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Publication numberUS3222690 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 14, 1965
Filing dateJan 4, 1963
Priority dateJan 4, 1963
Publication numberUS 3222690 A, US 3222690A, US-A-3222690, US3222690 A, US3222690A
InventorsThomas E Noakes
Original AssigneeAmerican Radiator & Standard
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Combination manual-automatic water control means for tub-shower installation
US 3222690 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 14, 1965 T. E. NOAKES 3,222,690

COMBINATION MANUAL-AUTOMATIC WATER CONTROL MEANS FOR TUB-SHOWER INSTALLATION Filed Jan. 4, 1963 52 FIE-LE INVENTOR.

77/0/1415 6. Names United States Patent Ofilice 3,222,690 Patented Dec. 14, 1965 24322.net)

COMBENATIUN MANUAL-AUTOMATIC WATER CONTROL MEANS FOR TUB-SHOWER IN- STALILAHUN Thomas E. Noakes, Detroit, Mich, assignor to American Radiator a Standard Sanitary Corporation, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Deiaware Filed Jan. 4, 1963, Ser. No. 249,392 7 Claims. (Cl. 4-194) This invention relates to bathtub-shower installations and particularly electric means for controlling the flow of water to automatically obtain different preselected tub water levels. The invention is particularly useful in households having a number of children where it may be desirable for the housewife to run a full or partial tub of water, with the assurance that the tub will not overfill beyond the desired level even though she might be temporarily called away from the bathroom.

One object of the invention is to provide a tub-shower installation with improved means for automatically discontinuing the flow of water to the tub upon the attainment of selected predetermined tub water levels.

Another object is to provide an arrangement whereby the tub-filling operation may be terminated either automatically by the attainment of a selected water level or at any time under the discretion of the user.

A further object of the invention is to provide a tubshower installation with an electrical shut-off valve which can be operated only when the supply water is at a relatively safe low temperature, thereby preventing children and others from inadvertently scalding themselves with hot water from the shower head or tub spigot.

Other objects of this invention will appear from the following description and appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a cross sectional view showing a tubshower installation having one embodiment of the invention incorporated therein;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view showing an electric switch and a portion of a water mixing device employed in the FIG. 1 arrangement; and

FIG. 3 is a reduced scale top plan view of the FIG. 2 structure.

Before explaining the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology or terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.

Referring more particularly to the drawings, there is shown a tub-shower installation comprising a vertical bathroom wall having its lower edge abutting the flange portion of a conventional bathtub 12 which is located below a shower head 14. Water is supplied to the shower head 14 or tub spigot 16 through a water mixing device 18 which in the illustrated arrangement is constructed as shown in US. Patent 2,932,453.

The mixing device is provided with a cold inlet 20, a hot inlet substantially directly behind inlet 20, and a mixed water outlet 22. In order to provide various outlet water temperatures there is utilized a manual knob member 24 which is connected with a screw or stem 26; a ball valve element (not shown) is engaged with the non-illustrated end of stem 26 so as to vary the proportionate amounts of hot and cold water flowing through outlet 22, all as better shown in the aforementioned patent. As shown best in FIG. 1, knob 24 is disposed in front of a flanged face plate 23 which is located on the front surface of wall 10.

Interposed between water mixing device 18 and the connected water lines 30 and 341 is a solenoid valve 32 which may be of any suitable construction, as for example that shown in US. Patent 2,500,750. In operation, when the solenoid portion 36 of the valve is de-energized the valve acts to completely interrupt the flow of water to the tub or shower. To divert water to the selected shower head or tub spigot there is provided a manually operable diverter valve 38. In its illustrated position the diverter valve closes the spigot 16 so that water from valve 32 is discharged through shower head 14. When diverter valve 38 is manually pulled upwardly the water from valve 32 flows through the spigot 16 and automatically holds the diverter valve in its raised position so that all of the water discharges through the spigot. Such diverter valves are old in the art, and the present invention is not specifically concerned therewith.

One feature of the present invention is the employment of an automatic tub water level control means comprising an electric switch 40 having two terminals 42 and 44 electrically connected with the terminals of the solenoid 36. The illustrated switch 40 is a combination pressure and manual switch, i.e., it can be operated either by development of a positive gas pressure on diaphragm 52 or by actuation of manual button 68. In the FIG. 2 position the switch is de-energized so that solenoid valve 32 is closed. Manual depression of button 68 causes the pin member to snap the blade 58 overcenter so that blade portion 62 snaps in the reverse direction to complete a circuit across contacts 64 and 66 for thereby energizing the solenoid portion of the valve. Water then can flow through the valve into bathtub 12. As the tub fills with water, air pressure developed within tube 88 causes the diaphragm 52 to move stem 54 for thereby snapping the switch blade back to its illustrated position. In this manner the automatic means 40 is utilized to provide a desired water level in the tub. If at any time it is desired to manually interrupt the flow of water to the tub the button 68 can be pulled outwardly from its illustrated position so as to draw member 80 outwardly and cause the switch blade to be snapped to its illustrated off position for closing the solenoid valve.

It will be noted that the automatic means 40 is provided with a lever 72 which is fulcrurnmed at point 74. The left end portion of lever 72 abuts against a pin which is thereby arranged to move toward knob 24 when button 68 is depressed. The knob is formed with a recess 102 which registers with pin 100 only when the knob is in a non-scalding low temperature position. The arrangement constitutes a safety feature for preventing small children from inadvertently operating the water valve when the temperature knob is at an unsafe setting.

Referring more particularly to the construction shown in FIG. 2, the switch 48 comprises a bakelite housing member 46 and a metallic cover member 48 having a pressure inlet tube 50 constructed generally as shown in US. Patent 2,941,055. Clamped between members 46 and 48 is a diaphragm 52 which suitably mounts a stem 54 having a shoulder 56 registering with the central blade portion 58 of a snap-action overcenter switch blade. The other operating portion of the blade comprises two outer blade sections identified by numeral 62, and an interconnecting blade section which carries a contact 64. Interposed between the contact-carrying section and blade portion 58 is a U-shaped toggle spring 60 which causes the contactcarrying section of the blade to move with snap action toward or away from the fixed contact 66 in accordance with movement of blade portion 58. Blade portion 58 is operatively associated with each of members 54 and 80 so as to be moved by one or the other of them at different times during service.

In its illustrated position the switch blade is in a circuitopen condition, with no current flowing between the terminals 42 and 44. Also, central blade portion 58 is in an over-center elevated position such that it must be moved or reset downwardly before the contact-carrying portion of the blade can snap upwardly to engage contact 66. Manual resetting of blade portion 58 is effected through a manual button 68 which has a laterally extending arm 70 afiixed thereto. The button is arranged to freely extend through a lever 72 which is fulcrumed on a knife edge 74 formed in the fixed cover element 76. A compression spring 78 normally holds the lever 72 and the push-button 68arm 70 assembly in its illustrated position wherein the upturned portion on the right end of lever 72 is engaged with the inner face of cover 76.

Cooperating with lever 72 and arm 70 is a reciprocable pin member 80 which has two spaced shoulders or abutments located adjacent the free faces of the lever and arm. The spacing between these abutments is greater than the combined thickness of the arm and lever so that button 68 can be pulled outwardly from its illustrated position to cause arm 70 to exert a pulling force on pin 80, all without tendency to move lever 72 from its illustrated position. The end portion of member 80 adjacent blade portion 58 is also provided with shoulders or abutments located adjacent opposite faces of the blade portion so that movement of member 80 can be utilized to move the blade portion. The spacing between these last mentioned abutments is sufficient to permit normal movement of blade portion 58 by stem 54 without interference from member 80.

In service, when button 68 is manually pushed in from its illustrated position the arm 70 rocks lever 72 inwardly about fulcrum 74, and the lever in turn moves the reciprocable pin 80 inwardly to snap the blade portion 58 from its illustrated position. As this happens the contact 64 snaps upwardly against fixed contact 66, and the blade portion 58 takes a position closely adjacent shoulder 56 on stem 54.

As shown in FIG. 1, bathtub 12 is provided with a conventional hollow casing 81 which houses the linkage 82 connected between the manual lever 84 and the drain valve 86. In the illustrated embodiment this casing is utilized to also accommodate a flexible pressure tube 88 which extends from a point adjacent the floor of the tub upwardly through casing 81 and eventually over to the tubular member 50 shown in FIG. 2. During service, when the movable switch contact 64 is engaged with the fixed contact 66 water can be delivered through the spigot 16. to provide a rising water level in tub 12 and pressure tube 88. As the column of water rises in tube 88 the trapped air exerts a continually increasing pressure on the diaphragm 52 so that the stem shoulder 56 exerts an increased pressure on central blade portion 58. When the pressure is sufiiciently great blade portion 58 snaps overcenter to its illustrated position and the contact 64 is thereby disengaged from contact 66 so as to de-energize solenoid 36 and thereby discontinue the tub-filling operation.

The tub water level required to actuate the switch can be varied or selected by means of a manual control knob 90 which is carried on a screw 92, said screw having threaded engagement in a fixed collar 94 so that rotation of knob 90 causes portion 96 of the screw to move the spring seat cup element 98. By turning knob 90 in one direction I can thus increase the loading on spring 99 so as to increase the tube 88 pressure which is necessary to move diaphragm 52 to the blade-actuating position. By turning knob 90 in the opposite direction I can lower the loading on spring 99 and thereby decrease the air pressure necessary to operate the blade. The face plate 28 may be provided with indicia in terms of tub water level corresponding to the loading on spring 99. For factory calibration purposes portion 96 of screw 92 may have an adjustable threaded connection with the major portion of the screw. During use of the device in the household portions 92 and 96 act as a single element.

From the above it will be seen that introduction of water into the bathtub is initiated by depression of button 68, and that cessation of the water flow can be effected automatically by the development of a desired water level in the bathtub. Additionally the water flow into the tub can be discontinued by a pulling operation on button 68. Thus, as the button 68 is drawn upwardly from its illustrated position arm 70 pulls the pin 80 upwardly so that it draws the blade portion 58 to its illustrated position in which the solenoid 36 is de-energized.

In some instances it may be desirable to prevent the flow of hot water by a simple depression of button 68. Thus, for example when small children may be in the bathtub and may inadvertently or deliberately punch button 68, it is desirable that any water which might flow would be at a relatively safe non-scalding temperature. To give this non-scald operation the lever 72 is arranged to have its left end in loose engagement with a slidable pin 100, and the knob 24 is constructed to have a recess 102 register with pin 100 when the knob is in the cool or lukewarm position. The recess 102 is of limited circumferential dimension so that it does not register with pin 100 when the knob is in the hot or semi-scalding position. Thus when the recess 102 registers with pin 100 pushbutton 68 can be depressed to initiate the water admission operation, but when the recess 102 is out of registry with pin 100 the pushbutton 68 cannot be depressed, and the water admission operation cannot be initiated.

The interrelationship between button 68 and knob 24 is such that the knob must be in the cool or non-scalding position before the button can be depressed. However after the button has been depressed to operate the switch the spring 78 automatically returns the lever 72 to its illustrated position so that knob 24 can be turned to any desired water temperature. A second compression spring is trained around the reduced diameter portion of button 68 to bias it toward its illustrated position. The pushbutton is thus automatically returned to the shown intermediate position after the pushing or pulling force has been removed. This automatic return action does not however affect the position of the switch blade since the lost motion connections on member 80 permit tree movement of the switch blade under the influence of stem 54 without interference from member 88. The water admitting operation can thus be discontinued automatically due to the development of pressure within tube 88 or manually by a pulling operation on button 68.

It will be appreciated that while the drawings necessarily show one specific embodiment of the invention, yet the invention is capable of practice in various forms as come within the scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. In a tub-shower installation having a water mixing device equipped with a manually-adjustable member for causing the device to supply water of varying temperatures to the tub or shower: the improvement comprising an electric valve connected with the mixing device to act as a shut off; a switch electrically connected with the electric portion of the valve for energizing and de-energizing same; and an operator for the switch interrelated with the manually-adjustable member so that the operator is prevented from movement to the valve-open position when the manually-adjustable member is at a relatively high temperature setting.

2. In a bathtub installation having a source of water: the improvement comprising an electric shut-off valve interposed between the water source and the tub; a pressureoperated switch having a pressure connection with the tub to control the shut-off valve in accordance with the tub water level; and a manual operator connected with the switch to move same to the valve-closed or valveopen positions irrespective of the pressure existing within the aforementioned pressure connection; said switch comprising an overcenter snap action blade having two limiting positions; and said operator comprising a reciprocable member having spaced abutments arranged on one stroke to move the blade to one of its limiting positions and on the other stroke to move the blade to its other limiting position.

3. In a bathtub installation having a source of Water: the improvement comprising an electric shut-off valve interposed between the water source and the tub; a pressureoperated switch having a pressure connection with the tub to control the shut-off valve in accordance with the tub water level; and a manual operator connected with the switch to move same to the valve-closed or valve-open positions irrespective of the pressure existing within the aforementioned pressure connection; said switch comprising an overcenter snap action blade having two limiting positions; said operator comprising a reciprocable member having a lost motion connection with said blade whereby on one stroke to move the blade to one of its limiting positions and on the opposite stroke to move the blade to its other limiting position.

4. In a bathtub installation having a source of water: the improvement comprising an electric shut-off valve interposed between the water source and the tub; a pressure-operated switch including an overcenter switch blade having a pressure connection with the tub to control the shut-off valve in accordance with the tub water level; and a manual operator connected with the switch to move same to the valve-closed or valve-open positions irrespective of the pressure existing within the aforementioned pressure connection; said manual operator comprising a lever having first and second positions, a push-pull button arranged on the push stroke to move the lever from its first position to its second position and arranged on the pull stroke to leave the lever in its first position, and a blade-engaging pin having spaced abutments engageable respectively with the lever and button, whereby on the push stroke the lever moves the pin in one direction and on the pull stroke the button moves the pin in the opposite direction.

5. In a bathtub installation having a source of water: the improvement comprising an electric shut-off valve interposed between the water source and the tub; a pressureoperated switch having a pressure connection with the tub to control the shut-otf valve in accordance with the tub water level; and a manual operator connected with the switch to move same to the valve-closed or valve-open positions irrespective of the pressure existing within the aforementioned pressure connection; said switch comprising an over-center snap action blade having two limiting positions; and said operator comprising a lever arranged adjacent the switch, a slidable pin having first and second abutments at one end thereof arranged adjacent opposite faces of the snap action blade and having third and fourth abutments at its other end arranged adjacent opposite faces of the lever, a push-pull button having a laterally extending arm arranged between the lever and the fourth abutment so that a pushing force on the button causes the lever to move the pin in one direction and a pulling force on the button causes the arm to move the pin in the opposite direction.

6. In a bathtub installation having a source of water: the improvement comprising an electric shut-off valve interposed between the Water source and the tub; a pressureoperated switch having a pressure connection with the tub to control the shut-off valve in accordance with the tub water level; and a manual operator connected with the switch to move same to the valve-closed or valveopen positions irrespective of the pressure existing within the aforementioned pressure connection; said switch comprising .an over-center snap action blade having two limiting positions; and said operator comprising a manually movable button having a normal intermediate position, a pushed-down position for locating the blade in one of its limiting positions, and a pulled-up position for locating the blade in its other limiting position; and means associated with said button whereby release of the pushing or pulling force thereon enables the button to automatically return to its intermediate position without affecting the position of the snap action blade.

"7. In a bathtub installation having a source of water: the improvement comprising an electricshut-off valve interposed between the water source and the tub; a pressureoperated switch having a pressure connection with the tub to control the shut-off valve in accordance with the tub water level; and a manual operator connected with the switch to move same to the valve-closed or valveopen positions irrespective of the pressure existing within the aforementioned pressure connection; said switch comprising an over-center snap action blade having two limiting positions; said manual operator comprising a pushpull button having an intermediate position, a pulled-up position, and a pushed-down position, a lever having a raised position and a depressed position, a first spring acting to normally maintain the lever in its raised position and the button in its intermediate position, a second spring acting to normally bias the button from its pulled-up position to its intermediate position, and a blade-engaging pin operatively connected with the push button and lever so that movement of the push button from its intermediate position to its pushed-down position causes the lever to move the pin to one position, and movement of the pushbutton from its intermediate position to its pulled-up posi tion moves the pin to another position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,492,913 12/1949 Bailey 4-194 2,877,467 3/1959 Cloud 4194 2,941,055 6/1960 Sussin ZOO-83.9 2,991,481 7/1961 Book 4-l94 LEWIS I LENNY, Primary Examiner. EDWARD V. BENHAM, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2492913 *Apr 2, 1945Dec 27, 1949Bailey Russell LBath system
US2877467 *Sep 11, 1957Mar 17, 1959Cloud Robert EBathroom installation
US2941055 *Jan 28, 1955Jun 14, 1960Gen Controls CoPressure switch
US2991481 *Mar 17, 1958Jul 11, 1961Harold M BookFluid distribution control system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3962733 *Aug 30, 1973Jun 15, 1976Thermal Conduction Engineering CorporationAll weather safety shower
US4685156 *Jun 11, 1986Aug 11, 1987Brabazon James AAdjustable water temperature safety control unit
US5408709 *Feb 24, 1992Apr 25, 1995Lockwood; George H.Shower control assembly
WO1991016848A1 *May 3, 1991Nov 4, 1991George LockwoodShower control assembly
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/668, 4/570, 4/677, 236/12.1
International ClassificationE03C1/044, G05D9/12, G05D23/13
Cooperative ClassificationG05D23/1393, G05D9/12, E03C1/041
European ClassificationE03C1/04F, G05D23/13E, G05D9/12