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Publication numberUS3319266 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1967
Filing dateJun 29, 1965
Priority dateJun 29, 1965
Publication numberUS 3319266 A, US 3319266A, US-A-3319266, US3319266 A, US3319266A
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 device
US 3319266 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 16,1967 R. c. SCHNEIDER ETAL' 3,319,266

THERAPEUTIC BATH FLUID CIRCULATING DEVICE Original Filed Sept. 9, 1963 l5 I 27 13 I I6 I l l l I I2 I 24' 22 a I u i; r; :2

i L 2/ III 4 Il I 1 INVENTORSQ RICHARD C. SCHNEIDER BY DOUGLAS C. STELTZ 74ndr'us Starlg e United States Patent p 7 3,319,266 THERAPEUTIC BATH FLUID CIRCULATIN G DEVICE Richard C. Schneider, 804 NE. 15th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Fla. 33304, and Douglas C. Steltz, 13385 Kenrnar Court, Brookfield, Wis. 53005 Continuation of application Ser. No. 307,594, Sept. 9, 1963. This application June 29, 1965, Ser. No. 468,048 6 Claims. (Cl. 4-180) This application is a continuation of application Ser. No. 307,594, filed Sept. 9, 196-3, and since abandoned, and entitled, Therapeutic Bath Fluid Circulating Device.

This invention relates to a hydrotherapeutic apparatus and more particularly to a fluid circulating device to be incorporated with the existing waste drain opening of a conventional bathtub and adapted to produce a therapeutic massage efiect.

A whirlpool or therapeutic bath is used to produce therapeutic massage for the treatment or relief of sore muscles, arthritis, rheumatic conditions, and the like. In a commonly used hydrotherapeutic device a motor driven pump is located within the tank or tub and the outlet of the pump is connected to a discharge nozzle assembly beneath the water level in the tank. Water is ejected under high pressure from the nozzle by the pump and is directed toward the portion of the body undergoing treatment.

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 positively 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 store during periods of non-use.

The present invention is directed to a hydrotherapeutic unit to be incorporated with the existing waste drain opening of a conventional bathtub or tank. According to the invention, the pump and motor are permanently installed outside of the tub, while the nozzle assembly is located within the tub and is connected to the waste drain opening of the tub. The water piping is connected through the drain opening so that water is supplied to the nozzle and withdrawn from the tub in a continuous cycle- More specifically, a water supply line connects the outlet of the pump to a riser which extends upwardly within the waste drain opening of the tub and is connected to the nozzle assembly. A water return line connects the drain opening in the tub to the pump inlet. In addition, a sewer drain line is. connected to the return line and the sewer drain line is controlled by a conventional, manual waste valve. When the waste valve is closed and the pump is operating, water is supplied through the riser to the nozzle and is discharged in the form of a high velocity aerated stream within the tub. Water is returned 3,319,266 Patented May 16, 1967 through the drain opening and return line to the pump so that the water flows in a continuous cycle.

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

The present invention is adapted to be incorporated with the existing drain opening in the bottom surface of 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 drain opening and is also returned through the drain opening to the pump so that there is a continuous cycle of water entering the tub and returning from the tub through the existing drain opening.

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 with bathtubs, tanks, pool, 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 bath tubs 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. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a bathtub incorporating the hy-drotherapeutic unit of the invention; and

FIG. 2 is a vertical section .taken through the tub and showing the hydrotherapeutic unit.

The drawings illustrate a conventional household bathtub 1 incorporating the hydrotherapeutic unit 2 of the invention. The bathtub 1 is provided with a standard drain opening 3 which is bordered by a flange or drain fitting 4. The lower end of drain fitting 4 is threaded within an opening in a fitting 5 which is located beneath the tub 1. g

One arm of a pipe T6 is threaded within an opening in the side wall of the fitting 5, while the opposite arm of the pipe T6 is connected by a suitable coupling to a waste valve fitting 7. The stem 8 of pipe T6 is connected by a hose or conduit to the inlet of a pump, not shown, which is located outside of the tub.

As best shown in FIG. 2, the waste valve fitting 7 defines a valve seat 9 and a standard waste valve 10 is adapted to engage the valve seat 9. The valve 10 is raised and lowered through a rod 11 which is attached to the valve :10 and extends upwardly within tubular casing -12. The upper end of rod 11 is connected to a trip lever 13 which is contained within a trip lever housing 14. The trip lever 13 is connected to a lever handle 15 which is pivotally mounted in a cover 16 located on the inside of the tub 1. By operation of the handle 15, the rod 11 can be raised or lowered to thereby open and close the valve 10. The lower or outlet end 1 7 of the waste valve fitting 7 is adapted to be connected to a sewer line or other drainage system.

As previously mentioned, the stem 8 of pipe T6 is connected to the suction side or inlet of a conventional motor a 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 outlet of the pump is connected by a hose or conduit to the lower end of a riser 18 which extends upwardly within the fitting through the drain fitting 4 into the interior of the tub 1. Riser 18 has a substantially smaller external diameter than the internal diameter of the drain fitting 4 so that the annular space between the riser 18 and the drain fitting 4 serves as a return or discharge passage for water flowing from the tub back to the pump.

The upper end of the riser 18 is connected by a standard swivel coupling 19 to the lower end of an elbow 20. The upper end of elbow 20 is connected to a ball 21 which is mounted for universal movement within a socket member 22. The outer end of the socket member 22 is attached to a nozzle 23 and the water being discharged through the ball 21 passes through a restricted orifice 24 causing an increase in the velocity of the stream of water and a resulting decrease in pressure.

To aerate the stream of water, a standpipe 25 is mounted within an opening in the nozzle 23 and extends a substantial distance upwardly from the nozzle to a location above the liquid level in the tub. The upper end of the standpipe is closed oil by a cap 26 and a series of air inlet holes 27 are provided in the upper end of the pipe 25 below the cap 26.

The decrease in pressure resulting from the increase in velocity in the water stream as it passes through the orifice 24 creates an aspirating effect which draws air in through the stand pipe 25. The air mixes with the stream of water to provide an aerated high velocity stream which can be directed against the portion of the body undergoing treatment.

When it is desired to use the hydrotherapeutic device, the waste valve 10 is closed and the tub is filled with water to a level above the nozzle 23. The pump is then started and operation of the pump tends to draw water from the tub through the drain fitting 4 and then through stem 8 of pipe T6 to the suction side of the pump. The high pressure water from the pump is discharged through the riser 18 to the nozzle 23 where it is ejected through the orifice beneath the level of water within the tub as an aerated high pressure stream.

When it is desired to drain the tub, the pump is turned olf and the waste valve 10 is opened by actuating the waste control lever handle 15. The water within the tub then drains downwardly through the fitting 4 and through the outlet 17 in the waste valve fitting 7 to the sewer line.

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 entire unit is installed through the existing drain opening in the bottom of the tub and it is not necessary to alter or modify the construction of the tub in order to install the unit.

As the pump, motor and piping are permanently located outside of the tub, the only element which is in the tub is the nozzle assembly. The entire nozzle assembly can be swiveled in a horizontal plane by virtue of the swivel coupling 1 so that the nozzle assembly can be moved to a position adjacent the forward wall of the tub where it will not interfere with the use of the tub if the hydrotherapeutic unit is not intended to be operated.

The universal joint connection provided by the ball 21 and socket 22 enables the direction of discharge of the high pressure water from the nozzle 23 to be adjusted both horizontally and vertically so as to direct the stream against the desired portion of the body undergoing treatment.

While the above description shows the hydrotherapeutic unit used in conjunction with a bathtub it is contemplated that the unit can also be associated with the drain opening in any type of tank, pool or the like, and the unit can be employed either for 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. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tank to contain water and having a drain opening in the bottom thereof, first conduit means extending within the drain opening and communicating with the inlet of a pumping means for conducting Water from the tank, second conduit means extending within the drain opening and communicating with the outlet of the pumping means for supplying water to said tank, a nozzle assembly located within the tank and connected to said second conduit means for discharging water in the form of a high pressure stream Within the tank, drain conduit means communicating with said first conduit means and connected to a'disposal site, and valve means in said drain conduit means for selectively opening and closing said drain conduit means.

2. The structure of claim 1, and including an elongated member operably connected to said valve means and extending upwardly outside of said tank to a distance substantially above the bottom surface of said tank, and operating means operably connected to the upper end of said elongated member and extending through the wall of the tank to the inside of the tank, manual operation of said operating means in said tank serving to move said elongated member to thereby open and close said valve means.

3. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a bathtub to contain water and having a drain outlet in the bottom portion thereof, a nozzle assembly located within the tub, a drain line connecting the drain opening to a disposal site, a valve located in the drain line for selectively opening and closing said drain line, .a return line having one end connected to the drain line at a location between said drain opening and said valve and the other end connected to the inlet of a pumping means, and a supply line having one end connected to the outlet of the pumping means and the other end communicating with said drain opening, said nozzle assembly being connected to said supply line with high pressure water from the outlet of the pumping means being supplied to the nozzle assembly and being discharged as a high pressure stream within the tub.

4. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tank to contain water and having a drain opening in the bottom surface thereof, a drain fitting located within said drain opening, a drain line connected to the drain fitting and communicating with a disposal site, valve means located in said drain line for opening and closing said drain line, a return line connected to said drain line between the drain fitting and said valve means, said return line communicating with the inlet of a pumping means, a supply line connected to the outlet of the pumping means and having a vertical section extending through said drain fitting to the interior of the tank, said vertical section having a substantially smaller cross-sectional area than the cross-sectional area of said drain fitting to provide a clearance therebetween, the water within the tank being drawn through said clearance and said drain line and said return line to the pump, said supply line also including a horizontal section connected to the upper end of the vertical section, and a nozzle assembly located within the tank, said horizontal section being connected by a universal fitting to said nozzle assembly to thereby enable the nozzle assembly to be moved in all directions within the tank.

5. The structure of claim 4 and including means for enabling the horizontal section of said water supply line to be moved in a horizontal plane with respect to the vertical section of said water supply line.

6. In a hydrotherapeutic apparatus, a tub to contain water and having a drain opening in the bottom thereof, first conduit means extending within the drain opening and communicating with the inlet of a pumping means for conducting water from the tub to the pump, second conduit means extending within the drain opening and communicating with the outlet of the pumping means for supplying water from the pumping means to said tub, a nozzle assembly located within the tub and connected to said second conduit means for discharging water in the form of a high pressure stream within the tub, drain conduit means communicating with said first conduit means between said drain opening and the inlet of said pumping means, valve means in said drain conduit means for selec tively opening and closing said drain conduit means, and valve actuating means operably connected to said valve means and including an operating member extending 6 through the wall of the tub a substantial distance above the bottom of said tub in position to be manually operated by a person in said tub.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,587,335 2/1952 Landergott 4-180 3,159,849 12/1964 Jacuzzi 4-180 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

H. GROSS, Assistant 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
US3391411 *Oct 27, 1965Jul 9, 1968Anthony S. Miller Jr.Whirlpool bath
US3452370 *Mar 26, 1968Jul 1, 1969Jacuzzi Research IncHydromassage installation
US3571820 *Jun 6, 1968Mar 23, 1971Jacuzzi Research IncHydromassage bath installation
US3591872 *Jan 22, 1969Jul 13, 1971American Standard IncWhirlpool apparatus for bathtub
US3986217 *Mar 7, 1975Oct 19, 1976Doerr John JWhirlpool bath device
US4630599 *Jan 31, 1986Dec 23, 1986Unidyne, Inc.Hydromassage apparatus
US4763366 *Feb 18, 1986Aug 16, 1988Honiton Investments, N.V.Combined drain and return line and valve therefor
US4823413 *Mar 14, 1988Apr 25, 1989Hydrabaths, Inc.Combined pneumatic switch and air control for use in whirpool baths
US4907305 *Sep 6, 1988Mar 13, 1990Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd.Bubbling bathtub system
US4947494 *May 27, 1988Aug 14, 1990HonitonValve for combined drain and return line
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/541.3, 607/85, 4/541.4, 601/157
International ClassificationE03C1/232, A61H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H33/6078, E03C1/232
European ClassificationA61H33/60F2W, E03C1/232