Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3416166 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 17, 1968
Filing dateAug 1, 1966
Priority dateAug 1, 1966
Publication numberUS 3416166 A, US 3416166A, US-A-3416166, US3416166 A, US3416166A
InventorsAdelheid Hanson
Original AssigneeAdelheid Hanson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Easy opening sliding door for bathtub
US 3416166 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 17, 1968 A. HANSON 3,416,166

EASY OPENING SLIDING DOOR FOR BATHTUB Filed Aug. l, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR Dec. 17, 1968 A, HANSON 3,416,166

EASY OPENING SLIDING DOOR FOR BATHTUB .filed Aug. 1, 1966 5 Sheets-sheet 2 ma 110 f5 7 2J-4' #2 deZ//QL'a Hansa/7 Dec. 17, 1968 A. HANsoN 3,416,166

EASY OPENING SLIDING DOOR FOR BATHTUB Filed Aug. l, 1966 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 ,l /90 /aa INVENTOR de//lec'a Hanson 42 BY @Ju/9L United States Patent O 3,416,166 EASY OPENING SLIDING DOOR FOR BATHTUB Adelheid Hanson, 12914 NW. 7th Ave., North Miami, Fla. 33161 Filed Aug. 1, 1966, Ser. No. 569,391 Claims. (Cl. 4-173) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A sliding door assembly for a lateral opening in a bathtub. The sliding door has Spring supports for making it easy to lift the door to clear the opening. The door is hingeless and easy to open and close. The door assembly includes a U-shaped frame vertically fixed in the opening in the tub and a vertically sliding door having U-shaped gaskets on opposite sides the gasket on one side being mechanically movable outwardly to effect sealing of the door -to the frame. Normal locking means is provided for holding the door closed.

This invention concerns an improved sliding door assembly for a lateral opening in a bathtub.

A principal object lof the invention is to provide a sliding door with spring supports which make it possible to lift the door easily for clearing a side opening in a bathtub.

Another object is to provide a bathtub with a hingeless sliding door which is easy to open and close, simple to install, readily and conveniently stowed out of the way when open, safe to use, waterproof, rugged in construction, and economical to manufacture.

A further object is to provide a sliding door which has a movable U-shaped sealing gasket operated by cams to effect waterproof sealing of the door in a frame of a lateral opening in a bathtub.

Another 4object is to provide a sliding door assembly including a U-shaped frame fixed in a lateral opening in a bathtub, and a sliding door having U-shaped gaskets on opposite sides, the gasket on one side being movable to effect sealing of the door to the frame.

Still another object is to provide a sliding door assembly as described, with novel locking means for Iholding the door closed, with novel cam operated means for sealing the door to the frame, with novel door elevating means to facilitate lifting of the door, and with novel rail means for holding the door out of the way of the opening in the bathtub.

For further comprehension of the invention and of the objects and advantages thereof, reference will be had to the following description and accompanying drawings and to the appended claims in which the various novel features of the invention are more particularly set forth.

In the accompanying drawings forming a material part of this disclosure:

FIG. 1 is a perspective View of bathtub equipped with a sliding door assembly according to the invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the bathtub with door in open position.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical sectional View taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 and FIG. 5 are cross sectional views taken on lines 4-4 and 5 5 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIG. 3.

FIG. 7 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to a part of FIG. 4, showing the door in sealing relationship with the frame.

FIG. 8 is an enlarged exploded perspective view of the sliding fdoor and frame.

Referring first to FIG. 1, there is shown a vertically slidable door 10 mounted in a channeled U-shaped framt 12 secured in side opening 14 of bathtub 15. A rail assem bly 16 is mounted on the bathtub and serves to suppor the door when it is removed from the frame as shown i1 FIG. 2. This rail assembly can also serv` as a safety hand hold for a person entering or leaving the bathtub.

The sliding door 10 is shown to best advantage i1 FIGS. 3-8 to which reference is now made. The door i: rectangular in shape with two flat rectangular inner an( outer side walls 18, 19, top and bottom walls 20, 21, anc end walls 22, 23. The end and bottom walls can be forme( integral with each other and the other walls can be secured thereto and to each other by screws 24.

The door 10 has an upstanding U-shaped handle 2E centrally located on the top wall. Near the handle is ar operating crank handle 26. Attached to this handle and extending vertically Idownward near end wall 23 inside the door shaft is a shaft 30; (see FIG. 3) mounted on this shaft are two generally elliptical or eccentric cams 32a, 32b. At the lower end of the shaft is a bevel gear 33. The free lower end of the shaft is rotatably journaled in a boss 34 formed on bottom wall 21. The upper end of the shaft is rotatably journaled in an opening 35 formed in the top wall 20.

Engaged with bevel gear 33 is another bevel gear 36. Gear 36 is axially horizontal and is mounted on one end of a horizontal shaft 38 journaled in upstanding bearing blocks 40, 42 on bottom wall 21. At the center of shaft 38 is another elliptical or eccentric cam 32e. At the other end of shaft 38 is a third bevel gear 44. Gear 44 is engaged with a fourth bevel gear 46 mounted on an axial vertical shaft 48 near end wall 22. Shaft 48 carries two further spaced elliptical or eccentric lixed cams 32d, 32e. Near the upper end of shaft 48 is a fixed ring 52 having axially extending holes 53 into one of which extends a vertically slidable pin 54. Pin 54 is attached to one end of a lever 55 pivotally supported by bracket arms 56 on top of the door. A spring 58 biases the lever 55 clockwise as viewed in FIG. 3, so that pin 54 is forced down through opening 60 in the top wall 20 onto the top of ring 52 and into one of holes 53.

A U-shaped slot 62 is formed in inner wall 18. In this slot slidably fits the pedestal portion 63 of a resilient sealing gasket 64 which is T-shaped in cross section. The gasket is dressed to U-shape to tit the pedestal portion into slot 62. The flat head portion 65 of the gasket is disposed inside the door near wall 18. The flat side of head portion 65 s bonded to a rigid U-shaped flat plate 66. Recesses 68 as best shown in FIGS. 4 and 6 are formed at spaced points along head portion 65. Into these recesses fit ends of leaf springs 70. The `leaf springs are secured by screws or rivets 71 to the inner side of wall 18. The springs are bent so that they exert yan inward bias against plate 66 tending to space the head portion 65 of the sealing gasket 64 away from the adjacent side of wall 18 so that pedestal portion 63 does not project out of slot 62.

The shafts 30, 38 and 48 are located just inwardly of the plate 66 at its vertical side portions and at its horizontal bottom portion. Cam 32a-32e are located close to adjacent portions of plate 66 and are arranged so that when they are turned to extend their longer radii outwardly toward wall 18 they will engage plate 66 and will push it outwardly. Pedestal portion 63 of the sealing gasket then projects out of slot 62; see FIG. 7. A U-shaped groove 72 is formed in the outer side of outer side wall 19. A resilient sealing gasket 74 is seated in this groove and projects outwardly of the door; see FIGS. 4 and 5.

In order to hold the door in vertical position, to guide it in vertical movement and to effect sealing relationship with the gaskets there is provided the channeled frame 12 shown best in FIGS. 1-4, 7 and 8. This frame has an inner fertical rectangular U-shaped side 75, opposing outer verical U-shaped side 76, vertical end walls 77, 78, and hori- :ontal bottom Wall 80. Top and bottom end portions of the :nd walls 77, 78 are bonded by waterproof joints to adacent portions of aligned openings 14 in inner and outer avalls 82, 84 of the bathtub. Veritcally disposed inside the frame are two vertical posts 86. Lower ends 87 of the aosts are enlarged, threaded, and screwed into oups 88 on the bottom wall 80. On posts 86 are coil springs 90. Carried by the springs and concentric with the posts are two sleeves 92 having closed circular upper ends 95.

The door is provided with two brackets 96, 98 which extend laterally outward of end walls 22, 23. These brackets bear on the upper ends of the sleeves 92 respectively. When the door 10 is fully inserted into the frame 12 as shown in FIG. 3, the coil springs are compressed and the upper end 95 of each sleeve rests on the upper end of each fixed post 86, 88. The door 10 is held down by a latch mechanism 100. This mechanism includes a slidable bolt 102 having a beveled end. The inclined side 103 of this beveled end faces upwardly. Tlhe bolt is slidably mounted in a fitting 104 on the end wall 78 of the frame; see FIG. 8. The end wall of the frame has an opening 105 through which the lower end of the bolt passes. Attached to the outer end of the bolt is a lever 106. The lever extends upwardly between two horizontally spaced horizontal pins 108 carried by arms 110 on the outside of the frame wall 78. Lever 106 extends upwardly through a slot 112 in the top wall 114 of the bathtub. A spring 115 located between the arms and the upper end of the lever tends to urge the bolt 102 inwardly of the frame so that the inner end of the bolt engages on top of door bracket 96.

The rail assembly 16 shown best in FIGS. 1, 2, 3 includes two inverted U-shaped members 120, 122 joined by horizontal cross bars 124. The rail assembly is mounted on the bathtub with cross bars 124 resting on the top wall 114 of th bathtub and with the free lower ends of the rail members 120, 122 juxtaposed to inner and outer sides of the bat-htub. The horizontal bights 125 of the rail members can serve as convenient hand-grips or hand-holds to aid a person in entering or leaving the bathtub. The spaced rail members 120, 122 define a frame structure into which the door 10 can be easily fited to hold it in vertical position ready to be reinserted into the frame defining a clear side opening in the bathtub as shown in FIG. 2.

Operation of the door will be readily apparent. To lock the door in waterproof sealing relationship with the frame, it is only necessary to turn crank handle 26 about one half turn. This rotates all the shafts and gears and causes the cams to engage the plate 66 pushing it in an outward direction. Thus as indicated in FIG. 7, the pedestal portion 63 of gasket 64 is forced against the inner side of side wall 18 while the gasket head 65 is forced against the inner side of side wall. This effects a watertight U-shaped joint between the door and frame. By turning the crank handle in opposite direction one half turn the cams release the plate 66 and springs 90 retract the plate and gasket. In order to hold the shafts, gears and cams against rotation at all positions, the ring 52 is provided with the circumferentially spaced holes 53 into any one of which the pin 54 can extend. In order to turn the crank handle 26 either to effect sealing of the door to the frame or to release the seal it is necessary to press down on the free end of lever 55. This retracts pin 54 away from ring 52 while the crank handle 26 is being turned.

When the door 10 is inserted into the frame, the brackets rest on the tops of sleeves 92. By pushing down on the door manually tocompress the springs, bracket 98 will snap past the beveled end of latch bolt 102 which will then automatically lock on top of bracket 98 to hold the door down as shown in FIG. 3, inside of frame 12. In order to release the door, lever 106 will be tilted to withdraw the beveled end of the bolt 102 from bracket 98, whereupon the door will be lifted by the expanding springs 90. By grasping handle 25 as the door rises, the door can eas- 4 ily be turned and engaged between the rail members 120, 122.

The mechanical arangement makes it unnecessary for the user to lift the door up out of the frame since the door rises automatically when the latch mechanism is released. There has thus been provided a sliding door assembly which fulfills a long felt need. Handicapped, aged and infirm persons can enter and leave a bathtub without having to climb over the steep vertical sides. They can hold the safety rail assembly 16 while entering and leaving bathtub. Even the door 10 itself engaged in the rail assembly as shown in FIG. 2 can serve as an arm or hand support for a person entering or leaving the bathtub. Closure of the door requires minimum effort. Without lifting the door it can easily be turned and fitted into the frame. Locking of the door is effected automatically as it is pushed down. The lever 55 and pin 54 serve as parts of a safety catch mechanism preventing accidental release of the sealing gaskets.

The door and frame assembly can be installed in a bathtub at the time of manufacture, or it can be installed by any skilled plumber or metal worker in an existing bathtub in a bathroom. This will be done by cutting the openings 14 in the walls of the bathtub and then installing assembled frame 12. Door 10 then fits easily in the frame.

While I have illustrated and described the preferred embodiments of my invention it is to be understood that I do not limit myself to the precise construction herein disclosed and that various changes and modifications may be made within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. A sliding door assembly for a bathtub having a rectangular opening in a side thereof, comprising a rectangular box-like door with opposing vertical side walls, opposing vertical end walls, and horizontal top and bottom walls, sealing means carried by said side walls to effect a watertight sealing of the door in said opening, and bracket means on the end walls for cooperation with an automatic elevation mechanism in said opening to lift the door.

2. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein one of said side walls of the door has a slot therein, said sealing means comprising a resilient gasket movably disposed in said slot, and a manually operable cam mechanism inside said door disposed to move said gasket outwardly of said slot for effecting said watertight sealing of the door in said opening.

3. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 2, further comprising a manually operable spring biased catch engaged with said cam mechanism for holding the cam mechanism in non-operating position so that said gasket is selectively held in sealing and non-sealing positions in said opening.

4. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 1, further comprising a rectangular U-shaped channeled frame mountable in said opening for slidably receiving said door, axially vertical horizontally spaced posts mounted inside sad frame, coil springs on said posts normally extending axially higher than the posts when the springs are expanded, upper ends of the springs bearing against said bracket means, whereby the door is elevated by the springs when the springs are expanded, and whereby the door is supported by said posts when the springs are contracted.

5. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 4, further comprising manually operable spring biased latch means carried by said frame and engageable with the door to hold the same in lowered position in said frame so that the springs are contracted under tension, and whereby the expanding springs will elevate the door when the latch means is released from the door.

6. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 2, wherein the other one of the side walls of the door has a groove in its outer side, and wherein said sealing means further comprises another resilient gasket engaged in said groove and extending outwardly of said other side wall for cooperation with the movable gasket in sealing the door in said opening in the side of the bathtub.

7. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 2, wherein said sealing means further comprises another resilient gasket carried on the outer side of the other side wall of the door, said frame having opposing vertical rectangular U-shaped sides against which the gaskets respectively are compressed when the cam mechanism is operated to move the rst named gasket outwardly of said slot.

8. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 7, further comprising a manually operable spring biased catch engaged with said cam mechanism for holding the cam mechanism in nonoperating position so that said gasket is selectively held in sealing and nonsealing positions in said opening and manually operable spring -biased latch means carried by said frame and engageable with the door to hold the same in lowered position in said frame so that the springs are contracted under tension, and whereby the expanding springs will elevate the door when the latch means is released from the door. l

9. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 2, wher in said cam mechanism comprises a crank handle at the top wall, a plurality of shafts inside the door, gear means operatively connecting the shafts for simultaneous rotation, one of said shafts being connected to said handle whereby turning said handle rotates all the shafts, and eccentric cams on said shafts rotatable therewith, said gasket having a rigid backing plate, said cams being disposed near said plate for bearing against the plate to extend said gasket out of said slot in the one side wall of the door.

10. A sliding door assembly as recited in claim 8, further comprising a rail assembly including two U-shaped .horizontally spaced rail members mountable on the bathtub adjacent said opening for receiving and supporting the door when the door is removed from the frame.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 9/1957 Ring 4-173 8/ 1963 Coverley 49-477 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner.

H. J. GROSS, Assistant Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2804629 *Jul 12, 1954Sep 3, 1957William RingBathtub
US3100918 *Jul 21, 1961Aug 20, 1963Gen Motors CorpSeal for sliding door
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3816966 *Jun 9, 1972Jun 18, 1974Sause HDoor closure assembly
US3955219 *Jul 12, 1974May 11, 1976Finch Eve BElevated safety bathtub and shower
US4346485 *Sep 15, 1980Aug 31, 1982SilchorApparatus and method for bathing invalids
US4365367 *Sep 15, 1980Dec 28, 1982SilchorBathing units with door controller
US4399569 *Mar 26, 1982Aug 23, 1983SilchorManual in-door lock arrangement for bathing units
US4446586 *May 20, 1982May 8, 1984SilchorApparatus and method for bathing invalids
US4546506 *Sep 24, 1984Oct 15, 1985SilchorHome bathing unit
US4802247 *Aug 8, 1986Feb 7, 1989Leichle Roland GDoor bath tube for the handicapped
US4839930 *May 27, 1988Jun 20, 1989Watkins Manufacturing CorporationDry hydro-massage unit for a spa tank
US4993087 *Aug 2, 1989Feb 19, 1991Roquebrune Joseph P ABathing apparatus for handicapped people and the like
US5056169 *Jun 25, 1990Oct 15, 1991Roguebrune Joseph P ABathing apparatus for handicapped people and the like
US5351345 *Jul 8, 1992Oct 4, 1994Siltech Products IncorporatedBath tub having side access
US5446929 *Jul 12, 1993Sep 5, 1995Siltech Products, Inc.Bath tub having side access
US6473915 *Jun 11, 2001Nov 5, 2002Aqua-Eez, Inc.Hydrotherapy pool
US8230568 *Aug 26, 2010Jul 31, 2012Safeway Safety Step, LlcBathtub accessory device and method
US8863323Oct 20, 2010Oct 21, 2014Kohler Co.Wall-entry bathtub
US8904614 *Jul 6, 2012Dec 9, 2014Safeway Safety Step, LlcBathtub accessory device and method
US20100037382 *Feb 18, 2010Spiker David WLow step shower unit and method
US20110088159 *Apr 21, 2011Knapp Scott RWall-entry bathtub
US20110099787 *Aug 26, 2010May 5, 2011Chris StaffordBathtub Accessory Device and Method
US20120284992 *Nov 15, 2012Chris StaffordBathtub accessory device and method
US20150305573 *Apr 28, 2015Oct 29, 2015Safeway Safety Step, LlcBathtub closure systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification4/555, 49/316, 49/466
International ClassificationA47K3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47K3/006
European ClassificationA47K3/00C