|Publication number||US3557389 A|
|Publication date||Jan 26, 1971|
|Filing date||Jan 19, 1968|
|Priority date||Jan 19, 1968|
|Publication number||US 3557389 A, US 3557389A, US-A-3557389, US3557389 A, US3557389A|
|Original Assignee||Scobey Robert|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Referenced by (11), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
R. SCOBEY STEAMING UNIT Filed Jan. 19, 1968 Jan. 26, 1971 1,1. .Lmsa 16 33; MM i1" HI I 45 INVENT R.
United States Patent O 3,557,389 STEAMING UNIT Robert Scobey, Basking Ridge, NJ. (Douglass Road, Bernardsville, NJ. 07924) Filed Jan. 19, 1968, Ser. No. 699,156 Int. Cl. A61h 33/06 US. Cl. 4161 11 Claims ABSTRACT OF DISCLOSURE A steaming unit for a stall shower. A container houses a heating element and is separable from a head assembly that includes openings for steam to pass therethro-ugh into the stall shower. A water passage in the head assembly includes an inlet that connects to the usual water line for a shower head, a first outlet to the container and a second outlet to the shower head. A valve in the first outlet controls the application of 'water to the container and may be regulated to maintain a fixed level of water over the heating element. A valve in the second outlet controls the application of water to the shower head. The steam outlet openings in the head assembly may be horizontally disposed, inclined, or both. Baflles adjacent the openings may be employed to prevent water particles from passing through the openings.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to steam baths and, more particularly, to a steaming unit for a stall shower. The invention provides a steaming unit that is attached to the water line that normally is directly connected to the shower head. The shower head is removed from the water line, the steaming unit connected thereto, and the shower head reconnected to the steaming unit. The water supplied to the steaming unit fills a chamber containing a heating element which boils the water to produce steam. By selective actuation of a valve in the steaming unit, water may be directed to the shower head so that the person in the stall shower can take a shower, if desired, independently of or in connection with a steam bath. In this fashion, the stall shower is converted to a steam bath with no changes in plumbing. Only electrical wiring need be completed for energizing the heating element that generates the steam.
In the past, a steam bath for a stall shower has employed a streaming unit requiring plumbing to supply water thereto. In addition, the steaming unit has generally been mounted remote from the stall shower, requiring further plumbing to connect a steam line from the steaming unit to the stall shower. In the present invention, in which the steaming unit is mounted within the stall shower and is directly connected to the water line that normally supplies the shower head, plumbing is completely avoided. That is, no new water connection must be provided within or outside the stall shower, and there is no need for plumbing to provide a steam outlet. The only work that need be done is electrical wiring to provide for the energization of the heating element, which wiring has always beenrequired in the past.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The accompanying drawing discloses illustrative embodiments of the invention, in which:
FIG. 1 is a sectional view of a steaming unit in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is a sectional view of the steaming unit of FIG. 1, taken along the section line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIGS. 3 through 7 are fragmentary sectional views of various modifications of the steaming unit as contemplated by the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In FIG. 1 a steaming unit 10 is shown, mounted within a stall shower and including a head assembly .12 and a container 14. The head assembly 12 is formed with a water passage 16 therein, which includes an inlet 16a, a first outlet 16b and a second outlet 16c. The inlet 16a is typically threaded onto threaded end 18a of water line 18 for the stall shower. A swivel connection (not shown) may be employed in the inlet 16a, if needed, to mount the steaming unit 10 in a generally vertical orientation. The second outlet 160 receives the threaded end 20a of a pipe 20 that is attached to shower head 22. Before installation of the steaming unit, the shower head 22 is connected directly to the water line 18 by threaded coupling 24. To mount the steaming unit within the stall shower, the shower head 22 is removed from the water line 18, the steaming unit 10 is connected thereto, and the shower head 22 is reconnected to the pipe 20 leading from the steaming unit.
The container 14 defines a chamber 14a which includes an electrical heating element 26 therein. The heating element is energized by electrical power, typically 220 volts, supplied thereto by way of an electrical lead 28. The lead 28 is properly insulated to avoid danger of electrical shock, and passes to a switch or a timer (not shown) so as to selectively control the energization of the heating element.
Water is supplied to the chamber 14a through the first outlet 16b in the head assembly 12. A float 30 within the chamber 14a includes a stem 32 which slides within bearings 34a and 34b mounted by spiders 34c and 34d inside the container 14. A valve element 36' is connected to the stem 32 and closes oit valve seat 38 formed from the part of the head 12 that defines the first water outlet 16b. Float 30 regulates the flow of water through the first outlet 1612 so that the water level within the chamber 14a is maintained above the heating element 26 at all times.
A valve 40 is included in the water passage 16 controlling the flow of water to the second outlet 160. The valve 40 is shown in FIG. 2 and includes a passage 40a therein. When positioned as shown in FIG. 2, the valve 40 permits water to flow through the passage 40a to the shower head 22. When the valve 40 is rotated 90", water cannot flow through the valve and no water is supplied to the shower head 22.
In this fashion, a person can take a steam bath or a shower or both by selective energization of the heating element 26 and by appropriate actuation of the valve 40. Since the water in the line 18 is from the cold and hot water mixer (not shown) that regulates water temperature, the water supplied to the shower head 22 is at any desired temperature. Water at this same temperature is supplied to the chamber 14a; however, the temperature of the water supplied for steam generation is not critical. It is important, however, to make sure that the line 18 is supplied with water whenever the heating element 26 is generating steam.
The head assembly '12 of the steaming unit includes openings 42 therein through which the steam passes. In particular, steam is generated from the boiling water within the chamber 14a and flows upwardly past the spiders 34c and 34d into the head assembly 12 and out of the openings 42. As shown in FIG. 1, the openings 42 may be horizontal. As shown in FIG. 3, some or all of the openings may be inclined as at 42a, in particular, inclined downwardly. Some or all of the openings alternatively may be inclined upwardly, as shown at 42b in FIG. 4. The openings may be inclined upwardly as well as downwardly, as shown in FIG. 5. Any orientation of openings may be employed to provide steam for the stall shower without burning aperson in the stallshower.--
To prevent water particles from passing along with steam out of the openings 42, thereby to prevent burning of a person in the stall shower, baflies may be employed within the head assembly 12 adjacent the openings. For example, bafiles v44, as shown in FIG; 6, may be positioned underneath the openings 42, and some or all of the bafiies may be inclined, as shown, so that water does not collect thereon. As shown in FIG. 7, the baffles may take the form of a mesh 46 which breaks up any water particles, thereby permitting only steam to pass out of the openings 42.
Referring again to FIG. 1, the container 14 is typically separable from the head assembly 12 and is mounted thereto by a collar 48. The collar engages a flanged upper portion 14b of thecontainer 14and threads onto the threaded lower portion 12a of the head assembly .12. In this fashion, when the steaming unit is installed, the electrical lead 2 8 may be properly oriented within the stall shower" by loosening the collar 48 and twisting the container"1"4 until proper orientation is achieved, followed" bytightening the collar 48. Further, if the heating element 26 should burn out or for any reason'need replacement, the collar 48 can be completely disengaged from the threaded lower end of the head assembly 12, and the container 14 completely removed along with the float 30, stem 32 and valve element 36. A new container and associated float, stem and valve element may be connected to the head 12. p
The container 14 may be made of any suitable plastic material or the like. Preferably it is formed of a material that is non-heat-conducting so that the person within the stall shower will not be burned if he accidentally comes in contact with the container 14.
SUMMARY A steaming unit has been provided for use specifically Within a stall shower. In particular, the shower head is removed and the steaming unit connected to the water line that normally supplies the shower head. The shower head is then reconnected to the steaming unit. Plumbing is thereby eliminated in connecting the steaming unit within the stall shower, and all that need be done is to complete the necessary electrical connections for the steaming unit.
A compact steaming unit is provided which does not interfere in any way with the action of the shower head. The invention should be taken to be defined by the following claims? I 1. A steaming unit adapted for use with a shower head-and the hot'and cold water supply pipe normally coupled directly to the shower head, comprising a chamber for receiving water, said chamber including a steam outlet, a heating element within the chamber for heating water in the chamber to steam, a water passagehaving an inlet and first and secondoutlets, said inlet including means adapted to connect the water passage to said hot and cold water supply pipe to receive water therefrom, said first water passage outlet'leading to the chamber to supply water thereto, and said second water passage out-' let including means adapted for connection to the shower head to'supply water thereto for showering.
"- *2:'A-"steaming unit as defined in' claim 1; including a valve in the second outlet for selective application of water to the shower head.
3. A steaming unit as defined in claim 1, including a steaming head assembly containing the Water passage, and a container defining the chamber separable from the steaming head assembly. f
4. A steaming unit as defined in 'claim 1, including a steaming head assembly containing the water passage, and a container defining the chamber, wherein the steaming head assembly includes openings therein ;for steam to pass therethrough.
5. A steaming unit as defined inclaim 4, wherein at least some of the openings are horizontally disposed.
6. A steaming unit as defined in claim 4, wherein at least some or the openings are inclined. I
' 7. A steaming unit as defined in'claim 4, wherein baffies are disposed inside the steaming head assembly adjacent the"openings to prevent Water particles from passing o'u't of the openings. i v 7 8. A" steaming unit as defined in claim 7, wherein the bafils comprise a mesh disposed inside the head assembly adjacent the openings. I
9. A'steaming unit as defined in claim 7, wherein the baflies comprise plates beneath the openings.
10. A steaming unit as defined in claim 9, wherein the plates are inclined.
11. A steaming unit adapted for use directly within a stall shower to obviate plumbing problems comprising a housing that includes:
(a) a chamber for receiving water to be heated to steam, said chamber. including a steam outlet for supplying steam to the stall shower, a heating element within the chamber for heating Water in the chamber to steam, and
(b) a water passage that includes:
(1) a water inlet for connection to'a source of 'water under pressure,
, (2) a first water outlet to the chamber for supplying water to the chamber and 1 (3.) a second water outlet for supplying water .for showering.
to be heated to steam,
References Cited UNITEDSTATES PATENTS LAV-ERNELD. GEIGER, Primary Examiners.
H. K. ARTIS, Assistant Examiner i U.S. Cl. X.R.
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|US5805765 *||Oct 28, 1996||Sep 8, 1998||Altman; Mitchell||Wall-mounted steam generating apparatus and a steam head|
|US6714726 *||Jan 17, 2003||Mar 30, 2004||Shigeto Mitani||Shower warm water capacitor|
|US8150245 *||Mar 15, 2007||Apr 3, 2012||Dlp Limited||Shower water heater|
|US20050241058 *||Apr 11, 2003||Nov 3, 2005||Li Zhan K||Hot water steam sauna-shower device|
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|DE3711891C1 *||Apr 8, 1987||Jul 14, 1988||Fontaine Helmut||Vaporization (vapour treatment, steam treatment) apparatus|
|DE102004046943A1 *||Sep 28, 2004||Apr 6, 2006||Hansa Metallwerke Ag||Sanitärarmatur|
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|U.S. Classification||4/524, 392/402, 607/82|