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Publication numberUS3381317 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 7, 1968
Filing dateSep 29, 1965
Priority dateSep 29, 1965
Publication numberUS 3381317 A, US 3381317A, US-A-3381317, US3381317 A, US3381317A
InventorsDaniels Jr William A, Daniels William A
Original AssigneeWilliam A. Daniels, William A. Daniels Jr.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bathtub lift
US 3381317 A
Images(3)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1968. w. A. DANlELS 'E-TAL 3,381,317

BATHTUB LIFT 3 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Sept. 29, 1965 WILLIAM A. DANIELS, JR.

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ATTORNEY May 7, 1968 w. A. DANIELS ETAL 3,331,317

I BATHTUB LIFT Filed Sept. 29, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTORS WILL/AM A. DANIELS WILLIAM A; DAN/5L5, JR. :Ezg &

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amwm 60M ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,381,317 BATHTUB LIFT William A. Daniels, 1031 Seven Hills Drive, and William A. Daniels, Jr., 942 Simich Drive, both of Seven Hills, Ohio 44131 Filed Sept. 29, 1965, Ser. No. 491,115 7 Claims. (Cl. 4-185) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A bath tub lift including a fluid operated, vertically movable piston having a seat operatively connected thereto for lowering and raising of the seat into and out of abath tub.

This invention relates generally, as indicated, to a bath tub lift and, more particularly, to certain improvements in bathtub lifts, especially of the type disclosed in the patent to William A. Daniels, patent No. 3,078,473, granted Feb. 26, 1963.

In such prior patent, there is disclosed a bath tub lift having a seat which may automatically be lowered or raised to assist an invalid or incapacitated person in entering and leaving a bath tub. The bathtub lift can be operated by any convenient source of houehold water pressure, such as is supplied by the tub water spout, for example, and is extremely simple in construction, light in weight, and easily installed on almost any type of bathtub.

While the bathtub lift of the aforementioned Daniels patent has proven to he quite satisfactory in use, it has been found that the apparatus for supporting the lift on a tub is somewhat cumbersome. Also, there is some danger of pinching by the moving parts of the lift mechanism. Morever, although the seat of the Daniels patent cannot be inadvertently lowered when pivoted over the side of the tub, no provision is made for locking the seat against inward pivotal movement when in such position, which may be desirable so as to provide a rigid support against which an invalid can lean while lowering and raising himself onto and off the seat.

It is therefore a principal object of this invention to provide an improved bathtub lift with a simplified clamping means for clamping the lift directly to a bathtub.

Another object is to provide such a bathtub lift with a cover member for concealing substantially all of the moving parts of the lift mechanism to thereby eliminate any possibility of being pinched during use of the lift.

Still another object is to provide such a lift with novel means for locking the seat against both vertical and horizontal movement when positioned over the side of the tub, thereby providing a rigid support for an invalid when lowering and raising himself onto and off of the seat.

A further object is to provide such a lift as described above with novel means for attaching the seat to the lift mechanism.

Yet another object is to provide such a lift with novel means for permitting the escape of any fluid which seeps past the piston of the lift mechanism where, if permitted to accumulate, it would interfere with the proper functioning of the lift.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawing setting forth in detail a certain illustrative embodiment of the invention, this being indicative, however, of

but one of the various ways in which the principle of the invention may be employed.

In said annexed drawing:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a preferred form of bathtub lift in accordance with the present invention shown mounted on a bathtub with the seat of the lift in the raised position above the tub;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view similar to FIG. 1, but with the seat in the swung out position extending over the side of the tub;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view similar to FIGS. 1 and 2, but showing the seat in the lowered position within the tub;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of such bathtub lift;

FIG. 5 is atop plan view of such lift;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical section taken on the plane of the line 6-6 of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary front elevation of such lift, partially broken away to show the connection between the piston rod and the cylinder wall of the lift mechanism; and

FIG. 8 is a horizontal section taken on the plane of the line 8--8 of FIG. 7.

Turning now more particularly to the drawing, and first of all to FIGS. 1-3, a preferred form of bathtub lift in accordance with the present invention is generally indicated at 1 and comprises a lift mechanism 2 supported on the upper edge 3 of a conventional type bath tub 5 preferably at the end 6 opposite the tub faucet (not shown), and a seat 7 carried by a seat frame 8 operatively connected to the lift mechanism 2, in a manner which will be more fully described hereafter. The seat 7 is adapted to be moved to one of three operative positions; a raised position above the tub 5 as illustrated in FIG. 1; a swung out position over the edge of the tub as illustrated in FIG. 2; and a lowered position within the tub as illustrated in FIG. 3;

The lift mechanism 2 for effecting movement of the seat 7 to such various operative positions is perhaps best shown in FIGS. 6-8 and includes a cylinder 9 in which there is slidably received a piston 10 having a suitable packing 11 for making sealing contact with the cylinder wall, and a piston rod 12 extending upwardly from the piston 10. Around the rod 12 and engaging the upper side of the piston 10 there is a tubular member 13 held in position on the rod 12 as by means of a cotter pin 14 extending through an aperture in the free end of the rod 12 adjacent the upper end of the tube 13. The cylinder 9 has an axial slot 15 extending through the wall 16 thereof for a considerable length, beginning from a position just above the piston 10 when it is disposed in its up position with the end of the rod 12 adjacent the upper end of the cylinder 9 to a position spaced slightly below the upper end of the cylinder. As evident in FIG. 7, the slot 15 is actually T-shaped with the short portion 17 of the slot 15 being located adjacent the top of the cylinder and having downward extensions 18 at its ends, for a purpose which will be made apparent in the discussion to follow.

A carrier tube 20 is slidably disposed about the cylinder 9 and is connected to the upper end of the tube 13 and thus the piston rod 12 by means of a dog or projection 21 extending through the slot 15 and suitably fastened to the tube 13 as by welding at 22 and to the carrier tube 20 as by a suitable fastener 23. Accordingly, raising and lowering of the piston 10 within the cylinder 9 will cause like movements of the carrier tube 20.

A yoke 25 for connecting the seat frame 8 to the lift mechanism 2 is mounted on the lower end of the carrier tube 20 by suitable fasteners 26, the heads of which are flush with the inner surface of the carrier tube so as not to interfere with its sliding movement along the cylinder 9. As clearly shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the tubular members 30 and 31 of the seat frame 8 are attached to the ends of the yoke and extend downwardly therefrom at an angle generally corresponding to the back sloping portion 32 of the tub 5 and then in a horizontal plane with the horizontal ends 33 and 34 spread apart a distance sufiicient to receive the seat 7 therebetween. The seat 7 is desirably disposed slightly below the plane of the horizontal ends 33 and 34 and is attached thereto by means of a plurality of clips 35, whereby such horizontal ends form sides for the seat 7 to assist in supporting an invalid on the seat. For maintaining the tubular members and 31 in the desired spacial relationship, there is a brace 36 interconnecting them.

While it is preferred that the seat 7 have the horseshoe configuration shown in the drawing, it should be understood that other seat configurations could be utilized without departing from the present invention. A cloth sling such as shown at 94 in the Daniels Patent No. 3,078,473, for example, could be substituted for the horseshoe seat 7 if desired. 2

The Support frame 6 for mounting the bath tub lift 1 on the tub 5 comprises a tubular member 40 having a generally U-shape configuration similar to the end 6 of the upper edge 3 of the tub 5 for engagement therewith, and a V-shape brace 41 interconnecting the legs 42 and bight portion 43 of the tubular member 40 together. Both the tubular member 40 and brace 41 are fixed to the lower end of the cylinder 9 as by welding, or the use of suitable fasteners. Also, a further brace 44 may extend between the legs 45 of the brace 41 and be attached to the cylinder 9 as at 46.

For rigidly clamping the support frame 6 to the walls 47 of the tub 5, tub clamps 48 are provided on the legs 45 of the main brace 41. As seen in FIGS. 1-5, the tub clamps 48 are mounted on the legs 45 for sliding movement therealong toward and away from the walls of the tub 5, and have bent ends 50 which are adapted to make good contact with the walls when pushed into engagement therewith. Also, set screws 51 (see FIG. 5) are provided for releasably clamping the tub clamps 48 when in position engaging the tub walls 47. While not absolutely necessary, it is preferred that the bent ends 50 of the tub clamps 48 be covered with a vinyl coating, not only to prevent marring or scratching of the tub 5, but also to increase the gripping force exerted by the tub clamps 48 against the tub.

As is now readily apparent, the support frame 6 and tub clamps 48 as described provide a very simple and eflective means for quickly clamping and unclamping the bath tub lift 1 from the tub 5. Thus, to mount the bath tub lift 1 on the tub, it is only necessary to dispose the tubular member 40 adjacent the end 6 of the tub with the legs 42 and bight portion 43 resting on the upper edge 3, slide the tub clamps 48 outwardly until they firmly engage the sides of the tub, and tighten the set screws 51 so as to hold the tub clamps 48 firmly in place. To remove the bath tub lift 1, first the set screws 51 are unloosened, and then the tub clamps 48 are slid inwardly out of engagement with the walls of the tub, thus freeing the lift and permitting it to be removed by a simple lifting motion.

Actuation of the lift mechanism 2 is efiected by admitting a fluid such as water under pressure into the lower end of the cylinder 9 through an inlet port 52 to act on the piston 10 to raise the same within the cylinder and thus raise the carrier tube 20 and seat 7. As previously indicated, household water pressure is suflicient to operate the lift mechanism. Accordingly, a supply line 53 attached to the inlet port 52 may be connected to any convenient water outlet, such as the tub spout, for example, either by means of a valve such as shown at 53 in the Daniels Patent No 3,078,473, or by means of the novel control valve 54 shown in FIG. 1 and fully disclosed in the copending application of William A. Daniels and William A.

4 Daniels, In, entitled Bath Lift Control Valve, filed even date herewith.

Regardless of the type of control valve used, when water is admitted to the lower end of the cylinder 9, the piston 10 and seat 7 are raised as aforesaid. Moreover, the seat 7 may be supported in any desired position by the column of water in the cylinder 9 simply by shutting off the flow of water to the cylinder 9. Of course, if the inlet port 52 is connected to drain, the piston 10 and seat 7 will drop, the rate depending on the rate at which fluid is permitted to escape from the cylinder 9 through such inlet port.

When the piston 10 is in the lowermost position shown in phantom lines in FIG. 6, it should be spaced slightly above the inlet port 52 so that it does not block the same, as by providing the piston 10 with a downwardly turned flange 55.

In order to eliminate any possibility of being pinched by the moving parts of the lift mechanism 2, a cover 56 is disposed over the upper portion of the cylinder 9 and carrier tube 20, and extends downwardly almost to the bottom of the slot 15. The cap 57 of the cover 56 is attached to the cylinder head 58 as by means of rivets or screws 59. Moreover, as clearly shown in FIG. 6, the sides of the cover 56 are spaced somewhat from the walls of the carrier tube 20 to permit axial movement of the carrier tube therewithin and also to provide a passageway for the flow of any fluid which seeps past the piston packing 11 to the tub 5.

OPERATION Once the lift 1 is mounted on a bath tub in the manner described above, it can be made ready for use simply by connecting the supply line 53 with the tub spout or the like (not shown) through a control valve such as indicated at 54 having at least three operating positions; a first position connecting the supply line with the water source; a second position connecting the supply line with a drain; and a third position blocking the supply line. Accordingly, whenthe valve 54 is moved to the first position, fluid is admitted to the cylinder 9 through the inlet port 52 where it acts on the piston 10 to raise the piston and thus the seat 7 until the dog 21 engages the top of the slot 15. Then the supply line 53 is blocked by moving the valve to the third position, and the entire seat supporting structure is pivoted about the vertical axis of the piston rod 12 in the desired direction until the dog 21 engages one of the ends of the short leg 17 of the slot 15 so as to position the seat 7 over the side of the tub 5. When in this out position, the seat 7 may be locked against both inadvertent vertical and horizontal movements if desired by moving the valve 54 to the second position to permit the escape of sufficient fiuid from the cylinder 9 such that the dog 21 drops down into the extension 18 of the slot 15. Such locking of the seat 7 in place provides a rigid support for an invalid when lowering and raising himself onto and off the seat.

With the invalid properly seated, the valve 54 is again moved to the first position communicating the inlet port 52 with the fluid supply to raise the dog 21 out of the extension 18 so that the seat 7 may be pivoted back to a position directly over the tub 5 with the dog 21 in line with the vertical portion of the slot 15. Then the valve 54 is moved to conne'ct the supply line 53 with the drain, thereby permitting fluid to escape through the inlet port 52 and causing the seat 7 to descend into the tub. Of course, the seat can be held at any position desired simply by moving the valve 54 to the block or hold position to prevent escape of fluid through the supply line 53.

Upon completion of the bath, the seat is again raised by connecting the supply line 5-3 with the fluid pressure source to cause the seat to raise out of the tub until the dog 21 engages the top of the slot 15, after which the seat 7 may be again pivoted over the side of the tub and then moved into the lock position simply by connecting the supply line 53 with the drain.

From the above discussion, it should now readily be apparent that the bathtub lift 1 of the present invention may be quickly and easily mouned on and removed from a bath tub, and without the nec-essity of having to use any special tools. Also, the seat of the lift may be lock-ed in the out position over the side of the tube so as to provide a rigid support for an invalid when getting .on or off the seat. Furthermore, the operating parts of the lift are covered to guard against pinching, and yet any fluid which seeps past the piston of the lift mechanism may readily escape and flow down the side of the lift cylinder into the tub.

Other modes of applying the principles of the invention may be employed, change being made as regards the details described, provided the features stated in any of the following claims or the equivalent of such be employed.

We, therefore, particularly point out and distinctly claim as our invention:

1. A bathtub lift comprising a seat, a hydraulically actuated means for raising and lowering said seat into and out of a bathtub, and means for mounting said lift on a tub, comprising a U-shaped tubular member which is adapted to be disposed on the edge of a tub adjacent one end thereof, angularly disposed brace means extending between the bight portion and legs of said U-sh'ape tubular member, and clamping means mounted on said brace means for sliding movement therealong toward and away from the walls of such tub, said clamp means being adapted to be releasably clamped in position when in engagement with such side walls firmly to hold said bath tub lift in place.

2. A bathtub lift comprising a seat, a lift mechanism for raising and lowering said seat, means adapted to mount said bath tub lift on a bathtub, said lift mechanism comprising a fluid cylinder, a piston slidably received in said cylinder, a piston rod extending upwardly from said piston a tubular member disposed around said piston rod and engaging the upper side of said piston, means mounting said tubular member on said piston rod for movement therewith, a carrier tube slidably received around said cylinder, a single guide slot extending through the Wall of said cylinder on the side facing said seat, a connecting member extending through said slot and conmeeting the upper end of said carrier tube with the upper end of said tubular member for guiding the movement of said carrier tube during movement of said piston and piston rod, and means mounting said seat on said carrier tube.

3. The bathtub lift of claim 2 wherein said guide slot is T-shaped with the long portion of said slot beingsubstantially vertical to cause substantially vertical movement of said seat during raising and lowering of said piston, and the short portion of said slot extending perpendicularly to said long portion adjacent the top of said cylinder to permit limited swinging movement of said seat when raised to a position extending over one or the other of the sides of a bath tub, said short portion of said slot having downward extensions at its ends for receipt of said connecting member when said seat is swung as aforesaid to lock said sea-t against both inadvertent downward and horizontal swinging movements, thereby providing a rigid support for a person when lowering and raising himself onto and off of said sea't.

4. The bathtub lift of claim 1 wherein said clamp means include downwardly extending end portions bent to conform to the side walls of the tub for mating contact therewith, said bent end portions having a vinyl coating thereon to enhance the gripping force exerted by said clamp means against such tub side walls.

5. A bathtub lift comprising a seat, a lift mechanism for raising and lowering said seat, and mean-s for mounting said lift mechanism on a bath tub, said lift mechanism comprising a fluid cylinder, a piston slidably received in said cylinder, and means mounting said seat on said lift mechanism for movement with said piston, including a carrier tube slidably received around said cylinder, a guide slot extending through the wall of said cylinder, a piston rod extending upwardly from said piston, means interconnecting said piston rod and carrier tube and extending through said guide slot for guiding the movement of said carrier tube during movement of said piston and piston rod, means mounting said seat on said carrier tube, said slot being T-shaped with the long portion of said slot substantially vertical to cause substantially vertical movement of said seat during raising and lowering of said piston, and the short portion of said slot extending perpendicular to said long portion adjacent the top of said cylinder to permit limited swinging movement of said seat when raised to a position extending over one or the other of the sides of the tub, said short portion of said slot having downward extensions at its ends for receipt of said guide means when said seat is swung as aforesaid to lock said seat against both inadvertent downward and horizontal swinging movements, thereby providing a rigid support for a person when lowering and raising himself onto and off of said seat.

6. A bathtub lift comprising a seat, a lift mechanism for raising and lowering said seat, and means for mounting said lift mechanism on a bathtub, said lift mechanism comprising a fluid cylinder, a piston slidably received in said cylinder, and means mounting said seat on said lift mechanism for movement with said piston, including a carrier tube slidably received around said cylinder, a guide slot extending through the wall of said cylinder, a piston rod extending upwardly from said piston, means interconnecting said piston rod and carrier tube and extending through said guide slot for guiding the movement of said carrier tube during movement of said piston rod, means mounting said seat on said carrier tube, and a cover disposed over the upper end of said cylinder and carrier tube and extending along said cylinder substantially the entire length of said slot so as to substantially eliminate any possibility of being pinched by the moving parts of said lift mechanism, there being suflicient clearance between said cover and carrier tube to permit axial movement therebetween and to provide a passageway for the flow of fluid which may seep past said piston.

7. A bathtub lift comprising a lift mechanism, means mounting said lift mechanism on a bathtub, a seat, and a frame means operatively connecting said seat to said lift mechanism for movement therewith, comprising a pair of tubular members attached to said lift mechanism, said tubular members extending downwardly from said lift mechanism at an angle to permit lowering of said tubular members into the bathtub, said tubular members having horizontally extending lower ends spread apart sufliciently to receive said seat therebetween, and a brace 'between said tubular members interconnecting said horizontal ends behind said seat, said seat being disposed slightly below the plane of said horizontal ends and attached thereto by a plurality of clips connected to the side and back edges of said seat.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,060,590 11/1936 Padgett 188-88505 2,087,451 7/1937 Rossman et al. 188-88505 2,582,586 1/.1952 Dorr 4-185 2,779,949 2/1957' Crispen 4185 3,078,473 2/1963 Daniels 4-185 3,188,657 6/1965 Cotner 4-185 3,256,036 6/1966 Nolan 4-185 3,280,409 10/1966 Cotner 4-185 3,286,970 11/1966 Nolan 4-185 LAV-ERNE D. GEIGBR, Primary Examiner. D. MASSENBERG, Assistant Examiner.-

Patent Citations
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US2060590 *May 31, 1933Nov 10, 1936Gen Motors CorpShock absorbing means
US2087451 *Dec 13, 1935Jul 20, 1937Gen Motors CorpShock absorber
US2582586 *Feb 28, 1948Jan 15, 1952Dorr Carlos VPatient handling attachment for bathtubs
US2779949 *Jun 27, 1952Feb 5, 1957Crispen Clarence CHydraulic lift for bath tubs
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3815163 *Jan 7, 1972Jun 11, 1974Sullivan LBath lift apparatus
US3879770 *Jan 11, 1974Apr 29, 1975Grant Airmass CorpFluid operated bathtub lift
US3914806 *Jan 3, 1974Oct 28, 1975Pearce James CInvalid aid
US3994030 *Jan 27, 1975Nov 30, 1976James CassellBath seat lift
US4183106 *Sep 11, 1978Jan 15, 1980Gary E. GrimesSwimming pool lift for the handicapped
US4628550 *Nov 5, 1984Dec 16, 1986Walton Claude GSwing-in-swing-out shower chair
US5263207 *Jun 24, 1992Nov 23, 1993Gilbert Lloyd HHandicapped bather's lift for home bathroom
US5555575 *Nov 9, 1992Sep 17, 1996Aqua Medics Pty. Ltd.For use on a bath tub or reservoir
US5606751 *Jan 26, 1996Mar 4, 1997Baker; Robert E.Shower chair and bathtub transfer assembly
US6003168 *Oct 5, 1995Dec 21, 1999Steadman; William DavidPerson movement apparatus
US6226809 *Apr 28, 1999May 8, 2001Smith Industries Public Limited CompanyHydraulic lift cylinder assemblies
US6351860 *Mar 27, 2001Mar 5, 2002Richard C. SchafferBathtub chair lift
US6397409Apr 14, 2000Jun 4, 2002Freedom Bath, Inc.Bath lifting system
US6643860Feb 27, 2002Nov 11, 2003Freedom Bath, Inc.Bath lifting system
US6643861Sep 25, 2002Nov 11, 2003Freedom Bath, Inc.Bath lifting system
US7258057Mar 17, 2003Aug 21, 2007Hydro-Industries Tynat Ltd.Method and apparatus for the production of mechanical power from hydraulic energy
US8332971Aug 12, 2008Dec 18, 2012Roderick BennettApparatus for supporting a person having enhanced portability and method of using same
EP1099435A1 *Nov 11, 1999May 16, 2001Colin IsenbergBath lifts
EP1136414A2Feb 19, 2001Sep 26, 2001Tynalt Ltd.Water driven spool for winding and/or unwinding flexible material
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/563.1
International ClassificationA61G7/10
Cooperative ClassificationA61G7/1059, A61G7/1003, A61G7/1076, A61G7/1019
European ClassificationA61G7/10Z4, A61G7/10T10, A61G7/10A2, A61G7/10N6