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Publication numberUS3271790 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 13, 1966
Filing dateAug 3, 1965
Priority dateAug 3, 1965
Publication numberUS 3271790 A, US 3271790A, US-A-3271790, US3271790 A, US3271790A
InventorsRichard C Schneider, Douglas C Steltz
Original AssigneeRichard C Schneider, Douglas C Steltz
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Therapeutic bath fluid circulating apparatus
US 3271790 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. i3, 1966 R. c. SCHNEIDER ETAL 3,271,790

THERAPEUTIC BATH FLUID CIRCULATING APPARATUS Original Filed Sept. 9. 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet l /gf INVENTORS DOUGLAS C. STELTZ BICHARD C. SCHNEIDER Aff RNEYs Sept 13, 1966 R. c. SCHNEIDER ETAL 3,271,790

THERAPEUTIC BATH FLUID CRCULATING APPARATUS Original Filed Sept. 9, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVFNTORS 9,) DOUGLAS C. SrELrz 510mm: c. SCHNEIDER B United States Patent O 3,271,790 THERAPEUTIC BATH FLUID CIRCULATING APPARATUS Richard C. Schneider, 804 NE. th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Douglas C. Steltz, 13385 Kenmar Court, Brookfield, Wis. Continuation o application Ser. No. 307,636, Sept. 9, 1963. This application Aug. 3, 1965, Ser. No. 476,893 7 Claims. (Cl. 4-180) This application is a continuation of application Serial No. 307,636, tiled September 9, 1963, since abandoned, and entitled, Therapeutic Bath Fluid Circulating Apparatus.

This invention relates to a tluid circulating device to be incorporated with the existing waste drain and overiiow openings of a conventional bathtub and adapted to produce a therapeutic massage effect.

A whirlpool or therapeutic bath is used to produce therapeutic massage for the treatment for relief of sore muscles, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and the like. In the conventional hydrotherapeutic device, a discharge nozzle is located beneath the water level in the tank or tub and water is pumped to the nozzle and ejected from the nozzle as a high pressure stream. The ejected stream of water is aerated by connecting a standpipe to the nozzle, and air is drawn into the nozzle by an aspirating action and mixed with the water stream.

In one common type of hydrotherapeutic unit, the entire unit, including the motor and pump, is located in the tank or tub in contact with the water. With units of this type, the electrical connections to the motor have to be posiively insulated to prevent shorting, and in some cases, people are reluctant to use a unit of this type knowing the inherent danger involved in operating an electrical device in water.

In another common type of hydrotherapeutic unit, the motor and pump are located outside of the tank while the nozzle assembly is located within the tank and is connected to the pump by long hoses. A unit of this type, when used with a household bathtub, requires assembly and disassembly at the start and completion of each period of use. Furthermore, the entire unit including the long hoses, must be handled and stored during periods of non-use.

The present invention is directed to a hydrotherapeutic unit to be incorporated with the existing waste drain opening and overflow opening of a conventional bathtub or tank. According to the invention, a motor driven pump is permanently installed outside of the tub and the inlet or suction side of the pump is connected to the waste drain opening in the bottom of the tub, while the outlet or discharge side of the pump is connected by piping through the overflow opening in the end wall of the tub to a nozzle assembly located within the tub. When the waste valve is closed and the pump is operating, water is drawn from the tub through the waste drain opening to the pump and is discharged from the' pump through the piping ex-V tending within the overflow opening to the nozzle assernbly and is ejected by the nozzle beneath the level of water in the tub in the form of a high Velocity aerated stream.

When it is desired to drain the tub, the pump is stopped and the manual waste valve is opened. The water then Hows from the tub through the drain opening to the sewer line.

The present invention is adapted to be incorporated with the existing drain opening and overiiow opening in a bathtub or tank and no alteration or modification of the tub is required for installation of the unit. The water is supplied to the nozzle assembly through the ovenliow rice opening and is withdrawn from the tub through the waste drain opening so that there is a continuous cycle of water through the existing openings.

The device of the invention is of simple construction having a minimum number of parts and yet provides a high pressurized flow of water which can be controlled and directed against the portion of the body undergoing treatment.

The hydrotherapeutic apparatus of the invention can be used in bathtubs, tanks, pools, or the like and has particular application to household bathtubs. The unit can be installed during initial construction or it can be installed with existing bathtubs without altering the tub.

As the pump and motor are located outside of the tub, there is no danger to the user by Virtue of possible electrical shorting.

Other objects and advantages will appear in the course of the following description.

In the drawings:

FIG. l is a vertical section taken through a bathtub incorporating the hydrotherapeutic unit of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective View of the water supply manifold; and

IFIG. 3 is a perspective exploded view of the piping for supplying water to the nozzle assembly.

The drawings illustrate a conventional household bathtub 1 incorporating the hydrotherapeutic unit 2 of the invention. The bathtub is provided with a standard waste drain opening which is bordered by a flange or drain fitting 4. The lower end of drain (fitting 4 is connected within an opening in a 'fitting 5 located beneath the tub 1. yOne arm of a pipe T `6 is threaded within an opening in the itting 5, while the opposite arm of the pipe T 6 is connected by a suitable coupling to a waste valve iitting 7. The `stem 8 of pipe T 6 is connected by a hose or conduit to the inlet of a motor driven pump, not shown, which is located outside of the tub.

As best shown in FIG. l, the waste valve fitting 7 defines a Valve seat 9 and Ia standard waste valve .10 is adapted to engage the valve seat 9. The valve 10 is raised and lowered through a rod 111 which is attached to the valve 10 and extends upwardly within tubular casing 12. The upper end of tubular casing 12 is threaded within a housing .13 having an annular flange 14 which extends within an opening in the end wall of tub `1. The housing 13 is secured within the opening by a series of screws `15 which extend through -openings in a retaining ring 16 located on the inside of the tub and are threaded within the flange 14.

The upper end of rod 1i1 is connected to a trip lever l17 which is pivotally connected to a bar 18 which extends across the opening 19 in housing 13.

As previously mentioned, the stem 8 of pipe T 6 is connected to the suction side or inlet of a conventional motor driven pump which can be mounted either between the floor joists of the building, or on the wall studs, or the pump can be located in the basement of the building. The discharge side or outlet of the pump is connected to a conduit 20 which is threaded within the lower end of a manifold 21. A pair of pipes 22 are connected by couplings 23 to the manifold and the pipes 22 extend through the housing .13, the opening 19 and straddle the bar 18, as well as the trip lever 17. The inner portions of the pipes 22 are bent downwardly and are connected by couplings 24 to a manifold 25 which is located on the inside of tub 1. Pipe 26 is threaded within an opening in the lower surface of manifold 25 and pipe 26 is connected by a swivel coupling 27 to an end of elbow 28, while the opposite end of the elbow 28 is connected by a universal joint assembly 29 to a nozzle unit 30.

The universal joint assembly 29 includes a conventional ball member 31 which is attached to the end of the elbow 28 and is moveable Within a .socket 32 connected to discharge nozzle 33 of nozzle unit 30. An orifice disc 34 is mounted Within the nozzle 33 and provides a restricted opening through which the water passes.

To provide an aerated effect for the pressurized stream of water passing through the orice 34, a standpipe 35 is connected to the nozzle 33 and extends upwardly to a position above the Water level. The upper end of the standpipe 35 is enclosed by a cap 36 and a series of openings 37 rare provided in the upper portion of the standpipe beneath the cap 36. The water owing through the restricted orifice 34 increases in velocity w-hich reduces the pressure .and provides an aspirating effect, drawing air in through the standpipe 35 to aerate the stream of high pressure water.

The pipes 22 and manifold 25 are enclosed by a decorative cover 38 which is secured to the ring :15 by a series of screws 39. A trip lever handle 40 is pivotally connected to the outer end of the lever `17 and is mounted for pivotal movement within an opening in the cover 38. By operation of the handle 38, the rod 1d can be raised and lowered to open and close the waste valve 10.

In addition, a low voltage switch 41 is mounted on the upper surface of cover 38 and is operably connected through a relay to the motor which drives the pump.

In operation, the Waste Valve is initially closed and water is supplied to the tub until it covers the nozzle 33 and is at a level beneath the upper end of the standpipe 35. The pump motor is then operated by actuating the switch 41 and operation of the pump serves to draw water through the Waste valve opening 3 and pipe T 6 to the inlet side of the pump and Water is discharged from the pump through pipe 20 to manifold 21. The stream of Water then splits and passes through the pair of pipes 22 to manifold 25 Where the two streams of Water are again combined in the manifold 25 and pass through the elbow 28 to the nozzle assembly 30. The water is discharged from the nozzle assembly in the form of a high pressure, aerated stream which can be directed against the portion of the body undergoing treatment.

The swivel coupling 27 permits the nozzle assembly 30 to be pivoted in a horizontal plane so that the nozzle assembly can be pivoted to a position against the end wall of the tub when the hydrotherapeutic unit is not being used. In addition, the universal joint connection 29 enables the nozzle to be pivoted in all directions to thereby direct the stream of water being discharged from the nozzle to the desired location within the tub.

The hydrotherapeutic unit of the invention can be installed with either existing bathtubs or with bathtubs in new construction of dwellings. In either case, the unit utilizes the existing waste drain opening and overliow opening in the tub and it is not necessary to alter or modify the construction of the tub in order to install the unit.

Due t-o the fact that the waste trip lever 17 is normally mounted centrally of the housing 13, the Water supply is split into two .streams Which pass on either side or straddle the trip lever 17 so that it is not necessary to modify the conventional trip lever Imechanism in order to introduce water through the overflow opening. The pair of streams of Water passing through pipes 22 is recombined in the manifold 25 and a single stream of Water is then supplied to the nozzle assembly 30.

As the pump and motor are permanently located outside of the tub and only the low voltage switch 41 is located in the tub, there is no danger to the use-r by virtue of a short in the electrical system.

While the above description shows the hydrotherapeutic unit used in conjunction with a bathtub, it is contemplated that the unit can also be associated wit-h a drain opening and overflow Waste opening in any type of tank, pool, or the like and the unit can be employed for either household, hospital or recreational use.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims particularly pointing out and distinctly claiming the subject matter which is regarded as the invention.

We claim:

1. A hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tub to contain water and having a waste drain opening in the bottom surface and having an opening spaced upwardly of said bottom surface, conduit means connected to the drain opening and communicating with the inlet of a pumping means for conducting water from the tub to said pumping means, a nozzle assembly located within the tank and including a discharge nozzle and having means for mixing air with the water being discharged by said discharge nozzle, and second conduit means providing communication between the outlet of said pumping means and said nozzle assembly, said second conduit means extending through said opening of the tub.

2. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tank to contain water and having a waste drain opening in a bottom surface and having :an overow opening in a wall thereof, first conduit means connecting the waste drain opening and the inlet of a pumping means for conducting water from the tank to the pumping means, a nozzle assembly located within the tank for discharging water in the tank in the form of a high pressure stream, drain conduit means communicating with said iirst conduit means and connected to a disposal site, Waste valve means in said drain conduit means for selectively opening and closing said drain conduit means, valve actuating means connected to the valve and extending through said overow opening, and second conduit means providing communication between the outlet of said pumping means and said nozzle assembly and extending through said overilow opening.

3. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tub to contain water and having a waste drain opening in the bottom thereof and an overflow opening in the end wall thereof, a waste drain line connecting the waste drain opening to a disposal site, valve means in said waste drain line for opening and closing said waste drain line, a return line connected to the Waste drain line between said valve means and said tub for supplying water to a pumping means located outside of the tub, a nozzle assembly located within the tub, actuating means for opening and closing said valve and including a section extending centrally through the overflow opening in the end wall of the tub, and second conduit means connecting the outlet side of the pumping means to the nozzle assembly for supplying Water to sai-d nozzle assembly, said second conduit means including a pair of conduits extending through the overflow opening and located on either side of said section of the actuating means.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, in which said section of the actuating means constitutes a pivotal trip lever.

5. A hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tub to contain water and having a waste drain opening in the bottom surface and having an overow opening in a side surface, conduit means connected to the drain opening and cornmunicating with the inlet of a pumping means for conducting water from the tub to said pumping means, a nozzle assembly located within the tank and including a discharge nozzle and having means for mixing air with the water being discharged by said discharge nozzle, a supply conduit connected to the outlet of said pumping means, a manifold located on the exterior of the tub and having lan inlet opening communicating with said supply conduit and having a pair of outlets, 1a pipe connected to each outlet in said manifold with the pipes extending through the overflow opening in the tub to the interior of the tub, and second conduit means joining each of said pipes to the discharge nozzle for supplying a single stream of water to said nozzle.

6. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tub to contain water and having a waste drain opening in the bottom thereof and an overflow opening in the end wall thereof, a waste drain line connecting the waste drain opening to a disposal site, valve means in said Waste drain line for opening and closing said waste drain line, a return line connected to the waste drain line between said valve means and said tub for supplying Water to a pumping means located outside of the tub, a nozzle assembly located within the tub, actuating means for opening and closing said valve and including a section extending centrally through the overflow opening in the end Wall of the tub, a supply conduit connected to the outlet of said pumping means, a manifold located on the exterior of the tub and having an inlet opening communicating with said supply conduit and having a pair of outlets, a pipe connected to each outlet in said manifold with the pipes extending through the overflow opening in the tub to the interior of the tub and straddling said section, and second conduit means joining each of said pipes to the discharge nozzle for supplying a single stream of water to said nozzle.

7. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tub to contain water and having a waste drain opening in the bottom thereof and an overow opening in the end wall thereof, a Waste drain line connecting the waste drain opening to a disposal site, Valve means in said waste drain line for opening and closing said Waste drain line, a return line connected to the waste drain line between said valve means located outside of the tub, a nozzle assembly located within the tub, actuating means for opening and closing said valve and including a section extended centrally through the overflow opening in the end Wall of the tub, a supply conduit 'connected to the outlet of said pumping means, a manifold located on the exterior of the tub and having an inlet opening communicating with said supply conduit and having a pair of outlets, a pipe connected to each outlet in said manifold with the pipes extending through the overflow opening in the tub to the interior of the tub and straddling said section, a second manifold located on the interior of the tub and having a pair of inlets connected to said pipes, and having an outlet, and second conduit means connecting the outlet in the `second manifold to the discharge nozzle.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

means and said tub for supplying Water to a pumping 25 H GROSS, Examiner-

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2587335 *Mar 6, 1947Feb 26, 1952Landergott Anton FTherapy tank
US3159849 *Mar 15, 1963Dec 8, 1964Jacuzzi Bros IncHydrotherapy equipment
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3336921 *Dec 8, 1964Aug 22, 1967Lloyd William EPortable recirculating hydrotherapy apparatus for bathtub
US3340870 *Sep 22, 1964Sep 12, 1967Richard C SchneiderHydrotherapeutic bathtub apparatus with inlet below the overflow opening
US3391411 *Oct 27, 1965Jul 9, 1968Anthony S. Miller Jr.Whirlpool bath
US3411499 *Jan 17, 1967Nov 19, 1968Everest & JenningsHydrotherapy apparatus
US3474469 *Oct 24, 1965Oct 28, 1969Douglas C SteltzLow voltage conversion unit
US3580247 *Sep 12, 1968May 25, 1971Schneider Richard CHydrotherapeutic device
US4823413 *Mar 14, 1988Apr 25, 1989Hydrabaths, Inc.Combined pneumatic switch and air control for use in whirpool baths
US5172432 *Jan 17, 1992Dec 22, 1992Fernand BelandSwimming pool aerating device
US5173973 *Nov 1, 1991Dec 29, 1992Franz-Dieter KaldeweiWhirlpool bathtub
US6141804 *Jun 4, 1999Nov 7, 2000Pinciaro; JohnHydrotherapy jet system adapted for quick connection to air and water plumbing
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/541.4, 4/541.6, 601/157
International ClassificationA61H33/00, A61H33/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H33/6078, A61H33/02
European ClassificationA61H33/60F2W, A61H33/02