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Publication numberUS3138153 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 23, 1964
Filing dateDec 11, 1961
Priority dateDec 11, 1961
Publication numberUS 3138153 A, US 3138153A, US-A-3138153, US3138153 A, US3138153A
InventorsMeyer Jr Charles P, Osborn Ralph C
Original AssigneeOsborn Engineering Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydrotherapy apparatus
US 3138153 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 23, 1964 R. c. osBoRN ETAL 3,138,153

HYDROTHERAPY APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet l Zzens C? ls'af/z/ P/Wgf/f @7M-@Wwf f Filed Dec. l1, 1961 RQ@ wwzf June 23, 1964 R. c. osBoRN ETAL 3,138,153

HYDROTHERAPY APPARATUS Filed Dec. 11. 1961 4 sheets-sheet 2 N v .Nr

S N @are/@Z575 I (955m E f @Q 'fzefp/gemf I .f2/Muni@ @62Min,

June 23, 1964 R. c. osBoRN ETAL 3,138,153

HYDROTHERAPY APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec. ll, 1961 MMQ www w i ..f

R. c. osBoRN ETAL 3,138,153

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220% ofv 055W@ @of 5% June 23, 1964 Filed Dec. 1l, 1961 3,138,153 HYDRUTHERAPY APPARATUS Ralph C. shorn and Charles P. Meyer, Jr., Bloomington, lil., assignors to (Beborn Engineering Corporation, a corporation of Delaware Filed Dec. 1li, 196i, Ser. No. 153,446

' 2 Ciaims.. (Cl. 12S-oo) Our invention relates to hydrotherapy apparatus, and more particularly, to hydrotherapy apparatus of the hydromassage type that is especially adapted for use in the privacy of ones own home bathtub.

The use of hydrotherapyin general, and balneology in particular, have gained wide recognition and appreciation in recent years due to the remarkable success these procedures have experienced -in helping to restore sick or badly injured patients to complete vitality. This was found to be particularly true with regard to wounded of World War Il and subsequent coniiicts.

Hydrotherapy or medical hydrology is the application of water to the body for therapeutic purposes. Both sick and well individuals iind the use of plain or mineral Water beneficial to health. Hydrotherapy is not a cure all, and it is not meant to replace drugs or other therapeutic procedures, but water can assist in the healing process when properly controlled.

Water is the most versatile and universal of the physical therapy agents. It possesses great curative powers through its innate ability to stimulate the nerve receptors in the skin through the perfect contact that obtains between a solid that is immersed in a liquid. When the water is correctly applied to the skin, no dangerous side eifects .are produced, and correct procedures are well documented (see for instance Hydrotherapy by Gertrude B. Finnerty and Theodore Corbitt, 1960 Edition, published by Federick Ungar Publishing Co., New York, New York).

Hydromassage, such as use of the familiar whirlpool bath, combines the values ot hydrothermal applications and gentle massage. Hydromassage, among other things, provides a sedative action that relieves pain, relaxes spasm, produces vaso-dilation and improves local arterial and lymphatic circulation. It works through gentle yet tirm water currents that have maximum effect by reason of their perfect contact with the body.

In whirlpool baths the water is agitated or made to circulate by means of aid or water being blown into the bath water, or by mechanical agitators. However, practical problems of controlling the intensity and direction of the agitation, as well as the temperature of the bath has heretofore conned the use of hydrotherapy to hospitals and other medical institutions where expert supervision can readily be provided and high equipment and installation costs can be justified.

A principal object of our invention is to make it possible for the individual homeowner or apartment dweller to safely enjoy the benefits of these procedures in the privacy of their own bathroom.

A furtherprincipal object of our invention is to provide an air jet type of hydrotherapy unit which makes fully controlled hydromassage available for the home bathroom.

Another important object of the invention is to provide a hydrotherapeutic apparatus arrangement that readily lends itself to either portability or to built-in characteristics.

Other objects of the invention are to provide a portable hydrotherapeutic unit for use in bathtubs that is entirely self-contained except for plugging in to the nearest convenient electrical outlet; to provide a built-in bathroom hydrotherapeutic unit that is convenient to install and operate; and to provide a hydrotherapeutic arrangement drapes Eatent f. ,idee

that is economical of manufacture, convenient in use, and readily adapted for application to all types of dwelling structures.

Other objects, uses and advantages will become obvious or be apparent upon a further consideration of the detailed description and the application drawings.

ln the drawings:

FGURE l is a diagrammatic perspective view of a portable embodiment of the invention, illustrating how it would be applied to the usual4 bathroom bathtub;

FIGURE 1A is a fragmental diagrammatic perspective View illustratin7 a segment of the Water lagitating impiement illustrated in FIGURE l;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged diagrammatic perspective view of the blower or power unitv of the apparatus of FIG- URE l, illustrating the principal components of same;

FGURE 3 is a simplified wiring diagram illustrating the electrical arrangement of the unit shown in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is a bottom plan view of the unit shown in FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 5 is a diagrammatic fragmental perspective view illustrating a built-fin embodiment of this invention;

FIGURE 6 is a diagrammatic vertical sectional View through a bathroom wall and adjacent bathtub illustrating another built-in arrangement in accordance with this invention; Y

FIGURE 7 is a wiring diagram illustrating the electrical arrangement of the embodiment of FIGURE 6; and

FIGURE 8 is an elevational view substantially alongv line 3 3 of FIGURE 6.

However, it should be understood that the drawing illustrations are provided primarily to comply with the requirements of35 U.S.C. 1.12, and that the invention is susceptible of other embodiments that will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

General Description Reference numeral 1t? generally indicates a portable emring 2i) that has a configuration substantially conform-y ing to the lower side portions of the bathtub so that it will rest on the bottom of the bathtub on rubber washers 21.l Ring 20 is substantially planar so as to lie'at against the bottom of the bathtub, with its kfront end 22, its rear end 24, and its sides 26 being spaced to accommodate the body of the bather between them. An elongate tubularvextension 28 preferably extends'from the front end 22 in the plane of the ring, and is positioned so as to be between the legs ofthe bather when the apparatus iti is in operation.

The ring l2t) is formed along the lengths thereof with a series of water agitating openings or orifices 30 which are relatively small in size, and which are formed so that the air jets emitting from them iiow toward the rear end 24 of ringZti to produce a swirling effect in the water of the bathtub when in use. y

l FIGURE 1A illustrates diagrammatically how openings 3@ might be formed to serve the objects of the invention, and it will be noted that the ring is deformed adjacent to the respective openings 30 to define a scoop portion 31 that projects into the bore of ring 20 so as to deflect a portion of the air flow into the respective open-v ings 251i.r

Extension 28 is formed with similar openings 30a except that these may be directed toward the bather, as indicated in FIGURE l. Openings 30 and 30a may be applied in any suitable manner and arrangement about ring 20 and its extension 28.

The ring 20 preferably has secured thereto in any suitable manner an upright tubular element 32 which is to be connected at its upper end 23 to the tubular member 18.

The tubular member 18 generally comprises in the embodiment of FIGURES 1-4 a pair of flexible tubular elements 36 formed from any suitable substance that are respectively connected to an insulating sleeve 38 at like ends thereof. The opposite ends of the element 36 are respectively connected to sleeves 40 and 42 of the ring element 32 and blower unit respectively. The connections of elements 36 to insulating sleeve 38 should be permanent and air sealingr in character, while the connections to ring member 32 and unit 16 may take the form of the detachable connections customarily used in vacuum cleaner equipment.

The unit 16 (see FIGURES 2, 3 and 4) generally comprises a housing or casing 50 defining an air compacting chamber 52 and formed with an inlet port 54 adjacent to which is mounted impeller apparatus 56 including an impeller blade 58 of any appropriate type powered by a suitable electric motor 60. Preferably, a filter unit 62 is detachably lapplied over the inlet port 54.

Also mounted in the chamber 52 is a heating or heater device 64, which in the form illustrated comprises a suitable resistance coil 66 mounted on an insulating stand structure 68 and positioned adjacent the housing or casing outlet port 70 in which one end of the tubular member 18 is releasably received.

Also associated with the unit 16 is a timer device generally indicated at 72, a pair of off-on switches 74 and 76, a heater pilot light generally indicated at 78, and an air supply flow control device generally indicated at 80 in FIGURES 2 and 4.

The timer 72, the switches 74 and 76, and the indicator light are preferably incorporated in a circuit equivalent to that illustrated in FIGURE 3, and are preferably` mounted on one side of the housing 50, which thus forms a control panel 82 for this unit.

The flow control valve device 80 in the illustrated form ofthe embodiment of FIGURES 1-4 is at the bottom of the housing and includes a reciprocating valve member 84 slidably mounted in a suitable supporting structure 86 and actuated by operating lever 88 that is pivoted in any suitable manner to the bottom of the container as at 90 and includes a handle portion 92 positioned just below the control panel 82 for the convenience of the operator.

The valve member 84 is operated to adjust the effective orifice area of opening 89 that is formed in the container 50 (see FIGURE 2) and supporting structure 86 is ar ranged to direct the air flow from opening 89 away from the unit 16 and parallel to the floor in a direction that parallels the discharge from port 70.

In the circuit of FIGURE 3, the electrical supply and return lines are indicated at 94 and 96, respectively, while a ground line that in practice is connected to housing 50 is indicated at 346. Lines 94 and 96 correspond to the usual two wire extension that in practice is associated with a plug adapted for cooperation with the usual electrical outlet.

As indicated in FIGURES l and 4, the housing 50 is provided with a suitable lid or cover 100 and rests on appropriate feet 102. Cover 100 may be screwed or bolted in place in any suitable manner and the unit 16 carried from place to place by grasping appropriate handle 104.

When it is desired to use the apparatus 10, the water agitating member 14 is placed in the bottom of the bathtub, and the power or blower unit 16 placed in any convenient point alongside the bathtub, with the unit 16 being connected to the member 14 by appropriately apply ing tubular member 18 between the two. Blower unit 16 is connected to the usual electrical outlet and ground line is secured to a water pipe or other suitable ground.

The bathtub 12 is filled with water to the depth and temperature desired for effecting the hydrotherapeutic treatment desired, and when the bather desires to enter the bathtub, the timer is moved by grasping its indicator arm to set it `at the desired time duration indicated in the scale associated with the control panel 82 at 112, after which the switch 76 is closed to operate motor 60, and thereby cause its impeller blade 58 to supply air under pressure to the ring 26. Where the air to be supplied to ring 20 is to be heated, switch 74 should also be closed, which will energize the heating coil 66.

When this is done, the apparatus 10 will be effective to pack air into the chamber 52, heat same, and blow same through tubular member 18 into ring 20 and out of openings or orifices 30. The air emitting from orifices 30 will take the form of a series of outwardly angled, upwardly inclining air jets that turn to bubbles which rise to the surface of the water 114 in the tub 12. The inclining of the jets so that they have an acute angular relationship with respect to the sides of the ring 20 tends to produce a whirling or swirling effect in the water 14.

The rate of air jet emission from ring 20 may be controlled by manipulating lever 88 of valve device 80 to open or close housing or casing opening 89 as required to vent that portion of the air in the chamber 52 which is in excess of that required to provide the desired jet action. Scale 115 may be provided on central panel S2 to indicate flow rate graduations.

The bather then may get into the tube, if the usual bathtub immersion is desired, and sit down within the confines of ring 20, with the bather facing the front portion 22 of the ring 20. The bather will then enjoy the beneficial therapeutic effects of bathing in agitated water which are described in the aforementioned publication by Finnerty and Corbitt.

The Finnerty and Corbitt book describes in detail the conditions necessary to effect the particular hydriatic procedure desired, and the instructions of this publication should be followed, or a doctor or hydrotherapeutic specialist consulted if other than the usual cool or moderately warm bath water is desired. Generally speaking, best utilization of our apparatus for general purposes is achieved by using moderately warm bath water (98-104 degrees F.) with the heater 64 being designed to approximately make up for the heat loss from the bath water by the process of discharging air at room temperature into it.

In the embodiment of FIGURE 5, the unit 16 is built into the adjacent bathroom wall structure 120, with the agitating member 14 being suitably connected to the unit 16 by an appropriate conduit member 122.

As indicated in FIGURE 5, in this embodiment of the invention, the unit 16 as a whole is supplied to a shelf structure 124 of any suitable type operably associated with or formed behind the wall structure as in a closet or the like behind the tub end 121, with the unit 16 being disposed in an appropriate recess 126 formed in such wall structure, Wall structure 120 being perforated as at 128 to accommodate the filter unit 62 to provide an access to the warm bathroom air as the source of air supply. The wall structure 120 is formed to expose the panel 82 of the unit 16 so that this unit may be readily controlled from the tub. In this embodiment is the invention, a right angled tubular element 130 is permanently mounted in the housing outlet port 70 and positioned to extend to an opening 132 in the wall structure 120 for suitable connection with the tubular member 122. Tubular member 122 is preferably provided with the insulating sleeve 38.

The embodiment a of FIGURE 5 is operated in the same manner as the form of FIGURES 1-4.

The embodiment of FIGURES 6-8 illustrates another built-in form of the invention in which the unit 16 is mounted in a point remotel from the bathroom,l such as the attic of the residence of which the bathroom forms a part.

In the showing of FIGURE 6, the blower or power unit is generally indicated at 16a, and unit 16a is generally identical to unit 16 except that blower switch 76 (but not the blower) has been omitted and the wiring of the unit 16a leads to a junction box generally indicated at 152 that is applied to the casing 50a to facilitate connection of the diferent components within housing 16a with a control box 154 mounted in wall structure 156 of the bathroom 158 in which a bathtub 12 is mounted.

As indicated in FIGURE y6, the wall structure 156 should be adjacent one end 166 of the bathtub, for convenience of operation. Control box 154 includes the control panel 162 illustrated in FIGURE 8 and mounts the timer 72, heater switch 74, and indicator light 78, with the electrical connections being made in the manner suggested by FIGURE 7.

As further indicated in FIGURE 6, the outlet 70 (not here shown) of the unit 16a is'connected to an appropiate aperture 170 formed in wall structure 156 by suitable conduiting 1'72, which conduiting is provided at its end 174 with an appropriate releasable coupling for connection with a flexible member 176 that is in turn connected with the agitating device 14.

In accordance with this embodiment of the invention, the air flow from unit 16a is preferably controlled by an appropriate butterily valve 178 pivotally mounted within conduit 172 and fixed to a shaft 180 that has its upper end journalled in plate 181 secured in place in any suitable manner, as to the bottom of control box 154; the shaft 186 carries operating lever 182 that projects through an appropriate slot 184 formedin wall structure 156.

The apparatus of the embodiment of FIGURES 6 8 is controlled and operated in a manner similar to those forms of the invention previously described except that the independent off-on control of the motor 60 is eliminated so that the motor is automatically turned on when the timer 72 is actuated.

Specific Description The water agitating implement 14 may be formed from any suitable material, though preferably the ring 20 and extension 28 are given a smooth inish for easy cleaning purposes. Preferably, the ring openings 36 are formed somewhat as suggested by diagrammatic FIGURE 1a, so that they will form air jets that are directed to form a swirling agitating action in the water. Extension 28 is plugged by a suitable stop member 201).'

The ring 2u may be formed as a single element and appropriately connected to connecting section or element 32 together with the extension 28. It will be apparent, however, that ring 20 may be formed by several interconnected telescopingly related sections to permit adjustment in size as may be required by variations in bathtub sizes.

The tubular member 18 and its sections 36 may take any appropriate form, except'that the insulating sleeve 258 is considered essential for electrically insulating the user from unit 16. The connecting sleeves 4t) and .42 as well as the sections 36 may be of any suitable character, though we contemplate that these structures may follow practices now used in the vacuum cleaner arts, wherein the sleeves 4G and 42 are complementarily related to the structures they cooperate with so as to provide a closely engaging frictional fit that is substantially leak-proof. Thus, the sleeve di) may be proportioned to frictionally engage over the open end of element 32, while the sleeve 42 may be proportioned to be frictionally received within outlet port 7@ of unit 16.k The connection between the sections 36 and the sleeve 38 may be of any suitable 6 character that will be substantially leak free and elecu trically isolate the sections 36.

The specific components making up the power unit 16 may be of any suitable character, though the arrangement specifically shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 is the result of a long period of test and study, and consequently is preferred.

The casing or housing 54) as illustrated is generally parallelepiped in configuration including a bottom wall 210, front wall 212, rear wall 214, and end walls 216 and 213 that are defined by any appropriate sheet-like structures, such as chrome plated metal. The bottom Wall 210 is appropriately formed in any suitable manner to dene the vent opening 89, and supports on its upper surface the heating device 64. The heating device 64 includes the insulator support frame 65, which is secured to the bottom wall 210 by appropriate metal screws 22? and is formed with channel-shaped arms 222, each of which mounts a ceramic insulating bar 224 to which the heater coil 66 is connected somewhat in the manner diagrammatically illustrated in FIGURE 2. The bars 224 may be connected to the respective arms 222 by appropriate rivets 226 or the like.

The respective ends of the heater coil 66 are secured to contacts 228, as are the electrical leads to the heater that are suggested by FIGURE 3 and diagrammatically illustrated in FIGURE 2.

The heating or heater device 64 is preferably mounted in housing or casing between impeller 56 and outlet 70 since all air passing through the casing is thereby heated to a more or less uniform temperature (even that air Vented through opening 89). were placed downstream' of port 70, control over the temperature of the air would be lost; for instance, if the volume of air flow through member 18 were to be reduced from a predetermined median setting, the heater device would have less air to heat, and consequently the temperature of the air discharging from implement 14 would rise uncomfortably, while if the air flow were increased above said median, the opposite eifect would take place. And, of course, the ow of Warm air into the bathroom through valve device 8d is conducive to bather comfort.

The Valve device in the embodiment of FIGURES 1-4 is operatively associated with the casing bottom wall 216, and as indicated in FIGURE 4, the operating lever is connected thereto by pin 9@ in the lform of a bolt 230. Lever arm S8 is formed with an elongated slot 232 which receives a pin 234 that is fixed to valve member 3d, so that the valve member 84 is movable across the area of opening 89 by pivoting the arm 88 about the axis ofV pin k)6.

The operating lever 88 at its outer end may be supported from below by appropriate bracket structure 236 that is U-shaped in contiguration and has its ends aflixed to the bottom wall 210 by appropriate screws 23S. The lever arm 38 is mounted to move back and forth under the air ow indicating scale that is provided to indicate to the user the relative amount of air that is being supplied to the agitating implement 14.

Supporting structure 86 of valve device 80 comprises a channel-shaped or trough shaped member 240 provided with laterally projecting flanges 241 that are secured to casing 5u by screws 243. Valve member 84 rests onweb 245 of member 244i and the air vented through opening 89 leaves via open end 247 (which is shown in section in FIGURE 4). Valve member S4 comprises a lower bar 248 provided with an upper coextensive felt layer 249 (see FIGURE 2) that insures the necessary air. sealing action in the area of opening 89.

The impeller 56 and its motor 60 may be of any appropriate type, and in the form illustrated, they are secured to a housing end wall 216 by being xed to a baille structure 250 that is secured to the casing wall 216 by appropriate Z-shaped bracket arms 252 that are fixed in place by screws 253 or the like.

If heater device 64 The baffle structure 250 delines an annular opening 254 about the motor 60 so that the incoming air automatically cools the motor of the impeller. Motor 60 is shown only in block diagram form, but ordinarily its coils and other structural features will appear in the area designated by reference numeral 60.

The casing or housing inlet end 216 is formed with relatively small inlet port 54 through which air passes under the impetus of the impeller. The inlet port 258 is covered by the baille structure 62, which comprises an annular rim 260 and receives a pair of mesh discs 262 and 264 between which is interposed a disc 266 of appropriate filtering material such as glass wool. The discs 262, 264 and 266 are held in place by an annular spacer 268 that abuts up against the inner portion 270 of a resilient annular sealing collar 272 that is received over the inner end of the collar structure 260 and thus is interposed between the baille structure and the housing.

The ball-le structure 62 on either side thereof carries an attachment member 274 which is socketed as at 275 to receive the enlarged end 277 of housing protuberance or projection 276. The attachment members 274, which are preferably formed from a resilient plastic material and are secured in place by appropriate screws 278, are preferably formed so that they will frictionally engage the projections 276 and thereby make the filter 62 readily removable.

The housing or casing outlet port 70 in the illustrated embodiment is dened by flanged tubular member 280, the flange 282 of which engages the outer surface of end wall 218 with the member 280 extending through an appropriate perforation 284 formed in the end 218. The tubular member 286 is provided with a conventional detent pin 286 for cooperation with connector sleeve 42 of the member 18. Sleeve 42, incidentally is frictionally received in member 280 to connect member 18 to blower 16, as already described.

The timer 72, switches 74 and 76, and indicator light 78 may be of any appropriate design. Timer 72 is preferably applied in any suitable manner to control panel 82 defined by casing side 212, and in proper association with the scale 112; the switching arrangement of timer 72 should be of the normally off type, with its contacts being arranged so that when its indicator arm 110 is moved away from zero, the electrical circuit is closed across the timer and remains closed until the arm 110 returns to the zero position under the operation of the timing mechanism.

Switches 74 and 76 may be of the simplified offon variety and applied to casing or housing wall 212 in any appropriate manner, but preferably in proper association with operating indicia such as that indicated at 284 and 286, respectively, in FIGURE 1. The indicia 284 and 286 as well as scales 112 and 115 have been omitted from the showing of FIGURE 2 to facilitate illustration.

The indicator light 78 may comprise a casing 288 with a socketed end 290 to which a suitable illuminating component is attached, and a colored translucent cover 292 that visually indicates when the lamp is illuminated, this in turn indicating that the heater device 64 is on. indicating larnp 78 may be applied to casing wall 212 in any appropriate manner.

The electrical leads which incorporate the blower motor, the heater 64, the timer 72, the switches 74 and 76, and the indicator lamp 78 in proper electrical relation may be of any suitable type, and a convenient way of electrically interconnecting these elements is indicated by FIGURE 3. In this showing, one contact 300 of the timer 72 is connected with the source of electrical power by lead 302 while the other contact 304 is connected to contact 306 of switch 76 by lead 368. The other contact 310 of switch 76 is connected to contact 312 of switch 74 by lead 314, as well as to motor contact 316 by lead 318.

Contact 320 of switch 74 is connected to one of the TheV heating device contacts 228 by lead 322, while the other contact 228 of the heating device 62 is connected to the source of power by a lead 324, leads 326 and 323 connecting the indicating lamp 78 to the respective contacts 228. Motor contact 317 is connected to the source of power by lead 329.

The leads and contacts shown in FIGURE 3 are generally diagrammatically illustrated in FIGURE 2, and it will be noted that the leads 302 and 324 are respectively secured to contacts 330 and 332 that are applied to insulating bar 334 fixed to the housing wall 214 by an appropriate bracket 336. The contacts 330 and 332 are electrically connected in any appropriate manner to elements 338 and 340 of a suitable two wire cable that is enclosed in a casing and passes through an appropriate opening 342 formed in the casing wall 214, with a resilient bushing 343 being received in such opening in sealing engagement between the wall 214 and the cable. The cable is provided with the usual plug (not shown) for connection to a convenient electrical outlet. The ground wire 346 is preferably connected to the housing or casing 50 by being applied to one of the heater support frame screws 220 and extends out through casing hole 348 for connecting to a suitable grounding structure (not shown). Opening 348 is provided with bushing 349 that is received in sealing engagement between wall 214 and ground line 346. Motor lead 329 is connected to contact 332 together with lead 324.

With regard to the embodiment of FIGURE 5, it may be assumed that the unit 16 thereof is the same as that shown in FIGURE 1, except that the outlet conduit is permanently secured in position in any convenient manner. The water agitating implement 14 is the same as that described in connection with FIGURE 1 while the conduit member 122 may be essentially the same as that shown in FIGURE l except that its elements 36a may be quite a bit shorter, as indicated in the drawings.

In the embodiment of FIGURES 6-8, the agitating implement 14 is the same as that shown in FIGURE 1, while the connecting tubular member 176 may be the same as member 122 shown in FIGURE 5, as indicated by corresponding reference numerals. The blower or power unit 16a includes a housing 0r casing 50a which is substantially identical to that shown in FIGURES 1-4 except that the timer, oil-on switches, indicator light, and vent control are not applied directly to the blower unit casing or housing, as already described.

With regard to the vent control, its function in the embodiment of FIGURES 6-8 is served by butterlly valve 178 that is operably mounted in conduit 172. Conduit 172 may be fixed to the casing outlet 70 in any convenient manner and the butterfly valve 178 is preferably pivotally mounted within conduit 172 for pivotal movement about a vertical axis. Butterfly valve 178 is keyed or integrally secured to the vertically disposed pivotally mounted rod that is in turn actuated by lever arm 182, scale 115 of the embodiment of FIGURE 1 being applied to the wall structure 156 to indicate approximate air tlow rates.

The blower or power unit 16a includes a lter unit 62, impeller 56 and its motor 60, and the heater 64 of the embodiment of FIGURES 1-4 (only unit 62 being shown in FIGURE 6), and these components may be applied to casing 50 substantially in the manner indicated in FIGURE 2. The electrical leads from these components preferably are applied to an appropriate junction box 152 that is fixed to the side 214 of casing 50a, and there are electrically connected to an appropriate four wire flexible steel conduit that is in turn connected to control box 154 that is mounted in any suitable manner in the wall structure 156 above air control lever 182.

The face of the control box 154 is formed by control panel 162 on which timer 72, heater switch 74, and indicator light 78 are appropriately mounted.

FIGURE 7 diagrammatically indicates the electrical connections involved in the embodiment of FIGURES 6-8, and there it will be seen that lead 350 electrically connects timer contact 300 with power Contact 334D, while lead 354 connects the other timer contact 304 with contact 306 of switch 74. Lead 360 connects the motor contact 316 with the contact 306 of switch '74, and lead 361 connects motor contact 317 with power contact 332, so that in this embodiment of the invention, the timer is the olf-on switch for the blower motor.

The contact 310 of switch 74 is electrically connected to one heater contact 22S by lead 371 with the other heater contact 228 lbeing electrically connected to power Contact 332 by lead 372. Indicator light 7S in the present instance is connected across the heater by appropriate leads 374 and '376.

Of course, the leads referred to may be appropriately divided into segments as required by necessary electrical connections that have to be made at the different junction boxes, etc. Their portions extending between the junction box 152 and the control box 154 are incorporated in the aforementioned four wire cable, which is generally indicated at 380 in FIGURE 7.

Distinguishing Characteristics of the Invention It will therefore be seen that we have provided a highly versatile hydrotherapy arrangement, which is susceptible of being incorporated into a number of specic utilization arrangements.

The low cost portable embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES l-4 is compact in arrangement and light weight in design so that it may be readily stored and moved between storage space and the point of use. Nevertheless, its operational advantages are the same as the builtin forms of the invention.

All forms of the invention provide what is found to be an unusually effective hydrotherapy action, which is enhanced by the complete control that the user has over the operation of the device through the handy control panel. The switches and operating indicia of the control panel are of the simplest forms available so that they are readily operated even by those most inexperienced mechanically.

The built-in arrangements of the invention permanently arrange bathroms in readiness for immediate use of the invention, and provide eiiicient control over the operation of the implement 14 when in use.

The foregoing description and the drawings are given merely to explain and illustrate our invention and the invention is not to be limited thereto, except insofar as the appended claims are so limited, since those skilled in the art who have our disclosure before them Will be able to make modications and variations therein without departing from the scope of the invention.

We claim:

1. Apparatus for supplying air to a bathtub water air agitating implement, said apparatus comprising:

a housing including a bottom wall and upright opposing ends,

said housing being formed with an inlet opening in one of said ends and an outlet opening in the other of said ends,

spaced leg means for supporting the housing on the floor of the bathroom, with the housing bottom wall disposed adjacent to but spaced upwardly from the floor,

a rotatable impeller including means for driving same mounted within said housing and adjacent said inlet opening, with the axis of rotation of said impeller being substantially aligned with said openings and said impeller being interposed between said inlet opening and said outlet opening,

sound insulating lter means detachably positioned over said inlet opening on the outside of said housing for absorbing operating noise of said impeller driving means,

a'heating device mounted in said housing between said impeller and said outlet opening,

said housing bottom wall being formed to define a vent opening positioned between said impeller and said outlet opening,

valve means for selectively varying the effective size of said vent opening,

scale means applied to said housing for indicating the one of said end walls' being formed with an inlet opening and the other of said end walls being formed with an outlet opening, with said openings being in substantial alignment,

a rotatable impeller mounted within said housing and adjacent said inlet,

with the axis of rotation of said impeller being substantially aligned with said openings,

motor means mounted in said housing and coupled to ,said impeller for rotating the latter,

sound insulating filter means positioned over said inlet opening for absorbing operating noise of said motor means,

a heater device mounted in said housing between said impeller and said outlet opening,

timer means operatively interconnected with said heater device and said motor means for selectively timing the period of operation of said apparatus,

said housing bottom wall being formed to define a vent opening positioned between said impeller and said outlet port,

Valve means for selectively Varying the effective size of vsaid vent opening,

kone of said side walls comprising a control panel for Vsaid apparatus,

said timer means including an indicator arm operatively secured to said one side, Y

means for operatively coupling said indicator arm to said timer means for controlling the functioning of the timer,

said control panel bearing time indicia for cooperation with said indicator arm,

said control panel also bearing scale means for indicating the position of adjustment of said valve means,

and handle means for operating said valve means and extending in operative relation with said scale means.

References Cited in the le of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3417747 *Jan 7, 1966Dec 24, 1968Hilde BegerDevice for the production of pressure waves in liquids
US3461862 *Sep 26, 1966Aug 19, 1969Lyn Bar EnterprisesHydro-massage unit
US3481328 *May 16, 1967Dec 2, 1969Powell Edward JHydropneumatic massaging apparatus
US3710786 *Mar 4, 1971Jan 16, 1973Jaeger JHydropneumatic massage equipment
US3750656 *Apr 29, 1971Aug 7, 1973Vaughan CAgitator for a therapy bath
US4040415 *Dec 19, 1975Aug 9, 1977Ruth KulischAir bubbling massaging apparatus
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U.S. Classification601/168, 4/559
International ClassificationA61H33/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H33/025, A61H33/028
European ClassificationA61H33/02B, A61H33/02P