US 3230550 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 25, 1966 D. A. CARLSON 3,230,550
SANITARY SHOWER STALL Filed April 9, 1964 0 W0 A. (or/J 0/7 INVENTOR B BY I W ATTO/F/VEVJJ United States Patent 3,230,550 SANITARY SHOWER STALL David A. Carlson, Richfield, N.C. (1205 Dorcas Terrace, Kinston, N.C.) Filed Apr. 9, 1964, Ser. No. 358,572 15 Claims. (Cl. 4146) This invention relates to shower stalls generally, and, in particular, to a shower stall which can be cleaned periodically, as for example, between each use thereof.
This application is a continuation-in-part of my copending application Serial No. 233,214, filed October 26, 1962 and entitled Sanitary Shower Stall, now Patent No. 3,132,350.
This invention has utility in connection with any shower stall, however, it has particular utility with shower stalls being used by public. Any such facilities provided for the public is subject to the problem of cleanliness. In other words, a public shower, like a public toilet, in a short time, will become cluttered with debris and perhaps even oflal unless constant maintenance is provided, either by an attendant or by some other means. In addition to the debris, etc., which accumulates in these places, there is also the necessity of maintaining it in a sanitary condition so that they will not become the means by which communicable diseases are spread throughout the general public. This would be particularly true in the case of a shower stall where the fear of one of the most communicable diseases of all, athletes foot, could make anyone reluctant to use a public shower stall without some assurance that the floors are in some way maintained in a sanitary and disinfected condition.
It is, therefore, an object of this invention to provide a shower stall which will periodically clean the surface which supports the occupant thereof.
It is another object of this invention to provide a stall which will wash from the floor any foreign material deposited thereon by the previous occupant, thereby providing a clean floor for the next occupant.
Another object of this invention is to provide a shower stall which will wash its fioor free of foreign material and also heat the floor and thereby keep the floor as dry as possible to make it more diificult for bacteria to exist thereon.
Another object of this invention is to provide a shower stall which will clean its floor of foreign material after each use and disinfect the floor prior to its being used again.
These and other features, objects, and advantages of this invention, which will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the reading of the detailed description set out below, are obtained, in accordance with this invention, by providing a shower stall equipped with means for directing a stream of fluid laterally across the floor of the shower stall after the shower stall has been used to thereby effectively wash away the foreign material, debris, etc., which was deposited on the floor by the previous occupant of the stall. To allow this material to be removed from the floor, an opening is provided in the stall adjacent the floor through which the material can be washed by the stream of fluid. Thus, in accordance with one embodiment of this invention, a plurality of nozzles are arranged adjacent the surface upon which the occupant of the shower stall stands, with the nozzles positioned to direct a stream of relatively high velocity fluid across the floor in the direction of the opening. By locating the nozzles adjacent the floor so their discharge travels more or less directly across the surface of the floor, the full force of the stream of fluid can be employed to wash any foreign material thereon laterally toward theopening and off the floor.
3,230,550. Patented Jan. 25, 1966 The fluid employed to clean the floor of foreign material can contain a disinfectant or the floor can be disinfected after the cleaning process, through the same or a separately provided nozzle system.
Also, in accordance with this invention, heating means are provided to dry the floor after the shower stall has been used. This not only provides a warm surface for the occupant to stand on but it also helps keep down the growth of fungi and bacteria on the floor by eliminating the moisture they need to live. Where the fluid used to clean the floor is a gas, the cleaning and heating operation can be combined by ejecting heated gas through the nozzles. I
The invention will now be described in connection with the embodiments shown in the attached drawings in which;
FIG. 1 is a vertical sectional view through a shower stall equipped with a plurality of nozzles arranged around the outer periphery of the surface upon which the occupant of the shower stall stands, so the full force of their output can be employed to clean the floor of debris, or other foreign material deposited thereon;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 22 of FIG. 1 showing the arrangement of the nozzles whereby their output is directed generally toward the drain of the shower stall; and
FIG. 3 is the partial isometric view of a portion of the floor of the shower stall illustrating an alternate manner for heating the floor to dry it and to make it more comfortable for the next occupant.
The embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 1 and 2 comprises a shower stall, generally indicated by the number 14, having double walled, hollow, side walls 10, 11, 12 and 13, top 15 and bottom 16 which combine to form an enclosure for taking a shower. Spaced above and generally parallel to bottom 16 is floor 17 which provides a surface 25 upon which the occupant of the shower can stand.
Drain 18, which connects to sewer line 19, is located adjacent wall 13 and floor 17 and bottom 16 are both inclined toward the drain so all of the liquid used during the shower and subsequent cleaning operation will run out the drain. To keep the occupant from inadvertently stepping off floor 17 onto the drain, and to provide openin 13b in the wall adjacent the floor through which the foreign material on the floor can be washed onto the drain, the lower portion 13a of the inside of wall 13 is curved outwardly over and spaced from the floor as shown.
Since wall 11 contains door 20 which allows a person to enter and leave the shower stall, only its lower portion 11a is hollow. The stall is also provided with an inner door 21 which divides the stall into a front compartment 22 and a shower compartment 23. As fully explained in my co-pending patent application referred to above, front compartment 22 can be used for storing the occupants clothing while he takes a shower.
In accordance with this invention, means are provided for cleaning the occupant supporting surface of the floor after the shower stall has been used by directing a stream of fluid laterally across the surface. In the embodiment illustrated, a plurality of nozzles 24 are located around the periphery of the occupant supporting surface 25 of floor 17 for this purpose. As shown in FIG. 2, these nozzles are all connected to a common header 26 which is located in hollow walls 10, 11 and 12. With this arrange,- ment, after the shower stall has been used, the fluid can be pumped through header 26 with sufficient pressure to cause a plurality of streams or jets of the fluid to be emitted by nozzles 24 laterally across surface 25 of floor 17. These streams or jets of fluid exert a lateral force on any debris, foreign material, offal, etc., which was deposited on surface 25 by the occupant, thus tending to move these items off surface 25 toward opening 13b and drain 18.
In the embodiment shown the nozzles located in walls and 12 will jet fluid across surface at an angle to the direction of travel of the fluid jets produced by the nozzle in wall 11. This will create turbulence in the fluid flowing over the surface, which, if the fluid is a liquid such as water, will improve its washing action.
The fluid used to clean the floor can be either water, water treated with a disinfectant or air. In the latter case, if air is used, it can also serve to dry the floor as well as to remove any debris which may have been deposited thereon.
It is considered advantageous in most cases to not only clean the floor but also to dry it, since moisture must usually be presentfor bacteria, fungi, etc., to survive. Therefore, in accordance with one aspect of the invention, means are provided to dry the floor. In the embodiment of the invention shown in the drawings, two separate heating systems are illustrated, either one of which can be used to dry the floor after the cleaning operation has taken place. Thus, as shown in the drawings, hot air generators 27 and 28 are connected into the hollow side walls of the stall, which function as conduits to carry the hot air to outlets 29a and 29b located at various points on the inside of the stall. With this system the shower stall can not only be provided with hot air to dry the walls and floor of the stall after it has been used for sanitary purposes, but the hot air can also heat the stall while it is being used so that it will be more comfortable for the occupant. This would be particularly advantageous should the stall be located where the ambient air is relatively cold.
FIG. 3 illustrates an alternate method of cleaning and/ or drying the floor whereby the cleaning fluid and/ or drying fluid is brought directly into contact with the surface of the floor. This arrangement is particularly advantageous for the drying operation since it improves the drying efficiency of the fluid thereby shortening the length of time necessary to dry the floor.
In this embodiment, a hollow floor 17 has its occupant supporting surface 25' provided with a plurality of elongated slots 30 which connect hollow innerspace 34 of the floor with surface 25'. Innerspace 34 provides a conduit through which fluid can flow to the slots. Deflectors 31 are then positioned over slots 30 to cause the fluid flowing therethrough to move generally parallel to the surface 25' and in contact therewith, The deflectors are preferably provided with rounded outer surfaces so they will not be uncomfortable for the occupant to stand on. The deflectors can also provide footholds for the occupant which tend to keep his feet from slipping on wet surface 25', thereby providing a safety feature as 'well as functioning to help dry the floor after the shower has been used.
Other means can be used to heat the shower stall and/ or heat the surface of the floor to keep the moisture therein to a minimum. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, electrical resistive units 32 can be placed in floor 17 adjacent surface 25 and used to heat the surface to dry it after it has been cleaned. Or, as shown in FIG. 1, a plurality of conduits 33 can be located below floor 17 and supported by subfloor 17a then by circulating a hot fluid through these conduits, the floor can be heated to help dry surface 25.
In operation then, in the embodiment illustrated, after shower stall 14 has been used and the occupant leaves therefrom, pressure fluid is provided to nozzles 24 through head 26 to cause a plurality of jets of the fluid to travel generally laterally across surface 25 of floor 1'7, thereby washing er blowing, as the case may be, any debris which may have been left on the floor by the occupant, off the floor t ugh pen g 1% o t dra n 18. T is op ra- 4 tion can be done manually as by opening a valve (not shown) to allow the pressure fluid to flow into header 26, or it could be done automatically in any number of ways well known in the art. After the cleaning operation the surface of the floor is heated as by forcing hot air into the stall or along the surface of the floor in the manner illustrated in FIG. 3 or by any other convenient means. In this manner the shower stall will be presented in a clean and dry condition to the next occupant thereof.
In many cases it may be desired to disinfect the shower stall at the same time that it is being cleaned. For this purpose a disinfectant can be mixed with the fluid used to clean the floor. Or, if desired, a separate system of nozzles can be provided for the disinfectant.
From the foregoing, it will be seen that this invention is one well adapted to attain all of the ends and objects hereinabove set forth, together with other advantages which are obvious and which are inherent to the apparatus and structure.
It will be understood that certain features and subcombinations are of utility and may be employed Without reference to other features and subcombinations, This is contemplated by and is within the scope of the claims.
As many possible embodiments may be made of the invention without departing from the scope thereof, it is to be understood that all matter herein set forth or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
The invention having been described, What is claimed 1. A shower stall including side Walls and a floor having an occupant supporting surface thereon, one of said side walls having an opening therein adjacent said occupant supporting surface, a plurality of nozzles located in the side wall opposite the opening and adjacent the occupant supporting surface on the floor, said nozzles being positioned to direct a stream of liquid laterally across the occupant supporting surface toward the opening to wash any debris on the surface oif the surface and through the opening.
2. The shower stall of claim 1 further provided with a plurality of nozzles located in the side walls adjacent the side wall opposite the opening, said latter nozzles being positioned to direct a plurality of streams of liquid general transverse the direction of the fluid streams provided by the nozzles in the side wall opposite the opening to collide therewith and create turbulence in the flowing streams to improve their cleaning action.
3. The shower stall of claim 1 further provided with means for drying the floor.
4. A shower stall having a floor with an occupant supporting surface, a plurality of openings in the floor, means for forcing fluid through the openings, and deflecting means for diverting the fluid flowing through the openings along the occupant supporting surface.
5. The combination of claim 4 in which the fluid is heated air.
6. The combination of claim 4 in which means are provided for first forcing a liquid through the openings to clean the surface and for following the liquid with heated air to dry the surface.
7. The combination of claim 4 in which the fluid is a disinfectant.
8. In a shower stall including side walls and a floor having an occupant supporting surface, the improvement in combination therewith, of means for directing a stream of fluid across the occupant supporting surface of the floor to clean the surface and means for heating the oc-- cupant supporting surface including a flow passage in the floor and means for circulating heated fluid through. the passage to heat the occupant supporting surface.
9. A shower stall comprising, a floor, front, back, and side walls arranged to form an enclose around the fl o a dr in in the floor adjacent one c said, nails, an
occupant supporting surface on the floor inclined downwardly toward the drain to cause any liquid on said surface to flow toward the drain, said wall adjacent the drain having a portion that extends inwardly over a portion of the occupant supporting surface of the floor to keep an occupant of the shower stall from stepping off the occupant supporting surface onto the drain, said inwardly extending portion being spaced from said surface sufficiently so any liquid on said surface can flow below the inner portion to the drain.
10. The combination of claim 8 in which the floor is provided with a plurality of openings connecting the occupant supporting surface of the floor with the flow passage and deflection means for diverting the fluid flowing through the openings along the occupant supporting surface.
11. The shower stall of claim 9 further provided with a plurality of nozzles located in the wall opposite the drain adjacent the occupant supporting surface and means for forcing a liquid through the nozzles, said nozzles being positioned to direct a stream of such liquid laterally across the occupant supporting surface toward the drain to wash any debris deposited on the surface by an occupant of the stall toward the drain and off the the surface.
12. A shower stall comprising, a floor, a plurality of walls arranged to form an enclosure around the floor, the lower end of one wall being spaced from the floor to provide an opening in the enclosure between the wall and the floor, an inclined surface on the floor for supporting an occupant of the shower stall, said surface being inclined downwardly toward the opening in the wall so any liquid on the surface will flow toward the opening, a plurality of nozzles located in the wall opposite the opening and adjacent said surface, said nozzles being arranged to direct a stream of fluid laterally across said surface toward the opening, and means for intermittently supplying the nozzles with fluid under pressure to cause said nozzles to emit such streams of fluid and wash any debris on the occupant supporting surface toward the opening.
13. A shower stall including side walls and a floor having an occupant supporting surface thereon, a drain adjacent one side of the floor, a plurality of nozzles located in the side wall opposite the drain .to direct a stream of fluid across the occupant supporting surface toward the drain, and means for heating the floor including a plurality of slots in the floor, means for forcing hot air through the slots, and deflector means for diverting the flow of hot air along the occupant supporting surface of the floor.
14. A shower stall including side walls and a floor having an occupant surface thereon, said shower stall having an opening therein adjacent said occupant supporting surface, a plurality of nozzles located in at least one side wall and adjacent the occupant supporting surface on the floor, each nozzle being positioned to direct a stream of fluid against the occupant supporting surface to wash any debris thereon off the surface and through the opening, and means for supplying the nozzles with fluid under pressure.
15. The combination of claim 14 in which the nozzles are located in the side wall opposite the opening with each nozzle positioned to direct a stream of fluid directly toward the opening.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 583,066 5/1897 Mengis 4152 910,381 1/1909 Hermann 4--161 1,997,249 4/1935 Dobbs 4152 2,336,402 12/1943 Kaiser 4152 2,652,737 9/1953 Longstreet 134104 2,702,390 2/1955 Dillon 4153 2,778,031 l/l957 Logan 4-452 SAMUEL ROTHBERG, Primary Examiner.
EDWARD V. BENHAM, LEWIS J. LENNY, Examiners,