|Publication number||US3563469 A|
|Publication date||Feb 16, 1971|
|Filing date||Feb 18, 1969|
|Priority date||Feb 18, 1969|
|Publication number||US 3563469 A, US 3563469A, US-A-3563469, US3563469 A, US3563469A|
|Inventors||Stacey Cecil E|
|Original Assignee||Wolverine Brass Works|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (26), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1 1/ 1931 2,343,804 3/1944 Salemme...
 lnventor Cecil E. Stacey Rockford, Mich. [21 Appl. No. 800,099
003393 668808 MMBB B 999999 333333 222222 1,830,694 Fraser 2,622,927 12/1952 Sarbu 2,905,394 9/1959 Swan.........
3,061,199 10/1962 Billeter.......... 3,485,451 12/1969 Gore et a1.
 Filed Feb. 18, 1969  Patented Feb. 16, 1971  Assignee Wolverine Brass Works, a Division of Wolverine Industries, Inc. Grand Rapids, Mich. a corporation of Michigan Primary Examiner Lloyd L. King AM --J. W K e J  SHOWER HEAD WITH ROTATABLE VALVING Omey arren mn y r MEMBERS 23 Claims, 11 Drawing Figs.   Int.Cl......................  Field a m I///// MM F 'W has SHEET 2 OF 3 PATENTED FEB16 ml INVENTOR.
cecu. E. STACEY ATTORNEZ PATENTED FEB 1 s 1971 saw 3 or 3 INVENTOR. CECIL E. STACEY BY I ATTORNEY SHOWER HEAD WITH ROTATABLE VALVING MEMBERS This invention relates to an adjustable shower head, and concerns especially a construction which is self-cleaning of mineral deposits, corrosion, and other foreign materials that usually tend to obstruct orifices and .passageways for liquid passing through the shower head. The head is formed largely of plastic constituents which are inexpensive, easy to assemble, and resistant to retention of foreign materials; and certain ones of the plastic parts are activated by pressure of liquid to promote self-cleaning, and to improve the spray pattern of liquid emitted by the shower head.
An object of the invention is to provide in a shower head construction, improved means for keeping the passages and orifices thereof clear of corrosion, mineral deposits, and other foreign materials, thereby to enhance the practicality of the head.
Another object of the invention is to improve the spray pattern of the head in order to produce a highly invigorating hydrotherapeutical effect upon the body of the user, while at the same time reducing the rate at which water discharges from the shower head. The spray pattern produced meets Federal specification WW-P-l'lb, Interim Amendment-6, to provide an even full shower having approximately a 2-foot spread in a 6-foot drop when using not more than 6 gallons of water per minute with the supply pressure at 25 p.s.i.
Another object of the invention is to eliminate to the greatest extent possible, such parts and surfaces as are prone to retain undesirable deposits or accumulations which might interfere with continued practical usage of the shower head.
A further object is to simplify and materially reduce the cost of parts and assembly of a shower head having the aforesaid characteristics and improvements, to the end that the device may be produced and sold at low, cost.
Another object of the invention is to simplify and expedite cleaning or other servicing when necessary or desirable.
The foregoing and other objects are attained by the means described herein and illustrated upon the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the improved shower head;
FIG. 2 is a bottom plan view of the same;
FIG. 3 is a cross section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 1, showing the nozzles fully advanced;
FIG. 4 is a view similar .to FIG. 3, but partly in elevation, showing the nozzles fully retracted;
FIG. 5 is an exploded view showing the inner parts of the head and their mode of assembly, exclusive of the housing and the spray regulating means;
FIG. 6 is an exploded view in perspective, of a nozzle-supporting spider forming part of the shower head;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged elevation, partly in cross section, of one of the spray nozzles;
FIG. 8 is a top plan view of the nozzle of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a bottom view of the FIG. 7 nozzle;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view ofsaid nozzle;
FIG. II is a plan view of an orifice plate or member, shown in cross section at the foot of FIG. 5.
The improved shower head comprises a hollow body or housing 10, which may be generally bell-shaped if desired, the interior of which furnishes a chamber 12 receptive of water under pressure delivered through an inlet port 14 located at the reduced end 16 of the housing. At 18 is represented a typical coupler whereby in conventional manner the body or housing 10 may be suspended, and supplied with pressured water from a supply pipe, not shown. Preferably, though not necessarily, the coupler may include a conventional adjustable ball joint or swivel connection 20 with the upper or reduced end of the body. Water introduced through the coupler may fill the chamber 12 when the shower head is in use.
The lower or enlarged end 22 of body 10 provides a large opening 24 within which is mounted an orificed closure member or element 26, hereinafter referred to as the orifice plate or orifice member of the shower head. A single screw 28 may be employed to detachably secure the orifice member to the housing or body 10, said screw passing through a substantially flat retainer plate 30 which spans the lower opening 24. A peripheral portion of plate 30 may rest upon an interior shelf 32 of the housing, while the head of screw 28 holds the plate against the lower face 34 of orifice member 26.
Orifice member 26 includes. an upstanding cylindrical post or stem 36, having an upper closed end portion 38 and provided with a series of longitudinal splines 40 in parallelism with the axis of the post. The post preferably is located substantially centrally of the orifice member, and may be an integral part thereof.
The base of the orifice member is of considerable thickness, and is provided with a plurality of generally cylindrical nozzle chambers or nozzle orifices 42, three of which are shown by way of example, FIG. 11. The nozzle orifices may be regarded as deep bores formed in the orifice member at equal distances from the axis of post 36, the bores being spaced equally from one another with their axes parallel to the axis of post 36.
As best illustrated upon FIGS. 5 and 11, each nozzle orifice 42 has an upper water-entry end 44 which is tapered for construction in the direction of the discharge end 46. The tapered end 44 may be of a depth approximating one-third of the whole depth of orifice 42. The tapered portion 44 is of truncated cone complement, whereas the portion 46 is substantially of right-cylinder form. The tapered portions 44 may be defined by bosses 48 upstanding upon the base of the orifice member.
The reference numerals 50 denote a plurality of similar open ended substantially straight, angularly disposed grooves or channels formed in the inner wall of the upper or tapered entry portion 44 of the orifice, and terminating in the lower cylindrical portion 46. Eight such channels 50 are shown by way of example, and are equally spaced apart. As best illustrated in FIG. 11 each of the channels are similarly oriented with their upper ends in advanceof their lower ends, so as to impart an angular direction to a stream of water passing through the orifice from top to bottom.
Uniformly satisfactory results have been obtained in those instances wherein the angle of taper of orifice portion 44 is approximately 15 to the axis of the orifice, and each channel 50 lies in a plane which meets the orifice axis at an angle approximating 7. The entire orifice member as depicted at 26 of FIGS. 5 and 11, is desirably formed of a molded plastic materia1 capable of withstanding extremes of hot and cold water temperatures without substantial distortion or destruction. One highly satisfactory moldable plastic for the purpose is Polysulfone No. P-l 700, a product of Union Carbide Corporation. This particular material has a low overall shrinkage range as evident from the fact that the maximum variation in shrinkage from one molding to another is but :0.001 inch per inch, and the material may very effectively be plated or finished without difficulty. Other satisfactory materials that may be used in forming the orifice member, are those of the class of Zelrin, Delrin, Teflon and the like.
As will be understood, the orifice member 26 is a normally stationary part, detachably fixed to housing 10 by means of a screw 28 and the retaining plate 30.
The shower head includes certain movable parts, one of which is the spider element 52 which is slidable lengthwise upon post 36. The spider element comprises a sleeve or hub 54 having internal splines 56 complementary to and interfitting with the external splines 40 of the orifice member, for guiding the spider element along post 36 without relative rotation. Radiating from hub 54 are arms 58 which support the depending parallel shafts or studs 60, which are equal in number to the number of orifices 42. The shafts or studs are movable lengthwise within the orifices 42 concentrically therewith, as the spider member is shifted along post 36.
With reference to FIG. 5, it is noted that each shaft or stud 60 is adapted to rotationally support a nozzle member 62 and to slidingly support a deflector cap 64. The deflector cap 64, though loosely surrounding the stud 60, will not normally rotate thereon due to the fact that a depending skirt 66 of the cap has substantial contact with the tapered wall 44 of orifice 42, which frictionally opposes rotation of the cap. The outer tapered skirt of the deflector cap may be smooth, as shown, and its taper angle will complement the taper angle of orifice wall 44, so that the skirt of the deflector cap remains always within the embrace of the tapered wall 44 of the nozzle orifice 42, particularly when pressure of fluid is present in housing chamber 12.
The deflector cap skirt 66 encircles and defines an annular bore or depression 68 which is concentric with shaft 60 and shaft bore 70. The deflector cap preferably is formed of a molded plastic of the type or kind used in forming the orifice member 26.
The reference character 62 denotes one of the rotary nozzles. Each rotary nozzle is preferably formed of a plastic material such as Polysulfone P-l700 previously referred to, and may be in the form ofa rotor, sleevelike of character, having a central bore 72 which has a running fit on shaft 60. The nozzle member carries a plurality of external ribs or vanes 74 extending substantially the full length thereof. Excellent results have been obtained in those instances in which the nozzle member is provided with twice as many vanes, viz., sixteen, as there are channels 50in a corresponding orifice 42.
Each rib or vane 74 has a straight face 76 which rests in a plane that includes the axis of rotation of the nozzle, and a second face 78 which is inclined to face 76 at an acute angle. The face 76 of one rib or vane may meet the adjacent face of the next rib or vane at an angle approximating 45 (see FIG. 8).
At its upper or leading end 80, the nozzle member may be slightly greater in overall diameter than its tail end 82, this resulting in a slightly tapered configuration of the nozzle member. The diameter of the vanes at the upper end of the nozzle member may be from 0.010 to 0.025 inch less than the diameter of the lower cylindrical portion 42 of its corresponding orifice. At the tail end 82 of the nozzle member, each rib or vane may be reduced in thickness, (see FIG. 7), and the grooves between adjacent ribs or vanes may be deeper at the tail end than at the leading end 80 of the nozzle member. As best illustrated by FIG. 9, the ribs or vanes are biased in a common direction, in substantial correspondency with the inclination of the channels 50 of the nozzle orifices 42, so that the force and direction imparted to the water stream by the channels 50 will be directed against faces 76 of the ribs or vanes 74 of the nozzle members.
It will be noted that each nozzle orifice 42 is of greater length than the length of a nozzle member, so that the nozzle members 62 may be axially shifted bodily between the advanced position of FIG. 3 and the retracted position of FIG. 4, as the result of manually shifting the spider member 52 lengthwise of port 36. In the fully elevated or retracted position of the nozzle member 62 (FIG. 4), the upper or leading end thereof is encircled or surrounded by the depending skirt of the deflector cap 64. In the fully lowered, or extended position of the nozzle member, (FIG. 3), the nozzle member 62 is located outside the limits of the skirt and may extend to, but not beyond, the plane of retainer plate 30. The retainer plate 30 is apertured concentrically with each nozzle member, at the locations 82, so that water may be discharged from the shower head past the nozzle members.
The nozzle members 62 and their overlying deflector caps 64, FIG. 5, may be retained upon the studs or shafts 60 by means of screws 84 and thrust washers 86 of Teflon or other antifriction material, the screws being threaded into tapped bores 88 at the free lower ends of the studs or shafts. In all shifted positions of the spider 52, the nozzle members remain in abutment upon the thrust washers 86, according to FIGS. 3 and 4, and will rotate thereon as water passes by the nozzle members in leaving the housing chamber 12 and the angular grooves 50 of the nozzle orifices.
Any suitable means may be provided for manually shifting the spider member 52 along the splined post 36. As herein shown by way of example, the shifting means may comprise a handle mounted upon the outer end of an actuating shaft 92, which shaft may be journaled for rocking movement within the longitudinal bore of a packing nut 94. The packing nut compresses a suitable packing 96 against the adjacent face of the shaft-receptive opening in the body 10 and an annular shoulder 98 of shaft 92, to preclude leakage of water.
At its inner end, the actuating shaft may carry an eccentric lug 100 which is in constant registry with an elongate slot 102 formed in the sidewall of a spider hub 54. The eccentric lug acts upon the spider hub whenever the actuating shaft is rocked by means of handle 90, to dispose the spider member and nozzles 62 at selected elevations relative to orifice member 26. The nozzles move bodily with the spider member, for disposition to various elevations within the nozzle orifices 42, thereby to alter the character of the spray pattern emanating from the shower head.
The reference numeral 104 indicates an annular sealing ring, preferably fluid leakage between the orifice member 26 and the inner wall of housing 10. Handle 90 may be removably secured upon the outer end of actuating shaft 92 by means of a screw 106 and a spline connection 108.
By moving the actuating handle 90 to various positions of adjustment, the spider member 52 will be placed at different elevations upon post 36, to position the several nozzle members at different elevations within their respective nozzle ori' fices 42. The nozzle members may be elevated into the recesses of the deflector caps 64, as in FIG. 4, to soften the stream of water released through the orifices; or if desired, the nozzle members may be lowered to the FIG. 3 position, or to any intermediate elevation, for changing the characteristics of the spray emitted. When the nozzle members are fully lowered, as in FIG. 3, the spray emitted is forceful yet agreeably modified by the whirling action generated by the rotating nozzle members, to produce a highly desirable hydrotherapeutical effect not obtainable with other forms of shower heads. Furthermore, the dynamic rotary spray pattern produced meets the Federal specifications previously referred to herein.
In the preferred form of the shower head, the housing or body 10 is fabricated of a molded plastic material capable of resisting any tendency to attract and accumulate waterborne or airborne materials which produce corrosion, scale, and other undesirable deposits. A highly satisfactory material of which the housing may be formed, is the moldable plastic Polysulfone No. P-l 700, a product ofUnion Carbide Corporationv Other materials suitable for formation of the housing, and of the orifice member and the spider body, are those known as Zelrin, Nylon, Delrin, Teflon or the like. The plastic material employed must of course be capable of effectively resisting deformation of parts in the presence of extremes of heat and cold encountered in normal usage of the device.
The high speed rotation of the nozzles produced by the angular orifice channels, ensures self-cleaning of nozzles and the orifices in which they rotate, and reduces to a minimum the likelihood of any scale or other foreign matter accumulating thereon.
With particular reference now to FIG. 3 it will be noted that when the nozzles are in their fully advanced, or lowered position, the deflector cap 64 is fully lowered with tapered surface 66 (see FIG. 5) engaging the complementary tapered portion 44 of the orifice opening for thereby directing and restricting the flow of water to channel portions 50. However when the nozzles are in retracted, to a fully raised position, (see FIG. 4) the deflector cap is also fully raised by reason of the upper end of the nozzle engaging inner surface 65 (FIG. 5) ofthe deflector cap. The deflector cap is thus raised from its FIG. 3 relationship with tapered portion 44 of the orifice plate so that it no longer abuts or engages the orifice plate, thereby providing a clear, unobstructed opening or space which completely circumscribes the upper end of the orifice and through which water may freely flow for cleaning out and discharging any foreign particles or material trapped in the shower head above the orifice plate.
The shower head of the invention can be produced inexpensively and with a minimum of skilled labor. The number of nozzle elements and orifices incorporated in the structure may be varied as desired. Also, the nature of the coupling disclosed for connecting the shower head to a water supply pipe is of no consequence to the present invention, and is therefore not to be considered a structural limitation upon the invention disclosed.
The nonmetallic parts hereinbefore mentioned may be molded from such materials as thermoplastic polycarbonate, phenoxy resins, polyphenylene oxide, or the acetyl polymer Delrin. Satisfactory parts may be made also from ABS, an acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer, or from polypropylene or polyethylene materials, in addition to Zelrin and Polysulfone P-l 700.
1. A shower head comprising in combination: a hollow body having an inlet end including a passageway and an outlet end; means on said inlet end for connecting said passageway to a supply pipe for water under pressure, the hollow interior of the body providing a chamber between said body ends; an orifice plate fitted to said body substantially closing said outlet end thereof, said plate having formed therein at least one outlet orifice having an axis disposed at substantial right angles to said plate; a substantially cylindrical rotary nozzle element having an upstream end and a downstream end, and means supporting said nozzle element for rotation within the outlet orifice and upon the axis thereof; a deflector cap means disposed in said orifice between said nozzle element and said inlet end in shielding relationship to said upstream end of said rotary nozzle element and directing flow of water through said orifice substantially against the sides of said rotary nozzle element; and means including said cap means generating a torque force to rotate the nozzle element incident to a flow of water through the orifice and past the nozzle element.
2. A shower head comprising in combination: a hollow body having an enlarged open end, and a reduced end including a passageway and means for connecting said passageway to a supply pipe for water under pressure, the hollow interior of the body providing a chamber between said body ends: an orifice plate fitted to said body for substantially closing said open end thereof, said plate having formed therein at least one outlet orifice having an axis disposed at substantial right angles to said plate; a rotary nozzle element, and means supporting said nozzle element for rotation within'the outlet orifice and upon the axis thereof; and means generating a torque force to rotate the nozzle element incident to a flow of water through the orifice and past the nozzle element, said torque force generating means comprising a plurality of grooves in the outlet orifice, said grooves being angularly oriented to the axis of said orifice.
3. The device as defined by claim 2, wherein said torque force generating means includes a plurality of vanes on the rotary nozzle element extending generally lengthwise of the axis thereof.
4. The device as defined by claim 3, wherein the number of vanes on the rotary nozzle element exceeds the number of grooves in the outlet orifice.
5. The device as defined by claim 2, wherein the combination includes manually operable means for adjusting the nozzle element within the outlet orifice lengthwise of the axis of said orifice.
6. The device as defined in claim 2, wherein said torque force generating means includes a plurality of vanes on the rotary nozzle element extending generally lengthwise of the axis thereof, and deflector cap means diverting and confining a flow of water to the grooves of the outlet orifice.
7. The device as defined by claim 6, wherein the combination includes means manually operable for adjustably shifting the nozzle element and deflector cap axially within the outlet orifice.
8. The device as defined by claim 6, wherein the body, the orifice plate, the rotary nozzle element and the deflector cap are formed of a nonmetallic (plastic material characterized by impervlousness to water, an an ability to resist retention of waterborne and airborne solids imposed thereon.
9. The device as defined by claim 8, wherein said nonmetallic plastic material is a material of the class of Polysulfone P 1700.
10. The device as defined by claim 1, wherein the outlet orifice has a substantially cylindrical discharge end, and an entry end tapered to constrict the diametral dimension thereof, and said tapered entry end carries a multiplicity of channels angularly oriented to the axis of said outlet orifice.
11. The device as defined by claim 10, wherein the combination includes manually operable means for adjustably shifting the rotary nozzle element axially within the outlet orifice, and the noule element carries a plurality of vanes extending generally parallel to the axis of rotation of the nozzle element.
12. The device as defined by claim 10, wherein the deflector cap has a skirt tapered complementarily to the taper of the orifice entry end; and means supporting said deflector cap concentrically to the outlet orifice, with the skirt overlying the helically oriented channels aforesaid.
13. The device as defined by claim 12, wherein the rotary nozzle element is shiftable independently of the deflector cap.
14. The device as defined by claim 12, wherein the deflector cap is shiftable relative to the outlet orifice.
15. The device as defined by claim 12, wherein the deflector cap is provided with a recess encompassed by the skirt thereof, and said recess is dimensioned for receiving therein one end of the rotary nozzle element when said nozzle element is shifted in one direction.
16. The device as defined by claim 13, wherein the combination includes means to limit shifting of said nozzle element in the opposite direction, to preclude projection of said nozzle element beyond the limits of the shower head body.
17. The device as defined by claim 5, wherein is included means precluding projection of the nozzle element outwardly beyond the limits of the orifice plate.
18. The device as defined by claim 10, wherein the combination includes a shaft rotatably supporting the nozzle element for rotation axially within the outlet orifice; and means manually operable for bodily moving said shaft and the nozzle element supported thereon axially of the outlet orifice.
19. The device as defined by claim 18, wherein the deflector cap has a skirt tapered complementarily to the taper of the orifice entry end, said deflector cap being slidably mounted upon said shaft with the skirt thereof overlying the angularly oriented grooves aforesaid.
20. The device as defined by claim 19, wherein the manually operable means aforesaid comprises a shiftable spider element to which the shaft supporting the nozzle element is fixed; and means carried by the orifice plate for guiding the spider element for movement along a line parallel to the axis of the outlet orifice.
21. The device as defined by claim 20, wherein the nozzle element is provided with a plurality of vanes extending generally parallel to the axis of rotation of the nozzle element, said vanes being in the line of projection of fluid emanating from the angularly oriented grooves of the outlet orifice.
22. The device as defined by claim 18, wherein the nozzle element is provided with a plurality of vanes extending generally parallel to the axis of rotation of the nozzle element, said vanes being in the line of projection of fluid emanating from the angularly oriented grooves of the outlet orifice.
23. A shower head comprising in combination: a hollow body having an inlet and an outlet end; an orifice plate secured to and carried by the outlet end of said body, said plate including an elongate discharge orifice characterized by a plurality of angularly oriented grooves; a nozzle element having an outer surface characterized by a plurality of axially oriented vanes, and means rotatably mounting said nozzle element in axial alignment with the discharge orifice of the orifice plate.
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|U.S. Classification||239/383, 239/460|
|International Classification||B05B3/04, B05B3/02|