US 3539111 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I United States Patent  Inventor Harry W. Johnson 3,056,577 10/196'2 Kulisek 239/602UX 156 W. Washington St., West Chicago, 3,056,709 10/1962 Rising 239/602UX 60185 Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr.
1968 Assistant Examiner-Michael Y. Mar
 Patente Nov. 1970 Attorney Olson, Trexler, Wolters and Bushnell ABSTRACT: Apparatus for dispensing soap solution, etc., from a shower head or the like, comprising a valve mechanism  AND DISPENSING which includes a metallic valve stem having in one end thereof 7 claims, 7 Drawing Figs a pair of spaced-apart ports. Each of the ports 18 provided, both at the inlet and outlet end thereof, with a circumferential UoSe groove diminishes in and circumferentially 222/193; 308/238 digresses from the ends of the ports in a predetermined In. direction therefron- A resilient plastic sleeve mounted in a ofSearch .1 plined valve opening in the housing of the device 3 193i 308/238 receives therein the ported end of the valve stem, so that apertures in the sleeve are in alignment with the ports. The rota-  References Cited tion of the valve stem causes the ports or associated grooves to N ED TA PATENTS communicate with the apertures in the sleeve, thereby de- 2,591,364 4/1952 Kurth 239/317 pending upon the relation therebetween to accurately and 2,594,476 4/1952 Miller.... 239/318X minutely vary the mixing and dispensing of the amount of soap 3,052,417 9/1962 Daniel 239/310X solution with the main water supply for the shower.
Patented Nov. 10, 1970 0 65 five/2E d4. Jorzaam SOLUTION MIXING AND DISPENSING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to adapter devices for mixing and dispensing liquids from shower heads, etc., and more particularly to valve assemblies for such adapter devices,
Prior art devices or adapters for mixing soaps, oils, etc., with water emanating from a shower head or the like apparatus require complicated or expensive valve mechanisms which, for the most part, are not satisfactorily operable to mix and dispense minutely and accurately desired amounts of the above-mentioned liquids.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide a new and improved adapter device for mixing a first liquid, such as, for example, soap, etc., with another liquid, such as water from a supply, to be dispensed from a shower head or the like.
It is a more specific object of this invention to provide a new and improved valve mechanism for a device of the abovedescribed type which provides for accurate control of a volume of liquid mixed with water from said supply.
It is another object of this invention to provide a valve mechanism of the above-described type which is simple and inexpensive to produce and which is efficient and reliable in use.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS A better understanding of the present invention and its organization and construction may be had by referring to the description below in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. I is a side elevational view of a shower head arrangement and a solution mixing adapter device connected thereto according to the invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged crosssectional view of the adapter device of FIG. 1 taken along the line 2-2 thereof;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the adapter device of FIG. 2 taken along the line 3-3 thereof;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the adapter device of FIG. 2 taken along the line 4-4 thereof;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the main components of a valve mechanism of the adapter device of FIGS. l4, shown in an unassembled condition; and
FIGS. 6 and 7 are cross-sectional views of a valve mechanism shown in a fully opened and a partially opened position, respectively, according to the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings more in detail, FIG. 1 thereof illustrates a shower head arrangement or system 10 comprising a water supply outlet 12 and a shower head 14 normally connected directly thereto. As shown in FIG. 1, an adapter device 16 for mixing liquids with the water from outlet 12 and dispensing the mixture via the shower head, has been interposed between the shower spray head 14 and the water outlet pipe I2 according to the invention.
Briefly, as can be seen in FIG. 1, the adapter device 16 includes a valve assembly 18, a selector knob 20 and a container or receptacle 22 in which soap, oil, etc., to be mixed with the water from the supply, is stored.
Turning now to FIGS. 2-4, there is shown therein, in greater detail, the valve assembly 18 of the adapter device 16 according to the invention.
The valve assembly 18 includes a housing 24 having an inlet 26 and an outlet 28; outlet 28 being connected to the shower head 14 and inlet 26 being connected to the water supply pipe I2. To facilitate the last-mentioned connections, the outer portion 28 of the outlet is threaded and is received in the shower head 14 which includes a cooperatively threaded end. The inlet 26 is threaded internally and receives an externally threaded pipe 12.
As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the inlet 26 of the valve assembly has a diameter size larger than that of the outlet 28, and the two are interconnected within the housing 24 by means of a narrow tubular portion 30 which defines a shoulder like formation 31, and through which the main stream of water from outlet 12 flows. In addition, a separate, smaller diameter tubular opening 32 (FIGS. 2 and 4) is provided within housing 24 and communicates with inlet 26. A second, separate tubular opening 34, having a diameter equal to that of the opening 32, is also provided within housing 24 and communicates with opening 32 to provide an outlet therefrom to a chamber or port 36 (FIGS. 2 and 4). Openings 32 and 34 are, as shown in the FIGS., at right angles to each other. The chamber 36 is internally threaded and includes an open end 37. Received in open end 37 is the threaded neck 38 of the container 22 in which soap, oil, etc., is stored. Mounted within container 22 is a centrally located tube 42. When container 22 is received in chamber 36 through open end 37 thereof, the central tube 42 is axially aligned and communicates with still another tubular opening 44 in housing 24 which in turn extends toward and communicates with outlet 28.
Intersecting openings 34 and 44 is an aperture or valve opening 40 which extends substantially at right angles to the openings 34 and 44 and communicates therewith. Mounted in aperture 44 is a valve mechanism 46 according to the invention.
The above-mentioned valve mechanism 46 is shown in FIG. 5 in an unassembled condition and will now be discussed in greater detail. The valve mechanism comprises a metallic valve stem 48 which is elongated, solid and cylindrically shaped, and includes a first end 52 and a second end 54, with a circumferential recess 56 interposed therebetween, End 52 also includes a pair of predeterminately spaced-apart ports 58 and 60 extending diametrically therethrough. Each of the ports is provided at the inlet and outlet thereof with a circumferential groove 62 and 64, respectively, extending from a side thereof; the grooves diminish in depth and circumferentially digress from respective ends of the ports in a predetermined direction about end 52. The port and groove arrangements make it possible, as will be explained. in greater detail hereinafter, to minutely control the volumetric displacement of the contents of the container 22 into the discharge or outlet side 28 of the valve housing 24.
The valve mechanism 46 also includes a circular, cylindrically shaped sleeve 50 of a resilient plastic material, preferably of polytetrafluoroethylene, commercially known as Teflon. The length of the sleeve, as shown in FIG. 5, is approximately equal to the length of the end 52 of the valve stem, and the inner diameter of the sleeve is substantially equal to the outer diameter of end 52 of the valve stem. Because of the resilient quality of plastic, especially polytetrafluoroethylene, the sleeve may be forced tightly over the valve stem, in telescopic relation therewith, without impairing the subsequent rotation of the valve stem therein. A pair of apertures 66 and 68 extend through sleeve 50 and are spaced from each other a distance equal to the distance between ports 58 and 60 of the valve stem so as to be aligned therewith on end 52 of the valve stem in sleeve 50. 4
Referring to FIG. 2, the elements discussed above are shown in an assembled condition within valve opening 40 in housing 24. It will be noted that narrow tubular openings 34 and 44 are spaced from each other a distance equal to the distance between the ports 58 and 60 in end 52 of the valve stem 48.
The inner walls of valve opening 40 in housing 24 includes small splines 70 formed thereabout. The splines 70 may be formed by driving a splined tool into the aperture 40 after the latter has been formed in housing 24, or by any other suitable method. Thus, as the plastic sleeve 50 is inserted into the aperture 40, the outer surface of the former is grooved by the splines (FIG. 5) to positively prevent the rotation thereof with respect to the valve housing, and the sleeve is compressed slightly so that the inner diameter thereof is reduced correspondingly. The sleeve is inserted into aperture 40 so that apertures 66 and 68 thereof are aligned with tubular openings 34 and 44, respectively. Once the sleeve is secured within the aperture 40, end 52 of the valve stem 48 may be inserted thereinto, ports 58 and 60 thereof being in alignment with apertures 66 and 68 of sleeve 50. Because of the reduction in diameter of the sleeve, a slight force must be used to insert the valve stem thereinto. This provides a relatively tight fit between the valve stem and the sleeve, thereby to aid in the prevention of leakage of the valve mechanism.
A split ring 72 is provided in recess 56 of the valve stem to further secure the plastic sleeve within aperture 40, as well as to prevent the insertion of valve stem 48 too deeply into the sleeve, thus to insure good alignment of the respective apertures and ports therein, respectively. Because valve opening 40 is deeper than the length of end 52 of the valve stem, recess 56 and a portion of end 54 of the valve stem also extend thereinto. A rubber O-ring 74 is placed over the end 54 ofthe valve stem within aperture 40, sealing the valve stem therein, thereby to prevent leakage, and a ring 41 is inserted thereafter.
End 54 ofthe valve stem, near the extreme free end thereof, as shown in FIG. 2, includes a flat side 76 for mounting a spring-loaded knob thereon. The knob 20 includes a directional pointer 78 to indicate the condition (i.e., on or off) of the valve mechanism.
For purposes of affording a more complete understanding of the invention, it is advantageous now to provide a functional description of the mode in which the component parts thus far described cooperate.
To begin, container 22 of the adapter device 16 is filled with an oil, soap, etc., which is to be mixed and dispensed with water from supply 12. The container 22 is screwed into threaded chamber 36 at neck 38 thereof, central tube 42 of the container being aligned with tubular opening 44 and tubular opening 34 communicating directly with the container 22, as shown in FIG. 2.
The water from supply 12, being turned on to a desired flow rate and temperature, knob 20 ofthe device 16 is turned from an off" to an on" position. as indicated by pointer 78. Turning knob 20 rotates valve stem 48 within plastic sleeve 50, mounted in valve opening 40, from a position wherein the ports 58 and 60 of valve stem 48 are completely out of alignment with apertures 66 and 68 in sleeve 50, and with tubular openings 44 and 34, respectively, to a position whereby the last-mentioned ports are in direct alignment with the tubular openings, as shown in FIG. 6, or in alignment with respective grooves 62 and 64. such as, for example, as shown in FIG. 7.
When the valve stem is turned from the off to an on" position, some of the water from supply 12 flowing into inlet 26 of valve housing 24, which, prior to the positioning of the knob flowed only through tubular portion and to outlet 28, now is diverted through smaller tubular opening 32 (FIGS. 2 and 4). From tubular opening 32 the diverted water flows into opening 34 and into container 22. The pressure of the water flowing into the container causes a quantity of the soap, etc., within container 22 to be forced from the bottom thereof upwardly into centrally located tube 42 and into the tubular opening 44. The soap solution flows through the valve mechanism 46 via port 66 to be mixed with the main stream of water flowing from tubular portion 30 into outlet 28.
Because of the novel grooves 62 and 64 provided both at the inlet and outlet sides of ports 58 and 60, the amount of water diverted into container 22, and the amount of solution forced outwardly therefrom into tube 42, may be minutely regulated. This can be seen in FIG. 7, wherein the shallow ends of grooves 62 are shown in alignment with apertures 66 extending through sleeve 50 surrounding end 52 on the valve stem. With the valve stem as shown, only a very small volume of solution flows through the valve mechanism 46. As the valve stem is turned through not more than 90, degrees, a deeper portion of the grooves becomes aligned with aperture 66 and opening 44 to vary the volume of fluid passing therethrough. Thereby, the volumetric displacement of the contents of the container into the outlet 28 may be minutely and accurately controlled.
Thus, the mixing and dispensing adapter device, including a valve assembly according to the invention, provides an accurate, reliable, easily controlled apparatus for use with shower heads, or other spray or liquid flow type devices, such as, for example, apparatus for periodically delivering chemicals into a swimming pool, etc.
While a particular embodiment and use of the invention has been shown and described, it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto since many modifications may be made. It is therefore contemplated to cover by the present application any and all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. Apparatus for use with a shower head for the mixing of a liquid solution with the water being sprayed from said shower head, said apparatus comprising: a housing having an inlet and an outlet in substantial alignment for permitting the passage of water therethrough, a port for connection to said housing, a container having said liquid solution therein, said port being disposed transversely of said aligned inlet and outlet, and a pair of channels formed in said housing, one said channel connecting said inlet to the container port and the other said channel connecting the outlet to said container port; a container connected to said port and having a central tube in communication with said other channel; and valve means disposed transversely of said channels intermediate the ends thereof for controlling and regulating the dispensing of said liquid solution from the container, said valve means comprising a valve stem rotatably mounted to said housing and having a pair of parallel transverse passages formed therein, which passages are adapted to be aligned with said channels such that a portion of the water passing from said inlet to said outlet may be diverted to said container prior to its entering said outlet, said valve stem including, adjacent each port and communicating therewith, at both the inlet and outlet ends thereof, a circumferential groove, each said groove being of a predetermined length and diminishing in depth in a circumferential direction away from said port, whereby upon the rotation of said stem, the relative alignments of said ports and associated grooves with respect to said channels are varied to control the amount of liquid solution being introduced into the water passing through said housing.
2. Apparatus as defined in claim 1 wherein said housing includes a narrow tubular portion interconnecting said inlet and said outlet to provide an annular shoulder like formation, and said channel which communicates with said inlet including a segment thereof formed in said shoulder like formation and extending parallel to the axis of said inlet.
3. Apparatus as claimed in claim 1 wherein said valve mechanism further includes a sleeve member mounted within said housing, said sleeve member having a pair of apertures extending therethrough and being aligned with respective ones of said channel means, and wherein one end of said valve stem including said ports and grooves is inserted into said sleeve member for rotation therein, said ports and respective grooves of said valve stem, and said apertures in said sleeve member assuming a predetermined relation with respect to each other to permit the flow of said liquids therethrough, in accordance with the positioning of said one end of said valve stem with respect to said first and second channel means.
4. Apparatus as claimed in claim 3 wherein said housing includes, interposed in said first and second channel means, a circular cylindrieally-shaped opening having a plurality of splines formed about the wall thereof, wherein said sleeve member is of a resilient plastic material and is mounted in said splined opening and is prevented from moving rotatably therein by said splines, and wherein said one end of said valve stem has a circular cylindrical shape with a diameter substantially equal to the inside diameter of said sleeve member and is rotatably mounted in said sleeve member.
5. In combination, a pressurized water supply, a shower head connected to said water supply for dispensing water therefrom, a container of liquid additive interposed between said shower head and said supply and a valve assembly for accurately mixing a desired amount of said liquid additive from said container with said water from said supply to be dispensed from said shower head with said water, said valve assembly comprising; a housing including an inlet, an outlet, a passageway interconnecting said inlet and outlet, said inlet coupled to said water supply, said outlet coupled to said shower head and said passageway passing a main stream of water from said supply to said shower head; a first separate tubular opening within said housing extending from said inlet to said container; :1 second separate tubular opening within said housing extending from said container to said outlet; a valve opening extending into said housing and communicating with both said first and second tubular openings; and a valve mechanism for controlling the amount of liquid additive mixed with said water from said supply, said valve mechanism including; a sleeve member mounted within said valve opening and including a pair of apertures extending therethrough, said apertures being aligned with said first and second tubular openings, respectively; a valve stem, a first end of which is rotatably mounted within said sleeve member and includes a pair of ports extending therethrough, said ports being aligned with respective ones of said pair of apertures in said sleeve member, the inlet and outlet ends of each of said ports including a groove extending from a predetermined depth and length, a second end of said valve stem extending outwardly from said housing and a control member mounted on said second end of said valve stem for rotating said first end of said valve stem within said sleeve member, thereby, according to a corresponding alignment of said ports and associated grooves with said respective apertures in said sleeve member, to vary the amount of water diverted through said first tubular opening to said container and the amount of liquid additive delivered from said container to said outlet to be mixed with the main stream of water and dispensed from said shower head therewith.
6. The combination as claimed in claim 5 wherein said grooves extending from said ports each diminish in depth as they circumferentially digress from a respective end of said corresponding port.
7. The combination as claimed in claim 6, wherein said valve opening includes, about the wall thereof, a plurality of splines extending inwardly into said opening, and wherein said sleeve member is of a resilient plastic material so that upon the mounting of said sleeve member within said opening said splines engage said sleeve member to prevent rotation of the latter within said opening.