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Publication numberUS3302640 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 7, 1967
Filing dateJun 16, 1964
Priority dateJun 16, 1964
Publication numberUS 3302640 A, US 3302640A, US-A-3302640, US3302640 A, US3302640A
InventorsCandido Jacuzzi
Original AssigneeJacuzzi Bros Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Hydrotherapy unit installation with pump and motor outside tub
US 3302640 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 7, 1967 C. JACUZZI 3,302,640 HYDROTHERAPY UNIT INSTALLATION WITH PUMP AND MOTOR OUTSIDE TUB Filed June 16, 1964 x K M INVENTOR. CAND/DO JACUZZ/ @wkM A TTORNEYS United States Patent C 3,3ti2,640 HYDROTHERAPY UNTT INSTALLATION WITH PUMP AND IHGTOR DUTSTDE TUB Candide Jacuzzi, Lafayette, Qaiiih, assignor to Jacuzzi Bros, Inc, Richmond, Calif., a corporation of California Filed .l'une 16, 1964. Ser. No. 375,463 11 Claims. (Cl. 128-66) The present invention relates to a hydrotherapy unit, and more particularly is directed to such a unit which is adapted to be permanently installed for use in combination with a conventional bathtub with the components thereof positioned on the interior of the bathtub being readily removable. The invention is especially directed to an improvement on a hydrotherapy unit of the type disclosed in the application of Candido Jacuzzi, Serial No. 299,698, filed August 5, 1963, co-pending herewith.

The hydrotherapy unit of the aforementioned co-pending application is particularly desirable since it incorporates a pump and motor assembly adapted to be positioned to the exterior of a bathtub and a nozzle assembly adapted to be positioned to the interior of the bathtub, which assemblies are interconnected by flexible fluid conveying conduits. This arrangement has the advantage that the heavy pumping and electrical components of the unit need not be positioned within the bathtub. Thus, easy handling of the unit is facilitated and electrical hazards are avoided. It is noted that in many prior art hydrotherapy units, the electric drive motors therefor were positioned within the bathtub, thus presenting an electrical hazard which had to be overcome through the use of means such as submersible drive motors and auxiliary electrical grounding connections. Although these units proved safe when provided with such means, the means resulted in the increased cost of the units and there was still some reluctance on the part of the public to use such units.

While the unit of the aforementioned co-pending application overcame many of the difficulties encountered with the use of prior art hydrotherapy units, it still possessed many of the characteristics of portable units which are sometimes considered disadvantageous. Specifically, for aesthetic and convenience reasons, it was generally necessary to remove both the nozzle and pump and motor assemblies of the unit from the vicinity of the bathtub when not in use. This required both the handling of the entire unit and a suitable storage provision. Naturally, anyhandling of the unit either in its installation, removal, or storage results in some inconvenience to the user.

It is, accordingly, a principal object of the present invention to provide a hydrotherapy unit adapted to overcome the disadvantages encountered in the use of hydrotherapy units of the type mentioned above.

It is another and more specific object of the invention to provide a hydrotherapy unit wherein the pump and motor assembly therefor are permanently installed to the exterior of a bathtub to be used therewith and the nozzle assembly of the unit is removably positioned within the bathtub.

Another specific object of the invention is to provide a hydrotherapy unit adapted to be installed in a conventional bathtub and utilizing the overflow opening of the bathtub for the passage of the fluid flow conduits between a nozzle assembly positioned within the bathtub and a pump and motor assembly positioned to the exterior of the bathtub.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a hydrotherapy unit wherein the electrical components thereof are located to the exterior of the bathtub used in comiifidZfi l-ill Patented Feb. 7, 1967 bination therewith and grounded to the conventional plumbing of the bathtub.

Broadly, the objects of the invention are accomplished in a bathtub having an overflow opening therethrough and a hydrotherapy apparatus associated therewith comprising a nozzle housing positioned within the bathtub and a pump and driving motor therefor positioned to the exterior of the bathtub. The improvement to which the invention is primarily directed comprises an assembly for interconnecting the water inlet and discharge outlet of the nozzle housing with the vacuum inlet and pressure outlet, respectively, of the pump. The assembly includes a fitting received in the overflow opening of the bathtub and having therein a duct communicating with the waste conduit to the exterior of the bathtub and a passage for the extension of conduits therethrough. The basic assembly is completed by intake conduits extending through said passage and in fluid communication between said water and vacuum inlets, and discharge conduits extending through said passage and in fluid communication between said pressure and discharge outlets.

The foregoing and other objects and the detailed structure of the invention will become more apparent when viewed in light of the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partially in section, illustrating a bathtub having the hydrotherapy unit of the present invention installed therein; and,

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

Referring now to the drawings, therein is illustrated a conventional bathtub it} having a drain opening 11 through the lower extremity thereof and an overflow opening 12 therethrough adjacent its upper extremity. The drain opening 11 communicates with a conduit to waste 13 through means of a conventional drain pipe 14 and a T-section 15. The T-section 15 and the conduit 13 secured thereto also communicate with the overflow opening 12 through means of an overflow pipe 16. The detailed cooperation between the opening 12 and the overflow pipe 1-6 will be developed subsequently.

As illustrated, the bathtub it is juxtaposed to a wall 17 supported by studs 20. A pipeline 21 extending to a source of water under pressure, such as the city water line, is disposed behind the wall 17 and has secured thereto a shutoff valve 22 which is actuated by a handle 23 on the forward side of the wall. From the following discussion, it will be seen that the pipeline 2i and the valve 22 cooperating therewith form a part of the improvement of the present invention.

The hydrotherapy unit associated with the bathtub 10 comprises basically a nozzle housing 24 positioned within the bathtub, a pump and motor assembly 25 positioned to the exterior of the bathtub, and an interconnecting assembly 26. It is the latter assembly to which the present invention is primarily directed. From FIG. 1 it can be seen that the nozzle assembly 24 is suspended within the bathtub 10 through means of the interconnecting assembly 26. The pump and motor assembly 25 is supported to the exterior of the bathtub by a platform 27 fixed to and extending rearwardly from the studs 20.

The nozzle housing 24 corresponds substantially to that of the hydrotherapy unit disclosed in the aforementioned co-pending application Serial No. 299,698 and includes a spherical socket 30 having a nozzle 31 pivotally received therein. The nozzle 31 has therein a water passageway 32 and an air passageway 33, which passageways communicate, respectively, with a water inlet 34 and an air inlet 35 in the housing (see FIG. 2). A discharge spout 36 having open forward and rearward ends and air intake ports 37 around its periphery cooperates with a mandrel 40 in the nozzle to vary the degree of fluid communication between the passageway 32 and said open rearward end. Thus, as is illustrated by the flow indicating arrows in FIG. 1, water supplied to the water inlet 34 flows through the passageway 32 and into the spout 36 while at the same time drawing air from the passageway 33 through the ports 37. Relative movement of the nozzle 31 with respect to the housing 24 is limited to horizontal and vertical planes by a pin 41 fixed to the housing and extending into a slot 42 in the nozzle. The latter arrangement is necessary in order to assure that the spout 36 may be threaded into the nozzle 31 for flow control purposes. I

Air is supplied to the air inlet 35 through the air pipe 43 fixed to the housing in fluid communication with said inlet and extending to a level above the normal level of water Within the bathtub 10. Air is drawn through the pipe 43 by the low pressure area created in the spout 36 adjacent the ports 37 by the venturi effect. A sleeve valve 44 is received on the upper end of the pipe 43 to facilitate the control of air flow therethrough. Water is supplied to the inlet 34 through means of a water discharge conduit 45 secured in fluid communication therewith. The detailed structure and operation of the conduit 45 will be developed subsequently with respect to the description of the interconnecting assembly 26.

The nozzle assembly 24 is completed by a water intake 46 opening through the lower surface thereof. As can be seen from FIG. 2, the entire open area of the intake 46 is covered by a screen 47. The intake 46 cooperates with a water intake conduit 50 secured in fluid communication therewith and extending upwardly from the housing 24. As with the discharge conduit 45, the intake conduit 50 comprises part of the interconnecting assembly 26, to be developed subsequently.

The pump and motor assembly 25 corresponds identically to that disclosed in the aforementioned co-pending application Serial No. 299,698 and includes an electric motor 51 and a centrifugal pump 52. The motor has operatively secured thereto an electrical lead 53 extending to a source of house voltage (not illustrated). The pump 52 includes a water inlet 54 and a discharge outlet 55 which communicate with the low and high pressure sides, respectively, of an impeller 56. It is to be understood that the motor 51 and the impeller 56 are operatively interconnected in a manner corresponding identically to that disclosed in the pump and motor assembly of the aforementioned co-pending application Serial No. 299,698. Furthermore, the pump 52 is provide with float switch control means corresponding identically to that disclosed in the co-pending application which functions to energize the motor 51 only when the pump is primed.

Referring now to the interconnecting assembly 26 to which the present invention is primarily directed, this assembly includes as one of its basic elements a fitting 57. The fitting 57 comprises a substantially T-shaped conduit structure having a lower extension 60 secured in fluid communication with the overflow pipe 16, one side extension 61 secured in fluid communication with the pump water inlet 54 through an intake conduit 62, and another side extension 63 extending sealingly through the overflow opening 12. The extension 63 is fixedly secured in sealed communication with the opening 12 by packers 64 received therearound on opposite sides of the bathtub wall and a securing nut 65 and lock nut 66 threaded thereon on the interior side of the bathtub. The extensions 61 and 63 define passage means through which conduits may be extended and have extending therethrough a passage conduit 67 which is sealingly secured at its end portions to said extensions and is spaced from the extension 63 at its intermediate portion. The space between the passage conduit 67 and the extension 63, together with a slot 70 extending through the lower periphery of said extension, define a duct establishing fluid communication between the interior of the bathtub 10 and the overflow pipe 16.

The interconnecting assembly 26 further includes a transition housing '71 having therein a vacuum chamber 72 and a pressure chamber 73. As can be seen from FIG. 1, the upper end of the chamber 72 opens into a cylindrical section 74 adapted to be telescopingly received on the extension 63 of the fitting 57. The fitting 57 and housing 71 are locked in telescoping engagement by a detent pin 75 extending slidably through the section 74 into engagement with an aperture 76 in the extension 63. The pin 75 is resiliently urged into the locked condition illustrated in FIG. 1 by a spring 77, and a knob 80 secured to the upper end of the pin facilitates the lifting thereof to the unlocked position, thus permitting the housing 71 to he slid out of telecoping engagement with the extension 63.

At this point it is noted that the upper end of the aforedescribed water intake conduit 50 is fixed to the housing 71 in fluid communication with the vacuum chamber 72. Thus, when the housing 71 and section 63 are telescopically engaged, as illustrated in FIG. 1, fluid communication is established between the water inlet 54 of the pump 52 and the water intake 46 of the nozzle housing 24. Sealing communication between the chamber 72 and the passage conduit 67 is assured by an O-ring 81 interposed between the cylindrical section 74 and the extension 63. In addition to functioning as conduit means between the housing 24 and the pump 52, the conduit 50 and housing 71 also function as means to suspend the housing 24 within the bathtub It To facilitate the latter function, both the conduit 50 and housing 71 are preferably fabricated of a relatively rigid material.

Referring now to the pressure discharge system incorporated into the interconnecting assembly 26, this system includes the aforementioned discharge conduit 45 which is secured at its lower end to the nozzle housing 24 in fluid communication with the water inlet 34 and at its upper end to the transition housing 71 in fluid communication with the chamber 73. Further included in this system is a second discharge conduit 82 having one end threadedly secured to the housing 71 in fluid communication with the chamber 73 and the other end slidably received in the pump 52 in sealed communication with the pressure or discharge outlet 55. An 0- ring 83 received in the outlet 55 sealingly engages the outer periphery of the conduit 82. Thus it can be seen that the conduit 82 is both slidably and sealingly received in the outlet 55 and that upon removal of the transition housing 71 from the fitting 57 the conduit 82 will also be removed.

Attention is now directed to the interrelationship between the vacuum intake conduit and the pressure discharge conduit extending from the nozzle housing 24 to the pump 52. Specifically, it is noted that the discharge conduit 45 extends concentrically through the intake conduit 50 and that the second discharge conduit 82 extends concentrically through the passage conduit 67 and the intake conduit 62. The latter interrelationship is facilitated by an annular support ring 84 formed integrally with the fitting 57 and adapted to slidably recerve the conduit 82. The concentric relationship between the conduits assures that the flow of fluid through the intake conduit and the passage conduit will not be impeded and that noise will not be generated by the transmission of vibrations between the interior and exterror conduits.

In operation of the aforedescribed device, once the transition housing 71 has been secured in place as illustrated in FIG. 1, the bathtub 10 is filled to a level above that of the housing 24. At this point, the pump 52 is primed to lift the float switch therein (not illustrated) and thus energize the motor 51. Priming of the pump is facilitated by a priming line 85 extending in fluid communication between the valve 22 and the intake conduit 62. Through the latter arrangement, the pump 52 may be primed simply by opening the valve 22 and permitting water under pressure to flow into the pump 52 through the conduit 62. Once the pump is primed, the motor 51 is energized and the entire hydrotherapy unit becomes operative.

At this point it is noted that the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific priming arrangement described above or the specific switching arrangement within the pump 52. For example, it would be possible to prime the pump 52 through some other means, such as a hand operated positive displacement pump adapted to force water through the spout 36 and into the pump 52. Furthermore, if a pump is used which is not damaged by dry running, it is not necessary that a float switch be provided. It is also possible that a manually operated switch might be used in combination with the float switch or as an alternative thereto.

Once the subject hydrotherapy unit has been primed and the pump 52 is activated, the flow of water through the system takes place as shown by the flow indicating arrows in both FIGS. 1 and 2. Specifically, water is drawn through the intake 46 and the conduit means communicating therewith to the water inlet 54 of the pump. At the same time, water is discharged from the pump through the pressure discharge outlet 55 and the conduits communicating therewith to the nozzle 31. Upon passing through the nozzle 31, the water flows through the spout 36, thus creating a low pressure area adjacent the ports 37 and drawing air thereth-rough from the air pipe 43. As a result, an aerated stream of water is discharged from the spout 36 and into the bathtub at relatively high pressures. The user of the tub can adjust the direction of the stream by pivoting the nozzle 31 within the socket 30. The intensity of the stream can be adjusted by turning the spout 36 about its longitudinal axis within the nozzle 31 and the degree of aeration can be controlled by turning the valve 44 on the air pipe 43.

In addition to possessing many advantageous operating characteristics, the unit of the present invention also has the advantage that the electric motor 51 is grounded to the plumbing associated therewith. Specifically, Where the housings of the motor 51 and pump 52 together with the conduit 62 are in contact and fabricated of electrically conductive material, a path to ground is established both through the overflow pipe 16 and the priming line 85. As an alternative to grounding the motor 51 in this manner, an electrical lead might be extended between the housing of the motor 51 and any of the electrically conductive plumbing associated with the bathtub 19, such as the waste conduit 13 or pipeline 21.

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, an improved hydrotherapy unit is provided wherein the heavy pumping and electrical drive components thereof are permanently installed to the exterior of a bathtub while the injection nozzle and intake structure are removably positioned within the bathtub. The installation of the unit is facilitated by a novel arrangement wherein the conventional overflow opening of the bathtub is utilized to extend fluid communicating conduits between the pumping components and the injection nozzle and intake structure. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific embodiment illustrated and described, but rather is defined by the following claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a bathtub having an overflow opening therethrough and a hydrotherapy apparatus associated therewith comprising:

(a) a nozzle housing positioned in the bathtub below the normal water level therein, said housing having therein a water inlet and discharge outlet; and,

(b) a pump and driving motor therefor positioned outside of the bathtub, said pump having a vacuum inlet and pressure outlet;

an improved assembly for interconnecting said housing and pump comprising:

(a) a fitting received in the overflow opening of the bathtub and having therein:

(1) a duct extending in fluid communication between the interior of the bathtub and a waste conduit to the exterior of the bathtub; and,

(2) passage means for the extension of conduit means therethrough;

(b) intake conduit means extending through said passage means and in fluid communication between said water inlet and said vacuum inlet; and,

(c) discharge conduit means extending through said passage means and in fluid communication between said pressure outlet and said discharge outlet.

2. A device according to claim 1 wherein said nozzle housing is supported within the bathtub by the portions of said intake and discharge conduit means extending into the bathtub.

3. A device according to claim 2 including disconnect means to facilitate the ready removal from said fitting of the portions of said intake and discharge conduit means extending between said fitting and nozzle housing.

4. A device according to claim 1 including:

(a) a priming conduit extending in fluid communication between a source of water under pressure and said intake conduit means; and,

(b) a control valve interposed in said priming conduit.

5. A device according to claim 1 wherein the driving motor for the'pump is electric and grounded to the waste conduit through said intake conduit means and said fitting.

6. In a bathtub having an overflow opening therethrough and a hydrotherapy apparatus associated therewith comprising:

(a) a nozzle housing removably positioned in the bathtub below the normal water level therein, said housing having therein a Water inlet and discharge outlet; and,

(b) a pump and driving motor therefor permanently positioned outside of the bathtub, said pump having a vacuum inlet and pressure outlet;

an improved assembly for interconnecting said housing and pump, comprising:

(a) a fitting sealingly received in the overflow opening of the bathtub and having therein:

( 1) a duct extending in fluid communication between the interior of the bathtub and a waste conduit to the exterior of the bathtub; and,

(2) a passage for the extension of conduits therethrough;

(b) a passage conduit extending through said passage and sealingly received therein;

(c) a transition housing having first and second chambers therein and releasably secured to said fitting with said first chamber in sealed communication with said passage conduit;

(d) first and second intake conduits extending in sealed communication between said water inlet and said first chamber, and said passage conduit and said vacuum inlet, respectively;

(e) a first discharge conduit extending through said first intake conduit in sealed communication between said discharge outlet and said second chamber; and,

(f) a second discharge conduit extending through said passage conduit and said second intake conduit in sealed communication between said second chamber and said pressure outlet.

7. A device according to claim 6, wherein said first and second discharge conduits extend concentrically through said first intake conduit, and said passage and second intake conduit, respectively.

8. A device according to claim 6, including:

(a) a priming conduit extending in fluid communication between a source of water under pressure and (c) said transition housing, first intake conduit, first said second intake conduit; and, discharge conduit, and nozzle housing are removable (b) a control valve interposed in said second conduit. from said fitting as a unit upon release of said transi- 9. A device according to claim 6, wherein said transition housing from said fitting. tion housing is releasably secured to said fitting by means 5 11. A device according to claim 6, wherein the driving comprising: motor for the pump is electric and grounded to the waste (a) mating telescoping sections on said housing and conduit through said second intake conduit and said fitting; and, v fitting. (b) detent means adapted to selectively vlock said mat- References Cited by the Examiner ing sections in telescoped engagement. 1 UNITED STATES PATENTS 10. A device according to claim 6 wherein: (a) said first intake conduit rigidly interconnects said 3,067,435 12/1962 Nash 4*180 nozzle housing and said transition housing; 311591849 12/1964 Jacuzzl 4*180 (b) said second discharge conduit releasably comrnunicates said second chamber and said pressure outlet; 15 RICHARD GAUDET P'lmary Examiner and, L. W. TRAPP, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3067435 *Aug 25, 1961Dec 11, 1962Jacuzzi Bros IncHydrotherapeutic installation for swimming pools and the like
US3159849 *Mar 15, 1963Dec 8, 1964Jacuzzi Bros IncHydrotherapy equipment
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3391870 *Oct 11, 1965Jul 9, 1968Jacuzzi Bros IncDischarge fitting assembly
US3580247 *Sep 12, 1968May 25, 1971Schneider Richard CHydrotherapeutic device
US3806964 *Dec 29, 1969Apr 30, 1974American Standard IncHydrotherapeutic apparatus for a bath tub
US3835846 *Jun 28, 1973Sep 17, 1974Borg WarnerEasily disassembled and cleanable hydrotherapy pump
US4763366 *Feb 18, 1986Aug 16, 1988Honiton Investments, N.V.Combined drain and return line and valve therefor
US4839930 *May 27, 1988Jun 20, 1989Watkins Manufacturing CorporationDry hydro-massage unit for a spa tank
US4908888 *Feb 24, 1989Mar 20, 1990Watkins Manufacturing CorporationDry hydro-massage unit
US4926510 *Oct 24, 1988May 22, 1990Watkins Manufacturing CorporationHand held dry hydro-massage unit for a spa
US4947494 *May 27, 1988Aug 14, 1990HonitonValve for combined drain and return line
US5414878 *Nov 3, 1993May 16, 1995Sanijet CorporationSanitary whirlpool jet apparatus
US5587023 *May 16, 1995Dec 24, 1996Sanijet CorporationMethod of removing a whirlpool jet apparatus from a whirlpool bathtub for inspection, cleaning or repair
US6406446 *Mar 15, 1999Jun 18, 2002Takagi Industrial Co., Ltd.High velocity current producing apparatus
US6729564 *Jul 20, 2001May 4, 2004Bowles Fluidics CorporationFluidic SPA Nozzles with dual operating modes and methods
US20020040942 *Jul 20, 2001Apr 11, 2002Srinath Dharapuram N.Fluidic SPA Nozzles with dual operating modes and methods
EP0106786A1 *Oct 10, 1983Apr 25, 1984Fab Glass Pty. Ltd.Air/water mixing nozzle
Classifications
U.S. Classification601/157, 4/541.4, 4/541.6, 4/559
International ClassificationA61H33/02
Cooperative ClassificationA61H33/02
European ClassificationA61H33/02
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jul 8, 1999ASAssignment
Owner name: JACUZZI INC., CALIFORNIA
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT EFFECTIVE AS OF 6-30-98;ASSIGNOR:JACUZZI INC.( A FORMER DELAWARE CORPORATION);REEL/FRAME:010061/0874
Effective date: 19990225
Mar 30, 1999ASAssignment
Owner name: JACUZZI INC., A DELAWARE CORPORATION, CALIFORNIA
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:JACUZZI INC., A FORMER DELAWARE CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:009866/0373
Effective date: 19880402
May 21, 1981ASAssignment
Owner name: JACUZZI INC., 11511 NEW BENTON HIGHWAY, LITTLE ROC
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNORS:JACUZZI WHIRLPOOL BATH, INC.;JACUZZI BROS., INC.;REEL/FRAME:003873/0510;SIGNING DATES FROM 19810424 TO 19810508