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Publication numberUS3562821 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 16, 1971
Filing dateMar 24, 1969
Priority dateMar 24, 1969
Publication numberUS 3562821 A, US 3562821A, US-A-3562821, US3562821 A, US3562821A
InventorsQueen Carl J
Original AssigneeQueen Carl J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bathing cabinet
US 3562821 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

c. .1. QUEEN 3,562,821

BATHING CABINET Feb. 16, 1971 ,s Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed March 24, 1969 Has INVENTOR CARL J. QUEEN ATTORNEYS Feb. 16, 1971 a, J, QUEEN 3,562,821

BATHING CABINET Filed March 24, 1969 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR CARL J. QUEEN ATTORNEYS Feb. 16, 1971 Filed March 24, 1969 FIG? ' c. J. QUEEN BATHING CABINET 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOR CARL J. QUEEN ATTORNEYS United States Patent Oifice 3,562,821 Patented Feb. 16, 1971 ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A bathing cabinet comprising a housing open at its top and front portions, with a door connectable to the housing to close its front portion. A seat is movable in a horizontal direction within the housing toward and away from the front portion under the influence of an hydraulic ram, and water flows through a valve system to the various sprays within the cabinet.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The construction of a typical bath tub or shower is such that it is difficult for some physically incapacitated people to bathe since a typical shower stall requires a person to stand erect while bathing, and the hypical tub structure requires a person to climb over the wall of the tub and then sit on a flat surface, usually adjacent the floor, While a physically capable person does not mind the structural inconveniences of a typical shower stall or tub, the temporarily or permanently disabled person fiinds it virtually impossible to take a wet bath without the use of specially constructed bathing equipment.

While various cabinets and other devices have been developed to bathe the physically handicapped, the prior art structures have been difficult to manipulate by the attendants, difiicult to clean, inconvenient to operate, and in some instances, have failed to adequately bathe the patient.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly described, the present invention comprises a bathing cabinet which is convenient to operate by either an attendent or the patient, which does not accumulate filth and which is easy to clean, and which adequately bathes the patient. The cabinet comprises a housing which has smooth interior and exterior surfaces, which is open at its top and front portions, and which includes a door which closes the front portion. The door can be easily replaced with doors of different configuration to accommodate patients with legs that will not bend, and a seat is provided which is controlled by an hydraulic ram and which moves toward the front of the cabinet to receive the patient, and then toward the inner portion of the cabinet to move the patient into the confines of the cabinet. A spray system is adjustable within the cabinet to accommodate patients of different sizes, and the hydraulic ram is automatically deactivated when the spray system is energized to prevent inadvertent movement of the patient within the cabinet.

Thus, it is an object of this invention to provide a bathing cabinet which accommodates a patient in a seated position, which moves the patient into and out of the cabinet as he remains seated, and which includes various water spray devices for bathing the various portions of the anatomy of the patient.

Another object of this invention is to provide a bathing cabinet which accommodates patients of various sizes, and includes a removable door structure which can be replaced with a door structure that accommodates patients with unbending legs, or the like.

Another object of this invention is to provide a bathing cabinet with a movable seat that is controlled by an hydraulic ram which becomes automatically inoperative when the spray system of the cabinet is being utilized.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following specification, when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the bathing cabinet, with parts broken away for clarity, and showing the door in its closed position.

FIG. 2 is a front perspective view of the bathing carbinet, showing the door in its opened position.

FIG. 3 is a detail elevational view of the hinge structure of the door and cabinet.

FIG. 4 is a detail plan view of the hinge structure of FIG. 3, with the door shown in full lines in its closed position, and in broken lines in its opened position.

FIG. 5 is a side cross-sectional view of the headrest.

FIG. 6 is a side cross-sectional view of the seat and its hydraulic ram.

FIG. 7 is a schematic showing of the valve structure of the bathing cabinet.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in more detail to the drawing, in which like numerals indicate like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 shows a bathing cabinet 10 which includes housing 11, door 12 and headrest 13. Housing 11 includes side walls 15 and 16, rear wall 17, upper wall 18, floor 19, and front ledge 20. The arrangement is such that the front portion and upper portion of housing 11 remain open, and flange 21 extends about the open portion of housing 11. Housing 11, door 12 and headrest 13 can all be fabricated of single wall and double wall construction, as may be desirable. The embodiment of the invention shown herein discloses a double wall structure fabricated of molded polyester resin, reenforced with fiberglass. This structural arrangement is desirable since it presents both smooth inside and outside surfaces which are easy to clean, yet enables the various valves and plumbing of the structure to be located internally of the structure as desired.

As is shown in FIG. 2, the inner surfaces of side walls 15 and 16 define horizontal slots 23. Seat 24 includes projections 25 which fit into slots 23 on both sides of housing 11, so that seat 24 is supported by slots 23 and is movable toward and away from rear wall 17. As is shown in FIG. 6, an hydraulic ram 26 is connected between rear wall 17 and the front edge 28 of seat 24, which functions to urge seat 24 toward or away from rear wall 17 Rear wall 17 includes a U-shaped protrusion 30 which functions as a backrest for the patient. Protrusion 30 defines slot or opening 31 between the legs of the U which is arranged to accommodate the spine of the patient.

Door 12 is hingedly connected to side wall 16, and comprises a tub-like extension 32 of housing 11. Extension 32 protrudes outwardly from the front portion of housing 11, and curves under at 34 to form a footrest or step for the patient. The U-shaped edge 35 of door 12 is outwardly flared, and the width of door 12 is slightly larger in its upper portion than the width of the opening defined by the flange 21 of housing 11. Thus, when door 12 is moved to its closed position, the upper portion of its U-shaped edge is compressed slightly to fit its flared U- shaped edge into the opening defined by flange 21. When the door is released, its flared edge 35 engages the inside of flange 21, to place the door in locking relationship with flange 21, and to cause any water draining down into the extension 32 of door 12 to then drain onto the fioor 19 of housing 11.

The bottom portion 36 of door 12 includes downward- 1y extending protrusions 38 which engage the front ledge 20 of housing 11 when door 12 is in its closed position. This prevents door 12 from moving too far inwardly of housing 11. Also, protrusions 38 help to support door 12 when in its closed position, so that when a patient rests his legs on the step or footrest 34 of door 12, the door Will derive a substantial amount of its support from front ledge 20 of housing 11.

As is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, door 12 is hingedly connected to housing 11 by means of hinge structure 39, which includes socket protrusion 40 connected to door 12 and expandable hinge pin 41 connected to housing 11. As is shown in FIG. 4, socket protrusion 40 extends outwardly to the side of door 12 adjacent its flared edge 35, so that the edge 35 of door 12 adjacent hinge structure 39 pivots into locking and sealing relationship with flange 21 of housing 11. When door 12 is opened to its dotted line position (FIG. 4), the flared portion 35 will be retracted from the opening formed in the front of housing 11, and the door will be completely removed from in front of the patient. Hinge pin 41 is expandable so that it telescopes into blind bores 42 in housing 11. Bores 42 are positioned so that hinge pin 41 is disposed in a slightly inclined attitude to cause door 12 to naturally pivot toward its closed position, or to remain open when placed in its fully opened position (the doted line position of FIG. 4). A plurality of nylon pads 44 are positioned between socket protrusion 40 and the bottom ledge 46 of recess 45 in flange 21. Pads 44 assure free rotational movement of door 12 with respect to housing 11.

Headrest 13 (FIG. is generally of concave fanshaped configuration and includes an external groove 48 at its lower base portion. Groove 48 is in the convex portion of the headrest and is sized and shaped to conform with the shape of flange 21 of housing 11 in the vicinity of upper wall 18. With this structure, headrest 13 can be slightly contracted to fit its groove adjacent flange 21 and then expanded which functions to snap headrest 13 onto the upper wall 18 of housing 11. When in position, headrest 13 is inclined so that it tends to drain the water from about the patients head down into the confines of housing 11.

Housing 11 can be permanently and fixedly attached to the floor surface, or can be mounted on wheels, or the like, and be moved from place to place as desired. Of course, the housing must be located near a source of water supply and water drain when placed in operation.

Cabinet is connected to a source of hot and cold water, and to a drain. The water supply is connected to an adjustable water temperature control device 50, which communicates with valve mechanism 51. Valve mechanism 51 is located at a position convenient to both the attendent and the patient, so that either can control the flow of water within cabinet 10. As is shown in FIG. 7, the Water from temperature control mechanism 50 enters valve control mechanism 51 through opening 52 and communicates with valve chamber 54. A plurality of hand operated valves 55, 56, and 57 control outlets 58, 59, and 60, respectively, from valve chamber 54. Outlet 61 from valve chamber 54 communicates with valve chamber 64 through flexible conduit 62 and opening 63. Valve spool 65 which is manipulated by lever 66 controls the flow of water from inlet opening 63 to outlet openings 68, 69, and 70.

Outlet opening 58 of valve chamber 54 communicates through flexible hose 71 with seat 24 (FIG. 6). Flexible hose 71 branches into two sections which communicate with openings or nozzles 72 and 74 in seat 24. Nozzles 72 and 74 are arranged to direct water toward the buttocks of a patient seated upon seat 24. Drain openings 75 are located in a recessed portion of seat 24, and baffles 76 are positioned at locations suitable for forming turbulence in the water flowing over the surface of seat 24 toward drain opening 75. The water from drain opening 75 is allowed to fall to the floor 19 of housing 11.

Outlet opening 59 of valve chamber 54 communicates with a T connection 78, which flows Water to flexible conduits 79 and 80. Conduit 80 extends to quick disconnect check valve 81 supported in the flange 21 at the front edge of side wall 15. Flexible hose 82 mates With disconnect valve 81 and extends into the upper rim of door 12, and communicates with U-shaped copper tubing 84. Copper tubing 84 is a water spray tube and defines a plurality of openings 85 which extend inwardly of door 12. Copper tubing 84 can be mounted internally of the double wall structure of door 12 and corresponding holes can be formed in the inner wall of the structure to allow water to flow from the copper tubing, or copper tubing 84 can be positioned in an exposed relationship with door 12, as may be desired. Flexible hose 82 is arranged to connect to housing 11 on the side opposite from hinge structure 39, so that water will not inadvertently flow into door 12 when the door is in its opened position. Drain opening 83 is defined in door 12 adjacent flexible hose 82, so that when hose 82 is disconnected from quick disconnect valve 81, its free end can be inserted into drain opening 83 to drain the water from U-shaped tubing 84 into housing 11. Disconnect valve 81 is a check valve which prevents water from flowing therethrough when flexible conduit 82 is disconnected.

Flexible hose 79 extending from the other branch of T connection 78 communicates with U-shaped spray tube 86 which is normally located at the upper edge of rear Wall 17 and side walls 15 and 16. U-shaped spray tube 86 slopes downwardly at its ends and terminates in slotted brackets 88. Tightening knobs 89 extend through the openings of brackets 88 to adjustably connect U-shaped tube 86 within housing 11. A vertical extension spray tube 90 communicates with the center portion of U- shaped spray tube 86 and extends down into the opening 31 of brackrest 30. Vertical extension spray tube 90 also terminates in a slotted bracket 91 which is controlled by knob 92. With this arrangement, the tightening knobs 89 and 92 can be loosened to adjust U-shaped spray tube 86 and its vertical extension spray tube 90 upwardly or downwardly within housing 11.

Outlet opening 60 of valve chamber 54 communicates through flexible conduit 94 with shampoo nozzle 95 (FIG. 2). Support bracket 96 is molded into the upper portion of rear wall 17 beneath upper wall 18, and normally supports shampoo nozzle so that when it is inadvertently cut on, the water will be confined within housing 11, by flowing against the lower surface of upper wall 18 and falling to floor 19.

Outlet opening 68 of valve chamber 65 communicates through flexible conduit 98 with one end of hydraulic ram 26, while outlet opening 69 of valve chamber 64 communicates through flexible conduit 99 with the opposite end of ram 26. Outlet opening 70 communicates through conduit 100 with the drain of the system. Valve spool 65 is movable axially within valve chamber 64, and includes O-ring seals 102, 103, and 104. Springs and 106 are located at opposite ends of valve spool 101 to normally center the valve in the position as shown. When level '66 is moved around its fulcrum 108, in the direction as indicated by arrow 109, valve spool 65 will be thrust against the force of spring 106, which allows the water from valve chamber 54 to communicate through conduit 62 through valve chamber 64 with outlet opening 69 and one end of hydraulic ram 26. The water displaced from the other end of hydraulic ram 26 is moved up through outlet opening 68 and into the internal passageway 110 of valve spool 101, and into the portion of valve chamber 64 occupied by spring 106 and out of drain outlet 70. When lever 66 is rotated in the direction opposite to that indicated by arrow 109, the water entering valve opening 63 will flow through outlet opening 68 and its flexible conduit 98 to the opposite end of hydraulic ram 26 to retract the piston and the seat connected thereto,

and the water displaced from the other end of the ram will flow through flexible conduit 99, valve chamber opening 69, and out of opening 70, to the drain. Thus, lever 66 and valve spool 101 function to control the movement of hydraulic ram 26 and seat 24.

OPERATION When bathing cabinet is placed in operation, the attendent adjusts the temperature knob 50 to the desired temperature of the water for the system. One or more of the valves 55, 56, or 57 can be opened to see that the water to flow into the cabinet is at the right temperature. When the patient is ready to enter he bathing cabinet, door 12 is opened and seat 24 is moved out toward the front portion of housing 11 by manipulation of lever 66. Lever 66 functions to flow water to the rear of hydraulic ram 26 to thrust the seat toward the front of the housing. The patient then sits upon seat 24, and the attendent then reverses the position of lever 66, which functions to flow water to the retracting portion of the cylinder of the hydraulic ram, whereupon the seat is retracted into the housing of the cabinet. The attendent then closes door 12 by pivoting the door about its hinge mechanism 39 and slightly pressing the upper edges of the door together as the door moves into the flange 21 of the housing. Protrusions 38 at the bottom of the door keep the door from moving too far inwardly of the housing. The attendent then connects flexible conduit 82 of door 12 to the quick disconnect valve 81. The attendent or the patient manipulates valves 55, 56, and 57 to adjust the water flow of bathing cabinet 10. When valve 55 is opened, the water flows through valve chamber 54 through flexible conduit 71 to the seat (FIG. 6), where a flow of water is provided to the lower abdomen of the patient. When valve 56 is open, water flows through T-shaped connector 78 and to the spray tube of door 12 where it flows onto the legs of the patient, and to the U-shaped spray tube 86 and its vertical extension tube 90, where water flows onto the back and shoulders and upper ab domen portion of the patient. If the patient does not want the water on his legs, the flexible conduit 82 of door 12 can be disconnected from quick disconnect valve 81. Also, the height of the spray received from U-shaped tube 86 and its vertical extension tube 90 can be adjusted by tightening knobs 89 and '92. When valve 57 is opened, water flows through flexible conduit 94 to shampoo nozzle 95, and the attendent or the patient can manipulate the nozzle, as desired. Headrest 13 allows the patient to rest his head on a surface that guides the water back into the confines of the housing. Headrest 13 can be quickly connected or disconnected from the cabinet by slightly compressing its lower portion and sliding its slot 48 from flange 21.

The arrangement of valve chambers 54 and 64 is such that the water flowing to valve chamber 64 must first pass through valve chamber 54. When valves 55, 56, and 57 are closed, valve chamber 64 will receive virtually full line pressure from valve chamber 54; however, when any or all of the valves 55, 56 and 57 are open, the water pressure in valve chamber 64 is substantially reduced. The reduction of the pressure within valve chamber 64 under these conditions is such that hydraulic ram 26 becomes inoperative when a person is seated on seat 24. Only when all of valves 55, 56 and 57 are closed will ram 26 have enough power from the line pressure to move seat 24. Thus, the spastic patient is prevented from inadvertently thrusting himself out of cabinet 10.

When door 12 is closed, its lower portion forms a step or footrest 34 which enables the patient to rest his feet in front of him, or suspend his feet straight out from the lower portion of his body. With this arrangement, a patient with a cast or a leg that cannot be bent can also use the bathing cabinet.

While door 12 has been disclosed as protruding out from the front of housing 11, relatively flat doors have been constructed for closing the front portion of the housing. When the cabinets are manufactured, a tub-like door 12 can be provided with the assembly or the flat door can be provided, at the option of the buyer. Furthermore, the cabinets can be purchased and used with both type doors. The hinge assembly 39' is arranged so that hinge pin 41 easily can be retracted from its cavities 42, and the doors can be switched. A flat door might be desirable when there is no room at the side of the cabinet to have the larger door 12 swing around to the position as shown in FIG. 2.

As is shown in FIG. 4, the flared edge 35 of door 12 locks into flange 21 of housing 11, to lock the door to the housing and to prevent the water from leaking from the housing. When it is desired to open the door the upper edges of the door are pressed together to effectively reduce the size of the door, and allow the door to withdraw from the flange 21 of housing 11.

When bathing cabinet 10 is to be used as a portable unit, it is provided with wheels and a pump (not shown) which is used to remove the water from floor 10 of the cabinet and elevate it to a sink or similar drain.

While this invention has been described in detail with particular reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of the invention as described and as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A bathing cabinet comprising a housing open at its top and front portions, a seat movable in a horizontal direction within the housing toward and away from the front portion of the housing, a door member connectable to the housing to close its front portion, hinge means connecting together said door member and said housing, said door member being concave and projecting outwardly from the front portion of said housing to provide a front extension for said housing and means for introducing water into and draining water from said housing.

2. The invention of claim 1 wherein said door member includes a flange insertable into said cabinet when said door member is in closed relationship with said cabinet, said flange being constructed and arranged to engage the cabinet in a locking relationship.

3. The invention of claim 1 wherein said door member includes spray means extending laterally about the upper portion and arranged to spray water toward said housing.

4. The invention of claim 1 and further including housing spray means comprising a vertically extending spray tube adjacent the rear of the housing, a laterally extending U-shaped spray tube adjacent the rear of the housing connected intermediate its ends with said vertically ex tending spray tube with its arms extending along the sides of said housing and terminating in vertical extensions, and connecting means adjustably connecting said vertically extending spray tube and the vertical extensions of said U-shaped spray tube to said housing whereby said spray tube can be moved in a vertical direction.

5. The invention of claim 4 wherein the rear portion of said housing includes a rear wall with a backrest molded into said wall, said backrest comprising a U- shaped protrusion extending into said housing, and said vertically extending spray tube extending into the space defined between the legs of said U-shaped protrusion.

6. The invention of claim 1 wherein an hydraulic power cylinder is connected between said seat and said housing for moving said seat within said housing.

7. The invention of claim 1 wherein said seat includes spray means extending through its surface, baflle members on its surface, and drain means extending through its surface.

'8. The invention of claim 1 wherein said housing includes a curved flange membeer at its upper rear portion, and a concave fan-shaped headrest defining a groove about its lower edge which conforms in shape and is connectable to said curved flange members.

9. In a bathing cabinet including a housing open at its top and front portions, the combination therewith of a door member hingedly connected to said housing and pivotal about an upwardly extending axis into opened and closed relationship with the front of said housing, said door including a flange member projectatble into interlocking relationship with the front portion of said housing and protrusions at its lower portion which are movable into engagement with said housing to limit the movement of the door into the housing, and spray means carried by said door member, said spray means including a water supply conduit connectable to said housing.

10. In a bathing cabinet including spray means, a movable seat, and hydraulic power means for moving the movable seat, the combination therewith of control means for regulating water flow to said spray means and said bydraulic power means, said control means comprising a valve defining first and second valve chambers, conduit means connected to said first chamber for communicating said first chamber with pressurized water and said spray means and said second chamber, valve elements for controlling the fiow of water to said spray means, conduit means connected to said second chamber for communicating said second chamber with said hydraulic power References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 233,153 10/1880 Lea Mond 4174X 633,398 9/1899 Straube 4-6UX 1,676,116 7/1928 Smith 4-6UX 2,888,683 6/1959 Medlock 4147 3,286,970 11/1966 Nolan 4--185X 3,307,204 3/1967 Cotner 4-185 3,290,697 12/1966 Anderson et al. 4161 3,371,354 3/1968 Hayslett 4173 3,377,630 4/1968 Robare 46 3,423,769 1/1969 Cowley 4-173 LAVERNE D. GEIGER, Primary Examiner 20 H. K. ARTIS, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 4--175

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3641596 *Sep 2, 1970Feb 15, 1972Bill HugoBathing apparatus
US3971080 *Nov 10, 1972Jul 27, 1976Walker Irene DRecessed bathtub
US4118810 *Apr 25, 1977Oct 10, 1978Brickhouse Preston EPortable chair tub
US4160292 *Jun 16, 1978Jul 10, 1979Kuether Christian LBath chair
US4237561 *Jun 22, 1979Dec 9, 1980Milton BrittonSedentary bathing system
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
US4439877 *Mar 26, 1982Apr 3, 1984SilchorShower arrangement for bathing units
US4974268 *Oct 11, 1989Dec 4, 1990Kohler Co.Chair bathtub
US4987619 *Sep 7, 1988Jan 29, 1991Smith Lee AModular bathing cabinet and method of fabricating same
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
US5813062 *Jun 6, 1995Sep 29, 1998Arjo Usa, Inc.Side entry bathtub
US5978983 *Apr 7, 1998Nov 9, 1999Queen Carl J.Portable showering cabinet
US6516477Mar 22, 2002Feb 11, 2003David B. StormShower apparatus for seated occupant
US7309072Dec 23, 2004Dec 18, 2007Storm David BWater caddy
US8239979 *Aug 11, 2009Aug 14, 2012Axcess Innovations Inc.Modular easy access bathing enclosure
EP0123324A2 *Sep 14, 1981Oct 31, 1984Anchor Fibreglass Products CorporationApparatus for bathing invalids
EP0123325A2 *Sep 14, 1981Oct 31, 1984Anchor Fibreglass Products CorporationApparatus for bathing invalids
U.S. Classification4/604
International ClassificationA47K3/02, A47K3/00, A47K3/08
Cooperative ClassificationA47K3/006, A47K3/08
European ClassificationA47K3/08, A47K3/00C