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Publication numberUS3130911 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 28, 1964
Filing dateNov 8, 1962
Priority dateNov 8, 1962
Also published asDE1219414B
Publication numberUS 3130911 A, US 3130911A, US-A-3130911, US3130911 A, US3130911A
InventorsHenry R Billeter
Original AssigneeSloan Valve Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatically self-cleaning shower heads
US 3130911 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1964 1 H. R. BILLETER AUTOMATICALLY SELF-CLEANING SHOWER HEADS Filed NOV. 8, 1962 .1. I n F 9 2 4 3 2 z 2 3 0 5 0 Z 3 I; OIHII? A I N F INV EN TOR. HENRY R B/LLETER P 8 CARTER United States Patent 3,139,911 AUTOMATRIALLY SELF-CLEANING SHQWER HEADS Henry R. Billeter, Deerfield, 111., asignor to Sloan Valve Company, Chicago, 111., a corporation of lllinois Filed Nov. 3, 1962, Ser. No. 236,226 8 Claims. (Cl. 239-109) The present invention relates to shower heads for use in shower baths, and the principal object of the invention is to provide a new and improved shower head which is automatically self-cleaning in action.

Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved shower head which automatically flushes out sediment or foreign deposits each time the shower head is used.

A further object is to produce an improved shower head which instantly discharges all residual water remaining in the shower head so there is no subsequent dribble after the water is shut 011.

A still funther object is to provide a shower head in which a water dispersing disc is positioned in spaced relation to the casing outlet and responsive to water flow into said casing, and the outlet is automatically restricted to produce a spray discharge.

Still further objects are to provide a new and improved shower head which is simple and durable in construction, is efiicient and reliable in operation, and does not require constant maintenance and service.

With the foregoing and other objects in view, the invention consists in certain novel features of construction, operation, and combination of the various elements as will be more fully described and pointed out hereinafter.

Referring now particularly to the accompanying drawings, these disclose a preferred embodiment of the invention in which:

FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-sectional elevation through a shower head;

FIG. 2 is a similar view showing the shower head in operation with water flowing through the head;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged bottom partial view of the piston unit; while FIG. 4 is a top view of the piston unit.

The shower head comprises \a cup-shaped casing or body 5 having the usual ball joint fitting or connection 6 at its upper end held in place on the casing 5 by the clamping ring 7. The packing 8 seals oif the joint and enables the body 5 to be rotated to direct the spray in any desired direction. The fitting 6 is screwed onto the water supply line and has a central passage leading into the chamber 9 of the casing. At its lower end the casing 5 has the spray discharge and drain opening 11 arranged between the inner wall of the casing and the periphery of the fixed spray dispersing disc 11.

Spray disc 11 is preferably formed integral with an upstanding supporting stem 12 having slots such as 13 cut down for a greater portion of the stem length for passage of water therethrough. The upper end of stem 12 is secured to the circular ledge 14 formed in the casing, by means of the notched end 15' on the stem. In attaching the stem 12 to the ledge, the opposite ends of the stem on each side of the slot 13 are pressed together, enabling the notch 15 to snap onto the ledge 14 when released, thereby rigidly supporting the spray disc 1'1 in position at the spray outlet '10.

To enable the snap action to take place, the stem 12 may be made of resilient material which will permit radially inward movement of the stem tongues on each side of the slot 13, so that the stem end beyond the notch 15 will clear the ledge 14 during insertion, the tongues then moving radially outwards with a snap action so that the ledge 14 is received into the notch 15.

In effect, the tongues of the stem 12 constitute outwardly biased spring members which thrust outwardly into a gripping position in relation to the ledge 14. FIGURES 1 and 2, for example, indicate this relation-ship.

Arranged for reciprocal movement within the casing 5 is a piston unit 18 having a central opening through which the stem '12 extends and a downwardly extending skirt portion 19 slidable on and guided by the stem. An upwardly extending skirt portion 20 on piston 18 defines a pressure chamber 22 in the casing. Another downwardly extending skirt port-ion 21 is arranged adjacent the inner wall of the casing. At the upper end of the piston unit 18 and between the skirt portions 19 and 21 there is formed a series of small water passages 23 for permitting water to pass from the pressure chamber 22 to the spray outlet 10. The skirt portion 21 is tapered at its lower end 24 so as to be normally out of engagement with the 'O-ring seal 25 recessed in circular opening 26 formed in the inner wall of the casing 5. The upper portion of skirt 21, however, will engage the '0- xring 25 when projected downward, as will be explained later. The groove 26 is wider than the 'O-ring so the O-ring can slide or roll a small amount in the groove.

A restoring spring 27 for piston unit 18 is arranged between the rear side of spray disc .11 and the bottom of the piston unit 18 and normally holds the parts in the position illustrated in FIG. 1. The ledge 29 formed in the upper end of the casing serves as a stop for the upward or normal position of the piston unit 18. Reinforcing ribs 28, as seen best in FIG. 4, serve to strengthen the piston unit against high water pressures.

It is preferred that the peripheral edge portion 30 of the spray disc 11 be formed smooth and at a slight inclined inward angle as shown. The inner circumferential wall sunfiace of the lower skirt 21 is provided with a series of spray grooves 31 land 32, as more clearly seen in FIG. 3. These grooves are formed alternately shallow and deep to provide a double cone-shaped spray pattern when water flows through the shower head. Each one of the grooves 31 and 32 is arranged so that they are in direct alignment with one of the holes or water passages 23 at the top of the piston 18, so that a jet stream issuing from a hole 23, for example, is directed straight into the associated slot 30 or 31 with no diffusion. This arrangement produces a better spray pattern by confining the same to individual jet streams and eliminates the formation of so-called sheets of water where the streams run together as they emerge from spray opening 11 The jet streams are clearly defined as they emerge from the annular spray opening 10 and into the two concentric cone-shaped spray patterns. No distortion of this pattern takes place anywhere around the circumference of the shower head spray discharge opening 10 as a result of this arrangement.

In a preferred arrangement of the invention and as an example, the water passages or holes 23 are spaced ten 7 degrees apart and each opening is .052 inch in diameter.

There are thirty six openings and the same number of grooves 39 and 31. Half, or eighteen, of the grooves 30 are arranged at an angle of eight degrees and the other eighteen 31 at an angle of three degrees, thereby producing a cone within cone spray pattern. The angle of the edge 30 of spray disc 11 is twenty-five degrees. It has been determined that this construction produces the best and most saisfactory results.

In order to inhibit the formation of lime and other water borne deposits on the parts, it is preferred that the piston unit 18 be entirely made of a plastic material such as Delrin, a product of the Dupont Company. The spray disc 11, as well as the stem 12, is also constructed of Delrin for the same purpose. By molding both of these parts of Delrin, certain economies in manufacture are also effected, as well as uniformity and dimensional stability under hot water use to which the shower head is subjected.

It will be noted that in the normal position of the shower head with no water flowing through it, as shown in FIG. 1, there is a rather large discharge or drain passage present between the outer edge 39 of the spray disc 11 and the shower head opening. This large opening permits instant discharge of any residual water in the shower head when the water flow is shut off. In the normal position, the spring 27 holds the piston unit 18 in its uppermost position against the ledge 29, and it will be noted that the skirt 20 substantially blocks water flow through the shower head until the piston has been moved downward by water pressure in chamber 22.

The device is readily assembled by first inserting the O-ring in the annular groove 26 of the casing. Then the spring 27 is placed over stem 12 after which the piston unit 18 is placed on the stem on top of the spring to complete the unit. The assembly is then inserted into the shower head opening 10 until the upper end 15 of the stem snaps into position on the casing ledge 14. This is accomplished by squeezing together the ends of the stem on each side of the slot 13. The unit is thus made vandal-proof and has no exposed parts which can be damaged or abused.

Referring now to FIG. 2, this shows the shower head in operation after the usual hot and cold mixing valves have been opened to admit water of the desired temperature into the head. As indicated by the arrows, water enters the chamber 9 through ball joint 6 from the inlet supply pipe and then passes through slots 13 into pressure chamber 22. The pressure-build-up inside skirt 20 forces the piston unit 18 downward against restoring spring 27 until the sides of the grooves 30 and 31 are in engagement with the edge 30 of the spray dispersing disc 11. When this occurs, a spray discharge takes place in two concentric cone-shaped patterns. The water flow through the head takes place now around the end of skirt 20, the small water passages 23 and through the spray grooves 30 and 31.

The initial downward movement of the piston unit 18 is unimpeded because the lower skirt portion 24 does not engage the O-ring 25. However, when the skirt 24 is stopped by the engagement of the grooves with the spray disc 11, the wider upper portion of skirt 21 is then in slidable contact with the O-ring 25. This effectively seals oif the leakage of water around the outside of skirt 21 which would interfere with the spray discharge. The O- ring is squeezed against the side of the skirt by the water pressure behind the O-ring in the groove 26.

When the supply valves are shut off to discontinue the flow through the shower head, the restoring spring 27 exerts its stored energy to immediately force the piston unit 18 upwardly, thereby opening the wide drainage gap It as in FIG. 1, to quickly discharge all residual water remaining in the shower head, including any accumulated debris or dirt which would clog the openings. No dripping can occur and the parts can dry out without lime or other minerals being deposited. The unit is cleanly flushed out of all sediment. The foregoing action occurs each time the water is turned on and off to the shower head and is entirely automatic. It will be noted that no spray discharge occurs until the piston unit 18 and its skirt 24 are in engagement with the spray disc 11.

The invention having been described more or less specific as to details, it is to be understood that the same is not to be limited thereby, as changes may be made in the arrangement, proportion of the parts, and elements, and that equivalents may be substituted therefor, all without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In an automatically self-cleaning shower head, a

a casing having a water supply inlet and a spray outlet therein, a rigidly supported spray dispersing disc arranged in said spray outlet, a reciprocal piston unit in said casing having a sldrt portion thereon, said skirt portion having a series of spray grooves formed on the inner wall thereof, said piston unit adapted to project said skirt portion into spray discharge engagement with said spray disc responsive to water flow into said casing, spring means for restoring said piston unit when water flow is interrupted through said casing, said piston unit having a series of water passages arranged adjacent the upper end of said skirt portion, said water passages being spaced from said grooves and said spray disc in all positions of said skirt portion, each of said water passages being arranged in direct alignment with a single one of said grooves so as to direct the stream of water directly into its associated groove from said Water passage and out through said spray outlet, and sealing means arranged between said skirt portion and said casing wall.

2. In an automatically self-cleaning shower head, a casing having a water supply inlet and a spray outlet therein, a rigidly supported spray dispersing disc arranged in said spray outlet, a piston unit reciprocal in said casing having a skirt portion with the outer surface arranged adjacent the inner wall of said casing, said skirt portion adapted to be projected by said piston unit into spray discharge engagement with said spray disc, responsive to water flow into said casing, cooperating spray discharge grooves between the inner surface of said skirt portion and said spray disc, there being water passages in said piston unit for directing the water into said spray grooves, one of said water passages being associated with an individual one of said grooves, means for restoring said piston unit and skirt portion when water flow is discontinued through said casing, sealing means arranged between the inner wall of said casing and the outer wall of said skirt portion, said skirt portion being normally out of engagement with said sealing means and in. slidable contact therewith after said skirt portion has been partially projected towards said spray disc and in engagement therewith, said sealing means being arranged to be compressed against said skirt portion by the water pressure passing between the skirt portion and casing wall.

3. In an automatically self-cleaning shower head, a casing havin a water supply inlet and a spray discharge outlet, a spray disc arranged adjacent said casing outlet and having a supporting stem extending upwardly into said casing, a cooperating means on the end of said stem and casing for removably attaching said stem to said casing to thereby rigidly support said spray disc, a piston unit reciprocal in said casing having a downwardly extending skirt portion arranged adjacent the casing walls and an inner skirt portion slidable on said stem, said piston also having an upwardly extending skirt adjacent said casing wall defining a pressure chamber in said casing, said piston unit having a series of water passages therethrough between the top of the outer skirt portion and the upward extending skirt portion, said outer skirt portion having a series of spray grooves arranged around the inner surface thereof, each of said spray grooves being arranged in direct alignment with one of said water passages so as to direct a spray discharge into only the associated groove, said piston unit movable responsive to water flow into said casing to project said outer skirt portion and its grooves into spray discharge engagement with said rigid spray disc, and spring means arranged between said spray disc and said piston unit for restoring said piston unit after water flow into said casing ceases.

4. In an automatically self-cleaning shower head, a casing having a water supply inlet and a spray discharge outlet, a spray disc arranged adjacent said casing outlet and having a supporting stem extending upwardly into said casing, a cooperating means on the end of said stem and casing for removably attaching said stem to said casing to thereby rigidly support said spray disc, a piston unit reciprocal in said casing having a downwardly extending skirt portion arranged adjacent the casing walls and an inner skirt portion slidable on said stem, said piston also having an upwardly extending skirt adjacent said casing wall defining a pressure chamber in said casing, said piston unit having a series of water passages therethrough between the top of the outer skirt portion and the upward extending skirt portion, said outer skirt portion having a series of spray grooves arranged around the inner surface thereof, each of said spray grooves being arranged in direct alignment with one of said water passages so as to direct a spray discharge into only the associated groove, said piston unit movable responsive to water flow into said casing to project said outer skirt portion and its grooves into spray discharge engagement with said rigid spray disc, spring means arranged between said spray disc and said piston unit for restoring said piston unit after water flow into said casing ceases, and sealing means arranged between said outer skirt portion and the inner wall of said casing.

5. In a reciprocating piston unit for an automatically self-cleaning shower head, a downwardly extending skirt portion provided with a series of spray grooves on its inner surface, an upwardly extending skirt portion providing a pressure chamber, said piston unit having a series of water passages extending therethrough arranged between said skirt portions, said series of spray grooves being arranged in direct alignment with said water passages so that each water passage discharges a jet stream directly into the associated spray groove.

6 A shower head comprising a casing and a spray discharge disc within the casing, an upwardly extending hollow supportin stem having slots formed in the sides thereof constituting water passages, said spray disc being supported on the bottom of said stem, and means on the upper end of said stem for fixedly supporting the same in said shower head, said supporting means comprising a groove around the stem and adapted to be snapped into the shower head body when the end of the stem on each side of the slots is squeezed together and then released.

7. A reciprocating piston unit for an automatically selfcleaning shower head comprising a one-piece body having an axial opening therein with a downwardly extending inner skirt portion surrounding said axial opening for guiding said piston unit, a downwardly extending outer skirt portion on said piston unit having a series of spray discharge grooves formed around the inner surface thereof, an upwardly extending skirt portion on top of said piston unit defining a pressure chamber, said upwardly extending skirt portion being disposed above and between both of said downwardly extending skirt portions, said piston unit having a plurality of water passages extending therethrough disposed around and adjacent the outer bottom edge of said upwardly extending skirt portion, there being one water passage associated with each spray discharge groove with each water passage arranged to discharge a spray directly into the associated spray discharge groove and no other, each water passage being disposed in said piston unit at the upper end of its associated spray discharge groove and in direct alignment therewith.

8. A unit for an automatically self-cleaning shower head comprising a fixed element and a movable element, said elements being concentric and defining between them, when in water discharge position, a water outlet gap, the inner of said elements terminating in a spray disk, the outer of said elements terminating in a downwardly exending skirt surrounding the outer periphery of the spray disk, the skirt having a series of spray discharge grooves formed around the inner surface thereof, the outer element having also a plurality of water discharge passages extending therethrough, there being one water discharge passage associated with each spray discharge groove, with each water discharge passage arranged to discharge directly into its associated spray discharge groove and no other, each said water discharge passage being disposed at the upper end of its associated spray discharge groove and in direct alignment therewith, and pressure chamber means formed and adapted, upon flow of water to the unit, to move the movable element to water discharge position.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,680,649 Hansen June 8, 1954 2,936,958 Shames et al May 17, 1960 3,013,729 McLean Dec. 19, 1961 3,061,199 Billeter Oct. 30, 1962

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2680649 *Aug 22, 1951Jun 8, 1954Crane CoSelf-cleaning showerhead
US2936958 *Oct 7, 1958May 17, 1960Harold ShamesSelf-cleaning shower head
US3013729 *Dec 9, 1960Dec 19, 1961Mclean Edward SAutomatic self-cleaning shower head
US3061199 *Jan 9, 1961Oct 30, 1962Sloan Valve CoAutomatic self-cleaning shower heads
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3383051 *Jan 10, 1966May 14, 1968Speakman CoShower head
US3403860 *Oct 29, 1965Oct 1, 1968Harold ShamesAdjustable spray shower heads
US3580513 *Jan 31, 1969May 25, 1971American Standard IncShower head
US4717073 *May 2, 1986Jan 5, 1988The Boeing CompanySprayer head
US7048210 *May 21, 2003May 23, 2006Frank ClarkShowerhead with grooved water release ducts
US7389951 *Sep 29, 2006Jun 24, 2008Viktor FeldmanMisting device
US7427037 *Apr 13, 2007Sep 23, 2008Frazee John SAnti-clogging showerhead device
US20040250851 *May 21, 2003Dec 16, 2004Frank ClarkShowerhead with grooved water release ducts
US20060219822 *Mar 15, 2006Oct 5, 2006Alsons CorporationDual volume shower head system
US20070040054 *Mar 17, 2006Feb 22, 2007Yaron FarzanShowerhead faceplate and assembly
US20070075165 *Sep 29, 2006Apr 5, 2007Viktor FeldmanMisting device
US20070194153 *Apr 13, 2007Aug 23, 2007Frazee John SAnti-clogging showerhead device
US20080251604 *Aug 18, 2005Oct 16, 2008Lars SchmidWater Outlet Mouthpiece With Switch Jet Control Insert
Classifications
U.S. Classification239/109, 239/600, 239/453, 239/455, 239/487, 239/460
International ClassificationB05B1/32, B05B1/30
Cooperative ClassificationB05B1/323, B05B1/3006
European ClassificationB05B1/32A, B05B1/30A