US 3287741 A
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F. M. NASH HYDROTHERAPY EQUIPMENT Nov. 29, 1966 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 21, 1964 FIE- 1- ATTORNEYS Nov. 29, 1966 F. M. NASH 3,287,741
HYDROTHERAPY EQUIPMENT Filed May 21. 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 I i j I I i i a I D, o o 'Z I 0 i v I: l l4 1 l INVENTOR. FLOYD M. NASH ATTOENE Y5 United States Patent Ofiice 3,287,741 Patented Nov. 29, 1966 3,287,741 HYDROTHERAPY EQUHMENT Floyd M. Nash, Little Rock, Arie, assignor to Jacuzzi Bros, Inc., Richmond, Califi, a corporation of California Filed May 21, 1964, Ser. No. 369,143 8 Claims. (Cl. 4-180) The present invention relates to hydrotherapy equipment, and more particularly to equipment of this type which is adapted to be permanently installed in standard or conventional bathtubs without requiring bathtub modification. The invention is especially directed to an improved drain valve arrangement for use in hydrotherapy equipment of the type disclosed in copending application Serial No. 265,426, filed March 15, 1963, by Candido Jacuzzi, now Patent No. 3,159,849.
Hydrotherapy equipment of the type disclosed in the aforementioned copending application has proved particularly desirable, since the discharge head of the equipment is adapted to be mounted in the drain opening of a conventional bathtub, while the pump and motor therefor are mounted to the exterior of the bathtub. This arrangement has the advantage that modified or specially built bathtubs are not necessary and that the electrical drive components are located remote from the bathtub, thus assuring the safety of the user. The equipment of the copending application also has the desirable characteristic that the pump and circulation conduits com municating therewith to produce the hydrotherapy action are also adapted-to be utilized to forceably discharge water from the bathtub and into a drain conduit, thus providing for the rapid and complete removal of water from the bathtub.
In hydrotherapy apparatus of the type-disclosed in the copending application, the pump has a relatively high discharge pressure in order to provide the desired therapeutic action. When the apparatus is used to eiiect the forceful removal of water from the bathtub, this pressure is applied to the bathtub drain line and the conventional plumbing communicating therewith and leading to a waste line, such as a sewage conduit. The use of the pump'in this Way has the disadvantage that the bathtub drain line and the plumbing communicating therewith is subjected to the relatively high pump pressure, which pressure may be well in excess of the maximum pressure allowed to be applied to such drain line and plumbing under the plumbing codes. For example, typical pump pressure might be 18 p.s.i., whereas the maximum pressure allowed on drain lines and associated plumbing is often limited to 5 psi. by plumbing codes. Thus, it can be seen that instances may frequently occur where equip-, ment of the type disclosed in the copending application may be disapproved for use under local plumbing codes.
It is, accordingly, a principal object of the subject invention to provide an apparatus of the type disclosed in the aforementioned copending application wherein the pump of the hydrotherapy apparatus may be utilized to exhaust water from the bathtub at less than normal pump pressure.
It is another object of the invention to provide such an apparatus wherein the valve arrangement which facilitates utilization of the pump to exhaust water from the bathtub is operatively associated with the discharge head of the apparatus so as to be actuated therethrough. A further object of the invention is to provide such a hydrotherapy apparatus wherein the valve arrangement to facilitate use of the pump to discharge water from the bathtub is connected to the discharge head so as to be removable, at least in part, from the bathtub with the, discharge head without disturbing the bathtub plumbing. Yet another object of the invention is to provide an improved hydrotherapy apparatus of the type disclosed in the aforementioned copending application having a valve incorporated thereinto which facilitates use of the apparatus pump to exhaust water from the bathtub and into the bathtub drain conduit at less than normal pump pressure, without adversely affecting the operation or normal use of the apparatus.
Broadly, the present invention comprises an improved hydrotherapy apparatus for use with a conventional bathtub. The apparatus includes a nozzle mounted within the bathtub and a pump and driving motors therefor. The pump has a pressure outlet and vacuum inlet and a first conduit interconnects the interior of the bathtub with the vacuum inlet. A second conduit having a drain line connected thereto interconnects the nozzle and pressure outlet. The basic apparatus is completed by a valve assembly operatively associated with the first and second conduits and the drain line to selectively close the second conduit to the drain line, or open the second conduit to both the drain line and first conduit to apply the pumping pressure to said line reduced by a predetermined amount.
The detailed structure of the invention and the fore;
going and other objects will become more apparent when viewed in light of the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in section, showing one embodiment of the invention in condition to eifect therapeutic action within a bathtub;
FIG. 2 is a view in section taken on line 22 of FIG. 1; and,
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view, partly in section, showing another embodiment of the invention in condition to effect the exhaustion of water from a bathtub.
Referring now to FIG. 1, therein is illustrated a conventional bathtub 10 having drain and overflow openings 11 and 12, respectively, and an overflow conduit 13 extending from the opening 12 to a drain line 14. The drain line 14 extends to a main waste line (not illustrated) and has disposed therein a conventional trap 15.
The apparatus to which the invention is primarily directed comprises: a nozzle 16 mounted within the bathtub 10; a valve assembly 17 mounted exteriorly of the bathtub and secured to the nozzle 16 through the drain opening 12; a pump 20 and driving motor 21 therefor mounted exteriorly of the bathtub; and a conduit assembly 22 interconnecting the pressure inlet and vacuum outlet of the pump 21) with the valve assembly 17. The nozzle 16 is of the adjustable water and air injection type illustrated in the hydrotherapy apparatus of US. Patent 2,738,787 and includes a head 23 having water and air inlets (not illustrated) in the rearward end thereof. As illustrated by the dashed arrow line leading through the lower end of the nozzle, the water inlet of the head 23 communicates with a water inlet pipe 24 fixed to and extending downwardly from the nozzle, through the drain opening 11. Air is supplied to the air inlet of the head 23, as indicated by the dashed arrow lines leading into the upper end of the nozzle, through means of an air pipe 25 fixed in fluid communication with the nozzle and extending upwardly to a level above that of the overflow opening 12. The flow of air into the, pipe 25 is controlled by a cap 26 sealingly and rotatably received on the upper end thereof and having there through an aperture 27 selectively alignable with an aperture 30 in the pipe.
The nozzle 16 is mounted in the bathtub for rotational movement about a vertical axis passing through the drain opening 11 by a base 31. The base 31 comprises spaced upper and lower annular sections 32 and 33,. respectively, joined by a perforate tubular screen member 34 fixed thereto. The lower annular section 33 is fixed to the bathtub 10 by'a threaded portion 35 thereon extending through the opening 11 into sealing and threaded engagement with a housing 36 forming part of the valve assembly 17. Sealing engagement between the, housing 36 and bathtub 10 is assured by an annular gasket 37 interposed therebetween.
The nozzle 16 is secured to the base 31 for rotational movement about a vertical axis passing therethrough by a Z-shaped detent member 40 having one end 41 extending slidably through the outside of the nozzle and another end (not illustrated) extending under the upper annular section 32. The detent 40 is preferably fabricated as a unitary member and a spring is provided to urge the one end thereof under the annular section 32. By pulling outwardly on the end 41, the other end of the detent is pulled out from under the section 32, thus releasing the nozzle 16 from the base 31.
Referring now to the valve assembly 17 to which the improvement of the subject invention is primarily directed, the valve housing 36 has formed therein a low pressure intake chamber 42 and a high pressure output chamber 43. A first valve seat opening 44 extends between these chambers and a second valve seat opening 45 extends in communication between the chamber 43 and the drain line 14. Communication between the opening 45 and the drain line 14 is established by a. fitting 46 sealingly secured between the drain line and the housing 36. As indicated by the arrows leading through the base 31 and into the chamber 42, the annular space between the water inlet pipe 24 and the section 33 provides for the passage of water from the interior of the bathtub 10 into the chamber 42.
In order to provide for the selective opening or closing of the valve seat openings 44 and 45, a pair of valve disc members 47 and 50 adapted to seat in the respective openings are received within the housing for rectilinear. movement. The disc member 47 is secured to the pipe 24 for a longitudinal sliding movement with respect thereto by a pin 51 fixed to and extending transversely through the pipe into sliding engagement with slots 52 formed through opposed sides of the valve member. The interrelationship of the pin 51 and slot 52 permits the disc; member 47 to slide longitudinally with respect to the pipe 24 and, at the same time, locks said pipe and disc member together for rotational movement. The valve. disc member 50 is pivotally secured to the lower end of the member 47 by a transverse pin 53 extending in a vertical plane passing substantially normal to a vertical. plane containing the pin 51. The interrelationship of the pins 51 and 53 provides for the universal mounting of the disc member 50 with respect to the pipe 24 and, thus assures that said disc member will seat within the opening 45, as will be developed subsequently.
In the condition illustrated in FIG. 1, the valve disc members 47 and 50 are seated in the respective openings 44 and 45 and, thus the chambers 42 and 43 are isolated with respect to each other and the chamber 43 is closed,
to the drain line 14. A coil spring 54 received around the pipe 24 and interposed between the section 32 and the disc member 47 holds both the disc members 47 and 50 in this seated condition. Sealing of the valve disc 47 in the opening 44 is effected by a close fit between the peripheries of these respective elements. The latter sealing may be further enhanced by an O-ring received around the disc member 47 (not illustrated) if desired. The disc member 50 seals the opening 45 to the drain line 14 through abutment of a collar section on the disc member with the periphery of an opening 55 in the fixture 46. An annular gasket 56 received in the collar of the disc member 50 assures sealing engagement between said member and the fixture 46.
Referring now to the detailed structure to move the valve disc members 47 and 50 to the open position, this structure is best illustrated with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2. The structure includes a helical cam surface 57 formed on the lower side of the disc member 50 and a cam follower 60 formed as part of the fixture 46in a position wherein it will mate with the surface 57. Alignment of the surface 57 and follower 60 in all positions of the disc member 50 is assured by a pin 61 fixed to and extending downwardly from said disc member into sliding engagement with a socket 62 in the fitting 46.
In order to lift the disc members 47 and 50 out of the openings 44 and 45, respectively, it is merely necessary to turn the nozzle 16 to a position wherein the head 23 faces the adjacent upwardly extending wall of the bath tub 10, as will be developed subsequently with respect to FIG. 3. Upon so turning the nozzle, the pipe 24 secured thereto and the connected disc members 47 and 50 also turn. Thus, the cam surface 57 rides along the follower 60 to force the disc elements 47 and 50 upwardly with respect to the pipe 24. During this rectilinear movement of the valve disc members with respect to the pipe 24, the spring 54 is compressed and the pin 51 slides longitudinally within the slot 52. In its total operation, as will be apparent from the subsequent discussion, the pipe 24 acts both as a valve actuating means and as a conduit for the flow of water through the nozzle 23.
In the hydrotherapy apparatus of FIG. 1, the conduit assembly 22 functions to couple the chambers 42 and 43 in fluid communication with the respective vacuum inlet and pressure outlet (not illustrated) of the pump 20.
Thus, with the valve assembly 17 in the condition illustrated in FIG. 1, energizing of the motor 21 will function to draw water into the pump 20 from the bathtub through the intake chamber 42 and, at the same time, force water out of the pump through the output chamber 43 and the pipe 24 and nozzle head 23 in communication therewith. It is noted that the pump 20 is positioned below the normal level of water in the bathtub 10, and thus will be self-priming when the bathtub is filled with water. An air vent line 63 leading between the pump 20 and the overflow conduit 13 and having a check valve 64 interposed therein provides for the escape of air from the pump and assures that it will not be air locked.
Referring to FIG. 3, therein is illustrated an application of the subject invention differing from that described with reference to FIGS. 1 and 2 only in that the valve as sembly housing is adapted to facilitate connection to a: pump 65 and driving motor 66 therefor positioned below the bathtub 10 rather than to one side thereof. The difference in the position of the nozzle 16 and the valveassembly components associated therewith is merely the result of showing the valve assembly in the open position. Accordingly, like numerals in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 designate corresponding elements.
The valve housing of FIG. 3 is designated by the numeral 67 and has formed therein an intake chamber 70 and an output chamber 71 corresponding substantially to the chambers 42 and 43, respectively, of the housing 36. The chambers 70 and 71 differ from the corresponding chambers 42 and 43, respectively, of the housing 36 in that they include as part thereof a conduit assembly 72 leading to the pump 65. Specifically, the chamber 70 includes a conduit 73 leading to the intake of the pump 65 and the chamber 71 includes a conduit 74 leading to the 7 output of said pump. At this point it is noted that the pump 65 is of the centrifugal type and includes an impeller 75 drivingly secured to the motor 66 by a shaft 76. Water enters the impeller 75 at its hub portion and is discharged therefrom at its periphery, as illustrated by the arrows. Although the interior details of the pump 20 described previously with respect to FIG. 1 were not illustrated, it is to be understood that this pump and the inlet and outlet conduits cooperating therewith correspond substantially to those of the pump 65.
The housing 67 is also similar to the aforedescribed housing 36 in that it includes a first valve seat opening 77 extending between the chambers 70 and 71 and a second valve seat opening 80 extending through the lower wall of the chamber 71 into communication with the drain line 14- through means of the fitting 46. The valve seat opening 77 and the opening 55 in the fitting 46 juxtaposed to the opening 80 cooperate with the valve disc members 47 and 50, respectively, in a manner identical to that described with reference to the corresponding elements in FIG. 1. Thus, turning of the nozzle 16 to a position wherein the head 23 faces the adjacent upwardly extending wall of the bathtub functions to move the disc members 47 and 50 to the open position illustrated in FIG. 3. At this point, reference is made to FIG. 2 wherein the cam surface 57 is illustrated as being substantially horizontal over a considerable length above the follower 60. This horizontal characteristic of the surface 57 provides for limited pivoting of the nozzle 16 about the axis of the pipe 24 without lifting the valve disc members 47 and 50. As a result, flow control direction from the nozzle 16 may be efiected by pivoting of the nozzle Without interrupting flow therethrough.
With the disc valve members 47 and St in the position illustrated in FIG. 3, activation of the pump 65 functions to draw water from the bathtub 10 and into the chamber 70 and conduit '73 communicating therewith. At the same time, water is exhausted from the pump into the output chamber '71 and the open drain line 14 communicating therewith. It is noted, however, that of the water exhausted into the chamber 71, only part enters the drain line 14 and the other part thereof is bypassed through the opening 77 and back into the chamber 70. It can thus be seen that the opening of the valve disc members 47 and 50 functions to open both the drain line 14 and intake chamber 70 to the outlet conduit 74 of the pump. As a result, one of the prime advantages of the present invention is derived, namely, the pump 65 is utilized to pump water from the bathtub 10 and into the drain line 14 at less than full pumping pressure. The amount that the pumping pressure applied to the drain line is decreased can be regulated to satisfy local plumbing codes by controlling the bypass area opened by the valve disc member 47.
To conclude from the foregoing detailed description it is believed apparent that the present invention enables the accomplishment of the objects initially set forth herein. In particular, a hydrotherapy apparatus is provided wherein a single capacity pump may be utilized to direct water into a bathtub at full pumping pressure and to exhaust water from the bathtub at diminished pumping pressure. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiments illustrated and described, but rather as defined by the following claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination with a bathtub, an improved hydrotherapy apparatus comprising:
(a) a nozzle mounted within said bathtub;
(b) a pump and driving motor therefor, said pump having a pressure outlet and vacuum inlet;
(c) first conduit means interconnecting the interior of the bathtub and said vacuum inlet;
(d) second conduit means interconnecting the nozzle and said pressure outlet;
(e) a drain line to waste connected to the second conduit means; and
(f) a valve assembly operatively associated with the first and second conduit means and the drain line to selectively close said second conduit means to said line or open said second conduit means to both said line and first conduit means to apply pumping pressure to said line reduced by a predetermined amount.
2. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein said valve assembly comprises:
(a) a valve housing having first and second chambers therein forming portions of said first and second conduit means, respectively, said housing a first valve seat opening extending between said chambers and a second valve seat opening extending between said second chamber and the drain line;
(b) valve disc means received within said housing for rectilinear movement to concurrently either seat in and close or open said first and second valve seat openings upon said movement; and,
(c) valve actuating means operatively associated with said valve disc means to selectively impart rectilinear movement thereto.
3. An apparatus according to claim 2 wherein said valve actuating means comprises:
(a) a stem received within said housing for rotational movement and connected to said valve disc means so as to impart said rotational movement thereto; and
(b) cam means operatively associated with said valve disc means to impart rectilinear movement thereto upon a predetermined amount of rotation thereof.
4. An apparatus according to claim 3, wherein:
(a) the nozzle is mounted within the bathtub for rotational movement; and,
(b) the nozzle and stem are interconnected for unitary rotational movement.
5. In combination with a bathtub having a drain opening, an improved hydrotherapy apparatus comprising:
(a) a nozzle mounted within said bathtub and attached to said drain opening;
(b) a pump and driving motor therefor mounted outside of the bathtub, said pump having a pressure outlet and vacuum inlet;
(c) a first conduit extending through said drain opening into communication with the interior of the bathtub;
(d) a second conduit extending through said drain opening into communication with said nozzle;
(e) a drain line to waste;
(f) a valve housing mounted outside the bathtub and having therein:
(1) a first chamber connecting the first conduit and said vacuum inlet;
(2) a second chamber connecting the second conduit and said pressure outlet;
(3) a first valve seat opening extending between said chambers; and,
(4) a second valve seat opening extending between said second chamber and the drain line;
(g) valve disc means received within said housing for rectilinear movement to concurrently either seat in and close or open said first and second valve seat openings upon said movement; and,
(h) valve actuating means operatively associated with said valve disc means to selectively impart rectilinear movement thereto.
6. An apparatus according to claim 5 wherein the nozzle, second conduit, and valve disc means are interconnected for unitary rotational movement with respect to the drain opening and the valve actuating means comprises:
(a) a first cam element fixed to the valve housing; and, (b) a second cam element fixed to said valve disc means in a position wherein it cooperates with said first cam element to impart rectilinear movement to said means upon a predetermined degree of rotation thereof. 7. An apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the first and second cam elements are so associated as to permit the nozzle to rotate to a predetermined degree without imparting rectilinear movement to the valve disc means. 10
8. An apparatus according to claim 6 wherein the valve disc means are connected to the second conduit for limited rectilinear movement with respect thereto and including resilient means to normally urge the valve disc means to close said first and second valve seat openings.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,272,585 2/1942 Rocke.
2,587,335 2/1952 Landergott 4-480 2,591,252 4/1952 Gilson 4-180 3,159,849 12/1964 Jacuzzi 4-180 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.
H. K. ARTIS, Examiner.