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Publication numberUS3374492 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 26, 1968
Filing dateOct 23, 1965
Priority dateOct 23, 1965
Publication numberUS 3374492 A, US 3374492A, US-A-3374492, US3374492 A, US3374492A
InventorsRuderian Max J
Original AssigneeAmerican Physical Fitness Res
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Therapeutic bathtub
US 3374492 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 26, 1968 M. J. RUDERIAN 3,374,492



a'ozta mfiu p' A 77'OPNEYS United States Patent 3,374,492 THERAPEUTIC BATHTUB Max J. Ruderian, Santa Monica, Calif., assignor to American Physical Fitness Research Institute, Inc., a corporation of California Filed Oct. 23, 1965, Ser. No. 503,494 5 Claims. (Cl. 4-178) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This disclosure relates to a therapeutic bathtub designed with a sloping back surface and steps for the comfort of the user and having dual centrally located fill spouts. The sides and at at least one end wall of the tub include built in water jets through which water is circulated by an external timer means and pump arrangement. There is thus provided an automatically controlled hot water massaging of a user in the tub.

This invention relates generally to bathtubs and more particularly to a novel therapeutic bathtub for effecting hot water massaging of a person in the tub in an automatically controlled manner.

Conventional bathtubs have not appreciably changed in basic structure since their inception. Generally, the tubs are of an elongated nature having smooth sidewalls merging into a smooth bottom surface with the water inlet faucet at one end, the drain for the tub at the same end, and a suitable overflow also disposed at the same end.

There is the usual danger of slipping and falling when entering and leaving the tub and the difiiculty in maintaining a desired body position when substantially completely immerces in the tub. Further, when the user of the tub desires to add hot water to the tub to maintain a desired temperature, the added water simply increases the level of the tub and then flows out the overflow drain which, as stated, is normally disposed at the faucet end. As a consequence, it takes a considerable length of time to heat the water in the tub by adding merely hot water at this end of the tub. The bather must usually circulate the water by using his hands to cause movement of the water about the interior of the tub.

More recently, there has been introduced the concept of water massage and towards this end, there have been developed portable type water massaging units generallly in the form of pumps which may be immersed directly into the bathtub water while a person is in the bathtub to effect an artificial circulation of the water automatically. These portable devices, While effective to some extent, jet the water from essentially a point source; that is, from the particular location in the bathtub in which the unit is placed. By the time that the circulated water reaches certain portions of a persons body, the effective massaging capabilities of the water has dissipated considerably. Moreover, such portable devices must be manually controlled insofar as shutting the same off after the water massaging process has been completed. This operation can be dangerous when a portable unit is powered by electricity, particularly when the users hands are wet.

With the foregoing considerations in mind, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a novel bathtub construction incorporating water massaging means which overcome the above problems. i

More particularly, it is an object to provide a novel bathtub incorporating stepped construction at the ends of the tub to facilitate entering and leaving the tub and to facilitate holding and supporting of a persons body in desired positions while in the tub, all to the end that the risk of accidents and the like is substantially diminished.

3,374,492 Patented Mar. 26, 1968 Another important object is to provide a tub having a novel faucet and overflow drain arrangement such that 'hot water may be added to a filled tub to maintain or increase its temperature in a more rapid and eificient mannot than has been possible heretofore.

Another important object is to provide a novel bathtub incorporating water massage means directly into the construction of the tub itself, there being provided recirculating means for the water massage means and control thereof wholly exterior of the tub, all to the end that it is not necessary to place or remove a particular structure in the tub at the time of taking a bath.

Another object meeting the foregoing object is to provide automatic control means for such water'massage means which will automatically terminate its operation after a pre-selected period of time and which additionally includes manual over-ride means.

Still another important object is to provide an improved bathtub incorporating in its structure water massage means wherein the water is caused to circulate from a variety of different points about the interior of the tub such as to insure a relatively large water massaging effect on portions of the 'body of the user, all simultaneously or at selected portions of the body at the discretion of the user.

Still another object is to provide a therapeutic bathtub incorporating water massage units in which the risk of electrical shocks and the like is minimized.

Briefly, these and many other objects and advantages of this invention are attained by providing a bathtub preferably of elongated construction and including step means extending from opposite ends of the tub. These step means facilitate entry and exit from the tub and also serve to support portions of the body when a person is bathing or being treated by water massage.

In the preferred construction, the tub includes overflow drains at its opposite ends and faucets for filling the tub located centrally of the elongated tub structure overhanging opposite sides such that addition of hot water takes place centrally in the tub and thus radiates out to the overflow drains at the far ends. By this arrangement, the desirable effect of maintaining the water at a consistent temperature or the further heating thereof by adding hot water is much more quickly realized than in conventional type bathtubs.

In addition, the bathtub construction incorporates in its sidewalls and in at least one end Wall a Water jet means in the form of several nozzles strategically positioned. There is also provided a water exit opening together with pump means preferably including at least two pumps for circulating water received through the water exit opening in the tub back through the nozzles and into the tub. By providing two separate pumps, selected nozzles may be operated at the users discretion or all of the nozzles may be operated simultaneously to elfect a complete massaging of the persons body.

In addition, the invention contemplates individual timer means for the pumps for automatically shutting one or both of the pumps off after pro-selected time intervals. Over-ride switches are provided so that the user may manually de-energize the pumps and thus stop the water massaging action at his discretion.

A better understanding of the therapeutic bathtube of this invention will be had by now referring to a preferred embodiment thereof as illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a bathroom incorporating the therapeutic bathtub; and,

FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the bathtub of FIGURE 1 with the adjacent floor structure not shown to illustrate the piping in schematic form for effecting water circulation in accordance with the invention.

3 Referring first to FIGURE 1, there is shown a corner of a bathroom incorporating a tub designated generally by the numeral 11. As shown, the tub is elongated and defined by first and second sidewalls 12 and 13 and first and second end walls 14 and 15. The tub includes a bottom surface 16 sloping up towards the second end as shown. A drain 17 is disposed centrally at the lowest level portion of the bottom 16.

Water inlet faucets for the tub are shown at 18 and 19 overhanging, respectively, the central upper edge portions of the first and second sidewalls 12 and 13. Suitable valve controls are shown at 20 and 21 for these faucets. The first and second ends of the tub include overflow drains 22 and 23. With this arangement, it will be evident that water is admitted to the tub in the central region of the tub. Thus, hot water passed into the tub after the tub is substantialy filled will circulate towards opposite ends of the tub to the overflow drains 22 and 23 and will thus permeate through the entire volume of the tub.

The tub structure also includes first and second steps 24 and 25 extending from the first end 14 of the tub disposed at convenient levels. There is also provided a third step 26 extending from the second end wall 15 as shown. These steps are designed to facilitate entry and exit from the bathtub and to help in supporting a users body in various positions in the tub. For example, the person may lie substantially prone in the tub with his head resting on the step 26 and his feet engaging either the first or second of the steps 24 and 25, depending upon his height. Alternatively, the person may sit in the tub with his back resting against the second step 25, this step having a curved riser as shown for the comfort of the user.

Also incorporated in the tub are jet water means in the form of end nozzles 27 and 28 disposed between the first and second steps 24 and 25 at the first end 14 of the tub and side nozzles 29 and 30 in the first and second sidewalls 12 and 13 disposed near to the first and second steps as shown. The tub sidewalls also include additional nozzles such as indicated at 31 and 32 for the first side 12 and 33 and 34 for the second side 13, these latter nozzles being disposed near to the third step 26 at the second end 15 of the tub. Suitable water exit openings 35 and 36 are disposed in the central portions of the sidewalls as shown. These exit openings receive water from the tub, which water is recirculated back through the various nozzles, all as will become clearer as the description proceeds.

Shown in FIGURE 1 are timer means 37 and 38 on one of the bathroom walls and over-ride first and second switches 39 and 40 on another portion of the bathroom wall close to the tub so that the same may be operated by a user in the tub. The first and second timers 37 and 38 function to automatically terminate operation of the water jets incorporated in the tub after pre-selected periods of time. The first and second switches 39 and 40, in turn, will over-ride operation of the timers so that the user may terminate the water jet action at his discretion.

The foregoing operation of the water jet means will become clearer by now referring to FIGURE 2. In FIG- URE 2, it will be noted that the various jet nozzles 27 through 34 are divided into two sets of four nozzles each. The first set comprises the end nozzles 27 and 28 and the opposite side wall nozzles 29 and 30. These nozzles are connected to pipes passing under the flooring or adjacent structure of the tub 'out of sight to a common conduit or pipe 41 connected to the outlet of a pump 42. The inlet for the pump 42 connects to a pipe 43 in turn connecting through branch pipes 44 and 45 to the water exit openings 35 and 36, respectively. With this arrangement, it will be evident that when the pump 42 is energized, water will be circulated through the pump, the water being received through the water exit openings 35 and 36 to the common conduit 43 into the inlet of the pump 42 and thence out the common outlet 41 to the four nozzles in question. Y I

The second set of nozzles constitute the side nozzles 31 and 32 in the first sidewall 12 near the second end of the tub and the nozzles 33 and 34 in the second sidewall 13, also near the second end of the tub. These nozzles are connected through various conduits through a common pipe 46 passing from the outlet of a pump 47. The inlet to the pump 47 is shown at 48 and connects to the inlet lines 43 and 45 so as to receive water from the water exit openings 35 and 36.

Energization of the pumps is effected through power input leads 49 and 50 shown at'the bottom of FIGURE 2. The lead 49 connects to the timers 37 and 38 and the respective switches 39 and 40 in turn are connected in series with these timers and one power terminal of each of the pumps 42 and 47. The return lines from the pumps 42 and 47 are shown at 51 and 52 connecting to the second power terminal 50.

With the description of the foregoing structure in mind, the entire operation of the therapeutic bathtub will now be described. Initially, the user will close the drain 17 shown in FIGURE 1 and turn on the faucets 18 and 19. Because there are two faucets, the tub will fill relatively quickly. When the tub has reached the desired level and the water temperature has been adjusted by selectively adjusting the various valves 20 and 21 to provide a desired mixture of hot and cold water, the faucets are turned off. The user may then set the timers 37 and 38 or selectively simply set one or the other of the timers for a given period such as five or ten minutes or even a just a few minutes. The switches 39 and 40 are normally open so that mere setting of the timers will not start the jet water massaging nozzles.

The bather will then step into the tub utilizing one or the other of thetvarious end steps and in a first position, he may lie substantially prone on the bottom surface with his head resting on the third step 26 in a comfortable manner. The person may bathe in a conventional manner, and should the water cool, he may readily add hotwater to the tub by operating one or both of the faucets 18 and 19. Since this water is centrally passed into the tub and radiates outwardly towards the opposite ends to the,

overflow drains 22 and 23, the beneficial effects of the new hot water entering will be immediately felt by the user. In fact, the user may permit the hot water to continuously run from the faucets 18 and 19 while bathing to keep the overall [temperature of the water at a uniformly high value if desired.

When the bather desires to employ the water massaging units, he may operate one or both of the switches 39 and 40. Operation of the switch 39 will energize the pump 42 to jet water from the first set of four nozzles at the first end of the tub. These jets will thoroughly massage the lower half portion of the persons body. Operation of the switch 40 will energize the pump 47 to actuate the second jets and thus thoroughly massage the upper portion of his body.

Closing of one or both of the switches 39 and 40 will also result in operation of the timers 37 and 38 which will then automatically open the circuits after the preselected times periods have passed. However, should the user wish to terminate the operation of the jets prior to the completion of the selected time period, it is a simple matter to open one or both of the manual switches 39 and 40.

The bather may also re-position himself in the tub with his back towards the second step 25. In this position, operation of the first set of jet nozzles will cause water to be jetted to the back of the user, and because of their displacement by positioning the same on the riser of the first step, a relatively wide area of the users back will be subject to the water massage. His central and lower body portions, in turn, may be water massaged by the side nozzles.

Should the bather fall asleep or forget to turn off the jets, the timers will automatically turn off these jets so that there is no possibility of his inadvertently being subjected to undue water massage over an extended period.

The switches 39 and 40 are preferably of the push button type which are properly insulated, and since the electrical circuits and pumps and the like are wholly exterior of the bathtub, the hazards of electrical shock are minimized. Alternatively, a low voltage circuit may be employed for the switches 39 and 40 which, in turn, operate relays to throw switches employed in the conventional power line. Such low voltage would be an added safety feature.

With respect to the foregoing, it should also be understood that the first and second pumps 42 and 47 are preferably located at a considerable distance from the tub and may even be located outside of the bathroom proper under the flooring so that the noise of their operation will be minimal to the user in the tub.

From the foregoing description, it will be evident that the present invention has provided a vastly improved therapeutic bathtub meeting all of the various objects set forth heretofore.

While a specific example of nozzle arrangement has been shown and described, the invention is not to be though of as limited to the particular structure set forth merely for illustrative purposes.

What is claimed is:

1. A therapeutic bathtub comprising: an elongated tub; at least one Water jet means built into a side wall of said tub for circulating water about the interior of said tub to thereby effect a water massaging of a person in said tub, said water jet means including nozzles incorporated in the side walls and at least one end wall of said tube; a water exit opening in said tub; pump means exterior of said tub for circulating water from said exit opening through said nozzles; faucet means overhanging the central portion of said tube so that hot water may be passed into the central region of said tube; overflow drain means at at least one end of said tub; and steps at the ends of said tub to provide head and foot resting and body support means for a person in said tub.

2. A therapeutic bathtub comprising, in combination: an elongated tub defined by first and second side walls and first and second end walls and a bottom surface having an upwardly sloping portion meeting said second end wall; a drain disposed in the central portion of said bottom surface; first and second steps extending from said first end wall; a third step extending from said secend end wall; first and second faucets overhanging the middle portions of the upper edges of said first and second side walls to add water in the central region of said tub; first and second overflow drains in the upper portions of said first and second end walls above said first and third steps, respectively; water jet means incorporated in said tub; a water exit opening incorporated in said tub; pump means exterior of said tub having its outlet connected to said jet means and its inlet connected to said water exit opening; and timer means for operating said pump means for a given selected period to circulate water about the interior of said tub when a person is resting in said tub with his head supported by said third step.

3. A bathtub according to claim 2, in which said water jet means includes water nozzles incorporated in opposite side walls an on said first end wall between said first and second steps whereby water may be directed against a persons back when resting his back against said second step.

4. A bathtub according to claim 2, in which said jet means include first and second sets of four nozzles each disposed about the interior of said tub, said first set having two of its nozzles in said first end wall between said first and second steps and two of its nozzles in the side walls, respectively, near said first and second steps, said second set having two of its nozzles in said first side wall near to said third step and its remaining two nozzles in said second side wall near said third step, said pump means comprising first and second pumps for individually circulating water between said first and second sets of nozzles and said water exit opening whereby lower and upper portions of a persons body may simultaneously be subject to water massage.

5. A bathtub according to claim 4, in which said timer means comprises two individual timers for said first and second pumps, respectively; and first and second switches connected to said pumps respectively to enable manual switching ofi: of said pumps at any time during the timing cycles therefor.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,572,463 10/ 195-1 Fine 4173 2,870,456 1/1959 Greensides 4l73 3,263,678 8/1966 Everston 12866 3,297,025 1/1967 Jacuzzi 4--180 X 3,288,134 11/1966 Reich 4-480 X HAROLD J. GROSS, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US3288134 *Aug 7, 1963Nov 29, 1966Gilbert H ReichHydrotherapy installation for conventional bathtub
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3736924 *Jan 26, 1972Jun 5, 1973Jacuzzi Research IncHydromassage tub assembly
US3797482 *Mar 23, 1972Mar 19, 1974M NicolletAutomatic device for subaqueous massage
US3964472 *Mar 20, 1974Jun 22, 1976Michel NicolletAutomatic device for subaqueous massage
US3967323 *Dec 31, 1974Jul 6, 1976Serio Jeannette HTherapeutic constant flow bath
US4169293 *Feb 8, 1978Oct 2, 1979Chanso CorporationHydrotherapy vessel level control
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US5548854 *Aug 16, 1993Aug 27, 1996Kohler Co.Hydro-massage tub control system
US8646120Mar 4, 2011Feb 11, 2014In Reserve LLCBathing device, systems and methods
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US20050246830 *May 7, 2004Nov 10, 2005Galyean Tinsley A JrFlow-through bathtub
US20080189846 *Feb 27, 2008Aug 14, 2008Gardenier W JohnDiverter Valve System for a Spa and a Spa Incorporating Same
US20140259358 *Mar 15, 2013Sep 18, 2014Custom Molded Products, Inc.Bath with flowing water
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U.S. Classification4/541.4, 601/157
International ClassificationA61H33/00
Cooperative ClassificationA61H33/0087
European ClassificationA61H33/00N