US 3150383 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 29, 1964 s. H. REICH STEAM BATH APPARATUS Filed Sept. 26, 1962 INVENTOR 2 GlLBERT H. REICH BY Z ATTORNEY FIG.
United States Patent 3,158,333 STEAM BATH APPARATUS Gilbert H. Reich, 1082 E. Linden, Richmond Heights, Mo. Filed Sept. 26, 1%2, Ser. No. 226,287 3 Claims. (Cl. 4-162) This invention relates to improved steam bath apparatus and its installation in a bathing receptacle such as a bathtub.
Steam bath units heretofore in use have been relatively large, complex units of apparatus, essentially unsightly as apparatus and in their method of installation. Some have subjected the user to the possibility of burning from concentrated jets of steam.
The purpose is to provide a steam bath installation which is entirely concealed, so that, except for its manually set timer, there is no added apparatus in the bathroom. A still further purpose is to provide a safe installation which will introduce steam in a diffused manner and will automatically drain hot condensate from the steam. Other purposes will be apparent from this specification.
As applied to installation within a bathtub or similar bathing receptacle, the present invention consists generally of a system in which the steam supply is connected to the tubs regular overflow shoe. As steam enters the overflow shoe, any hot condensate drips harmlessly into the drain of the overflow shoe. The steam issues from the overflow shoe through the tubs overflow outlet against the front of the plate which conceals the outlet. The plate difluses its flow to the edge openings of the plate.
Preferred embodiments of the apparatus and installation are illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FlGURE 1 is a view partly in section of a steam bath unit incorporating the present invention and showing its installation in the overflow shoe of a bathtub.
FIGURE 2 is a sketch showing the relation of such installation to the bathtub and its drain.
FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 33 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 4 is a rear View of the overflow outlet plate as seen along line 44 of FIGURE 1.
The steam generator which may be of the conventional type, is shown diagrammatically in FIG. 1 and is generally designated 10. Leading from the steam generator there is shown a steam supply line 20. Also, operatively connected to the generator 10 is a manually set timer 28 which may be installed in the bathroom for controlling the generation of steam from the generator it).
The entire generator unit is small, being only about one and one-half feet in length, and of such light weight that it can be readily supported in any position convenient for installation. A typical installation might be on a shelf in the basement beneath a bathroom floor.
An electrical heating element (not shown) is controlled by a relay and switch generally designated 27. The manually set timer 28 installed in the bathroom, is a conventional time switch element and controls the relay and heater switch 27.
When the timer 28 is set to the time interval selected on the dial shown in FIGURE 1 (the time being indicated in minutes), it actuates the relay and switch 27 to conduct electricity through the heating element which is immersed below the level of the water in the tank 10. A water level control (not shown) maintains the water level substantially as shown in the small tank, as it is rapidly heated to form steam. As the steam emerges at atmospheric pressure, it is conducted through the steam supply line to the bathtub or other bathing receptacle.
The installation of the present invention will be clear from FEGURES l, 2, 3 and 4. A bathtub generally designated 30, preferably of the type having a sliding door enclosure (not shown), includes a slightly sloping forward tub wall 31 having in its upper portion an overflow outlet 32 which establishes the overflow level for the tub. The outlet 32 will usually be a circular aperture in the tub wall 31, connected on the side outwardly of the tub (normally concealed in a wall, not shown) to an overflow shoe 33 whose edge 34 is sealedly attached around the overflow outlet 32 by a sealing washer 35. The shoe 33 may be secured against the overflow opening 32 in any convenient manner, as by screws 36 in threaded holes 37 in the overflow shoe edge 34. The heads of the screws 36 hold the overflow outlet plate 38, which has a face portion 39 inside the tub 30. This face portion 3 is spaced inwardly from the forward tub surface 31 by a series of flanged legs 46, spaced from each other about the periphery of the plate 38. The edge of the plate 33 between such legs 49 is thus spaced from the tub surface 31 to provide a series of flow-conuntmicatine openings 41 which alternate with the series of legs 40.
These details are best shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, which show also how the plate 33 hingedly supports a spring-restrained drain control lever 42, which extends aft of the tub to the center of the overflow shoe 33, where it is connected by a lateral pin 43 to a vertically descending tub drain control rod 44, having an arm 45 through the tub drain 48, by which arm the tub stopper 46 is raised or lowered.
If the tub is filled above the level established by the overflow opening 32, water will flow from the tub through the plate openings 41 and overflow opening 32 into the overflow shoe 33 and down the vertical overflow drain 47 which connects to the lower end of the shoe 33.
The steam supply line is installed, in the present invention, by threading into the overflow shoe 33 above the overflow level established by the opening 32, a horizontal steam inlet 51, which is the final portion of the steam supply line 2%. The level of its connection to the shoe 33 is above the overflow level established by the opening 32. Should the tub 30 be filled to the overflow level, none of the overflow water will enter into the steam inlet 51.
In steam bath installations, introducing the steam into the bathing enclosure involves two proslems: (l) The danger that the user may be burned by a jet of steam; and (2) The danger that a user may be burned by dripping condensate from the steam.
The installation here shown solves both of these problems. Any condensate which forms in the steam supply line 20 drips harmlessly into the shoe 33 and down its drain 47. Any condensate which may form at the plate 38 will drain harmlessly down the forward tub wall 31. There is no danger of burning from a jet of steam, because the plate 38 acts as a deflector and ditfuser, turning the steam, as shown by the arrows in FIGURES 1 and 3, so that it emerges along the tub surface 31, diffused by the spacing of the plate edge openings 41. The openings 41 are presented partly downward and partly upward.
The combined area of the openings 41 is greater than the cross sectional area of the steam supply line 2%. Since the steam enters the line 29 at about atmospheric pressure and its supply is somewhat lessened by condensation, and since the remaining steam is diffused through the larger area of the openings 41, its rate of flow is slowed. This tends to permit circulation of part of the convection air along the inner surface of the plate 38. The steam, introduced difiusedly along the tub surface 31, is circulated upward in and around the enclosure (not shown) by the upward flow of convection air past the face portion 39 of the overflow outlet plate 38.
Apparently for these reasons the plate 38 has remained unexpectedly cool, despite the fact that it serves as a defiector and difinser for the steam. As a further protection to the bather, the projecting drain control lever 42 itself serves as an effective barrier to prevent the user from inadvertently touch it.
One of the unique advantages of the present invention is that a steam bath installation may be made without any showing of steam inlets, protective baflies, or condensate drains. As illustrated, there is nothing visible in the bathroom to indicate the presence of a steam bathing facility other than the convenient wall timer 28.
Modifications in detail and substitution of equivalent parts will occur to those familiar with the construction of steam generator units and the installation of steam baths. Accordingly, the present invention is not to be construed narrowly, but rather as fully coextensive with the claims.
' 1. A steam bath installation comprising a receptacle for bathing having an overflow outlet including an overflow shoe external of the receptacle and a vertical drain for the shoe,
an overflow outlet plate having a face portion concealing the outlet and an edge including portions spaced from the surface of the receptacle whereby to provide flow communication to the outlet,
, a steam supply source,
a steam supply line and a connection thereof into and in flow communication with the outlet shoe directly above the vertical drain at a level higher than the overflow level established by overflow outlet,
whereby steam vapor introduced into the shoe proceeds through the outlet and is defiectably diffused by the coming so close to the plate 38 as to 7 plate and introduced to the bathing receptacle through the plate edge opening so that condensate formed in said supply line drains harmlessly into said vertical drain.
2. A steam bath installation as defined in claim 1,
the plate edge opening being presented partly downward and partly upward,
whereby steam so introduced is circulated upward by 'a flow of convection air within the bathing receptacle, and
the plate is cooled by the effects of such convective How.
3. A steam bath installation as defined in claim 2,
the steam supply source being of a type which supplies steam at atmospheric pressure,
the edge openings of the plate being greater in area than the area of the steam supply line,
whereby to permit convection air to circulate in part along the inner surface of the plate.
References Cited in the'file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS I 985,134 Bernesser et al Feb. 28, 1911 1,010,469 Weaver Dec. 5, 1911 1,466,895 Edelman Sept. 4, 1923" 1,849,175 Clark et al Mar. 15, 1932 2,122,620 Nystrom July 5, 1938 2,505,656 Wagner Apr. 15, 1950 2,886,689 Garth May 12, 1959 2,902,580 Lowe et al Sept. .1, 1959 FOREIGN PATENTS 729,970 France May 3, 1932