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Publication numberUS3559634 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 2, 1971
Filing dateFeb 19, 1969
Priority dateFeb 19, 1969
Publication numberUS 3559634 A, US 3559634A, US-A-3559634, US3559634 A, US3559634A
InventorsLillywhite Estelvin
Original AssigneeLillywhite Estelvin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Therapeutic bathtub
US 3559634 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 2,079,739 5/1937 Houseweller Inventor Estelvin Lillywhite 2523 E 3150 8., Salt Lake City, Utah 84109 Appl. No. 800,453 Filed Feb. 19, 1969 Patented Feb. 2, 1971 THERAPEUTIC BATHTUB 10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.

05. Cl 128/66, 4/173, 4/180, 4/185, 4/206 Int. Cl. A61h 9/00 Field of Search 128/66; 4/173, 178-180, 185, 206

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,301,761 11/1942 Thompson 4/185 3,152,341 10/1964 Brase 4/206 3,396,412 8/1968 Francom 4/173 2,511,756 6/1950 Wallace 4/185 Primary ExaminerL. W. Trapp AttorneyB. Deon Criddle An assist and exercise bar is mounted above the tub and the controls for operating the hydromassage unit and for filling and emptying the tub are conveniently positioned at the side of the tub. Removable side panels are provided to facilitate access to all of the controls and mechanical components most apt to be in need of repair.

PATEN IED FEB 2 I97! m 1 or 2 FIG INVENTOR. ESTELVIN LILLYWHITE ATTORNEY THERAPEUTIC BATHTUB BRIEF DESCRIPTION There are a great many invalid people who receive relief through the use of hydrotherapy treatments. This involves the restful soaking of body members in water and the use of hydromassage equipment to gently spray water against body members. Hydrotherapy has frequently proven to be an aid in recuperative processes and is enjoyed by many persons who are not invalids, simply as an aid to relaxing. It is for this reason that many types of hydromassaging units have been developed for use with conventional bathtubs and, in at least one recent US. Pat. No. 3,396,412, there is disclosed a bathtub especially constructed to have a hydromassage unit built therein as a component part.

However, to the best of my knowledge there has not hereto fore been a bathtub that includes a hydromassage unit as well as many other special features to facilitate maximum enjoyment of the tub by invalids, as well as by others who merely enjoy the relaxing effect afforded by hydrotherapy.

Thus, principal features of my tub include its extra length, provided so that it can be as easily used in a supine or prone position as in a sitting position; a bottom that will help keep a user from falling and that will provide a means for securing a combined headrest-seat-step in place; an adjustable overflow that enables a comfortable water level to be maintained whether the user is supine, prone or sitting and whether the inlet water is running or is turned off; a wide sidewall that can be used as a bench when entering or exiting the tub and that provides a convenient storage area for the plumbing controls and hydromassage equipment associated with the tub; removable panels in the sidewall to facilitate access to the interior thereof; an exercise bar that can be used to assist while entering and exciting from the tub and for physical conditioning while in the tub; and a hydromassage unit having a discharge spray noule extending into the tub so that it can be turned to spray water at any desired angle into the tub; a pump; a motor and an air injector within the sidewall; and an intake to the pump arranged to extend through an inner sidewall of the tub.

Additional objects and features of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and drawing, disclosing what is presently contemplated as being the best form of the invention.

THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the invention;

FIG. 2, a side elevation view;

FIG. 3, a vertical longitudinal section taken on the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4, a similar view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5, a vertical transverse section, taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 6, an enlarged, fragmentary section, taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 3, and showing the adjustment mechanism for the overflow control;

FIG. 7, an enlarged, fragmentary, vertical section taken on the line 7-7 of FIG. 5, and showing a typical adjustment I mechanism for the exercise bar in assembled condition; and

FIG. 8, an enlarged, exploded, perspective view further showing the adjustment mechanism for the exercise bar.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to the drawings:

In the illustrated preferred embodiment, the invention comprises a bathtub, shown generally at 10, and including inner sidewalls 11 and 12, seen best in FIG. 5, outer sidewalls l3 and 14, inner end walls and 16, seen best in FIG. 3, and outer end walls 17 and 18.

Inner sidewall 11 is connected at its upper end to outer sidewall 13 by a shoulder 19 and together they form a back wall 20.


Likewise, inner end walls 15 and 16 are respectively connected to outer end walls 17 and 18 by shoulders 21 and 22. The walls 15 and 17 and shoulder 21 then comprise a head end wall 23 and the walls 16 and 18 and shoulder 22 form a foot end wall 24.

The top of inner sidewall 12 is connected to the top of outer sidewall 14 by a shoulder 25 that is wider than any of the other shoulders 19, 21 or 22, and the shoulder 25 thus provides a bench seat upon which a user can comfortably sit. The walls 12 and 14 and shoulder 25 together form a front wall 26. As shown, the inner end walls and inner sidewalls are interconnected by a bottom 27 and the walls, shoulders and bottom are formed as a single, integral piece. They can be formed of fiberglass, resins, stainless steel, porcelainized steel or of other suitable materials.

Outer sidewall 14 has a pair of removable panels 28 and 29 therein that can be removed to give ready access to the interior of front wall 26, as will be further described. Each removable panel fits into an upper slot 30, FIG. 5, in the top of an opening 14a of the outer sidewall 14, is raised in the slot and then drops into a lower slot 31 of the opening to be held in place. Handles or gripping recesses (not shown) can be provided, if desired, on the panels 28 and 29 to facilitate their placement in slots 30 and 31 and removal therefrom.

An exercise bar, shown generally at 32, extends over the tub. It includes two upright posts 33 and 34, respectively, extending upwardly from bases 33a and 34a mounted on the shoulders 25 and 19 by bolts 35.

Each post 33 and 34 has slots 36 and 37 (FIG. 8) extending upwardly for a portion of its length and at both sides the slots are enlarged at intervals therealong, asshown at 38, for purposes to be made apparent.

A T-clamp 39 is adapted to telescope around each of the posts 33 and 34 and the clamp includes an arcuate member 40 from which a socket 41 projects and another matching arcuate member 42.

The arcuate members are clamped tightly in a set position around the posts 33 and 34 by bolts 43 and interiorly threaded knobs 44 that screw onto the bolts. Holes 40a and 420 are provided through the members 40 and 42, respectively, to receive bolts 43 and a slot 42b extends from hole 42a to the lower edge of member 42.

Each bolt 43 includes a head 43a, a shoulder 43b, a central shank portion 43c, an enlarged midportion 43d having a collar 43e on the end nearest head 43a, and a threaded shank 43f. A washer 43g is curved to fit within the arcuate member 40 and has a hole therethrough such that it will fit over the enlarged midportion 43d, and a spring 45 is adapted to surround the enlarged midportion and to be positioned between collar 43e and washer 43g.

In use, shank portion 43c of a bolt 43 is moved through slot 42b to hole 42a of member 42, and also through slot 37. As the shank portion 43c is moved in slot 37 the threaded shank 43f is moved in slot 36 and the enlarged midportion 43d is within the post 33 or 34. Washer 43g fits against the inside of arcuate member 40, and spring 45 acts between the member 40 and collar 43a to bias the bolt until shank portions 432 and 430 are aligned so that the bolt will move vertically in slots 36 and 37.

Arcuate member 40 is positioned over threaded shank 43c and against its post 33 or 34 and a knob 44 is threaded on. As the knob is turned onto the threaded shank it pulls the bolt, against the biasing effect of spring 45, until the shoulder 43 is moved into an enlargement of slot 37, the enlarged midportion 43d is moved into an enlargement of slot 37 and the enlarged midportion 43d is pulled into an enlargement 38 of slot 36. The shoulder and the enlarged midportion are too large to move within the slots 36 and 37, and the arcuate members 40 and 42 clamp the posts to prevent widening of the slots 36 and 37. Thus the T-clamps can be securely locked in a desired set position. A rod 47, inserted into the opposing sockets 41 thus provides support means for a person getting into or out of the tub and can be grasped by a person sitting in the tub to be used as an exercise bar.

The rod 47 is easily adjustable to any desired height. It is only necessary that the knobs 44 be loosened to allow the springs 45 to move the bolts 43 until the shank portions 43f and 43c are, respectively, lined up with slots 36 and 37, and to raise or lower the bar to a desired enlargement 38. Thereafter the knobs 44 are again tightened to pull the shoulders 43b and enlarged midportions 43d into the enlargements 38 of the slots 37 and 36, respectively.

The bottom of the tub is provided with a longitudinal groove 50 that slopes slightly downwardly from both ends to a drain The drain is conveniently positioned nearer to the head end wall than to the foot end wall so that the drain control can be conveniently positioned, as will be hereinafter described.

The bottom of the tub is also provided with transverse grooves 42, each of which extends from a sidewall to the longitudinal groove 50. Each transverse groove is inclined slightly so that water will drain from them to the groove 50, from where it will flow to the drain 5]. The transverse grooves form a roughened surface that provides better traction and reduces the possibility that a user of the tub will slip. In addition, they provide means whereby combination headrest-seat-step 53 can be positioned.

The headrest-seat-step comprises a generally U-shaped body adapted to extend across the interior of the tub, from sidewall to sidewall. The legs 53a and 53b, F IG. 3, of the body are spaced apart such that they will simultaneously fit into spaced ones of the transverse grooves 52, If desired, end walls, not shown, can be provided on the headrest-seat-step to strengthen it, but these must then terminate above the lowermost ends of the legs, so as not to interfere with positioning of the legs in the transverse grooves 52.

The top surface of the headrest-seat-step 53 has a central smooth portion 530 for use as a headrest and outer portions 53d that are provided with a rough surface so that a person can step or sit thereon without fear of slipping.

The grooves 52 serve a double purpose in providing a nonskid bottom surface for the tub and in providing means whereby the headrest-seat-step is held against sliding along the bottom of the tub.

A conventional, positive acting, drain plug 54, is positioned in a trap equipped discharge pipe 55, which is connected to drain 51, and the drain plug is operated, through a lever arm 56, FIG. 6, to which a control rod 57 is pivotally connected. The control rod extends upwardly through the shoulder and terminates in a handle 58. Lifting of handle 58 will raise the control rod and pivot the lever arm to close the drain valve and by pushing the handle down a user can move the control rod down and pivot the lever arm to open the drain.

An adjustable overflow assembly 59 also has a discharge pipe 60 that is connected into the pipe 55. The overflow assembly, FIG. 6, includes an intumed guide plate 61 at each side of a vertical slot 62 through the inner sidewall 12, and on one face of the sidewall similar pair of intumed guide plates 63, FIG. 6, similarly positioned with respect to slot 62, on the other face of wall 12.

A pair of plates 64 and 65 are then positioned to rest against the wall 12, on opposite sides thereof and to respectively vertically slide within the guide plates 61 and 63.

Plate 64 has a hole 66 through the top thereof and plate 65 has a slot 68 therein, corresponding to the slot in wall 12. A bolt 69 is inserted through a hole provided therefore in plate 64, until a shoulder 69a of the bolt engages the plate. The bolt is also passed through slots 62 and 68 and is threaded into a nut 70, welded or otherwisefixed to the back of plate 65. Thus, as handle 69b of the bolt is turned to thread the bolt into the nut 70 the plates 64 and 65 are compressed together, with the wall 12 between them. When the bolt is turned out of the nut, the plates 64 and 65 are released and they are then free to vertically slide within the guide plates 61 and 63. A user can release the plates, position them until the bottom of hole 66 is positioned at the desired maximum water level, regardless of whether he is sitting or reclining in the tub, and can then tighten the bolt to fix the plates 64 and 65 in position such that the desired water level will he mainmlmwl Overflow water from the tub is passed through hole 66, of plate 64, which acts as a weir, and the slots 62 and 68 into a box 71 that is fixed to the inner sidewall 12 and that opens at its bottom end into the discharge pipe 60.

A conventional hydromassage unit, including a pump 73, FIG. 4, a motor 74 for driving the pump, a check valve 75 and an air injector 76, is located within the front wall 26.

A screened inlet 77, FIG. 3, is provided on the end of an intake pipe 78 that extends through the inner sidewall to the pump. The outlet of the pump is connected through a pipe system 79, including check valve 75 to the air injector 76. The air injector is of conventional construction and includes an eduction nozzle (not shown) that pulls air in through a screened inlet 80 at the top of a pipe 81 and that entrains it into the water being forced through the injector by the pump.

In operation, a user will fill the tub, to desired height, with water. This is done by operating a control valve 82 that is conveniently positioned inside of the tub and on the inner sidewall 12. Water to the valve is supplied through the usual hot and cold water lines 83 and 84, respectively. The water lines are connected to extend upwardly into the front wall, and there is no need for an access door such is conventionally provided through a structural wall to facilitate servicing of the plumbmg.

In the present instance the plumbing, as well as the controls and hydromassage unit, are all readily accessible, merely by removing the panels 28 and 29, as previously described.

When the desired water level has been achieved, the water can be turned off at valve 82 or it can be allowed to continuously fill the tub, in which case the overflow assembly will be set, as previously described, so that the desired water level will not be exceeded. Y

A user will then pull up on knob 85 to raise rod 86 and, through link 87 to actuate a switch 88. This starts motor 74 and drives pump 73. Water is pulled into the pump 73 at a location adjacent to foot end wall 14. It is filtered, air is added and it is ejected through a nozzle 89 back into the tub at a location adjacent to the head wall. The nozzle 89 is of conventional construction and is mounted to be universally turned so that the direction of spray can be set as desired.

The motor and pump are stopped merely by pressing down on knob 85.

With the present invention, a user can set his waterlevel in accordance with the position he desires to maintain in the tub, i.e. low 'for a supine or prone position, and higher if the user desires to sit on the bottom of the tub or on the headre'st-seatstep 53. The water level will remain constant even though fresh water is continually supplied from the inlet pipes.

The tub is safe to use and the exercise bar can be used to assist in entering or exiting the tub and can also be used in a physical conditioning or therapy program.

With the built in hydromassage unit in conjunction with the exercise bar, a complete hydrotherapy program can be undertaken.

All components are easily accessible. The tub can be used with its base resting on a floor in which case the side panels can be easily removed from above the floor level or it can be recessed into the floor where access through the panels can still be easily achieved from a room or area beneath the floor.

Although a preferred form of my invention has been herein disclosed, it is to be understood that the present disclosure is by way of example only and that variations are possible.

lclaim: l. A bathtub comprising a rear wall; a front wall; a head end wall; a foot end wall; a bottom, interconnecting the said walls; a longitudinal groove in the bottom extending between the end walls and inclined to a drain; a plurality of transverse grooves extending between the front and rear walls and sloping from the said walls to the said longitudinal groove; and a combined headrest, step and seat adapted to be held against movement in the tub by the said transverse grooves.

2. A bathtub as in claim 1, further including a hydromassage and the foot end wall, and a discharge nozzle in the tub intermediate the head and foot end walls.

3. A bathtub as in claim 2, further including a bar extending transversely above the tub; upwardly extending support means fixed to each of the rear and front walls and means for adjustably connecting the bar between the said support means, whereby the distance the bar is positioned above the tub can be varied.

4. A bathtub as in claim 3, further including means for adjustably regulating the water level to be maintained in the tub.

5. A bathtub as in claim 4, wherein the means for adjustably regulating the water level comprises a vertical slot in the front wall; weir means to adjustably close a lower portion of the slot and means for disposing of water flowed over the said weir means.

6. A bathtub as in claim 5, further including a water supply nozzle in the front wall, discharging into the tub, and a control valve therefor on the front wall.

7. A bathtub as in claim 1, wherein the front wall has spaced inner and outer side walls interconnected at their tops by a shoulder.

8. A bathtub as in claim 7, wherein removable access panels are provided in the outer sidewall, whereby removal of said panels facilitates access to the interior of the front wall.

9. A bathtub as in claim 6, wherein the front wall has spaced inner and outer sidewalls, interconnected at their upper ends by a shoulder; at least one removable access panel is provided in the outer sidewall; the hydromassage unit, and the plumbing to the means for regulating the water level and the nozzle are positioned between the inner and outer sidewalls, whereby they are accessible upon removal of the removable access panel.

10. A bathtub as in claim 8, wherein the controls for the hydromassage unit and for the drain extend upwardly through the shoulder interconnecting the inner and outer sidewalls.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3886936 *Sep 28, 1973Jun 3, 1975Wehrenberg Jon WHydrotherapy unit
US4069523 *Dec 23, 1974Jan 24, 1978Ridgeway Louis HBathtub with cushioned liner of foam plastic
US5172433 *Sep 13, 1991Dec 22, 1992Lake John SSpa with convertible furniture layout
US5579543 *Apr 26, 1995Dec 3, 1996Easy Lift Products, Inc.Method for transferring a patient between a bed and a bath tub
US5598590 *Apr 26, 1995Feb 4, 1997Easy Lift Care Products, Inc.Bathing apparatus
US5666677 *Jan 4, 1996Sep 16, 1997Easy Lift Care Products, Inc.Bath tub assembly
US5678256 *Jan 16, 1996Oct 21, 1997Lea; Brooke CaseyBathtub step assembly for use in bathing disabled persons
US5752899 *Apr 2, 1997May 19, 1998Ballard; ThomasAquatic exercise and therapeutic system
US6952843 *May 8, 2002Oct 11, 2005Andrew Peter DunnettOverflow system for bathtub or other receptacle
US7311683 *Oct 31, 2005Dec 25, 2007Turell Gary RSystems and methods for providing dry hydrotherapy to a reclined human subject
US8635719 *Jul 31, 2012Jan 28, 2014Max HomamiAdjustable overflow closure device
US20040133974 *May 8, 2002Jul 15, 2004Dunnett Andrew PeterOverflow system for bathtub or other receptacle
US20070100261 *Oct 31, 2005May 3, 2007Turell Gary RSystems & methods for providing dry hydrotherapy to a reclined human subject
US20090044331 *Mar 8, 2007Feb 19, 2009Elleci S.P.A.Compact Drain Assembly for Sinks and the Like
US20090288247 *May 25, 2008Nov 26, 2009Nhien NguyenSani-Spa System Design
US20130031720 *Jul 31, 2012Feb 7, 2013Max HomamiAdjustable overflow closure device
WO1995031128A1 *May 9, 1995Nov 23, 1995Easy Lift Care Products, Inc.Bath tub, bath tub/bed assembly and method for transferring a patient between bath tub and bed
U.S. Classification601/157, 4/584, 4/694, 4/579
International ClassificationA61H33/00, A63B1/00, A47K3/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2225/30, A47K3/02, A63B1/00, A61H33/0087
European ClassificationA47K3/02, A61H33/00N