water-softening pellet or the like.

A second object is to provide a shower head of the type described which is formed from a transparent plastic that is decorative and enhances the overall appearance of the shower bath while exposing to the view of the bather a novel tumbling action of the water-softening tablet contained therein which is suspended in violently agitated bubbling water.

A third object is the provision of a shower head that may be colored to match the fixtures or decor of the bath.

A fourth object of the invention is to provide an improved fiapper-type valve mechanism for use in a shower head that will not leak; yet, opens instantly to receive the water-softening pellet which 'is placed in the head by one quick simple movement.

let-receiving type that requires no modification of the conventional shower plumbing and may be fastened in place ready for use in a matter of minutes or less by unskilled persons. f

Still another object is to provide a shower head which can be readily removed or diassembled by the housewife for cleaning should such become necessary. I

, Further objects are the provision of a shower head that is extremely simple to manufacture, install and operate; one that is inexpensive, versatile and decorative; and one that provides for thorough agitation of the water issuing therefrom in a manner to dissolve the water-softening pellet placed therein at a uniform rate without interfering with the spray produced thereby.

Other objects will be in part apparent and in part pointed out specific-ally hereinafter in connection with the de' scription of the drawings that follow and in which:

FIGURE 1 is an elevation, portions of which have been indicated in diametrical section, showing the improved pellet-receiving shower head of the present invention attached in place to a conventional shower head fitting on the end of a waterline;

FIGURE 2 is a transversesection taken along line 2-2 of FIGURE 1 showing the construction of the waterpresdsure-operated flapper valve incorporated into the hea FIGURE 3 is a diametrical section showing the annular conical guide element of the flapper valve assembly which directs the valve element into closed position on the interal conical seat thereof;

FIGURE 4 is a bottom plan view of the guide element of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 5 is a view similar to FIGURE 1 showing a slightly modified form of the shower head in diametrical section, the flapper valve assembly being mounted in the bell-shaped wall rather than the cap;

FIGURE 6 is a view similar to FIGURES l and 5 showing a further modified shower head in diametrical section, the cap being-detachably connected to the bell by a threaded connection;

FIGURE 7 is a bottom plan view of the bell of the FIGURE 6 shower head modification, the cap having been removed therefrom; and

FIGURE 8 is a top plan view of the cap after removal thereof from the modified shower head of FIGURE 6.

Referring now to the drawings, it will be seen that the improved pellet-receiving shower head of the present invention, which has been indicated in a general way by numeral 10, comprises a bell 12, a cap 14 attached to enclose the lower end of the bell and a flapper valve assembly indicated generally by numeral 16 which is operatively mountedin either the bell or cap in a manner that will be described in detail presently. In the preferred embodi: ments of the present invention, both the bell and cap are molded from a transparent plastic material of any one of a number of well-known types resistant to water temperatures of approximately 200 F; Also, if desired, the bell and cap may be colored to match or harmonize with other bathroom fixtures, the tile or wall decor. Of course, these elements of the shower head may be fabricated from metal in accordance with conventional practice in the art.

Preferably, the flapper valve assembly 16 which in-' cludes the integrally formed conical valve seat 18, annular conical guide element 20 and valve element 22, are likewise formed from a light-weight and heat-resistant plastic rather than metal. Elements 20 and 22 need not,

: however, be transparent although the valve element 22 Another object is to provide a shower head of the pelis advantageously formed froma slightly flexible plastic such as, for example, polyethylene which will deform under the pressure of the water and thereby conform with the seat to produce a Watertight seal therewith. The integral seat 18 will obviously be molded from the same material as the bell and/or cap depending upon Where the valve assembly is located.

The upper end of the bell 12 is provided with a tubular neck 24 which is external-1y threaded to receive collar 26 shown only in FIGURE 1; whereas, the lower end of the bell contains a continuous annular groove 28. Cap 14 includes an upturned annular rim 30 adapted to mate with the groove in the lower end of the bell. The cap also contains a plurality of spray openings 32 of conventional design for directing the water onto the bather in a number of small streams. The upper inside surface of neck 24 on the bell is preferably shaped to form a hemispherical seat 34 adapted to receive and form -a water-tight seal with the hollow-spherical extremity of conventional ball fitting 36 which is threadedly attached to the end of waterline 38 as shown in FIGURE 1.

With particular reference now to FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawing, it will be seen that bell 12 is attached to ball fitting 36 for limited universal movement and is held in substantially water-tight contact therewith by collar 26 threaded onto neck 24. Thus, installation, replacement or removal of shower head is accomplished by merely screwing neck 24 in or out of collar 26. Of course, the same thing may be taken care of by connecting or disconnecting ball fitting 36 to pipe 38 which, in the case of installation, has certain advantages as pipe 38 is usually of standard size while fitting 36 may vary insofar as the ball diameter is concerned.

In this embodiment of the invention the head 14 is permanently attached to the bell 12 by gluing rim 30 into mating groove 28 with a suitable adhesive. Should it become necessary to clean any sediment from the head, the bell and cap are removed as a unit from collar 26 so that a cloth can be passed in through the open neck. Here, the flapper valve assembly 16 is located in the cap 14 which is moulded to provide a centrally-located pellet receiving opening 40 (FIGURES 6 and 8) sized to pass a solid pellet 42 indicated by dotted lines in FIGURE 1. These pellets, which form no part of the present invention, are formed from any one of a number of watersoluble water-softening compounds well known in the art and which are preferably mixed with an aromatic sub stance designed to perfume the water issuing from the shower head. :The size and composition of the pellets are determined largely by the time interval during which softened water is to be supplied to the bather.

Flapper valve assembly 16 includes an inverted frustoconical seat 18 formed around the edge of opening 40 in the cap and the inside of annular rib 44 that projects upwardly therefrom. Valve element 22 comprises a generally cup-shaped member having an inverted frusto-conical outer surface 46 adapted to mate with seat 18 and form a water-tight seal therewith when closed by water pressure acting thereon from inside the head. The upper edge of the valve element 22 is provided with a radial arm 48 terminating in a transverse cylindrically-shaped retaining member 50, the function of which will be described presently.

In FIGURES 14, inclusive, it will be noted that the remaining part of the flapper valve assembly comprises guide element 20 which has the general form of a ring sized to receive annular rib 44 moulded around opening 40 in the cap to which it is attached by a suitable adhesive. The upper inside surface 52 of ring 20 is frusto-conical and, although of greater diameter, is a continuation of the inverted frusto-conical valve seat 18. Ring 20 also includes a downwardly opening notch 54 sized to pass arm 48 of the valve element but not retaining member 50 thereof. A groove 56 sized to receive arm 48 of the valve element when in open position is provided in the inside of ring 20 adjoining notch 54 therein.

When a pellet 42 is inserted into the shower head 10 through opening 48 therein, valve element 22 is pushed upwardly int-o the dotted line position of FIGURE 1 which draws arm 48 radially inward until retaining element 50 engages ring 20 alongside notch 54. Ann 48,

with the valve element open, it recessed into groove 56 on the inside of the ring,, as shown in dotted lines in FIGURE 1. Once the pellet is in place within the shower head and the fingers removed from within the pelletreceiving opening 40 in the cap, the valve element is free to drop down; whereupon, the frusto-conical surface 46 thereof engages the similar surface 52 on the guide element which cooperates therewith to guide the valve element into closed position on seat 18. As the valve element slides along the frustoconical surface of ring 20, arm 48 is extended radially from the dotted-line position of FIGURE 1 to the full-line position of FIGURES l and 2. When the water is turned into the head, valve element 22 is firmly seated against seat 18 and the pellet is bounced and carried around inside the unit under the influence of the turbulent bubbling Water which presents a most interesting spectacle.

Referring now to the FIGURE 5 modification, it will be seen that the flapper valve assembly 16a has been re located in the bell 12a rather than cap 14a. Here, of course, the cap contains only the spray openings 32; whereas, the pellets are placed inside the unit through a pellet-receiving opening 40a in the bell. Both the bell 12a and cap 14a may be made slightly smaller than in the FIGURE 1 modification due to the side-mounting of the valve assembly 16a. Annular rib 44a is formed integral with the wall of the bell and is modified accordingly; however, the remaining elements of the valve assembly 16a remain the same as in FIGURE 1 including the seat 18, valve element 22 and guide element 29 except that arm 48a is preferably somewhat shorter than arm 48. In this modification the valve element 22 is preferably hinged at the top as shown rather than the bottom so that gravity will assist in closing the flapper. Also, the head is preferably located so that the valve assembly 16a is on the underside thereof for the same reason and also to permit the pellet to be inserted easily. This is no problem, however, as the head is freely rotatable on ball fitting 36.

The further modification of FIGURES 68, inclusive, is substantially identical to that of FIGURES 1 and 2 except for the fact that the cap 14b is detachably connected to the bell 1212; but, the flapper valve assembly 16 remains unchanged and, therefore, has not been illustrated. In this embodiment, the annular groove 28b of the bell 12b and the rim 39b of cap 14b are provided with mating interrupted threads 58 and 60, respectively. Threads 58 are identical and equiangularly spaced to pass the mating set of threads 60 on the inside of the cap. As illustrated, one-sixth of a turn of the cap relative to the bell will connect or disconnect these elements. A gasket 62 is preferably used between the cap and bell to form a water-tight seal therebetween. Removal of the cap 14b from the bell 12b, of course, enables the head 10b to be cleaned without disconnecting it from collar 26 or pipe 38 as would be necessary in the embodiments of FIGURES l, 2 and 5. It will be apparent that the bellmounted flapper valve assembly 16a of the FIGURE 5 modification can be used with the detachable head 14b of the FIGURES 6 through 8 embodiment.

Having thus described the many uefull and novel features of the several embodiments of the present invention illustrated herein, it will be seen that the various useful objects for which it was designed have been achieved. Even though several modified forms of the invention have been shown and described in connection with the accompanying drawings, I realize that further modifications therein may occur to those skilled in the art within the broad teaching found herein; hence, it is my intention that the scope of protection afforded hereby shall be limited only insofar as said limitations are expressly set forth in the appended claims that follow.

What is claimed'is:

1. In a wall of a shower head, a water-pressure actuated flapper valve assembly through which pelletized materials which may be inserted into the shower head by the fingers of an operator, said valve assembly comprising an opening in the wall in the path of water issuing from the shower head, a flared seat bordering said open ing and a complementary flapper valve element hingedly connected on the upstream side of the seat for movement between an open position uncovering the opening and a closed position in continuous contact with said seat, at least one of said seat and flapper elements including a sealing surface deformable under ordinary water pressure to the extent required to conform with minor irregularities in the other of said sealing surfaces thus providing a substantially liquid-tight seal therebetween, and said flapper valve element when in closed position having an external surface that is flush with and forms a continuation of the external surface of the shower head wall.

2. The water-pressure actuated flapper valve assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which the complementary sealing surfaces of the seat and flapper element are frusto conical and adapted to engage one another in closed position to provide continuous annular area contact therebetween.

3. The water-pressure actuated flapper valve assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which the sealing surface of the flapper element is deformable under ordinary tap water pressure and the sealing surface of the seat is substantially rigid.

4. A water pressure actuated flapper valve assembly as set forth in claim 1 in which a self-adjusting hinge operatively interconnects the flapper valve element with the seat for swinging movement between open and closed positions and for universal relative movement in closed position from an unseated into a substantially liquid-tight seated relation.

5. The Water-pressure actuated flapper valve assembly as set forth in claim 4 in which, the seat comprises an annular rib having an opening through the wall thereof, the flapper element includes an arm projecting therefrom which terminates at its free end in a retaining member, the arm being loosely received within the opening in the rib to provide for universal relative movement between the seat and flapper in closed position, and the retaining member cooperating with the rib to engage same and prevent the flapper from becoming detached from the seat.

6. The water-pressure actuated flapper valve assembly as set forth in claim 4 in which, the self-adjusting hinge comprises an arm depending from the flapper element and an oversized opening through the seat adapted to loosely receive the arm for relative tiltable, swinging, transverse and longitudinal movement.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 338,609 Nysewander Mar. 23, 1886 985,174 Hill Feb. 28, 1911 1,154,349 Tanaka Sept. 21, 1915 1,399,684 Belcher Dec. 6, 1921 2,028,242 Pearl Jan. 21, 1936 2,172,592 Podolsky Sept. 12, 1939 2,680,043 Campbell June 1, 1954 2,690,930 Corson Oct. 5, 1954 2,746,081 Gershen May 22, 1956 2,748,411 OBrien June 5, 1956 2,760,819 Thom-as Aug. 28, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 251,269 Switzerland Aug. 2, 1948 780,186 France Jan. 29, 1935

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3081040 *Dec 13, 1961Mar 12, 1963Milwaukee FaucetsSpray head
US3149556 *Dec 18, 1961Sep 22, 1964Bunn Capitol CompanyCoffee making machine
US3391645 *Nov 3, 1966Jul 9, 1968Joseph D. KozaPump
US3469344 *Aug 7, 1967Sep 30, 1969Custom Packaging IncSpile
US4605041 *Apr 5, 1985Aug 12, 1986Teumer Henry ECheck valve
US6006374 *Sep 23, 1998Dec 28, 1999Winnett; Harold G.Showerhead attachment and method for generating aromas
US6557782 *Jun 8, 2001May 6, 2003Eleodoro UrraPerfumed shower head
US6776357 *Oct 8, 1999Aug 17, 2004Yosuke NaitoShowerhead
US20060039835 *Aug 18, 2005Feb 23, 2006Consumer Innovation Partners, LpMethods and devices for aromatherapy
EP3016750A4 *Jun 2, 2014Mar 15, 2017Steve SunshineShower head assembly
WO2015002713A1 *Jun 2, 2014Jan 8, 2015Sunshine SteveShower head assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification239/315, 137/855, 239/596, 137/527, 239/567, D23/229, 239/310
International ClassificationB05B1/18
Cooperative ClassificationB05B1/18
European ClassificationB05B1/18